January 31, 2015 · 9:16 AM
Here’s how Bill Connelly defines it:
The concepts are pretty simple: Over time, you’re going to recover about 50 percent of all fumbles, but in a given year, you might recover 70 percent, or you might recover 30. The same goes with passes defensed; on average, you can expect to intercept about 22 percent of the passes you defense. (Passes defensed = interceptions + break-ups.) This is a bit mushier a concept … but over time a particularly butter-fingered year will be balanced by a sticky one.
The way I measure turnovers luck is pretty simple: how far were you from 50% with your fumble recoveries? How far were you from ~21-22% in your interceptions-to-breakups, offensively and defensively? By looking at broader numbers, we can basically create an expected turnover margin (called Adj. TO Margin below) and compare it to the real margin. The difference becomes your Turnovers Luck for the season. On average, a turnover is worth about five points in terms of field position value, so I take the difference between turnovers and expected turnovers, multiply it by five, divide it by games played, and voila: Turnovers Luck Per Game.
Georgia finishes as one of his top teams from last season, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s familiar with Georgia’s 2014 turnover margin. Similarly, there’s a huge swing from the 2013 luck tally. What you wonder about in the Dawgs’ case is how much of that luck came from changes in the defensive approach to turnovers and the emphasis on offense in avoiding turnovers at the quarterback position and how much was randomly generated. Sample size can be a bitch, you know.
January 31, 2015 · 9:05 AM
Amid the tongue bath Dennis Dodd lavishes on college football in this ridiculous piece (“Off the field, [the NFL] was a swirling disappointment.” – Seriously, college football, you want to throw those kind of rocks?) you’ll find this rather depressing comment from Arizona State’s AD:
“I think it’s reasonable when you have the College Football Playoff and results from the first year,” said Ray Anderson, Arizona State’s AD. “We can at least reduce the gap between us and the NFL. In the long term who knows which product may be more appealing to the consumer?”
Anderson comes from the ranks of the NFL (he used to be employed by the Falcons), so he knows from where he speaks. Except who gives a shit about college football closing the gap with the NFL?
Sadly, I think we all know who does.
January 31, 2015 · 8:54 AM
Dialing for dollars – it’s not just for reserve funds anymore.
Wealthy donors are fueling a boom in gifts to major-college sports programs, with the biggest athletics departments reporting a total of more than $1-billion in donations last year, according to a survey released this week by the Council for Aid to Education. It’s the third time in the past four years that sports gifts have topped $1-billion…
During 2014 those colleges raised a collective $1.26-billion for sports, the largest one-year haul in the past 10 years of the survey. Texas A&M’s share was the second-biggest one-year total in the survey’s recent history. In 2013 the University of Oregon brought in nearly $133-million for sports.
The wealthiest programs accounted for the vast majority of contributions. Last year the top 20 athletics departments reported collective donations of more than $700-million—more than half of the $1.26-billion raised.
That money will help cover large capital expenditures and fast-rising coaching salaries, say athletic directors at several big colleges. In some programs the dollars will go toward endowments to offset increasing scholarship costs.
“A lot of the facilities we compete in were built with state dollars, and that will rarely happen anymore,” said Greg Byrne, vice president for athletics at the University of Arizona. “Many of us have had to look ourselves in the mirror as our infrastructure has needed replacing, and realize that philanthropic gifts are going to be the only way to solve that issue.”
Don’t forget more TV money.
Seriously, if you want to know what’s driving college athletics to care less about the average fan who attends games and more about, well, just about everyone else it caters to, look no further than a decline in state funding support. Reasonable minds can differ on whether that’s good or bad, but it’s clear that it has consequences. Because big schools want big money.
January 31, 2015 · 6:35 AM
Start your weekend off with a little something.