Some Interesting Facts About Big Ten Scoring Offenses: 2000-Present

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on March 5th, 2013 at 11:26 AM

SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BIG TEN SCORING OFFENSES: 2000-PRESENT

I find the things I am uncovering to be interesting (hopefully, you do as well), I am extending this series another week, and this time, we are going to poke around at some of the historic stats on scoring offense in the Big Ten. I even included Nebraska this time.

Since 2000, the conference’s football teams have scored 49,281 points over a stretch of 692,579 yards of total offense, or roughly the distance from Detroit to Springfield, Illinois. The conference has also amassed 5657 PATs to go with 6,168 touchdowns, as well as 2,076 field goals and 4,776 total yards per year.  Actually, here’s a small chart with the four most common scoring types and their relative occurrence:

 

SCORING EVENT

POINTS

% TOTAL

TOUCHDOWN

37008

75.1%

EXTRA POINT

5657

11.5%

FIELD GOAL

6228

12.6%

SAFETY

148

0.3%

 

In the 1,792 games that all this encompasses, the Big Ten has managed to maintain an average rate of 27.5 points per game and 386.5 yards per game, which is not the West Virginia-Baylor game of recent note but is also not bad. It still means an average ranking nationally in the mid-50s, which essentially means there have been about as many terrible offenses in this stretch as there have been good ones, but slightly fewer bad ones. Yes, very technical statement there.

It doesn’t look like it on the field sometimes, but take thirteen years of data and do a table of “percent of total” for a few things and you get this:

 

TEAM

Yards

TDs

Points

Extra Poins

Field Goals

Safties

Ohio St.

8.79%

9.73%

9.91%

9.93%

11.08%

12.16%

Nebraska

1.64%

1.73%

1.76%

1.82%

1.88%

1.35%

Northwestern

9.39%

8.80%

8.63%

8.63%

7.66%

8.11%

Indiana

8.27%

7.70%

7.62%

7.37%

7.18%

13.51%

Michigan

9.15%

9.94%

9.72%

9.97%

8.29%

6.76%

Wisconsin

9.66%

10.62%

10.44%

10.84%

9.10%

9.46%

Penn St.

8.75%

8.54%

8.69%

8.52%

9.59%

13.51%

Purdue

9.23%

9.03%

8.98%

9.16%

8.72%

8.11%

Minnesota

8.98%

8.98%

8.87%

8.75%

8.19%

2.70%

Michigan St.

9.20%

8.90%

9.03%

8.82%

9.87%

9.46%

Iowa

8.43%

8.48%

8.68%

8.70%

10.07%

8.11%

Illinois

8.51%

7.54%

7.66%

7.50%

8.38%

6.76%

 

Nebraska is, of course, the anomaly here. Illinois and Indiana show their protracted stretches of relative ineptitude even here, as the difference between Wisconsin and Illinois, for example, means a veritable sh*t ton on scoring over 13 years even if the percentage is small. For the most part, things are more even than I would have thought, but again, fractions of a percent here hide off seasons.

Here are the totals / averages by team from 2000 to the present:

 

TEAM

Games

Yards

Avg. Yards Per Game

Avg. Points Per Game

Points

TDs

Extra Points

Field Goals

Safties

Win

Loss

Win Pct.

Avg. National Rank

Nebraska

27

11390

421.9

32.1

866

107

103

39

1

19

8

0.704

19

Wisconsin

169

66875

395.7

30.4

5146

655

613

189

7

115

54

0.680

44

Ohio St.

163

60893

373.6

30.0

4884

600

562

230

9

132

31

0.810

44

Michigan

161

63402

393.8

29.8

4790

613

564

172

5

106

55

0.658

42

Purdue

160

63897

399.4

27.7

4425

557

518

181

6

84

76

0.525

54

Michigan St.

161

63688

395.6

27.7

4452

549

499

205

7

88

73

0.547

52

Minnesota

160

62215

388.8

27.3

4373

554

495

170

2

74

86

0.463

57

Penn St.

161

60632

376.6

26.6

4283

527

482

199

10

101

60

0.627

64

Northwestern

160

65033

406.5

26.6

4255

543

488

159

6

84

76

0.525

61

Iowa

162

58366

360.3

26.4

4277

523

492

209

6

98

64

0.605

60

Indiana

153

57268

374.3

24.5

3756

475

417

149

10

49

104

0.320

72

Illinois

155

58920

380.1

24.3

3774

465

424

174

5

61

94

0.394

71

 

It may or may not be the variation you would expect. I sorted the table by average points per game and was not entirely shocked by the order of the teams myself. All things considered, maintaining an average ranking of 42, in our case, which would be the upper reaches of the second quartile of teams, is not that bad at all when compared to the grand mean of 56.

So, similar to the other two diaries that I did recently, I asked myself the question – which of these nearly 150 teams in this spreadsheet were very good at scoring, in relative terms? Using a similar method, I decided to create from the excessively large table a small table of teams which were above average in at least four of the following: Total yards, TDs, FGs, PATs, and Points.

You get 63 teams that compare as follows:

 

 

ALL TEAMS

TEAMS ABOVE AVG. IN AT LEAST FOUR METRICS

AVG. TOTAL YARDS

4776.4

5329.8

AVG. YARDS / GAME

386.5

416.1

AVG. NO. OF TDs

43

52

AVG. NO. OF PATs

39

49

AVG. NO. OF FGs

14

15

AVG. NO. OF POINTS

340

407

 

Here, from a historic average of 27.5 points per game, you jump to 31.8 points per game for the teams that fit the criteria for this table. I then did the same thing with the remaining teams, and you see the following from the remaining 23 teams:

 

 

ALL REMAINING FROM FIRST ELIMINATION

TEAMS ABOVE AVG. IN AT LEAST FOUR METRICS

AVG. TOTAL YARDS

5329.8

5622.7

AVG. YARDS / GAME

416.1

431.2

AVG. NO. OF TDs

52

59

AVG. NO. OF PATs

49

56

AVG. NO. OF FGs

15

15

AVG. NO. OF POINTS

407

459

 

These teams were scoring at an average rate of 35.2 points per game, or slightly more than 1 TD per game more than the Big Ten grand mean in this time period.

Not shockingly, being able to actually get the ball across the plane or through the uprights on a consistent basis makes a considerable difference. The Big Ten’s cumulative winning percentage since 2000 has been 0.564, but when I did the first elimination, that jumped to 0.686, and then on the second one, it leapt to 0.753. Essentially, it is the difference, in scoring terms, between 7 and 9 wins in a season based on historic numbers.

TL;DR CONCLUSION:

Once again, this was an exercise conducted under an admittedly arbitrary set of assumptions, but it is interesting to see  the improvements that mere points will bring in numerical terms and give an added dimension – hopefully – to what occurs on the field and how much it means to, well, score.

 

Comments

mgobaran

March 5th, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

Not shocked that Michigan has the fourth lowest number of Field Goals in the Big Ten (Removing Nebraska). Our kicking has been awful. Remember when RR had to go for it on fourth down every time? And those Tate Forcier pooch punts? TGFBG

TGFBG - Thank god for Brunette Girls (or Brendan Gibbons)

ChicagoGoBlue

March 5th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

I'm having a hard time reading the last column of the 3rd chart due to it spilling out of the frame for some reason.  What were the averages for UM, OSU, and Purdue in that final column?