A view from VT Blog Gobbler Country.

A view from VT Blog Gobbler Country.

Submitted by GunnersApe on January 3rd, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Kind of old but I didn't see it posted.

Gobbler Country:


Spoiler: they pick Michigan.

To add they seem to hate to be called "Vah Tech" from the comment section so use it for good or evil.

OT in my own thread- found this gem on EDSBS. May it get some milage.


The Game-Theory Gods Were Nauseated Yesterday

The Game-Theory Gods Were Nauseated Yesterday

Submitted by oakapple on January 3rd, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Three of yesterday’s games featured atrocious game-theory decisions by the losing coaches. None should have been even close calls, and yet the coaches got them wrong. I don’t just mean “wrong,” in that the strategy turned out badly, but in that no coach knowledgeable in the odds should have made those decisions.

In the Outback Bowl, Georgia was in the driver’s seat, as its defense intercepted Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins in the first overtime. All the Bulldogs needed was a field goal to win. On 1st & 10, the Bulldogs gained 2 yards. On 2nd & 10, coach Mark Richt called a run, to position the ball in the middle of the field, which lost 2 yards. He then attempted a field goal on 3rd down, which Kicker Blair Walsh missed wide right. Michigan State went on to win in triple overtime.

Walsh was 19-31 (61%) on the year, so his 42-yard attempt was no gimme. (Walsh also missed a 47-yarder in the 3rd OT that would have extended the game.) Had Richt elected to run a real play, even a conservative one, on 3rd down, there is almost certainly a far better than 61% chance that it would have gained positive yards, either making a first down or making the FG attempt on 4th down an easier one.

Except in situations where there is very little time left (which is not a factor in OT), it hardly ever makes sense to attempt a field goal before 4th down.

In the Rose Bowl, Wisconsin took over at its own 13 yard line with 23 seconds to play, trailing by 7. Incredibly, Oregon played practically no defense at all, allowing Badger QB Russell Wilson to complete a 29-yard pass to a receiver who then went out of bounds, and a 33-yard pass to a receiver who remained in-bounds. There were 2 seconds left, with the ball on the Oregon 25 yard line. Wisconsin could run one more play, but they had to line up in a hurry. Incredibly, coach Bret Bielema called for Wilson to spike the ball, stopping the clock at 0:00, ending the game.

For Bielema’s strategy to work, the play to spike the ball needed to take just 1 second. Since any play must take some time, it can only work if the center snaps the ball the very instant the referee starts the clock. That is extremely difficult to do, as Michigan and Washington State fans will recall from the 1998 Rose Bowl, when Cougar QB Ryan Leaf attempted to do the identical thing, with the identical result. The “spike-the-ball” strategy almost always takes two seconds, something every coach should know.

Of course, it was no certainty that the Badgers would score from the 25 yard line, but Bielema’s decision deprived them of the chance to try.

In the Fiesta Bowl, the Stanford Cardinal had a 1st & 10 from the Oklahoma State Cowboys’ 25 in a tie game, with 52 seconds to play. With the Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck at QB, coach David Shaw didn’t even try to make another first down, electing instead to drain the clock and attempt a 35-yard field goal on 3rd down as time expired.

The problem with playing for a FG, is that the kick is not automatic, and you’re foregoing the chance to get more. Just like the Georgia game, the FG was far from certain: kicker Jordan Williamson had already missed a 41-yarder earlier in the game, and he would miss a 43-yarder in overtime. The odds were much more in the Cardinal’s favor if coach Shaw had tried to get another first down or two, which with 52 seconds remaining there was plenty of time to do, and Andrew Luck had been nearly perfect all day.

In OT, Shaw once again took the ball out of Luck’s hands, losing 2 yards on two running plays (with a false start sandwiched in between), before calling a safe pass on 3rd down that set up kicker Williamson’s third miss of the evening.

Do You Like These Video Game Scores?

Do You Like These Video Game Scores?

Submitted by Ziff72 on January 3rd, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Just curious if I just made the leap to "Get off my lawn guy"?   It's been trending for years but after watching Mich from 08-10, Lions on Sunday and all these bowl games this week I think I've had enough of the 62-58 games.   I don't want a LSU 9-6 ugly fest, but I barely recognize the game I grew up with.   I have a couple thoughts and would like to hear your thoughts.  Maybe everyone likes the 100pts a game football and I'm an outlier.  Anyway I'd like to see the pulse of the board on this.

NFL- I think they need to change the rules to allow the defenses to play the pass better.   I would like to see them go back to the college rules of contact until the ball is thrown and change the pass interefernce.  At this point I see no reason to run the ball if you have a top 5-10 QB in the NFL.

College- Not sure what they could do rules wise. Even if you like the scoring I'd like to hear your thoughts on what could be done to reel in the scoring. I don't really have one without changing the fabric of the game.

Since I don't see rules changing I think coaches really need to adjust their thinking.  Brian and all the other contributors on the board have already done a great job with the math work, but in terms of game theory I think coaches may finally start adapting.

-MOAR Onside Kicks-   Why did Wisc and Ore keep kicking the ball to each other?  Both teams should have broken out onside kicks once they saw the only way to stop the other team was a turnover or a penalty.

-Evolution of Clock Management-  It's time to give up hope that you will stop another teams 2 minute drill.  Teams need to be more aware of the time on the clock when they are going to score.   I think teams need to start burning clock so they make sure they score with only a few seconds left.


Side Rant- Stanford followed Georgia by tanking the game by playing for a 40yd fg.  Pros I can see but I refuse to believe it's better to entrust the game to a rs fr kicker who has already missed vs Andrew Luck.   Stanford wasted a minute of the clock setting up a kid and not trusting A. Luck.   College kids with all that pressure.     The snapper, the holder, the kicker plus the defense going all out.  Me no like.   I'll take my chances with Luck to get me closer.












Upset Watch: Bowl Week 4

Upset Watch: Bowl Week 4

Submitted by Maize_in_Spartyland on January 3rd, 2012 at 9:16 AM

And, at last, we are at the end. Since Week One, August 30th, I’ve been covering college football games. 18 weeks later, we arrive at the final set of college football games for the 2011-2012 season. What better way to end the season than to cover the remaining BCS bowl games, including the BCS National Championship?


For those of you keeping track, Big 12 teams are 6-1 (Missouri, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State won; Iowa State lost). Conference USA teams are 3-1 (Marshall, Southern Miss, and Houston won; Tulsa lost). MAC teams are 3-1 in bowl games (Temple, Ohio University, and Toledo won; Western Michigan lost). SEC teams are 4-2 (Mississippi State, Auburn, South Carolina, and Florida won; Vanderbilt and Georgia lost). Big East teams are 2-1 (Rutgers and Cincinnati won; Louisville lost). Independent teams are 1-1 (BYU won; Notre Dame lost). Sun Belt teams are 1-1 (Louisiana-Lafayette won, Florida International lost). Mountain West teams are 2-3 (TCU and Boise State won; Wyoming, San Diego State, and Air Force lost). Big Ten teams are 3-6 (Purdue, Illinois, and Michigan State won; Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin lost). ACC teams are 2-4 (North Carolina State and Florida State won; North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Virginia lost). PAC-12 teams are 2-5 (Utah and Oregon won; Arizona State, California, Washington, UCLA, and Stanford lost). WAC teams are 0-3 (Utah State, Louisiana Tech, and Nevada).


During the regular season, the Upset Watch reviewed picks from the previous week, noted the bad picks, and pointed out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it was only in Vegas. It also looked at one or two sure-fire favorites (two when Michigan wasn’t playing).


Because this is the bowl season (and our last hurrah for the 2011-2012 regular season), we’ll cover each of the bowl games, splitting them up by week.


Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.




Utah (8-5) +3.5 Georgia Tech (8-5). Result: Utah 30 Georgia Tech 27 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Utah would cover].


Illinois (7-6) -1.5 UCLA (6-8). Result: Illinois 20 UCLA 14 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Illinois would cover].


South Carolina (11-2) +1.0 Nebraska (9-4). Result: South Carolina 30 Nebraska 13 [Props to Lord Maker, Trebor, and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting South Carolina would cover].


Oregon (12-2) -5.5 Wisconsin (11-3). Result: Oregon 45 Wisconsin 38 [Props to Lord Maker for correctly predicting Oregon would cover].


Stanford (11-2) +4.0 Oklahoma State (12-1).Result: Oklahoma State 41 Stanford 38 [Props to Trebor for correctly predicting Stanford would cover].



Northwestern (6-7) +11.0 Texas A&M (7-6). Result: Texas A&M 33 Northwestern 22.



Vanderbilt (6-7) -1.5 Cincinnati (10-3). Result: Cincinnati 31 Vanderbilt 24 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Cincinnati would cover].


Virginia (8-5) +3.0 Auburn (8-5). Result: Auburn 43 Virginia 24 [Props to One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Auburn would cover].


Penn State (9-4) +9.0 Houston (13-1). Result: Houston 30 Penn State 14 [Props to Lord Maker, Trebor, and BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting Houston would cover].


Georgia (10-4) -2.0 Michigan State (11-3). Result: Michigan State 33 Georgia 30 [Props to Trebor and One Inch Woody for correctly predicting Michigan State would cover].


Ohio (6-7) +2.0 Florida (7-6). Result: Florida 24 Ohio 17 [Props to BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting Florida would cover].


This Week

The final week of the college football season kicks off Tuesday night when (#13) Michigan meets (#11) Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl (8:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3); this marks only the second meeting between the Big Ten and ACC in the BCS (2005-2006 season featured Penn State and Florida State in the Orange Bowl, with Penn State winning 26-23 in 3OT). On Wednesday night, (#15) Clemson faces off against (#23) West Virginia in the Orange Bowl (8:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN3). No games on Thursday night, so we’ll skip to Friday night, for the Cotton Bowl Classic, where (#8) Kansas State and (#6) Arkansas meet at Jerryworld (8:00 PM EST/FOX). Finally, next Monday the 2011-2012 NCAA Champion will be crowned, where conference rivals (#2) Alabama and (#1) LSU meet in New Orleans (8:30 PM EST/ESPN/ESPN 3D/ESPN3).


Upset Watch

Clemson (10-3) -3.0 West Virginia (9-3) (@ Miami Gardens, FL). The Mountaineers are 17th in total offense (100th rushing, 7th passing); Clemson is 29th (61st rushing, 21st passing). West Virginia is 27th in total defense (51st rushing, 32nd passing); the Tigers are 59th (80th rushing, 34th passing). Clemson leads the series 1-0, with a 27-7 victory over West Virginia in 1989 (Gator Bowl). Clemson is 16-17 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-4 ATS as a favorite in last 5). West Virginia is 13-17 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen is 9-3 (6-6 ATS, 2-1 ATS underdog); Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney is 29-18 (21-18 ATS, 14-12 ATS favorite). Clemson is 6-4 ATS as a favorite this year (8-5 overall ATS); West Virginia is 2-1 ATS as an underdog this year (6-6 overall ATS). West Virginia’s last bowl game was the 2010 Champ Sports Bowl, a 23-7 loss to North Carolina State; Clemson’s last bowl game was the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl, a 31-26 loss to USF. Take Clemson to cover the points.


Arkansas (10-2) -7.5 Kansas State (10-2) (@ Arlington, TX). The Wildcats are 96th in total offense (29th rushing, 109th passing); Arkansas is 27th (81st rushing, 13th passing). Kansas State is 74th in total defense (39th rushing, 104th passing); the Razorbacks are 51st (79th rushing, 27th passing). Kansas State leads the series 3-1, with a 16-7 victory over Arkansas in 1926, 3-0 in 1911, and 5-0 in 1910. Arkansas defeated Kansas State 28-7 in 1967. Arkansas is 12-23-3 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 1-4 ATS in last 5; 1-2 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Kansas State is 6-8 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 0-5 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder is 59-40 (52-40 ATS, 22-10 ATS underdog) since 2001; Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino is 74-26 (59-38-1 ATS, 41-22-1 ATS favorite) since 2001. Arkansas is 6-3 ATS as a favorite this year (7-5 overall ATS); Kansas State is 7-1 ATS as an underdog this year (9-3 overall ATS). Kansas State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl, a 36-34 loss to Syracuse; Arkansas’s last bowl game was the 2010 Sugar Bowl, a 31-26 loss to Ohio. Take Arkansas to cover the points.


Southern Methodist (7-5) +7.0 Pittsburgh (6-6) (@ Birmingham, AL). The Mustangs are 53rd in total offense (98th rushing, 22nd passing); Pittsburgh is 84th (68th rushing, 76th passing). Southern Methodist is 37th in total defense (31st rushing, 60th passing); the Panthers are 41st (24th rushing, 70th passing). The series is tied at 2-2-1, with SMU defeating Pittsburgh 7-3 in 1983 (Cotton Bowl) and 33-14 in 1948. Pittsburgh defeated SMU 20-7 in 1942 and 34-7 in 1938. The teams tied 7-7 in 1940. SMU is 5-7-1 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 3-0 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Pittsburgh is 12-15 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 2-0 ATS as an favorite in last 5). Pittsburgh Coach Keith Patterson is 0-0 (0-0-0 ATS, 0-0-0 ATS favorite); SMU Coach June Jones is 87-56 (65-68-2 ATS, 29-26-1 ATS underdog) since 2001. SMU is 1-4 ATS as an underdog this year (5-7 overall ATS); Pittsburgh is 2-4 ATS as a favorite this year (7-5 overall ATS). Pittsburgh’s last bowl game was the 2010 Compass Bowl, in Birmingham, a 27-10 win over Kentucky; SMU’s last bowl game was the 2010 Armed Forces Bowl, a 16-14 loss to Army. Take SMU to cover the points, and win.


Arkansas State (10-2) -1.0 Northern Illinois (10-3) (@ Mobile, AL). The Red Wolves are 25th in total offense (55th rushing, 17th passing); Northern Illinois is 10th (9th rushing, 59th passing). Arkansas State is 20th in total defense (15th rushing, 54th passing); the Huskies are 87th (83rd rushing, 75th passing). Northern Illinois leads the series 6-1, with a 31-30 victory over Arkansas State in 1996, 38-16 in 1994, 23-7 in 1993, 31-0 in 1992, 22-21 in 1991, and 35-0 in 1990. Arkansas State defeated Northern Illinois 28-21 in 1995. Arkansas State is 0-1 all time in bowl games (1-0 ATS; 0-0 ATS as a favorite). Northern Illinois is 3-3 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 1-3 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Northern Illinois Coach Dave Doeren is 10-3 (5-8 ATS, 1-1 ATS underdog); Arkansas State Coach David Gunn is 0-0 (0-0 ATS, 0-0 ATS favorite). Arkansas State is 8-2 ATS as a favorite this year (10-2 overall ATS); Northern Illinois is 1-1 ATS as an underdog this year (5-8 overall ATS). Arkansas State’s last bowl game was the 2005 New Orleans Bowl, a 31-19 loss to Southern Miss; Northern Illinois’s last bowl game was the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl, a 40-17 win over Fresno State. Take Arkansas State to cover the points.


Alabama (11-1) +1.0 LSU (13-0) (@ New Orleans, LA). The Crimson Tide are 30th in total offense (15th rushing, 72nd passing); LSU is 75th (17th rushing, 105th passing). Alabama is 1st in total defense (1st rushing, 1st passing); the Tigers are 2nd (3rd rushing, 8th passing). Alabama leads the series 45-25-5. In the five recent meetings, LSU leads 3-2, with a 9-6 victory over Alabama earlier this year, 24-21 in 2010, and 41-34 in 2007. Alabama defeated LSU 24-15 in 2009 and 27-21 in 2008. LSU is 22-19-1 all time in bowl games (4-1 SU in last 5; 4-1 ATS in last 5; 3-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Alabama is 33-22-3 all time in bowl games (3-2 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Alabama Coach Nick Saban is 94-24 (66-46-2 ATS, 7-5-2 ATS underdog) since 2001; LSU Coach Les Miles is 103-38 (65-66-5 ATS, 39-39-2 ATS favorite). LSU is 8-3 ATS as a favorite this year (10-3 overall ATS); Alabama is 0-0 ATS as an underdog this year (8-4 overall ATS). Alabama’s last bowl game was the 2010 Capital One Bowl, a 49-7 win over Michigan State; LSU’s last bowl game was the 2010 Cotton Bowl, a 41-24 win over Texas A&M. Take Alabama to cover the points, and win.


Gameday Prediction

The Wolverines are 34th in total offense (12th rushing, 90th passing); Virginia Tech is 38th (31st rushing, 66th passing). Michigan is 18th in total defense (35th rushing, 16th passing); the Hokies are 12th (17th rushing, 41st passing). These teams have never met before. Michigan is 19-21 all time in bowl games (1-4 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 0-1 ATS as a favorite in last 5). Virginia Tech is 9-15 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 2-3 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as an underdog in last 5). Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer is 110-36 (78-61-2 ATS, 11-4-0 ATS underdog) since 2001; Michigan Coach Brady Hoke is 57-52 (58-43-3 ATS, 24-13 ATS favorite). Michigan is 6-3 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4 overall ATS); Virginia Tech is 0-0 ATS as an underdog this year (4-9 overall ATS). Michigan’s last bowl game was the 2010 Gator Bowl, a 52-14 loss to Mississippi State; Virginia Tech’s last bowl game was the 2010 Orange Bowl, a 40-12 loss to Stanford.


Michigan is 2-1 against teams fielding top 25 defenses, defeating Illinois and Ohio, but losing to Michigan State; the Wolverines are 3-0 against top 40 offenses (Northwestern, Notre Dame, and San Diego State). Virginia Tech’s two losses came at the hands of Clemson, allowing an average of 390 yards (222 passing yards – 56.9% of offense), while being outscored 61-13. The Hokies are 10-1 when they outgain their opponents on the ground (1-1 when outgained on the ground). Virginia Tech is led by QB Logan Thomas (2799 passing yards, 59.2% completion, and 29 total TDs), RB David Wilson (1627 rushing yards, 6.1/carry, and 9 rushing TDs), and WRs Danny Coale (787 receiving yards, 15.1/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) and Jarrett Boykin (731 receiving yards, 12.8/catch, and 5 receiving TDs). Virginia Tech is 2-1 when Wilson is held under 100 yards rushing, being outscored 65-60 (average of 22-20); the Hokies are 9-1 when Wilson meets or exceeds the 100-yard plateau, outscoring opponents 311-158 (average of 31-16). Take Michigan to cover the points.


Michigan 24 Virginia Tech 16


Who ya got?

Sugar Bowl: Streams & A Question

Sugar Bowl: Streams & A Question

Submitted by MattisonMan on January 3rd, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Heads-up for streaming:

Firstrowsports was down yesterday and appears to be down today so far.  Yesterday I found this one to watch the Gator bowl (it's more or less the same thing):



That said, I've got a big problem and would appreciate some help.  Long story short, the game will end around 7am local time and watching live is out of the question.  They don't have DVRs over here (can't get espn3 either), and I doubt I can stay in the dark on the score long enough to wait for the torrent, which usually pops up several days after the fact.  Is there any way to find a delayed stream or super-prompt torrent or any other possible solution? 


Pipkins Rivals' top performer for West team (Monday practice)

Pipkins Rivals' top performer for West team (Monday practice)

Submitted by drewro02 on January 3rd, 2012 at 1:44 AM

I do not have a subscription to Rivals, but it sounds like Ondre is doing well so far, as he was named Monday's top performer for the West team on Monday. The title to the article says it all:

"Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins is too much to handle in the middle on opening day of practice. He leads the list of top performers for Monday."

He also came in for some praise from 247:

"Among the other standouts at the defensive line position, Pipkins had the best case for top performer honors. He is a wide-bodied, stout defensive lineman that is much more than a bull-rusher or space eater. When engaged with offensive linemen, Pipkins usually dictates the movement. He also beats interior linemen with his quickness on plenty of occasions."

Also, Magnuson and Kalis came in as top standouts at their positions for their respective teams. We already know the praise Bolden has been receiving as well, and Scout gave this quick tidbit on T-Rich:

"Greene also saw good things from Terry Richardson and Michigan target Josh Garnett."

Good to see everyone is doing well so far, and hopefully they will continue to do well. The articles can all be found on Scout, Rivals, and 247's main football recruiting sites. The 247 articles are free, so here are the links:





OT: Why not have a BCS bowl game in the Big House?

OT: Why not have a BCS bowl game in the Big House?

Submitted by TexanGOBLUE on January 2nd, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I know questions are frowned upon on the board, but I thought I would ask anyways. With the Big House being as badass as it is, why don't we host a BCS bowl game? The Big House has been outfitted with lights, luxory suites, ETC. Riddle me that?