Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stats Overload

On the road the past few days recruiting at KSU, I had some time on my hands and decided what we really needed is a statistical breakdown of both Tech and Kansas State to determine the real tale of the tape for what we can expect on Saturday (besides a big KSU win, of course).

Since both teams have played nearly the exact same schedule to date, (swapping out TCU and kansas), the comparison of the two teams against the teams they've played, where they played them, and the overall outcome offers a nice apples to apples comparison of the two squads year-to-date.

This certainly allows for a little objectivity looking through a purple colored haze of purple passion, but I think even a casual college football fan with no vested rooting interest in the games would agree with the column on the right where I assigned the advantage for that particular matchup.

I ranked each of Tech's games against it's closest KSU counterpart, and as I mentioned before, the only truly glaring difference in the two schedules is Tech played TCU (bad), and KSU's comparable is Kansas (worse).

Yes I made this and colored coded it for you.  
So, what does the magic chart tells us?  It tells us KSU's 7-0 is ultimately a better record than Tech's 6-1.  Obvious, to be sure, but how MUCH better?

Looking at the breakdown, it's clear to see that KSU is carrying a greater value for their wins vs. the value that Tech is getting for theirs. Four of the 7 games favor Kansas State, one favors Tech (barely).
  • KSU holds the advantage (receives more value) in Week 2 for their win over Miami than Tech did in beating Texas State.  The ACC > WAC and Miami's athletes are going to win a footrace over Texas State's ... every time.  Name recognition and conference affiliation alone scores this one in the Cats favor.
  • KSU holds a huge advantage when beating OU on the road vs. losing to them at home (which Tech did).  This is the most glaring difference in the two schedule breakdowns.  This is a monumental win on the Cats resume obviously, and rather than big KSU, it should read HUGE KSU.  This is the defining game and opponent that obviously separates the two teams to this point in time.
  • KSU holds an advantage over crushing Kansas (at home), while it took Tech 3 OT's to eventually put away TCU.  Note TCU is 7th in total offense, Kansas is 9th. Sure, you can argue that this should actually be a Tech advantage because TCU is better than Kansas, but I'm not sure how MUCH better.  Also, Tech gave up 516 yards of offense and 53 points to TCU ... to a freshman QB.  They also had 90 yards in penalties.  Overall, KSU's dominating win over a lesser opponent is a better win over Tech barely scrapping by TCU (in my humble, albeit slightly biased KSU opinion). Reviewing the numbers, Tech's defense played awful and allowed TCU to hang around and make a game of one that probably shouldn't of been that close.
  • Finally, KSU scores the advantage beating WV on the road vs. getting them at home. Yes, I know Tech did it first and provided a "blueprint", but playing them in Morgantown is exponentially more difficult than playing them in the comfy confines of Lubbock with a howling wind knocking all of Geno's passes down for you and his OL tipping the Tech defense whether it was pass or run.  Snyder would have had the same blueprint if WV had won that game and Tech didn't unlock some secret to beating WV. They just happened to be the ones to take advantage of their swiss cheese secondary first.
So I also broke down our comparative rankings in the conference for the top 17 categories that are currently tracked.  You'll find even more KSU advantages -- with again, basically playing the same overall schedule.

Any differential between the two squads of 4 or higher (that means four BigXII teams separate them in the standings) scored a big advantage, 3 scored a slight advantage, and if it was 2 or less I basically called it even.

KSU registers statistical advantages in 9 categories against only 4 for Tech.  Not surprisingly, the most glaring ones for both team include the obvious difference in offensive styles:  they pass and don't run, we run and only pass when we really have to.

But, KSU also holds big advantages over Punt Returns, TO Margin, Sacks, and KO returns.  Statistically these might not be as important, but they are important when determining the outcome of a tight, closely fought game.  These are areas where field position is ultimately won, and where the Cats ultimately excel at.

You can see we also hold slight advantages in Scoring Defense, Pass Efficiency (Klein is 2nd in the country behind Alabama), Tackles For Loss, and Sacks Allowed.

These statistics are also important when compared to the relative higher value of our current schedule resume and wins (see above).
This is not subjective blog analysis, this is #premiumcontent.
Yes, Tech holds obvious advantages in Passing Offense and Total Offense, but it is surprising their Defense is also rated slightly better than ours, as well as their Pass Efficiency Defense.  They just don't hold any cards with any of the true game changing X-Factors.  They also don't hold any kind of advantage in Coaching (Snyder is the best coach in the country), or Intangibles (KSU playing at home, focused, determined, unstoppable).
Ah, but I see you're the type that needs even more proof.  

Well, here are the BCS computer breakdowns of the two schools.  Ironically, the one metric we are ranked lowest in, the Colley Matrix Top 50, Tech is of course ranked the highest.  I've never studied this, but you can actually put in whatever teams you want into the forms and create your own statistical comparison.

It just so happens I did that for you for the top 5 teams in the BCS:

Note it ranks every team in the country and then shows you what the opponents ave. rank is and how that stacks up against the SOS. Beating Tech will add another Top 25 win, increase our opponents winning percentage to 48%, and hopefully continue to better our SOS rank.

Of course this is just one poll out of the 7 used in the BCS, but it is pretty telling how these teams actually get ranked and the metrics they use.  It's hard not to obsess about these numbers, but it's likely I will for the rest of the season.  

Their average across all the rankings is 12.4, ours is a blistering 3.1.  

And finally, Brad Edwards w/ESPN tells it right: KSU and the top teams in the country are doing it on the ground, not in the air.  Alabama comes in with the highest ranked Passing Offense in the Top 5 ... at #75.


Front page of ESPN right now.  Whoever said ESPN doesn't like us? (I did.)
More to come this week so stay tuned.

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