At the end of last season you asked for it and so it shall continue, Toxic Tuesday and the toxic differential is back for another season! If you are new to my work you are probably asking, what is the toxic differential? The toxic differential is a statistic calculated in two steps. First, count the number of explosive plays (plays of 20-plus yards) a team produces and subtract how many explosive plays their defense gave up. Take this number and combine it with the team’s turnover margin for a final toxic differential number. The differential is a very good indicator if an NFL team will make the playoffs or not. In general good teams will have a positive differential and bad teams will have a negative one.
The toxic differential has stayed true in the Mountain West so far in the past easily separating good teams from bad teams. As usual the statistics used to calculate the differential are courtesy of our good friends over at cfbstats.com. As you can see after the first week there is a wide disparity in numbers that is mostly due to the level of competition among the MW’s first week opponents.
New Mexico who has finished in the cellar each of the two years we have calculated the toxic differential is at top of the standings after playing a very poor Southern team. While Hawaii played #1 USC and got hammered and sits at a -10. Elsewhere, Nevada posted a -2 rating in a win on the road versus Cal and the sheep posted a +5 in a win over Colorado. As for Wyoming we came out with a neutral rating versus Texas but the two interceptions that the Longhorns turned into touchdown really hurt the Cowboys.