Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Talking through the QB situation Part 2

There are a couple different arguments and counter arguments regarding the QB situation and the need for a change. I'll try to address them in separate posts this week. I don't think anything will change, but I am firmly in the give Davis at least one, first-half series camp. I don't know what the staff is thinking or debating. So based on pure speculation, this is part 2 of the issue.

"Crane can't be bad every game. Look at the NC State performance. He's not going to throw three interceptions every week. He's due for a good game. He's got great upside."

When teaching statistics, instructors often use the example of a coin flip to explain independent events. The lesson usually goes something like this:

"If I flip a coin and get heads, what are the odds that I get tails on the next flip?"

The newbies try to work it out or wonder if it is a trick question. Eventually someone answers correctly "50/50."

The instructor then asks "what if I flip a coin 99 times and get heads each time. What are the odds I will get tails on the 100th flip?"

The smarties answer "50/50."

The point is that even if the results defy odds and averages (in this case if you flipped a coin twice you would expect one head and one tails or in the larger sample 50 heads and 50 tails) the odds don't not change on the next flip. It is independent of the previous flips. Now sporting events are not as truly independent as a simple coin flip. There are numerous variables from proceeding games that impact results (injuries, adjustments, etc.) But if you have come down to it, previous results don't change the probability of a good or bad performance.

Bringing this tangent back to Chris Crane...you cannot start him on the idea that he is "due" or that he has gotten the turnovers out of his system or that he is highly unlikely to cough up the ball that many times again. He not due. No one is truly due. If due were probability, then he is just as due for another three INT day.

Think of Crane as a coin flip. One side is multiple turnovers. The other is an NC State performance. Sure the upside is there, but the downside isn't going away.

Now every player has their highs and lows. If we increase his sample of snaps Dominique Davis's stats could be loaded with problems or bad indicators. But we are at the point where we know what Crane's statistical range is. Hedging on him to avoid pitfalls or betting that it will all be great from here on out ignores his stats and the rules of statistics. Taking a few baby steps with Davis at least changes all they dynamics a bit and allows BC to explore alternatives. To close with a clumsy analogy, mixing in Davis is like BC going from its risky Crane coin flip to rolling a six-sided die. It mixes things up. Let's roll.

Later in the week I'll get into the offensive limitations argument.


31ss said...

I appreciate the analysis. My only complaint is that Crane isn't like a coin flip. He's a like the 6-sided die, with 5 of the sides being bad. It isn't 50/50 with him.

Deacon Drake said...

The problem is that Crane moves the ball well at times, which puts the coaching in a tough position: he is winning games and not really failing to live up to preseason expectations yet (8-4 was considered a "best case scenario"), and winning just the home games down the stretch will get us there.

It isn't an appealing situation to be in as a fan, but to shift gears to Davis now would create more tension amongst the players. Look at the debacle that has become VA Tech. Glennon has his limitations, but easily could steer that team to 9 wins. Taylor is inexperienced and may never evolve into more than a one-read-and-run guy, but his physical tools can get 9 wins. Jerking them both around may only get them 6 or 7.

Getting Davis on the field for a series or two and keeping Crane the starter is the way to go until Crane proves he cannot meet the those expectations. A split in the upcoming homestand would put him on very thin ice.

Brian said...

The irony is that even when the coin lands heads, he still turns the ball over multiple times (see: NC State game - 1 interception, 1 fumble).

BCMike said...

"8-4 was considered a "best case scenario""

By whom?

Lally said...

Is it just me or have we gone with essentially the same game plan against all our ACC opponents: throw, throw, throw? Crane's strong arm can be useful, but it can also be such a detriment that it can cost us games.

Saturday, UNC was dropping back in coverage and waiting for Crane to make his mistakes, which he did. Why did Logan abandon the run pretty much after the first series, when we moved well down the field with a balanced attack? Their DL is very talented, but if they start to eat up Haden and Harris, why not run the option read that has been fairly succesful a few times to loosen things up? Why not take advantage of Crane's great fake-handoff and pull a few 'who's got the ball' plays?