Wednesday, October 08, 2008

BCS Title Contenders

We did a post just before the season identifying the common characteristics of BSC Champions.

The most important common characteristics were Scoring Defense, Total Defense, and Passing Efficiency Defense. The expected national rankings of past BCS Title winners in each was –

Scoring Defense – 11th or better
Total Defense – 15th or better
Passing Efficiency Defense – 18th or better

Who is making the mark at this point?

Scoring Defense

Your current top 11 –

1 Kentucky
2 Iowa
2 Auburn
4 Texas
4 Florida
4 Boston College
4 Georgia Tech
9 Penn St.
10 Southern California
11 TCU

(Yes, all those teams are tied for 4th)

Total Defense

The current top 15 –

2 Arizona
3 Florida St.
4 Southern California
5 Tennessee
6 South Carolina
7 Auburn
8 Penn St.
9 Louisville
10 Boston College
11 Oklahoma
12 Kentucky
13 Utah
14 LSU
15 Georgia Tech

Passing Efficiency Defense

The current top 18 –

1 Oklahoma
2 Kentucky
3 Arizona
4 Boston College
5 Georgia Tech
6 Wake Forest
7 California
8 Penn St.
9 San Jose St.
10 Florida St.
11 Auburn
12 Tennessee
13 Iowa
14 TCU
15 Florida
16 Ball St.
17 Alabama
18 Wisconsin

You can draw your own conclusions about which teams appear the most.

And no, I don’t think Kentucky, which appears in all three, or Auburn (same) are going to be BCS Champions. (It may mean that Kentucky is better than people think though.) It is also very important to realize this data is based on only 5 games, while the data we used in the original study was for total season effort.

That said, it is interesting to note how the teams above stack up to the current Coaches Poll Top 10 –

1. Oklahoma – 15th in scoring defense, 11th in total defense, and 1st in passing defense, they are most certainly a contender.

2. Missouri – 83rd in scoring defense, 44th in total defense, and 61st in passing defense, this team is last year’s Gators. Their offense is very impressive, but they are not going to win anything consequential this year with that defense, based on past BCS champions.

3. LSU – 14th in scoring defense, 19th in total D, and 23rd in passing defense, the Tigers are just beyond where they need to be, but potential competitive. Still, this is clearly not last year’s LSU defense.

4. Alabama – 16th in scoring D, 14th in total defense, and 17th in passing, this team looks to be poised to play for it all.

5. Texas – 28th in scoring defense, 4th in total defense, and 39th in passing defense. It looks like passing is their weak point, and here comes the 4th best passing offense in Oklahoma this weekend. Uh-oh.

6. Penn State – based on defense to this point, Penn State might just be our top contender. 8th in scoring D, 9th in total D, and 8th in passing D, the Nittany Lions shouldn’t be overlooked.

7. Texas Tech – at 49th in scoring defense, 33rd in total defense, and 29th in passing D, this is a train wreck waiting to happen (especially against their opponent so far). Can you say several losses?

8. BYU – 30th in scoring D, 8th in total D, and 32nd in passing defense. Against their remaining opposition it might be good enough to run the table.

9. USC – their ranks of 4th in scoring defense, 10th in total defense, and 20th in passing efficiency defense means the Trojans are still contenders, even with ESPN’s help.

10. Georgia – 22nd in scoring defense, 43rd in total defense, and 59th in passing defense are the marks of a very vulnerable team. With those stats the Dawgs won’t be competing for much.

Finally, since we are a Florida blog, what about our Gators?

Scoring Defense – 4th
Total Defense – 19th
Passing Defense – 15th

Despite our loss to Ole Miss, the Gator defense is a pleasant surprise so far. Whether this is a result of tepid opposition or a real change is yet to be seen. And whether we are “in it” or not all hinges on this weekend anyway.


Anonymous said...

It'd be interesting to see how past champions' rankings track... do they start out with high marks on offense and then that recedes as they move through conference play?

Obviously many of the teams on the list right now don't have a prayer of playing in a BCS game, let alone the championship.

DolFan 316 said...

(Sighs.) If anything this makes the Ole Miss debacle look even WORSE :(

No, I still can't let it go. Not until Ole Miss wins another close SEC game at least.

jj gator said...

Dolfan, Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen aren't going anywhere soon, so take a chill pill and get over it. Don't give Mike Bianchi at the Orlando Sentinel more fuel to add to the fire about his most recent rant about the Gator fanbase. It's whining like this that makes Gator Nation look like a bunch of jaded, spoiled brats.

Like the saying goes, there's no use crying over spilled milk. Shit happens, and our kids have nobody to blame but themselves for the crappy way we've played in these last two games.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, jj, a substantial portion of Gator Nation IS "a bunch of jaded, spoiled brats"; why do you think Darth Visor LEFT???


jj gator said...

Yankee, there's no doubt that's one of the reasons why SOS left UF - I just hope we don't wind up doing the same thing to Urban Meyer. God knows we don't need another moRon Zook......

Anonymous said...

That settles it. TCU are going to be the National Champions.