Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Bowl Previews: Part XII

Part XII (the final part) of our bowl preview. Part XI was yesterday.

#2: BCS Championship (January 10, 2011)
Oregon Ducks (12-0, 9-0 Pac-10) vs. Auburn Tigers (13-0, 8-0 SEC)
GUGS: 72.6

Eddie: This is going to be the most fun title game in a long time.  (3) Oregon's offense should win the track meet with (8) Auburn's offense by a nose, 22.5 PPH to 21.4 PPH.  The fact that either team expects over 20.0 PPH against 0.840+ strength teams is a testament to their offensive fire power.  Although people like to think of the SEC as a defensively oriented conference, Auburn's defense is suspect at 17.4 PPH.  In fact, the Ducks hold a 3.4 PPH defensive advantage over the Tigers.  In the end, the numbers favor the Ducks, 34-31, with 64.7% confidence.
Justin: Based on the pre-bowl projections from each of the last 9 years going back to the Miami/Ohio State game of the 2002/2003 season, this will be the second-closest bowl game in recent history. Granted, the closest one was projected to be last year's Alabama/Texas game, and TFG is notoriously bad about National Championship games. Of the last 8, TFG should have gone around 5-3; the reality is that it's gone 3-5 (big thanks to Ohio State and Oklahoma for being on the wrong side of each of those 5). (6) Oregon has improved from last year and -- like most teams that play fast -- actually has a defense, regardless of what the press might say. It's actually a rather good defense, and only allows 11.7 PPH. With the exception of (4) Alabama, this will be the best defense the (10) Tigers have seen all year. At 185 plays per game, it will also be the fastest team the Tigers have seen all year. Auburn has an excellent offense, but a good-but-not-great defense, and that's what this game is going to come down to: can Auburn stop Oregon? This isn't a novel question, but it will be the deciding factor. TFG says no, and taps the Ducks to win the National Title, 38-36, but only with 57.6% confidence.

#1: Orange Bowl (January 3, 2011)
Stanford Cardinal (11-1, 8-1 Pac-10) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2, 8-0 ACC)
GUGS: 79.5

Justin: Ahh, (5) Virginia Tech. You're so lucky that TFG doesn't look at games against FCS opponents. FCS opponents like, say, James Madison. If TFG were to keep track of those games, the Hokies would undoubtedly be ranked lower thank they are now. That would really be problematic since their opponent is (8) Stanford, a team with a great offense and a solid defense. Fortunately TFG never heard about the JMU game and is convinced that the Hokies have an even better offense and defense than the Cardinal. Tech has a 0.4 PPH advantage on offense (noise) and a 1.6 PPH advantage on defense. This one will be amazingly close, feature top teams, and have a reasonable amount of scoring. There's a reason that GUGS thinks this will be the best game of the season -- even better than the national title game -- with the Hokies defeating the Cardinal, 36-34, but only with 56.9% confidence.
Eddie: RBA has this game as the closest of the bowl season.  Both teams are over 0.900 strength.  Both feature power running games and game-changing quarterbacks.  (2) Stanford has a slight offensive edge of 1.3 PPH and a slight 1.2 PPH defensive advantage.  The overall margin of 1.2 PPH is deceiving because it falls into the statistical noise range.  This game is effectively a toss-up, so either team can win it with a key interception, a long punt return, a blocked kick, or a freak catch in traffic.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is your game of the bowl season, and Stanford should be favored, 31-28, with 51.5% confidence.

Home Visitors Odds Home Visitors Odds
(8)Stanford34 (5)Virginia Tech36 56.9 (2)Stanford31 (5)Virginia Tech28 51.5
(10)Auburn36 (6)Oregon38 57.6 (8)Auburn31 (3)Oregon34 64.7