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

Posts Tagged ‘Texas Longhorns’

Bracketology and the Final Four

Posted by cuorange on February 19, 2010

Last week’s iteration had a Final Four of Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin and Syracuse. Lunardi has moved some teams to different regions this week, and coupled with Texas’ continued free fall, this has changed our projected Final Four.

Kansas wins the Midwest and Syracuse takes the West over Purdue/West Virginia. Our first non-number one seed advances in the South with Wisconsin, a projected #3, ousting Kentucky, and this is followed by projected 2 seed Duke beating Villanova.

I am one of the ones that don’t think Duke passes the eyeball test. On the other hand, the point of this exercise is to take the biases (against or for a certain team, such as Duke) out of the equation and when you do that the Blue Devils have really good numbers (like the #1 rated offensive efficiency for much of the year).

Team O Efficiency D Efficiency RPI % Final Four % Champ
Kansas 2 3 1 100.0 83.3
Duke 1 12 4 37.5 33.3
Syracuse 13 6 2 12.5 0.0
Wisconsin 14 9 14 12.5 0.0

In the semi’s it would be Kansas over Syracuse in what could be an entertaining game and Duke over Wisconsin (who they’ve already lost to this season).

The final would be Kansas over Duke.

Advertisements

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

Using Bracketology to find the Final Four

Posted by cuorange on February 10, 2010

Who won’t make the Final Four?
 
Using Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology we look at the projected top seeds and weed through which teams will make it to Indianapolis.
 
Starting in the Midwest Kansas is a no-brainer.  With offensive and defensive efficiency ratings of 2 Kansas is the prohibitive favorite as of this writing to win the national championship.
 
Lunardi projected Georgetown as the second seed in the Midwest and while the Hoyas have had their moments (beating Duke and Villanova) they aren’t a serious threat to the Jayhawks.
 
In the West Regional Lunardi projects Villanova at a 1 seed and Michigan State as the number 2.  Last week we detailed the case of Villanova and their defensive struggles.  The Wildcats then promptly went out and gave up 101 points to Georgetown in a loss.  An about face earlier this week against West Virginia in which Villanova held the Mountaineers to 75 points has improved the Wildcats defensive efficiency ranking to 55th, and improvement of 7 spots over two games.  The Wildcats will have to improve significantly before I feel safe including them in my Final Four projections, but their offense is championship caliber, make no mistake.
 
Michigan State is currently sitting at defensive efficiency ranking of 39 and an offensive efficiency ranking of 26.  Not Final Four material either.
 
At this point we would project Texas, who Lunardi has as a 3 seed, to win this region as it is currently projected.  Georgia Tech is another team to keep an eye on here, though they have some work to do.
 
Over in the South, we would project Syracuse over Duke.  Kansas State is also in this region, but we’ll stick with the balanced attack of the Orange to edge Duke in the South final.
 
The East bracket appears to be the deepest as currently projected with Kentucky (1), West Virginia (2), Wisconsin (3) and Brigham Young (4) projected as the top 4 seeds in the region.  As of today all of these teams have the offensive and defensive efficiencies to make it to the Final Four.  The question is which one is the most likely to do so?
 
It turns out that as the numbers stand right now Wisconsin has a 16.7% chance of reaching the Final Four, West Virginia a 4.2% chance and Kentucky and BYU a 0.0% chance.  Therefore, we project Wisconsin as the second #3 seed to make it to the Final Four based on Lunardi’s projections of February 8.
 
That leaves us with a Final Four of Kansas, Texas, Syracuse and Wisconsin.  Two number 1 seeds and two number 3 seeds.
 
The semi-finals would be Kansas over Texas and Syracuse over Wisconsin.  The final would be Kansas over Syracuse.
 
These projections can and will change as Lunardi changes his projections, the season plays out and the actual teams, region placement and seedings are finalized. 
 
It’s important to note that games played in the NCAA tournament will count in the efficiency rankings and therefore a team not included as a potential Final Four team prior to the tournament could potentially be included as the tournament progresses.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Projecting the Final Four and Champion

Posted by cuorange on February 7, 2010

To this point we have been projecting possible final four teams and a champion based on historical trends of offensive and defensive efficiencies. This week we are adding a percentage for each team to reach the final four and win the championship. After all, a team like Texas with an offensive efficiency of 32 and a defensive efficiency of 12 meets the criteria for the final four, but their chances are less than say, Syracuse with an offensive efficiency of 11 and a defensive efficiency of 7.

These stats are through games of Saturday, 2/6/2010

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 % Final Four % Champ
Kansas  1  100.0  100.0 
Wisconsin 5 15  16.7  0.0 
Syracuse 11 12.5  0.0 
Duke  1  23  4.2  0.0 
Kansas State  17 4.2 0.0 
Purdue  22 17  11   4.2  0.0 
Texas   32  12  21    4.2  0.0
West Virgina  4 22    4.2  0.0 
Brigham Young  12 24  23    0.0  0.0 
Kentucky  13 21    0.0  0.0 

The basic concept here is that though a team like Texas has both the offensive and defensive efficiencies to make it to the final four, when you combine the two the chances are much less.  In other words, one of the last 24 teams have had an offensive efficiency of 32 or worse and a defensive efficiency of 12 or worse.

This refining also removes two teams from our final four contenders – Brigham Young and Kentucky, that our old formula would have included.

Three of the final four look pretty strong.  The question at this point who will be the fourth team.

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

College Baseball – Finding a champion

Posted by cuorange on February 2, 2010

Since we are a little more than two weeks out from the beginning of college baseball, I thought I would slip in a post on the subject. In previous posts (and years) I have delineated the importance of defense in football and basketball. To recap – 9 of the last 10 BCS Champions in football have had top 10 ranked defenses and top 10 run defenses. In basketball, over the last 6 years the worst defensive efficiency rating of the national champion was 16.

The table below shows that 7 of the last 8 baseball national champions finished in the top 17 in fielding. Five of the 8 finished in the top 8, and 4 of the 8 finished in the top 5.

If you add in the fact that 7 of the last 8 baseball champions also finished in the top 22 in ERA an obvious pattern presents itself, with the exception of 2008 Fresno State of course.

Year Team Batting Slugging Fielding ERA
2002 Texas   99   65  5  2
2003 Rice  41  103  2  2
2004 Cal State – Fullerton   9  56  17  22
2005 Texas  80  74  3  4
2006 Oregon State  85  95  8  14
2007 Oregon State  162  129  2  11
2008 Fresno State  125  102  52  56
2009 LSU  78  34  16  9

Only one team finished in the top 10 in batting and won the championship (Fullerton in 2004). The highest rated slugging team was last years LSU coming in at 34th.

What this tells us is that pitching and defense are much more important than offense in college baseball today.

In many cases highly ranked offensive teams rolled into Omaha and left on the losing end to a better pitching and fielding team. Some examples: In 2002 Texas came in with the lowest batting average and second lowest slugging percentage of the 8 teams in Omaha. Yet, with a fielding percentage that was 5th in the nation and the 2nd ranked ERA they left as champions. In 2006 Oregon State had the lowest batting average and slugging percentage of the 8 teams in the World Series. However, the Beavers also came in with the second highest defensive rating of the 8 teams and an ERA that ranked 14th nationally. It was the first of two consecutive championships for the defensive and pitching minded club.

LSU finished the 2009 season with a 78th ranked batting average, but a 16th ranked fielding average and a 9th ranked ERA. They left as champions.

It’s important to note that the other team in the finals last year also met the criteria based on defense (8th) and ERA (2nd). However, Texas was such an anemic hitting team (206th in batting average) you understand why I predicted LSU to win the title.

So when judging the ability of your team to compete use these markers:
1) Defense = top 17 or better
2) ERA = top 22 or better
3) Batting and Slugging = top 100 or better

The numbers are compelling. Offense sells tickets while defense (and pitching) wins championships.

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

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

Posted in College Basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 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 »

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 »

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 »