Atlantic Coast Conference
The 2021 ACC standings.
The 2021 Big 10 standings.
The 2021 Big 12 standings.
Yet again, an Oklahoma team finished with the best first half differential in Big 12 play. Unfortunately, the Cowboys dug themselves quite a hole in the Big 12 Championship Game and came within about half a yard of getting out of it. At the bottom of the standings, give a round of applause for Kansas. 2021 marks the first time since I have been tracking first half differential (2014) that the Jayhawks have not finished at least 100 points in the red.
The 2021 Pac-12 standings.
The 2021 SEC standings.
Georgia was on pace to be one of the best SEC champions of all-time until their lackluster performance in the SEC Championship Game. I'm sure most Georgia fans will take the end result though. Meanwhile, despite winning the SEC in back-to-back years, Alabama showed some vulnerability as evidenced by their relatively low first half differential. Is this a temporary setback (they did play for the national title after all) or a sign that Saban's stranglehold on the sport is slipping ever so slightly?
In the YPP and APR offseason recaps, I sort the teams in each conference by how much they over or under-performed relative to their expected record. Since all the Power Five conferences are grouped together in this post, I am only going to list those that significantly over or under-performed (a difference of at least .200). We'll start with the overachievers.
less than ideal). The Ducks trailed at halftime in three Pac-12 games and did the majority of their first half damage against the two worst teams in the conference. If we remove games against Arizona and Colorado, Oregon was outscored in the first half of their other Pac-12 games by sixteen points.
And now the underachievers.
YPP and APR, Nebraska also underachieved relative to their first half point differential. Ohio State won all their Big 10 games except the last one, but their point differential was historically great. Texas won three Big 12 games in 2021, but led at halftime in six. They lost four games where they held a halftime lead, but the only big lead they blew was the aforementioned game against Oklahoma. Arizona was not a good team in 2021, but while they only won a single conference game, they were within a touchdown at halftime in six of their nine Pac-12 games. Auburn lost five SEC games in Bryan Harsin's first season. However, they only trailed at halftime twice (Georgia and LSU). The Tigers were either tied (South Carolina and Texas A&M) or winning at halftime (Alabama and Mississippi State) in four of their five SEC defeats!
Thanks for reading. We'll be back in two weeks with some first half point differential superlatives.