Saturday, December 6, 2008

BCS Championship: Florida vs. Oklahoma

How sure is the Guru? Let me put it this way: I wouldn't bet my kid's college money on it. But I would bet yours.

The confluence of events worked out just right for the Florida Gators on Saturday, which should secure them a place in the BCS title game. Oklahoma's spot was never in doubt as the Sooners raced to an early lead against Missouri and kept pounding away.

What worked out for Florida is that its victory over Alabama was hard-fought, which gave the impression that it defeated a stout, undefeated, No. 1-ranked team, as opposed to a fraudulent pretender. Also, OU's victory over Missouri, while impressive and record-setting, seemed pedestrian by comparison because the Tigers' defense was so atrocious that it might as well not have shown up.

All that should add up to a preponderance of first-place votes for the Gators, helping them to make up whatever deficit in the computers against Texas, which will be left out at No. 3. The Guru projects at least a 100-point gap between Florida and Texas in the Harris Poll and probably a 40-50 point lead in the Coaches Poll. Taken together, they should override whatever residual lead that the Longhorns might have in the computer rankings.

If Hawaii defeats Cincinnati in the last regular-season game of 2008, Florida's place in the title game will be cemented.

As for Oklahoma, the crushing victory over Missouri was sufficient to keep enough first- and second-place votes for the Sooners in the human polls, allowing them maintain a comfortable cushion after adding in their superior computer ratings. There should be no concern about their being jumped by Texas in the BCS standings.

Texas's only national title hopes now rests with the Associated Press. But with the Fiesta Bowl's decision to invite two-loss Ohio State to face the Longhorns, their chances dimmed considerably. Currently, Texas is 8 points ahead of Oklahoma in the AP poll. Should Texas maintain that lead going into the bowls and the Sooners defeat Florida in the BCS title game, the Longhorns might try to make a claim for the AP crown - by virtue of their head-to-head win over the Sooners. But it's doubtful that the AP voters would buy into that now since all they can prove is beating a perennially overrated Buckeyes team.

The Fiesta Bowl's decision only reinforces that the nature of the bowl games remains unchanged. It's never about bringing together the best matchups - the BCS title game notwithstanding - but it's all about bringing the most bucks and the highest TV ratings. Even though Texas-Utah made for a more compelling game, the bowl opted to play safe by picking Ohio State.

With all that in mind, here are the Guru's BCS bowl projections:

BCS Championship: No. 1. Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Florida

Fiesta Bowl: No. 3 Texas vs. No. 10 Ohio State

Sugar Bowl: No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 6 Utah

Rose Bowl: No. 5 USC vs. No. 8 Penn State

Orange Bowl: No. 12 Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech

And the rest of the rankings projections, with the Cincinnati-Hawaii game pending:

No. 7 Texas Tech, No. 9 Boise State, No. 11 Texas Christian, No. 13 Oklahoma State, No. 14 Georgia Tech, No. 15 Georgia.


CBGator87 said...

Well, I hope you're right.

Shazad said...

The Fiesta Bowl has said that they're taking Ohio State, not Utah. So you might as well change that projection. Utah will be playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Anonymous said...

Um... Utah is already guaranted the Sugar need to keep up with stuff now and then Guru.

Adam said...

As a longhorn fan, I have lost all faith in how college football champs are decided!

Florida vs. Oklahoma
All this tells me is that Texas was robbed TWICE!! I wish they could both loose!

In this game I'm rooting for Ana, an unseasonably early hurricane!

Anonymous said...

You're a moron Adam. Accept it and move on.

me said...

BCS GURU IS AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What matchup could the Fiesta Bowl actually pick that would be a better game. I mean it is Ohio State, Utah, Boise State, or Cincinnati. Ohio State actaully is the best matchup for Texas.

dethwing said...

Florida is 4th in Sagarin. Gators will need some better results than that in the other 5 computers.

CBGator87 said...

@Dethwing: Not if the human polls make Florida the consensus #1, which is likely going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Why is Ohio State "perennially overrated" but Oklahoma is not? Seems the Sooners have suffered just as many BCS catastrophes as the Buckeyes, but everyone is prepared to give the Sooners the benefit of the doubt?

Why is that? And would a right good depantsing at the hands of Florida consign OU to Ohio State status?

Anonymous said...

^ said "Why is that? And would a right good depantsing at the hands of Florida consign OU to Ohio State status?"

Although I don't think what I'm about to type will happen, I do believe the B12's rep could be damaged if Oklahoma suddenly can only muster about 17 points vs. Florida while UF runs all over OU's defense. Those people saying all the B12's defenses are the frauds causing all these great stats would suddenly carry a lot more weight. Those voices would get much louder.

Adam said...

Why is the Harris poll so stacked with SEC regional voters?

Lets look at losses:

Alabama #4
Oklahoma #4
Texas Tech #5
Texas #7
USC >#50(confused? See below)
Florida >#50

I liked Florida, but if we are picking the two best teams, Florida shouldn't be going. So, as much as I hate OU, Florida's chances are slim. To the one who thinks I'm a "moron", that's fair. You can think what you want, but I stand by what I say!

Okay, my final rant... Is anyone else sick of analysts cumming in their pants every time they hear the letters U-S-C?

Richard said...

Hey Guru,

I'm a Gator fan and I'm still not sure you're right. I predicted .880(vs. your .930) for the Gators in the computers and the the fiirst 2 polls are right where I thought they'd be.

I still think this is a nail biter.

Gators margin vs. Texas in the USA Today poll is .about 010 higher than where I modeled it to break even with UT.

Maybe I screwed up the math somewhere, but this may come down to no more than a handful of votes.

I hope the rest of the computers fall where you think they will.


Richard said...

According to guru computer projection, UF is home free.

According to mine, the Gators need to increase their lead in the Harris poll from .015 to about .050

That's tricky because Texas figures to hop Alabama with nearly as many voters as UF. So UF needs to hop OU and OU needs to hop Texas a fair of times.

Richard said...

Just for posterity. The 2 computers that have come in so far are probably 2 of the 4 that will count for UF.

The other 2 I expect are are KM and AH where I see the Gators picking up 2-3 spots and coming in .870 to .880.

According to guru math, we need to 7-8 spots. Where those come from, I have no idea.

I'm beginning to think the guru is not such a guru when it comes to predicting the computer outcome and the closeness of this race.

In fact, I'm reaching for the anti anxiety pill.

Oh, how I hope to eat crow here!


Anonymous said...

Why is Ohio State "perennially overrated" but Oklahoma is not? Seems the Sooners have suffered just as many BCS catastrophes as the Buckeyes, but everyone is prepared to give the Sooners the benefit of the doubt?

More, actually. OSU is 4-2 in the BCS while the Sooners are 2-4. But don't let facts get in the way of two bad years or a fascination with OSU.

Anonymous said...

i have so wasted my time reading this opinion, not fact stuff

Adam said...

Is it just me, or does this last minute shake up bring back bad memories of 2006? The only difference was that a Florida win solidified everything in 2006 and no questions were raised.

What's different this year is that an Oklahoma win evokes Texas to say "that should have been us in Florida's spot (better wins and a less painful loss)". A Florida win evokes Texas to say "that should have been us in Oklahoma's spot (after all, we did beat them)!"

Florida gets help twice in three years by the human vote!! Really!?!

Anonymous said...

A Florida win solidifies everything. A Florida win and there are no questions. Texas doesn't have any argument that anyone outside of Texas listens to. Florida's overall body of work is more impressive than Texas' anyway IMO.

Anonymous said...

so much for the harris poll coming out at 4pm.

Richard said...

I've updated my model and it loooks like the Gators will win by a comfortable margin based upon when the Harris data arrives.

Assuming a conservative computer split of .950 for UT and .870 for UF and factoring in the complated coaches poll the Gators will need the following result from the Harris Poll.

Of the 113 Harris poll voters, the Gators only need a net gain of about 25 voters vs. texas. Passing bama doesn't count because texas and Oklahoma will also pass them.

Considering that UF led UT in this poll, the pool of voters from which the gain must come from is about 50.(you cant pass someone when you are already ahead). If texas falls behind OU, this also counts. Given all the forces aligned toward this outcome (including the Gator's performance) , I think it safe to call this election. (Actually Guru called it way before me).

Go Gators!!!

Now ll that's left is the deadly sin of pride...who was best at projecting the computers.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that the AP moved OU ahead of UT after the media blitz on how UT was shafted. Hippocrits . . .

Anonymous said...

There's no controversy if OU wins the NatChamp. They already have the strongest strength of schedule. They have already beaten the #7 (Tech), #11 (TCU), #12 (Cinn), #13 (OSU) and #25 (Mizzou) teams. If they beat Florida that would add a #4 or #5 team to their list.

No one comes close to that. In fact, UT is the closest with wins over #1 (OU), #13 (OSU), and #25 (Mizzou).

So OU would be 6-1 against top 25 teams. They would have destroyed #7, #11, #12, #13, and #25.

The only people who would be complaining would be UT fans. The 3 polls would all say OU was number one. And the Longhorns might learn the lesson of winning all their games or playing a harder non-conference schedule.

Anonymous said...

"Lets look at losses:

Alabama #4
Oklahoma #4
Texas Tech #5
Texas #7
USC >#50(confused? See below)
Florida >#50"

Where do you get your facts from? Florida lost to Ole Miss who is ranked in the top 25, has a record of 8-4. Those four losses came to a total of 19 points, and their worst loss was by 7 points.

But, please don't let the facts get in the way of your argument...

Adam said...

Take the "facts" up with the guru!

Adam said...

but don't let his facts get in the way of your argument...

Anonymous said...

Saragin is quoted wrong here: It's Oklahoma, followed by FLORIDA, and then Texas and Texas Tech.

Anonymous said...

Adam-are you blind? Check your link again and you will see that Mississippi is #27 in the standings. > than 50?

No need for me to argue, I'm going to the NCG!!! Have fun in Arizona...

suge33 said...

USC is overrated

Richard said...

OK guru...I got you in the computer projections.

But all has gone Gators have survived and I am grateful for your blog.

I hope to read your blog next year as well as that will mean the Gators are back in the hunt. They have no starting seniors on defense so everyone will be back except Spikes who is off to the NFL along with Harvin and probably Tebow. With that defense, they have a good shot at a rematch w/ Alabama.

Looking forward to OU/Big 12 fans bragging this month about their superiority. I'm interested to see what happens when they get pressure from a good defense.

Guru, if you want some tips in forecasting the computer outcomes, I'll be happy to share my analysis. Just a common sense approach that took five minutes.


The Guru said...

Richard: The way I see it, we had a dead heat. I had UF at .910 and you .870. UF finished .890, splitting the difference.

You also had UT at .950 and I had it dead on at .940. So I got you beat there.

Not to gloat, because that would be unbecoming, but I do want to hear your "five-minute" breakdown of computer projections.

Bring it on!

P.S. For the record: I was 6-for-6 on UT, 6-for-6 on OU and 5-for-6 on UF - 17-for-18 really ain't too bad, no?

Anonymous said...

Richard, you sound like an ignorant arrogant ass. You both were pretty wrong about how much the human voters would shift in UF's favor. In the end, it really wasn't a nail biter at all.