The OUA's unveiling of the various football playoff scenarios entering the final week of conference play (in a nine-page PDF, no less) has inspired CIS Blog Labs to run the numbers and figure out which ones are actually likely to happen.
Spoiler alert: there probably won't be any surprises.
We give each OUA team odds of winning their next game based on their RPI and SRS rankings, and whether the game is home or away. We then combine these odds for each scenario. (If, for example, Queen's and McMaster are each 90% likely to win, there's an 81% chance they will both win.) We'll group outcomes by playoff seeding, so if two different scenarios lead to the same ranking of teams, they're considered to be the same scenario. (We've done this in past years, too.)
No matter what, McMaster finishes first, Guelph finishes second, and Queen's third. Waterloo cannot make the playoffs, and Windsor and Western also are safe from elimination. What's left up for grabs are the fourth through sixth seeds.
In the end, we get the following outcomes:
1. Laurier (6) at Queen's (3), Windsor (5) at Western (4)
94.7% likely to happen
Basically this is it right here. Unless something crazy happens, like "two of Toronto, Ottawa, and Waterloo win", these will be the playoff matchups.
2. Windsor (6) at Queen's (3), Ottawa (5) at Western (4)
3.9% likely to happen
From firing their coach to a 5 seed in the playoffs. It's not exactly that easy, since Gary Etcheverry didn't get a chance to play Waterloo or Toronto.
The only way this can happen is if Guelph, McMaster, and Queen's all win, and then Waterloo and Ottawa do too. That gives us a three-way tie for fifth between Ottawa, Windsor, and Laurier, with the Hawks left out. (Based on the Waterloo requirement alone it's pretty unlikely Ottawa will avoid Queen's, although somehow I have the Warriors at only 20-80 underdogs ... how is that possible?)
3. Ottawa (6) at Queen's (3), Windsor (5) at Western (4)
0.6% likely to happen
Ottawa and McMaster have to win (keeping Ottawa and Laurier at 3-5), and then either Guelph/Windsor/Toronto win (Windsor 5th, three-way tie for 6th), or York/Waterloo/Queen's all win (four-way tie for 5th).
4. Windsor (6) at Queen's (3), Laurier (5) at Western (4)
or 5. Windsor (6) at Queen's (3), Western (5) at Laurier (4)
0.5% likely to happen
Those of you hoping for a WLU-UWO matchup (so, basically, everyone at either school) will first need to hope that Laurier wins (that would be the same Laurier who have failed to score a touchdown in three games so far this year). After that, it gets kind of complicated. Guelph/Ottawa is probably the most likely of the sets of wins needed.
6. Toronto (6) at Queen's (3), Windsor (5) at Western (4)
0.2% likely to happen
This one's easy: in addition to Toronto winning and Laurier losing, Guelph/Western/Windsor all have to win. It's one of two ways Toronto can sneak in; the other (York/Ottawa/Waterloo) is much less likely.
7. York (6) at Queen's (3), Windsor (5) at Western (4)
0.03% likely to happen