I've been poring over some 2012 statistics for a project I'm working on, and a few of my findings raised my eyebrows a bit - both in regards to how Texas compared to other schools, and in how some of our Big XII brethren stacked up nationally.
I figured we could play a little game where I'll present some interesting run and pass statistics on both sides of the ball, and y'all can guess where you think Texas came in relative to the Big XII and D1 teams on the whole. All the stats presented below come courtesy of the awesome AdjustedStats.com, where Huckleberry and his merry band share fascinating insights and help college football gamblers get over on their bookies.
The Rushing Offense ranking was simply where the team ranked in terms of Adjusted True Yards per Carry. This figure makes an adjustment to an offense's raw yards per carry based on the quality of run defenses it faced - gaining 3.5 YPC against Alabama, Florida and LSU probably translates into something north of 5 YPC against an 'average' run defense. This figure also strips out sack plays and yardage and attributes them to the passing game, which is where they really belong. By making these adjustments, I think this figure provides a great look at the true efficiency and effectiveness of a team's ground game.
Here's how the Big XII (and a couple of other programs of interest) ranked in 2012:
#1 - Texas A&M (7.12 Yards per Carry - wow)
#6 - Florida (6.00 - Muschamp does know him some power running)
#27 - Baylor (5.42 - Seastrunk really started elevating this number)
#29 - WVU (5.39 - When Tavon Austin Attacks!)
#33 - Oklahoma St. (5.31 - I'm surprised this wasn't higher)
#48 - Kansas (5.10 - James Sims and the Battle for Respectability)
#49 - Texas Tech (5.10 - Mike Leach is horrified that this number is so high)
#56 - Oklahoma (5.00 - So Damien Williams doesn't do that to EVERYBODY?)
#60 - Kansas St. (4.77 - No wonder Collin Klein was beat to shit by December)
#67 - Iowa St. (4.67 - Steele Jantz and lead feet)
#88 - TCU (4.44 - So a young OL, 3rd string runner and no pass threat is bad?)
#89 - Iowa (4.44 - Down from #53 in 2011. O hai, Greg Davis!)
My guess for Texas' rank in 2012 Adjusted True Yards per Carry is _____.
[UPDATE] And the answer is...46th, with 5.13 yards per carry. A grind-it-out approach despite some home run potential at running back - time for the OL to put up or shut up, and if I never see another perimeter run behind a bad-blocking TE it will be too soon.
To rank the passing offenses, I took a simple average of the team's Adjusted Yards per Pass Attempt (which factors IN the sacks and sack yardage stripped out of the Rushing Yards figure) and its Adjusted NCAA Passer Efficiency Rating - both ratings were, again, adjusted for opponent difficulty. I left out total passing yards per game since that figure is much more impacted by the quality of the team's defense in terms of average drive length as well as how much a team needs to throw in the fourth quarter of games - I think per play stats are a much better indicator of efficiency and effectiveness.
Here's how the Big XII and a few others stacked up in 2012:
#1 - Georgia (They led in both in pass efficiency and with a sick 9.49 YPP)
#2 - Baylor (So Briles can coach some offense, huh?)
#6 - Oklahoma St. (With a QB carousel, no less)
#8 - Kansas St. (No wonder Collin Klein was in New York in December)
#10 - WVU (The Skullet knows how to sling it)
#11 - Texas A&M (Imagine the NON-hung over stats!)
#16 - Texas Tech (So, um, there's some passing going on in the Big XII, huh?)
#18 - Oklahoma (Not Sam Bradford-caliber, but not bad)
#41 - TCU (This should shoot upwards with Pachall's return)
#66 - Iowa St. (At least they're balanced!)
#102 - Iowa (Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!)
#103 - Kansas (I can haz decided schematic advantage?)
My guess for Texas' rank in Passing Efficiency is _____.
[UPDATE] And the answer is...a somewhat surprising 9th. Sticking with the grind-it-out run approach opened up a good number of play-action opportunities, and Ash was able to capitalize despite the lack of any truly scary vertical threats on the roster. His ability to avoid sacks despite pretty frequent pressure also helped in this particular metric. In 2013, the challenge will be quicker processing and improved accuracy on the shorter stuff to complement the deep throws.
Just like offense, the Rushing Defense ranking was simply where the team ranked in terms of Adjusted True Yards per Carry allowed.
Here's what the Big XII (and a couple of other programs of interest) gave up on the ground:
#1 - Alabama (2.65 Yards per Carry - wow)
#4 - Florida (3.50 - Muschamp does stuff him some power running)
#14 - Ole Miss (4.03 - I know, right? Don't sleep on this matchup)
#15 - TCU (4.08 - Tremendous showing with youth factored in)
#23 - WVU (4.27 - Isaiah Bruce is a stud at LB)
#25 - Oklahoma St. (4.28 - Not sure they upgraded when they fired Bill Young)
#36 - Kansas St. (4.49 - Lower ranked than I would have guessed)
#52 - Iowa St. (4.74 - The Averageness Continues!)
#61 - Texas Tech (4.84 - A #69 ranking would have been funnier #RaiderRash)
#76 - Baylor (5.10 - Again, a # 69 ranking would have been funnier)
#90 - Kansas (5.30 - All they were was dust in the wind)
My guess for Texas' rank in Rush Defense Efficiency is _____.
[UPDATE] And the answer is...a not-too-surprising-but-still-horrifying 92nd, as Texas surrendered a shocking 5.35 adjusted yards per carry. That just ain't good.
SPECIAL BONUS GUESS - my guess for OU's rank in Rush Defense Efficiency is _____. (HINT: It will not make you feel good about our performance in Dallas).
[UPDATE] And the answer is...an eye-poppingly bad 103rd in the nation, surrendering 5.55 adjusted yards per carry. I knew OU struggled against the run last year, but this absolutely shocked me. All the folks who have pushed the early Texas-OU line in Vegas all the way up to Texas -3 need to take a long, hard look at this number. A run defense that bad, making our run game look that bad, tells you every last thing you need to know about how well Texas is prepared to perform in that game.
Same deal as the offensive side - I took a simple average of the team's Adjusted Yards per Pass Attempt Allowed and its Adjusted NCAA Passer Efficiency Rating.
Here's how the Big XII fared against their brethren's elite air assaults (with a couple of others thrown in):
#1 - Florida (Imagine what they could do if Muschamp's wife was supportive)
#2 - Alabama (Just a remorseless defensive machine)
#3 - Oklahoma (Welcome back, Mike Stoops)
#13 - Kansas St. (I put on my purple robe and wizard hat)
#18 - TCU (Purple Wizard, meet the Purple Mage of the 4-2-5)
#22 - Oklahoma St. (So we're SURE tossing Bill Young was the right move?)
#29 - Texas Tech (Not bad - maybe the high winds helped)
#42 - Iowa St. (Our highest ranking yet! Rock, chalk Hawkeye? Do we have cheers?)
#51 - Baylor (Passes on Baylor DBs and Baylor coeds have similar odds of success)
#91 - Kansas (Duuuuust In the Wiiiiind [refrain])
#114 - WVU (Urgh.)
My guess for Texas' rank in Passing Defense Efficiency is _____.
[UPDATE] And the answer is...a kind-of-acceptable 25th. There's room for improvement in the pass game, and hopefully a stronger start from Byndom, a legitimate football season from Adrian Phillips and help from Jordan Hicks over the middle and in the flats will go a long way towards driving that improvement. But there's no comparison between the run and pass defense, and no question where our changes in approach need to focus.
Below, there's a comment for each of the four categories. Make your guesses (NO CHEATING!) and add your thoughts under the appropriate category, and I'll be back later to reveal the answers.
I'm not PROMISING that the best guesser will win a BC Tote Bag, but...wink.