After two games, Texas Tech's average time of possession is 26:56 minutes a game. It doesn't take a math major to figure out that as a result, Texas Tech's opponents would average 33:04 minutes of possession per game. A side note real quick on this article, I'm talking about this Red Raiders team. I not talking about Oregon or Baylor, or other up-tempo teams. I'm talking about this team. Now on to this hot-take-analytical piece of literature.
Numbers, Those Things are Actually Useful
Following the 2014 season, 24/7 published an article over up-tempo offenses. The #1 team in snaps per second was BYU. The Cougars were snapping the ball every 19.51 seconds and Texas Tech was second with 19.52 seconds. Coming in at #25 was Idaho at 24.32 seconds per snap and Alabama was snapping the ball every 30.22 seconds which is basically a snail's pace in today's game. Moving forward, I'm going to use the number of 26 seconds per snap. This would be a team's pace if they ranked in the middle of the pack. Obviously some team's are more up-tempo than others and some school's like to slow it down so this is why we're going with 26.
So now we have two crucial numbers for this piece, 33:04 minutes of possession and 26 seconds per snap. That calculates out to on average right around 76 offensive snaps a game that the opponent will run against Texas Tech's defense. After two weeks, Texas State is leading the nation with averaging 104 plays per game although they've only played one game. The number of 76 snaps a game would place a team right around the 47th-54th range. That's the number teams like Oregon, Louisville, Notre Dame and Georgia are averaging at the moment.
Let's look at points per play now. Louisville is leading the nation by averaging .868 points per play. A team ranking towards the bottom of the NCAA like UMass is averaging .112 points per play, and a team like Boston College who ranks in the middle at 63rd in the nation is averaging .339 points per play. Time for some math now.
The Formula in Action
Texas Tech's defense currently ranks at 125th in total yards per game and 124th in scoring defense. So, in my opinion, there's no reason to say none of the numbers I'm about to present you aren't possible. Above, we did some math to come up with 76 plays per game as an opponent average and now we'll plug in some teams' points per play. First, let's use a low-ranking school like Arkansas State who is currently averaging a measly .176 points per play. If the Red Raiders allowed the Red Wolves to run 76 plays, and the defense played sub-par they would score around 13 or 14 points using their points per play times 76 plays (.176 X 76 = 13.376 points).
Now that you've seen how my system works, let's have some fun. I mentioned Boston College ranking 63rd in points per play with .339, plug that into the formula against a sub-par defense and they score almost 26 points. Here's where things get scary, South Florida ranks 20th with .539 plug that in and it's 41 points. I think Texas Tech could still come away with a victory in that case though. Check out #10 in points per play, Alabama, who scores .604 points per play, that's 46 points against a below average Texas Tech defense. Now if we really want to freak out, let's use Louisville who is putting up .868 points a play. That would result in a frightening 66 points against Tech, and I unfortunately believe that's a realistic number for the Red Raiders after last week's game. I'll take this one step further and use this week's opponent, Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are currently averaging .351 points per play against FBS schools, they played Arkansas week 1. If we plug in that .351 into the formula the Bulldogs get almost 27 points. I think Louisiana Tech scoring 27 points this week is a very reasonable number.
So are you still with me, did that make sense? What did you think? Am I jumping to conclusions or is this formula something we should check out more often than not? Do you think Louisiana Tech puts up 27 this week?
I know it's only been two games, but man last week was a kick to the gut. Everyone is scrambling to find answers to what happened and this is a possible reason I came up with.