The Changing Landscape of College Football: How Defense and Offense Stack Up in FBS Conference Championships

In the ever-evolving world of college football, it’s hard to keep up with the trends. This is mostly due to the increasingly offensive-centric nature of the game. The Pac-12 competition witnessed this shift, with Utah positioned 6th, while clocking an average of 6.6 yards per game only within the conference games. On the flip side, the same team held the 4th place in terms of yard defense per game, averaging 5.95 yards.

Defense versus offense in FBS conference championships

In 2022, a fascinating trend emerged from the FBS conference champions as not a single team led their respective divisions in yards per play. However, two teams managed to top their leagues on the defense front. Delving further into the data, six teams managed to secure higher rankings in defense rather than offense. On the contrary, only three teams boasted higher ranks in their offensive capacity.

Summarizing the 2022 FBS conference championships

Here’s a quick glance over the standing of various teams:

  • American: Tulane – 6.48 Yards Per Play (3rd), 5.16 YPP Defense (2nd)
  • ACC: Clemson – 5.67 YPP (t-6th), 4.79 YPP Defense (2nd)
  • Big Ten: Michigan – 6.26 YPP (2nd), 4.81 YPP Defense (4th)
  • Big 12: Kansas State – 6.43 YPP (3rd), 5.68 YPP Defense (4th)
  • C-USA: UTSA – 6.55 YPP (4th), 5.65 YPP Defense (3rd)
  • MAC: Toledo – 5.60 YPP (3rd), 4.80 YPP Defense (1st)
  • MW: Fresno State – 5.72 YPP (2nd), 5.15 YPP Defense (5th)
  • Pac-12: Utah – 6.60 YPP (6th), 5.95 YPP Defense (4th)
  • SEC: Georgia – 6.87 YPP (2nd), 4.88 YPP Defense (2nd)
  • Sun Belt: Troy – 6.02 YPP (4th), 4.44 YPP Defense (1st)

It’s worth noting, however, that defense certainly hasn’t lost all importance. A strong defense still contributes to the strength of a team. However, the old school method of grinding out lower-scoring games for victory is less reliable. Adaptability in the changing game environment brings teams on top. Utah’s defensive-minded head coach, Whittingham, concurs stating, “you’ve got to change with the times.”

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