Friday, August 24, 2007

Thoughts on Belloti (Part 1)

I have been asked to provide my thoughts on whether Mike Bellotti is "good coach." As I said at the time (see comments to the last post) this is a complicated question. Before we can even start to answer the question, we need to decide what a good football coach is and what it is not, or even more accuratly what a good college football coach is and is not. And I think that distinction is an important one. Coaching in college has different requirements, demands and expectations than coaching in high-school or the NFL.

(Note: This post is a little long. I have decided to insert my conclusion to date here. My opinion is that Belloti is pretty good coach. There may be better ones out there, but not many. And not many that could do what he has done in Eugene. He may frustrate me and other fans at times, but before the Brooks/Belloti era a bowl game was cause for celebration in the streets.)

I suppose the simplistic route is to say that a good coach wins games. But I really do think that is too simplistic. Even good coaches will have down seasons. Even the best coaches have to go through rebuilding years and periods. So I think in evaluating how good a coach is we need to look not only at winning games but at some other statistics. Moreover, since this is still college we are talking about I think it is important to pay attention to how the team itself conducts itself. Finally, to the extent that the coach and the team is an extension and a reflection on the university I think that any NCAA disciplinary record should weigh against the coach. Alright, now that we have at least a rough idea of what to look at, lets dig in:

Mike Bellotti is heading into his 12th season as U of O's head coach. While we could look at that whole chunk of time in evaluating his performance few other coaches have been at thier possitions that long, making any comparisons difficult. With that in mind I will, for the most part, be looking at what he has done in the last 7 years.

Regular Season Winning Percentage:

* = Bowl Game Played
**= Bowl Game Won

2000-01: 9-2**
2001-02: 10-1**
2002-03: 7-5*
2003-04: 8-4*
2004-05: 5-6
2005-06: 10-1*
2006-07: 7-5*

Total: 56-24 = .700 Winning Percentage.

Comparison Winning Percentages (not counting bowls):

Pete Carrol: 61-10 = .889 (6 seasons only)
Lloyd Carr: 62-18 = .775 (last 7 seasons) (career @ .758)
Bob Stoops: 75-14 = .842
Joe Pa: 44-37 = .543 (last 7 seasons) (career @ .745)
Phil Fulmer: 61-27 = .670 (last 7 seasons) (May include bowl wins)
Dirk Koetter: 39-31 = .557 (6 seasons only)
Glen Mason (Minn): 45-35 = .563 (last 7 seasons)

In choosing comparison coaches I have tried to do a couple of things. First, each of the coaches is, or was (Koetter having been recently fired) at the same school for the duration of the comparison period. Except for Koetter and Mason the coaches chosen are widely regarded as some of the best college coaches currently coaching. Koetter and Mason where choosen because the situation in which they coach is similar in a lot of ways to that at the University of Oregon. U of O probably provides better facilities, but all three coach at state schools in states that offer little in the way of in state talent; and all three coach at schools that are not traditionally football power programs. Fans of the program like to see Oregon as on its way to the upper echelon, but the other schools have been at the top of the college football consciousness for years.

So, what does this tell us? It would seem to indicate that Belloti wins a good percentage of games given the situation he is coaching in. One other thing it is important to note. Both Pete Carrol and Bob Stoops (the two with the highest winning percentage on that list) have both been head coach of their programs when the NCAA investigators came knocking. So far Carrol has stayed pretty clean, but Oklahoma (Stoops’ school) recently had the entirety of its 2005-06 season wiped from the books for NCAA violations. For now at least, the U of O has stayed pretty clear of NCAA violations.

There is more information I would like to have brought to bear. I would like to look at the offensive and defensive production under Belloti and at other programs. I would also like to see how the Oregon recruiting classes and NFL players rate in compared to other programs. It seems to me that if Belloti were winning substantially more (or fewer) games than would be expected based on the recruits that come in and the players the NFL takes, that would give a pretty clear look as to how his coaching actually effects the outcome.

Feel free to let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

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I don't have much time or energy to drop a post for you all, but I thought I would give you all a quick something.

Work is rolling along. I am starting to handle a few of the lower level felonies that role in. I had my first trip in front of the grand jury last week, and I have another one coming up this week. So that has been pretty exciting. I really didn't expect to start touching felonies for at least 6 more months if not longer. But, we have had a couple of more senior deputies leave the office, so at least until those positions are filled I will be racking up the extra experience. I seem to have a knack for finding "right place, right time" situations like these.

The house is also moving about as quick as one could hope for. The upstairs is all sheet rocked textured. I sprayed the primer on it tonight, and tomorrow the walls and ceilings will get painted. The main floor still had some trim to brush out and some cutting in to finish, but its getting close. Then its just new windows and floors to do. Once we do something that will actually show as being an improvement, I will get more pictures up.

I don't have much time for things outside of working and, well, working but thats alright for now. My mini-gut seems to be shrinking and with all this work and the lack of real food (its tough to cook when your kitchen consists of a fridge and a microwave on the floor).

Anyway, I suppose thats all I have for now. A couple of fun times coming up though. A wedding reception on Aug 26th, and a long weekend in Eugene for the Ducks home opener. So I guess I got that going for me.