Scoring statistics are the most stable things one can measure in division one sports. Average points scored and allowed tend to change only with rules changes that affect equipment (bats, in D1 baseball) or scoring opportunities (three point line in hoops, clock management and kickoff location in football.)
For D1 football, prior to 2006 the average number of points per game was a little over 52, with the average score being about 35-17. The clock rules in effect in 2006 reduced the total by nearly a touchdown, and increased the average margin of victory. In 2007, the statistics returned to their historical levels.
The rules were changed again for 2008, and games are measurably shorter in terms of average number of plays, Scoring, though, is only a point per game or so below the historical levels, and the average margin to total score ratio is nearly exactly at its historical value.
It is also historically true that the scoring statistics are not the same for different categories of games. It is worth noting what they look like when the division is divided into categories made up of teams "like" each other:
Home field advantage may not mean as much as most think. While it is true that for some teams with respect to some opponents, the advantage is real and possibly large, the "big picture" view is that the home team wins more often just because the weaker team is more likely to accept a payday game at the stronger team's location (because 70-100 thousand-seat stadiums provide more revenue than 5-30 thousand-seat stadiums, if for no other reason.)
Worth noting with respect to the apparent conclusion:
Averages don't tell the whole story, so we look at the distributions of MOV and points scored by each team.
|Lowest winning score:||13-Sep Auburn 3 at Mississippi St 2||(Also fewest total points)|
|Highest losing score:||20-Sep Fresno St 55 at Toledo 54||(Also most total points)|
|Highest margin of victory:||30-Aug Idaho 0 at Arizona 70|
|2nd fewest total points:||27-Sep Western Michigan 7 at Temple 3|
|2nd largest MOV:||6-Sep California 66 at Washington State 3|
More than one in three of all games are decided by less than one score, and more than half by two or fewer scores. Teams scoring less than 25 points win only 23.1 percent of the time, but teams scoring more than 17 but less than 25 have won more than a third of the times that was their score.