Balancing Act

10/06/2009 § Leave a comment

We hear all the time about “balanced” teams or units.  A program that boasts both a productive offense and a stifling defense is as close to unbeatable as you can get.  An offense that can be effective on the ground as well as through the air is a difficult thing to defend, just as a defense that is stingy in both areas is tricky to attack.

I’ve developed a rating that measures a team’s overall balance between offense and defense and individual balances between rushing and passing on each side of the ball.  Below, I’ve listed the top ten most and least balanced ranked teams in each category.

Rankings are based on current AP poll.  Letter in parentheses indicates direction of imbalance (R-more run, P-more pass, O-better offense, D-better defense)


Most Balanced:  #9 Ohio State (R), #25 South Carolina(R), #14 Penn State (R), #23 South Florida (P), #5 Boise State (R), #15 Oklahoma State (R), #20 Mississippi (P), #12 Iowa (P), #21 Nebraska (R), #16 Kansas (R)

Least Balanced:  #13 Oregon (R), #24 Missouri (P), #7 USC (R),  #11 Miami (P), #3 Alabama (R), #19 Oklahoma (P), #1 Florida (R), #10 TCU (R), #22 Georgia Tech (R), #4 LSU (P)


Most Balanced:  Miami (R), #18 BYU (P), Ohio State (R), South Carolina (R), Mississippi (P), Oklahoma State (P), Cincinnati (P), #17 Auburn (P), Florida (P), #5 Virginia Tech (P)

Least Balanced:  Oklahoma (R), Iowa (R), USC (P), #2 Texas (R), Nebraska (P), TCU (R), Kansas (R), Georgia Tech (R), Penn State (R), South Florida (P)


Most Balanced:  Oklahoma State (D), Cincinnati (D), Georgia Tech (O), Miami (D), Oregon (D), Boise State (O), Alabama (D), Virginia Tech (D), Missouri (D), BYU (O)

Least Balanced:  USC (D), Oklahoma (D), Iowa (D), Florida (D), Nebraska (D), Texas (D), Mississippi (D), Penn State (D), TCU (D), South Florida (D)



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