Stats & Info: Buffalo Bulls

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.

Tuesday recap: A first for Perry Jones III

January, 25, 2012
Player of the Night - Perry Jones III
For all of the hype surrounding Jones in his two years in Waco, he'd never had a 20-point, 10-rebound game. Until last night. He helped Baylor snap a two-game losing streak with a 77-65 win at Oklahoma. Jones finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Baylor had been 3-18 in Norman going into this one.

Breakout Game - Will Davis II
UC-Irvine freshman Will Davis II had a career game in a 78-67 win over Seattle. He came off the bench for 21 points (on 9-10 shooting from the field), 10 rebounds and five blocks. That's after entering the game averaging 7.4 PPG and 5.5 RPG. Davis joins Kentucky's Anthony Davis as the only freshman with a 20-10-5 game this season. The last freshman not named Davis to do it was Iowa's Melsahn Basabe last season.

Dime Store - Jarod Oldham
Jarod Oldham is the Kendall Marshall of the MAC. On Tuesday, he handed out 10 assists while not connecting on a field goal of his own as Buffalo won its third straight with a 65-47 win over Eastern Michigan. Oldham now has 27 more assists than points this season. He even has seven more steals than field goals.

Ugly Stat Line of the Night - J'Covan Brown
The good news for Texas? The Longhorns beat Iowa State, 62-55. The bad news? J'Covan Brown went 3-for-16 from the field with five turnovers. Over the past three games, Brown has a 25.7 field goal percentage. That includes 22.0 percent from two-point range.

Filling Up the Stat Sheet – Royce White
On the other side of that matchup, Royce White had 15 points, 15 rebounds and five assists for Iowa State. The only other Big 12 players with a 15-15-5 game over the past four seasons? Alec Burks and Blake Griffin. Of course, White also went 1-for-7 from the free throw line. That was particularly costly in a game decided by seven points.