How important is time of possession?

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by philnotfil, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. rserina
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    rserina VIP Member

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    That is more a product of our inability to make plays in the open field than it is a schematic thing. Every play is designed to score; none are drawn up for three yard gains. But the difference between those two depends upon execution in the blocking scheme and playmaking by the ball carrier.
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  2. Jonas
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    Jonas Well-Known Member

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    What about the QB sneak? ;]
  3. oneatatime
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    oneatatime Well-Known Member

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    Oregon is certainly the exception, and a big turnover margin refutes it, but rather than time of possession, I think a more accurate indicator is number of offensive snaps
  4. rserina
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    rserina VIP Member

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    Well, there is that...
  5. corpgator
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    corpgator Well-Known Member

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    There are too many variables to say whether higher or lower is better.
  6. grumpy_gator
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    grumpy_gator New Member

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    For the record: we are more like "4 yards and a cloud of dust" than "3 yards and a cloud of dust" ... 4.2 yds this year, 4.5 yds last year.
  7. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    I think that this is the misunderstanding with TOP, that you are "keeping the ball away from the other team". It is not TOP that keeps the ball in your hands, it is first downs that keeps the ball in your hands, and scoring is all that really matters. The rules of college football virtually guarantee that your opponent is allowed to have the ball once your possession ends (except see below). If you eat five minutes of clock, fail to score, and give the opponent the ball at their 20, it is as if you skipped your possession.

    This is the one real use of TOP, as this is the one time that the other team can lose a possession. However, even then, scoring often puts the game out of reach anyway.
  8. MaceoP
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    MaceoP Well-Known Member

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    We won quite a few games last year with Muschamp's method (fact).


    I'm not advocating the ball control, TOP, tough defense style of play.. But for all you who think that teams haven't won with this style, you are wrong. It's not in vogue now, however Coach thinks this is our best chance. I suspect we will go more wide open once our personnel changes.
  9. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    I could meet you in the middle by agreeing with both of you. I agree with key that "TOP does not win games", as I've said many times lately. But TOP probably doesn't lose them either. I did an analysis for another thread, using plays/game as a metric for tempo (I don't know where to TOP data), and it showed virtually no relationship. Go fast, go slow, probably doesn't matter. Score when you get the ball. That's what counts.
  10. philnotfil
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    philnotfil Well-Known Member

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    This has always nagged at me when talking about ToP. No matter how quickly or slowly you score, unless you score at the end of a half or recover an onside kick, the opponent gets the ball back. Having the ball longer gives you more opportunities for mistakes. Both Georgia last year and Miami this year kept everything in front of them and let us shoot ourselves in the foot on long drives.You could make the argument that a long drive tires out our offense as much as their defense, and lets their offense rest just as much as it lets our defense rest.

    Granted, if you have the opportunity to run out the clock on a half so as to destroy the symmetry of the possessions, then you absolutely should and greatly benefit from doing so. But for 45-50 minutes per game, ToP is relatively meaningless.
  11. MaceoP
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    MaceoP Well-Known Member

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    I would like to know or someone show me where anyone stated TOP wins games? TOP by itself means nothing. TOP is valid as a metric when you look at it in context with a specific style of play.. (just so happens it's the style we are playing now). That's it, nothing more or nothing less. This isn't a difficult concept to grasp, yet some keep wanting to argue about the validity of TOP. Either there are some pretty dense people floating around, or, they just don't want to distinguish between different styles of play.
  12. Jonas
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    Jonas Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I always wondered that. People talk about defenses getting tired after long methodical drives. But don't offenses get tired too?

    Similarly, up-tempo offenses can tire out defenses, but I'm pretty sure they can tire out offenses too. That's why teams don't run the 2-minute offense all the time, even though it tends to be pretty effective.
  13. garygator
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    garygator Active Member

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    The idea that the offense could get as tired as the defense used to be a crazy thought. Now however it is very likely. Most teams go with their same five offensive linemen throughout the game. If not, they substitute sparingly, certainly more sparingly than the substitutions on the defensive line. Defenses now rotate their lineman in and out on a regular basis, either to keep them fresh or for situation substitutions such as pass rush specialists. The Miami game was a perfect example; for all our TOP superiority our offensive push in the fourth quarter was no better, if not worse, than in the first.
  14. gator1986
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    Not really important, Bucs just owned time of possession and lost. Went conservative on the last 7 minutes of play to want to kick a field goal, and they lost. Goes to show you conservativeness and TOP are pointless.
  15. OaktownGator
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    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    Agree. Nobody ever claimed TOP wins games.

    If people want to hone in on one metric to the exclusion of all others (a dubious approach), turn over margin is the most meaningful stat.
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  16. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Our 2001 team probably lost TOP in every game that it played, but it beat the pants off teams. Scoring 7 quickly is always preferable to scoring 3 slowly.
  17. MaceoP
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    MaceoP Well-Known Member

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    Just so everyone is clear on this, the style we are playing (for now) is... TOP, ball control, and tough D.. If anyone of those fail, you are in big trouble. The idea is to control the clock and the ball. If you turn the ball over, your clock and ball control is useless (Miami, Georgia, Louisville).. If your D doesnt do the job, then you are limiting your own possessions. You eat up clock, you don't turn the ball over, and you stuff the other team. that's it. If your D sucks, or you turn the ball over, then TOP is useless.

    One can argue whether we should play this style, but the fact is teams have won with this style.
  18. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    Well, I could give you a much better one (points/possession), but it is probably cheating. :)

    And although there don't seem to be a lot of TOP advocates coming to its defense on here, it definitely seems to be a popular stat among announcers. And there seems to be some persistent views regarding tempo, (slow teams win, fast teams win, etc.).
  19. Minister_of_Information
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    Minister_of_Information I'm your huckleberry Premium Member

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    The two games we lost that year, Hoke's defense gave way in the fourth quarter due to fatigue. UT possessed the ball 40 minutes I believe. So I wouldn't say TOP doesn't matter.
  20. GatorRade
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    GatorRade Well-Known Member

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    I would still argue that TOP is useless in your example. If "tough D" or "ball control" (assuming this is lack of TOs) fails, then yeah that's bad for you. But if TOP fails? There is no telling if that is bad. Did it fail because you can't get a first down? Or because you were in the end zone after three plays? Moving the ball is what mattered here.

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