Pete and I had a bit of an Emanuel Hall-related discussion this week on the ZouKeepers podcast.
It started with a premise brought up during the CBS broadcast of Missouri’s thumping of Tennessee on Saturday: How many more wins could the Tigers have logged this year with a healthy Hall?
The crew said at least one. Pete said he could have seen the South Carolina result possibly changing. I said I didn’t feel comfortable saying any of the results would have changed because, if you’re going to open that hypothetical up to the world, then you have to entertain any number of a million other hypotheticals as well.
I also am the man who ruined fun. I am he. He is I. We are one in the same.
Here’s something I do feel comfortable looking at, though: How much better has Missouri’s offense been when Hall plays as opposed to when he doesn’t?
The Tigers have played five games against Power-5 competition with Hall at their disposal: Purdue (a bit hobbled), Georgia (a lot hobbled), Florida, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
They’ve played three with him sitting: South Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky.
So, what have been the differences in output?
With Hall: 38.0 ppg
Without Hall: 19.7 ppg
With Hall: 81.8 plays, 492.4 yards, 6.02 avg.
Without Hall: 68.3 plays, 317.0 yards, 4.64 avg.
Difference: 55.3% in yards, 29.8% in average
With Hall: 44.6 attempts, 221.2 yards, 4.96 avg., 2.40 TD
Without Hall: 38.7 attempts, 146.7 yards, 3.79 avg., 1.67 TD
Difference: 50.8% in yards, 30.8% in average, 44.0% in TD
With Hall: 23.2-of-37.2, 62.4%, 271.2 yards, 7.29 avg., 2.00 TD, 0.80 INT, 137.05 rate
Without Hall: 15.0-of-29.7, 50.6%, 170.3 yards, 5.74 avg., 0.33 TD, 1.33 INT, 93.51 rate
Difference: 59.2% in yards, 27.0% in average, 500% in TD, 46.6% in rating
You can see the difference. It is palpable. Especially in passing touchdowns, where Drew Lock has thrown (LOL) 500 PERCENT MORE OFTEN with Hall playing than when he doesn’t.
So we’re done, right? Wrong. Remember about my history as a fun-ruiner?
This is where I tell you that we now have to correct for competition and that, while the teams that Missouri faced with Hall average a rank (out of 65 Power-5 teams) of 37th in total defense against Power-5 opponents, the teams Missouri faced without Hall average a rank of 21st.
The competition was better. We need to correct for it.
So I did my norm equalizing, found out what all these teams gave up to their other Power-5 opponents this year, compared that to what they gave up against Missouri, split it up between Hall and non-Hall games and put it in the ol’ quackulator.
Here’s what that showed:
With Hall: 42.6% above norm
Without Hall: 2.16% below
Percentage Points Difference: 44.9
With Hall: 21.8% above in yards, 2.56% above in average
Without Hall: 10.1% below in yards, 10.6% below in average
Percentage Points Difference: 32.0 in yards, 13.1 in average
With Hall: 26.7% above in yards, 6.82% above in average, 50.5% above in TD
Without Hall: 1.22% above in yards, 2.45% below in average, 34.4% above in TD
Percentage Points Difference: 25.5 in yards, 9.26 in average, 16.0 in TD
With Hall: 18.1% above in yards, 0.71% below in average, 32.1% above in TD, 2.50% above in rate
Without Hall: 18.1% below in yards, 15.1% below in average, 70.9% below in TD, 23.3% below in rate
Percentage Points Difference: 36.1 in yards, 14.4 in average, 103.1 in TD, 25.8 in rating
So, after going through that entire exercise, I am finally prepared to make this bold proclamation:
Correcting for the quality of the opposing defense, Missouri’s offense has been about 32 percent better in bulk, 13 percent better on a per-play basis and 45 percent better on the scoreboard with Emanuel Hall in the lineup than when he is sitting out.
Still won’t say whether they would have won an extra game or two if he was healthy all year, though.
Oh, and here’s my work. I also split up the “healthy Hall” games into hobbled and non-hobbled subcategories as well. You know. Just for fun.