Progress Under Rhoads - A Statistical Story

The monumental annual upsets, improved facilities, and record breaking attendance are all proof of a program on the rise. We also hear from CPR that the 2012 group is his "best and deepest ISU team". Although I believe it on the surface, I was struggling with truly sifting through the coach speak and seeing the facts. To see if this 2012 group is truly the "best and deepest" team ever I dredged up the Fall camp depth chart back to 2009, CPR's first season at the helm. Through the charts I built a few data tables that compare 1. Years in the Program (a sign of stability) 2. Letters (Experience) 3. Height & Weight (changing dynamics of the team) over Rhoads's 4 year tenure. A summary of the data after the jump.

The following table is the combined summary of the offensive and defensive two-deeps during fall camp dating back to the 2009 season. You can see the annual changes in the average height, weight, tenure in program, and letters earned. "Experience" aka letters, assumes some sort of playing time or impact on the field. The entire argument obviously this hinges on the listed depth chart numbers but lets assume the height/weight fugding is constant from 2009-2012 and years/letters are accurate.

Rhoads Tenure ??? 6-7 5-7 7-6
TEAM Total 2012 2011 2010 2009
Height 6.16 6.12 6.13 6.12
Weight 239.14 240.14 243.66 245.59
Years in Program 3.36 2.89 3.18 3.09
Letters 1.34 1.02 1.18 1.18
Offense 2012 2011 2010 2009
Height 6.23 6.19 6.25 6.24
Weight 248.45 249.36 254.23 260.09
Years in Program 3.18 2.64 3.14 3.05
Letters 1.14 0.86 1.18 1.00
Oline Height 6.48 6.42 6.38 6.34
Oline Weight 294.80 307.4 304.2 317.90
Oline Years 3.30 3.10 3.40 3.20
Oline Letters 1.20 1.00 1.00 0.90
QB Height 6.25 6.25 6.25 6.25
QB Weight 225.00 224.00 230.00 224.00
QB Years 2.00 1.00 5.00 4.00
QB Letters 1.00 0.00 3.00 2.00
WR Height 5.92 5.92 6.11 6.14
WR Weight 191.17 188.33 198.50 202.50
WR Years 2.83 2.33 2.33 2.67
WR Letters 1.00 1.00 1.17 1.00
Defense 2012 2011 2010 2009
Height 6.10 6.05 6.00 6.00
Weight 229.82 230.91 227.23 231.09
Years in Program 3.55 3.14 3.23 3.14
Letters 1.55 1.18 1.18 1.36
Dline Height 6.29 6.20 6.15 6.16
Dline Weight 271.38 270.13 259.75 266.25
Dline Years 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.13
Dline Letters 1.38 1.25 1.38 1.25
DE Height 6.29 6.15 6.06 6.17
DE Weight 251.50 241.75 242.25 254.75
DE Years 3.25 3.75 3.50 2.75
DE Letters 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25
DT Height 6.29 6.25 6.23 6.15
DT Weight 291.25 298.50 277.25 277.75
DT Years 4.25 3.75 4.00 3.50
DT Letters 1.50 1.25 1.50 1.25
LB Height 6.11 6.11 6.09 6.01
LB Weight 229.67 228.33 232.17 232.33
LB Years 3.33 2.50 2.67 3.50
LB Letters 2.00 1.00 0.67 1.50
DB Height 5.90 5.86 5.80 5.83
DB Weight 188.38 193.63 191.00 195.00
DB Years 3.50 3.00 3.13 2.88
DB Letters 1.38 1.25 1.38 1.38

A few interesting points:

1. The 2012 squad has both the longest time in the program and the most experience returning of all CPR's teams. (The Man speaks the truth!)

The average 2-deep player has been in the program for 3.36 years and they have experience in 1.34 years of action. This is far higher than 2011 (31%+), a bowl team, and more than both 2010 and 2009 by a signifcant margin (14% +).

2. The Rhoads mold of Oline/Dline size is clear. Taller and Lighter Oline on average. Taller and heavier DLine on average. A clear trajectory.

The Oline height has consistently increased from 6'4 in 2009 to nearly 6'6 in 2012. At the same time, average weight has decreased from a behemoth 318 in 2009 to 295 in 2012. This proves the progress of moving towards lineman with more athletic builds.

As for the Dline, the average height has increased from 6'2 to 6'3.5. That may seem insignificant but adding another 1.5 inches of height at the DE position is big. Average weight is also the highest it's been since CPR arrived (271.38) . DT avg is 291.25 and DE avg is 251.50. What's staggering is the avg DT weight of 277.25 in 2010. If I remember correctly, the interior run D was pushed all over the field that year. Not coincidentally, Knott/Klein made their major tackling debut that year. (on a side note, Jake McDonough lost 22 lbs from last year, which pulls down the DT avg)

3. The tenure and experience on the Oline and Defense is strong.

The 2012 Oline has the most letters by a 20% + margin, an average of 1.20 years of palying time. Only in 2010 did the Oline have longer tenured depth. So yes I concur with CPR and Bleil, this does appear to be the deepest and most experienced Oline yet. (hopefully will translate into less false starts and boneheaded mistakes)

The defensive experience and length in the program is stunning. The depth chart average tenure is 3.55 years and 1.55 years of playing time. Dare I say this has the makings of the best ISU D since 2005? This analysis doesn't account for talent, which is hard to quantify, but based purely on experience vs. previous years, this D could be stellar.

As I mentioned above, this analysis is doesn't account for talent, which Cyclone Nation would probably argue has also improved signficantly as well. Perhaps equally important for our scrappy bunch is experience and time in the "system". If experience and tenure is an indicator of future success, the progress of the past 4 years could be foreshadowing a strong 2012 campaign.

Signing off,

General Swampfox

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