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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Did big plays equal points in 2012?

By David Ubben

We've examined big plays across the Big 12 in a variety of ways lately, but today, we'll look at how that translated on the scoreboard.

Red zone efficiency on offense and defense is huge in the Big 12, but if you string together oodles of big plays, can you rack up points regardless? Let's have a look at how the Big 12's top scoring teams did in that category.
  1. Oklahoma State -- 92 (45.7 points a game, first in Big 12)
  2. Baylor -- 86 (44.5 points a game, second in Big 12)
  3. West Virginia -- 70 (39.5 points a game, third in Big 12)
  4. Texas Tech -- 68 (37.5 points a game, sixth in Big 12)
  5. TCU -- 60 (28.3 points a game, eighth in Big 12)
  6. Kansas State -- 59 (38.8 points a game, fourth in Big 12)
  7. Texas -- 59 (35.7 points a game, seventh in Big 12)
  8. Oklahoma -- 54 (38.2 points a game, fifth in Big 12)
  9. Iowa State -- 44 (24.5 points a game, ninth in Big 12)
  10. Kansas -- 40 (18.3 points a game (10th in Big 12)

Very intriguing. At the top and bottom, the correlation is basically perfect. In the middle? It's a complete mess. Here's a plus-minus on where the team finished in the two statistics.
I still believe in Kansas State as the league's most efficient offense, but it racked up the fourth-most big plays and ranked sixth in scoring. I still think that showcases efficiency considering K-State scored those points and turned big plays on more than seven percent of its snaps in 2012. It ran fewer plays than a lot of teams in the Big 12, but scored points on the highest percentage of its drives.

Oklahoma, meanwhile, could have a case for a lack of efficiency in these numbers.

TCU's plus-3 wasn't very surprising. Late in the season, it was largely boom or bust for the Frogs offense. It lacked a lot of consistency, but a few times a game, Trevone Boykin seemed to find ways to break a long score. The offense wasn't very good, but it was explosive in some spots.