Kyle and Carson had a brief discussion about some of the best bedlam games in recent history on their podcast yesterday. It got me thinking — the games are one thing, but what bedlam TEAMS have been the best in recent history?
This is a highly subjective exercise, but this is where F/+ (explanation here) comes in handy — an unbiased system that can quickly give us an idea of who the best teams in recent bedlam history. I love putting current teams and players in historical perspective, so this was a fun exercise. How do the current teams stack up? Let’s take a look.
F/+ goes back to 2005, which is handy because it happens to be the first year of the Gundy era. The offensive and defensive F/+ ratings go back to 2007. This list is sorted by overall F/+ ranking among this group of 18 teams.
In the “life’s not fair” category, only one of these teams played for a national title – and we all know it wasn’t the one at the top. Still, F/+ tells us that the 2011 OSU team is the best in this group of 18.
The 2008 OU team that lost to Tim Tebow in the BCS title game had the best offense in recent bedlam history. They had Bradford (50 TDs), two 1,000-yard rushers (Brown, Murray), and two 900-yard receivers (Iglesias, Gresham). This is the team that put up 61 in Stillwater.
How ‘bout the 2013 Cowboys making an appearance at No. 3. Sometimes I forget that we were picked to win the Big 12 — our success still seems like a bit of a surprise given how bad we looked at times early in the season and the mess at QB. F/+ doesn’t love our offense — not terrible, just nothing special (we are currently 29th in the country). But the defense is the second best in this group of 18 teams, trailing only the 2009 OU squad.
The 2013 Sooners are in the same boat offensively – above average, but not great. Unlike OSU, however, the Sooners don’t have anything special on defense either – they are currently 29th in the country in F/+ defense.
This suggests OSU should win, and so does the Vegas line. But I’m pretty sure if I could run this back to 2001 the numbers would be horrible from OSU’s perspective.
It’s Bedlam and it’s going to be freezing cold. This analysis may help you now, but it will provide little comfort when the wind comes sweeping down the plains and into Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday morning.