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The 2012 Season By The Numbers

Staff Columnist
Posted Aug 28, 2013

Last year, this research project began. Here's a re-posting of how the 2012 college football season unfolded on numerous statistical fronts. This concludes our series on the past 10 years of college football... By The Numbers.


FBS-versus-FBS games only; no statistics are pulled from FBS-FCS games unless specified

FBS-versus-FBS games in the 2012 season: 697

Home teams' record: 389-288 with 20 neutral-site games

Games decided by 60 or more points: 1

Games decided by 50-59 points: 6

Games decided by 40-49 points: 42

Games decided by 30 to 39 points: 83

Games decided by 20 to 29 points: 130

Games decided by 10 to 19 points: 162

Games decided by 1 to 9 points: 273


Over the full season, 57 games involved winning scores in the final two minutes of regulation. Of those 57 games, 40 involved go-ahead scores from teams that were trailing. The other 17 games involved tiebreaking scores.

Over the full season, 58 games were decided by go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter, but not in the final two minutes. Therefore, 115 games were decided by go-ahead scores at some point in the fourth quarter.


In 2012, 62 teams pulled off such comebacks – 29 road teams, 30 home teams, and 3 on neutral fields.

MOST NOTABLE COMEBACK: 21 points (tied for largest margin of the year), Louisiana-Monroe vs. Arkansas, week two.

ALSO NOTEWORTHY: Two FCS teams completed 14-point road comebacks against FBS teams. Sacramento State won at Colorado in week two, and Northern Arizona won at UNLV in week two.


Over the full season, 44 games went to overtime – 31 single-overtime games, 8 double-overtime games, 4 triple-overtime games, and 1 quadruple-overtime game. In these 44 games, 31 teams failed to score in the decisive overtime stanza. The team with the ball second in the decisive overtime stanza of these games went 28-16.

Combined overtime points in 2012: 476 points in 63 total overtime stanzas, for an average of 7.56 points per stanza and 3.78 points per team per stanza. Home teams went 21-20 in overtime games; three other overtime games were played on neutral fields.


In 2012, the six BCS conferences were considered power conferences, while the MAC, WAC, Sun Belt, and Conference USA were considered non-power conferences. With the Mountain West Conference being deemed a "power conference" for purposes of clarity, and with Notre Dame and BYU being deemed power conference independents while Army and Navy are considered non-power conference independents, here are the breakdowns of various non-conference games from the past season. Games in which independents played each other are not included in these tabulations:

In 2012, 111 games pitted power conference teams against non-power conference teams. The power conferences went 84-27 in these games.

In 2012, 64 games pitted power conference teams against each other. The power independents (Notre Dame and BYU) went 13-3. The Big 12 went 8-2. SEC: 8-6. Pac-12: 12-9. Big Ten: 9-9. Big East: 8-9. Mountain West: 4-12. ACC: 2-14.

In 2012, 29 games matched non-power conference FBS schools against each other. The Mid-American Conference went 7-3 in these games. The Sun Belt went 8-4. WAC: 5-5. Non-power conference independents (Army and Navy): 4-6. Conference USA: 5-11.


Records of teams that had greater numbers of first downs, yards, penalties, turnovers, and more time of possession

In the 697 FBS-versus-FBS games played in the 2012 season, teams with MORE first downs went 449-210 with 38 statistical ties.

Teams with MORE yards went 524-172 with 1 statistical tie.

MORE rushing yards: 529-165-3.

MORE passing yards: 396-299-2.

MORE penalties: 332-284-81.

MORE turnovers: 142-426-129.

MORE time of possession: 424-272-1.