Cal Football 2007 In Numbers: 4th Down

Posted by: Avinash on Monday, March 10th, 2008


4th Down Offense
T6 ASU 13/19
T14 Oregon St. 9/14
T30 USC 10/17
76 Cal 5/10
T81 Stanford 8/18
T81 Washington 8/18
T87 Oregon 6/14
112 UCLA 4/13
114 Wazzu 7/24
116 Arizona 5/19

4th Down Defense
T-7 Stanford 5/17
UCLA 5/17
T-9 Oregon St. 6/20
T-21 ASU 6/16
T-40 Oregon 9/21
T-43 USC 7/16
T-49 Arizona 6/13
87 Wazzu 10/18
102 Washington 11/18
109 Cal 13/20

Looking at these statlines is sickening to a Cal fan. Cal was LAST in the Pac-10 in 4th down defense, and risk averse with strong offensive talent (only 11 attempts overall, which means plenty of 4th and short attempts were shirked). Admittedly, we don’t know for sure how many solid opportunities Cal had on 4th down situation, but to see how low we are at at attempts in our own division is a bit disturbing.

Again, we go game by game.

Cal v. TN
0/0 for Cal
0/1 for TN (on a goalline stand at 4th and goal at the 1, TN down 38-21)

Cal v. CSU
0/0 for Cal
0/1 for CSU (on a 4th and 9 at Cal’s 31, CSU down 27-14)

La Tech vs. Cal
1/2 for Cal (4th and 1 succeeded, led to missed field goal, score still 7-0; failed on a 4th and 5 at Tech 36, score 42-12)
1/1 for Tech (4th and 5 succeeded on a left side pass, led to blocked field goal that kept score at 28-6)

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Pac-10 2008 Helmet Schedule

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Just a little something I cooked up–I was inspired by the SEC version and decided the nations’s other great conference deserved a little visual representation. Click on the image below for the gigantic version, because the helmets are pretty.

You can also download it as an Excel file by right-clicking on the link at the end and choosing “Save Link As”, which gives you the option to click on the helmets for direct links to buying tickets for most games. Enjoy.


Pac-10 2008 Helmet Schedule (Excel file)

Saying Goodbye–Tha1

Posted by: Avinash on Friday, March 7th, 2008

It’s hard to see where you’re going DeSean. I know it’s tough for me to judge the type of player you are. One moment, you were Randy Moss in New England, doing everything in spectacular ways to help your team win, the next moment you were Randy Moss in Oakland, seemingly backing your way out of crucial plays or limping around with supposed injuries.

But when you were on, you were spectacular. And you provided some of the most raucous reactions in Memorial Stadium in recent memory with your big game plays. The team crowded your name in earnest, even when the team was falling apart, just hoping for a spark to come from somewhere, hoping you’d provide it. It didn’t really happen, although you’re not really to blame. But it was a good ride, and if anything, I’ll miss the excitement of it all.

Although I have to say the correlation between your performances and who was broadcasting Cal games this year was amusing.

ESPN: 6.33 receptions/game, 86.3 rec yards/game, 105.5 yds/game, 1 TD/game
Other Tv: 4.5 receptions/game, 40.7 rec yards/game, 65 yds/game, 0.33 TD/game

You didn’t happen to cut a deal with Desmond Howard and Mickey Mouse under the table, did you DeSean? Heh, coincidental I’m sure.

Videos and fond memories await after the jump.

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Blue or Gold?

Posted by: Avinash on Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

This site is overdue for a major rehaul, so I was happy to let LawVol from try out his hand at redesigning the site. He’s done a great job with the header, and I’m opening up discussion to my readers to help me choose which one to use and

Which design do you guys prefer, this one?

or this one?

Vote in the poll below or on the sidebar. Leave thoughts on what can be improved in the comments section.

Which design do you prefer?

View Results

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Cal Football 2007 in Numbers: Turnovers III

Posted by: Avinash on Monday, March 3rd, 2008

So to summarize the last two posts, let’s take a look at the table displaying the output off of turnovers. Cal turnovers stand for the number of times we forced a turnover, POT is points off turnovers.


The symmetry is obvious: Cal forced eleven more turnovers than its opponents in its first five games–the results were wins. They then lost fifteen more turnovers (and at least three a game) than they forced from their opponents in their last eight games, and the result were two squeaker wins and six losses. I guess the idea that losing more turnovers than gaining is a resounding ‘duh’.

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Topics: Analysis, Cal Football, Statistics, Turnovers | Comments Off on Cal Football 2007 in Numbers: Turnovers III

Cal Football 2007 in Numbers: Turnovers II

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, March 1st, 2008

California UCLA FootballContinuing from Part I earlier, we begin delving into the ugly. I’ll go through the painful truths of how badly turnovers impacted our club both on the offensive and defensive sides of the field.

(When I put the team name next to the turnover, it is the team that ended up with the turnover, not the team that lost it.)

Oregon State vs. Cal
Cal forced fumble at Cal 14, resulted in punt (Cal: 0)
OSU forced fumble at Cal 16, resulted in TD and 7-0 Beaver lead (OSU: 7)
OSU INT returned to Cal 17, resulted in FG and 10-7 Beaver lead (OSU: 3)
OSU fumble rec on kickoff at Cal 39 resulted in FG and Beaver 31-21 lead (OSU: 3)

Analysis: A decisive loss in the turnover margin. Even worse, all the Cal turnovers ended up providing Oregon State with a short field and guaranteed points. Cal’s only forced turnover ended up saving another likely score deep within Cal territory, given the strong leg of Serna.

One of the problems with giving up turnovers deep within your own territory is it keeps a less talented offense empowered and more leeway to work with. The thirteen point advantage of turnovers ultimately provided the difference in the game.

Cal at UCLA
UCLA forced fumble UCLA 32, turned into UCLA fumble at Cal 39 (UCLA: turnover)
Cal forced fumble at Cal 39, turned into missed field goal (Cal: 0)
Cal forced fumble at UCLA 36, turned into INT (Cal: turnover)
UCLA INT at own 23, turned into punt (UCLA: 0)
UCLA INT at UCLA 30, returned into TD (UCLA: 7)
UCLA INT at Cal 38, kneeldown (UCLA: 0)

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Cal Football 2007 in Numbers: Turnovers I

Posted by: Avinash on Friday, February 29th, 2008

folletttenThere was one very interesting point about Cal’s collapse that I noticed. Turnovers. Obviously the Bears’s rise to #2 in the rankings had a lot to do with holding onto the ball and capitalizing on the mistakes of the opposition–Cal had one of the highest turnover differential margins in the country after their 5-0 start, and after that, they completely turned in the other direction, playing hot potato often and badly.

But turning over the ball is one half of the story. What did we do with them during the rise and how did we handle them during the fall? Did we turn them into points? We can go game by game and closely examine these discrepancies.

In this distribution, I’m going to vaguely assume that all turnovers are created equal (i.e. their relative impact is about the same). I’ll start with a game by game summary and then measure the impact later on in a table. (Note I represent the team by turnovers forced, not lost). Let’s start with 5-0, which is much more pleasant to discuss.

Tennessee v. Cal
Cal: 1 fumble recovery on TN’s first possession at midfield returned for a TD for a 7-0 lead.
Result: 7 points off 1 turnover.
Tennessee: 1 fumble recovery in the end zone down 45-31 late in the 4th, zero points.
Result: 0 points off turnover.

Analysis: In reality, we can see how big a psychological impact Cal’s turnover had over Tennessee–the Vols were driving, and the Bears immediately snuffed out the opening drive and claimed the lead. That set the tone for the rest of the game as Tennessee was forced to play catch-up the rest of the evening. Tennessee’s turnover came late, but I admit it did have a bit of a dent–a Longshore TD would have made it 52-31 and would have boosted that much more confidence into the Bears. 45-31 is a good win, but not exactly dominant.

Cal vs. Colorado State
Cal: 1 interception at Cal’s 3 yard line (tied at 7-7), converted into a punt; fumble recovery at CSU 37, converted into a punt; 1 interception at Cal 45 while down 20-14, turned into a TD.
Result: 7 points off of 3 turnovers.
CSU: 0 turnovers forced.

Analysis: Cal looked completely vulnerable in this game.

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The Bear is Hunting

Posted by: Avinash on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

At the moment I’m undergoing some site design renovations–it’s the dead of offseason, and nothing will be happening that’s noteworthy for the next few months, so it’s the perfect time to get technical issues sorted out.

Just wanted to let people know I’ve joined the Yardbarker network to help finance my time-consuming hobby (you can also check the headlines and the badge on the lower right side). Hence the reintroduction use of banner ads up top–hopefully it’s not too much of a distraction (A special thanks to Diana at Yardbarker for the smooth transition). Hopefully I’ll be able to worry less about picking up a quarter a day and can focus more on what I enjoy doing–writing and discussing about what interests us.

Hang tight. New posts will be back up soon.

If you have any comments about the ad redesign (intrusion, hate them, don’t care), you know where to leave them.

CFBA Ballot, Part II

Posted by: Avinash on Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Part I here.

The Brady Quinn Award
FOR: The prettiest blog. CRITERIA: An aesthetic appeal and usability. The best looking and most functional blog.

I like MGoBlog’s design–absolutely functional and works perfectly within the contours, but they asked for the prettiest, and pretty is such a superficial term. So I’m going with Gate 21, because you can tell LawVol has designed sites before. Good stuff.

Best New Blog
FOR: The best new college football blog. CRITERIA: Must have launched sometime after last year’s national championship game. Transitioning to a new blog or affiliating with a network mid-stream doesn’t count.

This one’s going to be a run away. I only read one or two posts from the Midwestern startup, and I knew BHGP was something special.

The Old Faithful Award
FOR: The best recurring feature of the year. CRITERIA: The feature should be posted weekly and be generally good and stuff.

Stacked category. I really enjoy all of these. But I nominated The Weekly Top Ten for this, so I’ll stick with my guns. Plus I have a terrible blogcrush on Holly. Forgive me darling.

The Jenn Sterger’s Rack Award
FOR: The best photoshop or other counterfeit gag of the year.

You want my vote on photoshops, give me historical references and you win. Hooray for TheMZone’s Hindenberg.

Best Podcast/Audio
FOR: The best audio thing, podcast type thing of the year.

Listened to EDSBS Live every weekend, got acquainted with Verne Lundquist, Bruce Feldman, Phil Steele, SMQ, Brian from MgoBlog, and all the usual CFB suspects. Easily the most pleasant experience of what was otherwise a depressing season for a Cal fan.

Leave your award thoughts (and other recommendations of good reads) in the comments.

Next weekend: The Conference Awards and the Big Awards

My College Football Blog Award Ballot, Part I

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Generally, in many elections and choices for big awards, I like to keep my vote private. In this case? No way. I’m not up for anything and have nothing at stake, so the process be damned. And you always need more college football sources to read in your life.

Best MSM Blog

Lord. I’ve never heard of two of these guys, and Spencer Hall has been stuffed well enough already with a turkeyfest of awards. Well, I’d probably give it to Feld, but the fact is I can’t read ANYTHING HE PUBLISHES BECAUSE IT’S STUCK BEHIND ESPN “BERLIN WALL” INSIDER. So Stewie Mandel it is. Don’t kill Mom with your new toy Stewie.

The Dr. Z Award

If I had discovered Smart Football earlier, the blog might have had a shot–I’ve already put it in my RSS feed for after-hours reading. But SMQ wins this year. Great analysis of why LSU and Ohio State deserved to be in the title game clinched the vote here–and there was a strong volume of such posts for the entire year.

The Trev Alberts Quits To Do Construction Award

This might be retroactive, but that Simpsons-college football comparison is still one of my six favorite blog posts, EVER. And their presidential post ain’t too bad either. Time to reward them.

The Job Award

MGoBlog? Yes, I’m aware that Brian was a living shell after the first two weeks, but the Wolverines still finished 8-4. They were a win away from the Rose Bowl. They beat the defending national champs in their bowl game, AND they got the best possible coach for the Michigan job. I would’ve dreamed for this season. Sort of.

My choice is Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician; anytime you’re forced to write about Syracuse football, you deserve some merit for that award. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, there is no opening at the end of the tunnel.

The Keith Jackson Circa 1995 Award

Well, I’m trying to remember Keith Jackson circa 1995. SMQ grabs this one by a nudge over MGoBlog, just because I enjoy reading general CFB over team-specific stuff a little more. Which is probably why no one reads mine.

And with EDSBS ineligible for most categories, I can see SMQ racking up this year. Good times. We’ll move onto more interesting categories next week.
If you have a college football blog, you can still vote! Get to the polls! And point out any other blogs you like so I can add it to the blogroll.