Evaluating the B1G after Week 7

Submitted by dnak438 on October 18th, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Inspired by this post on Football Study Hall, I decided to evaluate the B1G (+Rutgers and Maryland) using the advanced FEI statistics (which are explained here). These statistics take strength of schedule into account (raw numbers are here).

The figure below (click to embiggen) plots offensive F/+ on the y-axis and defensive F/+ on the x-axis. Good, balanced teams are in the upper right-hand corner, and bad teams are in the lower left-hand corner.

You can see that Indiana sticks out as a good-offense, bad-defense team, whereas MSU is a good-defense team that is average offensively. Only five teams are above-average on offense and defense: Northwestern, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

From a Michigan perspective, perhaps these numbers are encouraging. Despite all the problems with the running game, our offense is above average, both overall and within the B1G. So too is our defense, which will only get better as Jake Ryan works his way into the lineup. Unfortunately our upcoming schedule is difficult. We only play one more team that is on the negative side defensively (Indiana), and its offense ranks very highly. And of teams left on the schedule, only Iowa and Michigan State, both good defensive teams, have below-average offenses.



October 19th, 2013 at 11:28 AM ^

The problem with the rushing offense is that the ranking is basically Devin Gardner, and unlike in years past with Denard there really isn't a competent #2 rusher. Right now, Gardner leads the team both in terms of raw yardage as well as ypc; Fitz is a close second in yards but over 2.1 ypc worst.  So yes, the rushing offense (and the overall offense) is above average, but it is so reliant on a single player that it doesn't really feel like a competent, sustainable system.

Double Wolverine

October 20th, 2013 at 1:05 PM ^

Looking at the Michigan - Penn St. - Indiana trio it is interesting to see how some times the best O can get the job done and other times the D is required to carry the team.

Home field is a big advantage in college football as well - probably a bigger deal in fairly even matchups.