Tag Archives: college football playoff

New Year’s Bowl Game Viewing Guide

Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California

Times AZ and Eastern.

See How the Games are Rated to learn more about…how the games are rated.

What I’m going to watch…

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29 – MORNING

Belk Bowl : Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest
11:00 AM/1:00 PM, ESPN

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29 – MIDDAY

Sun Bowl : Arizona St. vs. #24 NC State
1:00/3:00 PM, CBS

Music City Bowl : Kentucky vs. #21 Northwestern
2:30/4:30 PM, CBS

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29 – AFTERNOON/PRIME TIME

Arizona Bowl : New Mexico St. vs. Utah St.
3:30/5:30 PM, CBSSN

Cotton Bowl Classic : #5 Ohio St. vs. #8 USC
6:30/8:30 PM, ESPN

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30 – MORNING

Gator Bowl : Louisville vs. #23 Mississippi St.
10:00 AM/12:00 PM, ESPN

Liberty Bowl : Iowa St. at #20 Memphis
10:30 AM/12:30 PM, ABC

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30 – AFTERNOON/PRIME TIME

Fiesta Bowl : #9 Penn St. vs. #11 Washington
2:00/4:00 PM, ESPN

Orange Bowl : #6 Wisconsin at #10 Miami
6:00/8:00 PM, ESPN

MONDAY, JANUARY 1 – MORNING

Peach Bowl : #7 Auburn vs. #12 UCF
10:30 AM/12:30 PM, ESPN

Citrus Bowl : #17 LSU vs. #14 Notre Dame
11:00 AM/1:00 PM, ABC

Hall of Fame Bowl : Michigan vs. South Carolina
10:00 AM/12:00 PM, ESPN2

MONDAY, JANUARY 1 – AFTERNOON/PRIME TIME

The Rose Bowl Game (Semi-Final) : #3 Georgia vs. #2 Oklahoma
3:00/5:00 PM, ESPN

Sugar Bowl (Semi-Final) : #4 Alabama vs. #1 Clemson
6:45/8:45 PM, ESPN

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College Football Playoff Prediction Flowchart

Using FiveThirtyEight’s playoff prediction tool, I made a flowchart with all of the possible outcomes of the Power 5 conference championship games listing the four teams given the highest probability of going to the Playoff. (The Pac-12’s conference championship game was insignificant to the results and therefore excluded.)

You’ll want to click on it so you can zoom in. (Sorry about the watermark; I’m cheap.)

What to Watch: Bowl Game Viewing Guide – New Year’s Edition

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida - Home of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida – Home of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship

The games are ordered by their on-paper most-likeliness to be a fun-to-watch game with up to three at each time slot. See here for an explanation. If there is no overlap in the games, a simple list is used. All times AZ.

FRIDAY, 12/30

Liberty Bowl: Georgia vs. TCU
10:00 AM, ESPN
Overtime Watch

Sun Bowl: North Carolina vs. #18 Stanford
12:00 PM, CBS
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Music City Bowl: Nebraska vs. #21 Tennessee
1:30 PM, ESPN

Orange Bowl: #11 Florida St. vs. #6 Michigan
6:00 PM, ESPN

SATURDAY, 12/31

MORNING

Citrus Bowl: #13 Louisville vs. #20 LSU
9:00 AM, ABC
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Gator Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky
9:00 PM, ESPN

MIDDAY

Peach Bowl: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Washington
1:00 PM, ESPN
College Football Playoff

NIGHT

Fiesta Bowl: #2 Clemson vs. #3 Ohio St.
5:00 PM, ESPN
College Football Playoff / Bowl of the Year / Overtime Watch

MONDAY, 1/2

MORNING

Hall of Fame Bowl: #17 Florida vs. Iowa
11:00 AM, ABC
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

Cotton Bowl Classic: #15 Western Michigan vs. #8 Wisconsin
11:00 AM, ESPN
P5/G5 Showdown

AFTERNOON

The Rose Bowl Game: #5 Penn St. vs. #9 USC
3:00 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

NIGHT

Sugar Bowl: #14 Auburn vs. #7 Oklahoma
6:30 PM, ESPN
Upset Alert / Overtime Watch

MONDAY, 1/9

College Football Playoff National Championship: #1 Alabama vs. #2 Clemson 
6:30 PM, ESPN

Guide to Creating a Six- and Eight- Team College Football Playoff

Using my plan from a few years ago to replace the BCS, here’s how I would create expanded college football playoffs using six and eight teams.

SIX-TEAM PLAYOFF

  1. Using the College Football Playoff Committee rankings, the #1 and #2 teams would have a first-round bye and automatically be in the semi-finals (Alabama to the Peach Bowl and Clemson to the Fiesta.)
  2. Conference champions ranked in the top 10 will automatically qualify for the playoff (Washington, Penn St., and Oklahoma). If there are more than four conference champions ranked #3-#10, the highest-ranked champions will be in the playoff.
  3. Any remaining spots will be filled by highest-ranking teams (Ohio St.).
  4. The first round will happen the weekend following Championship Week (this weekend) and will be hosted by the higher-ranked team.
  5. TEAMS ARE RE-SEEDED AFTER FIRST ROUND.
  6. Bowl games are not selected until the Sunday after the first round (deal with it, New Mexico Bowl).

This year we would have #7 Oklahoma at. #3 Ohio St. (interesting!) and #5 Penn St. at #4 Washington with #1 Alabama and #2 Clemson having byes. After the games were played, the higher-ranked team would go to the Fiesta Bowl to play Clemson and the lower-ranked team would go to the Peach Bowl against Bama.

If Washington loses to Penn St., the Rose Bowl would feature Washington and Ohio St. or Wisconsin while a Washington victory would give us the actual match-up we’ll see this year (USC/Penn St.)

A win by Ohio St. would keep Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl and a win by Oklahoma would put Ohio St. in the Rose Bowl and Oklahoma St. in the Sugar.

EIGHT-TEAM PLAYOFF

With eight teams, the same rules would apply as above with two major exceptions: the highest-ranked Group of Five champion ranked in the top 16 would get an automatic first-round bid (Western Michigan) and there would be no byes for #1 and #2.

#15 Western Michigan at #1 Alabama
#7 Oklahoma at #2 Clemson (rematch!)
#6 Michigan at #3 Ohio St. (what?!)
#5 Penn St. at #4 Washington

I’d still advocate for a re-seeding after the first round.

College Football Playoff Ranking Using Advanced Stats – Week 14

This is what the College Football Playoff rankings would look like if the committee was comprised of the advanced stat ratings by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and ESPN. I applied the Committee’s voting process with a small amount of human intervention:

  • Two-loss teams were not included in any listing steps until the top-3 had been ranked.
  • Three-loss teams were not included in any listing steps until all undefeated, one-loss, and two-loss teams from the original consideration list had been exhausted.

Most Overrated Compared to Actual CFP Rankings

  1. Iowa – 12 spots
  2. Michigan St. – 4 spots
  3. Michigan – 3 spots

Most Underrated

  1. Western Kentucky – Not Ranked
  2. Baylor – 7 spots
  3. Florida – 5 spots

TOP FOUR

RK TEAM REC CHG* CFP RK
#1 Alabama 11-1 +1 #2
#2 Oklahoma 11-1 +1 #3
#3 Clemson 12-0 -2 #1
#4 Ohio St. 11-1 #6

FIRST OUT

#5 Baylor 9-2 +1 #12
#6 Notre Dame 10-2 -1 #8

THE REST

#7 Stanford 10-2 +3 #7
#8 Florida St. 10-2 +8 #9
#9 Michigan St. 11-1 +4 #5
#10 TCU 10-2 +5 #11
#11 North Carolina 11-1 +3 #10
#12 Ole Miss 9-3 +13 #13
#13 Florida 10-2 -6 #18
#14 Oklahoma St. 10-2 -5 #17
#15 Western Kentucky 10-2 UR N/A
#16 Iowa 12-0 +3 #4
#17 LSU 8-3 -5 #21
#18 Michigan 9-3 -7 #15
#19 Navy 9-2 -11 #23
#20 Houston 11-1 +3 #19
#21 Georgia 9-3 UR N/A
#22 USC 8-4 +2 #20
#23 Toledo 9-2 UR N/A
#24 Tennessee 8-4 UR #25
#25 Arkansas 7-5 UR N/A

*Change from Week 12

Here’s what the rankings would look like if I applied the process straight-up without regard to the record of any of the teams.

#1 Alabama 11-1
#2 Oklahoma 11-1
#3 Clemson 10-0
#4 Ohio St. 10-0
#5 Ole Miss 9-3
#6 Baylor 9-2
#7 Notre Dame 10-2
#8 Stanford 10-2
#9 TCU 10-2
#10 Florida St. 10-2
#11 Michigan St. 11-1
#12 USC 8-4
#13 Tennessee 8-4
#14 LSU 8-3
#15 Michigan 9-3
#16 North Carolina 11-1
#17 Navy 9-2
#18 Arkansas 7-5
#19 Florida 10-2
#20 West Virginia 7-4
#21 Western Kentucky 10-2
T-#22 Iowa 12-0
T-#22 Mississippi St. 8-4
T-#22 Washington 6-6
#25 Oklahoma St. 10-2

Who’s Really In? – College Football Playoff Rankings that Matter

Now that we have clarity on conference champions/championships, I’m going to apply some logic to the Playoff rankings from last week. The rankings will have some movement tomorrow, but we can take a look today at a set of rankings that actually means something.

The Committee has, in so many words, said that conference championships are one of the most important factors in deciding who’s in the Playoff. Therefore, it’s my belief that you must either win your conference, get second place, or that your only conference loss must be to the conference champion (better explanation here).

Here’s who is I believe should be eligible for the playoff and why.

  1. Clemson – Undefeated/possible ACC champion
  2. Alabama – Possible SEC champion
  3. Oklahoma – Big 12 Champion
  4. Iowa – Undefeated/possible Big Ten champion
  5. Michigan St. – Possible Big Ten champion
  6. Notre Dame – Because Notre Dame. And their two losses are to possible conference champions.
  7. Ohio St. – Their only conference loss was to Michigan St. (their division’s conference championship game representative)
  8. Stanford – Possible Pac-12 champion
  9. Florida – Possible SEC champion
  10. North Carolina – Possible ACC champion
  11. Navy – Only conference loss was to Houston (their division’s CCG representative)
  12. Temple – Possible AAC champion

No other teams matter. Obviously a four-loss USC or a runner-up in a G5 conference is not going to be in the Playoff. This is simply a list of those who were ranked and should be eligible for the final four.

My prediction: Clemson, Bama, OU, Michigan St.

College Football Playoff Ranking Using Advanced Stats – Week 12

This is what the College Football Playoff rankings would look like if the committee was comprised of the advanced stat ratings by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and ESPN. I applied the Committee’s voting process with a small amount of human intervention:

  • Two-loss teams were not included in any listing steps until the top-9 had been ranked.
  • Three-loss teams were not included in any listing steps until all undefeated, one-loss, and two-loss teams from the original consideration list had been exhausted.

TOP FOUR

RK TEAM REC CHG CFP RK
#1 Clemson 10-0 #1
#2 Alabama 9-1 #2
#3 Oklahoma 9-1 #7
#4 Ohio St. 10-0 #3

LOOKING IN

#5 Notre Dame 9-1 #4
#6 Baylor 8-1 #10

THE REST

#7 Florida 9-1 +4 #8
#8 Navy 8-1 +5 #16
#9 Oklahoma St. 10-0 +1 #6
#10 Stanford 8-2 -2 #11
#11 Michigan 8-2 +3 #12
#12 LSU 7-2 -5 #15
#13 Michigan St. 9-1 -1 #9
#14 North Carolina 9-1 +6 #17
#15 TCU 9-1 -6 #18
#16 Florida St. 8-2 #14
#17 Utah 8-2 #13
#18 Mississippi St. 7-3 -3 N/A
#19 Iowa 10-0 -1 #5
#20 UCLA 7-3 -1 N/A
#21 Bowling Green 8-2 UR N/A
#22 Wisconsin 8-2 +2 #25
#23 Houston 10-0 #19
#24 USC 7-3 +1 #24
#25 Ole Miss 7-3 -4 #22

Here’s what the rankings would look like if I applied the process straight-up without regard to the record of any of the teams.

#1 Alabama 9-1
#2 Clemson 10-0
#3 Oklahoma 9-1
#4 Ohio St. 10-0
#5 Notre Dame 9-1
#6 Baylor 8-1
#7 USC 7-3
#8 Stanford 8-2
#9 Ole Miss 7-3
#10 Michigan 8-2
#11 Florida 9-1
#12 LSU 7-2
#13 Navy 8-1
#14 Oklahoma St. 10-0
#15 Tennessee 6-4
#16 Florida St. 8-2
#17 North Carolina 9-1
#18 Mississippi St. 7-3
#19 UCLA 7-3
#20 Michigan St. 9-1
#21 TCU 9-1
#22 Arkansas 6-4
#23 Utah 8-2
#24 West Virginia 5-4
#25 Iowa 10-0