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 Post subject: Tulane Advanced Stats
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:16 am 
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A few years ago, Bill Connelly now of SB Nation created the S&P+ rankings to give us a better and more predictive understanding of how good each college football team really is. The system updates after each game played and is responsive to things normal polls wouldn't be. He's released his advanced stats on Google Drive this year and that includes metrics for Tulane. I've posted the link in case others want to check it out.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ2e9xV7-ClihFVJ3kla0ZDxzFCQ7-WXvQRur-nK6gOzo333PqSetw52kEGgbXKb6viGZSbYuJugvRR/pubhtml#

You'll notice stats you don't normally see, like Postgame Win Expectancy. This is basically looking only at the stats of the games and using those to say which team would win which percentage of the time. For example, our PWE against Wake was 16%. Given all the yards Wake put up, they'd be expected to win that match up 84% of the time, even though in this iteration of the game things were tied late and went to OT. Needless to say, we've been outplayed by everyone not named Nicholls on our schedule.

Importantly this system has some predictive power and it gets stronger over the course of the season with more data. Right now S&P+ only favors us against SMU and ECU with close-ish games against Navy and Tulsa expected. As of now the system thinks we'll hit 3.8 wins on the year, which is far from encouraging. Anyway, thought some here might enjoy parsing these, even if everything looks pretty bleak right now.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:22 am 
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tulaneoutlaw wrote:
A few years ago, Bill Connelly now of SB Nation created the S&P+ rankings to give us a better and more predictive understanding of how good each college football team really is. The system updates after each game played and is responsive to things normal polls wouldn't be. He's released his advanced stats on Google Drive this year and that includes metrics for Tulane. I've posted the link in case others want to check it out.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ2e9xV7-ClihFVJ3kla0ZDxzFCQ7-WXvQRur-nK6gOzo333PqSetw52kEGgbXKb6viGZSbYuJugvRR/pubhtml#

You'll notice stats you don't normally see, like Postgame Win Expectancy. This is basically looking only at the stats of the games and using those to say which team would win which percentage of the time. For example, our PWE against Wake was 16%. Given all the yards Wake put up, they'd be expected to win that match up 84% of the time, even though in this iteration of the game things were tied late and went to OT. Needless to say, we've been outplayed by everyone not named Nicholls on our schedule.

Importantly this system has some predictive power and it gets stronger over the course of the season with more data. Right now S&P+ only favors us against SMU and ECU with close-ish games against Navy and Tulsa expected. As of now the system thinks we'll hit 3.8 wins on the year, which is far from encouraging. Anyway, thought some here might enjoy parsing these, even if everything looks pretty bleak right now.

Sounds about right given how we've played thus far.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:23 am 
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tulaneoutlaw wrote:
A few years ago, Bill Connelly now of SB Nation created the S&P+ rankings to give us a better and more predictive understanding of how good each college football team really is. The system updates after each game played and is responsive to things normal polls wouldn't be. He's released his advanced stats on Google Drive this year and that includes metrics for Tulane. I've posted the link in case others want to check it out.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ2e9xV7-ClihFVJ3kla0ZDxzFCQ7-WXvQRur-nK6gOzo333PqSetw52kEGgbXKb6viGZSbYuJugvRR/pubhtml#

You'll notice stats you don't normally see, like Postgame Win Expectancy. This is basically looking only at the stats of the games and using those to say which team would win which percentage of the time. For example, our PWE against Wake was 16%. Given all the yards Wake put up, they'd be expected to win that match up 84% of the time, even though in this iteration of the game things were tied late and went to OT. Needless to say, we've been outplayed by everyone not named Nicholls on our schedule.

Importantly this system has some predictive power and it gets stronger over the course of the season with more data. Right now S&P+ only favors us against SMU and ECU with close-ish games against Navy and Tulsa expected. As of now the system thinks we'll hit 3.8 wins on the year, which is far from encouraging. Anyway, thought some here might enjoy parsing these, even if everything looks pretty bleak right now.

Cool stats bro.
Yeah, obviously Wake was a should win only due to game circumstances. We shouldn't have really even gotten the one interception that was reviewed to determine whether the QB's knee was down. Of course, run Dauphine more and our odds likely go up :dots:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:08 pm 
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Funny... On one hand I tend to believe stuff like this is right more often than wrong and the results we've seen with our eyes seem to corroborate. But on the other hand, as outlaw pointed out, Wake had a 84% win chance with their stats yet we not only were close, we SHOULD have won. So if you need a silver lining, you could infer that we "should" be in every game the rest of the year. Of course, this doesn't need a computer to be proven, there are thousands of "that's why they play the games" examples.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Btw, in case you wanted to use the Navy Memphis game as a blueprint for beating Memphis, go check their Postgame Win Expectancy. Spoiler alert, they don't lose that scenario very often.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:37 pm 
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tulaneoutlaw wrote:
Btw, in case you wanted to use the Navy Memphis game as a blueprint for beating Memphis, go check their Postgame Win Expectancy. Spoiler alert, they don't lose that scenario very often.

Come on rain!!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Since we’re talking stats, Darnell Mooney is #2 in the American with 96.2 yds per game receiving. He’s been top 3 all season.

The other two in the top 3 are:
1 Marquez Stevenson- Houston (97.8)
3 James Proche - SMU (89.2)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:03 pm 
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The stats aren't updated for this week yet, but Memphis was the #21 team overall in this system and the #8 offense. That will obviously change once the data for yesterday is included, but it lends credence to the idea that Memphis has a decent offense.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:54 pm 
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tulaneoutlaw wrote:
The stats aren't updated for this week yet, but Memphis was the #21 team overall in this system and the #8 offense. That will obviously change once the data for yesterday is included, but it lends credence to the idea that Memphis has a decent offense.


Again look at who they have done it against. That matters.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:37 pm 
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wavedom wrote:
tulaneoutlaw wrote:
The stats aren't updated for this week yet, but Memphis was the #21 team overall in this system and the #8 offense. That will obviously change once the data for yesterday is included, but it lends credence to the idea that Memphis has a decent offense.


Again look at who they have done it against. That matters.


Sure, but you said it yourself, even good teams play and beat bad teams. They've mostly handled their business. Even against Navy the stats they put up on offense equal a win in most cases. I don't think one bad game against us means their offense is suddenly terrible when most of the stats point the other direction. If they are bad through conference play then I'll be happy to say you were right.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:05 pm 
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Updated stat profiles are up. Same link, but I'll post it again here

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ2e9xV7-ClihFVJ3kla0ZDxzFCQ7-WXvQRur-nK6gOzo333PqSetw52kEGgbXKb6viGZSbYuJugvRR/pubhtml

After last week, we moved up 21 spots in the rankings which reflects what the S&P+ considers an impressive win. Our chance to make a bowl went from 7% to 44% which is huge. We are, as of now, favored in four of our remaining games (Tulsa, SMU, Navy, ECU) which would get us to six wins.

Cinci is ranked 52nd in this system and has 69% chance of beating us according to the model. If we want to change some opinions about the program, this is a much bigger game than last week. We are on the road against an unbeaten, favored opponent. Nobody expects us to win. Let's prove them wrong.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:50 pm 
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There was a little buzz from casual fans at work that kept coming up to me to comment on the game. Most under the perception that “Memphis is pretty good”. We have a chance to build that buzz this week with another big win that would make the Memphis win look less like a fluke.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:12 am 
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Cool stuff. Thanks for posting it. I look forward to weekly updates (since I'm too lazy to go find it myself).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:44 am 
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So what was our pregame win percentage for Memphis last week?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:51 am 
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PeteRasche wrote:
So what was our pregame win percentage for Memphis last week?


Something like 14% if I remember correctly. It was definitely lower than this week, simply because Memphis was ranked 21 while we were ranked 97.

BTW, we have been very good on special teams so far. S&P+ has us ranked as the 7th best team in the country. I know we haven't kicked many field goals, but when's the last time we could say we are a top 10 team on special teams?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:05 am 
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Want a good stat? Here's one a coworker just pointed out:

Cincinnati has more than twice the wins (5) than the sum total of FBS wins (2) of the five teams they've already played.
UCLA 0-4
Miami Ohio 2-4 (1 FBS, BGSU)
Alabama A&M 2-3 (0 FBS)
Ohio University 2-2 (1 FBS win, UMass)
UConn 1-4 (0 FBS)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:59 am 
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Here's one the offensive coaches should pay attention to: TU has less passes caught by RBs and TEs than any team we play.
Our total is 6 in 5 games.
The totals for other teams:
Wake 12
Nicholls 16
UAB 10
Ohio St 20
Memphis 39
Cincy 33 (25 by TEs! - will be a test for our LBs)
SMU 25
Houston 6 - OK I lied they are tied with TU
Tulsa 11
USF 18
ECU 18
Navy 9 - yikes even Navy throws it more to their RBs and TEs than us.

C'mon coaches get these players some touches.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:06 am 
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1401973 wrote:
Here's one the offensive coaches should pay attention to: TU has less passes caught by RBs and TEs than any team we play.
Our total is 6 in 5 games.
The totals for other teams:
Wake 12
Nicholls 16
UAB 10
Ohio St 20
Memphis 39
Cincy 33 (25 by TEs! - will be a test for our LBs)
SMU 25
Houston 6 - OK I lied they are tied with TU
Tulsa 11
USF 18
ECU 18
Navy 9 - yikes even Navy throws it more to their RBs and TEs than us.

C'mon coaches get these players some touches.


Interesting stat. Looks like three of our six came last week so maybe that's a sign of things to come? Throwing the ball to these guys doesn't just get them touches, it gets them touches in space where they force the other team to make one-on-one type tackles. That kind of thing a few times a game can really open up the middle runs and takes pressure off our o-line in pass protection. Definitely need to see more of that.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:15 am 
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thank you outlaw - thought I was the only one shouting into the void....

But, it just may just be something we are going to have to be frustrated with. In 2017 with RBs who were natural receivers like Hilliard and Badie, we only completed 14 passed to RBs the entire year!!
1 catch per game is just not enough.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:42 am 
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1401973 wrote:
thank you outlaw - thought I was the only one shouting into the void....

But, it just may just be something we are going to have to be frustrated with. In 2017 with RBs who were natural receivers like Hilliard and Badie, we only completed 14 passed to RBs the entire year!!
1 catch per game is just not enough.


You're far from alone as most everyone has noticed that and been frustrated with it since this staff took over. Hopefully last week was truly a sign of things to come.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:14 pm 
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Just wanted to bump this topic. With four games to go, we are ranked 95th in S&P+. We started the season 96th, so we have basically been about as expected.

After the Tulsa game our post game win expectancy was only 50%. Basically the stats between the two teams indicate we win that game 50% of the time and they win 50% of the time.

On a game by game basis, our defense has been in the 50th percentile or better 5/8 games (not WF, OSU, or Cinci). Our offense managed that only against Nicholls and Memphis.

Looking ahead, we are projected to beat ECU and Navy, though not overwhelmingly. We have a 66% win probability against ECU and a 63% win prob. against Navy. We only have a 21% win prob against USF and 16% against Houston. So the model has us finishing at 5-7 42% of the time. We have a 15% chance of finishing with 6+ wins.

We could really use a Memphis like performance this week to bolster those odds. We probably need to see some turnovers and bounces go our way.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Outlaw, Good summary. Thanks.

Advantage of using percentages to predict chance of victory, you can look at things realistically but still positively. Bowl eligibility is doable but it's a narrow path. As coach noted, you can't win two in a row without winning one. To paraphrase the above, Tulane had an ugly win against Tulsa that easily could have been an ugly loss. Who cares? It went the right way. Let's see it continue.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:50 pm 
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Considering we were at 7% before the Memphis game and probably something like 20% at the beginning of the year, %15 doesn't seem too bad!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:52 pm 
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I think the most telling stat to me is that our postgame win expectancy against SMU was 12%. That confirms how I felt that day, like Id be mad even if we won. People who are flipping out because we basically couldnt complete one easy pass make no sense. That would have been an AWFUL day even with a win (though I sure wish we had that ugly win)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:14 pm 
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gerryb323 wrote:
Considering we were at 7% before the Memphis game and probably something like 20% at the beginning of the year, %15 doesn't seem too bad!


At one point this season we had much higher odds. Even after the Cinci game I think we were closer to 40% because we had four games the model projected us to win or have a very good shot at winning, SMU, Tulsa, ECU and Navy. The loss to SMU really torpedoed that number.


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