Advanced Stats Does What a Contender Should Do: Delaware

The numbers:

maypp: Penn State: 4.86; Delaware 1.14
spr: Penn State 64.8%; Delaware 26.2%
npp: Penn State 13.6%; Delaware 52.4%

For the second week in a row, both the offense and defense put up the numbers of a national championship contender, considering the opponent's guesstimated strength. Yes, it was Delaware, a borderline top 20 FCS team. But that's every bit as good and change of what you'd expect an FBS national champion to do to such a team.

No alarms and no surprises there. Not much to even talk about. The numbers speak for themselves. The final score was 63-7. The gameplay score was 57-0. It was what it was.

So I'm going to address a more interesting question: how does this compare to those jagoffs in the rest of the B1G?

To answer this in something approaching an objective and sensible way, which is difficult at best for week 2, I'm just going to calculate a performance index that's [(average offensive maypp + avg offensive spr - avg offensive npp)/(avg defensive maypp + avg defensive spr - avg defensive npp)] * the Sagarin rating of the schedule to date for each B1G team. Here are the results:

Yeah, it's only week 2. And no, I have no idea how well those numbers hold up historically. What I do know is that right now, Penn State is, even adjusted for the SOS, playing far better than the rest of the league. OSU and Michigan are noticeably better than the rest of the B1G, but right now they're much closer to "just another meh B1G team" than they are to Penn State.

That's how well Penn State's been playing so far.

This isn't a team without flaws. This isn't a team that can't get better. And it's only week 2. But this is a team whose play so far warrants being not just in the national championship conversation, but as the favorite for it.

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