2011 Big East Positive Impact Factor Final Standings: B.J. Daniels, Rutgers' Defense Finish On Top

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 1: Quarterback B. J. Daniels #7 of the South Florida Bulls directs play against the West Virginia Mountaineers December 1, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

It's been awhile since we brought you the Positive Impact Factor (what's this?). Obviously, football season has been over for a month, but it's time to look at how everybody finished last season (with the bowl games included) before West Virginia up and leaves for the Big 12.

2011 Big East Positive Impact Factor: Final
Rank Quarterback Team Touches Total TD Neg Play XNeg Play XPos Play PIF
1. B.J. Daniels South Florida 497 19 34.8 15.3 3.8 53.7
2. Zach Collaros Cincinnati 356 23 35.7 23.6 6.5 47.2
3. Geno Smith West Virginia 581 33 37.3 22.1 5.7 46.3
4. Teddy Bridgewater Louisville 386 18 36 22.9 4.7 45.8
5. Ryan Nassib Syracuse 480 24 39.6 20.8 5 44.6
6. Tino Sunseri Pittsburgh 539 14 38.6 22.4 2.6 41.6
7. Chas Dodd Rutgers 272 10 47.4 20 3.7 36.2
8. Johnny McEntee Connecticut 391 12 52.7 31.6 3.1 18.7
9. Gary Nova Rutgers 251 11 52.6 51 4.4 0.8

B.J. Daniels led the standings for most of the season. It didn't help USF get to a bowl game this year but their offense did improve. Looking back to the preseason PIF, Daniels' career PIF was 4th among returning QBs. He played well above his 45.8 PIF coming into this season. His touchdown production came down but he reduced his negative plays (incompletions, sacks, fumbles) by half a percent. It was the decline in rate of turnovers that really sent his PIF up in 2011.

Zach Collaros played under his career average and got injured toward the end of the season. However, his touchdown rate actually increased slightly this season and Cincy still won a share of the Big East. He had a forgettable 22.4 PIF in the Liberty Bowl while Isaiah Pead ran wild. Geno Smith also played under his career average. However, in learning Dana Holgorsen's offense, Smith improved his touchdown production 1.1%. His 91.5 PIF in the Orange Bowl win over Clemson will likely rank as the highest Bowl PIF in 2011. Tino Sunseri also played well under his career average as he didn't adjust well to Todd Graham's "high octane" offense. Sunseri was sacked 61 times (though some of that was on him and not the offensive line). Nevertheless, his negative play rate stayed similar to 2010. His turnovers went way up while his touchdown production was nearly cut in half.

Chas Dodd had a 37.6 career PIF before this season and a 36.2 this past season. His touchdown production was down slightly. Although his negative plays as a whole came down about 5% his increase in turnovers dropped his PIF a little overall.

Ryan Nassib was dead last among the six returning quarterbacks with a career PIF of 35.8. This season, he held onto the ball and shrunk his fumble rate and his negative play percentage while increasing his touchdown production by 0.6% That all added up to 8.8 point increase in his PIF over his career average this season.

Teddy Bridgewater and Gary Nova were newcomers at opposite ends of the spectrum. The main differences were fumbles and completion rate. Nova fumbled on 26% of his carries and lost them on 17.4%. Bridgewater only fumbled once all season despite 89 carries. Nova did produce touchdowns at a higher rate than his teammate Chas Dodd and threw interceptions at a lower rate than Bridgewater. If Nova can improve his ball security and accuracy, he's got a chance to improve as Nassib did for Syracuse. Johnny McEntee was another newcomer who had fumble issues and accuracy issues. He did improve his touchdown rate as the season went along.

Now for the defenses:

2011 Big East Defensive Positive Impact Factor
Rank Team Touches Total TD Neg Play XNeg Play XPos Play PIF
1. Rutgers 485 12 44.7 30.8 2.5 26.9
2. Cincinnati 582 19 42.4 29.8 3.3 31
3. Connecticut 525 24 42.3 30.1 4.6 32.2
4. West Virginia 544 18 42.6 26.7 3.3 33.9
5. South Florida 526 19 40.9 23.1 3.6 39.6
6. Pittsburgh 551 19 40.3 16.8 3.4 46.3
7. Louisville 518 21 40 16 4.1 48
8. Syracuse 518 24 36.1 20.3 4.6 48.2

Rutgers didn't lead wire to wire in defensive PIF this year, it only seems like they did. The Scarlet Knights took over from Cincinnati after Week Five of the season and led from there. Rutgers' defense was brutal on opposing quarterbacks this season and made a huge jump from their PIF of 49.5 last season (ranked 80th in FBS). What changed? The touchdown rate against Rutgers was nearly cut in half while QB turnovers more than doubled. Although the final defensive FBS PIF standings aren't available yet for the 2011 season, Rutgers did finish ahead of LSU (29.1) and Alabama (34.5).

Cincinnati also made a big jump from last year's 54.6 (102nd in FBS) to this year's 31. The story was similar to that of Rutgers. Touchdowns scored against the Bearcats were sliced and turnovers caused by Cincinnati skyrocketed. West Virginia also made a move up from a 41.8 (40th in FBS) last season to this year's 33.9. The Mountaineers gave up touchdowns at a higher rate but also marginally increased their interception rate. The gain in PIF overall was because they increased their rate of QB fumbles and fumbles lost. Oddly enough, the Mountaineers faced 100 QB carries in 2010 and 2011. South Florida's defense moved up from a 44.8 (55th in FBS) last year to a 39.6 this year. The main difference was that USF went from 0 QB fumbles recovered in 2010 to 4 this season. Connecticut jumped from a 40.8 last season (33rd in FBS) to a 32.2 in 2011. The Huskies defense forced similar interception numbers to 2010 but recovered even more fumbles. UConn allowed QBs to produce touchdowns at a 1.5% higher rate in 2011. However, what really helped UConn to move up in PIF was a 5% increase in the negative plays they inflicted on opposing QBs.

Pitt was among the Big East defenses in decline. The Panthers fell from a 37.5 in 2010 (23rd in FBS) to this season's 46.3. They got scored on at a similar rate but just weren't as good causing turnovers this season, especially interceptions which fell almost 3%. Louisville had a 39.4 in 2010 (28th in FBS) but fell to a 48 this season. The Cards gave up touchdowns at a similar rate to 2010 but didn't recover fumbles like last season. However, the biggest reason for the decline is that they caused around 6% fewer negative plays (incompletions, sacks, fumbles). Syracuse fell from a 41.5 (39th in FBS) to this season's 48.2. The interception rate came up while the fumbles recovered rate went down. Opposing QB's produced touchdowns at a 1.1% higher rate while their percentage of negative plays fell about 5%.

Check out previous weeks of the Big East Positive Impact Factor:

Week Fourteen

Week Thirteen

Week Twelve

Week Eleven

Week Ten

Week Nine

Week Eight

Week Seven

Week Six

Week Five

Week Four

Week Three

Week Two

Week One

Preseason

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