Gather completions while ye may,
Defensive ends are still a-flying:
And this same offense that moves to-day
To-morrow will be dying.


Every historic discovery begins with a small but meaningful step, and Spike Factor is no different. Last year's Kentucky-LSU matchup was that small step, so it's time to embrace the future of lazy and mean-spirited statistical analysis.

We've made one key change to the Spike Factor Formula this year. Previously, offenses only got credit for plays in which they would have been better off spiking the ball, but that made watching Morgan Newton throw incomplete pass after incomplete pass last year even more infuriating. Going forward, the Spike Factor will now also include plays where the offense would have been just as well off stopping the clock - incomplete passes, runs for no gain, completions for no gain, they all count now.

Trust us. This will make the mockery more fake accurate.

There were a number of strong candidates for the first ever Tetanus Spike of the Week, but, in the spirit of tradition, we'll start with the original article. In their Sunday matchup against Louisville, the Kentucky Wildcats would have been just as successful spiking the ball on 31% of their offensive plays (22/69). How does that number compare this week? ACTIVATE ENGLISH-MAJOR MATH NOW!


Let's get this out of the way now - UMass is a brand new FBS program and some hiccups are to be expected. And by hiccups I apparently mean drowning in your own vomit, because fifty-fucking-five percent of the plays the Minutemen ran were as productive as intentionally doing nothing. That's almost impressive in its uselessness. Try to imagine if over half the days you showed up at work, your company would have been just as productive if you stayed home. You are now a Subway sandwich artist.


Florida's Spike Factor comes in at 29%, thanks almost entirely to a 13 play drive in the first half where every snap went for at least some gain. Florida Football - Bad But Only In Small And Consistent Ways That Will Never Be Fixed All Season Maybe You Should Take Up Woodworking!


Context demands that we look at a few programs who scoffed at the mere concept of the Spike Factor this week:

  • Oklahoma State started with 23 straight plays against Savannah State without a Spike Factor play en route to an 18% grade.
  • The Oregon Ducks saw 21% of their offensive plays eligible for Spike Factor inclusion, though that number was only 18% (8/44) when Marcus Mariota was taking the snaps.
  • Most impressive of all was West Virginia, coming up with Spike Factor plays only 12% of the time on offense. Seven of their thirteen drives didn't even have a single S.F. snap.

Sure, Spike Factor seems like a flawless measure of offensive ineptitude on paper, but how does it work in real world application? Glad you asked, prospective investor. Let's take a look at two close games to see if there's a correlation between victory and low Spike Factor:
  • Clemson (22% Spike Factor) got the win over Auburn (42% Spike Factor). The difference? The last 5 drives for Clemson only included 18% useless plays, whereas Auburn's last five had a whopping 46%. (Gene Chizik also spent the second half choking on a pair of wax lips he swallowed.)
  • Vanderbilt (42% Spike Factor) couldn't pull the upset against South Carolina (29%). Please don't use this data to bet on the Gamecocks going forward, because gambling is illegal and, in this case, it's for your protection.


There can be only one winner of the coveted Tetanus Spike, but we'd like to acknowledge those who came oh-so-close.

WASHINGTON STATE, 44% - You can go ahead and start making Jeff "Tuel Time" jokes now because holy shit have you watched a Home Improvement rerun in the last four years? That shit is terrible. Washington State-in-this-game terrible.

MICHIGAN, 42% - Let's go to Nick Saban for reaction to the news that 60% of Michigan's plays on the first four Wolverine drives were as effective as spiking the ball:


PITT, 32% - Just go to your room.




That's a truly horrifying number, even considering Michigan State's defensive talent. Of Boise's ten drives, five had a 50% or higher Spike Factor. Poor Kellen Moore had to watch this shit on the sidelines. That's like starting a successful farming operation, retiring and putting your son in charge, and watching him turn it into an airport that only has US Airways flights.

Therefore, with the appropriate amount of disgust, we officially award the first Tetanus Spike to the Boise State Broncos. (We still think you'd probably beat Florida, for what it's worth.)

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