“I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.” Lord Kelvin, Popular Lectures and Addresses “Electrical Units of Measurement,” 1889. From The Yale Book of Quotations.
“He doesn’t know anything except facts.” James Thurber. Cartoon caption, New Yorker, December 12, 1937. From The Yale Book of Quotations.
We admit it, we’ve used those quotes before. But they pretty much sum it up for us — statistics tell a very precise story, but there’s more to a story than (sorry, Jack Webb) just the facts. Still, we’re interested in those digits and decimals, so here goes another Stat Joust, comparing the rankings — both NCAA and Big Ten — of Minnesota and Penn State, as teams and individual players, in selected statistical categories.
NCAA Stat Joust – as of 10-10-10
Big Ten Stat Joust