Editor's Note: This data in this post was compiled by reader Banks McFadden's Ghost and then analyzed by him. The content was edited solely for grammar and style.
Following up on Ryan's line up analysis, I went a little deeper to compare Clemson and Oklahoma at the position group level. This write up looks at the offensive units. Just to review - the depth charts are from OurLads.com and are unaltered. Recruiting star ratings were taken from Rivals and years in NCAA football includes redshirt years. As a final note, Oklahoma has four WR's on their depth chart compared to our three and we have two TE, while they have a H-B listed (the H-B and TE are basically the same position, and both will line up on the line or offset from it depending on formation). Clemson's backfield unit includes QB, RB, and TE's and Oklahoma's backfield unit includes QB, RB, and H-B.
Starting off with the offensive line group:
In this unit, Clemson has the advantage in recruiting ranking and seniority. I would argue that this is one unit where seniority is extremely important due to the nuanced techniques and responsibilities involved in blocking. Clemson has vastly outperformed Oklahoma on the field this season up front. Clemson ranks 9th in adjusted line yards and 4th in adjusted sack rate while Oklahoma checks in at 23rd and 105th respectively. Clemson loses the seniority advantage in the two deep, but widens the talent gap.
Next up are the wide receivers:
What jumps out at me here is how much talent and experience the Oklahoma receivers have. I would still argue that Clemson's group is better when you consider the two deep rotation we have and the fact that Renfrow's two stars drag the anchor on these numbers. Having said that, OK clearly has a dangerous unit here that will seriously challenge our secondary. Let's hope that Sterling Shepard takes a vacation to Mac Island. The two deep shows what I think is a more accurate depiction of the talent level of both teams at WR.
Finally on to the backfield:
This is one group where I think the numbers are deceptive in favor of Clemson. I think Baker Mayfield is clearly better than a 3* and that gap between his 3* and Watson's 5* is really the main difference here. I think the backfields are relatively evenly matched, with slight advantage to Watson over Baker and Perine over Gallman with the main difference being Jordan Leggett. The two deep doesn't provide much more insight, but it is worth noting it is thrown somewhat by the backup Oklahoma H-B (1 star walk on Connor Knight, Trevor's twin).
On this side of the ball, we find that there is comparable talent at the skill positions, while Clemson finds its key advantage on the offensive line.
As a wrap up to the whole line up analysis, I wanted to show one last chart that I think will be the key to a Clemson victory. Comparing Clemson's offensive line and Oklahoma's defensive line shows a very small gap between talent and seniority, but when we look at Clemson dline against Oklahoma's oline, here is what we see:
A major gap in both talent and seniority, which has shown up on the field thus far this season and I believe will show up on New Year's Eve. This critical matchup will determine if Mayfield has time to find his talented receivers and stress our secondary into giving up big plays. If we set up camp in the backfield, I expect a big Clemson win. If we get pushed off the ball or fail to pressure Mayfield, I'll be praying that Watson can have the game of his career.