Which Missouri Tigers football team would win in a matchup, 2007 or 2013?
The Missouri Tigers are No. 5 in the BCS standings, a long way from being selected to finish sixth in the SEC East. Tiger fans are beginning to daydream about an SEC Championship and, if they really close their eyes tight enough, a BCS Title. With the success that Mizzou is experiencing this season fans harken back to 2007.
The 2007 Tigers began the season unranked as well, it wasn’t until Week 4 that they appeared at No. 25 in the AP poll. Led by Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman, Martin Rucker, William Moore, and Sean Weatherspoon (among others), the Tigers rose to No. 1 in the BCS after defeating Kansas in the memorable “Armageddon at Arrowhead” game. A loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game kept Mizzou from playing for the BCS title. Nonetheless, the 2007 team was one of the best in the program’s history.
With similar stripes one might wonder which team would win if they played each other? To find out we simulated the 2007 Tigers vs. the 2013 Tigers.
How this works
uses current (and, in this simulation, past) rosters and strength-of-schedule and efficiency-adjusted team and player stats (weighted slightly more toward recent games), to play this game 50,000 times to determine which team would win.
Won first Big 12 North division title
Won over 9 games in a season for the first time since 1969
Ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll for the first time since 1960
Achieved highest ever BCS ranking in history, No. 1
5 starters were named to the Associated Press All-American teams
Quarterback Chase Daniel finished fourth in the Heisman voting
5th in yards/games: 502.6
9th in points/game: 39.9
59th in yards allowed/game: 378.9
37th in points allowed/game: 23.3
In play: SEC East Title, SEC Championship, BCS Championship, and undefeated season.
Odds of going undefeated: 6.5%
Projected record: 10-2, with losses at Ole Miss and vs. Texas A&M
11th in yards/games: 513.4
8th in points/game: 44.3
50th in yards allowed/game: 381.0
33th in points allowed/game: 22.1
The Winner Is…
After 50,000 simulations the 2007 Tigers win 53% of the time by an average score of 29-27. This would mark the fewest points scored and most points allowed by the 2013 team.
Offensively the 2007 team was elite, only five programs topped 500 yards/game and eight managed to score 40 points/game that season. In 2013, fifteen teams average more than 500 yards/game with five topping 550 yards, a mark accomplished by only one team in 2007. Scoring is also up in 2013 with eighteen teams averaging 40 or more points per contest. While a case can be made that the 2013 defense is slightly better than the 2007 team, it is not significant enough to overcome the elite offense in 2007.
This current iteration of the Tigers might offer Mizzou fans the best chance at a BCS Championship but they still have work to do to be the best Tiger squad of all-time.