Bigger is better?

Bill Connelly finds a correlation between weight and a team’s S&P+ performance.

Backfield size doesn’t matter all that much, but offensive line size certainly seems to. And while size makes a bit of a difference on offense, it makes a much larger impact on defense.

Tactically, you can scheme your way to a strong offense. But with defense, size and recruiting rankings end up telling us quite a bit about what we need to know.

Now, one potentially obvious caveat: size and recruiting rankings are not isolated factors. We know a more fully developed offensive lineman (6’6, 305 pounds) is more likely to receive a four-star ranking than a 6’7, 245-pounder with a great frame and solid athleticism. We know that a 205-pound, carved-out-of-granite safety is going to draw the eyes of Rivals’ evaluators more than a 175-pounder with potential.

O-line didn’t surprise me too much, although like many of you, I can remember Georgia’s huge offensive line from a few years ago that never really amounted to much.  Defensive back, though, does at first thought surprise a little, but given what a lot of coordinators now require out of their schemes, it does make sense.  (Nor does it surprise me that Smart has put a big emphasis on size in both places.)

In any event, give his post a read.  It’s certainly interesting.



Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!

10 responses to “Bigger is better?

  1. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I will say this: it is a different world today than it was in 1980. Just watched a replay of the 1980 SC game last night. Nat Hudson, OT and I think the biggest lineman we had tipped the scales at 260, which may mean he was more like 255. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Go back and find the numbers on the 76 defense. I think Ronnie Swopes was the only defensive lineman over 220.


      • We really are talkin different body type approaches and conditioning. I graduated in 76 and use to see either Cowboy or Moonpie on campus a fair amount and the one I saw all the time (I apologize I don’t know which one it was…. I just knew he was big and played football) but he actually had a waist and I flat guarantee you if that kid I saw was playing today he could and would carry 300 lbs. As to the 76 defense I have no idea how Zambiasi
        even survived…. maybe 6 ft and 210 ..maybe. Saw him out in front of Park Hall a lot and early in the week after a game he walked like an old man but every Saturday he answered the bell . Tough SOB just NOT big.


  2. Looks like maybe Baker will sit it out.



    That’s what she said.


  4. mdcgtp

    Belichick has a simple saying. Big people beat up little people.


  5. The big o line, along with that Big D line we had, was fat and slow. It’s pretty obvious that to play defensive back you can’t be fat. So if you’re big and fast… well same as it ever was.

    but it is amusing to find out that a big offensive line is a good thing. Like thank you for that info stats.


  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    With my usual wandering mind, I’d speculate that those correlations are consistent over time, but remain moderate (40-50%) over time. Can’t explain why though.


  7. Got Cowdog

    Uncle Cowdog was a starter on the 66 o line he was 6’0 and 220 maybe? I remember as a kid how freaking big his arms were.
    Down the road a few years, we were at the Athens Y working out. The dude was in his early 70’s at the time and threw 315 up 3 times on the bench. Strong motherfucker to this day. Scary too, when he gets pissed off….