Thursday, December 25, 2014

Boneg and Bowls

Not unlike most recent years, the Boneg is looking to have a very bad bowl season in 2014-2015.  And not unlike most recent years, it appears to me, and some other fans that don't want things to actually be as bad as they appear, that a primary reason the Boneg does so poorly in the bowl games is because the league has set up a lot of bad bowl matchups.  It always seems that the Boneg teams are playing teams that finished higher in their respective conferences than did the Boneg team in the Boneg.  

So, similar to some prior posts that I've had (so long ago, I don't want to go back and try to hyperlink to them), I will examine whether this theory is correct.  

I am simply going to list the teams in each game and their position in their respective conference. To keep things simple, the conference championship game winner is #1, with conference record for all other positions.  For a conference without a conference championship game, the conference record is used.  Ties will include all positions with the same record (you'll see what I mean).

The number of teams in a conference matters.  Being the 5th place team in a 10 team conference is different than being the 5th place team in a 14 team conference.  I will take this idea into account when reviewing this.

So, let's go...

Penn State (#12/14 teams) v Boston College (ACC, #6-8/14 teams).  Clearly, the Boneg should lose here.  Who is scheduling these games?  (0-1)

Illinois (#8-10/14) v Louisiana Tech (#2/13).  This is the only Boneg bowl game against a non-Power 5 conference school.  Power 5 or not, the #2 team of every conference in FBS should beat the #8 team in any other FBS conference (let alone the #10 team).  Boneg should lose.  (0-2).  This is going as expected.

Rutgers (#8-10/14) v North Carolina (#6-8/14).  If these teams were each at #8, it would be a push, but that isn't quite what is happening here.  Boneg should lose.  (0-3).  

Maryland (#6-7/14) v Stanford (#6-7/12).  This is where the size of the conference matters.  A 6th or 7th place team in a 14 team conference is in the top half of the conference.  6th or 7th in a 12 team conference is right at the border of top half/bottom half.  Boneg should win (1-3).  Minor setback.  Doesn't really change the theory. 

Iowa (#6-7/14) v Tennessee (#9-11/14).  Boneg should win (2-3).  Um, what's happening here?

Minnesota (#4-5/14) v Missouri (#2/14).  Boneg should lose (2-4).  Back on track to excuses, er explanations.  

Nebraska (#4-5/14) v USC (#3-5/12).  I had to do some extra calculations on this, with USC having a wider range, and there being a difference in size of conferences.  Basically I assumed each team would get a win against the teams above, and a loss against the teams below within their own conferences.  I used the average of the positions.  With that, USC was slightly higher (approx .750 v approx .730).  Boneg should lose (2-5). 

Wisconsin (#2-3/14) v Auburn (#6-8/14).  Boneg should win (3-5).  Ooof.  This one hurts because I really don't see it happening.

Michigan State (#2-3/14) v Baylor (#1-2/10).  I did the calculations similar to above, just to make sure (.940 to .880).  Boneg should lose.  (3-6)

Ohio State (#1/14) v Alabama (#1/14).  Tie. ("Good one, jiM)  (3-6-1)

So, the theory holds to a point.  It doesn't explain why the Boneg is the underdog in every bowl game, but it explains a little why Boneg will not do well for another bowl season.