Touchback City

Paul Myerberg did the math on something I was very interested in seeing after the first week of the season went in the books.

Last fall, 32 teams in the F.B.S. earned a touchback on 20 or more percent of their kickoffs. Two teams, Auburn (57.6) and Oklahoma State (53.5) registered touchbacks on more than half of their kickoffs.

Over the season’s opening weekend, 91 teams registered a touchback on 20 or more percent of their kickoffs. Eight teams opted for a touchback on every kickoff: Idaho, U.C.L.A., Vanderbilt, Memphis, Michigan, Western Michigan, Washington State and UTEP.

That is pretty dramatic.  Sure, it’s a small sample size, and, sure, you can expect some coaches to experiment with kickoffs (and kickoff returns) as the season develops and they get a better feel for how their special teams can perform.  But I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here by predicting we’re going to see a significant increase in touchbacks this season.

Over the long haul, if that favorably impacts player health, I’m all for it.  As for the short run, I’m also in for any development that helps a certain team reduce the impact of finishing 87th in opponent kickoff returns last season.


Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!

16 responses to “Touchback City

  1. zdawg15

    Morgan appears to have the leg. The extra 5 doesn’t hurt. Senator, hit me with Richt’s SEC road record….

    • The Lone Stranger

      I “think” it is something like 30-8 in road SEC contests. Not definitive, but his road conference record is slightly better than at home.

    • The Lone Stranger

      That’s the # — 30-8 OTR and 27-12 in home SEC games. Interesting breakdown I also found: Dawgs are 24-1 in conference games in which they do NOT commit a turnover.

    • zdawg15

      Does that include FU in Jville?

      • The Lone Stranger

        Nah — those are neutral site games. But the math on that is easy: Richt is 3-8.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          If you include the WLOCP as a neutral site game and count all the other real neutral site games (bowls: 7-4, SECCGs: 2-2 and the season opener with Boise last year at the GA Dome: 0-1) it’s more like 12-15. I personally do not consider Jacksonville to be a neutral site. When UGA played Bama in Birmingham (as we did in years when Bama was the home team for a long time) was Birmingham a neutral site?

          • Russ

            Did we get half the tickets in Birmingham? Then that isn’t neutral.

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              Did Boise get half the tickets in the Dome last year? i guess that wasn’t neutral either.

              • Russ

                Your comparison was with Jacksonville not being neutral. It is a neutral site with tickets split evenly.

                Boise could buy as many tickets as they wanted, but there aren’t 40,000 people in Boise.

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  You Disney Dogs take the cake. You always figure stats to ignore the WLOCP and give CMR the best possible winning percentage. “Look how good CMR’s record is in away games, ” you say, conveniently ignoring his record in the WLOCP game because “It’s not an away game.” Then you say, “Look how good CMR’s record is in home games,” again ignoring his record in JAX because “That’s not a home game.” Fine, just don’t pretend that the games weren’t played like you seem to be doing. OK, call it a “neutral site” game if you care to. That makes CMR 12-15 in neutral site games over 11 years. Do you like that better? Now go back to sleep in you doghouse.

                  • The Lone Stranger

                    No DisneyDawg here, friend — just breaking down the record as I see it, using universally recognized terms. I’ve always taken the appelation of HOME game to infer that the “Home” team gets the benefit of not having to radically alter its travel schedule or weekly routine.

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      Right. That’s exactly why the WLOCP is really a “home” game for the Gators, which was my point all along.

  2. Looks like an NCAA basckeball ranking though.

  3. Cojones

    What! No gaming the game today?

    I predict that both UGA and Mizzou will kick as many as they can past the end zone to nullify each other’s runback capability. So there.

    Go Dawgs!! Woof!woof!woof!