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Efficiency Consistency

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Offensive Efficiency Consistency

Oregon Stands Out Above All Others



Player Development.


Phil’s Donations

Everyone seems to be trying to figure how and why Oregon is who and where they are today.  I am no exception to that statement.  I tell stories with numbers and Oregon is defying the previous lines in the sand to win a national title.  If the Ducks win on Monday, they will be the first program this century to win a title without multiple top ten recruiting classes in the last 5 years leading up to a national title victory.  They are one of three teams this century, after attrition factors, to not be a top 15 recruiter and make a national title game (Oregon 2010 and Virginia Tech 2000).

To be sure, Phil Knight has played a significant role, but many programs have huge booster donations.  The Ducks may have a bigger donation base than many, but their stadium is one of the smallest for ‘elite’ programs and with 30,000 to 50,000 fewer tickets sold per game compared to other programs, they need to balance the funding scales.

The Ducks develop players, but their recruiting ranking to NFL draftee development has been average over the last ten years.

Coaching is an interesting discussion as Oregon is on their third head coach in just seven year.  Third.  How many programs, like Ohio State had done as well, can absorb that kind of turnover?  I would say it is a program with a plan, a culture and direction that has the buy in from everyone in that touches the program.  Their offense efficiency during the last seven seasons is a great place to witness an unbelievable trend of consistency.

Many like to point to Oregon’s Pace of Play as a key factor.  It is efficiency that wins championships. The last seven champs all average over .40 points per play during the regular season.  Nine of the last ten average over .44 points per play and five of the last seven are in the top 24 of points per play over the last seven seasons.  The 2012 Alabama team is a great example.  At 2.09 plays per minute of possession, they were one of the ‘slowest’ teams in football but averaged .538 points per snap.  Efficiency in scoring, not pace of play is what makes a champ.

Take a look at the 25 ‘fastest’ teams of the last seven years.  Arizona, Baylor and one Oregon team are sprinkled in amongst a group of quick snap, offensively inefficient teams.  I am also seeing Pace of Play in college start to slow.  Plays per minute and points per play only grew .02% (two hundredths of one percent) when comparing 2013 versus 2014 results.   Some teams are starting to find their best pace for their scheme and personnel and NO ONE has done it like Oregon.

In the last 7 seasons, there have been 866 different teams attempt to go an entire season averaging over .5 points (a half point) for every offensive play*.  This amazing mark of efficiency has been achieved 52 times including this year by the FBS leading Ducks at .571 points per snap and no. 3 Ohio State at .547 points per snap.

Of those 52 teams in seven years, the Oregon Ducks own six of those marks.  This includes the last 5 years in a row.  There are no other teams among the 46 remaining marks that have four or even five such seasons.  Boise State, Baylor and Oklahoma State have three seasons each of a half point per play.

Five straight years, 67 games and 5,339 snaps, averaging over a half point (.52) EVERY snap. Florida State is the closest to Oregon’s average at .4665 points per snap since 2008.  Oklahoma State, .460.  Oklahoma, .44.  Ohio State, .443 and Baylor, .447.  The Ducks are 45% above the FBS average since 2008.

That consistency would be amazing with any single coach, but they have done it with three different head coaches, Belotti, Kelly and Helfrich.  And they are doing it all while SLOWING DOWN and becoming more efficient.

ducks efficiencyIn 2008 and the final season for Mike Belloti, the person I credit for being the starting point of the current state of the Oregon program and the guy who hired his then offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, the Ducks averaged 3.18 snaps per minute of possession.  This is their largest plays per minute mark of the last seven years but they averaged .503 points per play. The 2014 season brought the Ducks to their lowest mark of plays per minute at 2.90 but their best points per snap mark of .571 points. Slowing the pace takes time off the clock and limits the ability of the competition to score. To do this while increasing offensive scoring output and efficiency is the dagger.  I foresee a slow down in pace and increase in efficiency as college football starts to balance speed with control.

I don’t have the answer as to how they do it.  Everyone has been watching, taking notes and trying to find that answer.  Every time we think someone has figured it out, the Ducks improve, change and adapt.  Should they win the national title, it may be the crowning achievement on a run of offensive efficiency that we may not see again for a long time.  What they have going on in Eugene, not just in 2014, but for the last seven years, is the gold (and green) standard of consistency and efficiency on offense.


Fans and site owners: Want to see your team’s 2008-2014 for comparison email me dave@cfbmatrix.com, call 888-988-3282 or tweet at me @CFBMatrix

*Includes punts and field goal attempts and does not include special teams and defensive touchdowns.

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