Oklahoma vs. Iowa State: Statistical Analysis(?)



Heading into the game this Saturday, many people, except us Cyclone fans have written Iowa State off. Oklahoma is coming off a loss, so they will be hungry and Iowa State is coming off a win over a terrible team, possibly resulting in over-confidence. So I thought about it, and honestly I don't expect Iowa State to win this weekend. Oklahoma is a great team and I'm not sure Steele Jantz can have back-to-back good games. But Then I started reading the message boards.

"Oklahoma beats ISU 63-17"

"Iowa State doesn't have a chance"

"Oklahoma will score at least 40 on this team now that Knott is gone."

So then I was like, "okay fuck all you guys." Of course, I turned to statistics.

First off, I had to figure out how we are going to stop an Oklahoma offense that is scoring 40+ points a game. Then I thought about it and realized we've done that all year. We've already played some of the highest scoring offenses in not only the Big 12, but in the nation. Here is how our defenses matched up:

Kansas State: 44.4 ppg (scored 27) = -17.4 diff

Oklahoma St: 44.3 ppg (scored 31) = -13.3 diff

Baylor: 44.1 ppg (scored 21) = -23.1 diff

Texas Tech: 40.5 ppg (scored 24) = -16.5 diff

Against teams that average 40 points or more per game, Iowa State holds them to an average of 17.6 points less than their average. If we apply that to Oklahoma this weekend, that would be about 22.5 (and for the sake of wholeness, we will round up to 23). So, I have Oklahoma's point total this weekend in Ames coming to 23 points.

As you can see, this is not the 40-50, to even 60 points some are predicting Oklahoma to score on our beloved Cyclones. And that's completely realistic for this team. The teams above are all (statistically) better offenses than Oklahoma, each averaging more points, but they averaged only about 26 points. Saying Oklahoma only scores 23 points is completely within the realm of reality.

Now, that gets us to the hard part: our offense. Steele Jantz can be very productive. Jared Barnett can be very productive. Niether are consistent. That's what's hard to judge about this offense. Jantz can throw for 300+ yards, throw for 5 TD's and run for 50+ yards, or her can throw for just over 70 yards and 3 INT's, along with a phantom fumble.

With all that aside and statistics only, Iowa State is still at a disadvantage. The Cyclones are only one of two Big XII teams that isn't averaging at least 33 points and has not yet scored 40 points in a game. The Cyclones end up scoring LESS than most teams allow on average, meaning their defense often has to win them games. So, I took a look at how the offense should (key word) do against a Texas-like defense.

Kansas State: 17.1 ppg (scored 21) = +3.9 diff

Iowa: 21.1 ppg (scored 9) = -12.1 diff

TCU: 22.4 ppg (scored 37) = +14.6 diff

OSU: 23.1 ppg (scored 10) = -13.1 diff

So, against the top 4 defenses Iowa State has faced, the Cyclones score, on average, 1.7 points less than defenses usually allow. If we look for the comparison against Oklahoma (who averages 17.4 ppg), that's about 15.7 (and for the sake of wholeness, we will round up to 16). So, I have Iowa State's point total coming to 16 points.

This time, the predicted score seems realistic, but it's not quite as simple. Iowa State isn't a consistent team on offense at all, having scores of 9 and 10 points in games and 38 and 37 in others. The standard deviation is 12.2 which is extremely high for a team that hasn't scored 40 points. What this basically tells you is that instead of 16 points, you can bet on anywhere between 4 and 28 points from this offense depending on the day they are having.

All jokes aside, this really should be a hard fought game if the offense shows up. I see this being a lot like the Kansas State game if the offense can get going and a lot like the Texas Tech game if the offense CAN'T get going. What are your thoughts?

Score prediction: Oklahoma wins 23-17

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