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Game Charting

With the start of the new season, we're going to introduce a new concept here at RBR: game charting.

If you're an old reader from the original Outside The Sidelines, you've probably heard me mention this concept before. For those who haven't, it's basically this: you build an Excel spreadsheet to tabulate all of the final data, and then you break down the game film on a play-by-play and literally chart everything possible, and put that data into the Excel spreadsheet. You take note of basically everything humanly possible: down, distance, quarter, pass / run, QB hurries, batted balls, personnel groupings, how many players blitzed, who allowed sacks / hurries, etc. Basically, as said earlier, everything humanly possible.

Doing so will allow us to do some very in-depth statistical analysis. To put it in real terms, we'll be able to answer questions such as:

  • How many sacks did Andre Smith allow?
  • How many passes were thrown to receivers who Simeon Castille was responsible for?
  • How many of those passes were completed, defensed, intercepted, or dropped by the WR?
  • How many times did Alabama blitz six defenders?
  • What was Terry Grant's Running Back Success Rate?
  • How many passes were thrown to D.J. Hall, and how many were actually caught?
  • How many times did a Wilson pass get batted at the line of scrimmage?
  • How many passing plays did we run and how many running plays did we run (when you take sacks and QB scrambles into account)?
  • How many times did we run the football off right tackle?
  • How often did Alabama come out in a nickel package?
  • What was our run / pass ratio on third down and three yards or less?

At bottom, it will just allow us to take statistical analysis to the next level. To date, we've only been able to crunch the play-by-play data from, and it's just not in-depth enough to do what we want to do. But this will change that. With this much data at our fingertips, we'll have every bit as much information as even Coach Saban and company have. It's good stuff, to say the least.

That said, however, we could use some help designing the Excel spreadsheet. I know how to do it, but I'm afraid the current format I have of essentially creating a column for every category possible is highly inefficient. Any help from the readers would be greatly appreciated.