What follows is a bit of homerism and some facts.
It is time to put to bed the argument by the Bama fans that because ND didn't run rough shod over mediocre teams that we will get run over by Bama. The number one argument for this, is because Alabama's defense isn't nearly as good as they have been telling you.
This analysis looks at the 4 most important games each team played as determined by me. I am sure that if you used some advance metrics or normal rankings you might get something different. But, there shouldn't be too much argument about the 4 teams, and most importantly it includes Michigan who Bama fans think we want to ignore, because some how us holding Michigan to fewer points is a bad thing.
So the teams that have been chosen are in no particular order as follows for both teams:
ND: Michigan, Stanford, Oklahoma, USC
Bama: Michigan, LSU, A&M, Georgia
This analysis compares the performance between the top teams vs the rest of their games.
Let's start with the defenses and look at yardage allowed numbers:
|Alabama||Passing Allowed||Rushing Allowed||Total Yards Allowed|
|Rest Of The Teams Avg.||126||61||187|
|Top 4 Teams Avg.||258||122||379|
|Notre Dame||Passing Allowed||Rushing Allowed||Total Yards Allowed|
|Rest Of The Teams Avg.||190||86||276|
|Top 4 Teams Avg.||203||105||308|
Holy Guacamole! Bama's secondary got torched when they went against a quality opponent. They gave up 2x more yards to the top teams they faced. And they gave up almost the same percentage in rushing yards. Granted, a 122 average against your top opponents is pretty good, which makes ND's 105 yard average look awesome.
Kind of interesting what happens when you go up against a decent offense, huh, Bama. To be fair ND did give up 21% more rushing yards than their season average.
Onto the Offenses:
|Alabama||Rushing Yards||Passing Yards||Total Yards For|
|Rest Of The Teams Avg.||236||217||453|
|Top 4 Teams Avg.||218||209||426|
|Notre Dame||Rushing Yards||Passing Yards||Total Yards For|
|Rest Of The Teams Avg.||219||237||455|
|Top 4 Teams Avg.||170||184||354|
So when ND went up against their top their opponents the offense didn't perform quite as well. Granted, that includes a Michigan game were we were super conservative and pulled our Sophomore starting quarterback. What is impressive is that Bama's offense held pretty steady, which should be encouraging to them.
And can I say that the -22% number for ND across the board on offense is kinda freaky.
The All Important Points
So what about the most important statistic, points.
|Alabama||Points Allowed||Points For|
|Rest Of The Teams Avg.||6||42|
|Top 4 Teams Avg.||22||30|
|Notre Dame||Points Allowed||Points For|
|Rest Of The Teams Avg.||10||30|
|Top 4 Teams Avg.||11||21|
If I was Bama right now I would look like:
Seriously. When they go up against a good opponent they give up almost 4 times the points. Granted they also held the rest of their opponents to a ridiculously low amount of points. But, ND doesn't give up close to the number of points to the good teams they face. Bam's point totals also go down more than ND's.
So the question is what breaks. Bama's offense against ND's D or ND's offense against Bama's D. I can tell you one thing it won't be the later, based on this data. So it is up to Bama's O to make up for the deficiencies in Bama's D.
Aside: I think the reason Bama's secondary has so much trouble against good teams is because they don't have a pass rush, which gives these mediocre to good quarterbacks time to pick apart the secondary.
Now Bama will say their top opponents were better and that there is a huge disparity between their top opponents and their bottom, to which I would say, your right, at least about the disparity. Because, we learned yesterday LSU has some work to do. And that brings up the question of which is harder, a top to bottom schedule with mediocre to elite teams or a schedule of horrible to elite teams. They average out to about the same but which is harder?
Final Take Away:
Anyone who says that Bama is going to light up ND and completely shut down their offense is a troll.
Happy New Year!