College football scoring average increases to highest ever in 2016 season
If you like points, you really enjoyed college football this past year
The offensive revolution continues.
For the first time in history, average scoring surpassed 30 points per game, according to audited, final statistics released by the NCAA.
The average of 30.04 points per team marks another milestone in the game's offensive revolution that began approximately 15 years ago.
Seven times since 2000, the per-team scoring average record has been set. In the previous 63 years, the record had been set 19 times.
In 2000, average scoring topped 26 points per game for the first time. The next year, the 27-point mark was surpassed. In 2007, we passed the 28-point mark. In 2012, the record was set at 29.5 points.
This season's scoring beat the 2015 record of 29.7 points.
The uptick in offensive numbers is largely credited to the development of spread offenses. The creativity of those offenses has mostly outstripped defenses' ability to keep up with them.
Six FBS conferences and 58 individual teams averaged more than 30 points in 2016. The Big 12 led the country averaging 33.58 points per team. Among Power Five conferences only the Big Ten (27.92) didn't average 30 points.
What's happened lately for offenses is a move toward a run-pass balance. The 51.77-yard difference in 2016 between average pass yards (234.16) and rush yards (182.99) is the smallest gap since 1998.
That rushing average is the highest since 1979.
Overall, five offensive records were set in 2016 among the 15 categories tracked annually by the NCAA. Records were also set in average yards per pass attempt (7.39), total offense (417.5 yards), yards per play (5.83) and touchdowns per game (3.82).
Perhaps more impressive, records have been set in 10 of those 15 categories at least once since 2011.
The final numbers were updated and audited last week by the NCAA statistics department.
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