I just thought I’d mention in a very preliminary sort of way some stats and such to start getting ready for
Tuesday’s Monday’s game. In no particular order, here goes:
- The computers see the game as a pretty even match up. Sagarin has Georgia 18th and Michigan State 19th (although he likes MSU more when you factor margin of victory into the equation). Smart Football’s SRS has the Spartans at 15 and the Dawgs at 16. The F+ ratings at Football Outsiders have a little more spread, but not much: MSU ranks 10th and Georgia 14th.
- The defenses are even; Georgia has a slight advantage in the offensive yardage stats. In total defense, you’re looking at the third and fifth best teams in the country. But Georgia ranks 37th in total offense, quite a bit higher than MSU’s showing at 60th.
- However… Despite the spread in total offense, when it comes to scoring offense, the teams are quite close, with only three spots in the rankings separating the two. How come? Patrick Garbin is happy to give you an answer to that question. This in particular should make you uneasy about Georgia’s chances: “This season, Michigan State has averaged 24.3 yards per kickoff return (15th in the FBS), 11.2 yards per punt return (25th), and has scored SIX touchdowns via return.”
- No edge in turnover margin. Interestingly, both schools are tied in that statistical category.
More thoughts to come…