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Berry Tramel


Big 12 football: OSU defense now atop efficiency ratings

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm •  Published: November 26, 2013

The latest Big 12 efficiency ratings have a new leader atop the defensive list. OSU has the Big 12′s best defense.

OSU’s 49-17 victory over Baylor proved that the Cowboys could stand up to even the best of offenses, and now the Cowboys are a Bedlam win away from going to the Fiesta Bowl.

Remember, efficiency measures how often an offense scores — and whether it scores a touchdown or kicks a field goal — and how often a defense gets off the field doing the same.

Here are the latest numbers:


1. Baylor .480

2. Kansas State .380

3. OSU .333

4. OU .314

5. Texas Tech .300

6. Texas .299

7. West Virginia .244

8. Iowa State .199

9. TCU .190

10. Kansas .164

A few offensive thoughts:

* Baylor fell to Earth, down from ,534 last week. That’s a major drop. And with TCU this week, Baylor could drop some more. Meanwhile, Kansas State plays Kansas. No way does KSU pass Baylor, but wouldn’t it be interesting if by season’s end the Wildcats were in the same neighborhood as Baylor?

* Kansas was ahead of Iowa State last week. Then the Jayhawks were shut out by the Cyclones. Guess that settles the question of who has the league’s worst offense.

* The offenses of OSU and OU are strangely close. Doesn’t feel like it, does it? But two things to remember. The Cowboys have been getting some non-offensive touchdowns, which is how they’ve consistently been in the 40s and 50s the last several weeks. And the Sooners have been good offensively three of the last four games — Tech, Iowa State, K-State.


1. OSU .169

2. TCU .178

3. Texas .239

4. Baylor .240

5. OU .255

6. Kansas State .323

7. Texas Tech .342

8. West Virginia .345

9. Iowa State .357

10. Kansas .365

A few defensive thoughts:

* OSU’s defensive rise has been remarkable — .169 is an outstanding number.

* The third-best defense in the Big 12 is too close to call. Texas, Baylor and OU all have a shot at it.

* Iowa State has to be better on defense. It’s down there ninth. The Cyclones rarely are going to have a high-powered offense. They’ve got to hold people down.

OK, now for a review of last week’s games, using the efficiency ratings as a formula to estimate score.

Baylor 37, OSU 28: OSU’s defense rose above the estimates. Baylor had feasted on the Big 12′s weaker defenses, but the Cowboys were having none of that.

Kansas State 26, OU 25: I got an email from some joker, telling me how ridiculous were the efficiency ratings, using the OU-KSU game as an example. Here’s what’s funny. The OU-KSU game is the great example of how good can be the efficiency barometer. Remember, I never said this was a predicted final score. This was a gauge on how the game could go, barring special teams touchdowns, etc. OU got a defensive touchdown and a punt return to the KSU 3-yard line that set up another TD. Take away those two touchdowns, and it’s KSU 31, OU 27.

Kansas 29, Iowa State 27: The Cyclone offense cooperated. The Kansas offense did not.

OK, now time for this week’s predictions:

Texas 31, Texas Tech 26: I can see this. UT’s mindset will be interesting. If it’s not right, watch out.

Baylor 33, TCU 22: This could be a close game. TCU’s defense is solid, and Baylor could be down.

West Virginia 31, Iowa State 28: The Cyclones will be hard-pressed to keep it this close.

Kansas State 35, Kansas 23: This could be in the range. KU might play inspired in its home finale.


by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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