Big 10 football gets correctly abused, but do the pumpkin pushers of the Midwest get the same correct treatment? Well, a 38-33 game last year doesn’t do much to help things. Bloggers call the teams boring. Pundits say there is no offense in the Big 10. Big 10 supporters counter by saying that there is just good defense. Who is correct?
To figure it out, we aren’t going to be looking at points scored or allowed per game. The former stat heavily favors teams that run a lot, while the latter unfairly punishes them. Instead, we are going to be looking at points scored per 100 possessions. By stripping out tempo, you can look at which teams were the most efficient offensively and which were the most stringent defensively. Think of it as looking at a pitcher’s FIP. You take out all the context of his defense and look at what he actually did. Ideally, it would be best to take stats from the last few years, but to save time I’m only going to be looking at 2009, as 2009 was a fairly average year for the Big 10.
For comparison’s sake, the D1 average last year was 101.9 points per 100 possessions, and the D1 average for tempo was 67 possessions per game. Settle in, this might be a print and poop. Continue reading