Cole Salmon made a bold point today when he said that according to the statistics, Ohio State doesn’t stand a chance against Oregon. I felt like that was a pretty bold statement since if you look at the bowl game odds, you’ll find that Ohio State is only a 3.5 point underdog. I’m a big stat guy though when it comes to breaking down games, so I was interested in what he had to say. If you plan on getting in on the action this bowl season, then take a look at the $120 match bonus offered by Sports Interaction!
Both of these teams come into the Rose Bowl at 10-2 and on a bit of a run. Oregon beat Arizona and Oregon State coming in and Ohio State took down two solid teams in Penn State and Iowa. If you listen to the media, this game comes down to an explosive Oregon offense and a stout Buckeye defense, but Cole says the stats speak otherwise. He says the fact that Oregon is ranked 25th nationall with 424.7 yards per game gained and Ohio State is 5th with 262.5 yards per game allowed is misleading.
Ohio State’s stats are based off of weaker teams. There were only four teams out of their 12 game schedule that ranked in the top 55 in total offense. One was Toledo, the other was Illinois (50th), Wisconsin, and Penn State.
If you look at Oregon though they have appeared to earn their ranking with seven opponents ranked in the top 50 in total defense, four of which were in the top 21. Defensively they are probably better than it appears as well, ranking 32nd and allowing 329.4 yards per game while playing seven teams ranked in the top 55 in total defense.
This is something interesting to think about when you make your bowl picks this season.