Introducing ... The MACtion Scale

As you'll see in today's Morning Tailgate Mailbag, someone proposed an excitement scale of sorts ... basically a way to look at the teams most likely to play exciting, ridiculous games. Here's how I discuss it in the mailbag

Not everybody actually enjoys offensive shootouts, but mid-week, high-scoring MAC games were a nice complement to the fact that the top two teams in the country (and a good portion of the SEC) were focused on suffocating, grueling defense. Points don't equal quality, but there's a certain excitement involved in shootouts, so let's create a scale. Along the lines of what M.M. suggested, we're going to need a mixture of high and low quality, using Passing Downs PPP ratings (raw passing downs explosiveness ratings, unadjusted for opponent) and Leverage Rates (the ratio of standard downs to total plays -- the higher the Leverage Rate, the fewer passing downs you are facing). The trick here, is that pure, MACtion-worthy football requires a mixture of good and bad football. On offense, you have to be able to continuously dig yourself out of holes on passing downs and unable to avoid passing downs. On defense, it's the opposite -- you should be able to force passing downs and continuously let teams off the hook.

After some more thought, I might revisit this idea -- it could be used as another aspect of a team's "personality" (along with things like pace, run-pass ratios and Covariance -- but for use in the mailbag, I'm using Study Hall to post the entire list. Below, you'll see teams given points based on their Passing Downs PPP ratings (offense and defense) and leverage rates (offense and defense). The points from the four columns don't directly add up to the TOTAL column simply because "good" in two of the categories is "bad" in terms of MACtion. (Actual MAC teams in bold)

Offense Off. PD
PPP Rk
Off. Leverage
Rk
Def. Leverage
Rk
Def. PD
PPP Rk
COMBINED
Vanderbilt 27 114 25 29 151
Miami (Ohio)
54 105 45 76 160
Eastern Michigan 42 70 23 73 164
California 47 76 5 53 165
Washington 30 64 72 111 169
Auburn 59 103 70 98 170
San Diego State 56 80 41 89 170
UTEP 40 87 82 106 171
Colorado 80 120 92 120 174
Wake Forest 45 95 63 81 174
Duke 50 89 79 105 177
Georgia 46 99 4 15 178
Hawaii 48 97 28 43 178
Louisville 82 101 33 78 178
TCU 1 11 13 64 181
Arizona 31 50 73 113 183
Michigan State 15 59 3 16 185
Fresno State 67 51 35 107 186
UL-Monroe 57 102 49 59 187
Southern Miss 26 75 27 27 193
Memphis 118 118 56 104 194
West Virginia 7 52 42 42 197
Western Michigan 20 31 60 92 199
Buffalo 86 100 55 82 201
Florida Atlantic 117 117 77 115 204

This probably does need tweaking -- any MACtion list without Toledo in its Top 25 isn't quite right -- but it's a start.

Full (tentative) list after the jump. It's probably worth noting that No. 1 Vandy and No. 26 Cincinnati are playing each other in the Liberty Bowl in a few weeks.

Offense Off. PD
PPP Rk
Off. Leverage
Rk
Def. Leverage
Rk
Def. PD
PPP Rk
COMBINED
Cincinnati 15 84 37 4 206
Georgia Tech 10 14 48 79 207
Tennessee 69 94 51 61 207
Ole Miss 110 119 83 108 208
Northern Illinois 12 19 65 91 209
Wyoming 51 96 110 97 210
Utah State 6 21 80 95 212
Tulane 102 83 54 102 213
Houston 2 13 40 57 214
Western Kentucky 95 56 24 90 215
Connecticut 115 107 7 41 216
New Mexico State 79 115 111 101 216
North Carolina 18 24 47 67 216
Virginia 84 43 9 75 217
Florida State 17 46 18 13 218
N.C. State 37 74 67 54 218
Indiana 107 112 94 112 219
Nevada 38 7 30 84 219
Arizona State 36 60 74 71 221
Central Michigan 70 93 96 94 221
Oklahoma 29 15 12 44 224
Boise State 4 12 14 23 225
Stanford 25 2 21 60 226
BYU 34 42 15 22 227
Rutgers 85 113 16 2 228
Ohio 41 28 8 34 229
Clemson 33 67 90 68 230
Marshall 103 111 61 65 230
Michigan 13 32 57 50 230
Virginia Tech 32 44 6 6 230
Arkansas State 44 46 22 31 231
Ohio State 52 91 62 33 232
Rice 77 69 87 103 234
USC 9 16 36 37 234
Florida 108 86 19 46 237
Illinois 74 54 26 49 239
UL-Lafayette 81 88 68 62 241
Texas Tech 14 17 112 109 242
Alabama 24 22 2 1 245
LSU 8 3 1 3 245
Maryland 61 79 107 86 245
Texas A&M 21 23 43 38 245
SMU 57 77 69 45 246
Kansas 72 68 117 116 247
Kent State 116 108 17 20 247
Kentucky 114 109 52 52 247
Oregon 23 53 59 24 247
Toledo 19 30 86 70 247
Baylor 5 6 95 88 248
Northwestern 35 8 78 96 251
Arkansas 22 73 91 28 254
Oregon State 76 104 114 74 254
Ball State 62 34 102 117 255
Bowling Green 63 81 71 35 260
Idaho 109 110 76 56 261
Akron 119 116 118 99 264
New Mexico 111 92 119 114 266
Tulsa 39 33 66 48 266
Iowa State 88 105 97 54 268
Penn State 93 62 10 14 269
Florida International 73 49 34 30 270
Iowa 28 35 104 69 270
Utah 100 90 31 12 271
Wisconsin 3 10 44 7 272
Boston College 78 98 98 47 273
Troy 87 82 103 77 273
Washington State 104 85 84 72 273
Kansas State 91 57 99 100 275
Nebraska 55 40 58 39 276
Purdue 89 78 89 66 276
UAB 90 65 120 110 277
UNLV 120 66 101 118 279
UCLA 65 29 85 82 281
Middle Tennessee 60 58 100 58 286
Oklahoma State 11 4 50 11 288
Central Florida 71 20 11 10 294
North Texas 113 63 53 51 294
Notre Dame 53 25 64 40 294
South Florida 64 18 39 32 295
Syracuse 97 37 29 36 295
Temple 68 36 32 8 298
San Jose State 96 71 113 80 300
South Carolina 66 27 38 18 301
Minnesota 101 55 105 85 308
East Carolina 99 48 109 93 309
Texas 105 41 20 16 310
Army 106 5 88 119 312
Air Force 49 1 115 87 318
Missouri 43 26 81 19 321
Miami 74 39 108 63 322
Louisiana Tech 92 45 46 9 326
Mississippi State 94 72 75 5 334
Colorado State 98 61 106 25 360
Pittsburgh 112 38 93 21 388
Navy 83 9 116 26 406

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