Quantcast

By the numbers: No. 4 Auburn will need some magic to overcome t - abc27 WHTM

By the numbers: No. 4 Auburn will need some magic to overcome top-ranked Alabama

Posted: Updated:
According to the numbers, Gus Malzahn and Auburn will need some magic to take down No. 1 Alabama. (AP Photo/ Dave Martin, File) According to the numbers, Gus Malzahn and Auburn will need some magic to take down No. 1 Alabama. (AP Photo/ Dave Martin, File)

(AP) -- On the way to what is being billed as one of the most important Iron Bowls ever played, No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Auburn have traveled similar roads — at least when it comes to schedules.

The Crimson Tide (11-0) and Tigers (10-1) have played six common opponents, the five other teams in the SEC West, plus Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee. And when you look at the results, it's plain to see why Alabama is a 10½-point favorite Saturday on The Plains.

First, a disclaimer: Using results against common opponents to compare teams can often be misleading, especially in college football where the sample sizes are usually small. Teams improve. Or regress. Players get hurt. Good teams have bad days and bad teams have good ones. And sometimes a ball bounces off a safety's chest into the arms of a receiver for a late game-winning touchdown.

But in this case the Tide and Tigers have played more than half their schedules against common opponents: Arkansas, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Tennessee and LSU, which beat Auburn. These numbers should be revealing.

— Alabama has outscored those six teams 229-76, or by an average of 38-13.

— Auburn has outscored those six teams 210-158, or by an average of 35-26.

— Alabama has the No. 4 rushing defense in the country at 91.3 yards per game. Against the six opponents the Tide shares with Auburn, it has allowed an average of 100 yards rushing.

— Auburn, which ranks 53rd in the country at 153.18 yards per game, has allowed an average of 189 yards to those six teams.

To be fair, Auburn plays at a faster pace than Alabama, so total yards could be deceiving.

— Using yards per rush, Alabama is seventh in the nation at 3.01. Auburn is 68th at 4.26. Against common opponents, Alabama is allowing 3.25 yards per rush. Auburn is allowing 4.43.

So the question becomes can Auburn make up the difference between the defenses, which is a landslide for Alabama, with its offense?

Well, against six common opponents, Alabama's offense (461 yards per game, 7.08 yards per play) has been better than Auburn's (455 ypg, 6.50 ypp).

Gary Danielson, who will call the big SEC game as usual for CBS, said it comes down to whether Auburn's run-heavy spread offense can flummox Alabama's defense with its myriad misdirection.

"Recognition hesitation plays," Danielson said was the term Tigers coach Gus Malzahn uses.

"If there are 20 cards in the deck, Auburn probably only has two in the deck that they can hit 21 with," Danielson said. "Alabama has 15 in the deck that it can turn over."

Auburn has had a remarkable — almost magical — turnaround season. After going winless in the SEC last year, the Tigers are a victory away from playing for the conference title.

After what happened against Georgia, it'd be foolish to think they have no shot against Alabama, playing at home and with all the pressure on the two-time defending national champions.

But the Tigers and their coach are going to have to conjure up one more spell to pull this upset.

The picks:

MAIN EVENT

No. 1 Alabama (minus 10½) at No. 4 Auburn

Too much Tide talent for Tigers ... ALABAMA 35-17.

MARQUEE MATCHUPS

No. 3 Ohio State (minus 14½) at Michigan

Ohio vs. The School up North ... OHIO STATE 38-14.

No. 19 Texas A&M (plus 4½) at No. 5 Missouri

Mizzou needs a victory to claim SEC East title ... MISSOURI 42-35.

No. 6 Clemson (plus 5) at No. 10 South Carolina

Gamecocks have won four straight in series ... CLEMSON 28-24.

No. 25 Notre Dame (plus 14) at No. 8 Stanford

Irish try to go 3-for-3 vs. Pac-12, after wins against USC and Arizona State ... STANFORD 27-20.

Minnesota (plus 14) at No. 11 Michigan State

A loss would kill Spartans' chances of an at-large BCS bid, though Big Ten title would still be there for taking ... MICHIGAN STATE 28-13.

Arizona (plus 12½) at No. 13 Arizona State

Expect lots of ground to be gained in battle for Territorial Cup ... ARIZONA STATE 45-24.

No. 16 Fresno State (minus 7½) at San Jose State

Friday game gives Derek Carr bigger stage to make a Heisman statement ... SAN JOSE STATE 41-35.

No. 22 UCLA (plus 3½) at No. 23 Southern California

Coach O making it hard for Trojans to move on ... USC 24-21.

BEST BET

No. 9 Baylor (minus 12) at TCU

Bears bounce back big ... BAYLOR 48-17.

UPSET SPECIAL

No. 24 Duke (plus 5½) at North Carolina

Blue Devils need victory to clinch spot in ACC title game ... DUKE 34-30.

MISMATCHES

No. 2 Florida State (minus 27) at Florida ... FLORIDA STATE 45-14.

Oregon State (plus 21½) at No. 12 Oregon ... OREGON 55-17.

Penn State (plus 24) at No. 14 Wisconsin ... WISCONSIN 48-17.

Arkansas (plus 25) at No. 15 LSU ... LSU 38-10.

USF (plus 27) at No. 17 UCF ... UCF 42-14.

___

Last week: Record straight: 16-4; vs. points 8-9.

Season: 204-42; 111-107-3.

Best bet: 9-3-1.

Upset special: 4-5.

___

Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP

  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Oneonta police need help identifying woman who stole flowers from gravesite (pictures)

    Oneonta police need help identifying woman who stole flowers from gravesite (pictures)

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:55:33 GMT
    Oneonta police have turned to Facebook in trying to identify a woman who apparently stole flowers from a gravesite at a Oakhill Cemetery on Tuesday.More >>
    Oneonta police have turned to Facebook in trying to identify a woman who apparently stole flowers from a gravesite at a Oakhill Cemetery on Tuesday.
    More >>
  • Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Suspect in Jacksonville shooting from June turns self in

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:06:38 GMT
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.More >>
    Jacksonville police said the suspect in the June shooting of a Calhoun County man turned himself into police Tuesday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Jacksonville man arrested for child pornography

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:05:18 GMT
    William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)William Franklin Harper (Photo: Calhoun County Sheriff's Office)
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
    The Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s CyberCrimes Unit arrested a Jacksonville man Tuesday for possession of child pornography.ABI officers served a search warrant at the home of 49-year-old William Franklin Harper. Harper is charged with four counts of possession of child pornography.He is currently in custody at theCalhoun County Jailwith bond setat $100,000 bond.During the search, investigators found methamphetamine. Agents of the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board and the Calhoun Coun...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Local SportsMore>>

  • Julio Jones cleared in time for Falcons camp

    Julio Jones cleared in time for Falcons camp

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:59:36 GMT
    Number '11' will be a welcome sight to fans and teammates at Falcons training camp.Wide receiver Julio Jones has been cleared to take part in practice, coach Mike Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta begins training camp Friday in Flowery Branch, Ga. The former Alabama star injured his foot in Week 5 of last season and missed the rest of the year."He will be limited in terms of his snaps," Smith told the AJC. "Our No. 1 goal is to make sure that we've got everybody as healthy ...More >>
    Number '11' will be a welcome sight to fans and teammates at Falcons training camp.Wide receiver Julio Jones has been cleared to take part in practice, coach Mike Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta begins training camp Friday in Flowery Branch, Ga. The former Alabama star injured his foot in Week 5 of last season and missed the rest of the year."He will be limited in terms of his snaps," Smith told the AJC. "Our No. 1 goal is to make sure that we've got everybody as healthy ...More >>
  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
Powered by WorldNow