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Small Sample Size: Early Indicators of College Football Metrics

Einstein Writing Equation on Blackboard

An entire football season worth of stats is really a small sample size as data sets go. And given the fact that we have only two games worth of numbers, and many of those games are from teams that vary greatly in talent level – these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. But, they are at the very least an indicator.

One stat that is simple to understand and that I like to track is Net Yards Per Play. It is one number that can show the efficiency of a team that factors both offense and defense. Simply the average yards per play of the offense minus the average yards per play that the defense allows. In the playoff era, a Net YPP of 2.0 is a good indicator of a playoff team.

Well, let’s see what we have after a couple games. Not surprisingly, Auburn is leading Power 5 in this stat. What is a little surprising is that Alabama is not in this picture. Their 2.4 Net YPP of 2.4 is 18th.. And a season of 2.4 is elite and sustainable. Not sure the 5.9 of the Plainsmen is same.

Georgia certainly got healthy numbers from the Stetson Bennett Show on Saturday after being bottled up in Charlotte. But, the fact that they are in the top 10 is because of the Power 5 leading defense.

UGA doesn't make the picture on offense with a 6.4 YPP - which is 30th in Power 5. But, it is reasonable to think that an improvement can be had with some healthy weapons that should return before the meat of the schedule hits.

These metrics are all part of the analysis we do on Dawg Sports Live. They provide just one lens at which to look at teams’ efficiencies on offense and defense. The EPA is value for each play. The Success Rate is percentage of plays that meet a criteria which a play can deemed successful. Click for a very in depth explanation if you missed my post on these numbers.

Go ‘Dawgs!