The Toolbox: Offensive 2nd PPP

Subtitle: Why Too Much Timeliness is a Bad Thing

So, Thursday we took a look at secondary point values*.

Secondary point values add context where little existed before.  The general EqPts figure correlates more closely to overall quality, and that's why it gets used as part of S&P+ (for a while, I experimented with using a combination of PPP and 2nd PPP, but it just dragged the correlations down), but there is a lot of value here regardless.  If we are to look at a given drive like Run Expectancy looks at a given baseball inning, then this extra context comes in handy.

Today, we look at what that extra context actually tells us.  But first, a note: I mentioned Thursday that there are both second-level point values (down-dependent) and third-level point values (down-and-distance-dependent), and we'll discuss third-level values in more detail at some point; but for the purposes of today's post, realize that there is very little difference, in terms of who thrives or struggles, between second- and third-level EqPts.  The team that thrives in one, thrives in the other.  In 2010, the correlation between 2nd PPP and 3rd PPP was 0.992, which basically means there's no significant reason to discuss 2nd- and 3rd-level points like they are separate entities.  Teams good in one are good in the other.  We might think that there is more quality in evaluating things by down and distance instead of just by down, but the numbers don't back it up.

Here are some correlations.

Category % of All
Pts Scored
Win Pct.
PPP 0.790 0.783
2nd PPP 0.756 0.736
3rd PPP 0.771 0.746

So 3rd PPP ties ever-so-slightly closer to quality than 2nd PPP (at least, it did last year), but keep in mind how nearly identical the rankings are between the two measures when you look at the 2nd PPP rankings after the jump.

2nd Rk Team 2nd PPP PPP PPP Rk Rk Diff
1 Boise State 0.25 0.52 1 0
2 Stanford 0.21 0.49 4 +2
3 TCU 0.20 0.46 6 +3
4 Auburn 0.20 0.49 3 -1
5 Wisconsin 0.17 0.44 14 +9
6 Alabama 0.17 0.47 5 -1
7 Nevada 0.17 0.46 7 0
8 Oregon 0.16 0.44 11 +3
9 Hawaii 0.15 0.50 2 -7
10 Michigan 0.12 0.43 15 +5
11 Northern Illinois 0.12 0.44 13 +2
12 Ohio State 0.11 0.44 10 -2
13 San Diego State 0.11 0.46 8 -5
14 East Carolina 0.10 0.39 22 +8
15 Air Force 0.09 0.38 27 +12
16 Arkansas 0.09 0.45 9 -7
17 Navy 0.09 0.39 21 +4
18 Michigan State 0.09 0.42 17 -1
19 Virginia Tech 0.09 0.41 19 0
20 Houston 0.08 0.38 28 +8
21 Missouri 0.07 0.36 44 +23
22 South Carolina 0.07 0.39 23 +1
23 Tulsa 0.07 0.43 16 -7
24 Kansas State 0.07 0.37 33 +9
25 Texas Tech 0.06 0.35 52 +27
26 Oklahoma State 0.06 0.44 12 -14
27 Central Florida 0.05 0.39 25 -2
28 Kentucky 0.05 0.37 34 +6
29 Baylor 0.05 0.41 18 -11
30 Iowa 0.05 0.39 24 -6
31 Oklahoma 0.04 0.36 39 +8
32 Colorado 0.04 0.33 63 +31
33 Southern Miss 0.04 0.36 36 +3
34 UAB 0.03 0.36 38 +4
35 Georgia 0.03 0.39 20 -15
36 Cincinnati 0.03 0.35 50 +14
37 SMU 0.03 0.35 49 +12
38 Utah 0.03 0.38 26 -12
39 Mississippi State 0.03 0.33 65 +26
40 Pittsburgh 0.03 0.36 45 +5
41 Ohio 0.02 0.36 37 -4
42 Indiana 0.02 0.34 59 +17
43 Virginia 0.02 0.32 72 +29
44 USC 0.02 0.37 31 -13
45 Florida State 0.02 0.38 30 -15
46 Arizona State 0.02 0.36 41 -5
47 Troy 0.01 0.38 29 -18
48 Nebraska 0.01 0.36 35 -13
49 Idaho 0.01 0.33 69 +20
50 Georgia Tech 0.00 0.34 61 +11
51 Arizona 0.00 0.35 55 +4
52 Army 0.00 0.32 74 +22
53 Arkansas State 0.00 0.35 54 +1
54 Western Michigan 0.00 0.36 40 -14
55 Louisville 0.00 0.36 43 -12
56 Oregon State 0.00 0.34 57 +1
57 Ole Miss 0.00 0.37 32 -25
58 Illinois 0.00 0.36 47 -11
59 North Carolina -0.01 0.33 64 +5
60 Notre Dame -0.01 0.34 56 -4
61 Rice -0.01 0.33 71 +10
62 Northwestern -0.01 0.32 73 +11
63 Tennessee -0.01 0.36 46 -17
64 Florida -0.01 0.32 79 +15
65 Washington -0.02 0.36 48 -17
66 NC State -0.02 0.32 76 +10
67 UTEP -0.03 0.34 62 -5
68 Penn State -0.03 0.32 78 +10
69 Middle Tennessee -0.03 0.32 77 +8
70 Toledo -0.03 0.34 58 -12
71 North Texas -0.03 0.33 70 -1
72 BYU -0.04 0.30 85 +13
73 West Virginia -0.04 0.31 83 +10
74 Texas A&M -0.04 0.33 68 -6
75 Florida International -0.04 0.35 51 -24
76 Eastern Michigan -0.04 0.32 75 -1
77 Maryland -0.05 0.35 53 -24
78 Fresno State -0.05 0.36 42 -36
79 Louisiana Tech -0.05 0.33 66 -13
80 Miami-FL -0.05 0.31 81 +1
81 Minnesota -0.05 0.31 84 +3
82 UL-Lafayette -0.06 0.30 88 +6
83 Wyoming -0.06 0.31 82 -1
84 Temple -0.06 0.34 60 -24
85 Utah State -0.06 0.27 106 +21
86 Tulane -0.06 0.29 93 +7
87 Duke -0.06 0.31 80 -7
88 Wake Forest -0.06 0.29 91 +3
89 Clemson -0.07 0.30 87 -2
90 UL-Monroe -0.07 0.29 97 +7
91 Miami-OH -0.08 0.30 90 -1
92 California -0.08 0.30 89 -3
93 UNLV -0.08 0.26 109 +16
94 Iowa State -0.08 0.27 105 +11
95 Marshall -0.08 0.29 95 0
96 Central Michigan -0.09 0.30 86 -10
97 Washington State -0.09 0.28 101 +4
98 Purdue -0.09 0.27 107 +9
99 LSU -0.10 0.33 67 -32
100 South Florida -0.10 0.29 96 -4
101 Syracuse -0.10 0.28 100 -1
102 UCLA -0.11 0.28 98 -4
103 Florida Atlantic -0.11 0.27 104 +1
104 Western Kentucky -0.11 0.26 111 +7
105 Colorado State -0.11 0.28 99 -6
106 Ball State -0.12 0.28 103 -3
107 Connecticut -0.12 0.29 94 -13
108 Kansas -0.13 0.23 118 +10
109 San Jose State -0.13 0.29 92 -17
110 Kent State -0.15 0.28 102 -8
111 Bowling Green -0.15 0.23 117 +6
112 Vanderbilt -0.15 0.26 110 -2
113 Texas -0.16 0.26 112 -1
114 New Mexico -0.16 0.21 120 +6
115 Akron -0.16 0.23 115 0
116 Buffalo -0.17 0.24 114 -2
117 Boston College -0.17 0.25 113 -4
118 New Mexico State -0.18 0.23 116 -2
119 Rutgers -0.19 0.26 108 -11
120 Memphis -0.22 0.22 119 -1

So there aren't a ton of teams whose 2nd PPP rankings vary significantly from their PPP rankings, but the ones who had better "timing" (i.e. the ones who ranked quite a bit higher in 2nd PPP) did not necessarily fare better on the field.

Teams with the Biggest Difference Between 2nd PPP Ranking and PPP Ranking (2nd > PPP)
1. Colorado (31 spots -- 63rd PPP, 32nd 2nd PPP)
2. Virginia (29 spots -- 72nd PPP, 43rd 2nd PPP)
3. Texas Tech (27 spots -- 52nd PPP, 25th 2nd PPP)
4. Mississippi State (26 spots -- 65th PPP, 39th 2nd PPP)
5. Missouri (23 spots -- 44th PPP, 21st 2nd PPP)
6. Army (22 spots -- 74th PPP, 52nd 2nd PPP)
7. Utah State (21 spots -- 106th PPP, 85th 2nd PPP)
8. Idaho (20 spots -- 69th PPP, 49th 2nd PPP)
9. Indiana (17 spots -- 59th PPP, 42nd 2nd PPP)
10. UNLV (16 spots -- 109th PPP, 93rd 2nd PPP)

These ten teams combined for a 60-66 record in 2010; four teams went to bowl games.

Teams with the Biggest Difference Between 2nd PPP Ranking and PPP Ranking (PPP > 2nd)
1. Fresno State (36 spots -- 42nd PPP, 78th 2nd PPP)
2. LSU (32 spots -- 67th PPP, 99th 2nd PPP)
3. Ole Miss (25 spots -- 32nd PPP, 57th 2nd PPP)
4. Temple (24 spots -- 60th PPP, 84th 2nd PPP)
4. Maryland (24 spots -- 53rd PPP, 77th 2nd PPP)
4. Florida International (24 spots -- 51st PPP, 75th 2nd PPP)
7. Troy (18 spots -- 29th PPP, 47th 2nd PPP)
8. San Jose State (17 spots -- 92nd PPP, 109th 2nd PPP)
8. Washington (17 spots -- 48th PPP, 65th 2nd PPP)
8. Tennessee (17 spots -- 46th PPP, 63rd 2nd PPP)

These ten teams combined for a 69-59 record and eight bowl games.  Tyler Hansen's third-down scrambles did not help Colorado put any more wins on the board.

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