But using a lot of these rankings in an isolated manner to make a point can get you in trouble.
For instance statsdomer makes the following statement:
"I don't care how many yards we gain between the 20s. I don't care how many yards we give up between the 20s, either. I want my team to be efficient when it gets it's opportunities and stingy when opponent's have theirs. Consistent top 10 teams, and most importantly, National Champions, do this."
Really? Looking at the Red Zone Defense data shows the following as 'elite' teams:
Mississippi State (10-1)
Virginia Tech (5-6)
Florida State (11-0)
Hard to see any strong correlation between being an elite Red Zone defensive team and being an elite defensive team. Two examples that run counter to statsdomer case:
Auburn is 3rd in the country in Red Zone Defense. But they're also 40th in Scoring Defense and 52nd in Total Defense.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin is 115th in the country in Red Zone Defense. But they're also 3rd in the country in Scoring Defense and 2nd in the country in Total Defense.
Between the two schools, I'd have to guess that Wisconsin is the elite defense there and that Red Zone Defense, measured in terms of 'efficiency' is about as meaningless a measure as you could have.
It also runs counter to statsdomer previously quoted statement.
Elite teams score a lot of points and give up few points. That's just what elite teams do (and we're neither by the way). But Red Zone Efficiency as an indicator of elite teams is just a terrible measure.