Friday, November 14, 2008

Garbage Time Argument is Garbage

Mergz' post about the sad state of defense in the Big XII and it's been met by skepticism among some commenters:

One thing (that may be too much) to consider, there could be a hidden bias going on in the Big 12 defenses because of garbage time points. When a team scores a lot and is way ahead, they usually put in their second-strings. This allows the opposing team to score more points and so deflate defensive statistics.

I don't say this because I think the Big 12 actually has good defenses, I just think it's important to consider the possibility that someone's statistics don't correlate well to how good that team is at doing something.
And this:
Tech and Texas pulled their starters at the start of the 4th quarter because of their large leads. To have a better picture in the Big 12, see how they fared up until the end of the 3rd quarter for the games.
These commenters completely missed the point of Mergz' post which is rooted in this earlier post about the characteristics of past BCS champions.

We all know that top teams run up the scores against inferior opponents and then pull their starters, often blowing shut-outs or allowing meaningless TDs to be scored in "garbage time." Well, if it's true for Tech and Texas why wouldn't it be true for previous BCS champions? It's not like football is played any differently in the Big XII. When Texas won the BCS championship for the 2005 season would they have not also allowed some garbage time TDs? Or are Texas and Texas Tech this year an aberration, a pair of super teams the likes of which we've never seen before?

No. They they are simply two teams with good offenses and relatively poor defenses based on recent history.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the garbage-time defense statistic, if it existed as alleged, also show up mostly by making the defense against the out-of-conference schedule look worse?

Or are we to take this to mean that the gulf between the top/bottom of the BigXII is larger than the gulf in the the SEC?

Amos said...

My comment was meant more along the lines of comparing the Big 12 and SEC defenses this year both in and out of conference can be (not necessarily is) skewed by the garbage time scores.

The post's comments about the Big 12 not winning the BCS, I have zero problem with. I'd actually really like to see Florida-USC for the title game.

Andrew said...

Ach, forget about USC... they may not even win the pathetic-10!

Anonymous said...

If your 'garbage time' argument had ANY validity, wouldn't FLORIDA'S stats be skewed, too? There is no one...NO ONE...who has absloutely blown out more quality opponents than the Gators. And TRUST ME...UF is playing its 2nd & 3rd-stringers PLENTY late in these games. And yet, UF is STILL in the Top 15 in EVERY major defensive statistical category the NCAA keeps track of.

Sorry, amos...but YOU too have just been hammered by the Gators!