With only a few weeks left before the College Football Playoff Committee releases the first college football playoff rankings, teams in Week 8 look to make an impact in potentially pivotal games. Many factors are likely to play a role in these games, including certain facts, figures and statistics. But, which of these elements should you pay attention to?
We broke down eight numbers that look to influence some of Week 8’s best games:Ranked ninth in the nation for this statistic, the Badgers’ defense allows an average of 15.2 points per game. However, Iowa’s offense, currently ranked 58th in the nation, tallies an average of 30.9 points per game. Still, the Hawkeyes have yet to face a currently ranked opponent, whereas Wisconsin has faced three currently ranked opponents. The game may become difficult for Eastern Michigan in Week 8, for its defense ranks 85th and 106th for third and fourth down conversion percentage, respectively. Western Michigan’s offense posts a 0.554 and 0.917 for third and fourth down percentage rates, respectively, which makes them No. 1 in the nation for the two statistics. While West Virginia comes into this match up ranked No. 12, the TCU Horned Frogs lead this pair’s series. Last year, TCU defeated the Mountaineers with a 30-point margin of victory. However, the two teams have faced each other only five times before, so a win here for West Virginia could mean evening out the series. In 2012, Texas A&M traveled to Alabama to face the Crimson Tide, much like they will do in Week 8. Here, the Aggies posted some major points on the undefeated, No. 1 in the nation team. It was Alabama’s only loss that year, and if Texas A&M can pull off the upset in 2016, the rankings are likely to be shaken up. While Auburn went unranked for a good portion of the year, its play resembled that of a ranked team. Texas A&M was the only team to score more than 20 points against the Tigers. However, Arkansas averages about 34.9 points per game, ranking 38 in the nation for scoring offense. While Ohio State ranks first in the nation for red zone defense, Penn State has a 0.84 rate of scoring in the red zone. However, this give the Nittany Lions a ranking of 65 in the nation for red zone offense. It is no secret that Baker Mayfield once started as a walk-on quarterback for Texas Tech. However, Mayfield, according to Oklahoma Athletics, grew up a fan of Oklahoma football, specifically players like Quentin Griffin, Antonio Perkins and Mark Clayton, so when given the opportunity to transfer and walk on to the Sooners team, he did so, which adds an extra interesting element to the Texas Tech-Oklahoma game.
So far this season, LSU has yet to play a ranked opponent. Ole Miss, however, faces LSU as its fifth ranked opponent of this season. Both teams have faced some major challenges in 2016, but the outcome of this game could make or break the rest of either team’s year.