Monday, October 17, 2011

CFL Stats I Would Like to See

I've harped on these two CFL stats before, but I would still like to see them shown on television broadcasts or at least somewhere on the interwebs.

The first stat I'm interested in would be across the league, for a given number of yards to go on second down, what's the probability of making a first down. Thus I'm curious, what's the odds of getting a first down when it is 2nd and five versus say 2nd and ten. I would accept first downs that would be subsequently made on third down and disregard 2nd and goal situations. This would answer questions like "is getting a couple of yards on first down a big difference compared to 2nd and 10?" I'm sure the CFL could compile these stats relatively easily. For a fan to do it would be quite time consuming.

Maybe next game, I'll try keeping track for a small sample size. One thing I'm not sure about is how to keep track of penalties. Say it is second and five and there's a five yard penalty against the offense. Do I keep keeping track for second and five and in addition also add a new entry for second and ten? I'm tempted too, because the distribution of penalties is affected by the yardage. Second and short, there's going to be more defensive offside penalties, second and long more offensive holding.

Similarly, I'd like to see for a given field goal yardage, what's been the chance of success over the years for CFL teams. We know instinctively that a 50 yard field goal is hard to accomplish, but exactly how hard? Less than 33% overall? A fan could probably compile this over a season, but since the higher yardages are attempted relatively rarely, to get a good statistical sample one would have to do it over a number of years. Ticats kicker Justin Medlock has had a good record 50 yards and over this year, but with a plot of this stat available, one would have a sense just how good. Plus, at the end of a game, if your team needs a 50 yarder with time expiring, you would not what your chances are. Coaches may have these stats, as it would certainly be a good decision making tool.

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