Week 15 KPI FBS Prologue – “Last Call”

This weekend’s results can make things very easy or very difficult for the committee.  There’s no real middle ground.

Most would agree that Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State are in with a win (all are in the top five of the KPI Rankings).  Most would agree there are as many three teams vying for the final spot (Ohio State, Baylor, and TCU). All six play this weekend.

If one of the top five or so teams lose this weekend, the conference left out of the playoff can be determined relatively easily.  And if all those top teams win, current speculation as to who would be left out makes sense.

But, what if more than one of those teams loses?  Can someone make the playoff even by losing this weekend if they get help from the right spots?  Or is there someone outside that top group that can jump in with a win?  That’s where the curve ball (and dramatic controversy) lie.  If there are enough “upsets” Friday and Saturday, the conversation could turn from “we have one too many teams” to “we have one too few.”

Expected Results: Thought it hasn’t been posted on at KPISports.net for all sorts of reasons, the EXPs algorithm (using DIFFs data) can be used to project the expected results of any two teams playing based on data to date.  Factoring in previous results (relative to opponents), location, etc., the algorithm is currently calling 79.5% of results “expected.”  This means that regardless of margin, the team projected to win by EXPs did in fact win.

The following scores are the “expected” results this weekend based on data to date:

Friday, December 5

  • MAC Championship: Northern Illinois 37, Bowling Green 31
  • Pac-12 Championship: Oregon 42, Arizona 30

Saturday, December 6

  • Conference USA Championship: at Marshall 46, Louisiana Tech 31
  • at Cincinnati 31, Houston 28
  • at TCU 60, Iowa State 20
  • at Connecticut 33, SMU 13
  • at Oklahoma 44, Oklahoma State 19
  • SEC Championship: Alabama 31, Missouri 20
  • Temple 27, at Tulane 13
  • at Baylor 45, Kansas State 32
  • ACC Championship: Georgia Tech 35, Florida State 34
  • Big Ten Championship: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 34
  • Mountain West Championship: at Boise State 51, Fresno State 27

The KPI math includes an expected result that is an upset by KPI Rankings: the ACC Championship.  Georgia Tech (10-2, 6-2 ACC) is projected to barely get by undefeated Florida State (with decimal rounding, the actual projection is 35.45 to 33.63).  Will it happen?  Who knows.  The EXPs has no human element.  What I think has no bearing.  It’s all math doing the talking here.  We’ll see…

The Eliminator:  The Eliminator assumes (not necessarily justly) that a Power 5 conference team with three or more losses and a Group of 5 team with one or more losses will not make the playoff.  Under that assumption, 13 teams remain in play for the postseason playoff.

  • ACC (2): Florida State, Georgia Tech
  • BIG 12 (3): TCU, Baylor, Kansas State
  • BIG TEN (3): Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State
  • PAC-12 (2): Oregon, Arizona
  • SEC (3): Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi State

Top 5 Week 15 Games ranked by G-Score (KPI Rankings entering Friday’s games)

  1. SEC Championship (Atlanta): #2 Alabama vs. #11 Missouri, Saturday 4 p.m. ET, CBS
  2. ACC Championship (Charlotte): #10 Georgia Tech vs. #5 Florida State, Saturday 8 p.m. ET, ABC
  3. Pac-12 Championship (Santa Clara): #13 Arizona vs. #4 Oregon, Friday 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, FOX
  4. Big Ten Championship (Indianapolis): #14 Wisconsin vs. #3 Ohio State, Saturday 8 p.m. ET, FOX
  5. #21 Kansas State at #17 Baylor, Saturday 7:45 p.m. ET/6:45 p.m. CT, ESPN
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