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A Closer Look at the FSU Scheduling Disparity


As pointed out in the Duke Basketball Report, FSU (along with Duke) is getting screwed this year with our basketball schedule.  To summarize their article they looked at off-days between ACC basketball match-ups, and specifically at the number of days each team has to prepare for the game.  If FSU, for example, were playing Maryland, the author looked at how many days there were since the previous game for both teams.  For tomorrow night's matchup FSU last played on January 30th, whereas Maryland played on the 31st, so the author considered this a scheduling advantage for FSU.  However that doesn't happen often this year, as FSU and Duke both play 10 league games in which they've had less time to prepare than the other guy.  The author concludes that this is a "huge disadvantage given to Florida State and Duke."

Reading the DBR article, I got the sense that our "huge disadvantage" was actually a perceived disadvantage, and that the author hadn't actually looked at how Duke or any other ACC team performs when they have less time to prepare than their opponent.  It makes sense that if Team X has one more day to prepare than Team Y then this would be advantageous for Team X, but when you look at data a lot of things that seem to make sense actually don't.  And I wondered if this is one of them.

For a dataset I chose the 2005-06 season as a starting point as that was the first year in our current run of not sucking.  Prior to that we lost to all comers, regardless of prep time.  And since I don't give a shit about Duke I only looked at FSU games.  I also eliminated ACC Tourney games, due to the fact that the schedule is seed dependent.

First I looked at how often we got "screwed" with scheduling, to make sure that FSU wasn't always getting the short end of the scheduling stick.  A '+' indicates we had more time than our opponent, a '-' indicates that we had less.  It turns out that the ACC is at least consistent with their inconsistencies. (Note: table includes entire 2009-10 season, not just games played to date)

Year

+

-

=

2005-06

1

4

11

2006-07

6

3

7

2007-08

8

5

3

2008-09

7

3

6

2009-10

4

10

2

Totals

26

25

29

I then looked at how we performed under each of those scenarios, to see if that author was correct that we were under a "huge disadvantage."  Our overall record, for reference sake, since 2005-06 is 37-34 (.521).

 

Wins

Losses

%

+

13

11

.542

-

11

9

.550

=

13

14

.481

So in games where we either play at an advantage or a disadvantage we've played above .500, and in games in which the prep time is equal we've played slightly under .500.  What does this mean?  Well, I'm certainly not ready to conclude that we want a schedule comprised solely of mis-matched preparation times, but it does make me leary about the Duke Basketball Report's conclusion that we're getting screwed.

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