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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CFBTN 101: Average Field Position

I recently added average field position on the team summary page on the 4th panel (I refer to it internally as the "more stats" panel; if I were Google I'd call it "Dreamsicle"). I do not yet offer compiled average field positions as a permanent feature of the site, so I thought the addition of AFP to the team summary page warranted a celebration in the form of a blog post.

AFP is measured in yards to the goal line. I track the team's AFP and their opponent's AFP. A team's AFP is like golf, smaller numbers are better. For the opponent's AFP bigger numbers are better. If you need me to explain why that is you're on the wrong site.

The first thing that stood out to me is that UTSA has the nation's best AFP. This is legit. They've done it by taking advantage of DII schools and programs that are not much older than by first born son. They have started inside their opponent's 20 five times and 14 times have started on the right side of the field. Florida State, Kansas State, Alabama and TCU round out the top five. I assume that generally makes sense to most readers.

The pattern for Opp AFP is less clear. Good teams still tend to be near the top, but the best teams are scoring touchdowns, not pinning their opponents down near the other endzone.

When we combine the two we see Florida State gains 14 yards of field position with every exchange. Boise State led the nation in 2011 by a healthy margin but has fallen to 23rd in 2012 (still not a bad number, but not as good as one - although I hear one can be lonely, the loneliest number, in fact). Buffalo and Idaho are really terrible. Just plain bad.

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