Week 9 Advanced Stats: The Big 12 Conference

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

It's Tuesday night, and that means we've got new FootballOutsiders numbers for every team in the NCAA! Our goal here is just to look at the Big 12, though.

Another week, another new #2 for the Big 12 Conference according to F/+, the combined FootballOutsiders metric for overall strength in college football. Taking the mantle now is Oklahoma State after Texas Tech fell off slightly for reasons I can't entirely explain. Oklahoma is still third in about the same position it was before, but behind it, the conference seems to be clumping up a bit. I'm sure Bob Stoops will be proud that the depth of the Big 12 seems to be improving like it is.

So here's the chart. Again, all numbers are courtesy of the metrics at FootballOutsiders.com


Baylor Oklahoma State
Texas Tech Oklahoma Kansas State TCU Texas West Virginia
Iowa State Kansas
OVERALL:
F+/ S&P+ /FEI
5 / 2 / 8 23 / 16 / 25 33 / 32 / 32
34 / 39 / 33 37 / 34 / 42 42 / 33 / 46
46 / 67 / 37 71 / 73 / 76
76 / 68 / 63 91 / 108 / 83
2013 F/+ Special Teams
109 87
90
58
5
73
43
56
8
49
2013 FPA 30 25
64
44 43 93
59 72 20 82
O/D Categories BU O BU D OSU O OSU D TT O TT D OU O OU D KSU O KSU D TCU O TCU D UT O UT D WVU O WVU D ISU O ISU D KU O KU D
2013 FEI Rk 10
24
38
10
20
41
33
28
42
60
95
18
29
62 84
59
85
80
114 37
2013 FD Rk 1 16 69 14 18 3

29

4 30 108 113 7 43 32 101 87 119 60 123
101
2013 AY Rk 1
27
56
10
26
5
53
7
34 80
106 9
50
55
95
79
109
85
123 74
2013 Ex Rk 1
25
53
7
71
8
58
19
38
50
104 51
48
66
91
104
105
65
96
29
2013 Me Rk 85
61
110
96
7
41
60
15
11
91
88
23
89
55
93 45
112
93
118
76
2013 Va Rk 2
24
57
6
29
8
46
12 33
69
105
17
41
78
99
81
110
88
122
63
2013 S&P+ Rk
1
16
65 9 21
40
32 39 38 27 76 13 46 88 85 60 84 51 111 77
2013 Play Efficiency
1 32
54
13
25
59
38
47
42
28
76
17
43
86
74
46
84
51
114
76
2013 Drive Efficiency 2
10
69
5
18
32
29 40
32
35
78
14
50
90
96
63
84
52
112 79
2013 Std. Downs S&P+ Rk 4 44
59
14
58
79
24
62
35
29
73
13
42
71
61
43
67
45
93
90
2013 Pass. Downs S&P+ Rk 1 43
34
41
11
78
69
62
68
11
67
29
52
98
55
31
80
22
113
61
2013 Rushing S&P+ Rk 15 50
57
7
70
70
30
98
28
60
79
28
69
85
68
57
53
93
94
95
2013 Passing S&P+ Rk 1 48
50
30
29
85

46

28
48
9
65
18
27
75
53
37
81
12
115
62

Close observers of past editions of this post will notice that I reorganized things again for better clarity. Now, there are basically 3 sections to the chart, 1 of which is clearly delineated from the other two. At the very top, you'll find the overall rankings for each team in F/+, S&P+, FEI, F/+ Special Teams, and FPA. The last is FO's metric for each team's field position relative to its opponents.

Below that I've now placed FEI and its related submetrics. The real difference here is that FEI and S&P+ for offense and defense are no longer one on top of the other; instead, each has a section for its submetrics and they are stacked. I hope that helps make things a little clearer.

Just like last week, I'll start by ranking the teams by F/+ to give us a conference lineup from top to bottom.

Big 12 Conference by F/+

1. Baylor
2. Oklahoma State
3. Texas Tech
4. Oklahoma
5. Kansas State
6. TCU
7. Texas
8. West Virginia
9. Iowa State
10. Kansas

It's important to remember that both Kansas State and Texas were off this week, giving them no chance to improve on or hurt their rankings in any category. As for the rankings, I think Texas is probably still being pulled down too far by early season struggles, particularly on defense. I'd probably put them 4th, at worst. I can't decide which team is better between Texas and OU on the whole, RRS results notwithstanding. Matchups matter, after all, and Texas may be OU's perfect foil while OU is still the better team. I just don't know.

We seem to have Baylor clearly out in front, Oklahoma State surging to the #2 spot, and then a clump of Tech, OU, and Kansas State rounding out the top 5. After that, TCU and Texas fight for 6th, WVU and ISU for 8th, and then comes Kansas.

Big 12 Offenses by F/+ (the combination of S&P+ and FEI)

I realized after doing this myself last week that FO already ranks offenses and defenses by a combined F/+ ranking, making my arithmetic mean superfluous. That's good.

1. Baylor
2. Texas Tech
3. Oklahoma
4. Texas
5. Kansas State
6. Oklahoma State
7. West Virginia
8. Iowa State
9. TCU
10. Kansas

I might move Texas up to #3 here in light of OU's struggles to throw the ball but overall this seems right. Oklahoma State's offense has serious problems at QB, as evidenced by their middling rank in passing S&P+. That's pretty bad based on what we've come to expect from Gundy's teams.

Big 12 Defenses by F/+ (same)

1. Oklahoma State
2. TCU
3. Baylor
4. Oklahoma
5. Texas Tech
6. Kansas State
7. Kansas
8. West Virginia
9. Texas
10. Iowa State

Go look at Iowa State's defensive rankings this week compared to last. That's what Baylor will do: wreck you statistically. Texas is out of the basement to #9 in the conference in defense, which I seriously doubt is actually the case at this point.

Team-Specific Notes:

Baylor: See that defense creeping up in the rankings? With our offense, that's how you win championships. We just needed them to be decent; right now they're looking really, really good. They've managed to shore up significantly the major flaw, run defense, and have improved to even between passing and standard downs. I'm convinced the only reason Baylor is 15th on passing downs is that we don't face all that many of them. We're probably two weeks away from a full transformation into a better offensive version of Oklahoma State's 2011 team.

Oklahoma State: Speaking of Oklahoma State, everything I said about them last week still rings true. The defense doesn't give up big plays, the offense does not score on methodical drives, and it's generally really hard to score points on the Cowboys. They have the strongest defense in the conference, ahead of even TCU. That game in Stillwater should be a matchup of best on best between the Baylor O and the OSU D.

Texas Tech: Went to Morgantown, won by 10, and fell in the overall rankings because of it. That's a pretty raw deal for Tech, but it happened. They still don't make many big plays, preferring instead methodical drives through short passes. The reason they seem to have fallen somewhat was the defense; where before they were probably the most balanced team in the conference, now their defense has fallen to ~40 in both rankings. That doesn't bode well for their game against Oklahoma.

Oklahoma: Defense seems to have rebounded from the debacle against Texas just in time to welcome Tech to Norman. The matchup of a team that can't stop the run versus a team that doesn't want to run should be fun to watch.

Kansas State: I still think they're a better team than their record suggests, and nothing happened in the off week to convince me otherwise. Probably because nothing happened. They get West Virginia this week in Manhattan-- a game I thoroughly expect them to win.

TCU: The Big 12's standard bearer for one-sided football. Their offense actually hurts me to watch. I think it hurts their players to be a part of. Should something happen to OSU, TCU's could be the best defense in the conference soon. They get Texas this week, and I will be watching to see how the matchup of the immobile object (TCU offense) versus the movable force (UT defense) goes. I think Texas wins that game handily.

Texas: I've talked about them enough already.

West Virginia: Jumped up a spot due to our annihilation of Iowa State. Better on defense than offense, but that doesn't mean much. They're not very good in either place.

Iowa State: Please don't file a bullying complaint against us. ISU gets OSU in Ames this weekend. I haven't looked at the odds in a couple of days, but I expect OSU is a heavy favorite, no?

Kansas: We'll find out this weekend just how good that pass defense really is. They've been really good at limiting explosive plays this year, to date.

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