Daily Blog •July 5, 2013

My 2013 College Football Preview Magazine has so much information in it that it would take months to go thru it all. It is like 126 media guides rolled into one.

Magazine is a loose term for it as the Preview is more like a book with over 100 pages more than any other college football magazine. Not only does it have more pages, but the magazine has 2 to 3 times the amount of information on each page! That gives my magazine 3 to 4 times the amount of information of any other magazine!

I mention all of this because there are even parts of the magazine that I myself forget about during the year. Every spring once I have finished my conference write-ups, Top 40, All-American and All-Conference Teams I wrap up the “other” pages in the magazine. One of those pages that I find a lot of fun is the projected stats, which is on page 22-23.

I have in-depth power ratings which rates each team’s rush offense, pass offense and points scored as well as all three categories for the defense. I have my computer match up each team vs all of their opponents and play the games out during the year. These projected statistics are not some random number I throw into the the magazine to fill up space (I never have ANYTHING in the magazine that is used for filler!). They take into account this year’s team vs this year’s schedule and they are remarkably accurate.

Let me give you a few examples from the last couple of years:

In 2009, Rice returned only 3 starters from a unit that avg’d 41.3 ppg in 2008 and the Owls went on to score a pedestrian 18.3 ppg. Three years ago they returned 9 starters and in my 2010 Preview I declared that they would have the Most Improved Offensive Points in the country and my computer predicted they would avg 28.6 ppg. Amazingly Rice would go on to score 28.7 ppg a 10.4 ppg improvement and my computer was just .1 PPG off!
On the defensive side in 2010, Miami, Oh was my #2 Most Improved Defensive Points allowed team in the country as they returned nine starters from a unit that allowed 34.2 ppg in 2009. My computer projected they would give up 28.0 ppg a 6.2 ppg improvement but even the RedHawks exceeded my expectations and allowed just 23.2 ppg a 11 ppg improvement last year!

I could go on and on with the examples because I find projecting statistics as fascinating as projecting wins and losses.

Today’s blog takes at look at my computer’s projected stats as far as which teams will have the most improved offenses this year in three separate categories: rush offense, pass offense and scoring offense.

Let’s look at my Top 15 most improved rush offenses for this year followed by my 5 least improved rush offenses.

Most Improved Rush Offenses in 2013

Rank Team
1 Tulane
2 Wake Forest
3 Duke
4 Penn St
5 Miami, Fl
7 Connecticut
8 Boston College
9 Oklahoma
10 UAB
11 Virginia Tech
12 Washington St
13 Iowa
14 Washington
15 Arkansas
122 Nevada
123 Oklahoma St
124 Temple
125 Louisiana Tech
126 California

Last year Tulane avg’d just 40 rush ypg (1.7). One of the major reasons why was their starting RB Orleans Darkwa was not healthy most of the year. This year my computer projects that the Green Wave will more than triple their rush production as it calls for them to average 127 ypg (+87). Also near the top of the list are Wake Forest and Duke, who will feature much more rush-based offenses this year.

At the bottom of the list is California, who has a new head coach in Sonny Dykes. Dykes will switch up the Bears offense by going to a hurry-up spread attack and after averaging 183 rush ypg last year (4.9), my computer is calling for Cal to average only 108 rush ypg (-75).

Now let’s look at my Top 15 most improved pass offenses for this year followed by my 5 least improved pass offenses.

Most Improved Pass Offenses in 2013

Rank Team
1 Florida
2 Ohio St
3 Temple
4 Auburn
5 Missouri
6 Northwestern
7 Notre Dame
8 Michigan
9 Alabama
10 New Mexico
11 Nebraska
12 North Texas
13 Hawaii
14 Kansas
15 Boise St
122 Akron
123 Arkansas
124 Tennessee
125 Duke
126 Old Dominion

Last year Florida avg’d just 146 pass ypg as QB Jeff Driskel struggled in his first year as the starter. He didn’t have many legitimate receiving threats at WR and the OL also struggled in pass protection allowing 39 sacks (13.5%). This year my computer is projecting the Gators will avg 241 pass ypg (+95) as Driskel and the offense should be much improved.

At the bottom of my list is Old Dominion who takes a step up to the FBS level this year. Last year their QB Taylor Heinicke broke Steve McNair’s FCS single-season record with 5,076 passing yards as the Monarchs avg’d 394 pass ypg. This year my computer is projecting ODU to avg “only” 282 pass ypg (-112) with an upgraded schedule.

My final offensive category looks at my Top 15 most improved scoring offenses for this year followed by my 5 least improved scoring offenses.

Most Improved Scoring Offenses in 2013

Rank Team
1 Tulane
2 North Texas
3 Auburn
4 Colorado St
5 Buffalo
6 South Alabama
7 Connecticut
8 Maryland
9 Virginia Tech
10 Southern Miss
11 Illinois
12 Kansas
13 Washington
14 Colorado
15 Missouri
122 Kent St
123 Nevada
124 West Virginia
125 Georgia St
126 Louisiana Tech

Like the rush offense, Tulane tops my chart here as last year they only avg’d 21.4 ppg last year but this year returns 9 starters and my computer is calling for them to avg 33.2 ppg (+11.8). Also near the top in several offensive categories is Auburn who was anemic on offense last year but figures to be much improved this year with new head coach Gus Malzahn and 7 returning starters.

At the bottom of the list is Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs return only 3 starters from last year’s team that led the country in scoring average at 51.5 ppg! This year my computer is calling for them to avg “only” 36.7 ppg (-14.8)

In the coming days, I will look at the other side of the ball and look at the most improved defenses this year according to my computer.

Only 55 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!