# Yards Per Play College Football Rankings 12/9/09

## Methodology

This is a new system for ranking college teams, as far as I know. The basic system is to use the yards per play of the offense and given up by the defense as the metric. I am assuming that most of the time, the offense's objective is to get as many yards as possible, and the defense's objective is to give up as few yards as possible.

With that in mind, I compiled the yards gained and given up per play by all of the college football teams this year. Then, I ran an algorithm to adjust for the opponents--the system of adjusting is known as the simple rating system. The final rating is the yards/play, with the average of the opponents faced added on.

For example: Florida's raw yards per play on offense is 6.46. The average FBS team's offense gains 5.58 yards per play on offense, so Florida's yards per play above average is 0.87. The defenses Florida has faced thus far this season have avereaged giving up 0.47 yards per play less than average, so Florida's adjusted yards per play above average for their offense is 1.35. The same system is used for all teams.

The pace is calculated as the average number of plays per game divided by the average team's number of plays per game.

The source data is from http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/natlRank.jsp.

I have now added penalties and interceptions to the calculation. The penalties I just remove across the board like any other yards; the interceptions are more complicated. I subtract 30 yards from the offense for each interception and add 10 yards to the defense--this is after adjusting the interception-per-play rates according to the opposition. The theory is that the offense is 3 times as important as the defense in causing an interception--interception rates of the offense correlate with future interception rates far better than interception rates of the defense correlate with future interception rates of the defense. Interceptions are worth about 60 yards; I cut their value in half for the offense because they are about half as consistent as yards/play in my analyses. Penalties (as of 12/9/09) are now also weighted at 50% because of their inconsistency.

Definitions:

• Total is the total yards-per-play margin of the team, fully adjusted
• Offense is the yards-per-play above average of the team, fully adjusted
• Defense is the yards-per-play above average of the team, fully adjusted
• Points is the Total converted into an actual point spread. To predict a margin for a game, simply subtract the point ratings from one another; add 3 points to the home team
• Raw is the raw yards-per-play margin
• SOS is the strength-of-schedule adjustment for opposition offenses and defenses
• Subtot is the adjusted yards-per-play margin of the team, not including interceptions or penalties. This is the same as the initial yards-per-play rankings I used last week.
• Int+Pen is the adjustment for interceptions and penalties. (So Total = Raw + SOS + Int+Pen)
• Pace is the schedule adjusted average total points scored in a game with that team.

## Yards Per Play College Football Rankings

< Previous Week

Rank Prev
Team
Total Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Points Raw Rank SOS Rank Subtot Rank Prev Int+Pen Rank Pace
1 1
Florida
3.44 1 1.77 2 -1.66 3 29.6 2.39 2 0.64 12 3.03 1 1 0.41 4 46.8
2 2
Alabama
3.24 2 1.26 10 -1.98 1 27.9 1.87 4 0.86 6 2.73 2 2 0.51 1 42.3
3 4
TCU
2.48 3 1.24 11 -1.24 10 21.4 2.58 1 -0.39 86 2.18 5 5 0.30 7 54.5
4 3
Cincinnati
2.46 4 1.79 1 -0.67 23 21.2 2.27 3 -0.01 61 2.26 3 4 0.20 21 61.5
5 5
Texas
2.39 5 0.59 32 -1.81 2 20.6 1.75 7 0.50 20 2.25 4 3 0.15 32 57.2
6 6
Oregon
2.26 6 1.08 13 -1.18 12 19.4 1.40 8 0.61 15 2.01 6 6 0.25 13 61.5
7 7
Virginia Tech
1.98 7 1.27 9 -0.71 21 17.1 1.37 9 0.31 39 1.69 12 11 0.29 8 50.0
8 8
Auburn
1.90 8 1.31 8 -0.60 29 16.4 0.90 21 0.79 9 1.69 11 14 0.21 18 61.3
9 10
Penn St.
1.87 9 0.92 15 -0.95 16 16.1 1.76 6 -0.05 65 1.71 10 12 0.15 29 42.8
10 9
Tennessee
1.84 10 0.78 21 -1.06 13 15.8 0.92 20 0.85 7 1.77 8 9 0.07 51 54.5
11 11
Oklahoma
1.77 11 0.19 50 -1.59 4 15.3 1.29 11 0.63 13 1.92 7 17 -0.15 87 43.8
12 12
Arkansas
1.73 12 1.77 3 0.04 57 14.9 0.72 29 0.89 5 1.61 14 15 0.12 40 63.6
13 13
Ohio St.
1.72 13 0.18 51 -1.54 5 14.8 1.32 10 0.20 46 1.52 16 13 0.20 23 42.4
14 16
Mississippi
1.58 14 0.60 28 -0.98 15 13.6 1.18 15 0.49 21 1.67 13 8 -0.09 75 50.0
15 14
Boise St.
1.52 15 0.88 16 -0.64 24 13.1 1.76 5 -0.62 106 1.14 23 7 0.38 5 59.8
16 15
Southern California
1.49 16 0.69 26 -0.80 20 12.8 1.19 14 0.42 30 1.61 15 21 -0.12 81 48.2
17 18
LSU
1.46 17 0.20 48 -1.26 9 12.6 0.30 48 0.90 4 1.20 21 22 0.26 12 42.1
18 17
Pittsburgh
1.43 18 0.85 17 -0.58 31 12.3 1.16 16 0.11 50 1.28 19 18 0.15 31 53.4
19 19
Georgia
1.40 19 0.71 25 -0.69 22 12.0 0.76 27 1.00 2 1.75 9 23 -0.35 118 55.7
20 20
South Carolina
1.35 20 0.29 42 -1.06 14 11.6 0.34 46 0.94 3 1.28 20 19 0.07 52 41.5
Rank Prev
Team
Total Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Points Raw Rank SOS Rank Subtot Rank Prev Int+Pen Rank Pace
21 21
Clemson
1.33 21 0.14 55 -1.19 11 11.5 0.92 18 0.26 42 1.19 22 10 0.14 37 51.6
22 22
1.24 22 -0.29 78 -1.53 6 10.7 0.89 22 0.42 28 1.31 18 28 -0.07 69 36.1
23 23
Texas Tech
1.19 23 0.61 27 -0.59 30 10.3 1.27 12 0.23 43 1.50 17 20 -0.31 113 57.3
24 24
Stanford
1.14 24 1.62 5 0.47 89 9.8 0.52 39 0.34 36 0.86 29 16 0.28 10 64.1
25 31
Arizona
1.02 25 0.40 38 -0.62 26 8.8 0.48 40 0.37 32 0.85 30 24 0.17 25 54.2
26 30
West Virginia
0.97 26 0.37 39 -0.60 27 8.3 0.60 33 0.14 48 0.74 33 26 0.23 17 47.7
27 29
Missouri
0.95 27 0.50 35 -0.45 37 8.2 0.70 30 0.23 44 0.93 28 27 0.02 55 55.6
28 26
BYU
0.93 28 0.59 30 -0.34 44 8.0 1.23 13 -0.15 73 1.08 25 37 -0.15 86 57.0
29 27
Oklahoma St.
0.93 29 0.08 58 -0.85 18 8.0 0.56 36 0.39 31 0.95 27 32 -0.01 63 48.8
30 35
Oregon St.
0.89 30 0.71 24 -0.19 49 7.7 0.33 47 0.36 34 0.69 35 36 0.20 22 55.0
31 28
Georgia Tech
0.86 31 1.43 6 0.57 94 7.4 0.08 56 0.44 26 0.52 41 35 0.34 6 61.8
32 33
Miami (FL)
0.86 32 0.50 36 -0.36 42 7.4 0.79 25 0.29 40 1.08 24 25 -0.22 106 56.5
33 36
Michigan St.
0.86 33 0.78 20 -0.07 52 7.4 0.84 23 0.13 49 0.96 26 33 -0.10 79 56.0
34 32
0.82 34 1.68 4 0.86 101 7.1 1.08 17 -0.38 85 0.70 34 31 0.13 39 66.2
35 34
Utah
0.80 35 0.18 52 -0.62 25 6.9 0.92 19 -0.17 75 0.74 32 44 0.05 54 49.3
36 25
California
0.74 36 0.80 19 0.06 58 6.4 0.29 49 0.21 45 0.50 42 34 0.24 14 54.2
37 43
Wisconsin
0.74 37 0.34 40 -0.39 40 6.3 0.59 34 0.05 57 0.64 36 46 0.10 44 56.1
38 39
Iowa
0.72 38 -0.56 92 -1.28 8 6.2 0.62 32 0.20 47 0.82 31 42 -0.10 78 40.2
39 37
Notre Dame
0.72 39 1.05 14 0.33 78 6.2 0.05 61 0.43 27 0.48 43 29 0.24 15 53.4
40 40
Mississippi St.
0.63 40 0.16 53 -0.46 35 5.4 -0.39 82 1.01 1 0.62 37 38 0.00 58 51.7
Rank Prev
Team
Total Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Points Raw Rank SOS Rank Subtot Rank Prev Int+Pen Rank Pace
41 42
Purdue
0.55 41 0.15 54 -0.40 39 4.8 0.10 54 0.45 25 0.55 39 43 0.00 59 54.8
42 38
Houston
0.53 42 1.32 7 0.79 99 4.6 0.81 24 -0.51 97 0.29 49 30 0.23 16 71.2
43 41
Kansas
0.52 43 0.60 29 0.08 61 4.5 0.07 57 0.36 35 0.44 44 41 0.09 46 58.6
44 44
UCLA
0.42 44 -0.18 70 -0.60 28 3.6 -0.32 79 0.62 14 0.31 48 51 0.11 43 41.7
45 45
Kentucky
0.42 45 0.06 59 -0.36 43 3.6 -0.63 94 0.84 8 0.21 51 49 0.21 19 53.1
46 46
South Fla.
0.41 46 -0.04 63 -0.45 36 3.5 0.63 31 -0.11 70 0.53 40 54 -0.12 80 46.2
47 47
Texas A&M
0.39 47 0.71 23 0.32 77 3.3 -0.32 80 0.55 18 0.23 50 50 0.15 30 66.2
48 48
Arizona St.
0.36 48 -0.55 90 -0.91 17 3.1 0.10 55 0.45 24 0.56 38 40 -0.19 98 42.5
49 52
Connecticut
0.31 49 0.51 34 0.19 67 2.7 -0.16 70 0.33 37 0.17 52 74 0.15 36 60.2
50 50
North Carolina
0.24 50 -1.20 111 -1.45 7 2.1 0.47 41 -0.13 71 0.34 47 45 -0.10 77 39.1
51 51
Boston College
0.24 51 -0.59 93 -0.82 19 2.0 0.37 44 0.01 60 0.39 45 48 -0.15 88 46.5
52 49
Central Mich.
0.20 52 0.20 49 0.00 55 1.7 0.76 26 -0.62 107 0.14 54 52 0.07 53 50.4
53 54
Troy
0.09 53 0.55 33 0.46 88 0.8 0.52 38 -0.37 84 0.15 53 53 -0.06 68 58.8
54 66
Washington
0.09 54 0.44 37 0.35 81 0.8 -0.59 93 0.71 11 0.11 55 57 -0.02 64 52.4
55 53
Southern Miss.
0.08 55 0.22 46 0.14 64 0.7 0.58 35 -0.65 108 -0.07 60 39 0.15 33 57.5
56 55
Air Force
0.06 56 -0.46 84 -0.53 32 0.6 0.02 62 -0.40 88 -0.38 76 64 0.44 3 45.3
57 56
Baylor
0.05 57 -0.06 65 -0.12 50 0.4 -0.22 76 0.58 16 0.36 46 58 -0.30 112 49.0
58 58
Middle Tenn.
-0.01 58 -0.46 83 -0.44 38 -0.1 0.76 28 -0.70 112 0.06 56 47 -0.07 71 51.6
59 57
Vanderbilt
-0.03 59 -0.51 87 -0.49 33 -0.2 -0.73 96 0.58 17 -0.15 66 55 0.13 38 41.2
60 62
Louisiana Tech
-0.07 60 -0.28 77 -0.20 48 -0.6 -0.04 64 -0.30 80 -0.34 74 75 0.27 11 53.1
Rank Prev
Team
Total Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Points Raw Rank SOS Rank Subtot Rank Prev Int+Pen Rank Pace
61 59
Rutgers
-0.10 61 -0.48 86 -0.38 41 -0.9 0.07 58 -0.35 82 -0.28 70 73 0.18 24 45.6
62 60
Wake Forest
-0.11 62 0.00 60 0.11 62 -1.0 -0.18 72 0.07 55 -0.11 63 66 0.00 60 49.8
63 61
North Carolina St.
-0.12 63 0.22 47 0.33 79 -1.0 -0.22 75 0.08 53 -0.14 64 60 0.02 56 63.5
64 69
Illinois
-0.12 64 0.25 44 0.38 83 -1.1 -0.42 83 0.46 23 0.05 57 78 -0.17 93 53.6
65 63
Florida St.
-0.14 65 1.11 12 1.25 117 -1.2 -0.55 91 0.51 19 -0.04 59 65 -0.09 76 61.0
66 68
Michigan
-0.16 66 -0.03 62 0.13 63 -1.4 -0.18 73 0.10 51 -0.08 62 71 -0.09 74 58.2
67 64
Kansas St.
-0.19 67 -0.12 66 0.07 60 -1.6 -0.31 78 0.03 58 -0.28 71 62 0.09 45 47.6
68 67
UAB
-0.25 68 0.83 18 1.08 110 -2.2 0.25 50 -0.45 94 -0.20 69 76 -0.05 66 57.0
69 70
Idaho
-0.34 69 0.75 22 1.09 111 -2.9 0.36 45 -0.39 87 -0.03 58 63 -0.31 115 66.4
70 73
Syracuse
-0.36 70 -0.39 80 -0.04 54 -3.1 -0.48 88 0.29 41 -0.19 68 56 -0.17 92 51.2
71 72
Navy
-0.38 71 -0.03 61 0.35 82 -3.2 -0.43 85 -0.44 90 -0.87 97 68 0.49 2 49.8
72 77
Minnesota
-0.39 72 -0.68 98 -0.29 45 -3.4 -0.59 92 0.42 29 -0.17 67 70 -0.22 104 48.6
73 75
Buffalo
-0.39 73 -0.14 68 0.26 71 -3.4 0.46 42 -0.61 105 -0.14 65 67 -0.25 108 49.3
74 78
Northwestern
-0.40 74 -0.40 81 0.01 56 -3.5 -0.48 87 -0.09 69 -0.57 83 59 0.16 27 49.6
75 74
UCF
-0.42 75 -0.65 95 -0.23 47 -3.6 -0.04 65 -0.45 93 -0.49 79 69 0.07 49 44.1
76 82
Ohio
-0.42 76 -0.65 96 -0.23 46 -3.6 0.18 53 -0.53 99 -0.35 75 88 -0.07 72 47.0
77 76
La.-Monroe
-0.44 77 -0.48 85 -0.04 53 -3.8 0.53 37 -0.60 104 -0.07 61 86 -0.36 119 50.7
78 71
Fresno St.
-0.47 78 0.59 31 1.06 109 -4.0 -0.33 81 -0.21 76 -0.54 81 61 0.07 50 59.4
79 65
Hawaii
-0.49 79 0.29 43 0.78 98 -4.2 0.41 43 -0.75 115 -0.33 72 97 -0.15 89 49.7
80 87
Indiana
-0.50 80 -0.05 64 0.45 87 -4.3 -0.49 89 0.07 54 -0.42 77 91 -0.08 73 55.6
Rank Prev
Team
Total Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Points Raw Rank SOS Rank Subtot Rank Prev Int+Pen Rank Pace
81 79
Virginia
-0.51 81 -0.99 104 -0.48 34 -4.4 -1.02 102 0.37 33 -0.65 88 92 0.15 35 45.4
82 85
Northern Ill.
-0.51 82 -0.19 73 0.32 76 -4.4 0.21 52 -0.73 114 -0.53 80 79 0.02 57 50.5
83 80
-0.53 83 -0.20 74 0.34 80 -4.6 -0.17 71 -0.17 74 -0.33 73 87 -0.20 99 49.9
84 84
Louisville
-0.55 84 -0.28 76 0.27 72 -4.7 -0.87 101 0.33 38 -0.54 82 77 -0.01 61 44.8
85 88
East Carolina
-0.56 85 -0.34 79 0.22 69 -4.8 -0.20 74 -0.44 91 -0.64 87 85 0.08 47 50.9
86 83
Duke
-0.56 86 -0.26 75 0.29 74 -4.8 -0.42 84 -0.25 78 -0.68 91 83 0.12 41 54.0
87 81
Utah St.
-0.58 87 0.34 41 0.92 104 -5.0 -0.47 86 -0.27 79 -0.74 93 72 0.16 28 60.3
88 86
Tulsa
-0.59 88 -0.17 69 0.42 86 -5.1 -0.11 66 -0.56 102 -0.67 90 81 0.08 48 53.2
89 89
Iowa St.
-0.71 89 -0.19 72 0.52 93 -6.1 -0.70 95 0.06 56 -0.64 86 89 -0.07 70 47.0
90 90
San Diego St.
-0.77 90 -0.55 91 0.23 70 -6.7 -0.25 77 -0.36 83 -0.61 85 84 -0.16 90 55.7
91 92
Toledo
-0.81 91 0.12 57 0.93 105 -7.0 0.24 51 -0.73 113 -0.49 78 82 -0.32 116 68.4
92 91
UTEP
-0.81 92 0.14 56 0.95 106 -7.0 0.00 63 -0.58 103 -0.58 84 96 -0.23 107 61.3
93 93
Temple
-0.83 93 -0.65 97 0.18 66 -7.2 0.07 59 -0.89 119 -0.82 96 99 -0.01 62 54.9
94 95
Bowling Green
-0.89 94 -0.13 67 0.76 96 -7.7 -0.79 99 -0.25 77 -1.04 99 101 0.15 34 54.0
95 94
SMU
-0.91 95 -0.53 88 0.38 85 -7.8 0.06 60 -0.79 117 -0.74 92 80 -0.17 94 54.6
96 97
Arkansas St.
-1.02 96 -0.82 101 0.20 68 -8.8 -0.16 69 -0.66 109 -0.81 95 94 -0.21 101 46.0
97 96
Maryland
-1.02 97 -0.64 94 0.38 84 -8.8 -1.24 106 0.10 52 -1.14 101 93 0.11 42 52.9
98 98
-1.04 98 -1.12 109 -0.08 51 -8.9 -1.14 105 0.47 22 -0.67 89 95 -0.37 120 51.4
99 99
North Texas
-1.09 99 -0.18 71 0.91 103 -9.4 -0.14 68 -0.67 110 -0.81 94 90 -0.28 109 63.5
100 100
Kent St.
-1.21 100 -1.15 110 0.06 59 -10.4 -0.11 67 -0.81 118 -0.92 98 100 -0.28 111 43.6
Rank Prev
Team
Total Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank Points Raw Rank SOS Rank Subtot Rank Prev Int+Pen Rank Pace
101 101
Akron
-1.21 101 -1.04 106 0.17 65 -10.4 -0.54 90 -0.51 96 -1.05 100 98 -0.16 91 49.8
102 102
Wyoming
-1.31 102 -1.01 105 0.30 75 -11.3 -1.40 111 -0.08 68 -1.48 107 106 0.17 26 43.0
103 103
La.-Lafayette
-1.46 103 -0.69 99 0.77 97 -12.6 -1.13 104 -0.53 101 -1.66 109 110 0.20 20 52.8
104 104
Marshall
-1.49 104 -0.82 102 0.67 95 -12.8 -0.82 100 -0.45 92 -1.27 102 112 -0.22 103 46.2
105 105
Memphis
-1.50 105 -0.54 89 0.96 107 -12.9 -1.26 107 -0.06 67 -1.32 103 103 -0.18 96 55.0
106 106
Army
-1.51 106 -1.23 113 0.28 73 -13.0 -0.77 97 -1.04 120 -1.81 112 107 0.29 9 40.7
107 107
New Mexico
-1.58 107 -1.09 108 0.49 92 -13.6 -1.35 110 -0.01 62 -1.37 104 104 -0.21 102 52.5
108 108
Western Mich.
-1.59 108 -0.71 100 0.88 102 -13.7 -0.78 98 -0.69 111 -1.47 106 102 -0.12 82 51.7
109 109
UNLV
-1.67 109 -0.45 82 1.23 116 -14.4 -1.57 112 0.02 59 -1.54 108 108 -0.13 83 57.3
110 111
Miami (OH)
-1.74 110 -1.26 114 0.47 91 -14.9 -1.33 109 -0.06 66 -1.39 105 109 -0.35 117 48.5
111 110
Fla. Atlantic
-1.74 111 0.24 45 1.98 120 -15.0 -1.26 108 -0.42 89 -1.69 110 105 -0.05 65 62.3
112 112
Ball St.
-1.93 112 -1.46 116 0.47 90 -16.6 -1.04 103 -0.76 116 -1.79 111 111 -0.14 85 45.6
113 113
Tulane
-2.24 113 -1.06 107 1.18 114 -19.3 -1.58 113 -0.53 98 -2.11 113 113 -0.14 84 51.9
114 115
FIU
-2.32 114 -1.22 112 1.11 112 -20.0 -2.23 115 -0.03 63 -2.26 114 115 -0.06 67 56.7
115 114
San Jose St.
-2.52 115 -1.53 117 1.00 108 -21.7 -2.31 116 -0.04 64 -2.35 115 114 -0.18 95 45.1
116 116
Washington St.
-2.64 116 -1.44 115 1.20 115 -22.7 -3.15 120 0.73 10 -2.42 116 116 -0.22 105 50.4
117 117
Western Ky.
-2.72 117 -0.92 103 1.80 119 -23.4 -2.00 114 -0.53 100 -2.52 117 117 -0.19 97 58.7
118 118
Rice
-2.84 118 -1.67 119 1.18 113 -24.5 -2.50 117 -0.14 72 -2.64 118 118 -0.20 100 60.4
119 119
New Mexico St.
-3.20 119 -2.37 120 0.84 100 -27.6 -2.59 119 -0.31 81 -2.89 119 119 -0.31 114 39.9
120 120
Eastern Mich.
-3.30 120 -1.58 118 1.72 118 -28.4 -2.54 118 -0.48 95 -3.02 120 120 -0.28 110 54.8