2009 College Football Bowl Projections From WhatIfSports.com image

2009 College Football Bowl Projections

NCAA Football Bowl Predictions and Final Standings
By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
August 31st, 2009

After previewing a 2009 week in college football each day for the last 15 days, we present final standings and bowl results. We did our best to slot teams based on their final regular season expected records and standings. With 68 teams in bowls and so many bowl ties to conferences like the SEC and ACC, we broadened bowl eligibility to include any team that finished .500 or above in expected or absolute record.

Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of August 1, 2009. A schedule of our 2009 College Football Preview, including links to other previews that have already been posted is located here.

Also, see below for details on how you can run your own college football program with Gridiron Dynasty.

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Each regular season FBS game is simulated 10,000 times. The Absolute Record is simply the total number of games in which a team is favored. The Expected Record, the more accurate approach, is the sum of the team's win probabilities from each game. The Expected Record accounts for the fact that some wins are less certain than others (a 50.1% win is different than a 99% win). Since the favored team does not win every game (otherwise, why would we watch?), the likelihood of an upset is important to take into account. We may ultimately say that six teams are favored to win all of their games, but we don't expect any to do so.

Also, since we are rounding, it is possible for a team to win a game more often, yet score the same or fewer points than the opponent on average. In those cases, for Absolute Records, we always take higher winning percentage. We are not predicting a tie or a win by an underdog. This is another reason why the expected records are more accurate, as the teams are so evenly matched, the game could easily go either way.

The inputs to the simulations are based on a rigorous analysis of each team that considers strength-of-schedule-adjusted team and player ratings from 2008. Once this step is complete, we make our modifications for 2009 based on returning starters (who, where and how many), expected progression of returning players in new roles, depth at each position and incoming recruits and transfers.

Games for each week are ordered by the conference of the home team and then winning percentage of the home team, with the score reading the visitors first followed by the home team. If a team is listed as having a 95% chance of winning, that means that it won at 95% or more of the 10,000 simulations. Every underdog has a chance to win. Along those lines, this may be relatively obvious for some examples (i.e. James Madison vs. Maryland), but non-FBS rosters and ratings are not maintained individually due to lack of data. In other words, right or wrong, all non-FBS teams are treated equally.


Today we preview bowl season. Please note the final season standings below. The ranking next to each team is its pre-season Power Ranking. Check back here tomorrow and throughout the season for our updated power rankings and actual weekly predictions.

BCS Championship Game: #1 Florida 31 vs. #2 Texas 28
Florida proved its dominance by blowing out its competition all year long, but ultimately gets a big test from #2 Texas in the BCS National Championship. Despite allowing 21 more points than their regular season average, the Gators' defense, primarily its secondary of Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkings, Ahmad Black and Major Wright, provides the difference in this game. Look for a late Florida interception of Colt McCoy to seal a close game. The scary thing for the rest of the country is that Florida's defense, which may be one of the best in the history of the game, only has two seniors. After returning all 11 starters from 2008, the Gators could conceivably return nine 2009 starters for 2010. Even if they lose a couple juniors to the draft, this team should again find itself atop our pre-season rankings next season as well. Florida wins 57.3% of the time and by an average score of 31-28. Bowl results are below. Interestingly, there three teams favored in all of their games through the bowls: Florida, USC and TCU. If the winner of the Oklahoma/Texas game slips up in the regular season, USC would be next in line to face Florida. The Gators would be 62% favorites against USC in a game that has an average score of 33 - 25.


2009 Bowl Results

Poinsettia Bowl
#39 Nevada 35 - #69 Colorado State 21 (Nevada wins 85%)

New Orleans Bowl
#44 East Carolina 23 - #59 Arkansas State 13 (ECU wins 66%)

Papajohns.com Bowl
#31 Rutgers 23 - #54 Vanderbilt 10 (Rutgers wins 75%)

New Mexico Bowl
#24 BYU 33 - #66 Fresno State 14 (BYU wins 87%)

Las Vegas Bowl
#19 TCU 21 - #33 Oregon State 17 (TCU wins 60%)

Hawaii Bowl
#46 Tulsa 28 - #58 Louisiana Tech 24 (Tulsa wins 63%)

Motor City Bowl
#56 Western Michigan 20 - #64 Northwestern 17 (Western Michigan wins 53%)

Holiday Bowl
#22 Oregon 31 - #25 Kansas 27 (Oregon wins 55%)

Texas Bowl
#53 Navy 27 - #83 Middle Tennessee State 10 (Navy wins 82%)

Champs Sports Bowl
#18 Florida State 26 - #17 Illinois 24 (Florida State wins 51%)

Emerald Bowl
#50 Stanford 24 - #52 Maryland 23 (Stanford wins 51%)

Meineke Car Care Bowl
#40 Pitt 20 - #51 NC State 17 (Pitt wins 64%)

Liberty Bowl
#21 Houston 42 - #82 Ball State 17 (Houston wins 91%)

Alamo Bowl
#32 Nebraska 28 - #42 Wisconsin 27 (Nebraska wins 51%)

Independence Bowl
#28 Texas Tech 31 - #60 Arizona State 17 (Texas Tech wins 80%)

Armed Forces Bowl
#43 Air Force 35 - #70 UTEP 21 (Air Force wins 79%)

Sun Bowl
#35 Arizona 20 - #38 South Florida 21 (Arizona wins 51%)

Humanitarian Bowl
#20 Utah 24 - #23 Boise State 21 (Utah wins 52%)

Music City Bowl
#34 Tennessee 17 - #30 Clemson 13 (Tennessee wins 53%)

Chick-fil-a Bowl
#14 Georgia Tech 31 - #49 Arkansas 14 (Georgia Tech wins 84%)

Insight Bowl
#27 Baylor 21 - #45 Michigan State 19 (Baylor wins 53%)

Outback Bowl
#16 Iowa 23 - #15 Georgia 20 (Iowa wins 51%)

Cotton Bowl
#6 Oklahoma State 42 - #8 Ole Miss 35 (Oklahoma State wins 58%)

Gator Bowl
#29 North Carolina 24 - #37 Missouri 20 (North Carolina wins 60%)

Capitol One Bowl
#7 LSU 26 - #13 Penn State 21 (LSU wins 65%)

International Bowl
#48 Cincinnati 30 - #80 Ohio 17 (Cincinnati wins 79%)

GMAC Bowl
#41 Miami (FL) 24 - #61 Central Michigan 10 (Miami wins 76%)

St. Petersburg Bowl
#62 Troy 21 - #77 Marshall 17 (Troy wins 65%)

Eagle Bank Bowl
#36 Southern Miss 40 - #87 Akron 14 (Southern Miss wins 75%)

Rose Bowl
#4 USC 35 - #9 Ohio State 10 (USC wins 93%)

Sugar Bowl
#5 Alabama 28 - #26 Notre Dame 7 (Alabama wins 92%)

Fiesta Bowl
#3 Oklahoma 34 - #10 Cal 17 (Oklahoma wins 91%)

Orange Bowl
#12 Virginia Tech 19 - #11 West Virginia 18 (Virginia Tech wins 51%)

BCS Championship
#1 Florida 31 - #2 Texas 28 (Florida wins 57%)


Final BCS Standings

ConferenceTeamAbs RecordExp Record
Atlantic CoastVirginia Tech13 - 111 - 3
Atlantic CoastGeorgia Tech11 - 210 - 3
Atlantic CoastFlorida State12 - 210 - 4
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina10 - 39 - 4
Atlantic CoastClemson8 - 58 - 5
Atlantic CoastMiami (FL)7 - 68 - 5
Atlantic CoastNorth Carolina State7 - 66 - 7
Atlantic CoastMaryland6 - 76 - 7
Atlantic CoastWake Forest3 - 95 - 7
Atlantic CoastDuke4 - 84 - 8
Atlantic CoastBoston College3 - 94 - 8
Atlantic CoastVirginia2 - 103 - 9
Big 12Oklahoma12 - 112 - 1
Big 12Texas13 - 112 - 2
Big 12Oklahoma State11 - 211 - 2
Big 12Nebraska7 - 69 - 4
Big 12Baylor10 - 38 - 5
Big 12Texas Tech8 - 58 - 5
Big 12Kansas9 - 58 - 6
Big 12Missouri6 - 77 - 6
Big 12Colorado5 - 74 - 8
Big 12Kansas State4 - 84 - 8
Big 12Iowa State2 - 103 - 9
Big 12Texas A&M1 - 113 - 9
Big EastWest Virginia12 - 111 - 2
Big EastRutgers12 - 110 - 3
Big EastPittsburgh10 - 39 - 4
Big EastSouth Florida8 - 58 - 5
Big EastCincinnati7 - 68 - 5
Big EastConnecticut4 - 85 - 7
Big EastLouisville3 - 94 - 8
Big EastSyracuse1 - 112 - 10
Big TenIowa11 - 211 - 2
Big TenOhio State11 - 210 - 3
Big TenPenn State11 - 210 - 3
Big TenIllinois10 - 310 - 3
Big TenWisconsin10 - 39 - 4
Big TenMichigan State7 - 67 - 6
Big TenNorthwestern6 - 76 - 7
Big TenMichigan4 - 85 - 7
Big TenMinnesota4 - 85 - 7
Big TenPurdue3 - 93 - 9
Big TenIndiana1 - 113 - 9
Conference USAHouston13 - 111 - 3
Conference USASouthern Miss11 - 311 - 3
Conference USAEast Carolina9 - 49 - 4
Conference USATulsa8 - 58 - 5
Conference USAUTEP7 - 66 - 7
Conference USAMarshall6 - 75 - 8
Conference USARice5 - 75 - 7
Conference USAUAB5 - 75 - 7
Conference USAMemphis2 - 104 - 8
Conference USASouthern Methodist3 - 93 - 9
Conference USATulane1 - 113 - 9
Conference USAUCF2 - 103 - 9
Independents (FBS)Notre Dame11 - 29 - 4
Independents (FBS)Navy10 - 49 - 5
Independents (FBS)Army4 - 84 - 8
Independents (FBS)Western Kentucky0 - 121 - 11
Mid-AmericanWestern Michigan13 - 111 - 3
Mid-AmericanCentral Michigan9 - 48 - 5
Mid-AmericanBall State8 - 57 - 6
Mid-AmericanOhio9 - 57 - 7
Mid-AmericanBowling Green8 - 46 - 6
Mid-AmericanAkron7 - 66 - 7
Mid-AmericanKent State5 - 76 - 6
Mid-AmericanNorthern Illinois5 - 76 - 6
Mid-AmericanTemple4 - 86 - 6
Mid-AmericanBuffalo5 - 75 - 7
Mid-AmericanToledo4 - 85 - 7
Mid-AmericanEastern Michigan0 - 122 - 10
Mid-AmericanMiami (OH)0 - 121 - 11
Mountain WestTCU13 - 011 - 2
Mountain WestUtah10 - 311 - 2
Mountain WestBrigham Young10 - 310 - 3
Mountain WestAir Force10 - 39 - 4
Mountain WestColorado State6 - 76 - 7
Mountain WestUNLV6 - 65 - 7
Mountain WestSan Diego State3 - 94 - 8
Mountain WestNew Mexico3 - 93 - 9
Mountain WestWyoming3 - 93 - 9
Pacific-10USC13 - 012 - 1
Pacific-10California11 - 210 - 3
Pacific-10Oregon11 - 29 - 4
Pacific-10Oregon State9 - 48 - 5
Pacific-10Arizona7 - 67 - 6
Pacific-10Stanford7 - 67 - 6
Pacific-10Arizona State5 - 86 - 7
Pacific-10UCLA4 - 84 - 8
Pacific-10Washington2 - 103 - 9
Pacific-10Washington State0 - 121 - 11
SoutheasternFlorida14 - 013 - 1
SoutheasternAlabama13 - 112 - 2
SoutheasternMississippi11 - 210 - 3
SoutheasternLSU10 - 310 - 3
SoutheasternTennessee9 - 49 - 4
SoutheasternGeorgia8 - 58 - 5
SoutheasternArkansas7 - 66 - 7
SoutheasternVanderbilt6 - 75 - 8
SoutheasternKentucky3 - 94 - 8
SoutheasternSouth Carolina3 - 94 - 8
SoutheasternAuburn3 - 93 - 9
SoutheasternMississippi State2 - 103 - 9
Sun BeltArkansas State10 - 38 - 5
Sun BeltTroy10 - 39 - 4
Sun BeltMiddle Tennessee8 - 67 - 7
Sun BeltFlorida International7 - 56 - 6
Sun BeltLouisiana-Lafayette6 - 66 - 6
Sun BeltFlorida Atlantic4 - 85 - 7
Sun BeltLouisiana-Monroe3 - 94 - 8
Sun BeltNorth Texas1 - 123 - 10
Western AthleticBoise State12 - 211 - 3
Western AthleticNevada11 - 210 - 3
Western AthleticLouisiana Tech8 - 58 - 5
Western AthleticFresno State6 - 76 - 7
Western AthleticUtah State6 - 65 - 7
Western AthleticHawaii4 - 95 - 8
Western AthleticSan Jose State4 - 84 - 8
Western AthleticNew Mexico State2 - 114 - 9
Western AthleticIdaho0 - 121 - 11

A schedule of our 2009 College Football Preview, including links to other previews that have already been posted is located here.

Ever wanted to be in be in charge of your own college football program? With Gridiron Dynasty from WhatIfSports.com, you have a chance to do just that. From recruiting and running practice to gameplanning and scheduling - it is all under your control. Start at DIII and try to work your way up to winning the DI championship at your favorite school.

Paul Bessire is the Product Manager of Content and Quantitative Analysis for WhatIfSports.com, a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in NCAA Matchup analysis and college football sim games. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!

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