Tennessee is not recruiting well just because they got 18 dudes
With some spare time before the NCAA tournament this year, I developed a predictive model to pick basketball games for my NCAA bracket pool (figured it was better than me picking) using a descriptive discriminant analysis, which essentially assesses the variables that discriminates between categorical variables (in this case, wins and losses). I experienced success with my NCAA basketball model (predicted 80-85% of the NCAA tournament games correctly), so I thought I would see how applicable it would be to college football. So, for the last few weeks I have been validating the model week to week against the Sagarin rating and have had the exact same predictive accuracy (65-70%...not as great as it could be, but I’m in the process of improving upon the model) in terms of expected outcomes (winners vs. losers). I figured it’s a good time to share with fellow MGoBloggers and I hope to make this as concise and readable as possible. Apologies ahead of time if some of the tables don’t show up right, as I’m not too sure how to embed the tables within the diary as well as others.
After assessing a variety of team statistics from the past few weeks (SOS, win percentage, turnover margin, offensive yards per play, defensive yards per play, having a home game, and so on…you name it I have it and have looked at it) on a national level (Division 1-A - FBS only), the team statistics that best predict weekly winners and losers are, in order of importance:
- Point Differential (avg points scored – avg points given up)
- Offensive Yards Per Play
- Defensive Yards Per Play
- Win Percentage
- Turnover Margin
Notable variables that were not important in determining weekly winners are 1) having a home game and 2) strength of schedule (probably too fluid of a variable right now, but could be predictive for bowl game winners at the end of the season).
Big Ten Rankings:
The Big Ten rankings for Week 9 are below. All of the variables in my model are presented in z-scores (-3 to 3) that were computed on a national level, with the higher the score the better for variables for which positive results are better (offensive yards per play, win percentage, turnover margin, and point differential). For the lone variable (defensive yards per play) that is inversely related to winning, having a lower value is better. The variable PREDSCOR is the output of the model, and the game winner is determined solely by the higher of the score between the two teams.
- My model does have us ranked a little higher, and Penn State a little lower than Sagarin. Sagarin indicates this game should be closer, while my model says there is more separation between Michigan and Penn State
- Illinois is ranked lower
- We’re in the middle of the pack in Big Ten (where we expected we might be)
Predictive Model Results for Week 9:
Michigan (1.21) at Penn State (-.05) = Michigan
Michigan State (3.40) at Iowa (2.65) = Michigan State
Northwestern (.43) at Indiana (-.97) = Northwestern
Purdue (-.88) at Illinois (.26) = Illinois
Ohio State (3.97) at Minnesota (-2.46) = Ohio State
Seems every time I tune in to a Penn State game this year, they're throwing deep passes on 1st down, and completing several for touchdowns. That can't be the norm, of course, but I figured there was something to that.
So, I did some digging and came up with these numbers. FWIW. I have no idea how they compare against any other Penn State team, or any other 2010 team, or any other team that ever has suited up in a football uniform at any level.
With that backdrop, here are Robert Bolden's passing stats so far:
* On first down, Bolden has a 15.4 YPC (and 8.2 YPA), while on other downs combined he has an 11.5 YPC (6.8 YPA).
* McGloin's first playing time of the year came Saturday at Minnesota, in relief of the apparently concussed Bolden. McGloin's positive stats were even more heavily weighted to 1st downs than Bolden's. On 1st downs he was 4/7 for 66 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT, and on other downs combined he was 2/6 for 10 yards and 1 TD and 0 INT. Check out McGloin's long TD pass on the Tube. Very Sheridanian in the throwing effort and motion -- and appeared to be his throwing-distance max. Several of his incompletions were ugly, and the pick was a ridiculously bad decision. Shades of Utah.
* Oh. And Kevin Newsome has played only in garbage time, except Saturday at Minnesota, when he was in for one drive and wasn't asked to throw. On the year he is 2/4 for 15 yards on 1st down, and 3/9 for 34 yards on other downs. He has thrown neither a TD nor a pick. That is, Newsome has not been called on to throw one important pass all year. Smile, M fans.
* By my numbers, 44% of Penn State's passing yards (606 of 1,363) have come on 1st down. As have the majority (4/7) of its passing touchdowns.
* Based on these stats, occasional watching of PSU games, and poring over their play-by-play sheets this year, this Penn State team throws deep almost exclusively on first down, and has found success that way for TDs in three of the past four games (1 vs Temple, 0 vs Iowa, 1 vs Illinois, 2 vs Minn [Bolden and McGloin].
* The last time -- and the only time all season -- Bolden has thrown a TD NOT on 1st down was in the opener against I-AA Youngstown State, when he tossed two.
* Throwing on 1st down gives Penn State the best chance to protect its green QBs. And its best chance to move the ball through the air.
* PSU generally throws only short or very short passes on 2nd down. Hello, Ben Chappell.
* Good things generally don't happen when Penn State passes on 2nd or 3rd down, especially 3rd down: ergo the <40% 3rd-down conversion rate.
* NOTE TO GERG AND STAFF, AND ESPECIALY CAM GORDON: This is just a hunch -- but I suspect they've been passing more on 1st down against those defenses that cheat against the run on 1st down. Iowa doesn't, of course, so it's no surprise Bolden was highly ineffective passing on 1st down against the Hawkeyes (less than 50%). For UM this Saturday night, it might be wisest to either rush only 3 on 1st down, or bring the house occasionally on a suspected 1st-down pass, while always keeping Gordon deep -- eg, after a sudden change, or after two successive 1st downs on the ground, etc. Bolden isn't slow, but he's about as unsavvy/unaware in the pocket as any other true frosh. Sacks are there to be had, especially on long passing downs.
Agree? Disagree? Does this all amount to two-thirds of four-fifths of Eff-all?
[Ed: No preview today since it's a bye week, except for... you know... this. Also there is an Other People Pressers for it. No. seriously.]
So this is our off-week, which celebrates a time-honored tradition in my household, WIFEDAY. That’s right, WifeDay-- the one weekend in the fall where my wife gets to actually spend a Saturday afternoon, IN THE FALL, NO LESS, with a logical, rational and an almost carefree version of her husband. I have found that giving up this Saturday every year is a small way to give back for her willingness to honor my all-consuming fanaticism for Michigan football, which basically means that she stays out of the way of the TV every weekend from September through November. So she gets to plan the day, and we do it together. Heck, I might even humor her and forego the UM wardrobe and wear something striped and collared. Well, maybe.
Defense vs. Home Furnishings
So yes, my wife has decided that she’d like to do some shopping this weekend. We’ve recently made some upgrades to the house, and I’m sure she’d like to get a few things to make the place as nice as it can. Yikes, I could be in for a long day—the place we’re going to has a Pottery Barn, some furniture chain outlet, and I think there may even be an Ikea nearby.
Ikea, if applicable
Let’s make no mistake here… there’s no way I’m going to get out of having to look at things for the house together. I also need to be nearby when these decisions are being made, or else I’ll find myself sitting on my couch next week trying to watch the PSU game in a sea of red ‘accent’ pillows with beads or something on them that are essentially unable to support the human head. I’m going to have to put in quality time here just to preserve the sanctity of my home.
Key Matchup:Six Zero vs. Suffocating Furniture Sales Representatives, and exotic wicker décor of any kind. It’ll get ugly early.
Man-Store Offense vs. Wife
I will not go down without a fight...
Yes! The day will not be a total wash—where there’s retail, there’s electronics, and that’s where I'll get most of my yardage on the day. There’s nothing in Best Buy that I couldn’t necessarily find online, but there’s something essentially primal about stalking BluRays, PS3 games or WiFi gear that doesn’t even require a purchase. Other draws might include an UnderArmour outlet (ridiculously un-outlet prices notwithstanding), Black and Decker, Columbia, and perhaps even an Adidas outlet.
Key Matchup:Wife’s curiosity vs. the sheer glory of the Bose retail outlet space. Quite simply, the concept of having a home theater that is ‘good enough’ does not exist—I could spend $1800 on one and still find myself yearning for a better one tomorrow. Mine is currently well out of date, and I tend to visibly drool inside the confines of the Bose outlet. If my wife gets a taste of the Kool-Aid, it could be the turning point of the entire afternoon for our offense. On the other hand, if they’re actually showing college football in there, I’ll probably revert from model husband form and back to MGoBlog cretin, and she’ll simply leave the store.
Man Defense vs. Women’s Apparel
As Brian Says, “DOOM.”
This is where she pulls away for the victory. There’s no freshmen secondary to blame here, just the inexplicable love/hate relationship women share with their favorite boutiques. They seem to be painstakingly loyal to these brands despite being so frequently let down with empty shelves, wrong sizes, and clothes that don’t fit just right. Despite all of this, it’s always worth it when the store comes through and she gets that mythical creature known as the ‘perfect outfit.’ In many ways, it is very much like our devotion to the maize and blue.
White House Black Market
Ann Taylor Loft
Other Stores That I Stand In
I’m in big trouble here, and everyone knows it, even the overweight forty-something saleswoman who viciously tells my wife that every single thing looks perfect on her. My best defenses are my well-charged phone, which is currently equipped with everything from a web browser to Crazy Taxi, and/or my ability to slip away to the nearest Banana Republic or even Eddie Bauer if there’s no chair for me to sit in by the dressing room.
Key Matchup:The Samsung Mythic and ATTWireless vs. Quality Reception in Random Shoe Store. I have a good history with NBC Sports play-by-play features for whatever games will be live during the outing, and I’ll eventually move onto highlight vid clips as the afternoon unfolds. I’ll get torched, no question, but it’s either that or shop for myself, which all wives eventually get tired of. The last thing I want to be accused of is ‘not spending the day together,’ which would cancel the entire transaction of ‘quality time’ that Wife Day is about. To some degree, I have to man up and let her do her shopping.
Food Offense vs. Shopping
This is my last ditch at owning the day. I’m not sure what we’ll be up for, but I have some options here, and I intend to cash in on them. GameDay is always a good day for food, and I usually have some sort of Brats, burgers, or other grilled fare unless my wife steps up and serves her patented football nacho spread. Maybe that’s why I’m so willing to devote the off-week to her: she respects GameDay, and all of my weird obsessive rituals associated with it. So this is my own little way of giving back to the marriage. Plus I usually end up at some sort of chain sit-down place like Ruby Tuesdays or Friday’s or something, and she’ll even pretend not to notice as I stare over her shoulder and root for whoever’s playing the Damn Buckeyes. I’ll probably also be good early on for some sort of escape to the nearest Sonic for a Grape Limeade, and plus there’s always that Gourmet place with the killer Buffalo dip to keep me going throughout the afternoon.
Key Matchup:Fajitas vs. Red Meat. That is all.
I hold the edge here, because despite all the fuss that this is her day, I know my wife well enough to know that she’s going to end up shopping for me. I’m business professional by day, but I’m also enough of ‘a guy’ to wear pants with frayed edges and holes in my socks and still say that I don’t need anything new. I’ll come home with some nice new shirt for work, or something that she just couldn’t resist for the price. It’s not official adidas gear, but the possibility even exists for that… stranger things have happened.
Key Matchup:STOP KICKING THE DAMN BALL. Simple wisdom for a complex world.
- Ann Taylor has coupons of any kind.
- She brings an early Christmas Shopping List
- New stores, with a Grand Opening Sale.
Cackle with knowing glee if...
- My wife says “Wow, those surround sound units are amazing.”
- The words “Go ahead and I’ll catch up with you later” are even whispered.
- Live football is being displayed on any television in my basic vicinity.
Fear/Paranoia Level: 7 (Baseline 5; +1 for Wife Day, +1 for Fall Fashions, –1 for For All My Complaining There’s Some Things There For Me Too, +1 for At The End of the Day I’m At An Outlet Center When Quality College Football is Being Played, –1 for But All In All She’s A Pretty Great Wife and It’s a Yearly Tradition)
Desperate need to win level: 2 (Baseline 5; -1 for I Know Better, –1 for I’ve Seen It So Many Times Before so Don't Panic, -1 for Sets Me Up Quite Well for the Rest of the Season )
Loss will cause me to...Let her have her day in the sun.
Win will cause me to...Worry about screwing up a good thing.
Finally, three opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
- I come home with new footwear of any kind.
- We actually have room left in the back of my SUV at the end of the day.
- My wife reads this blog and doesn’t realize that it’s just humor playing off of Brian’s previews.
- Happy Wife, 48-10.
What bye week? This is, in fact, one of the biggest matchups of the year we have in the entire conference! Saturday, Six Zero takes on the mighty WIFE in the annual WifeDay showdown. We were able to get a hold of the presser notes for your reading pleasure. Details on the rivalry game can be found here.
Now, on with the show!
Six Zero on defending Wife’s offense:
- She’s been running this scheme for a long time and executes it very well.
- Wife uses a combination of power and finesse in running the offense. The running game (ie, furniture) may not rack up the scores in favor of Wife’s offense, but it should gain quite a lot of yards, particularly in the Ikea set.
- Doesn’t expect to blitz often as it’s too obvious and wife will just run some screens by the register (and maybe some “red accent pillows with beads”).
- The toughest matchup for Six Zero’s defense figures to be passing game, as Wife looks to “torch” him by Ann Taylor Lofting balls over the weak secondary. She’ll be going deep for the “perfect outfit” with regularity and the defense isn’t well-equipped to deal with this. Expect the bulk of Wife’s scoring to come in the passing game (the AT Loft set is dangerous, but you also can’t ignore when she goes 5 wide with the WH/BM look).
Six Zero on Wife’s defense:
- Wife plays a bend but don’t break defense. She gives in on some of the little things, but tries to avoid the big play. Six Zero will try to take what she gives, but also look to break one long, most likely in electronics.
- A risk for the defense, though, is making sure they stay disciplined. In past matchups, the defense has gotten over-excited and drew penalties for un-husbandlike conduct (“if they’re actually showing college football in there, I’ll probably revert from model husband form and back to MGoBlog cretin, and she’ll simply leave the store.”)
- Another by-product of her defensive philosophy is that she gives up the underneath (and over-the-shoulder) stuff quite readily. This, of course, includes chain eating establishments with TV’s (“she’ll even pretend not to notice as I stare over her shoulder and root for whoever’s playing the Damn Buckeyes.”) and quick outs to Sonic for Grape Limeade.
Six Zero on Special teams/intangibles:
- Six Zero does figure to end up with a few unforced turnovers from Wife on the day (new shirts, pants, shoes).
- The question is whether or not he’ll be able to make a major impact, like returning a kick or a pick for a TD (home entertainment system!).
- Sales are dangerous in all phases of the game. There will be many and Six Zero can’t do anything about that except to make sure he’s prepared (eg, smartphone + apps/internet).
- Six Zero has to be careful he doesn’t look ahead to next week. It could be a long day if he’s not focused and making adjustments mid-game. He’s been there before, so doesn’t figure to panic.
Six Zero on the rivalry:
- Annual matchup with a lot of energy on both sides, both looking forward to the weekend.
- Lopsided series so far, with Wife winning every matchup by an average score of 37-13.
- Regardless of the outcome, “She’s A Pretty Great Wife”
Good luck to Six Zero this weekend. He's gonna need it!
And an OPP exclusive - a picture from last year's game:
This is a prediction/guesstimate on what the 2011 recruiting class could potentially look like. Please don't read too much into any of this, and don't freak out either. (I know you will anyway, but it makes me feel better to tell you not to). I'm only going to put recruits that I think Michigan will get as of right now. This doesn't factor in kids with grade issues, or anything else.
- Commit - Kevin Sousa, 6'2", 213 lbs, 3 star, Orlando, Florida
- Marquise Williams 6'3", 218 lbs, 3 star, Charlotte, North Carolina: Committed to UNC right now, but assuming that North Carolina is about to implode due to NCAA sanctions Michigan has a good shot with Marquise. It will be either Sousa or Williams, most likely not both.
- Commit - Demetrius Hart 5'8", 190 lbs, 4 star, Orlando, Florida
- Devondrick Nealy 5'10", 175 lbs, 3 star, Monticello, Florida: Recently named Michigan as his favorite after his visit. He also struck a friendship with Demetrius Hart, and has said he would like to team up with Hart in college.
- Prince Holloway 5'9", 155 lbs, 3 star, Cape Coral, Florida: Nealy is more of a priority than Holloway, but I have heard that Michigan leads for Prince right now. We'll see how this plays itself out if both want to choose Michigan. I would expect Nealy to be in the class before Holloway.
- Commit - Shawn Conway 6'4", 180 lbs, 3 star, Birmingham, Michigan
- Sammy Watkins 6'1", 180 lbs, 4 star, Fort Myers, Florida: The more I hear about Sammy, the more I think he will be in this class. I have heard it's between Michigan and Miami right now. Miami is having some problems with transfers, and as I've said before losing some commitments. If they lose QB commit Teddy Bridgewater (which could happen) I think it may turn Michigan's way.
- Chris Gallon 6'4", 185 lbs, 3 star, Orlando, Florida: If he gets offered, Michigan will be the leader. Teammates with Demetrius Hart, he will be visiting for the Illinois game.
- Still in it with: Hakeem Flowers (6'2", 173 lbs, 3 star)
- Drew Owens 6'5", 227 lbs, 3 star, Charlotte, North Carolina: Owens or Jack Tabb seem like the few options left still listing Michigan very high on their list. It's a toss up between the two, as of right now.
- Jack Tabb 6'4", 230 lbs, 3 star, Red Bank, New Jersey: Same goes for Tabb. They're working on getting him in for an official. it's most likely one or the other of these two.
- Commit - Kellen Jones 6'1", 210 lbs, 3 star, Houston, Texas
- Commit - Brennen Beyer 6'4", 222 lbs, 4 star, Canton, Michigan
- Antonio Kinard 6'4", 215 lbs, 3 star, Youngstown, Ohio: 2010 commit, may still be included in this class.
- Kris Frost 6'3", 210 lbs, 4 star, Matthews, North Carolina: For argument sake I'm just going to put Frost under this category. He'll get a chance to play wide receiver.
- Sean Duggan 6'4", 215 lbs, 3 star, Cincinnati, Ohio: I think Michigan is moving up Duggan's list the more he is around the program. He recently came up for a visit, and will be in for his official in early December. He's down to Michigan, Duke, Boston College, and Virginia.
- Darryl Monroe 6'1", 215 lbs, 3 star, Orlando, Florida: He will be visiting with his Dr. Phillips teammates for the Illinois game. If Michigan offers I would expect us to lead.
- Still in it with: Austin Traylor (6'4", 210 lbs, 4 star, Columbus, Ohio)
- Commit - Greg Brown 5'11", 180 lbs, 3 star, Fremont, Ohio: Recently took a visit to Syracuse. We'll see what happens.
- Commit - Delonte Hollowell 5'9", 165 lbs, 4 star, Detroit, Michigan
- Dallas Crawford 5'10", 185 lbs, 3 star, Fort Myers, Florida: I've heard nothing but positive things towards Dallas and Michigan. He might even be working on his teammate Sammy Watkins for Michigan.
- Still in it with: Daren Kitchen (6'1", 172 lbs, 3 star, Houma, Louisiana)
- Roderick Ryles 6'1", 185 lbs, 3 star, Orlando, Florida: Visiting with Dr. Phillips teammates for the Illinois game. If the visit goes well I would expect Michigan to take the lead.
- Avery Walls 5'11", 185 lbs, 4 star, McDonough, Georgia: I'm still optimistic with Avery, but his visit to Oregon makes me a little nervous. I still think he ends up with Michigan as of right now.
- Still in it with: Byron Moore (6'1", 205 lbs, JUCO, Wilmington, California), Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (6'2", 190 lbs, 5 star, Orlando, Florida), Karlos Williams (6'2", 210 lbs, 5 star, Davenport, Florida), Wayne Lyons (6'0", 190 lbs, 4 star, Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
- Commit - Tony Posada 6'6", 315 lbs. 3 star. Tampa, Florida
- Commit - Jake Fisher 6'7", 260 lbs, 3 star, Traverse City, Michigan
- Commit - Jack Miller 6'4", 268 lbs, 3 star, Perrysburg, Ohio
- Chris Bryant 6'5", 330 lbs, 4 star, Chicago, Illinois: Just set up his official visit for the Big Chill game.
- James Elliott 6'4", 305 lbs, 3 star, Pensacola, Florida: He'll be back up to Michigan for his official in December. He's waiting for his official offer from Michigan. If he gets it, he will commit.
- Commit - Chris Rock 6'5", 250 lbs, 3 star, Columbus, Ohio: May move to defensive tackle.
- Anthony Zettel 6'4", 247 lbs, 4 star, West Branch, Michigan: If Michigan can continue to show improvement, and Rich Rod isn't fired then I would expect Anthony to pick Michigan
- Still in it with: Ray Drew (6'5", 243 lbs, 4 star, Thomasville, Georgia), Deion Barnes (6'5", 220 lbs, 4 star, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Damon Knox (6'5", 265 lbs, 3 star, Muskegon, Michigan)
- Darian Cooper 6'3", 275 lbs, 3 star, Hyattsville, Maryland: Will be visiting in December. Michigan needs to continue to improve and win a few more to make Darian feel comfortable.
- Still in it with: Kevin McReynolds (6'2", 281 lbs, 4 star, Washington DC), Tim Jernigan (6'2", 275 lbs, 4 star, Lake City, Florida), Mickey Johnson (6'1", 310 lbs, 4 star, Covington, Louisiana)
Note: I've split the statistics to provide subtotals by OOC and Big Ten games. Also, I added a couple of line charts to show these summaries. This is also the week FEI adds rankings for Offense Efficiency, Defense Efficiency, Field Position Advantage, and Field Goal Efficiency.
Synopsis: After 7 games, Michigan is currently ranked #17 in scoring offense and #82 in scoring defense. Based on these rankings, M maintains a 43% chance for a +5 WLM (9-4 or better) season and an 83% chance for a winning season. The offense was plagued for the second week in a row by TOs (and by penalties), which turned 522 yards of total offense into just 28 points (yuck!). The defense actually played relatively well and allowed just 383 yards (the lowest yardage total since UConn – excluding the baby seal BGSU). But, the offensive (pun intended) TOs eliminated scoring chances for M, created a short field for the defense, and put the D back on the field earlier and more often. Iowa's second and third TDs both started at about mid-field after an interception and a blocked FG.
I use scoring stats because yardage stats are inherently flawed. (If you don't believe that, I guess M won the game with Iowa – 522 yards to 383 yards.) Being #82 in scoring defense is not good but U-Ms defense is not as bad as the #105 (an improvement of 7 places from last week) in total defense indicates. According to the FEI rankings at Football Outsiders, Michigan is ranked #83 in total defense.
Based on the FEI (Fremeau Efficiency Index), Michigan is predicted to win between 7.8 and 7.9 games (excluding bowl game but adjusted with +1 for U-M's one FCS opponent). Based on the FEI, M would have been expected to win 3.9 FBS games to date (we have won 4.0 FBS games to date).
Using a rough calculation based on the FEI, Michigan will be favored by 16 points over Penn State (I'll add the real FEI prediction when it comes out after our bye week– usually Thursday after the bye). Using the Sagarin Predictor, M will be favored by 2.8 points. (Vegas Odds Opened with M favored by ??). All these will be updated after the bye week but will probably not change very much.
Just as I was confused the game with Iowa was predicted so close last week, I am confused this week why Sagarin has the PSU game relatively close. Unless M implodes with TOs, this should be a win.
This line chart differentiates between OOC and Big Ten points per possession. It shows what has happened since the start of conference play. In the Big Ten, U-M is averaging only 2.5 points per possession (PPP) and 42 YPP. The defense is giving up 3.1 PPP and 42 YPP. With an average of 12 possessions per game for each team, this translates into a 7.2 point disadvantage for Michigan. (In OOC games, this was a 20 point advantage.)
For those who want yardage stats, here they are – split by OOC and Big10 games. Offensively, total yards per game are moderately lower in conference play (13% less), rushing yards are significantly lower in conference play (35%), while passing yards are moderately higher (18%). Defensively, total yards allowed in conference play have increased significantly (24%), rushing yards allowed are up just moderately (16%), while passing yards allowed are up significantly (28%).
DETAILS: Here are the FEI numbers ( FEI Forecasts and Football Outsiders FEI ). FEI is a weighted and opponent-adjusted season efficiency, and is expressed as a percentage as compared with an average FBS team. The average team will have an index of approximately 0.00. Teams below average have negative index values.
Note that FEI completely excludes all non-FBS data (the W-L record is only for FBS games, etc.). Therefore, you need to add 1 to FBS-MW to get the final predicted wins for M this year. Or, if you use FBS-RMW, you need to add 1 to the current W-L record to get the final predicted wins for M this year. BTW, the difference between FBS-MW and FBS-RMW is the number of FBS games each team would have been expected to win to date.
The FEI is a drive based analysis considering each of the nearly 20,000 drives each year in college football. The data is filtered to eliminate garbage time (at the half or end of game) and is adjusted for opponent. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams (win or lose) and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams. I've included the GE basic data so you can see the impact of adjusting for opponent. (See: Football Outsiders Our Basic College Stats )
Here are the Sagarin Ratings.
Sagarin uses two basic ratings: PREDICTOR (in which the score MARGIN is the only thing that matters) and ELO-CHESS (in which winning and losing only matters, the score margin is of no consequence). The overall rating is a synthesis of the two diametrical opposites, ELO-CHESS and PREDICTOR.
Per Sagarin: ELO-CHESS is “very politically correct. However, it is less accurate in its predictions for upcoming games than is PREDICTOR”.
Here is the U-M vs. Penn State National Statistical Rankings with the advantage for each category indicated (all categories within 10% are considered a "push").
Here are the week by week National Statistical Rankings for Michigan (cumulative thru the week indicated):
I have included the major rankings for offense and defense but scoring rankings show the best correlation to winning and losing. Scoring rankings are based on PPG. Rushing, Passing, and Total rankings are based on YPG.
Here is the basic data for Michigan (each individual week followed by totals and then average per game). I've included Total Possessions for Offense & Defense along with the calculated data per possession. Number of possessions do not include running out the clock at the half or end of game. Offense Plays and Defense Plays are better indicators than Time of Possession.
Using Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense National Rankings for the past 5 years (FBS AQ teams only), this table shows the percentage of teams that finish the season with a +WLM and a +5 WLM. For example, teams that finished in the Top 40 in both offense and defense had a 100% chance to be +WLM and an 82% chance to be +5 WLM (9-4 or better).
Each year, of the 66 FBS AQ teams, 65% (43 teams) end up with a + WLM and 36% (24 teams) end up with a +5 WLM.