Lindy's Five Essential Websites (Non-Major Media) for 2013
[+] Team Summaries

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oregon, Florida and the tale of two halves

I've been told about 15 times this season that my assessment of Oregon is all wrong. Oregon, the story goes, gets a big lead early and is playing third stringers in the third quarter, so Oregon is much better than the final score suggests. I've been dealing with this on a case-by-case basis, but I think it's time I deal with the argument head on and for everyone to see.

I'm using the EP3+ here. The nice thing about the EP3+ is that it 1) adjusts for strength of schedule and 2) it adjusts for non-competitive situations. Also, because it is a drive-based metric, it is tempo independent; we often overrate offenses and underrate defenses because teams play faster, have more possessions and, therefore, tend to score more points, but that's not a problem for the EP3+. The unique thing here is that I divided the EP3+ by half, so if Oregon really is the bees knees early in games they should have a massive score for their first half EP3+.

And they do, but not in the way most of you were expecting. Oregon is the nation's second best first half team, a distant second behind Alabama. But the Oregon offense is only seventh, behind the aforementioned Crimson Tide, Kansas State, Texas A&M and others. Oregon gets the large early leads with dominating defense, not offense. (And these results are adjusted for non-competitive situations, so it isn't hurting Oregon to have a 36 points lead with 10 minutes left in the first half).

It is hard to evaluate Alabama and Oregon in the second half because so few of drives in the second half have been competitive. That being said, Oregon's 37th ranked second half EP3+ defense is disconcerting. Alabama is second. Both teams are playing more depth on defense at this point in the game, but Alabama's depth is still locking down opponents.

If you had at all been paying attention, you probably would have guessed that Florida is the nation's best second half team. The Gators are barely above average in the first half but lapping the field in the second. While most focus on Florida's defense, which is third best in the second half, Florida's offense is third best.

No comments:

Post a Comment