Daily Archives: February 2, 2008

Richt on recruiting

There’s an interview with Mark Richt about recruiting at georgiadogs.com (h/t Dawgbone) that’s got a couple of interesting quotes regarding early commitments.

On early commitments…

“It’s the way things are going now. You can hardly keep it from happening. High school coaches and players are visiting more. A lot of parents are taking young men on that tour in the summers. They are trying to target the schools they are interested in and maybe doing a day’s worth of camp or maybe just visiting people and getting to know them. There are a lot of unofficial visits going on in the summer now. So we do know more about these guys faster than we used to. I think the access to video is just so much better than it used to be. We certainly have great relationships with our high school coaches across the state and in areas out of state. When you begin a cycle of getting your class wrapped up relatively early, at this time of the year you spend a lot more time with junior recruiting. It used to be that in the spring you go evaluate the juniors. Now everybody is evaluating juniors right now. It’s not just us.”


On the detriment of recruiting too early…

“The biggest problem I see is trying to see the entire pool of athletes at any one position before you start targeting them. Let’s say there are ten out there at a certain position. You might have enough time to evaluate the first five and you think all those guys are worthy of an offer because you think they can all get the job done, but you haven’t seen the other five yet. Sometimes you can get a bunch of guys committed before you see the pool. When we do offer a young man this time of year, I’ll tell the staff let’s be certain that if we offer this young man and he commits that we are going to be excited about it. We are not throwing out as many offers as some other schools because we do want to see the pool. There are some guys who we feel strongly enough about to offer early. You don’t want to offer until you feel very confident that he is the type of player, person and student that you want.”

Keep that in mind with the announcement that Georgia just received its fourth verbal commitment for the class of 2009.

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UPDATE:  Make it five.  At this rate, they may be done before spring practice.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

More fun with numbers

Especially after reading this post of Kyle’s, I’ve done some more thinking about Sunday Morning Quarterback’s analysis of the correlation of certain statistical performance categories and wins/losses.

It gnaws at me a little that SMQ’s chart ranking all of the D-1 teams that finished the last season with at least 10 wins shows Georgia and Hawaii to be almost functionally equivalent (although it should be noted that he places more distance between the two in his chart of ranked teams) and that Kyle has riffed off of it as to Ohio State and BYU in the premise of his post. I watched all four of those teams play at least twice last year, and my (admittedly subjective) perspective is that Georgia was a far better team than was Hawaii and that OSU was a better team than BYU.

All of which led me to consider tweaking SMQ’s yeoman’s work in assembling his numbers. And did, hence this post.

Where I started was with his chart of 10+ win teams. I noticed that while he compared the rankings of those schools in nine categories, those weren’t the same nine categories that he found most closely correlated with wins and losses. When I substituted the two stats that had been omitted (3rd down conversions for offense and defense), here’s the chart that I got:

School Rush D P/E D Total D 3d Dn D T/O Mar P/E O Total O 3d Dn O Pass D
                   
Kansas 8 9 12 31 1 7 8 9 49
LSU 12 3 3 14 2 37 26 29 9
W. Va. 18 28 7 8 9 11 15 36 14
S. Cal. 4 6 2 28 41 36 29 8 15
Ohio St. 3 4 1 17 76 12 62 14 1
Okla. 17 43 26 5 25 1 19 13 59
Boise St. 35 66 25 3 47 6 12 17 26
Hawaii 41 21 34 10 93 3 3 6 37
BYU 9 18 10 21 93 28 25 32 32
Va. Tech 5 5 4 85 14 53 100 4 31
Georgia 16 36 14 24 18 61 74 23 36
Cincy 19 34 50 66 6 8 16 26 89
Ariz. St. 21 15 30 68 38 17 56 11 61
Missouri 25 45 59 2 11 13 5 82 96
Bos. Coll. 2 23 19 44 30 59 33 47 88
Texas 6 70 52 11 47 30 13 63 109
UCF 69 27 49 71 54 67 45 55 69
Tenn. 73 66 70 56 27 29 54 72 73
Tulsa 108 94 108 6 92 4 1 62 108

Just to save you the trouble, here’s how the teams ranked on that raw data after averaging.

  1. Kansas 14.89
  2. LSU 15
  3. West Virginia 16.22
  4. S. Cal. 18.78
  5. Ohio State 21.11
  6. Oklahoma 23.11
  7. Boise State 26.33
  8. Hawaii 27.56
  9. BYU 29.78
  10. Virginia Tech 33.44
  11. Georgia 33.56
  12. Cincinnati 34.89
  13. Arizona State 35.22
  14. Missouri 37.56
  15. Boston College 38.33
  16. Texas 44.56
  17. UCF 56.22
  18. Tennessee 57.78
  19. Tulsa 64.78

I didn’t stop there, though. I thought that to get a more representative sampling that the averages should be weighted on the basis of how closely each statistical category correlated to wins/losses. In other words, SMQ’s work shows that rushing defense is almost twice as significant an indicator as passing defense. To me, it only makes sense to give more weight to a school finishing first in rushing defense than in passing defense.

The way I went about doing this was to award points on an inverse scale to finish (a team finishing first in a category received 119 points; one finishing last received 1 point) and then multiplied the points a team received by the factor that SMQ assigned to that statistical category. Thus for example, Kansas finished eighth nationally in rushing defense. The Jayhawks received 112 points for their finish; those points were multiplied by .437 (SMQ’s factor) and that product (48.94) was the figure that was used to average Kansas’ statistical performance.

With that, here’s the order of the schools:

  1. Kansas
  2. LSU
  3. West Virginia
  4. S. Cal.
  5. Ohio State
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Boise State
  8. Hawaii
  9. BYU
  10. Virginia Tech
  11. Georgia
  12. Cincinnati
  13. Arizona State
  14. Boston College
  15. Missouri
  16. Texas
  17. UCF
  18. Tennessee
  19. Tulsa

The only change that resulted from all that was to flip Boston College and Missouri in the order.

The final step I took was to factor in strength of schedule. I did this by multiplying each school’s weighted average by Sagarin’s SOS rating (not ranking). I then ranked the schools by the number of points generated. Here’s the end result (with the number in parenthesis being SMQ’s ranking of the averages):

  1. LSU (2) 2860
  2. West Virginia (4) 2716
  3. Southern Cal (3) 2691
  4. Kansas (1) 2562
  5. Oklahoma (6) 2541
  6. Ohio State (7) 2514
  7. Georgia (14) 2342
  8. Arizona State (11) 2322
  9. Virginia Tech (15) 2315
  10. BYU (8) 2290
  11. Missouri (9) 2276
  12. Boston College (13) 2208
  13. Cincinnati (10) 2115
  14. Texas (16) 2016
  15. Boise State (5) 2005
  16. Hawaii (12) 1906
  17. Tennessee (18) 1700
  18. UCF (17) 1489
  19. Tulsa (19) 1218

Those numbers seem more in line with what I saw last season. In another post, I’ll try to do the same with the teams ranked in the AP, to see how this matches up with the results that SMQ obtained.

A few observations:

  • Everytime I play with team stats, LSU winds up on top. Again, over the course of the year, the Tigers look like the best in the country.
  • West Virginia was underrated.
  • Ohio State may have been a little overrated, but not to the extent that so many would have you believe after the BCS title game.
  • BYU looks like it should have been the school to crash the BCS party last season, not Hawaii.

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Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!