FERHAT GUEVEN, a Texas Tech grad and successful real estate entrepenuer, loves football and the statistical, analytical side of the game. So much so that he recently teamed with Mike Leach to write a book aimed at fans who "seek a deeper understanding of the game." Based on the excerpt the New York Times college sports blog published this week, it's a helluva a read.

And no less an authority than Rex Ryan agrees.

After digesting an advance copy a couple of months back, the New York Jets head coach waxed on like he was Bob Costas.

"What do you get when you combine an astrophysicist, a world champion backgammon player, some respected economists and a few other brilliant minds? This fascinating book and the reason I'm hoping to watch Mike Leach on Saturdays instead of coach against him on Sundays," Ryan writes in a review of the book.

The centerpiece of the book, called Sports for Dorks, is the innoative thinking that goes on inside the mind of Washington State's new football coach.

The book covers Xs and Os for sure, including the value of going for it on fourth down, but it goes well beyond that, delving into escalating coach salaries, the relative value of statistical analysis, and much more.

Austin Murphy of Sports Illustrated calls it a "provocative, nourishing, all-you-can-eat buffet of intriguing ideas" that "reminds us why football needs him (Leach) more than he needs football."

In the New York Times excerpt of the book this week, Leach talks about the numbers-crunching he and his staff use to spot trends and opportunities. This analyses is illuminating, but it's far from fool-proof, Leach cautions.

"What the stats proponents tend to forget is that while things like historical data analysis are interesting, most of those analyses are not situational. Going for it on fourth-and-three on the opponent's forty-three-yard line might statistically be a better decision over the course of a thousand games than punting. Keep in mind, I generally try to go for it on fourth down more than most coaches, but we have yet to see data refined to a situational basis, which incorporates time of the game, any injuries, fatigue, weather conditions, personal issues (like did a player break up with his girlfriend before the game), and a host of other factors. Coaches also have to rely on their experience, the team's psychology, and game momentum, when deciding to make a certain call."

He then recounts a game and situation against Texas A&M that powerfully puts his point into practical terms.

To read the entire excerpt of the book, CLICK HERE to the New York Times' college sports blog.

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