SPIKE FACTOR, WEEK 5

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Math has so many real world applications, once you embrace the power of "hatin' with research."

Spiker! Spiker! burning bright
Whether kickoff's day or night
What immortal hand or eye
Could make you throw too low and high?

Spike_factor_medium

Week five turned into a points orgy where the cops never showed up to shut things down, which means we had to do a little barrel-scraping here at the Spike Factor. (Per usual, you can find the cumulative numbers, or at least the ones we've managed to calculate so far, right here.) But there is still hope for we, the hateful - whenever Joker Phillips closes a fumble door, he opens an interception window, after all.

Kentucky turned in a second straight competitive week in the competition for the Tetanus Spike, going 27 for 63 for a grand total Spike Factor of 42%. You're going to win this thing soon, Wildcats, I just know it. It's about taking the time to look at what you're doing right and make the necessary changes to start fucking that up, too. Step one: more Morgan Newton. WAY more.

NORTH CALLOUS FORTY

A casual observation from this point in the project: if your team hits 40% or higher on the Spike Factor, you're almost certainly going to lose. There are exceptions, of course, because this is just a crude measure of offensive ineptitude, so it won't account for successes on defense or special teams that can save your sorry-ass running game from itself.

For example, besides Kentucky this week:

  • Stanford had 26 plays out of 63 that failed to advance the line of scrimmage, for a Spike Factor of 41%, and lost a close game to a Washington team that stayed right below this danger zone (26/68, 38%).
  • Colorado hit 43% (28/64) and got hammered at home, because Colorado football is proof that everything youth sports coaches say about trying your best is total bullshit.
  • Arkansas may well have set the record for most Spike Factor plays in a game with 46, which is also their percentage for the week since they managed to run 98 plays overall.
And then there's TCU, who moved to 4-0 on the year despite racking up a Spike Factor of 41% (31/75) against...SMU. This is the part where I remind you about that thing I said above re: defense saving your sorry-ass running game.

YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG

It's a special kind of Pyrrhic oddity when a team wins the Spike Factor battle but loses the, you know, actual game. Two teams achieved that very feat on Saturday, and so we salute them individually.

First, Minnesota - a reasonably respectable Spike Factor of 30% (20/65), edging out Iowa's score of 32% (18/55). If only you hadn't turned the ball over four times, this game might have only been a loss by eight points instead of eighteen!

Second, and much more impressively, is Virginia Tech, who turned in a similarly low score of 31% (20/64), much worse than Cincinnati's eye-popping 46% Spike Factor (35/75). How in the world can one reconcile this disparity with a 27-24 Bearcat victory? See if you can find out by filling in the missing letters below?

The mi_age known as your _econdary gave u_ 392 pa__ing yar_s to _ucking Munchie Legau_.

THIS WEEK'S TETANUS SPIKE

We almost feel bad for piling on, but right now Jeff Tedford is to quarterback development as pool chemicals are to things you should feed a baby. Cal walks away with the prize this week after hitting the rarefied air of a 50% Spike Factor, having run 33 useless plays out of 65 at home against Arizona State. There is, perhaps, some comfort in the knowledge that the offense was terrible throughout this game - 56% in the first quarter, 54% in the second, 39% in the third, and 60% in the fourth quarter.

You never should have built that new stadium, Cal. Every homeowner I know always regrets having bought. Sure, mortgage rates are low, but now you're probably stuck with a home field permanently haunted by The Ghost Of Zach Maynard's Inaccuracy. That's why you rent, idiots.
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