Michigan #11, Penn State #19 on expected net yards

Submitted by LLG on October 19th, 2017 at 2:14 PM

Honestly, I have no idea what to make of this ranking so I want the Board's collective wisdom.  Thoughts?

Here are the top 25 teams.

The number gives an expected net yards per play difference against an average FBS opponent.

1. Oklahoma, 3.26

2. Oklahoma State, 2.95

3. Alabama, 2.93

4. Ohio State, 2.90

5. Georgia, 2.27

6. Washington, 2.11

7. Wisconsin, 2.09

8. Auburn, 2.01

9. Florida State, 1.98

10. Stanford, 1.84

11. Michigan, 1.84

12. Miami (FL), 1.79

13. Texas Tech, 1.78

14. Clemson, 1.73

15. UCF, 1.72

16. Notre Dame, 1.45

17. Wake Forest, 1.38

18. Oregon, 1.36

19. Penn State, 1.34

20. Louisville, 1.32

21. USC, 1.28

22. Washington State, 1.28

23. Michigan State, 1.22

24. North Carolina State, 1.16

25. LSU, 1.14



Whole Milk

October 19th, 2017 at 2:19 PM ^

Well, it probably has something to do with Michigan giving up about 30 yards less per game than the next best defense in the country not named Washington. The defense is very, very good.

In addition, Washington St. is considered to be the 10th best defense nationally on a ypg basis, and they give up 65 yards more per game. This is insane. 


October 19th, 2017 at 2:45 PM ^

This actually shows how putrid our offense is. Michigan is #1 in defense for yards allowed.  We're giving up 31 yards per game fewer than Bama.

Overall these rankings don't really mean much though. Turnovers and red zone percentage on both sides of the ball play such a huge part in the college game.


October 19th, 2017 at 5:51 PM ^

Oh, splendid. The offense is experiencing Zeno's Paradox with respect to the word "functioning" now. That seems...hopeful. 

In all seriousness though, the defense can keep us in any game. We just need the offense to - at the very least - take advantage of any mistakes and not make any of their own, at least none too garish. 


October 19th, 2017 at 3:07 PM ^

...per pass attempt and it provides a remarkably good sort once a season is completed. As a predictive matter it is only "fair," but does tend to track the line, if vaguely.

  UM is 5.81 (awful) minus 3.59 (awesome)=+2.22 or about 11 points better than an average team on a neutral field.

  PSU is 7.16 minus 4.15=3.01 or about 15 points better than an average team on a neutral field.

  So, at PSU, at night, I would expect a line of UM +8.

  This (a) adjusts for sacks (the NCAA lumps sacks with run plays) and (b) assumes equivalent competition. I think I saw something that shows UM's schedule to have been harder, to this point, and hence, a "neutral field" prediction might be UM+2.5.

  Why do I avoid run yards? Well, first, I think run yards tend to be baked into the pass numbers. Second, the more "run" realities I put into any equation the less predictive it seems to be. Right now, with some anomalies (pretty limited) these numbers are pretty good at tracking team quality. I would say, in fact, it is a better measure than wins and losses. See Bud Goode's NFL site (Bud is now gone, alas) to see his NFL work/writings on point.  



Oregon Wolverine

October 19th, 2017 at 3:27 PM ^

O'Korn career stats:

2017 45 82 563 54.9 6.87 37 1 4 8 106.8 43.3 55.3
2016 20 34 173 58.8 5.09 23 2 0 2 121.0 28.5 32.9
2014 90 173 951 52.0 5.50 67 6 8 11 100.4 28.8 22.2
2013 259 446 3117 58.1 6.99 83 28 10 25 133.0 42.4 46.2




    2 22 41 53.7% 20.5 282 6.9 141.0 1 3 35 4   104.9
    14 148 249 59.4% 17.8 2110 8.5 150.7 12 7 57 30   140.9
     11 153 278 55.0% 25.3 2040 7.3 185.5 15 10 60 28   127.3



Yes, O'Korn is not quite as good as "Mystery QB," but he's not that far off.  Clue, Mystery QB was a "game manager," and he managed the season quite well -- right to a national championship.


October 19th, 2017 at 3:40 PM ^

If you do a deep dive on S&P+, one of the things that jumps out is that Penn State is crushing the field position component on the both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. They are #3 on offense and #1 on defense. Obviously, net yards per play will be somewhat independent of this. A very, very large part of Penn State's success is that they are working on massively shorter fields than their opponents.

Everyone Murders

October 19th, 2017 at 5:51 PM ^

Per the article, these seem to be based on combining stats on offense with stats on defense.  It's an interesting comparison, but leaves out turnovers and special teams.  I'd especially like to see special teams somehow factored in.

Which leads me to appreciate Foug just a bit more.  Stretching the field on kickoffs is pretty cool, and I hope we're able to do that Saturday night.  (It would be extra cool if we also had a good day net punting, but that's been pretty spotty so far this season.)