Many people believe the season is won (or lost) in February. Some teams get better, the rest get left in the rear view mirror.
But looking at win-loss records in the Last 10 can be misleading because of different schedule strengths. Here are the teams whose opponent adjusted margin-of-victory numbers are trending in the right direction:
ChOff = Change in Adjusted Offense From January 31st to February 27th
ChDef = Change in Adjusted Defense From January 31st to February 27th (I changed the sign so that positive is good.)
TotalCh = Change in Offense plus Change in Defense
Rank = Monday’s Pomeroy Rank
Perhaps TCU won’t be a cellar-dweller in the Big 12 next year after all. After beating New Mexico on Saturday, TCU is one of the most improved teams in the nation over the last month. Notre Dame’s losing streak may have come to an end at St. John’s, but February was still a very good month for the Irish. And Michigan St. has staked its claim as one of the top teams in the nation.
Here are some teams trending the wrong direction:
Here are some teams that are surging on offense, but whose defense has slipped recently:
And here are some teams that are surging on defense, but haven’t seen enough offensive improvement to make a big jump in the Pomeroy Rankings:
So much for Travon Woodall salvaging Pitt’s season. The Panthers offense continues to trend in the wrong direction. Here are the teams with sagging offense that are not listed above:
And here are the teams whose defense has gone in the tank:
Trends can be reversed in a moment. A breakout player will lead to a boost in offense until the scouting reports catch up. Thus I wouldn’t necessarily believe these are permanent changes. But if you believe that teams that get better in February win in March, these lists provide plenty of ammunition.