Thanks to conference expansion, there are now fewer common opponents between teams from the SEC East and the SEC West than there used to be. But let's see what the numbers from Alabama and Missouri's shared opponents might tell us about Saturday's SEC Championship Game.
|Texas A&M||October 18||Tuscaloosa||59-0|
|Texas A&M||November 15||College Station||34-27|
On the surface, Alabama's results (with the exception of Arkansas) appear the more impressive wins. The Tide's win over Texas A&M is arguably the most lopsided SEC match-up of 2014 (non-Vanderbilt category) and the Florida win was deceiving in the final score, as the Gators never really competed while the Tide rolled up 645 offensive yards.
Missouri's most dominating win of the four games is their Florida win in which the Tigers offense accumulated a whopping 121 total yards and 20 passing yards, yet still won by 29 points. The win came after the Tigers lost two of their previous three games, and started their six-game winning streak to end the regular season.
Beyond the score lines and recaps, what can be gleaned from the statistics of the games?
Statistical Comparion of Mutual Opponents
|Alabama Average||Missouri Average||Advantage|
|Time of Possession||32:45:00||32:11:00||Alabama|
|Yards Per Play||6.69||4.99||Alabama|
|Opponent Yards Per Play||3.96||4.49||Alabama|
|Pass Yards Per Attempt||10.44||6.14||Alabama|
|Pass Completion Percentage||60.87%||52.80%||Alabama|
|Passing TD per game||3.25||1||Alabama|
|Opponent Pass Yards per Attempt||5.05||5.51||Alabama|
|Opponent Pass Completion Percentage||51.85%||57.04%||Alabama|
|Opponent Pass TDs||1||2||Alabama|
|Rush Yards Per Attempt||4.53||4.65||Mizzou|
|Opponent Rush Yards per Attempt||3.07||3.34||Alabama|
|Opponent Rush TDs||0.5||0.25||Mizzou|
|Total First Downs||22.75||21||Alabama|
|Third Down Conversion Percentage||59.02%||49.30%||Alabama|
|Opponent Third Down Conversion Percentage||37.50%||35.48%||Mizzou|
|Sacks Given Up||1.25||1.5||Alabama|
|Redzone Points Per Attempt||5.62||5.15||Alabama|
|Redzone Scoring Percentage||84.62%||92.31%||Mizzou|
|Redzone TD Scoring Percentage||76.92%||61.54%||Alabama|
|Opponent Redzone Points per Attempt||4.13||5.13||Alabama|
|Opponent Redzone Scoring Percentage||75.00%||87.50%||Alabama|
|Opponent Redzone TD Scoring Percentage||50.00%||62.50%||Alabama|
|Kickoff Return Yards per Attempt||20.5||42.75||Mizzou|
|Opponent Kickoff Return Yards per Attempt||20.5||24.8||Alabama|
|Punt Return Yards per Attempt||8.22||11.33||Mizzou|
|Opponent Punt Return Yards per Attempt||4.67||8.57||Alabama|
|Punting Yards per Attempt||45.11||41.47||Alabama|
|Field Goal Percentage||33.33%||70.00%||Mizzou|
All Stats via http://myteamsbetter.com
Alabama and Missouri both put up similar defensive efforts in these four match-ups, as the defenses yielded a difference of 15 yards per game. Despite posting over a turnover more per game, Missouri's defense gave up more than five points per game greater than Alabama's defense.
The more astounding difference in the statistics comes between the offenses of the two teams. The Florida and Texas A&M games represented arguably the high points of the Lane Kiffin offense for Alabama, but over the four compared games, the Alabama offense averaged over 6.5 yards per play (compared to Missouri's 4.99)! The rushing averages of Alabama and Missouri are similar, with Missouri averaging a marginally higher rush yards per play, but the striking difference is in passing offense.
Alabama's 10.44 yards per pass attempt for these games would rank first nationally if it applied to the whole season, and compares to Alabama's 8.02 yards per attempt in their other games (which would rank 26th nationally for the whole season).
So what stands out in the comparison of mutual opponents? Any trends from these games that differ from expectations?