Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Nov 2014

ESPN: Playoff Contender Stat Profiles

We don't know how things will settle over the final five weeks of the season, but the top six teams in this week's College Football Playoff rankings all could run the table and claim one of the coveted semifinal spots. Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn, Oregon, Alabama, and TCU have combined so far to win 12 games over the other teams ranked in this week's top 25, and more quality win opportunities are on the horizon.

The playoff leaders have strong resumes in common, but their overall statistical profiles are different from one another. Those statistical profiles do share commonality with championship contender teams from the recent past.

Our opponent-adjusted FEI ratings break down teams by dozens of factors, but we isolated five in particular for this comparison -- offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, special teams efficiency, field position advantage, and overall game efficiency. We then compared the top six teams in this week's College Football Playoff rankings to the BCS Championship game participants of the last seven seasons across those key efficiency measures. The similarities won't forecast the future for each of this year's top contenders, but the stats suggest each is a strong challenger for this year's crown.

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 07 Nov 2014