Most of the time red zone efficiency is measured in scoring percentage. By this statistic, the Hokies were No. 11 in the ACC in league play in 2008, scoring on 73.5 percent of their trips to the red zone. Only Wake Forest was worse than Virginia Tech in this stat.
But percentage doesn't tell the whole story. Last year during ACC play, Clemson led the league by scoring in 18 of 19 trips to the red zone. Miami was right behind it, scoring in 29 of 31 trips. But the Hurricanes scored touchdowns in a much higher percentage of red zone possessions than the Tigers.
To me, that means Miami was more efficient with its red zone opportunities. After the jump, you'll see last year's ACC red zone numbers sorted by points per possession. Using this stat, 7.0 is perfect for the offense and 0.0 is perfect for the defense.
One small note about these numbers. I went ahead and multiplied touchdowns by 7 without going through and looking for two-point conversions and missed extra points. I did this for a few reasons. First, I'm really, really lazy. Second, I figured the two-point conversions and missed extra points probably cancel each other out. And finally, kickers don't count as people.
Enjoy. As always, these are for league games only.
(PTS - Total points on red zone possessions; Poss - Total number of red zone possessions; PPP - Points per red zone possession)
Miami's high touchdown percentage in the red zone (61.3 percent) puts it at the top of the ACC in red zone efficiency. Clemson had the highest field goal percentage (42.1 percent) in the red zone which drops it from first to fifth. Meanwhile, the Hokies and Deacs were still awful in the red zone no matter how you try to put it.
On to the defense.
The Hokies make a pretty big jump using these ranking instead of red zone scoring percentage. Tech was No. 10 in the ACC, allowing opponents to score on 90 percent of their red zone possessions. But because its opponents scored a relatively low percentage of touchdowns (45 percent), its ranked fifth in points per possession.
These rankings show us the Hokies were just as bad on offense in the red zone as we though they were. But the Hokies weren't nearly as bad in the red zone defensively than we previously thought.
Which ranking do you think gives a truer evaluation of a team's performance in the red zone? Do scoring percentage or points per possession tell the story or should we look at something different like points per play in the red zone?