I believe only 2 non-conf champs have made it to CFP, OSU once and Bama once.
Ohio State fans tend to think of 2016 as something of a "make up call" for leaving us out for Michigan State the prior year when we were obviously the better team but they won the head to head. But that is probably a fair example to cite of some pro-OSU bias all things considered. I don't know if Penn State was better than OSU that year, but I was on record having said that it unfair to put us in above them when they owned the head to head. Fair grievance IMO.
I assure you this, if CLemson ever finishes 12-0 in regular season and then has even a close loss in ACCCG to a 2 loss ACC coastal team Clemson would never make it to CFP.
We won't know until it happens, but if Clemson continues to play as dominant as they have the past few years, you might be surprised. I think largely the difference between the SEC and the other conferences is that schools like Clemson and OSU get a little favor for completely owning the rest of their conferences. It is the rest of the conference that gets most of the disrespect, which leads to weird outcomes like an LSU win over Georgia being weighted more heavily than an OSU win over Wisconsin when IMO if you watched both games, Wisconsin was obviously a much better team on championship saturday than Georgia (you could make a fair argument over their season performance, but on that day Wisconsin was the better team).
Anyway, this year's game is really a toss up. A +/- 2 point spread is nothing. My Tigers often struggle against very mobile QBs and we no longer have Ferrell, Wilkins or Big Dexter (we did not have have last year in CFP.) So it could be a tough game for us, but I think either team winning by 10 to 14 would still be not a huge surprise to me.
I agree, I think if either team doesn't come to play things could get ugly really fast but it should be close if both teams play well.
I suspect OSU fans will easily out number TIger fan on Dec. 28th. ( I am hoping to make it myself, its been a decade since my last Clemson game as I live in far away northeast. )For both teams the distance is far (and both fan bases are hoping to save up for NOLA.)
I hope you do make it.
In this Ohio's "rust beltitude" favors us. Lots of Ohioans have relocated to the desert over the past 20-30 years so our local presence is strong without necessarily having to travel. Plus Ohio is a nice place to evacuate in late December.
I agree I think it is generally to OSU's advantage to have been "exposed" by better opponents. If it just so happens that Clemson is one of the team's of the century and we didn't know because of how bad their schedule is, nothing we can do about that any way. Given that we've made it to the dance, better to have been tested by best possible opponents. Much less risk of us being "punched in the mouth" and folding like a deflated balloon the way the 2006 team did.
Thanks. I'm no statistician or quant, I just find the analytics very interesting. Not sure if my "refinement" that I just posted helps. I think my mind was going towards taking into account what you have pointed out may be a flaw in my analysis.
Fair enough. I'm not a statistician or a quant either but I know enough to be dangerous and I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
I've spent enough time on this at this point so I'll just accept your prediction of OSU < 1 TD. I'd take that in a heartbeat!
You and me both brother, you and me both. :)
One other consideration:
If you could put "error bars" around the mean analytics, I think the margin for error with Clemson is much higher than it is for OSU. My reasoning is the relationship between the difference in team quality and the degree of statistical dominance is not linear but probably more asymptotic. In other words, the more you increase the margin of quality between your team and the opponent, the less your statistical dominance will increase (consider a comparison of OSU v Maryland and OSU v Rutgers as an example). This is driven by also sorts of factors but primarily garbage time and team morale. As an example, the skill delta between OSU and Rutgers was >> than that between OSU and Maryland but basically Maryland just quit playing and OSU didn't. Rutgers played a 4 QTR game and OSU did not. So the degree of quality difference was not accurately reflected in the statistical results of those games. Clemson could have been statistically overperforming against "Marylands" all year or underperforming against "Rutgers" or somewhere in between, we can't really know.
To sum it up, IMO a team can only be so dominant against poor competition. Clemson completely "maxxed" their ability to statistically dominate their opponents. Therefore we can only infer so much about their talent differential vis a vis those opponents. Given how truly bad those opponents were, Clemson could be much better or much worse than their stats look.
This is where looking at matchups, film, and the eye test actually may be useful. I think Clemson is as good as advertised (by the stats) at the skill positions but has been covering up weaknesses on their lines due to not facing comparable talent. This is where OSU will have the edge IMO.
Great analysis. I was thinking about doing something similar and you've saved me the trouble.
One minor quibble: you are using S&P+ rankings of their top 5 opponents to qualitatively adjust your opponent-adjusted YPC/YPA data (i.e., OSU has better opponent adjusted YPC and did it against better defenses). As I understand it, S&P+ already accounts for opponent quality in its methodology. So I think you are sort of double-adjusting for SOS, which, since Clemson's was significantly weaker than OSU's, would spuriously favor Ohio State.
You may want to consider either replacing S&P+ offensive/defensive rankings with the raw rankings in that component of your analysis, or just omitting the S&P+ numbers from that section and looking at the opponent-adjusted YPA and YPC unqualified.
I agree with you conclusion that the analytics favor OSU, but I personally think by < 1 TD.
Easy to feel disrespected in a field with possibly 3 of the top 15 teams of the decade in it.
I was mad for about a week about them putting LSU #1 over us because of one half of football. After some analysis, I realized that my feelings resulted from the sense of, "we can't control LSU dominating Georgia or the fact that Georgia was massively overrated, what more could we possibly do?" The answer of course, is nothing. Based on how things work currently in CFP, an undefeated SEC team is basically a lock for the #1 seed regardless of what anyone else does.
So, I could see Clemson feeling the same way given you have basically done everything you could this season against a schedule you could not control. Maybe even more so than OSU.
That being said, looking specifically at the present time, at this OSU vs Clemson matchup, I think pretty clearly that OSU is getting more disrespect than Clemson from the pundits and talking heads.
Welcome to the board. Hope you stick around and keep making reasonable posts.
IMO, NIL actually favors the bigger schools (though I think not so significantly that it tilts the playing field more than it already is tilted).
The currency of CFB for top recruits is NFL preparedness and draft status. Those to things depend on:
1.) Ability of staff & S&C to develop players
2.) Getting to play with other top tier talent (playing with top talent makes you look better, no way around that)
3.) Winning and getting eyeballs on the game(s). However much NFL teams try to scout and look at other factors, Joe Burrow winning the Heisman at LSU and putting up video game numbers helps his draft status immensely even if he has similar "measurables" to another college QB.
The blue bloods have these things at much higher rates than anyone else. I believe Joshua Perry is right when he says that NIL is mostly going to be small beans compared to the money thrown around in the NFL draft. Therefore NFL preparedness >> than NIL profits and this effect will be stronger the better the player.
Further limiting scholarships is probably the easiest way to create more parity. This is the CFB equivalent of a salary cap & NFL roster limits. However, this would also reduce opportunities for players at the bottom of the heap to get football scholarships to earn their degrees so I wouldn't favor it. Scholarships are a fraction of the obscene CFB profits actually going to players and reducing them would be regressive IMO.
Doing something to reduce the shadow coaching staffs that allow programs like OSU and Alabama to stockpile coordinators and position coaches-in-waiting might also.
Making some scheduling rules and reducing the size of the FBS as other commentators have proposed to increase schedule parity would probably help too.
I wonder if those numbers are for tickets sold or for who showed up? I bet lots of season ticket holders are staying home.
Defer to other commenters on oline.
Dobbins is gone, barring injury Teague will start though Crowley and/or chambers will have a chance to earn some reps.
I could see Williams or one any number of the freshmen making a push for playing time at the third receiver slot (H-B). It has been more of a true receiver position under day than what it was under Meyer which may put Gill at a disadvantage. It will be interesting to see how much rotation there is at WR because the incoming freshmen are dogs but Olave and Wilson I think will have pretty solid locks on the top 2 slots, more so than in some previous years. Playing time likely depend heavily on how well the freshman WRs develop in run blocking.
I think Hilliard will be above Pope on the depth chart. Browning may continue to rotate with Borland inside or I could see him moving outside. Werner has a lock on the "Bullet" (which is really just a fast OLB who can defense passes). Agree with other commentators that Harrison may supplant Smith in the starting lineup, but I think Harrison, Jean-Baptiste, Smith, and Cooper will rotate heavily at DE regardless. Cooper is a lock to start though. I don't have a good read on the secondary other than Proctor will start at safety. If I had to guess, Riep, Banks, and Brown in heavy rotation or all three on the field at CB.
We will be relatively much deeper at linebacker than in the secondary next year compared to this year and we have some freak athletes at LB so I could definitely imagine us using more 4-4-3 looks next year.
Bless their hearts.
[Did I do that right? ;)]
Until they run into us. Which is what I am hoping is about to happen to Clemson.
I think both teams have good enough defenses to slow each other down, so I'm not sure I agree about "boat race." To me boat race implies that the only thing stopping either offense is them making mistakes. I agree that both teams are likely to score more points than either defense is used to giving up, but getting a few key defensive stops could be just as important as who makes more mistakes on offense.
I am not as down on Borland as some. To my eyes he has been stout in run defense, particular the inside run. In the situation you described, obviously a guy like Browning is a better option. To my eyes, the coaches have been pretty good at making sure Browning has been in there in the right situations.
That absolute whiff that Browning had against Taylor last week made me wonder if that isn't part of the reason Borland has continued to earn reps in more likely running situations. Granted it was a open field tackle attempt against one of the best backs in the country. I'm not saying that Browning is a bad player because of one play, but it makes you think maybe they are seeing something in practice that we aren't that has kept him from being the clear #1 like so many commentators seem to want him to be.
Clemson would likely come down with a few TD's in that situation as well, but I think they are going to get their points one way or another. If they choose a path that cedes us a couple of INTs to compensate, that could be the difference in the game.
Brett Venable's defense was excellent at limiting OSU's ground attack in 2016. Given how OSU has run against great run defenses all season, I feel Clemson will have to take chances in the passing game in order to stop our run. I'm a little more nervous about our passing game given the issues we've had with pass pro at times this season. What tools do the current Buckeyes have in their toolkit to keep Clemson's defense from selling out against the run and to shore up some of their limitations in pass pro? Put another way, how do you see OSU scheming successfully against Clemson's defense in passing situations?
Unlike the nouveau riche down in SC, we've been in both roles.
Overlooked underdogs in 2002, 2014.
Pre-game kings of the world in 2006.
I know which role I'd prefer.
I'm not saying it isn't reasonable to pick Clemson in this game but...seriously 2016 means next to nothing prognostically about this game. Completely different rosters. Completely different coaching staff for Ohio State. Completely different paths to the playoff.
It would be like us running around beating our chests and proclaiming victory if we were matched up against Alabama since we beat them impressively in 2014. Sure we'd have bragging rights until the game was played, but it doesn't actually mean anything.
Agreed. Big 10 crews are hot garbage. SEC crews have actually seemed decent in the half dozen games I have watched (from various teams).
Not that this is really necessary but just because it is so much fun:
So... IRL Perkins is less elusive (more sacks taken), throws worse (lower QBR, more INTs, lower comp %), and runs through tackles worse (less YPC) than Fields already has...
Apples to oranges indeed...
PS - I think TigerNet needs a Dwight Schrute bot. FALSE! FALSE!
#3 kills me, if you had no idea who Brent Venables was and went to their forum for the first time, you would think the dude was a god or something.
I think it is fair to say that BV is one of if not the best DC in the game. However, if I was trying to beat BV what I would do is hire one of the best and most experienced OC's in the game who coached on the same staff with him for a number of years. Since his defenses are aggressive against the run and take risks in the passing game, I would hire one of the best QB coaches in the game. I'd want a WR coach who develops his players with great route running. I'd want a fresh, creative, offensively-minded HC who isn't afraid to call an aggressive game. Then I'd hand them a roster full of the best talent that I could assemble and give them 3 weeks to prepare for the game. BV is great but I don't think he is going to have such an advantage over our offensive staff that his scheme is going to let them win going away and it could...perhaps even be that the advantage is ours.
Their defense has issues and I don't think its anything BV is gonna be able to scheme away. Sometimes, its not about the Xs and Os but the Jimmys and Joes.
I think they have a good defense, maybe a great defense. We have the Jimmies and Joes to run with them. Our J&J's will have to play their best. By my count our defense has played their best for 47/52 quarters (subtracting 2 vs wisconsin, 1 vs michigan, and 2 vs rutgers) this year so I like our chances of that happening again in the biggest game of the season.
I've been lurking their forums for a few days. A few observations:
1. They've made an art form of hyperbolic braggadocio. Fine, it's their forum. We have plenty of people that post about "Sherman burning Columbia again" and "we're gonna kick their butts" so whatever.
2. Lots of confidence that they are going to win going away. I get confidence in their situation, but I haven't seen a lot of sound analysis to support it other than to the effect of:
- This Clemson team is the best team of all time.
- Ohio State and the Big 10 are overrated like they always are and ain't played nobody and they are fat and slow.
3. Brent Venables is a cheat code who will cover over every conceivable weakness in our defense with his superior scheme.
4. I've seen a few threads of sound analysis which suggest it should be a close game. However they usually quickly get flamed by their fellow fans and it devolves back into #1-3.
I guess all of this is understandable, sort of routine homerism though maybe turned up to 11.
The thing that keeps me going back for the giggles is all of the easily refuted "facts" that keep popping up like the ones that the OP selected. Maybe I'm biased, but I feel like we have more posters who will push back on that sort of tomfoolery.
I think most posters here would not DV you for comments they just disagree with. Unfortunately there are a few. On the balance, the UV/DV system keeps our boards cleaner of silliness than a lot of other boards but it isn't perfect.
Most of your posts have been good ones Vit C and I've enjoyed them. You may have to walk a little softer from time to time since this is an opposing fan board that is primarily regulated "by the people."
For example, you had a mostly great post in another thread about your analysis of the OSU-Clemson matchup but in the middle you dropped a sort of aside to the effect that TL clearly should have been a Heisman finalist over JF and caught a lot of flak for it. It sort of overshadowed the rest of your excellent analysis.
If you had either omitted that statement, or supported it with some analysis similar to what you did in the rest of the post, I think you would have gotten more upvotes and interest.
Anyway, threw you an upvote to offset. Don't think you should get DV'd for asking about board mechanics. Hope you stick around. Will be a fun game on the 28th.