Game Charting - Guide to Plusses and Minusses

yrro's picture
August 24, 2013 at 10:36p

This is a reference post for community members assisting in the Buckeye Charting Project.

Plusses and minuses are examples of something a player does to make, or fail to make, a play. They should be exceptional things. If a linebacker makes a tackle after five yards, that isn’t a plus. If an offensive lineman gets beat 4 seconds into his protection and causes a coverage sack, that isn’t either. It is something that leads (or should lead) to a big play. We won’t be completely consistent since the judgment is subjective, but we should be able to be similar. Most plays probably will not have any (unless the Buckeyes are really playing with their hair on fire).

Yes a Plus:

  • Smith makes a one-handed catch for a touchdown.
  • Miller eludes pressure and scrambles for a 15-yard gain.
  • Wilson breaks four ankles on his way to the end zone.
  • Mewhort pancakes a Michigan lineman and Hyde walks untouched into the end zone.
  • Shazier shoots through the mess for yet another TFL.
  • Pretty much any sack, TFL, int, forced fumble, pass defensed from our defense.

Not a Plus:

  • Miller overthrows a touchdown pass to Smith that he has to catch one handed.
  • Miller throws a basic screen pass to Wilson.
  • Hyde follows the hole made by Mewhort into the end zone.
  • Shazier and a lot of other guys stop the opponent’s running back for a 3-yard gain on first and ten.
  • The opposing quarterback overthrows his receiver, who was well-covered by Roby.

Yes a Minus:

  • Miller throws a pick.
  • An O-linemen gets beaten almost immediately by a defensive end, who pressures Miller.
  • A receiver drops a catchable pass.
  • A missed tackle that really should have been made.
  • Any penalty that was not obviously a bad call.

Not a Minus:

  • A running back misses the hole and gets 2 yards when he could have gotten 10.
  • Miller throws to a covered receiver and the ball is knocked down.
  • Miller has to throw the ball away, even though he could have maybe scrambled, or there was an open receiver on the far side of the field that he didn’t see.

Comments Show All Comments

BucksfanXC's picture

This is where I'm worried because it is so subjective and we have 10 guys doing one game we will have 10 different opinions on this. We might need to assign one or two ppl to do just the plus/minus part but it would be hard to separate it from all the other reviewing. Maybe we all put a rating and we turn it in then one guy who is deemed best goes through afterwards and does the "official" rating before publishing. 
At MGo I know Brian's usual tendencies on ratings. He's tough on lineman but generous with the WR etc kinda thing. Especially for guys like me who never played or worse yet guys who played a certain position might be biased to that position. 

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

yrro's picture

I'm really not *that* worried about being consistent with it, because even if one person does it, it *is* still very subjective. I don't expect this aspect to be good data in a statistical sense. But still, I think that it helps give you an overall feel of "who had a good game." It's very different to have a *feeling* that Christian Bryant always goes for the pick hit and misses tackles... it says something different if you know he does that about once a game, which is something most people should notice. If someone is making splash plays consistently it should show up between different viewers.
I am planning on reviewing everything when I combine the data into a blog post. Obviously I can't correct non-points that should have been noted, but I can read through and see if some people are being much more generous than others and try to make some adjustments.

pjtobin's picture

This makes sense. I am looking forward to the 11 w breakdown. Good luck and thank you all who are involved. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad.