FWIW. Michigan doesn't seem inclined to get re-involved.
|3 years 15 weeks ago||Yost is what college hockey crowds should be.||
Of all the college hockey arenas I've been to, the only one that even comes close is Mariucci. I wish the crowd at Munn was half as good.
|3 years 19 weeks ago||There have been explosions on||
There have been explosions on site, mostly hydrogen explosions from the reaction of zircalloy cladding with water (producing zirconium oxide and hydrogen). However, a criticality accident causing a massive power surge and explosion (which happened at Chernobyl) can't happen here because the system is shut down with the control rods fully inserted.
Aside from the fact that everything is shut down, these reactors are of a much better design than Chernobyl. Modern water-cooled reactors have a negative void coefficient (which basically means that in case of loss or boiling of coolant, the reaction slows down); Chernobyl had a large positive void coefficient (so if the water starts to boil, the reaction speeds up and you can very easily get thermal runaway).
|3 years 19 weeks ago||Colorado was always going to get left out.||
The committee weighs non-conference strength of schedule fairly heavily; it you go out and play seven teams rated #294 or worse like Colorado did, you'd better absolutely blitz your conference because the committee is going to look for any excuse to leave you out. Just ask 2010 VT, 2009 Penn State, or 2008 Arizona State. You can argue whether that's fair or not, but it's been stone obvious for years and any coach who schedules like that knows (or should know) that he just punched his ticket to the NIT.
VT seems like the only serious snub to me, although you could make an argument for Harvard or St. Mary's.
|3 years 19 weeks ago||Pay no attention to his seeding||
Lunardi really isn't that good at this, for a guy whose only job is to make the bracket. Of those the Bracket Project tracks, he's 23rd out of 32 "regulars" (last year and two of the four previous), and just slightly below average even if you count the one-year guys who give it a shot and then find out they really suck. He also seems to very strongly overreact to whatever the last thing that happened was (jumping us from last-in to a 9 on beating Purdue, for instance).
His educated guess probably isn't much better than anyone who's put more than an hour into it. I've been doing a series of bubble posts over at The Only Colors, and for what it's worth I have Michigan and Michigan State both in the 10-11 range (two of the three immediately above "last four byes" along with Marquette).
|3 years 19 weeks ago||Hockey uses the Pairwise pretty strictly.||
So they don't really need to exile anyone for discussions because it's all objective and they don't need much discussion. (Whether it's the right objective method is another matter entirely.)
|3 years 19 weeks ago||You can get a vague idea of it||
But the difference between what the advanced metrics predict and what actually happens isn't all luck. I think bad luck in basketball has a tendency to correlate very strongly with bad free throw shooting; certainly the least "lucky" team I've ever seen (2008 Illinois, had three overtime losses and four more by 4 points or less) fit this profile, as they blew at least three late leads (and opportunities to win another game) by bricking free throw after free throw (notably, Pruitt had two free throws with less than 5 seconds left in regulation and a tie game against Indiana and bricked both, then same thing happened in the first OT).
|3 years 20 weeks ago||The committee doesn't weigh head-to-head much||
If it comes down to the last spot and we're the only two teams in consideration, maybe. But they focus more on the overall resume - and MSU has the better wins, slightly less bad losses, and better strength of schedule.
I do think you'll make it even if Illinois beats you (though it will be a very nervous Sunday). But head-to-head counts for little when we're two teams among 15 fighting for those last 10 or so spots.
|3 years 20 weeks ago||I'm honestly not sure it does.||
If there's one way to get the committee to look for excuses to leave you out, it's by having a 300+ non-conference SOS. Virginia Tech learned that to their sorrow last year, as did Penn State in 2009.
Honestly, if they don't beat Kansas I don't think they get in over Illinois, MSU, or Michigan regardless of Big Ten results tomorrow.
|3 years 20 weeks ago||Certainly not terrible losses.||
Those were all the losses outside the Kenpom top 50 for both teams (and PSU is not too far from the top 50 either).
|3 years 21 weeks ago||Most bubble teams have a wart or two on their resume||
It's why they're on the bubble.
It'll count against you, but if it were enough to disqualify you on its own there wouldn't be enough eligible teams to select 37 at-larges. I think you need one more decent-or-better win (MSU or a quarterfinal win over Wisconsin/Purdue) to make it.
|3 years 21 weeks ago||I'm not sure||
Maybe I'm looking at it through green-tinted glasses, but even if Michigan wins that game it looks to me like the two resumes would be pretty similar. MSU would have the better wins overall (your sweep of us would probably be your two best wins in that scenario) and fewer bad losses (@Iowa, @PSU vs. @Ind, @NW, Minn, UTEP); head-to-head would probably pull you even but not noticeably ahead going into the B10 tourney.
My best guess: If MSU wins, MSU is a lock and Michigan needs at least two in the Big Ten tournament (may have to get to the final, depending on number of surprise auto-bids). If Michigan wins, both teams are probably in barring a bad loss in the first round of the B10 tourney (which Michigan would avoid by virtue of not playing in that round). Right or wrong, the committee tends to look for excuses to put a team with a strong non-conference schedule in, and 9-9 in a very deep Big Ten plus a win over Washington would be such an excuse, so I don't think it's really a must-win for MSU's tourney chances.
|3 years 22 weeks ago||"Ethics Are For Losers and Vanderbilt"||
Redundant statement is redundant. (For football, anyway. Vandy's actually not completely useless at basketball, somehow.)
|3 years 22 weeks ago||I don't think multiplying is what you want to do.||
A replacement-level guy on offense who is ridiculously good on defense (or vice versa) is worth a lot more than a guy who's replacement level on both ends. I think what you want is additive, maybe something like:
DPORPAG = (avg pace) * %Min * (%Blk/2 + %Stl - 2.45%)
as an estimate of the number of points saved on defense per game played at some average pace (every block, on average, saves half a point since the offense gets half of them back and averages one point on those possessions; steals save a full point since they by definition don't get it back). Then add this to the offensive number.
The other problem, of course, is that there is much more to defense than just blocks and steals; forcing difficult shots, taking charges, rebounding (though that would have to be adjusted on account of position), avoiding fouls are all components of defending well and aren't really accounted for. I don't know a good way to do so, though, so we may be stuck with the simpler version above for now.
|3 years 25 weeks ago||That's still an improvement.||
At least then they know they need to look for a spot elsewhere - and it's more of a risk for Saban & Co. to boot kids before they have an official commitment from a recruit because 1) the kid could change his mind, and 2) you don't get to watch them compete at spring practice before deciding who to "encourage" to transfer.
As for grayshirting, I don't think it's bad as long as the kid knows up front (and not in the "sign here, great, oh BTW you might not get the scholarship for the first year" sense, but more of a "we don't know yet if we'll have room, you can sign on for next year if you want or we can wait until we know there's a spot"). I think it would help if there were separate LOIs for normal recruits and grayshirts - normal ones guarantee a scholarship starting that year (revokable by the school only in case of academic ineligibility, failure to meet admission requirements, or criminal acts by the recruit), grayshirt LOIs can be revoked by the student at any time prior to the next year's signing day if they do not play (if they do play that year as a walk-on, it's as with a normal LOI except that the guarantee of a scholarship is postponed to the next year). A school can "upgrade" their offer from a grayshirt to an immediate LOI if a spot opens but cannot do the reverse (hence, the 85 cap applies at all times, not just in-season).
|3 years 31 weeks ago||That was just as big a joke.||
Don't blame us for the Freep's vendetta against you.
|3 years 31 weeks ago||Recently added rule||
Mostly in response to coaches like Bill Self hiring a player's dad as "director of basketball operations", that player coming to Kansas ... and then the player's dad "resigns" as soon as his kid leaves for the NBA or graduates.
Repeat offenses have to be within five years and/or on probation to get hit harder. And even then if it's not an offense of a similar nature you won't always get much extra. And secondary violations (which this is) never get anything more than a slap on the wrist.
|3 years 31 weeks ago||Honestly, I think what got||
Honestly, I think what got you guys hammered hardest over that is the fact that the tracking forms were about as far from "timely" as possible. That remains ridiculous, as does this incident (from the few details we have; if it comes out that it was a parent of a player that ends up at MSU and there was any sort of understanding that this was a prerequisite for their commitment, then I will have to revise that conclusion).
|3 years 31 weeks ago||I don't think any details have come out.||
And the NCAA release on the topic said that the "individual associated with a prospect" was not in contact with the prospect while at the camp and was not accompanied by the prospect.
Given the extreme vagueness of the rule regarding who counts as an IAWP, I would be very surprised if it's a close relative or coach of the player in question. Those are too obvious, and the quotes coming out indicate a disagreement over interpretation of the rules.
|3 years 31 weeks ago||"Vague" doesn't begin to describe it.||
Who qualifies as an "individual associated with a prospect"? (This is apparently where the issue occurred; Izzo didn't think whoever the camp worker in question qualified and the NCAA disagrees.) Does it have to be someone associated with a prospect you're actively recruiting?
If this is the interpretation that the NCAA is going to use, every summer basketball camp is pretty much permanently ended now; you can't hire AAU or high school coaches even for camp unless there's absolutely no chance they'll ever be coaching a player you might want to recruit.
Frankly, it's an absolute joke that Izzo is getting more of a punishment for this than Calipari has for getting entire seasons wiped off the record books at two different schools. This is as overblown as the excess stretching at Michigan (not getting the forms in in a manner that could be considered even remotely "timely" might have brought the hammer down harder on you, but the actual violation seemed a difference of interpretation only).
|3 years 32 weeks ago||The BTN-derived one is||
The BTN-derived one is excellent - clean, and it matches what we have already. (The stacked version posted in the comments looks even better.)
The shield logo (with the school logos moved up to directly underneath) is great. And both can be tweaked to school colors (not as easily with the shield; you'd have to go with light and dark variations of the main color along with the lighter secondary color - for Michigan you'd just change the text to yellow and maybe a slightly different shade of blue, MSU would do dark green and light green background, etc.).
The first one would look great if we were a football-only conference, but it wouldn't really look right for basketball or anything else.
All three are infinitely better than the piece of crap we actually got.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||We're not a football-only conference.||
I wouldn't put the football in there (versions of it that could be used for different sports could each have their own sport represented there, but the main conference logo shouldn't single out any particular sport).
Otherwise, I like.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Think you need to pull the||
Think you need to pull the two lower left stars further to the left. But that's still at least 32,768 times better than the pile of crap they chose.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Dump the 12 and it's perfect||
Really, we don't need to hit people over the head with that.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Big difference between a penalty and a goal.||
I'm one of those who thought the Suarez "save" in the World Cup quarterfinals should have been an automatic goal (blatant intentional handball to clear a ball that is obviously going in), and I see this as the same (and would regardless of which team was involved). It has to be something where it's obviously going in (if there's any doubt make it a penalty shot, as I believe it's supposed to be for intentionally dislodging the net if the puck is in the crease at the time), but there was no doubt that puck was going in.
Would it have mattered? I doubt it. We have one line worthy of a tournament-level team, and that ain't gonna get it done against anyone good (which Michigan certainly is). But it's still a royal shafting that the net got knocked loose a nanosecond before the puck crossed the line.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Holy cow, you're right.||
I hadn't even noticed that the first half-dozen times I watched. I can't even imagine being in there and all of a sudden hearing the roof groaning and watching it sink down. That'd be terrifying enough without the snow suddenly pouring through in an avalanche where the roof failed.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Wasn't arguing that it was wrong by the rules||
I was arguing that the rule itself is dumb. By the rule, they got the call right. A horrible break for MSU (would it have swung the game? I doubt it, we'd have had the momentum for a little bit but that can only do so much when your second line would be a good match for the opponent's fourth), but if anyone outside of the teams involved is at fault it's the rules committee, not the referees who got the call right according to the letter of the law.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||RPI is the biggest joke known to mankind||
Purely adding up records of opponents (as the RPI does) tells you little. Going 12-0 against a schedule with four 11-1 teams, four 6-6 teams, and four 1-11 teams is much harder than doing the same against 12 6-6 teams, but RPI says the strength of schedule is the same. (On the other hand, going 0-12 against the varied schedule would be much worse than doing so against 12 average teams. The latter says you can't beat average teams; the former says you can't even beat awful ones.) How bad your cupcakes are shouldn't matter much at all; the difference between facing a team good enough to beat you one out of three times and one that would win one out of four is probably ten times as significant as the difference between playing one you would beat 99% of the time and one you would beat 99.99% of the time.
For what it's worth, I've been running the Bradley-Terry method (KRACH) this year and it puts Oregon's SOS at #12 and TCU's at #39. For teams with high winning percentages, your toughest opponent or two are the largest factors (and at the opposite end, teams that lose a lot are defined largely by their weakest opponents) because the win probability for that game is by far the most sensitive to changes in your rating. Oregon's is Stanford, TCU's is Utah. That's a pretty big difference. Even if you look at the lower games (which are really less significant):
Part of the difficulty, admittedly, is the recursive sort of nature of these judgments. SDSU finished two games better than Washington, but did so against a vastly weaker schedule themselves, so they come out about even. (The bottom of the MWC is so bad that beating them counts for almost nothing; BYU was SDSU's fifth-toughest opponent and Washington's ninth-toughest. And Washington's weakest opponent, Wazzu, would be favored against half of SDSU's schedule.)
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Head-to-head is ALWAYS the first tiebreaker||
If Michigan went 11-1 with a beatdown at the hands of Indiana as the only loss and Ohio State went 11-1 with the only loss a close game to Michigan, I guarantee you not one person here (or anywhere else) would be arguing that Ohio State should go to the Rose Bowl over Michigan.
This wasn't perfectly analagous because of Ohio State's involvement in the tie, but it's not really analagous to the 2008 Big XII South situation where somebody had to be ahead of a team that beat them either. There was a way to order the teams that made perfect sense with head-to-head.
(Honestly, Wisconsin jumping us doesn't even bother me as much as Ohio State doing so - partly because BREATHE IF YOU HATE OHIO STATE and partly because they don't have a single win over an end-of-season ranked team. At least Wisconsin has that.)
|3 years 32 weeks ago||As a State fan||
Our top line can compete with Michigan, but we have absolutely no depth and you can't get away with that in a sport where you're changing lines every 40 seconds.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||Honestly, it's been our defense more than him||
Hagelin was camped out on the doorstep with nobody on him. First goal of the game was deflected off a defender's stick.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||I'd guess all the mods are at||
I'd guess all the mods are at the game. I know I would be if I didn't live over 1000 miles away.
|3 years 32 weeks ago||I really hate that rule.||
Puck was clearly going in, the goalie knocks the net loose (and I don't think he was pushed into it by an offensive player, could be wrong as I wasn't exactly paying attention to that part of the video), no goal.
I know it's the right call by the rules, but DAMMIT.
|3 years 35 weeks ago||Iowa struggled with a lot of mediocre teams last year.||
Reality didn't set in until this year.
I'm as surprised as anyone, but even when things have looked ugly it's worked.
|3 years 35 weeks ago||MSU would bring a lot more fans than Stanford||
And that might be the deciding factor, especially with the Fiesta not an option (realistically, they're going to get
I'm pretty much resigned to the Citrus at this point, win or lose; Wisconsin's on too much of a roll for me to think Northwestern has any prayer, and Tressel doesn't lose to Michigan. Not that MSU's in any position to look down on the Citrus, but as a reward for an 11-1 season (should that happen) it's a bit underwhelming.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Ugh.||
723 shots of the band during the game? DO NOT WANT.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||OH GOD NO||
KILL IT WITH FIRE
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Our two best wins: Wisconsin||
Our two best wins: Wisconsin (9-1, #8), @Michigan (7-3 but unranked)
Ohio State's two best wins: Miami (7-3, #25), Penn State (6-4)
If OSU beats Iowa, I would move them ahead. For now, though, MSU has the better resume.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Massive strength of schedule difference||
Admittedly, I think it's borderline criminal that Boise's probably going to go unbeaten and yet again have no chance at the title, but that's another argument. VT-Hawaii-Oregon State isn't even in the same neighborhood for difficulty of top three games so far as Auburn-Alabama-Miss St.
For me, you have to have a huge gap in strength of schedule to make up for one loss and jump an unbeaten. LSU has enough of a lead there that it's at least arguable, though with Fresno and Nevada ahead Boise may close that gap.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||I won't argue Wisconsin||
I won't argue Wisconsin (personally, I could see a case for either but getting axe-murdered in Iowa is probably going to be the deciding factor for most people), but what's Ohio State's best win? 6-4 Penn State with a freshman QB? Miami, who's 7-3 but in the awful ACC and probably overrated at #25? If they win at Iowa, by all means, put them ahead, but for now their resume just doesn't stack up.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Against wildly differing competition||
LSU's offense would look good against those wonderful WACtacular defenses. Probably not top-10 good, but good.
Raw stats mean little when there's so much variation in strength of schedule.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||I thought the Fiesta got last||
I thought the Fiesta got last pick this year. That could be really bad news for Boise; the Sugar would probably want a Big Ten team with the first pick (whether OSU if Wisconsin is in the Rose or MSU if OSU is and Wisconsin loses a game), and the Orange wouldn't want Boise in a rematch with VT.
On the other hand, they wouldn't really want Stanford and the small fan base and lack of national following (Boise has that at least due to BCS-busting a few times). They might persuade the Sugar to swap and take Boise (LSU-Boise would be a great matchup, the Mad Hatter against the tricksters from Boise), leaving a Big Ten team for the Orange. Either way, the Fiesta gets boned.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||There is for at-larges||
But not for conference champs, sadly.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Iowa's going to be really||
Iowa's going to be really pissed off after the Northwestern game. I would not be at all shocked if they beat OSU.
But I think you're right about MSU's chances of going to a BCS bowl ahead of OSU if they're both 11-1.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||They were also on their 9th-string QB.||
I don't know what sort of conclusions you can draw from that other than "hey, maybe this defense is salvageable against MAC-level offenses".
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Strange.||
The only other place I'd known of where they had shared priority in the pick order was the SEC with the Outback and Cotton, and there the way they do it is that the Cotton gets priority if it's a West Division team and the Outback gets priority if it's an East team.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Source?||
I've seen them marked as 4/5 in a few places, but everything I've seen even in those places suggests that's simply that they trade off from year to year if it gives any further detail.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||I thought they alternated||
I thought they alternated first pick from year to year; this year the Gator gets to pick before the Insight and they flip it next year.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||11-1 in the Big Ten will get an at-large.||
1) It's not possible for a Big XII at-large contender to have only one loss (only two are left, and if they both win out they'll meet in the title game). An 11-1 Big Ten team will get the nod, period.
2) Big Ten fans travel better than Stanford.
3) Selection order works against Stanford this year. The Rose can't take them unless the title game is Oregon-TCU/Boise, the Fiesta gets last pick (aka whichever Big East team sucks slightly less than the rest), and the Orange and Sugar aren't likely to be thrilled with a West Coast team for travel purposes (particularly the Orange, and they get first pick).
|3 years 36 weeks ago||Read it more carefully||
That applies ONLY if the team that's #3 or #4 is in a BCS conference. (Why I have no idea, but the rule says "... and an at-large team from a conference with an annual automatic berth for its champion is ranked No. 3 in the final BCS Standings ..."; emphasis mine.)
|3 years 36 weeks ago||That video is twelve kinds of||
That video is twelve kinds of awesome.
|3 years 36 weeks ago||For home/away, I think the||
For home/away, I think the right way to handle it (if at all) is probably as an adjustment to strength of schedule - count your opponent's rating as maybe 1.5x for a road game or 2/3x for a home game. Haven't tested it, might over the summer.
My intuition is that the basic system does a great job of rating teams on what they've achieved over the season but the score-based one is a little bit better predictively and gives sane results earlier in the season. Best of both worlds might be with a different victory-point formula that's discontinuous near zero (so there's a big jump from winning a close game to losing a close game, but margin still matters beyond that).
For 1-AA, it's a little bit of a problem, but getting clean rankings of 1-AAs relative to 1-As is just about impossible with so little overlap and most of the little tricks I'd thought of to try such a thing would probably make the ratings fail to converge. For top-level teams I don't think it matters much; if it's a 99.5% chance of a win instead of a 99.99% you're really not going to see any difference (which is one area I like this _much_ better than RPI). It might have a little effect on mid-tier teams, though.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I've been running them too this year||
plus a modified version which takes into account margin of victory and is geared more toward prediction. The basic version has some minor differences from yours (mostly because I count 1-AA games, with all 1-AA teams lumped into a single entity) but on the whole matches up well. (One notable difference: OSU jumps the SEC trio that's right ahead of them in your version because of Ole Miss's loss to a 1-AA, and the bottom falls out on Virginia Tech as well - they drop to #27, just ahead of Michigan and PSU.)
You can see them at http://dbaker.50webs.com ; I've also been posting projections of the Big Ten standings based on both versions at Off Tackle Empire.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||I agree, with one quibble||
No point in faking the kick there, as Nebraska has to be expecting the fake. If there's one place where conventional wisdom suggests going for two, it's as an underdog thinking one play for the win is likely to be your best opportunity. Send out the offense and put in a passer who isn't going to float a wounded duck into the wind.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Why go for two in the second||
Because you think your chances of making the two on a single play are better than your chances of winning in further OTs. Duh.
Whether that's actually true in this case or not is debatable. If either defense had shown itself capable of making a stop, it probably would be due to Michigan's shaky kicking game. As it is, I don't know. But it's not a ridiculous call.
The fact that conventional wisdom is obscenely risk-averse (I find it hilarious that you use Childress as an example here, as he's even more hyper-conservative than Tressel) doesn't mean that's the correct call.
|3 years 37 weeks ago||Whenever possible, the||
Even if the most likely result of such a strategy is losing later?
As for the complaints about two-point conversion rate: No, we may not know exactly what it is - but we can get a pretty good idea based on the national average and some adjustment for a better offense. As it happens, I'd lean toward taking the two given Michigan's ugly FG kicking (although one could argue that neither team has shown themselves capable of forcing a FG try, making that moot), but the decision is pretty close here.
Where the decision isn't close is if you're a big underdog hanging in there and score the TD in the second half of an OT. Your odds of winning in further OTs aren't particularly good. Your odds of winning now come down to one play. That's probably the best chance you'll get. (Heavy favorites should kick and take their chances in another OT.)
|3 years 37 weeks ago||That logic is backwards.||
Go for 2 when you're first on offense (in the first or second OT so the option of kicking exists): Make it and (assuming the opponent scores a TD, as it's irrelevant what you do if they don't) you're ~50% to win immediately, 50% to go to another OT. Miss, though, and your opponent will kick and you're ~99% to lose, 1% to go to another OT. That's a very poor risk unless you're really certain you can make the 2; given the percentages assumed there, you need to be 66.5% to make the 2 for it to be a worthwhile risk. The less likely you are to make a stop if your opponent goes for 2, the worse this gets (although this will be offset to some extent by reduced odds of winning in later OTs).
If you're second, though, you just need to believe your chance of making the 2 is greater than that of winning in another OT.
|3 years 38 weeks ago||I remember seeing one crazy finish||
They do college-style OT (but from further back, might be midfield, not sure). After one team had forced a turnover in the first half of OT, they elected to go for a rouge on their possession, but the defending team managed to get it out of the end zone and won in the second OT.
|3 years 38 weeks ago||You'd think GERG would have||
You'd think GERG would have taught him that lesson.
|3 years 38 weeks ago||I assume the system will||
I assume the system will change once we have divisions, partly because the "can't break by head-to-head" stuff will be rarer and partly because there are obvious tiebreakers to use that don't work so well in a non-divisional setup.
However, it should be noted that good scheduling isn't necessarily punished by this. It's a risk-reward scenario: if you schedule up and win, you probably move to the front of the line if it goes to the BCS standings. If you schedule all cupcakes, you'll never finish ahead of someone who schedules a real team and wins.
|3 years 38 weeks ago||There's only so much of a mad you can work up||
when you're one game away from matching your optimistic preseason win prediction with two of the three worst teams in the conference still to go and the third looking more like a triage unit than the solid team you'd expected coming into the season (though still a threat) and your chance at the Rose Bowl - thought to be a pipe dream in the preseason - is measured in double-digit percentages instead of parts per million.
Yeah, Saturday sucked in almost every way imaginable. But if before the season you'd offered me 8-1 at this point and a Rose Bowl chance dependent on winning two games we absolutely should not lose and a third that seems entirely winnable, then hoping Ohio State drops one and either Wisconsin wins out or Iowa doesn't, I'd have said "HELL YES GIMME GIMME GIMME!"
|3 years 38 weeks ago||Pac-10's not getting two||
At least not ahead of the Big Ten. For one, the Fiesta gets last pick of teams that aren't locked into a particular bowl (in other words, they get the Big East champ) and neither the Orange nor the Sugar are likely to be thrilled with taking a team that has to travel out from the west coast. (Especially true of the Orange.) There's a good chance both TCU/Utah and Boise go, but I think the other two at-larges will be from the SEC (assuming things don't really go bonkers in the West - which they might, never underestimate the chaos potential of The Hat) and the Big Ten. Remember, the Big XII title-game loser will have two losses, and it's very likely that the Big Ten will have multiple one-loss teams.
|3 years 39 weeks ago||It's a late-afternoon kick, not a night game.||
That said, I agree on the conclusion. I figure this one's about 50-50 straight up (results against the two common opponents - @Mich, home v. Wisc - both favor MSU significantly; on a neutral field I'd probably say MSU -3 or so). I don't think MSU will get blown out, but I'm not confident we'll win.
|3 years 39 weeks ago||One might argue ...||
... that it's Ohio State that won't be playing the best team in the Big Ten.
I do agree that we won't jump Oregon or Auburn, nor would we deserve to. (We shouldn't have to in order to get a crack at them for the title, but that's another argument entirely.) But I think there is a possibility we jump TCU or Boise (especially Boise). Bad as Minn-Purdue-PSU are this year, TCU and Boise play even worse schedules the rest of the way.
|3 years 39 weeks ago||Except for one thing||
Dantonio saw on film that the NW DB in question always turned away from the receiver, even in "punt safe", after about 10 yards.
That said, I'm astounded that it worked. Dantonio's shown a solid grasp of game theory going for it on 4th down as often as he has. How anyone would believe he'd kick it away down 10 in the 4th quarter at the opposing 36 yard line is beyond me.
|3 years 40 weeks ago||"Highly unlikely"?||
Our remaining schedule is Iowa (which will be a tough game) and four of the conference's bottom five. If I'm feeling especially pessimistic, our chances of going unbeaten are 1 in 4; realistically I think more like 35-40% (a little less than 50-50 at Iowa, 85-90% that we win the other four).
I do think we're likely to end up on the outside looking in if it ends up three BCS unbeatens (preseason polls having a lot to do with that, although depending on who it is it might be the right call even if it happens for the wrong reasons). But there's a good chance we'd overtake Boise or TCU should it come to that, and I don't think there's any way a one-loss Bama gets the nod over an unbeaten MSU (the SEC really isn't that much stronger than the Big Ten, strong enough that an unbeaten would get the nod but not a one-loss team).
|3 years 40 weeks ago||It's easy enough to combine SOS with margin, if done properly||
My pet system (basically a variant of Bradley-Terry/KRACH that awards "victory points" based on margin of victory on a logistic scale, so a 7-point win is worth about 0.75 out of 1, a 14-point win is worth about 0.9, a 28-point win worth about 0.988, and a 70-point win is worth 0.99998) currently has MSU at #4 and EMU at #115; if the two were to play, MSU would have to win by 22 to break even, and even a win by an infinite margin is only about 0.032 victory points above expectation (so MSU wouldn't gain much in the ratings); a 14-point win would hurt twice as much as a 70-point win would help. Even more extreme, Oregon (#1) against New Mexico (dead last, even worse than the aggregate 1-AA "team" used to handle 1-AA results) would have to win by 32 for it to help them at all, and at best they can get 0.008 victory points above expectation.
Of course, if Billingsley is in charge of it he'd screw it up. But it can be done sensibly.
|3 years 40 weeks ago||Edit it and change the width and height in the embed code.||
I replied to this one instead so you should still be able to edit.
|3 years 40 weeks ago||The system has a billion flaws||
First you have the polls, voted on by coaches with a massive conflict of interest and no time to watch teams other than themselves or their opponents. Then you have the computers, denied the ability to look at margin of victory (otherwise they're the sanest part of the whole exercise, Billingsley excepted because his is designed to ape the human polls algorithmically instead of throwing away the preseason-poll biases and irrationally large emphasis on losing early instead of late that are the reason the computer rankings are included in the first place). And then you have only two slots to give out to potentially five unbeaten teams.
The only defensible argument for the BCS is that the people in charge would screw up a playoff even worse. I'm hard-pressed to see how that's even possible, short of putting Billingsley in charge of the whole thing all alone.
|3 years 40 weeks ago||They pretty much have to win all three, though||
Any tie that can't be resolved by head-to-head, and they're out due to losing to Arizona. If they wind up tied at 7-1 with MSU and OSU, it's going to be either MSU or OSU, with BCS standings as the deciding factor. If it's MSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin, MSU goes to the Rose Bowl (head-to-head over Wisconsin after Iowa is eliminated). If they drop one, they have to hope the team that beat them ends up with two losses, or they're out.
|3 years 40 weeks ago||Maybe it's because MSU has a||
Maybe it's because MSU has a win over a team more highly ranked (Wisconsin) than any of Alabama's opponents so far, and hasn't lost while Alabama has?
If Alabama beats LSU and Auburn and MSU loses to Iowa, I would expect Alabama to be ahead at the end of the season. But that hasn't happened yet. Projecting what "would" happen is all well and good, but actual results have to matter. And the results on the field so far say MSU should be ahead.
|3 years 41 weeks ago||And why should ancient history matter to us?||
Next year's game will feature no players who have participated in a Michigan victory over MSU. Bragging about a 21-of-26 streak that ended before half of the current players were in kindergarten makes you sound like a Domer, completely unaware that this is not 1980 and the landscape has shifted out from under you.
I do think the "little sister" stuff is lame. Then again, so is insisting on calling us "little brother" even after three years of getting beat, two in rather convincing fashion. It should not be a surprise when that sort of trash talk gets thrown back at you when your team fails, yet again, to back it up on the field.
Michigan did dominate this rivalry in the past. And they might well return to dominating the rivalry eventually. (Then again, maybe we'll be selling "Michigan: Returning to Glory Since 2007" T-shirts in East Lansing a decade from now. Predicting trends in college football a decade out is a fool's errand; sportswriters are routinely wrong about who's going to be good a week before the season.) But right now, they don't. And pretending otherwise just makes you look foolish.
|3 years 41 weeks ago||Doesn't bother me||
Michigan's arrogance was irritating when it was justified, because all we could do is sit there and take it. Now it's more amusing than annoying; trash talk by a team that can't back it up is just sad. (And I would say the same about MSU fans who talked smack during the John L. years; you aren't in a position to ridicule anyone when you routinely not only shoot yourself in the foot, but drop a thermonuclear warhead on it just for good measure.)
At this time next year there will be no players in our locker room who know what it's like to lose to Michigan (the redshirt seniors will have watched one from the sideline in '07 but not have played in it), and no players in yours who know what it's like to beat MSU. I don't expect that state of affairs to last forever, but I do think the days of "little brother" and Michigan winning 80% against MSU are over for the foreseeable future.
|3 years 41 weeks ago||Seriously?||
Yes, we've got our share of idiots in the fanbase. And I don't doubt many of them were there on Saturday. But the first 2/3 of this post reads like a weird cross between "waah, the people we've been trash-talking for a decade are trash-talking us" and "it's ok, we're still superior in every way, all evidence on the field to the contrary be damned".
I won't defend anyone blocking traffic, vandalizing cars, or breaking into apartments or houses, all events that ought to lead at minimum to a night in the drunk tank if not jail time. Nor will I defend the Unenlightened Spartan (a first-ballot HTML Hell Hall of Shame entry if I've ever seen one, between the abominable layout and thinking that repeating "scUM" and "Yellow Bellies" constitutes cogent analysis). But if you (the collective fanbase, not anyone in particular here) insist on referring to someone as "little brother" even after they've beaten you twice in a row and then they do it again, you really shouldn't be surprised if that gets thrown back in your face. Bottom line, don't talk trash after a win (or before an anticipated win, in this case) if you can't handle the return fire when you lose.
|3 years 41 weeks ago||Did I just enter the Twilight Zone?||
Because I can't think of any team the "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" bit describes better than MSU (at least from 2003 to 2009, with the exception of 2008).
I expect it to be close. MSU will have difficulty stopping Michigan, and the reverse will be true as well (our offense isn't quite as good, but neither is your defense). I think a last-second 47 yard FG is the difference and MSU takes it 38-35, but my confidence level in that is about "flip a coin".
|3 years 41 weeks ago||That doesn't seem to be the||
That doesn't seem to be the case this year. I think "historically" is modifying "been", not "poor". This year they're half-decent, but historically our corners have been not so good at tackling (or at anything, for that matter).
|3 years 42 weeks ago||Actually, it's been primarily||
Actually, it's been primarily coverage sacks. Blitzes don't seem to be getting there (that or people aren't blitzing much), it's when they rush 4 and no one gets open; blockers can't win that fight forever, and Cousins doesn't seem to have the clock in his head that the best QBs have that tells them "oh shit, gotta get rid of this".
With Michigan's secondary, coverage sacks seem ... unlikely. So I'd agree that Michigan is not particularly well set up to exploit that.
|3 years 42 weeks ago||Dominating the yards, losing||
Dominating the yards, losing the turnover battle, and still winning by double figures is "lucky"?
There's no way this is a blowout either way. Michigan's offense is too good to get blown out by any but the best defenses (and even that's arguable), and the defense is too awful to manage a blowout against non-baby-seal competition. I have no idea who's going to win, but it will probably be 38-35, 42-38, or 45-42.
|3 years 42 weeks ago||It's not by number of||
It's not by number of positions, but by number of points relative to the average. MSU may be 15th, but the average vote is 11.6 points (which is slightly closer to 14th than 15th). That one actually looks right. (Whew.)
|3 years 42 weeks ago||Michigan's offense is better||
Michigan's offense is better this year than last. That is emphatically not true for the defense.
Other than the scoreboard reading "TILT" by halftime, I don't know what to expect. Michigan is going to score a lot of points. MSU is going to score a lot of points. If Cousins can avoid his typical once-a-game brain fart of throwing into triple coverage, I think MSU escapes with the win. (And it will be difficult for Cousins to throw into triple coverage if there's no one in the same zip code as the receivers.) If MSU shoots itself in the foot more than once on offense, that might be too much to overcome against Denard.
We'll see on Saturday.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||This is one reason I like Brian's proposal from the USC fiasco||
Massive punishments for the program starting two years later, and freshman/sophomores/recruits can switch schools with no penalty. Let the people who had nothing to do with it get through their eligibility, then drop the nuke.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||I have no inside knowledge,||
I have no inside knowledge, but my understanding is it would have to be really serious for a first-timer to get the death penalty. Like SMU x3. UNC won't be getting the death penalty for this unless it involves the vast majority of the team and the coaches/athletic department.
They may get hit reasonably hard, but I don't think they get hit any worse than USC, probably not even quite that hard.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||Something is off with the CK calculations||
Nittany White Out overrated Penn State by substantially more than one spot, and the ballot was in well in advance. I'm not sure exactly how you do the calculations (I assume there's a script somewhere), but you might want to check that you've listed their primary rooting interest correctly in your software. This isn't the first time they've been omitted when they should have made the top 5.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||PPP isn't as useful for football as it is for basketball||
In basketball, each offensive possession is very nearly independent of the defensive possession that preceded it (with the exception of a fast break due to a steal). That's nowhere near true in football. If your defense is forcing turnovers deep in enemy territory, your offense is going to look a lot better than if your drives are always starting in the shadow of your own goalposts.
Perhaps a better approach would be adjusting Mathlete's offense and defense grades (which take into account starting field position and also, I think, credits the offense appropriately when a drive does not end in points but alters the field position battle significantly) based on number of possessions.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||I've always half suspected||
I've always half suspected that the Big Ten not letting him do this is half the reason Saban left MSU. (The other half, of course, being the stacks of $$$$$ LSU offered.) And given the choice between Saban pulling these shenanigans here and the return of John L. Smith, I'd take four more years of Slappy.
|3 years 43 weeks ago||Well, compared to cutting them, it is.||
But compared to, you know, running a team the honest way ... not so much.
|3 years 44 weeks ago||You might want to remind a few voters of the deadline||
DocSat and Nittany White Out have regularly belonged in the rundown (DocSat for the usual array of WHEE RESUME VOTER awards, NWO for the C-K Award) but not actually made it in. That makes me suspect their ballots are coming in late.
|3 years 44 weeks ago||Blame, if you must blame||
the resume folk. They ignore preseason projections entirely and base it all on "what have you done so far". The results will naturally look a bit odd when "NOM NOM CUPCAKE" is a large part of most teams' resumes at this point, but philosophically I like the approach.
|3 years 44 weeks ago||Sims hasn't played||
and won't, at minimum, until this is resolved. If he's guilty, he should be gone - and I think he will be.
Some amount of stupidity is forgiveable (but still needs to be met with a temporary suspension). Lots of college students get in fights (although most of them don't send someone to the hospital with a fractured skull; Winston should have been off the team for at least a full season longer than he actually was), so I can understand booting them for a couple games or a bowl trip and then letting them rejoin the team if they remain on good behavior thereafter. This, though, if the allegations are true ... he's got to go. Grand theft is not "kids being kids".
|3 years 44 weeks ago||That won't win it, I don't think||
I'm sure there's some Domer who's more than thoroughly earned it.
|3 years 44 weeks ago||If strating from scratch, it might be interesting||
Split Division 1-A into two groups of 60 teams, each split into six conferences of 10 (or five of 12, though I'd prefer the former since it allows full round-robin schedules). So we have Division 1A (roughly the current BCS conferences), 1B (roughly the non-BCS conferences), and 1C (1-AA, which itself might split to 1C and 1D).
Winners of 1A conferences go to some sort of playoff (perhaps a round-robin Champions League with two home, two away, one neutral site for each team - the neutral site games replacing the BCS bowls; otherwise, maybe a 10-team playoff where four runners-up play in the first round and the six champions get a bye). Other teams can get bowl games. Bottom of each 1A conference is demoted to the corresponding conference in 1B while 1B conference champions move up (so, for instance, after last year Indiana would drop to the MAC and CMU would have replaced them). Maybe even a playoff between second-to-last in each 1A conference and second place in 1B for a spot in 1A (if those second-place teams in 1B aren't involved in a 1B championship playoff). Similar exchanges between 1B and 1C, 1C and 1D. Effectively, you end up with six mega-conferences with four divisions, one at each level: the Pacific Coast League (Pac-10, WAC, plus the West Coast 1-AAs), the Rocky Mountain League (Big 12, MWC), the Midwest League (Big 10, Notre Dame, most of the MAC), the Southeast League (SEC, Sun Belt), the Northeast League (Big East, part of CUSA and part of the MAC), and the Mid-Atlantic League (ACC, Army, most of CUSA).
Of course, it will never happen from the present situation. But it would be interesting.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||My guess is that some of the ballots are coming in late||
DocSat not showing up in Mr. Bold is an obvious sign that his didn't get in before the stats were done. I think someone else (a Penn State blogger, in fact) would have won the CK but didn't get the ballot in on time.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||The voices are identical, I swear||
Fortunately, the knowledge of the game is not.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||Damn, Marshall's playing 11 on 18||
That ball was never getting caught, and they should be up 10 anyway after a bearhug in the endzone on the first play of the drive.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||Why not go for it the first time?||
You need one eventually, may as well find out if you need one or two more scores immediately instead of waiting. Otherwise you might leave yourself no time after you miss the two, or you might score quick just in case and you make it and the other guys have time for a game-winning drive.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||Marshall, Marshall, Marshall!||
I'd find this hard to believe, but then I remember who WVU hired as coach.
|3 years 45 weeks ago||It was a basketball player,||
It was a basketball player, not Glenn Winston.
|3 years 46 weeks ago||No DocSat in the Mr. Bold rankings?||
I assume this means you ran the stats before his came in, because otherwise, that has to be a first this early in the season. Not winning it is believable, not being in the top 5 = YOUR HEAD ASPLODE.
|3 years 46 weeks ago||Actually, they aren't||
Green is out for a month.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||The first game would be meaningless||
Do you really think the same intensity would exist if both teams have already clinched their divisions and know they'd be playing again in a week?
|3 years 47 weeks ago||What's weird is ...||
I don't see where that scenario actually gets them more dollars. If OSU and Michigan are dominant enough that they meet in the title game frequently, it means the rest of the conference has become a disaster and something else went horribly wrong. If they meet only rarely in the title game (more likely), the diminution of the regular season matchups by splitting them will more than offset whatever minimal gains are made by having them in the title game instead of Michigan-Nebraska or OSU-Iowa.
It might, short term, if it persuades some network to pay an extra $1M for the title game. But the long term damage would offset that pretty quickly.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||How does that gain any money?||
Mich-OSU is worth more if the rivalry remains important, and it's more likely to remain important if it's the last game of the regular season. I don't see any big enough gains elsewhere in the conference that would balance that out, much less override it to the extent that it's worth screwing around with the rivalry.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||He wasn't comparing it to porn||
He was comparing attempts to define it to a rather infamous definition of it given when someone asked a judge (District Judge, I think) to define it: "I know it when I see it." It's something that you can't easily define, even if you know what it means.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Rivalries in college football||
Rivalries in college football matter more than in any other sport, even other college sports. Why? Because there is no second chance. MSU-Michigan hockey is big, but it isn't "the world stops and everyone watches" big. Same goes for MSU-Wisconsin basketball. Even when both teams are top 5, it's just one game among many, jockeying for a higher seed in the (conference and national) tournaments. A bit more animosity than most, sure, but you know you'll get another crack at them. Or the game will be early in the season and the loser has plenty of time to make up that ground.
If Michigan and Ohio State are playing in the last week with both having clinched the division, nothing is at stake. Because even if you win, the other guys will get another crack at you when it counts. If they are in the same division and one has clinched, at least the other side gets to try to play spoiler on potential national title hopes.
The only way it can be close to as meaningful as it currently is is to keep it on the last day in the same division. You won't get a matchup in the title game, but you'll get de facto division title games instead of games that are merely warm-ups for the Real Game.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Oklahoma and Nebraska beg to differ.||
The fact that they got split up is one of the major reasons Nebraska is one year away from being a Big Ten school.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||That rests on a lot of unprovable assumptions||
Like "Michigan is going to return to being a consistent powerhouse", "Ohio State is going to remain a powerhouse", "Penn State is going to suck when JoePa is gone", "Nebraska's glory days are over", "Iowa's recent success is unsustainable", and several others.
Besides, if two teams are truly dominating the entire league consistently, are you really any better off if the regular season is eight warm-up games (including one against each other which means almost nothing because a rematch is all but certain) for their coronation before the title game? At least if they're in the same division you have the teams trying to avoid any early pratfalls so that they can have a division title game in the final week.
Bottom line, if you have two teams running amok on a conference, no division setup is really going to save you. If anything, putting those two powers in the same division offers the opposite side more room to grow into tradition (although it would suck for the four who get stuck with the two juggernauts).
|3 years 47 weeks ago||But much of that hatred||
But much of that hatred exists because of the stakes it has been played for. When it's a random cross-division game in October, the stakes will be much lower. (And if it's in-division, there's no reason to move it. Oklahoma-Texas is early because Texas, at least, already had a season-ending rival in A&M. Some SEC rivalry games are early because the eastern teams have a lot of in-state rivalry games with ACC teams to end the season. Otherwise, the biggest rivalry games are all at the end of the season.)
|3 years 47 weeks ago||One issue on balance||
If you assume the recent top 6 are likely to stay that way (an assumption necessary for doing any sort of "balance" judgment, though one I question - short term, Michigan clearly isn't there at the moment, and long term nobody knows who's going to be good), you have them split 4-2. In Division A, all it would take is for one of the two powerhouses to have a bad year and you have a cakewalk division. Much better to have them split 3-3, which is why I prefer straight geography with at most a swap of a couple of the Indiana/Illinois schools.
That said, those divisions are more sane than anything I've been hearing from the people actually in charge.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Money ain't the problem||
Sacrificing the biggest rivalry in the conference, and one of two contenders for that title in the nation, for an increase in profit that would be marginal at best (and honestly, I'm not sure it actually *does* make more money - you won't get Mich-OSU in the title game all that often, and the slight increase in revenue when it does happen (because really, you think OSU-Nebraska or PSU-Iowa wouldn't draw a zillion eyeballs?) won't come near to offsetting the loss in turning OSU-Michigan from The Game into just a random midseason game) ... now that's the problem.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Then you end up with stuff||
Then you end up with stuff buried in an avalanche of 700 new posts about four articles. It clutters up the board and makes it impossible to find anything.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Agreed, but it should only count those as half||
Rivalries in divisions matter more. Cross-division protected games become secondary because you aren't directly competing against each other in the standings.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||It's not that much weaker in||
It's not that much weaker in the short term (Iowa and Wisconsin are both contenders this year, Nebraska probably would be if they were in the Big Ten). Long term, you might as well use a Magic 8-Ball; nobody knows who's going to be good with any certainty five years out, much less 20.
That was actually my second crack at it (before reading anything here); first was swapping Purdue and Illinois (slightly worse on rivalries, which surprised me seeing as it keeps all the biggest rivalries, and somewhat worse on competitive balance, but perfect on geography).
|3 years 47 weeks ago||Right||
We only light our own stuff on fire.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||If that actually happens,||
If that actually happens, whoever masterminded that brilliant idea needs to be on the next rocket to the Sun along with Ed Hightower and Kenny Chesney.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||I don't think it's possible that this is all a smokescreen||
Nothing good would come of suggesting, even for a split second, that the conference office and the respective athletic departments are dumb enough to consider this.
Now, they might come to their senses after the flood of emails they've certainly gotten recently (I added my bit to Delany's inbox last night), but they wouldn't be talking about moving The Game if they weren't seriously considering it.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||So, at that point, what sense||
Better to be thought powerless than a traitor.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||I bloody well hope not||
I don't think there are words in the English language to describe how idiotic that would be. Then you don't have a conference with two divsions, you have two conferences with a screwy scheduling agreement.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||The details aren't that||
The details aren't that complex, unless you try to overcomplicate them.
1) Rivalries: Keep as many as possible in-division. That means MSU-Mich-OSU-PSU and Neb-Iowa-Wisc-Minn form the cores of the two divisions. As to the rest, throw Illinois with either NW or Indiana. Probably NW since Purdue-Indiana is an actual rivalry and Purdue-NW is even more phony than the Land Grant rivalry.
2) Geographical sanity-check: The four furthest teams on each side are in the right place. Illinois-NW to the West gives you a perfect geographical split, but really any split of the Illinois-Indiana schools is geographically sane.
3) Competitive balance sanity-check: I'm not convinced this actually needs to be done at all, as predicting who's going to be good five years from now, much less 20, is a fool's errand. But if you're going to ... the top six are split 3-3. The East looks a little more top-heavy on names, but recent records say otherwise - OSU is well ahead of everyone else, but the rest of the top six are nearly equal. If you happen to go with Illinois-Indiana in the East, the divisions have nearly equal win counts in conference over the 11-team era. Indiana-Purdue favors the East slightly more, but it's still within reason. (The other advantage to Illinois-Indiana is that it also restores the Illibuck game to an annual rivalry.) On short-term balance, it's hard to see how you could do much better (given that short-term, Michigan is not good and Iowa and Wisconsin are); long term, nobody really knows and this doesn't look utterly ridiculous.
Really, there's no excuse for setting up the divisions to take 10 weeks. There's not really much excuse for it taking more than 10 minutes. Scheduling (whether to do a cross-division protected rivalry or not, and who if you do) might take a week to hash out, but the right divisions are pretty obvious.
|3 years 47 weeks ago||My take||
Group A: Holy crap. The title holder, top team from the second pod, top team from the third pod, and second-highest (based on the UEFA club coefs) from the fourth. They're from the leagues rated 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 10th (and I'm really surprised the Eredivisie is rated that low). That is freaking stacked.
Group B: Mid-level on quality, but it should be competitive at least - Lyon is the lowest top seed, Benfica and Schalke are both middle of their pods, and Hapoel Tel Aviv is the top team in the fourth pod.
Group C: Man U is going to win the group; could be interesting between Valencia and Rangers for the other spot, but Scottish teams have really had trouble in Europe of late, so I'm going with Valencia there. Bursaspor ... uh, welcome to the Champions League; it's not going to be a long stay.
Group D: I'll be surprised if Barcelona ends up with less than 16 points (although Rubin Kazan actually beat them in the group stage last year). Pana and Copenhagen are both at the bottom of their pods; somehow Barcelona always seems to get a wimpy group.
Group E: Shouldn't be a lot of drama here; Bayern and Roma should have little difficulty with Cluj and Basel.
Group F: Another one that should be a total domination for the top team; Marseille, Spartak Moscow, and Zilina are all in the bottom two in their pods.
Group G: Pretty well stacked, with all representing top leagues (2nd, 3rd, 5th, 10th). Bad luck for Ajax to get Real Madrid as their second-pod team; I'd say the same for Auxerre but they weren't going to do anything anyway.
Group H: Not ridiculously weak, but if Arsenal manages to screw this draw up they ought to be embarrassed. Shaktar might take the top spot from them, maybe, but it would be a major shock to see Partizan or Braga get through.
A and G should be the toughest; B and C are more likely to have a fair bit of drama (although in C that will likely be confined to the race for 2nd/3rd).
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Rivalries belong on the final week of the regular season||
Just about all of them are. A fair number of SEC teams have rivalries with an ACC team in the last week of the season (Florida-FSU, Georgia-GT, Clemson-SC(NTSC)). Those that don't? The Iron Bowl and Egg Bowl fall in the last week. The Big XII goes with Texas-A&M, Oklahoma-OkSt, Kansas-Missouri, and Nebraska-Colorado in the final week. Pac-10 rivalries, with the exception of Cal-Stanford (always the week before Thanksgiving), fall in the final week. The one major rivalry that exists in the Big East (the Backyard Brawl)? Last week of the season. Duke-UNC? Virginia-VT? Last week of the season.
Rivalries also belong in the same division. You can play for a division title on the last week (assuming both teams are good), or you can play a random conference game early in the season and hope for a rematch later. You won't get one very often, though (unless the rest of the conference sucks) - despite playing half the other division, a rematch of any game has occurred less than 30% of the time in the SEC, and no protected rivalries have had a rematch yet. And it's not because the teams that win one division are rivals with terrible teams in the other; Alabama-Tennessee, Georgia-Auburn, and Florida-LSU are all permanent rivalries. Those teams have combined for all 18 East titles and 14 West titles, yet the protected rivalries have never occurred in the title game.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||There's no reason to split||
There's no reason to split them except to try to make a rematch possible. Even if they're dumb enough to insist that competitive balance (the one factor that can't be accurately planned for) trumps everything else, there are perfectly good divisional alignments that don't split Michigan and OSU. So that has to be the rationale (either that or everyone at the B10 office is insane, which I can't rule out).
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Problem is that any||
Problem is that any adjustments are reactive. There's so much variation, over both the short term and the long term, that any formula you might try is going to end up looking silly once the season is over as often as not.
Put another way, unless you're really, really good at guessing which teams are going to be good, the divisions are going to be unbalanced competitively half the time anyway. Markets break down all the time in the absence of perfect information, and if you think prior results (whether for one year or a decade) provide such I've got a bridge in New York to sell you. Since you're never going to get consistently good balance even if you reshuffle constantly, make the divisions consistent and make them at least make sense for rivalries and geography.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Bad, bad idea||
If you're going to split the "top four" (again, based on the 11-team era there's virtually no difference between the non-OSU members of that group and Iowa and Wisconsin, so I don't see the point), you have to split Iowa and Wisconsin too, or you end up with one division with four top teams and the other two. If you want to ensure that the division races are rarely runaways, splitting them 3-3 means you need two teams out of those three to suck in order to get a non-competitive division race. The split you recommend would, if done the last two years, have been OSU ten miles ahead of everyone else, MSU decent but not even close to competitive with OSU, and the others as four of the worst five teams in the conference.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||1) Conference record 2)||
1) Conference record
3) Division record
Everything else varies from conference to conference.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Blech||
The whole point of divisions is to build rivalries, or at least keep existing ones intact. Shift divisions every year, and you might as well not have them at all.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||There are a lot more than four||
Although you have to go back at least to the 1960s to get anyone other than Nebraska-OSU-PSU-Mich (MSU had a few in the 1950s and 1960s, Minnesota had a few right before WWII, Illinois had several in the 1910s and 1920s, Iowa had one in 1958).
As to OSU-Mich-PSU in one division: if they're actually paying attention to the numbers over a span longer than, say, five years, they'd know Michigan, PSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska have very nearly identical records over the Big Ten's 11-team era. Nebraska-Iowa-Wisconsin is a slightly weaker top three in the division, but not much.
And it's folly to try to align the divisions based on competitive balance; balance shifts on too short a timescale to reliably do so. The Big XII South was the weak-sister division for the late 1990s, and the ACC's presumed Florida State-Miami title game (the reason it's been held in Florida) has not only never materialized, only once has either team gotten there. Just in the past decade in the Big Ten you have Michigan's Half-Decade of Infinite Pain, PSU's fall and rise, Iowa's ascent to the top tier, Illinois with two Rose Bowl trips amid a bunch of crapulence, Minnesota's descent from perennial Music City Bowldom (itself an abrupt change from the 1990s) to abject suckitude. About the only constants are Indiana being an embarrassment to the conference, OSU being a beast, and MSU finding newer and more elaborate ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||If predicting future balance is an exercise in futility ...||
... (and I agree that it is), what do you have to base divisions on besides rivalries and geography? And in our case, both of those point to exactly the same thing: a pure E-W split.
I'd think the presidents and ADs can't possibly be dumb enough not to realize this, but the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Competitive balance changes||
Geography is forever (or at least until the New Madrid fault goes berserk).
Keep in mind, in the early days of the Big XII it was Nebraska, Colorado, and K-State that were the powerhouses and the South division, while not the bunch of patsies the North was in the mid-2000s, was clearly the weaker of the two.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||If it is, it's not MSU fans behind it||
Every MSU fan I've talked to about division alignments seems in full agreement that straight E-W is obviously the most logical way to do it.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Change isn't always good||
Sometimes, it sucks dead maggots through a straw. This is one of those times.
Seriously, a simple E-W split doesn't sacrifice anything for rivalries or competitive balance (in the 11-team era, there's very little difference between the 2nd and 6th teams, counting Nebraska among them, so it's more important to do a 3-3 split there than worry about which of those six go together). There is absolutely no reason to do it any other way, and frankly the fact that deciding the divisions has taken more than 15 minutes is a mark of insanity.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||1) The center line still is||
1) The center line still is meaningful for icing.
2) Making the blue line wider rather than painting two separate ones would be far less confusing. Maybe paint it a little lighter blue since the puck will be on it far more frequently.
|3 years 48 weeks ago||Why not do straight geography, anyway?||
I think Iowa-Nebraska-Wisconsin is plenty to anchor the Western division (not to mention that competitive balance should be the least of the three priorities as it's the most subject to change over relatively short periods of time), and you can keep nine of the 11 existing protected rivalries without a crossover rivalry (which is the theoretical maximum); moreover, the two you lose are likely the least interesting of the bunch (Illinois-Indiana and Purdue-Northwestern).
Everyone's talking about this like the three priorities Delany laid out are in conflict and some tradeoff has to be made. But a pure geographical split works perfectly for all three. Why sacrifice one for absolutely no improvement in the other two?
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Grew up in Minnesota||
Still a Wild/Twins/Vikings fan first and foremost (I have no interest whatsoever in the NBA), though I adopted the Wings as a secondary rooting interest while in school. Now that I'm in Austin, I half expect to pick up some secondary rooting interests there (probably the Texans and Astros, since they're in opposite conferences from the Vikings and Twins; I will never root for the Dallas Stars after they left Minnesota). Already have started to root for some of the minor league teams in the area (the AHL Texas Stars - yes, I know this is going to mess with my head when those players get called up to The Evil Team - and the minor-league soccer Austin Aztex).
|3 years 49 weeks ago||The funniest thing is||
A straight E-W split doesn't screw with rivalries or balance. If you look at the entire 11-team era, there's a clear top 6 and bottom 6, but of the top 6 Ohio State is the only one that has any separation from the rest at all. Splitting the top 4 and then throwing the next two in the same division is worse than doing 3-and-3 even if they were split 1-2-3, 4-5-6 (which would not be the case, IIRC). And the only existing permanent rivalries you'd split up are Illinois-Indiana and Purdue-NW, which who cares?
They seem so hellbent on getting balance and rivalries right at the expense of geography that they don't seem to realize they can do all three without having to compromise anything.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||I find your rebuttal unconvincing||
Utah in 2008 didn't schedule especially aggressively, but they scheduled well enough that being unbeaten when no BCS-conference team was should have been more than enough. (Prior to the SEC title game, Sagarin had their SOS actually higher than Alabama's.)
Auburn '04 didn't do themselves any favors with Citadel on the schedule, but that alone should not have disqualified them.
The BCS only works when there are two, and only two, deserving teams. Off hand, I can think of two times in 12 years that it's happened: Miami-OSU and USC*-Texas.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||I think the bigger argument||
I think the bigger argument against them is it's a wider gap between games against the other teams in the conference. With an 8-game schedule, you get to play each opposite-division team 50% of the time if there are no protected rivalries, 40% if there is one. (At 9 games, it's less important.)
|3 years 49 weeks ago||I mean which of the last 12||
Most of them are probably right. But there's a fair amount of doubt about virtually all of them. Would Utah have won in 2008? Would Boise last year? Would Auburn in 2004? USC in 2003? Kansas in 2007? (Okay, that one's a little bit of a stretch, and 2007 was a clusterf$%k anyway.)
If you operate under the assumption that two and only two teams deserve to play for the title each year, the BCS usually gets the best two. But I reject that assumption.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Wouldn't have been Bama v. Texas if there was a plus-one||
They wouldn't pair up #1 and #2; they'd probably add a fifth bowl (otherwise the MWC-area senators would turn the heat up on an inquiry) and go with traditional matchups (which means Bama in the Sugar Bowl, Texas in the Fiesta).
Besides, a plus-one with that format isn't a big improvement; what if you have the five unbeatens last year scattered among five different bowls and they all win? (For that matter, even if you pair four of them up, if the fifth one wins their bowl you've still got 3 unbeatens before the title game.)
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Good point about the "every game is important" myth||
How important were Utah's games in 2008? They won every one of them, and it didn't matter.
(One quibble, though: There will only be four BCS conferences playing title games: Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, ACC. The Big XII won't have enough teams to continue playing one.)
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Is there a link on the SBN main page?||
I can't find it anywhere on there except via the direct link.
Also, please tell me TWIS is going to continue somewhere. Even when MSU (and, on one occasion, me) features, it's a great read.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Any system that claims to||
Any system that claims to produce an undisputed champion yet gives unbeaten teams no chance to earn it (as the BCS has done on at least three occasions) is a fundamentally broken system. Either abandon all pretense of naming a single champion on the field, as the old system did, or do it right with a playoff large enough to include all teams that have a reasonable claim to being the best.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||The trouble is, that's not||
The trouble is, that's not how they do it (as I understand it). They sign up a half-dozen sock puppets and have each of those upvote the other accounts. If you can reliably detect that, it might be a sufficient solution. But given that most people's IP addresses aren't static, that's tricky to do without false positives.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Correcting one problem doesn't guarantee another won't arise.||
Michigan's offense will probably be better. But (worst defense in school history - first-round draft pick who was the only competent player on said defense) is not an expression that usually equals happiness, unless it applies to your rival.
|3 years 49 weeks ago||Not even close||
It's up there for pro sports rivalries (the only close contenders I can come up with are Lakers-Celtics, Packers-Bears, and maybe a couple of Original Six NHL rivalries). But none of those even come close to the top dozen or so college football rivalries, not to mention a few college basketball and hockey rivalries.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||They can indeed be destroyed||
A down-vote negs both you (indirectly) and the other guy.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Trust me, there's a quicker way||
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Depth||
At this point, the biggest thing separating the US from the second-level powers is depth. We have a number of world-class players (not superstars, but guys that don't look horribly out of place on the international stage); the problem is if one gets injured or suspended, there's an enormous dropoff to the next guy (except possibly in goal). The European powerhouses can field a "B" team that wouldn't get embarrassed in international play. Brazil could probably field a "C" team that would at least put up a little bit of a fight. Even Mexico's "B" team is passable. Our "B" team is barely even good enough to compete in CONCACAF (we got blown out by Mexico's "B" team in the Gold Cup final in '09).
To seriously think about winning a World Cup, we need more top-end talent. But a little added depth (say, a second striker who's something other than completely useless) may well have seen us in the semifinals this year before getting slapped around by the Dutch and Germans.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Guzan's been huge this half||
Of course, with Findley and Kljestan in he's had to be.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||That's the impression I'm getting too||
Even if it's wrong, it's closer than anyone's gotten before and likely to be at least a good starting point.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Depends on when the whistle blows||
If they let the play continue, then get together and rule that the runner was down, they can look at the fumble. If they blow the whistle, at least in 2005 that was the end of it (I think they've recently changed the rule such that if there's a clear recovery immediately after the whistle, it can be reviewed and given at that spot).
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Hey now ...||
Every fan base has their fair share of nuts. We're not that much more insane than average. (At least, not if you avoid the RCMB and Cedar Village.)
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Not saying Wisconsin would jump at the chance||
But they'd at least think about it.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Two problems with that||
1) Lucas Oil seats 63,000. Not a big difference.
2) If travel on short notice is required for fans of two teams, you're not going to sell out 100,000 seats. Better to have a slightly smaller stadium full than to have that infamous no-crowd shot from the ACC title game.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Minnesota does have a lot of||
Minnesota does have a lot of big rivalries in the WCHA - North Dakota, Wisconsin, St. Cloud State, Duluth, and to a lesser extent Colorado College. I can see why it would have less appeal to them than to MSU or Michigan. Wisconsin, I think, would be more likely to go for it, but Minnesota is so central to the WCHA.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Why start with that now?||
You'll have to shift somebody when (if?) that happens anyway. Make the divisions make sense for now and worry about what they'll look like with two eastern powerhouses when you get the two eastern powerhouses.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||Tell that to the Badgers||
They lose both of their protected rivalries and the one they want against Nebraska. No way in hell do they go for that.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||I don't buy it for a second||
Geography is the only sane way to do it; it matches the rivalries perfectly (the only protected games you'd lose on a straight E-W split are Illinois-Indiana and NW-Purdue), and geography doesn't change year-to-year like competitive balance does. Even if you are worried about balance, Wisconsin and Iowa are close enough to be considered part of the top tier, and while splitting the top six 3-3 might be fairly important, getting the top four 2-2 is less so when there's so little dropoff to #5 and #6.
|3 years 50 weeks ago||And what is any different if that happens in the OSU-Mich game?||
Football was meant to be played outdoors. Man up.
|3 years 51 weeks ago||If you actually needed that spelled out ...||
... then welcome to the Internet.
|3 years 51 weeks ago||It's one thing if you're||
It's one thing if you're coming down to the end of the class and tell a kid: "Listen, we've got three spots available and we're going after four guys because they're probably not all coming here. But if they do all come, we're going to have to grayshirt one. If that's a problem, don't sign yet; we'll wait and see what happens with the others. You'll probably have a spot, but if you want to wait to be absolutely sure, no problem." That's not ideal, but at least the kid knows there's potential for the situation to arise and can make a mostly-informed decision.
Pulling the rug out from under him with no warning more than a year after his commitment and so late into the process that the kid's already living in the dorms ... that's scummy.
|3 years 51 weeks ago||Dumb in every way imaginable||
Competitive balance is temporary. (Just ask the Big XII; in the early years the North division was the one that was completely stacked.) Geography is forever.
Align divisions based on balance, and once the balance of power shifts (this is inevitable, even in a sport like college football where traditional powers typically stay that way for quite some time) your divisions might as well have been names drawn out of a hat. Do it based on geography, and they'll always make sense.
|3 years 51 weeks ago||Iowa?||
I suppose Iowa State is BCS-level in name only, but still, they're finishing off a home-and-home with Arizona, and they haven't had only the one BCS-level opponent since 2005 (Pitt '08, Syracuse 06-07, AZ St 03-04).
|4 years 1 day ago||Having the intelligence not||
Having the intelligence not to punt inside the opponents' 35 is not "luck". (Nor is having the intelligence not to use the @#$%! prevent defense when you're up 10 with 8 minutes left.)
|4 years 1 day ago||From this quote, I gather ...||
... that "first and goal at the 1 against the Zookers" is going to make the list?
|4 years 3 days ago||I'm an engineer||
The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
Oh, you meant sports-wise? I'm a Spartan fan and a Vikings fan. When it comes to football season, the optimism has been beaten out of me by watching my teams find new and more creative ways to blow games they should have won every year (this year's contributions being the Favre INT killing what should have been the drive that punched the Vikes' Super Bowl ticket when the entire sideline was wide open for an easy scramble and the CMU "oh thank God they missed the two-pointer OH SHIT WHY CAN'T WE COVER AN ONSIDE oh thank God they missed the FG OH SHIT WHY CAN'T WE STAY ONSIDE" debacle).
|4 years 1 week ago||Not sure I agree with that||
One crazy-hard game is at most one loss, whether it's Alabama or the Indianapolis Colts. Two toss-ups and two should-be-automatic-wins is not any easier than one should-be-automatic-loss and three highly probable wins; your expected record against both is 3-1.
|4 years 2 weeks ago||Isn't it just a wee bit early to be talking about this?||
Who knows who will still be playing, what new talents will have worked their way up, what sort of form players will be in, or for that matter who will qualify?
That said: given the home-field advantage, I'd have to assume Brazil will be the odds-on favorite. Have to think Germany, whose young players looked so impressive this time out, will be a contender. Argentina will be great if they can get anyone to complement Messi (part of the reason he looks so unstoppable at Barcelona is that they've got enough other dangermen that you can't assign two guys to harass him all game long). We'll have to see how things develop for the USA; if we can solve the whole problem of showing up 10 minutes late to games, we've got a real shot at the quarters unless we get the draw from hell.
|4 years 2 weeks ago||Fitting end||
After Ghana hits a penalty that would have won it off the crossbar, Forlan does the same here with the potential last-second equalizer.
|4 years 2 weeks ago||How come more teams don't send the goalie forward late?||
Yeah, you risk giving up an easy one, but if you're already behind that doesn't much matter, does it? Maybe not this early, but with 2-3 minutes left. Howard's the only one I can remember doing it so far this tournament, and he damn near got the equalizer for us.
|4 years 2 weeks ago||GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!||
Khedira with a pinball header off a corner!
|4 years 2 weeks ago||Third-place matches tend to be like that||
Not really sure why, but the average in all other World Cup matches in the past couple decades is about 2.5 goals combined; the third-place game averages 4.
|4 years 2 weeks ago||Bad day for the Uruguayan keeper||
Misread the cross and gave up an easy, easy goal for Jansen.
|4 years 3 weeks ago||Holland||
Not entirely sure why, but they've always been one of my favorites along with Germany. (Not that I have any particular enmity for Spain, either; at least it won't be Italy or Portugal.)
|4 years 3 weeks ago||You don't need to know why the correlation exists||
But you do need to have some idea of a plausible mechanism for it to be meaningful. Some important discoveries have started with "hey, there's this correlation here that we didn't expect; is there a plausible causal relationship?". If the latter answer is "yes", you may be on to something (at least worth further investigation). Between dictatorships in the distant past and soccer prowess now? Uh, that would be no. (Present dictatorships and soccer prowess ... you might be able to posit one if the dictator is obsessed with soccer, but even then the correlation should be weak.)
|4 years 4 weeks ago||The best part ...||
.... is how willing they are to bash those who richly deserve it. If someone is playing poorly, they'll call him out.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||The winner's next opponent will be quite well rested||
His fifth set only went 16-14.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||How to get cement out of a cement truck|
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Right||
Consider the following results:
A beats B 1-0, loses to C 1-3, beats D 3-0
B beats C 2-0, beats D 3-2
C beats D 2-0
A, B, and C are all tied with 6 pts, +2 GD, 5 GF, 3 pts head-to-head. B wins the group on H2H GD (+1), C gets second (0), and A is out of luck (-1).
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Considering that 20 fouls for||
Considering that 20 fouls for a team in a full 90 minutes is usually a pretty physical game (France and South Africa combined for 22), 10 fouls in 90 minutes by a single player is well beyond persistent.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||They tested the goal-line refs in Europa League||
Despite getting no complaints (and, I think, a fair amount of praise of the system), they decided not to do it in the World Cup. Why I can only imagine, although if the refs they have now are the best of the best I can't imagine how bad the guys they'd have to add to fill the ranks are. (It's the CCHA conundrum: are four bad refs on the ice at one time better than three?)
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Indirect kicks in the box are||
Indirect kicks in the box are still relatively easy to score. One guy taps it and the second blasts it top shelf just over the wall. I'd guess they're 50-50.
Also, there isn't much discretion in the Laws as to whether to award direct or indirect. An indirect kick is only to be given for "obstruction" (which does not rise to the level of kicking, tripping, holding, pushing, or striking an opponent, as those are direct-kick offenses), dangerous play which is not otherwise a foul, interfering with the goalie when he has the ball in his hands, offsides, violation of the back-pass rule, or when play is stopped solely to hand out a card. Almost any physical-contact foul is a direct kick, and therefore a PK if in the area.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||I read absurd amounts of sci-fi/fantasy||
So my list will probably skew that way (especially toward epic adventure). The list could easily be four times this long, but here's a good start (many already included upthread):
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Ludicrously unbalanced||
Have to have the top six split 3-3, otherwise one division is a relative cakewalk. Also, I'm opposed to any crossover rivalry games being locked in; it means you play 5 teams in the conference only twice every five years.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Bad idea||
One division is OSU-Mich and the Four Dwarves (in other words, for the moment, OSU and the Five Dwarves) and the other is stacked with a bunch of contenders.
The gap between the top four and the next two (especially more recently) is small enough that if you're going to worry about balance (something I really don't think they should worry about too much unless it's extremely out of whack, as that will shift often enough that divisions built on balance now are still going to look unbalanced at some point), it makes sense to split the top six 3-3, even if it's 1-2-4, 3-5-6. Plus I hate the SEC-style crossover rivalries; it means there are five teams you play only 40% of the time.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||USA 3-1,. England 1-0, USA||
USA 3-1,. England 1-0, USA tops the group, England survives to do what they do best: get eliminated by Germany.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||How does it work if you get a third yellow?||
Let's say, for instance, that we end up beating Algeria and advancing, and (for reasons known only to Bob Bradley) Findley plays in the round of 16 and gets another yellow. Would he have to pick up a fourth in the quarters to get suspended again, or would getting the third one get him suspended?
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Brazil might not need a win||
But their B squad could lay the wood to Portugal, if their qualifying form is any indication.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||That's what I get ...||
... for not double-checking my facts.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Not sure exactly where they wipe the slate clean||
Used to be that if you got your second in the group final, you were suspended for the first knockout game but if you had only one at that point, the slate was wiped clean. Thought I heard someone say they moved that back a round now, so it resets after the first knockout game, but I'm not sure.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||First looked incidental,||
First looked incidental, bounced off where both players' arms were while going up for a header (Fabiano's arm just happened to be on top). Second one ... only thing I can think of there is that it hit so close to the shoulder that he couldn't tell it was arm and not shoulder.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||That goal looked familiar||
Top shelf from the right side, in part thanks to a defender whiffing on a tackle.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||I'd heard that the fourth official saw it as it happened||
Not sure whether he's allowed to point out fouls, though. The linesmen can.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||If you had told me before the game ...||
... that New Zealand would not only get the draw but feel hard done by the penalty that was given, I'd have asked what color the sky was in your universe.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Playing for a draw is boring||
A draw where both teams are trying their damnedest to win ... not so much.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||It's gotten so bad ...||
... that when an Italian player falls down I assume a dive until proven otherwise.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||So apparently the two stories of the day are ...||
... the Italians doing what they do best (diving to earn bogus penalties) and the French doing what they do best (absolute dysfunction).
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Argentina did win that one 2-0||
So it (arguably) wasn't decisive, though that argument rests on the bogus assumption that nothing after that (including Maradona's magnificient - and legal - second goal) would have changed.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||New Zealand as the plucky||
New Zealand as the plucky underdog, Holland and Germany among contenders.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||With Kiffin there and the AD||
With Kiffin there and the AD not having been shitcanned yet (which he probably should have been the instant he hired Kiffin, if not before), it's only a matter of time before they commit another one. If it happens, the NCAA won't hesitate.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||And they've apparently kicked||
And they've apparently kicked Anelka off the team for a profanity-laced tirade directed at Domenech.
France at international competitions doesn't seem to be capable of a middle-of-the-pack run. They either get to the finals or get sent home without a goal.
|4 years 5 weeks ago||Had that goal counted ...||
We'd be at +1 right now, not 0. So a one-goal loss would leave both us and Algeria at 0.