2013 OSU football is similar to Auburn, A&M

Written by OKC Dave
Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

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.

  • Jeremy Pearson

    It would shock me if we finished 11-1.

    • @okc_dave

      3 games to go, 2 at home. It would shock you to win all of them? That’s Aggie talk.

      • Jeremy Pearson

        The defense is good, but our offense is too inconsistent right now.

    • ChanceDM

      I think it’s definitely possible. (is that an oxymoron? definitely possible?)

      • Jeremy Pearson

        Yeah, definitely maybe.

  • CD

    I would be surprised to finish 11-1, is that fair to say? It would be a very happy surprise. However, please for all that is right and good in this universe, do not finish 8-4. Please beat OU at least, at the very least when their O sucks so bad right now…

  • OSUaggie

    I’m better than 50-50 that we can take UT in Austin….Baylor I’m less than 50-50 that we can take them in Stillwater, but now that OU is showing lots of little flaws in the armour, I’m still not sure we really know what BU actually has, and we’re due to catch a break. However, I will be most unhappy if we don’t destroy the Gooners in Stillwater. Just once I would like to completely, totally, blow their asses away in the manner they use to demonstrate against my Cowboys back in the 70’s when they would pull Mildren late the fourth quarter after scoring 65 points….yeah, that’s what I’m waiting for….LOL

    • Casey Shepherd

      I look at it this way: 1) Texas and more precisely Mack Brown is one lucky SOB. Next to Les he’s won more games on shear luck than anyone. i.e. OSU last year, Iowa St & W. Virginia this year. So you never know w/ Texas. 2) We’ve killed Baylor in Stillwater every year (Markell vs RG3 2 years ago was incredible) but there is obviously something about this Baylor team that is different. Maybe it’s their defense. 3) bedlam is bedlam. You can’t rule out any possibility. (Keep your head up Caleb Lavey) So you can’t rule out 3 and 0 but we could just as likely go 0 and 3. Im guessing somewhere in the middle….hopefully at least 2 and 1 but I’m doubtful we win em all.

  • Doug

    11-1 —-> surprised, but not shocked
    10-2 —> not even a little surprised
    9-3 —> not even a little surprised
    8-4 —-> surprised, but not shocked

  • davids

    I thought 7-5 was realistic two weeks ago. 9-3 would be a little surprising. 10-2 would surprise me big time!! 11-1 would be fantastic and shocking!!!