Written By T.J. Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)
Advanced statistics are now ingrained in virtually every sport. However, it has been very difficult for statisticians to adequately quantify the play of offensive or defensive linemen beyond simple stats like “sacks allowed” or “tackles”. As part of its partnership to promote the Outland Trophy and the candidates competing for that award, graduate students from the College of Education Sport Management program at the University of Alabama have developed a rating system to help analyze the play of linemen.
The Schneider Scale, named such for the graduate student in charge of tracking and updating the rankings throughout the season, is designed to take individual and team statistics into account and then rank linemen on both sides of the ball. The hope is that a better foundation for comparison and discussion about both offensive and defensive linemen can be established by this scale. After one week of play, IU offensive guard Dan Feeney is tied with Michigan State linemen Jack Conklin and Jack Allen for eighth place in the country.
“For the first time, we will have some statistical basis for judgment and review of linemen,” said Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Executive Director Steve Richardson. “While the Schneider Scale is but one element to help us review worthy candidates, it should be fascinating to see the weekly rankings and see how this type of analysis of line play evolves.”
Oregon offensive tackle Tyler Johnstone is currently ranked first. Dan Feeney is the only IU player in the Top 25 and is joined by fellow B1G players Jack Allen, Jack Conklin, Taylor Decker (Ohio State), Pat Elflein (Ohio State) and Anthony Zettel (Penn State).