Years ago (1990s) I heard an NFL guru say that the single statistic that best predicted who would make the playoffs was yards gain per point scored. He said it wasn't just about having a great offense and racking up yards, and it wasn't about scoring the most points. He said it was about how efficient (or wasteful) a team was with the yards gained. The stat is simple to calculate: total yards gained / total points scored.
I won't go into great detail, but being a math guy I developed a stat using that idea and came up with a rating. I used one more stat along with the one he gave.
But, just using his stat, here is what is happening so far in 2021.
Clemson is having to gain 16.7 yards to score 1 point. As a comparison, Bama is only having to gain 11.7 yards to score 1 point.
Over a period of years I noted that elite teams score one point for every 10-12 yards gained. Teams that took more than 12 yards to score a point were almost never in contention for the national championship.
On the other hand, great defenses gave up 1 point for every 20 yards or more allowed.
The top two scoring defenses in the country are Georgia and Clemson. Georgia is allowing an unbelievable 1 point for every 31.5 yards gained. Clemson is definitely at the elite level allowing 1 point for every 25.2 yards gained.
I guess that means Tony Elliott is right. "Score more points." ??
Bama: Yards gained per point scored: 12.0 Clemson: Yards gained per point scored: 12.9
Bama: Yards allowed per point scored: 21.9 Clemson: Yards allowed per point scored: 20.4
So, Clemson had to generate more offense per point scored than Bama did. And Clemson opponents didn't have to generate as much offense to score as Bama opponents did.
Note Bama's stat is slightly better in both cases. Also note that this stat's biggest weakness is it doesn't factor in strength of schedule. A 50-0 win against Wyoming Tech is worth more than a 20-7 win against a top ten team.
But the stats show Bama was a slightly better team, at least on paper.
Thanks. I was wondering about the 10-12 yds/pt being elite. Seemed tough to make. If every time you got the ball on the 25 and threw a long bomb for a TD, every time, you couldn’t get more “efficient” than that. One play, 75 yds, 7 points. 75/7 = 10.7
Yeah, you could get odd situations where you get a turnover on the opponent's 10 yard line, only advance the ball 1 yard, kick a field goal and have a whopping 3 points per yard.
However, normalized over the season, it would start to make a bit more sense.
Really, you need to take points per snap. Thus if you rifle off a 75-80 TD pass every single 1st down after a kick, then well, we would be good.
So in 2019, we had 658 points and 1093 plays. Just a hair of 0.6 points per snap.
Another item is to take the % chance of TD/points per snap as well. 88TD from 1093 snaps. That would be just over 0.08 or about a nearly 1 in 9 chance for TD every playe.
This is where getting those fast offense make sense as the more snaps and % for points remains the same but because time in finite, the more you score the more you win... typically. If you snap the ball twice as much as the other guys, your O only needs to be half as effective to keep up.
Now back today... We are averaging a elfin' 0.03 or just over 3% chance for a TD for each snap. Yup we are THREE TIMES less likely to score a TD on each snap. We are scoring only 0.3 points per possession.
the message of the staff for weeks now. No one wants to hear it, because we're so used to all the bells and whistles, that real efficiency is what our offense needs most. It's beyond obvious to everyone, including every coach, this offense is not and will not be what it has been the last 5 years this year. But better efficiency makes it more than enough with our extraordinarily efficient defense. The little things still mean a lot
Just a little bit more on the philosophy of these two stats. Both are actually team stats, not just offensive and defensive stats. The defense can help out the offensive stat. Turnovers give the offense a short field. Heck, a pick six gives 7 points and 0 offensive yards. Same way the offense can help the defense. Don't go three and out. Even if you don't score make the other team go the length of the field to score. Conversely, when the offense turns the ball over, it hurts the defensive stats (if the turnover leads to points).
For about 10 years I kept these stats. I divided the two numbers and came up with what I called TER (team efficiency rating).
Example: In 2018, the stats I have for Clemson and Bama show Clemson TER = 1.58 (20.4/12.9) and Bama TER = 1.83
It's been way too long, but I am reasonably sure that no team won the national championship with a TER under 1.5 and I think that no team won during the time I was keeping it with a TER under 1.7.
As of right now, UGA has a TER of an unbelievable 2.83. (The single biggest factor of the 4 stats I use is scoring D. UGA is giving up 6.57 ppg. Clemson is 2nd with 12.5 If UGA were giving up only 10 ppg - with is still outstanding - their TER would drop to 1.85)