Yessiree-bob, the start of another week. With coffee in hand, let’s get right to it.
A bit of a slow week, but not entirely dormant. For instance, Charles has an article on rules changes that he’d like to see implemented. They concern ability to return onside kicks, number of coach’s challenges and ball placement for overtime. You should read his article, but really need to for my comments to make sense. Go ahead, I’ll wait….
I did a casual study (I was wearing jeans at the time) of Division 1-A overtime games in 2012, research source being ESPN game recaps. There were 33 games that went into overtime. The game summary did not specify who actually won the overtime coin toss, so I assumed that in all instances, the coin toss winner chose to play defense in overtime. However, the following citation from a paper by Brams & Sanderson makes me think that’s a pretty solid assumption:
Between 1996, when the present college overtime rule was adopted, until 2007, there were 328 overtime games. In only four games did the winner of the coin toss choose to play offense (Rosen and Wilson, 2007). The fact that 99% of the teams that win the coin toss elect to defend first is prima facie evidence that there is an advantage to doing so.
Back to the 2012 overtime games. Of the 33 games, 22 (67%) were won by the team that won the coin toss and elected to play defense. There were 13 losses incurred by the ‘first offense’ teams due to some sort of offensive malfunction; 7 by missed field goals, 4 by interceptions and 2 on loss of downs. I just quickly eyeballed these drive results, so your mileage may vary; however, it still represents the gist of the offensive failings. Since these teams also ran plays from scrimmage to get as close as possible before attempting the FG, having an initial spot at the 25 yard line is still not a bad idea. Read More