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Is Passing or Running More Potent for FSU?

The Seminoles have been on one heck of a roll lately. They have been winning by wide margins all season. I’m sure a lot of people are wondering what is Jimbo Fisher’s secret? Is it the recruiting, the defense? What is he doing? Does he dance naked in Indian chief regalia every night chanting to the football gods?

So in this spirit of curiosity, we tried to look into Fisher’s impressive high output offense. We ran two simple correlations between passing yards and points scored and rushing yards and points scored. And we found something interesting.

We found a positive correlation of .58 between rushing yards and points scored, meaning the more rushing yards the Seminoles have in a game, the more points they score. However, we found a negative correlation of -.22 between passing yards and points scored. Technically this means the more passing yards, the fewer the points scored.

Rushing Correlation to Points = .58
Passing Correlation to Points = (-.22)

But common sense tells us this is not the case, though. There is no way a better passing offense hurts a team.

There are several explanations for this. Maybe the more the team passes the ball, the more turnovers they have? Maybe they have a harder time in the red zone when passing? Maybe rushing is Fisher’s secret? When looking at the data, the Seminoles’ passing yards numbers are still respectable even when they have a day of break out rushing. So, it would seem that the rushing offense is supplementary to the passing offense.

Either way, Jimbo Fisher needs to continue what he’s doing. He has turned a so-so team into a powerhouse and the reigning chieftains of the ACC. We will see if he can take his team all the way! Enjoy the chart below.

Post Contributed by @mrdanieldean

The New Market for Political Startups

Last week, Democratic tech company NGP VAN announced it was acquiring start-up NationalField (read about it here). Here are three reasons why this is a significant event in the political world.

1. The ability to build and sell a scalable business will attract entrepreneurs and innovation to politics. Previously, the only models that worked in politics were pure “professional services” business models. The trouble with professional services like consulting and lobbying is that they do not scale.

N.B. Think of scale as the cost associated with every client or account. A political consultant can only take as many clients as he has time to service. In essence, it is very expensive to scale a consulting firm because each new client requires new allotments of time from the consultant. A tech company, however, scales cheaply because it can automate many of its services.

The result of the political start-up market should be a lot of new online services and tools for campaigns and office holders.

2. NationalField shows that innovations on the campaign trail can be commercialized to the private sector. NationalField provides whats called a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) to manage contact and interactions with voters. The CRM market is very large as almost every company on the planet deploys some type of CRM solution.

NationalField, however, is unique because it has overcome a challenge almost all campaigns face; the NationalField CRM had to be dummy proof so it could be used by any volunteer with minimal training.

NationalField succeeded in making their product so simple to use that they attracted companies looking to reduce their CRM training costs. In essence, making a CRM easy for volunteers to use with voters resulted in a CRM that was also easy for customer service staff to use with customers in business environments.

3. The NationalField acquisition shows that user experience and preference matter. NGP VAN could have built a competing platform but instead opted to purchase the platform preferred by progressive operatives and volunteers.

The GOP method in the past has been to hire contractors to develop software in-house. The trouble is that these GOP projects usually result in slow and unstable products which frustrate users. In response, GOP operatives gravitate to an array of independent platforms (like WebElect in Florida) which are not designed to share and sync voter data with each other. The result is that information gained from voters by one campaign is not shared to other campaigns. Without this master database, it is impossible to do the advanced data analytics pioneered by the Obama campaign.

Check back next week for the factors that are key to building a successful political start-up, as well as some companies in Florida that may be attractive acquisition targets (or maybe even acquirers themselves).

Jobs of Florida’s State Legislators

Many people outside of “the process” do not realize that Florida’s legislature is a part-time body. As most readers of this post will know, Florida’s lawmakers are “citizen legislators” who hold regular jobs outside of the Capitol.

What jobs are typical of legislators? Do professional differences exist between the parties? Does the House or Senate have more lawyers? We scraped data from the Clerk’s manual, categorized the jobs listed by industry, and found some interesting items.

- The top three overall fields represented in the legislature are legal, business and real estate.

- 1 in 4 legislators are lawyers and they account for 32% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans.

- Business people comprise 20% of the Republican Caucus but only 9% of the Democratic Caucus.

- Each party has six members who come from education related fields.

Explore the interactive chart below where you can hover over any area for more info and filter using the drop downs. To see full details (member name, occupation, etc) simply click “Show Data” icon in the mouse over box.

As always, if you like it, please share it.