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Advanced Stats Saturday: Week 11 2014

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The Big-12, Big-10 and possibly the SEC will decide a whole lot more about their playoff race and whether or not chaos is what everyone wants. We see one major upset brewing.

Ralph Freso

FEI is the Fremeau Efficiency Index, created by Brian Fremeau. Brian Fremeau is an author at Football Outsiders,ESPN and BCFToys. FEI is an advanced statistical measure for college football that tracks drive efficiency instead of per-play success.


S+P is created by Bill Connelly. Bill Connelly is an author at SBNation, RockMNationFootball Study Hall and Football Outsiders. S+P is an advanced statistical measure which combines success rate, explosiveness per play and opponent adjustments.

Lots of good games to jump into this week and a likely decider of several conferences' playoff hopes.

Notre Dame at Arizona State


OVERALL When Notre Dame has the ball When Arizona State has the ball
Category Notre Dame

Arizona State

ND Off ASU Def ND Def ASU Off
F/+ Rk 22 (20.2%) 21 (20.7%) 28 (7.9%) 38 (7.1%) 20 (11.2%) 13 (12.9%)
S&P+ 22 (230.5) 29 (221.6) 17 (117.2) 33 (111.1) 27 (113.4) 34 (110.5)
Play Efficiency

19 (124.7) 46 (110.4) 32 (116.6) 34 (116.3)
Rushing S&P+

30 (119.1) 49 (105.9) 16 (127.2) 60 (104.8)
Passing S&P+

19 (128.0) 41 (113.5) 59 (104.5) 23 (125.0)
Std. Downs S&P+

14 (124.6) 62 (101.8) 32 (115.2) 32 (117.0)
Pass. Downs S&P+

27 (125.5) 19 (131.7) 44 (116.0) 39 (114.3)
Drive Efficiency

21 (117.7) 28 (116.9) 24 (121.1) 27 (113.3)

OVERALL When Notre Dame has the ball When Arizona State has the ball
Category Notre Dame

Arizona State

ND Off ASU Def ND Def ASU Off
F/+ Rk 22 (20.2%) 21 (20.7%) 28 (7.9%) 38 (7.1%) 20 (11.2%) 13 (12.9%)
FEI Rk 25 (.167) 14 (.224) 35 (.218) 40 (-.270) 16 (-.471) 8 (.600)
Field Position 27 (.522) 44 (.507)



Raw Efficiency 16 (.163) 38 (.066) 26 (.350) 33 (-.271) 42 (-.217) 45 (.106)
First Down rate

22 (.734) 71 (.674) 34 (.602) 26 (.727)
Available Yards rate

14 (.563) 44 (.408) 40 (.394) 26 (.525)
Explosive Drives

41 (.160) 51 (.116) 44 (.108) 71 (.125)
Methodical Drives

21 (.181) 78 (.151) 62 (.140) 48 (.148)
Value Drives

16 (.513) 43 (.329) 53 (.352) 35 (.434)
Special Team rank 40 (.787) 51 (.497)



Field Goal efficiency 83 (-.144) 31 (.333)



Punt Return efficiency 49 (-.026) 48 (-.024)



Kickoff return efficiency 32 (-.073) 61 (-.156)



punt efficiency 53 (-.129) 47 (-.147)



kickoff efficiency 55 (-.182) 104 (-.035)




This is about as even as they come. S+P significantly favors Notre Dame on both offense and defense. FEI thinks that ASU's offense is much better than Notre Dame's and much better in general, while the ASU defense matches up pretty evenly with Notre Dame's offense. This is another good test of which methodology is right - as well as a sort of bellwether for the PAC-12 in general. If ASU can beat Notre Dame in a similar fashion to FSU, we have a much better idea of where FSU and the PAC-12 stand. If they can't, well, we'll also know.

The big advantage that ND has is on standard downs, where ASU just doesn't get a lot of stops - and ND is super efficient. ND is great at methodical drives too; expect a whole lot of long drives with decent scores at the end. ASU is almost as methodical, however, and has a massive advantage passing the ball against the weakest part of the ND defense. Both teams' major offensive strength is the other team's major defensive weakness, so expect something of a race here. Neither team is particularly special in special teams play save in one area - ASU is horrible at kickoffs. That might be the kind of difference that decides this game.

Washington State at Oregon State


OVERALL When Washington State has the ball When Oregon State has the ball
Category Washington State

Oregon State

WSU Off OSU Def WSU Def OSU Off
F/+ Rk 78 (-6.7%) 70 (-3.1%) 27 (8.4%) 80 (-3.0%) 90 (-7.8%) 58 (0.4%)
S&P+ 66 (200.8) 81 (192.6) 47 (104.5) 85 (95.1) 79 (96.2) 77 (97.5)
Play Efficiency

45 (111.5) 77 (96.3) 70 (98.1) 66 (102.4)
Rushing S&P+

100 (90.2) 126 (74.2) 75 (98.0) 31 (117.1)
Passing S&P+

36 (113.8) 25 (120.1) 69 (100.3) 93 (91.6)
Std. Downs S&P+

40 (111.1) 105 (89.5) 91 (93.1) 56 (105.6)
Pass. Downs S&P+

43 (112.7) 45 (115.4) 49 (113.7) 93 (90.3)
Drive Efficiency

65 (101.3) 91 (92.3) 65 (100.3) 82 (95.3)

OVERALL When Washington State has the ball When Oregon State has the ball
Category Washington State

Oregon State

WSU Off OSU Def WSU Def OSU Off
F/+ Rk 78 (-6.7%) 70 (-3.1%) 27 (8.4%) 80 (-3.0%) 90 (-7.8%) 58 (0.4%)
FEI Rk 57 (.023) 60 (.005) 14 (.434) 75 (.068) 96 (.357) 52 (.080)
Field Position 125 (.434) 102 (.472)



Raw Efficiency 105 (-.128) 80 (-.052) 38 (.175) 67 (.004) 118 (.450) 74 (-.075)
First Down rate

50 (.689) 26 (.588) 96 (.726) 46 (.695)
Available Yards rate

35 (.505) 61 (.436) 100 (.532) 75 (.422)
Explosive Drives

43 (.155) 23 (.082) 109 (.200) 60 (.134)
Methodical Drives

13 (.204) 67 (.141) 106 (.179) 105 (.098)
Value Drives

38 (.429) 79 (.413) 113 (.512) 80 (.342)
Special Team rank 126 (-5.268) 80 (-.303)



Field Goal efficiency 102 (-.367) 7 (.594)



Punt Return efficiency 112 (-.273) 92 (-.184)



Kickoff return efficiency 73 (-.166) 42 (-.105)



punt efficiency 128 (.437) 119 (.151)



kickoff efficiency 123 (.129) 61 (-.172)




This probably isn't that useful to run due to Connor Halliday's tragic injury. All signs point to it being a WSU blowout, as WSU's decent offense comes up against a bad defense, while OSU's decent to horrible offense goes against a decent to horrible defense depending on what methodology you like. Washington State is also worst in the nation on special teams, so you might get a couple good kick returns from OSU.

UCLA at Washington


OVERALL When UCLA has the ball When Washington has the ball
Category UCLA

Washington

UCLA Off UW Def UCLA Def UW Off
F/+ Rk 16 (22.0%) 60 (0.1%) 11 (13.6%) 41 (6.6%) 35 (8.1%) 99 (-8.0%)
S&P+ 28 (222.2) 72 (197.8) 35 (110.4) 58 (101.3) 32 (111.7) 81 (96.5)
Play Efficiency

36 (115.8) 48 (108.3) 27 (119.2) 74 (97.6)
Rushing S&P+

24 (123.1) 52 (105.3) 35 (114.6) 66 (102.9)
Passing S&P+

37 (112.7) 47 (110.5) 22 (122.8) 81 (94.6)
Std. Downs S&P+

30 (117.4) 48 (105.3) 29 (116.6) 71 (100.1)
Pass. Downs S&P+

51 (106.6) 43 (116.6) 30 (122.7) 96 (90.2)
Drive Efficiency

26 (114.4) 86 (94.7) 35 (111.3) 79 (97.1)

OVERALL When UCLA has the ball When Washington has the ball
Category UCLA

Washington

UCLA Off UW Def UCLA Def UW Off
F/+ Rk 16 (22.0%) 60 (0.1%) 11 (13.6%) 41 (6.6%) 35 (8.1%) 99 (-8.0%)
FEI Rk 7 (.236) 45 (.068) 7 (.639) 24 (-.387) 34 (-.321) 108 (-.383)
Field Position 55 (.502) 11 (.555)



Raw Efficiency 46 (.049) 36 (.068) 37 (.211) 25 (-.356) 66 (-.001) 101 (-.296)
First Down rate

8 (.776) 48 (.633) 73 (.678) 105 (.593)
Available Yards rate

44 (.486) 42 (.399) 65 (.440) 103 (.382)
Explosive Drives

29 (.181) 5 (.051) 13 (.068) 82 (.110)
Methodical Drives

65 (.138) 89 (.163) 116 (.203) 95 (.110)
Value Drives

61 (.376) 37 (.318) 47 (.333) 105 (.295)
Special Team rank 62 (.180) 32 (1.113)



Field Goal efficiency 79 (-.077) 54 (.115)



Punt Return efficiency 105 (-.221) 21 (.081)



Kickoff return efficiency 35 (-.085) 71 (-.164)



punt efficiency 60 (-.091) 58 (-.096)



kickoff efficiency 14 (-.271) 51 (-.189)




Oh, Washington. You continue to amuse me. Washington's defense is still the strength of the team, but that strength is married to a completely horrible offense. UCLA has big advantages (about 15 points of S+P) on each side of the ball and in particular should be able to run effectively, though they might get bogged down if they get into passing situations too much. Washington, meanwhile, doesn't do anything particularly good and is especially bad at turning the ball over. UW's defense is one of the best in the country at stopping explosive plays, so UCLA may have to get points a fairly hard way for them - but it shouldn't be too bad, as I don't see how UW is going to actually do anything. The best shot UW has is on punt returns, where they could get some yardage. The likelihood is that they'd just squander it on their offense.

Colorado at Arizona


OVERALL When Colorado has the ball When Arizona has the ball
Category Colorado

Arizona

UCB Off UA Def UCB Def UA Off
F/+ Rk 76 (-5.6%) 28 (15.7%) 56 (0.7%) 39 (7.0%) 85 (-5.2%) 29 (7.9%)
S&P+ 84 (192.1) 42 (211.2) 73 (98.4) 47 (105.5) 89 (93.7) 44 (105.7)
Play Efficiency

63 (103.1) 39 (111.6) 81 (95.4) 67 (102.1)
Rushing S&P+

83 (95.2) 39 (112.7) 96 (90.4) 71 (100.8)
Passing S&P+

45 (109.8) 53 (108.1) 75 (98.3) 65 (101.3)
Std. Downs S&P+

68 (101.2) 42 (107.7) 107 (88.5) 60 (103.6)
Pass. Downs S&P+

49 (107.2) 37 (118.9) 36 (119.1) 71 (99.1)
Drive Efficiency

85 (95.0) 45 (107.6) 74 (97.6) 23 (117.0)

OVERALL When Colorado has the ball When Arizona has the ball
Category Colorado

Arizona

UCB Off UA Def UCB Def UA Off
F/+ Rk 76 (-5.6%) 28 (15.7%) 56 (0.7%) 39 (7.0%) 85 (-5.2%) 29 (7.9%)
FEI Rk 66 (-.015) 12 (.225) 49 (.086) 31 (-.351) 86 (.170) 19 (.385)
Field Position 114 (.462) 13 (.546)



Raw Efficiency 89 (-.076) 29 (.093) 57 (.014) 79 (.158) 90 (.246) 15 (.470)
First Down rate

33 (.712) 94 (.720) 77 (.694) 5 (.790)
Available Yards rate

54 (.468) 74 (.465) 82 (.499) 15 (.562)
Explosive Drives

111 (.072) 68 (.130) 122 (.231) 36 (.170)
Methodical Drives

28 (.168) 64 (.140) 10 (.058) 17 (.190)
Value Drives

56 (.391) 64 (.371) 89 (.442) 14 (.517)
Special Team rank 90 (-.814) 50 (.567)



Field Goal efficiency 52 (.116) 97 (-.293)



Punt Return efficiency 96 (-.197) 46 (-.022)



Kickoff return efficiency 87 (-.188) 85 (-.181)



punt efficiency 72 (-.063) 44 (-.156)



kickoff efficiency 85 (-.111) 16 (-.263)



I am contractually obligated to provide data about Colorado. Actually, that's not fair - while Colorado is not a great team they're not the hideous mess that they were last year (76th overall in F+) and are comparable to WSU and OSU, and within striking distance of Washington. That being said, this isn't a good matchup against one of the better teams in the PAC-12. They are at best even when passing the ball on offense and fairly outclassed on defense, though not by so much. If Colorado can keep Arizona behind the count, they can get some stops. FEI, however, sees Arizona as a methodical killing machine on offense with an almost 600 point differential. Colorado is great at stopping methodical drives - but only because they're so horrible at stopping explosive ones. Expect a lot of big plays for Arizona.

Clemson at Wake Forest


OVERALL When Clemson has the ball When Wake Forest has the ball
Category Clemson

Wake Forest

CLEM Off WAKE Def CLEM Def WAKE Off
F/+ Rk 13 (24.4%) 84 (-10.0%) 47 (3.8%) 51 (3.0%) 1 (21.9%) 126 (-17.6%)
S&P+ 14 (238.0) 113 (176.1) 46 (104.8) 57 (101.3) 3 (133.2) 126 (74.8)
Play Efficiency

76 (97.5) 51 (107.3) 2 (154.7) 128 (66.1)
Rushing S&P+

110 (85.4) 44 (108.7) 2 (152.1) 128 (47.9)
Passing S&P+

49 (108.0) 60 (104.3) 4 (155.8) 121 (76.0)
Std. Downs S&P+

79 (96.8) 55 (103.4) 4 (139.4) 128 (69.3)
Pass. Downs S&P+

76 (98.1) 38 (118.0) 2 (182.3) 127 (63.2)
Drive Efficiency

11 (123.4) 88 (94.0) 21 (122.5) 88 (94.4)

OVERALL When Clemson has the ball When Wake Forest has the ball
Category Clemson

Wake Forest

CLEM Off WAKE Def CLEM Def WAKE Off
F/+ Rk 13 (24.4%) 84 (-10.0%) 47 (3.8%) 51 (3.0%) 1 (21.9%) 126 (-17.6%)
FEI Rk 16 (.216) 86 (-.087) 44 (.167) 47 (-.183) 1 (-.787) 126 (-.604)
Field Position 36 (.513) 106 (.469)



Raw Efficiency 34 (.078) 110 (-.138) 91 (-.200) 40 (-.224) 6 (-.534) 127 (-.827)
First Down rate

115 (.564) 80 (.700) 3 (.490) 127 (.435)
Available Yards rate

100 (.389) 68 (.443) 1 (.265) 128 (.211)
Explosive Drives

88 (.106) 28 (.088) 71 (.133) 127 (.035)
Methodical Drives

26 (.170) 57 (.138) 5 (.051) 118 (.082)
Value Drives

76 (.349) 61 (.361) 3 (.205) 128 (.147)
Special Team rank 91 (-.882) 4 (3.295)



Field Goal efficiency 63 (.043) 6 (.642)



Punt Return efficiency 77 (-.119) 16 (.097)



Kickoff return efficiency 121 (-.312) 77 (-.173)



punt efficiency 19 (-.231) 21 (-.228)



kickoff efficiency 114 (-.010) 7 (-.339)




I was curious how bad Wake Forest is. Wake Forest is bad. Real bad. Worse than any team in the PAC-12 bad. The Wake forest defense actually has a decent shot against a meh Clemson offense, but Clemson has the highest ranked defense in the nation by FEI (artificially bolstered by doing well against Jameis Winston's backups) and Wake Forest has by FEI the worst offense in the country. This might be entertaining in the way that watching a 5 year old try and beat up a sumo wrestler is entertaining.

Baylor at Oklahoma


OVERALL When Baylor has the ball When Oklahoma has the ball
Category Baylor

Oklahoma

BAY Off OU Def BAY Def OU Off
F/+ Rk 18 (21.7%) 6 (32.0%) 20 (10.1%) 25 (9.7%) 23 (10.0%) 5 (18.8%)
S&P+ 16 (237.0) 7 (250.9) 22 (115.6) 17 (121.0) 14 (121.4) 5 (129.9)
Play Efficiency

28 (118.4) 15 (124.9) 31 (117.0) 3 (143.9)
Rushing S&P+

49 (108.8) 14 (131.3) 28 (115.7) 2 (145.5)
Passing S&P+

20 (127.6) 23 (122.3) 28 (118.2) 7 (143.5)
Std. Downs S&P+

26 (118.8) 16 (121.6) 39 (108.6) 5 (137.2)
Pass. Downs S&P+

36 (117.3) 23 (128.3) 15 (134.9) 6 (158.1)
Drive Efficiency

20 (119.6) 16 (127.8) 5 (136.1) 8 (129.3)

OVERALL When Baylor has the ball When Oklahoma has the ball
Category Baylor

Oklahoma

BAY Off OU Def BAY Def OU Off
F/+ Rk 18 (21.7%) 6 (32.0%) 20 (10.1%) 25 (9.7%) 23 (10.0%) 5 (18.8%)
FEI Rk 23 (.176) 6 (.243) 21 (.365) 38 (-.274) 37 (-.284) 6 (.650)
Field Position 7 (.564) 20 (.539)



Raw Efficiency 5 (.243) 9 (.225) 24 (.383) 28 (-.334) 15 (-.452) 14 (.495)
First Down rate

10 (.772) 33 (.602) 5 (.506) 43 (.702)
Available Yards rate

9 (.582) 20 (.359) 9 (.318) 20 (.539)
Explosive Drives

11 (.207) 41 (.102) 60 (.126) 30 (.181)
Methodical Drives

19 (.185) 33 (.112) 13 (.069) 75 (.128)
Value Drives

12 (.526) 26 (.286) 8 (.250) 18 (.506)
Special Team rank 28 (1.186) 8 (2.529)



Field Goal efficiency 55 (.106) 34 (.296)



Punt Return efficiency 74 (-.111) 17 (.090)



Kickoff return efficiency 16 (-.010) 1 (.197)



punt efficiency 18 (-.235) 94 (.004)



kickoff efficiency 87 (-.103) 71 (-.150)



On rankings, Baylor is way ahead here. Good thing advanced stats care nothing for pollsters, because this is a big ol upset alert for Baylor. That it's on the road is not a good sign for the Bears. That Oklahoma has the 5th best offense by S+P is even worse. Baylor is good on defense but has a 30 point differential against the run here. That's bad news. S+P thinks that the Oklahoma defense is equal to the Baylor offense, having big advantages against the run and on passing downs and essentially even against the pass. FEI thinks the Baylor offense is much better than that, predicting something of a shootout - but a shootout Oklahoma will win. Another problem is that Oklahoma is best in the nation on returning kicks against Baylor's 87th' ranked kick coverage team. While Baylor usually gets the advantage of field position I'd expect Oklahoma to do well here as well.

Georgia at Kentucky


OVERALL When Georgia has the ball When Kentucky has the ball
Category Georgia

Kentucky

UG Off KU Def UG Def KU Off
F/+ Rk 20 (21.1%) 63 (-0.6%) 10 (14.7%) 49 (3.8%) 48 (4.6%) 75 (-3.1%)
S&P+ 24 (228.5) 45 (210.1) 13 (120.0) 46 (106.4) 41 (108.5) 49 (103.7)
Play Efficiency

9 (134.6) 50 (107.8) 55 (103.9) 50 (107.4)
Rushing S&P+

3 (144.7) 62 (102.9) 68 (100.5) 40 (114.2)
Passing S&P+

25 (122.5) 38 (114.1) 50 (108.8) 60 (103.5)
Std. Downs S&P+

8 (129.5) 43 (107.5) 41 (108.3) 35 (114.6)
Pass. Downs S&P+

12 (139.2) 58 (105.5) 83 (93.6) 97 (90.1)
Drive Efficiency

22 (117.1) 43 (107.7) 27 (118.0) 44 (109.0)

OVERALL When Georgia has the ball When Kentucky has the ball
Category Georgia

Kentucky

UG Off KU Def UG Def KU Off
F/+ Rk 20 (21.1%) 63 (-0.6%) 10 (14.7%) 49 (3.8%) 48 (4.6%) 75 (-3.1%)
FEI Rk 11 (.226) 65 (-.014) 13 (.564) 51 (-.153) 50 (-.165) 88 (-.208)
Field Position 2 (.590) 49 (.505)



Raw Efficiency 13 (.215) 60 (.007) 21 (.399) 53 (-.129) 44 (-.204) 86 (-.158)
First Down rate

35 (.711) 39 (.619) 22 (.575) 67 (.660)
Available Yards rate

19 (.546) 43 (.400) 22 (.363) 84 (.414)
Explosive Drives

13 (.205) 11 (.062) 32 (.092) 61 (.134)
Methodical Drives

50 (.145) 91 (.165) 34 (.115) 90 (.113)
Value Drives

19 (.486) 36 (.318) 41 (.325) 91 (.326)
Special Team rank 26 (1.293) 94 (-.948)



Field Goal efficiency 77 (-.067) 37 (.270)



Punt Return efficiency 22 (.077) 91 (-.181)



Kickoff return efficiency 9 (.046) 72 (-.165)



punt efficiency 97 (.023) 81 (-.037)



kickoff efficiency 50 (-.191) 110 (-.020)



Another one I was curious about. Kentucky isn't bad, but they're not a great match. I don't know why Mississippi State struggled with them so much. Georgia should have an easy time of it provided they remember to stop the run now and then. They have a 40 point advantage running the ball. Kentucky has a 15 point advantage when they run, but that shouldn't be so hideous that Georgia gives up. FEI sees it as about the same only more so, and gives Georgia some big advantages in the return game to boot.

Kansas State at TCU


OVERALL When Kansas State has the ball When TCU has the ball
Category Kansas State

TCU

KSU Off TCU Def KSU Def TCU Off
F/+ Rk 15 (24.2%) 10 (27.4%) 24 (9.1%) 8 (15.7%) 18 (12.2%) 22 (9.8%)
S&P+ 25 (228.4) 12 (239.8) 30 (111.4) 18 (120.5) 21 (116.9) 14 (119.3)
Play Efficiency

44 (111.7) 25 (120.4) 20 (122.2) 16 (125.6)
Rushing S&P+

44 (110.9) 18 (125.9) 11 (131.9) 4 (140.3)
Passing S&P+

34 (114.6) 37 (114.4) 32 (115.8) 33 (115.6)
Std. Downs S&P+

48 (107.5) 36 (113.1) 33 (114.6) 29 (117.9)
Pass. Downs S&P+

31 (124.3) 16 (134.8) 10 (144.9) 10 (142.6)
Drive Efficiency

25 (115.7) 7 (135.6) 18 (124.7) 15 (122.6)

OVERALL When Kansas State has the ball When TCU has the ball
Category Kansas State

TCU

KSU Off TCU Def KSU Def TCU Off
F/+ Rk 15 (24.2%) 10 (27.4%) 24 (9.1%) 8 (15.7%) 18 (12.2%) 22 (9.8%)
FEI Rk 17 (.202) 13 (.225) 20 (.372) 7 (-.622) 15 (-.477) 29 (.291)
Field Position 16 (.543) 6 (.565)



Raw Efficiency 4 (.248) 14 (.205) 8 (.558) 13 (-.471) 37 (-.248) 33 (.250)
First Down rate

21 (.735) 18 (.567) 25 (.586) 44 (.702)
Available Yards rate

11 (.573) 28 (.370) 33 (.379) 22 (.533)
Explosive Drives

21 (.191) 94 (.165) 7 (.057) 14 (.202)
Methodical Drives

36 (.162) 46 (.124) 83 (.157) 98 (.106)
Value Drives

5 (.557) 40 (.322) 18 (.273) 23 (.473)
Special Team rank 11 (2.069) 25 (1.422)



Field Goal efficiency 80 (-.098) 20 (.402)



Punt Return efficiency 2 (.330) 34 (.016)



Kickoff return efficiency 10 (.031) 65 (-.160)



punt efficiency 112 (.108) 70 (-.065)



kickoff efficiency 35 (-.217) 25 (-.248)



This is TCU's last real chance to prove themselves to the committee, and fortunately they get Kansas State at home. This is a very even matchup, but TCU has a slight edge. In particular TCU should be able to run the ball (15 points), get points (20 points - meaning no turnovers and a lot more TDs than FGs), stop KSU's running attack (6 points), and otherwise hold serve. FEI sees their matchup as almost precisely even on offense and defense with both defenses being better than both offenses. A very atypical smashmouth kind of game, in other words. Special teams may come into major play here, and here's where TCU has a big advantage - they're 20th in kicking field goals compared to 80th for KState, and KState is 112th in punting vs TCU's 34th. KState is no slouch on special teams either and may get a big punt return as well; they're second in the nation on punt returns.

Alabama at LSU


OVERALL When Alabama has the ball When LSU has the ball
Category Alabama

LSU

ALA Off LSU Def ALA Def LSU Off
F/+ Rk 5 (33.4%) 9 (27.8%) 7 (18.1%) 14 (14.0%) 6 (16.8%) 19 (10.7%)
S&P+ 1 (267.2) 8 (248.7) 4 (132.1) 7 (127.6) 1 (135.1) 11 (121.1)
Play Efficiency

6 (140.3) 7 (134.2) 6 (139.4) 14 (126.9)
Rushing S&P+

20 (126.0) 19 (123.9) 1 (167.3) 27 (121.9)
Passing S&P+

2 (161.9) 5 (146.4) 18 (126.5) 11 (139.4)
Std. Downs S&P+

1 (139.1) 6 (134.9) 2 (143.4) 15 (124.5)
Pass. Downs S&P+

13 (138.3) 26 (125.2) 20 (129.8) 26 (126.2)
Drive Efficiency

2 (141.3) 6 (135.8) 1 (145.7) 5 (134.8)

OVERALL When Alabama has the ball When LSU has the ball
Category Alabama

LSU

ALA Off LSU Def ALA Def LSU Off
F/+ Rk 5 (33.4%) 9 (27.8%) 7 (18.1%) 14 (14.0%) 6 (16.8%) 19 (10.7%)
FEI Rk 5 (.253) 20 (.184) 12 (.576) 21 (-.420) 17 (-.470) 28 (.320)
Field Position 99 (.474) 21 (.538)



Raw Efficiency 3 (.250) 25 (.122) 3 (.733) 18 (-.400) 7 (-.525) 66 (-.044)
First Down rate

9 (.775) 31 (.596) 47 (.631) 100 (.606)
Available Yards rate

6 (.607) 13 (.338) 10 (.330) 92 (.401)
Explosive Drives

15 (.200) 74 (.138) 8 (.060) 79 (.117)
Methodical Drives

25 (.175) 2 (.032) 70 (.143) 106 (.096)
Value Drives

7 (.547) 16 (.261) 4 (.213) 79 (.345)
Special Team rank 96 (-1.091) 10 (2.222)



Field Goal efficiency 75 (-.045) 17 (.412)



Punt Return efficiency 126 (-.354) 13 (.129)



Kickoff return efficiency 119 (-.290) 41 (-.100)



punt efficiency 6 (-.330) 79 (-.050)



kickoff efficiency 88 (-.102) 18 (-.257)



Sorry guys, but this doesn't look like an upset at all. Alabama is the top rated team by S+P and one of the best by FEI. LSU is highly ranked in S+P and not loved at all by FEI. Alabama has slight advantages on offense - mostly in the passing game and on passing downs. Alabama has big advantages on defense, where they have the best rushing defense in the nation. They are potentially vulnerable to a passing attack, and LSU does have a 15 point advantage when passing. Alabama is also one of the most efficient in drives on both offense and defense - forcing stops, turnovers, etc.

FEI doesn't think quite so highly of Alabama due to their fairly weak schedule so far, but they're still highly rated. And LSU...isn't. One big advantage LSU has is on special teams, where Alabama is rated 96th and LSU is 10th. Alabama is great at punting but horrible at punt returns and kick returns, which LSU is very good at. If LSU can somehow hold back the tide to take advantage of their hidden yards they can make a game out of it, but otherwise Alabama should win.

Ohio State at Michigan State


OVERALL When Ohio State has the ball When Michigan State has the ball
Category Ohio State

Michigan State

tOSU Off MSU Def tOSU Def MSU Off
F/+ Rk 7 (28.9%) 11 (26.3%) 15 (12.4%) 7 (15.8%) 17 (12.4%) 18 (10.9%)
S&P+ 9 (248.4) 4 (258.0) 6 (126.6) 4 (132.4) 12 (121.8) 8 (125.6)
Play Efficiency

7 (137.4) 5 (147.1) 26 (119.7) 8 (135.4)
Rushing S&P+

13 (129.5) 3 (149.4) 57 (104.4) 19 (127.7)
Passing S&P+

4 (149.2) 8 (139.4) 11 (132.9) 5 (148.2)
Std. Downs S&P+

9 (128.1) 11 (125.0) 27 (116.9) 2 (139.1)
Pass. Downs S&P+

5 (159.7) 1 (192.6) 31 (122.6) 29 (124.4)
Drive Efficiency

9 (126.9) 10 (134.2) 12 (134.0) 18 (120.3)

OVERALL When Ohio State has the ball When Michigan State has the ball
Category Ohio State

Michigan State

tOSU Off MSU Def tOSU Def MSU Off
F/+ Rk 7 (28.9%) 11 (26.3%) 15 (12.4%) 7 (15.8%) 17 (12.4%) 18 (10.9%)
FEI Rk 18 (.194) 24 (.172) 26 (.335) 19 (-.453) 22 (-.415) 32 (.261)
Field Position 1 (.595) 19 (.540)



Raw Efficiency 2 (.301) 8 (.227) 18 (.434) 10 (-.480) 12 (-.472) 28 (.323)
First Down rate

6 (.776) 2 (.476) 8 (.534) 13 (.759)
Available Yards rate

3 (.633) 6 (.300) 5 (.299) 23 (.532)
Explosive Drives

45 (.153) 83 (.155) 21 (.080) 63 (.133)
Methodical Drives

107 (.094) 1 (.012) 17 (.080) 116 (.084)
Value Drives

4 (.576) 9 (.253) 7 (.241) 24 (.471)
Special Team rank 6 (2.905) 79 (-.238)



Field Goal efficiency 64 (.039) 104 (-.380)



Punt Return efficiency 6 (.191) 79 (-.122)



Kickoff return efficiency 26 (-.046) 28 (-.058)



punt efficiency 14 (-.256) 74 (-.062)



kickoff efficiency 37 (-.208) 52 (-.187)



This one is almost as close as the Notre Dame - ASU game. It's also another test of which methodology is better. Michigan State is favored by S+P on both offense and defense. Ohio State should be able to find some room to pass the ball and get explosive plays (10 point advantage) but not a whole lot else, and MSU has the best passing down defense in the nation. MSU on offense is going to have a big advantage running the ball (23 points) as well as significant advantages passing (16 points) and on standard downs (23 points). FEI disagrees almost completely, thinking that OSU's defense is much better than MSU's offense, even though they have a weak schedule. Ohio State is 1st in the nation on field position and 6th in special teams; expect good punt returns and kick returns against a meh MSU kicking game.