Friday, June 5, 2009

Now serving ball soup


It gets hot in Georgia. Really, really hot. And it just so happens that the hottest days are usually in August through the beginning of September. During this time, the Weather Channel constantly tells those who are susceptible to heat to stay in air conditioning, especially between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

F@#& that, it's football season. Besides, heat brings out the best in the South.

That's right, Georgia Tech kicks off against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks on September 5th at 1 p.m. With a hangover-enhancing heat index that will probably push 100 degrees, the Jackets look to repeat their 41-14 victory over JSU (although last year's night Thursday night game was kind of a blessing).

Why a 1 p.m. kickoff? Honestly, probably because of the Chick-fil-A Classic season opener that pits the Crimson Tide versus the Hokies in the Georgia Dome. The two teams battle for the "WTF Does That Mean Trophy," which allows the holder to officially lay claim to the most obscure/confusing mascot-nickname combination.

Quick prediction on who come out of that game winners - we will, as we will probably be hanging out with the Hokie bloggers for that tailgate, and will finish the night by making fun of the same 'Bama fans who patroned the Cheetah that we met after the SEC Championship game. (Note that I don't bother to predict who actually wins the game - I think we will be going to the Cheetah regardless... free admission with a ticket from a sporting event!)

Anyway, other important contests happening that first weekend:


N.C. State gets a shot at revenge for last years beatdown at the hands of Sakerlina (reading too much Block-C... they berate their rivals extremely well, although it is kind of like playing tee ball). Russell Wilson and the Wolfpack host the Gamecocks this year.

Oregon (Winfield's current favorite NCAA09 team) plays at Boise. I'm excited, because seeing that blue field makes me realize we will never have to play on it again. All hail CPJ.


Winfield and I will be getting drunk with alumni at the RRC Pig Roast (yes, that means Bird as well). We will mostly ignore Tulsa vs. Tulane, then, after being sufficiently plastered and full of pig flesh, will begin to argue on which team is better with 3 minutes left in the game. This argument will prove fruitless, as the drunken ramblings and misspeaking of the team names will lead to a utterly pointless shouting match, followed by more flip cup SURVIVOR FLIP CUP.


Honestly, I will probably pass out for the afternoon portion of the day. If not, I'll admit it, I'll be watching Oklahoma State play some other team.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL ON SUNDAY. It's too much effort to click back over to the schedule right now, but it doesn't matter who is playing, because it is COLLEGE FOOTBALL ON SUNDAY.


The Sunday game was Ole Miss against Memphis, by the way.

We are going to put on clothes we wore in middle school and get super ultra excited about Miami vs. FSU. This edition of the series that I like to call "Wide Muff" (I do this after I have been drinking, when I am extremely charming and everyone loves the increase in the volume of my voice) will be an interesting watch, as we meet Miami two weeks later on national television, and play FSU at Doak-Campbell in what may be our second biggest game of the year.

My hands are shaking with child-like giddyness. Whats the countdown at now?


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Georgia Tech's Rush Defense Efficiencies

Tomahawk Nation and Gobbler Country got me interested in looking at the efficiency stats of our offense and defense. However, there is a slight flaw with what GC and TN do in their analysis. They don't list their assumptions or acknowledge any possible errors in your statistics. As any engineer should know, when doing a data analysis, you need to list your assumptions rather than just getting lost in the numbers and accepting them for fact. So here we go:

Assumptions and Possible red flags:
1. Injuries are unaccounted for in these statistics. Efficiency stats reflects a world where the same players were playing the same position for every game.

2. Statistics have a limited argument in football.

3. Teams prepare in separate manners. Boston College had a lot less time and information to work with than UNC did. You also can't add in Clemson's debacle right before our game. Those could all be potential factors in affecting the efficiency numbers below.

4. Data is from In-Conference statistics only. Out of Conference are considered outliers and have been thrown out.

With all that being said, let's have some fun and see what we got and see how GT did last year against expectations.

Note 1: Sacks have been taken out of the equation. Sacks are a factor that plays into a rushing statistic but does not show how we stop the run itself.

Note 2: The small the number, the better the number for GT.

Abbreviations: YPC - yards per carry; Rush Plays - opponent carries minus sacks; ExpYds - expected yards for the opponent; Actual Yards - opponent yards with sacks taken out; Efficiency - GT efficiency.

Georgia Tech Rushing Defense Efficiencies-2008
Opponent YPC Rush Plays Exp. Yds Actual Yds GT Sacks Sack Yards
Boston College 3.9 41 147.0 120 3 15 0.918
Virginia Tech 4.3 46 193.6 199 1 6 1.059
Duke 3.5 20 63.1 35 2 14 0.776
Clemson 3.8 24 87.5 51 1 12 0.720
Virginia 4.0 36 141.7 126 1 14 0.988
Florida St. 5.0 36 155.0 196 5 38 1.510
North Carolina 4.0 42 158.8 186 2 23 1.316
Miami 4.7 25 109.2 105 2 11 1.063
Season 4.2 270 1055.0 1018 17 133 1.091

Remember this is with sacks taken out. When sacks are added to the equation and a more true traditional rushing defensive number is looked at, the Yellow Jacket Rushing Defensive Efficiency drops to 1.078. Not a dramatic drop which tells me that our defense did not rely on sacks heavily to stop opponents. This could be an indication that the loss of a significant portion of our defensive line is NOT as serious as some might think.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Easy Schedule = MNC

Georgia Tech is a decent schedule away from contending for the BCS title.
-- Southern Pigskin

A decent schedule?! Have you seen who we play this year?!

Now, now before you spit all over yourself in anger, take that comment as a compliment. More and more the BCS rewards those who don't take risks. Play OOC cupcakes, win, make money, play in the MNC. Matter of fact, don't even leave your stadium for those games (see Florida). The reward for beating a strong OOC BCS team is far less than risking a loss and thus, not worth it.

This view is shared by FSUncensored over at Tomahawk Nation who goes deeper into the numbers as he always does.

My theory is that teams should play the weakest possible non-conference schedule, because it is the pre-season rankings combined with a 0 or 1 loss season that gets a team to the National Championship. Additionally, playing cupcakes allows teams to rest their starters, leaving them less exposed to injury. Further, playing bad non-conference teams forces the national championship contender to have a greater focus on the conference games, which could potentially be overlooked when balanced with a difficult non-conference schedule.
So let's look at Tech's schedule and how it compares to the past BCS champions' schedule shown over on TN. I'll help you out: It's not a very difficult schedule.

Our schedule is a "tough" one with 2 away games vs. SEC opponents and 1 home game against Georgie. Our only cupcake is the Jacksonville State game. This is completely against the philosophy of the BCS title contenders. When it comes to debates of conference strength and who is the best, I think the best way to answer those questions is to look at OOC schedules. Beating up on each other within conference should only go so far in this argument.

Is it a tale of 2 wants? A championship in Atlanta would be a dream come true, but with a schedule like ours, history is against us. Do fans complain about easy scheduling from outside schools simply for enjoyment's sake? And then are content with the cupcake schedule for their own teams? It's something to consider. Part of all this issue is a result from the subjective decisions made by human pollsters who watch only a few games a week at most (yet another reason why the blogpoll is better). No one wants to appear like they got it wrong, and if the team with the big name wins, no matter the opponent, that team is going to get the bump up the polls.

Such goes the life of a college football fan.....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No Sports for 93 Days SUXOR

So...we lost. We were the only ACC #1 seed to drop the ball. In fact, our regional allowed the only #3 seed to survive to Super Regionals out of 16 regionals. Woo-freakin'-hoo. I'm glad some people are happy (2). Damnit.

The team batted 0.280 (down from 0.315 on the season) for the NCAA tournament run and averaged 8.4 runs per game (down from 10.5 on the season). I think a huge issue was our defense. We had a billion errors. Our starting pitchers were struggling. It was tough for our offense to really get into a groove when they were chasing 5 and 6 runs every game after the third inning.

So goes life. I'm proud of the baseball team. Wish we could've done better. Now, the wait...93 days 'til college football or 68 days until the first NFL Preseason game...

Conference Roundup:
1. Big East: 3-1 (75.0%) ~ 1 of 1 teams remaining
2. ACC: 19-7 (73.1%) ~ 4 of 7 teams remaining
3. SEC: 18-9 (66.7%) ~ 4 of 8 teams remaining
4. Pac 10: 6-4 (60.0%) ~ 1 of 3 teams remaining
5. Big 12: 14-14 (50.0%) ~ 1 of 8 teams remaining
6. Big 10: 4-6 (40.0%) ~ 0 of 3 teams remaining
7. Other: 38-61 (38.4%) ~ 5 of 34 teams remaining

I have nothing to say

I'm very sad, I was looking forward to the super regionals.

However, in lieu of a preview of more baseball this weekend, I bring you this.

Gotta remember to love the little things in life.

Jon Dwyer vs. Darren Evans

2:53 PM Major apologies for the Formatting FAIL this morning. Didn't see it until this afternoon.

HT to F4H at Gobber Country for initializing this:

Is Jonathan Dwyer an engineer's dream athlete?

F4H wanted to look at the efficiency yards of Jon Dwyer vs. Darren Evans and see who seemed to be the most efficient running back for his respective teams. Efficiency stats were taken strictly from the conference games. OOC games are outliers and are tossed out.

F4H will highlight Evans' load of work being completed in the Red Zone while the majority of Dwyer's runs, carries, and touchdowns come from beyond the 20-yard line. Evans scored all 11 of his touchdowns from the Red Zone while Dwyer only scored 2 of his 12 touchdowns within the same boundaries. But as all Tech fans know, the Jackets strike quick and fast. They get long touchdown runs from the open field and very few Red Zone attempts, while the Hokies had the most conference Red Zone attempts (34). So this discussion is open to some subjective conclusions.

To calculate a player's efficiency simply take your opponent's yards-per-carry (YPC) without sacks and multiply by number of carries against that specific opponent. These are your Expected Yards. Then divide the player's actual yards in the game by the expected yards and you have your efficiency.

When it comes to efficiency against conference opponents, Dwyer dominates.

Evans vs. Dwyer: ACC Efficiency
Name OppYPC Rush ExYds Yards Eff
Evans 4.3 184 796.4 852 1.070
Dwyer 4.3 134 580.1 905 1.560

Granted, efficiency stats are not 100% solid to look at, especially when you are using them for football simply because there are so many outside factors that you can't take into account such as injuries both directly and indirectly affecting other players. Plus, numbers can be skewed in various directions when comparing to Georgia Tech simply because of the unique offense we run that runs so many backs (Evans ran the ball 50 more times in conference compared to Dwyer) But they can be a good discussion point. Diesel was held under his expected yards 1 time while Evans was held under his expected yards 3 times.

I'll let F4H conclude:

Dwyer's efficiency is astronomical. My guess is you'd be hard-pressed to find a running back from a BCS school who did better against his conference opponents than Dwyer did. Evans is a good back who fits into Virginia Tech's offense as well as Dwyer fits into Georgia Tech's. However, I give the edge to Dwyer for the conference's best running back.

If you like more of theses statistical viewpoints, later this week we'll take a look at GT's defensive efficiencies.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 4 Conference Roundup...Pre-Super Regionals Monday

Wow, the standings have changed as many-a-team were eliminated on Sunday:

1. ACC: 18-6 (75.0%)
2. SEC: 17-7 (70.8%)
3. Big East: 2-1 (66.7%)
4. Pac 10: 6-4 (60.0%)
5. Big 12: 14-12 (53.8%)
6. Big 10: 4-6 (40.0%)
7. Other: 35-60 (36.8%)

Also of note, here's the number of teams remaining from each conference as of Pre-Super Regionals Monday (this will change drastically by midnight or so tonight as there are 6 elimination games tonight):

1. Big East: 1 of 1 (100.0%)
2. SEC: 6 of 8 (75.0%)
3. ACC: 5 of 7 (71.4%)
4. Big 12: 3 of 8 (37.5%)
5. Pac 10: 1 of 3 (33.3%)
6. Other: 5 of 34 (14.7%)
7. Big 10: 0 of 3 (0.0%)

Yes, it's wrong to group CSF and Rice with all of the jobbers and I [do care about the little guy]. It's what they get for not [being in BCS football leagues and gaining the side effects of said affiliation]. Sadly, UF eliminated Miami thus giving Gainesville rights to host our Super Regional. Damnit.

Forced Game 7 Tonight

Georgia Tech forces Game 7. Everything went our way yesterday as we beat both Elon and Southern Miss to stay alive. Hats off to both Mark Pope and Thomas Nichols as they came in for the early innings and went the distance.

I shouldn't have to tell you this but I'm going to. COME TO THE DAMN GAME! This is the season right here. Win or Go Home.

From Danny Hall:

"I just want to start out first thanking the fans who did show up (Sunday). I hope that they’ll go home and tell their friends what great play they saw out of the Yellow Jackets, and maybe tomorrow night.....we’ll have more fans rooting for Georgia Tech than Southern Miss had rooting for their team since we’re hosting this Regional."

Too many fans decided to give up after 1 bad game. Come back out and support the team

First pitch is 7pm at Russ Chandler Stadium

Go Jackets!

8:04 AM: Kind of a surprising move but Deck McGuire will start tonight.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 2 Baseball Conference Roundup

So far here are the conference wins/losses after two days in the NCAA baseball tournament:

1. Big East: 2-0 (100.0%)
2. SEC: 12-4 (75.0%)
3. ACC: 10-4 (71.4%)
4. Big 12: 11-5 (68.8%)
5. Pac 10: 4-2 (66.7%)
6. Other: 23-45 (33.8%)
7. Big 10: 2-4 (33.3%)

Also of note, #1 seeds are currently 26-6 (81.2%) while #4 seeds are 5-27 (15.6%). Thus, #2/3 seeds are overall 33-31 (51.6%). Makes sense to me. Things are working like clockwork minus 5 ERRORS and a CRAZY 25 inning game@!@#!@#$%@#$