The guys at Saurian Sagacity are back from their offseason siesta with a vengeance. Mergz put up a terrific post yesterday that takes a detailed look at the last eight BCS champs to see what categories of statistical excellence they have in common. Not surprisingly, as he put it, it’s the defense, stupid. More specifically, scoring defense, passing efficiency defense and total defense were what mattered more for the winners than a slew of other statistical categories. Based on the historical data, the king should have these levels of performance:
Look for a team likely to finish in the top 11 in Scoring Defense, the top 15 in Total Defense, and the top 18 in Passing Efficiency Defense.
Six teams met that bar last year – Auburn, Clemson, Kansas, Ohio St., Southern California and Virginia Tech. (LSU would have but for their overtime games, which skewed the stats.) You may notice that a certain team in red and black isn’t on that list, although I’d love to see how the national stat rankings looked over the last seven games of the ’07 season. Anyway, Mergz has this to say about Georgia:
… Or, if you like Georgia, do you think the 2008 Georgia defense can improve from their scoring defense in 2007 of 18th nationally to at least 11th, keep their total defense at least as good as last year’s 14th, and really improve their Passing Efficiency Defense from last year’s 36th to better than 18th? If they do all that, the statistics of past winners show they have a fairly decent chance.
Good stuff to keep an eye on this season…