Revisiting The Question Of Luck And The Badgers

Jaime Valdez-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Have the Badgers been fighting the invisible hand of variance just as hard as the health of the offensive line?

It's looking unlikely that Kyle Costigan's going to play this week.

The Jeff Potrykus article's a very interesting read. You have Travis Frederick saying that he was unsure that he could have walked on Costigan's injury, let alone play on it. You have the news that Ricky Wagner's fighting a neck problem, and Rob Havenstein's dealing with a foot issue. Turns out, sixty percent of the offensive line isn't at full capacity.

Kind of explains a thing or three, doesn't it?

If you can remember way back in the far off past of August 2012, my first post for the site was in regards to the question of luck. Turned out that the Badgers did have some good luck managing turnovers in the past few years. And the defense was consistent in regards to turnover generation. Turns out, I was missing a key piece of information regarding luck.

I was going to discuss this post before my ISP inadvertently cancelled me out, but Bill Connelly has a metric that calls the Badgers one of the unluckiest teams in regards to generating turnovers on the year. The main reason? Before Florida International's Thursday game, the Badgers were tied for fifth in passes defended with 33. None of those passes have been picked off. An average team would have 7. And as you can see, this is a vicious bit of variance.

The Interception Rate of the Badgers (via cfbstats.com)
Season Interceptions Passes Defensed Turnover Rate
2012 0 33 .000
2011 16 57 .281
2010 14 60 .233
2009 15 58 .259
2008 12 52 .230
2007 12 54 .222

So what's the tie in? I mean, we're looking at an offensive line that's dinged up, and in the cases of Havenstein and Wagner, we don't know what or for how long they're dealing with their problems, and a secondary that's in some need of work with the jugs gun. Well, it's simple. You can work your magic, and you can manage to get lucky more often than not. But the mean will come. And sometimes, it will come back with a vengeance.

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