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Best big plays for college football


How does college football create an impact as big as the three-pointer that is in the college basketball and NBA game? Well, that is a big play that can for big yards and hopefully points in shorter order.

There is so much more we can learn about NCAAF and how those explosive plays can come to be. It takes a great offensive mind to go forward with these type of plays.

The key to explosiveness is starting with efficiency. The key to making big plays is being able to stay on the field long enough to eventually make a big time play.

This doesn’t happen all that often, but one of the most fun things about getting into advanced stats has been is the chance for a single revelation or a one piece of writing to completely change the way you look at college football. There’s a real adrenaline rush that is hard to explain

Having watched plenty of baseball in my life and before I first read Voros McCracken’s musings about pitching and defense plus about how one’s batting average on balls in play is really only so much in your, or a pitcher’s, control. However, once you read it, you realize how many things you were looking at incorrectly.

There was the "How could I have not seen this?" moment back in 2012, when Ken Pomeroy began breaking down three-point % defense. He basically went about showing that the only thing the defense has control of is an opponent’s three-point attempts, and that once the ball’s in the air, randomness takes over.

With few exceptions, the best look of three-point defense is a team’s ability to keep the opponents from taking those three-point shots. This is what the Rick Majerus defense did at St. Louis, and fortunately for Billiken fans, Jim Crews is carrying on that tradition as they are currently allowing the nation’s second-fewest 3PA%.

When people say that advanced-stats users are nerds, I can only think the people that don’t use them are those real dorks. Nobody with any knowledge of basketball would talk about free throw defense using opponents’ free throw percentage as if it was a real thing, but we’ll hear plenty of references to three-point defense in that way from respected people. Of course, both free-throw defense and three-point defense exist, but it’s much better measured in the amount of shots taken and not in the noisy world of the percentage of shots an opponent makes.

One easy and telling test you can run for data is what you could call the bucket test. Toss half the data into one bucket and half in the another bucket, and see how similar they are. A reliable measure will feature basically the data. An unreliable one won’t. Your opponent’s 3PT% is extremely unreliable, then.

So are the big plays.

The best success rate defenses midway through regressed toward the mean a more than the best offenses did in that time, however the worst defenses barely changed at all. Meanwhile, the range in IsoPPP reverted from huge to small, just as it did with offense.

Efficiency is everything in college football. Explosiveness is too random to rely on without efficiency.

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