Daily Blog •July 8, 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 defenses this year in three separate categories: rush defense, pass defense and scoring defense.

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

Most Improved Rush Defenses in 2013

Rank Team
2 Texas St
3 Texas
4 Arizona St
5 Arizona
6 Boston College
7 Marshall
8 Washington
9 Miami, Fl
10 Fresno St
11 Louisville
12 Tennessee
13 Tulane
14 USF
15 Army
122 FIU
123 Iowa St
124 SMU
125 BYU
126 UTSA

Last year the Trojans allowed 167 rush ypg (4.1) but did generate 45 sks. This year most of the key guys return including DE Morgan Breslin who had 13 sacks while DE Leonard Williams earned Pac-12 Frosh Defensive POY honors after recording 8 sacks. Overall my computer projects the Trojans will allow just 78 rush ypg an improvement of 89 ypg!

At the bottom of the list is UTSA, who will be taking a large jump up in schedule strength this year moving to CUSA. Last year they allowed just 108 rush ypg (3.3) but this year my computer is forecasting that they will allow 176 rush ypg (+68 ypg).

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

Most Improved Pass Defenses in 2013

Rank Team
1 Louisiana Tech
2 Oklahoma St
3 West Virginia
4 Tennessee
5 Baylor
6 Miami, Fl
7 Houston
8 Louisiana
9 Ohio St
10 ULM
11 WKU
12 Stanford
13 Arkansas
14 Arizona
15 Oregon
122 Georgia St
123 Nevada
124 Georgia
125 Michigan
126 Texas Tech

Last year Louisiana Tech allowed 340 pass ypg, which was the worst in the country. This year despite only 4 returning starters on defense my computer is projecting that they will allow “only” 279 pass ypg, which is a 61 ypg improvement.

At the bottom of the list is Texas Tech, which allowed “only” 192 pass ypg in a pass-happy Big 12. This year they lose 3 of their 4 starters in their secondary and my computer forecasts that they will allow 258 pass ypg (+66 ypg).

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

Most Improved Scoring Defenses in 2013

Rank Team
1 Marshall
2 Tennessee
3 New Mexico St
4 Colorado
5 Arizona
6 Texas
7 Tulane
8 Mississippi
10 Southern Miss
11 USC
12 Arkansas
13 Oklahoma St
14 Baylor
15 Nebraska
122 Kent St
123 Georgia St
124 Rutgers
125 Iowa St
126 UTSA

Last year Marshall’s defense allowed 43 ppg, which ranked #123 in the country out of 124 teams. This year’s defense has 7 returning starters, adds a couple of BCS transfers and should be much improved. My computer calls for them to allow 30.5 ppg on D, a near 2 td improvement and it is one of the reasons why the Herd are my #1 most improved team in the country this year.

At the bottom of the list is again UTSA. While the Roadrunners do return 8 starters on that side of the ball, the schedule is much more difficult w/ powerful offenses Oklahoma St and Arizona and after allowing 28.8 ppg in 2012, my computer is forecasting that they will allow 39.5 ppg

Only 52 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!