I've said it many times by this point: I started to pursue college football statistics when I came to the sudden realization that a) I loved baseball statistics and b) I really didn't enjoy baseball. Why not attempt to combine the love in (a) with the sport over which I have obsessed since about 1985? In fact, at Rock M Nation, when I began my wonky data posts in 2007, I actually called them Beyond The Box Score. (Still do.)
It shouldn't surprise you, then, to learn that I originally envisioned Football Study Hall as a kind of Beyond The Box Score for college football. BTBS has always combined pretty high levels of wonk and fandom, and I want to think this site has provided the same to a certain extent. But until recently, the site has also basically been my own. Kleph has provided some lovely history links and book reviews, and more recently we've seen outstanding pieces from both Mike Nixon (Leach v. Holgorsen, etc.) and Matt Mills (The Key Drive). I am always interested in bringing others aboard (one of the greatest things about the SBN format is that, through fanposts, anybody can technically write "for" any site, and if it's really good, it can get promoted), but after yesterday's announcement about the CFBstats.com database being open and accessible, I wanted to actually post about it now.
Through the years (especially the last couple), I have met and/or exchanged e-mails with quite a few folks about how to get started with analysis of college football play-by-play data. Compiling it is such an overwhelming thought -- 800+ games, 140,000+ plays every year -- but now that it is being made available, it's time to get to work. Build your own database, compile some awesome Excel sheets, etc., and start posting what you find. And if you want, do it here.
For starters, I've created a Google Group for this whole data sharing project. I'm not sure how prevalent spammers are with these groups (probably not very), but just in case I've set it up as invite-only. If you're interested in joining this group, e-mail me at Bill.Connelly @ sbnation . com.
Moreover, if some of you are posting stat-related cfb pieces at other SBN network sites, let me know and I'll make sure they're available here at Study Hall.
As I said yesterday, the most important thing is to get as many smart people as possible interested and active in the parsing and pursuit of college football statistics. It still has quite the Wild Wild West feel to it, and I'd love to get more people interested in it, understanding it, and writing about it. There are so many topics I've vowed to explore but haven't had the time to pursue to the fullest extent: the relationship of recruiting to projections, quantifying individual defensive performance, how to beat Vegas more than 52 percent of the time (ahem), the impact (and quantity) of injuries, etc. We need more spoons in the pot. Come aboard.