Putting the Enemy Away

Submitted by J.W. Wells Co. on November 7th, 2016 at 9:55 PM

Earlier today in a thread on the board, user AlCzerviksRide asked about the speed at which Michigan is scoring the winning points in its games this year, asking for comparisons to Michigan 1997, Michigan 2006, and Alabama and Ohio State this year.

So I'm running with it.

I'm defining "winning points" as the points the team scores to put them over the opponent's final total.  I've also made additional adjustments for garbage-time scores and running the stats as if the opponent hadn't scored its obvious garbage-time points... e.g., on Judgment Day 1997, one might argue Michigan scored its winning points when Kraig Baker kicked a field goal to go up 3-0; Penn State eventually scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut into what was by then a 34-0 Michigan lead.

I'm only considering regulation-time wins.  It's pretty tough to theoretically come up with a time-based measure of when a losing team or overtime winner scores the "winning points" (if anyone can come up with something sensible, I'm listening).  So really, this is something of a measure of how quickly a team finishes its wins, not how quickly a team wins its games.

I'm also throwing Michigan 2003, another high-powered offense, into the mix.

 

The results:

Rank Team Regulation Wins Average Time of Winning Points Average Time Adjusted for Garbage Time Average Margin of Victory in Wins
1 2016 Michigan 9 18:16 17:09 37.33
2 2016 Ohio State 7 20:52 20:52 39.29
3 2006 Michigan 11 24:04 22:16 17.27
4 2003 Michigan 10 24:37 19:01 26.2
5 1997 Michigan 12 27:25 27:04 17.33
6 2016 Alabama 9 27:43 26:13 26.89

 

Takeaways?

2016 Michigan is kicking big-time ass in terms of scoring lots quickly and then playing lights-out D (duh).  On average, Michigan is winning its games by the time the clock shows 12:00 remaining in the second quarter.

Though Ohio State has looked a bit wobbly at times, when they've won this year, they've won huge, despite having some slower starts.

Lloyd Carr played a lot of close games in his two best seasons.

 

And now the data for when the winning points were scored in each game:

 

Michigan 2016
Opponent Score Time Remaining Total Game Time
Hawaii 63-3 7:29, 1st 7:31
Central Florida 51-14 1:55, 1st 13:05
Colorado 45-28 13:16, 3rd 31:44
Penn State 49-10 3:57, 1st 11:03
Wisconsin 14-7 7:56, 4th 52:04
Rutgers 78-0 7:44, 1st 7:16
Illinois 41-8 7:52, 1st 7:08
Michigan State 32-23 0:39, 2nd 29:21
Maryland 59-3 9:50, 1st 5:10

Average winning points scored at 18:16; 17:09 adjusted for garbage-time scores by Central Florida, Penn State, and Illinois (garbage-time scores by Hawaii, Michigan State, and Maryland did not affect the time at which Michigan's winning points were scored).

Average margin of victory in wins:  37.33 points

 

Michigan 1997
Opponent Score Time Remaining Total Game Time
Colorado 27-3 9:28, 1st

5:32

Baylor 38-3 5:39, 1st 9:21
Notre Dame 21-14 9:21, 3rd 35:39
Indiana 37-0 7:04, 1st 7:56
Northwestern 23-6 1:02, 2nd 18:58
Iowa 28-24 2:55, 4th 57:05
Michigan State 23-7 0:47, 2nd

29:13

Minnesota 24-3 14:51, 2nd 15:09
Penn State 34-8 4:41, 1st 10:19
Wisconsin 26-16 13:08, 4th 46:52
Ohio State 20-14 10:29, 3rd 34:31
Washington State (Rose Bowl) 21-16 11:21, 4th 48:39

Average winning points scored at 27:25; 27:04 adjusted for garbage-time score by Penn State.

Average margin of victory in wins:  17:33 points

 

Michigan 2003
Opponent Score Time Remaining Total Game Time
Central Michigan 45-7 2:25, 1st 12:35
Houston 50-3 5:15, 1st 9:45
Notre Dame 38-0 6:25, 1st 8:35
Oregon LOSS    
Indiana 31-17 2:03, 2nd 27:57
Iowa LOSS    
Minnesota 38-35 0:47, 4th 59:13
Illinois 56-14 7:39, 2nd 22:21
Purdue 31-3 7:03, 1st 7:57
Michigan State 27-20 13:31, 4th 46:29
Northwestern 41-10 10:34, 2nd 19:26
Ohio State 35-21 13:04, 3rd 31:56
Southern California (Rose Bowl) LOSS    

Average winning points scored at 24:37; 19:01 adjusted for garbage-time scores by Indiana, Illinois, and Northwestern.

Average margin of victory in wins:  26.2 points

 

Michigan 2006
Opponent Score Time Remaining Total Game Time
Vanderbilt 27-7 2:25, 1st 12:35
Central Michigan 41-17 12:24, 2nd 17:36
Notre Dame 47-21 11:26, 2nd 18:34
Wisconsin 27-13 3:11, 3rd 41:49
Minnesota 28-14 3:30, 2nd 26:30
Michigan State 31-13 13:15, 2nd 16:45
Penn State 17-10 0:19, 3rd 44:41
Iowa 20-6 6:36, 3rd 38:24
Northwestern 17-3 10:07, 1st 4:53
Ball State 34-26 6:46, 3rd 38:14
Indiana 34-3 10:22, 1st 4:38
Ohio State LOSS    
Southern California (Rose Bowl) LOSS    

Average winning points scored at 24:04; 22:16 adjusted for garbage-time scores by Central Michigan, Notre Dame, and Minnesota (garbage-time scores by Wisconsin and Michigan State did not affect the time at which Michigan's winning points were scored).

Average margin of victory in wins:  17.27 points

 

Ohio State 2016
Opponent Score Time Remaining Total Game Time
Bowling Green 77-10 4:49, 1st 10:11
Tulsa 48-3 10:10, 2nd 19:50
Oklahoma 45-24 6:02, 2nd 23:58
Rutgers 58-0 4:19, 1st 10:41
Indiana 38-17 0:30, 2nd 29:30
Wisconsin OT WIN    
Penn State LOSS    
Northwestern 24-20 9:43, 4th 50:17
Nebraska 62-3 13:26, 1st 1:34

Average winning points scored at 20:52; no garbage-time scores.

Average margin of victory in wins:  39.29 points

 

Alabama 2016
Opponent Score Time Remaining Total Game Time
Southern California 52-6 7:46, 2nd 22:14
Western Kentucky 38-10 8:59, 2nd 21:01
Mississippi 48-43 5:28, 4th 54:32
Kent State 48-0 12:14, 1st 2:46
Kentucky 34-6 9:50, 2nd 20:10
Arkansas 49-30 1:25, 2nd 28:35
Tennessee 49-10 0:14, 1st 14:46
Texas A&M 33-14 6:33, 3rd 38:27
Louisiana State 10-0 13:08, 4th 46:52

Average winning points scored at 27:43; 26:13 adjusted for garbage-time scores by Western Kentucky and Arkansas (garbage-time scores by Southern California and Kentucky did not affect the time at which Alabama's winning points were scored).

Average margin of victory in wins:  26.89 points

Comments

LBSS

November 8th, 2016 at 2:40 AM ^

Great post, data point in favor of the eye test that Spencer wrote about this week. Namely, that we're kicking ass early and often. Brian shared Spencer's piece yesterday, but in case anyone didn't see the link, it's here: The Top Whatever.

"59-3 over Maryland. There’s really no reason to watch Michigan games after they send fullback Khalid Hill — aka “The Hammering Panda” — in to announce to the opponent that, yes, this game is over. He’s their finishing move, Harbaugh’s Tombstone Piledriver, and after he lumbers through your cringing defensive line for a score, the game has ended. Michigan’s scrimmage has begun.

"Hill rolled into the end zone like a lost water buffalo with 3:52 left in the second quarter. Congratulations on making Michigan play almost a full half of football, Maryland. That’s more than some teams have managed this year, and you should feel pretty good about yourself. Go snort a celebratory line of Old Bay on me."

Chris of Dange…

November 8th, 2016 at 12:19 PM ^

My only quibble with Spencer's description is that it should have read "Hill blasted into the end zone like a psychotic panda going after the last stand of bamboo on earth with 3:52 left in the second quarter."

Tex_Ind_Blue

November 8th, 2016 at 12:41 PM ^

Thank you for doing this. It gives a nice and fast picture of the domination (or lack of) of a football team. Definitely passes the eye test. 

But somehow it feels there should be something else besides just the "winning point" in this calculation. Mathematically, Wisconsin would still have a chance with a Hail Mary at the last second even if Michigan scored the 8th point in a 14-7 game at the  say 5 minute mark of the first quarter. May be some metric can be used to include the score differential in the calculation.

But but even after a more thorough analysis, the overall trend should be similar.  

J.W. Wells Co.

November 8th, 2016 at 1:46 PM ^

Yeah, I definitely thought about this, and didn't spend enough time thinking about it to come up with something good.  The question should probably be something like, "At what point are you ahead by more than one score with an unreasonable amount of time on the clock for the opponent to be able to come back to beat you?"  But it's tough to determine just how subjective one should be; second- and third-string players come into play, as well as momentum and morale.

For instance, in weeding out the garbage-time scores... take a look at this year's MSU game.  Michigan went into bleed-the-clock mode early-ish in the fourth quarter, up by 20 points.  The game was, for all intents and purposes, over.  MSU scored with 7:31 remaining to close the gap to 13 points, 30-17.  In the flow of the game at that point, this was probably a "garbage-time" score, given also the quality of the teams.  It wasn't a meaningless score, however; MSU was only down 13 points with half of the fourth quarter left.  Teams have come back from farther behind with less time on the clock than that.  However, I did consider the touchdown with 0:01 left on the clock to be a garbage-time score, because that score truly was meaningless.

(Actually because of the final go-for-two debacle, this year's MSU game didn't play into the adjustment to the calculation for garbage-time points, because Michigan beat 17 points at the same time it beat 23 points... when Michigan's total hit 24 with 0:39 left in the second quarter.)

 

Tex_Ind_Blue

November 8th, 2016 at 2:06 PM ^

You have put the question very nicely. That's exactly what I was thinking. Thank you. I don't think putting in more information will tell us anything significantly different from what you have here. It was more academic and may be hoping to find a trend or something. 

For general comparison purposes, this is excellent. 

Dix

November 9th, 2016 at 2:08 PM ^

For OT wins, Why not say that the winning points were scored at the 60:00 minute mark? That way you account for the win and the fact that the game outcome was in doubt for the duration.

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