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What Can Advanced Statistics Teach Us About 2014 and 2015?

The data isn't everything, but sometimes it can give you a different perspective that lets you know that things will be alright... or that your luck is about to run out.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

So I can't help but be a number cruncher. Not enough that I would actually want to do it for a living, but enough that I can sit down and fiddle with an Excel spreadsheet and not notice that a few hours have passed.

In that sense, I have something in common with Bill C., though I do not envy his chore of previewing every single team that starts this coming week. We will use this week as an opportunity to comb through the team statistics of turnover luck and quarterly performance as measured by Football Ousiders' S/P+ ratings in order to see if there is anything worth noticing about 2014's final results, and whether that says anything meaningful about the 2015 season.

I can tell you now, a lot of what the data shows is not going to surprise you too much if you followed the team in question throughout the year, but there are still some nuggets of underlying wisdom that could give you either hope or dread heading into the 2015 season.

For instance, you'd be surprised to learn that Louisiana Monroe, they of the 4-8 record, were very nearly conference champions. But that's a story for another post. Enjoy the posts, and let us know what you think, whether you agree with the data's opinion of your team and whether it matches what you saw with your own two eyes.