Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

INFOGRAPHIC: Lou Groza Finalists

A field goal is worth three points. But the value of each successful field goal is partially attributed to the offense that moves into field goal range as well as the player that kicks the ball through the uprights. A failed field goal attempt is a forfeiture of scoring value created by the offense.

The value of a 47-yard field goal is equally earned by the offense and kicker, 50 percent each. 84 percent of the value of a 27-yard field goal is earned by the offense. 99 percent of the value of a 57-yard field goal is earned by the kicker.

The Lou Groza Award is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate place-kicker as determined by a voting panel of college football coaches and media members. The 2010 award finalists are listed below. For each kicker, the number of attempts and successful field goals are included, as well as the total scoring value gained and forfeited on those attempts. Field goal efficiency (FGE) is the average scoring value gained per attempted kick.

A graphic representation of each kick is also provided, plotted at the line of scrimmage of the given field goal attempt. The gray area represents the scoring value provided by the offense. The blue area represents the scoring value provided by the kicker. The red area represents the scoring value earned by the offense that was forfeited by the kicker on a failed attempt.

Click here for a larger view of the graphic. For more information about the Lou Groza Award, visit http://www.lougrozaaward.com.

Groza Finalists

This graphic represents all field goal attempts, including those in garbage time and against FCS opponents, so the FGE numbers are slightly different than those published in the weekly FEI ratings. (It should also be noted that Nebraska's Alex Henery currently leads the nation in FGE, but was not named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award). The votes have already been cast and the winner will be announced live during the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Thursday night.

Which kicker will take home the hardware? Will it be Ruffer, the finalist with the highest FGE rating and perfect field goal success? Will it be Hrapmann or Bailey who have contributed more total field goal value to their respective teams and booted longer kicks, but have also recorded a few failed attempts? The Groza may be one of the least heralded trophies handed out during awards season, but it may also be the one that can best be evaluated through better statistical analysis.


by trill :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 3:21pm

FYI, Hrapmann's 60+yd attempt was actually good (like 6' over the crossbar good) on the first try, but Houston's coach called a timeout on the snap. Subsequent attempt was blocked.

I really hope the kid wins, not only because he's been clutch all year, but because our kicking game was utterly destitute last season and they totally turned things around.

by KB (not verified) :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 3:22pm

I would think you would not want to look at FGE, because it punishes kickers who have offenses who get into short FG range but don't punch it in, or coaches who don't go for it on 4th and short in the red zone. Perhaps a ratio of FGE to FGE potentially available?

by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 10:04pm

Good suggestion, I'll take a look at that.

by spenczar :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 4:04pm

The Lou Groza is intended to also include kickoff performance, right?

by Dan :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 4:47pm

That's my question too. FO knows that kickoffs are underappreciated relative to field goals.

by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 10:04pm

There isn't any mention of kickoff statistics on the Lou Groza Award site. Only field goals and extra points.

by Key19 :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 4:08pm

Really cool graph.

by HuskerDave (not verified) :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 7:26pm

Could you include Alex Henery on the graph? He will end his senior season this year as the best place kicker in NCAA football history. Kind of invalidates the Groza award.

by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 12/08/2010 - 10:06pm

Yeah, I designed this with the Groza award for 2010 specifically in mind. Based on my own data and the groundswell of support for Henery, I think I ought to make one just for him.