Last week, we got the ball rolling on a new feature with bare bones commentary. This week, we’ll be a little fuller in our presentation. What follows are the chances each FBS team has of making a New Years Six (NY6) Bowl Game. We have established a cutoff of 5%, after simulating the season 10,000 times and will embolden teams newly appearing in each segment of the article and increasing numbers, while italicizing decreasing numbers.
First off are the conferences races. Listed here are ONLY the teams guaranteed to win the conference if they win their remaining games.
63% Florida State (vs. Louisville 78%) NY6: (4609+1167)
34% Clemson (vs. Boston College 82%) NY6: (2472+2384)
<1% Syracuse (vs. Virginia 54%) NY6: (32+0)
Syracuse lost this week to lowly South Florida, but they stilt have a narrow, narrow inside track in the ACC Coastal, 1-0 in conference play and 0% chance of making it as an at-large team. Florida State and Clemson beat rivals Miami and Georgia Tech to boost their NY6 chances. The meeting between the two is still a month away.
36% Duke (bye) NY6: (1165+57)
31% Pittsburgh (vs. Georgia Tech 56%) NY6: (814+49)
19% UNC (Wake Forest 66%) NY6: (534+8)
UNC sat at home this week and saw their NY6 hopes dwindle. Pittsburgh scored a big conference victory against Virginia and moved into second place in the division. Duke likewise saw their chances dwindle with Pittsburgh’s win, and may even be passed on this their off week if the Rambling Wreck continue to live up to their name.
57% TCU (vs. Iowa State 90%) NY6: (5794+802)
22% OK State (bye) NY6: (2238+2086)
12% Baylor (vs. West Virginia 68%) NY6: (1253+2485)
6% Oklahoma (vs. Kansas State 59%) NY6: (665+1290)
<1% Iowa State (vs. TCU 9%) NY6: (12+0)
Oklahoma and Iowa State lost this week yet maintain the promise of a Big 12 Championship should they go undefeated, having lost to conference teams who already have 2 losses. TCU’s chance sky-rocket after a narrow come-from-behind victory over rival Kansas State. OK State benefitted from Oklahoma’s loss and a victory over West Virginia; Baylor stayed just about the same, beating lowly Kansas.
The Bears can score a big conference victory this week by avenging last years lone loss against West Virginia. Oklahoma too has a strong opportunity to rebound against Kansas State this week. TCU should eliminate Iowa State.
50% Ohio State (vs. Penn State 74%) NY6: (3799+4162)
27% Michigan State (vs. Michigan 65%) NY6: (1974+5002)
12% Penn State (vs. Ohio State 25%) NY6: (671+909)
10% Michigan (vs. Michigan State%) NY6: (632+2564)
With Ohio State and Michigan State still stumbling, Michigan and Penn State are picking up the slack. This week is reckoning week as the 4 schools play each other; which 2 will be left standing? Even though Michigan is not favored this week by the computer, the Wolverines still have a 25% chance of losing the division while still earning a spot in the Rose Bowl.
59% Iowa (vs. Northwestern 56%) NY6: (1797+1182)
21% Northwestern (vs. Iowa 43%) NY6: (601+823)
Purdue and Illinois both lost and, well, so did Northwestern, but the Wild Cats lost to Michigan in the other division. Northwestern and Iowa play each other this week to determine the sole leader of the division. The whole conference race will be whittled down to 2 teams.
69% Stanford (vs. UCLA 46%) NY6: (2896+1092)
20% California (bye) NY6: (734+572)
Coupled with Oregon’s loss to Washington State, California’s loss to Utah doesn’t look so bad. The Bears only lost 5 percentage points on the division. This is Stanford’s division to lose, but winning won’t come easy in the Pac-12 and the Cardinal are underdogs this very week to the other ursine UC team.
58% Utah (vs. Arizona State 67%) NY6: (3694+2590)
15% Arizona State (vs. Utah 32%) NY6: (836+436)
USC lost this week to Washington, opening the door to Arizona State, who plus Utah this week. If ASU wins, the Pac-12 will be the first major conference without an undefeated team. Utah accomplished a major hurdle defeating California, but many more hurdles remain.
94% Florida (vs. LSU 48%) NY6: (4360+2427)
Florida has all but sealed this division up. Georgia lost to Tennessee this week, leaving only Kentucky with a single conference loss (to Florida). The Gators are underdogs this week at LSU, but it is the subsequent game versus the Bulldogs that will carry greater divisional consequence.
42% LSU (vs. Florida 51%) NY6: (2458+3102)
24% Texas A&M (vs. Alabama 46%) NY6: (1301+2870)
12% Ole Miss (vs. Memphis 55%) NY6: (569+1306)
LSU increased its lead in the division by defeating South Carolina. Texas A&M had a bye and slid back a bit, but their game this week against Alabama will show the nation who they are. If LSU does lose to Florida, the division could be thrown into a tissy. Ole Miss also plays Memphis this week.
Teams controlling their fate within Go5 conferences
*34% Toledo (vs. Eastern Michigan 90%) Win MAC-37%
*29% Memphis (vs. Ole Miss 44%) Win AAC-26%
*22% Temple (vs. Central Florida 88%) Win AAC-30%
18% Boise State (vs. Utah State 66%) Win MW-41%
*14% Houston (vs. Tulane 77%) Win AAC-16%
14% Western Kentucky (vs. North Texas 91%) Win CUSA-36%
10% Marshall (vs. FAU 85%) Win CUSA-23%
6% Navy (bye)
5% Bowling Green
*controls NY6 destiny, possibility of multiple undefeated Go5 teams
Navy lost this week, but they still cling to a 6% chance of making the NY6. It is worth noting that qualification is determined by the computer before the Army-Navy game; there has been no word on if the actual committee would consider the chance of an Army victory here.
Toledo and the AAC could both finish undefeated; in such a case both would finish in the Top 10, with the American champion currently projected for a Playoff spot. Time will tell if 2 NY6 Busters emerge.
Teams with >5% NY6 chances while not in their conferences’ driver seats
37% Alabama (vs. Texas A&M 53%) Win SEC-11%
32% UCLA (vs. Stanford 53%) Win P12-11%
30% Notre Dame (vs. USC 59%)
8% Minnesota (vs. Nebraska 57%) Win BT-2%
7% Kentucky (vs. Auburn 49%) Win SEC-1%
6% USC (vs. Notre Dame 40%) Win P12-1%
5% Mississippi State (vs. Louisiana Tech 64%) Win SEC <1%
5% Arizona (vs. Colorado 74%) Win P12-1%
5% BYU (vs. Cincy 59%)
Arizona and BYU creep into the NY6 hunt this week, replacing Missouri, Kansas State, West Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin, who all lost. Alabama, UCLA, and Notre Dame are leading the list of teams who may not win their conference even if they go 11-1; they each play fellow NY6 contenders this week.