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Part 1: Assessing the First W (in context)

 

The Red Raiders looked pretty mediocre in their first game of the season.  A lot of rust.  A lot of mistakes.  

When asked how Leach would grade his team’s performance, the Captain replied.  "Average.  Slightly above average possibly."

Are his sentiments accurate?

Well, looking back at Leach’s career season openers over the years, we can observe the following:

  • With the exception of Ohio State in 2002, Leach and Tech have historically scheduled some serious cream puffs to open the season.  Therefore, we have 9 games (actually 8 games, because I couldn’t find data on the 2001 New Mexico game) against which we can compare the most recent performance
  •  In Tech’s case the first game has never  been  an accurate predictor of future performance
  • Leach’s comments are, on the whole, right on the money.  Although some areas clearly need more work than others.

Implications for the Rest of the Season

Year

Opening Opponent

Points Scored

Points Allowed

Margin of Victory

Overall

Winning %

2000

New Mexico

24

3

21

54%

2001

New Mexico

42

30

12

58%

2002

Ohio State

21

45

-24

64%

2003

SMU

58

10

48

62%

2004

SMU

27

13

14

67%

2005

Florida Intl

56

3

53

75%

2006

SMU

35

3

32

62%

2007

SMU

49

9

40

69%

2008

East. Wash.

49

24

25

85%

2009

N. Dakota

38

13

25

1-0 

 

Averages (ex OSU)

42

12

30

 

 

Conclusions:  Tech’s performance in the first game is not a predictor of much of anything. 

As Seth has already pointed out, last year’s game against Eastern Washington was pretty average (for the reasons you’ll see below).  Nevertheless, Tech finished with its best season under Leach.  We’ve also had our share of clunkers (2004, 2008, 2009?) in which we’ve ended the season winning over 67% of our games.

  • Total Points Scored against North Dakota were 10% less than our normal average, but higher than 4 previous performances (2000, 2002, 2004, 2006).
  • Total Points Allowed against North Dakota was 1 point higher than our 10 years average of 12 points per game. 
  •  Margin of victory was 20% lower than our typical performance, yet better than or equal to five previous performance.

In other words, overall , this game was about as average a performance as you might imagine. 

 

 

 

Continue to Part II