Friday, January 26, 2007

Was Reggie Ball really that bad? Duh.

I believe the most accurate measure of a QB is yards per attempt. In fact, one could argue to dismiss the passer rating system and simply replace it with yards per attempt to measure a quarterback's effectiveness. We're not making that argument right now, but it's certainly one that can be made.

Put most simply, leaders in yards per attempt and passer rating won more often than leaders in TD passes and passing yards.

When we measure yards per pass attempt, use only NET passing figures to determine yards per attempt. This is gross passing yards, minus yards lost via sacks, divided by passing attempts. If we were merely looking at individual quarterbacks and their yards per attempt, we might (might!) be inclined to use gross passing yards, so as not to penalize the quarterback if he has a sieve of an offensive line.

For example, if a quarterback attempts 10 passes for 100 yards, his yards per attempt is 10.0 YPA. Easy enough, right? But what if that QB was sacked three times and lost 22 yards? Suddenly, the team's passing YPA is a mere 6.0 (78/13).

Without further adieu, here are the ACC stats for yards per attempt:

Net Passing Yards/Net Passing Attempts/Yds per Attempt

Clemson 2410/342/7.05
Wake Forest 2022/313/6.46
Maryland 2259/355/6.36
Florida State 2904/465/6.25
Boston College 2958/482/6.14
Virginia Tech 2144/351/6.11
Miami 2352/386/6.09
North Carolina 1999/355/5.63
Georgia Tech 2197/391/5.62
NC State 2069/398/5.20
Duke 1968/401/4.91
Virginia 1668/378/4.41

Georgia Tech is 9th out of 12 teams. Look at the company they keep. It’s quite amazing they won 9 games.

Next post: How they compared against other BCS teams.

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