The Ultimate Site for College Football Stats Junkies

Split Statistics

All stat categories broken down by game location, game result, playing surface, opponent, and month. Split statistics are provided by team and player.

Situational Statistics

Rushing, passing, and receiving broken down by half, quarter, down and distance, field position, and score. Situational statistics are provided by team and player.

Leader Boards

Sortable national and conference leaders for teams and players, for all games and by split statistics.

New Kickoff Rule – Final Numbers

January 10th, 2008

Now that the 2007 season is complete, it’s time to take a look at the final numbers to determine the impact this season of the new kickoff rule, which moved the start of the kickoff from the 35-yard line back to the 30-yard line.

Here are the kickoff numbers for the 2005-2006 seasons and the 2007 season.

Season(s) G Kickoff Start # Kickoffs Kickoff End Avg. TB TB%
2005-2006 1,510 All 15,413 6.58 4,489 29.12%
2007 792 All 8,788 10.26 1,036 11.79%

The percentage of touchbacks decreased from 29.12% in 2006-2006 to 11.79% in 2007, which is close to a 60% drop. There were 2.97 touchbacks per game in 2005-2006 and 1.31 touchbacks per game in 2007. The average ending yard line of kickoffs moved from the 6.58 yard line in 2005-2006 out to the 10.26 yard line in 2007.

Here are the kickoff return numbers for the 2005-2006 seasons and the 2007 season.

Season(s) G Kickoff Start # Returns Return Avg. Return End Avg. TD TD%
2005-2006 1,510 All 9,820 20.42 27.58 80 0.81%
2007 792 All 7,220 21.31 31.26 75 1.04%

The average length of returns increased in 2007 by less than one yard, from 20.42 to 21.31. The average ending yard line of kickoff returns moved from the 27.58 yard line in 2005-2006 out to the 31.26 yard line, a change of 3.68 yards. The percentage of touchdowns per return increased by 28%, from 0.81% to 1.04%.

As expected, the new rule caused a decrease in the number of touchbacks and an increase in the number of kickoff returns. However, before the season many coaches and pundits predicted the extra five yards of return space would significantly increase both the length of kickoff returns and kickoff returned for touchdown. It seems that they were partially correct — kickoff returns for touchdowns increased by 28%, but the length of the average kickoff return increased by less than one yard.