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College football simulator predicts a fifth-place AAC finish for UConn in 2014

The aptly named simulates each college football game 50,000 times to determine the most likely winner.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The website is an accurate and trusted source for predicting sports outcomes. It was built by statistician and veteran sports writer Paul Bessire, who offers his in-depth analysis and unique takes through his blog posts and simulated predictions. Earlier this summer, they simulated the entire college football season a bunch in order to determine the most likely winner of each game, including the conference championships and national championship.

A bit from the site about their methodology:

"In sports, matchups dictate outcomes. Instead of data mining to attempt to find historical trends that may lend some insight into future games - a common, yet misleading approach for many other predictive models -'s accuracy stems from the Predictalator, which plays an upcoming game 50,000 times before it's actually played."

Here are the Prediction Machine's final standings for the AAC in 2014 and bowl projections:

1. Houston Cougars 8.9 3.1 Birmingham Bowl (vs. Florida)
2. UCF Knights 8.7 3.3 Miami Beach Bowl (vs. BYU)
3. Cincinnati Bearcats 8.4 3.6 Armed Forces Bowl (vs. Buffalo)
4. East Carolina Pirates 7.9 4.1 Beef O'Brady's Bowl (vs. Syracuse)
5. Connecticut Huskies 5.7 6.3 Military Bowl (vs. Rice)
6. Temple Owls 5.1 6.9
7. USF Bulls 5.0 7.0
8. Memphis Tigers 4.5 7.5
9. Tulane Green Wave 4.2 7.8
10. Tulsa Golden Hurricane 3.9 8.1
11. SMU Mustangs 3.9 8.1

UConn/AAC Notes:

  • Not only does the machine predict a surprising 5th place finish for UConn, they also have us in a bowl game! Yes, if this simulation is correct (and they always are) UConn will go bowling this year in lovely Annapolis, Maryland against Rice in the Military Bowl!
  • People are high on Houston, but nobody has gone as far as to pick them to finish first in the AAC. Houston's high win total may be a byproduct of an easier schedule than the other conference favorites.
  • Even the computer sees a distinct drop off in the AAC after the top four. More than two wins stand between fourth and fifth place, but the muddled middle is separated by 1.8 projected wins from fifth to eleventh place. UConn historically thrives in this situation. Can you smell the upset this year?
  • I thought it was interesting that SMU was at the bottom of this list, until you take a quick look at their schedule. The Mustangs face Baylor, Texas A&M, TCU and a decent North Texas team on their non-conference schedule.
  • In case you are interested, the machine predicts that Marshall will earn the non-major New Year's Day bowl bid.
  • The most likely National Champion was, to nobody's surprise, Florida State over Ohio State.

There is a Power Ranking (UConn is 99th) and In-Depth Analysis on their site.