Texas A&M is eager to get SEC play underway. They've even evoked their American Collie mascot Reveille's magical properties to help them out.
In anticipation of Texas A&M's SEC debut vs. the Florida Gators, I present to you a football metrics comparison chart and prediction formula of my own design. 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.
In the words of Naveen Jain: "Trust your gut instinct over spreadsheets. There are too many variables in the real world that you simply can't put into a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets spit out results from your inexact assumptions and give you a false sense of security. In most cases, your heart and gut are still your best guide…"
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 12th in Rush Defense in 2011 versus Florida’s 73rd ranked Rushing offense; therefore, due to A&M being 61 spots ahead of UF in that metric they get the "advantage"
Note: Even though these metrics are from 2011, I retroactively re-ranked each based on the new 14-team SEC Conference (obviously, for the conference rankings only)
The prediction formula is an algorithm that I created which takes into account yardage offense and defense, how a team has performed relative to it's 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 "Platform of Facts". I have been tweaking the formula for 3 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)
**Note: 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 "Platform of Facts" above:
1. Florida allowed 60 more yards to BGSU than their 2011 average against the pass. With Texas A&M's offense expected to be 55-60% passing in a high-octane, hi-tempo spread offense... could this be bad for Florida?
2. The Aggies return their two sack-leaders (SLB Sean Porter and WDE DeMontre Moore) who led the Aggies to the #1 spot in the nation in 2011 in team sack totals at 3.92 per game. Has Florida's O-Line made the necessary improvements to step up from #54 in sacks allowed per game?
3. Can the Aggie Offensive line, which was #4 in the nation in sacks allowed in 2011 and returns all 5 starters, keep first-year starting QB Johnny Manziel off the ground against 2011 Florida's #44 ranked pass rush (2.15 sacks per game)?
4. Has Florida done anything to shore up their Redzone defense? The Aggies will be bringing it with a team that was tops in the nation in Redzone scoring (#2 at 95.2%).
5. Can the Aggies keep up their stingy run defense from 2011 that allowed only 101 yards per game on the ground? Can new Florida starter Mike Gillislee do any damage on the ground against this front seven?
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 2.