August 1, 2014

Red Zone Offense (Part II)

Last week we looked at the NCAA’s official Red Zone Efficiency Statistics and how completely absurd the method used to rank teams are. What other positive statistic would have a 1-11 team ranked 2nd nationally?

We gave you a different way to rank these teams (by points per red zone possession) that’s more logical and descriptive of a team’s success or failure in that area of the field.

So, now that we know which teams are the most effective once they get into the red zone lets take a look and see which teams score the most points from red zone possessions and what that means for their chances of winning. After all, Memphis proved that a high percentage of scores on red zone possessions really means little. What matters is getting into the red zone 5 or more times a game and scoring a high percentage of touchdowns on those possessions.

Team G Drives Drives/G Points % TD % FG Won Loss RZPPG
Wisconsin 13 68 5.231 400 .794 .118 11 2 30.77
TCU 13 68 5.231 377 .735 .147 13 0 29.00
Stanford 13 70 5.385 376 .686 .200 12 1 28.92
Boise State 13 68 5.231 364 .691 .162 12 1 28.00
Tulsa 13 70 5.385 363 .657 .200 10 3 27.92
Nevada 14 75 5.357 382 .667 .147 13 1 27.29
East Carolina 13 63 4.846 353 .730 .175 6 7 27.15
Oregon 13 68 5.231 349 .647 .176 12 1 26.85
Texas Tech 13 65 5.000 338 .692 .123 8 5 26.00
Oklahoma 14 77 5.500 364 .571 .247 12 2 26.00

 

Notice the teams at the top of this list. Wisconsin, TCU, Stanford, Boise State, Tulsa and Nevada. Combined they were 71-8 (89.9%). Also, 2 of the 8 losses (Wisconsin to TCU and Boise State to Nevada) occurred to other teams in the top 6. Excluding these games means that when a top 6 team played a team outside of the top 6 the record was 69-6 (92.0%).

The number of points scored in the red zone has the highest correlation to winning of any statistic we have found. The top 10 teams have a combined record of 109-24 (82.0%). The elite teams in college football will average around 25 points (or more) a game from red zone possessions.

Only one of these 10 teams scored touchdowns at a rate lower than 60% and only one kicked FGs at a rate higher than 20% of the time.

The two teams with the worst records also had horrendous defenses (East Carolina ranked dead last in the nation in total defense and Texas Tech was 114th).

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