Because no one can get enough of preseason predictions, even though none of them has any effect on actual results and most of them seem to turn out wrong, let’s play a game. The Blind Resume Game.
We’ll look at two teams that were very good in 2013 and are expected to be very good again in 2014, two teams that have to go through each other to achieve their goals.
We’ll list key stats in terms of returning production and experience from Phil Steele’s Daily Blog on Monday for those two teams, and you tell me which team is more likely to have the edge.
Team A returns 73.61 percent of its lettermen from last season. Team B returns 68.57 percent.
Team A returns players who accounted for 78.89 percent of the team’s offensive yards last season. Team B returns players who accounted for 57.75 percent of its yards.
Team A returns players who accounted for 62.12 percent of its tackles last season. Team B returns players who accounted for 59.07 percent of its tackles.
Team A returns offensive linemen who’ve made 113 college starts. Team B returns offensive linemen who’ve made 37 college starts.
In conclusion, in every single one of those categories, Team A returns more production and/or experience than Team B, and the difference in offensive line starts is overwhelming.
Based on those numbers – and throw in the fact that Team A returns its starting quarterback and Team B doesn’t – which team has the edge going into the 2014 season? Which team should be expected to have a better season? Which team should be ranked higher in preseason polls?
It’s a no-brainer, right? It’s Team A.
For the record, Team A is Auburn. Team B is Alabama. Yet so many preseason magazines – including Phil Steele’s – are picking the Tide ahead of the Tigers.