In an effort to clarify a few ratings and assumptions on the parts of both Alabama and Virginia Tech fans, I offer this humble comparison of the only common opponent the two teams played last season—the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
Bama, ranked 11th at the time, finished WKU off with a final score of 41-7. Tech was also ranked (20th) and beat the Hilltoppers by a final of 27-13. But let's take a deeper look inside the numbers because, contrary to what some fans think, they do tell the whole story.
The Tide scored early and often in their matchup. Bama's offense put up a whopping 557 total yards (276 through the air and 281 on the ground) while the defense only allowed a paltry 158 total yards (116 passing and 42 rushing). All in all, it was a totally dominant performance against—let's face it—a vastly less talented and totally outmatched opponent.
Tech also scored early, but not nearly as often. And the game was as close as it sounds. The two teams were only separated by a total of 50 yards, with the Hokies having the upper hand in that department. Tech managed 293 yards (142 passing and 151 rushing), while giving up 243 total yards (95 yards passing and 148 rushing) to WKU. While Western Kentucky managed to get within 14 points of the Hokies, that didn't happen until early in the 4th quarter.
Comparing the two teams' numbers, the Tide nearly doubled the offensive output in both passing and rushing stats of the Virginia Tech offense. Alabama's defense also surrendered a net of 85 fewer yards (106 less rushing but 21 more passing) than did the Hokie defense.
So I ask this question to the fans: Which team was better?
The answer is obvious, of course. The Crimson Tide of Alabama.
Which team dominated WKU from start to finish? That would be Alabama once again.
I would like to finish by pointing out that Tyrod Taylor received his highest passer rating (158.66) of the season in this game, yet only completed 10 of 15 passes (66.7%, quite respectable) for 125 yards (not so much) and a single touchdown. He also only managed 30 yards on the ground on 10 carries.
Since Tech fans laud Taylor's ability with his feet, you would think he could have put up better numbers against so poor an opponent.
So there it is, folks. Feel free to comment with your opinions on this matter. I am open to all points of view. I do, however, believe (IMHO) that you can't argue the fact that Alabama looked much better in this game than did Virginia Tech.