College Football 2012 Offensive Scoring Efficiency Ratings

Oregon's Offense Was High-Powered in 2012, But Was It Efficient?

Oregon’s Offense Was High-Powered in 2012, But Did It Score More Efficiently Than Others?

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been tossing around an idea: what does scoring efficiency look like for every college football team, and does that also correlate to victories? Admittedly, it’s not overly complicated, but nonetheless, certainly took a good deal of number crunching (aka, simple math) to come up with some figures. Additionally, while putting this all together, I thought it would be interesting to see if teams that ran or passed the ball more saw a higher scoring efficiency rate, higher win total or both.

You can feel free to peruse the full data set for all 124 FBS schools here (color-coded for conference affiliation) in this handy Google doc. Included are the total offensive plays run during the 2012 season, total points scored, the efficiency rating (we’ll discuss below), run percentage, pass percentage and total victories.

The crux of this exercise is the scoring efficiency metric, which is actually a pretty simple points-scored-per-play figure. Basically, we’re assuming that efficiency is scoring more points in less plays, while inefficiency is scoring less points in more plays. With that definition in mind, the top 10 most efficient scoring offenses were as follows:

Oregon 1059 645 0.609065156
Alabama 898 542 0.603563474
Kansas State 841 505 0.600475624
Louisiana Tech 1054 618 0.586337761
Oklahoma State 1014 594 0.585798817
Florida State 941 550 0.584484591
Georgia 924 529 0.572510823
Texas A&M 1025 578 0.563902439
North Carolina 898 487 0.542316258
Baylor 1072 578 0.539179104

Not a whole lot of surprise here. Some of the nation’s most highly regarded offenses (Oregon, Texas A&M, Baylor, Louisiana Tech) are all present, though admittedly, I’m a bit surprised to see Florida State and Georgia. While I wouldn’t exactly call Alabama an offensive machine, the have a knack for brutal efficiency in every aspect of the game, so it should not come as a shock to see them listed right under the Ducks’ attack, despite running 150 less plays in one more game than Oregon. Also of note, every one of these teams tallied at least eight wins last season, and six had 11 or more. In fact, when looking at the full, sorted efficiency list, the first 25 schools all had at least seven wins on the season, with the first losing team being no. 26, Tennessee (AIR IT OUT, TYLER BRAY!)

And what about the least efficient scoring teams in the country? Your bottom 10:

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Conference Realignment: Which FCS Programs Could Be Next to Upgrade to the FBS?

Appalachian State Is Headed to the Sun Belt With Georgia Southern; Which FCS Schools Could Be Next to Upgrade?

Appalachian State Is Headed to the Sun Belt Conference Along With Georgia Southern; Which FCS Schools Could Be Next to Upgrade?

Schools are upgrading their football programs at a rapid pace. By 2015, 129 full members will be participating in FBS-level competition, up from 120 in 2012. That’s a 7.5-percent increase in just three years. And yet, there’s still plenty of talk about adding more schools to college football’s top tier too. While the ACC’s not jumping to add any of these schools, it’s not out of the question that this shuffling could eventually affect the sport’s top conferences – as top teams from football’s “mid-majors” look to upgrade their competition and move into the “Power Five.”

First, a recap of the recent moves from FCS to FBS:

2009: Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)

2013: South Alabama (Sun Belt), Texas State (Sun Belt), UT-San Antonio (Conference USA), UMass (MAC)

2014: Georgia State (Sun Belt)

2015: Appalachian State (Sun Belt), Charlotte (Conference USA), Georgia Southern (Sun Belt), Old Dominion (Conference USA) (*Appalachian State and Georgia Southern moves just reported today, via SB Nation)

And there’s still more schools that could potentially make the call. But who are they? Well, first a look at the basic eligibility requirements to move up to FBS from FCS (from the NCAA):

  1. Sponsor a minimum of 16 varsity intercollegiate sports, including football, based on the minimum sports sponsorship and scheduling requirements set forth in Bylaw 20. Sponsorship shall include a minimum six sports involving all male teams or mixed teams (males and females), and a minimum of eight varsity intercollegiate teams involving all female teams. Institutions may use up to two emerging sports to satisfy the required eight varsity intercollegiate sports involving all female teams. [Bylaw]

  2. Schedule and play at least 60 percent of its football contests against members of Football Bowl Subdivision. Institutions shall schedule and play at least five regular season home contests against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. [Bylaw]

  3. Average at least 15,000 in actual or paid attendance for all home football contests over a rolling two-year period. [Bylaw]

  4. Provide an average of at least 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of overall football grants-in-aid per year over a rolling two-year period. [Bylaw]

  5. Annually offer a minimum of 200 athletics grants-in-aid or expend at least four million dollars on grants-in-aid to student-athletes in athletics programs. [Bylaw]

Obviously, the second bullet is taken care of with the commitment to upgrade the program and the final two can easily be attained by just reaching those scholarship numbers. As far as item no. 1 and no. 3 though, the following schools would qualify for an FCS-to-FBS upgrade:

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week 2 (Part One)

Miami’s Duke Johnson Surprised Everyone In His Debut; Can He Sneak Up on Kansas State This Week?

After just a few days off, we’re previewing ACC football action once again as week two begins with a Thursday night matchup of Big East teams. Week one wasn’t exactly the best scenario for the conference — 9-5, including the two intra-conference games — but not the worst result either, all things considered. Still, it’s only one game, and we still have plenty more to learn about every squad. Picks for this week’s matchups are below. Agree/disagree? Share your opinions down in the comments.

Game of the Week

Miami Hurricanes (1-0) (1-0) at Kansas State Wildcats (1-0): What a difference a week makes. Things looked to be in complete disarray in Miami prior to kickoff last week. One monster debut by Duke Johnson later, we’re still unsure about the ‘Canes, but once again, they bring plenty of intrigue. Miami’s defense struggled to stop BC quarterback Chase Rettig last week, and will meet an even bigger test with K-State QB Collin Klein on Saturday. If they can keep the dual-threat passer in check, they’ve got a shot. Otherwise, things could come crashing back to earth very quickly in Coral Gables. Prediction: Kansas St. 33, Miami 26

The Rest of the Slate (in order of start time):

Pittsburgh Panthers (0-1) at Cincinnati Bearcats (0-0): Cincinnati had the week of to start the year, and by the looks of last Saturday’s effort, so did Pittsburgh. After a startling loss, the Panthers are hoping to rebound quickly and save their season from spiraling. The Bearcats, on the other hand, want to start off their year on the right foot as they try and replace a ton of lost talent from the 2011 edition. With suspended players returning, Pitt will field a much better team than they did previously. However, that defense proved they’re not stopping the run anytime soon, letting Youngstown State rack up 204 yards on the ground. That’ll be an issue against Cincy QB Munchie Legaux, whose ability to tuck and run with the ball may just torture them all night. Prediction: Cincinnati 36, Pitt 24

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UMass Celebrates Move to the Mid-American Conference with a New Look

Solid Look.

AMHERST — The new University of Massachusetts football jerseys were sharp, no doubt about it. They fit better, the material is of higher quality, and for what it’s worth from a newspaper reporter with no experience in the fashion industry, they were stylish.

But that isn’t the point. At least not to some UMass players.

It was the small patch on the right shoulder sewn on to the jersey — the Mid-American Conference logo.

“Actually seeing that little MAC symbol on there marks it officially,” senior safety Darren Thellen said. “We’re in the MAC now. No more CAA”

The shoulder patch certainly isn’t the only stylistic change to the uniforms. Gone are the black accent patches on the sides of the jerseys. The numbers on the shoulders have gotten significantly smaller, and UMass has been added to the front.  (MassLive)

Well, UMass has finally joined the big time.  They finally made the move to Division 1, a move that I argued should have happened years ago.  And this move was celebrated with the unveiling of new uniforms (photos).  There was speculation that this would be the new design.  Not a bad look, but I think sticking with the maroon was the right thing to do.

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UMass to the Big East: Why Hasn’t This Happened Yet?! (An Objective Analysis by an Objective Man)

Could the Big East take a look at UMass if/when they realign again?

With the Big East being raided yet again, and the ACC having a lot to do with this, the Big East could still be looking for new blood.  They’ve invited some pretty random schools (Boise State?!), yet a pretty obvious possibility has been overlooked: UMass.  Sure, they just lost in the NIT Final Four, and their basketball program hasn’t been a serious power since the Clinton Administration, but stay with me here, folks.

As far as enrollment goes, UMass boasts an undergraduate enrollment of 21,373, comparable to several member institutions.  Despite what I said earlier regarding their basketball program, it does have some history of success, including being the alma mater of Rick Pitino, Julius “Dr. J.” Erving, Al Skinner and Marcus Camby; several NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Final Four in 1996, and reaching the NIT Finals in 2008.  It’s also where current big-time head coaches John Calipari and Travis Ford got their starts.  Moving to a major conference would help the Minutemen acquire better recruits and potentially recapture the glory years of the mid-90s and become a solid contender.

In addition to this, they’ve also developed quite a successful Division I-AA program, with National Championship appearances in 1978 and 2006, and National Title in 1998.  This season, they begin their competition in the Mid-Major I-A Mid-American Conference.  One issue that many detractors have is their current stadium.  Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium only holds 17,000 people, meaning that UMass must play its home games in Gillette Stadium (also known as the House Brady Built, no one denies this).  However, plans are in place to renovate the stadium and bring it up to I-A regulations.  UConn football was a I-AA joke in the 1990s, but the school invested in the program, and it has seen success since its move to I-A in 2002, and to the Big East in 2005.  Granted, UConn Basketball was a founding member of the Big East. Continue reading

Big East Expansion: Navy-Finally-Says-Yes Edition

The Big East Makes Another Addition: And This Time, It's Navy

After a strung-out courtship that apparently lasted 10 years according to Navy Athletic Director Chuck Gladchuck, the Midshipmen are finally part of the Big East (/Country/Continent/Least, etc.)… in 2015. While I’m always one to applaud the tradition of our service academies as major college football programs, it’s still difficult to see what this addition truly gives the “country’s first national football conference” (source: John Marinatto, who also believes Syracuse, Pitt, TCU and West Virginia were wrong in leaving). While Navy surely adds more tradition than most of the current conference schools, what it lacks is success to go along with it. Yes, the Midshipmen have been to eight bowl games in the last nine years, but just nine bowl games during the previous 125 years of play. And if for some reason, their triple-option attack just can’t measure up anymore (we saw glimpses of this during 2011), Navy could end up as an annual bottom-dweller.

So now what? For the conference to truly be a “national,” coast-to-coast league, the final addition almost HAS to be west of the Mississippi. Remember, the Big East will likely have 13 teams in 2013, but then drop down to 10 in 2014 with the departures of SU, Pitt and WVU. Navy bumps them back up to 11, but with seven teams in the Eastern time zone, two in the Central, one in the Mountain and one in the Pacific, any “Western” division likely needs another team in the western part of the country. Still, we’ll dissect some quick odds on the remaining candidates, taking an open look at the country: Continue reading

Big East Expansion: Who’s Looking to Start a New Basketball Conference?

Could Georgetown Be Stirring Up Another Big East Exodus?

Apologizing for the slight divergence from our regularly scheduled programming (football) in advance:

In what has become a weekly saga around these parts, we take a look at our (and by our, I mean Syracuse‘s) former stomping grounds (the Big East), which look more like a graveyard most days. While addition has been on everyone’s mind lately, it appears that some more future defections could lead to subtraction in the future (shockingly?). Says the Chronicle of Higher Education: “…two Big East members (that) have had conversations about leaving the conference to start a new league built around traditional basketball powers.” This is, of course, of no surprise to anyone who’s ever been on the inside of the hulking, slow behemoth known as the Big East. But the bigger questions still loom — who are the two Benedict Arnolds, soon to be the “new Pitt and Syracuse?” and if these schools were to form a basketball superconference, who else would be on board?

Obviously, the additions of schools like SMU, Houston and UCF to the basketball league do nothing for the overall quality but provide additional punching bags for the likes of Georgetown and Louisville. Since most of the Big East currently pads their out of conference schedule in advance of what’s usually a brutal 18-game league schedule, these additional bottom-feeders really don’t help. We can surmise that multiple basketball schools are unhappy about this, but which ones are so unhappy they’d consider defection? Keep in mind that candidates will almost definitely be of the league’s old guard, and won’t have a football program (or much of one to speak of). They also won’t be Providence, because John Marinatto and the school hold joint ownership of the conference (metaphorically). Which leads us to Georgetown and St. John’s. Why them, but not say Seton Hall or Marquette? Simple: TV revenue.

Once again, we know that schools are unhappy with this setup, but you have to look at which ones possess enough value to attract other big basketball schools away from their respective conferences and into the “Roundball League” (or whatever probably horrendous name it adopts). Since the Hoyas and Red Storm deliver parts of the New York and D.C. markets, these are your best options. We avoid Villanova since not only do they fail to be the hottest game in town, but their football program is looking to move up in the world (not possible in a basketball-only league). With these two main players set, the following Big East teams probably jump at the chance to join up: Marquette, Seton Hall, DePaul. Assuming they aim for 12, who else do they grab?

In this scenario, we assume Memphis and Temple are pushed by the Big East failing to extend an invite (highly plausible). Recognizing the sinking ship they’d remain a part of, ‘Nova would finally jump to this league, as would Providence. For the final two spots (and to keep it semi-regional), I’d encourage George Mason and VCU. What you’re left with is a 16-team basketball superconference, whose weak link would probably still be DePaul (surely the Demon Deacons don’t find this as entertaining as I do). To be honest, they’d probably get just as many bids as the ACC for the NCAA Tournament every year (if not more). A frightening thought, but far too important to ignore.

If this all comes to fruition (we’re far from that right now), who’d you like to see in this basketball-only superleague? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.