The Bruins’ S&P+ is telling but doesn’t tell the whole story (cont.)
In essence, the Bruins showed that numbers are not everything. This is not to prove Connelly wrong just so I can make UCLA football fans feel better about the upcoming season (I, for one, rely on his numbers all the time), but It does show that the numbers do not project everything.
Though there are multiple factors used in calculating S&P+ numbers which are “derived from the play-by-play and drive data of all 800+ of a season’s FBS college football games (and 140,000+ plays),” (which is defined by Football Outsiders), there are several intangibles that cannot be measured which have a significant impact on games.
Though the S&P+ can help evaluate an entire season, it does not take into account (and bare with me as some of these factors might seem outlandish) player exits, player fit into a team’s system, injuries, progression/regression in player development, player IQ, coaching IQ, coaching evaluations, ability of coaches to make in-game changes, coaching style variations and position-by-position match ups.
Which brings me to Connelly’s numbers for the Bruins in 2019. According to Connelly’s numbers, the Bruins will be better. It is hard to argue that 4.9 wins are not better than three, but that does not give UCLA fans much hope. The offense stays the same in the S&P+ rankings while the defense is projected to improve, but for those of us that have followed UCLA closely, we expect the Bruins to be a lot better than they were to end 2018 across the board.