Saturday, October 25, 2008

Early games-slow starts

Sun Sports Writer Robbie Andreu makes the claim in this week's column that the Gators are prone to slow starts when they have the early game. Andreu's scientific analysis will make empirical purists cringe. He bases his assumptions on a handful of contests over the last three years without doing any study of other start times to see if the percentage of slow starts for early games is an anomaly or if it is closely related to other slow starts.

This year we have had three early starts: Hawaii, Ole Miss and Arkansas. We led 28-0, 17-7 and 14-0 at the end of the first half in those three games. We've had two 8 p.m. starts: Miami and LSU. In those two games we led 9-3 and 20-7 at the half. In our 3:30 start, we led Tennessee, 20-0 at the half.

If you combine the three early game starts and compare them to the three later starts the scores are 49-7 (early games) and 49-10 (later games)--no statistical difference.

I submit rather that the games we have performed poorly in are the games when we have a bad third or fourth quarter and instead of Meyer changing the pre-game ritual for early games like Andreu's story said, he should think about changing the half-time ritual.


We have given up 7 first quarter and 10 second quarter points all season. Sounds like we have hardly had a poor first half in any of our games. Conversely, we have given up 31 third quarter and 30 fourth quarter points. We've scored more points in the second half compared to the first half: 123 to 98, but we've also given up nearly 3 1/2 times as many points 61 to 17.

I rest my case.

No comments: