Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"The New Phone Book's Here! The New Phone Book's Here!"

The Jerk is an all-time classic, just like when the Blue Ribbon Tournament Book arrives. Now that I can download it, my wife can not see my pathetic display from the mail box when it would arrive. One of the things that I love best about it is that it displays the annual budget for the schools in the tournament. Let's take a look at the 2006 athletic budgets for the BCS schools:

1. Ohio State - $101,804,848
2. Virginia - $92,655,584
3. Texas - $83,600,248
4. Florida - $78,177,776
5. Michigan State - $66,749,084
6. Tennessee - $66,165,792
7. USC - $65,434,876
8. Wisconsin - $62,875,100
9. Texas A&M - $61,419,536
10. Stanford - $60,661,304
11. Kentucky - $57,137,604
12. Notre Dame - $55,468,396
13. North Carolina - $53,753,892
14. Texas Tech - $53,337,768
15. UCLA - $52,049,868
16. Boston College - $51,766,104
17. Purdue - $50,182,700
18. Duke - $49,802,408
19. Kansas - $47,554,572
20. Maryland - $46,283,648
21. Virginia Tech - $45,196,500
22. Louisville - $45,109,660
23. Oregon - $44,630,104
24. Georgia Tech - $43,317,296
25. Illinois - $41,423,216
26. Vanderbilt - $40,373,884
27. Indiana - $39,451,708
28. Arizona - $38,444,312
29. Washington State - $27,219,522

A couple of things pop out at me:

1. Notre Dame getting into a BCS bowl is huge for them. It accounts for 20% of their athletic budget.
2. How does Virginia not have a big time coach? With that athletic budget, they should have gone to a final 4 or a BCS?
3. Georgia Tech is 7th out of 7 ACC schools in terms of athletic budgets. It's unrealistic that we should contend for national titles with a bottom of the food chain athletic budget. It explains why Dan Radokovich is angling towards PSL's for season ticket holders.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bendability Index

Bendability is a good measure of a defense because the it is not only a measure about how stingy a defense is giving up points, but it makes the opposing offense work extremely hard for the points that they do score.

This stat also measures other items as well. It brings up the ability to create turnovers, special teams, etc.

Ohio State - 3646.0 yds 166.0 pts 22.0 yards per point (Big 10 Champion)
Wake Forest - 21.0 ypp (ACC Champion)
Auburn - 21.0 ypp
Wisconsin - 21.0 ypp (Should've been in BCS)
VT - 20.0 ypp

BC - 19.8 ypp
Penn State - 19.8 ypp
Louisville - 19.7 ypp (Big East Champion)
USC - 19.5 ypp (Pac 10 Champion)
LSU - 19.2 ypp (Sugar Bowl winner)

California - 19.0 ypp
Florida - 18.9 ypp (National Champion)
Nebraska - 18.1 ypp
South Carolina - 18.0 ypp
South Florida - 17.6 ypp

Rutgers - 17.6 ypp
Clemson - 17.4 ypp
Michigan - 16.9 ypp (Rose Bowl)
Tennessee - 16.8 ypp
Arizona - 16.7 ypp

Iowa - 16.6 ypp
Oklahoma - 16.6 ypp (Fiesta Bowl)
Miami - 16.5 ypp
Maryland - 16.5 ypp
Minnesota - 16.4 ypp

Missouri - 16.4 ypp
Arkansas - 16.4 ypp
Georgia Tech - 16.4 ypp
Syracuse - 16.2 ypp
Texas - 16.2 ypp

Virginia - 16.2 ypp
Purdue - 16.2 ypp
Kentucky - 16.0 ypp
Pittsburgh - 15.9 ypp
UCLA - 15.8 ypp

Cincinnati - 15.8 ypp
Texas A&M - 15.7 ypp
West Virginia - 15.5 ypp
Alabama - 15.5 ypp
Washington St. - 15.5 ypp

Mississippi - 15.4 ypp
Colorado - 15.3 ypp
Oregon St. - 15.0 ypp
Vanderbilt - 14.9 ypp
Kansas - 14.8 ypp

Georgia - 14.7 ypp
Florida State - 14.7 ypp
Washington - 14.7 ypp
Kansas State - 14.5 ypp
NC State - 14.5 ypp

Notre Dame - 14.3 ypp (Sugar Bowl bitch slapping)
Oklahoma State - 14.2 ypp
Northwestern - 13.9 ypp
Texas Tech - 13.3 ypp
Connecticut - 13.3 ypp

Arizona State - 13.1 ypp
Michigan State - 12.8 ypp
Iowa State - 12.8 ypp
Baylor - 12.5 ypp
Mississippi State - 12.5 ypp

Stanford - 12.3 ypp
Indiana - 12.3 ypp
Oregon - 12.1 ypp
North Carolina - 12.1 ypp
Duke - 11.7 ypp

Illinois - 11.6 ypp

Georgia Tech, known for its vaunted defense, finished 28th out of 66 BCS teams. They finished a blase (can't do the accent over the e) 7th out of 12 ACC teams. Generally, if you could get a couple of first downs on a drive against them, you were getting 7.

One other note Taylor Bennett fans, Duke's defense was the equivalent of Ethiopia against Italy finishing 65th out of 66, while West Virginia was the equivalent of Argentina in the Faulklands War, finishing 38th out of 66 teams.

Friday, February 9, 2007

GT Pass Defense - Myth Vs. Fact

One of the key concerns going into the 2006 season was the pass defense. We lost a couple of key corners and we had to rely on a converted WR and a couple of freshman. When you look at the final stats of this year, we see that the concerns were true, we finished 49th in pass defense with 195.79 yards given up per game. Right? MYTH!!

Georgiatechfootballfacts is about providing a Mickey Ward liver shot to myths such as these.

Passing yards allowed is a very poor way to rate the quality of a particular pass defense. Basically, some bad teams are so easy to run on that opponents rarely pass against them. So you end up with a situation in which a team appears to have a great pass defense when, in fact, it does not.

We focus so much on passer rating as the measure of an quarterback and not of a team. The truth is that defensive passer rating is almost always a better indicator of team-wide success than an individual quarterback’s passer rating.

Let's take a gander at this stat for the 66 BCS teams. Georgia Tech finished 12th in Defensive Passer Rating of 66.1. Let's take a look at the top 10 in this ranking:

Wisconsin - 50.3
Virginia Tech - 50.7
LSU - 54.9
Georgia - 57.8
Florida - 58.0
Rutgers - 60.1
Ohio State - 61.4
South Florida - 63.6
Oklahoma - 64.9
Boston College - 65.2

Clemson was 11th at 66.0. I'd trade places with 9 of those 10.

One thing to keep in mind when we think that Taylor Bennett could be the savior next fall. Bennett played two quarters against Duke (99.4; 63 out of 66) and West Virginia (78.6; 36 out of 66).

Monday, February 5, 2007

Was Reggie Ball Really That Bad? Duh (Part Deux)

Georgia Tech was 50th out of 66 BCS teams (5.62 yds/attempt). Pathetic. Compare to the 9 BCS teams:

Louisville - 9.03 yds/attempt (1st)
LSU - 8.08 yds/attempt (2nd)
Florida - 7.44 yds/attempt (8th)
Ohio State - 7.37 yds/attempt (10th)
Oklahoma - 7.20 yds/attempt (13th)
USC - 7.16 yds/attempt (14th)
Michigan - 6.70 yds/attempt (27th)
Wake Forest - 6.46 yds/attempt (32nd)
Notre Dame - 6.41 yds/attempt (33rd)

What does this tell us? Obviously, Notre Dame's explosive pass offense was overrated (surprise), Bobby Petrino should help Michael Vick, and GT needs to have 600 additional yards of passing offense next year if they want to contend. Does that seem likely without Calvin Johnson and only one wide receiver returning that did anything?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Chan Gailey - Underpaid at $19,407 a week?

Chan Gailey ranks 41st in salary upon Div. I-A BCS coaches,

Rank School Name Annual Inc.
1 Alabama Nick Saban $4,000,000
2 Oklahoma Bob Stoops $3,400,000
3 Notre Dame Charlie Weis $3,300,000
4 Southern California Pete Carroll $3,000,000
5 Iowa Kirk Ferentz $2,840,000
6 Texas Mack Brown $2,664,000
7 Louisville Bobby Petrino $2,500,000
8 Ohio State Jim Tressel $2,450,000
9 Auburn Tommy Tuberville $2,231,000
10 Tennessee Philip Fulmer $2,050,000
11 Texas A&M Dennis Franchione $2,012,200
12 Virginia Tech Frank Beamer $2,000,800
13 Florida Urban Meyer $2,000,000
14 Penn State Joe Paterno $2,000,000
15 North Carolina Butch Davis $1,860,000
16 Virginia Al Groh $1,785,000
17 South Carolina Steve Spurrier $1,750,000
18 West Virginia Rich Rodriguez $1,750,000
19 Georgia Mark Richt $1,713,000
20 Florida State Bobby Bowden $1,691,900
21 Maryland Ralph Friedgen $1,691,864
22 Nebraska Bill Callahan $1,690,317
23 Texas Tech Mike Leach $1,600,000
24 California Jeff Tedford $1,505,300
25 Kansas Mark Mangino $1,501,241
26 Michigan Lloyd Carr $1,454,619
27 LSU Les Miles $1,450,000
28 Washington Ty Willingham $1,414,772
29 Oregon Mike Bellotti $1,256,000
30 Illinois Ron Zook $1,241,750
31 Purdue Joe Tiller $1,217,742
32 Clemson Tommy Bowden $1,198,028
33 Baylor Guy Morriss $1,144,236
34 Iowa State Gene Chizik $1,125,000
35 South Florida Jim Leavitt $1,117,500
36 Michigan State Mark Dantonio $1,100,000
37 North Carolina State Tom O'Brien $1,100,000
38 Colorado Dan Hawkins $1,098,500
39 Missouri Gary Pinkel $1,095,000
40 Arkansas Houston Nutt $1,049,644
41 Georgia Tech Chan Gailey $1,009,181
42 Wake Forest Jim Grobe $987,843
43 Mississippi State Sylvester Croom $940,000
44 Rutgers Greg Schiano $911,000
45 Mississippi Ed Orgeron $905,000
46 UCLA Karl Dorrell $881,000
47 Arizona Mike Stoops $865,000
48 Connecticut Randy Edsall $845,000
49 Oregon State Mike Reilly $835,000
50 Cincinnati Brian Kelly $800,000
51 Oklahoma State Mike Gundy $800,000
52 Wisconsin Brett Bielema $761,600
53 Kansas State Ron Prince $750,000
54 Kentucky Rich Brooks $729,165
55 Syracuse Greg Robinson $638,441
56 Indiana Terry Hoeppner $600,000
57 Washington State Bill Doba $599,042
58 Duke Ted Roof $370,200
Arizona State Dennis Erickson NA
Boston College Jeff Jagodzinski NA

This is why I didn't have much of a problem with Chan shooting for the Dolphins and Steelers jobs. An NFL coach makes an average of 2.5 mil per year. If he gets fired after 3 years, that's 7.5 million. We know Chan won't be at GT 7 years from now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Was Reggie Ball really that bad? Duh.

I believe the most accurate measure of a QB is yards per attempt. In fact, one could argue to dismiss the passer rating system and simply replace it with yards per attempt to measure a quarterback's effectiveness. We're not making that argument right now, but it's certainly one that can be made.

Put most simply, leaders in yards per attempt and passer rating won more often than leaders in TD passes and passing yards.

When we measure yards per pass attempt, use only NET passing figures to determine yards per attempt. This is gross passing yards, minus yards lost via sacks, divided by passing attempts. If we were merely looking at individual quarterbacks and their yards per attempt, we might (might!) be inclined to use gross passing yards, so as not to penalize the quarterback if he has a sieve of an offensive line.

For example, if a quarterback attempts 10 passes for 100 yards, his yards per attempt is 10.0 YPA. Easy enough, right? But what if that QB was sacked three times and lost 22 yards? Suddenly, the team's passing YPA is a mere 6.0 (78/13).

Without further adieu, here are the ACC stats for yards per attempt:

Net Passing Yards/Net Passing Attempts/Yds per Attempt

Clemson 2410/342/7.05
Wake Forest 2022/313/6.46
Maryland 2259/355/6.36
Florida State 2904/465/6.25
Boston College 2958/482/6.14
Virginia Tech 2144/351/6.11
Miami 2352/386/6.09
North Carolina 1999/355/5.63
Georgia Tech 2197/391/5.62
NC State 2069/398/5.20
Duke 1968/401/4.91
Virginia 1668/378/4.41

Georgia Tech is 9th out of 12 teams. Look at the company they keep. It’s quite amazing they won 9 games.

Next post: How they compared against other BCS teams.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gator Bowl Notes

A few tidbits to come out of this game, which is now very relevant to next year because it now looks like a better than 50/50 chance that Taylor Bennett will be our starter next year.

Of the 61 offensive plays:
- 21 were out of a 2 TE sets
- 13 were out of 3 WR sets
- 19 were run of traditional FB/TE/2WR set
- 8 were with a third down back
- 1 4th down with a FB and 2 TE's

Offense stats:
Calvin Johnson 61/61
James Johnson 61/61
Tashard Choice 59/61
Mike Matthews 39/61
George Cooper 31/61
Mike Cox (FB) 26/61
Chris Dunlap 13/61
Rashaud Grant 8/61
Jamaal Evans 2/61

The interception by Bennett was the only pass thrown to Dunlap the entire game.

All 4 of #21's catches of 25 or more yards were out of a 2 TE set.

GT made 7 errors in 62 plays for a percentage of 11% (Friedgen rule). Five of those errors came in the last three possesions. The only problem was that WV made only 2 errors in 58 plays (4%). The defense forced far too few.

Two things stand out looking ahead to 2007. One is the lack of returning depth at WR. The other is who is going to play at TE? Our top two TE's have graduated and I would think that we would have to run a lot of 2 tight end sets no matter who the QB is.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Friedgen Formula

The Friedgen Formula is the first thing I track for both teams during the game and analyze afterwards. In my next post, I'll give you how GT did with this formula.

From the Washington Post:

"That's winning it for us; there's no doubt about it," Friedgen said. "It has at every level I've coached at. It's something I believe in very strongly, and it's one of the reasons we won our first year here."

The statistic is derived by adding a team's interceptions, fumbles, dropped passes, sacks and penalties during a game and dividing that by the team's total number of offensive plays. The key is to keep the result under 12 percent -- meaning that the team is committing a human error on 12 percent or less of its plays.

Maryland has been outgained each time during its five-game winning streak. But the Terrapins have stayed under the 12 percent threshold four times, winning despite a 12.7 percent rating against Clemson.

Through the years, Friedgen said the formula's accuracy is around 95 percent. In the past two years at Maryland, its accuracy has been closer to 90 percent.

Since his days as offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, Friedgen has tinkered with various new statistics to measure errors. He came up with a similar stat while with the Yellow Jackets.

"It was kind of along the same lines as that, but we weren't smart enough to divide it into the number of plays," Friedgen said. "The year we won the national championship, we didn't make many errors either. It goes a long way to winning football games."

The stat caught the attention of former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins, who invited Friedgen to sit on the bench for a game in hopes of applying the concept to a turnover-prone point guard. But Friedgen didn't start using the formula in its current form until he joined the Chargers' coaching staff. He picked up the statistic from another NFL assistant coach who had used it with other teams, and he has been a believer ever since.

This season, the formula has helped the Terrapins thrive despite what Friedgen called "limitations."

"If you don't beat yourselves, you give the opportunity to the other team to beat themselves," Friedgen said.

To that end, Friedgen virtually deleted the seven-step drop from the offensive playbook, placing an emphasis instead on getting the ball out of Hollenbach's hands faster, a move that has cut down on sacks and interceptions. Friedgen has opted for more short- and medium-range passes to replace the riskier deep ball.

The formula took on an even larger significance this season because of NCAA rule changes that have shortened games. Teams around the country are running fewer offensive plays compared with last season, and Friedgen said that puts more of a premium on maximizing offensive chances.

"I think that's a factor in this whole thing," Friedgen said. "There's a whole lot less plays being run right now than there used to be, probably 11 or 12 a game. When you have a turnover now, I think it's an even bigger thing for you that it was then."

The Game Plan

My plan is to give little tidbits from games, i.e. # of plays for the offense, offensive formations, # of plays for each offensive skill player, and try to get some idea what Chan Gailey and (insert offensive coordinator here) is thinking.

I'll also be doing some statistics that I find interesting. Coldhardfootballfacts.com is a great NFL stat website, and I'll try to bring some of that to GT and how they relate to other BCS teams.