Good stuff, thanks for posting.
I think that one way to read the first graph is that, relative to the mean, Iowa isn't playing all that poorly (aside from Ohio State). If you accept that, then maybe some of those "big" wins earlier in the season are examples of Iowa punching above its weight/benefiting from more luck.
Garbage Blog Aficionado
Threw up in my mouth a bit just now..
Celebrating horizontal football since 2011
What's kinda weird to me is during this 5 game stretch, there were moments where I thought we were playing some pretty good team defense. The first half of Ohio State for example seemed pretty good until about 2 minutes left. Then it was followed up with possibly the worst second half defense of the season (@MSU and @Purdue are pretty close, too). I don't really hope for defense to get better, I know better than that by now. I just hope the offense keeps up to carry the slack, and if the defense steps up occasionally, even better.
Ergo...offensive momentum drives defensive efficiency. Shoot well and we play great defense. Shoot poorly and we don't rebound or play good defense, we just see Tyler Cook dribbling from end to end and missing a short jumper (no iron).
It's actually the other way around. Our two best offensive performances during the last five games (NW and @OSU) were also our two worst defensive performances.
Neil Peart stands alone
Here, have some of these smelling salts.
A simpler version of the optimistic take is this: our offense has been in line with our season average in 3 of our last 5 games and our defense has been in line with our season average in 3 of our last 5 games.
An even more pessimistic stat, that I forgot to add, is our average +/- for each game. This stat measures whether we are ahead or behind for most of the game and what the average margin is between us and our opponents. Iowa's +/- has been negative in each of our last five games. We are 3-2 in those games, but that's being skewed by our repeated late game heroics (i.e. digging out of holes in the last five minutes). The fact that we've been in those holes, for five straight games, is troubling.
Nobody keeps this stat but if I were to look at our offensive and defensive efficiencies during the first 35 minutes of all of our games, the negative trend would be much more dramatic.
Which kind of explains why we haven't been able to dominate in any recent games (save maybe Michigan)?
One thing I am with you on "Neil Peart stands alone". That makes complete sense. Too bad Neil has hung it up because Geddy and Alex don't want to play with anyone else.
So, basically, we can beat bad Big Ten teams (Rutgers, Northwestern) when we don't play well but only just. To be better than 50/50 against mediocre and good (Indiana, OSU, and Maryland) Big Ten teams we need to do better than we did in the last 5 games.
I'm definitely in panic mode now. Not sure we'll win another game this season, maybe Nebraska.
I’m right there with you. The calm side of me repeats what you had said in another thread which is that Iowa is a physically soft team. We don’t match up well with physical interior teams (like Rutgers, actually). Then the irrational side of me is like, it’s fucking Rutgers.
Waiting for the next time Michigan comes to visit
Dot's interesting, but watching tells me eveything I need to know.
Still waiting for 2nd FB NC.
You mentioned Garza, but failed to note his (+/-) against Rutgers was a (- 24), the worst on the team. The eye test confirmed this. I honestly think he's trying hard, but his legs don't want to keep up; that's reflected particularly in his inability to hit the #s anymore.
Not to make excuses, but I wonder how much his lost conditioning time at the beginning of the year is catching up to him - sort of like the Freshman "wall" all over again.