Berry Tramel

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Big 12 football: Efficiency ratings show OSU rise, OU fall

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: November 11, 2013
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Oklahoma State 's Tracy Moore (87) scores a touchdown as Texas Tech's Derrick Mays (4) defends during the college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders (TTU) at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State 's Tracy Moore (87) scores a touchdown as Texas Tech's Derrick Mays (4) defends during the college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the Texas Tech Red Raiders (TTU) at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

I’ve again compiled the Big 12 efficiency ratings. How often does an offense score a touchdown, kick a field goal or leave the field with no points, and how often does its defense get off the field successfully?

The numbers are quite revealing. And they change decently from week to week, because when you play Iowa State, your defensive efficiency goes up. When you play Baylor, your defensive efficiency goes down. For instance, TCU’s defense rose from fourth in the Big 12 last week to first this week. That’s what happens when Iowa State gets 14 possessions against you and scores 10 offensive points.

So here are the new numbers:

OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY

1. Baylor .535

2. Kansas State .375

3. Texas .318

4. OSU .314

5. Texas Tech .298

6. OU .257

7. West Virginia .250

8. Iowa State .178

9. TCU .168

10. Kansas .150

This is incredibly instructive. OU has had 74 possessions in Big 12 play and scored  14 touchdowns with 10 field goals. That’s only slightly better than West Virginia, which scored 38 offensive points on Texas last Saturday even though starting quarterback Clint Trickett was knocked out early in the game and even though we saw the Mountaineers live early in the season and their offense stunk.

Kansas State’s offense is rounding into form. KSU still has to play a couple of tough defenses (TCU and OU) but also gets Kansas. Texas’ and OSU’s offenses are almost a match. Should be a fun game in Austin.

Here are the defensive efficiency ratings, with the number reflecting opponents’ efficiency:

DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY

1. TCU .152

2. OSU .176

3. Baylor .188

4. Texas .219

5. OU .250

6. Kansas State .291

7. Texas Tech .313

8. West Virginia .348

9. Iowa State .383

10. Kansas .386

TCU, OSU and Texas all still have to face Baylor. It’s quite possible that Baylor finishes the season with the No. 1 defense, though even if that happens, it could be because Baylor’s defense doesn’t have to play Baylor’s offense.

The Tech defense is taking on water. The West Virginia defense has some holes, but it now gets to play Iowa State and Kansas, so the Mountaineers almost surely will finish ahead of Tech’s and might finish ahead of Kansas State’s.

Remember how I produce efficiency. I count field goals as half touchdowns, then divide touchdowns/field goals by the number of possessions.

Last week, I experimented with those numbers by gauging what an estimated score would be. Let’s review.

Baylor 41, OU 12: The method predicted 35-22. So not totally off. In the ballpark. No one saw coming the total shutdown of the Sooner offense, but the method forecast only 22 points.

OSU 42, Kansas 6: The method predicted 38-18. So reasonably close. KU’s offense couldn’t threaten OSU at all.

Texas 47, West Virginia 40, OT: The method predicted Texas 33, West Virginia 21: Missed it by a bunch on West Virginia’s offense. That was an interesting twist. The Longhorn defense is starting to hurt.

Kansas State 49, Texas Tech 26: The method predicted Tech winning 30-29. So it missed by a bunch on KSU’s offense, though the Wildcats got a defensive touchdown in Lubbock.

TCU 21, Iowa State 17: The method predicted TCU 31-21. So a little more low-scoring than predicted.

All in all, the method was mostly in the ballpark. So let’s see what it says this week. Remember, the prediction method takes the average of an offense’s efficiency and the opponents’ defensive efficiency, multiplies by seven and divides by those units’ average number of possessions:

OSU 27, Texas 26: Sign me up for a game like that.

OU 31, Iowa State 20: Seems a little high for the Cyclones. Not for OU.

Baylor 42, Texas Tech 24: Sort of in the ballpark, although 62-24 seems a lot more like it.

Kansas State 31, TCU 22: This is going to be an interesting matchup. Not that TCU has a chance to win. But TCU’s defense vs. KSU’s offense.

West Virginia 33, Kansas 26: This actually could be a close game.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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