ATVSQBPI 2018 Finale (or, MDT is lazy)

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Nice looking charts take forever, so I'm not doing them. If you want your money back, well, I'd say the check is in the mail, but actually all my discretionary income is headed to Boca Raton along with Glamour Shots of the Golden Girls to help open Lane Kiffin's eyes to all the bribes he could be getting co-eds he could be chasing benefits of being the OC in Baton Rouge.

We've reached the end of the regular season, and that means ATVSQBPI has maxed out its meaningfulness, so it's time to take one last look at the season that was. This tends to be Poseur's territory, and I emailed him to see if he planned on doing one, but at this point Poseur does not open my emails for fear of dying under an avalanche of TLDR.

Don't forget, ATVSQBPI measures what happened, not how good you are. At this point I generally link the articles with in-depth explanations, but refer to paragraph 1 wherein I'm not doing stuff today that takes time, like legit sourcing or citing references. QBPI means what it means, and by now most of you know all about it. So let's get going with a look at Week 13.


Fromm 15.06

Haskins 14.47

Murray 14.25

Tagovailoa 13.06

Lawrence 11.38

Wilson 11.36

Lock 10.79

Bentley 10.28

Shurmur 9.93

Franks 9.47

Fitzgerald 8.00

Book 7.89

Burrow 7.31

Mond 6.80

Patterson 5.38

Guarantano 3.29

Stidham 2.61

Minshew 1.74

Ta'amu 0.86

Storey -5.64

No trash to sift through here as everyone was playing a P5 team. Well, okay, Florida was playing FSU (who is not going to a bowl BWAHAHAHAHAAA!) and Kentucky was playing Lul'ville. Normally posting a horrendous 0.86 like Ta'amu did for Ole Miss this week would earn you the Jackass of the Week award, but thankfully Arkansas had Storey to post a spectacular MINUS 5.64. I put "Minus" in all-caps because it's hilariously bad. I didn't watch the game and it looks like Storey didn't play much, but this was the crowning jewel of a pretty bad season.

Jake Fromm State Farm was this week's big winner, posting a magnificent 15.06 against in-state rival Ga. Tech, although Dwayne Haskins follows close behind with a nearly-as-good score against a much more serious defense in Michigan.

Nick Fitzgerald is the Great Negater of the old ATVS argument about how factoring in rushes hurts a QB's score. It doesn't have to, you just have to be awesome at running the ball, as Fitzgerald was against Ole Miss, because his passing numbers certainly didn't get him that nifty 8.

Tua Tagowhatever had another brilliant day against a Top 20 S&P+ defense and I hate him.

In the east, Terry Wilson, Drew Lock, and Jake Bentley did Very Bad Things to Lul'ville, Arkansas, and ClemPson, respectively. Although in Bentley's case it was in a losing effort to the other, other, other Tigers.

Out of conference, Kyler Murray continues the Sooners' tradition of breaking our scale, or would, if not for Fromm and Tua balling out of control, and Gardner Minshew had a terrible day at the office in the Apple Cup. The completion % was outstanding, but the passes just didn't travel very far, and there were ZERO tds and 152 total pass yards on 35 attempts. That would barely get it done in a Les Miles offense, much less Mike Leach's.

Up in the We Don't Play Baseball But Have You Seen Our Hockey Teams? conference former Louisiana standout Shea Patterson did not have a good day for Michigan against hated rival anOSU, posting a pedestrian 5.38. When the guy wearing the other jersey is having a 14.47 day, that probably ain't gonna get it done. I'll stop here to allow for a break for all those who hate Harbaugh and need to laugh.

Back with me? Alright, let me next say that this week made me realize something I've never thought about concerning ATVSQBPI. While I'd like to get with Poseur and some of you other stat nerds to spitball on this, it occurs to me that OT games--particularly ones that make it to multiple OT periods, like, oh, I dunno, say, SEVEN--screw up the meaningfulness of QBPI because you're rewarded for TDs based on what it does to field position on average. However in OT, we all know a TD isn't followed by a KO return, the ball is placed at the same spot every time for the opposing team, and that detracts from the intent of the formula. As for a defensive score, I'll also note that gets crazy too because defenses are gassed are going to be drug down by poorer and poorer performances the longer a game goes on. In a nutshell, I'm saying the Week 13 numbers for Burrow and Mond are probably out of whack, and if I were rating defenses weekly, that would be way out of whack. However, while I can't tell you how much those things affect the seasonal averages, I'm comfortable saying it's not going to be enough to be very meaningful. But probably would be meaningful solely in the context of one week.

Okay, so moving on to seasonal P5 numbers, we have:


Tagovailoa 12.41

Murray 12.13

Haskins 8.93

Fromm 8.57

Lawrence 8.16

Book 7.75

Patterson 7.72

Minshew 7.55

Bentley 7.07

Ta'amu 6.73

Shurmur 6.73

Franks 6.36

Lock 6.32

Mond 6.14

Guarantano 6.14

Burrow 6.13

Wilson 6.02

Stidham 5.35

Fitzgerald 5.32

Storey 4.28

I feel like I'm right back where I started when I did one of these at the halfway point, asking are the league defenses this good or are the QBs that bad? A full season's worth of play adds more context yet the question remains, though I think I've mainly settled in the "it's both" camp. To absolutely no one's surprise, Tua is this year's big winner, finally dethroning the scale-breaking, curve-wrecking QBs of the Big 12, but what I really want to point out is that only Tua and Fromm get in that "Very Good" or "I'd take that guy" 8+ range along with the out-of-conference guys leading Important Teams We Want To Track. Even some of them don't measure up, with Notre Dame's Ian Book, Big Blue's Patterson and pass-happy Wazzu yielding sub-8 results. Everybody else in the SEC just goes down from there.

Starting at home--reiterating the understanding that this measures what happened, not how good you are--Burrow finished with a disappointing 6.13. Whether the commentariat is dead on about the line and WRs or whether Seth has more valid points than I'd care to admit about Burrow's game, LSU needed more than 6.13. That may have worked for some past LSU teams, but not this one. It's true that Burrow faced a murderer's row of S&P+ Top 30 defenses (6 in the top 30, 5 in the top 20, 3 in the top 10), but the Purple & Gold need a bit more. Especially when other scores by mere mortals have been capable of exceeding our output against those same defenses. It almost makes me think there's a discussion to be had about our Offensive Coordi--scratch that, this just in, Japan just bombed Pearl Harbor, we're going to war.

It's not so much a question of struggling against great defenses, it's the amount which he struggled. 2.8 vs. Florida, 2.49 vs. MSU, 2.81 vs.'re not going to convince me that was all the greatness of those defenses. Low numbers, yes. Those numbers...nah bruh, there's something more we need to be doing. I'll leave it for finer minds than mine to figure out what, but something. Burrow simply didn't have enough outstanding games to pick up his season averages with scores like that dragging him down. He scored a 13.76 against Ole Miss, which is still nice even though they turned out to be the worst defense of the field, and he scored an 11.38 against Rice, which doesn't count in P5 so it doesn't help him here. He scored 8.21 against Arkansas, who is also pretty bad at defense, and a 7.31 vs. TAMU, who showed as the worst defense for most of the season (finishing out of the cellar partially due to playing LSU). Neither of those numbers are objectively bad, but for the quality of defense faced, you'd like to see better.

So how did Tua come up with the grand prize here? Behind the numbers, it's exactly what you expect...high comp % (over 71%), good ypa, high volume of TDs, low INTs, and his wheels are effective enough when he has to use them. Score-wise, his major outlier to the upside was nuking Arkansas with a staggering 26.31 score, which helps balance out his score against our defensive Big Winner, Clanga, against whom Tua posted a measley 3.97. Look, outside of MSU, Tua's low outlier was vs. LSU at 7.98, and when 8 is within striking distance of your second worst game, you've had yourself a whale of a season. His other games tended to range in the 13's, which is phenomenal. He didn't play Burrow's gauntlet, but did see 3 defenses in the S&P+ top 25. He was pretty miserable against Clanga, as noted, the highest ranked defense played, "pretty good" against the next best defense (LSU), and demolished the third top 25 defense, which was Auburn. He'll soon have another chance at more since UGA also sits in the Top 25 and then possibly shots in the playoffs against some others like Notre Dame and Clemson, both in the Top 3.

Everybody else....meh, the numbers are almost too unimpressive to say much about. Even Jake Fromm basically had just a "nice season" and he did it against...well, not too bad a schedule, I suppose. 3 defenses in the Top 25 and 4 in the top 30. LSU was the highest ranked S&P+ defense he faced, and he scored an even 3.0 against us. By avoiding Alabama and MSU he missed any defenses in the Top 15. But like Tua, he's got some more games ahead to see what he can do at this time against a top tier defense. If you look at the S&P+ and the FEI, there are indeed some good defenses in this league, and still the overall numbers for everybody are just flat-out uninspiring. So....moving on.

LSU 4.35
WASH. ST. 5.13
TEXAS A&M 6.47

Clanga dethrones Alabama as the conference's best defense. No surprises for you who have enjoyed the play of Jeffrey Simmons and Montez Sweat this year. Considering those guys aren't surrounded by the cast of All-Americans some other units are it's not at all out of line to say that they are game-changers. The Cowbells have allowed just 12 touchdowns this season, or just over one per game. Yowza. They give up an outstanding 3.04 ypc on the ground, only bettered by Clemson's 2.23 ypc given up, except Clemson doesn't quite have the pass D Moo St. does.

Alabama did fall back to the pack this year with another exodus of NFL talent, being clear that by "falling back to the pack" I mean they didn't post a ridiculous seasonal number in the 2's like they did last year. 3.69 is still really, really good. Good for second in the conference and only behind Clemson in the out-of-conference teams we're tracking. Notre Dame and Michigan round up our Top 5 before getting into the slew of SEC teams that make up the bulk of the remaining teams.

LSU leads that pack with a respectable 4.35. This is a good number, though it does echo Poseur's thoughts from the podcast that this was a good defense, but never quite seemed to be as good as we thought it was going to be. Ah, K'Lavon Chaisson, we hardly knew ye. Just as "8" is the arbitrary-but-not-really number you want a QB to hit or exceed, 4 is the number you want to see from a really good defense. 4.35 is right on down there, so that's a plus, though it hovers outside that elite territory of an even 4 or sub-4. Again, this number is screwed around a little bit because of the OT yards and points vs. TAMU, but 1) I have no easy source to track that data to throw it out to see what the number would be without OT, and 2) I wouldn't do it anyway, because as previously mentioned, I'm lazy.

A&M finally makes it out of the bottom floor where they've been most of the year, ceding that ground to Ole Miss, who has the dubious distinction of being the conference's worst defense according to ATVSDPI. Oklahoma isn't far behind them and I hope they beat Texas in the Big 12 CG, make it to the playoffs and get curbstomped by the nearest offense with an accompanying defense. I bear the Sooners no particular ill will, I'm just tired of watching that league play "defense" like every ball carrier has osteoporosis and needs to be wrapped in swaddling clothes (see, I worked in a Christmas reference). Arkansas and South Carolina complete the Hall of Shame for teams above a 6 in DPI, but look who's up there where you don't wanna be.....Ohio State, with a pretty bad 5.67. Urban Meyer could be feeling that urge to spend more time with his family just any ol' time the Buckeyes want to get back in the playoffs, although I have to give the Bucks respect for taking it to their rivals last week defensively.

That's about it....s'all I got. Thus endeth another season of ATVSQBPI and the race to see how we finish. TLDR; Tua and Fromm are good, Burrow is promising but needs more production, everybody else ranges from "Meh" to "bad," A&M and Arkansas are really bad at defense.

The end.