FanPost

Is a Big12 Championship still within reach?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, I posted a few articles regarding the likelihood of Texas's final season record throughout the season. I'd like to try something a bit different in this post, however.

Rather than asking what the most likely final record will be, more interesting questions are:

1. What's the probability that Texas makes it into the Big 12 Championship Game?

2. What's the probability that Texas wins the Championship?

3. What's the probability that Texas gets a rematch against Oklahoma?

Answering these requires a more complex approach than the one I have used in the past to project season outcomes. To get an accurate projection of these likelihoods, I have to model the selection process by which Championship Game participants are determined. That level of complexity makes an analytical solution infeasible, so I've turned to simulation in the following steps:

1. Simulate remaining games based on Sagarin's ratings assuming a normal distribution of errors around those estimates;

2. Apply the Big12's tiebreaker procedures to arrive at the two title contenders;

3. Simulate the title game to determine the conference champion.

After doing this for 66,000 simulations, I arrived at the following projections:

Champion (%)

Championship Game Participant (%)

Conference Win%

Overall Win%

TCU

34.1

75.5

81.7

86.3

Oklahoma

30.0

51.0

72.4

79.3

Oklahoma State

28.1

46.9

74.1

80.6

Texas

5.3

16.3

63.3

55.8

Iowa State

1.4

6.0

51.7

55.4

West Virginia

0.6

2.4

48.8

53.2

Texas Tech

0.3

1.2

42.3

56.7

Kansas State

0.2

0.7

43.7

49.4

Baylor

0.0

0.0

19.3

14.5

Kansas

0.0

0.0

2.8

10.4

So, Texas has a pretty decent shot at getting into the Championship game (16.3%), and about a 1 in 20 chance to win the conference outright. This is a salve to my post-OU depression! To be honest, my real motivation in doing this was to figure out whether a rematch with Oklahoma was a realistic scenario. It is, with about 1 chance in 20 (5.4%). If you believe, as I do, that this team has the potential to be pretty good despite the injuries on the offensive line, then these probabilities provide a measure of hope. And, the odds of a good finish improve dramatically with a win over Oklahoma State this weekend. Hook ‘Em!

Be excellent to each other.