Driskel struggles in ESPN's YTD college QBR scoring system

Discussion in 'Swamp Gas' started by gatornib, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. gatornib
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    gatornib Member

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    This year, ESPN has rolled out a ranking system for college quarterbacks, similar to what ESPN developed for pro QBs last year. ESPN's College Football Total QBR scores are currently available on ESPN's College Football main page, and I've summarized the scores for all SEC quarterbacks this year below. To try to get the data to line up right, I've shortened some of the players names.

    Rnk PLAYER PASS RUN SACK ACT RAWQBR
    8 Mettenberger, LSU 20.3 1.0 -1.3 92 91.6
    20 Jmes Franklin, MIZZ 12.1 5.5 -2.1 90 84.2
    24 Jnny Manziel, TA&M 15.2 5.9 -1.9 127 82.1
    29 Brandon Allen, ARK 9.6 2.5 -1.4 64 81.0
    31 Aaron Murray, UGA 19.5 -1.3 -4.5 74 79.5
    35 Bo Wallace, MISSIS 15.7 7.2 -2.7 130 77.0
    38 AJ McCarron, ALABA 9.8 0.0 -1.4 64 73.8
    41 Nick Marshall, AUBU 11.0 4.5 -2.4 103 71.0
    42 Dak Prescott, MSST 5.4 5.9 -0.3 102 70.6
    45 Connor Shaw, USCE 14.2 0.6 -1.3 127 70.1
    47 Justin Worley, TENN 3.6 0.8 -0.1 68 68.4
    51 Jalen Whitlow, UKEN 1.9 5.7 -1.0 77 65.9
    74 Carta-Samuels, VAN 6.7 2.6 -3.3 110 55.5
    88 Jeff Driskel, UNIVFLA 6.9 1.1 -3.9 79 50.0

    Anybody can read ESPN's explanation of how they run their analysis on ESPN's website, but I'll briefly describe each item as I understand it. Basically, ESPN's analysis tries to control for the quality of the defense and tries to apportion credit on each play to the QB, the receiver, the offensive line, etc. So I think there's a subjective aspect to their rankings. And of course, the ratings are only through week 3 of the college football season.

    The overall rank is out of 132 college football QBs--1 is best, 132 is worst. Driskel is ranked 88 out of 132, and he has the worst overall ranking of the 14 QBs in the SEC.

    PASS score is the number of expected points added on passing attempts during a whole game. Driskel has a score of 6.9, which means his performance adds a total of 6.9 points for the Gators each game. Driskel does better on passing plays than Kentucky's QB and Miss St's QB, and about the same as Vandy's QB, but worse than all the others.

    RUN score is the number of expected points added through QB rushing plays during a game. Driskel has a RUN score of 1.1, meaning his running accounts for 1.1 total expected points per game. Driskel's RUN score is better than 5 other SEC QBs, but adding 1.1 points per game doesn't seem like a lot.

    SACK score is the number of expected points lost during the game because of QB sacks. Aaron Murray costs his team 4.5 points each game because of the sacks he takes, which is the worst in the SEC, but Driskel is second to worst in the SEC with a SACK score of -3.9.

    I think the ACT score is just the total number of "action plays" for the player--in other words, the number of plays where QB play is evaluated. For example, when the QB hands the ball off to a running back, the QB doesn't get any credit or blame for that play--that's my take at least.

    RAWQBR is the 0-to-100 final score for the QB, where 50 is average. Don't ask me why the median total QBR score across all QBs is 58.6 and not 50.

    I talked to Dean Oliver, who is the Director of Production Analytics at ESPN and oversees the development of both the NFL and college total QBR systems, and I asked him to explain to me why Driskel's rankings were so poor. He told me that Driskel hasn't done well on third down conversions. ESPN's rankings are all clutch-weighted, which means third downs are more important. Success on third downs is where a QB really can improve the amount of expected points the team is going to score.

    Based on this analysis, I think a nice place for Jeff to start is to not take so many bad sacks. Converting more on third downs would be nice too, but throwing the ball away seems like an easier thing to fix quickly.
  2. HotlantaGator
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    HotlantaGator Well-Known Member

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    OK, makes sense.
  3. whitelakegator
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    whitelakegator New Member

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    I'm afraid that 291 gave some people a false sense of Jeff.
  4. Swamper
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    Swamper New Member

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    if you take away all those turnovers driskel's numbers would be a lot better
  5. rserina
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    rserina VIP Member

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    Driskel has been sacked four times. One came against a corner blitz on a play action deep throw. Two came at the end of the Miami game when we trailing, one at the very end of the game. Four sacks it two games, especially given his high completion percentage, is not bad at all.

    Third downs makes sense and we have been average to below average there for the most part. Same for redzone possessions. But going on the basis of two games is a pretty limited data set.
  6. tommyuf21
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    tommyuf21 Well-Known Member

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    Small sample size for sure. He has an opportunity to bring that up over the next few games.
  7. garygator
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    garygator Active Member

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    That's why turnovers are factored in, because you can't just take them away.
  8. PTCGator
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    PTCGator Well-Known Member

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    Can't argue with their assessment at this point. JD needs to demonstrate that he has the chops to play well against big time opponents! He has unbelievable potential and I think he will be a stud by years end. Just play within his skill set and stop turning the ball over!
  9. ThePlayer
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    ThePlayer VIP Member

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    A surprise to no one.
  10. Wormwood56
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    Wormwood56 VIP Member

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    If you remove my uncle's balls, he'd be my aunt...
  11. MtownGator
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    MtownGator Well-Known Member

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    hahahha
    Numbers don't lie.
  12. G8R92
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    G8R92 Well-Known Member

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    Tom Brady and Eli Manning should be put out to pasture with their 45 QBR after two games.
  13. slayerxing
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    slayerxing Well-Known Member

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    Numbers don't lie, but they can be misinterpreted. And making generalizations or assumptions with such a small data set is one of the most common ways of taking numbers and using them to support theory.

    Lets return to this discussion after the LSU game. If UF is 5-1, something tells me we'll all be singing a different tune.
  14. Gator8239
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    Gator8239 Active Member

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    Well, nowhere to go but up!
  15. G8R92
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    G8R92 Well-Known Member

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    For a little perspective, I looked up Tebow's QBR for 2011, you know the year where he single-handled carried the Broncos to the playoffs? It was a 29.2.
  16. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    It's really less about misinterpreting than cherry-picking.

    ESPN has been pushing this QBR thing for a few years and I have no idea why. Typically some mediocre QB will have a very high one and a great QB will have a mediocre one.
  17. GatorJeff
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    GatorJeff Active Member

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    If it's all about third down conversions, the Gator defense would have a "DR" around 1,000.
  18. Matthanuf06
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    Matthanuf06 New Member

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    This has been true for a couple years.

    We suffer from major bias. There was a tread in the offseason that tried to rank SEC QBs and people were trying to put Jeff in the top 3 of either last years group or this years. It's comical. Now I don't think he's the worst of the bunch, but he's easily in the bottom half. We just suffer from gatoritis.
  19. Matthanuf06
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    Matthanuf06 New Member

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    It is a pretty good stat. You can browse elsewhere for other good ones as well. The discrepancy between them is minimal. If you think a QB is great and all the advance stats say he's mediocre then it's safe to say it's very likely you have the wrong opinion. Sample size is a major issue and nobody should be drawing any conclusions on talent after a game or two. Even the best have bad games and even the worst have good ones.
  20. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    Well, my point was that some stats are not particularly valuable, which would largely invalidate this assertion.

    People used to look at batting average as the be-all metric for hitters, but the truth is there's a lot more nuance to it. And "advanced" metric does not necessarily make it "valuable" in terms of a player's propensity and tendencies to improve a team toward winning.

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