Scoring Offenses Going Up (or Down) in 2009

09/01/2009 § Leave a comment

I decided to take a look at scoring offenses from year to year to see if there is any correlation between returning offensive lettermen and the change in points per game.  Included in the sample were all 66 BCS conference teams for 2006 to 2007 and 2007 to 2008.  While there doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming pattern from top to bottom, there do appear to be trends forming at the extreme top and extreme bottom of these numbers.

In the time period examined, 13 teams returned at least 80% of their offensive lettermen from the previous year.  Of these teams, 11 (85%) improved their scoring by an average of 6.9 points per game.  The overall average for the 13 teams was +5.3 points per game.

Similarly, 6 teams returned 50% of their offensive lettermen or fewer.  Of these teams, 4 (67%) scored 9.5 fewer points per game on average.  The overall average for the 6 teams was -4.1 points per game.

So, which teams fall into those groups in 2009?

First the good news:  No BCS-conference team returns 50% or fewer of their offensive lettermen from 2008.  The closest team to this fatal category is West Virginia, bringing back 54% of their offensive lettermen.

On the other hand, the 80% and higher group is loaded.  Seven teams qualify for this group, including two that return more than 90% of their offensive lettermen from last season!  The 2009 offenses that should improve by around 5-10 points per game:

Minnesota (91%) – 23.2 ppg in 2008

Michigan (91%) – 20.3 ppg in 2008

Cincinnati (86%) – 25.9 ppg in 2008

Texas (83%) – 42.4 ppg in 2008

Southern Cal (82%) – 37.5 ppg in 2008

Colorado (81%) – 20.2 ppg in 2008

Stanford (80%) – 26.3 ppg in 2008

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