I feel like Clark Kent...

...I've discovered new powers and have no idea how to harness them.

Those new powers are called Points Per Play and a new and improved Turnover Costliness.

By assigning a point value to each yard line (from the avg points per possession graph I discussed at the bottom of the updated Beyond the Box Score Glossary), I can conceivably add a point value to each play run by comparing the point value of the beginning yard line of a play to the end yard line.

For example, let's look at Mizzou's go-ahead TD drive of the third quarter against OU on Saturday:

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1st-and-10, OU 46 (point value: 2.48): incomplete pass (pts = 0.0)
2nd-and-10, OU 46: Washington 2-yard run to OU 44 (PV: 2.60) (pts = 2.60 - 2.48 = 0.12)
3rd-and-8, OU 44: Rucker 10-yard reception to OU 34 (PV: 3.30) (pts = 0.70)
1st-and-10, OU 34: Daniel 5-yard run to OU 29 (PV: 3.57) (pts = 0.27)
2nd-and-5, OU 29: Coffman 13-yard reception to OU 16 (PV: 4.17) (pts = 0.60)
1st-and-10, OU 16: Jimmy Jackson 4-yard run to OU 12 (PV: 4.53) (pts = 0.36)
2nd-and-6, OU 12: Saunders 8-yard run to OU 4 (PV: 4.96) (pts = 0.43)
1st-and-goal, OU 4: Jimmy Jackson 4-yard run to endzone (PV: 7.00) (pts = 2.04)

So for the drive...
Jimmy Jackson = 2.40 points
Martin Rucker = 0.70 points
Chase Coffman = 0.60 points
Tommy Saunders = 0.43 points
Chase Daniel = 0.27 points
Derrick Washington = 0.12 points
TOTAL = 4.52 points

But the TD was worth 7.00 points (duh)...what happened to the other 2.48 points?  They were created by forcing (and recovering) the Juaquin Iglesias fumble.

That brings us to Turnover Costliness.  For all intents and purposes, the turnover was worth 2.48 points, split somehow by Justin Garrett (who forced the fumble) and Connell Davis (who recovered it).

I mentioned wanting a better way of measuring turnover costliness, and I think I found it.  We could go about this a couple different ways.  We could simply say the fumble was worth 2.48 because Mizzou got the ball at the OU 46, and we could be done with it.  That's the cleanest way.  But I still think turnovers matter in two ways: how likely was the victimized team (OU in this case) to score before they turned it over, and how likely is the victimizing team (MU) to score now that they have the ball?  In this case, you compare old field position to new field position and average the two.  OU having the ball on their own 46 would have been worth 2.01 points for OU.  MU starting on OU's 46 was worth 2.48 for MU.  The average of that is 2.25.

So...taking the aggregated Points Per Play for the whole game and adding in the Turnover Costliness points, here are the 'scores' for Mizzou's games this season:

Mizzou 43.92, Illinois 34.08 (real score: 40-34)
Mizzou 42.53, Ole Miss 33.29 (real score: 38-25)
Mizzou 53.44, Western Michigan 27.43 (real score: 52-24)
Mizzou 36.81, Illinois State 30.47 (real score: 38-17)
Mizzou 39.19, Nebraska 13.23 (real score: 41-6)
Oklahoma 39.05, Mizzou 32.43 (real score: 41-31)

That's pretty damn close, is it not?  

On average, the Mizzou score is off by 1.39 points and the opponent score is off by 5.09.  The difference could be explained by a lot of different things:

  • special teams - if field position matters so much in these examples, then special teams need to be factored in somehow considering they're responsible for a majority of starting field position, not to mention the occasional TD.
  • luck - an oblong ball bounces weird sometimes
  • something we'll call the Bend-But-Don't-Break Quotient - we all know that, judging by yards allowed, Mizzou should have given up more points than they did in most games.  Maybe this is a way to actually measure a defense's ability to bend without breaking?

I've got a long way to go with this idea, but I'm enough of a nerd that I'm pretty jacked up about this.  The sky's the limit in nerddom right now.

Oh, and in case you're are the 'points per game' figures (for rushes and receptions) that emerge from the above Points Per Play formula...this doesn't take special teams, which would obviously significantly aid Jeremy Maclin, into account.

Jeremy Maclin = 6.39 PPG
Martin Rucker = 5.54 PPG
Tony Temple = 5.07 PPG
Will Franklin = 4.57 PPG
Danario Alexander = 3.62 PPG
Chase Coffman = 3.46 PPG
Chase Daniel = 2.97 PPG
Derrick Washington = 1.26 PPG
Jimmy Jackson = 1.08 PPG
Chase Patton = 1.08 PPG
Marcus Woods = 0.88 PPG
Greg Bracey = 0.75 PPG
Jared Perry = 0.64 PPG
Earl Goldsmith = 0.34 PPG
Jason Ray = 0.12 PPG
NET PENALTIES (Defensive penalties - Offensive penalties) = -0.59 PPG

Texas Tech
Michael Crabtree = 12.90 PPG (!!!)
Danny Amendola = 7.11 PPG
Shannon Woods = 6.37 PPG
Eric Morris = 3.55 PPG
Grant Walker = 2.27 PPG
Ed Britton = 2.02 PPG
Kobey Lewis = 1.87 PPG
L.A. Reed = 1.38 PPG
Detron Lewis = 1.26 PPG
And so on...

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