That Statcruncher predicts: a close game with a slight OSU advantage. If we've actually improved, I think we stand a good chance.
About the Statcruncher
The problem with statistical averages and unit rankings is that it doesn't account for strength of opponents. The Statcruncher compensates by looking at how much better or worse you were compared your opponents' averages. So for instance, if OSU beat Texas A&M by 1, but Texas A&M normally wins by 20, then you've added 21 points of advantage in the Statcruncher. If Texas A&M throws for 450 yards on you, but they normally throw for 500, you've actually done better than average and you gain 50 yards in the Statcruncher.
(See below for the full analysis.)
My expectation upon starting this exercise was that OSU would blow us out of the water and I'd have to create some homer excuse why Mizzou would be competitive. But it turns out not. (Read the full analysis below to find out more, such as that OSU has an offensive advantage, but MU compensates with a defensive advantage.)
That's about as close as it gets folks. That would indicate that this game will come down to the things all close games are decided by: turnovers, field position, special teams and penalties.
When OSU has the ball
OSU Offense averages 16.6 points more than their opponents give up.
MU D: 20.3 per game + 16.6 = 37 points
MU Defense averages 9.5 points less than their opponents' average.
OSU O: 49.5 - 9.5 = 40 points
Likely OSU scoring range: 37 to 40 points
When Mizzou has the ball
MU Offense averages 12.0 points more than their opponents give up.
OSU D: 27.3 + 12.0 = 39 points
OSU Defense averages 4.8 points less than their opponents average:
MU O: 35.5 - 4.8 = 31 points
Likely MU scoring range: 31 to 39 points
This metric, on the other hand, points to an OSU advantage. The upper end of the scoring range is about the same, but OSU is more likely to play to its offensive potential in any given game.
Keys to the game
1. Discliplined, mistake free football. No more KSU-type efforts. I thought the StatCruncher actually gave some nice insight for the KSU game, but it can't account for sloppy play. You can't play that way and win against many Big 12 teams, much less ranked ones on the road.
2. Pass defense. I would also say that this one will come down to their passing attack versus our pass defense. After the OU game, I would have said no way we win this game with our pass defense. I guess the question is, was the improvement we saw against ISU just because of a bad opponent, or have we actually improved? My guess is it's a bit of both. I think we're athletic enough to stay with them often enough to get them off the field. But keep in mind, we don't have to shut them down, we just have to slow them down, and several teams have slowed them enough to potentially beat them, which brings us to...
Whether to include Western Illinois in the averages
I calculated this both ways, and obviously they gain a significant advantage by leaving the WIU numbers out (about 10 points). But I didn't use leave WIU out for two reasons:
1. OSU has also put up huge numbers against weak teams, but more down to earth numbers against decent teams. 30-38 points is still nice, but it's a far cry from 60-70.
2. OSU, with their core players back, has clicked on offense from day 1, while Mizzou has been a work in progress. I think this compensates a bit for scores like Miami.
In summary, OSU gains a slight advantage when only counting FBS opponents, but there is also evidence that Mizzou really is about even.
The Raw Statistics
Positive numbers are always an advantage for the main team (not the opponent).
Oklahoma State Offense vs Opponents Defense
|OSU Offense||Opponents Defense||Difference|
OSU is obviously a good offense, but surprisingly this number (16.6) is not really that high. It's good, but not remarkable.
Opponents Offense vs Oklahoma State Defense
|Opponets Offense||OSU Defense||Difference|
This is a picture of an average defense. Neither particularly good or bad against the run or pass.
Total Gained by Oklahoma State (Offense plus Defense)
The numbers here show a pretty average team across the board, with the exception of an exceptional passing offense.
Mizzou Offense vs Opponents Defense
|MU Offense||Opponents Avg Defense||Difference|
Mizzou's offense is scoring well over their opponents average, and are balanced, but led by the rushing attack.
Mizzou Defense vs Opponents Offense
|Opponents Offense||MU Defense||Difference|
Mizzou also has a nice advantage on this side of the ball. Suprisingly, the pass yardage doesn't stand out. Again, one naturally questions Wetern Illinois. But as before, that's an indication that we're not horrible. We're not likely to get picked apart by a bad passing team.
Total Gained by Mizzou
Mizzou is considerably dominant in every area. A balanced team on offense and defense, which is to be expected of a veteran squad. The passing numbers are a bit better than last week, due to improved passing defense against ISU.