Wednesday, July 21, 2010

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(Note: A Momentary Stat of Reason will run each week and features a new or updated stat that we think is somewhat underrated.)

This week's stat: YARDS PER PLAY/YARDS PER PLAY ALLOWED

Why we like this stat
: It eliminates the fact that some teams run high pace offenses and some run slower ones. In other words, it doesn't matter how many plays a team runs, but how they perform on average on each play. Basically, it measures how efficient a team is on offense regardless of what type of offense they run. Conversely, yards-per-play ALLOWED is measured the same way but includes how OTHER teams perform against your defense.

Is it Flawed?:
It does not include red zone performance, strength of schedule, or big plays vs. negative plays, but the average should be a pretty good indicator how a team is offensively and defensively.
So, lets take a look at the leaders in each category from 2009...

Yards-per-Play (Offense):
1. Nevada: 7.3
2a. Florida: 7.0
2b. Cincinnati: 7.0
4a. Houston: 6.9
4b. Idaho: 6.9
6. UAB: 6.8
7. Arkansas: 6.7
8. Hawaii: 6.6
9a. Troy: 6.5
9b. Boise St.: 6.5
9c. Stanford: 6.5


Yards-per-Play ALLOWED (Defense):
1. Texas: 3.8
2. TCU: 3.9
3. Nebraska: 4.0
4a. Alabama: 4.1
4b. Ohio St.: 4.1
4c. Oklahoma: 4.1
7a. Florida: 4.2
7b. N. Carolina: 4.2
9. Iowa: 4.3
10. Penn St.: 4.4

Just for fun, let's subtract YPP Allowed from YPP (which I shall call "Yards Per Play Differential") and see who the leaders were:

1. Florida: 2.8
2. TCU: 2.5
3. Alabama: 1.9
4a. Cincinnati: 1.8
4b. Texas: 1.8
6a. Boise St.: 1.7
6b. Penn St.: 1.7
8. Virginia Tech: 1.6
9. Oregon: 1.5
10. Ohio St.: 1.4

So, out of these 10 schools, 8 ended up playing in BCS bowls (Virginia Tech and Penn St. were the two that did not). Only Georgia Tech and Iowa (who played each other in the Orange Bowl) were BCS bowl teams not in the top ten in terms of YPP DIFFERENTIAL. (FWIW Georgia's numbers were: YPP 5.9, YPP ALLOWED. 5.1 for a difference of +0.8.)

The Five Worst teams
in terms of YPP DIFF. were: Washington St., New Mex. St, Eastern Mich., Rice, and San Jose St.

We will track this stat as the 2010 season goes along because, well, it seems to be a good indicator of who is a fraud and who is legit.(Big props to cfbstats.com as well.)

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