Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Overtime scoring

Thursday August 10, 2006

HeismanPundit has an interesting post up about the stat-skewing in overtimes. Lots of good, hard empirical data courtesy of CFBStats.com.

I replied that if there are stats that have the potential to really get skewed or distorted by overtime, they’re team scoring offense and scoring defense.

Remember Georgia’s 1996 game at Auburn? Of course you do. Regulation ended 28-28 after a miracle Bobo-to-Allen pass, and the Dawgs won in overtime 56-49. My problem is that the nature of overtime scoring means that the final score doesn’t tell the true story of a game. A low-scoring struggle can easily turn into a 45-42 final. These points come from a shootout format that starts at the 25 yard line.

A team that gives up 20 PPG could find its average shifted by 2 or 3 points per game after a single overtime game. That’s a pretty significant skewing of the average.

My suggestion: keep score as usual in overtime but once things are decided, revise the score to give one point to the winner. A 28-28 game would end 29-28 no matter if overtime had a single field goal or five or six touchdowns.

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