SBNation: Most exciting CFB teams

Submitted by strafe on July 14th, 2013 at 4:51 AM

SIAP (this is dated 20 June) but some guy over at SBNation has attempted to quantify exactly what makes a team exciting. Of course Oregon and Rich Rod (Peace Be Upon Him) take the top spots, but I think there is some interesting discussion re: how the rest of the list shakes out, as well as the methodolgy.

FWIW, Michigan comes in at 72, behind WMU and MSU. Thoughts?



Stephen Y

July 14th, 2013 at 6:36 AM ^

Subjective lists like this are stupid, and websites try to release them during the offseason when they have nothing else to report to generate page clicks. Not trying to be a dick to the OP. Just sayin lol

Jehu the Damaja

July 14th, 2013 at 7:03 AM ^

Rich Rod may have an "exciting" offense, but I'm much more excited with our defensive-minded coach. Its cliche, but true; offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. You don't win a lot of games with your defense out on the field for 2/3 of the game, as we all witnessed.


July 14th, 2013 at 7:44 PM ^

Any win is better than any loss.  The games against Iowa in '11 or ND last year were a lot more frustrating due to the final result, and similarly saw one side of the ball perform ineptly. 

The defense/offense wins championships debate is the purview of idiots.  The whole thing is a continuum.  ND had a great D last year, but Bama smoked them.  Stanford's D was good enough to beat Oregon and win the Rose Bowl, but their shitty offense cost them against UW and ND.  Texas A&M gave up 57 points to Louisiana Tech last year but you don't hear anybody bitching about their coach.  If Coach Hoke ever puts together a four year stretch like Chip Kelly just did at Oregon (46-7, two BCS bowl wins, four BCS bowl appearances) he'll have a statue on campus.

We gave up 42 points to OSU in 2006.  I doubt you would have been bitching about the shitty defense (and it was bad) if we'd scored 43.


July 14th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

I love watching a dominating defense that constantly blows up running plays, gets pressure on the quarterback and generates turnovers, that's exciting.  Also, you can't expect to be a championship contender when your defense is consistently giving up 40+ points to Illinois and Indiana.

For that matter, I like a punishing running game over a high flying passing attack.  I remember there was a bowl game a few years ago, don't remember which, but it was Wisconsin vs. Auburn, Wisconsin had a one score lead with like 7 minutes left, they got the ball inside their own five and proceeded to drive the ball to inside Auburn's five and then kneeled to run out the clock.  If that kind of domination isn't badass than I don't know what is.


July 14th, 2013 at 8:44 AM ^

There has been research done on the NFL about whether or not defense wins championships. And it has been proven that through all of the Super Bowls the data is about even. Of course this is the NFL but it still translates. Although A good defense is nice to have its better to have a good defense and a good offense over a great defense and bad offense or great offense over a bad defense.


July 14th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

Um, that's becase all of the teams in the Superbowl have good defenses.  Teams without good defenses don't play in the Superbowl.

"Defense wins the right to play for Championships." doesn't sound as good, but it's true.



July 14th, 2013 at 8:56 AM ^

If that is true, which it is not, than good defense would sell more tickets than good offense because it wins games. But there are plenty of teams with good defense that struggle to win games, and plenty with a good offense that struggle to win games. But teams that even compete for championships, no matter how they do it, sell tickets and everything else.


July 14th, 2013 at 8:39 AM ^

For the board's reference, here is how this index ranked the Big Ten. For kicks, I included Rutgers and Maryland in this list. I also put each teams 2012 win percentage on here as well for a random comparison.

Rk Team CFBEI Win Pct.
7 Nebraska 214 0.714
23 Ohio State 259 1.000
31 Northwestern 272 0.769
39 Indiana 300 0.333
41 Penn State 302 0.667
53 Michigan State 328 0.538
56 Purdue 332 0.462
65 Wisconsin 352 0.571
72 Michigan 384 0.615
91 Rutgers 445 0.692
95 Minnesota 454 0.462
98 Iowa 467 0.333
106 Maryland 527 0.333
122 Illinois 630 0.167

I suppose I would question how, for example, Indiana and a 4-8 season manages to come out as more entertaining overall, but as the author admits, it rewards teams that played in several close, high-scoring games and ran quite a few plays. I could be wrong, but I think Indiana actually led the Big Ten in average offensive plays per game with something aroung 77 or 78. I know we averaged about 65 or so (which I think would have put us near the bottom of Division I), but when you adjust for something like efficiency, we used those fewer plays markedly better. To me, doing a better job of converting opportunities, for example, is what makes things exciting. 

I tend to think there are stats which would paint a better picture than what the author has done here. 


July 14th, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

Is it just me or is their definition of excitement only defined by not even one half of the game...the offense?  An aggressive, hard hitting, stifling defense is pretty exciting.  I'll take a lower yardage output from the offense for a stout defense any day...and it's just as exciting. How exciting was Rich Rod's teams when we couldn't stop anyone?


July 14th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

Interesting to note that of the top 20 "most exciting" teams in 2012, only one (Oregon) made a BCS game last year.  For reference, the BCS teams ranked:

Alabama- #59

Notre Dame- #69

Oregon- #1

Kansas State- #36

Louisville- #42

Florida- #80

Florida State- #45

Northern Illinois- #28

Stanford- #70

Wisconsin- #65


And the final Coaches top 10

Alabama- #59

Oregon- #1

Notre Dame #69

Georgia- #46

Texas A&M- #3

Stanford- #70

South Carolina- #68

Florida State- #45

Clemson- #4

Florida- #80




July 14th, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

I don't vote for Best Helmets, coolest uniforms, etc., because they haven't a fucking thing to do with winning. I didn't even take the time to see where Alabama might have come up on that list, but I can almost guarantee they're not in the top 40, or even 50 but I can guarantee winning bests level of excitement any day. Now if you were to put a great defense with RR or Kelly at Ore, than we'd be onto something. IMHO, of course.


July 14th, 2013 at 11:46 AM ^

It seems the criteria is which teams score a lot of points and play no defense are the most exciting.  I would agree that high scoring offenses are exciting to watch but I would be more excited to watch 3 NCs in 4 years if I were an Alabama fan.  If the dominant program in the country is only the 59th most exciting team to watch then I would rather just win.

Michigan Marshmallow

July 14th, 2013 at 11:58 AM ^

I guess this is just preference, but I like good defence just as much as "exciting" offense. To me, a sack on 3rd down is just as awesome as a touchdown. 

I just don't see why people find that boring.


July 14th, 2013 at 3:00 PM ^

Winning every game by a couple of scores except Ohio. Making most of our third down attempts since we will be about 3rd and 2 and grinding out 8-10 play drives while playing strong defense. It will be like the 80's and 90's again, boring winning football. If you don't think watching the line stuff a drive or plow the path for a 6 yard runis  exciting you should watch 7 on 7 "football" or maybe arena football if that still exists and you can call that football.


July 14th, 2013 at 3:36 PM ^

Is the distinct possibility that RR'S assistants will get into fights with players or with each other, and of course there's the inevitability of RR going apeshit on his QB at least once per game.