Blake Baker- By the Numbers

Blake Baker- By the Numbers

Coach Diaz has had quite the week already, from letting go the entire offensive staff, to saying "we didn't work hard enough" right after firing the S & C coach, he walked into an office and demoted his two protege's before the ink was barely dry from their promotions under Richt. Now, Diaz has made it official that Blake Baker will be the new DC for the University of Miami and will be calling the plays defensively.

My goal in this article is to analyze Blake Baker by the numbers and gain a better understanding of the job that he did as the DC while at Louisiana Tech University. In order to gain an order of context, I am looking at Baker in a way other than simply looking at where his defenses rank overall in the nation. I want to look at the defense's performance relative to peer organizations and the resources available to him to field a quality defense.

Methodology
In order to provide this context, here is the methodology for which I started this endeavor:

  • How did La Tech fare against peer teams in comparison to how those teams fared against other peer teams. Peer teams in this instance means other Group-of-5 teams, so no FCS or Power-5 teams were included in the data.
  • I wanted to look at the resources given to the football program at LA Tech in comparison to their peers. In this case, resources means spending on football.
  • Recruiting in comparison to peer institutions.

Results
I calculated how each offense fared against the La Tech defense on a per-play basis and then calculated how each opponent fared in their games against other Group-of-5 opponents and then calculated the standard deviation of their performances over the course of the season. The larger the deviation, the more variance in performance that team had offensively.

When you look at the numbers of the defense in aggregate, they do not appear overly impressive, but when you break them down to compare them to how the teams fared elsewhere, and the results are quite impressive. Out of the 10 games against Group-of-5 competition, only three teams performed better than their norm against La Tech (UTSA, UTEP, and Rice). While those three teams performed better than their norms, it was only slightly so, and it was all in games that La Tech won.

  • UTSA put up these results: 5.03 yards per pass play, 3.70 yards per rush, 4.54 yards total per play. Against other G5 teams, UTSA was terrible offensively and only averaged 4.93 yards per pass play, 3.13 yards per rush, 4.10 yards per play overall. They had no TD's against La Tech and two turnovers.
  • UTEP put up these results: 8.61 yards per pass play, 1.95 yards per rush, 5.09 yards per play. Against other G5 teams, UTEP averaged 7.55 yards per pass, 3.24 yards per rush, 4.97 yards per play overall.
  • Rice had these results: 6.46 yards per pass, 3.45 yards per run, 5.09 yards total per play. Against other G5 teams, Rice averaged 6.74 yards per pass, 3.68 yards per run, 5.03 yards per play overall.

In each of the other seven games, La tech held their opponents under their season averages against other G5 teams. They significantly held Western Kentucky and Hawaii under their season norms to end the season (nearly two standard deviations). Overall, La Tech allowed the following results:
View attachment 74601
In regards to resources spent on the sport, I also believe it is important to take that into consideration as well. After all, while Alabama and Iowa State may both be Power-5 programs, you would not hold them to the same standard of results due to the wide disparity of resources at their disposal. This past season, La Tech finished 106th out of 113 FBS programs in revenue from football. They had the second lowest athletic budget in Conference-USA). It is safe to say La Tech is getting a king's return on its investment on the football side of things as they have now won four straight bowl games despite having a pauper's budget.

As far as recruiting goes, Baker was rated the #4 recruiter in the conference last season, pulling in three commitments. Overall, La Tech is rated to have the second best talent in the conference (behind FAU) with mush of the defensive talent being recruited by Baker.

Overall
When you consider the limitations placed on La Tech due to a lack of resources, to have the defensive results that Baker had at the school is quite encouraging. He has experience with calling plays, he has a philosophy that aligns with Coach Diaz' approach (attacking and aggressive), and he has helped recruit and develop some of the best talent in a conference where some schools are spending twice the amount of money that La Tech is.

This hire shows well from a data standpoint. It also shows well from a standpoint that Coach Diaz didn't simply settle for promoting from within, but rather made the hard decision to demote his two proteges and not entrust them with the defense as first time play callers at this time.

Look for another article referencing how the defense looks on film at a later time.
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#2
This is why CIS is the best in the business.
 
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#3
Excellent work yet again, Lance. Always look forward to your write-ups.
 

Arel305

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#4
Coach Diaz has had quite the week already, from letting go the entire offensive staff, to saying "we didn't work hard enough" right after firing the S & C coach, he walked into an office and demoted his two protege's before the ink was barely dry from their promotions under Richt. Now, Diaz has made it official that Blake Baker will be the new DC for the University of Miami and will be calling the plays defensively.

My goal in this article is to analyze Blake Baker by the numbers and gain a better understanding of the job that he did as the DC while at Louisiana Tech University. In order to gain an order of context, I am looking at Baker in a way other than simply looking at where his defenses rank overall in the nation. I want to look at the defense's performance relative to peer organizations and the resources available to him to field a quality defense.

Methodology
In order to provide this context, here is the methodology for which I started this endeavor:

  • How did La Tech fare against peer teams in comparison to how those teams fared against other peer teams. Peer teams in this instance means other Group-of-5 teams, so no FCS or Power-5 teams were included in the data.
  • I wanted to look at the resources given to the football program at LA Tech in comparison to their peers. In this case, resources means spending on football.
  • Recruiting in comparison to peer institutions.

Results
I calculated how each offense fared against the La Tech defense on a per-play basis and then calculated how each opponent fared in their games against other Group-of-5 opponents and then calculated the standard deviation of their performances over the course of the season. The larger the deviation, the more variance in performance that team had offensively.

When you look at the numbers of the defense in aggregate, they do not appear overly impressive, but when you break them down to compare them to how the teams fared elsewhere, and the results are quite impressive. Out of the 10 games against Group-of-5 competition, only three teams performed better than their norm against La Tech (UTSA, UTEP, and Rice). While those three teams performed better than their norms, it was only slightly so, and it was all in games that La Tech won.

  • UTSA put up these results: 5.03 yards per pass play, 3.70 yards per rush, 4.54 yards total per play. Against other G5 teams, UTSA was terrible offensively and only averaged 4.93 yards per pass play, 3.13 yards per rush, 4.10 yards per play overall. They had no TD's against La Tech and two turnovers.
  • UTEP put up these results: 8.61 yards per pass play, 1.95 yards per rush, 5.09 yards per play. Against other G5 teams, UTEP averaged 7.55 yards per pass, 3.24 yards per rush, 4.97 yards per play overall.
  • Rice had these results: 6.46 yards per pass, 3.45 yards per run, 5.09 yards total per play. Against other G5 teams, Rice averaged 6.74 yards per pass, 3.68 yards per run, 5.03 yards per play overall.

In each of the other seven games, La tech held their opponents under their season averages against other G5 teams. They significantly held Western Kentucky and Hawaii under their season norms to end the season (nearly two standard deviations). Overall, La Tech allowed the following results:
View attachment 74601
In regards to resources spent on the sport, I also believe it is important to take that into consideration as well. After all, while Alabama and Iowa State may both be Power-5 programs, you would not hold them to the same standard of results due to the wide disparity of resources at their disposal. This past season, La Tech finished 106th out of 113 FBS programs in revenue from football. They had the second lowest athletic budget in Conference-USA). It is safe to say La Tech is getting a king's return on its investment on the football side of things as they have now won four straight bowl games despite having a pauper's budget.

As far as recruiting goes, Baker was rated the #4 recruiter in the conference last season, pulling in three commitments. Overall, La Tech is rated to have the second best talent in the conference (behind FAU) with mush of the defensive talent being recruited by Baker.

Overall
When you consider the limitations placed on La Tech due to a lack of resources, to have the defensive results that Baker had at the school is quite encouraging. He has experience with calling plays, he has a philosophy that aligns with Coach Diaz' approach (attacking and aggressive), and he has helped recruit and develop some of the best talent in a conference where some schools are spending twice the amount of money that La Tech is.

This hire shows well from a data standpoint. It also shows well from a standpoint that Coach Diaz didn't simply settle for promoting from within, but rather made the hard decision to demote his two proteges and not entrust them with the defense as first time play callers at this time.

Look for another article referencing how the defense looks on film at a later time.

Great post, If he did that with sub talent he will definitely do well with elite talent and a weak schedule.
 
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#5
Thank you Lance. Excellent write up and encouraging news.
 
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#6
Good work sir!

Biggest assests are "attacking and aggressive" Fits us well. Croots should lick their chops wanting to play for us.
 
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#8
I will take this over “lazy hire”

Thank you, Lance
 
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#9
Great work lance. Should be a great addition to what was a great defense last season. Can't wait for your writeup on our OC hire
 
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#10
Great work and excellent analysis. This is the good stuff!
 

LuCane

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Messages
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#11
Good stuff, as always. A few things:

- Thanks for focusing on yards/play instead of these inane total yards rankings we see everywhere.
- He didn't necessarily get those results with "poor talent," but he'll have a similar "advantage" here.
- Would be interested to see some of those results adjusted for pace and in context of whatever their offense did.
 

Lance Roffers

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Messages
357
#12
- Would be interested to see some of those results adjusted for pace and in context of whatever their offense did.
Adding layers of detail certainly helps the data, but that is an exponentially greater amount of work, so I'm afraid the cost/benefit wasn't there to break down pace/score. I could load the play-by-play data into a GitHub and parse it with a programming language, but I'd still have to adjust for time between plays etc. unless someone better at building that code would make it automatically do it. (If > ___ seconds, then ____ type of layers into the code for scraping the data itself, or perhaps a second code once the data is scraped).

Building in score adds an additional layer of score (for instance, yards per pass is heavily influenced by situation, as teams are just fine letting you get 8 yards a play passing into the MOF when they have a nice lead late).

Generally, I'd like to use success rates, but even those are flawed in my mind as to the situation. A successful second down play is heavily influenced by how successful the first down play was, as is the third down play by how successful the second down play was etc.

I'm trying to find a happy-medium to where I present data in an easily digestible format that doesn't make me appear as though I'm trying to be the smartest guy in the room, but also going deeper than simply stating "the defense ranked ____ for this season."

If that makes the sense I'm hoping it does in my head.
 

ZuCrew

Freshman
Joined
Aug 1, 2018
Messages
297
#13
Coach Diaz has had quite the week already, from letting go the entire offensive staff, to saying "we didn't work hard enough" right after firing the S & C coach, he walked into an office and demoted his two protege's before the ink was barely dry from their promotions under Richt. Now, Diaz has made it official that Blake Baker will be the new DC for the University of Miami and will be calling the plays defensively.

My goal in this article is to analyze Blake Baker by the numbers and gain a better understanding of the job that he did as the DC while at Louisiana Tech University. In order to gain an order of context, I am looking at Baker in a way other than simply looking at where his defenses rank overall in the nation. I want to look at the defense's performance relative to peer organizations and the resources available to him to field a quality defense.

Methodology
In order to provide this context, here is the methodology for which I started this endeavor:

  • How did La Tech fare against peer teams in comparison to how those teams fared against other peer teams. Peer teams in this instance means other Group-of-5 teams, so no FCS or Power-5 teams were included in the data.
  • I wanted to look at the resources given to the football program at LA Tech in comparison to their peers. In this case, resources means spending on football.
  • Recruiting in comparison to peer institutions.

Results
I calculated how each offense fared against the La Tech defense on a per-play basis and then calculated how each opponent fared in their games against other Group-of-5 opponents and then calculated the standard deviation of their performances over the course of the season. The larger the deviation, the more variance in performance that team had offensively.

When you look at the numbers of the defense in aggregate, they do not appear overly impressive, but when you break them down to compare them to how the teams fared elsewhere, and the results are quite impressive. Out of the 10 games against Group-of-5 competition, only three teams performed better than their norm against La Tech (UTSA, UTEP, and Rice). While those three teams performed better than their norms, it was only slightly so, and it was all in games that La Tech won.

  • UTSA put up these results: 5.03 yards per pass play, 3.70 yards per rush, 4.54 yards total per play. Against other G5 teams, UTSA was terrible offensively and only averaged 4.93 yards per pass play, 3.13 yards per rush, 4.10 yards per play overall. They had no TD's against La Tech and two turnovers.
  • UTEP put up these results: 8.61 yards per pass play, 1.95 yards per rush, 5.09 yards per play. Against other G5 teams, UTEP averaged 7.55 yards per pass, 3.24 yards per rush, 4.97 yards per play overall.
  • Rice had these results: 6.46 yards per pass, 3.45 yards per run, 5.09 yards total per play. Against other G5 teams, Rice averaged 6.74 yards per pass, 3.68 yards per run, 5.03 yards per play overall.

In each of the other seven games, La tech held their opponents under their season averages against other G5 teams. They significantly held Western Kentucky and Hawaii under their season norms to end the season (nearly two standard deviations). Overall, La Tech allowed the following results:
View attachment 74601
In regards to resources spent on the sport, I also believe it is important to take that into consideration as well. After all, while Alabama and Iowa State may both be Power-5 programs, you would not hold them to the same standard of results due to the wide disparity of resources at their disposal. This past season, La Tech finished 106th out of 113 FBS programs in revenue from football. They had the second lowest athletic budget in Conference-USA). It is safe to say La Tech is getting a king's return on its investment on the football side of things as they have now won four straight bowl games despite having a pauper's budget.

As far as recruiting goes, Baker was rated the #4 recruiter in the conference last season, pulling in three commitments. Overall, La Tech is rated to have the second best talent in the conference (behind FAU) with mush of the defensive talent being recruited by Baker.

Overall
When you consider the limitations placed on La Tech due to a lack of resources, to have the defensive results that Baker had at the school is quite encouraging. He has experience with calling plays, he has a philosophy that aligns with Coach Diaz' approach (attacking and aggressive), and he has helped recruit and develop some of the best talent in a conference where some schools are spending twice the amount of money that La Tech is.

This hire shows well from a data standpoint. It also shows well from a standpoint that Coach Diaz didn't simply settle for promoting from within, but rather made the hard decision to demote his two proteges and not entrust them with the defense as first time play callers at this time.

Look for another article referencing how the defense looks on film at a later time.
Exactly!! That’s what I was trying to say in a very “non-analytically” kind of way. It was a good, solid hire.
 
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#15
Lance puts the "lit' in analytics. Nice job.
 

LuCane

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Messages
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#16
Adding layers of detail certainly helps the data, but that is an exponentially greater amount of work, so I'm afraid the cost/benefit wasn't there to break down pace/score. I could load the play-by-play data into a GitHub and parse it with a programming language, but I'd still have to adjust for time between plays etc. unless someone better at building that code would make it automatically do it. (If > ___ seconds, then ____ type of layers into the code for scraping the data itself, or perhaps a second code once the data is scraped).

Building in score adds an additional layer of score (for instance, yards per pass is heavily influenced by situation, as teams are just fine letting you get 8 yards a play passing into the MOF when they have a nice lead late).

Generally, I'd like to use success rates, but even those are flawed in my mind as to the situation. A successful second down play is heavily influenced by how successful the first down play was, as is the third down play by how successful the second down play was etc.

I'm trying to find a happy-medium to where I present data in an easily digestible format that doesn't make me appear as though I'm trying to be the smartest guy in the room, but also going deeper than simply stating "the defense ranked ____ for this season."

If that makes the sense I'm hoping it does in my head.
I feel ya. Definitely don't write a script for a handful of us lunatics interested. Ha. I love statistical analysis and these types of breakdowns. They go hand in hand with watching the film and getting a fuller sense of context.

*Also, @Lance Roffers, you have no idea how much some of us appreciate peer vs peer analysis as it relates to specific teams' averages. People try to downplay what we did on defense this year with superficial "we played mediocre to crap" offenses and "competent offenses did too well." Well, so did other teams and if they're looked at peer vs peer, we had a heck of a season any way you slice it.
 
Last edited:
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Dec 18, 2012
Messages
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#17
Adding layers of detail certainly helps the data, but that is an exponentially greater amount of work, so I'm afraid the cost/benefit wasn't there to break down pace/score. I could load the play-by-play data into a GitHub and parse it with a programming language, but I'd still have to adjust for time between plays etc. unless someone better at building that code would make it automatically do it. (If > ___ seconds, then ____ type of layers into the code for scraping the data itself, or perhaps a second code once the data is scraped).

Building in score adds an additional layer of score (for instance, yards per pass is heavily influenced by situation, as teams are just fine letting you get 8 yards a play passing into the MOF when they have a nice lead late).

Generally, I'd like to use success rates, but even those are flawed in my mind as to the situation. A successful second down play is heavily influenced by how successful the first down play was, as is the third down play by how successful the second down play was etc.

I'm trying to find a happy-medium to where I present data in an easily digestible format that doesn't make me appear as though I'm trying to be the smartest guy in the room, but also going deeper than simply stating "the defense ranked ____ for this season."

If that makes the sense I'm hoping it does in my head.

what are your thoughts on the football outsider stats/rankings?
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
1,881
#18
I know the numbers doesn't say he was stelar but after watching the film. I think I like this hire.

I saw things that, sure didn't really help La Tech, would help us defend the run better.
 
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May 8, 2018
Messages
831
#19
Thanks greatly Lance for the informative write up mate! This shows that Baker was an excellent hire given his background and results he produced. I can’t wait to see how he fares working with the type of talent a school such as the U can get on a yearly basis. If his recruiting chops are equally good to great, then we will finally build up the depth we need coupled with the play-makers necessary to propel Miami into the upper echelon of college football.
 
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#20
Hey Lance, wouldn’t access to talent play a factor as much as revenue in a talent rich state like Louisiana? It’s the reason Miami’s even breathing at this point.
 
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#21
Thank you for this write up!!

I honestly love that Diaz didn’t just promote from within but snagged a young energetic DC whose got good results with experience at his level and could sky rocket with better athletes at his disposal!
 

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