Roundup 10/22/11

Garrett's end-game risk aversion was costly. More on the Cowboys over-conservatism using WP. The bottom line here is that the WP for a team needing a TD with 5 min to go isn't much different than for one with 4 min to go or 3 min to go. Running 3 times into a brick wall to burn clock only makes sense if you believe it's the best way to convert first downs and leave the opponent with nearly no time to score.

Percentage of total offensive yards, an interesting way to look at RBs.

No wonder 90% of fans have no idea what I'm trying to say.

Buddy Ryan is not fond of QBs.

Outside the Hashes reviews the computer side of the BCS rankings. I'm all for objective quantitative rankings, but some of the component systems (I think there are 6) may not be the most sound.

I have always favored a law that all government taxes and expenditures be discussed in terms of "per taxpayer." This is a similar idea. Our brains cannot conceive of amounts like billions, much less trillions. There are about 100 million taxpayers in the US, so every billion dollars is about 10 bucks to the average taxpayer. Every trillion is $10,000 to you and me.

Daniel Kanheman on overconfidence. I think the title is a not-so-subtle dig at Malcolm Gladwell.

A preview of 'A Game of Honor', a Showtime documentary on the greatest football rivalry ever.

Week 6 saw a reversion to more normal passing numbers.

Which NFL team has the best owner? Business Week says it's this one.

Does Vegas get more accurate as the season goes on? No.

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8 Responses to “Roundup 10/22/11”

  1. James Sinclair says:

    I'm all for objective quantitative rankings...

    Well, there's your problem. If the BCS had any real interest in objectivity, the computer rankings might not be as problematic. But people flip out every time the rankings are out of alignment with their opinions, and of course the blame is always placed on the computers rather than the subjectivity of human observation, so the rankings are tweaked to prevent whatever happened from recurring, inevitably creating new ways for the BCS to produce screwy results.

    (I'm sure you already know all this, I just felt like ranting. College football would be hilarious if it wasn't so corrupt.)

    Anyway, that Outside the Hashes article was pretty good, and the site looks like it's worth paying attention to.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love how it's assumed that the Cowboys running the ball was roughly equivalent to them kneeling it three times. They ran three plays. They tried to get a first down. They failed. This happens all the time in the NFL. Because it happened toward the end of a close game, everyone feels free to jump on the "why weren't the Cowboys even trying for a first down?" bandwagon -- a bandwagon which would not exist had they happened to succeed and gained the first down on the ground. (Yes, first downs gained on running plays also count).

  3. Jeff Clarke says:

    I generally agree with the per taxpayer idea but it does run into a couple of complications. For one thing because the rich pay such an overwhelming share of the taxes, the average taxpayer will never pay anywhere near what the "average taxpayer" pays.

    The other problem is that whatever your pet program is actually doesn't cost that much in terms of the "average taxpayer".

    It is really good to see things in relevant amounts. For example, the average house in Dallas costs $88k ( The Cowboys stadium cost as much as 13000 nearby houses. Thats nearly one house for every six seats in the stadium.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "Does Vegas get more accurate as the season goes on? No."

    I know you probably wont like this topic, but do you see improvement in the predictive accuracy of your model during the season?

  5. Brian Burke says:

    No. It's just as accurate in the beginning as it is in the end. It seems kookier to people early in the season though because public impressions of teams haven't yet caught up with reality.

  6. James says:

    Anon, the Cowboys running the ball three times IS akin to them kneeling it. The Patriots had 8 men in the box and were run blitzing, the Cowboys don't have a good run offense in good conditions, they were missing their starting RB, the Cowboys OLine is undersized and has trouble with big DT (say, Wilfork and Haynesworth). Also the playcalls were straight up the middle instead of around the edges.

    On the flip side, the Cowboys have a very potent passing attack and the Patriots a very weak passing defense. Furthermore, the Cowboys needed to both get a first down AND run the clock to win the game. Running only accomplishes one.

  7. Anonymous says:

    FYI you have the wrong date on the title if you care.

  8. Anonymous says:

    James, it must be easy to coach in the world you live in. To make sure we are clear: based on your logic, the *only* time the Cowboys should have even considered running the ball in this entire game was if they had faced a situation which required clock burning and no desired gain on the play, right? And since they never actually encountered such a situation in the game, they should have called 100% passing plays all game, right? I mean, clearly, they had zero chance to gain 10 yards in three running plays. Just look at the size of the def. line. They didn't even want to burn extra RB calories by asking a RB to run outside. So, I guess you're right. They essentially kneeled it three times.

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