An interesting Iowa State vs. Notre Dame analysis

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ChrisMWilliams

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The following was submitted to me from a guy I have known from the Cyclone interwebs for years. He goes by Cygarin over on Paul Clark's board. I really enjoy his analysis. He said it'd be ok if I shared with you all. Enjoy.

Below you will find a comparison of performance between Iowa State and Notre Dame, broken down into opponent strength ranges.

Make note.....

All opponent’s power rankings have been adjusted for home field advantage.

The over/under performance of each game has been normalized by considering both Iowa State and Notre Dame as having an exactly equal power rating. Thus, all performances can be equally compared.



TOP 15 EQUIVALENTS


95.81 @ OKLAHOMA LOSS +18 POINT OVER PERFORMANCE
95.71 @ GEORGIA LOSS +12
92.84 @ MICHIGAN LOSS -16
88.25 @ BAYLOR LOSS +10

Summary:

Win-Loss....

Neither team had any success, and thus neither team showed an advantage.

Margin....

Iowa State clearly had advantage having two double-digit over performances.

Notre Dame suffered a double digit underperformance to Michigan mid-season.


TOP 16-30 EQUIVALENTS

84.20 @ KANSAS STATE LOSS -2
81.29 H TEXAS WIN +7
80.28 H IOWA LOSS +3
79.32 H OKLAHOMA STATE LOSS -4
78.11 H USC WIN +3
78.06 @ TEXAS TECH WIN +12

Summary:

Win-Loss...

Arguably advantage Iowa State by virtue of having two wins in this range to Notre Dame's just one.

Arguably advantage Notre Dame by virtue that Iowa State has three losses to Notre Dame's none.

Overall I would call this one slight advantage Iowa State due to Texas being a higher ranked win, and also that Iowa State beat Texas Tech on the road.

Margin....

A wash of sorts.

In one game, Notre Dame had a 3-point over performance.

Iowa State "averaged" a 3.2 over performance.

Almost impossible to discern is what Notre Dame would have done with more games in this range, but all indicators suggests that 50-50 success would be highly probable.

TOP 31-45 EQUIVALENTS


77.05 H VIRGINIA TECH WIN +1
76.52 H TCU WIN +25
75.23 H NAVY WIN +29
75.22 @ WEST VIRGINIA WIN +23

Summary:

Win-loss....

Tie

Margin.....

Slight advantage Iowa State by virtue of having two 20-plus over performances.

Notre Dame had one 20-plus over performance ,but also had just a 1-pointer


TOP 45-55 EQUIVALENTS


73.49 @ STANFORD WIN +17
73.45 H VIRGINIA WIN +11
73.03 @ DUKE WIN +26

Summary: None.....Iowa State played no games in this range.

TOP 55-75 EQUIVALENTS

70.06 @ LOUISVILLE WIN +10
67.80 H BOSTON COLLEGE WIN +23

Summary: None…..Iowa State played no games in this range.


SUB-75 EQUIVALENTS


60.40 H KANSAS WIN -6
55.31 H NORTHERN IOWA WIN -21
55.03 H ULM WIN +31
54.22 H NEW MEXICO WIN +28
42.73 H BOWLING GREEN WIN +17

Summary:

Win-Loss: Tie- all games were won

Margin: Huge advantage Notre Dame, but largely irrelevant.


GRAND SUMMARY:


What is most notable is that Notre Dame payed only three opponents in the 16th to 45th range....and all three of these were played at home.

This is a VERY small sample to assess Notre Dame’s performance against credible opponents outside the top-15, and the home advantage arguably skews things a bit...at least from the standpoint of not knowing how Notre Dame can do on the road.

Conversely, where Notre Dame played only three... Iowa State played seven opponents in this mid-range....giving ample data, and showing that Iowa State has been heavily battle tested in this range.

It does appear that Notre Dame fared better at home than on the road, but lack of data makes it difficult to validate that premise.

The only range where Notre Dame has a performance advantage over Iowa State is in the sub-75 equivalent range...where Notre Dame smoked all of their opponents, and Iowa State struggled. Both teams won all their games, and so far as the bowl goes, the data in this range is irrelevant.

Iowa State had by far the more difficult "upper half" and "last half" strength of schedule, and is difficult to say what impact season fatigue played on the season-long performance, when compared to Notre Dame's.

Indeed, the only time all season that Notre Dame played back-to-back top-30 opponents was USC followed by Michigan....which resulted in a royal arse-kicking by the Wolverines.

To compare....Iowa State had only one three-game stretch where they did not play a top-30 team.

More critically in Iowa State's last six games....the Cyclones played only one team not top-25.

Whereby Notre Dame played not single team top-30 in their last five games after Michigan, and that one was a relatively lightweight 30th ranked Navy at home.....a 45th ranked equivalent.

To conclude......

All indications are that this 10-2 team and 7-5 team are equals regardless of the record disparity.

The data not only shows that Notre Dame's ten-win season was biased by the schedule....it was a direct product of the schedule.

At worst, as can be clearly seen......both teams are pretty much equal in all performance categories in the top-45 ranges.

If anything, the data suggests that Iowa State has been the better performer based on margin performance, even in their losses.
 

JM4CY

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That's a lot of good info...

So basically, we have been through the ringer and have a few more L's due to it but have been battle tested and have been competitive. Meanwhile, the vaulted Notre Dame won their games but played a rather milk toast schedule?
 

heitclone

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Great info, the advantage ND gets from the bball program playing in the ACC is probably a net loss when you look at what its done to their football program. Being forced to play 5 ACC teams and not having Clemson, even Free Shoes on the schedule every year really hurts their schedule. Especially when its historically bad, like this season.
 

ISUTex

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In other words, having to play a real schedule because we are in a conference is harder to get wins than whatever ND does to schedule games.

No surprise.




9 P5 teams. Seven of those P5 teams are bowl eligible and 4 of them are ranked in the top 25. Plus Navy, who is ranked, and favored over K-State. Seems like a legit schedule to me.
 
Last edited:

Sigmapolis

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If I may summarize...

Iowa State played a hard slog of a schedule, played pretty evenly with good teams (won some games, lost some games, most of them were close), but had this odd habit of playing down to the level of inferior competition (e.g., Kansas and Northern Iowa) yet ultimately won those games, even if there were scares.

Notre Dame played an easier schedule, had a few nice wins, but against elite teams they either came up just short (UGA) or had their butt kicked (Michigan). They also had most of their success at home and none on the road (see the Athens and Ann Arbor games just mentioned as examples). Notre Dame at least managed to beat the stuffing out of its cupcake opponents, which it had plenty of to play.

I think the teams are closer than that analysis might imply.

FPI agrees with me, too, putting Notre Dame ahead by seven spots --

upload_2019-12-16_10-22-45.png

The model sees Iowa State as a "good team that you cannot trust to be consistent." Yes, we won our games against our cupcakes, but the model still penalizes you for low quality play against bad teams even if you win. And I agree -- those bad habits can and will catch up with you at some point, and considering the Northern Iowa game is 1/12th of our sample size, dismissing it as "no harm, no foul, we won in the end" is unsound when we had to go to overtime against a (albeit a very good one) I-AA team.

Notre Dame can at least say, "At least we beat up our cupcakes. We did not need overtime or fourth-quarter heroics to take down the mighty UNI/KU."

I suspect these teams are "close" or ND is still slightly ahead.

Iowa State's best win this year was probably Texas. That is not exactly setting the world on fire. Not finishing off Iowa, Baylor, or Oklahoma really hurt.
 

Trice

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9 P5 teams. Seven of those P5 teams are bowl eligible and 4 of them are ranked in the top 25. Plus Navy, who is favored over K-State. Seems like a legit schedule to me.
Yeah. I get that maybe this year's ND schedule didn't turn out to be quite as difficult because some of their opponents were a bit down, like Louisville and Stanford. So perhaps we are better tested this season.

But extrapolating that into knocking them for their overall scheduling practices is not a winning argument.
 
  • Agree
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Cloneon

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The following was submitted to me from a guy I have known from the Cyclone interwebs for years. He goes by Cygarin over on Paul Clark's board. I really enjoy his analysis. He said it'd be ok if I shared with you all. Enjoy.

Below you will find a comparison of performance between Iowa State and Notre Dame, broken down into opponent strength ranges.

Make note.....

All opponent’s power rankings have been adjusted for home field advantage.

The over/under performance of each game has been normalized by considering both Iowa State and Notre Dame as having an exactly equal power rating. Thus, all performances can be equally compared.



TOP 15 EQUIVALENTS


95.81 @ OKLAHOMA LOSS +18 POINT OVER PERFORMANCE
95.71 @ GEORGIA
LOSS +12
92.84 @ MICHIGAN
LOSS -16
88.25 @ BAYLOR
LOSS +10

Summary:

Win-Loss....

Neither team had any success, and thus neither team showed an advantage.

Margin....

Iowa State clearly had advantage having two double-digit over performances.

Notre Dame suffered a double digit underperformance to Michigan mid-season.


TOP 16-30 EQUIVALENTS

84.20 @ KANSAS STATE LOSS -2
81.29 H TEXAS WIN +7
80.28 H IOWA
LOSS +3
79.32 H OKLAHOMA STATE
LOSS -4
78.11 H USC WIN +3
78.06 @ TEXAS TECH WIN +12


Summary:

Win-Loss...

Arguably advantage Iowa State by virtue of having two wins in this range to Notre Dame's just one.

Arguably advantage Notre Dame by virtue that Iowa State has three losses to Notre Dame's none.

Overall I would call this one slight advantage Iowa State due to Texas being a higher ranked win, and also that Iowa State beat Texas Tech on the road.

Margin....

A wash of sorts.

In one game, Notre Dame had a 3-point over performance.

Iowa State "averaged" a 3.2 over performance.

Almost impossible to discern is what Notre Dame would have done with more games in this range, but all indicators suggests that 50-50 success would be highly probable.

TOP 31-45 EQUIVALENTS


77.05 H VIRGINIA TECH WIN +1
76.52 H TCU WIN +25
75.23 H NAVY WIN +29
75.22 @ WEST VIRGINIA WIN +23


Summary:

Win-loss....

Tie

Margin.....

Slight advantage Iowa State by virtue of having two 20-plus over performances.

Notre Dame had one 20-plus over performance ,but also had just a 1-pointer


TOP 45-55 EQUIVALENTS


73.49 @ STANFORD WIN +17
73.45 H VIRGINIA WIN +11
73.03 @ DUKE WIN +26


Summary: None.....Iowa State played no games in this range.

TOP 55-75 EQUIVALENTS

70.06 @ LOUISVILLE WIN +10
67.80 H BOSTON COLLEGE WIN +23


Summary: None…..Iowa State played no games in this range.


SUB-75 EQUIVALENTS


60.40 H KANSAS WIN -6
55.31 H NORTHERN IOWA WIN -21
55.03 H ULM WIN +31
54.22 H NEW MEXICO WIN +28
42.73 H BOWLING GREEN WIN +17


Summary:

Win-Loss: Tie- all games were won

Margin: Huge advantage Notre Dame, but largely irrelevant.


GRAND SUMMARY:


What is most notable is that Notre Dame payed only three opponents in the 16th to 45th range....and all three of these were played at home.

This is a VERY small sample to assess Notre Dame’s performance against credible opponents outside the top-15, and the home advantage arguably skews things a bit...at least from the standpoint of not knowing how Notre Dame can do on the road.

Conversely, where Notre Dame played only three... Iowa State played seven opponents in this mid-range....giving ample data, and showing that Iowa State has been heavily battle tested in this range.

It does appear that Notre Dame fared better at home than on the road, but lack of data makes it difficult to validate that premise.

The only range where Notre Dame has a performance advantage over Iowa State is in the sub-75 equivalent range...where Notre Dame smoked all of their opponents, and Iowa State struggled. Both teams won all their games, and so far as the bowl goes, the data in this range is irrelevant.

Iowa State had by far the more difficult "upper half" and "last half" strength of schedule, and is difficult to say what impact season fatigue played on the season-long performance, when compared to Notre Dame's.

Indeed, the only time all season that Notre Dame played back-to-back top-30 opponents was USC followed by Michigan....which resulted in a royal arse-kicking by the Wolverines.

To compare....Iowa State had only one three-game stretch where they did not play a top-30 team.

More critically in Iowa State's last six games....the Cyclones played only one team not top-25.

Whereby Notre Dame played not single team top-30 in their last five games after Michigan, and that one was a relatively lightweight 30th ranked Navy at home.....a 45th ranked equivalent.

To conclude......

All indications are that this 10-2 team and 7-5 team are equals regardless of the record disparity.

The data not only shows that Notre Dame's ten-win season was biased by the schedule....it was a direct product of the schedule.

At worst, as can be clearly seen......both teams are pretty much equal in all performance categories in the top-45 ranges.

If anything, the data suggests that Iowa State has been the better performer based on margin performance, even in their losses.
Before I came to this board, he was the ONLY poster I truly respected over there. He disappeared for awhile due to the same types of pessimists we have here, but reappeared. I, as well as a ton more, posters welcomed him back with open arms. His statistical data is outstanding and he always remains objective (something I can not say for most other posters). Can you get him to post over here? I'd definitely subscribe and use ignore more freely ;)
 

jsb

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Before I came to this board, he was the ONLY poster I truly respected over there. He disappeared for awhile due to the same types of pessimists we have here, but reappeared. I, as well as a ton more, posters welcomed him back with open arms. His statistical data is outstanding and he always remains objective (something I can not say for most other posters). Can you get him to post over here? I'd definitely subscribe and use ignore more freely ;)
there are two posters over there that I miss. Him and the weather forecast guy.
 

Cloneon

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And Norte Dame is ranked higher and gets all the respect. What good is this hard schedule again?
Ummm. Not sure it's 'respect' they get. Notoriety? Yes. But, that's more likely due to their popularity and huge television audience and slanted opinions therein.
 

TexCyted

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As much as I despise ND and their brand. One thing I think they never get credit for in their scheduling is the fact that something like half of their games are considered rivalry games. At the very least it is an interesting dynamic to think about.