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Friday, November 2, 2007

Undefeated Probabilities

With three weeks remaining in the Big Ten season and four games left for most every other NCAA team, there are still five teams that have yet to lose a game. Ohio State, Boston College, Arizona State, Kansas, and Hawai'i all have their dreams of a perfect season still alive. We thought it would be fun to take a look at each teams remaining schedule and the probabilities of each team finishing the season with an undefeated record. The "win probabilities" for each game are taken from Mike Greenfield's Team Rankings website and are based on his computer rankings.

Ohio State Buckeyes:
(Remaining Games - Win Probability)
vs Wisconsin - 89.2%
vs Illinois - 87.0 %
at Michigan - 67.7%
Probability of Undefeated Season = 52.5%

Kansas Jayhawks
vs Nebraska - 94.1%
at Oklahoma State - 73.9%
vs Iowa State - 98.8 %
vs Missouri - 70.6 %
Probability of Undefeated Season = 48.5%

Boston College Eagles
vs Florida State - 79.4%
at Maryland - 76.6%
at Clemson - 63.8%
vs Miami (Fl) - 83.3%
Probability of Undefeated Season = 32.2%

Arizona State Sun Devils
at Oregon - 35.2%
at UCLA - 76.6%
vs USC - 74.9%
vs Arizona - 88.5%
Probability of Undefeated Season = 17.9%

Hawai'i Warriors
vs Fresno State - 69.7%
at Nevada - 78.0%
vs Boise State - 50.6%
vs Washington - 62.2%
Probability of Undefeated Season = 17.1%

Obviously Ohio State has the best chance to run the table not necessarily because they are rated the highest by the computers, but mostly because OSU has the fewest games remaining. Arizona State has the toughest remaining schedule of these five teams, and Kansas has the weakest. It is somewhat surprising to see that the Jayhawks have nearly a 50/50 chance to finish the season unblemished. Of course the nightmare scenario for the BCS would be to have more than 2 undefeated teams (not including Hawai'i) when all the games have been played. However, no matter how the rest of the season plays out one thing is for certain. Some team(s) will cry foul with the current system and the demand for some type of playoff system will probably be at an all time high.