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College Football Handicapping Tips: Power Offenses and the 200 Club

11.10.2011     08:22 AM         Printer Friendly

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Back in early October, I provided an update on college football teams that both run and pass for at least 200 yards per game. These strong, balanced power offenses have the ability to effectively move the ball both on the ground and through the air, making it more difficult for defenses to game plan and create stops.

At that time of the season, the following teams were members of the “200 club”: Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oregon, San Diego State, TCU, Texas, UCF, Utah State, Virginia Tech. Through the early portion of the season, those teams went 26-14 ATS. Many of those teams are still among our list, and I’ve included the updated information and stats for your review along with their ATS records in the chart below.

The ability to gauge statistical profiles more clearly at this stage of the season can help knowing that teams have played more conference games and their body of work is more meaningful. Still, review strength of schedule and match-ups, common opponents and other situational and scheduling spots before blindly betting on these strong offensive teams.  

Last season at the end of October, there were 29 teams that rushed for at least 200 yards per game and 75 teams that passed for at least 200 yards per game. This season, there are 25 teams that rush for at least 200 ypg and 85 teams that pass for at least 200 ypg. There are 42 teams that pass for at least 250 yards per game, so combining the 200+ rushing and 250+ passing will provide even stronger offensive teams and production. Note that there were 34 teams that rushed for at least 200 ypg on Saturday, October 1, so fewer teams are showing the strongest running games.

One way to determine even stronger offensive teams from the list is to isolate those teams that rush for at least 5.0 ypr and pass for at least 7.5 yards per pass attempt. Add in those teams that score at least 30 points per game and you have some of the strongest, most balanced and efficient offenses in the nation. I’ve put an ** next to those teams that fit that profile.

Clearly we have to analyze the defensive side of the ball for both teams and the match-ups for a given week, along with the adjusted pointspread. Note injuries and how they may have affected a team’s statistical profile. Also understand the motivation level in a match-up and note some of the biggest rivalry games of the season are this month. As you become more proficient in evaluating statistics and understanding strength of schedule, situations (momentum vs. letdown), motivation and incorporating injuries and their impact into the equation, you’ll realize when teams are overvalued or undervalued based on skewed stats and SOS. When you have a team with both strong offensive production and defensive dominance, then you’re going to have some of the top teams in the nation that win conference titles and play in BSC bowl games.

Good defensive coordinators can take an average defense and slow down another team’s offense if they lack balance. Thus, high-powered passing teams that lack a running game are susceptible to inconsistent performances, especially if their own defense is not up to par. Now, there are high-powered potent offenses not on this list, and I’ve listed some of them above the chart. By providing all these teams to you, perhaps you can narrow your card or focus in on some of these teams’ match-ups moving forward for the remainder of the season and Bowls. 

Update your numbers weekly and pay attention to on-field performance, especially vs. quality opponents. At this stage of the season, you’ll see some teams playing with less energy and motivation (towel tossers), so season long statistics can be misleading. As you become more proficient in evaluating strengths and weaknesses, you’ll find yourself with more tap-in birdies, and build your bankroll by getting the green on the gridiron.

Since it becomes more difficult to rush for a 200 ypg average as the season progresses as the competition stiffens for most teams, the following teams should also be on your “power offense" watch list, as they run for at least 170 ypg and pass for at least 200 ypg: Boise State (183 ypg rushing, 295 ypg passing), Cincinnati (194, 231), Georgia (175, 253), Illinois (198, 204), Iowa State (183, 209), Mississippi State (187, 213), Michigan (232, 196), Notre Dame (175, 255), Ohio (192, 266), Oklahoma State (170, 388), UCF (180, 236), Virginia (190, 237), Wyoming (177, 242).  

For the record, teams that run and pass for at least 200 yards in a single game have produced better than 70% ATS winners the past 2+ seasons.

YPR = yards-per-rush; YPPA = yards-per-pass attempt

College Football Power Offenses as of 11/10/2011
Alabama **
Baylor **
Missouri **
Nevada **
Northern Illinois **
Oregon **
San Diego State
Southern Miss
South Florida
Stanford **
TCU **
Virginia Tech
Wisconsin **
Fairway Jay is a recognized leader in football handicapping and one of the industries insightful point spread prognosticators when analyzing statistics. He’s been a premier, proven performer and is at his best as the season progresses with more stats and data to digest. His 2010 NFL season was a record-breaking performance as he went 55-30 ATS (65%) with over +30-units of profit (1 and 2 unit scale) and his last 2+ years of college and pro football results have produced solid overall profit. Fairway Jay won the 2010 Wise Guys invitation only football contest along with top honors on his best bet selections; going 14-3-1. If you’re looking for a proven performer that provides insight and info you can bet on, then join Fairway Jay and profit from his experience.

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