I posted an article over at Football Study Hall recently on college football similarity rankings for the national title contenders. I thought PFB readers would enjoy a look at similarity rankings for the last few OSU teams.
These rankings take a few advanced stats into account:
• Overall F/+ rating
• Offenseive & defensive F/+ rating
• S&P+ rushing & passing offense & defense
The closer other teams are to the team you’re looking at, the higher they will appear on the similarity ranking list. The numbers listed under each statistical category are the percentile rankings among all teams from 2009 – current in the stat listed (for example, the 2009 team below was in the 48th percentile for offensive F/+ — the worst offense we’ve had at OSU in quite some time).
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or ask me at @okc_dave. Here we go.
2013 contemporaries: Mississippi State, UCLA, Iowa
As you recall, the 2009 season started with very high hopes: we had an SI cover (a good one!) and fans had visions of Zac, Dez, and Kendall dancing in their heads. By the end of the season, Zac and Kendall were hurt and Dez was playing Madden full time to focus on his next step thanks to the always consistent, always fair NCAA.
The result was an offense that was really bad at the end of the year. While that team was still a pretty decent defensive squad, the offense struggled mightily in the last two games (27-0 loss to OU, 21-7 loss to Ole Miss).
The other teams listed below the 2009 team above also had poor-to-average offenses combined with above average defenses. The team from this season that is most similar to our 2009 team is Mississippi State, who we easily handled in the season opener this year. Still, give that 2009 team a healthy Zac, Dez, and Kendall and I think we would have been talking about our first BCS appearance.
2013 contemporaries: Auburn, South Carolina, Utah
2010 was a step-up year for OSU football. Only two close losses – both at home – prevented the Pokes from achieving a conference title (51-41 to Nebraska, 47-41 to OU). The advanced stats liked our defense more than most fans did, but it still wasn’t considered elite (84th percentile).
This team was most similar to the 2011 USC Trojans, who also went 10-2 in the regular season but were ineligible for post-season play. And how about this: the 2010 team was very similar to the 2012 OSU team that had a disappointing record but a solid statistical profile.
2013 contemporaries: Oregon, Arizona State, Ohio State
That brings us to 2011. Looking at the similarity rankings, that team was essentially Oregon from 2011-13. Not bad company, but ironic in that all of those Ducks teams were BCS-level teams but will did not play in the national title game (or likely will not play in the case of the 2013 team). So close.
2010 Bama and 2012 A&M round out the list — both teams that were very good but had one or two things holding them back from being statue-worthy.
2013 contemporaries: Auburn, Utah, South Carolina
Judging by their company in the similarity ratings, the 2012 team was better than their record, plain and simple. The Arizona game should have been won, the Texas game arguably was won, and Bedlam was in our hands. None of those games worked out, though, and 8-5 was the final result. That’s the way it goes in college football, and that’s part of the reason you have to watch every game — you never really know what you’re going to get from week to week.
2013 contemporaries: Auburn, Ole Miss, Arizona
Finally – 2013. This analysis was completed before the Kansas win, but it won’t change things very much. I wasn’t very thrilled with the results. Our 8-1 Cowboys are most similar to a bunch of teams that lost 4, 5, or 6 games. I think it’s that passing offense figure. We are in the 55th percentile in passing offense, with relative strength just about everywhere else. Other teams with that profile have decent results, but not great ones.
Still, this is only a measure of where we’ve been — not where we’re going. I can’t wait for the next three weeks. We could easily finish 11-1 or 8-4. Wouldn’t shock me either way.