A passing thought

Michael Elkon this morning has a minor quibble:

It drives me crazy that college stats count sacks against the rushing game as opposed to the passing game.  This is one area in which college should mimic the NFL.

Maybe, but one difference I see between the college and pro games is that at the lower level, quarterbacks do a lot more, you know… running.  If you’ve got a dual-threat quarterback who gets taken down for a loss while doing his dual-threat thing, there are times when it’s hard to tell whether he took the hit running or throwing.  So with a rule change, either the stat keepers would have to divine the intent of the play and assign the loss accordingly, or you’d see some rushing losses attributed to passing yardage.  I’m not sure how much of an improvement that would be over the present level of inaccuracy.

None of this is particularly earth shattering, but if you can’t nitpick on the Intertubes, where can you?



Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!

14 responses to “A passing thought

  1. Ell

    The problem is they already have to do this when determining whether to credit a sack.

    Stats guys make judgment calls all the time – drops on passes, QB hurries, who to credit for gang tackles, etc. Generally, since the “official stats” are kept by the home team, they do that in a way that paints their guys in the best light.

    Just my $.02.


    • Generally, since the “official stats” are kept by the home team, they do that in a way that paints their guys in the best light.

      I should have written my part on that more clearly, but you’re right. It’s just not always consistent.


  2. As someone who parses out sacks every week for game previews featuring Denard Robinson I can vouch that the NCAA makes distinctions between sacks and running plays that lose yardage.

    Michigan’s given up four sacks for 35 yards:

    Robinson’s lost 48 yards on the ground:

    So… yeah, they should change it.


    • Brian, has it been your experience that the NCAA has done an accurate job charting that? And if so, how is the distinction made generally?


      • Go Dawgs!

        That is pretty interesting stuff. I would say it’s impossible to get it right every time. For example, how do they count the loss in yardage if the halfback gets tackled behind the line on a halfback pass play?


  3. Joe

    And while we are at it, they always say a walk is as good as a hit, so why doe it not court towards your batting average, but is put in some obscure OBP.

    I have had enough with these statistical problems! LOL


    • dudetheplayer

      OBP > batting average

      Those not stuck in the 1980’s are aware of this.


      • Joe

        Yes dude, but at least I brought my sense of humor from the ’80s with my Air Nikes and boy George albums!

        The post was tongue in cheek, hence the “LOL” phrase at the end.


        • dudetheplayer

          It’s funny, because my comment came off way snarkier than I had intended…

          That dadgum internet got me again!


  4. Ward E Agle

    There is no area in which college should mimic the NFL.

    As a matter of fact, let’s go ahead and get one thing straight. College football was, and always will be, first.


  5. bort

    The dumbest rule in the NFL is defensive pass interference is spotted at the point of the foul. It assumes a catch.

    Following that rationale, offensive pass interference should be penalized by a turnover, assuming that the ball would be intercepted.