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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Forecasting the 2012 BCS title game

To forecast the 2012 BCS title game participants, I first listed the seven top contenders in order:

1) Notre Dame
2) Alabama
3) Georiga
4) Oregon (Pac-12 champs)
5) Florida
6) Oregon (not Pac-12 champs)
7) Kansas State
8) Florida State
The list is contestable, but it seems clear to me that Notre Dame, Alabama and/or Georgia will be in if they win out. Oregon is next in line if they win the Pac-12, which requires that UCLA beat Stanford. Otherwise Oregon shouldn't jump Florida if Florida beats Florida State. I am also assuming that Florida State would jump Stanford, Texas A&M and LSU if they beat Florida. That is based on my best guess. I don't try to guess who would fill in if six or all seven of these teams lose. 

Then I simulated the remaining season 20,000 times and generated 33 potential outcomes, including 9 incomplete outcomes - the outcome does not identify both participants. The most likely outcome is Alabama against Notre Dame (35.3%). Georgia vs. Notre Dame is second most likely (12.6%), and one week after we had decided that Texas A&M had knocked the SEC out of the title game it is a virtual certainty that the SEC will be represented (98%).

Alabama has the highest probability of playing for the MNC, followed by Notre Dame and Georgia. 

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