The reason I wanted to adjust the results for quality of opponent was to try to account for SDSU’s #88-ranked schedule versus Michigan’s #23-ranked schedule. The best I could come up with was: average the offensive PPG with the defensive PPG, then take that “projected score delta” and subtract it from the actual score delta to get a pseudo-PAN (to borrow the Mathlete’s term). Don't worry, there will be an easy-to-understand number at the end.
Offensively, SDSU averaged 455 YPG and scored 35 PPG. That compares pretty closely to Michigan’s 488 YPG and 32 PPG. So right off the bat the offense looks to be a little more “efficient.” More points + less yards = good. Defense is a whole different animal. SDSU allowed 355 YPG and 22 PPG, compared to Michigan’s 455 YPG and 35 PPG. They have a defense, we did not. SDSU is still capable of scoring lots of points, scoring over 40 5 times, and over 30 in 9 games. Again, number of drives is pretty variable, from 9 to 18. For the season, SDSU actually averaged more drives per game than Michigan, at 12.3 to 12.0.
Since we established that the raw drive data is pretty pointless yesterday, I’ll skip it and get right to YPD. Basic data and Chart:
|opponent||yards||drives||points||ypd||ppd||d-yards||d-drives||d-points||d-ypd||d-ppd||net ypd||net ppd|
Looking at YPD, SDSU averaged about the same as Michigan, at 39.0 vs. 41.9 YPD for the season. The anomaly in that data is the TCU game, where SDSU only managed 20 YPD. Michigan’s low for the season was Purdue, at 26.3 YPD. Once again, defense is much improved at 30.4 YPD versus Michigan’s 37.3 YPD. The defense was inconsistent, giving up 50+ YPD twice, a feat even Michigan’s Decimated Defense didn’t match. Overall, I think YPD is a useful indicator, but not as valuable as PPD.
On to PPD, we now get to see that SDSU was indeed more efficient in putting points on the board compared to Michigan, at 2.9 versus 2.7 PPD average for the season. Defense shows similar improvement, at 1.8 versus Michigan’s 2.9-PPD average. To put that in perspective, SDSU only had one game (Utah) where they allowed more PPD than Michigan’s average. So what the chart shows is that while SDSU’s offense doesn’t have the firepower of Michigan’s former spread (maxed out at around 5-6 PPD), the low isn’t so low, either. SDSU’s bottom end looks like it’s around 2 PPD, where Michigan could get down to 1.5 on occasion. Even in the win against ND, Michigan was below 2 PPD. On defense, we all know the story. Michigan flirted with 3 PPD for the season, giving up more than 3 PPD on 7 occasions. SDSU was more consistent, only giving up more than 3 PPD once.
I think there are a number of valid comparisons between SDSU’s schedule and Michigan’s. Their #1 game was TCU, against the #4 offense and #1 defense. They had 300 yards of offense and scored 35 points, and gave up 466 yards and 40 points in a loss. That game is comparable to the OSU game, against the #11 offense and #5-ranked defense. Michigan had 351 yards and only 7 points, while giving up 478 yards and 37 points. Advantage: SDSU. Overall SOS differences are obvious (Michigan’s opponents scored 28.6 and gave up 23.4, compared to SDSU’s 24.5/28.4), but “score delta” should let us normalize those results.
Looking at the “score delta.” Michigan averaged 1.4 points above expectation for the season, compared to SDSU’s 4.5. It is totally open for debate as to whether this stat has any meaning, but I think that it does. If you’re supposed to blow out your cupcakes, and don’t, it will be reflected. Conversely, if you play well against a better opponent, like say ND or TCU, it is also reflected. I think it does a good job of showing overall team performance versus expectations.That big -32 by the Bowl Game shows that We Got Blown Out.
|opponent||o-ppg||d-ppg||opp o-ppg||opp d-ppg||o vs d||d vs o||actual score delta||projected score||score delta|
|opponent||o-rank||d-rank||opp o-rank||opp d-rank||o vs d||d vs o||actual score delta||projected score||score delta|
Well basically I think that the defense would have improved regardless of what happened, but I feel that the improvement with the new staff will be greater than the improvement with the old staff. I’m also hoping the MANBALL worries will be unfounded. After all, SDSU scored more points than Michigan, had more drives than Michigan, and darn near had as many yards as Michigan. I’ll trade that for a defense that gives up 100 fewer yards and almost 2 fewer touchdowns per game. I realize that most of the defensive improvement is speculation, since Mattison wasn’t Hoke’s DC at SDSU, but here’s hoping for Defensive Mediocrity in 2011, and a return to Kicking Competency!