Sunday, August 31, 2008

evaluating Lalich; and, BlogPoll!

Two orders of business for tonight.

First, Peter Lalich. Actually, second, Peter Lalich, first, a little background. I would love to put together an uber-comprehensive review of the game for you, complete with evaluation of every player and every play. Does Clint Sintim have trouble tackling? How does Jack Shields look in pass protection? Important questions to which I have neither the answer nor the time and inclination to find out. Not wishing to spend every Sunday burning up the playback features on my TiVo, we're mainly limited to a fan's impressions. And since USC hung half-a-hundo on our defense, this fan's impression of said defense for that game is: Suck. Sources tell me that's pretty much the impression most everyone else got, too.

But I would like to try and put together at least a little sum'ming. So I've decided on this. I'll focus on evaluating the quarterback. My theory is that about 75% of passes have the result they should; "should", as in, the QB makes a bad throw and indeed, it falls incomplete. Or makes a good throw, and it is caught. The stats are affected a little bit by receivers, though: either by making a good play on a bad ball, or vice versa. So after every game, I'll go back on the TiVo (if I can) and adjust the stats based on what "should" have happened with a throw. The result of what I come up with is gonna look something like this, which just happens to be from yesterday's game:

Lalich's stats:
18/35, 155 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Lalich's "real" stats:
19/36, 137 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT

How do I come up with this?

Throw #6: Mikell Simpson dropped a screen pass. Yeah, the play was a bit hurried, and yeah, Simpson was gonna get tackled pretty quick. Shoulda had it though. Add 3 yards and a completion.

Throw #10: Pass interference on the defense, otherwise, Kevin Ogletree would have had a catch. Add 9 yards and a completion.

Throw #19: Wasn't a great throw, but it went through Rashawn Jackson's hands. Add 3 yards and a competion.

Throw #21: Lalich led Cary Koch too far, but Koch stretched out reeeeeeal far and made a nice grab for the first down. Take away 12 yards and a completion.

Throw #26: Jared Green had to adjust and make a twisting catch over top of a DB. Very nice catch. Not a terrific throw. Take away 16 yards and a completion.

Throw #29: Should have been picked off, but linebacker have hands of rock. Add an interception.

Other general impressions of Lalich's play:
- Locks in on one receiver. Needs to consider alternatives. On the third play of the game, Ogletree was wide the hell open for the first down, Lalich threw at Phillips into double coverage. This happened a couple times.
- Can escape pressure - sometimes. Seemingly not when within 30 yards of own goal line, though. That is Fumble Land.
- Made some truly excellent throws. First play of the game to Koch was a really nice one, as was the throw to Covington. At this point, I think his physical skills are ahead of his decision-making.

Alrighty then. Part two of tonight's agenda is the BlogPoll. Keep in mind the methodology - unless someone really laid a nasty ol' egg, there isn't going to be much moving up and down. I don't really care if you "only" beat Eastern Cupcake State by 20, nor am I particularly impressed by your big honking win over Tennessee-Martin. The Week 4 Poll is when all kinds of nutty shifting is going to happen, because that's when I change over methodologies to asking, "no, seriously, what exactly have you done this year?" So, of course, here's the list, and you will let me know if I'm screwing this up, yes?

1. Ohio State
2. USC
3. Georgia
4. Florida
5. Oklahoma
6. Missouri
7. Texas
8. Arizona State
9. LSU
10. West Virginia
11. Wisconsin
12. Kansas
13. Brigham Young
14. Texas Tech
15. Auburn
16. Virginia Tech
17. Tennessee
18. Wake Forest
19. Oregon
20. Alabama
21. Clemson
22. Illinois
23. Fresno State
24. South Florida
25. North Carolina

The only major movers here are Michigan, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Alabama. Michigan and Clemson drop for the same reason: their offenses took giant donkey shits on the 50-yard line. Michigan's was disappointing, though understandable. Clemson's was baffling, and seriously problematic for their season. That's supposed to be the best part of the team. And it looked like ass. VT's loss was to a halfway decent team, and they were missing their best player, so they get to stay up in the poll somewhat. Alabama makes an appearance because it's pretty hard to justify keeping them off after that smackdown. They replace Michigan, the only team to fall off the list entirely.

This assumes Tennessee and Fresno State take care of business on Monday night. UCLA shouldn't give Tennessee any trouble. There is potential for Fresno State to drop off the list. If they lose to Rutgers in convincing enough fashion (and it wouldn't take much, really, because they're on there mainly because I couldn't find anyone I could justify replacing them with) then East Carolina will take their spot.

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