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Minnesota Football Game Predictions: Missouri Tigers

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Mathematical projections for the Gophers' first New Year's Day bowl in over 50 years. It's a celebration!

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year everyone! I'm here to get your NYD hangover started off proper with a heavy dose of Models to go along with your Bottles. The math induced headaches will throb with less intensity than the alcohol-related ones, I promise!

Models

No Top 25, since the context is no longer relevant now that it's bowl season. Speaking of that, how's M&B done so far?

Note: All winning percentages and margins are based upon the "home" team, even though all these games are neutral site. "Home" team in this case is whichever team was in the second column of my pre-built template since I'm a lazy bastard, and not the designated "home" per the bowls themselves.

"Visiting" Team "Home" Team "Home" WP Exp. Margin Bowl (Date) SU Winner?
Air Force Western Michigan 47.4 -1.06 12/20/2014 X
Colorado State Utah 48.3 -0.67 12/20/2014
Nevada Louisiana-Lafayette 48 -0.79 12/20/2014
South Alabama Bowling Green 30.3 -8.31 12/20/2014
Utah State UTEP 46.4 -1.46 12/20/2014 X
Memphis BYU 35.2 -6.08 12/22/2014 X
Navy San Diego State 55.4 2.17 12/23/2014
Northern Illinois Marshall 69.2 8.07 12/23/2014 X
Central Michigan Western Kentucky 70.3 8.63 12/24/2014 X
Fresno State Rice 60.7 4.36 12/24/2014 X
Illinois Louisiana Tech 66.3 6.78 12/26/2014 X
Rutgers North Carolina 42.8 -2.9 12/26/2014 X
UCF North Carolina State 43.2 -2.74 12/26/2014
Arizona State Duke 47.5 -1.02 12/27/2014 X
Boston College Penn State 39.5 -4.27 12/27/2014
Nebraska USC 55.6 2.26 12/27/2014 X
South Carolina Miami (Florida) 50.6 0.25 12/27/2014
Virginia Tech Cincinnati 55.1 2.05 12/27/2014
Arkansas Texas 29.3 -8.79 12/29/2014 X
Oklahoma Clemson 46.2 -1.51 12/29/2014
West Virginia Texas A&M 47 -1.21 12/29/2014
Louisville Georgia 62.3 5.04 12/30/2014 X
Maryland Stanford 70.7 8.83 12/30/2014 X
Notre Dame LSU 73.5 10.22 12/30/2014

*Just* ok.

Models and Bottles Refreshers!

Above .500 is nice and all, but I probably could have done just as well with a series of heuristics. Maybe.

Generally speaking, not a lot of crazy expected margins for bowl season as most of the teams are closely matched. Notable high win probabilities that turned out to be accurate were Arkansas over Texas (Bielema, you troll genius), LaTech over the Zookers because of course, Stanford besting Maryland and Marshall over Northern Illinois. By far the biggest swing and a miss was LSU/Notre Dame, and weirdly enough, Bowling Green over Southern Alabama.

On to the Citrus Bowl!

Flex Model
Gopher Win Probability 50.2%
Predicted Margin of Victory 0.06
Current Vegas Spread +4.5
Current Vegas Over/Under 47.5

A virtual PICK'EM! That's more favorable than the bookies by far, and the converse of Bill's projections which favor the Tigers by 1.4. I swear, this is not about whichever data nerd's model favors his preferred team -- just a difference in methodology. Regardless, this figures to be yet another closely fought contest for both squads, not that either is a stranger to such games. In terms of potential SEC bowl opponents, Missouri was easily the foe that provided the most compelling and competitive match-up.

As for the remainder of the bowls...

"Visiting" Team "Home" Team "Home" WP Exp. Margin Bowl (Date)
Boise State Arizona 47.4 -1.03 12/31/2014
Georgia Tech Mississippi State 61.1 4.5 12/31/2014
TCU Mississippi 39.7 -4.19 12/31/2014
Florida State Oregon 68.4 7.71 01/01/2015
Michigan State Baylor 49.5 -0.2 01/01/2015
Missouri Minnesota 50.2 0.06 01/01/2015
Ohio State Alabama 52.7 1.07 01/01/2015
Wisconsin Auburn 55.4 2.15 01/01/2015
Oklahoma State Washington 57.5 3.04 01/02/2015
Pittsburgh Houston 43.5 -2.6 01/02/2015
Tennessee Iowa 53.2 1.28 01/02/2015
UCLA Kansas State 68 7.55 01/02/2015
Florida East Carolina 38.9 -4.53 01/03/2015
Arkansas State Toledo 51.3 0.52 01/04/2015

M&B hates the Noles but what else is new. Overall, a compelling slate of NYD6 and playoff match-ups save the aforementioned Ducks-Noles (which I think will be a close game regardless) and TCU-Ole Miss, where M&B loves the Horned Frogs as it has most of the year. Just what you'd like to see when you're lounging on the couch the next 3 days with a leftover bottle of bubbly.

Bottles

This is the Citrus Bowl, but I have a decided policy against any and all fruit beers. So that means no Shiner Ruby Redbird, Summer Shandy or the abominable Shock Top. Deal with it.

I'm half inclined to pick something from Boulevard in honor of our Missouri friends, but I don't want to go down that route just because Boulevard happens to be the biggest Missouri-based brewery I can think of and get up here in Minnesota. So I won't,

Instead, I'll go a different route. Here's the rundown:

Midnight Toast: Argyle Vintage Brut -- Great value option for the sparkling stuff.

Hair of the Dog: Weller 107 -- Because I'll need something strong.

Beer to Respect Thine Opponent: Fulton Worthy Adversary -- Imperial Stout after a sour mash? Why not?!?

Fear Beers: Whatever you got.

However you choose to celebrate the Citrus Bowl, make sure to stay safe friends. Cheers, Happy New Year and Ski-U-Mah!