Monday, December 30, 2013

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl 2013

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl pits the Navy Midshipmen (currently independent) against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders of Conference USA.  So let's take a look at each team during this season to see how each compares for this game using the College Football Complex Invasion Sport Production Model.  Below is a quick "tale of the tape" between the two schools, with the details after the table.
Armed Forces Bowl 2013

Blue Raiders Midshipmen
Wins 8 8
Losses 4 4
Total 46 68
Offense 42 77
Defense 60 51
SOS 78.00 79.33
Best 16 55
Worst 66 85

Navy finished the regular season with a win over rival Army to finish 8-4.  Navy's best game (win over highest ranked team using the model) was a 42-14 victory over #55 South Alabama and their worst performance (loss to lowest ranked team played) was a 34-38 defeat to #85 Notre Dame.  Overall, Navy played an "easier" strength of schedule as compared to the "league" on average, meaning that Navy's SOS was between one and two standard deviations greater than the "league's" average SOS.  Compared to the other teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Navy is slightly below average in overall production sitting at #68 in total production, with currently the #77 ranked offense.  On the bright side Navy has an above average defense, currently ranked as the #51 defense in the FBS.

Middle Tennessee also finished the regular season at 8-4 with their best game a 51-49 win over currently ranked #16 Marshall and their worst performance a 10-37 loss to currently ranked #66 BYU.  Like Navy, the Blue Raiders have played against an "easier" strength of schedule as compared to the "league" average, and has a nearly identical SOS to Navy's.  Looking at the Blue Raiders from the model's perspective, we see that Middle Tennessee currently is the #46 most productive team in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision, with currently the #42 ranked offense and #60 ranked defense - all above average.

Given Middle Tennessee's greater production, the model would "predict" that Middle Tennessee will be victorious over Navy in today's Armed Forces Bowl.

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