I’m really not a stat guy. Sure I like to know how many yards Little Daddy and the Great one run for, but, IMHO, most stats are simply numbers that most folks use to justify losses. I love it when people refer to stats like Passing Yards/attempt, Net punting, or pass defense efficency. In my 20+ years of watching football, I have never been watching a game and thought to myself how good a certain team is doing with their pass defense efficency.
Other than wins and losses, when you really think about it, there are only about 5 stats that really matter.
- Turnover margin…There is no better way to lose a game than giving the ball away. Likewise, teams that do not turn the ball over and take it away often find ways to win games they shouldn’t. UCONN the past couple of years is a good example of this style of play. We have been tremendous over the last few years at taking the ball away, but we have been giving it away over the last few years as well. See the last two losses at USF and ECU and Colorado games.
- Penalty yards….Lack of discipline and mental mistakes make up about 75% of all penalties I think. How many drives did we have killed last week because of holds by Ryan Stancheck. One was on a reverse that was run to the opposite side of the field. On the other side of this how many times did JT Thomas jump offsides against Marshall on third down essentially giving them a firstdown. Teams that make too many penalties, IMO, show a serious lack of focus and suggest that the coaches attention to detail is not what it should be. Say what you want to about Nick Saban but you don’t see Alabama jumping offsides and getting called for chop blocks and false starts do you?
- Scoring defense…This one is pretty obvious. In 2006, WVU had a great offense, but the defense was horrible. I strongly feel that the amount of yards are much less important a stat than the amount of scoring your defense allows.
- Scoring offense….I’m not even going to explain much, but the term total offense always gets to me. 500 yards of total offense against Marshall and only 27 points. You have to score to win, and right now, WVU couldn’t score in a women’s prison armed with a box of chocolates and a fistful of barbies. Simply put that is our problem this year….
- Time of possession….Good things happen when you have the ball more than your opponent. Its not the be all end all…in 2006 we scored so fast that many teams had the ball much longer than us, but generally if you win this battle you win the game too.
On another note, I was at the microwave at work today, minding my own business, watching my burrito cook. Someone was nice enough to bring me late night taco bell and I had some leftovers. I hear someone walk by me, slow down and I cringe immediately. I cringe because it reminds me of my dating days. Occasionally you would take a girl out and realize after about 10 minutes that she was absolutely, socially retarded and has not one original or meaningful thought in her little, self-absorbed head. The audible stop and pause behind you at the microwave is akin to the deep breath your date would take right before she plows on through another meaningless, two-man soliloquy on whatever ills are plaguing her life at that moment. So after my cringe, I prepare for a sequence of events that begins with a stupid question about what is cooking and then ends with me giving that person with a look of total hatred is about to ensue. Why even ask the question in the first place? If I wanted to talk about everything I ate throughout the day I would have a food blog. So this person asks me what I’m eating. I don’t even reply; I just look inside the microwave where even Stevie Wonder could tell that a burrito is cooking. This is generally followed with some sort of eye contact and a head nod where I confirm through non-verbal communication that she is indeed seeing a burrito. It never works, because this is where it gets really fun. I’m kind of used to pointing out the obvious to people…… have managers that I have to do it for all of the time. However, this next level that people always have to take it to is what makes me go absolutely bat-shit crazy. For some odd reason, people always feel compelled to tell you how they don’t like what you are eating or they just go oooo or yuck. Not that I care what they think…I’ll eat what I want to regardless of whether or not you like it. (I’m my own man in that kind of way). I do find it tremendously rude and the whole thing having no value what so ever.
OK…enough of that
I also have to add that the best sports movie ever made is The Big Lebowski. It has more quotes than just about any movie there is and plenty of Creedance and Bob. A group of Nihilists are main characters and Flea has a part in it. White Russians and sarsaparillas are a staple and the whole movie centers around the greatest social sport that just about anyone can play…. and in color too. Last night while bowling, I realized that my favorite movie is also a sports movie, and in the words of the stranger, I’m glad that I came to that realization before the good lord gypped me. Ahh…the Dude abides.