Statistical analysis of CNS' Field Goal Decision

The attached is statistics- and formula-heavy, but I can't help myself when I see someone analyzing decisions based on actual data and making reasonable assumptions.

http://www.advancednflstats.com/2013/12/analyzing-alabamas-long-fg-attempt.html#more

Excerpt: "One thing this exercise shows is that all the media analysis of the decision is hot air. This is complicated stuff, relying on many variables without much in the way of empirical stats to go on. None of the opinions are based on a serious analysis or comparison of relevant past events."

My synthesis: The assumptions and analysis indicate CNS made a defensible decision; just one that went horribly wrong.
 

Ldlane

Hall of Fame
Nov 26, 2002
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My thoughts also. I had no problem with the decision for the field goal.


The bad decision had nothing to do with the lat field. But the play calling on certain short yardage plays in which a successful first down would have ended the game.
 

Alasippi

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Aug 31, 2007
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The attached is statistics- and formula-heavy, but I can't help myself when I see someone analyzing decisions based on actual data and making reasonable assumptions.

http://www.advancednflstats.com/2013/12/analyzing-alabamas-long-fg-attempt.html#more

Excerpt: "One thing this exercise shows is that all the media analysis of the decision is hot air. This is complicated stuff, relying on many variables without much in the way of empirical stats to go on. None of the opinions are based on a serious analysis or comparison of relevant past events."

My synthesis: The assumptions and analysis indicate CNS made a defensible decision; just one that went horribly wrong.
Any missed field goal at games end will most likely be called a bad coaching decision, as will going for it on fourth and one and not making it.
However, in the same situations, a made field goal, or a gain of two yards on fourth and one, and that same coach becomes an absolute genius.
All a coach can do is call the plays, he can't execute them for the players.
 

B1GTide

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Apr 13, 2012
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It was the right call right up to the point that it was not. I refuse to question that call. If he hits the FG, you would have had a Van Tiffin type celebration by Alabama fans. If he misses it and you cover the FG, you forget it and move on to OT. Only this crazy outcome makes it the wrong call.
 
The bad decision had nothing to do with the last field goal. But the play calling on certain short yardage plays in which a successful first down would have ended the game.
The execution on those play calls would have also ended the game. Let's just say that we had thrown the ball on that 4th and 1 and it got INT'd (or worse yet, got INT'd for a TD). People would have screamed "We were averaging 6.2 YPC, and we should have run the ball!!!".

Want proof? Go look at comments made after the TAMU game last year. The botton line is that we are at the point when we lose games, CNS is going to be questioned and criticized. Our fans simply don't believe we should lose, and somebody has to pay the price. It happened with AU and LSU in '10, LSU in '11, TAMU '12, and AU this year. A huge portion our fanbase screamed "CNS got outcoached!" in every single one of those games. Again, pull up the archives and look at them.

This is just where we are right now, and how it is going to be until CNS retires. He is a victim of his own success.
 
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Bamaro

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Oct 19, 2001
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My problem wasn't the decision to try it. I would like to know what if anything did our coaches say to our guys about watching for a runback if a 57 yard attempt falls short.
 

RollinTider1335

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Jun 12, 2010
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Any missed field goal at games end will most likely be called a bad coaching decision, as will going for it on fourth and one and not making it.
However, in the same situations, a made field goal, or a gain of two yards on fourth and one, and that same coach becomes an absolute genius.
All a coach can do is call the plays, he can't execute them for the players.
I agree. How many times did Saban call to go for 4th and 1 this yr and then make it? His record is pretty darn good. I actually thought he out coached Gus based on how tight our guys were. I liked both calls based on the historical odds of the play calls. How often does someone run a 110 yard return for a TD from a missed field goal????

I am still very proud of our team. I have always flown my flags the same as when we were 7-5 or 13-0.
 

ChesapeakeTide

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My problem wasn't the decision to try it. I would like to know what if anything did our coaches say to our guys about watching for a runback if a 57 yard attempt falls short.
In the post game presser CNS said that he told the players that *U had a guy back for a possible return and they would need to fan out to cover that after the kick.
 

BigBama76

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Oct 26, 2011
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The bad decision had nothing to do with the last field goal. But the play calling on certain short yardage plays in which a successful first down would have ended the game.
I can't fault the coaches on any of the decisions in the second half. We had 3 chances inside the 20 in the 4th qtr to put points on the board and failed to do so. AJ has the option on pretty much every play to go with a run or pass option based on the defense just before the snap and if he didn't like the called options he could have called a timeout.

I'm not saying it's AJ's fault because in the end whatever the play was not enough of our guys executed well enough to be successful. That's why we lost the game not because of some last second of the game decision.
 

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