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Boston College Football Among The Most Unlucky Teams In 2014

This is either going to make you feel pretty good about Boston College football's 2014 season or make you pull your hair out in a fit of OMG WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN 10-2 THIS YEAR YOU GUYS HULK SMASH rage.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Football Study Hall's Bill Connelly took a stab at determining college football's second order wins in an attempt to gauge just how lucky or unlucky teams were this season. The whole idea is to use advanced stats of some sort to determine not simply what you did score and allow, but what you should have scored and allowed. So Boston College won seven games this many would they have won given their component offensive and defensive statistics?

Boston College finished as one of the more unlucky teams in college football this year with a second order win total of 8.1 (so, a +1.1 difference on their actual win total). Of course, you don't need advanced statistics to remind you of close calls against Colorado State, Clemson and Florida State.

The good news is that the difference between wins and second-order wins happens to be a pretty good indicator of progression or regression. According to Connelly, "the 13 schools with a difference between plus-1 and plus-2 saw their win percentage increase by an average of 0.094." While BC's year-over-year win-loss record was flat, an encouraging sign that things remain headed in the right direction with the football program; all despite playing a moderately more difficult schedule in 2014.

On the flipside, defending National Champion Florida State got by on smoke and mirrors a bit all season. The Seminoles' difference between wins and second-order wins was -3.4, the highest in the nation. Again, you didn't need advanced statistics to tell you that FSU got somewhat lucky in games against Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami, Boston College, Florida and Georgia Tech, but interesting to see things quantified in this way nonetheless. Florida State was joined by Clemson (-1.4), North Carolina (-1.3) and Duke (-1.1) as the more fortunate teams in the ACC in 2014. Boston College (1.1) was only topped by, of all teams, Pittsburgh (2.2), who managed to lose games it had no business losing (e.g. Iowa, Akron, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina...)

Team Games Wins Second-order Wins Diff Rank
Florida State 13 13 9.6 -3.4 128
Clemson 12 9 7.6 -1.4 120
North Carolina 12 6 4.7 -1.3 119
Duke 12 9 7.9 -1.1 117
Wake Forest 11 2 1.5 -0.5 96
N.C. State 12 7 6.6 -0.4 88
Georgia Tech 13 10 9.7 -0.3 84
Virginia Tech 12 6 6.1 0.1 57
Syracuse 12 3 3.3 0.3 47
Virginia 12 5 5.6 0.6 29
Louisville 12 9 9.7 0.7 28
Miami 12 6 6.9 0.9 21
Boston College 12 7 8.1 1.1 11
Pittsburgh 12 6 8.2 2.2 1