|Beef O'Brady's Bowl 2013|
East Carolina finished the regular season at 9-3 playing against an "easier" strength of schedule (SOS). I determine that a team's SOS is easier if the calculated SOS is one to two standard deviations greater than the average SOS for the "league", which is the case for the Pirates. In fact, six of the nine victories by the Pirates are against teams currently ranked #99 or lower (i.e. in the 100's). On the field the Pirates best game (win over highest ranked team to date) was a 24-17 victory over currently ranked #46 Middle Tennessee State and their worst game (loss to lowest ranked team to date) was a 33-36 loss to currently ranked #70 Tulane. In terms of overall production East Carolina is currently ranked as the #23 team in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision, with the #25 ranked offense and the #28 ranked defense.
The Ohio University Bobcats finished the regular season with a 7-5 record while playing against an "average" SOS. A team's SOS is average if it is within one standard deviation of the mean in absolute value. For Ohio their best game was a 34-31 victory over currently ranked #16 Marshall (who East Carolina lost to at the end of the season) and the Bobcats worst game was a 23-26 loss to currently ranked #87 Central Michigan. In terms of overall ranking, the Bobcats are currently the #73 ranked team in overall production, with the #69 ranked offense and the #72 ranked defense.
From the viewpoint of the production model, East Carolina is more productive on both sides of the ball, so look for East Carolina to be the winner of this year's Beef O'Brady's Bowl.