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Bourbon Shots: Crunching College Football Numbers Edition

Football is quickly starting to rival baseball in the statistics category. While guys like Bill James made baseball a world of scouts vs. Sabrmetricians years ago, our beloved oblong is starting to catch up. This week three bloggers have looked at different aspects of college football stats from a slightly different perspective.

Five Years of Wins and Losses

We start with CGB, who took an in-depth look at records for D1 football teams the last five years. The results were pretty straight-forward. USC is kinda good, across the board. The Hokies came in fifth in number of wins the last five seasons.

The next ACC team in the rankings was BC. I probably shouldn't have been as surprised as I was to see the Eagles at No. 12 with 48 wins. At the very bottom of the list? Duke, which has won only eight games (four last year!) in the last five seasons, four fewer than the next lowest teams. Good luck, Coach Cut.

CGB also looked at home and road winning percentages. The most surprising number was Florida's relatively low 65 percent road winning percentage. But the Gators more than make up for it by being nearly unbeatable at home.

Interesting Take on Points Per Play

Bird over at The Legacyx4 figured what percentage of each ACC team's plays went for touchdowns. Last year, the Hokies were 10th in the ACC in touchdown percentage. Only 3.38 percent of Tech's plays resulted in touchdowns, putting them ahead of only UVa and Duke. Ouch. Of course it didn't help that Tech ran the second-most offensive plays of any team in the ACC behind BC.

He also figured defensive touchdown percentage (touchdowns SCORED by the defense, not allowed) and Tech was predictably much higher. The Hokies were fourth in the ACC behind UNC, FSU and BC.

I have two problems with Bird's numbers. First, he turns the final data into a percentage. It's nit-picking, but they would look a lot better as plays-per-touchdown than touchdown percentage. The results are the same, they're just more pleasing to the eye.

Second, he uses data from all of the team's games. If you're going to compare the ACC teams, I think you should use ACC conference games only.

Here's Bird's touchdown rate, using only conference games and configured as plays per touchdown:

Plays Per TD (ACC Games Only)
School Off TDs O Plays PPTD
Miami 26 515 20.6
North Carolina 23 487 22.1
NC State 25 513 23.3
Florida State 24 538 24.5
Georgia Tech 22 495 24.8
Clemson 19 516 27.2
Boston College 26 637 31.9
Duke 17 517 34.5
Virginia 15 526 35.1
Virginia Tech 20 600 37.5
Maryland 13 522 40.2
Wake Forest 14 538 48.9
League 244 6404 29.1

New Way to Rank RBs

Finally, Bill Connelly of Rock M Nation fame has a new way to evaluate college running backs. Some of the numbers he uses are explained here.

Bill's numbers combine how explosive a running back is with his ability to continue that explosiveness through the whole game. So you won't find Greg Little in the Top 25, but you will find Jonathan Dwyer. In fact, Dwyer is No. 4 on the list behind Jahvid Best, Shonn Greene and LaGarrette Blount.



- The Tar Heels' road to Tampa goes through Blacksburg. (Blogsburg)
Deron Washington is still a badass. (Tech Hoops)
- The D-i-P chronicles the game of which we do not speak. (The North End Zone)
- Tyrod Taylor was at the Manning Passing Academy. (Annette)
- Greg Boone and Kam Chancellor are going to the ACC media daze. (ACC Sports)

ACC and Opponents

- TN roasts Bobby Bowden. It's just as funny as you think it'd be. (Tomahawk Nation)
- The argument against conference title games. (Roll Bama Roll)
- Wait, someone out there actually thought Tommy Bowden wasn't fired? (Block-C)
- Jeff and Brian take time away from couples spin class to discuss BC's plethora of QBs. (BC Interruption)
- ECU is expected to dominate CUSA again. (Dr. Saturday)
- Why are so many FUMA and Hargrave players going to UNC? (ACC Sports Journal)
- The Barnhart thinks Bobby Bowden's wins shouldn't be taken away. (Mr. College Football)

Stuff Only I Care About

- Brian Cook calls out a columnist for his stupidity. (MGoBlog)
- A better headline might be Sabres Have Defensive Issues. (Die By The Blade)
- Jason Bay meets the president and mistakenly tells Ichiro where he lives. (Full Count)