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Stat Simulation – Game 8: #21 Texas Aggies at #7 Alabama

Analyzing how the #7 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1, 2-1) stack up against the #21 Fightin’ Texas Aggies (5-2, 2-2) in this week's Stat Simulation...

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Travelling to Bryant-Denny Stadium to face the #7 Alabama Crimson Tide is daunting.  And the Stats through Game 7 point to another devastating loss for the Aggies.  So why do I still have this unshakable feeling that A&M can win this game despite the last couple of weeks' performance and the lopsidedness of the statistical category matchups below?

Most likely my eyes and assumptions of Alabama have cause my heart to overrule my brain.  I am sitting here staring at quantifiable data in Alabama's favor and something is still pumping the underlying hope I am feeling.  Maybe there is some covert detail that will be revealed in the near future or some intangible will reveal itself in the game.

Alabama boasts the SEC's Top Defense in: Total Defense, Rushing Defense, Plays per Game, Average per Rush, and 1st Downs.  Their offense is tops in Passing Efficiency and Yards per Pass Attempt (say what? you mean that dude Sims can chuck it?).  Also, Alabama's punter has a leg (sorry Kaser, he outkicks you by 3 yards per punt on average, blasphemy, I know - maybe he has a fake-girlfriend like HeIsManti).

The Aggies lead the league in: Total Offense, Passing Offense, Scoring Offense, Plays per Game, Yards per Play, 1st Downs, and Redzone TD %.  The Aggies are only in the top half of league defenses in 2 categories: sacks per game (3.0, 4th) and Point per Yard allowed (6th).

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 25 in the Nation
Red Metric = Bottom 25 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".

2014 TAMUvBama Stats

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 its 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 4 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.


Note: Ranks are written Conf/National (3rd/34th denotes 3rd in the SEC and 34th Nationally)

  • A&M is now ranked 11th/99th in INTs thrown per game; while Alabama is ranked 11th/108th in INTs taken per game.  Alabama's turnover margin (-0.50) is just as bad as Texas A&M's (-0.86).
  • If our OL can cut down on mistakes, we should be able to block fairly well against the Alabama front line.  They only average 2.2 sacks per game and have a middling pass defense; while Texas A&M only allows 1.3 sacks per game and boasts the 1st/3rd passing offense.
  • The Aggies still have not forced the number of turnovers one would expect from a top 25 team.  Ranked 12th/81st in Fumbles Recovered per game (0.57) and 14th/123rd in INTs Taken per game (0.29; or 2 in 7 games).
  • Myles Garrett is one sack away from breaking Jadeveon Clowney's freshman sack record (7.5 vs 8.0) and it's only game 8.
  • Amari Cooper is Alabama's entire receiving game.  If the Aggies can shut him down like 2013, things will get interesting.  He has more than triple the number of receptions and nearly quintuple the yardage of the next best receiver (DeAndrew White) and is the only receiver with multiple touchdown catches.
  • Alabama has only played one (1) ranked Team, a game which they lost to your mutual opponent Ole Miss.
  • Alabama's best quarter is the 2nd quarter.  But something happens at halftime.  Blake Sims starts at 75% Completions in the 1st quarter, 67% in the 2nd, 64% in the 3rd, and 60% in the 4th.  In the first half, he is 71% for 64-90-0, 938 yardsm 7 TDs.  In the second half, he is 63% for 37-59-3, 542 yards and only 3 TDs. His best down is actually 3rd down where he is between 70-80% depending on distance (7 of 8, 87.5%, on 3rd and 7-9 yards to go).  Blake is also worst when Alabama is winning by a Touchdown or less: 57%, 25-44-2 for 349 yards and 1 TD.


The Aggies will have tough time repeating an upset in Tuscaloosa, but will come very close, losing by a nose hair 29-27.


The Aggies find reprieve in the somewhat 2014 cupcake Louisiana-Monroe.  La-Monroe is ranked 118th in Total Offense and 47th in Total Defense.  They only score 17.5 points per game while allowing their opponents 28 ppg.  LSU shut them out 31-0 earlier this year and Kentucky just beat them 48-14.