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» OFI: SEC Surprises

In an opening week where even the elite teams in college football looked mortal, the SEC had two big surprises in Texas A&M and Georgia defeating their South Carolinian opponents by big scores.

25 Sep 2012

FEI Week 4: Back Up

by Brian Fremeau

What does it really mean for a team to be "back"? I tweeted somewhat facetiously earlier this week that we should expand our definition of that phrase. It is reserved only for once-proud programs reclaiming a position near the top of the polls. If Nebraska or Michigan win the Big Ten, they might be considered to be back. If Northwestern or Purdue wins the Big Ten, they cannot be considered to be back, since neither program has a history of elite success to return to.

On the other hand, we could expand the definition of "back" to mean something more like returning to a program’s traditional state. If a team with a relatively mediocre history has had a recent run of great success, can that team be considered back if it slides back into mediocrity?

I’m probably going to regret calling out any particular program here, but is Wisconsin back? The Badgers rank 47th on the list of all-time FBS closed set winning percentage, and though it is still early this year, Wisconsin appears to be a team that will struggle once conference play begins. FEI projects only 4.3 mean wins in Big Ten play for the Badgers, which will safely position them with a bowl bid, but is a far cry from back-to-back Rose Bowls and double-digit winning seasons in Madison of late.

We could come up with any number of candidates for this conversation (Missouri and Virginia Tech come to mind) but it is silly, isn't it? Of course, we can't put a nail in the coffin of Wisconsin’s recent success just because of a few games early on this year. It is equally silly to characterize Florida State and Notre Dame as back on the strength of only a few games as well.

I say that to pump the brakes on what may very well be an overreaction to the current FEI ratings posted below. The Seminoles jumped up to No. 1 and the Irish jumped up to No. 3 after wins last weekend, and both teams are projected to finish the year strong. But all the same caveats apply. Preseason data is still a part of the FEI formula this week, roughly accounting for 45 percent of each team’s rating. And even if FEI is right and Florida State and Notre Dame have 10- or 11- or 12-win seasons, it will still take multiple seasons of that kind of success to fully reclaim their status as elite programs. There’s no such thing as "back" after four weeks.

Week 4 Revisionist Box Scores

This weekly feature identifies the games played each week that were most impacted by turnovers, special teams, field position, or some combination of the three. The neutralized margin of victory is a function of the point values earned and surrendered based on field position and expected scoring rates.

Week 4 Games In Which Total Turnover Value Exceeded Non-Garbage Final Score Margin
Date Winning Team Non-Garbage
Final Score
Losing Team TTV
+
TTV
-
TTV
Net
TO Neutral
Score Margin
9/20 Boise State 7-6 BYU 21.9 0.0 21.9 -20.9
9/22 Ball State 31-27 South Florida 5.8 0.0 5.8 -1.8
9/22 Central Michigan 32-31 Iowa 4.1 0.0 4.1 -3.1
9/22 Colorado 35-34 Washington State 12.6 8.3 4.3 -3.3
9/22 Kansas State 24-19 Oklahoma 13.0 0.0 13.0 -8.0
9/22 Minnesota 17-10 Syracuse 15.3 0.0 15.3 -8.3
9/22 Notre Dame 13-6 Michigan 21.7 9.0 12.7 -5.7
9/22 West Virginia 31-21 Maryland 12.8 0.0 12.8 -2.8
9/22 Western Michigan 30-24 Connecticut 12.5 0.0 12.5 -6.5
9/22 Wyoming 40-37 Idaho 11.7 0.0 11.7 -8.7

Week 4 Games In Which Special Teams Value Exceeded Non-Garbage Final Score Margin
Date Winning Team Non-Garbage
Final Score
Losing Team STV
+
STV Neutral
Score Margin
9/22 San Jose State 38-34 San Diego State 13.8 -9.8
9/22 Tulsa 27-26 Fresno State 6.9 -5.9

Week 4 Games In Which Field Position Value Exceeded Non-Garbage Final Score Margin
Date Winning Team Non-Garbage
Final Score
Losing Team FPV
+
FPV
-
FPV
Net
FPV Neutral
Score Margin
9/20 Boise State 7-6 BYU 29.6 20.3 9.3 -8.3
9/22 Central Michigan 32-31 Iowa 24.1 18.9 5.2 -4.2
9/22 Kansas State 24-19 Oklahoma 20.6 13.8 6.8 -1.8
9/22 San Jose State 38-34 San Diego State 32.2 14.9 17.3 -13.3

2012 totals to date:

  • Net Total Turnover Value was the difference in 32 of 182 FBS games (17.6 percent)
  • Net Special Teams Value was the difference in 14 of 182 FBS games (7.7 percent)
  • Net Field Position Value was the difference in 21 of 182 FBS games (11.5 percent)
  • Turnovers, Special Teams and/or Field Position was the difference in 43 of 182 FBS games (23.6 percent)

2012 Game Splits for all teams, including the offensive, defensive, special teams, field position, and turnover values recorded in each FBS game are provided here.

FEI Week 4 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 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.

Offensive Efficiency (OE) is the raw unadjusted efficiency of the given team's offense, a measure of its actual drive success against expected drive success based on field position. Defensive Efficiency (DE) is the raw unadjusted efficiency of the given team's defense, a measure of the actual drive success of its opponents against expected drive success based on field position. Field Position Advantage (FPA) is the share of the value of total starting field position earned by each team against its opponents.

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. Opponent-adjusted offensive and defensive FEI ratings will also debut in Week 7.

These FEI ratings are a function of results of games played through September 22. 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
OE OE
Rk
DE DE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
1 Florida State 2-0 .314 3 .333 8 .198 54 8.9 7.0 .748 10 -.498 21 .597 6
2 Alabama 4-0 .306 1 .493 2 .390 90 10.3 6.5 .411 27 -1.174 1 .620 2
3 Notre Dame 4-0 .296 6 .199 19 .089 22 10.1 6.7 .028 52 -.766 8 .531 37
4 Kansas State 3-0 .278 13 .312 11 .041 9 8.3 5.8 .843 8 -.226 42 .586 11
5 Texas 3-0 .265 9 .418 4 .045 10 9.2 6.3 1.126 3 -.073 58 .611 4
6 West Virginia 2-0 .254 7 .286 13 .046 11 7.9 6.0 1.201 2 -.095 54 .545 29
7 Florida 4-0 .249 4 .203 18 .094 25 8.8 5.3 .140 47 -.381 29 .557 20
8 Oregon 3-0 .244 8 .367 6 .222 59 9.2 6.5 .525 19 -.720 9 .492 63
9 Texas Tech 2-0 .244 12 .625 1 .046 12 7.7 5.8 1.900 1 -.337 33 .573 14
10 Oklahoma 1-1 .228 2 .076 46 .021 2 6.7 5.3 .074 50 -.359 31 .454 99
11 Cincinnati 1-0 .217 16 .421 3 .297 78 8.1 7.3 1.037 5 -1.005 2 .473 79
12 Michigan State 3-1 .213 21 .120 34 .155 39 9.2 6.2 -.173 75 -.789 7 .483 71
Rank Team FBS
W-L
FEI Last
Wk
GE GE
Rk
SOS SOS
Rk
FBS
MW
FBS
RMW
OE OE
Rk
DE DE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
13 Georgia 4-0 .209 11 .383 5 .273 69 9.1 5.2 .745 11 -.598 16 .587 8
14 Nebraska 2-1 .207 26 .165 26 .200 55 8.5 5.9 .703 12 -.258 41 .417 116
15 Stanford 3-0 .202 10 .187 21 .092 23 9.0 6.4 -.066 65 -.663 12 .593 7
16 USC 3-1 .199 15 .205 17 .126 29 8.9 5.6 .063 51 -.477 23 .552 25
17 TCU 2-0 .198 14 .226 15 .037 8 6.7 4.7 -.031 61 -.827 6 .615 3
18 South Carolina 4-0 .194 17 .316 9 .179 48 8.5 4.6 .150 44 -.983 3 .545 27
19 Rutgers 3-0 .191 23 .117 35 .262 65 8.6 6.1 .182 41 -.372 30 .537 33
20 Louisville 3-0 .187 28 .165 27 .298 79 8.7 6.0 .929 6 .029 65 .440 108
21 Oklahoma State 1-1 .171 25 .131 31 .035 6 5.9 4.3 .822 9 .145 81 .445 105
22 Boise State 2-1 .170 24 .109 37 .416 91 10.4 8.3 -.375 98 -.715 10 .561 18
23 LSU 4-0 .169 5 .308 12 .122 28 7.6 4.0 .193 39 -.854 5 .600 5
24 Virginia Tech 2-1 .165 22 .087 40 .079 18 7.0 4.8 -.171 74 -.299 37 .509 51
25 Ohio State 4-0 .158 20 .180 23 .187 52 8.4 4.8 .377 30 -.329 35 .489 65

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 25 Sep 2012

6 comments, Last at 27 Sep 2012, 1:50pm by tsmonk

Comments

1
by Enjoy Life (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2012 - 11:15am

For your Revisionist Box Score, how much does the turnover value change based on the down the TO occurs? TOs on first or second down would seem more significant than TOs on third and fourth down because even after a TO on third down, the team turning the ball over would have likely given possession to the opponent on the very next play (e.g. a punt) even without the TO.

4
by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 09/26/2012 - 2:02pm

My turnover value is drive-based, not play-by-play based. So I'm calculating the value generated then lost on the drive up until the turnover, as if the drive would have concluded at that spot on the field.

2
by Mr. X (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2012 - 1:55pm

Where I come from, we pump the brakes.

3
by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 09/26/2012 - 2:00pm

Fixed, thanks.

5
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/26/2012 - 2:31pm

Hmmpf! The intrepid Golden Gophers of Minnesota soundly thrash the hated Orangemen of Syracuse, yet the shining midwestern rodents are still ranked behind the oddly tinted miscreants from northern New York! FEI is clearly inferior to the scoreboard, due to bias against small burrowing mammals!

6
by tsmonk (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2012 - 1:50pm

FSU has the talent to be top-tier, but if they have the shoddy special teams and ball control on offense that they did against Clemson they will trip up at some point. They should've put that game out of doubt before halftime.