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2010 College Football Bowl Game Score Projections

I've been doing score projections for bowl games for three years now, and with each year comes a new tweak. The method is described here. The new element last year was eliminating data from I-AA games, and that helped. What I added this year is removing all scoring from overtime periods across the board. What happens in overtime in no way reflects the normal course of a football game, so I'm thinking that should help.

Another thing I did this year is finally do a score projection for every bowl game. I've run out of time in past seasons, but as you'll see below I did finish this year.

I'm also putting them up against the point spreads and over/unders as reported yesterday by Yahoo here. I used the bodog spreads where available and the general consensus of the others where not. The reason is because I've seen plenty of situations where the projected point totals were off, but the margin was close.

I know that some of these are going to be way off because the method doesn't account for things like coaching changes or motivation and the lack thereof. Teams are going to flop because they just don't care or because a key coach or two took the first bus out of town. The method itself isn't perfect either, but with each year I try to make it better. I also will note that I put very little stock in bowls that match up BCS and non-BCS teams, because I haven't yet figured out a way to translate between the differing levels of schedule strength.

So hopefully most of these will work out. This method has been pretty good at sniffing out upsets in the past.

Bowl Teams Favorite Projection Pick O/U Projected Total Pick
New Mexico BYU vs. UTEP BYU -12 BYU 24-17 UTEP + points 50 40.72 Under
Humanitarian NIU vs. Fresno St. NIU -1 NIU 40-23 NIU 59 63.31 Over
New Orleans Ohio vs. Troy Troy -1.5 Ohio 31-30 Ohio 58 61.31 Over
St. Petersburg So Miss vs. Louisville Louisville -3.5 Louisville 30-28 So Miss + points 57 57.57 Over
Las Vegas Utah vs. Boise St. Boise St. -17 Boise St. 40-21 Boise St. 61 61.10 Push
Poinsettia Navy vs. SDSU Navy -4.5 Navy 31-30 SDSU + points 60.5 60.30 Push
Hawaii Hawaii vs. Tulsa Hawaii -11 Hawaii 39-34 Tulsa + points 73 73.20 Push
Little Caesars FIU vs. Toledo Toledo -1.5 Toledo 28.14-28.02 FIU + points 56 56.16 Push
Independence Air Force vs. GT AFA -3 AFA 31-22 Air Force 56 52.10 Under
Champs Sports West Virginia vs. NCSU WVU -3 WVU 23-21 NCSU + points 49 44.17 Under
Insight Missouri vs. Iowa Missouri -1 Missouri 19-17 Missouri 47 35.74 Under
Military ECU vs. Maryland Maryland -7.5 Maryland 44-35 Maryland 68 79.07 Over
Texas Illinois vs. Baylor Baylor -1.5 Illinois 35-29 Illinois 62 63.52 Over
Alamo Oklahoma St. vs. Arizona OSU -6 OSU 38-27 Oklahoma St. 66 65.39 Under
Armed Forces Army vs. SMU SMU -8 SMU 24.60-24.29 Army + points 52 48.89 Under
Pinstripe Kansas St. vs. Syracuse KSU -1 Kansas St. 27-21 Kansas St. 48 48.17 Push
Music City UNC vs. Tennessee UNC -3 UNC 24.24-20.83 Tennessee + points 50 45.08 Under
Holiday Nebraska vs. Washington NU -14 Nebraska 36-13 Nebraska 53 48.93 Under
Car Care USF vs. Clemson Clemson -4.5 Clemson 16-11 Clemson 40 27.75 Under
Sun Notre Dame vs. Miami (FL) Miami -3 Notre Dame 21-19 Notre Dame 47 39.52 Under
Liberty UCF vs. Georgia UGA -7 UCF 27-24 UCF 56 51.49 Under
Chick-fil-A South Carolina vs. FSU S. Carolina -3 S. Carolina 27-26 FSU + points 54.5 52.40 Under
TicketCity N'western vs. Texas Tech TTU -10 TTU 32-27 N'western + points 60 59.41 Under
Outback Florida vs. Penn St. Florida -7 Florida 25-20 Penn St. + points 48 45.05 Under
Capital One Alabama vs. Michigan St. Alabama -10.5 Alabama 27-18 MSU + points 52 44.06 Under
Gator Miss St. vs. Michigan Miss St. -5 MSU 29.65-24.80 Michigan + points 60 54.45 Under
Rose Wisconsin vs. TCU TCU -3 TCU 36-26 TCU 59 62.29 Over
Fiesta UConn vs. Oklahoma OU -17 Oklahoma 31-22 UConn + points 55 52.66 Under
Orange Stanford vs. VT Stanford -3 Stanford 30.83-28.46 VT + points 58 59.30 Over
Sugar Ohio St. vs. Arkansas OSU -3.5 Ohio St. 36-24 Ohio St. 58 60.12 Over
GoDaddy MTSU vs. Miami (OH) Miami -1.5 Miami 22-20 Miami (OH) 48 42.50 Under
Cotton LSU vs. Texas A&M LSU -1 LSU 22.53-21.80 A&M + points 49 44.33 Under
BBVA Compass Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky Pitt -3 Pitt 30-26 Pittsburgh 53 56.26 Over
Fight Hunger Nevada vs. BC Nevada -10 Nevada 34-14 Nevada 55 47.76 Under
BCS NCG Oregon vs. Auburn Auburn -3 Oregon 43-36 Oregon 74 79.84 Over


A note on the color coding: green means correct; red means incorrect. The colors in the Projection column simply denote if the projection picked the correct winner. The first Pick column indicates if it was correct against the spread. The second Pick column indicates whether or not it was right in regards to the over/under.