All the more reason to go for it on 4th down - teams can't stop us four plays in a row.
this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
We've all seen our offense's ridiculous red zone numbers (for a quick refresher, Michigan is 18/19 in the red zone with 17 touchdowns) and I wanted to see how that stacks up against the rest of the NCAA. I started here:
According to that, Michigan is 11th in red zone efficiency. But for anybody who knows football, we know that simply scoring when in the red zone is not the ultimate goal. If team A got 20 red zone chances and kicked 20 field goals while team B got 20 red zone chances and scored 15 touchdowns, I think we all realize that we'd rather be team B. Yet according to the above link, team A did better.
Those of you who pay attention to basketball eFG% know where I'm going with this, and I believe Brian has also touched on something along these lines. [Ed: Aye.]
Here's how things play out if you weight red zone scores (7 for a TD and 3 for a FG). Weighted Efficiency is (7*TD + 3*FG)/(7*RZ):
|Rank||Name||Gm||Red Zone||Scores||FG||TD||Weighted Efficiency|
Shown are the top 20 teams along with the Big Ten (including Nebraska) and Notre Dame. I find this pretty interesting because not only can we hit the home run w/ Denard breaking a long run or hitting a receiver deep, but we're also extremely efficient when we get near the goal line.
Disclaimer: I have to admit to a bit of subjective criteria -- if you weight a TD as six points rather than seven, Michigan comes in second behind East Carolina.
All the more reason to go for it on 4th down - teams can't stop us four plays in a row.
Penn State's offense is awful. At least Purdue can say everyone got injured.
Here's hoping this continues through conference play...
This really good news. This was one of the things that killed us last season
If only I could +1 you from my iPhone.
Given the level of research that appears to have gone into this, I think it is diary-worthy and would have no objection to having it promoted. A day's-end board topic probably offers less attention than it deserves.
I have yet to delve into MGoDiary territory, but I appreciate the comment.
Love it. Three tries should almost always be enough for our offense to get at least 10 yards, and when we're in the red zone it's going to be hard to stop us from getting into the endzone.
Most of the time you can expect 7 points from a TD, so I think it is fair to assess 7 points on for a TD in this case. However, if you take away the one XP that we missed, that puts us just behind them anway.
Another point: The problem with efficiency ratings is that you get penalized for higher number of attempts So, if a RB has 150 yards on 30 carries, and another RB has 12 yards on 2 carries, which is better? Another system that has been used to compensate for this is to square the numerator so that the denominator has less weight. The first RB would have 750 yds^2/attempt while the second would have 72. Without crunching numbers, it looks like TCU would still beat us, but it looks like we would still be in second.
Most of the time you can expect 7 points from a TD, so I think it is fair to assess 7 points on for a TD in this case.
I actually agree with the above which is another reason why I went with seven instead of six, but I figured it was worth mentioning. That's a debatable point and I wanted to be up front with it.
I suppose to be most accurate you should use the expected points for scroing a touchdown. Which is probably something like 6.95.
What was the one series that was not a score, missed FG?
Against UMass, Broekhuizen missed a 38 yard field goal (LOS: 21 yard line). We had driven to the 20, but on 2nd and 5, Smith lost a yard and we had an incomplete pass on 3rd and 6.
Here's the link to the game's drive chart. The drive began at 11:25.
A nice turnaround from the Illinois debacle.
I'm not even sure debacle comes close to what that was.
RZ efficiency depreciates just making it to the red zone in the first place so total points should also be considered. For example, Michigan as been more efficient with the RZ chances it has gotten but Stanford has been there 26 times in four games. That's nuts.
Then again total points means the most. Less than 50% of Oregon's points (102 of 250) have come from the RZ, the rest have been scores of more than 20 yards. Um, holy crap.
Points are king. I've just always been bothered by a red zone efficiency stat that gives field goals the same weight as touchdowns.
Total wins means the most :)
But of course we look at points, or red zone efficiency, or yards, or whatever increasingly less important metric, because we want some insight into the nature of what makes teams win.
I agree RZ scoring discounts the ability of teams to score from outside the redzone, which can be even more significant. One metric I'd like to see more of is possession efficiency - how many point per possession is a team scoring? Since both sides get the same number of possessions (special teams hijinks excepted,) and the tempo of the game can vary the number of possessions greatly from game to game, possession efficiency to me seems like it's a much better indicator of offensive prowess than even points per game.
Points per possession would be a good metric for sure. This is another of the "tempo-free" stats that are looked at more and more when analyzing basketball, and there's no reason that it wouldn't be just as meaningful for football. Maybe I'll dig around and see if I can find the necessary data for this.
If you could collect and present the data. Obviously points isn't hard to get; surely number of possessions is a collected and published stat too?
I'm sure that information is available somewhere. This will give me something to do next time I'm bored at work.
Thanks all for the many suggestions. It looks like I might have some topics for future diary entries.
Genuinely curious about where Alabama and Boise State would be on the list. Where do the data come from, I'll go work it out.
Found the URL (copypaste on an iphone is a bitch); i got
Boise State 79.6
I wonder if having reliable field goal kickers does not reduce your weighted efficiency somewhat.
Sorry notYOURmom, I wasn't ignoring you; I just didn't have the data handy last night to answer your question. I do indeed show Alabama at 72.2 (47th nationally) and I show Boise at 74.3 (41st nationally). Not sure about the discrepancy on the Boise numbers.
If people actually find this interesting, I may post updated numbers weekly. In the future, I will go ahead and post the numbers for all teams (again, assuming there is sufficient interest rather than just something that will clutter up the board).
I think you should (assuming you have the time) post updates in Diary form every week. I know that many of us would find it interesting. It would also give us a place to send people who think that the standard redzone efficiency data makes sense. Hopefully converting them to the side of reason.
Thanks, and keep up the good work!
Is there a way to show defensive effectiveness in the red zone? I would love to see how our D stacks up in the red zone against others. It seems to me that we do decent in the red zone while our problems reside more in the "green" zone for allowing TDs.
I was thinking the same thing: We give up a lot of yards, but not near as many points in comparison.
I'm sorry, i didn't read a word you wrote. I was too distracted by your avatar...NICE!!
Or Boise State? Just asking....sure would be surprising if they turned out to be bad at this though.
What's the "Red Zone"? Oh, now I remember, it's what they call the last 20 yards of one of Denard's runs. Seems like sort of a silly thing to keep track of, really.
Forget the red zone, we need to start talking about the Denard Zone. Which, frankly, seems to be anywhere on the field so far. The Denard Zone should be defined as the average staring point of his TD runs. What would that make it, about the fifty???
The analysis needs to take opponent quality into account. I.e. if a team has a terrible red zone defense it is less impressive to have a good efficiency against them than it is to be efficient against a team with a great defense.
I have some ideas on how to do this, let me know if you're interested.
My rehabilitation is complete: from now on, when I hear "Red Zone" I will no longer think "too close for Henne to avoid throwing it way over the end zone."
Because a TD is practically always worth 7. If you did a weighted average (counting XP misses, 2 point conversions, and missed 2-point attempts), maybe you'd come up with 6.9, or something like that.
I think it's legit to consider the extra point as part of the red zone offense. But that brings up the question of what to do with 2pt conversions. To be a real efficiency it seems like it should simply be (points scored)/(maximum possible points). Using that, Michigan has 121 points from their red zone trips, out of a possible 152 points (8 points * 19 trips). That makes the top 5 look like this:
...unless they missed any XPs or went for 2. I only know that we missed one point after, I don't have the data for other teams.