Are Stats The Whole Story?

Are stats getting overemphasized with college football?

Every time I turn around, USC is citing a new PFF stat: Offensive guard Alijah Vera-Tucker has not allowed a sack; John Houston is the highest-graded linebacker the past two games in the Pac-12; Kedon Slovis is . . . well look at the graphic below:


I like Slovis A LOT more than JT Daniels. But do these stats take into account the shovel pass that was a disaster? The two fumbles that could have cost USC the game if Colorado had recovered them? How many sacks should the offensive line give up if they frequently face a three-man pass rush?

I’m not criticizing individual performances but I’m just not buying that all these stats tell the full story and it feels like they are getting too much publicity.

  • Interim athletic director Dave Roberts spoke on Trojans Live on Monday night about the future of Clay Helton.

“The jury’s not in here,” Roberts said. “We got a run for, hopefully, a Southern conference championship. Play in the Pac-12 championship. Get ourselves a good bowl game and things will look well.”

  • Helton’s favorite musical act is Ed Sheeran according to a survey by Stadium. Now was that who Helton chose or did he have some staffer pick a musician?

26 thoughts on “Are Stats The Whole Story?

      1. BK
        Yes, frequently so…
        Although as with so much, it’s all in who is using them and for what purpose…
        Dan Weber reminds us on his latest podcast appearance of the correct way to use them (Bill Parcells: “Your are what your record says you are.”)…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “The jury’s not in here,” Roberts said. “We got a run for, hopefully, a Southern conference championship. Play in the Pac-12 championship. Get ourselves a good bowl game and things will look well.”

    Here’s how things look

    Recruiting is a disaster
    Attendance is awful
    No team discipline
    Awful coaching
    Players regressing
    Wrong players starting
    Soft practices
    ZERO buss about the football program

    Getting to a ” good bowl game ” is now the standard for USC football

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helton originally selected P. J. Harvey as his favorite musical artist (“I love it when she sounds like she’s having an orgasm”)…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I stand corrected…I thought it was Garbage’s alternate cover version of the Beach Boys’ “Push It” (“…don’t worry baby…it’ll be alright…”)…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The stats are a P.R. campaign by Heritage Hall.

    They know all of the negatives about the program and the rumours about Urban and Del Rio. They are trying to distract you with numbers that aren’t really that significant.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just have to say this even though it is kind of off-topic. The blogger never once criticized Darnold for his turnover propensity. Not once did I ever read any such criticism on this blog for equally boneheaded plays as a true freshman Slovis made.
    Sheesh, talk about a double-standard — as bad as the libs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. I think Slovis will wind up being a better college QB than Sam when he cleans up the mistakes.


  5. As for the interim AD not saying Helton’s toast, this is good strategy because moral is high on the team at this point. If he were to say, ” We are going to gut him and serve him for Thanksgiving Dinner. We will have Pumpkin Pendergast on a Graham Harrell Crust and a side of Baxter pudding.”- He could send the team into the tank. While that will help the anti-Helton camp, some of us want to see this thing keep going.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree. The team can still accomplish some nice stuff this year. Credit to them [and to Helton] for sticking together & keeping their spirits up. Plenty of time to talk about next year in December.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here, here…provided and in observation of…etc, etc…

        That, as we discussed once upon a time (and I noticed that a WeAreSc columnist wrote a piece about 3 weeks ago on), consistent with Cato the Censor’s “Carthage Must Be Destroyed” theme…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Could be that too, but he (and I) were thinking in terms of what is mandatory and compulsory (ie journey’s end) come December 2019…Carthage must die!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If I were Helton that paragraph would give me the chills. The”end” sounds pretty definitive.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. PJM —Something tells me that, if they had blowtorches in 149 B. C., Scipio would have used them on Carthage too.


  6. In the old days, the only stat that mattered was, did you beat nd and ugly? Did you win the Heisman, rose bowl, and national championship? Everything else fell into place.

    Now, you have stats on blocking and not giving up a sack? Incredible, but they need something to look good.

    Liked by 3 people

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