Coat and tie are now required
Welcome back to the Cafe Malzahn. We’ve revamped our menu to offer the latest Tiger-friendly cusine. Same inviting environment, same excellent service for an elegant dining experience unmatched anywhere. We hope you enjoy your meal from our extensive selection of fast seared, quick braized and speed grilled SEC meats served to you in record time.
Any analysis needs to be reviewed for relevance from time to time. My amatuer statistics are no exception. One of the most glaring anomolies I found last season was that teams seemed to have outlier quirks in my assessment that defied logic. For example, I would often find that a team being analyzed would show awful statistics on offense, yet have exceptional red zone performance. There were also examples of exceptional offenses that had disturbingly poor red zone numbers.
When I looked further, I found that sometimes the kicking game would skew these numbers. So I looked at Red Zone touchdown production for the last seven years for Auburn and had another ‘ah hah’ moment.
Take a look at the Red Zone production in 2007, 2011 and 2012, where Auburn had some of the worst offensive production in the last decade and see how it is jarringly divergent from the Red Zone Touchdown production in those same years. In 2008, Wes Byrum was asked to kick quite a few slim percentage long balls and his success suffered.
Call it the Cody-Coefficient, or the Byrum-Bump, or the Last Second Variable, but the scoring rating is often influenced by the presence or absence of a gifted kicker. As teams fail to score touchdowns in the Red Zone, they often settle for scoring field goals and the efficiency of kickers may keep the Red Zone scoring artificially inflated (or deflated), and not reflect what is actually happening. One the defensive side, there was also a need to reflect the ability of ‘bend-but-don’t-break’ defenses that regularly prevent touchdowns with impressive goal line stands.
To settle this, I’ve added a new measure – that of Red Zone touchdown percentage, calculated by the SEC champion teams since 2007. To fit the ‘ER’ rating, I’ve weighted each of these as half a point each. My logic is that both of these numbers are important, but I wanted to keep the calculations simple and straight forward. Hopefully, this should help clarify just how good a team’s offense and defense really are in a compressed field.
By the way, every kicker has a bad day. Cody Parkey did. Wes Byrum had several in 2008. Cade Foster had an exceptionally bad one under the lights of Jordan Hare and the red eyes of the television cameras, but if you look at his overall percentage, he was a money kicker for his team. Know what the statistical difference was between him, Wes and Cody? One career kick over four years. All three were in the 74-75 percentile. If Cade had made just one more kick in those four years, he would have a higher scoring percentage than either Wes or Cody.
I take that back, there WAS one other difference – the respective fan bases for each player. But as you well know there’s no accounting for taste, class or sense in that other crowd.
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