Friday, August 21, 2015

Game Charting: How YOU Can Help


If you want to take a closer statistical look at what Auburn does this fall, why not contribute by charting some games? Contact me by email or twitter, or just comment here. War Eagle!

[not that long; guess i'll read it]

If you've seen anything I've written before, it was probably an X&O breakdown of an Auburn game or maybe one of my offense explainers. If you've read everything I've written, then you know that I have also dabbled in game charting.

By game charting, I mean watching a football game and tracking different things like formations, run directions, and pass distances. It's something that Bill Connelly of started in 2012 and expanded in 2013 and 2014, the two years I contributed. With lots of information on lots of games, Bill and his friends were able to share some really neat information.

Meanwhile I was able to write several posts on College and Magnolia with a more statistical flavor. Nothing too in depth, but stuff I found interesting anyway. For example...

Now, I really enjoy contributing to the so-called "Auburn interwebz" but real-life and sanity have required me to cut back. During the 2013 football season, I wrote two posts nearly every week and I was able to chart about 10 of Auburn's 14 games. Last season, I cut back to one post a week and charted only 4 or 5 games (thereby contributing to Bill scaling back his charting project).

That's right. Bill isn't heading up a large scale charting project this year and he outlines several reasons in the last few paragraphs of that link above. The thing is, I had already planned on not contributing this year and finding someone else to fill in instead. Especially if that someone could write a post a week or so and dig up interesting things from the charting.

So that's where you come in. Even though the big charting project is mostly dead, that doesn't mean you can't chart the games anyway. I have the template we used. I have the numbers of the last two seasons. (Somewhere. I think.) And though we won't be able to see trends across the sport, I still have an interest in the things charting can tell us about Auburn football itself. I just don't have the time. Maybe you do.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Update: You Take a Crack at It

We're 80-something days away from the start of the 2015 college football season. Let's see how my blogging goals are coming along.

  • Gene Chizik's recipe for disaster: Done.
  • Game Scripts and Knockouts: Game Scripts will have to wait another season, but Knockouts? Done, done, and finally done.
  • Jeremy Johnson clips: Not done and won't be. I made a video of every packaged play Auburn's used since 2013 instead. Breakdown here.

  • Hurry-Up Snaps: Not done. More on that in a bit.
  • Passing Game Explainer: On target for August.
  • College Football Championship Belt: Renaming it the Transitive Trophy. I have the whole list from 1869 to now, but not sure how to present it. We'll see.
Now, about those Hurry-Up Snaps. I used the cut-up videos to get the seconds left on the play clock for every snap Auburn had on offense. But the video doesn't show the play clock on some plays. Lots of them if it's a CBS game. And it's hard to know if the offense had a full 40 seconds to work with or if there were only 25. The list of reasons it starts at 25 is longer than I thought it was. Basically, I don't trust my numbers enough to go any further.

So, I'm gonna drop it. It's a shame too, because I had a "hilarious" image to go along with it.

But this is where you come in. Maybe you can extract some meaning from the data. Maybe you want to at least give it a try. Great! Here's a link to the data in Google Sheets. I prefer you download it first, but I have another copy so don't worry about messing it up. Go ahead and tinker with it as you wish. And if you get something useful out if it, by all means let me know by commenting below, emailing me, tweeting at me, whatever.

I look forward to seeing what you can do!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The 2015 Outback Bowl and then the Off Season

Auburn ended the season with a loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. In overtime, Gus Malzahn called for a trick play to win it, but it backfired. This is what it was supposed to look like.

But against the Badgers, the Tigers lost yards. Oh well.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Auburn's 2014 Season: The Second Half

Auburn finished up the regular season with a disappointing 8-4 record. A shocking loss to not-so-good Texas A&M, an embarrassing blowout loss to Georgia, and a frustrating loss to Alabama were included, but don't forget the thrilling wins over South Carolina and Ole Miss, plus the victory over Samford.

Here are some things I wrote for College and Magnolia during all of that.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Auburn's 2014 Season: The Second Quarter

Auburn is halfway through the 2014 regular season and has a record of 5-1. (Curse you, cowbells!!!) Meanwhile, I'm still writing post-game breakdowns over on College and Magnolia.

  • In Game 4 against Louisiana Tech, Auburn beat the Bulldogs 45-17, but I decided to take a look at how Mississippi State beat LSU in Baton Rouge. Simply put, it was by passing to set up the run.
  • In Game 5 against LSU, Auburn pulled out the bag of tricks and jumped to an early lead over the Bayou Bengals.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Auburn's 2014 Season: The First Quarter

Auburn is a quarter of the way through the season and is 3-0. Meanwhile, I'm still writing post-game breakdowns over at College and Magnolia.

  • During the first bye week, I wrote about what some have perceived as a struggling Nick Marshall, both as a passer and a runner.
  • In Game 3 against Kansas State, the Tigers' offense was held back by a good Wildcat defense and their own poor execution, but it got going late in the third quarter.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Auburn Offense Explainer

Over at College and Magnolia, I did my best to explain some of the core concepts behind Gus Malzahn's offense, with an emphasis on the Auburn's 2013 season. With coaching resources and personally-made gifs, I hope readers get a better understanding of what is going on out on the field and why it works.

There are eight individual posts, listed below.

Fellow contributor Tuco explained some things about the defensive side of the ball, plus, as the season progresses, we'll be previewing matchups and breaking down what worked and what didn't work after each game. All of this can be found on College and Mag's X's and O's hub.