Statistical Comparison: First Two Games of 2008 Against 2009

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                                                COMPARING THE FIRST TWO GAMES of 2008 vs. 2009
  Actual National Big 12 Conf
Rank Rank
Category 2009 2008 Change 2009 2008 Change 2009 2008 Change
Rushing Offense        62.0      121.5 -59.50 109 80 -29.00 11 9 -2.00
Passing Offense     289.0      237.5      51.50 18 47 29.00 5 10 5.00
Passing Efficiency      106.8      142.8 -36.05 97 43 -54.00 11 10 -1.00
Total Offense     351.0      359.0 -8.00 78 72 -6.00 12 11 -1.00
Scoring Offense        27.5        34.5 -7.00 61 37 -24.00 9 9 0.00
Sacks Allowed          3.5          1.0 -2.50 104 28 -76.00 12 5 -7.00
Turnover Margin        (1.0)          0.5 -1.50 94 42 -52.00 11 6 -5.00
Rushing Defense      236.5        59.0 -177.50 112 11 -101.00 12 2 -10.00
Pass Defense      263.5      245.0 -18.50 98 83 -15.00 11 8 -3.00
Pass Efficiency Defense      204.4      111.0 -93.45 119 53 -66.00 12 7 -5.00
Total Defense      500.0      304.0 -196.00 111 48 -63.00 12 5 -7.00
Scoring Defense       38.5        20.5 -18.00 107 51 -56.00 12 7 -5.00
Sacks          1.5          3.0 -1.50 67 19 -48.00 10 3 -7.00
Tackles For Loss          4.0          6.5 -2.50 89 37 -52.00 10 3 -7.00
Net Punting        35.6        35.9 -0.30 75 44 -31.00 7 8 1.00
Punt Returns          5.0        18.7 -13.67 80 20 -60.00 10 3 -7.00
Kickoff Returns        24.8        29.6 -4.84 40 11 -29.00 5 3 -2.00


Red boxes indicate a decline over last year, green boxes indicate improvement over last year through two games.

see commentary after the jump...

Depending on how long you have read the Ralphie Report, you will know or learn to know that I like comparing statistics. has a great site for rankings both in conference and nationally that get me to look over the numbers every Monday morning when the week of football is complete. Of course sometimes, especially at the college level, stats can be skewed in many ways based on the level of competition especially in the non conference slate. But in the Buffs case, I don't think the level of competition has varied too much from 2008 to 2009. You can make the argument that the 2009 schedule has been harder because of the road game that was scheduled five days after the Colorado St game. You could also make the argument that the 2009 team was a year more experienced and should have been a better product than 2008. Either way you cut it, I think it is a pretty good comparison considering the Buffs were favored in all four games and there was a common opponent in Colorado St. Toledo and Eastern Washington were both up-tempo offenses that liked to spread the ball around.

In all but one dubious statistical category, the Buffs have taken a signficant drop on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The Buffs have become the 18th ranked passing team in the nation due to being behind so much in 2009. Most people would have predicted Colorado to be the 18th ranked rushing team before the season and would have laughed if you would have said CU would be averaging 289.0 yards through the air per game.  Or they would have said the Buffs would be exactly where they are now, 0 - 2.

But the attention grabber is on the defensive side of the ball. Colorado has surprisingly given up 177.50 more yards on the ground this year than last year. The pass defense has been awful too but many fail to realize the amount of yards given up on the ground so far in 2009. Against Colorado State this year, the Buffs gave up 168 rushing yards compared to 71 a year ago. Toledo put up 301 on the ground. Of course, Eastern Washington was a passing team but Toledo was supposed to be as well after they only gained 70 yards on the ground a week before against Purdue.

And look at the defensive rankings in 2009 compared to 2008 on a national level. Wow! The Buffs are now the 111th ranked defense compared to 48th a year ago. In the Big 12, Colorado's defense finds themselves no higher than 10th in any category.

And to think, the schedule only gets tougher after this weekend.

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