Stats & Info: Bowling Green Falcons

The bowl winners will be ...

December, 19, 2013
With bowl season upon us, we can project the winners of the 35 Football Bowl Subdivision bowl games 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 opponent) that correlate most with future results.

We can use each team’s FPI and the site of the game (all bowl games are treated as neutral) to calculate the expected point differential in a matchup and the percentage chance of each team winning.

In prior years, FPI has done reasonably well in projecting bowl winners (taking the team with the higher chance as the “winner”), getting about 65 percent of games right since 2004.

There have been some lean years in the past, but FPI has been quite good in the three most recent bowl seasons, accurately projecting 70 percent of winners in those games.

FPI takes into account only a team’s on-field performance to date in the given season. It doesn’t explicitly take into account players who are out with injuries or for other reasons, coaching movement before the bowls or differing levels of motivation that are sometimes thought to exist in bowl games.

In the 2013 regular season, starting with games on Sept. 26, FPI accurately projected 74 percent of winners.

FPI believes there to be a very clear favorite (80 percent or more to win) in four of the five BCS matchups, with Ohio State and Clemson as the most evenly matched BCS opponents.

The projections for all 35 bowl games this season are below. A couple of things that stand out:

The two most-lopsided matchups, according to FPI, involve a Pac-12 team facing a Big 12 opponent from Texas. FPI has Oregon as 91 percent likely to defeat Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl and Arizona State as 91 percent likely to beat Texas Tech in the National University Holiday Bowl.

The most-even matchup, according to FPI, is Kansas State versus Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, with the teams separated by a little more than a point in FPI (the Wildcats are 53 percent favorites). The closest “high-profile” bowl game is the AT&T Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma State and Missouri, with the Cowboys 54 percent likely to win, according to FPI.

The Vizio BCS National Championship is the only bowl game with both teams ranked in the top 10 in FPI. Three other games involve two FPI top-20 teams: Wisconsin-South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl; Oklahoma State-Missouri in the Cotton Bowl and Ohio State-Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl.

Utah’s futile Pac-12 debut
Colorado defeated Utah 73-33 in the first Pac-12 game for both schools. It marked the fewest points allowed by Colorado since beating Kansas 42-30 in January 1949. Utah hasn’t had this low of a scoring total since 1980, and the Utes’ 22.8 field goal percentage was the fourth lowest in school history. The 40-point loss stands as the fourth worst in school history. Utah’s 11 first-half points are the fewest ever allowed by Colorado.

Oglesby hasn’t missed since November
Torian Oglesby made history on Sunday in Bowling Green’s overtime loss to UTSA. He came off the bech to hit all 10 of his field goals, setting a school record for attempts without a miss. Even more impressive than that? Oglesby hasn’t missed a shot since November. After finishing December 16-for-16 from the field, Oglesby has now hit a Division I record 26 straight shots. That broke the record set by Ray Voekel of American University, who hit 25 shots in a row in 1978.

Robinson impersonates Wilt
Thomas Robinson had career highs with 30 points and 21 rebounds in Kansas’ 84-58 win over North Dakota on Saturday. It was the first 30-point, 20-rebound game in the Big 12 since Blake Griffin did so. It had been 50 years since a Jayhawk had done it. The last 30-20 game in Kansas history came on February 13, 1961 against Missouri when Wayne Hightower scored 36 points to go with 21 rebounds. The only other Jayhawk to record a 30-20 game? Wilt Chamberlain, who did it seven times.

Gabriel makes Auburn history
In the 106 years and 2,322 games of Auburn basketball history, no one had recorded a triple double. Until Monday. Kenny Gabriel recorded the first triple-double in Auburn history as the Tigers beat Bethune-Cookman 67-41. Gabriel matched career-highs with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while setting a new career-high with 10 blocks. He’s the first SEC player with a points-rebounds-blocks triple-double since Jarvis Varnado in January 2010.

BYU’s 1st 20-20 game in over 35 years
Brandon Davies pulled down a career-high 22 rebounds to go with 21 points, as BYU defeated San Diego 88-52 for its first West Coast Conference win. The 22 rebounds are the most for a Cougar since Steve Trumbo’s 23 in January 1982. It’s the first 20-20 game by a BYU player since the 1974-75 season.