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DUSHEE Bowl Preview

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Duquesne Frog

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This season, to prepare for the bowls, I'm expanding on a bit I did two years ago and looking at the predictive capability of my scrappy little model.  So we're going to look at what DUSHEE says compared to Vegas bookies, Jeff Sagarin, and ESPN's FPI ranking. 

 

ESPN's FPI results in a number that is very comparable to DUSHEE; it is a point total relative to an average FBS team.  Sagarin's system scale is different; the best team in the country is generally around a 100, but the difference in two teams' scores is effectively the point spread between the two teams.

 

For 28 of the 39 bowl games, DUSHEE, Sagarin, FPI and Vegas come to a unanimous consensus about the favorite, although there can be considerable variation among the four as to the point spread.

 

Since there are two formulations for DUSHEE, 1) the original which looks solely at point and yardage margins compared to how the other teams compared against the same opponent, and 2) the revised which deemphasizes statistical outliers and emphasizes strength-of-schedule, I'll provide numbers for both formulations and the average of the two to see how well each of the three predict outcomes.

 

First, we'll start with the bowl our readers probably care about the most ... the Cactus Bowl.

 

Liberty Bowl

 

Just kidding.  The Liberty Bowl is one of the 11 bowl games where the 4 predictors do not come to a consensus and is one of two where the lack of consensus comes from the Vegas bookies.  Here are the numbers for the two teams:

 

Team Record    DO    DR Sag FPI SoS
Georgia  7-5 1.51 2.18 73.19 7.40 0.73
TCU  6-6 3.55 5.03 74.53 10.10 1.16

 

In the following table and all of the ones that follow, DO means DUSHEE Original Formulation, DR is DUSHEE Revised, DA is the average of the two DUSHEE models, Sag is Sagarin and FPI is, well, FPI.  Ignore the sign in front of the number; it is just used to account for which of the two teams is the favorite.

 

DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
TCU  -2.04 TCU  -2.85 TCU  -2.44 Georgia  1 TCU  -1.34 TCU  -2.7

 

The "computer" models all agree that the Frogs are a slight favorite with Sagarin at roughly 1.5-points and DUSHEE Revised at almost 3-points.  However, Vegas, at the moment, has the Dawgs as a 1-point favorite.  As we will see, the agreement between the models (a range of less than 4-points between all of the predictors) is quite tight compared to some of the other games.

 

New Years Six

 

Orange:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Florida St.  9-3 15.99 21.43 87.35 21.50 5.55
Michigan  10-2 32.77 36.95 99.74 27.80 3.18
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Michigan  -16.79 Michigan  -15.52 Michigan  -16.15 Michigan  -6.5 Michigan  -12.39 Michigan  -6.3

 

The models are unanimous that Michigan is the favorite, but DUSHEE and Sagarin think Michigan is a significantly larger favorite than either Vegas or the FPI does.

 

Peach:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Alabama  13-0 37.11 45.21 105.37 31.70 6.77
Washington  12-1 24.52 26.25 97.89 26.10 -0.22
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Alabama  12.60 Alabama  18.96 Alabama  15.78 Alabama  16.5 Alabama  7.48 Alabama  5.6

 

In this case, DUSHEE and Vegas are on the same page, placing Alabama as a 2TD+ favorite, but Sagarin and the FPI have the game at a TD or less.

 

Fiesta:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Clemson  12-1 25.65 30.08 94.50 25.80 3.99
Ohio St.  11-1 34.82 40.78 102.06 28.10

5.37

DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Ohio St.  -9.17 Ohio St.  -10.71 Ohio St.  -9.94 Ohio St.  -3 Ohio St.  -7.56 Ohio St.  -2.3

 

Like the Orange Bowl, DUSHEE and Sagarin agree that Ohio State is a 7-10 point favorite but Vegas and the FPI have the game around a field goal.

 

Cotton:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
W. Michigan  13-0 17.94 15.09 84.62 13.00 -5.60
Wisconsin  10-3 17.82 22.13 90.62 17.80 5.14
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
W. Michigan  0.12 Wisconsin  -7.04 Wisconsin  -3.46 Wisconsin  -7.5 Wisconsin  -6.00 Wisconsin  -4.8

 

The Cotton Bowl illuminates the difference between the two DUSHEE formulations.  Western Michigan and Wisconsin have the biggest strength-of-schedule disparity of any two bowl opponents.  Original DUSHEE, which does account for strength of schedule but does not emphasize it to the degree that Revised DUSHEE does, has Western Michigan as an ever-so-slight favorite.  Revised DUSHEE, Sagarin, and Vegas all have Wisconsin at about a TD favorite, with the FPI putting the game a little closer.  This will be an interesting game to see play out.

 

Rose:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Penn St.  11-2 16.69 19.59 91.97 18.00 3.37
USC  9-3 16.41 21.29 90.65 20.30 4.99
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Penn St.  0.28 USC  -1.70 USC  -0.71 USC  -7 Penn St.  1.32 USC  -2.3

 

The Rose is another interesting case in that all the models have the game as a near toss-up except for Vegas which has the Trojans as a TD favorite.  It is conceivable that bettors are giving USC a home-field advantage boost which would account for some of the disparity, but even with the 3-points, Vegas likes USC more than any of the computer models do.

 

Sugar:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Auburn  8-4 17.54 21.16 84.64 20.10 6.32
Oklahoma  10-2 19.23 22.39 90.29 21.90 2.66
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Oklahoma  -1.70 Oklahoma  -1.24 Oklahoma  -1.47 Oklahoma  -5.5 Oklahoma  -5.65 Oklahoma  -1.8

 

DUSHEE and the FPI have Oklahoma as a slight favorite, Vegas and Sagarin like them a little more.

 

Other Big XII-II and Bowls

 

Aside from TCU and Oklahoma, four other conference mates managed to become bowl eligible. Three are unanimous underdogs in their matchups.

 

Cactus:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Baylor  6-6 1.91 3.06 67.00 7.40 -0.54
Boise St.  10-2 13.25 12.41 79.05 11.00 -2.08
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Boise St.  -11.34 Boise St.  -9.35 Boise St.  -10.35 Boise St.  -7.5 Boise St.  -12.05 Boise St.  -3.6

 

Only the FPI has this game within a touchdown and both DUSHEE and Sagarin think the Broncos are at least two-score (as in football scores, not Gettysburg Address scores) favorites.  Given Baylors' nose dive at the end of the season, it seems like the Broncos are a safe bet, if you are a betting man.

 

Russell Athletic:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Miami (FL)  8-4 11.98 12.17 82.72 16.00 1.63
West Virginia  10-2 10.05 11.40 82.25 14.10 1.13
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Miami (FL)  1.92 Miami (FL)  0.77 Miami (FL)  1.35 Miami (FL)  3 Miami (FL)  0.47 Miami (FL)  1.9

 

The models are all unanimous in favor of the Hurricanes, but they are also unanimous that this is a close matchup.  Vegas has the largest spread at 3-points and all the models are within 2.5 points.

 

Texas:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Texas A&M  8-4 5.81 8.65 81.03 16.20 4.16
Kansas St.  8-4 4.90 4.69 81.36 11.30 0.31
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Texas A&M  0.91 Texas A&M  3.96 Texas A&M  2.44 Texas A&M  2 Kansas St.  -0.33 Texas A&M  4.9

 

This should also be a tight game with the FPI giving the Aggies a 5-point advantage and Sagarin giving the Fighting Snyders a not-quite-half-point advantage.  Vegas splits the difference at a 2-point Agricultural spread.

 

Alamo:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Colorado  10-3 16.06 20.77 89.05 16.30 6.14
Oklahoma St.  9-3 6.72 7.81 82.93 15.40 1.62
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Colorado  -9.34 Colorado  -12.96 Colorado  -11.15 Colorado  -3 Colorado  -6.12 Colorado  -0.9

 

All of the models are unanimous about Colorado in the sequel to the epic Bram Kohlhausen show of last year.  However, DUSHEE was pretty down on Oklahoma State this year in comparison to other models.  While most models had OSU easily in the Top-25, DUSHEE had the Cowboys at 33 and 32.  DUSHEE dinged the Pokes for below average performances against Central Michigan, Baylor, Kansas, and Oklahoma, with that Baylor loss in week 4 looking worse and worse as the season went along.  Thus, DUSHEE has Colorado as a double-digit favorite while the other models all have Colorado between a 1-to-6 point favorite.

 

Other Bowls of Texas Note

 

Las Vegas:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Houston  9-3 14.19 15.71 81.10 10.60 -0.45
San Diego St.  10-3 8.40 4.69 72.07 6.30 -6.44
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Houston  5.79 Houston  11.02 Houston  8.41 Houston  3.5 Houston  9.03 Houston  4.3

 

The models are unanimous for Houston with Vegas being the least enthusiastic about their chances.  A big discrepancy in Strength-of-Schedule between these two teams which means Revised DUSHEE likes Houston even more than Original DUSHEE which litkes the Cougars a lot more than Vegas or the FPI.  Sagarin and the DUSHEE Average are about on the same page for Houston. 

 

Armed Forces:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Navy  9-3 6.54 7.67 73.73 4.80 1.50
Louisiana Tech  8-4 7.69 4.24 67.27 3.60 -5.39
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Louisiana Tech  -1.15 Navy  3.43 Navy  1.14 Louisiana Tech  -3.5 Navy  6.46 Navy  1.2

 

Another big Strength-of-Schedule disparity probably is the cause of such a mixed bag of predictions here with Original DUSHEE and Vegas leaning toward Terry Bradshaw's alma mater and Revised DUSHEE and everyone else leaning toward Roger Dodger's alma mater.

 

Heart of Dallas:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Army  7-5 -0.89 -5.12 63.12 -1.80 -5.40
North Texas  5-7 -15.64 -19.55 50.84 -15.40 -3.93
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Army  14.75 Army  14.44 Army  14.59 Army  10 Army  12.28 Army  13.6

 

No one thinks this will be a close game, not because Army is a juggernaut but because North Texas is a ridiculous bowl team.  All 4 computer models have North Texas as the worst team playing in a bowl, edging out 6-7 Hawaii and miles from anybody else.  Regardless of method, all agree that the Mean Green are on the order of two touchdowns WORSE than and AVERAGE FBS team.  And Army is about an average FBS team.  Again I wonder if bettors are giving UNT a home-field boost playing a county away from home.

 

Sun:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Stanford  9-3 6.68 9.14 84.15 14.40 3.41
North Carolina  8-4 3.52 4.99 78.74 14.10 1.93
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Stanford  3.17 Stanford  4.14 Stanford  3.65 Stanford  3.5 Stanford  5.41 Stanford  0.3

 

Everyone likes Stanford in the bowl that gives a warm feeling in the heart of any TCU fan over the age of 40.  Sagarin likes the Trees the most, FPI the least.  Only 5 points separate any of the predictions.

 

Independence:

Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
N.C. State  6-6 5.44 9.42 74.72 7.40 4.80
Vanderbilt  6-6 -2.18 -0.62 72.15 5.70 2.69
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav DUSHEE Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
N.C. State  7.62 N.C. State  10.03 N.C. State  8.82 N.C. State  4 N.C. State  2.57 N.C. State  1.7

 

Yes, I know that this game is neither in Texas nor includes a Texas team, but it is right across the border.  It involves two mediocre teams from good conferences and everyone agrees that Philip Rivers' alma mater is slightly less mediocre than the Fightin' Robber Barons of Nashville.  This a game where DUSHEE likes a team far more than the others.

 

All the Others

 

All the rest of the that I haven't discussed to this point are captured in the table below.

    DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav D Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
New Mexico Albuquerque, NM New Mexico  -4.05 New Mexico  -4.07 New Mexico  -4.06 New Mexico  -7 New Mexico  -5.40 New Mexico  -6.4
Camelia Montgomery, AL Toledo  -4.81 Toledo  -7.25 Toledo  -6.03 Appalachian State 1 Toledo  -0.52 Toledo  -0.5
Cure Orlando, FL UCF  2.05 UCF  6.12 UCF  4.09 UCF  6 UCF  4.64 UCF  4.6
New Orleans New Oleans, LA Southern Miss  6.38 Southern Miss  8.16 Southern Miss  7.27 Southern Miss  3.5 LA Lafayette  -1.15 Southern Miss  4.6
Miami Beach Miami, FL Tulsa  -12.79 Tulsa  -14.39 Tulsa  -13.59 Tulsa  -11.5 Tulsa  -19.98 Tulsa  -9.2
Boca Raton Boca Raton, FL West. Kentucky  11.38 West. Kentucky  10.71 West. Kentucky  11.05 West. Kentucky  4.5 West. Kentucky  1.03 West. Kentucky  3.9
Poinsettia San Diego, Ca BYU  4.83 BYU  3.80 BYU  4.31 BYU  9 BYU  11.68 BYU  13.2
Potato Boise, ID Colorado St.  -12.59 Colorado St.  -17.19 Colorado St.  -14.89 Colorado St.  -13.5 Colorado St.  -10.48 Colorado St.  -9.2
Bahamas Nassau, BA Old Dominion -6.41 Old Dominion -2.31 Old Dominion -4.36 Old Dominion -4 Old Dominion -6.65 Old Dominion -5.4
Dollar General Mobile, AL Troy  9.11 Troy  10.11 Troy  9.61 Troy  3.5 Troy  3.11 Troy  5.3
Hawai'i Honolulu, HI Middle Tenn. St.  -10.04 Middle Tenn. St.  -8.13 Middle Tenn. St.  -9.09     Middle Tenn. St.  -2.28 Middle Tenn. St.  -9.7
St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, FL Mississippi St.  4.60 Mississippi St.  11.44 Mississippi St.  8.02 Mississippi St.  13 Mississippi St.  13.41 Mississippi St.  16.0
Quick Lane Detroit, MI Maryland  2.32 Maryland  2.72 Maryland  2.52 Maryland  1 Maryland  1.63 Maryland  0.2
Military Annapolis, MD Temple  21.26 Temple  19.57 Temple  20.42 Temple  13 Temple  15.81 Temple  8.8
Holiday San Diego, Ca Washington St.  -16.00 Washington St.  -18.64 Washington St.  -17.32 Washington St.  -6.5 Washington St.  -6.45 Washington St.  -8.7
Pinstripe New York, NY Northwestern  -0.68 Northwestern  -1.44 Northwestern  -1.06 Pittsburgh  5.5 Pittsburgh  3.43 Pittsburgh  5.3
Foster Farms Santa Clara, CA Utah  -3.20 Utah  -4.60 Utah  -3.90 Utah  -8 Utah  -9.32 Utah  -9.8
Birmingham Birmingham, AL South Florida  -18.35 South Florida  -17.60 South Florida  -17.98 South Florida  -10.5 South Florida  -15.02 South Florida  -10.1
Belk Charlotte, NC Virginia Tech  -11.39 Virginia Tech  -7.61 Virginia Tech  -9.50 Virginia Tech  -7 Virginia Tech  -6.78 Virginia Tech  -6.6
Music City Nashville, TN Tennessee  -0.49 Tennessee  -2.16 Tennessee  -1.32 Tennessee  -3 Nebraska  0.76 Tennessee  -7.2
Arizona Tucson, AZ Air Force  11.83 Air Force  13.75 Air Force  12.79 Air Force  13.5 Air Force  15.13 Air Force  12.4
Citrus Orlando, FL Louisville  5.67 Louisville  0.43 Louisville  3.05 LSU  -3.5 LSU  -2.57 Louisville  0.6
TaxSlayer Jacksonville, FL Georgia Tech  0.46 Kentucky  -2.04 Kentucky  -0.79 Georgia Tech  3.5 Georgia Tech  6.70 Georgia Tech  3.8

 

A few notes on these games:

 

1) I'm not sure why, but there is no Vegas line for the Middle Tennessee - Hawaii game.

 

2) There are a few games where DUSHEE is in noticeable disagreement with the other predictors/models.  DUSHEE likes Toledo in the Camellia, Western Kentucky in the Boca Raton, Troy in the Dollar General (new candidate for top-5 worst Bowl Sponsor Names), and Washington State in the Holiday a lot more than the others.  DUSHEE likes Northwestern in the Pinstripe when the others all have Pitt as a 3.5-point or greater favorite.  Revised DUSHEE is the only model that likes Kentucky over Georgia Tech.  And DUSHEE is significantly less favorable toward Utah against Indiana than the others.  Northwestern and Western Kentucky were arguably the biggest DUSHEE WTF teams of the year so it is not surprising that DUSHEE favors them more than the others.  DUSHEE has also been noticeably undersold on Pitt this season.

 

3) DUSHEE does not encourage gambling, but if one were inclined to make wagers based on the advice of DUSHEE, he would steer you toward Washington State (-6.5) against Minnesota in the Holiday, Michigan (-6.5) against Florida State in the Orange, Colorado (-3) against Oklahoma State in the Alamo, South Florida (-10.5) against South Carolina in the Birmingham, and Toledo (+1) against Appalachian State in the Camellia.

 

4) DUSHEE's highest confidence picks are Temple, South Florida, Washington State, Michigan and Alabama.  Lowest confidence picks are USC, Kentucky, Northwestern, Navy, and Tennessee.

 

So there you have it everybody.  After the bowls are over, we'll come back to this and see how DUSHEE fared.  Two seasons ago, DUSHEE did pretty well.  Last year, I petered out before bowl season and never kept track.

 

Correction: Where's the Outback Bowl, mate?

 

As Newbomb so astutely pointed out, I totally missed the Outback Bowl between Florida and Iowa.  And it turns out, the numbers for this game are notable.

 



 
Team Record DO DR Sag FPI SoS
Florida 8-4 6.59 7.58 79.58 12.60 1.96
Iowa 8-4 6.77 7.58 84.01 12.60 1.30
DO Fav DDO DR Fav DDR DA Fav D Avg Vegas Fav Vegas Sag Fav DSag FPI Fav DFPI
Iowa -0.18 Iowa 0.00 Iowa -0.09 Florida 2.5 Iowa -4.43 Even 0.0

 

DUSHEE Original, DUSHEE Revised, and FPI all could not have this game more even.  You have to go out to the FIFTH decimal place in Revised DUSHEE to give Iowa the edge.  The FPI listing only goes to one decimal place.  Sagarin likes Iowa by 4.5, Vegas likes Florida by 2.5.  This game couldn't be more of a coin flip and becomes the new lowest DUSHEE confidence pick.  Which of course probably means that it will be a blowout.


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