Ohio State leads the nation in percentage of running back carries that gained at least 5 yards, also known as Running Back Success Rate in Football Outsiders parlance.
The Buckeyes are also in the national top 10 in “line yards” and “stuff rate.” Line yards attempt to measure the line’s impact on a running back’s yards by lessening credit for carries between 5 and 10 yards and eliminating it altogether after a carry goes beyond 10 yards. It also punishes the line for carries that go for a loss. Stuff rate represents the percentage of runs in which a running back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage.
Wrote this yesterday and sharing it both in case you missed it and because I think it’s worth pointing out that there is more to the national championship discussion than resumes and math.
The eyeball test is still important – arguably the most important of all factors as long as the human polls (or in the future a playoff selection committee) are so heavily involved.
Strength of schedule, stats and advanced metrics are fun to talk about and valuable for comparing teams, but at the end of the day I still believe nothing beats looking at two teams and figuring out which one has the better players.
That’s how early season rankings are determined, then we let wins and losses weed each other out with losses basically always taking precedent over wins, for better or for worse.
Ohio State is third in the coaches’ poll entering today’s games and likely to drop behind the winner of the Clemson-Florida State game being played tonight.
If the Buckeyes win out, they are going to Pasadena. They’re going to need help to make that for the national championship game as opposed to the Rose Bowl, but that’s only from teams in front of them now losing.
Unless pollsters make a drastic change in how they have always voted, no one-loss team behind Ohio State now is going to pass the Buckeyes.
Advanced numbers not favoring Ohio State at midseason.
Yesterday we took a look at the Ohio State-Northwestern game through the eyes of advanced statistics from Football Outsiders.
Today, we examine where the Buckeyes rank halfway through their season based on FO’s measure of play-by-play efficiency known as S&P+ (later in the season they will add drive efficiency measures, but those aren’t up yet for this season). It should also be noted that garbage time is weeded out of these numbers before rankings are determined. Continue reading
You probably have already gathered that Ohio State’s 40-30 victory at Northwestern on Saturday night was closer than the final score, but a look at advanced statistics from Football Outsiders should remove any doubt.
The story they tell for this game is of one team (Northwestern) that gained a slightly greater advantage passing than the other (Ohio State) did rushing but lost more than anything because of the difference in ability to cash in on turnovers. Continue reading