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Oregon is ranked #1 by the computer with a 12-0 record and a rating of 92.291 against a schedule strength of 70.341. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were pretty consistent all year other than their high and low, their worst game being @California and best game being against Stanford. They are 7-4 against the spread this year and the computer is 6-5 picking their games against the spread and 10-1 picking winners in their games.
Auburn is ranked #3 by the computer with a 13-0 record and a rating of 85.964 against a schedule strength of 70.564. Their performance chart can be found below and shows they were pretty consistent too but finishing a bit stronger than Oregon did, their worst game being against Clemson and best game being against South Carolina. They are 8-4 against the spread this year and the computer is 8-5 picking their games against the spread and 10-3 picking winners in their games.
The teams are not separated by 2 degrees but are through 3 as follows:
The spread opened Auburn by 3 but has shrunk to 1 to 1.5 and the computer disagrees in either case picking the upset having Oregon by an astounding 5.9. Here is the pick using the format from the newsletter:
*Oregon +3.0 over .. Auburn 5.9 8.9 0.736 0.829
Why does the computer like Oregon so much more given they played near identical schedule strengths? Simply put, Oregon played a similar schedule but handle them much more decisively than Auburn did, other than the Cal game of course. And given the Cal game and how the teams finished though, even though the computer does give a little more weight to games at the end of the season, it is useful to look at just those games.
Using Oregon's last 5 games, their rating would be 90.5, the last 4 89.3, and the last 3 87.6. This compared with the season long rating of 92.291.
Using Auburn's last 5 games, their rating would be 87.5, the last 4 88.7, and the last 3 91.4. This compared with the season long rating of 85.961.
So Auburn was on the rise, and Cal on a bit of a downswing, to the point that Auburn could be argued to be playing better and have a higher rating if just the last 3 games are used. However, these ratings are skewed by Oregon's worst game being in that set and Auburn's best game being so. If you consider both of those completely valid and an indication of how the teams were playing, then the computer's pick perhaps isn't correct.
However, if you throw the best and worst out from each teams last 5 you get Oregon rated at 92.6 and Auburn at 86.3. So you decide, were those highs/lows anomalies or an accurate indicator?