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Deep Inside the Numbers: Auburn-LSU

Laissez Les Bons Tigres Rouler...Toomer’s.

Mississippi v Auburn
Walking past the whole state of Mississippi like...
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This game scares us. Every year, Auburn-LSU is the weirdest, dumbest, most violent game of the season. Every few years, the games are weird enough fans give them nicknames, but rest assured each game is weird in and of itself. Maybe Les Miles’ absence from the coaching staff will un-weird this year’s contest, but I doubt it. Plus, the Hat will be in Tiger Stadium anyway, accepting recognition for a national championship he won in 2007 when only he could win a championship because that season was too weird for anything else. If Auburn wins on Saturday night, there’s a chance it end an LSU coach’s tenure for the second season in a row, so the threat of weirdness looms. Not to mention LSU’s current coach speaks like what I imagine burnt gumbo would sound like if it gained sentience. It’s been a long time since LSU lost to Auburn in Baton Rouge. In fact, there are probably freshman on Auburn’s team who weren’t even alive when it happened.

There was a time the winner of the Tiger Bowl was the de facto SEC West champion. That is no longer the case, and probably wont be until the One Ring is finally cast into the fire of Mount Doom...or Nick Saban retires. However, this game is still a huge test for any Auburn team’s mettle. We would love to know the outcome of this game before Saturday because stress is a real killer and you just gotta get it out of your life, man.

Jumping beats waiting/

Grab your shins and scream out loud/

CANNONBALL this math/ #Haiku

Auburn is 12-8 all time on October 14 and 1-1 against LSU on October 14. However, when Auburn plays on October 14 in years that end in 7, the Tigers are 1-0, with the win coming against Clemson in 1967. Clemson’s mascot? Tigers. LSU’s? Tigers. Things look pretty good from here.

Auburn won the first road game of October six of seven times with Malzahn on the sidelines.* Say what you will about Gus, he wins a lot of games on the road against unranked opponents.

When Auburn plays an LSU team that loses to Mississippi State, Auburn is 3-0 going back to 1981. That is 36 years of data. Does that mean #36 Kam Pettway will finally look healthy and have the game he is capable of having against one of the worst rushing defenses in the SEC? You do the math.

I’m diving in again!

There are certain things good Auburn teams do. One of those is win games when ranked in the top 10 in the month of October.** When Auburn is ranked in the top 10, there are certain guarantees, and one of them is beating LSU. Auburn is 2-1 against LSU in the past 20 years when Auburn is ranked in the top 10. Auburn has never lost to LSU when ranked in the top 10 while LSU is unranked. Auburn has never lost with Gus Malzahn on its staff when it is ranked in the top 10 and is playing LSU. Auburn hasn’t lost to an unranked LSU team since 2001. Auburn has never lost to Ed Orgeron as a head coach and has beaten him a collective 67-23 in three games. Teams coached by Orgeron have scored a total of two offensive touchdowns in three games against Auburn.

Currently, LSU is averaging scoring 1.5 touchdowns per game in SEC Play and allowing 3 touchdowns per game. If you throw out the games against cupcakes, LSU’s stats on defense are real real bad. Against Troy, Mississippi State, and Florida, LSU allowed an average of 229 yards rushing and an average of 5.3 yards per carry. Auburn has running backs on its team that should see that number and start practicing touchdown dances.

Kerryon Johnson has scored more rushing touchdowns by himself (11) against SEC opponents than LSU has total touchdowns against the combination of Troy, Mississippi State, and Florida (6).

More numbers? Let’s go then.

This is the list of popular movies the last year Auburn won in Baton Rouge,

Reminder: 1999 was awful

Auburn is 1-0 against LSU in Baton Rouge in years in which a movie titled The Mummy was released in theaters. Big deal, you might say. What does that have to do with this season, you might ask.

Did you know a movie called The Mummy starring Tom Cruise was released this summer? One critic said “Tom Cruise's new film barely qualifies as a film at all,” so you might not. I actually didn’t know it existed until I saw an advertisement for its release on Amazon plastered on a subway car. Who knew that 1999 and 2017 had so much in common?

Considering Auburn has never lost to LSU in a year in which a movie called The Mummy was widely released in cinemas, I would say we can all rest easy for this week’s game.

I swear I’m not making this up, Tom Cruise literally was in a movie you probably never heard of, it was called The Mummy, and it somehow made over 400 million dollars worldwide. I am under the impression Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks are secretly making movies and not telling anyone about them. I swear I hear about a Tom Hanks movie once a week that I never knew existed and it turns out it’s been out for three years. Seriously, some movie about a hologram in Saudi Arabia got made, starred Tom Hanks, and went under the radar. Tom Cruise was in something called Oblivion in 2013? Stop making secret movies Toms!

Anyway, Auburn wins in Tigerland

Auburn 38

LSYeaux 14

*That Dak Prescott game in 2014 is such an outlier each and every week.

** Except when playing the greatest Mississippi State QB of all time, Dak Prescott, in 2014.