Rose Bowl 2019: Full Predictions for Washington vs. Ohio State 

A "swarm" of 30 college football experts have worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction.

by T.E. Andrews
Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire

Welcome to the Grandaddy of ‘Em All, in which Washington will take on Ohio State in the Rose Bowl in a game which will double as Darth Urban Meyer’s swan song. Better scribes than this one have written at length about the Ohio State head coach’s nearly unrivaled success on the field and the clouds of controversy hanging over his programs off of it, so suffice it to say that the man (a) won a ton of games during his time coaching the Buckeyes and (b) allowed a lot of bad stuff to happen off the field.

Meyer will go down in history as a Machiavellian whose win-at-all costs approach to the game allowed him to reach rarified air (if it wasn’t for Emperor Nick Saban, Meyer would go down as the best coach of his era and will certainly be remembered as an all-time great), but at great moral cost. If you thought The U was good, just wait until ESPN makes a 30 for 30 or two about Meyer’s teams at Florida and Ohio State.

Somehow, this is Meyer’s first trip to the storied Rose Bowl. Ohio State largely underwhelmed this season, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, where the Buckeyes repeatedly gave up big play after big play, allowing Purdue to score 49 points in their lone loss of the season. Even so, Meyer’s offense produced fireworks under the stellar play of quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

The Bucks ended the season on a pair of high notes with a 62-39 shellacking of the rival Michigan Wolverines (Meyer never lost The Game against That Team Up North) and a 45-24 win over Northwestern to deliver Meyer’s third Big 10 title in seven seasons.

On the other sideline, Washington went 10-3 this season, with losses to Auburn, Oregon, and Cal, but also rebounded to end the season with wins over rival Washington State in a snowy Apple Cup and Utah in the Pac-12 title game to win the conference championship.

Is there any reason to believe that justice will be served, and if Meyer cannot be seriously disciplined for his complicity in assistant coach Zach Smith’s domestic abuse against his wife, the Huskies can at least send him out to retirement with a loss (and a corresponding meme of Sad Meyer Eating Papa John’s)? Probably not.

The Swarm likes Ohio State in this one, and sadly, we agree. College football is no morality tale, and if you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention. Ohio State 31, Washington 27, is my scoreline prediction, but how did a swarm of college football experts come to its prediction?

To predict the result of this college bowl game match-up, Unanimous A.I. used what’s known as swarm intelligence. A “swarm” of 30 college football enthusiasts worked together as a hive mind to make their prediction, and as you can see in the animation below, each participant controlled a golden magnet and used it to drag the puck toward the result they thought was the most likely outcome. This is where it gets interesting: As a user sees the puck move toward a particular decision, it triggers a psychological response. They might readjust their thinking as the group builds toward a consensus. It’s an artificial intelligence, produced by human brains, working together as a swarm.

As the swarm replay above shows, the hive-mind of 30 college football experts has low confidence that Ohio State will win against Washington in the 2019 Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Washington plays Ohio in the 2019 Orange Bowl at 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. The game is at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and will be broadcast on ESPN.

Here’s how Unanimous A.I. has predicted NFL games this season.

Unanimous A.I. has made some scarily accurate predictions in the past using swarm intelligence, as our this article explains. For instance, the swarm picked this year’s Oscar winners with 94 percent accuracy. Here’s Unanimous A.I. founder Louis Rosenberg explaining swarm intelligence at a recent TEDx Talk:

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