Fewer fumbles lost in 2005?
In a recent message board discussion about touches-per-fumble, it was noted that NC State lost 16 of 23 fumbles in 2004, which is an irregularly high percentage. In fact, there is only a 4.6% chance that a team fumbling 23 times recovers 7 or fewer of those fumbles (this number is found through a binomial probability distribution--I'm not familiar with the method, so don't ask; thanks to jwehr for the calculations; link to discussion on Pack Pride Premium board).
On the assumption that a team has an even chance of recovering its own fumbles, the fact that NC State recovered just 7/23 (30%) indicates that the Wolfpack was rather unlucky. NC State should hold onto the ball better in 2005 for a couple of reasons:
1) TA McLendon's absense should (well, we THINK) mean a decrease in total fumbles in 2005 (meaning less than 23).
2) We should recover a more normal percentage because that's ... normal. Even if we fumble the ball 23 times again, we should still give fewer of them away (doesn't mean we will, of course).
Fewer fumbles + recovery percentage closer to 50% = fewer giveaways on the ground
Now, if we can just get that Jay Davis fellow to stop heavin' the ball to the wrong jerseys...
And while I'm thinking positive, here's one more thing:
The Pack scored 264 points and allowed 218 points in 2004, which gives an expected W/L record of 7-4 ( I used the Pythagorean Formula for football found here. Technically it's for the NFL, but I figured it wouldn't be too far off for college football.). The Wolfpack finished the year 5-6, two games under expectation. That is mostly due to NC State's performance in close games, which can mostly be tied to turnovers. This is another indicator for a bounce back winning season in 2005.
Update 7-10-06: The morey.org link is dead. Try here for info on the pythagorean formula as it relates to football.