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12 Oct 2011

FEI: Total Special Teams

by Brian Fremeau

Last weekend played out pretty much as expected, and very little changed in the FEI ratings this week as a result. LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma retained their firm grip on the top three spots. A bit of shuffling took place among the rest of the top 10. Florida slipped out of the top 15 and Notre Dame slipped in.

This week presents the final set of ratings that is still partially influenced by preseason projections, though the weight of the preseason data has been reduced to only around 10-15 percent. Starting next week, I'll also be providing complete offensive and defensive ratings and splits.

For this week, we'll focus one more time on special teams. The scoring margin splits generated in every possession in every game can be attributed to the offensive, defensive or special teams units that were responsible. Special teams is often times only fractionally significant in a game's outcome, but special teams has been a deciding factor in 7.4 percent of games played to date.

Notably, this past weekend featured an Oregon State upset of Arizona that drove the final nail in the coffin for Mike Stoops' career in Tucson. The Beavers won by 10 points, and 14.6 points of scoring margin value were generated on special teams. Oregon State blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, Arizona was pinned inside it's own 20-yard line three times on punts, and five Wildcats drives following Oregon State kickoffs started at or inside Arizona's 20-yard line. The total scoring margin value generated on special teams by Oregon State was the second highest single game total of the season by any team. Had special teams play been even and the game decided only by offenses and defenses, Arizona would have won and Stoops would probably still have a job (for another week at least).

The complete Unit Value Splits for every team in every FBS game and season totals to date are provided on my blog. Here are the teams that have generated the most raw special teams scoring margin value through Week 6:

1. Florida +31.1
2. Stanford +25.5
3. Nebraska +22.2
4. Mississippi +20.9
5. Rutgers +20.9

Those raw figures include value generated through all special teams play, including events that are almost entirely out of a team's own control (such as opponent field goal success). The raw numbers also are influenced by the variable number of special teams opportunities each team has had. Rutgers has had 14 non-garbage field goal attempts while teams like Boise State and Wisconsin have only had two. Teams that are strong defensively have more punt return opportunities than average. Teams that give up a lot of points have more kick return opportunities.

On average, teams are expected to attempt 1.54 field goals per game, punt 4.61 times, receive 4.61 punts, kick off 4.84 times and receive 4.84 kickoffs. We can use these averages to calibrate the combined special teams efficiency of every team for these five events. "STE" is our new metric, the average scoreboard value earned by each team's field goal, punt, and kickoff units over the course of an average game. The rankings for all 120 teams are provided below. Starting next week, we'll publish the individual unit rankings along with the new offense and defense data.

2010 Special Teams Efficiency through Week 6
Rk Team Rec STE Rk Team Rec STE Rk Team Rec STE
1 Rutgers 3-1 4.59 41 Toledo 2-3 1.14 81 Oklahoma 5-0 -1.49
2 LSU 5-0 4.43 42 Florida International 4-2 1.13 82 Vanderbilt 2-2 -1.49
3 Florida State 1-3 4.18 43 Washington 3-1 1.08 83 North Carolina State 1-3 -1.56
4 Florida 4-2 4.15 44 Utah 1-3 1.08 84 Wake Forest 3-1 -1.59
5 Boise State 5-0 3.80 45 Alabama 6-0 1.04 85 Virginia 2-2 -1.63
6 Nebraska 4-1 3.77 46 Arkansas 4-1 1.02 86 Fresno State 1-4 -1.64
7 Texas Tech 3-1 3.73 47 Kansas State 4-0 .99 87 Troy 2-3 -1.66
8 Mississippi 1-3 3.70 48 Boston College 0-5 .98 88 West Virginia 4-1 -1.72
9 Ohio State 3-3 3.38 49 UAB 0-5 .90 89 Notre Dame 4-2 -1.81
10 Auburn 4-2 3.32 50 BYU 4-2 .87 90 Southern Mississippi 4-1 -1.90
11 Western Michigan 3-2 3.20 51 Oregon State 1-3 .79 91 Memphis 0-5 -1.90
12 Texas 4-1 2.91 52 Syracuse 3-2 .77 92 South Carolina 5-1 -2.02
13 Oklahoma State 5-0 2.74 53 California 2-2 .71 93 Louisville 1-3 -2.02
14 Louisiana Tech 1-4 2.73 54 Michigan State 3-1 .65 94 Iowa State 2-2 -2.11
15 Rice 2-3 2.55 55 Mississippi State 3-3 .65 95 Tulsa 2-3 -2.15
16 East Carolina 1-4 2.42 56 Connecticut 1-4 .58 96 Florida Atlantic 0-5 -2.29
17 UTEP 1-3 2.31 57 Colorado State 2-2 .57 97 Tennessee 2-2 -2.31
18 USC 4-1 2.20 58 Northern Illinois 2-3 .53 98 Illinois 5-0 -2.33
19 Texas A&M 3-2 2.15 59 Georgia Tech 5-0 .41 99 Middle Tennessee 1-4 -2.33
20 Stanford 5-0 2.15 60 Pittsburgh 2-3 .40 100 Maryland 1-3 -2.35
21 Temple 3-2 1.98 61 Missouri 1-3 .39 101 Colorado 1-5 -2.42
22 Clemson 5-0 1.97 62 North Texas 2-4 .37 102 Marshall 2-4 -2.79
23 Purdue 2-2 1.86 63 North Carolina 4-1 .27 103 Buffalo 1-4 -2.83
24 Minnesota 1-4 1.83 64 Eastern Michigan 1-3 .27 104 Akron 0-5 -2.87
25 SMU 3-1 1.73 65 Hawaii 2-2 .09 105 New Mexico State 2-3 -2.87
26 Iowa 2-2 1.71 66 Arkansas State 3-2 -0.03 106 Kansas 1-3 -2.97
27 Miami 1-3 1.69 67 Washington State 2-2 -0.06 107 Air Force 1-2 -3.34
28 UNLV 1-3 1.55 68 Virginia Tech 4-1 -0.16 108 Utah State 1-3 -3.36
29 Western Kentucky 1-3 1.53 69 Idaho 0-5 -0.26 109 Central Florida 2-2 -3.40
30 Bowling Green 2-3 1.50 70 Central Michigan 1-4 -0.52 110 Miami (OH) 1-4 -3.47
31 San Diego State 2-2 1.47 71 San Jose State 2-4 -0.57 111 Army 2-4 -3.65
32 Indiana 0-5 1.44 72 Georgia 3-2 -0.64 112 Tulane 1-4 -3.72
33 Kentucky 2-4 1.42 73 Arizona State 4-1 -0.68 113 Navy 1-3 -3.74
34 Kent State 0-5 1.39 74 Houston 5-0 -0.71 114 Baylor 3-1 -3.76
35 Northwestern 1-3 1.27 75 Ball State 3-3 -0.77 115 Michigan 6-0 -3.85
36 Cincinnati 3-1 1.23 76 Duke 3-1 -0.88 116 Arizona 0-5 -4.04
37 Wisconsin 4-0 1.21 77 Louisiana Lafayette 4-1 -0.89 117 Nevada 2-3 -5.10
38 TCU 3-2 1.21 78 Oregon 3-1 -0.91 118 New Mexico 0-4 -5.70
39 South Florida 3-1 1.20 79 Penn State 4-1 -1.20 119 Wyoming 1-2 -6.37
40 Ohio 3-2 1.18 80 UCLA 3-3 -1.46 120 Louisiana Monroe 0-4 -6.43

FEI Week 6 Top 25

The Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) rewards playing well against good teams, win or lose, and punishes losing to poor teams more harshly than it rewards defeating poor teams. FEI is drive-based, not play-by-play based, and it is specifically engineered to measure the college game.

FEI is the opponent-adjusted value of Game Efficiency (GE), a measurement of the success rate of a team scoring and preventing opponent scoring throughout the non-garbage-time possessions of a game. FEI represents a team's efficiency value over average. Strength of Schedule (SOS) is calculated as the likelihood that an "elite team" (two standard deviations above average) would win every game on the given team's schedule. SOS listed here includes future games scheduled.

Mean Wins (FBS MW) represent the average total games a team with the given FEI rating should expect to win against its complete schedule of FBS opponents. Remaining Mean Wins (FBS RMW) represent the average expected team wins for games scheduled but not yet played.

Only games between FBS teams are considered in the FEI calculations. Since limited data is available in the early part of the season, preseason projections are factored into the current ratings. The weight given to projected data will be reduced each week until Week 7, when it will be eliminated entirely. Offensive and defensive FEI ratings will also debut in Week 7.

These FEI ratings are a function of results of games played through October 8. The ratings for all FBS teams can be found here.

Rank Team FBS
W-L
FEI Last
Wk
GE GE
Rk
SOS SOS
Rk
FBS
MW
FBS
RMW
1 LSU 5-0 .317 1 .253 10 .059 4 9.3 5.0
2 Alabama 6-0 .315 2 .365 4 .145 21 9.7 4.4
3 Oklahoma 5-0 .295 3 .375 3 .230 49 10.8 6.2
4 Wisconsin 4-0 .263 4 .600 1 .458 91 10.1 6.2
5 Stanford 5-0 .253 7 .432 2 .475 96 11.1 6.2
6 Michigan 6-0 .241 6 .312 5 .350 76 10.6 5.1
7 Georgia Tech 5-0 .234 8 .280 8 .428 86 9.7 5.0
8 Oklahoma State 5-0 .230 10 .312 6 .201 40 10.0 5.7
9 West Virginia 4-1 .221 9 .191 13 .181 32 8.9 4.7
10 Boise State 5-0 .218 11 .300 7 .532 106 11.0 6.8
11 Clemson 5-0 .217 5 .187 15 .266 56 9.0 4.6
12 Arkansas 4-1 .210 12 .113 29 .056 3 8.2 4.6
Rank Team FBS
W-L
FEI Last
Wk
GE GE
Rk
SOS SOS
Rk
FBS
MW
FBS
RMW
13 Notre Dame 4-2 .204 16 .170 17 .150 23 9.4 4.9
14 Oregon 3-1 .185 15 .211 11 .139 19 8.5 5.5
15 Texas A&M 3-2 .185 13 .165 19 .125 12 8.9 5.4
16 Florida 4-2 .155 14 .149 21 .075 5 7.4 3.5
17 Arizona State 4-1 .143 20 .135 24 .428 85 8.6 4.7
18 North Carolina 4-1 .135 22 .089 36 .211 42 7.6 4.0
19 Tennessee 2-2 .134 18 .148 22 .050 2 6.6 4.0
20 Rutgers 3-1 .131 30 .112 31 .371 79 7.7 5.0
21 South Florida 3-1 .130 26 .078 42 .225 47 7.2 4.7
22 Houston 5-0 .128 44 .186 16 .701 118 9.5 5.3
23 Michigan State 3-1 .124 25 .162 20 .176 30 7.2 4.5
24 Florida State 1-3 .121 21 .022 55 .183 35 7.4 5.3
25 Georgia 3-2 .121 35 .043 51 .213 44 7.0 4.0

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 12 Oct 2011

6 comments, Last at 08 Dec 2012, 3:20am by john123456

Comments

1
by Joseph :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 1:57pm

So Brian, am I understanding this right? Wisconsin's extremely high GE is partially due to them getting to play against #91 ranked schedule (Stanford is #2 & #92 sched), and will prob. be adjusted downward based on their level of competition? Or is that already factored in (and will be at 100% next week)?

2
by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 2:00pm

There already is an adjustment in place and yes, Wisconsin is getting dinged for a weak schedule. The 91st rating is actually for their full season schedule. To date, Wisconsin has played the No. 117 schedule. I expect Wisconsin to hold their rating position once the data is 100% 2011 data next week.

3
by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 2:05pm

Also, that Game Efficiency will probably come down because Wisconsin probably won't be able to sustain it. Wisconsin currently ranks 1st in points per offensive drive (5.3), 4th in opponent points per drive (0.8) and 1st by a mile in net points per drive (4.5).

Net points per drive:
1. Wisconsin +4.5
2. Stanford +3.3
3. Oklahoma +2.6
4. Alabama +2.4
5. Oklahoma State +2.4

Third place Oklahoma is as close to No. 36 Washington State (+0.7) as it is to No. 1 Wisconsin in net points per drive.

4
by TV_Pete (not verified) :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 2:35pm

Does Florida's lack of defense against the LSU fake punt count for LSU/against Florida?

It was not a planned fake punt, but a terrible performance from Florida Special Teams that should have resulted in a 55-yard touchdown!

5
by Kal :: Wed, 10/12/2011 - 4:21pm

This world where FEI doesn't like Oregon and S&P does is an odd, odd world. I'm going to guess that's because Oregon's had bigger explosive plays this year but less overall production and their defense hasn't been as good, but honestly I'm just grasping at straws. It's interesting at least.

6
by john123456 (not verified) :: Sat, 12/08/2012 - 3:20am

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