Bartoo’s Big Bowl Breakdown 2016
Bowl Season 2016-17
Bowl’s do not mean anything to me for that ‘momentum’ for the next season. Half the teams are missing a key coach and the other half don’t care to be at the bowl. The fun part is trying to decipher where emotion, lack of effort and general apathy for a bowl appearance is going to set in on a team.
One of my first rules, like most games, is go with the talent. The second, like the pre-season picks, go with positive Coach Effect. It is best to use the year to date coach effect, as those accurately profile the true team performance on the season.
I will get an audio breakdown posted by Thursday morning on this page. For each bowl I will project my winner using TLC, leans on the side and total as well as a confidence factor for the game.
Dave Note: Updating throughout the day with each game posted.
New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico -9.5 vs UTSA T54 – Talent is about even )#100 vs #94) and UTSA played in a stronger conference. UTSA has a +3 coacheffect on the season and NM is +2. Their last 4 games coach effect is +1 (UTSA) and 0 (NM). NM has the #11 ranked scoring efficiency offense and UTSA is #54. The NM defense is #114 and UTSA #74. An average game off metrics makes it 33-31 New Mexico. Lean Over and UTSA Covers
$$ Confidence in New Mexico winning – Lean UTSA +9.5 Over 54
Vegas Bowl: Houston -4.5 vs San Diego State T51 – Houston holds the talent edge in this game and played in a much tougher conference. SDSU had one of the easiest talent to schedule talent ratios in the country. They took advantage and posted top 30 marks in offense and defense scoring efficiency. Houston had a +1 coach effect and zero effect in the last 4 weeks. SDSU was -2 games coach effect and did that in the last 4 weeks. Talent UH. Coaching UH (but Herman/Orlando gone). Model averaging puts this at a 58 point game at 29.5-28.7 SDSU.
$ Confidence in UH winning – Lean Over
Camellia Bowl – Appalachian St -1.5 vs Toledo T60.5 Talent edge to Toledo. SOS pretty even for both teams. Toledo no. 22 scoring efficiency offense, ASU no. 11 defense. Season coach effect even at zero. Model averaging sames 28-27 Toledo
$$ Confidence – UPSET ALERT Toledo over ASU – Lean Under 60.5
Citrus Bowl (Cure) – UCF – 4 vs Arkansas St T51 UCF has better talent, better offense metrics, better defense and better coach effect. Frost had a zero coach effect and Arkansas State struggled, but early in the season. Model says 51.7 points so no lean. Defensive battle potential
$$$ Confidence in UCF winning – No leans.
New Orleans Bowl – Southern Miss -6 vs UL Lafayette T57.5 – I don’t see a big talent gap but USM has the edge no. 80 vs no. 88. Both teams have negative coach effect on the year with USM at -2 games (both in the last 4 weeks) and -1 for ULL. Some of the worst football played this year will be represented when ULL has the ball. They have the no. 112 ranked scoring efficiency offense but will be facing the no. 124 ranked scoring efficiency defense. The averaging model says 30.1-27.7 Southern Miss. Poor play, poor coaching and no leans.
$ Confidence in Southern Miss winning – No leans
Miami Beach Bowl – Tulsa -12.5 vs Central Michigan – This should be a terrible game. Tulsa has much better talent, better coaching, better offensive scoring efficiency and better defense efficiency. It models at 66.4 total points, but I don’t like this type of mismatch.
$$$ Confidence in Tulsa ($$)
Boca Raton Bowl – Western Ky. -6.5 vs Memphis T80 – I am expecting a tight and well played game with this match up. The talent level leans Memphis, but only by a 77 to 85 ranking. Coach Effect is the same for both teams, and both are +1 in the last 4 weeks. WKU lost its head coach Brohm to Purdue but that action has not proven to be a win/loss predictor in bowl games. WKU has the no. 2 scoring efficiency offense and no. 21 defense. Memphis is at no. 17 and no. 41 respectively. It points to a high scoring game but, the defenses are very good as well. Memphis faces a ton of plays per game, and allowing their average play volume should get them beat, 38-31. I am going with CFBMatrix talent and coach effect plus loss of Brohm as the swing in the result.
$ Confidence for Memphis winning and covering – Lean Under (only 4% of FBS go over 80.5)
Poinsettia Bowl – BYU -10 vs Wyoming – The Cougars have nearly every Matrix box checked. Better talent rank (64 v 110), better Coach Effect (+4 vs +1 and +1 to 0 in last 4 weeks), and better defense scoring efficiency (no. 19 vs no. 104). Wyoming has a edge in offense efficiency at no. 21 but faces BYU’s own top 25 D. BYU is excellent at controlling the game, averaging nearly 11 more plays run than faced.
$$$ Confidence BYU wins with lean over
Idaho Potato Bowl – Colorado St. -13 vs Idaho – The Rams check off better talent (84 vs 114), better offense, better defense all in a tougher conference. Petrino has done very good for Idaho this year with a +2 game coach effect. CSU is -1 for the year but +1 over the last 4 weeks. CSU is ranked no. 29 in offense scoring efficiency. This looks a lot like the Miami Bleh Bowl, but not as big blow out. I have a game total of 60.4 points BUT 65 and 66 totals are twice as frequent as 64 and 63. Pass the total for me.
$$$ Confidence in Colorado State winning
Dollar General Bowl – Troy -6.0 vs Ohio T49.5 – Although the Bobcats have the slight talent edge (no. 97 to no. 104) that is about it for Ohio. Troy’s coach effect is a very good +3 games, their defense efficiency is no. 15 and offense is no. 39. Ohio has a good D, ranked at no. 25 but they won’t be able to score enough points to win. The model puts it at 28-24 Troy.
$ Confidence in Troy winning. No leans.
Armed Forces Bowl – LA Tech -6.5 vs Navy T67 – OVER OVER OVER This is the no. 3 and no. 5 scoring efficient offenses matched against the no. 82 and no. 94 defenses. The BEST confidence bet on bowls in the Matrix Metrics. LA Tech has a slightly better offense and defense but Navy has the better coach. The model says 37.1-36.5 LA Tech. I am sticking with talent in LA Tech but lean Navy to cover and make it close. An upset would not even surprise me as Ken > Skip.
$ Confidence in LA Tech Winning – OVER OVER OVER lean Navy cover 6.5
Bahamas Bowl – ODU -5.5 vs EMU T63 – ODU has equal talent to EMU, to show it could be close but ODU has a much better offense, slightly better defense and stronger coach effect. Model averaging puts it 33.4-29.1 ODU so no solid leans.
$$ Confidence in ODU Winning.
Hawaii Bowl – MTSU -7.0 vs Hawaii T72.0 – This looks to be a offensive lean. MSTU has the no. 18 scoring efficient offense against the no. 118 defense. On the flip side, Hawaii has the no. 66 offense versus the no. 83 defense. MTSU has the better coach (love stockstill) but it is a home game for Hawaii. Model has it 38.8 – 30.4 MSTU
$ Confidence MSTU winning. No leans on sides but MSTU and Hawaii should pile up the points.
St Pete Bowl Miss State -14.5 vs Miami (OH) T57.5 – We all know the talent gap between these two is huge but be really cautious of these games. There is no way MSU is up for this bowl game. It is just a poor OOC match up. The MSU defense was ranked no. 94 in scoring efficiency, Miami no. 86. The MSU offense comes in at no. 54 and the Miami defense counters at no. 62 (in the MAC). The Bulldogs finished with -2 games coach effect and the Redhawks at +1. The model puts it at 31.2-28.3 MSU so the lean is UNDER 57.5 and cover for Miami.
$$$ Confidence MSU wins. Lean Under and Miami cover (MSU will be disinterested)
Dallas Bowl –Army -10.5 vs North Texas T48 – North Texas has one of the worst quality profiles among all bowl teams. No. 90 in offense efficiency and no. 95 in defense scoring efficiency all with a -1 coach effect and no. 102 talent rank. Army counters with +1 coach effect, no. 51 offense, no. 36 defense and no. 105 in talent. the model puts this 31.2 to 21.7. This game will be Under 45 or over 48. 46 and 47 is no mans land in totals. Lean Over.
$$ Confidence in Army winning. Lean Over 48
Military Bowl- Temple -11.5 vs Wake Forest T40.5 – The biggest part of this bowl is loss of coaching. Wake lost their best asset, their DC, to Notre Dame. Wake has the no. 27 scoring efficiency defense but no. 121 offense. Temple lost its head coach to Baylor but supports the no. 36 offense in the Matrix and no. 21 defense. The talent edge is to Wake, but the trends all favor Temple. Betting wise, I would stay away from this but the numbers lean Over and Temple cover. Model says 38.1 – 19.2 Temple. Wake has a no. 62 to no. 72 edge in talent rank.
$ Confidence in Temple winning. No Leans
Quick Lane Bowl – Maryland -1.5 vs Boston College T43.5 – Neither team is good at anything. The Terps scoring efficiency offense comes in at no. 79 and Boston College at no. 119. But I don’t expect it to be a strong defense game as they rank no. 58 and no. 71 overall in scoring efficiency. Talent favors Maryland no . 48 to no. 68. Coaching edge to BC. The model averaging says 25.0-23.8 Terps. That’s a tiny lean for BC to cover and a strong OVER lean.
$ Confidence in Maryland with over T43.5 Lean
Independence Bowl- NC State -5.5 vs Vanderbilt T46 – Do not watch this game for offense. NC State has the no. 94 ranking scoring efficient offense and Vandy is at no. 96. But I hate the Total at 46 as that is the least common number to hit between 40 and 70. The defenses are good at no. 42 (NC State) and no. 35 for Vanderbilt. NC State has a talent edge at no. 42 vs no. 45. Coaching slightly favors Vanderbilt. The model says 25.3 – 23.8 NC State leaning slightly to Vandy cover, and Over 46
$ Confidence in NC State winning and lean Over and Vandy Cover
Holiday Bowl – Washington State -9.5 vs Minnesota T61 – Where is the Minnesota team going to be mentally after the boycott? WSU has a better offense than Minnesota has defense, they have better talent (no. 50 to no. 59) and a much stronger coach effect (+3 vs +1). The model averaging puts it 31.3 – 28.7 WSU at 60 points. I can’t take a lean on any sides in this game.
$ Confidence in WSU Winning no leans.
Cactus Bowl – Boise State -7.0 vs Baylor T68 – The Bears are a rudderless team that should not have any interest in this bowl game. They have a huge talent edge at no. 27 to no. 52, but their offense is no. 63 and defense is no. 66. Compare that to Boise at no. 21 and no. 23 respectively. Both teams are at zero coach effect on the year, but Baylor has no coach. Model averaging puts the game at 33.1-28.7 Boise, so strong Under lean. I would take Baylor if they had any staff left.
$ Confidence in Boise State winning. Lean Under
Pinstripe Bowl – Pitt -4 vs Northwestern T63 – Lets start with talent. Pitt is at no. 40 and Northwestern no. 48. Both coaches are strong Coach Effect guys for their careers. Narduzzi is +2 and Fitz is at zero for 2016. The beautiful is Pitt’s no. 4 offense scoring efficiency and the no. 14 scoring defense efficiency for Northwestern. The ugly is Northwestern’s no. 100 offense and Pitt’s no. 99 defense. Pitt lost OC Canada and Fitz is killer on the road. The model averaging makes this a -2.4 point game for Pitt, 33.0-30.6.
$ Confidence in Pitt winning. Lean NU Cover
Russell Athletic Bowl- Miami -3 vs West Virginia T58.5 – The biggest edge in this game is talent. I have Miami at no. 19 and WVU at no. 35. Both coaches have zero coach effect on the season so they basically play to their ability. Winner: Miami. As to the match up, the biggest downside for WVU is it’s offense, no. 48 in scoring efficiency, and it’s defense being forced to face nearly 78 plays per game. If Miami, with the no. 24 scoring efficiency offense, gets 78 plays in the bowl, they will cover nicely. In spite of the no. 20 vs no. 12 scoring efficiency defenses, I have a hard time leaning under 53.5 as the model has Miami winning 29.7-26.0.
$$ Confidence in Miami winning. No leans
Foster Farms Bowl – Utah -5.5 vs Indiana T54.5 – Indiana abruptly lost their head coach and Utah has one of the better coach effect guys in football. After that, these teams are very even. Talent edge to Utah, but not a significant amount. The Utes offense is no. 68 in efficiency but Indiana is no. 82. The Hoosier defense checks in at no. 30 in scoring efficiency and Utah at no. 22. If Wilson was still head coach, I’d be a coin toss modeled at 26.4-25.2 Utah. That is a strong Under lean with 51.7 total points. 52 and 53 are two of the most popular football totals, while 53 and 54 are rarely hit.
$$ Confidence in Utah Winning. Lean Under
Texas Bowl – Texas A&M -3 vs Kansas State T56 – Huge talent gap with no. 9 versus no. 60. But, we all know, Snyder the White doesn’t care about your recruiting metrics. While the A&M defense ranks no. 16 in scoring efficiency, the Aggie offense forces them into facing 81 plays per game. This is great for Snyder, who will slow the game to a crawl with possession. He’s made mincemeat out of pace Big 12 schools for a decade. That may be their saving grace. The offenses are even in performance efficiency, so allowing Snyder to dictate pace will be the key to KSU keeping it close. The model goes 29.1-28.7 Texas A&M. No leans
$ Confidence Texas A&M winning.
Birmingham Bowl – South Florida -10.5 vs South Carolina T60 – By the talent it is no. 20 SC vs no. 58 South Carolina. BUT the Bulls offense is no. 6 in FBS scoring efficiency and the SC offense is no. 120. By pure averaging it is 34.4 to 24.8 South Florida. The Bulls are +2 coach effect and the Gamecocks -2 on the season. I so badly want to take USF with the better metrics, better projection and +4 coach effect difference. I hate Muschamp.
$ Low confidence in USF to win. Lean SC cover
Belk Bowl – Virginia Tech -7.5 vs Arkansas T61 – Dead even talent ranks at no. 30. Both Coaches at positive coach effect. Tech has better offense and defense efficiency metrics. Hogs have better SOS (who cares). The modeling puts this game at 33.1 – 25.9 Hokies. That is a 7.2 point spread. No lean there.
$ Confidence in VT winning.No leans
Alamo Bowl – Colorado -3 vs Oklahoma State T65 – The Buffs are coming off a dream crushing game. They were four quarters, from at a minimum, the Rose Bowl and PAC-12 champs and lost. They got dream crushed. Take OSU to cover, period. The talent gap is big and the Buffs lost the reason for their run, Jim Leavitt. Both coaches are plus coach effect on the year. The OSU defense is ranked no. 48 versus the no. 59 offense of Colorado. The model averaging says 30.9-29.9 CU but the dream crusher game is too much.
$$ Upset Alert Ok State wins and covers.
Liberty Bowl – TCU -3.5 vs Georgia T49.5- Georgia has a better talent rank and that’s where the positives end. -3 games coach effect for Smart, +1 for Patterson. The Dawgs offense is ranked no. 106. That is the worst talent to result ratio in the FBS. TCU has a better offensive metric and better defensive. Game models out at 24.8-28.8 TCU. I like OVER 48.5.
$$ Confidence in TCU winning. Lean OVER 48.5
Sun Bowl – Stanford -2.5 vs North Carolina T54 – Really like this game profile. Even coach effect (on the season only!) and both have mid-20s ranked talent. Stanford has a par offense at no. 64 going against the no. 33 UNC defense. The Tarheel offense is no. 26 versus a strong no. 17 Stanford defense. The model has it 26.8-26.0 UNC. I lean UNC cover and under.
$ Confidence in UNC winning. Lean UNC +2.5 and Under
Music City Bowl – Tennessee -7.0 vs Nebraska T57 – The Vols have the talent edge. The Coach Effect is -1 game for Riley and zero for Jones. The Huskers offense is sub par. The best unit is the no. 17 scoring efficiency offense of Tennessee. The Vols D vs that Husker O should be poor. The model has Vols 29.7-28.0. 31-28 would be a nice number. No leans.
$ Confidence Tennessee wins
Arizona Bowl – Air Force -14 vs South Alabama T57.5 – When I look at the numbers for AFA, no. 81 in defense and no. 40 in offense, it feels like a bit of a smoke and mirrors kind of season. Both coaches were positive coach effect at +1 for Jones and +3 for Calhoun. I’m rooting for the guy from McMinnville, but I feel 14 points is a solid cover lean for USA. Model has it 29.7-25.9 or 51.7 points. USA has beat some quality teams this year.
$ Confidence in Air Force winning. Lean USA Cover.
Orange Bowl – Michigan -7 vs Florida State T52 – I am conflicted in this game in numbers versus psychology. Michigan, like Colorado, is coming off the soul crusher loss. Minutes from a Big Ten title berth and a path to the playoffs, to third in the conference. Minutes. This Michigan team is no. 10 in offense efficiency, no. 2 in defense and no. 2 in total scoring efficiency. They have no. 17 talent against the no.3 talented team. Florida State has the no. 32 scoring efficient offense, but no. 55 defense. By the performance metrics, this should be a Michigan blow out. The model averaging says 39.0-23.9. Damn. That is a strong over lean. It all freaks me out. So conflicted. I love watching Dalvin Cook and Jim Harbaugh teams. LSU
$ No confidence in Michigan or FSU. Can I just take the OVER? Urrrggghhhh! Ah hell, I heart upsets: FSU
Citrus Bowl – LSU -3 vs Louisville t59 – On paper this is an sweet match up. No. 9 offense with Louisville, versus no. 7 LSU defense. Contrast that with the no. 30 Louisville defense and the no. 41 LSU offense. BUT that LSU metric is for the whole season. It has been no. 19 since Miles was fired. That, and the big talent gap, is the difference in the game. The model, using LSU’s no. 19 offense, makes it a 30.2 – 27.1 game for LSU. Dead on the lines. No leans. Chips down, I am taking Aranda over the one man show.
$$ Confidence LSU winning
Georgia Tech -3 vs Kentucky T61.5 – Kentucky has a big talent edge, but Tech has the better coaching. This game sets up like K State and A&M. A&M has a poor offense and forced the defense into playing massive snaps faced all year. Same for Kentucky. K State runs few plays and goes for eating up clock and game control. Same as Paul Johnson. Love it or hate it, the triple option is brutal when you are behind and have an impatient offense. Model says average game is 30.9 (31) – 27.7 (27) Georgia Tech. No spread lean. Lean under on total.
$ Confidence in Georgia Tech Winning.
Peach Bowl – Alabama -14 vs Washington T52.5 – Washington has the lowest talent rank, no. 29, of any playoff team to date and no team outside the top 16 of Matrix recruiting rankings have made a national championship game. Huskies trying to make history. UW played one top 20 recruiter this year, at home, and lost. This game is the no. 1 scoring efficiency offense, UW, versus the no. 1 scoring efficiency defense. On the flip side it is no. 14 offense versus the no. 10 defense. If the talent gap was not so extreme, I’d give UW a better shot. Coach Effect is +2 for Petersen and +1 for Saban.
$$ Confidence of Alabama Winning. No leans
Fiesta Bowl – Ohio State -3 vs Clemson T58.5 -I do love this defensive match up. It is the no. 3 scoring efficiency defense versus no. 8. Take the UNDER. Clemson has struggled to find an offensive rhythm this year and is no. 28 in offensive scoring efficiency against a weak schedule (outside of FSU). Modeling has this game 29.1 – 26.1 OSU.
$ Confidence of Ohio State winning. Lean Under 58.5
Outback Bowl – Florida -3 vs Iowa T 40.5 – The Gators are a 3 point favorite, but they hold a big talent gap and have a slightly better defense scoring efficiency number. The Hawks have a better offense and Ferentz coach effect is at +1 this year versus -1 game for McElwain. The total is a measly 40.5 and for good reason. The Gators are no. 5 in defense scoring efficiency and the Hawkeyes are no. 11. Those go up against the no. 91 offense of Florida and no. 55 of Iowa. The model says 21.1-20.7 Florida. That is very tight to the lines.
$ Confidence in Florida winning a tight, low scoring game. No leans.
Cotton Bowl – Wisconsin -8 vs Western Michigan T52 – These games do not model well in bowls. I hate the NY6 bowl game with the mid major. What is their opponent playing for, really? This is a poor OOC game for the Badgers but it’s Barry’s Badgers and they don’t let down for no one. WMU had a top 15 EOS (ease of schedule) and really played no one with top 50 talent all season. WMU had the no. 7 offense and no. 23 defense in the FBS. Wisconsin defense checks in at no. 5. The paper metrics says WMU. I am going talent gap here and taking UW to lay a beat down today.
$$$ Confidence in Wisconsin winning. I avoid these NY6 match ups so no leans.
Rose Bowl – USC -7 vs Penn State T 59.5 – The Trojans have top 10 talent, the Nittany Lions, top 20. The better talent rank is on pace to win 70% of the bowl games. Penn State has the no. 15 offense going against the no. 32 defense. The Lions also have the no. 28 defense against the no. 42 offense. The model goes 29.1-27.7 Penn State. However, PSU was left at the alter by the playoff committee and you know how I feel picking teams coming off a soul crushing.
$ Confidence in USC winning. Lean PSU +7 cover
Sugar Bowl – Oklahoma -3 vs Auburn T64.5 – talent is near even. Coaching is -1 for Auburn and -1 for Oklahoma. The Sooners offense is no. 8 in scoring efficiency, the Tiger defense is no. 4. The big gap is the no. 76 defense from Oklahoma and no. 42 offense of Auburn. I really like Auburn as a dog to win and cover 33-30.
$ Confidence in Auburn winning . Lean Tigers cover
National Championship: Alabama -3.5 vs Clemson T48.5