Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Second Half Is Not Ty Willingham's Happy Place

The fact that the Huskies have led undefeated Ohio State and Arizona State at the half, only to get blown out in both games, is causing consternation. Is Willingham sinking a top 10 team by getting out-2nd-half-adjusteded?

It struck me that you'd want to look at Willingham's whole coaching career to see if this 2nd-half incompetence is a consistent feature of Willingham-coached teams, or just an in-season statistical anomaly.

I tallied up points by quarter for Willingham teams from 1996-2007 (I couldn't find data for 1995, his first year at Stanford). Then I figured out the points differential for both the first and second half, so you can compare. Here's the chart.

As you can see, Willingham teams have historically done worse in the 2nd half than in the 1st half. With a -5 differential in the 1st half and a -170 differential in the second, his teams have done 165 points worse. Not good, right?

But we're talking about 11.5 seasons--those 165 points are only 2.5% of all the points scored. And, before this year, Willingham had six seasons when his teams did better in the 1st half, and five when they did better in the 2nd. It's hardly a massive indictment.

What is troubling, however, is the differential in the past two seasons at Washington. For the second straight year, the Dawgs are headed toward being better then their opponents in the first half, but far worse in the 2nd.

Here's the whole spreadsheet, including breakdowns by 3rd and 4th quarter, if you want to check it out.


party fernandez said...

the fact is, in his 12th season, his teams have only outscored their opponents in the 2nd half TWICE. and both of those seasons, his team outscored their opponents in the 1st have, too. meaning, those 2 years he just had good teams, not that he made good 2nd half adjustments. i think this is more troubling than we realize.

party fernandez said...

sorry, they've outscored their opponents in the 2nd half 3 times.......but again, all 3 of those teams have outscored their opps in the 1st half, as well, and 2 of the 3 have outscored their opponents by MORE in the first half.

Jeff said...

I feel like Willingham’s teams have more of a tendency to underperform as the year goes on. Last year 4-1 to 1-6 and first ND year of 8-0 and 2-3 do not seem like aberrations

David said...

Last year's 4-1 to 1-6 had more to do with Stanback's injury.

Matt said...

Willingham’s words:

9/24/07 - "Your concern – and I think naturally so – is are you making adjustments and those kinds of things, and yes we are, we’re making adjustments," he said. "But obviously ours aren’t working. The thing that we’re doing is still not completing the task that we’re trying to complete. … You just keep working at it, because it has worked it has done things, and we’ve got to get ourselves in better position, and that’s the job of the coaches, that’s my job to get us in better position, and then we’ve got to make more plays. Some of those we can make, some of those we should have made. We just have to get it done."

10/14/07 - "You always make some adjustments," Willingham said. "You look at what you're doing, anticipate what you think they will do. ... I don't know if our adjustments hurt us."

red said...

thank you