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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Statistical Review: Central Michigan #82

After getting off to an encouraging 2-5 start, Central Michigan four of five and their last three to slide into a prestigious day-after-Christmas bowl game, which they won. As the schedule suggests, this is a team that got better as the season progressed. That being said, this was not a good team at the beginning or end of the season, and they sneaked into a bowl game despite having the nation's 5th softest schedule for earning bowl eligibility.

The biggest weakness for the Chippewas was that they were still required to play defense, something the coaching staff and players were apparently trying very hard to avoid. They were terrible at getting in the opponents' backfields, they allowed 5.8 plays per possession so, despite starting with decent field position, they allowed TDs on a third of the opponents' possessions. Fewer than 20 teams allowed more points per possession.

Offensively, relative to their competition, they were able to sling the ball around decently well. They were decent to quite good at the leverage points - turnovers, red zone, penalties, field goals - but terrible on third down. All together, this is a team that exploited a terribly soft schedule - five teams in the bottom 25 or FCS - to cover a multitude of sins (sins being poor performance on the football field).

The Statistical Review breaks down teams along a number of performance categories, everything from red zone scoring to field goal percentage, and compares that performance against the rest of the FBS. All 124 teams will be reviewed from 124 to 1 by the hybrid rankings. You can find short descriptions of the stats used in the table below.

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