Scuzz Model: Bowl Fortnight, Part Deux
No additional NU analytics this week, but for my in-depth analysis on the Gator Bowl matchup vs. Mississippi State, check out last week’s post.
Bowl Fortnight Begins:
The Scuzz Model came out of the gates with a bang, going 5-1 to start Bowl Fortnight, including 4-2 vs the spread. Since Christmas though, things have gone a litle downhill… yesterday was almost a disaster – had TT not come back in the end, the model would’ve been 0-fer.
Side note — Jerry Kill seems to have righted the momentum ship again, after a tough finish to the season… a healthy Marquis Grey was a big help, as we discussed on last week’s podcast. I say that from a national perspective though – my guess is most Goph fans are gnashing their teeth this morning over the close loss.
Sometimes it is just impossible to predict these outcomes… that’s one reason we love CFB so much. The Hawaii bowl? There is no reason to think SMU had any chance in that game… and then Garrett Gilbert reverted to 2009-National-Championship-form.
I will express extreme dissatisfaction with both Western Kentucky and Rutgers… y’all really screwed me over by blowing those games that you should’ve won! I guess Cincinnati is the karmic opposite though, which saved me 34 points. The model at one point this last week was #2 in LakeThePosts and #1 in the SolidVerbal bowl pools… now still in the top 6 or so, but looking tough to get back on top.
Here are this week’s picks:
Picks Around the Country:
Regular Season (All FBS games) Straight Up: 533-171 (75.7%)
Regular Season (All FBS games) vs. Spread: 334-275 (54.8%)
Weekly Blog Picks vs. Spread: 47-23 (67.1%)
Bowls vs. Spread: 7-7 (50%)
All Bowls – Straight up: 9-5 (64.3%)
It’s a very small sample size, but the model seems to be over-valuing the favorites this year, vs the spread. Adjusting every line down by 2.5 improves the model to 10-4 vs the spread. This is arbitrary and completely unfounded, but should it stick throughout bowl season, I’ll have to do some thinking on it — the guys on the Solid Verbal keep making the point that .
Alamo Bowl (San Antonio, Saturday)
Oregon State (-3) vs Texas: This was the Vegas line even before the TX suspensions were announced yesterday, while the Scuzz Model has the Beavers by 2 TDs. The key to stopping Oregon State is forcing their QBs to throw a lot and hence make mistakes… Texas has the worst run defense in the country (when adjusted for player talent… I made that up, but you ge the point), and now has no late-game-McCoy fallback to relieve Jordan Ash. Oh, btw, Oregon State has an AMAZING defense too.
Pinstripe Bowl (NY, Monday)
Syracuse (+4) vs West Virginia: Remember earlier in the year when Cuse knocked off Louisville much to everyone’s surprise? I’m getting a similar sense from this game. Geno Smith and WVU will put up big numbers, but I don’t think they have the defense to beat Cuse by more than a FG. I expect this to go to the wire – maybe even OT – and be decided by a 2pt conversion or a FG. Model favors WVU by 2.
Sun Bowl (El Paso, Monday)
USC (-7.5) vs Georgia Tech: As we discuss on this week’s podcast… there are a bunch of crazy folks out there who think that w Matt Barkley ruled out of this game, GT has a reasonable chance of winning. Not happening people — GT is a terrible team that only made it to this bowl cause there are 2 teams above them ineligible for the post season. USC has been highly questionable against good teams this year, but GT is not one of them, and I like the Trojans to make a statement. Model likes USC by 10.
Chick Fil’A Bowl (Atlanta, Monday)
LSU (-6) vs Clemson: This game opened at -3, which would’ve been a no brainer, as a lot of folks have picked up on, pushing the line to -6. The model still likes LSU by an additional 2 points. I’ve been vocal on the podcast about doubting the SEC’s depth, but that doubt does not extend to LSU. Les Miles seemed to find his gambling self midway through this year and decided to start letting his QB throw. Also, unlike GA and FL who had cake schedules, LSU went through a vicious lineup this season.
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Tuesday)
Wisconsin (+6) vs Stanford: The model has overvalued Wisconsin all year, but was still 50% vs the spread on the Badgers. I think one of three things will happen in this game – Stanford wins a tight one, Wisconsin wins a tight one, or Bucky goes all Cornhusker on the Tree. What I saw in the Pac12 title game was a Stanford D that was great on the edges, but could be run on up the gut. Think Montee Ball liked watching that tape? Or Melvin Gordan? Wisconsin is not a speed rushing team like Oregon – they are a power rushing team like UCLA, and I think they can do well in this matchup. On the other side, you have an ok Stanford offense versus an ok Wisconsin D… but this game will be won or lost by the Wisc OL – Stanford DL matchup, and I like the chances it is a close game. The model favors Stanford by 3.
Bonus Pick – Orange Bowl (Miami, Tuesday)
NIU (+13) vs Florida State: Raise your hand if you feel good about FSU blowing out anyone ever?? I sure don’t. Yes, this FSU team is really good and shouldn’t have much trouble with the NIU defense, but everytime anyone says that FSU seems to struggle. They are the classic play-down-to-your-opponent-team. Plus, they will have to deal with Jordan Lynch, who is prob the best QB the ‘Noles will have faced this year (Taj Boyd is the only other really good one). Model likes FSU to win but only by 5.
Bowl Fortnight will unfortunately be over soon, but the best part of this football binge is about to be upon us. Enjoy the appetizer of games the next few couple days before we hit the big one on Tuesday morning. I’ll be down in Jacksonville for it – just look for the #64 jersey, or the West Lot Pirates t-shirt. Go Cats!