Commentary

Auburn holds edge in title game

Believe it or not, Auburn's offense has been more consistent than Oregon's

Originally Published: January 7, 2011
By Bill Connelly | Football Outsiders
Darron Thomas and Cam NewtonGetty ImagesDarron Thomas and Cam Newton will play big roles on Monday night.

No matter what metrics you choose to use, the offenses of the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers were fantastic in 2010. Oregon scored at least 37 points in 11 of 12 games, and at least 48 in eight. Auburn, led by Heisman-winning quarterback Cam Newton, scored at least 49 points seven times; since 2005, only the Florida Gators in 2007 have managed a stronger full-season Offensive S&P+ rating than Auburn's current rating of 156. Both teams ranked in the top five nationally in rushing and the top 16 in passing efficiency, and even though schedule adjustments punish Oregon's efforts a bit, the offensive upside in this matchup is enormous.

If these two offenses find their rhythm (which sometimes takes a while after the pre-bowl break), it is easy to liken this matchup to that of a tennis match between two big servers. Failure to score, like a broken serve, could be devastating; a prolonged funk of multiple possessions could be fatal. So, which team is less likely to fall into said funk?

Our primary efficiency measure at Football Outsiders is success rate, as defined here. The national average for success rates in 2010 was 42.2 percent. As would be expected, both Auburn and Oregon measured out well above the national average. Auburn's success rate was 52.7 percent, Oregon's 48.5 percent.

However, offenses can sometimes fall in and out of rhythm. How consistently efficient were Auburn and Oregon?


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