Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit: Maryland / The Toolbox: Go After The Ball!

We'll go double-duty with today's Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit. Since I've discussed both Maryland's and N.C. State's ballhawking abilities in the last two days, and since I reference the "Go After The Ball" measure in every defensive footprint, I should probably share overall rankings at some point.

Without going into too much detail, the Go After The Ball measure is based on two main categories: forced fumbles and passes defensed (interceptions + passes broken up).  Passes broken up are weighted less than FFs and INTs, but all three are proof of play-making tendencies and ability to attack the ball, and all three give us a hint toward a defense's general personality. You can be a good defense without "going after the ball" -- solid defenses like Penn State, Iowa, Nebraska and Florida all ranked 90th or worse -- and you can be a bad defense while ball-hawking, but again, the footprint measures are intended to show style and personality instead of quality. We have plenty of quality measures elsewhere.

Top 20 below, full list after the jump. "GATB Quotient" is a fancy way of saying "Go After The Ball!"

Rk Team Forced
Fumbles 
Interceptions PBU GATB
Quotient
1 Oregon 17 21 81 0.769
2 LSU 20 19 51 0.739
3 California 20 9 47 0.723
4 Ohio State 19 19 48 0.706
5 Texas 20 8 37 0.685
6 Oklahoma 17 19 71 0.675
7 Maryland 16 19 57 0.662
8 Boise State 19 14 40 0.653
9 Army 19 14 37 0.644
10 Connecticut 18 20 32 0.641
11 Oklahoma State 15 19 57 0.638
12 Stanford 16 18 50 0.635
13 Hawaii 16 23 56 0.634
14 Tulane 17 10 41 0.633
15 Purdue 17 10 37 0.620
16 Idaho 19 11 32 0.611
17 New Mexico 18 4 38 0.611
18 N.C. State 17 9 51 0.608
19 Wake Forest 16 11 39 0.608
20 Central Florida 15 17 66 0.606
Rk Team Forced
Fumbles 
Interceptions PBU GATB
Quotient
21 West Virginia 16 12 52 0.605
22 Missouri 15 18 47 0.602
23 Iowa State 16 13 33 0.601
24 Virginia Tech 14 23 59 0.598
25 Florida International 17 15 34 0.594
26 Texas A&M 15 16 48 0.594
27 Western Michigan 15 15 31 0.582
28 USC 15 15 46 0.582
29 Kent State 13 16 44 0.579
30 South Carolina 18 10 44 0.573
31 Georgia Tech 17 8 41 0.573
32 Navy 18 7 34 0.570
33 Michigan State 13 17 52 0.564
34 Arkansas State 15 11 33 0.563
35 Florida State 14 15 62 0.562
36 Miami-OH 13 21 58 0.562
37 Oregon State 15 10 34 0.559
38 Temple 15 9 36 0.559
39 TCU 15 12 40 0.546
40 Arkansas 15 11 41 0.543
41 Mississippi State 14 13 45 0.543
42 Washington 15 12 39 0.543
43 Kansas State 11 13 68 0.540
44 Texas Tech 12 15 55 0.537
45 Ohio 12 17 50 0.534
46 Tulsa 10 24 52 0.534
47 Buffalo 11 15 48 0.534
48 Vanderbilt 14 9 35 0.530
49 Troy 13 14 45 0.525
50 Illinois 14 11 42 0.522
51 Houston 12 13 40 0.521
52 BYU 12 16 47 0.519
53 Southern Miss 12 16 47 0.519
54 Alabama 9 22 57 0.513
55 Pittsburgh 13 13 42 0.510
56 Louisiana Tech 11 12 46 0.508
57 Rutgers 14 8 30 0.508
58 North Carolina 11 19 45 0.507
59 Nevada 17 12 24 0.507
60 Bowling Green 11 14 41 0.505
61 Central Michigan 15 4 29 0.505
62 Marshall 11 11 46 0.502
63 Fresno State 14 8 38 0.493
64 Toledo 11 20 38 0.493
65 Washington State 12 11 35 0.492
66 Rice 12 6 44 0.489
67 San Jose State 12 10 48 0.487
68 Clemson 11 15 45 0.484
69 Duke 12 8 37 0.479
70 Utah 13 12 33 0.478
71 Ball State 11 17 26 0.476
72 Florida Atlantic 11 11 37 0.473
73 Miami-FL 10 16 47 0.472
74 Boston College 10 20 38 0.469
75 UAB 10 9 46 0.463
76 Western Kentucky 13 8 23 0.460
77 UTEP 10 11 52 0.457
78 Ole Miss 12 6 32 0.450
79 Tennessee 9 18 43 0.448
80 Kansas 11 7 37 0.447
81 Wyoming 10 9 41 0.447
82 Arizona 9 9 60 0.445
83 Northwestern 10 15 40 0.445
84 Baylor 11 10 41 0.442
85 Cincinnati 12 8 25 0.440
86 San Diego State 8 10 64 0.439
87 Auburn 12 12 39 0.438
88 Wisconsin 9 14 46 0.433
89 Northern Illinois 10 16 45 0.433
90 Colorado State 14 4 14 0.431
91 Syracuse 12 9 31 0.430
92 Notre Dame 8 18 44 0.427
93 Nebraska 9 19 45 0.427
94 UCLA 8 7 53 0.421
95 Georgia 10 16 29 0.418
96 Air Force 10 12 36 0.415
97 UNLV 12 7 30 0.415
98 Arizona State 9 12 33 0.415
99 Akron 10 8 30 0.405
100 Middle Tennessee 9 11 40 0.398
101 Minnesota 10 11 20 0.392
102 Florida 6 22 38 0.386
103 Iowa 6 19 43 0.383
104 North Texas 9 8 29 0.376
105 East Carolina 8 11 40 0.374
106 Eastern Michigan 10 2 30 0.367
107 UL-Monroe 6 12 42 0.367
108 Kentucky 10 9 24 0.362
109 Louisville 9 9 30 0.356
110 South Florida 7 15 32 0.350
111 Colorado 8 10 23 0.344
112 New Mexico State 7 4 43 0.344
113 UL-Lafayette 6 14 31 0.344
114 SMU 7 10 45 0.333
115 Virginia 7 11 24 0.328
116 Utah State 3 13 47 0.312
117 Michigan 6 12 31 0.306
118 Memphis 6 8 28 0.296
119 Indiana 5 8 29 0.273
120 Penn State 4 10 33 0.252

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