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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Analyzing the Big 12's bowl chances

By Jake Trotter

It’s bowl season. And already, ESPN Stats & Info has released its bowl projections using the Football Power Index.

FPI is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the elements of team offensive, defensive and special teams performance (adjusted for each opponent) that correlate most with future results. Each team’s FPI is used to calculate the expected point differential in a matchup between two teams, as well as the percentage chance of each team winning.

According to FPI, the two most lopsided bowl games involve Big 12 teams, and not in the good way.

FPI gives Oregon a 91 percent chance to defeat Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl, and Arizona State equally a 91 percent chance to defeat Texas Tech in the National University Holiday Bowl.

The Big 12, however, is involved in the two most evenly matched games, as well. FPI gives Kansas State just a 53 percent chance of beating Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and Oklahoma State (despite being 1-point underdogs) a 54 percent chance of defeating Missouri in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

The Cotton Bowl, by the way, is one of only four bowl games with a matchup of teams both ranked in the FPI top 20. The others include the Discover Orange Bowl (Ohio State-Clemson), Capital One Bowl (South Carolina-Wisconsin) and, of course, the VIZIO BCS National Championship (Auburn-Florida State).