I noticed today (1/14/18) the Omaha Mavs men’s basketball team is ranked 267th (out of 351) on Kenpom in Luck, meaning they have been very unlucky this season. But what does that mean exactly?
On Kenpom.com, each team has projected wins/losses through the season. Luck is a measure of how many games a team was expected to win (via Kenpom’s model expectations) compared to the number of wins they actually received.
So is UNO having poor luck this season? This metric may be better viewed as they are under-performing their expectations rather than they’ve been unlucky. While this could be due to luck, the number doesn’t necessarily say why they haven’t won as many games as expected though, so the interpretation is up to you.
Here is the official explanation on Kenpom’s site: https://kenpom.com/blog/ratings-explanation/
2018 is approaching quickly and the Huskers men’s basketball squad is 9-5 overall. Their only home loss thus far being a missed buzzer shot against Kansas, which would have been a hefty accolade as they try to build a case for the NCAA tourney.
Below, I have built a split chart showcasing how those wins have come over the first 14 games.
- Nebraska has played very well at home. They are currently 7-1 at home with their only loss a tight game against an always-talented Jayhawks team.
- They have not played as well in away games. Now, it must be noted they have only played three away games so far, but they are 0-3 in those games and lost by large margins. Also noteworthy is all of these were against talented teams: St. John’s, Michigan St., and Creighton. As of this post, both Michigan St. and Creighton are in the AP Top 25 and while St. John’s is not — they are ranked 19th in RPI.
- At neutral sites, Nebraska is 2-1, so they can win away from Lincoln and need to during Big Ten play in order to build a worthy March resume. Go Big Red.
||Avg Score Diff
Aside from Devaney who won 66% of the time, bowl records for each coach hovered around .500. Of course, this table doesn’t tell us the strength of schedule. You have to assume that for most of Coach Osborne’s career he was playing elite teams in every bowl game.
Still, it’s interesting how close bowl games are. The average score difference shows that the games were mostly pretty tight (on average).
Nebraska has visited the Orange Bowl 17 times in the modern era. Their record in those games is 8-9.
The most recent Orange Bowl appearance for the Big Red was in 1997 where the crushed Peyton Manning and the Tennessee Vols, 42-17.
In the ’90s, Nebraska was selected for the Orange Bowl six times, going 3-3 in that span.
In games Nebraska won this season, Tommy Armstrong had a pass rating of 165.06 (more on that calculation below) and less than 28 pass attempts.
In losses, the Huskers attempted nearly 40 passes and Tommy Armstrong had a pass rating of 103.54.
Looking at this data it is easy to conclude that when the Big Red call a more conservative game it puts the Nebraska in a better place to succeed. A prime example of this was the bowl game against UCLA in which Nebraska was very successful and did not abandon the run. It was also the fewest pass attempts in any game this season.
Passer Rating is defined using [(8.4 x Yards) + (330 x TDs) + (100 x Completions) – (200 x Interceptions)]/Attempts
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passer_rating (Yes, I used Wikipedia as a source!)
Last week, Nebraska played its first away game of the year and it was on real turf. Memorial Stadium boasts an artificial surface. Let’s take a deeper look at the surfaces Nebraska will play on this year and others as well.
How often will Nebraska play on turf versus an artificial surface?
How often do all teams play on turf versus and artificial surface?
Something to be excited for with Mike Riley at the helm of the football program is his experience in building QBs. Under his tutelage, Tommy Armstrong could very well take a leap forward in his passing game over the next two seasons. Combine that with his proven ability to run and we have a real weapon under center on game days.
The graph below displays Armstrong’s previous two seasons compared against other Big 10 quarterbacks.
*Did not meet minimum number of attempts to officially qualify for these statistics in 2013
Notes: Armstrong surpassed the average conference rating last season, showing a sign of improvement. The Big 10 QB rating leaders in 2014 and 2013 were both from Ohio State: Braxton Miller and JT Barrett, respectively.
On Saturday, September 5, 2015, Mike Riley will begin his era as Husker head coach. Let’s take a look at the winning percentage for each of his five predecessors.
Interesting stuff. Solich won 75% of games and was let go after 4 seasons. Tom Osborne coached 25 years and could have coached more had he not retired, with a 83.6% winning percentage.