The Only Stat That Matters

Fans of college football are eagerly anticipating the BCS standings that will come out on Sunday night. These numbers are important, and there is a lot at stake in this week’s rankings. My prediction is that LSU will be number one, that Alabama will be number two, and that the teams will meet each other in the BCS championship game. I think that’s pretty much everyone’s prediction at this point.

Still, everyone knows that in college football the only stat that matters is the final score. So while we wait to see how the BCS rankings shake-out, let’s take a look at how LSU and Alabama have done in final scores this season.

What is remarkable in the stats below is how similar the numbers are. LSU averages 38 points per game, and Bama 36. LSU allows opponents to score an average of 11 points per game, and Alabama 9.

Nevertheless, I believe that LSU has the edge in these stats. LSU played a tougher overall schedule than Bama, and they still managed to average more points per game. LSU played 7 ranked teams, and Bama only played 5. LSU beat three top 3 teams, but Bama didn’t beat any team higher than 12. LSU had a much tougher non-conference schedule than Bama. LSU defeated two ranked teams on the road (#3 Oregon and #16 West Va.), Bama only beat one (#23 Penn State).

And then of course the most important stat is the final score of the head-to-head match-up between LSU and Bama. And we all know how that one ended up. LSU won a close one 9-6 over Bama, and they did it on the road in Tuscaloosa.

What’s past is prologue. It will be a battle royale on January 9 between LSU and Bama. I think LSU will prove to have the edge in that game too. Geaux, Tigers!

LSU-Bama Comparison
 Teams LSU Opp.    Teams Bama Opp.
Oregon (#3) 40 27 Kent State 48 7
Northwestern St. 49 3 @Penn State (#23) 27 11
@Miss. State (#25) 19 6 North Texas 41 0
@West Virginia (#16) 47 21 Arkansas (#14) 38 14
Kentucky 35 7 @Florida (#12) 38 10
Florida (#17) 41 11 Vanderbilt 34 0
@Tennessee 38 7 @Ole Miss 52 7
Auburn (#20) 45 10 Tennessee 37 6
@Alabama (#2) 9 6 LSU (#1) 6 9
Western Kentucky 42 9 @Miss. St. 24 7
@Ole Miss 52 3 Ga. Southern. 45 21
Arkansas (#3) 41 17 @Auburn (#24) 42 14
Average= 38 11


36 9
Non-conference Games
 Teams LSU Opp.    Teams Bama Opp.
Oregon (#3) 40 27 Kent State 48 7
Northwestern St. 49 3 @Penn State (#23) 27 11
@West Virginia (#16) 47 21 North Texas 41 0
Western Kentucky 42 9 Ga. Southern. 45 21
Average= 45 15


40 10
Conference Games
 Teams LSU Opp.    Teams Bama Opp.
@Miss. State (#25) 19 6 Arkansas (#14) 38 14
Kentucky 35 7 @Florida (#12) 38 10
Florida (#17) 41 11 Vanderbilt 34 0
@Tennessee 38 7 @Ole Miss 52 7
Auburn (#20) 45 10 Tennessee 37 6
@Alabama (#2) 9 6 LSU (#1) 6 9
@Ole Miss 52 3 @Miss. St. 24 7
Arkansas (#3) 41 17 @Auburn (#24) 42 14
Average= 35 8


34 8
Common Opponents
 Teams LSU Opp.    Teams Bama Opp.
@Miss. State (#25) 19 6 @Miss. St. 24 7
Florida (#17) 41 11 @Florida (#12) 38 10
@Tennessee 38 7 Tennessee 37 6
Auburn (#20) 45 10 @Auburn (#24) 42 14
@Ole Miss 52 3 @Ole Miss 52 7
Arkansas (#3) 41 17 Arkansas (#14) 38 14
Average= 39 9


39 10

9 Responses to The Only Stat That Matters

  1. Bryan November 27, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    Still not a fan of rematches. Bama had thier shot and lost! As a CFB fan I would rather see a “less worthy” opponent play LSU rather than another game we have already seen. I personally think it weakens the whole BCS concept. I know the numbers favor Bama but OSU, Oregon even a Stanford would be of more interest than a repeat.

  2. Char-La November 27, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I totally agree, Bryan. Apparently, everyone has forgotten the non-stop hype leading up to their previous meeting, which was billed as the national championship. Whoever won that game, all the talking heads pontificated, had claim to the title no matter who they ended up playing come January. In college football, the regular season IS the playoffs. Bama had their shot & they lost. Bama is good, but everyone is acting like the other 1-loss teams are trash in comparison. I’m sure Oklahoma State & Stanford would like a 2nd shot to replay their loss too, but they don’t get it. Their losses are keeping them out of a national championship & theirs aren’t even against LSU! How is that even justified? The money guys will get their way, but this makes the BCS more of a joke than it has to be. If another 1 loss team were to beat LSU in the NC game, they could claim the title outright, head-to-head. But, if Bama wins, they may hand the crystal football to Nick Saban, but the debate will go on & on.

  3. Greg Smith November 27, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    These stats show a statistical dead heat. The only thing that gives LSU the edge is, as you indicate, they played a slightly tougher schedule.

    • Greg November 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      “slightly tougher schedule”

      and Texas is “slightly” larger than Delaware.

  4. Randall November 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    (yawn)…I just fell asleep. 🙂

  5. Bill November 30, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Denny, as a trustee of the SBTS, the institution at which you teach . . . man, you are spending way too much time on this!!!! hahaha Actually, It is quite amazing to me how close all of this stacks up. Gonna be a knockdown dragout on January 9th. And all that I can add to that is ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

    As to Bryan statement that a “less worthy opponent” should play LSU . . . that makes no sense when the whole idea is that the two best teams in the nation meet for this, regardless of previous meetings. Most sports commentators agree that these are the two best . . . so let the game begin!!

    • Denny Burk November 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

      Guilty as charged, brother Bill! I may need to join a twelve step program.

  6. Bill November 30, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    I think the remedy might be for you and me to watch the Championship game together on January 9th . . . You know, close fellowship, good food, and a lot of smack talk. One of us would feel really good and, well, you wouldn’t (I hope) LOL!!

    Have a great night and rest of this week . .. I’ll actually be a big Geaux Tiger fan this Saturday!!

  7. Bill December 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Awww, I’m only about 2.5 hours away . . . The last time the Tide was in a National Championship game I traveled about 2800 miles to watch it. Come on down to my house and I’ll smoke a Boston butt and make some good old Alabama BBQ. You may only get this chance once, you know!! I’ll even let you fly the LSU colors and yell Geaux Tigers and all that.

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