2013 college football bowl analysis

Dusting off an entry from my older blog on Tumblr, the posts of which are now usurped by my presence on WordPress, I’m attempting to work with certain variables that should determine the winner of each of the 35 college football bowl games:
Coach’s win% in bowls.
School’s win% in bowls.
Conference strength of schedule, the higher the better.
Yards per pass attempt of starting QB
Travel: Closer school to the neutral field (or home field if applicable)
Common opponents: Who had the better w/l record vs. these, and much greater point differential in those games.
Here’s the spreadsheet with the breakdown for each bowl.

The lighter blue color indicates which side has a better edge in that category. Those small edges give 1 point. The blue-green color indicates a dominant edge. Those are 2 points. Whichever team gets more points become the pick for me.
For extra comparison I looked at www.vegasinsider.com and their consensus odds. If my pick suggested a blowout and the odds reflect this, (see Fiesta Bowl) then I’d certainly make the straight up pick and the favorite. Likewise if I side with the underdog and the odds are pointed to them, then that’s how the pick would work. In all other cases, it depends on the spread and how close I rank the teams. In
I’m playing 2 of the pick ’em contests, one by Yahoo! (straight up), and ESPN (confidence). I’ll assign more confidence in the cases where there is both a larger pointspread and I have the two teams widely ranked apart.
There were several games that proved too close to call for me, notably where the spread is very small. In the Pinstripe Bowl, I actually do not think it will be a large victory for Notre Dame; I have it a tiny Scarlet Knights win.
Sources for stats: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb, http://www.teamrankings.com

2 major boxing matches analyzed via stats, cycles

Two boxing matches of considerable, er, weight to look at for tonight:

First is Keith “One Time” Thurman vs Jesus Soto “Renuente” Karass. The interim WBA world welterweight title is up for grabs. Thurman holds this title, while Adrien Broner, who won the title in the ring outpointing Paulie Malignaggi back in June, has a big fight of his own tonight. Hold that thought.
Thurman is the #11 ranked heavyweight in the world and #7 in the US per www.boxrec.com 21-0-0, a stellar 19 by KO. Jan Zaveck took him to the limit 2 fights back, This is just the 3rd 12-rounder for Thurman, the first being the Zaveck fight, and then the TKO vs Diego Gabriel Chaves, both taking place in 2013. This will be his 3rd fight in TX as well. Nearly all of his KO’s have come in early to middle rounds, tho the KO of Chaves was in the 10th of 12, and you can watch that fight here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOt8fUvaTw8

Cycles are slowly on the improve. Thurman will have to rely on brains, and not so much brawn, to be victorious. Punching power and generally psyche is still quite low. He should be able to least survive the 12.

Karass is #13 among welterweights, and #2 out of his native Mexico. He sports a poor 2-5 record vs. undefeated opponents. He comes out of a TKO in 12th vs Andre Berto for the vacant NABF welterweight belt. 4-5 plus one no decision in last 10. He’s 5-2 in TX, and it’s his first time at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. 5-3-1 in 12-round contests. Overall: 28-8-3, with 18 KOs in win, 2 KO losses.
Referee Jon Schorle was also present to officiate Karass’s last bout vs Berto, which you can see here:

Mixed bag for Karass. Power is down and fading fast. Also right on a mental critical day, suggesting he’ll make some poor decisions in punches. I’d say for a boxer his acumen is about average, yet his drive is not quite what it should be.

This is looking like a tough fight for both, and not necessarily a great one, but I do see Thurman staying undefeated, winning by decision.

Adrian Broner, one of the leading pound-for-pound boxers worldwide, defends the WBA world welterweight title vs Marcos Rene Maidana.
Challenger first: “El Chino” is 34-3-0, 31 wins by KO. As the boxrec.com #9 welterweight, he’s fought mainly in his native Argentina ( along with Germany, and selected dates in the US). He’s 5-2 on US soil. All of his KOs in 12-round affairs have come either early or mid-fight. It’s his 3rd fight (2-0) going up against an undefeated opponent. 3 straight KOs since last defeat.

Comes out of a triple low, with stronger punching power but overall a big uphill climb for Maidana. Don’t expect much from him at all here.

Broner, a stellar 27-(22)-0-0 record in tow, makes his first defense of this belt after winning a split decision vs Malignaggi in June. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUsbfsLV6jc That decision broke a 6-fight TKO streak. This will be his 4th fight in TX, and his 7th 12-rounder.Also tends to end fights early to mid-stages.
Judge Nelson Vazquez was also present for a 6 round decision for Broner v Luis Alfredo Lugo, 1/24/09.

Broner in peak form, and comes in with ideal cycles for a boxer, as the physical and emotional cycles are high and rising further.

Prediction: Broner with a mid-fight TKO victory.