Phil Steele looks at every team in the country — because that’s what Steele does — and measures its offensive and defensive performance in the context of where it sits in the opponent’s season.
A couple years ago during the season I was wondering how certain offensive and defensive performances that a team had vs a particular opponent stacked up on how the other opponents fared against that team. Not every performance as far as yards gained and given up is created equal due to the quality of opponent played. So to the right of the net yards and points columns, you will see an offensive vs foe and defensive vs foe numbers. The first # is what that performance ranked compared to every other team their opponent allowed throughout the year (#1 being the best, with #12 being the worst since most teams play 12 games) while the second column contains the number of yards positive or negative against their opponent’s average.
I have broke down the offensive and defensive averages and in today’s blog I took all those averages (both offense and defense) and combined them to come up with the most impressive teams in the country compared to how they fared against their opponent. Here is a ranking of all 130 teams and how they did. This list does take out Garbage yards that may occur during overtime and/or blowout wins/losses.
As far as it goes, then, that’s a relatively neutral method of analysis, relative because not all schedules are equal. Dominating a lineup of MAC opponents isn’t the same as doing so in the ACC or Pac-12.
Still, it makes for an interesting top twenty in certain ways.
More confirmation, as if we needed any, that Clemson and Alabama were the two best teams last season. Georgia’s fourth is no real surprise, either. Nor is Oklahoma’s defense, or Ohio State’s, to a lesser extent.
That Mississippi State defense, though… I knew it was good, but not that dominant.