We’re tragically already halfway through the 2018 college football season, and while we don’t know if any teams are truly elite besides Alabama, one thing is certain – some of the stats thus far in the year are absolutely absurd.
So head-scratching are some of these stats, in fact, that I can’t stop thinking about them. And I need someone to be befuddled with.
So let’s take a look at a handful of the most #WhyTho-inducing stats so far this season:
1. The Alabama Crimson Tide have 268 first half points so far this season. IN THE FIRST HALF!!!
Ok, so we know that Nick Saban’s 2018 Crimson Tide are on another level of dominant, but when you look at just how dominant they are, it’s actually just stupid. Through seven games, Bama has put up 268 points against their opponents in the first half alone, with 375 total points on the season.
Two hundred and sixty-eight points. In the first half! If First-half Bama was its own team, it would rank No. 14 in total points scored, right behind the Georgia Bulldogs, who have 273 points and right before the Michigan Wolverines, with 267 on the season.
2. Army has gone for it 21 times on 4th down and has converted 19 times. Wild.
While the Midshipmen rank 82nd overall on third-down conversions, succeeding only 37 percent of the time, they are absolutely unstoppable on fourth down. If the ball is in their possession, they’re gonna do what they gotta do to keep it. And why shouldn’t they? The Midshipmen are 90% successful at going for it on 4th down, and even more impressively, they’ve converted on downs 15 of 16 times on the road.
Navy ain’t playing with nobody when it comes to fourth down this season. Talk about cool under pressure!
3. The USC Trojans are ranked No. 127 out of 130 teams in penalty yards per game. Just awful.
If you’re a Trojan fan, you’ve spent a lot of time so far this season being frustrated about…well, a lot of things. But one of the most frustrating things has been the ungodly amount of penalties the Trojans accumulate each week. As it stands now, USC is racking up 9.8 penalties a game and averaging 91.5 surrendered penalty yards.
This may come as a complete shock, but a team that’s as talented and silly with athletes as USC is cannot be great when it’s committing nearly 10 infractions and spotting opponents close to 100 yards a game.
Also, just how? Why? Being undisciplined has been an unfortunate staple of Trojan teams since Clay Helton took over as head coach.
(Ok, to be fair, some of those USC teams under Pete Carroll were wildin’ out at times as well, but those teams consistently dominated opponents, and you can look past a lot when you know each game is going to be a beat down. )
If this trend continues for the Trojans, it would behoove the powers that be to see if they can’t find new coaches that can instill a sense of discipline into this team.
4. USC also ranks in the bottom half of the Pac-12 Conference in nearly every offensive statistic, taking “underachievement” to new heights.
Aside from racking up all the penalties on earth, USC just hasn’t looked great in 2018. At times, they haven’t even looked good. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that the Trojans are fielding a team with a new signal caller and new running back and wide receiver corps, but that excuse can only go so far.
USC’s stats reflect just how much they’ve limped through the first half of the season, though they miraculously have a 4-2 record and sit atop the Pac-12 South. USC ranks 9th in scoring offense (18 touchdowns and four field goals on the season), 10th in total offense (2,228 total yards), 10th in rushing offense (745 yards, 10 touchdowns), 9th in third-down conversions (37% successful) and dead last in fourth-down conversions, having only succeeded once out of five attempts.
Their best in-conference offensive ranking? 6th overall in passing offense, with quarterback J.T. Daniels having thrown for 1,543 yards and seven touchdowns. (Daniels has also already thrown five picks on the season, so, you know, take the good with the bad.)
Here’s another mind-boggling fact – The Oregon Ducks, the third-best team in the Pac-12 North, have twice as many touchdowns on the season as USC does.
And to add insult to injury, the Trojans have a confounding 14 penalties on first-down alone. (That’s actually tied for second-fewest in the conference, which is an indictment against the Pac-12 as a whole, but that’s a column for another day.)
Sigh. Double sigh. Triple sigh, even.
5. Back to Bama, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has not played at all in the 4th quarter. Not a one minute.
Tagovailoa rose to national prominence last season when, as a freshman, he came off the bench in the 2018 National Championship and led the Tide to a 26-23 victory over Georgia. So far through this season, he’s lived up the hype surrounding him, as the kid has amassed 1,760 yards, 21 picks and – wait for it – ZERO interceptions.
And he’s done all of that with just three quarters of play, per game. Tagovailoa has played 105 less minutes of college football this season than Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, and the two have the same amount of touchdowns. His stats are currently good enough for 4th overall in passing-touchdown leaders, which is wild when you consider that he’s sitting entire quarters.
It really is just Alabama’s world, and the rest of us are just living in it.