In a few minutes, the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama will be under way, and according to the BCS, Auburn is ranked #2 and Alabama is ranked #9. Yet in terms of overall productivity, I have Auburn ranked #12 and Alabama ranked #4. So why does the production ranking differ from the conventional wisdom? Let's take a look at the two teams offense and defense in terms of productivity rank.
Offensive Production Ranks
Auburn ranks as the #7 most productive offense in the nation and Alabama ranks as the #16 most productive offense in the nation. So on the offensive side of the ball, Auburn is the better offense than Alabama. This I do not think is a shock to college football pundints.
Defensive Production Ranks
Alabama is the #2 most productive defense in the nation, just behind Boise State and Auburn is the #55 most productive defense in the nation, just behind Toledo. Thus on the defensive side of the ball, Alabama is a much better team.
Final (Overall) Ranking
So how do you compare the two? What I do is take each teams offensive production and subtract the teams defensive production and calculate the teams overall production. When taking account both the offensive and defensive productivity, Alabama is a more productive team than Auburn. Hence the productivity ranking has Alabama as a higher ranked (i.e. better team) than Auburn. Does that mean that Alabama will win today? No, this is just the statistical analysis of NCAA FBS teams, and these are the results from the statistical analysis.