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Who is Most Improved?

My 2009 College Football Preview Magazine has so much information in it that it would take months to go thru it all. It is like 120 media guides rolled into one. Magazine is a loose term as it is more like a book and has over 100 pages more than the other college football magazines. Not only does it have more pages but the magazine has 2 to 3 times the amount of information on each of those pages! That gives the magazine 3 to 4 times the amount of information as any other magazine.

I mention all of this because there are even parts of the magazine that I myself forget about during the year. Every spring once I have finished my tea conference write ups, Top 40, All-American Teams and All-Conference teams I then finish off the “other’ pages in the magazine. One of those pages that I find a lot of fun is the projected stats which is on page 324 and 326.

I have in-depth power ratings which rates each teams rush offense, pass offense and points scored as well as all 3 categories for the defense. I have my computer match up each team vs all of their opponents and play the games out during the year. These projected statistics are not some random number I throw into the back of the magazine to fill up space (I never have ANYTHING in the magazine that is used for filler!). They take into account this years team vs this years schedule and they are remarkably accurate.

Let me give you a few examples from last year. I rated Utah as the 5th most improved team in terms of offensive points. Utah avg 26.2 ppg in 2007 but my computer took into account their talent and schedule and said they would improve to 33.0 ppg. They even outperformed my computers expectations with 36.9 ppg in 2008 despite being picked 3rd in the MWC in the preseason poll and in other magazines.

Rice allowed 42.9 ppg on defense in 2007. When I threw the numbers into my computer in the spring of 2008 my computer said that Rice would make great strides and only allow 33.6 ppg in 2008 and they were rated as my #1 most improved defense in terms of ppg allowed. When the dust cleared from the 2008 season Rice did indeed allow 33.3 ppg which was almost a perfect forecast for my computer. It called for Rice to allow 440 ypg and they yielded 452 ypg.

Look at last years top 2 teams in the Most Improved Rush D rankings. #1 was Nebraska which gave up 232 ypg rush and 5.2 ypc in 2007. My computer said they would yield just 145 ypg rush in 2008 and when the season was complete they did even better at just 116 (3.6) which proved they deserved my Most Improved designation. The #2 team was Ole Miss which gave up 199 ypg and 4.7 ypc rushing in 2007 and they were just 3-9. Some scoffed when my computer said they would trim that to 135 ypg rush and cut their overall defense from 423 ypg to just 325 ypg despite playing in the SEC. Ole Miss did even better allowing just 86 ypg rush and 307 ypg total defense.

I could go on and on with the examples but I find projecting statistics as fascinating as projecting wins and losses and if you check out pages 324 and 326 you will get my complete statistical projection for each team in both yards and points for the year.

Here are the Top 10 Offenses this year in Most Improved Points Scored

MIP OFFENSIVE POINTS
1
Michigan
6
Notre Dame
2
UCLA
7
Illinois
3
Washington
8
Arkansas
4
SMU
9
Hawaii
5
Colorado
10
San Diego St

Here are the Top 10 Defenses this year in Most Improved Points Allowed

MIP DEFENSIVE POINTS
1
N Texas
6
Idaho
2
Washington
7
Pittsburgh
3
Kansas St
8
UCLA
4
SMU
9
Washington St
5
San Diego St
10
Marshall
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