… I wanted to see if I could find any connection between a team playing disproportionately well or poorly in the fourth quarter (as compared to the rest of the game) and their performance the next season. What I assumed I would find is a connection in which teams’ performances in the first three quarters carried over. That’s evidently not the case.
I grouped teams together based on how different their Q4 S&P+ was from their overall S&P+. The categories you see are as follows:
-20 or worse: Q4 S&P+ ranking is at least 21 spots worse than their overall S&P+. Obviously in Georgia’s case, they qualify both on defense (23 spots worse) and offense (69).
0 to -20: Q4 S&P+ Q4 ranking is 0 to 20 spots worse.
1 to 20: Q4 S&P+ Q4 ranking is 1-20 spots better.
21 or better: Q4 ranking is at least 21 spots better.
What I expected to find was that the “-21 or worse” crowd improved the next year. I found the opposite. [Emphasis added.]