Monday, October 23, 2006

Rushing Defense, what does it mean?

Michigan has a great rushing defense this year. Yeah, yeah, we all know they rank 1st nationally against the rush. What's the average at now? Something like 33 yards per game allowed? Yowza. But what does that mean? Here's a little table going back a few years detailing the national leaders in rushing defense and the rank of the national champions that year in rushing defense.

2000: #1 Memphis - 73 ypg, 2.3 ypc; #23 Oklahoma - 108 ypg, 3.2 ypc
2001: #1 UAB - 57 ypg, 1.9 ypc; #40 Miami - 133 ypg, 3.1 ypc
2002: #1 TCU - 65 ypg, 2.0 ypc; #3 Ohio State - 78 ypg, 2.6 ypc
2003: #1 USC - 60 ypg, 1.8 ypc; #3 LSU - 67 ypg, 2.4 ypc (USC and LSU split title)
2004: #1 USC - 79 ypg, 2.6 ypc; #1 USC
2005: #1 Ohio State - 73 ypg, 2.4 ypc; #33 Texas - 131 ypg, 3.7 ypc

As you can see, 3 of the last 4 national titles have been won by teams ranking in the top 3 nationally in rushing defense.

How does Michigan stack up this year so far? 33.6 yards per game allowed and 1.4 yards per carry allowed. Both would be the best by far this century in college football. I'd be interested in going back decades and seeing how that number would stack up (if it holds up).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I'd be interested to see the same stuff for scoring D. Does it correlate as well, which would seem to help OSU? Or does the past indicate any "hollowness" to that stat?

Mon Oct 23, 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger robert paulson said...

I know scoring D also correlates very well, though I don't have the numbers in front of me. Michigan is currently ranked 9th nationally in scoring D and that should hopefully be improving with the steady diet of cupcakes on the way.

Mon Oct 23, 05:34:00 PM  

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