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The Malzahn Effect

Last Updated on June 14, 2011 by

If you haven’t already discovered Coaches By the Numbers, it’s time. No other website has such an enormous amount of data on college coaches. They do a great job analyzing those numbers as well.

A recent post over at CBNT was on The Gus Malzahn Effect. They’ve been ever so kind as to allow me to repost it here. I thought it went along nicely with the conversation this morning about whether coaches are overpaid. So, without further adieu:

In January of 2011, he was hoisting a National Championship trophy and looking forward to earning over $1.0 million per year as Auburn’s Offensive Coordinator.

As you probably know by now, at CBTN, we rate coaches using a proprietary formula that looks at several factors and weighs them accordingly. Obviously Malzahn is a great offensive coordinator and likewise receives 5 stars in our system. However, what is interesting is his ‘effect’ on the head coaches he works under. So, just how good of an Offensive Coordinator is Gus Malzahn?

Let’s dig into some numbers and see:

1) Below are Houston Nutt’s CBTN ratings (bold numbers are with Gus Malzahn as Offensive Coordinator):

YearSchoolCBTN Rating
2001Arkansas58.77
2002Arkansas59.99
2003Arkansas64.71
2004Arkansas46.27
2005Arkansas33.03
2006Arkansas65.90
2007Arkansas57.88
2008Ole Miss68.12
2009Ole Miss61.50
2010Ole Miss30.54

Average CBTN Rating without Malzahn: 53.86

CBTN Rating with Malzahn: 65.90

Differential = 12.04

Houston Nutt’s CBTN Rating was 23% better with Malzahn than without. Also, since 2001, Houston Nutt has only played in two SEC Championship games and one of those appearances came in 2006 when Gus Malzahn was calling the offensive plays.

Now, let’s look at the impact Malzahn had on Coach Nutt’s Winning Percentage (bolded numbers are with Malzahn):

CoachYearSchoolWinsLossesWP%Conf. WP%
Houston Nutt2001Arkansas7463.6%50.0%
Houston Nutt2002Arkansas9564.3%55.6%
Houston Nutt2003Arkansas9464.3%50.0%
Houston Nutt2004Arkansas5645.5%37.5%
Houston Nutt2005Arkansas4736.4%25.0%
Houston Nutt2006Arkansas10471.4%77.8%
Houston Nutt2007Arkansas8561.5%50.0%
Houston Nutt2008Mississippi9464.3%62.5%
Houston Nutt2009Mississippi9464.3%50.0%
Houston Nutt2010Mississippi4833.3%12.5%

Average WP% without Malzahn = 55.28%

WP% with Malzahn = 71.4%

Differential = 16.12%

Avg. Conf. WP% without Malzahn = 43.68%

Conf. WP% with Malzahn = 77.80%

Differential = 31.12%

2) Now, let’s look at Todd Graham’s CBTN Head Coach Ratings (bold numbers are with Gus Malzahn as Offensive Coordinator):

YearSchoolCBTN Rating
2006Rice37,35
2007Tulsa47.52
2008Tulsa55.73
2009Tulsa30.83
2010Tulsa58.78

Average CBTN rating without Malzahn: 42.57

Average CBTN Rating with Malzahn: 51.62

Differential = 9.05

Todd Graham’s CBTN Rating was 22% better with Malzahn than without him.

Now, let’s look at the impact Malzahn had on the Winning Percentage (bolded numbers are with Malzahn):

CoachSchoolYearWinsLossesWP%
Todd GrahamRice20067653.8%
Todd GrahamTulsa200710471.4%
Todd GrahamTulsa200811378.6%
Todd GrahamTulsa20095741.7%
Todd GrahamTulsa201010376.9%

Average WP% without Malzahn = 57.47%

Average WP% with Malzahn = 75.00%

Differential = 17.53%

3) Finally, let’s look at Gene Chizik’s CBTN Head Coach Ratings (bold numbers are with Gus Malzahn as Offensive Coordinator):

YearSchoolCBTN Rating
2007Iowa State22.04
2008Iowa State15.75
2009Auburn55.84
2010Auburn95.88

Average CBTN Rating without Malzahn: 18.90

Average CBTN Rating with Malzahn: 76.53

Differential = 57.63%

Gene Chizik’s CBTN Rating is 305% better with Malzahn than without him.

Now, let’s look at the impact Malzahn had on the Winning Percentage (bolded numbers are with Malzahn):

CoachYearWinsLossesWP%
Gene Chizik20073925%
Gene Chizik200821016.7%
Gene Chizik20098561.5%
Gene Chizik2010140100%

Average WP% without Malzahn = 20.85%

Average WP% with Malzahn = 80.75%

Differential = 59.90%

The numbers with Chizik are hard to draw too many conclusions from given how drastically different the Iowa State and Auburn jobs are (Auburn is the 9th Rated CBTN Job and Iowa State is the 61st Rated CBTN Job).

Here at CBTN, we are trying to let the numbers speak for themselves as much as possible.

Maybe it’s just one really big coincidence or maybe there are other factors that explain the trend, but head coaches seem to perform better and win more games with Gus Malzahn calling plays than without Gus Malzahn calling plays.

You can learn more about CBNT here.

Author

  • Kristi Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. J. Hudler

    June 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    It should be noted he was a high school coach in 2005. Wow. Malzahn is truly impressive. Nice article.

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