Michigan Leads the Country in (Weighted) Red Zone Efficiency

Michigan Leads the Country in (Weighted) Red Zone Efficiency

Submitted by Rashman on September 27th, 2010 at 6:32 PM

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:

http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/ncaa-m-footbl-fbs-team-red-zo…

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
1 Michigan 4 19 18 1 17 0.917
2 East Carolina 3 13 13 2 11 0.912
3 TCU 4 23 21 1 20 0.888
4 Southern California 4 13 12 1 11 0.879
5 South Carolina 4 16 15 2 13 0.866
6 Florida 4 19 17 1 16 0.865
7 Oklahoma St. 3 16 16 4 12 0.857
8 Washington 3 8 8 2 6 0.857
9 Mississippi St. 4 7 6 0 6 0.857
10 Oregon St. 3 7 6 0 6 0.857
11 Nevada 4 19 19 5 14 0.850
12 Clemson 3 16 14 1 13 0.839
13 Stanford 4 26 26 8 18 0.824
14 Duke 4 13 13 4 9 0.824
15 Cincinnati 4 12 11 2 9 0.821
16 Michigan St. 4 14 12 1 11 0.816
17 Western Mich. 3 14 12 1 11 0.816
18 Utah 4 17 15 2 13 0.815
19 Illinois 3 9 9 3 6 0.810
20 Arkansas 4 14 13 3 10 0.806
25 Iowa 4 18 15 1 14 0.802
29 Ohio St. 4 27 25 7 18 0.778
34 Wisconsin 4 25 21 3 18 0.771
48 Indiana 3 19 16 4 12 0.722
57 Northwestern 4 18 15 4 11 0.706
62 Minnesota 4 14 12 4 8 0.694
72 Nebraska 4 18 13 2 11 0.659
98 Notre Dame 4 14 11 5 6 0.582
102 Purdue 4 12 9 4 5 0.560
109 Penn St. 4 15 11 5 6 0.543

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.