Inside the Numbers: One-Score Games, Part 1

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Frank Beamer
Frank Beamer

In his 29-year tenure at Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer’s record was 238-121-2, a winning percentage of 0.659. But in one-score games — decided by eighth points or fewer — Beamer’s Hokies were 54-61-2, a winning percentage of only 0.462.

When you throw that stat out there, all kinds of questions arise. Is that good? Is that bad? How does it compare to other programs and coaches? Why do we care?

Those are all good questions, but let me make one thing clear: this series of articles has no agenda. Many readers think that when an analyst starts to work on something, he begins with an agenda. Or he notices something that looks good or bad, and then fleshes out the data to make things look even better or even worse.

I’m not doing any of that. I don’t even remember why I got started on this study, and I’m not setting out to prove anything, just to examine the data.

VT’s Overall Performance in the Beamer Era

As noted above, here’s a snapshot of how the Hokies did overall under Frank Beamer (1987-2015), and in one-score games:

Hokie Football, 1987-2015:

  • Overall Record: 238-121-2 (0.659)
  • One-score Games: 54-61-2 (0.462)
  • Other Games: 184-60-0 (0.754)

Isolated in that fashion, the data doesn’t really say anything, other than “The Hokies were a sub-.500 football team in one-score games.”