Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Big 12 SDPI

It's only March and we're already half way through the BCS leagues. This week, we'll examine the Big 12 and what to expect from that conference in the fall.

This first paragraph will explain how SDPI is calculated. So if you want the meat of this article skip on down. In the 2009 Big 12 regular season, conference play only, championship games excluded, the average Big 12 team gained and allowed 2926.917 yards. The standard deviation for yards gained (offense) was 419.36 yards. The standard deviation for yards allowed (defense) was 507.96 yards. Colorado gained 2352 yards and allowed 2721 yards. Their offensive SDPI was -1.37 = [(2721-2926.917)/419.36]. Their defensive SDPI was 0.41 = [(2926.917-2721)/507.96]. Their total SDPI was -0.97. This number ranked 10th in the Big 12.

To refresh your memory, here are the 2009 Big 12 standings.
Now here are the 2009 Big 12 SDPI standings. The standings are sorted by division by total SDPI with ranking for each category (out of 12 teams) in parentheses.The actual standings and the SDPI standings are a little misalligned. In the North, Missouri rates as the best team, despite the fact that Nebraska beat them on the field and in the standings. Elsewhere in the North, Iowa State ranks as the worst team (by far), yet they qualified for a bowl game, while Colorado and Kansas finished below them in the standings. In fact, the middle-four teams in the division (Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, and Colorado) were separated by only half a standard deviation. In the South, Oklahoma rated out as the best team, despite losing outright to both Texas Tech and Texas. Speaking of the Red Raiders, they rate as the second best team in the league, but they are always overvalued by SDPI because of the type of offense they run. We'll see if that continues with the changes at head coach.

Conference Superlatives

Best Offense: Texas Tech 1.52
In an interesting twist, the Red Raiders were held in check only once in Big 12 play, when they were held to 259 total yards against Nebraska (worst since a loss to TCU in 2006). Nebraska featured the 2nd best defense in the Big 12. Against the league's best defense (Oklahoma), the Red Raiders rolled up 549 yards. Perhaps venue had a little something to do with that. The Nebraska game was in Lincoln, while the game against the Sooners came in Lubbock.

The Cornhuskers gained over 400 yards only once in conference play, versus Kansas. They were held below 300 yards 6 times in league play. In the Big 12 Championship Game, the offense was what prevented the Huskers from shaking up the BCS standings, as they wasted a great defensive performance by gaining 106 total yards!

Best Defense: Oklahoma 1.29
Outside of the aforementioned game against Texas Tech, the Sooners held their Big 12 foes in check. Kansas (305) and Kansas State (364) were the only other Big 12 teams to gain over 300 yards against the Sooners defense.

Worst Defense: Texas A&M -1.50
The Aggies defense kept them from enjoying a sensational season as they featured the 2nd best offense in the league. Only Baylor (297) and Iowa State (324) failed to gain over 400 yards against the Aggies in Big 12 play.

What's in Store for Next Year?
North Division: