Posted: 5:43 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
My Prediction last year had Texas A&M; losing by 2 TDs on the road in Tuscaloosa. I am very glad it was wrong. This year, it’s a virtual pick’em like many think it’s going to be – the game of the season of the decade of the … blah blah blah.
Since A&M; played 13 games last year and 2 games this year and Alabama played 14 games last year and 1 game this year, this means that both teams have played 15 games since the beginning of the 2012 season. So what I did this week is take both teams' 15-game averages and resorted them based on the 2012 final numbers (because I was not about to add in EVERY team's last 15 games to homogenize the data; it would have taken me until Christmas to do so manually).
Before you skip to the analysis, please let me first explain the scope, drawbacks, and purpose of this chart. Once you're familiar with this information, you can happily skip ahead in the future. But I insist that you READ THIS NOW before you proceed.
Key to the chart below:
Blue Metric = Top 20 in the Nation
Red Metric = Bottom 20 in the nation
Advantage = One team is more than 20 spots ahead of the other team’s inverse metric in the national ranking; i.e. Texas A&M; was ranked 68th in Rush Defense versus SMU’s 98th ranked Rushing Offense; therefore, due to A&M; being 30 spots ahead of SMU in that metric's national ranking, they get the "advantage".
Disclaimer 1: The prediction formula is an algorithm that I created which takes into account yardage offense and defense, how a team has performed relative to its direct competition, injuries, red zone scoring, home/away/neutral, turnover margin, average points scored and allowed, and a multitude of other factors that are all represented on the above "Foundation of Facts". I have been tweaking the formula for 4 years, but nonetheless I have not found a way to accurately predict the outcome of each game because (as my quote above implies) there are simply TOO many variables to account for and too much uncertainty in each game. However, it is fun to include the objective, stat-based, and numbers-only prediction for a conversation piece. (Besides, if my formula was really that accurate I would horde it to myself and be a multi-millionaire like alternate-Biff in the movie Back to the Future 2)
Disclaimer 2: I take no responsibility if you attempt to use this prediction for betting; unless you win - in which case I demand a 10% gratuity. But seriously, if you have a gambling problem and use this to bet, and lose... do not hold me responsible and seek help to beat your addiction.
Some notable statistics and questions from the "Stat Simulation" above and each team’s website:
1. The A&M; offense was essentially unstoppable all season long in 2012 except for 2 quarters versus Florida and 2 quarters versus LSU and 1 quarter versus Alabama.
2. Did you know that we get more starters back on defense? LB Steven Jenkins, CB De’Vonte Harris, and SDE Gavin Stansbury are all returning to the 2-deep.
3. Alabama’s Christion Jones is dangerous, scoring 3 All-Purpose TDs in the season opener versus Virginia Tech. (1 Receiving, 1 PR, 1KR). If you take out his PR for a TD, his other three PRs averaged 9.3 per return. His one other KR went for 15 yards.
4. Alabama only got 1.0 Sack and 4.0 TFLs in their first game. Hmmmm.
5. The Alabama Offense is suspect until proven otherwise. They were facing a "decent" V-Tech defense, but still fell WAY off of their 2012 numbers. So when you see all that Crimson color above, remember that that was 93% from the 2012 season.
6. AJ McCarron’s longest run was for 0 yards.
7. Alabama really only has two offensive TDs to it’s credit. The other three were from the aforementioned PR, KR, and a Defensive score.
I hope you enjoy this feature and will come back next week to see how the Aggies will fare, statistically, against the SMU Mustangs in Game 4.
Aggies beat Alabama 34-23. Johnny starts three (3) series in the 3rd quarter and scores 3 touchdowns and doesn’t come back in the game.
The SMU Mustangs are in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) which is NOT to be confused with the ACC. One time t.u. starting QB Garrett Gilbert is in his senior year there, and is looking to bounce back after losing to Texas Tech in the opener (41-23) and barely nudging Montana State (31-30). Their average season attendance so far is 22,450. Like Alabama, they will have 2 weeks to prepare for the Aggies.