Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Final Rankings and Bowl Predictions

by   |  12.15.15  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

Below are the final JP rankings of the regular season. We account for the Army-Navy game in our rankings and I have no idea why the college football playoff (CFP) committee does not. Interestingly, Bowling Green has stealthily worked their way to #7, just ahead of Stanford. You might recall from our initial post that we fully expected our rankings to increasingly cohere to expectations as the season wore on (e.g., observe that we share 7 of the same top 10 as the final CFP rankings) yet nonetheless end with some surprises, and I’d say that is exactly what has happened.

 

JP rankings week of december 14

 

Bowl game predictions

Whenever I tell people about the success of our ranking system, one of the question I am reliably asked is “yes, but how does it fare against Vegas?” I agree that Vegas is an appropriate benchmark for success in that they excel at selecting a favorite and setting an appropriate line (Vegas’ goal is for bettors to be evenly divided between the two sides of the line as that is how they make the most money with the least risk). In our first post I mentioned that we have beaten Vegas 56% of the time, a claim much easier to make than to substantiate. So here is our chance to back it up by making a priori predictions. Below you can find our forecasted winners for all 40 bowl games other than the national championship. Each of the bowl opponents are listed in the table below, the Vegas favorite is the first team listed (odds are even for the last two bowls), our projected winner is in bold, and our projected win margin is in the rightmost column.

 

There are two games in which we predict rather large margins of victory: Bowling Green over Georgia Southern by approximately 4 touchdowns and Arkansas over K State by more than 3 TDs. None of these teams are ranked though both of our projected winners are favored by Vegas.

 

Another interesting match-up involves North Carolina and Baylor: our system has had less respect for both of these teams (relative to the CFP) all season. Nonetheless, our two systems end up making the same prediction in this match: NC over Baylor. Perhaps even more curiously, Vegas favors Baylor. I find this curious because when there is disagreement between the 3 systems about the favorite, this is the least likely event (other possible events: (1) Vegas and our system align but not CFP, (2) Vegas and the CFP align but not JP).

 

Also, though our system favors Oklahoma over Clemson, in contrast to the CFP, Vegas currently favors OU by 4. This puts our system in the strange situation of being guaranteed to outpredict one system (either the CFP or Vegas) but virtually guaranteed to lose to the other. Only if OU wins by 1-3 points can our model beat both systems. My favorite bowls are where the CFP and Vegas align against the JP rankings, such as the Fiesta Bowl where both our competitors agree that Ohio State will defeat Notre Dame yet our system nonetheless predicts an Irish win.

 

Lastly, our system appears to have little respect for the Big 12 – only predicting 2 wins out of 7 games. Conversely, it expects Pac 12 and SEC teams to both win 7 out of 10 games.

 

Date Bowl Vegas Favorite Opponent Predicted Win Margin
2015-12-19 GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL Arizona New Mexico 2.3
2015-12-19 ROYAL PURPLE LAS VEGAS BOWL Utah BYU 5.7
2015-12-19 RAYCOM MEDIA CAMELLIA BOWL Appalachian State Ohio 5.7
2015-12-20 AUTONATION CURE BOWL San Jose State Georgia State 5.7
2015-12-20 R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL Louisiana Tech Arkansas State 5.7
2015-12-21 MIAMI BEACH BOWL Western Kentucky South Florida 2.3
2015-12-22 FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL Utah State Akron 5.7
2015-12-23 MARMOT BOCA RATON BOWL Temple Toledo 5.7
2015-12-23 SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL Boise State NIU 10.7
2015-12-24 GODADDY BOWL Bowling Green Georgia Southern 28.7
2015-12-24 POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL Western Michigan Middle Tennessee 13.3
2015-12-25 HAWAI’I BOWL Cincinnati San Diego State 1.0
2015-12-26 ST. PETERSBURG BOWL Marshall Connecticut 2.3
2015-12-26 HYUNDAI SUN BOWL Washington State Miami (FL) 2.3
2015-12-26 ZAXBY’S HEART OF DALLAS BOWL Washington Southern Miss 10.7
2015-12-26 NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL Indiana Duke 8.3
2015-12-26 CAMPING WORLD INDEPENDENCE BOWL Virginia Tech Tulsa 8.3
2015-12-27 FOSTER FARMS BOWL UCLA Nebraska 1.0
2015-12-28 MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN Navy Pittsburgh 5.7
2015-12-28 QUICK LANE BOWL Minnesota Central Michigan 2.3
2015-12-29 LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL California Air Force 5.7
2015-12-29 RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL Baylor North Carolina 5.7
2015-12-30 NOVA HOME LOANS ARIZONA BOWL Colorado State Nevada 2.3
2015-12-30 ADVOCARE V100 TEXAS BOWL LSU Texas Tech 8.3
2015-12-30 BIRMINGHAM BOWL Auburn Memphis 8.3
2015-12-30 BELK BOWL Mississippi State NC State 10.7
2015-12-31 FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL Texas A&M Louisville 1.0
2015-12-31 HOLIDAY BOWL USC Wisconsin 10.7
2015-12-31 CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL Florida State Houston 2.3
2015-12-31 CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL – CFP SEMIFINAL Oklahoma Clemson 1.0
2016-01-01 GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL – CFP SEMIFINAL Alabama Michigan State 2.3
2016-01-01 OUTBACK BOWL Tennessee Northwestern 16.3
2016-01-01 BUFFALO WILD WINGS CITRUS BOWL Michigan Florida 5.7
2016-01-01 BATTLEFROG FIESTA BOWL Ohio State Notre Dame 5.7
2016-01-01 ROSE BOWL GAME PRES. BY NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL Stanford Iowa 5.7
2016-01-02 ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL Ole Miss Oklahoma State 13.3
2016-01-02 TAXSLAYER BOWL Georgia Penn State 1.0
2016-01-02 AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL Arkansas Kansas State 21.7
2016-01-02 VALERO ALAMO BOWL Oregon TCU 1.0
2016-01-03 MOTEL 6 CACTUS BOWL West Virginia Arizona State 5.7
2016-01-12 CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PRESENTED BY AT&T TBD TBD

 

Previous JP rankings posts

If you are interested in learning more about our rankings, feel free to read some of our previous posts, linked below.

 

Post 1: Week 10: Introduction of JP ranking system and initial rankings

Post 2: Week 11: Rankings and additional information on how the system works

Post 3: Week 12: Rankings

Post 4: Week 12: Addendum – Tears on my slide rule, or, What happened to dear old Texas A&M

Post 5: Week 13: Rankings

Post 6: Week 14: Rankings and a measure of comparative predictive performance

Post 7: Week 15: Rankings and discussion of our system’s flaws

Post 8: Final rankings and bowl predictions