Sizing Up Oklahoma vs. Baylor by the Numbers


On Saturday night in Waco, Texas, the top two teams in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) will square off. The winner of Oklahoma vs. Baylor, No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the FPI, will likely join Oklahoma State atop the Big 12 standings with just two games to go in the regular season.

The Baylor Bears are a game up on the Sooners in the all-important loss column and are still very much in the hunt for a spot this season in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is hanging its championship hopes on the idea that if the Sooners can run the table in their remaining three regular-season games, all against teams currently ranked in nation’s top 25. A loss, especially this late in the season, would likely knock both teams, and possibly the Big 12, out of national title contention.

Nov 8, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Baylor Bears running back Corey Coleman (1) runs as Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Julian Wilson (2) defends during the game at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

So, needless to say, this is a hugely important game for both teams.

The Sooners have not had much luck the last two trips they have made to Waco, losing both times, most recently by 34 points in 2013.

After holding a 20-0 advantage the first 20 times the two teams played each other, the Sooners have lost three of the last four games, and last season the Bears did it with an exclamation point, hammering OU by a score of 48-14 in Norman. That was one of the worst losses ever handed to an Oklahoma team coached by Bob Stoops and easily the worst at home.

Oklahoma has the opportunity to return the favor this season as the scene shifts to Waco. This will be the first game for the Sooners at Baylor’s one-year-old McLane Stadium, and ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be right there with the Crimson and Cream to capture all the pregame spirit and excitement for a national audience.

Baylor leads the nation in both scoring and total offense, averaging 57 points and 665 yards of offense per game. You might be surprised to learn that OU’s offensive numbers aren’t that far off on a comparative basis.

Here is how the two teams compare in several statistical areas entering Saturday’s contest:

Offensive Comparisons

19-9 – Oklahoma’s record (.679 winning percentage) in games in which ESPN’s “College GameDay” is on hand. That record is second best among teams with at least 15 “GameDay” appearances.

13 – Number of wins Bob Stoops has against Baylor. That is the most the OU head coach has over any opponent.

20 – Consecutive home games Baylor has won, the current longest among FBS teams.

18.1 to 25.0 – Points allowed per game by Oklahoma and Baylor. The Sooners are ranked 16th in the country in that category; Baylor is currently 59th.

134-64 – The score differential in Baylor’s last three wins over the Sooners (in three of the past four years) and the only wins by the Bears in the 24-game history of the series. Baylor has outscored OU 89-26 in the previous two games between these Big 12 foes.

211 to 309 – Average yards rushing for Oklahoma, 98 yards fewer than Baylor’s rushing average per game.

338 to 357 – Passing yards per game by OU and Baylor, respectively.

Defensive Comparisons

149 to 165 – Rushing yards allowed per game by OU and Baylor, respectively.

179 to 224 – Passing yards allowed per game by the Sooners and Bears, respectively.

327 to 388 – Total defensive yards allowed per game by Oklahoma (327) and Baylor (388).

Vs. Common Opponents

Against Kansas StateScore comparisons: OU 55, K-State 0; Baylor 31, K-State 24. Rushing yards: OU: 232, 4.5 per carry; Baylor: 103, 3.0 per carry. Total yards: OU: 84 plays for 568 yards; Baylor: 67 plays for 522 yards. Rushing defense: OU: 31 attempts for 65 yards; Baylor: 48 attempts for 258 yards. Pass defense: OU: 5 for 22 for 45 yards; Baylor: 13 for 23 for 172 yards.

Against Texas Tech: Score comparisons: OU 62, T-Tech 27; Baylor 63, T-Tech 35. Rushing yardage: OU: 405 yards; Baylor: 368 yards. Passing yardage: OU: 212 yards, 2 TDs; Baylor: 312 yards, 4 TDs. Rush defense: 40 attempts for 172 yards; Baylor: 24 attempts for 106 yards. Pass defense: 29 of 45 for 253 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT; Baylor: 40 of 65 for 530 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT.

Against West Virginia: Score comparisons: OU 44, WVU 24; Baylor 62 WVU 38. Rush offense: OU: 33 carries for 107 yards; Baylor: 50 carries for 304 yards. Pass offense: OU: 14 for 25, 320 yards, 3 TD; Baylor: 21 of 34 for 389 yards, 6 TD. Rushing defense: OU: 53 carries for 196 yards; Baylor: 44 carries for 182 yards. Pass defense: OU: 17 for 32, 173 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT; Baylor: 18 for 39, 289 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT.