Team Efficiency - A rational discussion

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AE 87

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Answer the question AE87, which is more efficient. 70 points vs Elon and 10 points vs VT or 40 points vs Elon and 28 points vs VT assuming the same defensive output?

This post makes no sense. I've defined efficiency as points per drive and labeled points per game as a measure of productivity not efficiency. Therefore, I cannot answer the question as you have framed it.

The sophisticated opponent-adjusted measure of offensive efficiency from ESPN, OEPA (offensive extra points added), and my simple PPD statistic (supported for past years by the efficiency stat from footballoutsiders, FEI) agree that we are top 20 in efficiency. ESPN's OEPA says we're top 10.

Don't worry about figuring out my stat. If you think that we are not an efficient offense, please just provide the rational basis for why you think that.
 

johncu

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zyang31, these statistics are used in a relative sense. Do you really think we are the only team that benefits from playing cupcake teams like Elon? In fact, we typically play a maximum of 2 "cupcake" teams per year OOC, while many other teams play 3-4.

Being consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally in efficiency metrics would most certainly indicate that our offense is efficient. Obviously that ranking is flawed (as is any ranking), but the fact that we are ranked that high on a consistent basis indicates a trend.

I understand your 70/10 vs. 50/30 comparison, but I would argue that the same holds true for all teams. Look at Oregon, for example. They were extremely inefficient against Stanford (just as we were against VT), but their overall efficiency ratings are still very high after dropping 66 on Nicholls State, 59 on UVA, etc. If you can make a case that GT benefits by playing cupcakes MORE than other teams do, then I'll be more inclined to believe that it actually affects AE87's data. As of now I think it's pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
 

zyang31

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This post makes no sense. I've defined efficiency as points per drive and labeled points per game as a measure of productivity not efficiency. Therefore, I cannot answer the question as you have framed it.

The sophisticated opponent-adjusted measure of offensive efficiency from ESPN, OEPA (offensive extra points added), and my simple PPD statistic (supported for past years by the efficiency stat from footballoutsiders, FEI) agree that we are top 20 in efficiency. ESPN's OEPA says we're top 10.

Don't worry about figuring out my stat. If you think that we are not an efficient offense, please just provide the rational basis for why you think that.

Fine, assume same number of drives for both games. Let's say 10 drives per game. So 20 total drives.

Team 1: 70 points vs Elon and 10 points vs VT. (20 drives)
Team 2: 40 points vs Elon and 28 points vs VT. (20 drives)

Which team is more efficient using your metric?

I have not claimed anything about whether or not our offense is efficient. I don't need to since I'm only critiquing the holes in your argument.

"I understand your 70/10 vs. 50/30 comparison, but I would argue that the same holds true for all teams. Look at Oregon, for example. They were extremely inefficient against Stanford (just as we were against VT), but their overall efficiency ratings are still very high after dropping 66 on Nicholls State, 59 on UVA, etc. If you can make a case that GT benefits by playing cupcakes MORE than other teams do, then I'll be more inclined to believe that it actually affects AE87's data. As of now I think it's pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things."

It's almost as if we have very few data points, and so outliers will massively skew your results. Therefore point estimates are worthless (which the OP provided) and you need to look at confidence intervals (which he has not provided) to make conclusions. I think you are all massively underestimating just how much your data can be affected by these extreme outliers when you have so few data points.

At this point I'm not even trying to argue whether or not our offense is efficient or not, I'm just pointing out the massive gaping holes in the OP's methodology.
 
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AE 87

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We're not an efficient offense because ...

Before I respond to your latest post, I wanted to make sure that you see I wasn't making something up when I said that you claimed we're not an efficient offense

Fine, assume same number of drives for both games. Let's say 10 drives per game. So 20 total drives.

Team 1: 70 points vs Elon and 10 points vs VT. (20 drives)
Team 2: 40 points vs Elon and 28 points vs VT. (20 drives)

Which team is more efficient using your metric?

I have not claimed anything about whether or not our offense is efficient. I don't need to since I'm only critiquing the holes in your argument.

Team 1: 3.5 pts drive vs Elon and .5 pts/drive against VPI, average (80pts/40 drives) 2pts/drive
Team 2: 2 pts/drive vs Elon and 1.4 pts/drive against VPI, average - (68pts/40 drives) 1.7 pts/drive

Team 1 would have the better PPD. That's how the statistic is calculated. However, 2 games is a very small data set, and so I would never suggest making any claims on the basis of only a 2 game data set.

(By the way, I'm also grateful that I can assume that since you are a fan of GT you're smart enough to not want to apply the real-life reputation of those two schools to statistics you made up).
 

zyang31

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"Before I respond to your latest post, I wanted to make sure that you see I wasn't making something up when I said that you claimed we're not an efficient offense"

And I already admitted I worded it poorly.

"
Team 1 would have the better PPD. That's how the statistic is calculated. However, 2 games is a very small data set, and so I would never suggest making any claims on the basis of only a 2 game data set. "

Instead you do it with a 9 game sample. Protip, even with a 12 game sample, your standard error will still be large.

Second protip: if your statistic fails basic sanity checks, it's probably a bad statistic.

"
(By the way, I'm also grateful that I can assume that since you are a fan of GT you're smart enough to not want to apply the real-life reputation of those two schools to statistics you made up)."
What?
 

AE 87

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"Before I respond to your latest post, I wanted to make sure that you see I wasn't making something up when I said that you claimed we're not an efficient offense"

And I already admitted I worded it poorly.

"
Team 1 would have the better PPD. That's how the statistic is calculated. However, 2 games is a very small data set, and so I would never suggest making any claims on the basis of only a 2 game data set. "

Instead you do it with a 9 game sample. Protip, even with a 12 game sample, your standard error will still be large.

Second protip: if your statistic fails basic sanity checks, it's probably a bad statistic.

"
(By the way, I'm also grateful that I can assume that since you are a fan of GT you're smart enough to not want to apply the real-life reputation of those two schools to statistics you made up)."
What?

What's the error? Explain the basis for which you are asserting a "standard error." How is it measured?
 

IronJacket7

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What's the error? Explain the basis for which you are asserting a "standard error." How is it measured?

Not to beat a dead horse here but AE87 last nights performance is exactly what I was trying to explain to you.

When we play a team that has a heartbeat our offense is exposed.
 

AE 87

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Not to beat a dead horse here but AE87 last nights performance is exactly what I was trying to explain to you.

When we play a team that has a heartbeat our offense is exposed.

First of all, you realize that only Georgie and FSU have scored as many as 31 against CU, right? My initial prediction was that we would only score 36. I thought our defense would be able to surpass the performance of BC and NC State, but I was wrong.

Now, if you find yourself thinking, but we scored a lot of those points in the second half when they were playing their back-ups, I wouldn't be surprised. Obviously, the fact that they were scoring against our D almost every time they had the ball both forced us to move away from our scheme and allowed them to get more players into the game.

The 17 that we scored in the first 35 min was more than the game total of any opponent other than Georgie, FSU, and MD, and MD had only scored 13 with 6 min left in their game, being down by 3 scores.

I know that you don't really seem to like rational discussion, but I'm still going to try. Earlier in this thread, I referred to ESPN's football power index (FPI) based on their measure of team efficiency (Extra Points Added or EPA) from Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. I noted that by that measure, we were #8 in their ranking of offensive efficiency. However, it should also be noted that CU was #12 in Defense, VPI was #1, and BYU was #5. (GT was #35 in D, but I thought we had gotten better).

So, I'm going to (probably foolishly) once again ask you to respond to some simple questions:
Do you believe that the problem is the offensive scheme every time a team fails to score more than 30 points against a top 15 defense?

In other words, do you believe that talent and execution play no role in an offensive production, that production is only a function of offensive scheme?

If you answer "No," to either of those questions, than I would still like to know the rational basis you have for claiming that last night's game exposed that the problem is with our offensive scheme.

Again, if you don't have a rational contribution, please don't post in a thread designed for that purpose. I mean, seriously. According to ESPN's drive chart, CU had 13 drives, not counting the end of the game. They scored on 9 of them, nearly 70%. We had been averaging 1.57 pts/drive allowed and gave up over 4 ppd against CU. Their D had been allowing 1.36 ppd, and we scored 2.2.

Your take away from last night's game is that our offensive scheme is the problem? Seriously? Please, explain it more fully, because what you're trying to tell me isn't sinking in.
 
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CuseJacket

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Sidebar... FSU scored 59 points in 3 quarters against Syracuse yesterday... in 54 plays. That's over 1 pt/play. I think they win the efficiency award.
 

collegeballfan

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"I believe this offense vastly underperforms versus better defenses."

I would suggest that it is the quality of the players not the offense. The GT win - loss record for the last 53 years will bear that out.
 

Boomergump

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87, thanks for your efforts. That was an interesting read. I think we are an efficient offense. Sadly, there are no PERFECT stats to throw out there to support either claim. You just have to make due. Unless every team played every other team there is no concrete way. Bottom line: all teams are less efficient against good defenses. That is not a GT disease. Another place to look if we are efficient or not is Red Zone efficiency. I think we rank pretty high there too.

What bothers me, is not that we aren't efficient, but rather, we have played well below our capabilities at the worst possible times this year. That is a whole other issue. Sadly, unforced TOs, missed blocking assignments, and false starts have characterized the 2013 offense at crunch time. The scheme is sound and the capability is there. The execution and composure under fire has not been.
 

AE 87

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87, thanks for your efforts. That was an interesting read. I think we are an efficient offense. Sadly, there are no PERFECT stats to throw out there to support either claim. You just have to make due. Unless every team played every other team there is no concrete way. Bottom line: all teams are less efficient against good defenses. That is not a GT disease. Another place to look if we are efficient or not is Red Zone efficiency. I think we rank pretty high there too.

What bothers me, is not that we aren't efficient, but rather, we have played well below our capabilities at the worst possible times this year. That is a whole other issue. Sadly, unforced TOs, missed blocking assignments, and false starts have characterized the 2013 offense at crunch time. The scheme is sound and the capability is there. The execution and composure under fire has not been.

I agree 100%. For whatever reason, some have attacked our scheme beyond the other issues of talent and execution. I think our scheme compensates some for talent but can't as much for execution.
 

Boomergump

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I agree 100%. For whatever reason, some have attacked our scheme beyond the other issues of talent and execution. I think our scheme compensates some for talent but can't as much for execution.
If truth be told, I am not really sure where talent ends and execution begins. I mean, part of talent is being able to get it done (execute) when it matters. Our kids have the ability to do better, but they have not displayed the tendency to rise to the occasion. All systems rely on execution. Not just ours. True, zone blocking a power run play might be easier to execute, but things like 15 yard down and outs, deep post corners, and fades are not.
 

dressedcheeseside

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What gets me is when guys say "we just need to execute" like it's done in a vacuum and that the opposition has no affect on our ability to do it or not. There's a reason why we have poorer execution and more lapses in focus and concentration against really good defenses and not so much against lesser ones.
 

AE 87

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If truth be told, I am not really sure where talent ends and execution begins. I mean, part of talent is being able to get it done (execute) when it matters. Our kids have the ability to do better, but they have not displayed the tendency to rise to the occasion. All systems rely on execution. Not just ours. True, zone blocking a power run play might be easier to execute, but things like 15 yard down and outs, deep post corners, and fades are not.

That's a good point. I guess, in my mind, or as I use the terms, talent is a measure of capability where execution is a measure of actualizing your capability. So talent scouts and combines, to some degree, look for athletes with good measureables for each particular position. They are of course also looking for some ability to execute at a certain level, but I use execution as a matter of performance of something you're capable of doing not performance in the abstract.

The difference between Darren Waller and Sammy Watkins is not simply WR coaching or Darren's "want-to." Sammy came in with more talent. So, in my usage, the failure of our kids to "do better" to their ability is a function of execution, not talent. This season, we've often lost focus and not performed at individual or team capacity. How much of that is coaching and how much individual responsibility or team chemistry is hard to tell.

But anyway, you are right that all systems rely on execution, but it seems to me that our system relies less on raw talent. We're typically not asking our linemen to stand-up a 300 lb DL an hold a block for 3 seconds while the RB picks his hole. We're typically not asking our QB to pin-point a back shoulder pass into double coverage or even zone. The aggressiveness of our base offense gets that B-Back to the mesh point in about a second and for the OL to often just get the DL on the ground or slowed. Defenses must typically become aggressive in countering it which should then open up our passing game so that the passes don't have to be as precise to be successful against typically man coverage.

Although some don't like the statistics, I don't think it's a coincidence that we've had top 30, top 20 offenses almost every year even when our recruiting classes have been ranked in the 35-50 range.
 

awbuzz

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What gets me is when guys say "we just need to execute" like it's done in a vacuum and that the opposition has no affect on our ability to do it or not. There's a reason why we have poorer execution and more lapses in focus and concentration against really good defenses and not so much against lesser ones.

Keep beating the drum... maybe they'll get it someday.
 

Boomergump

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This season, we've often lost focus and not performed at individual or team capacity. How much of that is coaching and how much individual responsibility or team chemistry is hard to tell.

87 that is a good question, for which there is no easy answer. I have been coaching sports at the HS level for a while now and I still don't know. Some years (or games for that matter) teams come out with a certain character and personality that says "we are going to get this done, one way or another" and they do. Other teams just don't and it has little to do with physical ability. Some kids play too tight. Some kids can't focus through the emotional distractions of competition. Obviously greater talent is a cure for a lot of problems, but the list of really talented teams that accomplish nothing is pretty long (at all levels). I have tried to the best of my ability to teach the kids the nuances of the game and put them in position to perform and win. Despite my efforts and the talent level of the kids I have worked with, the results are all over the place. Generally speaking, good coaching, good schemes, and good players tend to win, but they don't always click like you may think.
 
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