Balancing explosive plays in the Big 12

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
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We're wrapping our look at explosive plays in the Big 12 today by balancing what teams control explosive plays best. We've looked at explosive plays on offense and defense, but which teams come out on top when you sort out the two?

Let's have a look.
  1. Oklahoma State -- +46
  2. Kansas State -- +19
  3. Texas Tech -- +19
  4. TCU -- +18
  5. Baylor -- +17
  6. Oklahoma -- (-4)
  7. Texas -- (-5)
  8. West Virginia -- (-8)
  9. Iowa State -- (-16)
  10. Kansas -- (-36)

First off, allow me to step aside and offer a round of applause for Oklahoma State. Their net plays longer than 20 yards was actually more than Iowa State and Kansas had all season before subtracting how many each gave up on defense. The +46 number is nothing short of amazing. The Cowboys bring back a ton of talent from this team, so when you look at those kinds of numbers, you see one more reason why I'm buying the Cowboys as a Big 12 favorite next year. TCU's not far off, hanging those +18 numbers without Casey Pachall for the final nine games of the season. Anyone really believe TCU wouldn't be well ahead of the other four teams behind OSU if Pachall had been on the field?

The other thing that jumps out to me is the huge gap between the top half of the Big 12 and the back half. Oklahoma State is obviously in a league of its own when it comes to big plays, with four teams jammed in right behind them within two plays of one another. Being nearly +20 all season is definitely welcome for the top five teams in the league, but though it's not an official stat, anything in the negatives isn't a welcome sign.

I'd be willing to bet Oklahoma was right with those top-five teams before falling apart late in the season and giving up oodles of big plays against Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Texas A&M.

Kansas predictably had disastrous results in this category with a leaky defense and an offense that had few home-run hitters. If you want entertainment, West Virginia's numbers support what you'd expect. There were a total of 148 plays longer than 20 yards in its 13 games for an average of more than 11 a game, the highest of any team in the Big 12.

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