CUOrange Blog

Clemson Tiger Sports…and other stuff…

  • Blog Stats

    • 11,256 hits
  • You don’t ever know about a football coach until you get in a ditch. He worked his way out of a ditch pretty good. That’s a good sign. - Danny Ford on Dabo Swinney
  • Recommended: AE’s Tiger Gear

    Adam is a Clemson grad, fellow CUTiger.com member and an all around good guy. Click here to check out all of his stylish Clemson related products.
  • RSS Clemson Basketball

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Clemson Football

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • Mystery Number

    3,496

Archive for January, 2010

College Basketball Contenders

Posted by cuorange on January 31, 2010

These stats are through games of Saturday, 1/30/2010

Here’s the criteria to reach the final four:

1. Defensive efficiency ranking of 25 or better

2. Offensive efficiency ranking of 50 or better

3. RPI ranking of 27 or better

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI
Kansas 1 3 2
Duke 2 17 3
Syracuse 11 12 1
Brigham Young 13 16 21
Kentucky 14 25 8
Kansas State 18 23 5
Purdue 22 18 10
Wisconsin 29 7 12
Texas 34 9 9

Once a team reaches the final four, offensive efficiency becomes much more important.

National championship criteria:

1. Defensive efficiency ranking of 16 or better

2. Offensive efficiency ranking of 4 or better

3. RPI ranking of 16 or better

Kansas sits alone as potential national champions. Duke is right on the cusp with a 17th ranked defensive efficiency.

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI
Kansas 1 3 2
Advertisements

Posted in College Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

C.J. Spiller Highlights

Posted by cuorange on January 29, 2010

From Shoeless Works.  You’ve probably seen it by now since it’s been on every Clemson site out there, but just in case.

Posted in Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Coach makes blindfolded half-court shot

Posted by cuorange on January 27, 2010

He punked the punkers.  It was supposed to be a practical joke.  They promised him tickets to the NCAA championship game.  When he missed they were supposed to cheer like he made the shot.  They blindfolded him.  They twirled him in circles.  Told him to shoot….and he hit nothing but net.

Even more amazing is that a reporter telling the story threw one backwards over his head from half court…and…nothing but net.

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

College Basketball Contenders

Posted by cuorange on January 25, 2010

These stats are through games of Sunday, 1/24/2010

Here’s the criteria to reach the final four:

1. Defensive efficiency ranking of 25 or better

2. Offensive efficiency ranking of 50 or better

3. RPI ranking of 27 or better

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI
Duke 1 15 3
Kansas 2 3 2
BYU  7 17  20 
Syracuse  8 14 
Purdue  21 18  12 
Kansas State 22  20 
Wisconsin  27 10 
Texas  33
Missouri  42 45 

Once a team reaches the final four, offensive efficiency becomes much more important.

National championship criteria:

1. Defensive efficiency ranking of 16 or better

2. Offensive efficiency ranking of 4 or better

3. RPI ranking of 16 or better

Kansas and Duke remain potential national champions. Kansas has pulled ahead and as of today is the front-runner for the national championship.

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI
Duke 1 15 3
Kansas 2 3 2

Posted in College Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CBB Predictions 1/23/10

Posted by cuorange on January 23, 2010

I trudge on with a 5-13 record so far.

Date Favorite Underdog Spread Pick Result
1/23/10 Duke Clemson 1 Clemson Loss 
1/23/10 Texas Connecticut 3 Texas Loss 
1/9/10 Clemson Boston College 9 Clemson Win
1/9/10 Duke Georgia Tech 7 Georgia Tech Win
1/9/10 Texas Colorado 19 1/2 Texas Loss
1/2/10 Kentucky Louisville 7 1/2 Louisville Loss
1/2/10 Kansas Temple 6 1/2 Temple Loss
1/2/10 Michigan State Northwestern 4 1/2 Northwestern Loss
12/22/09 Clemson Western Carolina 15 1/2 WCU Loss
12/22/09 Texas Michigan State 8 1/2 Texas Win
12/16/09 Clemson East Carolina 14 ECU Loss
12/13/09 Clemson Furman 21 1/2 Furman Loss
12/12/09 Butler Ohio State 3 1/2 Ohio State Loss
12/12/09 Kentucky Indiana 9 Kentucky Win
12/12/09 Gonzaga Dayton 12 1/2 Gonzaga Loss
12/12/09 Purdue Alabama 4 1/2 Purdue Win
12/11/09 Tennessee Middle Tennessee State 20 MTSU Loss
12/10/09 Michigan State Oakland (Mich) 21 1/2 Oakland Loss
12/10/09 Cincinnati Miami, OH 14 1/2 Cincinnati Loss
12/10/09 Syracuse Florida 2 Florida Loss

Posted in College Basketball | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ranking the championship teams

Posted by cuorange on January 21, 2010

I’m not a huge believer in all-decade teams and the like, but in researching a post last week I wondered who the best team of the 2000’s was. I remember ’01 Miami and certainly ’05 Texas, but who was I leaving out, or better yet, who was I selling short because of some potential bias and maybe who was I giving a lot more credit than they deserved because of a) seeing them so much and b) how they won games.

So, I developed a formula (similar to the one I used last season in baseball to predict LSU over Texas) that would theoretically take out all my biases. This formula is based on the factors that lead to a national champion and the categories that are highly correlated to a NC are weighted as such.

Rank Team Score % of Perfection
1 2009 Alabama 549.7 94.27%
2 2001 Miami 544.7 93.41%
3 2007 LSU 541.4 92.85%
4 2004 USC 539.0 92.44%
5 2008 Florida 533.3 91.46%
6 2005 Texas 517.1 88.68%
7 2003 LSU 506.6 86.88%
8 2000 Oklahoma 494.4 84.79%
9 2006 Florida 490.2 84.07%
10 2002 Ohio State 451.5 77.43%

A perfect score would be 583.100.

The scores are heavily weighted towards defense, because that’s what wins championships. So, in general, better defensive teams will score higher than offensive powers.

Certainly a case can be made for 2001 Miami, but they were crushed by 2009 Alabama in two categories that accounted for most of the difference: Rush defense (2nd for Alabama, 40th for Miami) and turnovers lost (3rd for Alabama and 26th for Miami).

Texas circa 2005 is an interesting case. The Longhorns were 3rd in total offense (one of only two of the last 10 champions to be in the top 10 in total offense) and 10th in defense, but were 40th in passing offense, 33rd in rushing defense and 36th in turnovers lost. You can see how they would be down this list.

There’s not much arguing Ohio State’s 10th place standing among this group. The Buckeyes were 70th in total offense, 92nd in passing offense, 23rd in total defense and 95th in passing defense – easily the worst in those categories among the 10 champions.

Posted in College Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gaines

Posted by cuorange on January 19, 2010

Posted in Clemson Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

College Basketball Contenders

Posted by cuorange on January 17, 2010

These stats are through games of Saturday, 1/16/2010

Here’s the criteria to reach the final four:

1. Defensive efficiency ranking of 25 or better

2. Offensive efficiency ranking of 50 or better

3. RPI ranking of 27 or better

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI
Duke 1 9 1
Kansas 2 4 3
Syracuse 6 15 5
Wisconsin 16 8 7
Pittsburgh 45 25 8
Texas 32 24 10
Georgetown 15 3 13
Purdue 30 16 15
Michigan State 18 22 21
Brigham Young 5 12 23
Tennessee 44 11 25

Once a team reaches the final four, offensive efficiency becomes much more important.

National championship criteria:

1. Defensive efficiency ranking of 16 or better

2. Offensive efficiency ranking of 4 or better

3. RPI ranking of 16 or better

Kansas and Duke remain potential national champions.  Syracuse is right on the cusp with a 6th ranked offensive efficiency.

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI
Duke 1 9 1
Kansas 2 4 3

Posted in College Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shift in philosophy?

Posted by cuorange on January 15, 2010

Below are the often mentioned statistics for what happened in the first 5 games of the season vs. what happened over the last 9 games.

To cut to the chase:

*Clemson threw the ball almost as much in last nine games as they did in the first 5 – 44.8% in the first 5 games, 43.5% in the last 9 games.

Run/Pass ratio:

Games Runs Pct Runs Passes Pct Passes
Games 1-5 195 55.2% 158 44.8%
Games 6-14 301 56.5% 232 43.5%

*The number of attempts were lower because Clemson averaged 12 less offensive plays per game over the last 9 games of the season than in the first 5 – 71 in the first 5 and 59 in the last 9.

*There was a shift in the targets that might be significant. In the first 5 games the WRs were targeted 54.4% of the time. In the last 9 games the WRs were targeted 42.7% of the time.  On the other hand a 12% difference really means one of every 8 passes went to a TE/RB instead of a WR.  Is that really significant?  Meaning in the first 5 games 4 of 8 (rounded) passes went to the WRs.  In games 9-14 3 of 8 (more or less) passes went to the WR.  Significant or not?

First five games:

Game WR TE/RB INT UNK TOTAL
MTSU 14 6 1 0 21
Georgia Tech 18 12 2 0 32
Boston College 17 9 2 0 28
TCU 17 20 0 0 37
Maryland 20 15 1 4 40
Totals 86 62 6 4 158
Pct of Passes 54.4% 39.2% 3.8% 2.5% 100.0%

Games 6-14:

Game WR TE/RB INT UNK TOTAL
Wake 12 12 0 0 24
Miami 12 24 1 0 37
Coastal 11 10 2 0 23
FSU 16 13 1 0 30
NCSU 9 10 0 0 19
UVA 11 15 0 0 26
SC 18 23 1 0 42
Georgia Tech 6 8 2 1 17
Kentucky 4 10 0 0 14
Totals 99 125 7 1 232
Pct of Passes 42.7% 53.9% 3.0% 0.4% 100.0%

So, with that said do I think we can definitively say there was a change in philosophy after the Wake game to keep “Dabo’s hands off the offense” and move to a power running game? No. Sure, they moved away from targeting “Dabo’s guys” (WRs). But, there was a very small increase in the percentage of runs. Hardly “proof”.

There were plenty of dropped balls by the WRs, but there were also plenty of missed throws by Kyle Parker, too. Perhaps the staff decided to keep the throws shorter (i.e. TE’s and RBs) vs. downfield to avoid the chances of turnovers. Is a short passing game a part of a power running offense – sure. And you could argue that this shift from WRs to TE/RBs show that there was a fundamental change at this point. But a short passing game is also part of the spread offense – see the numerous short throws by Colt McCoy for example in the Texas spread offense.

The key to me would be the alignment. How many TEs were used and what formations were we in during those last 9 games? More double (or triple) TE would point toward a power running philosophy, while the same (or similar) sets, but throwing to the TE and/or RBs more often would suggest to me a) you have a young QB b) your WR haven’t developed and c) your coaching staff made good adjustments during the off week, it worked so you kept doing it (a sign of good coaching).

I haven’t been able to find the final participation chart, which would give me a great indication of how many times some combination of Palmer, Allen, Taylor and Diehl (and Barry) were on the field together, but my recollection is that is was very few plays.

Another key to me would be game situations. It’s easy to look at numbers on a page and think you know what happened and why. But Clemson was all over the place in running and passing due to the situation presented in each game. Examples?

MTSU = blowout = 21 passes.

Wake = game under control = 24 passes.

Miami = wild OT game = 37 passes.

SC = behind all day = 42 passes.

GTech(1) – way behind early = 32 passes.

GTech(2) = close game all the way, CJ running wild = 17 passes.

Kentucky = close game, need to eat clock at end = 14 passes.

Even after the so-called change in philosophy after the MD game we threw the ball a lot when the game dictated we do so (37 times against Miami, 42 against SC, 30 against FSU, for example).

I’m no expert, but what all this (similar % of runs, not a heavy use of multiple TEs, wide variety in number of passes in different games) suggests to me is that the formations and philosophy didn’t change all that much, but what did change is the coaches found out that Palmer can catch the ball and Parker could throw it to him relatively accurately (I seem to recall Palmer diving, falling backwards, jumping, etc quite often though) and the WRs had a not so great year (other than Ford). Basically, without having a chart of the down and distance, game situation, and formations there is no “scientific” way to tell from the data I have available.

Perhaps a better way to look at this would be to see what happened on 1st and 10s (a good gauge of philosophy, in my opinion), when the score and game time is within a certain range (i.e. it’s not a blowout and/or you aren’t trying to run the clock out).

Personally, I believe the offense will continue to evolve (as it should) and depend on the personnel we have and game situation at hand. That’s a sign of good coaching. Identities can change from year to year.

Posted in Clemson Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Defense wins again

Posted by cuorange on January 13, 2010

No matter which team won the BCS National Championship game last Thursday, one thing was certain: for the 7th consecutive year and 9th time in the last 10 years the BCS Champion finished in the top 10 in total defense.

Alabama’s victory also insured that a top 10 scoring defense also won the championship for the 9th time in 10 years.

In an era when headlines and SportsCenter highlights are driven by eye-popping offensive plays, nothing is more certain than this: defense wins championships.

Year Team Total O Rush O Pass O Scoring O Total D Rush D Pass D Scoring D TO Lost TO Gain TO Margin
 2000 Okla.   18 68   13  7   8  23  9  7 88   5 30 
 2001 Miami  8 21   35    6  40  2  1 26  1  1
 2002 Ohio St.   70 31    92  41  23  3  95  2  7  33  18
 2003 LSU   31  27   43  19  1  3  18  1  83  9  39
 2004 USC  12  33   13     6  1  34  3  35  1  1
 2005 Texas  3    40  1   10  33  8  8  36  21  27
 2006 Florida  19  38    28   23  6  5  33  6  66  17  37
 2007 LSU  26  11    58   11  3  12  9  17  10  3  2
 2008 Florida  15  10   61  4  2  15  20  4  13  34  2
 2009 Alabama   42    12    92   22   9  2  10  2  3  10  4

Consider these facts:

*Only 2 of the last 10 BCS Champions were ranked in the top 10 in total offense.
*9 of the last 10 champions were ranked in the top 10 in total defense.

*Only 2 of the last 10 BCS Champions were ranked in the top 10 in rushing offense.
*5 of the last 10 champions were ranked in the top 10 in rushing defense.

*0 of 10 champions were in the top 10 in passing offense.
*5 of 10 champions were in the top 10 in passing defense.

This is not to say that offense is unimportant in the equation. The 10 champions averaged ranking 24th in total offense and 14 in scoring offense. One irony, of course, is that points scored by a team’s defense and special teams are credited to the scoring offense category. Hence, Clemson can rank 74th in total offense, but 28th in scoring offense.

In contrast, the last 10 champions have averaged a number 5 ranking in scoring defense and a 7th ranking in total defense.

One new trend may be emerging – turnover margin. In the last three years the champion has finished 2nd (2007 LSU), 2nd (2008 Florida) and 4th (2009 Alabama) in turnover margin. It also appears that the most important element in turnover rankings is very rarely turning the ball over (as opposed to gaining a lot of turnovers but giving up a fair amount, too as Texas did in 2009).

So when the 2010 season rolls around and there is talk turns to which team is going to win the BCS National Championship remember defense should come first.

Posted in College Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »