Matt Hinton makes the case for a strong correlation between passer efficiency and winning.
1. Auburn (Cam Newton). 14-0, SEC champion, BCS Championship, No. 1 in final AP poll.
2. Boise State (Kellen Moore). 12-1, WAC co-champion, No. 10 in final AP poll.
3. Stanford (Andrew Luck). 12-1, Orange Bowl, No. 3 in final AP poll.
4. Wisconsin (Scott Tolzien). 11-2, Big Ten co-champion, Rose Bowl, No. 7 in final AP poll.
5. Alabama (Greg McElroy). 10-3, No. 9 in final AP poll.
6. TCU (Andy Dalton). 13-0, Mountain West champion, Rose Bowl, No. 2 in final AP poll.
7. Arkansas (Ryan Mallett). 10-3, Sugar Bowl, No. 12 in final AP poll.
8. Ohio State (Terrelle Pryor). 12-1, Big Ten co-champion, Sugar Bowl, No. 5 in final AP poll.
Three more schools that played in BCS games finished in the top 25 in passer efficiency. It’s no wonder that it leads Hinton to conclude
… In other words, pass efficiency is the statistic that may best reflect not only a good quarterback but a good offense that keeps in position to succeed as a result of its overall balance. Somewhere in that idea is the secret sweet spot in the age of the postmodern offense: Yes, you have to be able to throw, but it’s still a matter of quality over quantity.
Well, except at one place.
… Sixteen of the top 20 teams in terms of pass efficiency rating finished with at least 10 wins, significantly more than any in any other major stat category. Only one of the top-20 pass efficiency teams (Georgia, at 6-7) finished worse than three games over .500… [Emphasis added.]
I keep saying it – once you get past the disappointment, all that’s left from the smoking crater of last year’s season is a genuine sense of puzzlement about how things turned out so badly.