Friday, January 06, 2017

2016 Stay-At-Home Bowl Preview

Welcome to the second annual Android's Dungeon Stay-At-Home Bowl preview. As is our tradition, we begin by reminding you what the Stay-At-Home Bowl is. It's awarded to the team or teams who defeat both Super Bowl participants. Last year, nobody won it.

Why is it the 2016 Stay-At-Home Bowl rather than the 2017 edition? Is it in honor of the regular season where most of the games were played? Or did I just forget what year it was last year when I ran the 2015 Bowl? Who knows?

Before the playoffs start this year, which teams are eligible? And which teams should be considered favorites?

The way I thought about this last year is that there are 36 possible Super Bowl matchups at this point, since there are 6 teams left in each conference. Let's consider the total number of possible Super Bowl matchups that will make each team a "winner."

In this scenario, Tennessee is the favorite, since they were the only team to defeat multiple playoff teams from each conference. They win if the Super Bowl is Miami-Detroit, Miami-Green Bay, KC-Detroit, KC-Green Bay, Houston-Detroit, or Houston-Green Bay.

Two teams have three possibilities: Philadelphia and Green Bay.

Two teams have two possibilities: Dallas and Tampa Bay.

Six teams have one possibility: Pittsburgh, Houston, KC, San Diego, Atlanta and Seattle.

As last year, playoff teams are heavily represented here (7 out of 11) and stay-at-home teams make the playoffs a lot (7 out of 12).

Looking back at the Tennessee scenarios, those seem pretty unlikely Super Bowls. So let's grade each team's chances based on the seeds of the playoff teams they beat. Basically, assign six points to beating the number one seed, down to one point for beating the number six seed. For each possible scenario, multiply the two numbers together, and add all possible scenarios. So beating both number one seeds (hypothetically, nobody did) would be worth 36 points, while beating both number six seeds (as Tennessee did) would be worth 1.

I won't run down the full list, but Philadelphia is in first at 52 points with Pittsburgh-Dallas, Pittsburgh-Atlanta and Pittsburgh-Giants being relatively likely Super Bowls. Then comes Tampa Bay with 45 points on the strength of Kansas City-Atlanta and Kansas City-Seattle. Tennessee's six scenarios garner 36 points, and Seattle gets 35 from New England-Atlanta and Miami-Atlanta.

Stay tuned next week, when we cut down to 16 scenarios.
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