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Advanced Stats Bowl Season 2014: New Years and everything else

New, comments

All the rest of the bowls are here in this giant extravaganza! Will S+P beat FEI? Who else will go to the Natty? And what is a Belk?

Better be right about that playing football, Cardale.
Better be right about that playing football, Cardale.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

FEI is the Fremeau Efficiency Index, created by Brian Fremeau. Brian Fremeau is an author at Football Outsiders,ESPN and BCFToys. FEI is an advanced statistical measure for college football that tracks drive efficiency instead of per-play success.
S+P is created by Bill Connelly. Bill Connelly is an author at SBNation, RockMNationFootball Study Hall and Football Outsiders. S+P is an advanced statistical measure which combines success rate, explosiveness per play and opponent adjustments.

New! If you're curious what these numbers mean, here's a glossary, stolen happily from our friends at Roll Bama Roll.

  • FEI: The Fremeau Efficiency Index, an overall team quality metric that is drive-based and opponent-adjusted. For a more detailed discussion of FEI, check out the PTN primer.
  • OFEI: The offensive component of FEI.
  • DFEI: The defensive component of FEI.
  • FPA: FEI Field Position Advantage, a measure of how much field position value a team earned against its opponents.
  • STE: FEI Special Teams Efficiency, a composite measure of a team's efficiency in all facets of special teams (kicking, punting, and returning), based on points per game.
  • S&P+:S&P+ is primarily play-based and consists of three components: Success Rate, Equivalent Net Points per Play, and a drive efficiency component. The "+" refers to opponent adjustments. For a more detailed discussion of S&P+, check out the PTN primer.
  • OS&P+: The offensive component of S&P+.
  • DS&P+: The defensive component of S&P+.
  • Rush OS&P+: S&P+ calculated on rushing plays for the offense — a good measure of a team's effectiveness at running the ball.
  • Rush DS&P+: S&P+ calculated on rushing plays for the defense — a good measure of a team's effectiveness at stopping the run.
  • Pass OS&P+: S&P+ calculated on passing plays for the offense — a good measure of a team's effectiveness at throwing the ball.
  • Pass DS&P+: S&P+ calculated on passing plays for the defense — a good measure of a team's effectiveness at defending the pass.
  • PD: Passing Downs, defined as later downs with medium yardage or more to go (3rd, 4th downs in excess of 5 yards to go), as well as 2nd down with more than 8 yards to go.
  • SD: Standard Downs, defined as all downs that are not Passing Downs.
  • SD OS&P+: S&P+ calculated on standard downs for the offense — a good measure of a team's offensive effectiveness on earlier downs and short yardage.
  • SD DS&P+: S&P+ calculated on standard downs for the defense — a good measure of a team's defensive effectiveness on earlier downs and short yardage.
  • PD OS&P+: S&P+ calculated on passing downs for the offense — a good measure of a team's offensive effectiveness on later downs and long yardage.
  • PD DS&P+: S&P+ calculated on passing downs for the defense — a good measure of a team's defensive effectiveness on later downs and long yardage.
  • F/+: The F/+ combined ratings combine FEI and S&P+ into one metric that serves as Football Outsiders' official rankings for college football. For a more detailed discussion of F/+, check out the PTN primer.
  • Off. F/+: The offensive component of F/+.
  • Def. F/+: The defensive component of F/+.
  • ST F/+: The special teams component of F/+.

Music City Bowl: Notre Dame at LSU


OVERALL When Notre Dame has the ball When LSU has the ball
Category Notre Dame

LSU

ND Off LSU Def ND Def LSU Off
F/+ Rk 36 (11.0%) 18 (19.4%) 32 (7.2%) 11 (14.0%) 50 (2.9%) 48 (3.0%)
S&P+ 37 (213.8) 17 (234.0) 24 (112.2) 8 (124.9) 56 (101.5) 35 (109.2)
Play Efficiency

19 (122.8) 5 (139.4) 60 (101.6) 41 (109.6)
Rushing S&P+

31 (116.0) 15 (126.1) 48 (106.1) 27 (116.8)
Passing S&P+

17 (126.2) 5 (152.9) 84 (94.7) 49 (106.0)
Std. Downs S&P+

20 (121.2) 2 (139.7) 63 (101.0) 47 (106.1)
Pass. Downs S&P+

22 (128.1) 12 (130.3) 67 (100.6) 38 (115.9)
Drive Efficiency

34 (114.4) 17 (136.4) 43 (111.7) 8 (135.2)

OVERALL When Notre Dame has the ball When LSU has the ball
Category Notre Dame

LSU

ND Off LSU Def ND Def LSU Off
F/+ Rk 36 (11.0%) 18 (19.4%) 32 (7.2%) 11 (14.0%) 50 (2.9%) 48 (3.0%)
FEI Rk 44 (.079) 27 (.135) 35 (.245) 13 (-.474) 47 (-.170) 57 (.045)
Field Position 43 (.509) 19 (.534)



Raw Efficiency 47 (.050) 34 (.073) 39 (.179) 16 (-.378) 65 (-.012) 89 (-.171)
First Down rate

24 (.734) 13 (.571) 61 (.667) 106 (.603)
Available Yards rate

19 (.535) 10 (.337) 61 (.447) 101 (.393)
Explosive Drives

29 (.175) 40 (.111) 70 (.135) 104 (.095)
Methodical Drives

60 (.147) 4 (.063) 63 (.142) 79 (.127)
Value Drives

14 (.504) 11 (.267) 80 (.412) 83 (.348)
Special Team rank 46 (.514) 19 (1.375)



Field Goal efficiency 114 (-.430) 73 (-.063)



Punt Return efficiency 25 (.029) 29 (.021)



Kickoff return efficiency 33 (-.080) 40 (-.102)



punt efficiency 57 (-.115) 70 (-.091)



kickoff efficiency 49 (-.186) 10 (-.300)



Do you like defensive domination? Do you like watching Notre Dame get beaten into the dirt? THIS is THE GAME FOR YOU. LSU's offense is decent but not great, and likely matches up well with ND - but boy does that LSU defense have a good shot at crushing Everett Golson (or whoever else they put out there). Even against the pass they have an over 20 point advantage. And Les Miles' special teams are just as good as ever. Watch for the schadenfreude, but not for a particularly good game.

BELK BOWL BELK BOWL BELK BOWL: Georgia at Louisville


OVERALL When Georgia has the ball When Louisville has the ball
Category Georgia

Louisville

UG Off UL Def UG Def UL Off
F/+ Rk 7 (27.6%) 16 (19.9%) 8 (14.4%) 5 (16.1%) 22 (10.0%) 42 (4.8%)
S&P+ 14 (234.6) 18 (232.5) 13 (119.2) 16 (122.0) 23 (115.4) 32 (110.5)
Play Efficiency

11 (128.4) 21 (119.6) 37 (110.5) 34 (115.4)
Rushing S&P+

7 (134.7) 23 (118.0) 69 (100.8) 26 (119.6)
Passing S&P+

24 (123.3) 18 (121.9) 11 (128.1) 38 (113.0)
Std. Downs S&P+

14 (124.2) 14 (120.1) 34 (110.5) 21 (121.0)
Pass. Downs S&P+

13 (134.9) 35 (116.6) 42 (111.6) 62 (101.8)
Drive Efficiency

18 (128.1) 11 (143.6) 13 (143.3) 21 (125.9)

OVERALL When Georgia has the ball When Louisville has the ball
Category Georgia

Louisville

UG Off UL Def UG Def UL Off
F/+ Rk 7 (27.6%) 16 (19.9%) 8 (14.4%) 5 (16.1%) 22 (10.0%) 42 (4.8%)
FEI Rk 6 (.256) 15 (.176) 10 (.558) 4 (-.636) 21 (-.381) 47 (.129)
Field Position 1 (.585) 109 (.472)



Raw Efficiency 8 (.213) 28 (.088) 11 (.465) 3 (-.621) 46 (-.161) 88 (-.169)
First Down rate

14 (.750) 3 (.503) 28 (.609) 101 (.610)
Available Yards rate

6 (.592) 3 (.311) 31 (.391) 104 (.385)
Explosive Drives

14 (.202) 26 (.097) 17 (.087) 43 (.158)
Methodical Drives

18 (.183) 8 (.076) 89 (.157) 116 (.089)
Value Drives

8 (.540) 10 (.264) 40 (.343) 99 (.323)
Special Team rank 11 (1.802) 88 (-.498)



Field Goal efficiency 70 (-.043) 32 (.236)



Punt Return efficiency 7 (.141) 95 (-.180)



Kickoff return efficiency 19 (-.051) 12 (-.007)



punt efficiency 61 (-.108) 118 (.153)



kickoff efficiency 40 (-.200) 67 (-.146)



This is either going to be a great close matchup or a a blowout by Georgia, depending on if you like FEI or S+P more. S+P thinks both teams on defense have advantages, though Louisville should be able to run effectively thanks to Michael Dyer. FEI looks at a far harder schedule for Georgia and thinks they are much better overall - especially on defense. Special teams also favors Georgia quite a bit, and we could see a punt return TD here. I think Georgia wins comfortably.

Foster Farms Bowl: Maryland at Stanford


OVERALL When Maryland has the ball When Stanford has the ball
Category Maryland

Stanford

UM Off FURD Def UM Def FURD Off
F/+ Rk 45 (6.3%) 23 (16.9%) 54 (1.6%) 8 (15.0%) 61 (0.2%) 50 (2.7%)
S&P+ 59 (203.3) 20 (229.6) 63 (99.7) 7 (126.3) 48 (103.5) 49 (103.3)
Play Efficiency

45 (108.1) 3 (146.1) 46 (107.9) 60 (102.2)
Rushing S&P+

28 (116.4) 5 (139.6) 67 (101.2) 84 (96.4)
Passing S&P+

61 (101.9) 6 (148.2) 30 (115.1) 43 (109.2)
Std. Downs S&P+

37 (111.7) 6 (132.1) 52 (103.5) 60 (103.4)
Pass. Downs S&P+

68 (99.4) 1 (176.2) 29 (119.9) 71 (99.3)
Drive Efficiency

68 (100.8) 29 (119.4) 67 (101.7) 46 (111.3)

OVERALL When Maryland has the ball When Stanford has the ball
Category Maryland

Stanford

UM Off FURD Def UM Def FURD Off
F/+ Rk 45 (6.3%) 23 (16.9%) 54 (1.6%) 8 (15.0%) 61 (0.2%) 50 (2.7%)
FEI Rk 58 (.017) 20 (.161) 51 (.104) 11 (-.512) 66 (.011) 50 (.117)
Field Position 73 (.494) 49 (.506)



Raw Efficiency 75 (-.027) 26 (.092) 96 (-.216) 14 (-.395) 56 (-.094) 64 (-.007)
First Down rate

117 (.562) 82 (.690) 78 (.683) 45 (.690)
Available Yards rate

114 (.363) 19 (.371) 69 (.457) 51 (.475)
Explosive Drives

66 (.124) 15 (.086) 23 (.092) 77 (.112)
Methodical Drives

122 (.080) 105 (.172) 83 (.155) 47 (.155)
Value Drives

117 (.273) 8 (.262) 52 (.362) 34 (.434)
Special Team rank 6 (2.506) 86 (-.488)



Field Goal efficiency 1 (.869) 67 (-.001)



Punt Return efficiency 4 (.173) 77 (-.123)



Kickoff return efficiency 39 (-.101) 83 (-.178)



punt efficiency 75 (-.080) 105 (.063)



kickoff efficiency 84 (-.102) 16 (-.255)



The records are identical. The teams? not so much. Stanford's defense is still one of the best in the country. Maryland also exists in the country. Stanford's offense is mediocre but that should be enough to score something. Maryland is great at special teams and field goal kicking and punt returns, but that's probably not going to be enough to close the gap.

Peach Bowl: Ole Miss at TCU


OVERALL When Ole Miss has the ball When TCU has the ball
Category Ole Miss

TCU

Miss Off TCU Def Miss Def TCU Off
F/+ Rk 4 (29.3%) 5 (28.7%) 21 (9.2%) 6 (15.9%) 3 (18.8%) 20 (9.6%)
S&P+ 7 (248.2) 10 (239.5) 12 (119.7) 13 (123.2) 5 (128.5) 16 (116.3)
Play Efficiency

15 (125.0) 17 (121.8) 2 (146.7) 26 (118.5)
Rushing S&P+

37 (112.7) 6 (134.5) 4 (140.0) 13 (127.7)
Passing S&P+

9 (133.9) 34 (112.5) 3 (155.2) 36 (113.7)
Std. Downs S&P+

16 (123.8) 18 (119.1) 3 (138.6) 25 (116.5)
Pass. Downs S&P+

23 (126.4) 26 (121.6) 2 (169.3) 27 (123.6)
Drive Efficiency

3 (147.0) 9 (149.1) 15 (140.5) 13 (131.4)

OVERALL When Mississippi has the ball When TCU has the ball
Category Mississippi

TCU

Miss Off TCU Def Miss Def TCU Off
F/+ Rk 4 (29.3%) 5 (28.7%) 21 (9.2%) 6 (15.9%) 3 (18.8%) 20 (9.6%)
FEI Rk 7 (.242) 8 (.229) 34 (.251) 6 (-.607) 3 (-.699) 23 (.324)
Field Position 18 (.534) 4 (.568)



Raw Efficiency 11 (.164) 4 (.225) 56 (.062) 6 (-.488) 5 (-.574) 27 (.286)
First Down rate

56 (.680) 6 (.541) 29 (.611) 15 (.748)
Available Yards rate

53 (.472) 12 (.345) 8 (.335) 14 (.556)
Explosive Drives

23 (.192) 71 (.135) 4 (.056) 15 (.201)
Methodical Drives

104 (.104) 25 (.101) 30 (.111) 117 (.086)
Value Drives

52 (.405) 20 (.290) 5 (.244) 19 (.487)
Special Team rank 39 (.715) 10 (1.837)



Field Goal efficiency 79 (-.120) 10 (.465)



Punt Return efficiency 121 (-.282) 19 (.053)



Kickoff return efficiency 43 (-.108) 90 (-.197)



punt efficiency 22 (-.227) 38 (-.160)



kickoff efficiency 4 (-.346) 24 (-.226)



Now this is a game worth watching. Two top 10 teams as close as they can be. The key will be whether Dr. Bo can pass well against the somewhat vulnerable pass defense of TCU and whether TCU can do anything against Ole Miss's great defense. FEI agrees largely, though discounts Ole Miss's offense as being propped up by weak competition. Special teams are still a big win for TCU, especially on punting. Ole Miss should win this in a close, defensive struggle.

Fiesta Bowl: Boise State at Arizona


OVERALL When Boise State has the ball When Arizona has the ball
Category Boise State

Arizona

fBSU Off UA Def fBSU Def UA Off
F/+ Rk 25 (15.9%) 33 (12.7%) 31 (7.3%) 37 (6.2%) 26 (9.1%) 33 (6.9%)
S&P+ 13 (235.6) 44 (210.9) 14 (119.0) 43 (106.3) 19 (116.6) 44 (104.6)
Play Efficiency

12 (128.3) 27 (114.1) 30 (112.8) 68 (100.5)
Rushing S&P+

16 (126.9) 31 (114.1) 28 (115.6) 67 (102.0)
Passing S&P+

12 (131.3) 37 (111.9) 40 (110.1) 71 (98.7)
Std. Downs S&P+

7 (130.0) 27 (112.2) 49 (106.0) 65 (102.3)
Pass. Downs S&P+

33 (121.0) 36 (116.4) 14 (129.3) 80 (96.8)
Drive Efficiency

19 (127.8) 44 (111.7) 11 (143.6) 22 (123.4)

OVERALL When Boise State has the ball When Arizona has the ball
Category Boise State

Arizona

fBSU Off UA Def fBSU Def UA Off
F/+ Rk 25 (15.9%) 33 (12.7%) 31 (7.3%) 37 (6.2%) 26 (9.1%) 33 (6.9%)
FEI Rk 36 (.107) 14 (.183) 44 (.148) 33 (-.295) 29 (-.310) 20 (.341)
Field Position 31 (.518) 22 (.531)



Raw Efficiency 16 (.148) 36 (.069) 18 (.401) 68 (.032) 28 (-.235) 28 (.276)
First Down rate

33 (.713) 90 (.707) 11 (.565) 12 (.755)
Available Yards rate

16 (.541) 70 (.458) 22 (.374) 32 (.503)
Explosive Drives

20 (.194) 67 (.132) 65 (.131) 26 (.178)
Methodical Drives

56 (.150) 37 (.120) 32 (.113) 70 (.135)
Value Drives

20 (.486) 63 (.376) 27 (.316) 33 (.434)
Special Team rank 74 (-.247) 75 (-.254)



Field Goal efficiency 69 (-.042) 87 (-.206)



Punt Return efficiency 64 (-.072) 85 (-.140)



Kickoff return efficiency 123 (-.294) 97 (-.212)



punt efficiency 42 (-.152) 49 (-.129)



kickoff efficiency 54 (-.180) 23 (-.235)



Huh. I didn't think BSU was that good this year. This is another 'what stat system do you trust' question, and so far FEI has been winning that war. S+P  sees a Boise team that has crushed their weak competition handily and is better on offense and much better on defense than Arizona, pretty much everywhere. FEI sees an Arizona team with one of the hardest schedules in the land and has advantages everywhere. Special teams are a wash, though Arizona should be able to get good value on kickoffs against a 123rd ranked return team. I'm going with FEI on this one and another PAC-12 win.

Orange Bowl: Mississippi State at Georgia Tech


OVERALL When Mississippi State has the ball When Georgia Tech has the ball
Category Mississippi State

Georgia Tech

MSST Off GT Def MSST Def GT Off
F/+ Rk 6 (27.8%) 10 (25.8%) 14 (12.2%) 58 (0.9%) 9 (14.8%) 1 (22.8%)
S&P+ 5 (250.7) 23 (224.3) 4 (125.9) 58 (99.9) 9 (124.9) 5 (124.3)
Play Efficiency

7 (133.6) 89 (94.2) 20 (119.9) 4 (139.2)
Rushing S&P+

5 (135.8) 96 (91.3) 21 (118.8) 4 (137.8)
Passing S&P+

8 (134.2) 81 (95.7) 16 (122.3) 6 (144.3)
Std. Downs S&P+

6 (130.0) 79 (97.5) 29 (111.9) 3 (133.3)
Pass. Downs S&P+

11 (138.0) 107 (86.7) 11 (137.3) 4 (149.2)
Drive Efficiency

4 (146.2) 23 (125.1) 6 (162.5) 17 (128.3)

OVERALL When Mississippi State has the ball When Georgia Tech has the ball
Category Mississippi State

Georgia Tech

MSST Off GT Def MSST Def GT Off
F/+ Rk 6 (27.8%) 10 (25.8%) 14 (12.2%) 58 (0.9%) 9 (14.8%) 1 (22.8%)
FEI Rk 10 (.218) 3 (.266) 21 (.333) 57 (-.080) 10 (-.518) 1 (.968)
Field Position 24 (.526) 15 (.541)



Raw Efficiency 9 (.198) 18 (.143) 26 (.303) 92 (.183) 10 (-.421) 5 (.615)
First Down rate

37 (.706) 93 (.709) 32 (.618) 2 (.826)
Available Yards rate

23 (.529) 106 (.541) 28 (.384) 3 (.611)
Explosive Drives

28 (.176) 80 (.145) 57 (.125) 31 (.174)
Methodical Drives

50 (.154) 126 (.222) 14 (.083) 3 (.217)
Value Drives

26 (.457) 116 (.514) 18 (.288) 4 (.545)
Special Team rank 48 (.462) 23 (1.224)



Field Goal efficiency 89 (-.208) 94 (-.250)



Punt Return efficiency 109 (-.234) 6 (.156)



Kickoff return efficiency 22 (-.056) 68 (-.151)



punt efficiency 50 (-.127) 40 (-.154)



kickoff efficiency 8 (-.319) 47 (-.188)



Another S+P vs. FEI battle.  GT is seen as the darling in FEI (ranked #3), mostly due to their great offense (#1). S+P has MSST with an over 25 point advantage - while GT's offense is still great, their defense is still horrible. I think FEI gets this one wrong and that it's Mississippi State in a landslide.

Outback Bowl: Auburn at Wisconsin


OVERALL When Auburn has the ball When Wisconsin has the ball
Category Auburn

Wisconsin

AUB Off UW Def AUB Def UW Off
F/+ Rk 12 (23.5%) 17 (19.8%) 5 (18.0%) 18 (10.5%) 38 (6.1%) 18 (10.0%)
S&P+ 16 (234.2) 9 (243.3) 6 (122.4) 14 (122.7) 29 (111.8) 9 (120.7)
Play Efficiency

5 (136.8) 26 (114.2) 29 (113.5) 18 (124.2)
Rushing S&P+

12 (127.9) 29 (114.7) 18 (120.5) 10 (131.8)
Passing S&P+

2 (160.8) 31 (113.7) 47 (107.9) 42 (109.7)
Std. Downs S&P+

13 (124.8) 54 (102.9) 41 (108.8) 9 (129.1)
Pass. Downs S&P+

2 (171.8) 9 (144.7) 18 (126.2) 49 (106.4)
Drive Efficiency

12 (131.5) 7 (156.5) 16 (138.9) 6 (138.4)

OVERALL When Auburn has the ball When Wisconsin has the ball
Category Auburn

Wisconsin

AUB Off UW Def AUB Def UW Off
F/+ Rk 12 (23.5%) 17 (19.8%) 5 (18.0%) 18 (10.5%) 38 (6.1%) 18 (10.0%)
FEI Rk 11 (.214) 30 (.127) 2 (.722) 31 (-.301) 41 (-.208) 31 (.281)
Field Position 52 (.505) 95 (.484)



Raw Efficiency 33 (.073) 13 (.159) 14 (.443) 15 (-.390) 82 (.133) 21 (.355)
First Down rate

5 (.775) 7 (.544) 57 (.664) 63 (.672)
Available Yards rate

9 (.574) 7 (.330) 85 (.486) 28 (.511)
Explosive Drives

24 (.192) 68 (.132) 97 (.172) 2 (.299)
Methodical Drives

27 (.167) 3 (.059) 71 (.148) 103 (.104)
Value Drives

11 (.524) 3 (.223) 93 (.440) 28 (.449)
Special Team rank 79 (-.340) 80 (-.371)



Field Goal efficiency 85 (-.172) 8 (.489)



Punt Return efficiency 45 (-.024) 65 (-.072)



Kickoff return efficiency 120 (-.277) 102 (-.222)



punt efficiency 64 (-.105) 113 (.119)



kickoff efficiency 51 (-.185) 56 (-.171)



Another place where the stats disagree. Seeing a trend? This happens because the advanced stats fall in love with certain conferences and hate others, and that only gets reinforced as the season goes on. So all Big-10 schools are much more loved by S+P than FEI. All ACC schools are much loved by FEI and disliked by S+P. My theory is that when two great teams meet S+P is more predictive, but when you get things like Boise State, it tends to be wrong. ANyway - Auburn is loved by FEI and only liked by S+P. The main problem is that Auburn isn't good at defense all that much - but where they are good is against the run. I can't see Wisconsin doing well passing against Auburn. And I can't see them stopping Nick Marshall all that well.

Cotton Bowl: Michigan State at Baylor


OVERALL When Michigan State has the ball When Baylor has the ball
Category Michigan State

Baylor

MSU Off Baylor Def MSU Def Baylor Off
F/+ Rk 11 (23.6%) 9 (27.0%) 15 (11.1%) 16 (11.7%) 24 (9.7%) 11 (13.7%)
S&P+ 6 (248.9) 8 (243.9) 8 (121.5) 11 (123.9) 6 (127.4) 11 (120.0)
Play Efficiency

9 (132.9) 28 (113.9) 8 (131.9) 14 (125.7)
Rushing S&P+

17 (124.5) 19 (120.3) 14 (126.5) 23 (121.1)
Passing S&P+

4 (145.9) 45 (108.2) 8 (135.0) 11 (131.4)
Std. Downs S&P+

10 (128.4) 40 (109.6) 20 (117.6) 15 (123.8)
Pass. Downs S&P+

7 (144.1) 24 (122.5) 5 (158.7) 24 (125.3)
Drive Efficiency

20 (127.4) 5 (167.0) 8 (151.0) 9 (134.0)

OVERALL When Michigan State has the ball When Baylor has the ball
Category Michigan State

Baylor

MSU Off Baylor Def MSU Def Baylor Off
F/+ Rk 11 (23.6%) 9 (27.0%) 15 (11.1%) 16 (11.7%) 24 (9.7%) 11 (13.7%)
FEI Rk 19 (.165) 9 (.218) 22 (.333) 23 (-.353) 43 (-.187) 12 (.504)
Field Position 9 (.549) 7 (.553)



Raw Efficiency 6 (.216) 5 (.223) 23 (.324) 35 (-.206) 19 (-.362) 10 (.537)
First Down rate

10 (.764) 12 (.566) 4 (.508) 3 (.793)
Available Yards rate

17 (.538) 29 (.385) 6 (.327) 4 (.604)
Explosive Drives

47 (.154) 94 (.169) 79 (.145) 11 (.207)
Methodical Drives

85 (.122) 22 (.096) 1 (.032) 6 (.207)
Value Drives

18 (.495) 31 (.323) 13 (.270) 6 (.542)
Special Team rank 14 (1.556) 33 (.913)



Field Goal efficiency 95 (-.250) 39 (.168)



Punt Return efficiency 70 (-.099) 79 (-.126)



Kickoff return efficiency 6 (.048) 28 (-.070)



punt efficiency 19 (-.243) 17 (-.247)



kickoff efficiency 29 (-.216) 90 (-.090)



As with Wisconsin, MIchigan State is brought down due to the Big-10 effect - though we've seen the big-10 so far be a bit more competitive than we had thought they might be. One deciding factor here is how Baylor will defend Connor Cook and the passing game, which has a 40 point advantage. MSU's defense is dominant across the board via stats. FEI thinks the big advantage is going to be Baylor's offense vs. a weak MSU defense. Special teams favor MSU quite a bit, especially on kick returns - a problem Baylor has had all year. I think MSU can at least cover, and I suspect they'll win.

Citrus Bowl: Missouri at Minnesota


OVERALL When Missouri has the ball When Minnesota has the ball
Category Missouri

Minnesota

Mizz Off Minn Def Mizz Def Minn Off
F/+ Rk 31 (13.2%) 35 (12.1%) 52 (2.1%) 42 (5.0%) 21 (10.1%) 44 (3.8%)
S&P+ 33 (217.3) 40 (212.0) 50 (103.0) 42 (107.0) 25 (114.4) 43 (105.0)
Play Efficiency

62 (102.1) 34 (112.1) 12 (124.3) 42 (109.1)
Rushing S&P+

48 (107.9) 30 (114.7) 11 (128.3) 41 (111.4)
Passing S&P+

66 (100.2) 43 (108.7) 22 (119.6) 51 (105.8)
Std. Downs S&P+

66 (102.0) 32 (110.6) 22 (116.4) 42 (109.3)
Pass. Downs S&P+

53 (105.3) 40 (113.4) 10 (143.2) 55 (104.5)
Drive Efficiency

29 (117.7) 45 (111.3) 35 (116.7) 38 (113.3)

OVERALL When Missouri has the ball When Minnesota has the ball
Category Missouri

Minnesota

Mizz Off Minn Def Mizz Def Minn Off
F/+ Rk 31 (13.2%) 35 (12.1%) 52 (2.1%) 42 (5.0%) 21 (10.1%) 44 (3.8%)
FEI Rk 23 (.148) 34 (.115) 53 (.086) 40 (-.213) 19 (-.405) 43 (.154)
Field Position 78 (.490) 11 (.547)



Raw Efficiency 32 (.078) 41 (.061) 57 (.061) 47 (-.144) 24 (-.278) 67 (-.040)
First Down rate

84 (.647) 27 (.608) 70 (.674) 85 (.646)
Available Yards rate

74 (.438) 41 (.414) 25 (.376) 76 (.437)
Explosive Drives

60 (.135) 86 (.152) 30 (.099) 89 (.102)
Methodical Drives

20 (.180) 38 (.120) 87 (.156) 42 (.157)
Value Drives

88 (.341) 34 (.330) 22 (.299) 96 (.330)
Special Team rank 45 (.530) 9 (1.861)



Field Goal efficiency 36 (.216) 110 (-.399)



Punt Return efficiency 39 (-.010) 23 (.042)



Kickoff return efficiency 20 (-.052) 14 (-.021)



punt efficiency 81 (-.045) 14 (-.266)



kickoff efficiency 102 (-.059) 21 (-.239)



This should be another paint grow game - two great defenses, two struggling offenses that run the ball a lot. Missouri is favored by both S+P and FEI, mostly because of their stronger defense. Special teams favors Minnesota on kick returns especially, and I think that's probably the difference in this game - a Minnesota win.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama at Ohio State


OVERALL When Alabama has the ball When Ohio State has the ball
Category Alabama

Ohio State

BAMA Off OSU Def BAMA Def OSU Off
F/+ Rk 1 (38.4%) 2 (36.5%) 3 (19.8%) 7 (15.4%) 2 (19.7%) 4 (18.8%)
S&P+ 1 (270.7) 2 (266.0) 2 (133.1) 4 (129.7) 1 (137.6) 1 (136.3)
Play Efficiency

2 (142.1) 19 (120.5) 9 (131.0) 1 (154.6)
Rushing S&P+

8 (133.4) 37 (110.0) 1 (159.7) 1 (148.3)
Passing S&P+

3 (154.9) 10 (129.8) 26 (116.9) 1 (163.8)
Std. Downs S&P+

2 (137.9) 19 (119.1) 5 (132.7) 1 (141.1)
Pass. Downs S&P+

6 (144.3) 33 (117.5) 17 (126.2) 1 (184.8)
Drive Efficiency

1 (163.3) 3 (177.1) 2 (188.7) 2 (153.2)

OVERALL When Alabama has the ball When Ohio State has the ball
Category Alabama

Ohio State

BAMA Off OSU Def BAMA Def OSU Off
F/+ Rk 1 (38.4%) 2 (36.5%) 3 (19.8%) 7 (15.4%) 2 (19.7%) 4 (18.8%)
FEI Rk 2 (.315) 5 (.257) 5 (.666) 12 (-.487) 5 (-.617) 9 (.560)
Field Position 87 (.487) 3 (.576)



Raw Efficiency 7 (.215) 1 (.295) 8 (.562) 17 (-.374) 7 (-.462) 4 (.618)
First Down rate

30 (.715) 10 (.552) 44 (.634) 6 (.772)
Available Yards rate

15 (.554) 5 (.322) 17 (.368) 2 (.643)
Explosive Drives

27 (.177) 27 (.097) 10 (.075) 6 (.243)
Methodical Drives

34 (.162) 13 (.083) 113 (.179) 109 (.096)
Value Drives

13 (.508) 4 (.237) 9 (.263) 3 (.593)
Special Team rank 91 (-.595) 20 (1.275)



Field Goal efficiency 99 (-.287) 77 (-.110)



Punt Return efficiency 117 (-.252) 34 (.004)



Kickoff return efficiency 89 (-.192) 93 (-.202)



punt efficiency 9 (-.289) 8 (-.298)



kickoff efficiency 75 (-.125) 30 (-.213)



While we naturally talk about Noles and Oregon a lot more, by stats this is the main game, and Oregon and FSU are just playing for the right to be beaten. S+P sees OSU as the second best team in the nation and barely worse than Alabama. Both teams have massive advantages passing the ball, though OSU's advantage is a bit more (almost 50 points). The problem is that OSU will run into the brick wall that is the Bama rushing defense. While OSU's defense is solid, they are disadvantagedeverywhere across the board - and having a balanced attack tends to be stronger than having one advantage in one place. FEI sees this as being even more in favor of Bama, again due to the Big-10 effect. Onebig advantage OSU does have is on special teams, particularly in punting the ball. I don't think that's enough, especially with Cardale Jones making his second start.

Armed Forces Bowl: Houston at Pittsburgh


OVERALL When Houston has the ball When Pittsburgh has the ball
Category Houston

Pittsburgh

HOU Off PITT Def HOU Def PITT Off
F/+ Rk 79 (-7.1%) 39 (9.8%) 74 (-3.2%) 73 (-3.4%) 69 (-2.1%) 13 (12.9%)
S&P+ 86 (190.9) 36 (213.9) 83 (95.3) 68 (97.9) 81 (95.6) 17 (116.0)
Play Efficiency

92 (91.1) 86 (94.6) 111 (88.6) 10 (128.7)
Rushing S&P+

63 (103.5) 93 (92.2) 111 (84.1) 6 (135.7)
Passing S&P+

116 (80.0) 76 (97.6) 93 (92.7) 25 (122.5)
Std. Downs S&P+

82 (95.8) 107 (89.6) 115 (86.8) 11 (127.3)
Pass. Downs S&P+

112 (81.9) 43 (110.9) 74 (96.8) 30 (122.2)
Drive Efficiency

65 (101.4) 56 (104.7) 74 (97.3) 42 (112.7)

OVERALL When Houston has the ball When Pittsburgh has the ball
Category Houston

Pittsburgh

HOU Off PITT Def HOU Def PITT Off
F/+ Rk 79 (-7.1%) 39 (9.8%) 74 (-3.2%) 73 (-3.4%) 69 (-2.1%) 13 (12.9%)
FEI Rk 63 (-.007) 37 (.103) 72 (-.111) 78 (.143) 67 (.029) 11 (.522)
Field Position 51 (.505) 41 (.512)



Raw Efficiency 46 (.051) 65 (.011) 73 (-.072) 83 (.137) 26 (-.258) 40 (.153)
First Down rate

94 (.618) 63 (.669) 43 (.634) 19 (.740)
Available Yards rate

70 (.446) 55 (.439) 33 (.398) 25 (.522)
Explosive Drives

75 (.115) 88 (.161) 24 (.092) 48 (.154)
Methodical Drives

17 (.183) 78 (.153) 47 (.130) 10 (.195)
Value Drives

54 (.405) 59 (.372) 32 (.327) 27 (.452)
Special Team rank 101 (-1.011) 60 (.180)



Field Goal efficiency 86 (-.192) 59 (.037)



Punt Return efficiency 86 (-.154) 78 (-.124)



Kickoff return efficiency 113 (-.261) 27 (-.069)



punt efficiency 68 (-.093) 71 (-.087)



kickoff efficiency 57 (-.171) 74 (-.130)



So after the awesomeness that is New Years' bowl games, we get...a lot of bleh. I don't get this scheduling at all. Anyway, Pittsburgh should be able to obliterate Houston, especially running the ball. There's not a lot more that needs to be said about this game. This is one of the very last college football games for the season. You'll watch it, and be grateful, you greedy jerks.

Taxslayer Bowl: Iowa at Tennessee


OVERALL When Iowa has the ball When Tennessee has the ball
Category Iowa

Tennessee

Iowa Off UT Def Iowa Def UT Off
F/+ Rk 55 (3.4%) 43 (7.5%) 56 (0.7%) 31 (7.6%) 47 (4.1%) 69 (-2.0%)
S&P+ 61 (201.7) 39 (212.5) 76 (97.0) 30 (111.7) 47 (104.7) 57 (100.8)
Play Efficiency

84 (95.4) 18 (121.4) 42 (109.0) 52 (106.2)
Rushing S&P+

102 (88.4) 22 (118.4) 24 (118.0) 50 (107.6)
Passing S&P+

55 (103.6) 13 (123.9) 65 (99.3) 47 (107.1)
Std. Downs S&P+

98 (91.5) 17 (119.5) 42 (108.5) 49 (105.5)
Pass. Downs S&P+

45 (109.0) 20 (124.5) 56 (106.1) 44 (111.1)
Drive Efficiency

61 (102.7) 38 (115.0) 59 (103.4) 51 (109.9)

OVERALL When Iowa has the ball When Tennessee has the ball
Category Iowa

Tennessee

Iowa Off UT Def Iowa Def UT Off
F/+ Rk 55 (3.4%) 43 (7.5%) 56 (0.7%) 31 (7.6%) 47 (4.1%) 69 (-2.0%)
FEI Rk 45 (.061) 42 (.084) 52 (.095) 32 (-.296) 42 (-.196) 77 (-.122)
Field Position 83 (.487) 20 (.533)



Raw Efficiency 48 (.047) 62 (.018) 54 (.067) 48 (-.138) 34 (-.206) 87 (-.166)
First Down rate

50 (.685) 22 (.594) 14 (.575) 86 (.645)
Available Yards rate

54 (.470) 23 (.375) 14 (.367) 95 (.404)
Explosive Drives

70 (.121) 73 (.138) 33 (.102) 116 (.071)
Methodical Drives

23 (.177) 12 (.080) 34 (.118) 71 (.135)
Value Drives

58 (.402) 17 (.283) 15 (.282) 79 (.358)
Special Team rank 95 (-.784) 27 (1.102)



Field Goal efficiency 76 (-.095) 43 (.102)



Punt Return efficiency 42 (-.021) 46 (-.028)



Kickoff return efficiency 87 (-.183) 71 (-.159)



punt efficiency 117 (.134) 51 (-.125)



kickoff efficiency 43 (-.198) 14 (-.262)



This game might be a bit closer. Both defenses have advantages over both offenses - S+P sees Tennessee as being the better team, FEI sees Iowa. When it doubt, check the special teams - and sure enough, Tennessee has it in the bag here, especially on field goals and kicks. I think Tennessee pulls it out.

Alamo Bowl: Kansas State at UCLA


OVERALL When Kansas State has the ball When UCLA has the ball
Category Kansas State

UCLA

KSU Off UCLA Def KSU Def UCLA Off
F/+ Rk 21 (17.5%) 19 (18.8%) 16 (10.5%) 49 (3.0%) 51 (2.1%) 7 (15.0%)
S&P+ 25 (220.3) 24 (221.6) 27 (112.0) 40 (107.6) 38 (108.3) 20 (114.1)
Play Efficiency

30 (116.8) 31 (112.8) 40 (110.0) 13 (125.7)
Rushing S&P+

45 (109.3) 54 (105.2) 27 (115.9) 11 (130.0)
Passing S&P+

23 (123.6) 23 (119.2) 51 (107.2) 18 (125.3)
Std. Downs S&P+

36 (112.4) 37 (110.2) 43 (108.4) 12 (126.0)
Pass. Downs S&P+

20 (128.7) 32 (118.0) 37 (115.9) 34 (118.0)
Drive Efficiency

24 (120.7) 42 (113.0) 23 (125.1) 26 (120.2)

OVERALL When Kansas State has the ball When UCLA has the ball
Category Kansas State

UCLA

KSU Off UCLA Def KSU Def UCLA Off
F/+ Rk 21 (17.5%) 19 (18.8%) 16 (10.5%) 49 (3.0%) 51 (2.1%) 7 (15.0%)
FEI Rk 24 (.146) 12 (.208) 15 (.440) 54 (-.090) 60 (-.027) 4 (.667)
Field Position 12 (.546) 66 (.497)



Raw Efficiency 14 (.159) 43 (.056) 13 (.453) 67 (.016) 70 (.047) 29 (.255)
First Down rate

21 (.738) 66 (.671) 47 (.636) 8 (.769)
Available Yards rate

12 (.564) 58 (.441) 66 (.452) 38 (.494)
Explosive Drives

34 (.168) 6 (.062) 22 (.091) 33 (.170)
Methodical Drives

57 (.150) 125 (.219) 116 (.191) 31 (.163)
Value Drives

10 (.526) 41 (.343) 65 (.385) 45 (.416)
Special Team rank 4 (2.750) 49 (.450)



Field Goal efficiency 44 (.099) 40 (.156)



Punt Return efficiency 2 (.341) 104 (-.211)



Kickoff return efficiency 13 (-.019) 32 (-.080)



punt efficiency 88 (-.013) 43 (-.150)



kickoff efficiency 27 (-.218) 53 (-.182)



Now this is an intriguing matchup. FEI loves the PAC-12 but otherwise this game is very even. Both offenses have about a 5 point advantage on both defenses via S+P, though UCLA has bigger advantages on running and passing. The big difference is that KSU gets stops. KSU is of course good at special teams - this will always be the way with a Bill Snyder coached team - but I don't think it's enough to put KState over the top. I think UCLA wins this one, though the opportunity for Mora to crap the bed is high.

Cactus Bowl: Washington at Oklahoma State


OVERALL When Washington has the ball When Oklahoma State has the ball
Category Washington

Oklahoma State

UW Off OKST Def UW Def OKST Off
F/+ Rk 51 (5.0%) 68 (-2.8%) 92 (-5.4%) 71 (-2.8%) 30 (7.7%) 77 (-3.4%)
S&P+ 70 (197.4) 73 (195.5) 82 (95.6) 61 (99.4) 55 (101.8) 80 (96.0)
Play Efficiency

82 (95.9) 44 (108.1) 52 (106.3) 69 (100.5)
Rushing S&P+

65 (102.8) 41 (109.3) 47 (106.2) 85 (95.3)
Passing S&P+

91 (91.2) 53 (106.7) 55 (104.9) 45 (107.7)
Std. Downs S&P+

71 (98.9) 46 (107.5) 51 (105.3) 70 (99.2)
Pass. Downs S&P+

106 (88.5) 57 (106.0) 49 (108.2) 50 (106.2)
Drive Efficiency

80 (96.4) 82 (94.3) 71 (99.3) 82 (95.1)

OVERALL When Washington has the ball When Oklahoma State has the ball
Category Washington

Oklahoma State

UW Off OKST Def UW Def OKST Off
F/+ Rk 51 (5.0%) 68 (-2.8%) 92 (-5.4%) 71 (-2.8%) 30 (7.7%) 77 (-3.4%)
FEI Rk 40 (.089) 80 (-.058) 96 (-.243) 75 (.125) 16 (-.448) 80 (-.131)
Field Position 14 (.543) 68 (.496)



Raw Efficiency 30 (.080) 88 (-.070) 85 (-.161) 93 (.190) 22 (-.329) 83 (-.155)
First Down rate

96 (.618) 40 (.630) 56 (.662) 105 (.604)
Available Yards rate

87 (.419) 72 (.461) 35 (.406) 108 (.380)
Explosive Drives

65 (.125) 93 (.167) 11 (.076) 63 (.129)
Methodical Drives

59 (.147) 59 (.138) 65 (.145) 111 (.094)
Value Drives

69 (.378) 77 (.407) 36 (.336) 109 (.295)
Special Team rank 15 (1.535) 8 (1.867)



Field Goal efficiency 27 (.289) 33 (.224)



Punt Return efficiency 31 (.013) 50 (-.034)



Kickoff return efficiency 16 (-.042) 9 (.030)



punt efficiency 52 (-.125) 55 (-.122)



kickoff efficiency 72 (-.136) 38 (-.201)



I hate writing bout this one. It's just so...meh. UW's offense is horrible and should have trouble moving the ball. UW's defense is either decent or excellent depending on what you believe in more, and OKST's offense isn't great either. Special teams are great on both ssides? That's good, right? In this case, I think Oklahoma State has enough in the tank to win.

Birmingham Bowl: East Carolina at Florida


OVERALL When East Carolina has the ball When Florida has the ball
Category East Carolina

Florida

ECU Off UF Def ECU Def UF Off
F/+ Rk 58 (2.7%) 41 (9.3%) 37 (6.3%) 12 (12.9%) 63 (-0.5%) 97 (-5.9%)
S&P+ 48 (209.3) 42 (211.5) 34 (109.6) 21 (115.8) 59 (99.7) 81 (95.7)
Play Efficiency

44 (108.2) 10 (124.6) 103 (91.2) 79 (96.2)
Rushing S&P+

44 (109.6) 16 (124.0) 45 (107.7) 71 (100.5)
Passing S&P+

48 (106.0) 12 (124.2) 113 (83.1) 90 (91.7)
Std. Downs S&P+

46 (106.3) 7 (125.2) 87 (94.7) 96 (91.6)
Pass. Downs S&P+

40 (115.4) 30 (119.3) 110 (84.7) 46 (108.7)
Drive Efficiency

30 (117.4) 37 (115.7) 50 (108.0) 57 (103.9)

OVERALL When East Carolina has the ball When Florida has the ball
Category East Carolina

Florida

ECU Off UF Def ECU Def UF Off
F/+ Rk 58 (2.7%) 41 (9.3%) 37 (6.3%) 12 (12.9%) 63 (-0.5%) 97 (-5.9%)
FEI Rk 48 (.043) 39 (.093) 37 (.234) 8 (-.543) 63 (.001) 101 (-.269)
Field Position 46 (.507) 13 (.546)



Raw Efficiency 27 (.090) 54 (.039) 20 (.356) 9 (-.447) 61 (-.073) 108 (-.362)
First Down rate

4 (.778) 19 (.587) 26 (.607) 91 (.635)
Available Yards rate

13 (.561) 11 (.344) 48 (.432) 105 (.384)
Explosive Drives

52 (.148) 38 (.107) 49 (.119) 88 (.103)
Methodical Drives

13 (.185) 18 (.091) 70 (.148) 99 (.111)
Value Drives

21 (.483) 6 (.248) 50 (.361) 116 (.273)
Special Team rank 114 (-1.756) 21 (1.262)



Field Goal efficiency 106 (-.358) 30 (.246)



Punt Return efficiency 47 (-.031) 16 (.061)



Kickoff return efficiency 128 (-.357) 38 (-.099)



punt efficiency 86 (-.017) 89 (-.007)



kickoff efficiency 78 (-.121) 28 (-.217)



If it weren't for Florida's horrible offense this would be an interesting game. The teams are pretty close and match up strength for strength. It's going to be something of a defensive struggle, and that favors Florida - which has a big advantage returning punts and killing drives.

GoDaddy Bowl: Toledo at Arkansas State


OVERALL When Toledo has the ball When Arkansas State has the ball
Category Toledo

Arkansas State

TOL Off ASU Def TOL Def ASU Off
F/+ Rk 63 (-0.6%) 75 (-5.2%) 38 (6.1%) 80 (-4.3%) 100 (-7.3%) 62 (-0.5%)
S&P+ 60 (202.6) 68 (198.4) 42 (105.3) 70 (97.9) 73 (97.3) 61 (100.5)
Play Efficiency

48 (107.0) 92 (92.7) 90 (93.8) 59 (102.2)
Rushing S&P+

38 (112.6) 104 (87.9) 46 (106.7) 66 (102.3)
Passing S&P+

63 (101.2) 70 (98.6) 105 (88.1) 57 (102.6)
Std. Downs S&P+

41 (110.4) 99 (92.4) 112 (88.2) 53 (104.4)
Pass. Downs S&P+

65 (99.7) 82 (94.2) 45 (109.8) 64 (99.8)
Drive Efficiency

58 (103.4) 49 (108.4) 60 (103.1) 63 (102.4)

OVERALL When Toledo has the ball When Arkansas State has the ball
Category Toledo

Arkansas State

TOL Off ASU Def TOL Def ASU Off
F/+ Rk 63 (-0.6%) 75 (-5.2%) 38 (6.1%) 80 (-4.3%) 100 (-7.3%) 62 (-0.5%)
FEI Rk 71 (-.029) 81 (-.062) 29 (.284) 86 (.194) 107 (.360) 61 (-.030)
Field Position 81 (.489) 23 (.527)



Raw Efficiency 50 (.043) 40 (.062) 19 (.370) 51 (-.118) 96 (.199) 49 (.094)
First Down rate

22 (.736) 33 (.619) 96 (.713) 61 (.674)
Available Yards rate

18 (.538) 36 (.409) 86 (.486) 58 (.468)
Explosive Drives

19 (.194) 63 (.129) 90 (.163) 16 (.201)
Methodical Drives

11 (.194) 28 (.109) 97 (.163) 82 (.125)
Value Drives

22 (.478) 46 (.354) 83 (.420) 68 (.379)
Special Team rank 54 (.334) 72 (-.188)



Field Goal efficiency 45 (.093) 124 (-.661)



Punt Return efficiency 13 (.080) 69 (-.097)



Kickoff return efficiency 109 (-.242) 24 (-.060)



punt efficiency 87 (-.014) 31 (-.190)



kickoff efficiency 45 (-.193) 69 (-.143)



This is the final bowl before the national championship. Really? Toledo and ARST? Oy. Well, it'll probably be something of a close game with a lot of offense - both offenses have advantages. Toledo should in particular be able to run very well. Watch it to say good bye to the bowl season if nothing else. Or go outside and either cry a bit more about an Oregon loss or panic a bit more about playing Alabama or Ohio State.