Alabama Football: Statistical Proof Tide Should Play KSU in the BCS Title Game

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Alabama Football: Statistical Proof Tide Should Play KSU in the BCS Title Game
Crystal Logiudice-US PRESSWIRE

Now that Alabama has escaped what many believed to be the most difficult game on the schedule, the chances of a third BCS title in four years is considerably more realistic.

Three remaining home games and the SEC title game against what will likely be the Georgia Bulldogs are all that stands between the Tide and the title game. Alabama hosts Texas A&M this weekend.

Along with the Tide, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame also have unblemished records and hope to reach the title game.

If all four manage to complete the regular season undefeated, it is Kansas State that should be facing the Tide in January.

The banter that can be found on various social media sites and message boards over who truly deserves to be ranked at the top of this group has been endless.

Therefore, it feels like a good time to delve deep into the statistics and see how they measure up against each other.

What you are about to see is a list of 38 statistical categories. Within each category, we will list the four teams and their national ranking in that particular department.

Please keep in mind that this is in no way scientific, nor is it meant to be. It is simply a comprehensive list that covers every relevant statistic. Do with it what you will.

At the end, you will see that Alabama and Kansas State have distinct statistical advantages over the Irish and the Ducks, provided that they run the table.

Here goes:

Statistic

Oregon

Kansas State

Alabama

Notre Dame

Scoring Offense

1

5

17

72

Rushing Offense

2

18

24

30

Passing Offense

76

82

81

90

Total Offense

4

41

48

61

Punt Return Avg.

8

2

34

117

KO Ret. Avg

123

4

11

103

Punting Average

113

91

37

71

Field Goal %

110

9

41

42

First Downs/Game

6

27

66

46

Penalty Yards

114

2

14

25

Turnover Margin

18

1

4

20

Sacks

18

41

24

15

Tackles For Loss

22

53

42

76

Interceptions

2

10

8

10

Fumble Recoveries

20

4

39

93

3rd Down %

9

7

50

38

Red Zone %

13

22

3

96

Kickoff Touchback

114

48

32

46

Plays for +10 Yards

2

28

44

69

Runs for +10 Yards

1

12

16

61

Passes +20 Yards

90

30

72

72

Scoring Defense

40

21

1

2

Rushing Defense

38

9

2

11

Passing Defense

69

96

8

21

Total Defense

51

36

2

10

Opp. Punt Returns

11

15

54

74

Opp. Kick Returns

65

95

99

97

1st Down Def.

74

55

1

10

Time of Poss.

101

13

24

11

Sacks Allowed

36

11

72

54

TFL Allowed

109

7

46

35

Passes Defended

3

33

17

77

Fumbles Lost

90

2

61

19

Opp. 3rd Down %

16

59

11

36

Opp. Red Zone %

2

19

3

5

Plays +10 Allowed

52

69

1

17

Runs +10 Allowed

66

12

2

8

Passes +20 Allow

40

24

120

8

Total Score

1729

1113

1231

1748

So what does all of this tell us?

Well, if you look at the bottom row, entitled "total score", you will see that both Alabama and Kansas State are light years ahead of the other two based solely on their cumulative national rankings in individual categories.

 

Now this does not mention anything at all about strength of schedule. That is certainly another factor to consider, but all four of these teams play quality schedules and determining which is truly the most difficult is a daunting task. It is also worthy of its own article.

Again, for what it is worth, this information tells us that based on the statistics Alabama and Kansas State should play each other for the BCS title if they both end the regular season without a loss.

Before any of this matters, though, there are still some difficult games left on the slate for both of them. Texas A&M and TCU would love to blow up our plans this Saturday by beating 'Bama and Kansas State, respectively.

One game at a time, men, one game at a time.

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