STATS’ predictive formula produces a unique rating that ranks the best college football games to watch every week
Rivalry week is upon us, and thankfully so after a dud of a slate last week. Eight of the top 10 most-watchable games for Week 13 are intrastate games between schools and fan bases that detest each other. We should be in for a few post-Thanksgiving treats Saturday.
No game is getting more attention than the Iron Bowl pitting No. 6 Auburn hosting No. 1 Alabama in what should be the Tigers’ last hope of reaching the College Football Playoff. Making the battle more interesting is that when Auburn has reached nine victories, it is 6-0 in matchups with Nick Saban. The Tigers enter Saturday at 9-2, so maybe that’s why STATS’ projection model sees Auburn pulling off a 29-27 upset.
Immediately following Alabama-Auburn, be sure to switch over to No. 4 Clemson visiting South Carolina in what could be a trap game for the Tigers, who slipped one spot to No. 3 in this week’s CFP rankings. The Gamecocks are 8-3 and were ranked 24th by the committee, and STATS’ projections see this matchup as a pick ‘em game.
And there’s plenty more action as well. STATS’ data experts have developed a proprietary model that gives a watchability score to every college football game in a given week. That rating is a combination of analytics, including the projected score of each game from a model that factors in team production, explosiveness and “cleanliness” of play – a metric that includes turnovers, among other data points.
Team production includes evaluations of run and pass efficiency, explosive plays (20+ yards) and the defensive ratings also involved with the aforementioned metrics. Watchability Rating takes that data combined with talent level of each team based on other various STATS models and is adjusted based on the projected final score to produce a value of watchability.
Essentially, the model takes some randomness out of choosing which game to view, making for less channel-flipping while relaxing at home or fewer maneuvers through a bar crowd to place yourself nearest the television broadcasting a certain contest.
Have a look at Week 13’s Watchability Ratings from most- to least-watchable on a 1-10 rating scale:
You’ll get a side of college football with your turkey on Thanksgiving, too. Second-ranked Miami visits Pitt at noon (8.7 Watchability Rating) and Cal visits UCLA in the late game (7.9) as the Bruins take the field for the first time since coach Jim Mora Jr. was fired.
If you’re planning your Saturday around watching the best college football games in each time slot, STATS sees this week’s list as follows:
- 12:00 – Indiana at Purdue (8.9 rating)
- 3:30 – No. 1 Alabama at No. 6 Auburn (9.5)
- 7:30 – No. 4 Clemson at South Carolina (9.1)
You might be wondering why the Ohio State-Michigan game hasn’t been mentioned yet. Well, for one, STATS gives it a 7.5 Watchability Rating, which ranks 15th on this week’s schedule. Also, the Buckeyes are 12-point favorites over a Wolverines team trying to avoid a fourth loss on the season. STATS predicts Ohio State as a 31-17 winner in a not-quite-must-see game at the Big House.
At least it won’t be Baylor-TCU though, right?