Sunday, December 7, 2008

The bowl bids will be settled tonight

We'll keep the predictions short: Oklahoma will face Florida for the title, and I'm afraid that Ohio State will probably get picked for the last at-large BCS bowl bid over Boise State.

Hopefully the bowl game officials will prove me wrong on the latter, because there are only two undefeated teams left in the FBS (Utah and Boise State), and it would be nice to see them both in BCS bowls. But I'd be really surprised if Florida doesn't jump Texas in the Standings to take a spot in the title game.

Yes, the computers are still going to rate Texas favorably---last week, 5 of the 6 official systems had Texas ahead of Florida, and 4 of those systems had both Oklahoma and Texas ahead of both Florida and Alabama. Florida will improve with the computers, but they might still be behind Texas there. Again, we're in no way part of the official system, but the family of random walker rankings across varying p values (see this week's random walker rankings) are sometimes a decent proxy for what the official computer systems will do, and the random walkers keep Oklahoma and Texas in the top two throughout. Don't blame the computers on this one: I don't believe any of them explicitly put value on conference championships, and the OU-Texas-TTech trio is collectively and formidably undefeated as a unit.

So Florida will probably need the pollsters to vote them in with sufficient numbers to make up a difference in the computers. But Florida did, after all, just knock off a #1 that got the overwhelming majority (165!) of the first place votes across the two polls last week, so I'm confident that it will happen.