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A Look at 2008 Season Parity

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Recently, an anonymous FSU blogger mentioned looking into comparing the ACC conference game point differential to NFL game point differentials. I thought it was an interesting idea until I realized it would entail some sort of truncation and subjectivity due to the different styles of scheduling/parity/postseasons in the NFL vs. CFB. So instead of analyzing the NFL, I went with the ACC's arch nemesis: the SEC.

Chartofdoom_medium



The above chart is a display of the parity that as ACC fans we know is present in our conference. The chart is based on all 48 ACC and 48 SEC games' point differentials (e.g. 50% of all SEC games were decided by 8 points or less while 52% of all ACC games were decided by 8 points or less). It's broken down by possessions. 1-8 points = 1 possession, 9-16 = 2 possessions, and so on.

An interesting point is the SEC's tendency to run up the score in conference games (6 games with greater differentials than all 48 ACC games). Not very gentlemanly but it makes sense for the drooling, bloodthirsty SEC fans. Games decided by a field goal or less = 13 for the ACC, 12 for the SEC. Pretty similar but factoring in the ACC's 3 overtime games, I chalk it up for the ACC.

Scoringsecacc_medium



The chart above further illustrates the point of parity: 1) SEC teams are running up the score. 2) SEC trailing teams quit early and let the other team score as much as they want in blowouts.

Scoringsecacc2_medium



And in the last chart we observe the scores of winning teams, losing teams, SEC teams, and ACC teams in the 2008 ACC-SEC matchups. The SEC won a lot of blowouts. The ACC won some close ones.