Cutting edge ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

I’ve taken it as a matter of faith that the best college football team of the past two decades to win a national title was the 1995 Nebraska squad and that the weakest national title winner during that time was 2002 Ohio State.  Matt Melton runs some numbers which basically confirm my impressions, but what’s more interesting is that he finds a contender for that Ohio State team.

It’s Florida, 2006 edition.

Melton tracks 21 national championship teams in four statistical categories: scoring margin, scoring ratio (points scored against points allowed), dominant wins and road/neutral field scoring margin.  That Florida team finished next to last in three of the four and two slots from the bottom in the fourth.

Let’s not forget that ’06 Gator defense was pretty stout – it finished sixth nationally in scoring defense, yielding 13.5 points per game.  So what Matt’s numbers are telling you is that the Florida offense was unusually anemic for a national championship team.

But that was part of Urban Meyer’s plan, remember?

… If the spread works, why did it only score 21 points against SEC teams? Well, I think the answer is clear: it didn’t need to score more. How long should a man’s legs be? Answer: Long enough to touch the ground.

… Going into most conference games, Meyer knew that the other team couldn’t score against his defense, so why open things up? He played the percentages.

Funny how Corch quit playing the percentages two years later.  I wonder what came over him.

19 Comments

Filed under Stats Geek!, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

19 responses to “Cutting edge ain’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

  1. TimRankine

    Big Game Bob Stoops knows how to play the percentages.

  2. charlottedawg

    Allow me to get on my soapbox a little in regards to Meyer’s first national championship 1)even though everyone thinks of Meyer and Tebow Charlie Strong is the biggest reason for UF’s championships. 07 Tebow heisman plus young florida D equals 4 losses. 06 very little tebow or 08 slightly worse personal stats for tebow plus awesome D equals national championships. 2) Had USC not faceplanted against UCLA they would’ve won the NC against OSU or UF in a blowout. USC beat the crap out of SEC west champ Ark @ Ark and they only had 2 non conf losses under Carroll 1 being to Texas in 05. 3) UF was very lucky they even got a chance to play for the NC in 06.

  3. ScoutDawg

    Thoroughly enjoyed your correspondence with HP. Assuming you did not get a Xmas card this year?

  4. D.N. Nation

    Yeah, I would’ve thrown ’06 Florida out there too. Close shaves against UT, USC (who should’ve beaten them), FSU, freaking Vandy, even Georgia in its tank month that year.

    Turned on the jets at the end, though.

  5. I know the point of the article was to discuss why the Urban Meyer offense stormed the SEC re: TGPOOE, but just for fun – what do the commenters here accept as the weakest national champsionship teams during their lifetimes? The barometer for me still has to be the 1984 BYU team (granted I don’t remember any of that one considering I was still in diapers) with the 1990 Georgia Tech team a close second.

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    How dare a mere mortal like you question Corch’s wisdom.

  7. Biggus Rickus

    2010 Auburn is pretty solidly third worst and is closer to the bottom two than the next team up.

  8. Aligator

    He did not want his record to be too tarnished and he tried to get out. But just like Tony Montoya, they pulled him back in for one more year and he hung on for dear life.