Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Jan 2015

ESPN: Three Championship Game Factors

Two of the winningest programs in college football over the past few seasons will face off on Monday night in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T. The Ohio State Buckeyes are 24-3 in the past two seasons against FBS opponents (.889 win percentage) and the Oregon Ducks are 22-3 (.88). Only Florida State (25-1, .962) has a better FBS win percentage in the past two seasons.

Discarding end-of-half clock kills and other garbage-time possessions, Oregon and Ohio State are the top two teams this year in points per possession. They are also the top two teams in the country in game efficiency, a measure of each team's ability to maximize its scoring opportunities and minimize those of its opponents.

The Ducks and Buckeyes know how to score efficiently and they know how to win efficiently. So how might each team find an edge in the title game?

Oregon and Ohio State have each lost three times in the past two seasons, once each in 2014 and twice in 2013. Injuries and inexperience were factors in both teams' early-season losses this year -- factors that both teams have overcome in major victories down the stretch. So what statistics characterized their losses, and how might those factors play out next Monday night?

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 06 Jan 2015