# Quantifying Winning And Losing: The Defensive Version

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on January 17th, 2013 at 2:52 PM

“WINNING AND LOSING WITH YOUR DEFENSE”

I thought it might be interesting to do a companion entry to the diary which I posted earlier in the week, and then expand on that analysis a little bit. Using the same 120 Division I football teams as in the previous diary, I started to do similar sorts of the data and did find some intriguing relationships as well as some intriguing quirks in the relationships.

As in the other diary, I first broke down the team averages on some basic dynamics by win total. Below are the results for basic defensive statistics:

 Plays Total Yards Yards / Play TDs Yards / Game 12-13 Wins 935 4387 4.68 28 325.83 11 Wins 920 4614 5.01 33 349.60 10 Wins 945 4915 5.20 37 370.01 9 Wins 935 5197 5.54 42 400.46 8 Wins 917 4962 5.39 41 385.57 7 Wins 914 5056 5.51 44 389.52 6 Wins 924 5257 5.68 45 404.35 5 Wins 891 5027 5.63 48 418.92 4 Wins 849 4910 5.78 46 409.14 3 Wins 858 4985 5.81 50 415.43 2 Wins 874 5326 6.11 52 438.56 0-1 Win 854 5595 6.56 62 466.21

For a point of comparison, the division means for each:

 Avg. Yards /Play Plays Total Yards TDs Avg. Yards / Game DIVISION I AVERAGE: 5.53 902 4991 43 393.31

The relationship here is roughly linear, but not precisely linear.

Looking at averages for total yards, for example, there are two small dips in the trend – one is at 7 and 8 wins, and the other occurs between 3 and 5 wins. One thing that is intriguing about the 7-8 win range is that there is a preponderance of ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 teams that sit in this range, most notably Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan St. (bowl stats included here), as well as Arizona, Oklahoma St., Baylor, Clemson and many others. Indeed, three of the top ten defenses and seven of the top twenty defenses by national ranking (yards / game) sit in this area of the overall chart.

The second anomaly – between 3 and 5 wins  - is largely inhabited by teams from lesser discussed conferences, such as the Mountain West, Conference USA, and the bottom tier of teams from the MAC conference. My guess on this one is that it is a quirk of their 2012 schedule and the results of these games, at least when it comes to total yards. In other words, many of these teams seem to be the bottom rung of teams in conferences that don’t have many high-powered offenses. I could be wrong on this, and at some point, I may very break this up into passing vs. rushing to elaborate on this effect.

Next, let’s take a look at top decile and bottom decile performers in the areas of total yards, yards per play, TDs surrendered and average yards per game:

 AVG. WINS AVG. LOSSES Top 10% Performers - Total Yards 9.2 3.8 Top 10% Performers - Avg. Yards / Play 9.7 3.4 Top 10% Performers - Touchdowns 9.8 3.3 Top 10% Performers - Avg. Yards / Game 9.8 3.3 Bottom 10% Performers - Total Yards 6.7 6.0 Bottom 10% Performers - Avg. Yards / Play 4.0 8.3 Bottom 10% Performers - Touchdowns 4.5 7.9 Bottom 10% Performers - Avg. Yards / Game 4.5 7.8

It seems as if the top decile performances more or less speak for themselves in terms of having a defense that doesn’t give up big plays and can make crucial stops – these elements are, on average, worth about three wins above the division mean. As you may expect, on defense, the bottom decile performances in total yards still harbor the potential to produce decent seasons. Indeed, in this group, you have bowl-eligible teams like UCLA, Baylor, Lousiana Tech and Toledo, so having a defense that surrenders yards in bulk doesn’t mean we won’t see you in December. Of course, that won’t shock anyone, but here’s some statistical confirmation of that. Where it seems to hurt the most among bottom decile performances is when you combine surrendering yards in bulk with giving up bigger plays and allowing more touchdowns on top of that.

Actually, you can see this in terms of average yards per play right here:

 AVERAGE YARDS - RANGE AVG. WINS AVG. LOSSES max-6.5 3.6 8.7 6.49-6.0 4.8 7.5 5.99-5.5 5.8 6.8 5.49-5.0 8.2 4.7 4.99-4.5 8.9 4.2 4.49-min. 10.3 3.0

Here are the average records for teams either one standard deviation above or below the division mean:

 AVG. WINS AVG. LOSSES More than 1 Std. Dev. Above Mean - Total Yards 5.5 7.2 More than 1 Std. Dev. Above Mean- Avg. Yards / Play 4.3 7.9 More than 1 Std. Dev. Above Mean - Touchdowns 4.1 8.2 More than 1 Std. Dev. Above Mean - Avg. Yards / Game 4.8 7.5 More than 1 Std. Dev. Below Mean - Total Yards 8.9 4.0 More than 1 Std. Dev. Below Mean - Avg. Yards / Play 9.7 3.5 More than 1 Std. Dev. Below Mean - Touchdowns 9.7 3.4 More than 1 Std. Dev. Below Mean - Avg. Yards / Game 9.0 4.1 More than 1 Std. Dev. Below Mean - All Metrics 9.8 3.2 More than 1 Std. Dev. Above Mean - All Metrics 3.6 8.6

So, the results are comparable to the top and bottom decile performances. In this, however, I included the averages for teams which excelled in all four categories and were above or below one standard deviation in all of them. For you edification, here are the first ten teams that qualified in this regard in both directions:

 BEST WORST Alabama Duke Florida St. Miami (OH) BYU Wyoming Michigan St. West Virginia Florida Toledo Bowling Green Idaho Notre Dame New Mexico St. LSU Eastern Mich. Connecticut Kansas Rutgers Tulane

I also looked at one or two other things as well. I sorted the table by national rank and then did a quick study of the average records of each of twelve ten-team tiers (i.e., 1-10, 11-20, etc…) and the results do indeed show a progression:

 National Ranking AVG. WINS AVG. LOSSES 1 to 10 9.5 3.6 11 to 20 9.0 4.2 21 to 30 8.2 4.6 31 to 40 8.5 4.5 41  to 50 7.6 5.3 51 to 60 7.2 5.4 61 to 70 6.1 6.4 71 to 80 6.7 6.2 81 to 90 4.8 7.5 91 to 100 4.1 8.3 101-110 5.4 7.0 111 and below 4.8 7.4

It should be noted, for those who are not aware, that the rankings are determined by average yards surrendered per game, so you’re essentially looking at the progression for that as well. Things actually get a little intriguing, however, when you blow this up to total yards:

 TOTAL YARDS AVG. WINS AVG. LOSSES 4000 and below 9.6 3.6 4001-4250 8.1 4.6 4251-4500 7.7 4.9 4501-4750 6.3 6.4 4751-5000 6.8 5.8 5001-5250 7.4 5.6 5251-5500 5.6 6.9 5501-5750 5.6 7.0 5751-6000 4.0 8.5 6001 and above 8.0 4.9

You will note two spikes – one at the 5001-5250 yard range, and another in the tier of teams that basically don’t believe in defense. Part of the problem in the latter group was sample size and the fact that 5 of the 6 teams in that group had WINNING records. Here is the list for each “spike”:

 5001-5250 6000 and above Georgia Duke Mississippi St. West Virginia Cincinnati Toledo Auburn Louisiana Tech Ohio Arizona Nebraska Baylor Texas A&M Washington St. Southern Miss. Southern California UAB Army SMU Clemson Northern Ill. Oklahoma Wake Forest UCF Georgia Tech

TL;DR CONCLUSION:

One of the things that I found here that actually did surprise me a little bit was just how significantly less sensitive the relative performances can be to defensive play sometimes. There are indeed teams which have the firepower on offense to outgun their opponents, and when you look at some of the teams that show up as the worst performers on defense, you see many teams that also walked away with decent records for the season as well.

Overall, you still see how much it is worth in terms of wins and losses to have a good defense. The whole idea here was to reach an approximation of that essentially using the otherwise obvious football axioms about having a good defense and what it can get you. It seems that, similar to the diary on offense, we are looking at anywhere from 1-3 wins above the mean, depending on the measure used.

REALLY TL;DR PHOTO:

# Detroit News Blue Chip List out- lots of Wolverines

Submitted by M-Wolverine on January 17th, 2013 at 12:15 PM

A little surprised this wasn't already posted....but Te'o, yeah...

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130117/SPORTS05/301170315

Top 2 guys in the state, 3 of 4, 4 of 6, 7 of 11, and 8 of the top 13. I think we're doing ok in the state.

Accompanying #1 player Morris article-

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130117/SPORTS05/301170323/1004/

# Get to know your top 2014 Recruiting Targets

Submitted by Allin4Blue on January 17th, 2013 at 10:17 AM

This is a list of the Important targets that have Michigan in their anticipated or stated top 5. I have listed them by importance to the Class of 2014. It’s still early in the process with more offers starting to go out and recruits are narrowing down their choices.

FB, TE, Safety, OLB, are lower priority needs and I did not list them.  DT is a pretty big need and several offers have been given out, but Michigan doesn’t sit too well with the big named prospects as of yet.

The biggest need in this class is SDE.  We have some big name offers given out and Michigan is sitting well with at least 3 of them.

SDE

Da’Shawn Hand  [#1 overall prospect]  (Has Michigan in his top 5)

Malik McDowell  [#2 SDE]  Detroit Loyola kid who is a must get for this class.  (Michigan in top 3)

Bryan Mone [#9 SDE] HS teammate of Sione Houma (Michigan the assumed leader)

QB

David Cornwell  [#8 QB] No offer as of yet (Michigan in top 5)

CB

Jabrill Peppers [#1 ATH] Could play RB/WR as well (Michigan in top 5)

Parrker Westphal [ #11 CB] (Michigan the assumed leader)

D’Andre Payne [#20 CB] (Michigan in top 5)

Nick Watkins [#4 CB] (Michigan in top 5, Alabama the assumed leader)

WR

Mark Andrews [#7 WR] 6’6” target! (Michigan in top 5)

Corey Holmes [#61 WR] (Michigan the assumed leader)

Artavis Scott [#11 WR] (Michigan in top 5) Possible “package deal” Mason Cole, OG

Drake Harris  [#6 WR]  (MSU committ who is opening up his recruiting to focus on football)

OT

Denzel Ward [#41 OT] (Committed to Michigan, but wants to take visits)

Damien Price [#2 OT] (Michigan in top 4)

Tommy Doles [#32 OT] (Michigan the assumed leader)

Alex Bars [#21 OT] (No named leaders. Brother is on current team)

OG

Mason Cole [#5 OG].  (Michigan in top 3) Possible “package deal” with Artavis Scott, WR

ILB

Michael Ferns [#7 ILB] (Committed to Michigan)

WDE

Lawrence Marshall [#16 WDE] (Michigan the assumed leader)

Joe Henderson [#17 WDE] (Michigan in top 4)

*All player Rankings are based on 247 Composite Ratings

# Thursday Open Manti Te'o Notre Dame Leenay Kekau Thread

Submitted by profitgoblue on January 17th, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Put all of your thoughts, comments, questions, concerns, and general what-have-yous here.

Personally, I still don't know what the heck is going on.  The only thing I know is that he might still have a girlfriend (the Leenay Kekau imposter that he fell in love with (?) is still alive!)?  Or is the hoax a default break-up?  My mind hurts.

# ND Press Conference - Thoughts?

Submitted by TheGhostofYost on January 16th, 2013 at 9:00 PM

I realize there is a thread about the general topic below, but I'm very curious about the responses to the press conference in particular.  For me, I find the lack of notification to authorities very puzzling.  Did your opinion shift after listening to Swarbick?

# 2013 College Football All-Star Games with University of Michigan Connections

Submitted by chatster on January 16th, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Already posted in other thread, but provided here at the request of other posters (apologies for some redundancy):

Baylor’s Darryl Stonum (ex-Wolverine) played for the West team that beat the East 40-7 in the Casino Del Sol game on January 11 in Tucson. Kansas QB Dayne Crist (formerly of Notre Dame) also played for the West. Link to article about Stonum: http://azstarnet.com/sports/football/college/casino-del-sol-all-star-game-ex-richrod-player-seeking/article_d45c0ddf-76cb-5fb6-a0f8-1867dd40e5ca.html

The Raycom College All-Star Classic, with Roy Roundtree playing for the Stripes team (wearing number 89; being coached by Head Coach Dan Reeves and wide receivers coach Keenan McCardle; and catching passes from Iowa’s James Vandenberg and Purdue’s Robert Marve - but playing in a red uniform, perhaps as a tribute/throwback to his Trotwood-Madison HS playing days), will be played on January 19 in Montgomery, Alabama (TV: CBS Sports Network at 3 PM) Link to the game’s website:http://collegeallstargame.com/

The East-West Shrine All-Star Game, with Will Campbell playing for the West team (wearing number 73) along with ex-Wolverine Dann O’Neill (Western Michigan offensive tackle) will be played on January 19 in St. Petersburg (TV: NFL Network at 4 PM) Craig Roh had been listed on the game’s roster, but he’s elected to train for the NFL Draft in Arizona with Kenny Demens, J. T. Floyd and (strangely) MSU’s Will Gholston. Link to the game’s website:http://www.shrinegame.com/

The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, with Elliott Mealer playing for the National team (wearing number 76 and playing offensive tackle) along with Rice’s Sam McGuffie (ex-Wolverine, wearing number 81) will be played on January 19 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California and televised on ESPN2 at 5:00 p. m. EST. Link to the game’s website: http://collegiate.nflpa.com/#!home

The Senior Bowl, with Denard Robinson playing wide receiver, will be played on January 26 in Mobile, Alabama (TV: NFL Network at 4 PM) Not sure if they’ve assigned teams yet, but assume that Denard is on the North roster. His quarterbacks could be Mike Glennon - NC State, Zac Dysert - Miami (OH) and Ryan Nassib - Syracuse. Landry Jones - Oklahoma, E. J. Manuel - Florida State and Tyler Wilson - Arkansas are the other quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl. Link to the game’s website:http://www.seniorbowl.com/

The Texas vs. The Nation game, with Jordan Kovacs playing safety for the Nation team (with Penn State’s Matt McGloin at quarterback), will be played on February 2 in Allen, Texas. (TV: Fox Sports at 2:30 PM) Link to the game’s website:http://www.texasvsthenation.com

# Michigan informs Cam Hunt that they are done recruiting 2013 OL

Submitted by sarto1g on January 16th, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Well that's enough thread starting from me today.  Here's Sam Webb's tweet:

#FoxSportsNext's @GregBiggins reports #Michigan informed Corona, CA OL, Cameron Hunt today that they're now done OL recruiting for 2013.

Derrick Green come on down!