AccuScore has run more than 10,000 simulations for every bowl game for Yahoo! Sports, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions, opponent's abilities, roster moves, weather and more. Each game is simulated one play at a time and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages, player statistics and a variety of game-changing scenarios. Here's AccuScore.com's analysis of the Capital One Bowl.
Baseline: Florida 74%, Michigan 26%; Score: Florida 36, Michigan 25
This game could have been for the national title ... in 2007. This season both schools already have at least three losses, and now Michigan will have a new head coach. Rich Rodriguez will take as the new man in Ann Arbor, but Wolverines fans will have to wait one more game for the new era to begin.
Florida is winning nearly 75 percent of simulations led by Heisman winner Tim Tebow. He is throwing for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for 70 yards and another score. Playmaker Percy Harvin is rushing for 90 yards and 70 yards receiving per simulation.
Michigan’s seniors will be looking to shake off years of disappointment with a win to close out their careers. Quarterback Chad Henne is forecasted to throw for 180 yards and Mike Hart is rushing for 100 yards. The Wolverines however are still losing by 12 points on average per simulation.
What Michigan Defense Will Show Up?
It is no secret that Michigan struggles against the spread offense. The Wolverines started their season 0-2 against spread offenses and gave up 73 points and close to 1000 yards in those games. Appalachian State and Oregon exposed a slow Michigan defense that seemed lost for eight quarters against these formations.
Although Michigan looked much better in beating Illinois, Florida is winning three out of every four simulation based on Michigan’s documented struggles against the spread. But what if Michigan’s defense was able work out the kinks and play like they do against more traditional offenses?
AccuScore removed all the Michigan data generated against spread offenses and re-ran the simulations. We found and found Michigan’s win probabilities increased from 26 to 38 percent and they shaved five points off Florida’s average margin on victory.
On the flip side, if we only used data from Michigan’s games against spread offenses, their win probability is an anemic 13 percent with losses averaging 17 points per simulation.
|Capital One Bowl||Fla||Mich||Score|
|Baseline||74%||26%||Fla. 36, Mich. 25|
|Mich. vs. Non-Spread||62%||38%||Fla. 33, Mich. 27|
|Mich. vs. Spread||87%||13%||Fla. 40, Mich. 23|
Heisman Hangover for Tebow?
Winning the Heisman Trophy has proven to be a burden in recent bowl games. Since the turn of the century, Heisman winners are a 2-6 in the post-season and have lost the last two years. We were curious if the "Heisman Hangover" would extend to Tim Tebow who is projected to throw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, while adding an additional 71 yards and 1.3 touchdowns on the ground.
AccuScore tweaked the numbers to see just how poorly Tebow would have to play for Michigan to dominate the simulations. Tebow would have to have his worst game as a collegiate and throw for 130 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and a lost fumble. Only when decreasing his pass efficiency from 70 to 40 percent and cutting his production in half does Michigan’s win probability climb to 63 percent.
How Superhuman Does Mike Hart Have to Be to Win?
After being hampered by injury against Ohio State, Mike Hart should be back to his usual self in the Capital One Bowl. With more than a month to heal, Hart is forecasted to run for 100 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown. Despite these numbers, Michigan is only winning only 26 percent of our simulations. AccuScore was curious to find out what Hart needs to do to make Michigan a favorite and win over 50 percent of simulations.
Hart will need tremendous stamina and handle 90 percent of the rushing load. Next, he will need to average seven yards per carry and at least four yards per carry in the red zone. Hart will need to convert rushing touchdowns in any situation where there are three yards (or less) for a touchdown. These averages would lead to 218 yards on 30 carries with 2.1 touchdowns per simulation.
The 30 points Michigan would score under this scenario would not only keep the Florida offense off the field, but would cause their win probability to more than double to 55 percent.
For more information, visit www.accuscore.com.
- Tim Tebow
- Mike Hart