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Foundation of Facts: One Cannot Spell Smug Without SMU...

The Aggies debut versus Florida was heavy on the "Close, but no cigar", and a little light on the "We kicked their Gatah asses!". Alas, one of the drawbacks of predicting this year's numbers on last year's stats is ... being, oh so slightly wrong. However, the yardage prediction wasn't THAT far off and who knew that Muschamp would actually make adjustments and inspire his kids at halftime.

Anyways, there's no time to look back, that's not really what we do here - except when looking back at statistics. So there was time for that, but only insomuch that we can now look forward to this week's stats versus SMU (pronounced SMOOOOOOOO!)

Question of the Week: What's worse than using last year's statistics to predict this year's games? (Answer at bottom)

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.

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 68th in Rush Defense versus SMU’s 98th ranked Rushing Offense; therefore, due to A&M being 30 spots ahead of SMU in that metric's national ranking, they get the "advantage".

Download: Full Image | PDF (or use the scrollbars below)


Disclaimer 1: 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"Foundation 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)

Disclaimer 2: 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 "Foundation of Facts" above:

1. FIVE (1, 2, 3 ,4 ... FIVE) TURNOVERS FORCED PER GAME! Well actually.. that was 10 turnovers in 1 of 2 games played. Also, it was against Stephen F. Austin, I mean, c'mon... c'mon.... .... .... .... c'mon. On a sidenote: five turnovers per game; five hookers (allegedly) killed by Craig James. Coincidence?

2. Look for A&M's Redshirt Freshman QB Johnny "F'ing Football" Manziel (JFF) to scorch this pass defense. Yeah, he did not gain a lot of yards passing versus Florida. There are lots of plausible reasons: Florida's defense is awesome, it was JFF's first game, receivers not getting open, no play calls down field, conservative play-for-the-win-and-don't-make-mistakes attitude; freshman jitters, knocking the rust off. Well the last time I checked: SMU is no UF, JFF is on game 2, our receivers are really good (really), etc. We should scorch this D, that's all I'm saying.

3. ....... C'mon.

4. I was kind of worried about our pass efficiency defense (114th at 163.93) until I realized we are not playing Florida and get to go against Garrett "Grape" Gilbert (99th at 112.64).

5. SMU is going to hold onto the ball as long as possible and use Zach "Coke" Line (ZCL) often in rushing and passing. Our goal should be to keep ZCL under 100 yards of total offense. If we can do that, SMU may break 300 yards altogether.

6. It's too bad there is not a metric carried for cramps for and cramps against. We would lead both categories. Our team is so well-conditioned by Larry Jackson and Florida players were sure looking at the sideline alot before falling to the ground and writhing in agony. I wonder if SMU will have similar conditioning problems while looking at the sidelines.

I hope you enjoy this feature and will come back next week to see how the Aggies will fare, statistically, against the SCSU Bulldogs in Game 3. (Geeze, how many southern schools have bulldog mascots?)

Answer to Question of the Week: Using one game's worth of this year's statistics. Ugghhh.

p.s. Don't forget to make your predictions for the game here!!!