3rd down conversion rates, ftw

The Sporting News’ Dave Curtis notes something that most of the top teams in college football had in common last season.

Almost all of college football’s championship teams in 2010 thrived on third down, according to a study of NCAA statistics from the season.

All five BCS bowl winners ranked among the nation’s top 13 teams in third-down differential. The differential statistic, not officially computed by the NCAA, takes a team’s third-down conversion rate on offense and subtracts its opponents’ third-down conversion rate…

… Of the 57 teams to finish with positive ratings, 51 reached bowl games, and nine went to BCS games…

As you may have guessed, Georgia wasn’t one of those 57 teams.  Per the always invaluable cfbstats.com, the Dawgs finished last season with a conversion rate of minus-1.37.

The interesting thing about Georgia’s conversion rate comes in the breakdown of home/away games on the defensive side of the ball.  At home, the defense held opponents’ third down conversions to 29.86%, which is outstanding.  On the road, though, that ballooned to 51.58%.  As the offense was much more consistent, the conversion rates broke down to +10.40 at home and minus-10.88 away.

Georgia was 5-1 in Sanford Stadium last year and 1-6 everywhere else.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

9 responses to “3rd down conversion rates, ftw

  1. Senator, could third-down differential be this year’s “progression to the mean” statistic since we turned around the turnover margin in 2011? If we could have defended 3rd & long, this statistic would have been much better.


    • Doubtful, because I don’t think 3rd down conversions are as random as turnovers.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Senator, before last season weren’t you a devotee of the theory that it didn’t matter where the Dawgs played because CMR’s away record was so good? That was a justification used by some for keeping the WLOCP in Jacksonville. Seems that last year dispelled that notion, eh?


        • Russ

          Given Richt’s overall road record, I’d say last year was an outlier.


          • gatriguy

            Unreal, just won’t even consider that Jax is part of the problem.


            • Mr. Spock

              It seems logical that UGA should try to have as many home games as possible as home field advantage would maximize the likelihood of winning. How could anyone logically be opposed to such a plan unless that person had an agenda that did not include caring about winning the game? That would be the only logical explanation for such an obtuse position.


  2. AlphaDawg

    I’ve never been on cfbstats, but I was wondering if they keep track of 3 and outs by both the Offense and Defense?


  3. Dboy

    I’m sure the weak teams we played early in the year helped the home stats


  4. Will Trane

    Quick review / comparison of 2010 to 2007.
    In the win / losses grouping note the number of attempts are almost the same in total, 172 vs 180. Then note the difference in the 11 wins in 2007, 155 attempts with 35% conversion rate vs the 6 wins in 2010 with 80 attempts with an identical 35% conversion rate. This what that number tells me…they have progressed much in 4 seasons. I’m not sure what the average in, but 35% would be a little to low for me if I’m the OC. I’d want at least 5 -7% higher numbers. But what jumped out at me was the 75 more additional attempts in 07 vs 10. Perhaps those extra attemtps generate the differential of 5.
    I’m a very big believer that you have to have an offense that can score and run plays. The more attempts or plays you run in a game the greater your chances are to not only score, but control the ball and the clock.
    Also not in 10 vs 07 in the 8 conference game there were the same attempts but a greater success in 10 vs 07. Can that be explained. This is what I draw from that …just maybe the O is almost there…can not hardly key that in since I’m always on the OC’s butt…maybe it is because of the young kid who pulled the trigger on most of those plays.
    I’m almost in CMR’s corner about excitement and passion for next year. The reason…Aaron Murray.
    Thanks Senators for this post and any additional you have.