Good Job by NCAA

It’s pretty rare that anyone has much good to say about the NCAA, so I want to break the trend….Whoever is in charge of putting the stats from football games on the web does a bang-up job. The team pages are extremely well organized with more numbers right at your fingertips than you will see anyplace else. The pages are full of hot-links letting you quickly go to other teams or stats for individual players. Here are a few links of interest:

NCAA Football Stats Main Page
ACC Conference Rankings
2006 NC State Stats

I suspect that I can divide our reading audience into several groups:

– You went straight to the linked pages without finishing my entry (Shame on you ;-))
– You rolled your eyes and thought….not more meaningless numbers. (Shame on you too.)
– You are finishing this entry and then plan on taking a look at the linked pages. (Good Job!)

Statistics are often mis-used by people with an agenda searching for numbers to support their point of view. (I discussed this and other analysis mistakes last year.) However just because some people intentionally (or unintentionally) reach the wrong conclusions with the “right� numbers, there is absolutely no reason to avoid looking at the numbers to get a broader picture of what is going on with State and in the conference.

I work with a number of VT grads, so I have probably learned more about their team through casual conversation than any other team (outside of State) in the conference. This week a good friend and I were discussing football and he said that he was scared to death of the VT/GT game this week. When I asked why (seeing that VT has rolled over their cupcakes through last weekend), he mentioned starters that were injured, the latest suspensions, the new players on the OL, and a general feeling of dread facing the Tenuta-led GT defense.

So we went to the source of all knowledge linked above to see what we could learn about the play of VT’s OL so far this season. Going to UNC’s page and looking at the game-by-game defensive stats, here is what UNC’s defense has managed through their first four games of the year.

Now you should be able to see the reason for my friend’s concern…UNC played VT in the second week of the season and VT’s offense didn’t accomplish very much against what appears to be a really weak defense. Four interceptions and a fumble recovery allowed VT to coast to a 35-10 victory….but this game didn’t build much confidence in my friend’s eyes.

The overall ACC schedule looks pretty poor this weekend and the VT/GT is about the only game worth watching. Based on the conversation with my friend, here are some things to look for in this game:

– How does VT passing game work against a real defense with a new QB and without their top two wide receivers?
– Can VT’s OL give the QB enough time and can they open any running lanes?
– Can VT cover Calvin Johnson?
– Will Reggie Ball do enough good things AND bad things to keep both teams in the ball game?

Here’s a more complete preview of the VT/GT game from

You didn’t really think that I would make my first entry of the FB season without touching on State did you? Over the last two off-seasons, I detected a sub-category of analysis mistakes that I call the “Summer-Time Happy Stat�. Over the last two off-seasons, the happy stat has been used, abused, and absolutely worn out whenever anyone tried to discuss the upcoming season.

In 2005, the happy stat was Jay Davis’s passing yardage from 2004. In 2006, the happy stat was State’s record after Marcus Stone become the starter in 2005. Isn’t it interesting that the projections made with the happy stat proved utterly worthless both years? Any rational analysis of 2004 and 2005 would have revealed deep and serious questions at the QB position. I’ve given up thinking that rational analysis can be used to combat the happy stat syndrome among the delusionally optimistic. But I hope that the more rational and objective State fans will use the available facts readily available at to help combat the Happy-Stat Syndrome.

While stats from the past can not always serve as basis for predictions of the future….they often give clues if we are smart enough to pick them out. I hope that our regular readers here will continue to look with us behind the numbers to help pick out those things that show the complete picture of NC State athletics. We won’t always agree on which “numbers� are the most important or even necessarily what they mean…but we should at least try to gather all of the information before drawing conclusions.

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

'06 Football General NCS Football Stat of the Day

9 Responses to Good Job by NCAA

  1. class of 74 09/28/2006 at 3:57 PM #

    Funny, I just listened to Steve Logan talking about some of these very stats on his program this afternoon. After our debacle in Hattiesburg the defense stats really took a beating. But one game does not a season make. The same could be said of the VPI vs. UNC game stats but I tend to think GT will lay the wood to VPI based on what I’ve seen so far.

  2. RAWFS 09/28/2006 at 4:15 PM #

    I bet they outsourced the production of the website to a web design firm anyway.

    Anyone can buy a good job, all you need is cash.

  3. Woof Wolf 09/28/2006 at 9:59 PM #

    Great site. I’ve been there before, but you took me back for awhile today.

    Most important stat for me is Turnover Margin. At -1.75 per game we’re last in the conference and tied for 116 out of 119 in the country.

  4. noah 09/29/2006 at 8:53 AM #

    I don’t know how much VPI’s stats against UNC are a cause of concern.

    If you’re scoring all your points on interceptions and special teams, do you even bother asking your offense to do much?

    Granted, I didn’t watch the game. When VPIs offense did have the ball, did they struggle to do much against UNC?

  5. VaWolf82 09/29/2006 at 9:44 AM #

    I don’t know how much VPI’s stats against UNC are a cause of concern.

    In the conversation with my friend, he stated that he had concerns about VT’s OL….based on the number of new players (including a true freshman) and what he had seen. The stats against UNC simply serve as an illustration that my friend’s concerns have some validity.

    It’s just not my friend that is concerned about VT’s OL. Here’s an excerpt from the linked article from

    …Georgia Tech is very strong (interior defense) where the Hokies are very weak (interior offensive line).

    That’s pretty simple. I won’t get into much more detail that that. I just think the Georgia Tech front seven is going to maul the Hokie offensive line all day, and it’s going to be a very long afternoon for the Virginia Tech offense. Bud Foster’s defense will play well, but it won’t be enough.

  6. VaWolf82 09/29/2006 at 9:46 AM #


    Regarding the UNC stats – How much of an excuse do I need to make fun of the heels?

  7. BoKnowsNCS71 09/29/2006 at 3:18 PM #

    Interesting to look at who is number 1 in NCAA offense through 9/24/06.

    A team named Akron.

  8. BoKnowsNCS71 09/29/2006 at 3:19 PM #

    Ignore that. The dang people just alphabetized it.

  9. WolfPup35 09/29/2006 at 9:08 PM #

    You NEVER need an excuse to make fun of UNC. It’s always so fun and easy, so it just kind of flows naturally. VT’s offense will be exposed this Sat., and I’m picking the upset…GT by 7. The REALLY big question is who’s gonna win the “Well, SOMEONE has to win bowl.”? Duke vs. UVa….Hrmmmm, which one sucks worse, I mean, who’s the most likely to win??? They’ll probably play 6 OT, and the officials will get so bored, they’ll call a draw.
    More power to the floundering, er, fighting Devils.

    BTW…NCSU by 10 over FSU…that’s MY call anyway.

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