December 3, 2016

Clemson vs. Alabama, tOSU & Washington

generic-wpHow would Clemson fare against the other playoff contenders?

I have developed an algorithm to predict the outcomes of college football games. You can find more on my methodology here and find this weeks picks here.


It turns out that Clemson’s beat down of South Carolina didn’t enhance the Tigers profile as much as expected in that the Gamecocks were weaker competition (ranked 57th) than either Auburn (19) or Washington State (36).

Probabilities above are through games of week 13 and will be updated weekly.

Nic’s Picks – Championship Week

Nic's Picks

Week 13 – (6-4)

Overall – (71-36)

Weekly SUR Pickem – Conference Championship Week

Weekly SUR Pick'em

Matt and Chris battle it out for the title, while I hope to achieve some sense of respectability.

Upon Further Review: 56-7

This is odd to say, but the score of 56-7 may not do Saturday night justice. It was total domination on both sides of the ball, with Clemson scoring 56 points despite several additional missed scoring opportunities, and South Carolina benefiting from an iffy personal foul call to eventually eliminate the shutout possibility. Quite obvious that this Clemson team and staff still had a bone to pick after losing 5 straight and felt like they had to make up for their missed opportunity to make a statement last season.


One of those missed opportunities, this coming on the defensive side of the ball. Well done by Ryan Carter to create the deflection, yet somehow the athletic Dorian O’Daniel can’t reel in the perfect chance to start this game off with a bang. Likely 1st and 10 from South Carolina’s 35 yard line at worst.


It was well noted in the film preview that Clemson’s biggest advantage offensively was in the run game. South Carolina had struggled all season, and the Tigers were coming off a solid ground performance against Wake Forest. The offensive line did well as a whole, consistently moving the defensive line off the line of scrimmage, getting to the second level, and opening up holes. Good example of that push here…


Watson puts this in hot into Mike Williams, who can’t quite bring in the high throw. King has fallen down and only the safety is between him and the endzone. Likely missed touchdown.


A good thought against an aggressive defense, faking the screen pass in hopes that the secondary bites and leaves the TE open. Hurst gets behind Van Smith, but Jadar Johnson comes across to be the ballhawk he has been all season.


More good blocking out of Hyatt, Leggett, and a pulling Crowder to open up the lane for Gallman. Notice the effort out of South Carolina’s #24.


It’s just not fair.


My goodness, Clelin. Straight shoves the left tackle into the ground with just his left hand.


Similar route to the one that Watson and Williams missed on earlier in the game. This time they connect and Williams “grown mans” JaMarcus King into the endzone. Pretty awful lack of effort again from the safety, #24.


Have to give some props to Muschamp for trying to create a spark when the game was already starting to get out of hand, rather than punt. Clemson’s special teams deserves a lot of credit for both recognizing and getting into coverage, eliminating any receiving options.


Example of the offensive line doing work in the trenches. Hyatt immediately to second level. Leggett picks up a man and big John Simpson pulls to seal another potential tackler. Fuller looked relatively explosive when he had room to run.


Third TD of the game. Clemson uses the underneath route of Artavis Scott to pull in the safety, who vacates his zone way too far. Looks like JaMarcus King anticipated safety help across as he lets Leggett run. Easy pitch and catch.


Impressive third down blitz from Brent Venables that fools the Gamecock protection. Kendall Joseph looks like he’s coming, then right as the ball is snapped, he backs out into a spy role and Boulware/Carter fly in untouched.


Another missed TD. Perfect ball hits Cain in the helmet.


Swarming defense. Notice Kendall Joseph pointing out the eventual direction of the run prior to the snap. South Carolina tries to prevent Wilkins from sealing the edge by using a TE to block him. Bad idea. He seals it off, and the LB’s fly in to make the play.


Talent in the trenches between the South Carolina offensive line and Clemson defensive line was obvious. Too easy for Wilkins and Watkins to beat blocks for the TFL.


Another well-timed and executed blitz, leaving K’Von Wallace with a wide open shot at Bentley. He tries to jump in with his shoulder for some reason and Bentley bounces off. Fortunately for him, it still ends up as a sack.


TD #3 for Mike Williams following an up-tempo drive to score with less than 50 seconds left in the half. Pretty amazing to see Clemson’s offensive success in time-constrained opportunities. Offensive linemen do well to get downfield and clear things out.




Honestly, a bit surprised this was dialed up RIGHT after Gallman went out with an injury. A lot of trust to put in CJ Fuller, and if he’s always has great pass catching ability, I certainly wasn’t aware. Gets matched up with the LB, and receives a perfect toss from Watson.



The play that South Carolina benefited from to eventually get onto the scoreboard. Tough call for Wilkins.


This game in a nutshell? Check out true freshman John Simpson absolutely planting #18 Keir Thomas into the ground and letting him know who owns the state.


Impressive play by Boulware to have the hand-eye coordination to knock this ball out of Bentley’s hand. Would’ve been a perfect play to end his final game in Death Valley, but his eyes just got a little too big as he stared down the easy TD.

Nic’s Picks – Week 13

Nic's Picks

5-3 last week, 65-32 overall

Vegas Confidential – An old friend returns and the Covers & Covers Not Edition

Vegas Confidential

Weekly SUR Pick’em – Week 13

Weekly SUR Pick'em

The SUR Crew of Matt Wilczewski, Chris Cox and Marty Coleman guess wildly at college football game outcomes.

While I finally had a week where I was more right than wrong, it looks like it’s too little too late…maybe not for Chris…

Clemson vs. The Contenders

Editor’s Note: Chris Scully operates where you can find win probabilities, full season record projections and team rankings among other interesting items. Chris is a senior at Notre Dame and has a background in mathematics and statistics. Follow Chris on Twitter at @chris7scully.

How would Clemson perform against the current playoff contenders?

These probabilities were generated by Chris Scully.  You can find a full list of this week’s games, projected records and team rankings at

In the coming weeks Chris will provide college football analysis for Seldom Used Reserve.

Featured image courtesy


Week 12 Win Probabilities for Playoff Contenders

Editor’s Note: Chris Scully operates where you can find win probabilities, full season record projections and team rankings, among other interesting items. Chris is a senior at Notre Dame and has a background in mathematics and statistics. Follow Chris on Twitter at @chris7scully.

The win probabilities below were generated by Chris Scully at You can find a full list of this week’s games, projected records and team rankings at

With Louisville’s stunning loss to Houston Thursday evening, here are the win probabilities for the remaining top 5 playoff contenders:


Chris will be providing college football statistical analysis and projections for as we head down the homestretch of the regular season, bowl games and playoff.

Nic’s Picks – Week 12

Nic's Picks
Week 11- (2-6)
Overall – (60-29)