Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bottom five P5 Sagarin teams

Looking at the bottom five P5 in the Sagarin rankings since 2010 shows that the HC will eventually be fired. The only HCs to recover were Cutcliffe, who took over perennial bottom 5 Duke, and Edsall, whose fate is still TBD. Also with Edsall it was his 1st year, so that had something to do with finishing so poorly. So Edsall is the only HC to bring his team down into the bottom 5 and recover. For Shafer to do the same would be an exception to the norm.

2010 Bottom 5

126 Vandy
HC- was fired after season
Record since- 27-24
Best record since- 9-4

119 Kansas
HC- was fired after next season
Record since- 9-39
Best record since- 3-9

102 Wake
HC- was fired 3 years later
Record since- 18-31
Best record since- 6-7

98 Indiana
HC- was fired after season
Record since- 14-34
Best record since- 5-7

96 Purdue
HC- was fired 2 years later
Record since- 17-33
Best record since- 7-6

2011 Bottom 5

139 Indiana
HC- still HC but on hot seat
Record since- 13-23
Best record since- 5-7

113 Duke
HC- as safe as can be
Record since- 24-14
Best record since- 10-4

107 Colorado
HC- was fired next season
Record since- 7-29
Best record since- 4-8

104 Maryland
HC- is safe for now
Record since- 18-19
Best record since- 7-5 with Bowl game pending

103 Ole Miss
HC- was fired after season
Record since- 24-14
Best record since- 9-3 with Bowl game pending

2012 Bottom 5

156 Colorado
HC- was fired after season
Record since- 6-18
Best record since- 4-8

126 Illinois
HC- still HC but on hot seat
Record since- 10-14
Best record since- 6-6 with Bowl game pending

113 BC
HC- was fired after season
Record since- 14-11
Best record since- 7-5 with Bowl game pending

109 Wake
HC- was fired after next season
Record since- 7-17
Best record since- 4-8

104 Washington State
HC- still HC but on edge of hot seat
Record since- 9-16
Best record since- 6-7

2013 Bottom 5

157 Purdue
HC- still HC but on edge of hot seat
2014- 3-9

119 Kansas
HC- was fired next season
2014- 3-9

118 Cal
HC- is safe for now
2014- 5-7

113 NC State
HC- is safe for now
2014- 7-5

106 UVA
HC- still there but on hot seat
2014- 5-7

2014 Bottom 5

127 Wake
HC- 1st season

114 Vandy
HC- 1st season

103 Kansas
HC- was fired

97 SU

92 Purdue
HC- is on edge of hot seat

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A look back at last year

A lot of SU fans want to dismiss Shafer's major flaws this year due to injuries. Based on that premise, let us then take a closer look back at last season to see what really happened. Looking at national rankings is highly flawed. Differing schedules can skew the stats quite a bit. So IMO it is better to look at how your opponents did on average against similar caliber teams as yourself. For instance how Penn St did on average vs P5 teams compared to how they did against SU. That will give you a better indicator of how good SU was statistically than their national ranking.

Our opponents offensively averaged vs P5 teams:

26.2 ppg
382.7 ypg
155.0 rypg
227.7 pypg
129.5 QB Rating
2.5 Sacks
6.8 TFL
1.0 INT
0.8 Fumble
38.6% 3rd D
61.0% Redzone TD

vs SU they averaged:

28.5 ppg
397.4 ypg
148.1 rypg
249.3 pypg
135.4 QB Rating
2.7 Sacks
7.2 TFL
1.1 INT
0.6 Fumble
35.6% 3rd D
66.7% Redzone TD

So on D SU was above average in 5 categories and below average in 6 categories. SU was 5% above average in 4 categories, +/- 5% in 3 categories, and 5% below average in 4 categories. When you extend that to 10% then SU was 10% above average in zero categories,  +/- 10% in ten categories, and 10% below average in fumbles recovered.

Statistically SU on D last year was about as average as can be. They were good on 3rd down, at forcing INTs, and getting Sacks/TFLs. They were poor at giving up points, giving up passing yards, forcing fumbles, and keeping teams from TDs once in the Redzone. Surprisingly the SU Run D, which was perceived as a strength, held opponents to a whopping 6.9 yards less then their season average vs P5 schools.

Our opponents defensively averaged vs P5 teams:

26.6 ppg
390.0 ypg
157.2 rypg
232.8 pypg
129.5 QB Rating
2.2 Sacks
6.4 TFL
1.05 INT
0.7 Fumble
37.1% 3rd D
60.3% Redzone TD

vs SU they averaged:

17.2 ppg
354.5 ypg
190.7 rypg
163.7 pypg
95.6 QB Rating
1.55 Sacks
6.2 TFL
1.5 INT
0.45 Fumble
35.75% 3rd D
58.1% Redzone TD

So on O SU was above average in 4 categories and below average in 7 categories. SU was 5% above average in 3 categories, +/- 5% in 3 categories, and 5% below average in 5 categories. When you extend that to 10% SU was 10% above average in 3 categories, +/- 10% in 4 categories, and 10% below average in 4 categories.

Statistically SU on O last year was really good at running the ball and really bad at passing the ball. SU was average on 3rd down and in the Redzone. However scoring SU was really really bad, 9.4 ppg (35.4%) less than average. Given the ineptitude on O it is amazing that McDonald kept his job.

Our opponents on special teams averaged vs P5 schools:

20.7 KR
8.2 PR
21.7 K Cover
8.3 P Cover

vs SU they averaged:

16.3 KR
9.4 PR
19.7 K Cover
9.5 P Cover

So SU on STs was above average in 2 categories and below average in 2 categories. Being very good at covering kickoffs and returning punts, while being very bad at returning kickoffs and covering punts.

In terms of Wins and Losses SU was 5-6 vs P5 teams, which is not bad at all. But in the most important stat: points, which determines who wins games, on average SU was out scored 28.5 to 17.2 (ouch).

Overall statistically 2013 was a bad season for SU. That should be a negative for Shafer. Add that to the negative performance this year and he should clearly be on the hot seat next year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

King Otto to the rescue

Dr Daryl Gross wants change to the ACC divisions. Well I have come to save the day.

Under the current system of playing only 8 ACC games it is impossible to find a perfect solution. I believe my solution gets the most out of an 8 game ACC schedule. 

FSU is still in the Atlantic division every year
Miami is still in the Coastal division every year

The remaining schools are broken into 4 groups of three and rotate divisions every year. Thus:

Year 1: A/B and C/D
Year 2: A/C and B/D
Year 3: A/D and B/C
Year 4: C/D and A/B
Year 5: B/D and A/C
Year 6:  B/C and A/D

The next best football schools are Clemson, Va Tech, Ga Tech, and Louisville so I separated them. I also separated the four remaining private schools: Syracuse, BC, Duke, and Wake. This will bring competition balance.

Group A: Clemson, NC St, Wake
Group B: Va Tech, UVA, BC
Group C: Ga Tech, UNC, Duke
Group D: Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse

Using this system produces the following over 6 seasons:

Each school plays 4 teams six times each
2 teams four times each
2 teams three times each
5 teams twice each

The exception is FSU and Miami, who do not rotate. 

My solution is much better than the current set up of:

Playing 7 teams six times each
6 teams once each

What kind of conference can you be if you play some teams once every 12 seasons at home?

Here is the breakdown for each school using my system: 

Every year they play Miami and Clemson. 4 times out of 6 years they play Ga Tech, Va Tech, and BC. 3 times out of 6 years they play everyone else.

Every year FSU and Va Tech. 4 of 6 Ga Tech, Louisville, Clemson. 3 of 6 everyone else.

Every year Wake, NC St, Ga Tech, FSU. 4 of 6 Miami and Pitt. 3 of 6 Va Tech and Louisville. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year Wake, Clemson, UNC, and Syracuse. 4 of 6 Duke and Pitt. 3 of 6 FSU and Miami. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year Clemson, NC St, Duke, Louisville. 4 of 6 UVA and Syracuse. 3 of 6 Miami and FSU. Everyone else 2 of 6. 

Va Tech
Every year BC, UVA, Pitt, Miami. 4 of 6 UNC and FSU. 3 of 6 Clemson and Ga Tech. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year BC, Va Tech, UNC, Duke. 4 of 6 Syracuse and Wake. 3 of 6 Miami and FSU. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year UVA, Va Tech, Syracuse, Pitt. 4 of 6 FSU and Duke. 3 of 6 Miami and Ga Tech. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Ga Tech
Every year Duke, UNC, Clemson, Louisville. 4 of 6 FSU and Miami. 3 of 6 BC and Va Tech. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year Duke, Ga Tech, NC St, UVA. 4 of 6 Va Tech and Louisville. 3 of 6 FSU and Miami. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year UVA, UNC, Wake, Ga Tech. 4 of 6 BC and NC St. 3 of 6 FSU and Miami. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year Syracuse, Pitt, Ga Tech, Wake. 4 of 6 UNC and Miami. 3 of 6 FSU and Clemson. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year BC, Syracuse, Va Tech, Louisville. 4 of 6 Clemson and NC St. 3 of 6 Miami and FSU. Everyone else 2 of 6.

Every year Pitt, BC, Louisville, NC St. 4 of 6 UVA and Wake. 3 of 6 FSU and Miami. Everyone else 2 of 6.

So to use Syracuse as an example compare the after (above) to the before (below) under the current set up:

6 games vs FSU, Clemson, Louisville, Pitt, BC, NC St, Wake

1 game vs Miami, Va Tech, Ga Tech, UVA, UNC, Duke

Clemson (-4)

FSU (-3)
Wake (-2)
Louisville, Pitt, BC, NC St (=)
Va Tech, Ga Tech, UNC, Duke (+1)
Miami (+2)
UVA (+3)

So Syracuse essentially is trading FSU for Miami/Ga Tech, Clemson for UVA/Va Tech, and Wake for UNC/Duke. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peer programs

So who have been our peers that last 12 years? To compare I am going to look at Big 5 programs within +/- 10 in the Sagarin rankings each year.

2001 SU 13th
Peers: Texas, Tenn, Neb, Oregon, Oklahoma, Colorado, FSU, MD, LSU, Wash St, Stanford, Illinois, UCLA, South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Georgia, K St, UNC

2002 SU 77th
Peers: Zona, Stanford, Utah, UNC, Mich St

2003 SU 61st
Peers: South Carolina, Colorado, Northwestern, ASU, Louisville, UCLA, Stanford, PSU

2004 SU 62nd
Peers: Iowa St, Wash St, South Carolina, Pitt, Northwestern, Kansas, Bama, Mizzou, K St, Penn St, Mich St, Wake, Neb

4 year avg (Coach P years) 53.25
Top Peers: Stanford (3), South Carolina (3)

Current SU 77th
Peers: Stanford 7th, South Carolina 12th

We are in worse shape than both of those peers. Not a surprise that the last 9 years we have fallen.

2005 SU 114th
Peers: Miss St. Only team worse was Duke.

2006 SU 66th
Peers: K St, Purdue, Vandy, Kansas, UVA, Miss, NC St

2007 SU 113th
Peers: Duke, Baylor, Minn. Only Baylor and Minnesota were worse.

2008 SU 104th
Peers: Michigan, Iowa St. Teams worse Iowa St, Indiana, Wash, Wash St.

4 year avg (GRob years) 99.25

Current SU 77th
Peers: Baylor 4th, Duke 50th, Iowa St 76th, Kansas 104th, K St 32nd, Michigan 35th, Minn 59th, Miss 26th, Miss St 53rd, NC St 87th, Purdue 134th, Vandy 45th, UVA 86th

We are in worse shape than eight of those peers, better than two, and on par with three. Not a surprise that the last 5 years we have been mediocre.

2009 SU 83rd
Peers: UVA, NC St, Purdue, Duke, Baylor, Michigan, Louisville, Colorado

2010 SU 48th
Peers: MD, Illinois, Miami, UNC, Texas Tech, BC, PSU, Louisville, Clemson, Georgia

2011 SU 86th
Peers: Wash St, Kentucky, Oregon St, Minn, BC, Kansas

2012 SU 38th
Peers: ASU, PSU, UCLA, USC, Mich St, Texas Tech, Mizzou, Miss St, UNC, Zona, GA Tech, WV

4 year avg (Marrone years) 63.75
Top Peers: BC (2), UNC (2), Louisville (2), Texas Tech (2)

Current SU 77th
Peers: BC 74th, UNC 56th, Louisville 13th, Texas Tech 25th

We are worse than three of those peers, on par with one. Not a surprise as this year has been a poor one.

12 year avg 72.08
Top Peers: UNC (4), Penn St (4), Colorado (3), Kansas (3), K St (3), Louisville (3), Michigan (3), Michigan St (3), South Carolina (3), Stanford (3), UCLA (3), Wash St (3)

Current SU 77th
Peers: UNC 56th, Penn St 48th, Colorado 93rd, Kansas 104th, K St 32nd, Louisville 13th, Michigan 35th, Mich St 19th, South Carolina 12th, Stanford 7th, UCLA 17th, Wash St 47th

We are worse then ten of those teams, and better than two.

It was obvious that we were on a downward trend under Coach P, and he deserved to get fired. GRob then accelerated that into a downward spiral. How he survived to coach a 4th season is a mystery. Marrone did a good job of stabilizing the program and getting it headed in the right direction. However, as you can see above there have been schools in a similar boat who have not only stabilized but have been on an accelerated upward trend. Because of that you cannot say that Marrone did a good job. Decent sure, but he shouldn't be praised as a savior.  There are teams currently in a lot better shape that started as peers to SU when Marrone took over.

As a further example look at 2007-2009. That is GRob's last two years and Marrone's first year stuck with GRob kids. The SU avg rank was 100. That avg is similar to:

Washington St 109 avg, Current 47th
Indiana 98.3 avg, Current 49th
Iowa St 90.7 avg, Current 76th
Baylor 87.7 avg, Current 4th
Minnesota 87.3 avg, Current 59th
Washington 82 avg, Current 18th
Duke 81.3 avg, Current 50th

Yes we had the 2nd worst Big 5 avg from 2007-2009, but we have not made even close to the jump that Baylor or Washington have. And we still are in a similar spot as Duke, Indiana, ISU, Minn, and WSU. Marrone should get credit for improving things. The program is in better shape than when he took over. We certainly could have stayed down. But he shouldn't be praised as the savior of the program. Compared to our peers did he do better than Briles, Cutcliffe, Wilson, Rhoads, Kill, Sarkisian, or Leach? Or did he do a decent job which is similar to what most coaches would do?

Friday, October 25, 2013

How SU should recruit

I looked back at data from the 2000-2012 NFL draft to see where players came from. Here is what I found at each position:

Quaterbacks (minimum 5 players)
California 26
Texas 15
Alabama 7
Pennsylvania 7
Louisiana 6
Ohio 6
Oregon 6

New York 0.0

This tells me SU should be recruiting QBs from either PA or OH from within our territory.

Running Backs (minimum 10 players)
California 25
Florida 24
Texas 24
Virginia 20
Ohio 13
Louisiana 11

New York 3

For RBs SU should be recruiting FL, VA, or OH within our area.

Wide Receivers (minimum 12 players)
California 51
Florida 50
Texas 37
Louisiana 22
Georgia 17
Ohio 14
Virginia 14

New York 4

For WRs SU should be recruiting FL, GA, OH, or VA.

Tightends (minimum 7 players)
California 13
Texas 12
Florida 7
Georgia 7
Ohio 7
Pennsylvania 7
Virginia 7

New York 2

For TEs it doesn't seem to matter as much as they are spread out in many places. Three other states have 6 players and another three states have 5 players. That makes 13 states with 5+ TEs.

Centers (minimum 3 players)
California 12
Texas 10
Ohio 8
Florida 5
Arizona 3
Hawaii 3
North Carolina 3

New York 2

For Cs it is another position that doesn't seem to matter much. Maybe OH and FL are the bests bet for SU.

Guards (minimum 7 players)
California 16
Texas 13
Florida 10
Ohio 8
Pennsylvania 8
Mississippi 7

New York 3

For Gs SU should recruit FL, OH, and PA.

Tackles (minimum 8 players)
California 28
Texas 25
Florida 13
Louisiana 10
Michigan 9
Georgia 8
Ohio 8

New York 7

For Ts it is pretty spread out as well. NY surprisingly is right up there. SU should recruit at home along with FL, GA, and OH. Another 8 states all East of the Mississippi have 5-7 Ts (not including NY).

Overall for the Offense the states that stand out within SU's recruiting territory are FL and OH. After that should come GA, PA, and VA. If you notice I mentioned a Midwestern state ONCE. Hopefully our staff wakes up and stops recruiting those areas.

Defensive Ends (minimum 11 players)
Texas 31
Florida 23
California 22
Georgia 17
Alabama 12
South Carolina 12

New York 4

For DEs SU should recruit FL, GA, and SC.

Defensive Tackles (minimum 10)
Florida 24
Texas 20
California 17
Georgia 12
South Carolina 10
Alabama 10

New York 2

For DTs SU should recruit FL, GA, and SC. Interesting that SC is good at producing NFL DEs and DTs.

Linebackers (minimum 12)
California 47
Florida 37
Texas 28
Georgia 20
Alabama 12
Ohio 12

New York 7

For LBs SU should recruit FL, GA, and OH. NY isn't too bad for LBs.

DBs (minimum 19 players)
Florida 74
California 67
Texas 59
Georgia 32
Louisiana 30
Ohio 27

New York 10

For DBs SU should recruit FL, GA, and OH.

Overall for the D the stand out states are FL and GA. SC is good for DL and OH for the back 7.


The top two states with California and Florida with 4 each. Three other states have 2 each. So there doesn't seem to be state that stands out. It is funny though that FL again comes out on top though. NY had zero.


Ohio and Texas lead with 4. California and Louisiana are the only other states with more than one punter, having two each. NY did have one punter.

Overall Players (Top 10 states)
California 330
Texas 280
Florida 275
Georgia 134
Ohio 122
Louisiana 106
Virginia 96
Alabama 83
South Carolina 73
Michigan 70
Pennsylvania 70

New York 45

SU has six of the Top 10 states within its recruiting area. Those states along with NY should be where SU is concentrating. SU plays in a conference that includes schools in FL, GA, VA, SC, and PA. Two conference mates are right near OH, SU isn't too far away either, and SU often plays OH MAC teams. Add in SU's home state of NY and nearby NJ, and that gives you where SU should recruit. That is it.

All this Midwest recruiting makes no sense. There is not a lot of talent there. SU does not play games in those areas. Sure Michigan has better talent than New York, but the difference between the two (25) is the same as the difference between Michigan and Virginia (26). SU has three commits this year from Illinois, which only had 60 players drafted in the 2000s.

I understand that Shafer was hired late and had limited options. So he went with guys he knew, and being a guy with a Midwestern background he ended up with Midwestern assistants. That is fine for this year. But next year that needs to change significantly. Shafer needs to have on staff a FL guy, a GA/SC guy, an OH/Western PA guy, an Eastern PA/NJ/NYC guy, a VA/NC/MD guy, and an Upstate NY/New England guy.

Those are the six territories SU should recruit. Shafer should split that between the QB, RB, WR, DL, LB, and DB coaches. If a current coach doesn't fit into one of those territories they need to be replaced. The primary skill of all those coaches should be recruiting. Leave the Xs and Os to the HC, OC, and DC. The position coaches need to funnel talent to those three who then need to close.  I left the OL coach out of the mix as I believe that is the only position coach where technique is more important than talent.

So if Shafer or any future coach wants to be successful, they should follow this plan.

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