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  • Blog Entries

    • By Duquesne Frog in Numbers Make Me Horned 0
      The "Extra Crispy" Formula
       
      If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have heard me preach innumerable times that there is nothing mystical about computational models, be they models of college football team performance or models of hurricanes.  The only thing that differentiates a "computer" model and a human "gut" feeling is the amount of data used and the amount of bias awareness built in.
       
      So in a previous edition of this blog, we talked about my most recent attempt to acknowledge some potential biases in DUSHEE.  These tweaks resulted in the "Extra Crispy" formulation of DUSHEE which was supposed to correct some of the perceived biases of the "Original" formulation: overrating Group of 5 WTF teams, overemphasizing outlier performances when a team does far better or worse than they have on average over the rest of the season.
       
      But if you've noticed, and no doubt you have, I kinda ignore the "Extra Crispy" formulation, at least until bowl season, when it reemerges.  I ignore it because it severely punishes teams with weak SoS, which means it severely punishes Group of 5 schools.  In other words, I think it has swung the pendulum too far the other way.  The "Extra Crispy" formulation would have heavily penalized the MWC-era Frogs for being in the MWC.  And that rankles my own personal bias ... a bunch of Power 5 blue bloods in the top 25 is boring.  And, as I've argued before, if you secretly replaced Coastal Carolina's roster with the New England Patriots and had them play a Sun Belt Conference schedule, they'd still be the best team in college football, even if they were playing teams like Texas State and South Alabama every week.
       
      The DUSHEE methodology compares Team A's performance against Team B to how the rest of Team B's opponents did against them.  And if most teams play a random sampling of teams throughout the distribution of college football teams (i.e., some good, some bad) then the methodology works pretty well.  The inherent problem, of course, is that college football scheduling is not a random sampling; teams in good conferences play a disproportionate number of good teams and teams in bad conferences skew bad.  And if the best team in a bad conference beats up on their conference opponents but never plays an opponent from a good conference, the basis for comparison between that team and teams in that better conference becomes weak.
       
      Case Study: The Utah State Aggies
       
      Let's look at the 2018 Utah State team.  DUSHEE thought very highly of Utah State last season, ranking them 9th overall at season's end (Original Formulation).  Their game-by-game Point Differentials and opponent strength are shown below.
       
      Utah State
      Opp:    @ MichSt    NMSU    AFA  |  @ BYU     UNLV    @ Wyo   |  UNM    @ Haw     SJSU  |  @ CSU    @ Boise    N UNT
      PD:            -5.92    30.00    12.60   |       31.73    21.00    6.90      |   31.50    35.50    24.00   |        -9.60    4.67    52.00
      YD:          -75.92    69.70    59.70   |      69.91  120.90 -144.90    |  271.00  175.83  245.60 |    -250.20  17.33  345.70
      OF Score: -7.62     23.37    11.29   |     24.53    19.85     -2.41    |    34.10     32.17    27.87  |      -18.50    3.95    51.38
      SoS:           5.72   -23.47     2.12    |        5.80    -14.57   -0.68      |  -17.78     -8.98   -20.57   |       -13.47   15.26      4.90
       
      Utah State played the 118th toughest schedule out of 130 in FBS last season.  They racked up big point differentials largely on the weakest of those opponents: New Mexico State, UNLV, New Mexico, Hawaii, San Jose State.  Half of their schedule was against teams that were more than a touchdown worse than an average FBS team and against those teams they averaged a PD of 22.1 against those teams.  One thing that good teams should do is crush bad teams, and Utah State did that, save for squeaking by a bad Colorado State in week 12. 
       
      The Aggies also played four slightly above average teams (Michigan State, Air Force, BYU, and UNT) and the results were mixed with Utah State crushing BYU and UNT, a solid 10-point win against Air Force and losing by a TD against Sparty.
       
      Utah State played one team that was a TD or more better than an average team -- Boise.  And in that game, Utah State performed like a slightly above average team, losing to the Broncos by 9, which was 4.67 points better than the rest of Boise's opponents did. 
       
      There is evidence that Utah State was a very good football team last year.  With the exception of CSU, they crushed the bad teams on their schedule and they crushed two of the five mediocre teams they played.
       
      But the flip side of that coin is that Utah State were just okay against the other 3 mediocre teams and the one legitimately good team they played.  So is that the resume of a top 10 team in the country?  If A&M or LSU (the teams just above and below USU in the DUSHEE rankings, who also happened to have the 1st and 2nd toughest schedules according to DUSHEE) had played the same schedule, would they have had similar results?
       
      And Now the Tweaks
       
      So if it seems like Utah State was rewarded disproportionately for beating up bad opponents, what do we do?  What the Extra Crispy Formulation did before was simply add the opponent's strength to the team's score against that team.  In hindsight, that was a lazy cudgel, using a flame-thrower to correct a problem that requires a delicate scalpel.  Now, we nudge the individual score with the opponent strength divided by the number of games played.  I have also added a reward for games played on the road (acknowledging that playing on the road is statistically about 3 points harder on the road than at home). 
       
      So if we were to take Utah State's DUSHEE (Original Formula) point totals and show the adjustments now made by the Extra Crispy formula, we get:
       
      Opp:                                 @ MichSt    NMSU       AFA  |  @ BYU     UNLV    @ Wyo   |  UNM    @ Haw     SJSU   |  @ CSU    @ Boise    N UNT   | Adjustment Sum
      OF Score:                             -7.62       23.37    11.29  |   24.53      19.85     -2.41    | 34.10     32.17      27.87  |   -18.50      3.95        51.38    |
      Outlier Adjustment:            +1.34       -0.06     +0.05  |     -0.11       +0.06    +0.22    |  -0.08       -0.25       +0.07  |    +2.28     +0.28         -2.83    |        +0.97
      SoS Adjustment:                 +0.48       -1.96     +0.18  |    +0.48       -1.21      -0.06    |  -1.48       -0.75        -1.71  |     -1.12     +1.27        +0.41    |         -5.47
      Home Field Adjustment:   +1.52       -1.52       -1.52  |   +1.52       -1.52      +1.52    |  -1.52      +1.52        -1.52  |    +1.52    +1.52          0.00     |        +1.52
      Total Adjustment:              +3.34      -3.54      -1.29  |   +1.89      -2.67      +1.68    | -3.08      +0.33       -3.16  |    +2.68    +3.07        -2.42    |         -3.17
      XC Score:                             -4.28      19.83     10.00  |   26.43     17.17       -0.73   |  31.01     32.69      24.70  |   -15.82      7.02       47.44
       
      Over a large population of games, one would expect the Outlier Adjustment for poor performances to balance the great performances over the course of a season, but since we have a sample size of 12 here, it doesn't.  In this case, the Aggies two negative outliers (Michigan State and Colorado State) were slightly more "outliery" than their one positive outlier (North Texas).  I am not sure if the Outlier Adjustment is large enough (e.g., should the "aberrational" effect of being more than 15 points better against North Texas than they were anybody else be "corrected" by more than 2.83 points?)  But for now I'm keeping it where it is.
       
      Overall, Utah State's ranking would not have changed based on this new set of corrections, not because their score didn't drop (it did) but because it did not change the ordering of teams once all of them were "corrected" too.  But perhaps the corrected formula comes a little closer to judging Utah State accurately?
       
      What say you, Frog rabble?  Are the corrections too small?  Too big?  What else should be considered, taking into account that I'm probably not going to be willing to look at any additional stats beyond points and yards because this thing already takes entirely too much time to piss around with.  Even if I love pissing around with it so.
    • By Friskyfrog in Poker? I Don't Even Know Her! 4
      As Benefield enters the WSOP final table on Monday, he has the least amount of chips in front of him. This is known as the “short stack” in poker lingo, and it is obviously a vulnerable place to be. Chips always equal power, and in tournament poker chips represent life itself. When you run out of chips, your game is over.
      Until then, though, you have “a chip and a chair.” This axiom, often said to players encouraging each other, points out that as long as you have a chip in front of you, you are alive and so can theoretically win it all. The saying traces back to the 1982 WSOP when the eventual winner Jack Straus pushed in all his chips and lost. As he got up to leave the table he discovered he had one chip under his napkin. Because he hadn’t said “all in,” the tournament directors allowed him to sit back down and he eventually won it all.
      When you are playing a tournament and find yourself as the short stack, your strategy should intentionally shift. First, do some math. When you are down to around ten big blinds, you should start looking for a place to make your move. Your move then should always be “all in,” and it is imperative that you don’t wait too long. Why? Because you still want to have enough chips to scare people out of the pot. If your final all-in is a small amount of money, you will have lots of callers. Lots of callers who want you out of the game. The more hands you are up against, the more likely you are to lose. Even if you have a monster pocket hand like aces, they are much less likely to hold up against several callers. It’s possible that you will feel disappointed if everyone folds and you thought you were going to win a bigger pot, but it is always “better to win a little than lose a lot” (in this case, all). Just stealing blinds is better than going up against several callers for your tournament life.
      Now you may be thinking, “but every person you survive makes your payout higher, so shouldn’t the short stack try to just hang on as long as possible, folding everything, so maybe a person or two goes out before them?” No. Poker players play to win, not to place one higher. Circling the drain for hours until you are forced in is wussy poker. Much better to take control of your own situation and force others to make decisions in response to your actions.
      So Benefield’s hope as the final table begins is that he gets a very strong hand fairly quickly, gets all his money in the pot against one caller, and then beats that caller. If this happens then his stack doubles and he is no longer the short stack. This would buy him some time then to settle in and be patient once again.
      One other note on tournament play…
      The object of tournament play is to get other players out. For this reason, it is customary that if one person is all-in then the rest of the players in the hand check it down rather than betting into a side pot. Why? You may think your hand is so great that you simply have to keep betting and this makes everyone else fold except the all-in hand. If that person ends up with the better hand then you have just allowed them to live. You may very well regret this later when this person takes you out of the tournament! When someone is all-in, the more callers they have means the more likelihood they are walking away from the table. This trumps any possibility of short term gains in a side pot.
    • By Duquesne Frog in Numbers Make Me Horned 1
      It was a humbling close to the season for DUSHEE, who did a rotten job predicting bowl outcomes after a pretty good regular season.  DUSHEE did no better picking winners than the quarter in your pocket would have done.  The only solace is, DUSHEE did about as well as Sagarin and SRS at picking winners straight up, although both Sagarin and SRS did quite a bit better against the spread.  And the solace for all was that all the models did significantly better than Vegas did with their opening lines set back in early December.
       
      Here is how the models did:
                  Model       SU   ATS DUSHEE O       19 - 19   20 - 18 DUSHEE XC       18 - 20   18 - 20 Sagarin       19 - 19   27 - 11 SRS       19 - 19   25 - 13 Vegas       15 - 23    
      If you bet using Sagarin or SRS, you made out pretty well during bowl season.  If you used DUSHEE, well, let me reiterate that gambling is a vice and the author does not promote or encourage sports betting of any kind.
       
      Now my high school football coaches, forever wise, once taught me that excuses are like assholes and elbows ... everybody's got them and mine stink.  I'm not sure why my elbows smelled so badly, but I can nonetheless offer a few qualitative reasons for why the bowls are hard to pick. 
       
      One, in the modern era where NFL hopefuls sit out the bowls, it is easy to argue that not all the teams have the same talent level they had when their regular season performance was measured.  One can imagine a way of trying to account for this similar to the WAR metric used in baseball, but ain't nobody got time for that.  West Virginia and Michigan both took pretty big hits to their personnel so it was quite predictable they would underperform compared to the regular season.
       
      Two, is impossible to quantify the motivation teams have going into exhibition games that the CFP has probably made even less relevant than they used to be.  I mean, OBVIOUSLY the SEC was totally not into their games against opponents from all those other slummy conferences ...
       
      All of that said, Sagarin and SRS also were only accounting for regular season performance and they did quite well picking winners against the spread.  But then, DUSHEE did quite well during the regular season.  And DUSHEE has done much better in other bowl seasons.  So I'm going to dismiss this bowl season as a fluke.  Dealers' prerogative ...
       
      Best and Worst Bowl Performances
      Top 6
      59.87 Army vs. Houston
      52.38 Texas A&M vs. NC State
      52.37 Auburn vs. Purdue
      51.88 Clemson vs. Alabama
      51.38 Utah State vs. N. Texas
      49.09 Clemson vs. Notre Dame
       
      I posted the top 6 just to show how friggin' impressive Clemson was in the two playoff games, averaging 50 point better than an average team against, supposedly, two of the four best teams in the country.
       
      Bottom 3
      -46.27 Purdue vs. Auburn
      -43.17 Houston vs. Army
      -39.03 Temple vs. Duke
       
      Conference Ratings
      The Big XII-II leapt back over the B1G as the second best conference in college football, after what was by all accounts a pretty mediocre year for the conference.  Despite the relatively poor bowl showing, the SEC is still well ahead of everybody else.  The only reason why the ACC had a positive number was because Clemson was in the conference, otherwise the conference only marginally better than the MWC.
       
      And the American ends up behind the Mountain West as the best "Group of 5."  Please change your marketing campaign, American Athletic Conference ...
       
      SEC 10.19 B12 3.94 B10 3.58 ACC 1.41 P12 0.65 MWC -2.60 AAC -4.87 CUSA -5.98 SBC -6.41 MAC -6.43  
      Final Overall Ratings
      Post-Bowl Final Rank Team PD YD Score Rk +/- Score +/- 1 Clemson  35.47 262.13 36.32 1 2.11 2 Alabama  33.01 259.46 34.55 -1 -2.44 3 Georgia  22.37 165.34 22.91 0 -3.11 4 Michigan  18.94 183.43 21.49 0 -2.84 5 Oklahoma  19.63 157.55 20.71 0 0.07 6 Mississippi St.  17.35 157.05 19.16 0 -0.03 7 Ohio St.  16.89 141.68 18.11 0 -1.02 8 Texas A&M  15.46 160.18 18.05 4 2.57 9 Utah St.  19.53 75.39 16.67 12 3.23 10 LSU  15.13 115.89 15.69 8 1.91 11 Notre Dame  15.97 98.58 15.41 -2 -1.63 12 Boise St.  15.15 106.73 15.26 1 -0.01 13 Fresno St.  16.65 85.75 15.24 1 -0.03 14 Penn St.  15.47 96.83 15.00 -3 -0.87 15 UCF  17.93 61.56 14.93 -7 -3.38 16 Appalachian State 15.92 88.73 14.90 1 0.71 17 Missouri  13.59 106.57 14.21 -7 -2.44 18 Army  14.97 79.70 13.84 10 4.33 19 West Virginia  12.96 93.55 13.16 -4 -1.68 20 Iowa  14.37 73.48 13.13 -1 -0.46 21 Cincinnati  11.90 97.98 12.67 -5 -1.89 22 Ohio  12.81 84.73 12.63 1 0.57 23 Washington  11.03 105.02 12.43 1 0.43 24 Florida  12.27 78.59 11.98 3 1.39 25 Washington St.  11.78 79.28 11.68 -5 -1.84 26 Auburn  12.69 57.28 11.23 4 3.19 27 Utah  9.90 66.97 9.84 -2 -1.84 28 Wisconsin  7.27 82.38 8.83 7 2.21 29 N.C. State  7.83 72.62 8.73 -7 -3.45 30 Texas  8.67 41.63 7.80 4 1.06 31 Kentucky  9.29 30.33 7.66 0 -0.32 32 UAB 5.97 68.35 7.28 4 1.18 33 Syracuse  8.23 23.92 6.64 5 0.63 34 Iowa St.  6.97 37.11 6.44 7 0.97 35 Temple  7.01 25.27 5.89 -9 -5.33 36 BYU  4.47 58.39 5.80 10 1.77 37 Michigan St.  4.60 54.94 5.72 0 -0.36 38 Miami (FL)  4.67 53.72 5.71 -9 -2.51 39 Oklahoma St.  5.20 30.41 4.94 4 0.10 40 Buffalo  4.72 36.44 4.91 -1 -1.08 41 North Texas  4.08 45.21 4.90 -9 -2.13 42 Virginia  4.08 20.27 3.70 16 1.63 43 Florida Atlantic  -0.01 72.62 3.50 2 -0.88 44 Marshall  2.80 33.07 3.46 7 0.45 45 South Carolina  4.16 7.72 3.15 -5 -2.41 46 Purdue  3.48 12.33 2.91 -13 -4.10 47 Memphis  3.20 13.44 2.78 -5 -2.20 48 Middle Tenn. St.  2.13 23.66 2.56 -1 -1.03 49 Oregon  3.67 0.85 2.49 -1 -1.09 50 Arizona St.  3.30 5.87 2.48 2 -0.49 51 Arkansas St.  0.04 50.07 2.45 2 -0.08 52 Minnesota  3.33 3.47 2.39 13 1.40 53 Air Force  0.85 32.07 2.12 6 0.26 54 Stanford  5.48 -32.83 2.07 -10 -2.38 55 Pittsburgh  2.35 8.36 1.97 1 -0.26 56 Southern Miss  -1.09 54.96 1.93 7 0.40 57 Miami (OH)  2.31 7.75 1.91 3 0.11 58 Nebraska  -0.77 45.03 1.67 -1 -0.55 59 Texas Tech  1.51 12.97 1.64 -5 -0.78 60 Troy  2.27 1.76 1.60 8 1.28 61 Duke  2.30 -11.77 0.96 23 4.32 62 Georgia Tech  0.33 14.09 0.90 -12 -2.20 63 Vanderbilt  3.22 -26.28 0.88 -14 -2.32 64 Boston Coll.  2.76 -21.81 0.79 -9 -1.50 65 Northwestern  2.93 -27.52 0.62 2 0.26 66 Georgia Southern 4.13 -46.29 0.52 5 0.50 67 Toledo  3.02 -31.75 0.48 -5 -1.16 68 TCU  -0.96 22.43 0.45 -2 -0.27 69 Maryland  1.26 -8.90 0.41 -5 -0.74 70 Mississippi  -3.70 49.63 -0.07 0 -0.12 71 Arizona  -4.60 50.71 -0.62 -2 -0.81 72 Wyoming  -1.23 2.89 -0.68 1 -0.22 73 East. Michigan  -0.07 -15.96 -0.82 -1 -0.84 74 Florida Intl.  0.20 -31.34 -1.38 4 0.55 75 USC  -1.54 -10.27 -1.52 -1 -0.77 76 San Diego St.  -2.08 -14.21 -2.08 -1 -1.18 77 Nevada  -2.90 -7.62 -2.30 0 -0.57 78 Houston  -0.92 -36.67 -2.39 -17 -4.15 79 Baylor  -4.33 9.21 -2.44 6 1.07 80 California  -2.35 -20.69 -2.57 -1 -0.49 81 Wake Forest  -2.22 -23.85 -2.64 8 1.67 82 Tulane  -3.45 -10.41 -2.81 5 1.20 83 Northern Illinois  -1.79 -33.65 -2.82 -7 -1.35 84 Indiana  -4.38 -5.50 -3.19 -4 -0.65 85 UCLA  -4.24 -12.64 -3.44 -3 -0.74 86 Louisiana Tech  -5.24 -0.94 -3.54 5 1.63 87 Colorado  -5.83 -4.53 -4.10 -1 -0.49 88 Kansas St.  -1.90 -64.13 -4.37 0 -0.29 89 Virginia Tech  -4.52 -32.81 -4.60 3 1.41 90 LA Lafayette  -5.78 -27.09 -5.17 -9 -2.48 91 Tennessee  -4.90 -42.55 -5.32 -1 -0.82 92 W. Michigan  -9.27 12.76 -5.56 -9 -2.42 93 UNC-Charlotte -9.03 -10.65 -6.54 1 -0.03 94 Florida St.  -8.60 -37.17 -7.53 -1 -1.06 95 North Carolina  -10.82 -33.00 -8.81 4 -0.34 96 Kansas  -7.64 -78.21 -8.88 4 -0.17 97 Hawaii  -8.45 -69.25 -8.98 0 -0.87 98 South Florida  -9.38 -61.55 -9.23 -3 -1.68 99 LA Monroe  -10.52 -47.43 -9.31 2 0.24 100 Navy  -7.57 -90.52 -9.43 -2 -1.18 101 SMU  -8.19 -85.39 -9.59 -5 -1.56 102 Ball St.  -10.36 -85.40 -11.04 0 -0.75 103 Arkansas  -13.51 -50.63 -11.46 0 -0.40 104 Tulsa  -12.64 -98.23 -13.18 1 -0.80 105 West. Kentucky  -13.14 -94.54 -13.33 2 0.37 106 East Carolina  -16.70 -45.95 -13.35 -2 -1.66 107 Colorado St.  -16.25 -54.51 -13.47 -1 0.13 108 UNLV  -13.93 -109.27 -14.57 0 -0.21 109 Liberty -13.31 -121.99 -14.77 3 0.68 110 Coastal Carolina -13.48 -121.23 -14.85 -1 -0.22 111 Old Dominion -16.90 -95.55 -15.88 0 -0.51 112 Georgia State -15.65 -115.36 -16.01 -2 -0.85 113 Massachusetts -17.91 -118.54 -17.67 1 0.06 114 New Mexico  -14.33 -170.05 -17.78 2 0.22 115 Akron  -15.20 -159.55 -17.85 -2 -0.35 116 Rutgers  -17.66 -133.64 -18.23 -1 -0.32 117 Texas St. -17.86 -138.34 -18.60 0 -0.12 118 Illinois  -18.82 -128.23 -18.75 0 -0.23 119 Cent. Michigan  -19.07 -137.17 -19.34 0 -0.63 120 Bowling Green  -20.79 -116.78 -19.51 0 -0.55 121 South Alabama -20.30 -127.04 -19.68 0 -0.03 122 Kent St.  -20.51 -134.36 -20.17 0 -0.21 123 San Jose St.  -17.05 -190.29 -20.57 2 0.05 124 UTEP  -21.31 -136.87 -20.83 0 -0.31 125 Oregon St.  -21.26 -140.68 -20.98 -2 -0.67 126 Rice  -21.77 -163.45 -22.41 1 -0.37 127 Louisville  -24.13 -131.13 -22.43 -1 -0.87 128 UT-San Antonio -19.89 -209.07 -23.37 0 0.09 129 New Mexico St.  -23.98 -154.79 -23.47 0 0.52 130 Connecticut  -32.24 -274.71 -34.78 0 -0.90  
      By Conference
      AAC
      15 UCF  17.93 61.56 14.93 21 Cincinnati  11.90 97.98 12.67 35 Temple  7.01 25.27 5.89 47 Memphis  3.20 13.44 2.78 78 Houston  -0.92 -36.67 -2.39 82 Tulane  -3.45 -10.41 -2.81 98 South Florida  -9.38 -61.55 -9.23 100 Navy  -7.57 -90.52 -9.43 101 SMU  -8.19 -85.39 -9.59 104 Tulsa  -12.64 -98.23 -13.18 106 East Carolina  -16.70 -45.95 -13.35 130 Connecticut  -32.24 -274.71 -34.78  
      ACC
      1 Clemson  35.47 262.13 36.32 29 N.C. State  7.83 72.62 8.73 33 Syracuse  8.23 23.92 6.64 38 Miami (FL)  4.67 53.72 5.71 42 Virginia  4.08 20.27 3.70 55 Pittsburgh  2.35 8.36 1.97 61 Duke  2.30 -11.77 0.96 62 Georgia Tech  0.33 14.09 0.90 64 Boston Coll.  2.76 -21.81 0.79 81 Wake Forest  -2.22 -23.85 -2.64 89 Virginia Tech  -4.52 -32.81 -4.60 94 Florida St.  -8.60 -37.17 -7.53 95 North Carolina  -10.82 -33.00 -8.81 127 Louisville  -24.13 -131.13 -22.43  
      B1G
      4 Michigan  18.94 183.43 21.49 7 Ohio St.  16.89 141.68 18.11 14 Penn St.  15.47 96.83 15.00 20 Iowa  14.37 73.48 13.13 28 Wisconsin  7.27 82.38 8.83 37 Michigan St.  4.60 54.94 5.72 46 Purdue  3.48 12.33 2.91 52 Minnesota  3.33 3.47 2.39 58 Nebraska  -0.77 45.03 1.67 65 Northwestern  2.93 -27.52 0.62 69 Maryland  1.26 -8.90 0.41 84 Indiana  -4.38 -5.50 -3.19 116 Rutgers  -17.66 -133.64 -18.23 118 Illinois  -18.82 -128.23 -18.75  
      BXII-II
      5 Oklahoma  19.63 157.55 20.71 19 West Virginia  12.96 93.55 13.16 30 Texas  8.67 41.63 7.80 34 Iowa St.  6.97 37.11 6.44 39 Oklahoma St.  5.20 30.41 4.94 59 Texas Tech  1.51 12.97 1.64 68 TCU  -0.96 22.43 0.45 79 Baylor  -4.33 9.21 -2.44 88 Kansas St.  -1.90 -64.13 -4.37 96 Kansas  -7.64 -78.21 -8.88  
      CUSA
      32 UAB 5.97 68.35 7.28 41 North Texas  4.08 45.21 4.90 43 Florida Atlantic  -0.01 72.62 3.50 44 Marshall  2.80 33.07 3.46 48 Middle Tenn. St.  2.13 23.66 2.56 56 Southern Miss  -1.09 54.96 1.93 74 Florida Intl.  0.20 -31.34 -1.38 86 Louisiana Tech  -5.24 -0.94 -3.54 93 UNC-Charlotte -9.03 -10.65 -6.54 105 West. Kentucky  -13.14 -94.54 -13.33 111 Old Dominion -16.90 -95.55 -15.88 124 UTEP  -21.31 -136.87 -20.83 126 Rice  -21.77 -163.45 -22.41 128 UT-San Antonio -19.89 -209.07 -23.37  
      Indies
      11 Notre Dame  15.97 98.58 15.41 18 Army  14.97 79.70 13.84 36 BYU  4.47 58.39 5.80 109 Liberty -13.31 -121.99 -14.77 113 Massachusetts -17.91 -118.54 -17.67 129 New Mexico St.  -23.98 -154.79 -23.47  
      MAC
      22 Ohio  12.81 84.73 12.63 40 Buffalo  4.72 36.44 4.91 57 Miami (OH)  2.31 7.75 1.91 67 Toledo  3.02 -31.75 0.48 73 East. Michigan  -0.07 -15.96 -0.82 83 Northern Illinois  -1.79 -33.65 -2.82 92 W. Michigan  -9.27 12.76 -5.56 102 Ball St.  -10.36 -85.40 -11.04 115 Akron  -15.20 -159.55 -17.85 119 Cent. Michigan  -19.07 -137.17 -19.34 120 Bowling Green  -20.79 -116.78 -19.51 122 Kent St.  -20.51 -134.36 -20.17  
      MWC
      9 Utah St.  19.53 75.39 16.67 12 Boise St.  15.15 106.73 15.26 13 Fresno St.  16.65 85.75 15.24 53 Air Force  0.85 32.07 2.12 72 Wyoming  -1.23 2.89 -0.68 76 San Diego St.  -2.08 -14.21 -2.08 77 Nevada  -2.90 -7.62 -2.30 97 Hawaii  -8.45 -69.25 -8.98 107 Colorado St.  -16.25 -54.51 -13.47 108 UNLV  -13.93 -109.27 -14.57 114 New Mexico  -14.33 -170.05 -17.78 123 San Jose St.  -17.05 -190.29 -20.57  
      P12
      23 Washington  11.03 105.02 12.43 25 Washington St.  11.78 79.28 11.68 27 Utah  9.90 66.97 9.84 49 Oregon  3.67 0.85 2.49 50 Arizona St.  3.30 5.87 2.48 54 Stanford  5.48 -32.83 2.07 71 Arizona  -4.60 50.71 -0.62 75 USC  -1.54 -10.27 -1.52 80 California  -2.35 -20.69 -2.57 85 UCLA  -4.24 -12.64 -3.44 87 Colorado  -5.83 -4.53 -4.10 125 Oregon St.  -21.26 -140.68 -20.98  
      SBC
      16 Appalachian State 15.92 88.73 14.90 51 Arkansas St.  0.04 50.07 2.45 60 Troy  2.27 1.76 1.60 66 Georgia Southern 4.13 -46.29 0.52 90 LA Lafayette  -5.78 -27.09 -5.17 99 LA Monroe  -10.52 -47.43 -9.31 110 Coastal Carolina -13.48 -121.23 -14.85 112 Georgia State -15.65 -115.36 -16.01 117 Texas St. -17.86 -138.34 -18.60 121 South Alabama -20.30 -127.04 -19.68  
      SEC
      2 Alabama  33.01 259.46 34.55 3 Georgia  22.37 165.34 22.91 6 Mississippi St.  17.35 157.05 19.16 8 Texas A&M  15.46 160.18 18.05 10 LSU  15.13 115.89 15.69 17 Missouri  13.59 106.57 14.21 24 Florida  12.27 78.59 11.98 26 Auburn  12.69 57.28 11.23 31 Kentucky  9.29 30.33 7.66 45 South Carolina  4.16 7.72 3.15 63 Vanderbilt  3.22 -26.28 0.88 70 Mississippi  -3.70 49.63 -0.07 91 Tennessee  -4.90 -42.55 -5.32 103 Arkansas  -13.51 -50.63 -11.46  
    • By Duquesne Frog in Numbers Make Me Horned 2
      Army-Navy has been played, closing out the 2018 regular season.  Not to be Debbie Downer, but it has been a turd of a season, both as a TCU fan and a college football fan.  The Frogs, albeit showing some guts in getting through Baylor and Oklahoma State to get to the Cheez-It, had a disappointing season.  Alabama and Clemson are, for the 15th year in a row, the odds on favorites to make the NC game and the underdog challengers are two of the usuals themselves.  Same old, same old.  I don't think UCF is one of the 4 best teams in the country, but I'd be a hell of a lot more interested in the CFP if they were in the tournament.
       
      But luckily for all you TFH subscribers, you have DUSHEE to keep you keen and interested.
       
      None of the Top 12 moved in the rankings.  The gap tightened between Bama and Clemson, now with less than 3-points separating the top two teams.  NC-State fans can shelter from their Snowmageddon warmed by the solace that they rose the most in the rankings this week, riding their 55-point blowout of East Carolina to an 8-spot and over 4-point rise in DUSHEE to get back into the top 25.  ECU, conversely, experienced the largest drop, falling 10 spots and 4.5 points. 
       
      UConn sealed the bottom spot, almost 10 points worse than New Mexico State.  To give you a sense of how bad UConn was this year, their TOP rated DUSHEE performance all season was in Week 1 in a 39-point loss to UCF.  They earned a -16.15 DUSHEE score for that performance.  And that was as good as they did all year.
       
      TCU's week-to-week hasn't really changed much since I posted their numbers in the Week 13 blog post (Ohio State went up a little, UT and OU went down a little), and Cal's numbers are in the Bowl Preview.
       
      So we'll jump to the Best and Worst Performers.
       
      It is a pretty rare circumstance for the loser of a game to wind up in the top performers for the week, but Georgia did that in earning a 34.15 DUSHEE score while losing to Alabama by a TD.  It is not all that uncommon for a losing team to get a better score than a winning team; generally happening when a bad team keeps a game close against a good team.  I know this is a hard concept for many to wrap their brains around when in the traditional AP poll mindset ... the team that loses must drop!  But the goal of DUSHEE is to measure the relative strength of the teams, so if a good team goes into a game, say, 13 points better than another team, but only beats them by 7, that is an indication that the gap between those two teams isn't as large as was originally thought.  And that is what happened in the Georgia-Alabama game.  Georgia went in as a 13-point underdog (per DUSHEE) against the best team in the country.  They lost to that team by 7 and outgained them by almost 60. 
       
      And that is the big flaw in the AP poll.  When two teams who are close to each other in the rankings play a close game, there is no reason to change their rankings relative to each other.  That is an indication that you had them ranked correctly to begin with.  There is no need to punish the loser by dropping them in the rankings.  Statistically, the teams were about even.  So despite losing, Georgia crept closer to Alabama, closing their gap with the Tide by a little more than 2 points.
       
      Championship Week Top 3 Performers
      55.96 -- NC State vs. ECU (55 MOV, 544 YM)
      34.15 -- Georgia vs. Alabama (-7 MOV, 59 YM)
      29.99 -- Clemson vs. Pitt (32 MOV, 229 YM)
       
      Championship Week Bottom 3 Performers
      -54.55 ECU at NCSU (-55 MOV, -544 YM)
      -24.20 Akron at South Carolina (-25 MOV, -134 YM)
      -20.51 Marshall at VaTech (-21 MOV, 16 YM)
       
      And since we are in year-end mode, let's track down the top and bottom 10 performances for the whole year. 
       
      2018 Season Top 10
      63.66 - Clemson at Wake (60 MOV, 449 YM) (Week 6)
      55.96 - NC State vs. E. Carolina (55 MOV, 544 YM) (Week 14)
      53.97 - Ohio vs. Buffalo (35 MOV, 364 YM) (Week 12)
      53.84 - Oklahoma vs. Fla. Atlantic (49 MOV, 326 YM) (Week 1)
      53.38 - Alabama vs. Arkansas St. (50 MOV, 208 YM) (Week 2)
      52.38 - Alabama at Mississippi (55 MOV, 269 YM) (Week 3)
      51.54 - Michigan vs. Penn St. (35 MOV, 219 YM) (Week 10)
      51.43 - Mississippi vs. La-Monroe (49 MOV, 399 YM) (Week 6)
      51.42 - Alabama vs. Missouri (29 MOV, 352 YM) (Week 7)
      50.54 - Clemson vs. Ga. Southern (31 MOV, 455 YM) (Week 3)
       
      2018 Season Bottom 10
      -62.98 UNLV vs. New Mexico (-36 MOV, -336 YM) (Week 6)
      -59.78 La-Monroe at Mississippi (-49 MOV, -399 YM) (Week 6)
      -58.71 UConn at E. Carolina (-34 MOV, -383 YM) (Week 12)
      -57.87 UConn at Boise St. (-55 MOV, -629 YM) (Week 2)
      -57.81 Liberty at Auburn (-53 MOV, -397 YM) (Week 12)
      -57.46 Old Dominion at Liberty (-42 MOV, -290) (Week 1)
      -56.58 Duke vs. Wake (-52 MOV, -266 YM) (Week 13)
      -54.55 E. Carolina at NC State (-55 MOV, -544 YM) (Week 14)
      -53.82 Texas St. at Rutgers (-28 MOV, -247 YM) (Week 1)
      -52.84 Rutgers at Kansas (-41 MOV, -270 YM) (Week 3)
       
      Overall Ratings
      Regular Season Final     Rank Team PD YD Score Rk +/- Score +/- 1 Alabama  36.16 265.88 36.99 0 -1.30 2 Clemson  33.17 249.73 34.21 0 0.26 3 Georgia  25.54 185.56 26.02 0 0.91 4 Michigan  21.99 199.80 24.34 0 -0.14 5 Oklahoma  19.62 155.95 20.64 0 -0.41 6 Mississippi St.  18.01 148.26 19.19 0 -0.36 7 Ohio St.  17.57 153.04 19.13 0 0.33 8 UCF  20.28 98.78 18.30 0 -0.20 9 Notre Dame  17.32 113.45 17.04 0 -0.21 10 Missouri  16.75 113.10 16.65 0 -0.53 11 Penn St.  16.80 96.26 15.87 0 -0.35 12 Texas A&M  12.83 143.03 15.48 0 -0.25 13 Boise St.  15.06 108.02 15.27 2 0.13 14 Fresno St.  16.86 83.18 15.27 -1 -0.22 15 West Virginia  15.01 99.66 14.84 2 -0.22 16 Cincinnati  13.53 114.34 14.56 0 -0.58 17 Appalachian State 14.65 91.41 14.19 -3 -1.10 18 LSU  14.17 89.52 13.78 0 -0.51 19 Iowa  14.34 83.19 13.59 0 -0.16 20 Washington St.  12.64 105.29 13.53 0 -0.19 21 Utah St.  16.49 50.55 13.44 0 -0.11 22 N.C. State  11.35 95.12 12.17 8 4.15 23 Ohio  12.04 83.43 12.07 0 -0.20 24 Washington  10.97 96.78 12.00 1 0.52 25 Utah  12.05 75.17 11.68 -3 -1.06 26 Temple  11.81 69.03 11.22 -2 -0.66 27 Florida  10.67 71.65 10.59 0 0.01 28 Army  10.30 54.54 9.51 -2 -1.83 29 Miami (FL)  7.45 67.37 8.23 0 -0.09 30 Auburn  9.75 31.94 8.05 -2 -0.49 31 Kentucky  9.24 37.67 7.99 0 0.02 32 North Texas  5.99 62.68 7.03 1 -0.13 33 Purdue  7.40 43.03 7.02 -1 -0.16 34 Texas  7.86 31.00 6.74 1 -0.12 35 Wisconsin  5.05 67.14 6.62 1 -0.16 36 UAB 4.88 58.86 6.10 1 -0.63 37 Michigan St.  5.34 52.01 6.08 1 -0.13 38 Syracuse  7.26 24.38 6.02 1 0.22 39 Buffalo  5.67 45.55 5.98 -5 -1.05 40 South Carolina  6.74 21.90 5.55 2 0.20 41 Iowa St.  6.93 17.59 5.47 -1 -0.27 42 Memphis  4.87 35.71 4.98 -1 -0.59 43 Oklahoma St.  4.46 38.56 4.84 0 -0.33 44 Stanford  7.44 -10.58 4.45 1 -0.18 45 Florida Atlantic  0.92 77.85 4.38 1 -0.24 46 BYU  2.80 44.73 4.04 1 -0.27 47 Middle Tenn. St.  3.78 22.12 3.59 3 0.38 48 Oregon  4.30 14.64 3.58 0 -0.19 49 Vanderbilt  5.72 -12.73 3.20 2 0.05 50 Georgia Tech  2.66 27.52 3.10 -1 -0.26 51 Marshall  2.50 27.90 3.02 -7 -1.78 52 Arizona St.  3.57 12.37 2.98 0 -0.14 53 Arkansas St.  1.11 37.01 2.53 0 -0.40 54 Texas Tech  2.39 16.94 2.41 0 -0.19 55 Boston Coll.  4.24 -11.06 2.29 7 0.69 56 Pittsburgh  2.95 5.45 2.23 1 -0.06 57 Nebraska  -0.34 50.34 2.21 -1 -0.15 58 Virginia  2.29 11.10 2.07 5 0.46 59 Air Force  0.49 31.57 1.86 0 -0.12 60 Miami (OH)  2.12 8.06 1.80 -2 -0.35 61 Houston  3.50 -11.79 1.76 -6 -0.69 62 Toledo  3.85 -19.18 1.64 -1 -0.20 63 Southern Miss  -1.42 51.01 1.53 -3 -0.33 64 Maryland  1.99 -3.64 1.15 1 -0.11 65 Minnesota  1.67 -2.49 0.99 -1 -0.29 66 TCU  -0.84 26.43 0.72 0 -0.15 67 Northwestern  2.21 -22.92 0.36 0 -0.45 68 Troy  1.09 -8.41 0.32 0 -0.25 69 Arizona  -3.90 57.62 0.19 0 -0.20 70 Mississippi  -3.37 47.31 0.05 2 -0.05 71 Georgia Southern 4.27 -58.39 0.02 0 -0.12 72 East. Michigan  0.15 -1.70 0.02 -2 -0.18 73 Wyoming  -1.03 4.54 -0.47 0 -0.25 74 USC  -0.86 -3.67 -0.75 0 -0.25 75 San Diego St.  -0.90 -6.00 -0.89 0 -0.23 76 Northern Illinois  -0.45 -24.20 -1.47 3 0.89 77 Nevada  -3.26 9.03 -1.73 -1 -0.27 78 Florida Intl.  -0.15 -37.79 -1.93 -1 -0.18 79 California  -1.89 -16.97 -2.08 -1 -0.18 80 Indiana  -3.72 -1.17 -2.54 1 0.03 81 LA Lafayette  -3.58 -6.27 -2.69 6 0.87 82 UCLA  -3.50 -7.63 -2.70 -2 -0.33 83 W. Michigan  -7.03 31.77 -3.15 0 0.03 84 Duke  -1.51 -48.52 -3.36 -2 -0.27 85 Baylor  -5.51 3.40 -3.51 0 -0.17 86 Colorado  -5.36 -0.83 -3.61 0 -0.18 87 Tulane  -4.21 -24.74 -4.01 -3 -0.78 88 Kansas St.  -1.47 -64.02 -4.08 0 -0.16 89 Wake Forest  -3.23 -44.28 -4.30 1 0.28 90 Tennessee  -3.93 -38.75 -4.50 -1 -0.24 91 Louisiana Tech  -6.29 -20.28 -5.17 0 -0.10 92 Virginia Tech  -5.72 -45.49 -6.02 6 2.35 93 Florida St.  -7.66 -28.17 -6.47 2 0.74 94 UNC-Charlotte -8.89 -11.94 -6.50 -2 -0.36 95 South Florida  -7.77 -48.87 -7.55 -2 -0.53 96 SMU  -6.68 -73.89 -8.03 0 -0.20 97 Hawaii  -8.07 -56.48 -8.12 0 -0.12 98 Navy  -6.57 -79.94 -8.25 3 0.68 99 North Carolina  -10.42 -31.50 -8.47 0 -0.09 100 Kansas  -7.39 -77.96 -8.70 0 -0.18 101 LA Monroe  -10.74 -49.29 -9.55 1 -0.02 102 Ball St.  -9.71 -78.83 -10.29 1 0.04 103 Arkansas  -12.82 -51.70 -11.05 1 -0.28 104 East Carolina  -15.16 -32.76 -11.70 -10 -4.58 105 Tulsa  -11.75 -93.75 -12.37 0 -0.28 106 Colorado St.  -16.57 -52.72 -13.60 0 -0.10 107 West. Kentucky  -13.37 -99.00 -13.71 0 -0.16 108 UNLV  -13.73 -107.53 -14.36 0 -0.13 109 Coastal Carolina -13.16 -120.88 -14.63 0 0.00 110 Georgia State -14.80 -109.38 -15.16 1 0.22 111 Old Dominion -16.27 -93.52 -15.38 -1 -0.45 112 Liberty -14.00 -126.36 -15.45 0 -0.01 113 Akron  -14.78 -157.71 -17.50 0 -0.90 114 Massachusetts -17.99 -118.56 -17.74 0 -0.17 115 Rutgers  -17.30 -131.61 -17.91 0 -0.18 116 New Mexico  -14.47 -172.44 -18.00 0 -0.24 117 Texas St. -17.68 -138.18 -18.48 1 -0.09 118 Illinois  -18.66 -125.56 -18.52 -1 -0.17 119 Cent. Michigan  -18.47 -132.25 -18.72 0 -0.13 120 Bowling Green  -20.31 -111.84 -18.96 0 -0.17 121 South Alabama -20.29 -126.44 -19.65 0 -0.32 122 Kent St.  -20.27 -132.98 -19.96 0 -0.14 123 Oregon St.  -20.91 -131.45 -20.30 0 0.14 124 UTEP  -20.88 -136.14 -20.51 0 -0.07 125 San Jose St.  -17.27 -187.97 -20.62 0 -0.13 126 Louisville  -23.28 -124.69 -21.56 0 0.27 127 Rice  -21.15 -163.87 -22.04 0 -0.07 128 UT-San Antonio -19.89 -210.67 -23.47 0 -0.20 129 New Mexico St.  -24.55 -157.34 -23.99 0 0.01 130 Connecticut  -31.53 -265.40 -33.88 0 -0.74  
      By Conference
      AAC
      8 UCF  20.28 98.78 18.30 16 Cincinnati  13.53 114.34 14.56 26 Temple  11.81 69.03 11.22 42 Memphis  4.87 35.71 4.98 61 Houston  3.50 -11.79 1.76 87 Tulane  -4.21 -24.74 -4.01 95 South Florida  -7.77 -48.87 -7.55 96 SMU  -6.68 -73.89 -8.03 98 Navy  -6.57 -79.94 -8.25 104 East Carolina  -15.16 -32.76 -11.70 105 Tulsa  -11.75 -93.75 -12.37 130 Connecticut  -31.53 -265.40 -33.88  
      ACC
      2 Clemson  33.17 249.73 34.21 22 N.C. State  11.35 95.12 12.17 29 Miami (FL)  7.45 67.37 8.23 38 Syracuse  7.26 24.38 6.02 50 Georgia Tech  2.66 27.52 3.10 55 Boston Coll.  4.24 -11.06 2.29 56 Pittsburgh  2.95 5.45 2.23 58 Virginia  2.29 11.10 2.07 84 Duke  -1.51 -48.52 -3.36 89 Wake Forest  -3.23 -44.28 -4.30 92 Virginia Tech  -5.72 -45.49 -6.02 93 Florida St.  -7.66 -28.17 -6.47 99 North Carolina  -10.42 -31.50 -8.47 126 Louisville  -23.28 -124.69 -21.56  
      B1G
      4 Michigan  21.99 199.80 24.34 7 Ohio St.  17.57 153.04 19.13 11 Penn St.  16.80 96.26 15.87 19 Iowa  14.34 83.19 13.59 33 Purdue  7.40 43.03 7.02 35 Wisconsin  5.05 67.14 6.62 37 Michigan St.  5.34 52.01 6.08 57 Nebraska  -0.34 50.34 2.21 64 Maryland  1.99 -3.64 1.15 65 Minnesota  1.67 -2.49 0.99 67 Northwestern  2.21 -22.92 0.36 80 Indiana  -3.72 -1.17 -2.54 115 Rutgers  -17.30 -131.61 -17.91 118 Illinois  -18.66 -125.56 -18.52  
      BXII-II
      5 Oklahoma  19.62 155.95 20.64 15 West Virginia  15.01 99.66 14.84 34 Texas  7.86 31.00 6.74 41 Iowa St.  6.93 17.59 5.47 43 Oklahoma St.  4.46 38.56 4.84 54 Texas Tech  2.39 16.94 2.41 66 TCU  -0.84 26.43 0.72 85 Baylor  -5.51 3.40 -3.51 88 Kansas St.  -1.47 -64.02 -4.08 100 Kansas  -7.39 -77.96 -8.70  
      CUSA
      32 North Texas  5.99 62.68 7.03 36 UAB 4.88 58.86 6.10 45 Florida Atlantic  0.92 77.85 4.38 47 Middle Tenn. St.  3.78 22.12 3.59 51 Marshall  2.50 27.90 3.02 63 Southern Miss  -1.42 51.01 1.53 78 Florida Intl.  -0.15 -37.79 -1.93 91 Louisiana Tech  -6.29 -20.28 -5.17 94 UNC-Charlotte -8.89 -11.94 -6.50 107 West. Kentucky  -13.37 -99.00 -13.71 111 Old Dominion -16.27 -93.52 -15.38 124 UTEP  -20.88 -136.14 -20.51 127 Rice  -21.15 -163.87 -22.04 128 UT-San Antonio -19.89 -210.67 -23.47  
      Indies
      9 Notre Dame  17.32 113.45 17.04 28 Army  10.30 54.54 9.51 46 BYU  2.80 44.73 4.04 112 Liberty -14.00 -126.36 -15.45 114 Massachusetts -17.99 -118.56 -17.74 129 New Mexico St.  -24.55 -157.34 -23.99  
      MAC
      23 Ohio  12.04 83.43 12.07 39 Buffalo  5.67 45.55 5.98 60 Miami (OH)  2.12 8.06 1.80 62 Toledo  3.85 -19.18 1.64 72 East. Michigan  0.15 -1.70 0.02 76 Northern Illinois  -0.45 -24.20 -1.47 83 W. Michigan  -7.03 31.77 -3.15 102 Ball St.  -9.71 -78.83 -10.29 113 Akron  -14.78 -157.71 -17.50 119 Cent. Michigan  -18.47 -132.25 -18.72 120 Bowling Green  -20.31 -111.84 -18.96 122 Kent St.  -20.27 -132.98 -19.96  
      MWC
      13 Boise St.  15.06 108.02 15.27 14 Fresno St.  16.86 83.18 15.27 21 Utah St.  16.49 50.55 13.44 59 Air Force  0.49 31.57 1.86 73 Wyoming  -1.03 4.54 -0.47 75 San Diego St.  -0.90 -6.00 -0.89 77 Nevada  -3.26 9.03 -1.73 97 Hawaii  -8.07 -56.48 -8.12 106 Colorado St.  -16.57 -52.72 -13.60 108 UNLV  -13.73 -107.53 -14.36 116 New Mexico  -14.47 -172.44 -18.00 125 San Jose St.  -17.27 -187.97 -20.62  
      P12
      20 Washington St.  12.64 105.29 13.53 24 Washington  10.97 96.78 12.00 25 Utah  12.05 75.17 11.68 44 Stanford  7.44 -10.58 4.45 48 Oregon  4.30 14.64 3.58 52 Arizona St.  3.57 12.37 2.98 69 Arizona  -3.90 57.62 0.19 74 USC  -0.86 -3.67 -0.75 79 California  -1.89 -16.97 -2.08 82 UCLA  -3.50 -7.63 -2.70 86 Colorado  -5.36 -0.83 -3.61 123 Oregon St.  -20.91 -131.45 -20.30  
      SBC
      17 Appalachian State 14.65 91.41 14.19 53 Arkansas St.  1.11 37.01 2.53 68 Troy  1.09 -8.41 0.32 71 Georgia Southern 4.27 -58.39 0.02 81 LA Lafayette  -3.58 -6.27 -2.69 101 LA Monroe  -10.74 -49.29 -9.55 109 Coastal Carolina -13.16 -120.88 -14.63 110 Georgia State -14.80 -109.38 -15.16 117 Texas St. -17.68 -138.18 -18.48 121 South Alabama -20.29 -126.44 -19.65  
      SEC
      1 Alabama  36.16 265.88 36.99 3 Georgia  25.54 185.56 26.02 6 Mississippi St.  18.01 148.26 19.19 10 Missouri  16.75 113.10 16.65 12 Texas A&M  12.83 143.03 15.48 18 LSU  14.17 89.52 13.78 27 Florida  10.67 71.65 10.59 30 Auburn  9.75 31.94 8.05 31 Kentucky  9.24 37.67 7.99 40 South Carolina  6.74 21.90 5.55 49 Vanderbilt  5.72 -12.73 3.20 70 Mississippi  -3.37 47.31 0.05 90 Tennessee  -3.93 -38.75 -4.50 103 Arkansas  -12.82 -51.70 -11.05  
       
    • By Duquesne Frog in Numbers Make Me Horned 0
      Let's not dither and pretend there are any other bowl games that matter.  ESPN will try to convince you that there are bigger games, like probably the Orange or maybe the Cotton.  But we all know that there is only one game, one game to rule them all, pitting the alma maters of Ladainian Tomlinson and Aaron Rodgers, Jerry Hughes and Jared Goff, Bob Lilly and Craig Morton, Jim Swink and Joe Kapp, Slingin' Sammy Baugh and Vic Bottari, between two teams with a combined 13 wins ... yes, you heard right, THIRTEEN wins! ... and sponsored by what can only be described as the most iconic brand of highly processed, nominally cheese-based, boxed snack cracker (yes, you heard me Cheese Nips, #$%@ you), the inimitable, the indefatigable, the inestimable ...
       

      I get a little chill running down my spine just seeing that picture.
       
      The state of Arizona hasn't been very good to the Horned Frogs over the last 45 years.  Our two bowl games in the state represent two of the last three bowl losses LRBW2XAPCotYHCGMFP has sustained, the ugly 17-16 loss to Michigan State in the 2012 BW3 Bowl, the painful 17-10 loss to Boise in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.  The Frogs are also 1-3 all time against Arizona schools, although the one win did come in the state of Arizona, another low-scoring win (13-10) in 2003 against the Arizona team that John Mackovic ruined after he ruined UT. 
       
      And you can almost bet the house that this game will be another low scoring contest as both teams have stout defenses and borderline anemic offenses.
       
      Here are Cal's numbers week-to-week:
       
      Opp:     UNC    @ BYU      Ore    |   @ Zona       UCLA      @ OreSt    |   Wash      @ WSU     @ USC   |       Col      Stan
      PD:       -2.20        5.10   -12.40  |     -12.30      -43.09          20.40     |   11.55         8.20          0.09    |      9.90     -6.00
      YD:     -51.30   142.70   -28.10  |    -175.50     -99.18        152.00     |   88.00      -11.00       -82.36   | -125.00      3.10
      DO:       -3.95      10.31    -9.63   |      -16.70     -33.53          20.96     |   11.96          4.93        -3.93    |      0.54     -3.85
      Score: 24-17      21-18   24-42  |       17-24         7-37            49-7     |   12-10        13-19       15-14   |     33-21    13-23
       
      Particularly after Cal's inexplicable blow-out loss to UCLA, their defense was stout, giving up an average of 16 points a game over the last half of the season.  But make no mistake, taken as a whole, Cal has shown very little evidence that they are anything other than an utterly average team.  Their only fairly impressive performances were a blow-out win against a hapless Oregon State and a solid shutdown of the Huskies in Week 9.  They struggled to beat a bad North Carolina team, lost to a bad Arizona team, and were a little lucky to have beaten USC and Colorado late in the year in games where they were significantly outgained.
       
      Of course, the Frogs were pretty damn average most of this season too.
       
      As done last year, I'll compare how DUSHEE, Sagarin (Predictor), and SRS see the bowl matchups as compared to the opening Vegas odds.
       
      When I checked the ESPN site linked above, oddsmakers had the Cheez-It Bowl even, but all the computer models like the Horned Frogs.  Throughout this post DO = DUSHEE Original, DX = DUSHEE Extra Crispy, DA = average of DO and DX, Sag = Sagarin, and SoS is the DUSHEE-based strength of schedule.  Here are the computer numbers for the two teams
       
      Bowl Location   Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Cheez-It Phoenix, AZ   TCU  6-6 0.72 4.49 76.09 3.33 4.52       California  7-5 -2.08 -1.82 73.15 2.34 0.18  
      The Frogs have had a clear advantage in Strength of Schedule, which makes TCU a stronger favorite in the DX model, by almost a TD.  DUSHEE Original and Sagarin like the Frogs by roughly a field goal and SRS likes the Frogs by a point.
       
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS TCU  2.80 TCU  6.31 TCU  4.56 TCU 0 TCU  2.94 TCU  1.0  
      Other Big XII-II Bowls
      It's a bit of a rough slate of games for the Big XII-II.  Only West Virginia is favored based on the starting lines coming out of Vegas and the Frogs are the only other team favored by the computers.  There is a good chance the conference comes out of the bowl season no better than 2-5.
       
      Texas
      It's the Rapey Bears against the Gilded Age Robber Barons in this battle of mediocrity in Houston.  All of the computer models like the Commodores (She's a brick .... house) both straight-up (SU) and against the spread (ATS).
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Baylor  6-6 -3.51 -2.34 69.95 2.03 1.47 Vanderbilt  6-6 3.20 7.09 73.31 7.85 6.38  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Vanderbilt  6.71 Vanderbilt  9.42 Vanderbilt  8.07 Vanderbilt  2.5 Vanderbilt  3.36 Vanderbilt  5.8  
      Camping World
      West Virginia is the clear favorite in Disney World against the Sicilian Orangepersons.  Only the SRS metric doesn't like the Mountaineers against the spread.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS West Virginia  8-3 14.84 19.70 85.94 13.73 2.01 Syracuse  9-3 6.02 5.52 77.19 11.08 -0.90  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS West Virginia  8.82 West Virginia  14.19 West Virginia  11.50 West Virginia  7 West Virginia  8.75 West Virginia  2.7  
      Alamo
      The location of many a furious and historic Frog comeback sees the return of the dread pirate Mike Leach against an Iowa State team that faded coming down the stretch.  The computer models all agree that the starting line on this game was far too low with DUSHEE and Sagarin both liking the Cougars by more than a touchdown.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Iowa St.  8-4 5.47 4.79 75.62 7.73 2.73 Washington St.  10-2 13.53 14.27 83.46 12.46 -1.45  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Washington St.  8.06 Washington St.  9.48 Washington St.  8.77 Washington St.  1.5 Washington St.  7.84 Washington St.  4.7  
      Liberty
      Another matchup where the computer models think Vegas is being far too generous with the Big XII-II team, all taking the Tigers ATS.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Missouri  8-4 16.65 22.70 84.27 15.19 7.84 Oklahoma St.  6-6 4.84 7.74 78.75 5.52 2.74  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Missouri  11.80 Missouri  14.96 Missouri  13.38 Missouri  4.5 Missouri  5.52 Missouri  9.7  
      NY6 Bowls
       
      Peach
      Everybody likes the Khaki Pants in this one.  Only the SRS would take Flo Rida, barely, ATS.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Florida  9-3 10.59 15.63 82.91 12.20 6.78 Michigan  10-2 24.34 28.24 91.78 19.25 3.06  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Michigan  13.75 Michigan  12.61 Michigan  13.18 Michigan  7.5 Michigan  8.87 Michigan  7.1  
      Fiesta
      The first game in our summary where there is substantial disagreement between the models.  Generally speaking, this most often happens when there is a big difference in strengths of schedule, as is the case this time.  Starting off, Vegas likes LSU a lot, so much so that all the computer models, while disagreeing on the winner SU, all like the Kaniggits ATS.  DUSHEE Original and the SRS like UCF to win the game, DUSHEE XC and Sagarin like the Bayou Bengals.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS LSU  9-3 13.78 19.59 84.00 14.73 7.85 UCF  12-0 18.26 17.77 82.46 16.22 -2.57  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS UCF  4.48 LSU  1.82 UCF  1.33 LSU  10 LSU  1.54 UCF  1.5  
      Rose
      Unanimous agreement that the Buckeyes are both the favorite SU and ATS.  Only about 2.5 points separates the models.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Ohio St.  12-1 19.13 21.49 91.87 18.09 1.07 Washington  10-3 12.00 13.95 86.84 11.84 2.60  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Ohio St.  7.13 Ohio St.  7.54 Ohio St.  7.34 Ohio St.  4 Ohio St.  5.03 Ohio St.  6.3  
      Sugar
      No one thinks this is going to be close.  Sagarin gives a slight edge to the Horns ATS.  DUSHEE thinks UGa wins by three scores, but DUSHEE has been lower on Texas than the general consensus all year.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Georgia  11-2 26.02 33.68 92.68 22.64 7.27 Texas  9-4 6.74 9.12 81.67 9.83 3.18  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Georgia  19.28 Georgia  24.56 Georgia  21.92 Georgia  12.5 Georgia  11.01 Georgia  12.8  
      Cotton
      Neither of the Semi-Finals look to be competitive.  Clemson is a heavy favorite in this matchup.  DUSHEE likes the Tigers by nearly 20, Vegas by 10.5.  Only the SRS likes the Fightin' Rudys ATS.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Clemson  13-0 34.21 37.26 100.01 23.61 0.94 Notre Dame  12-0 17.01 18.18 87.59 19.06 0.30  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Clemson  17.20 Clemson  19.08 Clemson  18.14 Clemson  10.5 Clemson  12.42 Clemson  4.6  
      Orange
      The models are even more unanimous (is that a possible thing, logically?) about the other Semi-Final, although not ATS, where Sagarin and SRS like the Sooners.  For some reason, my gut tells me that the Sooners are going to be better here than all the numbers suggest, but the numbers are clear.  Roll Tide.  Blech.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Alabama  13-0 36.99 42.89 102.68 27.18 5.16 Oklahoma  12-1 20.67 23.30 90.16 17.96 2.94  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Alabama  16.32 Alabama  19.59 Alabama  17.96 Alabama  14 Alabama  12.52 Alabama  9.2  
      Other Bowls of Regional Interest
       
      New Mexico
      The Fightin' Greene Eagles of Denton face off against the former team of technological's new coach, Utah State.  The Aggies are the unanimous favorite but all the computer models like the Mean Green ATS.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS North Texas  9-3 7.03 1.62 66.89 1.68 -8.86 Utah St.  10-2 13.44 10.15 77.65 8.52 -6.54  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Utah St.  6.41 Utah St.  8.53 Utah St.  7.47 Utah St.  11 Utah St.  10.76 Utah St.  6.8  
      Frisco
      The Bowl of Generic Suburban Dallas pits THE Ohio University against the Fightin' Montezuma's of Far Southern California.  Ohio is the unanimous favorite SU and the unanimous choice ATS. 
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Ohio  8-4 12.07 8.04 70.85 4.00 -5.87 San Diego St.  7-5 -0.89 -2.31 65.31 -1.59 -2.09  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Ohio  12.96 Ohio  10.35 Ohio  11.65 Ohio  3 Ohio  5.54 Ohio  5.6  
      Armed Forces
      Played in our Frogs humble home of Amon G. (Patterson) Carter Stadium, the Black Kaniggits of the Hudson have been DUSHEE favorites all year, and true to form, DUSHEE likes the Cadets in this game way more than everybody else.  That said, the computers all agree that Army should be the favorite in the game while Vegas likes Cougar High.  Note that the Army-Navy game is not included in Army's totals as I am writing this before the game has occurred in the space-time continuum.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Army  9-2 11.11 10.61 72.33 6.63 -1.90 Houston  8-4 1.72 -1.70 71.86 3.50 -5.12  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Army  9.40 Army  12.31 Army  10.85 Houston  3 Army  0.47 Army  3.1  
       
      First Responder
      The Smurf Donkeys rebounded from a very bad loss to Oklahoma State early in the year to have a very nice little season, and for that, they get rewarded with a bowl game in the dilapidated Cotton Bowl against a barely .500 ACC team.  A reminder of what life was like as a have-not.  As with Army, DUSHEE likes Boise far more than anybody else, but Boise is still the unanimous favorite over the Fightin' Fluties.  DUSHEE and SRS like the Broncos ATS; Sagarin says to take BC and the points.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Boston Coll.  7-5 2.29 2.94 77.00 4.92 2.07 Boise St.  10-3 15.27 15.43 78.79 8.61 -1.04  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Boise St.  12.98 Boise St.  12.49 Boise St.  12.73 Boise St. 2.5 Boise St.  1.79 Boise St.  3.7  
      Taxslayer
      I guess this is a good bowl?  Seems like agricultural deserves better.  Two of their losses were respectable games against the two inarguably best teams in the country and they had the toughest schedule, per DUSHEE, in all of college football.  NC State was a schizophrenic team this year, looking like maybe a legitimate challenger to Clemson early in the season with impressive wins over a good Marshall team and what then appeared to be a good Virginia team.  Then not so much toward the end of the season as Clemson, Syracuse, and lowly Wake Forest all beat the Wolfpack. 
       
      This game has one of the larger differentials in schedule strength, and as expected, DUSHEE Extra Crispy likes the Ags a lot more than Original, the latter being more in line with Sagarin and SRS.  Agricultural is a unanimous favorite with only Sagarin picking NC State ATS.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Texas A&M  8-4 15.48 23.30 83.06 12.14 10.12 N.C. State  9-3 12.17 9.14 81.22 7.85 -1.82  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Texas A&M  3.31 Texas A&M  14.15 Texas A&M  8.73 Texas A&M  3 Texas A&M  1.84 Texas A&M  4.3  
      Sun
      The Bowl that should hold a soft spot in the heart of every Frog fan this year pits the Frog's bowl opponent from last year against the 7-6 ACC Coastal Division champion.  Pitt's SOS puts them as the favorite per DUSHEE Extra Crispy, but everyone else likes the Trees.  All the models say to take Pitt and the points except for Sagarin who is exactly on the Vegas spread.
       
      Team Record DO DX Sag SRS SoS Pittsburgh  7-6 2.23 7.12 73.61 6.14 6.89 Stanford  8-4 4.45 6.51 82.11 8.05 3.09  
      DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Stanford  2.22 Pittsburgh  0.62 Stanford  0.80 Stanford  8.5 Stanford  8.50 Stanford  1.9  
      All the Rest
       
      Bowl   DO Fav DDO DX Fav DDX DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag SRS Fav DSRS Cure   LA Lafayette  1.37 LA Lafayette  2.69 LA Lafayette  2.03 Tulane 3.5 Tulane  5.70 LA Lafayette  0.4 Las Vegas   Fresno St.  12.29 Fresno St.  12.46 Fresno St.  12.38 Fresno St.  3.5 Fresno St.  5.66 Fresno St.  6.0 Camellia   East. Michigan  0.01 East. Michigan  1.17 East. Michigan  0.59 East. Michigan 3.5 East. Michigan  0.02 Georgia Southern 3.3 New Orleans   Appalachian State 10.60 Appalachian State 8.89 Appalachian State 9.74 Appalachian State 9 Appalachian State 10.35 Appalachian State 7.2 Boca Raton   UAB 7.57 UAB 6.56 UAB 7.06 Northern Illinois  1 Northern Illinois  0.44 UAB 0.0 Gasparilla   Marshall  10.57 Marshall  11.76 Marshall  11.16 South Florida  2 Marshall  1.57 Marshall  4.3 Bahamas   Toledo  3.57 Toledo  4.90 Toledo  4.24 Toledo  4.5 Toledo  7.75 Toledo  1.8 Idaho Potato   BYU  7.18 BYU  9.20 BYU  8.19 BYU 14 BYU  7.88 BYU  4.8 Birmingham   Memphis  9.23 Memphis  7.32 Memphis  8.28 Memphis  4.5 Memphis  3.24 Memphis  2.1 Dollar General   Buffalo  5.67 Buffalo  7.84 Buffalo  6.75 Buffalo  4 Buffalo  1.21 Buffalo  0.7 Hawaii   Louisiana Tech  2.96 Louisiana Tech  2.85 Louisiana Tech  2.90 Hawaii 2.5 Louisiana Tech  2.97 Hawaii  4.5 Quick Lane   Georgia Tech  2.11 Georgia Tech  0.02 Georgia Tech  1.07 Georgia Tech  3.5 Georgia Tech  3.13 Georgia Tech  1.1 Independence   Temple  14.48 Temple  9.76 Temple  12.12 Temple  5 Temple  1.94 Duke  0.0 Pinstripe   Miami (FL)  1.61 Miami (FL)  1.27 Miami (FL)  1.44 Miami (FL)  2.5 Miami (FL)  1.87 Miami (FL)  2.6 Music City   Auburn  1.03 Auburn  3.03 Auburn  2.03 Auburn  3.5 Auburn  4.48 Auburn  0.5 Belk   South Carolina  3.49 South Carolina  9.77 South Carolina  6.63 South Carolina  3.5 South Carolina  5.83 South Carolina  4.1 Arizona   Arkansas St.  4.27 Arkansas St.  3.16 Arkansas St.  3.71 Arkansas St.  0 Arkansas St.  0.31 Arkansas St.  3.9 Military   Cincinnati  20.56 Cincinnati  19.39 Cincinnati  19.98 Cincinnati  7.5 Cincinnati  5.28 Cincinnati  8.2 Redbox   Michigan St.  2.51 Michigan St.  6.08 Michigan St.  4.29 Oregon  1.5 Michigan St.  0.50 Michigan St.  0.5 Holiday   Utah  11.31 Utah  12.50 Utah  11.91 Utah  8.5 Utah  7.35 Utah  4.7 Outback    Mississippi St.  5.60 Mississippi St.  10.34 Mississippi St.  7.97 Mississippi St.  4 Mississippi St.  1.35 Mississippi St.  0.9 Citrus   Penn St.  7.88 Penn St.  5.90 Penn St.  6.89 Penn St.  7 Penn St.  7.46 Penn St.  1.1  
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