One of the main statistics that I use during the year is to look at what teams are holding their foes to either below or above their opponent’s season average. This is on every team page on Phil Steele Plus and in the magazine. Open up your magazine and look at the 2021 Game-By-Game Stats on the Right hand of any team page. You will notice columns towards the end of the line that are listed as “OFF FOE”, “VS DEF”, “DEF FOE” and “VS OFF”. For today’s blog we are going to focus on how the offenses perform. Let me dive into how I produce this number, what it means and why it is important.
Here is a picture of this year’s Ohio State offense and the columns I am referring to for this article.
With teams running fast paced offenses and the rules shifted to favor the offense, today’s offenses put up many more yards than they did 10 to 20 years ago. This past year the average offensive yards per game in the FBS was 391.8! This number is higher than yesterday’s defensive number as there are 100 games of FBS vs FCS that are included in the averages. Now let me look at two hypothetical games for this past year. Let’s say team A put up 391 yards vs Iowa and Team B put up 391 yards vs South Florida. Statistically those are equal performances, right? Well, my ypg vs Opponent averages view it as two entirely different efforts. Iowa allowed foes averaged 270.8 ypg on the season so Team A had 120 ypg more than Iowa allowed on their season average and rate a +121.8 in my ratings. USF allowed 516.6 ypg on the season so Team B gained 125 yards below what USF normally allows and rate a +125.6. Another important note as to how I come up with this number is that I do not could the individual game in the opponent average. I will give you an actual example from this past year. Ohio State had an amazing 763 yards vs Toledo’s tough defense, and I have that listed as +470 and marked in Green. If you go to Toledo you will see that on the year they allowed 326 ypg so you might think my math was off. (470+ 326 = 796 not 763). I only count Toledo’s games other than Ohio State and in those other 13 games Toledo allowed just 293 ypg and that is how I come up with the 470 and that is much more accurate as only Ohio State put up 763 yards with the next highest being 456.
The #X next to the defensive ranking is how the team did vs all other opponents that team faces. A couple more examples from Ohio State to clarify this. Ohio State has five #1’s that means they had the most yards gained on the season vs those 5 teams. Look at the Penn State and Georgia games. They had 452 yards vs a fine Penn State D which is a top notch performance, but it has a #2 next to it so that means one team gained more yards vs Penn State and if you check the Penn State page they allowed 563 to Michigan. The Georgia game is even more striking. Ohio State put up 467 yards vs the vaunted Georgia defense that I talked about yesterday and that was only #2? Yes, LSU actually had 549 yards vs Georgia in the SEC title game.
Now let’s look at this year’s final numbers for the 2022 season and while Ohio State did not finish #1, they were a close #2. Georgia Southern was a surprise to me this year as teams switching from the option to a pure pass offense usually take years to become effective but they finished #10 thanks in part to the transfer portal but also some fine coaching.
The number one offense in this category was Tennessee and they might have had an even bigger lead but Hendon Hooker was injured in and in the final two games they were +45 ypg. In the first 11 they were +165 ypg. The top 19 teams were all bowl eligible. Arizona was #20 at +79.8 vs opponent defenses but did not make a bowl. Tomorrow I will combine the two lists and see which teams had the best combined averages for the 2022 season. Remember the VIP deal for Phil Steele plus gets you the magazine BEFORE everyone else and we are mailing them out on a FIFO (First In, First Out) so the earlier you order this deal the faster yours gets shipped out and you are getting over a $200 value right now for just $34 but that prices will go up soon. Click here to order today.