21 Sep 2010
The "Mathlete" at the popular Michigan Wolverines fan site MGoBlog has crunched the numbers and produced a handy guide for Rich Rodriguez' go-for-it decisions for the rest of the season. As long as Denard Robinson is running the show and Michigan's field goal kicking remains suspect, Rodriguez should consider half the field to be four-down territory.
Also of interest is The Mathlete's hypothesis that the strength of a team's defense is irrelevant to its go-for-it decisions:
"Great defenses obviously give up fewer points than bad defenses but the key point is that the difference between a great defense and a bad defense is consistent up and down the field. Giving the opponent a first down at midfield isn’t a guarantee of a touchdown even with a bad defense and isn’t a guarantee that pinning an opponent deep against a great defense will keep the other team off the board. In fact, the gap between the two is about .25 points per first and 10 all the way from the 1 to the 90."
4 comments, Last at 27 Sep 2010, 1:34pm by Dean
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?