Had a request to do this for a couple more games, figured I would give the Game of the Century of the Year of the Week a shot.
Alabama Running GameAlabama rush offense: -1 (75th)
Florida rush defense: +3 (13)
Alabama has one of those deceiving rushing games that depending on your opinion, is where advanced analysis can shine some counter-intuitive light or completely falls apart.
Despite averaging over 200 yards a game on the ground, on a total value basis, the Bama rushing attack is a net negative for the team. A lot of that is due to the fact that they are accumulating the 200 yards on nearly 40 attempts per game. I believe there is some unaccounted for value to an offense that is able to stick with the run that many times in a game, but this is still not a rush offense that is going to light up the scoreboard. Keeping Tim Tebow off of the field with grinding drives will be good enough.
Mark Ingram had been getting serious Heisman talk until last week's stinker. Going into the game Ingram rated +3 and was a top 10 running back. But after Auburn held him to a -8 he dropped to 31st rated and barring a dominating performance Saturday, likely out of the Heisman consideration.
Florida's rush defense has been one of the nation's best, allowing a NCAA low 3 rush TD's on the season. Florida's rush defense will be called upon to not only slow but to shut down Alabama's rushing game. As the Crimson Tide look to keep the ball away from Florida's offense, Florida's defense will look to continue its trend of scaring teams out of the run, seeing only 23 rushes during non-garbage time a game, 4th lowest in the NCAA.
Projected Outcome: -4, 30 carries, 110 yards, 1 TD
Alabama Pass OffenseAlabama pass offense: +4 (17)
Florida pass defense: +8 (3)
Alabama's success in the passing is likely a direct result of their ability to run the ball. Teams are loaded up to slow it down, which as seen above can be done to some extent, but the efficient Alabama passing game has been able to take advantage of the opportunities they have.
Greg McElroy has been solid at QB this year but his individual rank of 38th, 20 spots below the team, is a direct result of an offensive line that has not allowed many too take him down.
Florida's pass defense is a whole other animal. Even without suspended defensive end Dunlap, Florida's pass defense should be quite a challenge for McElroy and crew. The Gator pass D ranks 3rd overall, but on a per play basis it's not even close. Averaging nearly 0.4 points per play, no other team in the nation averages more than 0.3.
Projected Outcome: -4 15/25 150 yards 1 TD 1 INT
Florida Rush OffenseFlorida rush offense: +4 (5)
Alabama rush defense: +4 (7)
Clash of the titans right here. Two great units will go head to head when Florida tries to put the ball on the ground. Florida features a variety of backs and of course, the Tebow child. Demps and Tebow add most of the value to the Florida rushing game, each contributing about 2 points per game on the ground.
The varied attack of the Florida running game will go against one of only two defenses in the country to allow less than 100 yards a game on the ground. Only Texas and TCU have scared off offensive coordinators from the run more than Alabama, who has only seen 22 rushes a game against them in competitive situations.
Projected Outcome: +0, 30 carries, 120 yards 2 TD
Florida Pass OffenseFlorida pass offense: +3 (28)
Alabama pass defense: +9 (1)
Although Florida has had a very solid passing game this year, this is the first category that Alabama comes out of with a clear advantage. Tebow comes in as the 17th rated QB in the country but as noted above, much of that is due to his prowess as a runner. If Alabama is going to be the SEC survivor, big stops or interceptions in the passing look to be their best opportunity.
Projected outcome: -6 20/35 160 yards 1 TD 1 INT
Rest of the PictureKicking:Alabama, big
Florida kickoff: Even
Alabama kickoff: Even
Alabama looks to have the advantage in special teams. Tiffin has been one of the country's top kickers and Florida's kicking crew has struggled. If their are going to be fireworks in the return game, Alabama's returns have been better however Florida has done an excellent job of limiting returns on the season.
Both teams have been in the top 20 in the nation in turnover margin. Florida's work has been worth about a touchdown more year to date, due in large part to a top 5 +58 from picking off opponent passes. Interceptions may be hard to come by, however, as Alabama is fifth best nationally with only 10 points lost to interceptions.
PredictionsFlorida 21 Alabama 19
Cincinnati 34 Pitt 27
Fresno State 31 Illinois 24
Clemson 31 Georgia Tech 30
Texas 24 Nebraska 14
Wisconsin 35 Hawaii 21
- Cardinal Mooney won the state championship, and Vinopal was just named First Team All State for Ohio as a safety.
- He is being recruited as a safety, but said he'll play wherever the coaches want him to.
- Coach Rodriguez and Gibson will be doing an in home visit with Ray and his family this Monday to make sure he knows important dates, and information, etc.
- He'll be taking an official visit sometime in January, the same time that DJ Williamson will be. Coach Gibson told him there will be around 5 others coming as well, but he wasn't sure who they were.
- "I told Coach Rod and Gibson on Wednesday, and they were excited. They just told me welcome to the family."
Nothing earth shattering, but good news on the first team all state award.
Hopefully we will get some good news out of this weekend, as well. Like I've said before, I think it's going to be an interesting next few months. As everyone knows, we have limited spots left, so we'll find out if there are any commits that won't qualify, or greyshirts, etc. soon.
With Donovan Warren’s announcement that he was leaning toward entering the NFL Draft, I thought I would try to understand a major variable I’m sure he’s considering when making his decision, the Uncapped Year.
The potential of a 2010 uncapped year in the NFL will have many college underclassmen considering the draft this year. I’ve seen several mock drafts that include names like Ryan Mallett, Jevan Snead, and Terrell Pryor just because of the possible payday.
There are two big reasons that underclass players, even those mentioned above, would be wise to consider the draft this season:
First, it may be hard to believe when Matt Stafford gets $72 million before he throws a pass, but the NFL currently has a rookie salary cap as a result of the 2006 CBA. The league-wide salary cap rises each year as league revenues increase, when this happens, the Rookie Cap rises too. However, if 2010 is an uncapped year then the rookies won’t be subject to a cap either, so regardless of where a player is selected he can try to break the bank.
Second, and more motivating than no cap in 2010, is the possible lockout in 2011. If the NFL can’t agree to extend the collective bargaining before 2011 then the owners will lock out the players. This would mean incoming rookies wouldn’t get paid anything until the league settles on a new system. Any new system would likely include a rookie salary slotting system similar to the NBA, which would limit rookie pay in their first contract. A smart player would want to get under contract now to not only avoid the slotting system but also to begin earning time toward free agency.
If you are interested in the business of sports, the issues surrounding the NFL’s cap future can be fascinating. You would assume that an uncapped year would appeal to the players, since they would be able to command high salaries. The truth is the league has put restrictions in the contract to prevent a free agent period of drunken spending.
1) In 2010, free agency will require six years of service instead of four years, so many of the players who could take advantage of the uncapped year will be stuck in their original contracts.
2) Teams will have three tags to use to restrict free agents. Currently, a team can use either a franchise tag (average of the top five salaries at a position) or a transition tag (average of the top ten salaries at a position) on any one player on the club to protect the team from losing the unrestricted free agent. If the NFL has an uncapped year in 2010, teams will have use of one franchise tag and two transition tags. So the top three players who are eligible for free agency on a roster can be protected.
3) Teams that go deep in the playoffs will have free agent signing restrictions. According to Article XIX of the CBA titled "The Final Eight Plan", The four teams that make the league championship games can't sign an unrestricted free agent unless and until they lose one of equal or more value; the four losing teams in the divisional round can sign only one high-priced unrestricted free agent without having to lose one of their own. Once that maximum exception is burned, they are restricted like the top four teams. But they can sign as many mid-level free agents as they want.
As you can see, it is unlikely that an uncapped year will lead to a spending spree since few of the best players will be available, and 25% of the teams in the league will be limited if they pursue top free agents. Chances are the free agent pool will be filled with over-rated castoffs and over-the-hill stars; not the kind of players you can build a championship team with. Especially if they may not even play in 2011.
In reality, the NFL Players Association is trying hardest to negotiate a new contract before the March deadline because they’re afraid of the ramifications.
The NFLPA believes that the owners are going to use the uncapped year to clean up their books. With no salary cap, there will also be no minimum salary. Right now, teams are forced to spend at least 85% of the salary cap. With no cap teams could cut players with bad contracts without a cap hit and without a minimum team salary requirement owners could keep salaries low for the season to build up cash reserves in anticipation of the 2011 lockout.
It looks like the owners have created a great deal of leverage to negotiate the next new contract. They will use the uncapped year to get out of bad contracts and save money, while locking in their best players. Then they will threaten the lockout to get the NFLPA to sign a new deal for 2011.
As Michigan fans, we should hope that a new long-term agreement is reached before the draft. We should also hope that it includes salary slotting so that Donovan will be motivated to return to improve his draft stock.
As NFL fans, we should root for a strong, capped league without a lockout.
Ok, so the original plan didn't work out so well. I thought e-mailing the votes would be the best way to avoid giving away the results before they're finalized and the best way to handle write in votes. However, very few people wanted to e-mail the votes in. So we're trying a new way, with online polls. There is a poll created for each category, and a link to the each poll after each category heading. If you want to submit a write in vote, please do so in the comment section (either here or on the pollcode website, I'll check both)
I apologize for this not being formatted well. I'm doing this at work, thus don't have the time to really make it pretty.
Best Diary (Analysis)
Misopogon – A Countenance More in Sorrow Than in Anger
Misopogon – Decimated Defense (Part I, Part II, and Post Perdue Update)
steve sharik - Spread Game Nuances
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Captain Obvious – Isn’t it Ironic
Treehugger -Forcier/Barkley Chat Room
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(King of Belch removed due to banhammer)
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Estours77 – Zoomed in Tom Hammond
Misopogon – Desmond to Helmet morph
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The Shredder – MS Paint
Six Zero – MgoShirts
chunkums – Pokemon Goal Line Stand
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Adrian Witty is Qualified – Math Discussion
Good Idea, Bad Idea – 12 Weeks of Michigan
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- Texas overtakes TCU
- Oregon and Georgia Tech swap
- LSU jumps 7 spots after a similar fall last week.
- USC jumps 7 spots after beating UCLA
- BYU is up 10 spots after knocking off Utah
- Pittsburgh drops 10 spots after losing to West Virginia
Interestingly, I don't think there's any way Florida or Alabama falls further than 4th; and they end up with the top 2 SOS rankings by a significant margin (the SEC takes 6 of the top 7 spots here). EDIT: If all the underdogs win this week, Alabama and Florida end up 1 and 2, respectively.
This week's top 20:
|Team||Pvs||+/-||Rank||KRACH||RRWP||Record Rank||W||L||T||Win %||SOS Rank||SOS|
Why? Because it's the World Cup. Leave me alone.
The World Cup draw is Friday, and FIFA has finally ditched its really unbelievably complicated seeding scheme for straight FIFA rankings, which screw you Sepp Blatter. In 2006 the USA would have received a seed if they'd gone with that.
Anyway, here's a hypothetically totally fair draw with each team given a seed corresponding to its FIFA ranking, with the team's Soccer Power Index (a Nate Silver joint) in parens afterwards:
|Seed||Team A||SPI||Seed||Team B||SPI||Seed||Team C||SPI||Seed||Team D||SPI||Avg|
|3||Holland||4||14||Ivory Coast||9||19||Australia||22||30||New Zealand||91||38.5|
The USA is in the second-worst group but even that group seems far more doable and balanced than what they got in '06 and what they're staring down on Friday. The Silver average reveals everyone's main desire: get drawn in the same group as South Africa, New Zealand, and/or North Korea. Those teams are all horrendous relative to the field.
Unfortunately, That's not happening unless the USA pulls the 1-in-8 longshot and slips into the South Africa group:
Pot 1 will consist of the eight seeded teams and will be drawn into groups at the outset of the Friday's event.
Pot 2 consists of CONCACAF, Asia and Oceania and will be drawn, next with no restrictions as to where those eight teams can be drawn.
The USA cannot draw in with Australia, North Korea, New Zealand, or South Korea, the #19, 28, 29, 30, and 31 teams in the tournament according to FIFA. Nor can they get in with #27 Honduras, but we knew that already. In sum: YAY. There is one team in its pot that the US wouldn't want to get drawn with: Mexico. The other six teams are the weakest in the field with the exception of Australia. The CONCACAF powers are worse off than any other team with a chance of advancing to the second round.
Why don't the World Cup doyens do it like this anyway? There's only one group that has an overload of one federation—Group 8 has three UEFA teams—and that can be fixed by flipping Ghana and Slovakia. If you want to separate Chile and Brazil you can just flip Chile with the Ivory Coast. You get geographical dispersion, seriously reduced chances at Groups of Death, and a fairer tournament all around.