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.
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||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||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||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 8: Final rankings and bowl predictions