Which Odds Makers Will Get today’s College Bowl Wrong?
As of New Year’s Day, the odds on yesterday’s football bowls were as follows:
Jan. 1, 2014:
- Gator Bowl: #23 Georgia favored by two scores versus Nebraska: Final score: 24-19, Nebraska
- Heart of Dallas Bowl: North Texas favored over UNLV: Final score: 36-14
- Capital One Bowl: #19 Wisconsin picked slightly over #8 South Carolina: Final score: South Carolina 34, Wisconsin 24
- Outback Bowl: #14 LSU favored against Iowa: Final score: LSU by 21-14
- Rose Bowl: #5 Stanford favored somewhat over #4 Michigan State: Final: Michigan State, 24-20
- Fiesta Bowl: #6 Baylor heavily favored against # 15 Central Florida: Final score: UCF 52, Baylor 42
Six games on Jan. 1; four games picked emphatically wrong. Four 180-degree wrong predictions even by the broad win-loss rubric. Georgia was nowhere near beating Nebraska by two scores in the Gator Bowl, and South Carolina beat Wisconsin definitively in the Capital One Bowl. Central Florida came out scoring in the Fiesta Bowl and never stopped. The Rose Bowl was very hard fought from start to finish, but Stanford seldom or never looked like a favorite.
LSU did not crush Iowa in the Outback Bowl, either. That game was more wobbly than predicted to be, though the outcome was correctly predicted. LSU had to fight all the way down to the fizzle of an end*–when it almost mismanaged the clock in final seconds so as to give the ball back to Iowa on downs. The coach had to intervene and arm-wave away a snap. Sometimes it’s a mistake to get too cute. With more than a minute left to play, any team worth its salt ought to be able to run a play without undue risk of disaster. If you’re ahead in the final minute and a half but can’t handle one snap, just one snap, and a single attempt to gain a few yards–that don’t even have to be gained successfully, for the win–maybe you don’t belong in a bowl in the first place. Perhaps the rules should be changed to prohibit taking a knee with more than 60 seconds left in the game.
The Heart of Dallas Bowl and a couple of others serve as reminders that again, future years may see a need for more new bowl names. Lackluster Bowl?
As of today, 29 games have been played on the NCAA football bowl schedule. Out of 29, ten picks have been completely wrong. Ten or so of the winning teams and right picks, the favored, depending on how you count them, were favored too narrowly to be realistic. The prognosticators’ ratio is still ailing.
On to the next college bowl games; how will the next picks hold up?
Today is the Sugar Bowl:
- Alabama is favored over Oklahoma by at least two scores
Today’s question: Who will get today’s bowl wrong?
*I root for Louisiana teams and thought LSU would be more solid. A regrettable typo in the previous post–typing in ‘Outback Bowl’ instead of ‘Capital One Bowl’–has been corrected. It would have been more wizardly if I had done it on purpose. Maybe I was picking up on something registered subliminally. Uncle Sigmund, call your office . . .
Speaking of offices, tacking on those sponsor names is making the bowl names more forgettable, not less. The more syllables, by and large, the more obscure.
More to come.