Saturday, September 18, 2010

Inside The Numbers by Rotten Arsenal

So, before I go into the Stat Hate, let me just say that I think I'm older than the average SB reader. I graduated back back 1997 and I remember the end of the SWC and the roller coaster Wacker days (RIP, JW). So, let me give you a little bit of background on my Baylor Hate.

My Dad graduated from Baylor... twice. His brother graduated from Baylor. Their parents graduated from Baylor. Despite this heavy influence of Green&Gold in the bloodline, I'm a life long purple blood. My mom was in classes at Brite while I was in the womb. At age 3, I started two years of "TCU Preschool" in a building that used to be behind the religion building and catty corner to the library. Most of my major church related events (like my marriage and the funeral services for both my parents) occurred across the street at University Christian. I'm a former jock at KTCU and columnist at the Skiff.

But growing up, my mom instilled in me a burning rage towards Baylor. She lived in Waco with my dad while he was in grad school. According to her, during the infamous 1971 matchup, where TCU HC Jim Pittman collapsed and died during the game, immediately after the PA announcement that Pittman had died, the Baylor Band started to play. That seemed to be the source of her Hate, although I have yet to confirm this from another source.

And due to family ties, I saw way too many Baylor Homecoming parades, since they generally tried to schedule TCU. I have one vivid memory of seeing a float showing a bear pushing a lawnmower of some small purple frogs. That sticks with a kid.

I've been surrounded by Baylor Hardliners for awhile, and I have plenty of childhood memories of Waco-based smugness to last a lifetime.

So, enough about me... let's take a look at STAT HATE: Baylor Bears!

One of the most prevalent weapons hurled at TCU by Baylor fans is the whole "who do you play?" nonsense. Baylor, playing in a BCS-AQ conference must automatically be superior because of their quality of opponent. And conversely, TCU plays inferior teams and their wins don't count as much because they don't have to play tough competition every week like Baylor does. In fact, Baylor would most likely rule the MWC and challenge for the title every season. I call "HOGWASH!"

Yesterday, I spent hours on compiling data and analyzing it. I plugged in the info of every game that TCU and Baylor have played from the 1996 season on. Yes, I am a colossal nerd... don't judge me! At any rate, for the purposes of this study, opponents are only counted as a BCSAQ team if they played Baylor or TCU at a time when they were in a BCSAQ conference. Example: Baylor could have received BCS credit for their 1996 away win over Louisville, but Louisville was in CUSA at the time. Besides, this actually helps Baylor since if I counted the teams by where they are now, we'd get a much bigger boost since we played in CUSA with Cincinnati and Louisville. Also, I counted Bowl games. Sure Baylor has none, but hey, we earned the chance to go and we've won 7 out of 11 of the Bowls we went to, so screw you Baylor.

Okay, first off, a quick run down of Baylor vs TCU in regards to conferences played"

Big 12 - Baylor is 14 - 98 (.125) while TCU is 7 - 8 (.467). Sure we don't have a winning record either, but we have half as many wins IN 97 LESS GAMES. Baylor will tell you that it's easier for a lesser team to rise up and beat ONE Big 12 team in a season than it is to beat multiple Big 12 teams. Of course, Baylor has trouble beating one Big 12 team a season anyway so I'm not really sure this is a valid argument for their superiority. Maybe they'd look better if they played in a lesser conference and only played 1 or 2 Big 12 teams a year. It should also be noted that of our 7 wins against Big 12 teams, 3 are on the road and 1 is a neutral field. Baylor also has 3 Big 12 road wins and is 0-1 on neutral sites.

SEC - Baylor has not played an SEC team since joining the Big 12. TCU is 2-1 against the SEC, although granted, it's 3 games against Vanderbilt. But hey, by Baylor's reasoning, Vanderbilt is superior to TCU since they are in BCS conference. Besides, Vandy has a bowl win since 1996, so that's still one up on Baylor

PAC10 - Baylor is 2-3 (.400), TCU is 4-1 (.800). And since Baylor doesn't play in the PAC10, shouldn't they have an easier time winning against them in OOC play? We won 2 on the road and 1 in a bowl. Baylor won at home twice (against an Oregon State team that went 2-9 and a Washington State team that went 2-11) and lost 3 times on the road.

Big10 - Baylor: 0-2, TCU: 3-1... do we even need to compare? Again, we played Northwestern 4 times, but the Vanderbilt rule is in effect.

ACC - Both schools are 2-1.

Big East - TCU hasn't played any Big East teams. Meanwhile, Baylor is 0-4.

Taking out those extremely difficult in-conference Big12 games, Baylor scheduled 14 BCSAQ Non-conference games and won 4 of them (.286). TCU scheduled 27 BCSAQ Non-conference games and won 16 of them (.592). Add in the two BCS opponents we beat in bowl games, and we have the same number of wins against BCSAQ teams as Baylor does, despite the fact that Baylor plays in a BCSAQ conference and we don't.

Now we look at the Non AQ conferences.

MWC - Using Baylor logic, they should be stomping all over these teams. But alas, they are 1-4 against the MWC. Strange that such a superior BCSAQ program should have so much trouble with the buncha nobody teams in the lowly MWC. Of course, 2 of those losses are to *ahem* TCU and a loss each to UNLV and New Mexico. Baylor has actually been outscored by the MWC 47-107 and has been shutout twice. TCU... 34-7 but then, we don't have to play ourselves.

WAC - It's the one matchup where Baylor has a better win percentage than TCU. Baylor is 3-0 to TCU's 25-21 record. Of course, Baylor's 3 wins came against a 6-6 Fresno State, 1-11 Tulsa, and 0-12 SMU. Dominance, thy name is BAYLOR!

CUSA - Baylor: 3-2 (.600), TCU: 25-14 (.641). It's CUSA... but we should note that one of those CUSA wins for TCU was in a bowl game against Art Briles' Houston Cougars. (Aside: Briles lost to TCU in Fort Worth the only other time he coached Houston against TCU)

Sun Belt, Mid-American, & Big West - Not really even worth talking much about, but Baylor is 6-1 against these poor bastards (yeah, they lost to North Texas). TCU = 6-0. TCB!

Independents - Baylor is 4-2, but one of those losses is to Notre Dame. TCU is 4-0 with no losses. I guess Baylor was feeling uber-patriotic so they let Army beat them at home in 2006.

In a non-AQ breakdown, Baylor scheduled 23 of these teams and won 15 times (.652). That's 5 more of these inferior teams than TCU put on their Non-Conference schedule. Of course, TCU is also 16-2 against these teams (.889) so I don't know how that really helps Baylor's argument.

D-AA - I'm not breaking down conferences here because let's face it, if there's one thing all of Division 1 can agree on, it's that anything LESS than D1 isn't worth discussing. This comparison is funky. Baylor is undefeated against these teams while TCU lost one to Northwestern State at home. So, while we look like schmucks for dropping one to these peons, it should be noted that Baylor is 10-0 to TCU's 3-1. If you are talking "don't play anybody", what does it say that your team CHOSE TO SCHEDULE 10 complete cupcakes. Is it because nobody wants your SOS sinking carcass on their schedule? or is it that you've figured out that there's no way you'll ever get to 6 wins without these teams?

Over these 14 seasons, TCU has actually played 10 more games than Baylor (170 to 160) and has a massively greater win percentage (.680 to .269). Baylor's 43 wins look bad against TCU's 115, but they look even worse when you consider that almost 25% of Baylor's wins came against D-AA opponents. Plus, Baylor has actually played more home games (84) than TCU (79) and less home wins (32) than we do away wins (42). Non-conference wins for Baylor: 29... TCU: 35 (not counting the 7 bowl wins).

I've got a a stat that shows the combined records of the non-conference opponents for the years they were played, but I can't decide if I should include bowl games or not. Either way, Baylor's opponents had a .443 win percentage so it's not like all these teams were really that great. TCU, with bowl data, came in at .469 but is lower with the bowl data. Ultimately, it's all close enough that Baylor really can't claim that they are scheduling any better non-conference opponents than we are, but they are losing more often.

Of course, this doesn't beat the argument about conference play, but you know what? That just really is not a valid argument. It's circular logic. We don't play anybody because we're in a "weaker" conference but we can't do anything about that because the "stronger" conferences really aren't willing to play in the same sandbox. Besides, Baylor, you and Duke are pretty much the only AQ teams that have never been to a bowl, BCS or otherwise, since the BCS started, so how can you justify YOUR place in a BCS conference?

Do we even need to talk Points scored? No, I don't think we really do... let's just say it's ugly as hell.

I've saved the most fun fact for last... shutouts. Since 1996, TCU has not been shutout even once and thrown 11 shutouts. Baylor has NEVER shutout an opponent and has been shutout 16 times...8 times at home. Oh yeah, and did I mention that MWC TEAMS HAVE SHUT BAYLOR OUT TWICE?!??!

So what does all this mean? Well, basically, Baylor doesn't schedule better opponents than TCU, can't beat the "lesser" opponents as often as TCU, and doesn't beat the "superior" teams as often as TCU... even taking into account the "grueling" conference schedule Baylor has over TCU's bunch of nobodies.

Face it Baylor, you can claim we have "little man syndrome" or that we're not as good as we think we are and that you are all badass in your BCSAQ conference, but the fact is... since the breakup of the SWC, Baylor was given everything... money, facilities, TV... and they still can't lure good coaches or players (hey! remember that LaDainian Tomlinson kid? He was choosing between Baylor and TCU... and he chose the shitty team... weird). TCU started from nothing and has built a team that regardless of who they play, has still had more success than a huge number of "superior" schools... including you.

You suck... deal with it.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt!

In the immortal words of Eric Ogbogu, "We must protect this house!"