Atlantic Coast Conference
The 2022 ACC standings.
Much like 2021, no ACC team dominated the first half of games in 2022. The team that did come out on top has gotten quite a bit of hype heading into 2023. Can they live up to it? Elsewhere in first half play, Duke improved by 191 point in 1HPD. The Blue Devils finished dead last in 2021, trailing at the half by an average of twenty points per game (-160). Under first year head coach Mike Elko, Duke finished fourth in the ACC in 1HPD in 2022!
The 2022 Big 10 standings.
Penn State narrowly edged Ohio State for the 1HPD crown in 2022. However, it was the team that finished third in 1HPD (and pretty far behind the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes I might add), that ended up winning the Big 10 for a second straight season. The Wolverines opponent in the Big 10 Championship Game (Purdue) actually finished fifth (out of seven teams) in their own division, but made the plays when it counted to qualify for their first conference title game.
The 2022 Big 12 standings.
Texas finished with the best 1HPD in Big 12 play, but the Longhorns dropped close conference games to Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and TCU to finish third in the standings and miss out on a trip to the conference title game. The bottom of the standings were a familiar site with Kansas finishing last for yet another season despite qualifying for their first bowl game since the George W. Bush administration.
The 2022 Pac-12 standings.
The second (Utah) and third (Southern Cal) place teams in 1HPD met for the Pac-12 title with the second place team capturing their second straight league title. Oregon was the most dominant first half Pac-12 team, but their collapse against arch rival Oregon State cost them a spot in the league championship game.
The 2022 SEC standings.
The Bulldogs were not quite as dominant as they were in 2021 (+161 1HPD), but they once again finished first by a healthy margin and managed to avoid an upset in the SEC Championship Game. The quality of their opponent probably had a lot to do with that. LSU finished ninth in the SEC and sixth in their own division in 1HPD!
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.
All five overachievers qualified for their respective conference title games. Michigan and TCU had especially low first half point differentials for unbeaten teams. Michigan only led by double digits in two of their nine Big 10 conference games. They also trailed at the half in two games and were tied in another, but managed to come back and win each. TCU only trailed at halftime in two games, but in both, they were behind by double digits. The Horned Frogs came back to win both (Oklahoma State and Kansas State). Had they lost either, the Big 12 would likely have been shut out of the College Football Playoff. LSU trailed at the half in five of their eight SEC games and did not lead a single conference game by more than a touchdown at halftime! Like Michigan and TCU, Clemson also finished unbeaten in conference play despite middling first half numbers. The Tigers did at least lead by double digits in half their conference games. They only trailed at the half in one conference game, but it was by double digits (Syracuse). Purdue was tied or trailing at the half in two thirds (six) of their Big 10 games!
And now the underachievers.
Washington State had a few dominant first halves to skew their numbers somewhat. The Cougars led by double digits at the half in three conference games (+78 1HPD in those games). In their other six Pac-12 games, they were outscored by six total points in the first half. Virginia Tech was not a good team in 2022, but the Hokies were winning or within a field goal at the half in five of their seven ACC games (eighth game against Virginia was canceled). They only managed to win one of the five. Texas led by double digits at halftime in five of their nine Big 12 games and led by at least a touchdown in two others. They also only trailed by by five combined points in their other two conference games. In two seasons under Steve Sarkisian, the Longhorns are 4-8 in one-score Big 12 games (5-1 in multi-score games). If their luck or clutch play does not improve in 2023, Sark may not get to coach a game in the SEC. Texas A&M led three of their eight conference games at halftime and trailed at the half by a field goal or less in three others, but only managed two SEC wins (their fewest since joining the league). Iowa State trailed at the half in eight of their nine Big 12 games, but they were competitive in each (never trailed by more than a touchdown) until the season finale when TCU was up by 27 points.
Thanks once again for your continued patronage. I'll be back in a few weeks with a Vegas betting recap and then it will time for the season to start. Hooray!