Lindy's Five Essential Websites (Non-Major Media) for 2013
[+] Team Summaries

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Breakdown

The Breakdown is an all-inclusive statistical tour of a college football game. In addition to computer simulated results, including scores, odds, team and individual statistics, the Breakdown sheds some light on the historical data and analytic techniques used to derive those predictions.

The first panel is a pre-game-post-game summary - an "Expected Box Score", including the expected score, odds, and team and individual statistics. Red and green numbers next to the team statistics compare the expected performance to the team's average performance. In this example, Texas' expected 227 passing yards is 46 less than their average, large because the 59.4 completion percentage is 8 percentage points below the team average. Generally, individual predictions do not account for injuries and suspensions, especially in-game injuries like that to Colt McCoy in this particular game.

The second panel is a summary of the two teams trend-O-meter, Hybrid, and cRPI (the cRPI* is multiplied by 100) - with national rankings in parentheses. The hybrid rating is the most realistic system for ranking teams. You can see from the trend-O-meter that Alabama came into this game playing relatively well, but Texas did not.

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Text boxes in this panel list more team statistics. Ratings (Unit, Rush and Pass) are adjusted to opponent strength. The unit rating is based on points score/allowed, and the rush and pass ratings are based on yards/play gained/allowed. The bar graphs offer a summary of offensive and defensive match-ups. The portion below zero on each bar is representative of the opposing teams defensive strength in that area. The portion above the bar in the team's color is the predicted yards per run or pass for that team. The gray portion is what the team gains on average. In the title of the graph is percent of plays that the team runs or passes. In this case, Texas' defense should be particular effective against the Alabama pass offense, but because Alabama runs the ball 63% of the time, this advantage will not be as important.

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Panel 4 adds individual statistics and information on up to 6 previous meetings.

Next is a comparison of the two teams since 1980 (explanations of the Hybrid and cRPI). In this case, the hybrid ratings across seasons are standardized to 1.

The next panel has even more statistics and national rankings in parentheses. The most important numbers here are the sacks/pass, tackles for loss (TFL)/run, points/possession and TDs/possession.

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Explanation of maps. In the maps, team's with similar styles are placed closed to one another. In this case, the number in parentheses is the point differential between what that team was expected to do and what they actually did. In this example, Texas gave up 13 more points to Texas A&M than it should have and 3 fewer points to Nebraska. Because Alabama is closer to Nebraska than Texas A&M, this generally suggests that Texas' defense is relatively well-suited for the Alabama-style offense. Looking at the defense map, it seems that Texas' offense is relatively well-suited for the Alabama-style defense as well.

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