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On the defense: you’re missing the point

If you hated my post on the OSU defense last week then you’re totally missing the point.



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

I wrote this post on Friday about how the defense has been better than everybody gives them credit for and got predictably skewered for it. Which…I mean…I understand, if you’ve watched the team and just say “ok, I’m not seeing it, Pistols…they just aren’t there” I guess I get that, it’s fine, whatever. I don’t totally agree with it but it’s your prerogative.

You missed my bigger point though.

That it’s beyond silly to used total yards to determine how good or bad a defense is. It is absolutely the most ridiculous thing ever.

Think about this scenario:

This season Justin Gilbert runs back every punt he gets for a TD. Like, he literally scores every time he touches the ball. And every time OSU’s defense is on the field they give up 40 yards and the other team punts (which Gilbert returns for a TD in five-ish seconds). By the end of the game the other team is going to have 800+ yards and 0 points.[1. The bright side of this (other than winning every game) is Gundy would never have to decide on a QB!]

Let’s say this happens every game and OSU’s opponents never score. By the end of the season OSU is going to be the the greatest college football team of all time[1. Gilbert would likely, ok definitely, win the Heisman.] and John Hoover is going to say their defense sucked again because they gave up 10,000 total yards.

Do you understand how illogical this is?

I know all of that is just absurd and ridiculous but it accentuates my point — just something for you guys to consider when you’re pissed during the Mississippi State game that OSU gave up 38 even though we scored 62.

What you want (an Alabama-like defense) you will never get.[1. Unless OSU switches to a plodding offense which, at that point, you will likely call for the offensive coordinator’s head.] Just know that. If OSU gave up the same number of points per game as Alabama it would have literally the greatest defense in the history of the sport.

Is that what you expect?

Also, two other things.

One argument I heard was “I just wanted third down stops last year, that’s all!”

OSU’s national rank in 2012 in percentage of third down stops was 32nd — ahead of defensive inferiorities such as Notre Dame, Georgia, and South Carolina.

And one last note on the total yards thing — in 2012 Georgia finished 61st in total D and was a play away from the title game, A&M finished 67th and went 11-2. In 2011 Oregon finished 96th and won the Rose Bowl. In 2010 Auburn finished 95th and won it all.

You get the point…or at least I hope you do.

Let’s step outside the box people have been building for the last few decades. Let’s not look at these things from an illogical perspective. When I started the research for my post on Friday I though “OSU’s defense very well might have been awful the last few years.” But I didn’t want that proven from the perspective Hoover took.

We have all the data in the world available for us, let’s start using it.

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