Breaking News – NFL Lockout is over

I know this is a college football blog, however ESPN reports that the players will vote yes on the CBA on Monday, with team facilities opening on Wednesday.

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Advanced Stats – Approximate Value

(Before I begin, to see the full idea behind approximate value, go to this link at Pro-Football-Reference.com. Now, back to the show)

So, some of you may be wondering why I’ve been short on posts the last couple of weeks. Well, it’s because I’ve been working on a system that PFR.com invented a few years back called Approximate Value. I’ve made some changes to how AV for offensive and defensive players are calculated, and I think, while not perfect, is at least some improvement in the system.

The Improvements

– Instead of calculating the amount of team points a team can have, I’ve given everybody 100 points, whether a team is 12-0 or 0-12. This allows for good players on bad teams to be rated fairly, and vice versa for bad players on good teams.

– Defensively, the system for calculating points seemed to be too complicated. However, I’ve corrected some things, and streamlined the process. Line play and defensive touchdowns, which were in the original calculus, have been taken out. Instead, defensive AV is calculated as so.

  • Tackling is 64% of points
  • Sacks are 20% of points
  • Interceptions are 19% of points

That’s it. I’ve also added multipliers for each stat for each position, so defensive linemen can be fairly calculated along with the rest of the defensive players.

So, without further adieu, here’s some of the AV’s I’ve calculated thus far. I think you’ll be surprised at who is #1 so far…

Lavonte David – 17
Cam Newton – 16
Ryan Kerrigan – 16
Terrelle Pryor – 16
Nick Fairley – 15
Andrew Luck – 14
Robert Griffin – 14
Alshon Jeffery – 14
Harrison Smith – 14
Jared Crick – 13
Kelvin Sheppard – 13
Taylor Martinez – 13
Skayne Skov – 13
Aaron Murray – 12
Marcus Lattimore – 11
Jayron Hosley – 11
Julio Jones – 11
Ryan Mallett – 11
Kellen Moore – 11
Tauren Poole – 11
Robert Lester – 11
Jeremy Beal – 11
Knile Davis – 10
Nigel Bradham – 10
Courtney Upshaw – 10
Darvin Adams – 10
Matt Barkley – 10
Chris Marve – 10
Michael Floyd – 9
Greg McElroy – 9
Bacarri Rambo – 9
Cameron Heyward – 9
Morris Claiborne – 8
Kapron Lewis-Moore – 8
AJ Green – 8
Dont’a Hightower – 8
Stevan Ridley – 7
Mark Ingram – 7
Marcel Dareus – 7
Patrick Peterson – 6
Brandon Harris – 4
DeMarcus Van Dyke – 4
Michael Dyer – 4

Lavonte David is the 2010 AV MVP

Perhaps then, Lavonte David’s 2010 campaign was quite nice, and even holds up in comparison to players like Cam Newton and Terrelle Pryor. I’m not saying that Lavonte David was better than Cam Newton last year. I’m saying that that comparison can be made and one might not look like a total fool when doing so. Now, for some things I think are wrong with the system.

Who is underrated by this system?

  • Ace returners, due to special teams not being calculated in AV. Patrick Peterson appears very weak in this system, but this is because his returning skills aren’t factored in
  • Running backs can be underrated if they split carries with multiple players (i.e. Michael Dyer)

Who is overrated by this system?

  • Linebackers with high tackle rates. Linebackers get a bonus for tackling.
  • Scrambling Quarterbacks. QB’s who run can compile bigger numbers than those that can’t.

Things still to work out

  • Defensive players are still probably a tad overrated, if only by a point.
  • Historic players really get shafted by this system. Tony Dorsett’s 2200+ yard 1976 system only gets a 9 in this system. I’ve got to work to change that.
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Quick Hits – Volume 2

– Bobby Petrino is about as monotone as one can get. Guy seems like he has a personality of cardboard.

– And while we’re talking about monotone coaches, let’s talk about Will Muschamp. Muschamp’s job to “revive” Florida’s football program will be filled with more challenges than people will think. South Carolina and Georgia seem to have a little bit more actual football talent than the boys in Gainesville. Even the oddsmakers at Bodog seemed to have jumped on the Florida hype wagon, with the Gators drawing a 7/4 chance to win the East (Georgia drew a 5/1 chance, and South Carolina drew a 7/1 chance)

– NCAA Football 12, a game that I enjoy thoroughly, seems to have fallen flat on it’s face this year. It’s buggy gameplay, glitch filled game modes and features, and general joylessness make it potentially one of the worst NCAA’s ever released. The NCAA team is working on a patch. My question would be to them, why can’t one just release a working game on release day?

– I’ve noticed that many more come here for my opinion columns than my stats work. That’s something that, while not discouraging, is somewhat troubling. I don’t think people are necessarily distrustful of numbers and stats. It’s just that people trust metrics like total yards and total points, when they should be investing their trust in numbers that are based on a per play or per drive basis.

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Quick Hits – The Premiere

Quick hits is going to be my non-stat based opinion post. It’s going to be relatively short and sweet, and have about 2-10 little tidbit opinions I have about the world of college football, and about other things in general.

– I think Gene Chizik’s outburst at an NCAA investigator is beyond stupid. He should have known it wasn’t over, and quite honestly, one would have to question his intelligence after something like this.

– I think Will Muschamp might take two to three years to get Florida back up to task.

– I’m somewhat happy the NFL lockout is (going to be) over. It’s been quite tedious listening and watching NFL Network these past few months. It will be quite interesting to see what the crunched pre-season/free agency period will hold.

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New Addition – Stats Page!

One of the things I wanted to do with this site is create a database of the stats I keep on here. So head over to the “TKQ’s Stats Page, and click the link in the page to take yourself to the new page.

The database is a bit bare right now, but we’ll get some things sorted out once we get a week or two under our belt.

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Advanced Stats – SPS 2.0

So, get this. My system that came from Pro Football Reference to project wins for college football teams was something I was unsatisfied. Mainly because no matter what, a team would start out at 4.07 wins, even if a team was winless. The result was a system that kind of looked like a joke. It didn’t reward teams that performed well enough, and it didn’t punish teams who performed badly.

And then, while reading Pro Basketball Reference, I found something that I knew I could tweak and make usable for college football.

It’s name is SPS, and it’s very easy to use, and easier to calculate. Regular SPS just uses weights of 6, 3, and 1 to calculate a players performance by using the last 3 years of data.

However, when I applied it to college football, I saw a few problems.

  • It’s not detailed enough. I know the name is simple projection system, but still, just using the last 3 years of a teams wins-losses wasn’t giving me the results I wanted.
  • It wasn’t taking Pythagorean wins-losses into effect. Pythag W-L is a better gauge of how good a team will do from year to year than actual wins.

So, with that in mind, I decided to kind of mesh up the old system with the new system, and I like the way it came out. It’s still mostly the same system, with some additions.

First off, I kept the weights of 6, 3, and 1. It still keeps it simple, and makes things easier on me to calculate. However, I practically added a second equation to original SPS to create SPS 2.0, which I believe will give a more detailed account of how many games a team will actually win next year.

The formula for SPS 2.0 is…

((A * 6) + (B * 3) + (C * 1)/10 * .80) + ((A * 6) + (B * 3) + (C * 1)/10  * .20) = SPS 2.0

The first part of the equation is for Pythagorean W/L, the second is for actual W/L. A is past year 1, B is past year 2, and C is past year 3. First off, the old equation gave weights of roughly .76 for pythag wins, and .24 for actual wins. I upped the importance of pythag W/L because the actual wins seemed to bog down the predictive record a bit too much with the .76 as a integer.

The yield for the raw equation is winning percentage, which I have deemed SPS Factor. This can be multiplied by 100 to give a power rating, or, you can multiply the raw sum by 12 to give predictive wins for next year.

I shall post the new results a little later.

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How Will Terrelle Pryor’s Departure Affect Ohio State?

As I’m sure you know by now, the Buckeye’s star QB, Terrelle Pryor, has left Ohio State after scandal and trouble followed him over the past 6-7 months. Ohio State now will likely choose Joe Bauserman, true freshman Braxton Miller, or sophomore Kenny Guiton.

In any case, whoever is selected as the starting quarterback is going to face an immense amount of pressure to replicate the success that Terrelle Pryor had. Let’s look at the “wins created” metric, originally invented by sports economist Dave Berri for gauging professional quarterbacks, and other players alike.

First, Terrelle’s net points produced, wins created, and wins created per 70 plays.

Net Points Produced – 156.20

Wins Created – 3.722

Responsible for 31.0% of 2010 Ohio State’s wins

Wins Created Per 70 plays – 0.569

Pretty impressive, right? Well, maybe not as much as it seems. 31.0% of his team’s wins is definitely above average, however, it might not be as impressive as one might think. 25% is average.

Fangraphs.com, which is a baseball site, shows something called WAR (Wins Above Replacement). WAR is calculated by showing how many wins a player creates above a “replacement” player. For them, replacement value is set to about 80% of the league average, and that’s what it’ll be here.

So, for Terrelle Pryor….

Wins Above Replacement – +1.322

Wins Above Replacement Per 70 Plays – +0.202

What does this mean? Well, it means that Terrelle Pryor created a win above his replacement counterpart about every 5 games. Basically, with Pryor at the helm, Ohio State is a 5-0 team. Without him, they are a 4-1 team to start out the season. Might not sound like a big deal, but a win or two more than replacement in college football is, because the margin for error in college football is so small, that even one loss can cost you a chance at a national championship.

Hope you guys have enjoyed this, and I hope it gives you Ohio State fans some clarity.

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