I'm back! After a nice week in the South Caribbean involving lots of family time, beer, and Puerto Ricans, I'm home and it's good to be back. We've got 7 days of bowl coverage left, so join us as we preview Georgia Tech-Ole Miss!
When this bowl matchup was made official a couple of weeks ago, I started doing a quick comparison between the season that was for each team. The first couple of things that jumped out were easy, and a bit strange -- both were 7-5, coming off of very disappointing losses to their in-state rivals. Interesting enough.
However, looking farther into it, it's almost eerie how these teams paralleled each other throughout the year. What you see below is a chart of how these teams' seasons went, with regards to how many games above or below .500 they were at the end of each game.
Note: This game only takes into account FBS games.
Another, simpler way of visualizing this is to just look at how each did in their first FBS game, and then the second, and so on, as such:
Pretty wild, isn't it? This is something I'm not sure anyone would have noticed throughout the year. I'm sure it happens all the time across the league (when you're only playing 12 games, it's bound to), but how often do teams match up in a bowl game that had this similar of track records?
The one thing I want to note here is the OOC schedules, where Georgia Tech's was clearly harder. Tech played two FCS teams, yes, but played BYU and uga in true challenge games. Ole Miss, on the other hand, played one FCS school (Southeast Missouri State), Troy, Idaho, and then Texas, all of whom they beat. I would venture that trading OOC schedules (ignoring that uga and Ole Miss are each SEC teams), Tech would have gone 3-1 (the loss being against Texas) while Ole Miss would have gone 2-2, tentatively 3-1 given BYU's inconsistencies.
So what do we learn from this? Basically, that I have a lot of time on my hands. None of this means much. The only thing worth noting is how each team is trending -- both stumbled across the regular season finish line, and that's putting it lightly. Now the question becomes which team can rebound and perform a week from today in Nashville.
What do you take away from this? Is there anything there worth considering and analyzing further?