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CFP - But With Context

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by DaddyBigBucks, Nov 10, 2022.

By DaddyBigBucks on Nov 10, 2022 at 3:27 PM
  1. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Administrator Staff Member Bookie

    Contextual Comparisons

    Like any sports message board, Buckeye Planet is full of people who are convinced that they're right and that anyone who disagrees with them is not only wrong but also stupid, insane, evil, downright un-American, or combination thereof. What sets us apart is that we also have a few people who have a sense of perspective. I'm not one of them, but I hear they're out there.

    This time of year the discussions and arguments among college football fans are about who deserves to be ranked where in the CFP rankings. Statistics can't end those discussions and settle those arguments, because everyone has a different definition of that elusive word "deserves". Even for those who believe that being the best makes you deserving, stats can provide only data, not answers.

    Unlike what you'll get from most sports media, we here at BP prefer stats with context. Rather than just compare teams to whom they've played, we prefer numbers that compare teams to everyone whom their opponents have played.

    Take scoring offense: Just scoring more than other teams doesn't mean much if you don't answer the age-old question: "Who have they played?" But if you look at Differential Scoring Offense (DSO), the answer to that question is built into the statistic. A DSO of 1 means that you score exactly what your opponents usually give up; a DSO of 2 means you score twice as much; a DSO of 0.5 means you only score half as much. To add more context to the discussion, rigidity is a number from -100 to 100 that indicates how well your DSO holds up against better competition. For more information on BP-Style Stats, see this Glossary.

    Rushing Offense

    While our example above was scoring offense, the principle works the same for rushing offense. In Differential Rushing Offense (DRO), Air Force is number one in the country. The point here however is to provide context for playoff ranking discussions, so the table below shows the DRO rankings for the top twelve in CFP rankings:

    TeamDRO ratioDRO RankCFP Rank
    Ohio State1.382192
    Many people prefer to compare teams by yards per carry rather than yards per game. This does add a bit of context, and using differential stats adds even more. The following table shows the top twelve in Differential Yards Per Carry (offense):

    TeamDYpC ratioDYpC RankCFP Rank
    Ohio State1.44722
    Stats are okay. Stats with context are great. Stats with context that are surprising are among my favorite things. Stats with context that show something surprising about how great Ohio State is.... That's life.

    Based on DYpC alone, I could argue that Ohio State has the second-best rushing attack in the country. Does this mean that the Buckeyes' running game doesn't need work? Of course not. This is where rigidity comes into play. Despite being number two in DYpC, the Buckeyes have a subpar rigidity of -35.736, while their prime opponent (Michigan) not only has a slightly better DYpC but also a decent rigidity of 19.254. The upshot is that the Buckeyes have done better against the lesser teams but have struggled, relatively speaking, against the better rushing defenses on their schedule (Penn State, Iowa). Regardless, these differential numbers do show that the Ohio State running game is a good one; the Buckeyes just need to shore up a few things in order to become truly elite on the ground. Buckeye fans seem to love to panic, and the running game has been a prime source of that panic lately. But a little numerical context can provide some much needed perspective, no?

    Rushing Defense

    Rushing defense is more of a mixed bag for the top twelve:

    TeamDRD ratioDRD RankCFP Rank
    Louisiana State0.666187
    Ohio State0.679212
    Texas Christian0.834574
    Southern Cal0.909788
    As with the offense, the Yards Per Carry comparison is probably more valid, and it comes with some surprises:

    TeamDYpC ratioDYpC RankCFP Rank
    Ohio State0.788132
    Louisiana State0.838227
    Texas Christian0.946524
    Southern Cal1.084998
    Would you have guessed that the Vols are #1 in the country in Differential Yards per Carry defense?

    Yeah... Me either

    The most striking thing to me about the rushing defense numbers though is how poor some of the top twelve teams are at stopping the run. There was a time not so long ago when the rushing defense rankings didn't look all that different from the AP top-20.

    Passing Offense

    Having finally gotten the DSA spreadsheets cranked up for the first time in over a decade, it's a shame that they churned out their first FBS-wide numbers right after the Buckeyes played a starring role in The Perfect Storm II, or at least that's what it looked like from the comfort of my recliner in my man cave. Doubtless, the Buckeyes would have utterly dominated these rankings before Saturday's game against Northwestern. Nevertheless, here they are, with that horrible day included. (North Carolina, with top-five quarterback Drake Maye running the show, is number one in the country in DPO):

    TeamDPO ratioDPO RankCFP Rank
    Ohio State1.40392
    For decades now, pass efficiency has been considered a better measure for comparing quarterbacks than simple passing yards per game. It's even better when some context is added, as with Differential Passing Efficiency:

    TeamDPE ratioDPE RankCFP Rank
    Ohio State1.53422
    f all the comparisons that we've done so far, it is interesting that Offensive Differential Pass Efficiency is the only one where all of the top twelve teams are in the top 33 nationally.

    While C.J. Stroud is ahead of Hendon Hooker in this metric, it is notable that the Volunteers as a team are actually ahead of the Buckeyes (in large part due to the nor'easter the Buckeyes played through on Saturday). It is also remarkable how far in front of everyone else those two teams are. North Carolina is third at 1.414, and no one else is above 1.3. It is also noteworthy that Ohio State's Rigidity in this metric is 12.461 while Tennessee's is -23.590, meaning that Ohio State has held up better to their tougher competition than Tennessee has (spoiler: three of Ohio State's opponents are in the top ten in DPE-defense).

    Passing Defense

    If you were expecting the top teams to be bunched near the top in Pass Defense the way they were for offense, you'll be disappointed. The only thing notable about the Differential Pass Defense numbers is that just two of the top twelve were in the top ten for DPD, with Ohio State being tops among them at number six with a DPD of 0.766, and Alabama at number nine with a DPD of 0.792. Below is the chart for DPE defense. (Illinois is #1 in FBS with DPE of 0.698):

    TeamDPE ratioDPE RankCFP Rank
    Ohio State0.869162
    Louisiana State0.882227
    Texas Christian0.933484
    Southern Cal0.948548
    Of note is the presence of three of Ohio State's opponents in the top ten in FBS in Differential Pass Efficiency – Defense: Penn State is at #4, Iowa at #9, and Notre Dame at #10 (Wisconsin, another Ohio State opponent, checks in at #24).


    Finally we come to the most important numbers: Differential Scoring, both offense and defense, and the the composite number that combines them (see the previously-mentioned Glossary if these things are new to you). In addition to the top twelve, some other teams of note are included:

    TeamDSO ratioDSO RankDSD ratioDSD RankDSC powerDSC RankCFP Rank
    Ohio State2.04410.60073.40622
    Penn State1.449100.708212.046714
    Louisiana State1.284220.710221.808107
    Notre Dame1.145420.699191.6381420
    Southern Cal1.48590.914471.625168
    Texas Christian1.290190.917491.407274
    Michigan State1.127490.838351.34535NR
    North Carolina1.58051.2741131.2404515
    There are so many interesting comparisons one could make in the above table. I will point out two and leave the rest to the reader's imagination. First, observe how almost absurdly biased the committee is toward offense. When it comes to the "eye test", they seem to notice only one side of the ball. The second point is something we already knew intuitively, but I don't think I've ever seen it spelled out so dramatically. Compare each B1G team's DSC to its ranking. Some might say that all of those impressive DSC rankings come from playing in a bad conference. I would say that those people don't know how DSC really works. It is a mathematical impossibility for a conference to have that many teams that highly ranked in DSC by beating up on each other, or even by beating up on the weaker members of their own conference, because whatever those better teams are doing to the lesser teams is hurting every other B1G team's differential numbers.

    There are many other observations that can be made, but half the fun is discovering things for yourself. Go nuts. If there are specific rankings that you would like to know or perhaps additional calculations you would like to see, just ask.


Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by DaddyBigBucks, Nov 10, 2022.

    1. LordJeffBuck
      I just promoted this to a featured article.
    2. AKAK
      lol, beat me by a minute.
      Buckeyeskickbuttocks likes this.
    3. Bestbuck36
      Who was #9 in DSC?

      Sorry the Rain Man in me was throwing a fit that the numbers skipped in the Top 10
      DaddyBigBucks likes this.
    4. DaddyBigBucks
      UCF - 1.838
      Bestbuck36 likes this.
    5. Bestbuck36
      Nice. Much obliged sir. Keep up the outstanding work!
    6. DaddyBigBucks
      For those who are curious

      BB73, LordJeffBuck and brodybuck21 like this.
    7. Bestbuck36
      So everything except their record is pointing to TCU being a pretender to the throne. I think the sharps are seeing this too thats why they are an underdog this week to the rollercoaster Long Horns. These things just look like number to a lot of people who don't know how to apply the context that is given but watching the games with this stuff in mind totally makes you recognize things that directly effect these numbers. Meaning, there is a WHY to what these things are telling you.

      Cant say enough DBB. Best info on the internet.
    8. shetuck
      so many rabbit holes one can jump into... it's like being in a house of mirrors (for data junkies). thanks @DaddyBigBucks

      but, wait a second...

      let me scroll back up real quick...

      based on the current data, nov 26th will match the #2 passing offense against the #8 passing defense and the #1 rushing offense against the #13 rushing defense. TTUN's passing defense sucks much less than OSU's rushing defense.

      i guess the question comes down to: relatively how much more/less rigid is OSU's rushing defense than TTUN's passing defense?

      which then goes down into another rabbit hole thinking about differential scoring opportunities and differential time of possession.

      i take back my thanks... damn you @DaddyBigBucks ! :pissed3::pissed3::pissed3:
    9. DaddyBigBucks
      Buckeyes are a good bit higher in DSC in spite of having just played in a hurricane
      shetuck and brodybuck21 like this.
    10. shetuck
      yes... i took note of this.
      my head went to this idea of how much TTUN can eat up time vs how quickly OSU can score kinda thing.
      rutgers and arkansas state kinda managed to hog up a whole bunch of possession time, so we might face somebody with a very good rushing offense using (gasp!) woody's 3-yards and a cloud strategy against OSU.
      brodybuck21 and DaddyBigBucks like this.
    11. Bestbuck36
      Just guestimating had the Buckeyes played in a normal weather day vs that NU team about where would that DSC have fallen? About 3.7 or even above UGA?
      brodybuck21 and DaddyBigBucks like this.
    12. DaddyBigBucks
      Ohio State was above Georgia last week

      Georgia moved up more than OSU moved down

      brodybuck21 likes this.
    13. Bestbuck36
      Now I see it. .3 jump is pretty big for UGA. They did seem to do most of their damage in the passing game too as well as QB runs which are as much a part of the passing game as it is the running game imo. Let's see where we land after a half a hundred on Indiana this week.
      brodybuck21 likes this.
    14. DaddyBigBucks
      With DSA, you can’t move up as much by beating the Indiana’s of the world as you can by beating Tennessee by several scores.
      shetuck and brodybuck21 like this.

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