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Tipping Points?

A few years ago, writer Malcolm Gladwell burst onto the literary scene with a book entitled Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

In this tome, Gladwell asserts that the rules of existence are defined by isolated events as the transformation of an idea to reality is governed by the interconnectedness of small aspects of the whole.

To Gladwell, patterns are an important aspect of perception. As individuals become more knowledgeable about the particular aspects of a pattern or progression, "tipping points" may be defined to determine when a small idea has exerted its presence to create an eventuality. These triggering points provide the definition and context necessary to perceive the cause or remedy of epidemics and seismic realignment or change.

While the book is incredibly boring and has no overt connection to the game of college football, the abstract concepts underlying Gladwell's illustrations of perception and interconnectedness may be applicable in providing context to Syracuse’s 2005 football season.

Understanding that Coach Robinson is attempting to restore some of the glory that once was Syracuse football, examination of Syracuse's efficiency and production compared to both its opponents and to itself may shed some light on whether the Orange is approaching a "tipping point.”

There doesn't seem to be a magical formula for determining what may or may not be a “tipping point.” Therefore, I have taken the liberty of assembling a series of potentially telling statistical categories and lumped them together for review.

Unlike many other analytical models, this analysis requires only minimal statistical gymnastics.

Without going into a drawn out methodological explanation, the statistical categories used for this analysis are the small aspects that may or may not be identified as “tipping points.” The Pythagorean values illustrated below serve as the overall picture or reality into which the “tipping points” have a material effect. When the Pythagorean value rises, there must be an explanation, and the explanation is likely found in the rudimentary aspects of the game of football.

The data illustrated below certainly does not encompass the full range of statistical categories that could potentially be considered a “tipping point.” The reason the following categories have been considered is their value in illustrating efficiency and production. In viewing output in this fashion, it may be easier to identify material changes in production that could be defined as a “tipping point.”

Reading the tabular data below is fairly easy. The number in parentheses represents Syracuse’s opponent’s production in that particular statistical category. The number not isolated in parentheses represents the value applied to Syracuse’s output.

Y/R = Yards per rush
P/R = Points per rush

Y/PA = Yards per pass attempt
Y/PA(D) = Yards per pass attempt (differential)
P/PA = Points per pass attempt
Y/PC = Yards per pass completion
P/PC = Points per pass completion
PC% = Pass completion percentage

Drive Efficiency
Y/D = Yards per drive
DEF = Drive Efficiency Factor
TOB = Total Offensive Benefit
T/D = Turnovers per drive
3D% = 3rd down conversion percentage
RZ = Red Zone Efficiency
FG% = Field goal percentage

PYT = Syracuse’s Pythagorean value

Tipping Points?
Y/R2.966(3.931)0.692 (3.822)6.327 (1.724)2.222 (6.159)1.452 (3.222)4.353 (5.121)1.757 (2.641)3.324 (3.540)1.300 (3.872)
P/R0.205 (0.172)0.231 (0.000)0.436 (0.000)0.333 (0.273).194 (0.333)0.000 (0.310)0.000 (0.000)0.000 (0.240)0.300 (0.128)
Y/PA5.847 (6.509)2.742 (6.185)6.318 (2.704)6.615 (5.577)7.560 (11.000)4.032 (3.000)6.719 (7.250)3.423 (7.179)10.962 (6.000)
Y/PA(D)-0.663-3.4433.6141.038-3.441.032 -1.071-3.7554.962
P/PA0.112 (0.226)0.000 (0.000)0.000 (0.000)0.231 (0.231)0.240 (0.500)0.194 (0.000)0.000 (0.429)0.231 (0.214)0.000 (0.375)
Y/PC12.204 (11.795)5.667 (9.824)8.111 (13.9)10.118 (9.063)13.500 (18.000)12.500 (7.500)12.357 (15.615)9.889 (11.167)20.357 (9.375)
P/PC0.233 (0.410)0.000 (0.000)0.000 (0.000)0.353 (0.375)0.429 (0.818)0.600 (0.000)0.000 (0.923)0.667 (0.333)0.000 (0.375)
PC%0.479 (0.552)48.39 (62.96)45.46 (33.33)65.38 (61.54)56.00 (61.11)32.3(40.0)50.0 (46.43)34.62 (64.29)53.85 (64.00)
Drive Efficiency
Y/D17.717 (22.525)6.059 (19.941)32.467 (8.786)21.000 (34.667)15.600 (32.000)17.063 (21.375)13.222 (17.000)12.625 (22.235)30.636 (27.667)
DEF0.809 (1.287)0.034 (0.485)2.706 (0.161)1.75 (1.889)0.233 (2.167)0.672 (1.781)-0.009 (0.75)-0.198 (1.147)2.189 (2.306)
TOB97.167 (157.000)0.583 (8.25)40.583 (2.25)21.000 (22.667)3.500 (34.667)10.750 (28.500)-0.167 (13.500)-3.167 (19.5)24.083 (27.667)
T/D0.167 (0.148)0.118 (0.294)0.000 (0.143)0.000 (0.25)0.267 (0.125)0.188 (0.000)0.278 (0.167)0.313 (0.176)0.091 (0.000)
3D%18.6 (33.33)0.00 (7.14)31.25(17.6)33.33(58.8)26.7 (43.8)20.00(20.00)7.14 (33.33)0.00 (50.00)25.00 (28.57)
RZ1.000 (0.500)1.000 (0.000)1.000 (.8)1.000 (0.667)0.000 (1.000)0.667 (0.000)1.000 (0.667)1.000 (0.667)
FG%0.5833 (0.667)0.000 (0.667)0.333 (0.000)1.000 (1.000)0.000 (0.500)0.000 (1.000)0.750 (0.500)0.333 (0.667)1.000 (0.000)

NOTE: The season totals are through the Cincinnati game.

West Virginia Game Analysis
Buffalo Game Analysis
Virginia Game Analysis

17 Responses to “Tipping Points?”

  1. # Anonymous mike ward

    can these be used in all aspects social activity??  

  2. # Anonymous Matt Glaude

    Actually, Gladwell's book is premised on social change, in whatever form it may take.

    So, I guess you could argue that a "tipping points" analysis could be used in all aspects of social activity.  

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    What are your 50,000 thoughts a day creating?

    Our thoughts create our reality. This is a simple truth known by all people involved on the spiritual path. It is one of the most taught universal principles in the personal development field. Yet it is one of the most misunderstood!

    People practice visualisation, affirmations, they use hypnosis, subliminal programming or countless other tools to transform their lives. However they fail to recognise one key area in their lives that hinder these wonderful techniques from being effective.

    They sit day after day visualising their perfect scene and yet nothing happens. Why? They have followed all the instructions to the letter! They have chanted and imagined! They have formed a colourful, vibrant scene in their minds and affirmed that this is their reality. Then all of a sudden things get worse! What is going on?

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    You can control the thoughts that enter your mind by changing the way you view the world. You can decide which thoughts you give energy to and which thoughts you discard.

    The thoughts that you follow and give energy to become more dominant than the thoughts you discard. Your subconscious mind records these as your dominant picture on the issue at hand. You then move towards this picture because your subconscious mind starts making your outside world reflect the picture that you have stored internally.
    Your mind should be on whatever you want. The picture you need to have is a positive vision of you already having achieved your goal. To realise this vision you need to focus and concentrate. Remember thoughts are real, they create your reality.
    Let's say you have been visualising a new house. You spend your ten minutes in meditation picturing yourself living in your dream home. You finish your session and get up feeling positive that you will achieve your goal. Then during the day you get a heating bill through the post and exclaim "Oh no look how expensive this is I cannot afford to heat this house". Where is your focus in the present moment? What are you affirming? You are telling your subconscious mind that you cannot deal with what you have. You are affirming that your life is not how you want it to be. If you knew without doubt that within a week you would be moving to your new home would you honestly be worried about a heating bill? Perhaps other doubts creep in like "I should be happy with what I have", or "I will never get this house looking the way I want it" and so on and so on.
    These thoughts that are not aligned with your goal. You are not giving complete attention to what you want. Whilst you are dealing with these other lines of thought your attention is not on your goal.
    If you are aware of your thoughts you will suddenly realise that you have spent much more energy on counter productive thoughts than on creating a dominant picture of the goal you want.
    Point your focus in the direction of you're the life you want. Think about what you want NOT what you don't want. It's that simple.

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