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The Big 12 (through 3 weeks): Beyond the Box Score

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Through three weeks of conference play, it's time to take a look at what the stats can tell us.  That's right, it's time to get wonky!

Important note: these stats are for conference play only.

Big 12 Offensive Stats
Offense EqPts/Gm Success Rate Pts Per Play S&P
Baylor 17.7 40.8% 0.26 0.673
Colorado 16.8 34.0% 0.23 0.574
Iowa State 17.3 37.9% 0.27 0.652
Kansas 29.6 46.9% 0.42 0.889
Kansas State 23.1 45.6% 0.34 0.795
Missouri 29.3 55.3% 0.47 1.020
Nebraska 28.6 53.4% 0.37 0.905
Oklahoma 39.2 48.0% 0.46 0.940
Oklahoma State 30.6 48.6% 0.44 0.923
Texas 34.9 53.2% 0.48 1.008
Texas A&M 26.7 41.9% 0.38 0.800
Texas Tech 38.5 58.5% 0.53 1.118

As it currently stands, Missouri is #6 in EqPts/Gm, #2 in Success Rate, #3 in PPP, and #2 in S&P.  Why the disparity in EqPts/Gm?  Because somehow Missouri is running the fewest plays per game in conference play (only 62.7, compared to OU's 85.3).  This says two things: First, the Big 12 is just ridiculously fast-paced.  I mean, the conference this year is the equivalent to Big 8 basketball in the late-'80s.  Second, Mizzou opponents (NU and OSU, at least) have made a conscious decision to milk the clock, run the ball, and limit Mizzou's opportunities.  To a certain extent, it's working.

Big 12 Defensive Stats
Defense EqPts/Gm Success Rate Pts Per Play S&P
Baylor 30.2 49.8% 0.40 0.894
Colorado 25.4 43.5% 0.36 0.790
Iowa State 30.5 52.7% 0.42 0.944
Kansas 28.6 41.9% 0.36 0.775
Kansas State 33.4 47.6% 0.41 0.883
Missouri 30.5 47.9% 0.42 0.898
Nebraska 24.9 46.3% 0.47 0.929
Oklahoma 25.4 44.5% 0.36 0.810
Oklahoma State 22.0 41.3% 0.33 0.742
Texas 24.6 4.04% 0.38 0.786
Texas A&M 33.5 59.0% 0.47 1.063
Texas Tech 23.3 50.0% 0.33 0.832

Missouri is #10 in EqPts Allowed/Gm, #8 in Success Rate, #10 in PPP, and #9 in S&P.  Not great.  However...they've played against two great offenses and a solid one.  In other words, their '+' rankings might be just fine.

After the jump: Conference '+' Rankings!!!!

Alright, so we're still dealing with a very small sample size (3 whole games), but I think we're at a point where we can dip our toes into Conference '+' Rankings.  What does that mean?  We can compare a team's per-game averages to what averages would be expected against the three teams they've played so far.  One great (or terrible) game can significantly skew things right now, but let's see where everybody stands.

OFFENSIVE '+' RANKINGS

Offensive EqPts+

  1. Texas (125.5)
  2. Oklahoma (122.0)
  3. Missouri (120.3)
  4. Texas Tech (119.7)
  5. Kansas (111.3)
  6. Texas A&M (106.5) (higher than one would expect)
  7. Oklahoma State (102.6) (lower than one would expect)
  8. Nebraska (95.4)
  9. Kansas State (87.0)
  10. Baylor (70.8)
  11. Iowa State (68.2)
  12. Colorado (61.1)

Offensive Success Rate+

  1. Missouri (130.0)
  2. Texas (117.4)
  3. Texas Tech (113.8)
  4. Oklahoma (108.3)
  5. Nebraska (106.3)
  6. Kansas (100.5)
  7. Oklahoma State (93.8)
  8. Texas A&M (90.9)
  9. Kansas State (89.1)
  10. Baylor (87.4)
  11. Iowa State (83.1)
  12. Colorado (77.9)

Offensive S&P+

  1. Missouri (125.4)
  2. Texas (121.1)
  3. Texas Tech (116.6)
  4. Oklahoma (114.6)
  5. Kansas (105.4)
  6. Nebraska (101.6)
  7. Oklahoma State (97.8)
  8. Texas A&M (97.7)
  9. Kansas State (88.2)
  10. Baylor (80.0)
  11. Iowa State (76.2)
  12. Colorado (70.2)

Offensive Rushing S&P+

  1. Missouri (124.3)
  2. Texas (116.9)
  3. Texas Tech (115.1)
  4. Texas A&M (104.2)
  5. Oklahoma (101.2)
  6. Nebraska (100.0)
  7. Kansas State (99.7)
  8. Kansas (99.7)
  9. Oklahoma State (95.1)
  10. Iowa State (88.4)
  11. Colorado (86.0)
  12. Baylor (81.4)

Offensive Passing S&P+

  1. Texas (125.5)
  2. Oklahoma (125.4)
  3. Missouri (123.4)
  4. Oklahoma State (112.3)
  5. Kansas (111.7)
  6. Texas Tech (111.2)
  7. Nebraska (99.9)
  8. Texas A&M (92.7)
  9. Kansas State (79.2)
  10. Baylor (78.9)
  11. Iowa State (66.8)
  12. Colorado (63.8)

Thoughts...

  • On a per-play basis, Mizzou's still got the best offense in the conference.  Granted, this includes a lot of junk time yardage against Texas, but that's balanced out somewhat by the fact that Mizzou's starters only played three quarters against Nebraska.
  • Mizzou's next four opponents have the four worst offenses in the conference.  They also have the four worst passing offenses in the conference.  Thought that was worth pointing out.
  • No wonder Colorado coach Nick Nolte was willing to tear the redshirt off a 2-star freshman QB--his offense really couldn't get any worse, so why not try a Hail Mary move?
  • The Rushing S&P+ list is further proof that Texas Tech has no excuse not to run the ball more.  It would take games for defenses to adjust--they'd still spend most of their time preparing for the pass.
  • OU's offense is an interesting case study right now.  They're #7 in the conference running the ball and #4 overall, but they're #2 in overall EqPts+ because they're running so many damn plays.

DEFENSIVE '+' RANKINGS

Defensive EqPts+

  1. Colorado (117.0)
  2. Oklahoma State (114.7)
  3. Texas Tech (109.5)
  4. Oklahoma (106.7)
  5. Missouri (102.3)
  6. Baylor (101.9)
  7. Texas (100.9)
  8. Kansas State (95.0)
  9. Kansas (94.9)
  10. Texas A&M (92.7)
  11. Nebraska (90.3)
  12. Iowa State (83.7)

Defensive Success Rate+

  1. Texas (112.6)
  2. Colorado (112.2)
  3. Oklahoma State (112.0)
  4. Nebraska (109.0)
  5. Missouri (107.9)
  6. Oklahoma (105.7)
  7. Kansas (97.6)
  8. Kansas State (95.3)
  9. Texas Tech (95.0)
  10. Baylor (91.6)
  11. Iowa State (89.4)
  12. Texas A&M (86.9)

Defensive S&P+

  1. Colorado (114.3)
  2. Oklahoma State (113.2)
  3. Texas (106.9)
  4. Oklahoma (106.2)
  5. Missouri (105.3)
  6. Texas Tech (100.7)
  7. Nebraska (99.6)
  8. Kansas (96.3)
  9. Baylor (96.2)
  10. Kansas State (95.2)
  11. Texas A&M (89.5)
  12. Iowa State (86.9)

Defensive Rushing S&P+

  1. Texas (154.4)
  2. Missouri (115.0)
  3. Colorado (110.1)
  4. Oklahoma State (107.3)
  5. Texas Tech (104.3)
  6. Kansas State (101.7)
  7. Kansas (96.4)
  8. Nebraska (95.4)
  9. Baylor (93.0)
  10. Iowa State (92.4)
  11. Oklahoma (88.1) (eh????????)
  12. Texas A&M (87.7)

Defensive Passing S&P+

  1. Oklahoma (126.8)
  2. Oklahoma State (117.6)
  3. Colorado (115.6)
  4. Missouri (101.1)
  5. Texas (100.2)
  6. Texas Tech (99.8)
  7. Nebraska (99.8)
  8. Kansas (97.8)
  9. Baylor (91.6)
  10. Texas A&M (91.4)
  11. Kansas State (91.8)
  12. Iowa State (80.5)
  • Again, we're working with a small sample size here, but Mizzou's defense doesn't come across too poorly at all here.  We're not getting what we expected from this defense (10 starters returning, etc.), but "Best offense + middle-of-the-pack defense" is still a pretty good formula, especially for winning the North.
  • For the most part, the offensive rankings made sense, but the defensive ones are all over the map.  First of all, Oklahoma is almost last in the conference against the run.  I'd have never, ever expected that.  Granted, they're first against the pass and #4 overall, but still.  Ryan Reynolds has been absent for pretty much half of conference play, and I do think Nic Harris' move to MLB was a bad idea (he was pretty consistently out of position against the run, alowing Jake Sharp to have holes he shouldn't have had), but regardless of Reynolds' absence, there's too much talent there for them to be struggling.
  • Also, Colorado has the #1 defense in the conference through three weeks.  I can't totally explain that.  The main reason appears to be that they did okay against Texas' offense, they whomped KSU's offense after KSU dominated ATM, and their performance against KU's offense started looking a lot better after what KU did to OU's defense.  It's hard to tell if CU's been catching teams at the right time, or if they really do have a stout defense.  Needless to say, we'll know more about that after this weekend.
  • After Colorado, the remaining defenses on Missouri's schedule are currently ranked #9, #10, #12, and #8.  Again, it bears mentioning.

PROJECTIONS

Here are the rough projections for this weeks games based on Conference-only EqPts/Gm and '+' Rankings (see here for how I typically 'project' scores).  With such a small sample size, this is not at all mathematically pretty, but here goes.

Texas 33, Oklahoma State 24
Texas Tech 33, Kansas 30
Oklahoma 38, Kansas State 26
Missouri 31, Colorado 14
Texas A&M 29, Iowa State 24
Nebraska 33, Baylor 16