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Monday, October 22, 2012

Week 8's best offensive performances

In this weekly feature, we adjust a team's effective points per possession (EP3) by the strength of the opponent's defense to get a true measure of their offensive performance. EP3 recognizes that field position has a real value and not just points on the scoreboard. EP3+D is the opponent's opponent adjusted EP3 defense, or, in other words, it measures how good the opponent's defense is. Perf-O rates a team's offensive performance that week given their EP3 that week and the opponent's EP3+D.  

The best offensive performance of the weekend came from Kansas St. Readers of this blog should not be surprised to see the Wildcats on top, unless they read this blog but still think I'm an idiot. According to the model, Kansas State easily has the nation's most effective offense. They score an absolutely absurd 3.75 points/possession. On Saturday they scored 5.5 points/possession, including seven straight touchdowns. 

Florida, on the other hand, makes a surprise visit to the top of the list. If Florida can consistently stay in the top 10 in the Perf-O they will be the 2012 national champions. Of course, Alabama wasn't too far behind at #13. Despite racking up 43 points in the first 18 minutes, Oregon does not make the top 25 (they came in at #30), but they do have a prominent position in the Perf-D top 25. BYU also makes a rare visit to the top 25 by scoring 14 against Notre Dame. 


  1. Coach Kelly at Oregon consistently plays the third string after halftime. He takes his foot off the pedal for sure as he's done over and over. This metric of course has no way to show that; and the deep bench isn't anywhere near being prime time.

    But just look at the scores and performances prior to halftime for the Mighty Ducks.

    1. Joe, that's a very intelligent observation. Oregon is 2nd nationally in points/possession in the first half this season and around 60th in the second half, so clearly Oregon slows down in the second half. But the EP3+O recognizes and adjusts for drives in non-competitive situations and Oregon is only 12th. Oregon is 7th nationally in 1st half EP3+O (adjusted for the defense). The narrative that Oregon is unstoppable but doesn't run up the score like others is only half true. Oregon has a lot of short drives that could cost it against elite opposition.

      But you are right that the Perf-O does not adjust for non-competitive drives, and Oregon definitely would have scored higher if it did so (although getting shutout for the last 40 minutes of the game is not completely irrelevant). But the Perf-O isn't meant to measure how good an offense is, but how well they played in that one game, from beginning to end. Like I'll say in the defensive performance post, we know Oregon can score points so what really matters is how they play on defense, and right now they're playing at a higher level on defense than offense.