College Football Picks: BCS National Championship 60% Rule

Steve - CollegeFootballWinning.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:13 PM GMT

With all the talk about playoffs in college football, it is easy to forget that we have one more year of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS). Here are trends that bettors can use when making college football picks.

Before throwing your remote control through your flat screen as a justifiable preemptive strike in advance of the final BCS college football season, take heart: college football futures bettors can utilize a remarkably consistent set of correlations to determine who might win the 2014 BCS National Championship. It rightfully can be called the “60% Rule.”

In the 15 seasons of the BCS, at least 60% of all the National Champions met each of the following criteria:

1)     They had an upperclassman starting quarterback. An amazing 93.33% of all the BCS Champions (14 out of 15 teams) were led by a junior or senior quarterback. The only exception was Alabama’s sophomore quarterback, A.J. McCarron, in 2011.

2)     They had a top-10 scoring defense. This was the case 86.57% of the time (13 out of 15 teams). The only exceptions were LSU in 2007 (whose scoring defense was ranked 17th) and Auburn of 2010- a true anomaly with a scoring defense ranked 53rd. Scoring defense is so important that six out of 15 National Champions (40%) had defenses that ranked in the top-2!

3)     They had a top-20 scoring defense the year prior to winning the BCS. Proof that great scoring defenses are not built overnight is evidenced by 80% of all National Champions (12 out of 15 teams) having top-20 scoring defenses the year before they won it all. The only exceptions were Tennessee of 1998, Florida of 2008, and Auburn of 2010.

4)     They were ranked in the preseason top-10. The Associated Press (AP) Preseason Poll had 73.33% of all eventual BCS National Champions (11 out of 15 teams) on that first AP top-10 list, and 60% (nine out of 15) were in the top-5! One hundred percent of the eventual BCS Champions were in the top-25 of that same poll.

5)     Their head coach had that position at that school for two to four years. Coaching longevity paid off for Bobby Bowden and Florida State of 1999, but that was unusual; 60% of all BCS Championship head coaches (nine out of 15) had that same position at that same school for two to four years. Aside from Bowden, Phil Fulmer, Mack Brown, and Nick Saban won BCS titles at their schools after coaching there for more than four years, but Saban won two of his four titles when he was right in that sweet spot: coaching his fourth year at LSU in 2003 and his third year at Alabama in 2009. Only Larry Coker at Miami (FL) in 2001 won it all in his first year.

6)     They were in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). This is a familiar storyline: 60% of all BCS National Champions came from the SEC (9 out of 15 teams), including the last seven in a row.

7)     They went undefeated. Nine out of 15 BCS National Champions (60%) had perfect, undefeated seasons. It is noteworthy that all (six) non-SEC schools that won BCS titles had undefeated championship seasons.

Above are seven criteria that correlated to winning the BCS National Championship, and each can help you when it comes to making your College Football picks next season. Two of those criteria were measured after the season: having a top-10 scoring defense and going undefeated. Futures bettors need a predictive set of correlations that can be measured before the season starts. Therefore, removing the two post-season criteria leaves five simple preseason correlates to BCS Championships. The table below shows all 15 BCS National Championship teams and how they would have met the five predictive criteria before their championship season started: 


Season

BCS Champion

Upperclassman QB

Top-20 Scoring Defense Year Prior

Preseason Top-10

SEC

Head Coach, 2-4 Years Coaching at School

Criteria Met

1998

Tennessee

X

 

X 

X

 

3

1999

Florida State

X

X

X

 

 

3

2000

Oklahoma

X

X

 

 

X

3

2001

Miami (FL)

X

X

X

 

 

3

2002

Ohio State

X

X

 

 

X

3

2003

LSU

X

X

 

X

X

4

2004

USC

X

X

X

 

X

4

2005

Texas

X

X

X

 

 

3

2006

Florida

X

X

X

X

X

5

2007

LSU

X

X

X

X

X

5

2008

Florida

X

 

X

X

X

4

2009

Alabama

X

X

X

X

X

5

2010

Auburn

X

 

 

X

X

3

2011

Alabama

 

X

X

X

 

3

2012

Alabama

X

X

X

X

 

4

 

A close assessment of the table of BCS Champions reveals another layer to the 60% Rule: Every single champion met at least three out of the five correlative criteria- 60%. Before selecting a team to win next year’s National Championship, run it through the five criteria to see how they compare to all 15 past winners. Although history does not guarantee future outcomes, it might be expensive to ignore this historical data when attempting to determine the value of your favorite 2014 BCS National Championship futures bet.

Once the season gets going, trust SBR for all of your College Football odds needs.