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This research is based on the Five Factors that were devised by Bill Connelly of SBNation. The Five Factors of football include Explosiveness, Efficiency, Field Position, Finishing Drives, and Turnovers. Each factor is composed of associated statistics that when put together make up the most important statistics in football. This research includes the analysis of all 857 FBS (the highest level of NCAA Division I football) games from the 2016 season. Data was analyzed through the use of an Excel spreadsheet. Five different statistics were looked at, each associated with one of the Five Factors. The statistics include Yards per Play, Success Rate, Average Starting Field Position, Points per Trip Inside the 40, and Turnover Margin. Game by game analysis of each statistic was conducted and the results were compiled together to help show the importance of each statistic and how each one impacted a team’s likelihood of winning. Trends were found that help show the impact that each statistic has on a football game; however, it is important to note that with so much variability in the game of football and how just about every statistic is dependent on other statistics, the results of this research will not always be consistent with individual game results.

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Grand Forks, ND


Mathematics, Statistics, Football


Mathematics | Statistics and Probability


Presented at the Fall 2017 Undergraduate Showcase Grand Forks, ND, December 7, 2017.

The Most Important Statistics in Football