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November 11, 2008
Inside the numbers: Passing is way to go
Each week, we'll look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing.
1. Passing efficiency is the best way to find a top-level team this season. The teams in the top 10 nationally in passing efficiency have lost a total of nine games. The most losses by any team in the top 10 is two, and there are two of those (Missouri and Oklahoma State). Three unbeatens are in the top 10 – Ball State, Boise State and Texas Tech. The other five: BYU, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and Tulsa. And you have to go down to 28th (New Mexico State) to find the first team with a losing record.
2. Seven quarterbacks are on a pace to throw for 4,000 yards. The record for most 4,000-yard passers in a season is six, set last season. Texas Tech's Graham Harrell already has reached the plateau, and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Rice's Chase Clement, Missouri's Chase Daniel, Western Michigan's Tim Hiller, Tulsa's David Johnson and Houston's Case Keenum are on a pace that would have them reach the mark, too.
3. The new clock rules are having an effect. The typical game this season has 134.7 plays and takes 3 hours, 10 minutes. Last season, it was 143.4 plays and 3:23.
4. Guess which league has run the ball the best. To the surprise of no one, teams in the Big 12 have thrown for more yardage than teams in any other league – by almost 5,000 yards. Big 12 teams have thrown for 33,888 yards, with Conference USA second at 28,599. As for the league with the most rushing yards, that, too, is the Big 12, with 19,212. Second is the Big Ten at 18,647.