2010 Big East Defensive Positive Impact Factor

LOUISVILLE KY - NOVEMBER 20: Justin Burke #13 of the Louisville Cardinals is sacked by Bruce Irvin #11 of the West Virginia Mountaineers during the game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 20 2010 in Louisville Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

With the 2011 season approaching, BECB wanted to look back at how quarterbacks performed last year using the Positive Impact Factor (what's this?). First, we looked at how the starting quarterbacks ranked in the Big East in 2010. Now we'll look at the teams as a whole. Last time out was the offensive side of the ball. This time, it's the defense's turn. Remember before you guffaw, these ratings are how these teams did against quarterbacks last year.

Big East Team Defensive Positive Impact Factor Rankings 2010
National Rank Team Touches Total TD Neg Play X Neg Play X Pos Play PIF
23. Pittsburgh 485 16 43.9 21.9 3.3 37.5
28. Louisville 445 17 45.2 19.2 3.8 39.3
33. Connecticut 575 18 37.4 25 3.1 40.8
39. Syracuse 455 16 41.8 20.3 3.5 41.5
40. West Virginia 492 12 44.1 16.5 2.4 41.8
55. South Florida 470 18 41.9 17.1 3.8 44.8
80. Rutgers 416 20 35.3 19.9 4.8 49.5
102. Cincinnati 432 28 36.3 15.6 6.5 54.6

The first thing that should jump out at you about these ratings is that most of them are pretty decent. The two worst teams at holding opposing quarterbacks in check, Rutgers and Cincinnati, were both 4-8 last year.

Ohio State was had the best defensive team PIF in 2010 at a 24.4. How did they manage that? They allowed 10 QB produced TDs while causing 25 turnovers. They were ranked in the top 15 of every element of the PIF. To no one's surprise, Eastern Michigan was dead last. They were shredded for 35 touchdowns while only causing 5 turnovers. Click here to see the whole list.

In what categories did the Big East teams shine nationally?

Connecticut was 11th in percentage of incompletions as interceptions and 16th in percentage of touchdowns allowed.

Louisville was 7th in negative play percentage and 15th in incompletion percentage.

Pittsburgh was 9th in negative play percentage.

West Virginia was 4th in percentage of touchdowns allowed and 8th in negative play percentage.

You have to ask the question, if the Casteel Curtain defense was so good at preventing quarterbacks from creating positive plays, let alone touchdowns, why were they 40th overall and 5th in the Big East? While West Virginia intercepted 12 QB passes on the season, they did it at a rate that ranked 72nd in the country. In addition, the Mountaineers only forced 7 QB fumbles on and recovered one out of 100 QB rushing attempts (45 sacks included).

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