|Liberty Bowl 2013|
The Rice Owls finished the regular season at 10-3 playing against an "average" strength of schedule. Rice's best game this season was 41-24 victory over currently ranked #16 Marshall in the Conference USA championship game and their worst game was a 16-28 loss to currently ranked #34 North Texas. So of their three losses, all were to teams in the Complex Invasion College Football Production Model top 40. In terms of overall production the Owls finished the regular season as the #33 most productive team in the Football Bowl Subdivision with the #40 ranked offense and the #34 ranked defense. Overall, an excellent showing for the Owls this season.
Mississippi State finished the regular season at 6-6 playing against the second most difficult strength of schedule this season. The Bulldogs SOS was "much tougher" than the "league" average, meaning that their SOS was more than two standard deviations lower than the league average. The Bulldogs best game was a victory over currently ranked #10 Bowling Green and their worst game was a loss to currently ranked #25 Auburn. Think about that. The Bulldogs have played seven team that are currently ranked in the top 25 of the Complex Invasion College Football Production Model. In terms of on-field production, the Bulldogs are currently ranked as the #47 most productive team in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision with the currently ranked #58 offense and #35 ranked defense.
Given that Rice is ranked higher than Mississippi State, the model "predicts" that Rice will be victorious in the Liberty Bowl.