August 21, 2014

Numerical View of CFB + Turnover Report

We are now about 30% (based on the number of games) into the college football season and have a fairly representative sample size for the statistics and charts below.

An interesting move this week as the “Winning Team Covers” stat took a nose dive. In 2011 over 75% of the times a team won it covered the spread and that trend continued within a point or two into the first several weeks of 2012. This week it took a nose dive to just under 70%.


2012 Summary5
The other drop we often see as conference play begins is a drop in the “Home Team Wins” category. For the most part the cupcakes have been feasted upon and the home vs. away stat winning stat becomes much closer for the rest of the season.

The two stats that continue to amaze me (in relation to 2011) are penalties and turnovers. There was a slight uptick in teams with less penalty yards winning in week 5, but the number is still well below 50% and almost 9 percentage points behind 2011s number. Turnovers are by far the most changed category from last year.

Turnovers have been much more important in 2012 than in 2011 in terms of winning and losing. I have no idea why that is, but at this point it’s hard to imagine this stat reverting back to the 2011 number over the course of the season. With that in mind, I thought it would be a great time to do our “Turnover Report”, which shows the winning percentage for the number of turnovers a team has (independent of any other stats). Notice the precipitous drop when a team goes from 1 turnover to 2. That’s the point your odds of winning drop below 50%.

Turnover Report12

So when your team takes the field today, don’t be disturbed by the early turnover – be disturbed by the second turnover that happens later in the game – your odds of winning just plummeted.

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