Member for

10 years 5 months

Recent Comments

Date Title Body
12/11/2018 - 2:04pm That's something that doesn…

That's something that doesn't get discussed enough:  relegation is objectively awful for everybody except casual fans of a sport.  Americans love relegation in the EPL because it's incredibly fun to watch from a distance.

The real, on-the-ground facts seem to be that relegation is a bad idea when most of a team's revenue comes from a television contract negotiated by the league.  When money came from ticket and merchandise sales, great--the teams with the most support generally ended up at the appropriate level.  Unfortunately, promotion/relegation seems to have created a permanent "lower middle class" of teams that yo-yo between the bottom half of the EPL and the top half of the next division (whatever they call that now).  

12/11/2018 - 1:07pm Yes, perhaps that is what is…

Yes, perhaps that is what is being suggested.  I don't see how you remove those conditions, since the condition that made conference membership...beneficial...was the NCAA v Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma (1984) Supreme Court ruling that held that the NCAA violated anti-trust rules by regulating television appearances in football. 

As a result of that ruling, TV money in football was made available to schools, conferences each negotiated television contracts, and schools outside of conferences (with one exception) found themselves increasingly cut out of the TV money.

So to remove those conditions, I guess you can have the federal government give an anti-trust exemption to the NCAA and allow them to limit television appearances like they did in the 1970s.  I don't see any other way to make conference membership less beneficial.

12/11/2018 - 12:42pm Well, the fact that pretty…

Well, the fact that pretty much every single independent team from the 1970s (with one or two prominent exceptions) joined a conference in the 1980s or 1990s tells you that the schools themselves find the conferences to be necessary.

I have not heard of a single team in a conference clamoring to go independent since that time, either.  It has happened, but usually against a school's desires.


12/11/2018 - 12:18pm "What did I miss?"


"What did I miss?"

You missed that conferences are voluntary associations of independent Universities, and that no University in its right mind would voluntarily join a conference if they could be kicked out for poor performance on the field.

12/06/2018 - 4:15pm Yes.  Much, much more than…

Yes.  Much, much more than basketball but less than football (only because I can't watch every away hockey game on television).

12/03/2018 - 8:53am This game, along with the 2…

This game, along with the 2 semifinals (Orange & Cotton), were originally scheduled for December 31.  But everybody complained the last time the semis were on a December 31 weekday, so they moved the Peach, Orange and Cotton Bowls to Saturday, December 29.

Because everybody complained.


11/29/2018 - 1:08pm In 1991, MSU Athletic…

In 1991, MSU Athletic Director George Perles appears to have quashed a report from a MSU field hockey player and her coach regarding Larry Nassar.  Perles is very much involved in this.  He has also been on the MSU Board of Trustees since 2007.

11/29/2018 - 1:06pm No, Snyder appoints the…

No, Snyder appoints the replacement.  He's not going to be the replacement.

Avoiding politics, but it's interesting that Democrat George Perles is not holding on for 5 weeks so Democrat Gretchen Whitmer can appoint his replacement.

11/29/2018 - 11:27am Well, I can give you 3…

Well, I can give you 3 letters explaining why they don't do that.  "N" "F" and "L".

The NFL Quarterfinals would outdraw the NCAA championship.  Yes, that still leaves Friday night and Saturday at noon.  But (a) there's no real difference between Friday night and Monday night, other than more people are watching TV on Monday, and (b) Saturday at noon wouldn't really appeal to the westerners among us.


11/29/2018 - 11:13am Yeah, I was just giving you…

Yeah, I was just giving you a hard time over the "play at the visiting team's campus" instead of "play at the lower seed's campus."  But yes--very interesting.  Michigan at Eastern Michigan would be...odd, but interesting.

11/29/2018 - 11:07am I don't really care for any…

I don't really care for any of these except the "illegal procedure" for looking at the sidelines rule.  I love that, because I hate the fact that some guy in the booth is calling plays instead of the players on the field.  Teach players how to react to different situations, rather than teaching them how to follow instructions from the bench!

I would also add:  go back to the old rule that requires players to call timeout instead of the coaches.  I don't care for coaches always bailing out their QB when the play clock gets down to 2 seconds, or when their "D" doesn't line up properly.  It should be the player's job to know when they need a stoppage.


11/29/2018 - 11:01am I can't disagree with this. …

I can't disagree with this.  Some sort of hybrid system might be perfect, where the imaginary playoff selection committee is required to select at least 4 conference champions to be part of the field.  In other words, first take the 10 conference champions and pick your top 4 and then take the next 4 best rated teams.  So you might get 6 conference champions, or you might get 8, or you might get only 4, but you still get at least 4 "objective" champions in there.

Of course, if we did this the "NCAA Way," we would have a 20-team playoff, with all 10 conference champions plus 10 at large teams.  20 is a bit unwieldy for football, though.

11/29/2018 - 10:39am "(5) The season ends with a…

"(5) The season ends with a playoff involving all 128 FBS teams. First round games are played at the visiting teams' campus to raise interest."

Playing at the visiting teams' campus would certainly raise confusion, if not interest.

11/29/2018 - 10:35am Agreed.

When designing a…


When designing a playoff system, remember the basic fact:  for every "rule" you add, you are replacing a better team with a worse team.  Autobids are fine once they are 50% or less of the field (like in basketball, with 32 automatic and 36 at large).  They are counter-productive if they are more than half the field, though.

Want the top 8?  Fine.

Want 6 automatic bids and 2 at large bids?  Well, you might be leaving out the #5 team in the nation just so you can include #18.  Or worse.


11/29/2018 - 10:25am Ah, commercials.  The rules…

Ah, commercials.  The rules committee needs to get a grip on this before pace-of-play issues start driving fans away.  The OP should note, though, that FOX doesn't have any more commercials than ABC or ESPN or even BTN.  FOX just chooses to bunch the commercials more than ABC/ESPN/BTN are willing to.

Right now:  4 commercials per quarter of 2.5 minutes each (40 minutes), 2 "quarter break" commercials of 2.5 minutes (5 minutes) plus halftime has been lengthened from 15 to 20 minutes (5 minutes).  That's 50 minutes of commercials.

My proposal:  Limit of 4 minutes of commercials per quarter that a network can distribute however they want (4 commercials of 1 minute, 2 of 2, whatever).  Quarter breaks of 2 minutes each, and halftime can stay at 20 minutes.  That's 25 minutes of commercials instead of 50.

Also, the FOX rule:  no commercial breaks will be permitted unless 1 minute of playing time has elapsed since the last commercial break.

So now games are 3 hours 20 minutes--2:30 of game and 50 minutes of commercials.  That's 15 minutes of commercials per hour.  My proposal takes it to 2 hours 55 minutes per game--2:30 of game still and 25 minutes of commercials.  That's still over 8.5 minutes of commercials per hour, which should  be perfectly acceptable for any network.  Yes, there will be a little less money in college football, but that's not really a problem, is it?

Huge advantage:  the conference could move their timeslots from 3.5 hours to 3 hours.  Have games at 1:00, 4:00, or 7:00 instead of noon, 3:30, or 7:00.

11/29/2018 - 9:36am For UCF, it's not so much…

For UCF, it's not so much the G5 spot in general but the UCF team in particular that needs to be rotated.  UCF went to the Peach Bowl last year.  Bowls do not want the same team twice in a row, especially if that team is not much of a television draw. 

Everything I have heard about the NY6 bowl placement process is that they try not to put a team in the same bowl two years in a row.  Obviously in the case of automatic conference tie-ins or a bowl hosting a CFP semifinal those rules are out the window, but neither of those cases apply here.

I am very confident that UCF will not be sent to the Peach Bowl.  If Penn State manages to make the top 12, I am very confident that they will not be sent to the Fiesta Bowl.  The committee will barely be aware that Michigan and Florida played a regular season game against each other last year.  They might take that into account, but they will also take into account Gainesville's proximity to Atlanta.

11/29/2018 - 9:27am Because UCF was in the Peach…

Because UCF was in the Peach Bowl last year, the rules say that they won't send them there this year.  If this scenario happened, the Fiesta Bowl would be Michigan v UCF and the Peach Bowl would be PSU v LSU.  (PSU can't go to the Fiesta Bowl for the same reason that UCF can't go to the Peach).


11/28/2018 - 11:59am I know fans of many teams…

I know fans of many teams say this every year, but I don't think it's permitted by the Big Ten to turn down a bowl game any more.  They aren't going to let a team leave money on the table like that.

But even if that's not true, I would imagine that the Playoff Committee will remember a snub for a long, long time.

11/28/2018 - 11:56am Yes, the Sugar and the Rose…

Yes, the Sugar and the Rose are both obligated to select a team from their conference tie-ins.  The conference champion if available, and the "best team" to if the champion is in the top 4.  So if Oklahoma is in the playoff, the Sugar has no choice but to select either Texas or West Virginia.

11/28/2018 - 11:54am It's the closest geographic…

It's the closest geographic location unless that gives the #1 team a home field disadvantage.  So they won't send Oklahoma to Dallas as a #4 seed.  If Ohio State is #4, they would put Alabama v Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl.  But if Oklahoma is #4, they would put Alabama v Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

Or that's how it was explained when this whole thing started.  Maybe I'm wrong.

11/28/2018 - 11:48am Yeah, they could swap…

Yeah, they could swap Florida & LSU.  That would leave M v LSU in the Peach and Florida v UCF in the Fiesta.  That wouldn't make any sense geographically, though. 

The only possible solution would be to send UCF to the Peach for the second year in a row, and they don't want that at all, even less than they want a Michigan - Florida matchup.

11/28/2018 - 11:45am Well, if Memphis beats UCF…

Well, if Memphis beats UCF this weekend, that eliminates UCF from the Fiesta Bowl and replaces them with (probably) the Boise State v Fresno State winner.

11/28/2018 - 11:37am Possible game times:


Possible game times:

Peach:  Saturday, December 29, noon EST

Fiesta:  Tuesday, January 1, 11 am MST / 1 pm EST

Rose:  Tuesday, January 1, 2 pm PST / 5 pm EST

11/19/2018 - 11:56am The Big Ten used to allow …

The Big Ten used to allow "redlining," as they called it, but ended it in the 1980s.  Gil Marchman was redlined by Bo after the 1979 Rose Bowl, but started working games after 1989.

I understand that the decision whether or not to allow it was controversial, and was not considered "best practice."  I get the point--the conference is saying "we have hired this guy, therefore he's qualified to do your games."  

11/19/2018 - 11:51am I guess I don't even know if…

I guess I don't even know if this is a rule or just a general guideline.  I track the refs for all Big Ten games, but I only looked back over the last few years to see if there were any back-to-back appearances.  There weren't.


11/19/2018 - 11:32am Probably the Capron crew,…

Probably the Capron crew, but obviously they won't announce that until Friday afternoon at the earliest.  Very unlikely to be O'Neil; Big Ten referees almost never get assigned to the same team two weeks in a row.  Hasn't happened in 3 years as far as I can see.

11/19/2018 - 11:30am You are spot on.


You are spot on.

Underdogs have covered 60 percent of the 113 games he has officiated ever since the twitter feed @CFBRefStats has started tracking.  By far the best ref for underdogs in the NCAA, according to them.


11/16/2018 - 6:37pm Wow, 54 is the total for the…

Wow, 54 is the total for the Michigan/Indiana game?  Give me the under all day.  Best case for Michigan is 45-7, 49-0, 35-14, etc.  Worst case 17-7 or 24-10 or something like that if the weather is bad enough.

11/15/2018 - 10:39pm Next up:  at Notre Dame,…

Next up:  at Notre Dame, Sunday at 5:00.

11/15/2018 - 10:54am The fixture kicks off at 12.0

The fixture kicks off at 12.0

11/10/2018 - 9:45am I assume you mean "Wangler"…

I assume you mean "Wangler" instead of "Wagner."  Wangler is Michigan's #2 fullback and wears number 5, just like his father did.  Milton is Michigan's #3 quarterback and wears number 3.

Milton wore the number 5 in the Wisconsin game, but they fixed that problem by changing him to 3.

11/09/2018 - 10:41pm Yes, despite ND having 4…

Yes, despite ND having 4 minutes of power play time in the period.  Great defensive performance overall, especially in the third.

11/07/2018 - 2:51pm I think it wasn't even hand…

I think it wasn't even hand soccer--it was a full-on soccer game, played under "Association Rules," as they said back then.

The first game under "Rugby Rules" was 1874 Harvard v McGill.  Our game evolved from the Rugby Rules, not the Association Rules.

11/07/2018 - 2:33pm Unfortunately, rutger thinks…

Good idea, but rutger thinks they need to worry about being bowl-eligible, and so they need to make the best use of their 3 non-conference games.  Wins against non-scholarship FCS schools (like the Ivies) do not count toward bowl eligibility.

11/07/2018 - 11:45am Oh, I disagree strongly.

Oh, I disagree strongly.

Any other scenario, sure:  Michigan is top 4 if they win out.  But a 12-1 Alabama team that just lost the SEC championship or a 12-1 Michigan team that just won the Big Ten?  The committee is going to spend a long time talking about that, and they might actually talk themselves into picking Alabama.

I would put it at about a 40 percent chance that they pick Alabama in that scenario.

11/07/2018 - 11:40am I suggest that after Carl…

I suggest that after Carl retires, they should use a recording of him saying, "Band...take the field" rather than having his replacement try to do that.


11/04/2018 - 10:17am Different rules apply if…

Different rules apply if there is a change of possession on the play.  Think of the change of possession basically starting a new play:  that's why they throw the beanbag every time the ball changes hands during a play.

So Michigan commits a penalty before the change of possession.  Penn State declines it, for obvious reasons.

A "new play" starts when Penn State picks up the ball after the block.  Both Penn State and Michigan commit a penalty after the change of possession.  Those offset (I think the ref got it wrong when announcing it by not saying that), and the ball goes to the "previous spot," which in this case is the beanbag--the place where Penn State got possession.

I'm simplifying that a little, but that's the difference in the "offsetting penalty" rule between those two plays.

11/04/2018 - 10:08am No, the Rose Bowl has to…

Right, the Rose Bowl has to take the conference champion as long as they are not in the Top 4.  Even if they are unranked, Northwestern goes to the Rose Bowl with a B1GCCG win.

10/31/2018 - 9:01pm No kidding, I'm still trying…

No kidding, I'm still trying to grasp that first tournament.

Who is even the #2 pitcher now?  Schaefer, I guess?  She's going to have to start against NC State and USF on day 1 & day 2 of the season, since Beaubien will have to deal with Arizona & Florida those same days.


10/31/2018 - 6:59pm Since this story is just…

Since this story is just breaking, it's time for some speculation based on absolutely no information.

Mine is that the players tipped the balance here.  They were out of the loop on the power struggle between the President and the Trustees, but once Durkin was reinstated, it probably would have only taken a few team leaders going to the AD and threatening to quit (and threatening to give their reasons to the media) to completely tilt the balance of power.

I don't have any idea if that's what happened, but I kind of hope it is.  

10/31/2018 - 6:47pm Fair, but I really want a…

Fair, but I really want a Dave Brandon chapter in the book.

10/31/2018 - 6:40pm You could write a graduate…

You could write a graduate-level Public Relations textbook just using case studies from the Big Ten East over the last decade.


10/31/2018 - 11:35am Here's the funny/sad thing: …

Here's the funny/sad thing:  this just means we could get Valentine in an NCAA tournament game some time in the near future.  Valentine isn't quitting; he just isn't getting any assignments from the Big Ten.

So he is more likely to work tournament games involving Big Ten teams now.

10/31/2018 - 8:21am I have to do it...


I have to do it...

Username checks out.

10/30/2018 - 4:11pm It gets down to a question…

It gets down to a question of the purpose of a rating system:

(1) Predicting who will win a game?

(2) Determining who had the best season so far?

(3) Predicting how the committee members will rank the teams?

This system is awful at #1, not bad at #2, and surprisingly good at #3 given its simplicity.

10/30/2018 - 2:57pm That's my thought.  John O…

That's my thought.  John O'Neill and Dan Capron aren't going to demand a cheek inspection from Harbaugh during the game.  As long as he keeps the tin concealed and doesn't make it otherwise obvious, he's safe.

10/30/2018 - 2:41pm Well, yeah, S&P ratings are…

Well, yeah, S&P ratings are objectively better than any linear approach that we are talking about here.  The appeal to me of these "point accumulation" rankings is that we can do a simple, low-tech approach that gets us pretty close to the ideal result.  You just add, subtract, multiply, divide--no linear algebra involved; no inverting 130 x 130 matrices.  It helps us understand the thought processes of the committee, and what they value (and what they don't care about).


10/30/2018 - 2:32pm Ahhh.  Yes, objectively…

Ahhh.  Yes, objectively worse.  Oh, well.

And my goal wasn't necessarily to give G5 teams a better chance, it was to remove the prior assumption that the 5th best conference is one of the "P5" conferences and that the 6th best conference is one of the "G5" conferences. 

I was afraid that the separation was a self-fulfilling prophecy:  the Pac 12 is better than the AAC this season, sure, but is it a good idea to create a rating system that assumes this to be the case in perpetuity?

10/30/2018 - 2:19pm Right; I agree with your…

Right; I agree with your last point.

That's solved with your idea of iteration (possibly grouping the teams into 4 equal groups--"Elite," "Quality," "Normal," and "Bad," with about 32-33 teams in each bin).  Yes, that still means Clemson and whomever is #32 are in the same bin, but you have that problem no matter what--and you don't need to worry about how many points a team should get for beating Clemson anyway.

You get 3 or 3.5 points for an elite win and 0.25 for an elite loss (against #1 to #32).

You get 2 points for a quality win (against #33 to #65).

You get 1 point for a normal win (against #66 to #98).

You get 0.75 points for a bad win and -1 or -1.5 for a bad loss (against #99 to #130).

Then you add winning percentage and scoring margin, calculate the rankings, see if any team has changed bins, and repeat.

As you say, it's pretty much the same as your ratings...except the level of a win is much more important than the level of a loss in this system than it is in yours.

10/30/2018 - 1:49pm I mentioned the CFN system…

I mentioned the CFN system last time you posted this; here it is.

Wins:  Teams get 1 point for a win

Quality wins:  Teams get 1 more point for a "quality" win, which is a win over a team with a winning record.  All Conference Championship and Bowl wins are quality wins no matter what.

Elite games:  Teams get 1 more point for a win over a team with 2 losses or less.  1.5 if it's on the road.  Teams also get 0.25 for a loss to an elite team.  Wins over 3-loss teams on the road, in conference championships or in bowls get 1 point.

Bad games:  Teams get -1 for losing to a team with 3 or fewer wins.  1.5 if it's at home.  Teams also get -0.25 for a win over a bad team.  All FCS teams count as bad teams.

Winning percentage:  Add a team's winning percentage (to 2 decimals) to their score.

Scoring margin:  Take a team's points scored, subtract their points allowed, and divide that result by 100.  Add that to the team's rating.

Any ties are broken with (1) winning percentage and (2) total number of wins.

It's a pretty blunt instrument, and incorporates the same ideas that you do, except it isn't iterative like yours is.  Making it iterative would have given them much better results, I think.  It's interesting that their rating cared a whole lot about who you beat and hardly cared at all about who you lost to.  I see some logic to that myself.

It really doesn't make much sense to use it until everybody has played 7 games at least, for obvious reasons.  YMMV; it's fun to play with.