Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Overachieving? Underachieving? Lucky? Unlucky?

Did BC underachieve this year? My heart says yes. I keep thinking that the UNC loss should be a win. But realizing breaks go both ways, I thought I would try to be more objective about how many games this team should have won. A good raw indicator in W-L record is point differential. Point differential is nothing new (I even used it as a gauge last year) and it doesn’t account for things like strength of schedule or style of play or even an extra game. But at the end of the day, it gives you an idea if a team was unlucky and could’ve/should’ve won more games based on its performance, or if a team got lucky repeatedly.

Before we get to BC’s differential, here is a frame of reference:

TeamRecordPoint Differential
Penn State10-1206
West Virginia10-1168
Notre Dame9-2160
Ohio State9-2195
Florida State8-493

As you can see USC and Texas are far ahead of pack. The other BCS teams are in the same range. The real outlier is Florida State, but as we know they stumbled their way into the ACC championship and pulled things together when the BCS was on the line.

So where does BC stand? Should we have won more games this season? Based on point differential it looks like 8-3 is about right. Take a look at other 8-3 teams.

TeamRecordPoint Differential

Aside from a very lucky Nevada team, they are all in the same ballpark. And the only other BCS conference team with an 8-3 mark (Florida) had a point differential closest to ours.

BTW, here is the info on Boise State.

TeamRecordPoint Differential
Boise State9-3158

I am not trying to be an apologist for BC’s record. It has been over a month and I still have a hard time letting go of the UNC loss. But if you take the dispassionate, numbers perspective, it looks like the good luck evens out. So for every UNC loss, there were a few things that went our way (like Wake or Clemson). 8-3 is what this team is and deserved to be.

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