Friday, August 17, 2007

Bye Weeks & Strength of Schedule

In the comments of the earlier post on strength of schedule, someone wanted me to elaborate on how by weeks prior to a game affects the the overall strength of the schedule.

Long story short, an off week prior to a game definitely makes an impact on that particular game, no doubt about it. The recuperation time is different, the practice schedule is often different, etc. It's hard to make the argument that it doesn't make an impact.

But exactly what kind of an impact does it make?

Sometimes a team seemingly plays better following an off-week, and sometimes they seemingly regress, so there is no set fixed response to take into account.

Moreover, you would probably run into a situation where off weeks have different impacts depending on when they occur. Obviously, an off week in the second week of the season is very different than an off week in the ninth week.

Beyond that, when you play one of the Sisters of the Poor, it's effectively an off-week for all intents and purposes. How does that go into account?

Again, I'm not saying that bye weeks don't have an impact in this sense, but to be quite frank I really just do not see any way to legitimately quantify it in terms of an overall strength of schedule rating.

I suppose this could be a textbook example of the first half of the old saying that, "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."


gunny said...

I agree that bye-weeks affect teams differently depending on the circumstances of the team "that week" a chance to heal key players or conversely a break in team momentum.

However I think the acid test would be what a coach or players would desire. For example, if you were to ask Coach Fulmer whether he would prefer one week of preparation for the Alabama game, or two weeks (like the bastards had gotten for the past 7 years prior to this one), I think he (and any other coach) would opt for the two weeks.

I realize this is purely anectdotal, and not statistical....but I think that this would hold true. Of course, prior to the start of a season, the ENTIRE strength of schedule argument is's all based on last years' performance and subjective preseason predictions. How many of us know how good Auburn and Alabama will be at the end of this season?

Therefore I think it's logical to assume that if a coach would see a bye week before a big game as a "benefit" before the start of a season, and you're playing 5 teams with such a "benefit" while your conference opponents are only playing (at most) 2, that it constitutes a disadvantage....

Apologies for the clumsy prose!

gunny said...

And I do have to disagree with the notion that a cupcake game is essentially the same as a bye week. For example, we play La. Monroe the week before Auburn. The week of the Monroe game, we will still have to game plan for Monroe, have our scout team run Monroe's plays, watch film on Monroe, etc.

If it were a bye week, all of the above activities would be directed at Auburn instead.

J said...

I enjoy your blog and am starting up mine for the season again.

Care to link swap?

Take care.