## Wednesday, May 12, 2010

### WAC SDPI

We've exhausted our coverage of the big boys in our sojourn through the 2009 college football season. Now we move on to the mid-major leagues. We'll start with examining the WAC, home of the biggest household name outside of the BCS leagues--Boise State.

This first paragraph will explain how SDPI is calculated. So if you want the meat of this article skip on down. In the 2009 WAC regular season, conference play only, the average WAC team gained and allowed 3315.33 yards. The standard deviation for yards gained (offense) was 765.77 yards. The standard deviation for yards allowed (defense) was 342.31 yards. Fresno St gained 3393 yards and allowed 3391 yards. Their offensive SDPI was 0.10 = [(3393-3315.33)/765.77]. Their defensive SDPI was -0.22 = [(3315.33-3391)/342.31]. Their total SDPI was -0.12. This number ranked 5th in the WAC.

To refresh your memory, here are the 2009 WAC standings.
Now here are the 2009 WAC SDPI standings. The standings are sorted by total SDPI with ranking for each category (out of 9 teams) in parentheses.Not surprisingly, Boise State rates out as the best team in the WAC, followed closely by Nevada. These numbers probably overrate Nevada a bit because they dominated the lesser teams on their schedule to such a degree. Unlike Boise, Nevada was unable to hang with the better teams they faced outside the WAC, losing to Notre Dame, Missouri, and SMU by a combined 80 points. The teams with the biggest discrepancies between the actual and SDPI standings are Louisiana Tech and Hawaii. The Bulldogs and Warriors ranked 3rd and 4th respectively in SDPI, yet both had identical 3-5 conference records. For Louisiana Tech, the culprit was close losses. 3 of their 5 losses came by a combined 5 points. In addition, their 3 conference wins all came by at least 21 points with an average margin of just over 31 points per game. For Hawaii, the culprit was turnovers. In league play, the Warriors boasted a turnover margin of -9, which was second to last. These turnovers (21 in league play) severely hampered their offense. Despite the fact that they finished 4th in the conference in yards gained, they were 7th in points scored.

Conference Superlatives

Outside of their struggle (relatively speaking against Boise State), the Wolfpack curbstomped every other WAC team. They never gained fewer than 496 yards against another WAC foe and averaged over 573 yards in those other 7 games. They topped 600 yards in 3 of their 8 conference games.

Worst Offense: New Mexico St -1.87
The Aggies fielded perhaps the worst offense in all of Division IA. The Aggies peaked as an offense in their first game, when they rolled for 342 yards against Idaho. In their other 7 WAC games, they averaged 220 yards per game. And of course, who can forget their showing against Ohio State in Columbus, when they finished the game with 62 yards of total offense.

Best Defense: Boise State 1.69
As always, the Broncos do it with defense. Of course, that's not to say the Broncos were flawless on this end. Fresno State and Idaho both topped 500 yards against Boise. Fresno via the ground game (320 yards) and Idaho through the air (305 yards). In their other 6 conference games, Boise allowed their WAC foes an average of only 286 yards per game.

Worst Defense: New Mexico St -1.19
The Aggies pulled double duty at the bottom of the WAC. Their defense was not quite as bad as their offense (Idaho was was very close to them in terms of defensive ineptitude, while no one was close in terms of offensive performance), but that's damning with faint praise.

What's in Store for Next Year?