FanPost

Big Ten Offensive Effectiveness (another scatterplot!)

[Bumped.  Reader-generated scatterplot!  With color-spectrum third dimension!  Warms my tiny, little geeky-blogger heart. -KJ]

In between raking leaves and eating turkey this past holiday weekend, I was pleased to come across KJ's excellent analysis of B10 offensive balance. A reader comment asked about plotting pass yards per attempt vs rush yards per attempt, and shading pass play percentage for each team. I went ahead and did that (in R!):

Dotted lines indicate the Big Ten average yards per rush attempt and yards per pass attempt. Teams left of / below those lines are below average, and teams right of/above the lines are above average. The color of the dots indicates the proportion of passes to all plays: blue teams passed on relatively few plays, while green teams passed a lot. An advantage of this plot is that it differentiates teams that are especially bad at one thing from those that are especially good at the other thing. For example, Penn State and Michigan are located very close to one another on the PYA-RYA axis of the original plot. On the attached graphic, you can see that Penn State happened to be very good at both passing and rushing, while Michigan was not very good at either; they are pretty far apart on the new plot.

An advantage of this plot is that it differentiates teams that are especially bad at one thing from those that are especially good at the other thing. For example, Penn State and Michigan are located very close to one another on the PYA-RYA axis of the original plot. On the attached graphic, you can see that Penn State happened to be very good at both passing and rushing, while Michigan was not very good at either; they are pretty far apart on the new plot.

A couple of points that I found interesting:

  1. Balanced offenses didn't win a lot of games in the Big Ten this season. Purdue and Indiana, near the center of the plot finished low in the league. They also passed the most, along with Northwestern.
  2. In contrast, Ohio State, and Iowa were near one edge or another, yet those (along with Penn State, who was very good at both running and passing) were the most successful teams.
  3. The four leading RYA teams didn't pass that much, even when they got good yardage doing so (looking at you, Penn State).
  4. Two teams really jump out as not like their neighbors: Illinois and Iowa. Obviously defense figures in only indirectly here, but Iowa must look great on those metrics... and Illinois must not.

This is a FanPost, written by a member of the TOC community. It does not represent the official positions of The Only Colors, Inc.--largely because we have no official positions.

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