Bama By the Numbers in 2015

The Notorious PAB is back this week with a statistical analysis of Bama vs their 2015 opponents so far this season, including a nice look at how they’ve fared versus ranked opponents.  Enjoy!

Introduction

At this point in the season, the Crimson Tide has two games remaining: at home versus Charlotte Southern and the Iron Bowl against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.   It’s not unfair or inaccurate to say that we’re looking a tune-up game followed by the most intense rivalry in big-time college football.  One might argue that the Bama / LSU rivalry has been as intense on the field and more meaningful – in terms of SEC and national implications – of late, but anyone who’s lived in the lovely state of Alabama knows – with existential certainty – that the Iron Bowl is unparalleled in its impact on daily life.

So before a throaty “Roll Tide” echoes once again over the Plains and a majestic raptor circles and swoops over the assembled multitude, we’re going to look at Bama’s scoring and scoring defense to date.  The information will be organized into the following categories:

  • Bama vs. Ranked Teams (AP, then CFP)
  • Bama vs. All SEC Teams
  • Bama vs. SEC West Teams
  • Bama vs. SEC East Teams

“Bama vs. Ranked SEC West Teams” was considered, but that category would be largely redundant.  Except for Arkansas, every SEC West team that Bama has played was ranked 17 or better at kickoff.  The Georgia Bulldogs from the East were at 8.

We’re confused by chatter about “strength of schedule,” “SEC a little down,” or “the Tide plays an old-school, smash-mouth style.”  The record says that Bama faces ranked teams and consistently wins, home and away.  ESPN analytics now ranks the Tide’s schedule as the toughest in all of FBS.  (The Mother Ship has our back… nice!)

Before getting into the numbers, we wonder what might happen if two proud programs – Ohio State and Auburn – were to face off in a contest of pre-game traditions: Big 10 Script Ohio vs. SEC War Eagle.  Consider…

  • Would a Buckeye band member or celebrity alumnus high-step out to dot the i in Ohio if a ravenous golden eagle, wings spread and claws extended, were swooping down like a feather-clad banshee?  Can a sousaphone suffice for self-defense?

 

  • Would an Auburn raptor be able to locate its target circling above 100,000+ fans performing a one-word spelling bee (O H I O), or would it veer off to seek easier prey along the verdant banks of the Olentangy River? Do eagles ever nest in Buckeye trees?

Surely some reality TV producer could make it happen…

 

Bama vs. Ranked Teams

For games played before Tuesday, November 3, AP rankings are used; after that, CFP rankings are indicated.

Wisconsin (AP 20)               Neutral Field             35 – 17            WIN

Ole Miss (AP 15)                  Home                         37- 43             LOSS

Georgia (AP 8)                      Away                          38 – 10            WIN

Texas A&M (AP 9)               Away                          41 – 23            WIN

LSU (CFP 4)                         Home                         30 -16             WIN

Miss State (CFP 17)            Away                          31 – 6              WIN

Through the contest against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on November 14, Bama faced ranked opponents in six of its 10 games.  Of these, two were played at Bryant-Denny Stadium, three were on the road and one – the season opener against the Wisconsin Badgers  – was held at a neutral site.  (Bama under Coach Saban has played so many high-visibility openers at venues like AT&T Stadium that players and staff might find an old-fashioned home opener a tad disorienting. “If it’s early September, this must be the national kickoff game in primetime.”)

= = = =

  • Points scored vs. ranked teams: 212             Average: 35.3 ppg
  • Most: 41 vs. Texas A&M             Fewest: 30 vs.LSU

 

  • Points scored in wins ranked teams: 175 Average: 35.0 ppg
  • Most: 41 vs. Texas A&M Fewest: 30 vs. LSU

 

  • Points scored in loss ranked team: 37 vs. Ole Miss
  • One loss – average, most and fewest points are the same: 37

 

= = = = =

 

  • Points allowed vs. ranked teams: 115 Average: 19.2 ppg
  • Most: 43 vs. Ole Miss Fewest: 6 vs. Mississippi State

 

  • Points allowed in wins vs. ranked teams: 72 Average: 14.4 ppg
  • Most: 43 vs. Ole Miss                                     Fewest: 6 vs. Mississippi State

 

  • Points allowed in loss vs. ranked team: 43 vs. Ole Miss
  • One loss – average, most and fewest points are the same: 43

 

= = = = =

 

  • Point margin vs. ranked teams: +97             Average: +16.2 ppg
  • Point margin in wins vs. ranked teams: +103 Average: +20.6 ppg
  • Point margin in loss vs. ranked team: -6 Average: -6.0 ppg

 

Bama vs. All SEC Teams

Ole Miss (West)                    AP 15             Home             37- 43             LOSS

Georgia (East)                      AP 8               Away              38 – 10            WIN

Arkansas (West)                                           Home             27 – 14            WIN

Texas A&M (West)               AP 9               Away              41- 23             WIN

Tennessee (East)                                        Home             19 -14             WIN

LSU (West)                            CFP 4             Home             30 – 16            WIN

Miss State (West)                 CFP 17          Away              31 – 6              WIN

= = = =

  • Points scored vs. SEC teams: 223             Average: 31.8 ppg
  • Most: 41 vs. Texas A&M             Fewest: 19 vs. Tennessee

 

  • Points scored in wins vs. SEC teams: 186 Average: 31.0 ppg
  • Most: 41 vs. Texas A&M Fewest:  19 vs. Tennessee

 

  • Points scored in loss vs. SEC team: 37 vs. Ole Miss
  • One loss – average, most and fewest points are the same: 37

= = = =

  • Points allowed in wins vs. SEC teams: 126 Average: 18.0 ppg
  • Most: 43 vs. Ole Miss             Fewest: 6 vs. Mississippi State

 

  • Points allowed in wins vs. SEC teams: 83 Average: 13.8 ppg
  • Most: 23 vs. Texas A&M Fewest:  6 vs. Mississippi State

 

  • Points allowed in loss vs. SEC team: 43 vs. Ole Miss
  • One loss – average, most and fewest points are the same: 43

= = = =

  • Point margin vs. SEC teams: +97             Average: +17.2 ppg
  • Point margin in loss vs. SEC team: -6 Average: -6.0 ppg

 

Bama vs. SEC West Teams

Ole Miss (West)                    AP 15             Home             37- 43             LOSS

Arkansas (West)                                           Home             27 – 14            WIN

Texas A&M (West)               AP 9               Away              41 – 23            WIN

LSU (West)                            CFP 4             Home             30 – 16            WIN

Miss State (West)                 CFP 17          Away              31 – 6              WIN

= = = =

  • Points scored vs. SEC West teams: 166 Average: 33.2 ppg
  • Most: 41 vs. Texas A&M Fewest: 27 vs. Arkansas

 

  • Points scored in wins vs. SEC West teams: 129 Average: 32.2 ppg
  • Most: 41 Texas A&M Fewest: 27 Arkansas

 

  • Points scored in loss to SEC West team: 37 vs. Ole Miss
  • One loss – average, most and fewest points are the same: 37

= = = =

  • Points allowed to SEC West teams: 102 Average: 20.4 ppg
  • Most: 43 vs. Ole Miss Fewest:  6 vs. Miss State

 

  • Points allowed in wins vs. SEC teams: 59 Average: 14.8 ppg
  • Most: 23 vs. Texas A&M             Fewest: 6 vs. Miss State
  • Points allowed in loss to SEC West team: 43 vs. Ole Miss
  • One loss – average, most and fewest points are the same: 43

= = = =

  • Point margin vs. SEC West teams: +64 Average: +12.8 ppg
  • Point margin in wins vs. SEC West teams: +70 Average: +17.5p ppg
  • Point margin in loss vs. SEC West team: -6 Average: -6.0 ppg

 

Bama vs. SEC East Teams

Georgia (East)                      AP 8               Away              38 – 10            WIN

Tennessee (East)                                        Home             19 -14             WIN

= = = =

  • Points scored vs. SEC East teams: 57 Average: 28.5 ppg
  • Most: 38 vs. Georgia Fewest: 19 vs. Tennessee
  • All wins: points scored in wins – same figures
  • No losses: points allowed in losses – NA

= = = =

  • Points allowed vs. SEC East teams: 24 Average: 12.0 ppg
  • All wins: points allowed in wins – same figures
  • No losses: points allowed in losses – NA

= = = =

  • Point margin vs. SEC East teams: 33 Average: 16.5 ppg
  • All wins: margin in wins – same figures
  • No losses: points allowed in losses – NA

 

A Few Observations

Since losing to the Ole Miss, 37- 43, a game marked by five Tide turnovers – two fumbles and three INTs – that led to 24 points for the Rebels, Bama has been involved in only one game that looked even remotely like a shootout: 41- 23 win over Texas A&M on the road at College Station.

The Tennessee game stands out for Bama’s low scoring – 19 – and its narrow margin of victory – 5 points.  In its other SEC games, the Tide scored no fewer than 27 points in any one contest.  The next closest margin of victory was 13 points: 27 – 14 win over the Razorbacks.

Bama’s three largest winning margins have all come in road games: +28 vs. Georgia, +18 vs. Texas A&M and +25 over Mississippi State.

In its last two games against tough West Division foes, LSU and Mississippi State, the Tide has scored 61 points while allowing 22, for a 30.5 ppg vs. 11.0 ppg average.  The only better two-game span was 38-10 over Georgia and 27-14 versus Arkansas, which works out to averages of 32.5 ppg and 12.0 ppg.

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