Sully's Big Blog! Commentary on College Football, Weekly Games, And Strange Statistics!

CFP Semi Final: Cotton Bowl

Bowl History: The Cotton Bowl was first played in 1937 and has been played annually since its inaugural year! The Bowl was once one of the four major bowls (Sugar, Orange & Rose) today it is one of 6 bowls that house the CFP semi finals and the next best (arguably) 8 teams. The Cotton Bowl is paired with the Orange Bowl when housing a CFP Semi Final. The Rose Bowl is with the Sugar Bowl and the Peach Bowl is paired with the Fiesta Bowl. This year the Cotton Bowl will host a Semi Final! The first game played in this series took place on January 1, 1937, 16th ranked TCU beat a 20th ranked Marquette, 16-6! Last year’s game (2017 Season) was played between USC & Ohio State, the Bucks won 24-7!

Teams: Clemson;  Conference Affiliation: ACC; Overall Record 13-0, Conference Record 9-0,  vs Notre DameConference Affiliation: Independent; Overall Record 12-0 

Bowl Location:  Arlington, Texas  … played @ Cowboy Stadium , the seating capacity @ the facility is 80,000.

Day, Date & Time: Saturday, 12/29/2018  @ 3:00 p.m.

Network: ESPN

Best Win(s): Clemson beat Texas A&M 28-26, & Syracuse 27-23; ND beat Michigan 24-17 & Syracuse 36-3!

Worst LossesBoth Teams are undefeated

Common Opponents: Pitt, Wake Forest, Syracuse, & Florida State; Clemson beat Pitt, 42-10, Syracuse, 27-23, Wake, 63-3, & FSU, 59-10; The Irish beat Pitt 19-14, Syracuse 36-3; Wake 56-27, & FSU 42-13!

Vegas Hotsheets Favorite: Clemson -11 (Opening Line)

Offensive Team Data: Clemson;  Total Yards,  528 YPG; Passing Yards,  276 YPG;  Rushing Yards,  252 YPG;  Scoring Average,  45 PPG,   Turnovers,  1.46 TPG;   Percent of 3rd Down Conversions, 41.4%; Percentage of all scores in Red Zone, 92% & Percentage of TD’s in Red Zone, 77%

Offensive Team Data: Notre Dame; Total Yards, 456G; Passing Yards 266 YPG;  Rushing Yards, 190 YPG; Scoring Average  34 PPG,   Turnovers, 1.25 TPG; Percent of 3rd Down Conversions, 43.8%; Percentage of all scores in Red Zone, 88% & Percentage of TD’s in Red Zone, 64%

Defensive Team Data: Clemson; Total Yards,  294 YPG; Passing Yards, 192 YPG;  Rushing Yards,  101 YPG; Scoring Average,  14 PPG,   Turnovers,  1.31 TPG; Percent of 3rd Down Stop’s, 28.8%; Percentage of all scores in Red Zone, 76% & Percentage of TD’s allowed in Red Zone, 44%

Defensive Team Data: Notre Dame Total Yards,  332 YPG; Passing Yards,  198 YPG;  Rushing Yards,  134 YPG; Scoring Average,  17 PPG,   Turnovers,  1.67 TPG; Percent of 3rd Down Stop’s, 37.8%; Percentage of all scores in Red Zone, 79% & Percentage of TD’s allowed in Red Zone, 57%

Sully’s CFP Game Simulator is a statistical analysis / predictor of how these teams will preform, based solely on their numbers, when they face off on the gridiron! Keep in mind, these stats were established against different teams and conferences and these differences must be taken into account to get a complete picture when attempting to predetermine a winner. If you are interested in how the Simulator works … read this part … if not … skip it! The process used is … we take Clemson’s total yards on offense, add it to what ND gives up on defense, …  get a total and then divide that number by 2 … to get the mean. We then invert the process by taking ND’s total offense, add it to what Clemson gives up on defense, get a total and divide that number by 2  to get the second mean… the greater number (with the exception of Turnovers) is then determined to have the advantage ( please note …. statistical advantage). We repeat this process in each of the eight statistical categories assessed!  That said… here are the results of the Head to Head Analysis:

Total Yards Advantage: Clemson 430 to 375

Passing Yards Advantage: Clemson 237 to 229

Rushing Yard Advantage: Clemson 193 to 145.5

Scoring Advantage: Clemson 31 to 24

Turnovers Advantage: Notre Dame 1.28 to 1.57

3rd Down Conversions Advantage: Clemson 39.6% to 36.3%

Red Zone All Scores Advantage: Clemson 85.5% to 82%

Red Zone TD’s Only Advantage: Clemson 67% to 54%

The Game Simulator Says: Clemson wins 7 of the 8 categories evaluated

Individuals to Watch: Clemson: QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne, DE Clelin Ferrell, & DT Dexter Lawrence. ND QB Ian Book, RB Dexter Williams, TE Alize Mack; & LB Te’Von Coney

Sully Says: Clemson wins … Unless the Tigers turn the ball over. The Irish have one chance in this game; win the turnover battle. If they do, they are good enough to win the game! That Said: Clemson 31 ND 24! 

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