After someone linked to the bigten.org team stas from the 2009 football season, I got the idea to try to correlate the final standings to the teams ranks in each category. All I did was copy the final standings into one column, teams ranks in each category in the other, and let excel calculate the correlation with the "correl" function. So basically, the closer the value is to 1, the closer that stat is in predicting your finish in the final standings.
|Opp 1st Downs||0.876184|
|Opp 3rd Down%||0.867009|
|Pass Defense Efficiency||0.683515|
|Time of Possession||0.67434|
|Red Zone Score%||0.591768|
|Red Zone Def%||0.44956|
|Opp Penalty Yardage||0.333341|
|Opp 4th Down Conversions||0.306311|
|3rd Down Conversions||0.165145|
|4th Down Conversions||0.142859|
I don't really like how this looks for UM going into next year. The stats that best correlate with final standings are certainly not our perceived strengths. I didn't take the time to go back to previous years to get a better sample size, so it could just be a fluke driven by Iowa and Ohio State's success in 2009 and the philosophy they used to get there. Either way, I thought it was interesting.