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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quest for perfection, 2012

In 2008, the BYU football team took on the mantra "Quest for Perfection". TCU ended that quest emphatically, beating BYU 32-7. Instead, rival Utah would find perfection that season (shockingly, since they weren't even questing after it).

In 2012, BYU is still perfect after two games (and Utah is not). The model is giving the Cougars a 1% chance of finishing the season unbeaten, but if they can stay clean over the next week (games at Utah and at Boise St), perfection may be quest-after-able once again.

The model gives 9 teams a better than 3% chance of going undefeated through the regular season and four teams a better than 10% chance. Alabama leads the pack, followed by Georgia and Ohio; these teams have already cleared legitimate hurdles. The next group includes USC, Oklahoma, Florida St and Louisiana Tech - all clear favorites in their conferences by my estimation. They are followed by LSU and Oregon, both very good teams but a step behind the conference leaders.

Statistically, we could have a max of 10 undefeated teams this season (e.g., Alabama and LSU cannot both go undefeated), down from 18 before the season kicked off. More realistically, using 1,000 season simulations, we should expect 1.48 undefeated teams through the regular season.


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