Where's Waldo (i.e. The Offense)?: Yikes – 7 points?? An average of just 20.7 points over the last 3 games. Because of poor execution and unforced errors, the offense slowed to a dismal pace (20.7 points per game would rank #104). Let's hope all they need is a few weeks rest.
Synopsis: Looking at Conference Only game stats, the offense ended the year at #4 and the defense at #10 (thank you, Indiana). Last year the offense was #9 and the defense was #11 in conference only games. A comparison of national rankings for 2008 – 2010 is below.
I use scoring stats because yardage stats are inherently flawed. According to the FEI (Fremeau Efficiency Index) rankings at Football Outsiders, Michigan ended the regular season ranked #44 overall (4.8% better than the average FBS team) with a SoS ranking of #66. The offense is ranked #2 and the defense is ranked #103. Field Position Advantage is #91 while Field Goal Efficiency is #120.
For the Gator Bowl, a rough calculation of the FEI has Mississippi State favored by 4 points. Using the Sagarin Predictor, MSU is favored by 5 points. Vegas has MSU favored by 5.
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 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.