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Official Statistical Analysis Thread

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by DaddyBigBucks, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Still Calculating Buckeye DSC... Staff Member Bookie

    As the season approaches though, it's time to reflect on our position in the world of college football.

    While all-time winning percentage is one way to gauge the relative success of different programs, we can extend our look at historical winning percentage to give us a more complete story for each team.

    The method here is to take all the top teams in the sport and then measure their relative winning percentage for every range of years that starts with any year the sport was played and ends with 2006. In other words, let's examine everyone's rank vis a vis winning percentage over ALL of the following date ranges:

    1869 to 2006
    1870 to 2006
    1871 to 2006
    1872 to 2006
    1873 to 2006
    .
    .
    .
    2004 to 2006
    2005 to 2006
    2006


    This gives us data for 138 ranges. It's a large volume of data, and there are several ways to look at it. The power of this method of looking at historical winning percentage is that it provides a metric for how well a team has maintained a high level throughout every era of football.

    Let's lay some ground rules before we dig into the numbers: The top 14 teams in all-time winning percentage (the first range considered) are the only teams considered in the analysis. #15 was Miami U. (Ohio) and Boise State has only been playing I-A football since 1996. They're not in the discussion: we're moving on.

    1) Average Ranking over ALL Ranges
    1. Ohio State_____3.03
    2. Michigan_______3.52
    3. Texas__________6.02
    4. Oklahoma_______6.07
    5. Nebraska_______7.23
    6. Notre Dame_____8.20
    7. Tennessee______8.54
    8. Southern Cal___9.03
    9. Penn State_____9.96
    10. Florida State_10.19
    11. Miami_________11.74
    12. Alabama_______11.93
    13. Georgia_______12.08
    14. LSU___________16.43
    Ohio State averages #3 in winning percentage for all date ranges. (It was lower than 3.0, but then I found a bug in the spreadsheet program.) TSUN lags by half a point and everyone else is way behind. Alabama is treated a little unfairly by looking at the average ranking, as their recent woes skew their average downward. So let's look at median ranking for all of the date ranges in the series. Each team will have been ranked above their median for roughly as many ranges as they were below their median.

    2) Median Ranking over ALL Ranges
    1. Ohio State_______3
    2. Michigan_________3
    3. Oklahoma_________5
    4. Texas____________6
    5. Notre Dame_______6
    6. Nebraska_________7
    7. Alabama__________7
    8. USC______________8
    9. Tennessee________9
    10. Penn State_______9.5
    11. FSU_____________11
    12. Georgia_________12
    13. Miami___________13
    14. LSU_____________15
    Can I pause to make an observation here? Is there ANY point in debating which is the #1 rivalry in the sport??? Clearly OSU and TSUN have maintained a high level of play throughout the entire history of the sport better than any other pair of schools, and it's not even all that close.



    Now for the number that is my personal favorite: What is the LOWEST rank in winning percentage for any of the ranges for each team? In other words, for the range 1983-2006, Ohio State was 7th in winning percentage. That along with the same rank for 4 other ranges that begin in the 80's (thanks Coop) is the lowest ranking that Ohio State has for any range considered. In order to be fair to the teams that have fallen on hard times recently, I have ignored all rankings for any range starting after 1999 for the purposes of this discussion. (Alabama was helped most by this expedient, and they're still at the bottom)

    3) Lowest Ranking for Any Range
    1. Ohio State_______7
    2. Michigan________10
    3. Texas___________13
    4. Florida State___13
    5. Miami-Florida___15
    6. Nebraska________16
    7. Tennessee_______17
    8. Georgia_________17
    9. Southern Cal____18
    10. Oklahoma________19
    11. LSU_____________32
    12. Notre Dame______35
    13. Penn State______39
    14. Alabama_________47
    That's right, ONLY OSU and TSUN NEVER appear below the top 10 in winning percentage for any date range that ends with the 2006 season.


    A few other observations:
    • Ohio State and Michigan are the only teams to be #1 in winning percentage for ranges beginning in 5 different decades. (4 of Michigan's decades were in the 19th century, the other was a single appearance in 1922) (OSU's 5 decades were the '20s, the '30s, the '40s, the '50s and the '90s.) Nebraska appears at #1 in ranges beginning in 3 different decades. No one else is at the top in more than 2 decades.
    • If you measure the amount of time from a teams first appearance at #1 to their last appearance at #1 (based on starting year of the date range), then OSU is way out in front. OSU's first appearance at #1 was in the range 1923-2006, and their last was in the range 1996-2006. That's a span of (inclusive) 74 years. Michigan's span is 54 years. Nebraska's span is 24 years. Oklahoma's span is 14 years. No one else spans more than 9 years.
    • Ohio State was ranked either #1 or #2 for ranges beginning from 1923 to 1963. No one else is even close to an accomplishment like that.
    • Ohio State does not appear below #4 in any range starting before 1976. Michigan does not appear below #4 in any range starting before 1949. Notre Dame first appears below #4 in the range beginning with 1927. Every other team's first appearance below #4 was in the 19th century.
    Clearly there are other ways to look at history, tradition and long-term greatness. But when it comes to long term consistency at the highest level, Ohio State is in a class by itself. And the only team in the vicinity is That School Up North.

     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2007
  2. Magua

    Magua Buckeye

    Now THAT is one heckuva researched arguement. mad props to you my friend.
     
  3. OSU_Buckguy

    OSU_Buckguy Senior

    my second ever request for a gpa.
     
  4. lvbuckeye

    lvbuckeye Silver Surfer

    seriously. that post must have taken the whole off season... DBB always crunches numbers better than anyone else.
     
  5. bkochmc

    bkochmc Senior

    Awesome post DBB. I love seeing stuff like this in the offseason... it means the season is almost here!
     
  6. Saw31

    Saw31 High Seas Rogue


    DBB - 30 GPA's and counting...Awesome friggin post...
     
  7. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Still Calculating Buckeye DSC... Staff Member Bookie

    Comments on Post #1

    First, let me say thank you for all of the kind words. I was wondering if I should even make the post, thinking it was way nerdy. But I guess we all play our role here, this is mine...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xEzGIuY7kw"]YouTube - "Weird Al" Yankovic - White & Nerdy[/ame]

    ...and I'm glad you appreciate it.


    Now, a few thoughts about the analysis in post #1:

    The thing that I like the most about this analysis is that it puts an emphasis on recent success. Recent years are included in every single range, and are therefore emphasized; in my opinion, rightly so. This is strictly a matter of personal taste though, and is admittedly not based on any objective standard of value.

    If, instead of having every range end with the current season, you were to take the history of the sport in one decade slices...

    1st Decade
    2nd Decade
    .
    .
    .
    14th Decade (in progress)

    ...you end up with a ranking that is essentially the same as the all-time winning percentage ranking (assuming that you filter out the teams that are no longer DI-A).

    But this analysis does offer some valuable insights:
    • Ohio State came out on top in the analysis in post #1 in part because our worst decade came in the earliest decade for which we were active, the 3rd Decade of the sport. Every other major power's worst decade was more recent.
    • OSU's rank in that awful decade (1889-1898), which I'm sure we'd all like to forget, was 44th. Only 2 teams were higher ranked in their own worst decade: USC's worst decade was the sport's 5th (1909-1918), in which they were ranked 41st. Notre Dame was ranked 36th in their own worst decade, which was the sport's 10th (1959-1968).
    • Ohio State has never been ranked above #5 for any decade considered (though admittedly if you slice the decades differently, we do come out tied for 2nd in the most recent 10 years). 34 teams have been ranked higher than #5 for the decades considered, including San Jose State.
    • The highest winning percentage was Washinton's 92.5% from 1909 to 1918.
    • Hate him or hate him, there is no arguing what Bo Schembechler did at Michigan. Michigan's own worst decade was 1959-1968, for which they were ranked 50th (only OSU, USC and ND had higher ranked worst decades). Michigan was ranked #1 in the VERY NEXT decade, 1969-1978. Bo took Michigan from their worst decade to one of their best in one step.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007
    LordJeffBuck and HineyBuck like this.
  8. OSUBuckeye4Life

    OSUBuckeye4Life "THE" Ohio State Buckeyes

    The great thing DaddyBigBucks is that nobody is probably EVER going to reserach enough to challenge this.......
     
  9. I know Rob Neyer isn't a Football analyst but in one of his articles he talks about the decade conudrum. The article was specifically talking about a certain baseball players worthiness for the Baseball Hall of Fame( I can't remember who, but it was a borderline HOFer and really it's irrelavent). One of the arguments was that this certain player led the majors in one of the significant baseball categories for an entire decade (one of the round ones like the 80s). But I beleive he correctly identifies that there is no difference in comparing a round decade to one that isn't as long as it compromises the same amount of years. What Neyer found was if you take a look at all the decades starting around the year 80: 78,79, 81 etc... You find some people leading those decades in that category who were definately not HOFers.
    After all that I guess the thing I want to get across there is no difference between any decade starting in any given year other than our preference for round numbers which is totally and utterly subjective. So there is no reason not to stack it differently.

    So I propose that a more objective measure would be look at all the decades starting in every year, therefore it would slice it more fairly. And btw I'm definately not expecting you to do it.

    Furthermore that is fantastic analysis so far.
     
  10. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Still Calculating Buckeye DSC... Staff Member Bookie

    DBB's statistical analysis

    Disclaimer: If you don't like stats, stop reading now.

    In Defense of Statistics:

    I've started setting up some spread sheets to prepare for the game previews in the coming season, and some interesting facts about the Jim Tressel era at Ohio State have come to light. Some of the data just show well known facts in new ways, some of the data are surprising (to me anyway).

    Before I get into the OSU relevant stuff, I'd like to use some of the data to defend my own existence. i.e. I'd like to show that Statistics Matter.

    One of the most common mantras of the football season is that "Stats Mean Squat" or something to that effect. To be honest, I have to agree with the statement in most of the contexts in which it is uttered. But when it is a blanket condemnation of numbers as being useless, it is wrong. And the data that I have collected about the Tressel Era at Ohio State prove it.

    The Method

    I have collected 19 different statistics for every Div. IA team for the period 2001-2006 (The Tressel Era). The first and foremost of these is Winning Percentage, and it is the gold standard against which all of the other 18 statistics are measured.

    For each of the statistics except Winning Percentage, I used only the teams' Div. IA ranking, not the raw numbers. Using rankings instead of raw numbers waters down the accuracy of the numbers; but I have two very good reasons for using this expedient: 1) It is MUCH easier to do the spreadsheet calculations this way as the same math can be done for every category. This saves me a ton of time. 2) The correlation to winning percentage is very high anyway.

    The Categories

    For each of the past 6 seasons, the rank of every Div. IA team was recorded for each of the following categories:
    • Rushing Offense
    • Passing Offense
    • Total Offense
    • Scoring Offense
    • Rushing Defense
    • Passing Defense
    • Total Defense
    • Scoring Defense
    • Net Punting
    • Punt Returns
    • Kickoff Returns
    • Turnover Margin
    • Passing Efficiency
    • Passing Efficiency Defense
    • Penalties
    • Penalty Yards
    • Pass Return Yardage Defense
    • Kickoff Return Yardage Defense
    Apart from these metrics, I also compiled a Composite of these by adding all the rankings together.

    Good Stats = Winning

    Having constructed a number for each team from the above statistics, I then calculated the correlation between that number and the team's winning percentage. (For those who haven't taken a college-level statistics course, or for those who did so at the UofM; correlation is a means of calculating how closely related two sets of numbers are. The range for correlation is between -1 and 1. If a correlation is 0, then the two sets of data are completely independent and unrelated. If a correlation is -1 or 1, then the two sets of data are in lock-step: Either both stem from the same cause or one causes the other.)

    The following two statements will be treated as axiomatic for the purposes of this discussion, though I am certainly willing to debate them if you like:
    • The better the team, the higher the winning percentage.
    • The better the team, the lower the number that represents their composite ranking.
    Considering these two facts, then the best possible correlation between Winning Percentage and Composite Ranking in the 18 stats listed above is -1.0. So what do you think the number might be? I was thinking that -0.75 would be about right. I was about wrong.

    Correlation between winning % and Composite-of-the-18: -0.9308

    For those who don?t deal with correlations in their daily lives, take my word for it: That number is huge. It might be counter-intuitive, but it is surprising from a mathematical perspective that so many different numbers could be combined and still come up with that high a correlation.

    As with most data analysis, the 2 or 3 most closely correlated data only get watered down by everything else. So for 18 numbers to combine into something that has a correlation of -.93 is astounding (to me anyway).

    One point that I'll add to the 93% correlation: The top 7 teams in winning percentage for the past 6 years are all among the top 8 teams in the Composite Stat for the past 6 years.

    The Most Important Stats

    As you might expect, the two most important stats are Scoring Defense and Scoring Offense, in that order. By combining these two stats; anyone schooled in both mathematics and football (like an OSU Engineering alum) can tell you that you will get a higher correlation than by watering them down with the other 16 numbers. The following number is less surprising than the first:

    Correlation between winning % and Scoring Offense + Scoring Defense: -0.9554

    It may not be surprising, but that is a very high level of correlation.

    Some of you may now be wondering if, since the other 16 numbers water down the correlation of the stats reflected on the scoreboard: what is the correlation of the other 16 numbers to winning percentage? Is there a correlation at all? Um, yeah.

    Correlation of winning % to everything but SO and SD: -0.9068

    The fact that the 16 "non-scoring" stats combine to correlate more than 90% to winning absolutely blows my mind. Maybe you have more faith in stats than I do, but to me; this number is a shocker. If you are one of the people who believe that stats are meaningless; you can?t argue with this. ...Well, ok you may be mathematically challenged enough to argue with these results, but these numbers have not been tortured or massaged. This is as raw as numbers get, and they speak loud and clear: Stats Matter!

    Ranking the Stats

    The following ranks each statistic based on its correlation to winning percentage, and also gives OSU's rank over the last 6 years for each metric.

    Category______________Correlation to winning %____OSU?s Rank (2001-2006)
    Composite___________________-0.9308_________________________7
    Scoring Defense_____________-0.8685_________________________3
    Scoring Offense_____________-0.8358________________________41
    Pass Efficiency Defense_____-0.8035_________________________7
    Rushing Defense_____________-0.8031_________________________5
    Total Defense_______________-0.7545_________________________8
    Pass Efficiency_____________-0.7509________________________18
    Turnover Margin_____________-0.7144________________________41
    Total Offense_______________-0.6722________________________68
    Net Punting_________________-0.4973_________________________3
    Punt Return Defense_________-0.4916________________________15
    Rushing Offense_____________-0.4860________________________33
    Punt Returns________________-0.4482________________________47
    Kickoff Return Defense______-0.3402________________________45
    Pass Offense________________-0.3137________________________94
    Pass Defense________________-0.2900________________________48
    Kickoff Returns_____________-0.2335________________________31
    Penalties____________________0.1015________________________20
    Penalty Yards________________0.1237________________________17



    Notes on Statistical Ranks

    Scoring Defense

    The top 10 teams in Scoring Defense are all in the top 14 in winning percentage.
    • The teams ranked above OSU (3) in scoring defense are ranked 6th and 8th in winning percentage.
    Scoring Offense

    While 2nd in importance, it is less reliable in predicting high level success than Scoring Defense. The team that is #3 in scoring offense is #29 in winning percentage.
    It is worth noting however, that OSU (41) is the only team in the top 5 of winning percentage that is not in the top 7 in scoring offense.
    • The teams that ranked above OSU (41) in scoring offense are ranked as low as 72nd in winning percentage (MSU).
    Pass Efficiency Defense and Pass Defense

    This one makes perfect sense if you think about it. Teams that win most of their games will often blow other teams out. The other team spends most of the game in a passing mode; therefore putting up yards and driving down the winning teams pass defense numbers. But the winning team knows the pass is coming, hence the pass efficiency defense numbers go up; enough to make it the stat that ranks 3rd in correlation to winning percentage.

    This is illustrated perfectly by OSU's experience. They were more dominant in 2006 than in any other year in the range, having by far their highest ranking in Scoring Offense (8) of the period. This led in turn to the defensive line pinning their ears back and bringing the heat and the defensive backfield was more-or-less relieved of run support responsibility (oversimplified I admit). For that reason, as well as the emergence of Malcolm Jenkins, OSU had their best year of the Tressel era in pass efficiency defense in 2006 (10th). How good was the pass defense? They still had their best year in pass defense (yardage - 30th) in spite of all the passes flying around in the OSU defensive backfield.
    Rushing Defense

    The top 6 teams in Rushing Defense are ALL in the top 11 in winning %. No other metric can match this statement, not even scoring defense.

    Turnover Margin

    Are you as surprised as I am that Turnover Margin is this low in the chart?

    Rushing Offense

    Are you as astonished as I am that Rushing Offense is this low in the chart? But Passing Offense is even lower!

    ADD non sequitur on The Least Important Stats

    Note the last two numbers. Penalties and Penalty Yards are the least important statistics, hands-down. In fact, note that the correlation number for both of these metrics is positive (greater than zero for those of you north of Toledo). This means that the penalty metrics are completely WORTHLESS (and might be worse than that) in determining how good a team is. That alone is an important point, but there were some other interesting facets to this data.

    The service academies, especially Navy and Air Force, absolutely own this category. They are always ranked near the top, and no one else's 6 year average rank is remotely close to these two. I believe this has a great deal to do with the discipline that is taught at these schools. Who knows what sort of punishment they endure for breaking random rules. Who knows the punishment that is meted out for breaking a rule in front of hundreds (occasionally thousands) of spectators?
    [Major ADD Moment] Some people will watch some random movie and come away from it thinking that the service academies have a cheating problem. I've actually heard people make this assertion. Consider this though: Professor Donald McCabe of Rutgers University did a study of graduate students across the country. He found that 56% of MBA students admitted to significant academic misconduct. Now, have you ever seen a movie about MBA students sneaking notes into a test or plagiarizing a research project? Yeah, me either. You see movies about things that are unusual.[/Major ADD Moment]

    One other note about penalties: After Navy and Air Force, the next two schools are Penn State and Michigan. Mm-hmm... Penn State and Michigan are the least penalized teams (not from a service academy) in the country over the last 6 years. I will leave it to the reader to draw his/her own conclusion. I will also refer you to the fact that penalties have no proven correlation to winning. Think about that when a blue-jerseyed offensive tackle is tangoing with Vernon Gholston.

    Improvement in the Jim Tressel Era

    For those of you still with me at this point, you'll both be pleased to know that we've reached the real meat of the post. The most interesting point of the data from the last 6 years is that OSU has improved tremendously in the JT era. Here's a table of the categories, and OSU's improvement from 2001 to 2006.

    Category__________________Improvement in Ranking '01-'06
    Composite____________________________17.33
    Scoring Defense______________________15.00
    Scoring Offense______________________59.00
    Pass Efficiency Defense______________13.00
    Rushing Defense______________________35.00
    Total Defense________________________21.00
    Pass Efficiency______________________56.00
    Turnover Margin______________________-3.00
    Total Offense________________________39.00
    Net Punting_________________________-11.00
    Punt Return Defense__________________-4.00
    Rushing Offense_______________________3.00
    Punt Returns_________________________15.00
    Kickoff Return Defense_______________25.00
    Pass Offense_________________________42.00
    Pass Defense__________________________2.00
    Kickoff Returns______________________25.00
    Penalties____________________________-1.00
    Penalty Yards_______________________-19.00



    Note that not one of the top 6 categories improved by less than 13 ranking positions.

    Some of you may be thinking that we might NOT have improved that much since 2002, but you'd be wrong. While 2002 was better in the very important scoring and rushing defense categories, OSU has improved significantly since then in every other important category except Net Punting.

    This brings me to another surprising point. Two areas where OSU has actually gone backwards since 2001 are Turnover Margin and Net Punting. That's incredible to me. On the other hand, it's also surprising that Turnover Margin and Net Punting are the 7th and 9th most important statistics, respectively. Maybe it's not that big a deal.

    But consider these year-by-year rankings for Turnover Margin for OSU:

    2001: 10
    2002: 18 (down)
    2003: 58 (down)
    2004: 85 (down)
    2005: 104 (down)
    2006: 13 (WAY up)

    Recall that JT really stressed Turnover Margin in camp last year. It looks like it worked.

    Then there's net punting: which improved in the first two years of the Tressel tenure, but has since fallen on hard times (relatively), leaving OSU mired at merely 3rd in the nation over the 6 year span. Most surprising, is that net punting has declined more than any other stat in the last 6 years! This is dependent on personnel, and we have reason to believe that OSU will remain strong in this area.

    Total Offense also started in a downward trend during JT's tenure. Then it turned around in a big way during the Troy Smith era. Let's look at the numbers, then we'll dredge up the already old conversation about the cause of the improvement.

    2001: 65
    2002: 70 (down)
    2003: 93 (down)
    2004: 98 (down)
    2005: 32 (UP)
    2006: 26 (up)

    Many people have expressed opinions about the cause. Michigan fans say it was all Troy Smith. Some say that this analysis is wishful thinking. Being an OSU fan (did I just reveal too much?), I tend to agree with the latter; though clearly Troy had an effect.

    The biggest change in OSU in the last two years has been on the offensive line, and I'm not the only one who's seen it. The OL of the 2002 team has been called by many "the worst OL to ever win an NC": but how bad can that be? '03 and '04 were unmitigated disasters in the trenches though.

    Collegefootballnews.com has this to say;

    What cfn missed is that the improvement in the trenches started in '05. While OL has not been a strong suit for the entire era, it is finally coming around and, I believe, will soon be back to Heisman-winning-tailback form.


    Priorities

    This brings me to the most important point about OSU's improvement over the last 6 years: JT knows what is important. While stressing defensive excellence throughout, he has worked the most important offensive stat, scoring, up to a rank of 8th in 2006. This was a big improvement over '05 for which we were 26th. Our best rank in scoring offense before that was 41st, which came in 2002. ONE player does not take you from 71st in scoring in '04 to 8th in '06: It takes a team to do that. And a coach.

    Then there's Scoring Defense: The most important stat of all. OSU was 20th in the nation in 2001, and has not been that low since. (Though it did fall to 19th in the "debacle" of '04)

    Then there's Rushing Defense. The Buckeyes' most recent two games cost them the top spot over the 6 year span. In fact, we slipped all the way to 5th. But JT's first team was ranked 50th. Since then, they've been ranked 3rd, 2nd, 35th ('04), 1st and 15th. The way JT has stressed Rush D, this will remain strong.

    Finally, proper priorities are demonstrated by excelling in the areas that are most important. JT seems to have stressed the right things. OSU's lowest rank in the 7 most important statistics (according to correlation with winning percentage) was 15th in 2006. Their highest rank in the other 11 statistics was 19th. This strongly suggests that JT spends the NCAA-limited practice time on the right things.



    Parting Shot

    So, apart from knowing what Jim Tressel has the team focused on; what does this tell us? One word: History
    College Football is a volatile beast, and teams can fall or rise nearly a 100 places in statistical rankings from one year to the next (e.g. Temple rush D '02-'03; UCLA rush D '05-'06). We can't say that improvement will continue; in fact we know it won't in some of these categories. Only one thing is really certain:

    If I'm still breathing, I'll be here to break down the numbers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  11. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Still Calculating Buckeye DSC... Staff Member Bookie

    I agree...

    ... and no, I'm not going to do it :tongue2:
     
  12. DBB: Your stat analyses is as formidable as JT's TEAMs! Good show. Excuse me whilst I gird my loins to give your tome a second look.
     
  13. BB73

    BB73 Loves Buckeye History Staff Member Bookie '16 & '17 Upset Contest Winner

    More great stuff, DBB.

    I decided to create a thread for just these posts of yours. That will make it easier to find these posts in the future.
     
  14. DaddyBigBucks

    DaddyBigBucks Still Calculating Buckeye DSC... Staff Member Bookie

    JT Era Big 10 Rankings

    OK, not as long this time, I promise...

    During JT's tenure, the following are the Big 10 rankings vis a vis winning %.


    TEAM_______________WINNING
    Ohio State_________0.816
    Michigan___________0.733
    Iowa_______________0.680
    Wisconsin__________0.662
    Penn State_________0.569
    Minnesota__________0.568
    Purdue_____________0.560
    Michigan State_____0.458
    Northwestern_______0.417
    Illinois___________0.329
    Indiana____________0.319

    And these are the rankings for the Composite of the 18 stats from the very long post above. (also for the last 6 years)

    TEAM_______________National Rank in Composite Stat
    Michigan____________6
    Ohio State__________7
    Iowa_______________10
    Wisconsin__________18
    Minnesota__________28
    Penn State_________30
    Purdue_____________35
    Michigan State_____62
    Illinois___________80
    Northwestern_______90
    Indiana____________92

    With a correlation of 0.93, it's no surprise that the two rankings above are very similar.


    The interesting thing about the conference rankings for the individual stats is how it illustrates Jim Tressel's commitment to the most important aspects of the game. The following table shows the 18 stats from the long post above in order of importance (in descending order of their correlation to winning percentage). Beside each category the table shows the Big 10 team that leads that category for the Jim Tressel era.

    Scoring Defense__________OSU
    Scoring Offense__________Minnesota
    Pass Eff. Defense________OSU
    Rushing Defense__________OSU
    Total Defense____________OSU
    Pass Eff.________________Iowa
    Turnover Margin__________UM
    Total Offense____________Minnesota
    Net Punting______________OSU
    Punt Return Defense______Iowa
    Rushing Offense__________Minnesota
    Punt Returns_____________Iowa
    Kick Return Defense______Iowa
    Pass Offense_____________MSU
    Pass Defense_____________PSU
    Kick Returns_____________Indiana
    Penalties against________PSU
    Penalty Yards____________PSU


    The Ohio State University leads 4 of the 5 most important statistical categories for the Big 10 over the last 6 years. They lead only one other category.

    The strong implication here is that OSU spends their NCAA-limited practice time focusing on the right things, the important things. This assumes that the strong correlation between the top 5 categories and winning is from causation. In other words, drawing this inclusion means that I believe that being good at Scoring Defense et. al. leads directly to winning... Call me crazy.

    This is where having a hyper-organized type of coach really pays off. Planning everything to a "T" and using time wisely is JT's strong suit. Say what you will about his technique, his "predictable" offense, his boring interviews; the man gets the most out of the kids wearing the S&G. And for that they, and we, owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
  15. Zurp

    Zurp I have misplaced my pants.

    Good stuff. My only comment is that 7 digits after a decimal point looks kinda goofy. Especially when some numbers come out to only 2 digits. (I know - the rest are zeros that aren't needed.) I'd suggest that you limit your data to three digits in that category.

    But it's no big deal. If I was actually bothered by it, I'd do it, myself.
     

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