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- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Southern Cal
- Appalachian State, expected to be among the worst FBS teams.
- Notre Dame, who should be pretty good
- Miami-Ohio, who's picked towards the bottom of the MAC
- Utah, who's picked towards the bottom of the PAC-12
- Minnesota, who's picked towards the bottom of the B1G West
- Rutgers, who's picked towards the bottom of the B1G East
|2 weeks 1 day ago||It's good for UF, bad for LSU...||
... due to differences in winning percentage (7-1 = 0.875, 6-1 = 0.857) determing division standing rather than the head-to-head tiebreaker.
If LSU beats everyone left on their schedule including Alabama, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker for the West division. Both would have just one loss in conference play. But 6-1 sits behind 7-1 in the standings regardless, so Alabama gets the title game on the winning percentage difference.
Florida is already behind the other credible East division candidate (Tennessee) and has a head-to-head loss. The canceled game helps them if Tennessee loses twice and if Florida would have lost to LSU, because 6-2 vs 6-2 goes to head-to-head, while 6-1 beats out 6-2. (If Tennessee finishes 7-1 or 8-0, it doesn't matter what Florida does; they are out.)
|45 weeks 5 days ago||As I recall...||
As of PSU's 8th possession of that game (roughly midway 3Q), they were averaging about 9 yards per possession. PSU's offense was not acting like a threat to score without help.
But Barrett was providing that help. He threw a pick-six early in the second half, and later another INT that set up PSU in plus territory. Urbz turtled up in order to play it safe, and nearly lost the game for doing so.
|46 weeks 3 days ago||Considering it's UGA...||
Richt went 0.680 in SEC play. The three decades prior to Richt, UGA's winning percentage in SEC play was 0.645.
I suppose that's "above average," but not by much. It's one extra win every four or five years.
|46 weeks 4 days ago||Am I the only one...||
... who doesn't get all the Richt love?
... and of those schools probably has the least to show for all the talent passing though their program.
The last few years in particular, the other traditionally good programs in the SEC East have been a trainwreck. It should have been easy to excel.
Not that I view Richt as a bad guy (or even a bad coach). To me, he's the poster boy for "doing less with more."
|1 year 2 days ago||The term you're looking for is "selection bias."||
Imagine that you flip a coin 100 times and get 54 heads. Then you examine the 46 tails, note (correctly) that every single one of those flips was 50-50 to be heads, and figure that you "deserved" 54 + (46/2) = 77 heads in 100 flips.
You're ignoring the fact that you also "deserved" (54/2) tails on the flips you did not examine. When both sides of that "should have been" accounting are done, it works out to a 50-50 exact split for the expected outcome.
If you wanted to do this sort of analysis and end up anywhere close to reality, you'd at least have to pick a Sparty fan to do an equally detailed review of every play that they feel went against them.
Which is not to say that Michigan didn't have some (or even most) marginal calls go against them. It's to say that the 20-point total difference number is meaningless.
|1 year 7 weeks ago||Patience is a virtue...||
I suspect Hoke would have had about the same result, but that does not mean that JH is an equivalent coach.
JH hasn't been a "gets big results in year one" guy in the past. His first year at San Diego (7-4) wasn't better than the prior year (8-2). His first year at Stanford (4-8) was better than Walt Harris' last year (1-11) but winning one-in-three games isn't much to write home about.
|1 year 41 weeks ago||Beyond 4 teams...||
.... I think you need to utilize the home stadiums of the higher seeds until you're down to a final four. It brings in fans that don't have to travel to fill the stadium, and it makes seeding more important by giving home-field advantage to the higher seed.
Even the current four-team format is a hardship to fans of the semifinal winners. How many fans can pay to travel to the Rose Bowl and then on about one week's notice arrange travel to Texas? (In an 8-team neutral-site format, the final two teams' fans would be looking at three sets of travel arrangements, the latter two of them made on short notice.)
|1 year 44 weeks ago||As a quick-and-dirty measure...||
Top teams by number of wins (before this year, per NCAA 2014 Football Records Book):
Penn State would be in the middle of that list, knocking Georgia off the bottom, if not for the Sandusky-related NCAA sanctions which vacated a ton of wins. And Georgia (767 wins) is a pretty good distance back of the team right above them (USC at 796) so I'd probably consider that a good place to end the list.
|1 year 45 weeks ago||PSU was 'BYU '84 (or Marshall this year)...||
... prior to about 1980.
But they upgraded thier schedule with decade-long series with both Notre Dame and Alabama, and then earned enough credibility to win a couple MNCs.
|1 year 45 weeks ago||Surprised by all the folks picking Illinois...||
Louisiana Tech isn't a "name" team but by Sagarin-PREDICTOR they are the biggest favorite (-12) of the B1G's December games. Spreads by Sagarin-PREDICTOR:
December: Illinois +12, Rutgers +5, Penn State +4, Nebraska +4, Maryland +11
January: Wisconsin +12, Sparty +1, Minnesota +4, Ohio State +5, Iowa +8
... assuming all bowls are neutral sites, which may be technically true but may not be so in practice.
All 10 teams are underdogs, but enough (6) are within a TD that they should pick up a couple of wins. I'll say 2-8 with only Penn State and Sparty winning.
|1 year 45 weeks ago||6 should be enough...||
I like this better than 8 teams. It makes seeding much more important:
#1-#2: Bye into final four
#3-#4: Home game against worse seed to get to final four
#5-#6: Road game against better seed to get to fnal four
There will always be "bubble teams" regardless of the cutoff. But taking the major conference winners plus one at-large should be good enough. ("If you want in, win your damn conference. If you can't do that, shut up.")
|1 year 45 weeks ago||I look at it as win/win...||
Either Ohio State gets left out of the playoffs and the Buckeye fans get insanely pissed off.
Or else they get in as the #4 seed, get housed by Alabama, and the Buckeye fans get pissed off.
|1 year 45 weeks ago||"Desperately needs"?||
Most OSU fans think Urban is playing with house money this year due to Braxton's injury.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||Punter?||
Ohio State (Johnston) is #70 in I-A in net punting.
With all due respect to Jim ("the punt is the most important play in football") Tressel, I'd not consider a punter "a star" unless he was top-10 or so.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||10+ wins during regular season...||
College football is a coaches' game, meaning that quality of the coaching staff plays an outsized role in W/L record compared to other sports.
This would not be a complete overhaul of the system (like the transition to/from RichRod): the scheme that Hoke recruits for fits well with Harbaugh's style. There is a ton of young talent on this team. The defense is already quite good and returns nearly everyone. And the B1G is weak and should continue to be so for a while.
The current coaching staff would have a good shot at 8 wins during the regular season next year. I can't believe that an elite staff wouldn't beat that by at least a couple wins. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to see the same 12-0 that Urban managed in his first year.
|1 year 47 weeks ago||To be fair...||
The team Florida destroyed was Eastern Kentucky.
It'll be interesting to see how the Gators do at Florida State next week. I'm guessing they'll be on the receiving end of the destruction.
|1 year 49 weeks ago||Not quite as "risky" as you suggest...||
Saban took Michigan State to 9-2 in 1999, their best record in more than a decade (1991-1998 they lost 5+ games every year), before moving up.
Meyer took Bowling Green (who'd lost 6+ games the prior six years straight) to 8-3 and 9-3 seasons before moving on to Utah. Then he took over a Utah program that had 4+ losses nearly every single year to 10-2 and 12-0 including a BCS bowl win (the first BCS bowl win for a non-AQ team), before moving on to Florida.
Jim Tressel had several mediocre seasons at Youngstown State to start out, so he didn't take them quickly to unprecedented heights as Meyer/Saban did. But after about 5 years he took them on a run of three national titles in four years, and won I-AA coach of the year four times.
All of these guys were picked up from lesser programs and/or lesser divisions, BUT the one thing they had in common was that they were highly successful head coaches at those programs. Taking a I-AA (er, "FCS") head coach who's won multiple national titles, or a non-AQ head coach with an undefeated season and BCS bowl win, or a coach who's taken an average-plus AQ team to unusually good years... those aren't really huge risks. (Harbaugh more or less fits the third category.)
In my view, a risk is picking up a young-and-promising coordinator (like Ohio's OC). That's a big gamble that might pay off big, or might not work out at all. (What if he's largely a figurehead and Meyer is the brain trust by himself, for example?) I'd prefer not to go that route; IMO any elite program should be able to pick from among folks who've already proven themselves highly effective head coaches.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||Possibly...||
I think an undefeated Big Five team is ahead of any one-loss Big Five team at the end of the year. Metrics like "quality of loss" are out the window. Imagine Michigan State played Oregon State instead of Oregon and was still undefeated,. They might sit at the bottom of the undefeated teams, but they'd almost certainly be in the playoffs if they won out. For that reason, playing in a weak Big 5 conference and not playing anyone of consequence is the best route to the playoffs.
But it's not as if that's a route open to just anyone. Even if Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, etc. played nobody out of conference, they'd lose one Big Ten game and be out of the running (and likely below some two-loss SEC and/or Pac-12 teams). A tough schedule gives you more margin for error, but it also gives your more likelihood of "error" (losses) on your record.
|1 year 50 weeks ago||That's now how I read it...||
The point of "muggles" in the Harry Potter universe is that most of them are blissfully unaware of the magical world.
The charitable reading is this: Use of the term is effectively calling the fans "ignorant outsiders."
The less charitable reading involves tacking on the added nuance that muggles are considered lesser beings by many of the magical folk.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Did he rethink?||
I looked at the top of his twitter feed and didn't see it. Maybe he deleted?
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Congrats, Brian...||
Given the timing it sure seems that your reporting had a major impact.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||Link?||
I tried googling that quotation, but it only turned up some Sparty rivals site as the source.
It's claimed to come from ESPN Insider, but has anyone actually seen that text on ESPN's web site?
I suspect some Sparty fans are trolling. It just doesn't read like something a 17-year-old kid would say, to me.
|1 year 51 weeks ago||I dunno...||
The way I see it: if you're running onside kicks and still trying to score, you can't complain if the opponent also behaves as if the game's not over.
The only way MSU ends up with the field position to score on seven running plays, is a pointless failed onside kick.
|2 years 3 days ago||Per Phil Steele, Michigan last favored in 2012 (-9.5)||
2013 +4.5, 2012 -9.5, 2011 +3, 2010 -4.5, 2009 +4, 2008 +4, 2007 -4, 2006 -15.5
|2 years 2 weeks ago||There's a question of whether...||
... he saw it and told the players to delete it (i.e., helped cover up a rape, which is itself a serious crime).
Lying then is OK. Lying now, not so much. But you can see that there would be some motive to lie now.
|2 years 2 weeks ago||Records earned in the Big East, though...||
Rutgers' final Sagarin rating the last four years: #100 (2013), #53 (2012), #36 (2011), #90 (2010).
Yes, they had some solid teams -- when Schiano was coach and in a conference worse than the current B1G. Schiano is no longer there. Recent history is: they are stretching to reach the bottom end of the top 40 once in four years, and among the worst teams in FBS twice as often as that.
So let's say that this is a good year for them and they're #40-ish (current rating of #74 notwithstanding, loss to a sanction-depleted Penn State notwithstanding). Even granting that, that makes them only about as good as Iowa or Maryland. Perhaps that's the "kind of game that even a healthy Michgian program drops once in a while." But that would be a lot easier to swallow at 4-2 with the only other loss being a non-blowout to Notre Dame.
On a somewhat related topic: If someone had come to you in August and forced you to bet something precious on Michigan's record through the first half of the 2014 campaign... what would you have picked? I'd have looked at the schedule and would have seen:
I think I'd have gone with 5-1. In my mind the possibility of a win over Notre Dame would be somewhat canceled by the (relatively slight) possibility of a loss to one of the other five.
There's still plenty of football left to be played. The glass-half-full types can try to convince themselves that Minnesota is going to win the B1G West, Miami-NTM is going to finish near the top of the MAC, Rutgers is going to be much better than everyone expected, Notre Dame is going to be a playoff team, etc.
But I have a hard time buying that. I think it's more parsimonious to suspect that a single team is much worse than expected, than it is to expect that six different opponents all turned out much better.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||31-0||
Goofers are coming in with a backup QB, their offense wasn't all that great to start with, and their strength (running game) is a good matchup for M.
They'll be lucky to cross midfield.
|2 years 4 weeks ago||Brian's prediction...||
... was "worst case 7-5, best case 11-1," and eventually settled on 9-3.
The individual position/unit predictions aren't far off, but most everything seems to have come out on the low end of the predicted range.
Four games into the season 9-3 isn't ruled out, but looks like an awfully big hill to climb.
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Nebraska in the '90s, Oklahoma in the '50s...||
Oklahoma won 47 straight games between 1953 and 1957.
Nebraska won three MNCs in four years 1994-1997.
Florda State finished in the top 5 something like 15 years in a row in the '80s-'90s.
Southern Cal had a multiple-MNC run just recently, and had a dominant period in the '70s as well.
I think all of those are arguably in the vicinity of Alabama's recent run. Maybe if Alabama wins three more MNCs in the next five years, they'll put some distance between themselves and others.
While I don't think Alabama's run is all that unique, I do agree that one can't use Alabama's recent success as a measuring stick. That's a recipe for disappointment. I'd set the goal as competing for the B1G title (being in the division race up to the final week) most years, making the B1G title game one year in three, winning the B1G one year in five, and making the new 4-team MNC playoff at least once a decade.
That seems like a modest goal that should be achievable even if fans of Nebraska, Penn State, and Ohio State all believe they're entitled to the same thing.
|2 years 47 weeks ago||Ill's 35 is a bit misleading...||
OSU's LB corps is like UM's OL. They have one good player, a couple average-minus ones, and then it's dregs after that. Their 2nd-3rd LBs were out for the Illinois game (details at the linked article, by OSU's equivalent to Space Coyote).
I don't think one can lean on Illinois' scoring vs OSU as being predictive of future results (if it were, wouldn't Indiana have scored more?)