One of the core purposes of CBTN is to evaluate coaches objectively based on their past performances. Like evaluating any stock, asset, or commodity, the numbers are the beginning and end point for any credible valuation.
To that end, we gathered all the necessary information to perform such a valuation on individual college football coaches. Gathering all data since the advent of the sport would be too much and would provide to many irrelevant distractions. Only gathering data from the previous few years would insufficient to make significant conclusions. Without a set number of years in mind, we started looking at all of the available sources of data that existed and cross referenced it with all of the key statistics that we felt were critical to evaluating college football coaches. What we found is that there was a definable “modern era” of statistics that began right around 2001. As the game was quickly evolving, so were the available statistics. We started seeing third-down efficiency, turnover margin, sacks, and tackles for loss being tracked. RPIs (Ratings Percentage Index) to rank teams became more and more popular and the SOS (Strength of Schedule) was becoming a household word. We also saw more statistics off-the-field coming into their own. Startups like Rivals.com and Scout.com were tracking the entire recruiting process, providing even greater insight into a coach’s impact.
With that in mind, we considered how much of a coach’s body of work can be reasonably factored into how good of a coach he is now. Much like stocks, we arrived at the consensus that the “trend is your friend,” and we believe that looking back further than 10 years just won’t help you adequately answer the question “what have you done for me lately?” Putting it all together we concluded that the year 2001 would be the statistical genesis for the numbers on this site.
With the year 2001 as our starting point, we then began the process of gathering data and architecting our data warehouse. We discovered early on that there just wasn’t a single comprehensive location for coaching statistics. Compiling data required us to search by three dimensions: by time, by coach, and by team. Since no one source had all three, we had to create a virtual ‘cube’ of information. Once all of the data was compiled, we systematically sliced and diced the data every way we could imagine.
Technologically, we created a Business Intelligence data warehouse. The purpose behind building any data warehouse for business intelligence needs is to create KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). At CBTN, our first KPI created was for the Coach Ratings. From there we were able to easily create all sorts of rankings and perform a wide range of interesting analyses of coaches. While not all of it will result in a ranking, it will be leveraged by our authors to provide you a very intriguing look at Coaches, By The Numbers.