With the conclusion of Bowl Season last night and the Alabama Crimson Tide’s victory over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game, the game article portion of the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational has finally come to a close. That said, the project continues on this week, and we will be sharing multiple articles recounting all of the statistical data that has been collected over the 35 Bowl Games played over the past month.
The first matter of business, however, is to analyze the “game within a game” here at the Bowl Blitz Invitational; each game is given a “Game Score” based on how close the NCAA Football 13 playthrough score came to the actual real-life result. The person responsible for playing the game with the lowest “Game Score”—the lower the score, the closer the game came to matching the real-life final—is crowned “Bowl Blitz Invitational Champion,” a largely ceremonial title to recognize whoever managed to most closely replicate reality in the wholly unscientific process of playing a video game.
Last year, Eric Veneziano became the inaugural “Bowl Blitz Invitational Champion” with a Gator Bowl result that earned a “Game Score” of 2; read on to find out who emerged victorious this year!
Before we get to that, however, let’s take a look at how well the game playthroughs predicted the real-life results of the Bowl Games:
Considering that the goal of the Bowl Blitz Invitational is simply to play each game—not necessarily to make a solid, scientific prediction of who would win—the 60% success rate for this year’s project is pretty impressive. Of course, some games were a significant “swing and a miss”—the BCS National Championship Game perhaps chief amongst them—but the closeness to reality this year was an improvement on the results of last year’s project.
Next, let’s take a look at the closest individual team results:
Out of 70 team score comparisons, there were three perfect matches: Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl, Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, and Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. There were also three teams that were 1 point off: BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl, Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. In all, 31 of the 70 teams had scores in the NCAA Football 13 playthrough within 10 points of the real-life result.
On the other end of the spectrum, here were the furthest off team results:
The average number of points off was 13.71 points per team; the bottom ten results here are far above that number. Arizona State in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl was furthest off, at 43 points; Louisiana-Monroe in the Independence Bowl wasn’t much closer, sitting at 37 points. San Diego State University in the Poinsettia Bowl and Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl rounded off the teams whose score differential was above 30 points.
Keeping on the same theme, here are the combined “Game Score” totals for Bowl Games which were furthest off from the actual result:
The average combined number of points off in this year’s Bowl Blitz Invitational was 27.43 points per game of the 35 Bowl Games. In the bottom ten results, all of the games were further off than that average. The worst game result was the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl between Ohio and Louisiana-Monroe, which was 65 points off the real-life result. The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl between Navy and Arizona State was next at 57, while the Capital One Bowl (Georgia versus Nebraska) and AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic (Texas A&M versus Oklahoma) were next and both over 40 points off the actual result. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship wasn’t much closer, sitting at 37 points off.
And without further ado, finally, are the top results for “Game Scores” in the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational:
With a final “Game Score” of 6 points off of the real-life result, the Allstate Sugar Bowl—and, by extension, myself as the game’s player—wins the distinction of 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational Champion. While not as close as last year’s winning “Game Score” of 2, it was still two points clear of the 2nd-place Chick-fil-A Bowl, played by Jordan Searles. Those were the only games under a “Game Score” of 10, while the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, BBVA Compass Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, and Sheraton Hawai’I Bowl all came in with “Game Scores” under 20.
Finally, here are the box score comparisons between each Bowl Blitz Invitational playthrough and its real-life result; clicking the image will take you to the corresponding article for that game write-up. Images with a green space between the box scores represent a game were the Bowl Blitz Invitational result was correct, while images with a red space were incorrect.
This is only the first of many entries to come breaking down the statistical results of the 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational project; be sure to come back tomorrow and through the rest of the week to see more analysis of how the numbers played out over the 35 Bowl Games!