The Mississippi State Bulldogs are a good team, but are they great? Looking over the statistics accumulated through 2014 so far, one will not see much that particularly stands out. They do lead the Conference in Sacks, TFL, and Rushing Defense; however, the also have the league-worst passing defense. This does not bode well when facing a team that runs a HUNH Air Raid style offense with the #2 scoring offense in the nation (51.2 ppg).
The Bulldogs have only beaten one (1) team with a winning record, LSU, and that was a pretty dominating performance. They won their superbowl - congratulations. They have faced, to date, the #112, #36, #104, and #40 ranked offenses. Against #36 and #40 they gave up over 28 points in each game.
Mississippi State is going to be a formidable opponent, and they may just win - the prediction is tight, the line is close, and everyone has this as a toss-up. Starkville, even with all the Clanga-Clanga Cowbells, is just not that intimidating - see 2012 "Snowbowl" for how the Aggies responded then.
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".
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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.
- Dak Prescott is on pace to pass for just under 3,000 yards and run for just over 1,000 yards. Very impressive.
- Miss St. passes to get ahead in the first half - utilzing the pass twice as much as they do in the 2nd half - the rushing stats are pretty much the same 1st vs 2nd half. So, it appears they attempt the get ahead quickly (as evidenced by their 1st & 2nd Quarter scoring summaries) and then sit on the lead. This almost bit them in the ass versus LSU. And we all saw A&M come back to punish Arkansas for using the same philosophy last week.
- Against UAB Dak Prescott only completed 45% of his passes for 7.4 yards per attempt - far below his season average.
- This is the third (3rd) team that A&M has faced (out of 5) who had a bye week to prepare for the Aggies. The first two teams (Rice & SMU) lost by a combined score of 96-16.
The Aggies and the Bulldogs get into another shootout like last year, but not quite as high-scoring. The Aggies have trouble stopping Dak on the Run, but the Bulldogs give up over 350 yards passing to Kenny Hill.
The Aggies host #11 Mississippi team that will have just played #3 Alabama at home. "Ole Miss" boasts the #1 Scoring Defense (8.5 ppg), the #5 Rushing Defense (114.5 ypg), and the #2 Passing Defense (133.5 ypg) in the SEC. Conversely, they have the #9 Scoring Offense (39 ppg) and the #11 Rushing Offense (160.75 ypg).