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Some random facts to keep in mind

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One of the benefits of having a roommate who works for Fox Sports is that I get lots of statistical goodies sent to me. Now, everyone knows that Ohio State is 0-8 against the SEC in bowl games (what the hell the 1977 Alabama-Ohio State tussle has to do with the 2007 LSU-Ohio State matchup is beyond me), but Did You Know:

  • Of the five teams who have made back-to-back BCS Title Game appearances - FSU 98-99, FSU 99-00, Oklahoma 03-04, USC 04-05 - four of them have lost the repeat appearance? FSU in 99 is the only team to buck that trend, and Oklahoma is the only team with a loss in both those appearances.

  • Among receivers with 50 receptions, OSU's Brian Robiskie has the 4th highest yards-per-catch average in the nation at 17.7.

  • Ohio State has allowed only TWO rushing TDs all year? For all the damage Illinois did on the ground, Juice wound up with his 4 TDs through the air. Anyway, since 1996 (as far back as Stats, Inc. went in this), the mere 2 TDs allowed is the lowest total any team has put up (a few have yielded 3).

  • On the flip side, LSU leads the nation with 9 different players having scored a rushing TD this year. And our 34 rushing TDs this year is 5th highest in I-A (aka FBS). So which will give, the LSU ground game or the OSU rushing defense?

  • LSU has scored 21 or more points in 20 consecutive games, 2nd in the nation to Hawaii's 25. Ah wait, Hawaii's streak is D-U-N. That means we're #1. Only one team (Illinois) scored more than 17 all year on Ohio State, so once again, which will give?

  • Stats points out that Jacob Hester has gotten progressively better by down this year, with a 4.3ypc average on 1st down (114-487), a 5.2 average on 2nd down (59-308), and an 8.1 average on 3rd down (27-219). This is a bit misleading, however, as Hester's massively aberrational 87-yard TD run against La Tech was on 3rd down. Absent that, his average would actually be 4.7 (26-122).

  • Tiger fans know to fear not if we're behind going into the 4th quarter (unfortunately the logic can't convince my heart to quit pounding anyway), and for good reason - we're 2nd in the nation in 4th quarter point differential at +83 (136-53). Oklahoma is first at +91.

  • We're 3rd in the nation in turnover margin at +18 (15 gives vs 33 takes). Also tied for #1 in fewest fumbles lost with 3.

  • For all the supposed deterioration of our defense over the last month and change, LSU is 2nd in the country in opponents' completion percentage, yielding only 46.4%. Arkansas, of all teams, is first at 45.7%.

  • As this is Bo Pelini's last game roaming the sidelines for the Tigers, I figured I'd finish with a tip of the hat to him. Since he took over as defensive coordinator in 2005, LSU has held its opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards 26 times, good for #1 in the nation (tied with Florida). Even with all our frustration after that Arkansas game, Bo still deserves a well-earned tip of the hat for the above accomplishment.

In other news, did you know that Les Miles is an idiot? (HT: MW) Because, you see, I haven't heard anyone ever assert that, so it's news to me. Definitely a first. I guess I'd been so deep in the Miles-to-Einstein comparisons that I just didn't even know such blaspheming could exist.

Essentially, forget about speed or strength or talent or home field or any of the other stuff - the only thing this game is going to boil down to is the simple fact that we've got a moron roaming our sidelines, ergo our hide is cooked. Why even bother to show up and play the game?

/sarcasm off