Let's share some data: Advanced stats galore

Rob Carr

Last week, I added seven writers to the Study Hall masthead. I'm thrilled to have been able to bring aboard some paid writers, and I think the impact has already been shown this week. But I don't want to limit the writing on this site to only those on the masthead. I encourage any and all contributions from the field, and I have no qualms with adding more writers to the roster (unpaid, of course, for now) as the opportunity presents itself.

I figured the best way I could show how serious I am about that was to make a new boatload of data available to everybody. I meant to do this a long time ago, but the new writers were the impetus.

I have uploaded 10 new Excel files to the Study Hall server for downloading and perusing. I tried to keep the size of each file down, with a couple of exceptions.

  • All F/+ (380 KB). This is simply a single-tab amalgamation of all the data you can find at the FO F/+ pages, with all F/+, S&P+, and FEI data for each team, along with win-loss record, conference designation, and Field Position Advantage ranking.
  • All S&P+ (193 KB). This is a single-tab amalgamation of the primary S&P+ data you can find at the FO S&P+ pages -- Overall S&P+, Off. S&P+ (with play efficiency and drive efficiency), and Def. S&P+ (with play efficiency and drive efficiency).
  • All Off. S&P+ (172 KB) and All Def. S&P+ (172 KB). These are the single-tab amalgamations of the per-unit S&P+ data you can find at the FO pages for Off. S&P+ and Def. S&P+.
  • All S&P+ Detailed (3 MB). Now, the fun stuff. This file has five tabs: Two tabs for detailed offensive and defensive ratings (broken out by run, pass, standard downs, passing downs, red zone, quarter, and down, with the team's Adj. Line Yardage and Adj. Highlight Yardage ratings at the far right), two tabs for the annual rankings in each category, and one tab featuring a small key.
  • All Adj. Points (1.9 MB). This file has four tabs centering around the Adj. Points concept I use for my season preview pieces. Again, the Adj. Points idea is simple: How would you have fared in a given week versus a perfectly average team with a perfectly average number of breaks? Two teams playing in a game will receive different Adj. Scores because their expectations for a given game are different (based on who they are playing). It basically distills the single-game S&P+ concept into a more palatable-looking number: points scored. This file features tabs for 1) all single-game Adj. Pts. totals from 2005-12 (there is no significant meaning behind the "Game" column IDs--it was just an internal usage thing), 2) Season-long adjusted points per game, 3) Weighted averages (Adj. PPG totals with each proceeding game receiving a higher weight), and 4) Covariance scores. (What's Covariance? Start here.)
  • All Line Stats (340 KB). If you've been reading the 2013 season preview series, you've seen me using some of FO's primary line stats; in addition to the basics (line yards, sack rates), I've also been tracking power success rates, stuff rates, situational line yards and sack rates, and a new measure I created: Opportunity Rates. This is basically the percentage of time that a line set up at least five yards for the ball carrier. This file features two tabs with all of this data, one for offense and one for defense.
  • All Run-Pass (381 KB). This file again has two tabs, one for offense and one for defense. In each, you can find four categories of run-pass ratios: standard downs, passing downs, Not Close--Losing (i.e. losing in garbage time), and Not Close--Winning (winning in garbage time). It also features an "Adj. Run-Pass" number, which basically looks at what teams' run-pass rates would have been if they all faced an equal number of standard downs and passing downs. (The reason for this measure is simple: terrible teams will probably face a lot more passing downs and, therefore, pass a lot more. The Adj. Run-Pass measure is a way to look at a team's intentions.) Some teams have blank data in the NCL and NCW fiels -- that means they didn't have any plays in that category.

    Note: for the defensive totals, "Not Close--Losing" means the opposing offense was losing. So when you see that the 2009 Eastern Michigan team had no NCL data, it means that EMU was never once on defense, in garbage time, with the lead. Kind of counter-intuitive there.
  • All Targets & Catches (4 MB). I believe I've shared all of this data before, but it's a breakout of a player's targets, catches, yards, catch rates, yards per target, target rate, and yards per catch. It looks at overall totals, standard downs, and passing downs, and it features a few more categories at the end, like RYPR (What the hell is that? Start here.) and "Real Yards Per Target," which serves the same type of purpose as Adj. Run-Pass above. It basically looks at what receivers' per-target averages would be if they all faced the same number of standard downs and passing downs targets.

    Note: it has been pointed out to me that a few players in this file -- Arkansas' Damian Williams (2008-09), Cincinnati's Vidal Hazelton, etc. -- have screwy data. There's no way that Williams, for instance, had a 100% catch rate in 2009 over the course of 70 targets. There appears to be something wrong with the way I have the naming conventions set up regarding transfers, but I haven't had time to dig into that yet. Keep that in mind; if you are looking at a player who transferred in the 2007-10 window, proceed with caution. Oh yeah, and we're still missing old Air Force receiver data. One day I'll get that cleared up. Sorry.
  • All RB Yards (332 KB). This file features a runner's rushes, yards, Highlight Yards (and Hlt Yds per carry), Highlight Opportunities (i.e. the number of carries in which the line did its job, basically), Block Success Rate (Highlight Opportunities divided by total rushes), Adj. POE, and Adj. POE rank. It only features this data for 2011-12, however. Once again, naming conventions have tripped me up a bit with previous years, much more than with targets and catches. But still, there's a load of interesting stuff here.

    Also, I would love for somebody to dive into ways to judge running backs on their Block Success Rate, too. To use the top example on this sheet, it probably says something that Air Force blockers had much better luck blocking for Asher Clark in 2011 (block success rate: 48%) than for Wes Cobb (25%).

There could hopefully be one more file coming soon, with lots of single-game data. But it's huge, and I'm struggling to get it uploaded.

Anyway, I encourage others to take this, or other data, and run with it. Or dig around for old box scores or crazy happenings in the Google News archives. Make this site your nerdy home. Contribute, comment, etc. Let's have some fun.

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