How Great Is The OSU Program?

OKC Dave —  November 8, 2012 — 12 Comments
Oct 30 2010 Manhattan KS USA Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden 3 hands off to running back Kendall Hunter 24 in the first half against the Kansas State Wildcats at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit John Rieger US PRESSWIRE

Photo Attribution: US Presswire

Where does OSU rank as a program? I’m sure you’ve had this conversation before. There are a million different ways to guage it and there is no way to come up with an official answer, but that won’t stop me from trying.

Here’s the method I used. I took the F+ ratings (you know I love these) for every program’s offense, defense, special teams — as well as their overall ratings — for 2009 to current. That is four years of data.

For each category, I weighted them this way:

2012: 40% weighting
2011: 30%
2010: 20%
2009: 10%

Because really, who cares what happened 5 years ago? I know your average high school senior doesn’t care. This is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately ratings system.

Let’s dive in. I’ll show you the calculation for each first place team and then list the top 10 in each category.

Offense

1) Alabama: 36th in 2009, 5th in 2010, 7th in 2011, 9th in 2012 – 10.3 avg
2) Oregon – 10.9
3) Baylor – 13.6
4) USC – 14.2
5) Arkansas – 15.9
6) Notre Dame – 17.2
7) Wisconsin – 18.4
8) Oklahoma State – 18.5
9) Texas A&M – 19.3
10) Georgia – 19.4

No shocker here, right? OSU has a top 10 offense. We’ll appreciate it someday when we don’t have one. Until then, let’s all agree to take it for granted.

Defense

1) Alabama: 1st in 2009, 15th in 2010, 1st in 2011, 1st in 2012 – 3.8 avg
2) LSU – 6.8
3) Oklahoma – 7.2
4) Boise State – 8.3
5) Oregon – 10.1
6) Florida – 13.5
7) South Carolina – 15.0
8) Ohio State – 16.2
9) Notre Dame – 18.3
10) Michigan State – 19.1
15) Oklahoma State – 23.9

Wait. We have a top 15 defense over the last four years? This is mostly due to our defense last year, which was rated #3 in the nation by the F+ system because of the ridiculous/historic number of turnovers they generated. If you take out that year, we fall in around #26 in this list. Still good and much better than most would think, but remember F+ is a “smart” system that looks at teams on a per-drive and per-play basis, removing the bias against up-tempo teams that traditional stats have.

Special Teams

1) Florida: 11th in 2009, 24th in 2010, 4th in 2011, 2nd in 2012 – 7.9 avg
2) Florida State – 12.3
3) Kansas State – 13.2 (I believe this)
4) LSU – 16.2
5) La Tech – 18.3
6) Clemson – 21.3
7) Texas – 21.6
8) Temple – 22.9
9) Central Florida – 23.4
10) Utah – 24.4
19) Oklahoma State – 32.7

We were 7th in 2010 and 2011. This year we are 64th in special teams overall, and I don’t think you’ll be surprised to discover that we are 117th in kickoff coverage.

Overall

1) Guess who? Alabama: 1st in 2009, 3rd in 2010, 1st in 2011, 1st in 2012 – 1.4 avg
2) Oregon – 4.6
3) Oklahoma – 7.1
4) LSU – 7.7
5) Florida State – 10.7
6) Boise State – 12.1
7) Stanford – 13.2
8) Notre Dame – 13.7
9) Wisconsin – 16.3
10) Oklahoma State – 16.3

Show this list to an OSU fan in 1994 and then talk your way out of an asylum. Please note that I didn’t monkey around with the calculations to get OSU into the top 10 — that’s where we are as a program right now. Pretty cool, but we’ll need to keep our foot on the gas to stay there.

Other notable programs:

15) Nebraska – 18.9
16) Texas A&M – 19.5
20) Texas – 25.2
21) TCU – 25.6
24) Kansas State – 29.0
30) Missouri – 36.6
31) West Virginia – 36.8
49) Texas Tech – 50.8
55) Baylor – 56.7
61) Iowa State – 61.0
107) Kansas – 104.1

One other interesting thing that I discovered…which of these categories is most highly correlated from year to year? For example, if you have a good defense in one year, how likely is it to carry over to the next year? Here’s how the categories rank in terms of year-to-year correlation:

1) Overall – 77%
2) Defense – 64%
3) Offense – 50%
4) Special Teams – 44%

So it’s easier to maintain a good defense than a good offense — or maybe coaching matters more on the defensive side of the ball and talent matters more on the offensive side. There are more things I can do with this data, but we’ll save them for future posts.

  • Colin

    Awesome

  • http://twitter.com/mattamilian Matt Amilian (@mattamilian)

    That’s solid work. You look at the other teams in the Top 10 overall and you know those stats are skewed because all those programs are legit. Great post

  • Jeff

    Steak sauce.

  • KS1010

    This is another awesome article. (As Monken shakes his head at all of us “losers”)

  • Poke

    What do the rankings look like without your weighting scheme?

    • @okc_dave

      If you take a simple average of the last four years (2009 – current), we are the 14th best program over that time period:

      11) TCU
      12) Notre Dame
      13) Nebraska
      14) OSU
      15) USC
      16) Clemson
      17) Virginia Tech

  • Cowboy-KS

    2009 – Competitive with most everyone in the league
    2010 – Lost two “down to the wire” games (OU, Huskers)
    2011 – Dominated the Conference w/ the exception of the ISU wake
    2012 – Fielding 22 Freshman and Sophomore’s on our 2-deep, and STILL competitive in the Conference
    – Lose a total of 10 Sr’s from the 2-deep.
    2013 – Looks to be a very good year for the Cowboys…

  • @okc_dave

    FYI, I know how to spell “teams” and “believe”. Evidently I just don’t know how to take a second look at my posts before I send them to Kyle. Sorry, I just cringe when I see typos in my stuff.

    • http://www.pistolsfiringblog.com Kyle Porter

      Apparently I can’t edit either. Fixed.

  • Scott

    i’m kind of shocked OU has the 3rd best D over the past 4 yrs. Didn’t they get lit up a few times last year? And in ’09 they lost 5 games.

    • @okc_dave

      In 2009 the problem was offense, not defense. They were 99th in offense that year. Their defensive rankings from 2009 to 2012 are 3-6-7-9. I think the lesson is that everyone in the Big 12 gets lit up from time to time.

  • G-Block

    Nicely done.