Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 May 2011

The Texas A&M Aggies And Too Much, Too Soon

I figured the latest of my SBN team profiles would be a particularly interesting one to share here. Texas A&M is quickly gaining steam as this year's unanimous darkhorse, and I took a look at how legitimate they will be in 2011, how they're being overrated by analysts, and how they're likely to be underrated by our Football Outsiders Almanac 2011 projections.

I will say this, however: as overrated as they will likely be in the preseason polls, they will likely be just as underrated in our Football Outsiders Almanac 2011 projections. They will be expected to regress partially back toward their four-year rank, and maybe that's what will happen, but the gains that the numbers will see as unsustainable could hold steady a bit. The offense really did improve by about five (schedule-adjusted) points with Tannehill at quarterback, and obviously certain gains for which DeRuyter was responsible are not flukes. The projections will likely have A&M in the No. 25-30 range when they have probably earned 10-20.

Other recent SBN and Football Study Hall links:

The Toolbox: Adj. Pace

Summer Vacation: A 2011 Preview Series
Golden Boys And The UCLA Bruins
The Virginia Cavaliers And The Number One
Sold Souls And The Purdue Boilermakers
The Kansas Jayhawks And Unintended Schadenfreude
The Louisville Cardinals And The Value Of Experience
Adversarial Statistics And The Northwestern Wildcats
Optimists, Pessimists, And The Washington Huskies
The Minnesota Golden Gophers And Glen Mason Territory
The Kansas State Wildcats And An Active Retirement
The Colorado Buffaloes And The Reunion Tour
The Buffalo Bulls And A Socialist Utopia

Summer Vacation: The Sun Belt Conference

What I Love: Old School Touchdown Dances
What I Love: The Little Brown Jug

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 27 May 2011

1 comment, Last at 28 May 2011, 12:05pm by Jeff M.

Comments

1
by Jeff M. (not verified) :: Sat, 05/28/2011 - 12:05pm

In the Huskies preview, you talk about their late-season hot streak possibly being predictive (more so than just a good bowl game).

Do you have any similar data on whether late-season performance increases are predictive for a single player. In particular I'm thinking about Chris Polk. The huge numbers against Washington State have to be discounted somewhat, but then he game back with a massive game against an elite defense in the Holiday Bowl.

For the season he was 5.4 yds/rush, 109 yds/game, .7 TDs/game (on 20 carries/game), but over the last four (including the bowl game), he was 6.3 yds/rush, 171 yds/game, 1.3 TDs/game (on 27 carries/game). Over a 13-game season, that pace would give him 2200 yds and 17 TDs (as opposed to the 1400 and 9 he actually put up).

I expect given the youth at QB that the number of touches he gets will look more like the late-season than the early-, but should we expect his rate stats to look like the full-season ones, the late-season ones, or somewhere in-between?