FSU Plays Bulldogs Schedule (10/28/14)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
How would Florida State fare in the SEC? Can Mississippi State finish the season undefeated?



The College Football Playoff selection committee will release its first ever rankings Tuesday night. Two of the most likely teams to be included in the committee's projected playoff are Mississippi State and Florida State.

The Bulldogs and Seminoles are the only undefeated teams remaining from the Power 5 conferences. Mississippi State has a solid case for inclusion in the inaugural playoff. The Bulldogs have played one of the toughest schedules in the country beating three teams that were ranked in the top ten when they squared off.

Putting Florida State's unblemished record aside, the defending national champions have a weak claim to a playoff spot. FSU has played just the 35th ranked schedule in the nation. The Seminoles have only beaten one opponent (Notre Dame) that currently ranks inside the top 25 of our most recent Power Rankings.

Florida State's perfect record is keeping them in the playoff hunt but what would happen if FSU played a tougher schedule, like that of a program in the SEC West?

To find out, we used 50,000 simulations to determine how Florida State would fare if the team played Mississippi State's schedule.

In our ACC Preview before the season, we projected Florida State to finish 11-1. Against the Bulldogs' schedule, the Seminoles would be favored to lose in three games (@ LSU, @ Alabama and @ Ole Miss).

On average Florida State would finish with a win/loss record of 8.3-3.7. Against tougher competition the Noles' scoring average would drop to 33.1 points per game, a difference of more than a field goal from its current scoring average.

Florida State, No. 10 in our rankings, has won 23 straight games but in the SEC the champs are a likely three-loss team.

# of Games Favored Expected Record Avg. Points For Avg. Points Against Undefeated Season
9 8.3-3.7 33.1 24.4 0.24% chance

Odds to Finish Undefeated


The Bulldogs, the No. 3 team in our rankings, are the darlings of the 2014 college football season. With games against Alabama and Ole Miss remaining on the schedule, what are the odds that Mississippi State finishes the season undefeated?

We simulated the remainder of the Bulldogs' schedule 50,000 times and they have a 9.3 percent chance of winning out.

We project Mississippi State to be underdogs at both Alabama and Ole Miss with the Bulldogs having just a 35 percent chance of winning in Tuscaloosa and a 48 percent chance of winning the Egg Bowl.

Florida State has five games remaining and will be favored to win in all of them. We give the Seminoles a 12.9 percent chance of running the table. That means there is a 79.0 percent chance that there will be no undefeated teams from the Power 5 conferences at the end of the year.