National Championship Win Probability

Updating for game results and injuries, I’ve run my model to generate a win probability for the National Championship game on Monday between Alabama and Clemson:

Projected winner Opponent  Win Prob.
Alabama Clemson 68.37%

This equates to a line of Alabama -7 (as of this writing the Las Vegas consensus line is Alabama -6.5).

The advantage for Alabama is largely from their roster value; coaching efficiency slightly favors Clemson in a weighted average over the past 4 seasons, despite an edge to Alabama for the 2016 season (coaching efficiency measures how well teams fare compared to expectations based on roster value differences. The higher mark for Clemson here implies that Clemson has performed better than expected against their opponents over the last 4 years when isolated to roster values compared to Alabama’s expectations. The edge in 2016 for Alabama is largely due to Clemson’s loss to a less talented roster compared to no losses for Alabama). Alabama’s season performance rates a little higher than Clemson’s (again, due to Clemson’s loss), and there is no tangible home-field advantage for either team.

What does this all mean?

Alabama is more likely to win, but it would not be shocking to see Clemson come out on top. For reference, my model had the line at Alabama – 16.5 against Washington (Alabama won by 17, covering by 0.5; nice), and Clemson +3 against Ohio State (Clemson won by 31, covering 34; not so nice).

Throughout the season Alabama rarely covered the spread my model set for them (only 4 out of 14), but the average spread was about -34 so that doesn’t really imply under-performance. In fact, this is the first spread my model has for Alabama that is not double digits (the next smallest was -14 against LSU).

Clemson followed a strikingly similar path, also covering only 4 of 14 with an average spread of about -31. My model had Clemson favored by double digits in all but two games: -7 against Florida State and +3 last week against Ohio State.

A few factors to consider in this game that are not accounted for in my model:

  • Lane Kiffin is no longer running the offense for Alabama. This will be Steve Sarkisian’s first time running the show for Bama; quite a stage for a debut. Perhaps Sark has been more involved behind the scenes all year? It’s hard to imagine Saban wasn’t prepared for this scenario.
  • Will Alabama be a little complacent? Clemson fell just short in this game last year, and the revenge-seeking emotional edge could be enough to overcome the slight talent disparity.
  • Going 15-0 is really hard to do. Clemson entered this game last year at 14-0 while Alabama was 13-1. In 2014, Florida State entered the playoff at 13-0 and was obliterated by a 1-loss Oregon team. Sometimes the experience of a loss helps later in the season. Small sample size caveats aside, is this Alabama team led by a freshman QB really going to be the first to go 15-0?

Win Probabilities Bowl Games

National championship game probability will be posted after teams are determined.

Projected winner Opponent  Win Prob.
Utah Indiana 90.14%
Alabama Washington 85.68%
LSU Louisville 84.93%
Mississippi State Miami OH 83.93%
Oklahoma Auburn 80.05%
Boise State Baylor 77.06%
Air Force South Alabama 75.24%
Tulsa Central Michigan 74.55%
Oklahoma State Colorado 74.38%
Pitt Northwestern 73.89%
Western Kentucky Memphis 73.49%
Florida Iowa 72.37%
Temple Wake Forest 72.02%
Old Dominion Eastern Michigan 71.19%
Tennessee Nebraska 70.50%
Washington State Minnesota 70.01%
Arkansas State Central Florida 69.29%
South Florida South Carolina 69.06%
Troy Ohio 67.71%
North Texas Army West Point 66.53%
USC Penn State 65.15%
Stanford North Carolina 63.71%
Michigan Florida State 63.63%
Middle Tennessee Hawaii 63.31%
Miami FL West Virginia 62.39%
BYU Wyoming 62.39%
Texas A&M Kansas State 60.24%
Maryland Boston College 58.91%
Ohio State Clemson 58.25%
Appalachian State Toledo 57.99%
Southern Miss Louisiana-Lafayette 57.36%
Colorado State Idaho 57.13%
Houston San Diego State 56.44%
Wisconsin Western Michigan 54.46%
New Mexico UTSA 54.03%
Kentucky Georgia Tech 53.36%
TCU Georgia 52.67%
Navy Louisiana Tech 52.65%
Virginia Tech Arkansas 51.52%
North Carolina State Vanderbilt 50.55%

Win Probabilities Week 13

Projected winner Opponent  Win Prob.
Stanford Rice 99.37%
Alabama Auburn 97.81%
Clemson South Carolina 97.79%
Virginia Tech Virginia 97.10%
Kansas State Kansas 95.72%
Pitt Syracuse 93.36%
Penn State Michigan State 91.95%
Miami FL Duke 91.75%
BYU Utah State 91.26%
USC Notre Dame 90.68%
Northwestern Illinois 89.19%
Georgia Georgia Tech 88.67%
Temple East Carolina 87.18%
Louisville Kentucky 86.95%
San Diego State Colorado State 86.66%
Appalachian State New Mexico State 86.06%
Tennessee Vanderbilt 86.03%
Hawaii Massachusetts 86.00%
Old Dominion Florida International 86.00%
Maryland Rutgers 85.94%
North Carolina North Carolina State 84.39%
Wisconsin Minnesota 83.24%
Middle Tennessee Florida Atlantic 82.89%
Western Kentucky Marshall 82.55%
Oregon Oregon State 82.52%
Troy Texas State 81.08%
Ole Miss Mississippi State 79.24%
Arkansas Missouri 79.21%
Ohio State Michigan 79.21%
Florida State Florida 79.10%
Indiana Purdue 78.87%
South Florida Central Florida 77.92%
Bowling Green Buffalo 76.85%
West Virginia Iowa State 75.65%
Tulsa Cincinnati 75.47%
Wake Forest Boston College 73.89%
Houston Memphis 73.35%
UTSA Charlotte 73.26%
Baylor Texas Tech 72.77%
Boise State Air Force 68.57%
UCLA California 67.57%
Arkansas State Louisiana-Lafayette 67.57%
Ohio Akron 67.51%
Northern Illinois Kent State 67.14%
Idaho South Alabama 65.87%
Washington Washington State 65.78%
Western Michigan Toledo 64.15%
Utah Colorado 63.71%
Connecticut Tulane 63.54%
Navy SMU 62.48%
Texas TCU 62.13%
Louisiana Tech Southern Miss 60.81%
Arizona State Arizona 60.64%
Central Michigan Eastern Michigan 59.46%
Miami OH Ball State 58.97%
UNLV Nevada 58.57%
North Texas UTEP 57.33%
Texas A&M LSU 56.56%
San Jose State Fresno State 56.38%
New Mexico Wyoming 56.38%
Nebraska Iowa 53.68%

Win Probabilities Week 12

Projected winner Opponent  Win Prob.
Alabama Chattanooga                 0.9997
Auburn Alabama A&M                 0.9983
North Carolina Citadel                 0.9957
Michigan Indiana                 0.9879
Texas A&M UTSA                 0.9871
South Carolina Western Carolina                 0.9862
Western Michigan Buffalo                 0.9850
Georgia Louisiana-Lafayette                 0.9833
Kentucky Austin Peay                 0.9756
BYU Massachusetts                 0.9724
Penn State Rutgers                 0.9712
Clemson Wake Forest                 0.9689
Tennessee Missouri                 0.9661
Ohio State Michigan State                 0.9638
Boise State UNLV                 0.9595
Toledo Ball State                 0.9468
Florida State Syracuse                 0.9468
Texas Kansas                 0.9336
Appalachian State Louisiana-Monroe                 0.9066
Georgia Tech Virginia                 0.9043
Pitt Duke                 0.8884
LSU Florida                 0.8838
Wisconsin Purdue                 0.8698
Utah Oregon                 0.8649
Washington Arizona State                 0.8643
Nebraska Maryland                 0.8470
Boston College Connecticut                 0.8108
Iowa Illinois                 0.7904
San Diego State Wyoming                 0.7662
Navy East Carolina                 0.7660
Army West Point Morgan State                 0.7599
Stanford California                 0.7547
Temple Tulane                 0.7513
Oklahoma West Virginia                 0.7470
Central Florida Tulsa                 0.7349
Old Dominion Florida Atlantic                 0.7277
Baylor Kansas State                 0.7208
New Mexico State Texas State                 0.7128
Ole Miss Vanderbilt                 0.7050
Rice UTEP                 0.6774
Louisville Houston                 0.6455
South Florida SMU                 0.6429
Colorado State New Mexico                 0.6265
Northern Illinois Eastern Michigan                 0.6156
Southern Miss North Texas                 0.6121
USC UCLA                 0.6116
Troy Arkansas State                 0.6081
Central Michigan Ohio                 0.6024
Nevada Utah State                 0.5957
Minnesota Northwestern                 0.5920
Georgia State Georgia Southern                 0.5903
Arizona Oregon State                 0.5880
Cincinnati Memphis                 0.5819
Notre Dame Virginia Tech                 0.5805
Bowling Green Kent State                 0.5799
Miami FL North Carolina State                 0.5788
Florida International Marshall                 0.5730
Arkansas Mississippi State                 0.5687
Oklahoma State TCU                 0.5552
Air Force San Jose State                 0.5480
Hawaii Fresno State                 0.5460
Middle Tennessee Charlotte                 0.5339
Colorado Washington State                 0.5190
Texas Tech Iowa State                 0.5132

Win Probabilities Week 11

Projected winner Opponent  Win Prob.
Alabama Mississippi State                 0.9968
BYU Southern Utah                 0.9825
Florida State Boston College                 0.9810
Ohio State Maryland                 0.9810
Clemson Pitt                 0.9793
Wisconsin Illinois                 0.9569
Notre Dame Army West Point                 0.9508
UCLA Oregon State                 0.9491
Michigan Iowa                 0.9482
Houston Tulane                 0.9474
Oklahoma State Texas Tech                 0.9298
Tennessee Kentucky                 0.9227
Michigan State Rutgers                 0.9066
Louisville Wake Forest                 0.9011
Western Kentucky North Texas                 0.8956
Western Michigan Kent State                 0.8942
Arkansas State New Mexico State                 0.8838
Oklahoma Baylor                 0.8781
Texas A&M Ole Miss                 0.8712
Penn State Indiana                 0.8606
Akron Bowling Green                 0.8600
Miami FL Virginia                 0.8600
Virginia Tech Georgia Tech                 0.8499
North Carolina Duke                 0.8456
Louisiana Tech UTSA                 0.8283
San Diego State Nevada                 0.8252
Boise State Hawaii                 0.8140
Florida South Carolina                 0.8028
Washington State California                 0.7685
Georgia Southern Louisiana-Lafayette                 0.7665
Nebraska Minnesota                 0.7625
Navy Tulsa                 0.7481
Charlotte Rice                 0.7237
Texas West Virginia                 0.7177
Central Florida Cincinnati                 0.6967
Washington USC                 0.6918
Ball State Eastern Michigan                 0.6673
LSU Arkansas                 0.6668
Georgia State Louisiana-Monroe                 0.6383
Northwestern Purdue                 0.6268
Air Force Colorado State                 0.6061
Utah Arizona State                 0.6038
Idaho Texas State                 0.6024
Appalachian State Troy                 0.6024
Florida Atlantic UTEP                 0.5923
Middle Tennessee Marshall                 0.5923
Toledo Northern Illinois                 0.5848
Old Dominion Southern Miss                 0.5840
East Carolina SMU                 0.5819
Wyoming UNLV                 0.5819
Colorado Arizona                 0.5817
Vanderbilt Missouri                 0.5768
Utah State New Mexico                 0.5713
North Carolina State Syracuse                 0.5647
South Florida Memphis                 0.5604
Stanford Oregon                 0.5449
Kansas Iowa State                 0.5164
Buffalo Miami OH                 0.5155
Auburn Georgia                 0.5012

Win probabilities Week 10

Win probabilities for Week 10

Projected winner Opponent  Win Prob.
Tennessee Tennessee Tech                 0.9988
Clemson Syracuse                 0.9968
Michigan Maryland                 0.9885
Stanford Oregon State                 0.9712
Appalachian State Texas State                 0.9698
Ohio State Nebraska                 0.9681
West Virginia Kansas                 0.9638
Oklahoma Iowa State                 0.9615
Troy Massachusetts                 0.9333
Boise State San Jose State                 0.9319
Auburn Vanderbilt                 0.9290
Western Kentucky Florida International                 0.9258
Ole Miss Georgia Southern                 0.9195
Northern Illinois Bowling Green                 0.9186
San Diego State Hawaii                 0.9094
Penn State Iowa                 0.9060
Southern Miss Charlotte                 0.8971
Texas A&M Mississippi State                 0.8807
Ohio Buffalo                 0.8580
South Carolina Missouri                 0.8560
Louisville Boston College                 0.8407
Michigan State Illinois                 0.8401
Minnesota Purdue                 0.8341
Colorado State Fresno State                 0.8318
North Carolina Georgia Tech                 0.8306
Old Dominion Marshall                 0.8292
Florida State North Carolina State                 0.8283
Wake Forest Virginia                 0.8194
Virginia Tech Duke                 0.8166
Washington State Arizona                 0.8166
Western Michigan Ball State                 0.8140
Washington California                 0.8134
Baylor TCU                 0.7924
Notre Dame Navy                 0.7812
USC Oregon                 0.7694
UTEP Houston Baptist                 0.7637
Alabama LSU                 0.7599
Rice Florida Atlantic                 0.7599
Middle Tennessee UTSA                 0.7585
Tulsa East Carolina                 0.7251
Central Michigan Miami OH                 0.7021
Texas Texas Tech                 0.7018
Wyoming Utah State                 0.6915
Louisiana Tech North Texas                 0.6889
Temple Connecticut                 0.6740
Oklahoma State Kansas State                 0.6696
Toledo Akron                 0.6682
Arkansas State Georgia State                 0.6604
Indiana Rutgers                 0.6561
Georgia Kentucky                 0.6420
New Mexico Nevada                 0.6389
Miami FL Pitt                 0.6219
South Alabama Louisiana-Monroe                 0.6147
Air Force Army West Point                 0.6107
Louisiana-Lafayette Idaho                 0.6098
Wisconsin Northwestern                 0.5903
Florida Arkansas                 0.5805
UCLA Colorado                 0.5644
SMU Memphis                 0.5451
BYU Cincinnati                 0.5150

Week 9 Win Probabilities

Win probabilities for Week 9

Projected winner Opponent  Win Prob.
Texas A&M New Mexico State                 0.9986
Oklahoma Kansas                 0.9980
Ohio State Northwestern                 0.9859
Mississippi State Samford                 0.9787
Wake Forest Army West Point                 0.9264
Penn State Purdue                 0.9209
Michigan Michigan State                 0.9068
Toledo Ohio                 0.9060
Louisville Virginia                 0.8867
Arkansas State Louisiana-Monroe                 0.8847
Louisiana Tech Rice                 0.8838
Central Michigan Kent State                 0.8761
Tennessee South Carolina                 0.8709
TCU Texas Tech                 0.8695
Southern Miss Marshall                 0.8623
Western Kentucky Florida Atlantic                 0.8603
USC California                 0.8594
Boise State Wyoming                 0.8430
North Carolina State Boston College                 0.8401
Akron Buffalo                 0.8140
Eastern Michigan Miami OH                 0.8036
San Diego State Utah State                 0.7844
Stanford Arizona                 0.7818
Oklahoma State West Virginia                 0.7622
Kansas State Iowa State                 0.7576
Georgia Tech Duke                 0.7550
Memphis Tulsa                 0.7490
Houston Central Florida                 0.7421
Washington State Oregon State                 0.7407
Hawaii New Mexico                 0.7237
Baylor Texas                 0.7085
Old Dominion UTEP                 0.6987
Minnesota Illinois                 0.6935
San Jose State UNLV                 0.6806
South Alabama Georgia State                 0.6806
Clemson Florida State                 0.6673
East Carolina Connecticut                 0.6573
Massachusetts Wagner                 0.6429
Oregon Arizona State                 0.6363
Middle Tennessee Florida International                 0.6208
Georgia Florida                 0.6193
Utah Washington                 0.6182
South Florida Navy                 0.6153
Appalachian State Georgia Southern                 0.6110
Pitt Virginia Tech                 0.6029
Air Force Fresno State                 0.6024
Temple Cincinnati                 0.5699
Wisconsin Nebraska                 0.5670
Kentucky Missouri                 0.5604
Notre Dame Miami FL                 0.5454
Tulane SMU                 0.5408
Auburn Ole Miss                 0.5158
Indiana Maryland                 0.5141
UTSA North Texas                 0.5089