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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Introducing the EP3+ prototype

EP3, or effective points per possession, evaluates drives based on how many points they produce, not just on the scoreboard, but also by affecting field position to make it harder or easier for the opponent to score. EP3+ adjusts that evaluation to recognize that not all opponents are created equal. While I've been reporting EP3s all season, this is the first ever publication of the EP3+, and it is really just an EP3+ prototype. In the final version drives will be weighted by leverage - in other words, the more impact the drive can have on whether or not the team loses or wins, the more importance it will be given when calculating EP3+s. While the current version accurately reflects how well teams have played, a version that gives less weight to drives late in blowouts will be more predictive.

Alabama comes out on top in the EP3+ as it does in any power ranking worth its salt. Texas comes in #2, and while the rank is not hugely shocking, the reason for the ranking is: to this point, the Longhorns have had the nation's 2nd most effective offense. Texas Tech is 5th primarily due to its 2.79 EP3 average on offense (compared to a national average of .27).

Louisiana Tech and Air Force are a full half touchdown better on offense than defense. Kansas St is 9th overall despite its 65th ranked defense while Oklahoma is 18th overall despite its 2nd ranked defense. The Big 10 has only two teams in the top 25, Purdue and Iowa St.