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    College Football Playoffs (11/27/13)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
    By John Ewing
    A look at what the College Football Playoffs could look like through 50,000 simulations of FootballFour’s most recent four-team Playoff Projection



    Undefeateds
    There are three undefeated teams in the BCS automatic qualifying conferences: Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State, all vying for the National Championship as well as two other unbeaten BCS hopefuls in Northern Illinois and Fresno State. Below are updated odds for those teams to win out.
     
    Alabama
    Odds of going undefeated: 66.2%
    Remaining games: Auburn and SEC Championship
     
    Florida State
    Odds of going undefeated: 75.5%
    Remaining games: Florida and ACC Championship
     
    Ohio State
    Odds of going undefeated: 55.8%
    Remaining games: Michigan and Big Ten Championship
     
    Fresno State
    Odds of going undefeated: 71.5%
    Remaining games: San Jose State and Mountain West Championship
     
    Northern Illinois
    Odds of going undefeated: 80.2% (before the Huskies win over Western Michigan)
    Remaining games: MAC Championship
    • Chances Alabama and Florida State are both undefeated after conference championship games: 49.9%
    • Chances Ohio State makes BCS Championship (assuming Buckeyes win out and one of Alabama/FSU loses): 27.9%
    • Chances a one-loss team makes the BCS Championship: 22.1%
    • Chances three BCS-AQ teams remain undefeated through conference championship games: 27.9%
    How this works
    The Predictalator uses current rosters and strength-of-schedule and efficiency-adjusted team and player stats (weighted slightly more toward recent games), to play every game 50,000 times before it's actually played. For this analysis, we are tracking how likely a team is to make it to any level of the College Football Playoffs, if it were to go into effect this season.
     
    Football Four Playoff Projection Simulation
    With the upheaval in the college football ranks we continue to have new playoff projections. Nevertheless, Alabama has been our projected winner regardless of opponent or path to the championship. Will this trend continue for a third week in a row?
     
    No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Auburn
    No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Ohio State
     
    What is great about the first semifinal is that we get to see this matchup play out in The Iron Bowl this weekend. This is only the second time in Iron Bowl history that both teams have been ranked in the top 5 nationally and this year’s game acts as a national quarterfinal, where the winner moves on to the SEC Championship and the right to play for the BCS Title. PredictionMachine.com loves Alabama, the Tide have been No. 1 in our Power Rankings for 57 of the last 59 weeks. Needless to say we have Alabama defeating Auburn 61.3% of the time by an average score of 35-27. For the free college football pick of the week check out the Game of the Week Analysis, which breaks this contest down further.
     
    Ohio State has been the whipping boy in every semifinal matchup this season. Nothing has changed in our evaluation of the Buckeyes to modify the likely outcome of a Florida State vs. Ohio State semifinal. The Seminoles defeat the Buckeyes 58.6% of the time by an average score of 34-28.
     
    After 50,000 simulations of the Football Four Playoff Projection, the most likely National Championship game features Alabama vs. Florida State. There is nearly a 50% chance that both of these teams are undefeated after their respective conference championships. If this hypothetical title game comes to fruition, the Crimson Tide would win 51.5% of the time by an average score of 26-25 over the Seminoles.
     
    Based on the analysis, here is the projected College Football bracket.
     
    Semifinals
    1 Alabama vs. 4 Auburn
    Alabama wins 61.3% of the time by an average score of 35-27.
     
    2 Florida State vs. 3 Ohio State
    Florida State wins 58.6% of the time by an average score of 34-28.
     
    National Championship
    Alabama vs. Florida State
    Alabama wins 51.5% of the time by an average score of 26-25.
     
    Odds for each team to advance to and win the championship.

    Team Semifinal Championship
    Alabama 61.3% 29.9%
    Auburn 38.7% 16.7%
    Florida State 58.6% 29.6%
    Ohio State 41.4% 23.8%

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