Looking At Bama Vs. Dogs Statistically

One of the biggest fallacies in sports analysis is comparative scores, i.e. Alabama defeated Missouri 42-10 and Georgia defeated Missouri 41-20, and therefore the Tide is 11 points better than the Bulldogs. No, all that tells us is that Missouri is not very good.

Alabama and Georgia have the same records, 11-1, and the same Southeastern Conference records, 7-1. Bama is ranked second in the nation and the Bulldogs are third. As winners of the SEC West and East, they meet at 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. central time) Saturday in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the SEC title and for the opportunity to play No. 1 ranked Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game. CBS will televise the game.

Alabama and Georgia played five common opponents during the season, four of them SEC rivals. Unfortunately, as has been regularly reported, they played those games against weak teams, such as Missouri. The Crimson Tide didn't play any of the strong teams in the SEC East and the Bulldogs didn't play any of the top teams in the West. Moreover, both played Florida Atlantic, Bama winning 40-7 and Georgia winning 56-20.

The division champions both defeated Ole Miss (Alabama 33-14, Georgia 37-10), Tennessee (Alabama 44-13, Georgia 51-44), and Auburn (Alabama 49-0, Georgia 38-0).

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs play similar styles, a pro-set offense and 3-4 defense.

After 12 games, here is how the teams compare statistically in the SEC:

In scoring, Alabama is second in the conference at 39 points per game and Georgia third at 38 per game. In scoring defense, the Tide is first at 9.2 allowed, Georgia fifth at 17.7.

Alabama is second in rushing offense, 214.2 yards per game, and Georgia fourth, 191.1. Bama is first in rushing defense, giving up 77 yards per game, and Georgia is 11th, allowing 163.4.

Georgia is fourth in the league in passing, 273.6 yards per game, and Bama is ninth, 218.8. In pass defense, the Tide is first, allowing 156.7, and the Bulldogs second, giving up 174.4.

In passing efficiency, Alabama is first and Georgia second, and in pass defense efficiency, the Tide is second, Georgia fifth.

Georgia is third in total offense, 463.7 yards per game, and Alabama fourth, 433. In total defense, Bama is first, giving up 233.7, Georgia sixth, 337.8.

In third down conversions, Alabama is second, 68-142 for 47.9 per cent, Georgia third, 69-150 for 46 per cent. Defensively on third down, Bama is fifth, allowing 55 of 170 for 32.4 per cent, Georgia seventh, 64-180 for 35.6 per cent.

In the important statistic of Turnover Margin, Alabama is at plus 14 (11 fumble recoveries and 16 interceptions for 27 takeaways and 11 fumbles lost and two passes intercepted for 13 turnovers). Georgia is at plus 9 (15 fumble recoveries and 10 interceptions for 25 takeaways and 8 fumbles lost and 8 interceptions for 16 turnovers).

Inside the 20-yard line, the Red Zone, Alabama is first offensively, 48 scores (39 touchdowns and 9-9 field goals) in 53 opportunities for 90.6 per cent. Georgia is fourth on 40 (35 touchdowns and 5-6 field goals) of 46 for 87 per cent. Defensively, Alabama is first, allowing 14 scores (11 touchdowns, 3-6 field goals) in 23 attempts, 60.9 per cent; and Georgia is second, 27 scores (18 touchdowns, 9-14 field goals) in 38 chances for 71.1 per cent.

As for disciplined play, the Tide is best in the league in the penalties department, 48 penalties for 412 yards, an average of 34.3 yards per game; the Bulldogs are 10th with 82 penalties for 609 yards, an average of 50.8 yards per game.

Bama has been more successful in sacks and in avoiding sacks than has Georgia. Bama is fourth in the league in sacks with 30 for 176 yards, the Bulldogs 10th, 24 for 160 yards. The Tide has been sacked 20 times for 121 yards, the Dogs 22 times for 145 yards.

In the kicking game, Alabama leads Georgia in extra point kicking, field goals, kickoff returns, punt returns, and punting; the Bulldogs lead the Tide in kickoff coverage.

Alabama has average time of possession of 31:20, Georgia 28:38.

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