Monday, October 11, 2010

Game Theory and Spaz

Unlike baseball where nearly everything has been decided, Game Theory in football is still very complex and in flux. However, there are little things here and there that we know make a difference. Perhaps it is time for Spaz to adjust some of his theories and practices with the hopes that it will change the final outcome. One area that I think needs to change is deferring after winning the coin toss. The theory in this strategy is that if you consistently receive the kickoff to start the second half, that over the course of the season you will have extra possessions. I am all for extra possessions when an offense is functional. In BC's current situation each possession is just extending the pain. Beside this is what we've accomplished with those second half possessions.

Kent State: 12 plays, 75 yards, TD
Notre Dame:
5 plays, 9 yards, punt
NC State: 3 plays, -3 yards, punt

My simple alternative is that BC should receive the opening kickoff whenever we can. This way we increase the chance of scoring first. We can start establishing a tempo for the game early. We can start to limit both teams' possessions. We can start to play field position game early. This mentality doesn't lead to exciting football but it makes much more sense to go conservative in a 0-0 game than when you are down by three scores.


Doornekamp! said...

Interesting post, ATL. I wish we actually played a close game once in a while to make it come down to one possession. But the little things do add up, and at this point, our coaching staff should be thinking like you and questioning everything they've been doing because the status quo isn't working. The only problem is we have a head coach who is risk-averse. When in doubt, he plays it safe, which usually means sticking to what he knows. It's how we ended up with Tranquill, after all.

Erik said...

I'm on board, and have even thought to myself a similar thing. There are times when you're better off trying to score first.

I would, however, feel better about accepting the ball if we had a better kick return. Fox returning to the 16, then a 3 and out, punt to the opponents 45 -- also not a good way to get going.