Just saw a great article, "Trying to win time of possession is dumb and stupid", from CatScratchReader (SBNation Panthers Blog) by Jonathan DeLong about TOP and how it correlates to winning in the NFL. It also discusses other such metrics and their correlation to winning.
If you dig down into the comments you can find some other plots that are of interest that I will also post below. Read the article first and then come back to these.
But this is the chart from the comments I found most interesting. It compares win percentage in the NFL to yards allowed per carry.
From the chart maker, Jonathan DeLong:
No lie, the slope of this line is almost exactly 0. It's r^2 value is 0.00006 (1 is perfect). It's p-value is 0.94 (Less than 0.05 is usually considered good). It's essentially a random set of data.
A team with the second best run defense of the last three years won exactly 0 games. Two of the three teams with the worst run defenses of the last three years had winning records. The team with the best run defense of the last three years won 5 games. Run game success just doesn't matter.
I know the NFL and CFB are different animals, and I don't have data like this for CFB right now, but the professional sport, from an analytic sense, shouldn't care about the run game, offensively or defensively, if they want to attack the most important factors for winning a game. What do we think about this as it relates to CFB?