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Some numbers and a unifying theory

by Mike (bart), Monday, December 04, 2017, 08:14 @ Slainte Joe

I think there is a pattern specific to ND, but I don't think it has anything to do with the "There are so many demands placed on ND kids" angle. you don't see similar deteriorations at places like Duke, Northwestern, Stanford, Navy, etc. where the putative student-athlete burdens are equal or more severe.

Further, you don't really see these deteriorations in years when ND doesn't have much to lose entering November. Look at these comparisons, just from the Kelly Era:

Net Points Through Oct 31//Net Points in Nov-Dec-Jan

"GOOD" YEARS (Years that looked like we might be a legit team entering November)

2012: +147 (+18 ppg)//+37; (+7 ppg) II -11 ppg difference post Nov 1
2014: +100 (+14.3 ppg)//-62 (-10 ppg) II -24 ppg difference post Nov 1
2015: +114 (+14.3 ppg)//+18 (+5.2 ppg) II -9 ppg difference post Nov 1
2017: +195 (24.4 ppg)//-33 (-8.25 ppg) II -33 ppg difference post Nov 1
AVG -19.25 net ppg deterioriation in Nov/Dec

"MEH" YEARS (Years that we entered November in relative anonymity)
2010: +8 (+1 ppg)//+77 (+19 ppg) II +18 ppg difference post Nov 1
2011: +96 (+12 ppg)//+15 (+3 ppg) II -9 ppg difference post Nov 1
2013: +50 (+6.3 ppg)//+9 (+2.25 ppg) II -3 ppg difference post Nov 1
2016: +21 (+2.7 ppg)//+16 (+4 ppg) II +1.3 ppg difference post Nov 1
AVG +1.8 net ppg improvement in Nov./Dec

I haven't gone back and done similar exercises for other "fool's gold" years, but my hunch would be that you'd see similar patterns emerging with the difference between "Return to Glory" Novembers and "Anonymous" n=Novembers.

I mentioned this last week, but the working theory I'm going to start harping on is that ND has a "campus/culture" problem. We -- students, media, fans, you, me, pretty much everyone in the ND universe --- prematurely ejaculate every single time it looks like we might be on the verge of getting to elite status. I think given how insular and integrated the ND universe is, both within campus and without, it has to be very hard not to feel like you've hit the mountaintop once you're "in the conversation" into November, since we all start acting like it and waxing glorious and whatnot. Football is hard, and once one's competitive edge gets softened even a little bit, it is very hard to readjust one's mindset and win it back. Even worse, have the carpet pulled out from under you one too many times and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


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