This is something that cant be proven either way till the 'rubber hits the road' as they say. I personally think it goes alittle bit of both ways. The SEC D is good, but the O as a whole is not. The Big12 O is good, but the D as a whole is not. What is up for debate is if those are because of the other....
If very plain terms, does the poor offensive play in the SEC lead to high defensive rankings? Or do dominate defenses lead to poor offensive rankings?
For example, the SEC has 5 teams that had D's ranked in the top 10. Very impressive. They also had 6 O's that ranked 98th and worse. Thats horrible. The avg D rank for the SEC is 31 out of 120. Avg O is 82 of 120. The SEC had the 1,2,3 & 5th ranked Ds in the country. They also had the 104, 105, 114 & 118th ranked O's in the country. 4 of the top 5 of all D-1 teams, and 4 of the bottom 16 of all D-1 teams. The interesting part to me is the SEC vs Big12 Ranks. O vs D. SEC - 82 vs 31. Big12 - 36 vs 80. Nearly the identical difference.
Missouri was ranked 61 in total yrds allowed on D. 43rd in pts allowed. But they also played the #2,3,5,7 & 13 best offenses in CFB. The avg O ranking they played was 35th in the country. The best SEC O was ranked 29th. Infact Missouri's avg O played against ranks better than 10 of the 12 SEC teams O rank. Mizzou was 12th in the country in total O, that was good for 5th in conference.
Missouri ranked in the top 3 in nearly every defensive catagory in the Big12. With the exeption of Pass D (they were 5th). Missouri was considered a strong defensive team in the big12. But does that mean anything? Do the big12 D's suck, or are they just matched up with some of the best offenses in CFB?
Arky fans point to the ATM game as proof of the big12's awful D. They put up 581 yrds of O. 510 of that was through the air. Very impressive. They moved at will in the second half of that game against what would be considered a middle of the pack D in the big12. However, what is overlooked is that ATM went for 628 yards on Arky. Including 381 yrds rushing. ATM is the 4th or 5th best big12 O against the 4th or 5th worst SEC D. In other words, and avg big12 O VS. an avg SEC D.
In Mu's 'big12 shootout' against ATM, Missouri held ATM to 128 fewer total yards and 200 fewer rushing yards. Just something to nibble on....
What does all of this mean? I have no clue. MU's total D ranking would have only been better than 2 SEC schools last year. Their O would have easily ranked 1st. I dont know what will happen, but If i had to guess, you will see both numbers move closer to each other. I think Mu's #11 O rank with fall back and I think their #61 D rank will move up. The D's they will face are better, the O's they will face are worse.
To me that is the only way to look at it till we have the proof. You cant have it both ways. You cant claim ultimate D for the SEC with so many bad offenses, unless you are willing to credit the big12 offenses for the medocre D rankings. If the O's in the SEC are hurt by dynamic and dominate D's, Then the same must ring true that the D's in the Big12 are hurt by the dynamic and dominate O's.
Anyway those are just some random numbers and thoughts. Much to debate for the six months till the season start for us Tiger fans.
Edited by Fro Daddy, 08 February 2012 - 10:01 AM.