Ceterus Paribus

This was originally called "Quantifying the "Dorrell Factor," but Nestor thought something in Latin sounded classy, so what the heck.  

As I was growing up in the world of academia, one term that was used a lot was "ceterus paribus" or something spelled sort of like that.  It meant "everything else being equal."

I see no reason to think that our football team would not stack up well against anyone in the country, ceterus paribus.

But it isn't ceterus paribus.  Some teams cheat and pay their players.  We don't do that.  Some teams hire thugs, malcontents, misogynists and felons and disguise them as "student athletes."  We don't do that.  I don't mind having to compete against cheaters, because it makes beating them all the more sweet.

The main problem, the problem that eclipses all of the other "ceterus paribus" issues, is Mr. Dorrell.  I have not seen anyone try to quantify what his presence on the sidelines means to the team over the course of a season, so I took a stab at it.  I was pretty surprised at what I saw - I thought it would be clearly demonstrable that he cost the team a minimum of three or four losses every year, but it turned out to be less.  

I started with what I thought was a fair assumption:  that the quality of athletes we have had on our football team the past four years is basically the same as we have always had, on average.  We have had years with more great players than others, of course, but I'm talking about over the long haul.

The long haul shows that Mr. Dorrell has the worst percentage of anyone going back to Billy Barnes, which is way before most denizens of the BN were even born.  (I was in line behind him once at Ralphs, but I digress.)  (And Coach Barnes' record for his first four years is better than Mr. Dorrell's as noted below.  But I digress again.)

Here's what the coaches have done -

Mr. Dorrell:         2003 to now    29-20    .592
Coach Toledo:     1996 - 2002    49-32    .604
Coach Donahue:  1976 - 1995  151-74-8  .671
Coach Vermeil:    1974 - 1975   15- 5-3  .750
Coach Rodgers:   1971 - 1973   19-12-1  .612
Coach Prothro:    1965 - 1970   41-18-3  .694
Coach Barnes:     1958 - 1964   32-36-3  .470
Coach Sanders:   1949 - 1957   66-19-1  .776

(In his first four years, Coach Barnes was 24-16-3, for a winning percentage of .600 which is obviously better than Mr. Dorrell's record.)

Let's just go back one generation - to the Donahue/Toledo era.  Their combined record was 200-106-3 (.653 winning percentage.)  Add in Coach Vermeil and it's better - 215-111-11, winning about two out of every three games.)

So for a generation, all things being equal, our team won roughly 66% of its games.  In a 13 game schedule, that's nine wins - a 9-4 record.  That is what our teams should have been doing for the past four years, ceterus paribus.

But our winning percentage is .592, which in a 13 game schedule is about 7.5.  So we alternate between 7 and 8 win seasons.

Hence, I think it is fair to argue that that Mr. Dorrell should be deemed responsible for at least 1.5 losses every year that we would not ordinarily have had to suffer.

Frankly, I thought it would be much more, but this admittedly unscientific analysis shows it's about an incremental 1.5 losses per year that must be directly attributed to Mr. Dorrell's ineptitude.  (The corollary, of course, is that the individual players have shown outstanding ability to keep the "Dorrell Factor" at only 1.5 incremental losses per season.)

I am not willing to concede an extra three losses every two years.  I still believe that every day Mr. Dorrell is retained as head coach is another day of mediocrity.  I remain of the belief that the best thing to do is FDI - Fire Dorrell Immediately.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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