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The Binion Index: After the Bowls

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Postseason Ratings, Whose Rating Changed Most, and National Championship Prediction

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl Classic-Cincinnati at Alabama Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Binion Index Bowl Performance

When we first shared bowl picks from TBI, we mentioned the need during bowl season to be particularly attuned to opt-outs and other significant roster shifts. Those changes led me to make a manual adjustment to the picks for 6 bowl games:

  • Dropping Oregon by 14 points, as they were missing up to 31 players by the day of the game
  • Dropping Pitt by 6 points because of the absence of Kenny Pickett
  • Dropping Arizona State by 6 points because of cluster opt outs at RB and CB
  • Dropping Rutgers by 6 points because of limited practice and travel difficulties
  • Dropping Ohio State by 4 points because of cluster opt out at WR
  • Dropping LSU by 10 points because of having only 38 scholarship players available

In those 6 games, we ended up going 5-1 but would have been 1-5 without the adjustments. The actual number of points subtracted was definitely more art than science, and there was certainly luck involved in how well those picks ended up turning out. It does show the importance of paying careful attention to roster updates if you plan to make picks on bowl games.

With those adjustments included, TBI had a masterful bowl season, going 24-13 (65%) with an absolute error of just 12.1 points. That brings us to 413-343-9 (54.6%) with an absolute error of 13.8 points for the season.

Binion Index Post Bowls

After the conclusion of every game except for the CFP Championship, here’s where things stand across the national landscape:

The Binion Index Post Bowls

Ranking Team Postseason
Ranking Team Postseason
1 Georgia 49.07
2 Alabama 36.99
3 Ohio State 34.85
4 Cincinnati 28.81
5 Michigan 25.97
6 Clemson 20.48
7 Arkansas 20.08
8 Utah 19.57
9 Baylor 19.56
10 Oklahoma State 19.04
11 Texas A&M 18.91
12 Oregon 18.83
13 Wisconsin 18.24
14 Florida 17.73
15 Pittsburgh 17.56
16 UAB 17.48
17 Arizona State 17.31
18 Nebraska 17.05
19 Notre Dame 16.77
20 Tennessee 15.57
21 Iowa State 15.15
22 NC State 15
23 Western Michigan 14.99
24 Coastal Carolina 14.96
25 Mississippi State 14.86
26 Houston 14.5
27 Oklahoma 14.28
28 Kentucky 14.25
29 Michigan State 14.25
30 Penn State 13.82
31 Ole Miss 13.72
32 Appalachian State 13.16
33 Purdue 12.51
34 Minnesota 12.41
35 Western Kentucky 12.34
36 Kansas State 12.07
37 Auburn 10.96
38 Maryland 9.71
39 Fresno State 9.06
40 BYU 8.8
41 Toledo 7.68
42 Oregon State 7.52
43 UCLA 7.45
44 Louisville 7.31
45 UCF 6.99
46 Liberty 6.95
47 SMU 6.73
48 LSU 6.04
49 Florida State 5.91
50 Iowa 5.83
51 Texas 5.29
52 North Carolina 5.07
53 Miami 4.78
54 Army 4.71
55 Wake Forest 4.08
56 Louisiana 3.64
57 West Virginia 3.56
58 South Carolina 3.46
59 TCU 3.22
60 Georgia State 2.99
61 Tulsa 2.75
62 Texas Tech 2.66
63 Virginia 2.62
64 Air Force 1.74
65 Washington State 1.62
66 Boise State 1.15
67 Miami (OH) 0.48
68 Syracuse 0.21
69 Utah State -0.23
70 San Diego State -0.59
71 UTEP -1.66
72 California -2.22
73 UT San Antonio -2.33
74 Central Michigan -2.51
75 Missouri -2.54
76 Boston College -2.93
77 Marshall -3.39
78 Illinois -3.53
79 Colorado State -3.66
80 Nevada -3.74
81 Washington -4.38
82 East Carolina -4.44
83 Virginia Tech -5.26
84 Kent State -6.03
85 Troy -6.24
86 Memphis -6.3
87 Tulane -6.32
88 Wyoming -6.76
89 Old Dominion -6.86
90 USC -7.18
91 Georgia Tech -7.35
92 Florida Atlantic -7.46
93 Hawai'i -8.28
94 Northern Illinois -9.27
95 South Alabama -9.56
96 Rutgers -9.75
97 Indiana -11.02
98 North Texas -11.32
99 Northwestern -11.33
100 Middle Tennessee -11.4
101 Louisiana Tech -12.61
102 San José State -12.66
103 Arizona -12.84
104 Ohio -13.76
105 Navy -13.93
106 Colorado -15.27
107 Eastern Michigan -15.43
108 South Florida -17.35
109 Rice -17.63
110 Stanford -18.75
111 Bowling Green -18.79
112 Ball State -18.81
113 Duke -19.16
114 Southern Mississippi -19.25
115 Georgia Southern -19.72
116 Temple -20.58
117 UNLV -20.62
118 Charlotte -21.93
119 Buffalo -22.84
120 Louisiana Monroe -23.59
121 Vanderbilt -24.41
122 Florida International -25.02
123 Texas State -25.62
124 Arkansas State -26.13
125 Akron -26.65
126 Kansas -27.87
127 New Mexico State -30.02
128 New Mexico -33.88
129 Connecticut -35.92
130 UMass -36.2

Season-Long Ratings Changes

I thought another interesting exercise would be to examine whose rating changed most (in both directions) over the course of the season. This provides some helpful data for seeing who impressed and who disappointed most over the course of the season.

The Binion Index Rating Changes

Team 2021 Preseason Rating Postseason Season Change
Team 2021 Preseason Rating Postseason Season Change
Georgia 23.84 49.07 25.23
Cincinnati 5.57 28.81 23.24
Arkansas -2.75 20.08 22.83
Baylor 0.4 19.56 19.16
UTEP -19.77 -1.66 18.11
Coastal Carolina -3.02 14.96 17.98
Tennessee -1.45 15.57 17.02
Western Kentucky -4.06 12.34 16.4
Western Michigan -0.98 14.99 15.97
Pittsburgh 2.22 17.56 15.34
Nebraska 1.8 17.05 15.25
Kansas State -3.18 12.07 15.25
Air Force -13.36 1.74 15.1
Oregon State -6.93 7.52 14.45
Army -9.37 4.71 14.08
Liberty -6.84 6.95 13.79
UAB 3.76 17.48 13.72
Houston 1.62 14.5 12.88
Kentucky 1.67 14.25 12.58
Purdue 0.04 12.51 12.47
Oklahoma State 6.75 19.04 12.29
Ohio State 22.7 34.85 12.15
Maryland -2.25 9.71 11.96
Michigan 14.42 25.97 11.55
Old Dominion -18.01 -6.86 11.15
Michigan State 3.44 14.25 10.81
BYU -1.78 8.8 10.58
NC State 4.74 15 10.26
Georgia State -6.23 2.99 9.22
Arizona State 8.71 17.31 8.6
Tulsa -5.3 2.75 8.05
Louisville -0.58 7.31 7.89
Texas A&M 11.03 18.91 7.88
Minnesota 4.82 12.41 7.59
Ole Miss 6.61 13.72 7.11
SMU -0.3 6.73 7.03
Iowa State 8.57 15.15 6.58
Mississippi State 8.39 14.86 6.47
South Alabama -15.93 -9.56 6.37
East Carolina -10.71 -4.44 6.27
Utah 13.47 19.57 6.1
Syracuse -5.49 0.21 5.7
Toledo 2.15 7.68 5.53
Florida 12.23 17.73 5.5
Miami (OH) -5.01 0.48 5.49
Kent State -11.23 -6.03 5.2
Appalachian State 8.03 13.16 5.13
Oregon 13.71 18.83 5.12
Central Michigan -7.56 -2.51 5.05
Alabama 31.97 36.99 5.02
South Carolina -0.86 3.46 4.32
UCLA 3.19 7.45 4.26
Illinois -7.53 -3.53 4
Navy -16.94 -13.93 3.01
Florida State 3.26 5.91 2.65
Fresno State 6.41 9.06 2.65
UT San Antonio -4.94 -2.33 2.61
Bowling Green -21.27 -18.79 2.48
Wisconsin 15.81 18.24 2.43
Texas Tech 0.27 2.66 2.39
Rutgers -11.92 -9.75 2.17
Wake Forest 2.1 4.08 1.98
Virginia 0.88 2.62 1.74
Utah State -1.88 -0.23 1.65
Louisiana 2.36 3.64 1.28
West Virginia 2.32 3.56 1.24
Notre Dame 15.59 16.77 1.18
Colorado State -3.84 -3.66 0.18
San Diego State -0.66 -0.59 0.07
Rice -17.37 -17.63 -0.26
Iowa 6.43 5.83 -0.6
Northern Illinois -8.56 -9.27 -0.71
Nevada -2.61 -3.74 -1.13
San José State -11.22 -12.66 -1.44
Penn State 15.58 13.82 -1.76
Auburn 13.22 10.96 -2.26
Texas 7.81 5.29 -2.52
Washington State 4.3 1.62 -2.68
Marshall -0.4 -3.39 -2.99
Hawai'i -4.87 -8.28 -3.41
California 1.88 -2.22 -4.1
North Carolina 9.2 5.07 -4.13
Wyoming -2.33 -6.76 -4.43
New Mexico State -25.5 -30.02 -4.52
Boston College 1.88 -2.93 -4.81
TCU 8.2 3.22 -4.98
UCF 12.74 6.99 -5.75
Missouri 3.95 -2.54 -6.49
Northwestern -4.43 -11.33 -6.9
Boise State 8.62 1.15 -7.47
Georgia Tech 0.27 -7.35 -7.62
Tulane 1.45 -6.32 -7.77
UNLV -12.81 -20.62 -7.81
Akron -18.29 -26.65 -8.36
Virginia Tech 3.56 -5.26 -8.82
Middle Tennessee -2.36 -11.4 -9.04
Connecticut -26.81 -35.92 -9.11
Oklahoma 23.4 14.28 -9.12
Louisiana Monroe -14.35 -23.59 -9.24
North Texas -1.82 -11.32 -9.5
Troy 3.33 -6.24 -9.57
Ball State -8.96 -18.81 -9.85
Miami 15.15 4.78 -10.37
Charlotte -11.51 -21.93 -10.42
Clemson 31.13 20.48 -10.65
Louisiana Tech -1.73 -12.61 -10.88
LSU 17.42 6.04 -11.38
UMass -24.56 -36.2 -11.64
Kansas -16.09 -27.87 -11.78
Arizona -1 -12.84 -11.84
Eastern Michigan -3.3 -15.43 -12.13
Memphis 6.09 -6.3 -12.39
Georgia Southern -7.16 -19.72 -12.56
Colorado -2.19 -15.27 -13.08
Ohio 0.5 -13.76 -14.26
Texas State -11.23 -25.62 -14.39
Florida Atlantic 7.73 -7.46 -15.19
Temple -5.31 -20.58 -15.27
Duke -3.87 -19.16 -15.29
Indiana 4.42 -11.02 -15.44
Southern Mississippi -1.64 -19.25 -17.61
New Mexico -16.18 -33.88 -17.7
Stanford -0.64 -18.75 -18.11
Vanderbilt -5.94 -24.41 -18.47
South Florida 1.31 -17.35 -18.66
USC 12.19 -7.18 -19.37
Buffalo -3.37 -22.84 -19.47
Washington 16.94 -4.38 -21.32
Florida International -2.06 -25.02 -22.96
Arkansas State -1.13 -26.13 -25

National Championship Prediction

We have one game left before the long off-season officially commences. As you all know, it’s an All-SEC Championship Game rematch. Kirby Smart is desperate to get the ever-growing Saban monster off of his back, as he has now lost his first 4 appearances against his old mentor.

Vegas has settled in with UGA favored by 3, and the betting vig indicates that more handle is coming in on Alabama so far. After another incredibly dominant performance in the Rose Bowl, Georgia remains in a class by itself in The Binion Index.

Vegas: UGA by 3

TBI Pick: UGA by 12

Roll Tide.