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10/17/2018 - 10:29am Per me (someone who has made…

FWIW, I've made that walk several times before.  More like a 20 minute walk.

10/17/2018 - 1:48am The Orediggers are going to…

God forbid, but Notre Dame could theoretically win both the CFP and the D-2 National Title.

Personally, I'm picking the Orediggers to win it all.

10/16/2018 - 5:44pm A tape of their 9/11 show is…

A tape of their 9/11 show is out there on the net (starts at the 2:51:45 mark) --- I listened to it a few months ago.  Strangely fascinating to listen to in retrospect.

At 8:45, they were talking about a guy who had just flown around the world.  Go to commercial, come back just before 9 AM, the bumper music (because of who they just talked to) was Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner."  Oops.

10/16/2018 - 3:13pm It faded in the later 2000s,…

It faded in the later 2000s, but that was a great show from the mid-90s to mid-2000s.  I liked Mike better than Drew: the common every-day guy, whereas Drew would be a bit smug & arrogant.

I was among the people who first heard about 9/11 on WRIF - they did a good job on that stunning day.

10/16/2018 - 12:55pm The world is a weird place …

The world is a weird place .........

10/16/2018 - 10:31am It's definitely the ultimate…

It's definitely the ultimate philosophical debate ---- I definitely appreciate S&P+, because I think that's the ultimate "how good you actually are, regardless of luck" metric.

I don't think, however, "Resume S&P+" is an actual "how good you actually are, regardless of luck" metric.

My philosophical issues with "Resume S&P+" is that scoring margin isn't capped until you get to a fifty (50!) point margin.  Take PSU @ Pittsburgh for instance.  PSU gets ahead 23-6 and it was really game over at that point.  17-point win, nice win.  But PSU gets 28 more points and turns it into a 45-point win.  Resume S&P+ gives PSU 4.67 more points credit (28 points/6 games played thus far) for that!  So those 28 points are the difference between PSU being #4 and #9.

I'd prefer to keep it at "Penn State won at Pittsburgh, period."  A typical 10th-ranked team would do that 63% of the time - PSU w/ their 1-0 record in that game gets 0.37 "points of credit" for that.

10/16/2018 - 9:50am I like Connelly's work, but…

I like Connelly's work.  I really like S&P+.  But I am less of a fan of "Resume S&P+" and particularly how we he works scoring margin into "Resume S&P+."

To me, your resume, at least when it comes to the College Football Playoff at the end of the year, should be nearly strictly binary.  You either won or you lost.

I play around with stats on my own end --- I have something that looks at "what would the 10th (10th is a bit arbitrary admittedly) best team in the country do against your own schedule in terms of a W-L record, and how much better is your W-L record vs. that?"  That gives you credit for good wins, minimal credit for wins over Huck-A-Buck State, and doesn't severely penalize losses to good teams.  FWIW, my rankings there:

1. ND, 2. Clemson, 3. Ohio State, 4. LSU, 5. Alabama ..... 11. Texas, 12. Michigan .... 36., MSU, 37. Wisconsin, 38. Western Michigan, 39. Penn State, ....... 130. UTEP.


10/16/2018 - 1:04am I'll give Dantonio credit -…

I'll give Dantonio credit - after a tough loss, he got MSU believing in themselves 7 days later. 

When MSU tied it at 7-7, and again when MSU tied it at 14-14, the MSU sideline was up and jumping around, they felt confident.  Much different than the PSU team, which was just trudging along as if it they were a middle-age man going to an unfulfilling job on a rainy Tuesday.

And confident teams do tend to create their own luck.

10/16/2018 - 12:49am That all seemed pretty tame …

That all seemed pretty tame (especially compared to some coaches press conferences) to me.  She asks, Harbaugh says I'm not answering that (though he sort of did), and life goes on.

10/15/2018 - 1:27am The Catholic High School I…

You are correct.  I did mix that up.

As for Latin, the Catholic High School I attended (De La Salle) back in the day didn't offer that foreign language.  If only I went to Rice instead!

10/14/2018 - 11:46pm This story has been out…

This story has been out there for a few years now.

Tebow went out w/ his teammates but didn't drink.  And he had a friendship w/ Hernandez.  I don't see anything wrong with Tebow being there that night.  Hernandez was already a UF student for several months by April 2007 (e.g., this wasn't a recruiting visit). 

I don't know if Tebow "covered" for Hernandez either.  Per the police report, Tebow tried to be a peace-keeper at the bar.  And calling Meyer was probably a good idea: Hernandez was in an incident where the Police were involved and a Head Coach needs to know those things.

That there weren't charges filed?  That's likely where Meyer came in.

10/14/2018 - 6:15pm Purdue is 2-3 against Ohio…

Purdue is 2-3 against Ohio State in the 2009-2018 era.  That is the best record of any B1G team against OSU (MSU is next at 3-6).

One of OSU's wins was in 2012, where Purdue took them to OT at home.

Take that FWIW.

10/14/2018 - 2:11pm From Bill Connelly's page:

From Bill Connelly's page:

"garbage time adjustments don’t begin until a game is outside of 43 points in the first quarter, 37 in the second, 27 in the third, and 21 in the fourth."

That seems about right to me.

10/14/2018 - 1:06pm Penn State's actual S&P+…

Penn State's actual S&P+ rating dropped from 21.8 to 17.5  That's 4.3, which is significant.

Rank, of course, is relative.  It's dependent on what all the other teams around you do to. 

PSU stayed at #7 because the 6 teams ahead of them prior stayed ahead, while 5 of the 6 teams that were immediately behind them (ND, UCF, Washington, WVU, Wisconsin) had less-than-great statistical performances that weren't going to raise their own rating.

IMO, the crop of teams from #10-#20 this year are less inspiring then they are in most years.

10/13/2018 - 9:19pm Crap - this post was a bit…

Crap - this post was a bit too prescient!

Maybe someone bet MSU and won some $$$.

10/13/2018 - 4:10pm Sitkowski - he has all of 2^…

Sitkowski - he has all of 2^(-3) (completion rate), 2^(-2) (interception rate), 2^(-1),(yards per) 2^1, 2^2, 2^3 and 2^4 in his box score line.

OK, that's really me being a math dork.

10/13/2018 - 9:05am Penn State hasn't been…

Penn State hasn't been particularly strong under James Franklin when coming off a loss.

I find the difference between these 2 stats meaningful (in terms of how well does the team do when rolling or facing adversity; these stats were the complete opposite under Bill O'Brien, for whatever that is worth):

(1) PSU is 1-10-2 ATS in the Franklin era (0-3-1 since 2016) during the regular season when coming off of a loss. 

(2) PSU is 26-9-1 ATS in the Franklin era (19-3-1 since 2016) during the regular season when coming off of a win.


10/11/2018 - 6:39pm Visit 14 different B1G…

Visit 14 different B1G message boards and you'll come away thinking that Delaney hates a proven vendetta against 14 B1G teams.

Even Rutgers folk think that! (Delaney should be giving us a full share of $ NOW!).


10/11/2018 - 2:39pm That 2013 game against…

That 2013 game against Wisconsin was Bill O'Brien's last at PSU.

As for 2017 Northwestern, I guess it depends where one falls as regards the argument "ranked when they played or ranked at seasons end." 

10/11/2018 - 1:42pm I find those numbers…

I find those numbers interesting.  I would have never guessed that OSU had more alums in NYC than Chicago.

I don't think Colorado would be interested in the B1G, but Denver's an interesting market. 

When I lived in Detroit, there were tons of U-M and MSU alums, but few other B1G alums.  The lack of diversity was actually depressing given Detroit's still the 2nd biggest Midwest market.  It's hard to get outsiders to consider moving to Detroit.

When I lived in Cincinnati, there were lots of OSU alums and a fair amount of IU, U-M and Purdue alums.  But few other B1G alums.

But Denver: I basically see every B1G school well-represented except RU and Maryland (even then, my work neighbor is a Terrapin).   B1G folk are everywhere.

10/11/2018 - 1:15pm The SEC analogy ---- Dallas…

The SEC analogy ---- Dallas and Houston are bigger markets than Atlanta.  And adding Texas A&M to the SEC allowed them increased access to both.

But, Atlanta's still the #1 market for the SEC as a whole.  And that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

(yes, the SEC's addition was better than the B1G's addition.  The SEC's equivalent of Rutgers would have been if they had added North Texas)

10/11/2018 - 12:54pm Well, I don't like Delaney -…

Well, I don't like Delaney - but that quote doesn't seem crazy to me.  Unless the B1G radically changes their membership, Chicago will probably ALWAYS be the "center of gravity" for the conference as a whole.  

10%+ of alums from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, NW, Purdue and Wisconsin live in ChicagoLand.  5%+ of alums from Michigan and MSU.  That's 8 of the traditional 10 B1G schools right there.  There's a smaller presence of Minnesota, Nebraska, OSU and PSU alums in ChicagoLand, but it's still over 1%.

But increasing the B1G's presence in NYC wasn't a completely dumb idea either.  Now, we can argue about the execution.  I would have much preferred UConn or Syracuse over Rutgers. 

NYC is a huge market, and 5%+ of alums from Michigan, Northwestern and Penn State live in the NYC Metro.  And at least 1% of alums from the other 9 B1G schools (x Maryland or Rutgers).

NYC is a good market for the B1G to want to have an increased presence.  Again, my issue was more with the execution of that idea than the idea itself.


Source for my numbers:

10/10/2018 - 10:05am Definitely a good point.

Definitely a good point.

10/09/2018 - 11:26pm I always struggle to know…

I always struggle to know what to make of PFF rankings.  Consider this:

Hornibrook: highest game ranking is vs. New Mexico.  Lowest is vs. BYU.

Haskins: highest game ranking is vs. Tulane.  Lowest is vs. PSU.

McSorley: highest game ranking is vs. Kent State.  Lowest is vs. Pittsburgh.

Patterson: highest game ranking is vs. Western Michigan.  Lowest is vs. Notre Dame.

There's a pattern there.  To those who know - does PFF do any opponent adjustments?

10/09/2018 - 1:15am I don't even know what he's…

I don't even know what he's mad about.

The 2018 MSU football team looks a bit like the 2012 MSU football team.  Dreadful offense.  Decent enough defense (though not quite as good as 2012), especially when Josiah Scott gets back.

They'll probably go 6-6 or 7-5 this year.  Well - it happens.  It happened in 2012 also.  MSU will have those type of years from time to time, they're not a "reload" program they are a "coach-up and rebuild" program.

He's all mad about Dave Warner - but Warner was the one who led them OUT of 2012 and into a power-house offense in 2014!  Maybe it's time for fresh blood from Warner, but Dantonio has that track-record of finding someone good when the previous OC (Dan Roushar) left.

Get a new OC at the end of 2018 (and I tend to think MSU does), and they should be fine.

10/07/2018 - 4:28pm This very likely does mean…

This very likely does mean GameDay won't be in town for PSU @ Michigan on 3-November, however.  They usually don't do repeat visits in a year.

I also see this as a sign that ABC is planning on Notre Dame @ Northwestern as their prime-time game on 3-November.  They may even put GameDay there (if not Alabama @ LSU).  If ABC does put ND in Prime-Time, that probably means PSU @ Michigan will be during the day on FOX.

A bit of speculation there, but reading some tea-leaves.

10/07/2018 - 4:20pm 8-3

Wins: 1997 Colorado,…


Wins: 1997 Colorado, 1999 ND, 2000 Wisky, 2002 Washington, 2003 ND, 2003 OSU, 2011 ND, 2013 ND.

Losses: 1994 PSU, 2007 OSU, 2015 MSU

10/07/2018 - 3:28pm If WVU keeps winning, they…

If WVU keeps winning, they become an interesting case.  They won't play 13 games no matter what, because of their road game @ NC State being cancelled by the hurricane.

It's unfortunate that game wasn't played.  It would be an additional measuring point for WVU, and a semi-direct comparison point vs. Clemson. 

NC State may be the 2nd-3rd best team in the ACC.  Although that may say more about the ACC than it says about NC State.

10/07/2018 - 2:57pm Texas dropped 8 spots in S&P…

Texas dropped 8 spots in S&P+ off the Oklahoma game --- they're now #38 overall in S&P+.  I view that as a bit of a warning sign as regards Texas.  Turnovers helped them beat them Oklahoma, and the advanced analytics are noting that sort of thing.

But that said, a win is a win.  And teams should be ranked by resume vs. advanced analytics.  I agree with you as regards their resume.  It's pretty darn good.  They have 3 nice wins, and even their loss was a close one on the road against a team that isn't ghastly terrible.

If I'm going purely off resumes, Texas is top 15 (at least).

10/07/2018 - 2:04pm It's a decent comparison. …

It's a decent comparison.  The thing about PSU in 1997: they may have been ranked #2 to start November but they were never very good (and there were distinct signs of that before November).

Bill Connelly has applied his S&P+ analysis back for previous years, and PSU finished 1997 at 29th in S&P+.  29th - way back in the pack.

Wisconsin finishing 2018 ranked 29th in S&P+ (after being thought of as a MNC contender at season's beginning)?  I can see that happening.

10/03/2018 - 12:00pm When Matt Millen dies (and…

When Matt Millen dies (and we all will someday) ---- I hope his obituary isn't going to include a paragraph regarding "something he said on ESPN about Joe Paterno in the immediate hours after the Freeh Report was released."

I've let that one go (as regards Millen on Thursday 12-July-2012).  He isn't Franco Harris.

10/03/2018 - 9:34am The weather's going to be…

I live in Denver.  The weather's going to be turning significantly cooler on Sunday & Monday (vs. the current 80-degree weather).  Doubt it gets much above 50 degrees for Sunday, and worse for Monday.

That might provide an opportunity for a downturn in the market - wait and more folk will realize it's going to be rather chilly.

I doubt it's going to be a cheap ticket, though.  Rocktober is a thing for the first time since 2009 (it's hard to count last year's 1-and-out in the wildcard) and the locals are pretty excited.  Especially since the Broncos lost Monday and there's going to be less excitement for them as thy trend toward a 6-10 or 7-9 record.

10/02/2018 - 2:50pm Yep - Alabama has definitely…

Yep - Alabama has definitely transcended to a "super-elite" level.  They have literally made their own tier.

I've followed college football since the early 1990s --- I don't think anyone else has reached that tier.  Maybe Florida State in the 1990s.  If the 4-team playoff was a thing back then, FSU would have qualified in all of 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

10/02/2018 - 2:04pm In Joe Moorhead news ----…

In Joe Moorhead news ---- is ALREADY a thing.

I love college football .......

10/02/2018 - 1:49pm I'm a Penn State fan who has…

I'm a Penn State fan who has never been overly enamored with James Franklin.  

But man --- this talking point almost feels like it's getting TOO overboard.

Yes, that final play was on Franklin.  Things were over-thought WAY too much, and Franklin didn't follow a basic rule: when the game's on the line, play to your strengths.  Live or die on your strengths.

But he's still the Head Coach of a team that (1) won 11 games in each of the last 2 years, (2) finished in the Top 10 each of the last 2 years, and (3) this year, is just coming off playing a highly competitive game w/ the B1G's top dog on Saturday night.

That's all pretty good.

All that said: Saturday night has made many more folk question if he's the man to get PSU from "good/very good" to "elite."  

Which is a legitimate question.  He may not be that man.  If I had to bet, he probably isn't that man.  The transition from "good/very good" to "elite" is the hardest transition to make, and many coaches fail at that task.

But even if Franklin fails at that - he's still, IMO, an above-average college football Coach.  Which - hey.  Many programs, many blue-blood programs, have done worse than that.

10/01/2018 - 6:44pm Just as long as they don't…

Just as long as they don't make the game a 6-day announcement/flex.  12 days I can live with, but 6 is awful from a planning perspective.  And those 6-day announcements happen way too often.

Outside of Week 17, even the NFL doesn't allow their TV partners to make 6 day flexes.

10/01/2018 - 5:14pm Against the spread, Michigan…

Against the spread, Michigan is 6-9-1 in road games under Harbaugh.

Now, that's not a perfect metric by which to judge things.  But that record is not THAT far below .500. 

By this metric, U-M doesn't seem to be serial under-achievers (vs. public perception) in road games under JH.

2015: 2-3.  W PSU, Maryland  L Utah, Indiana, Minnesota.

2016: 2-2.  W OSU, Rutgers  L Iowa, MSU

2017: 2-2-1.  W Purdue, Maryland  L Wisconsin, PSU  T Indiana

2018: 0-2.  L Northwestern, ND.

09/30/2018 - 6:46pm PSU boards are a fun place…

PSU boards are a fun place today.  It's a fairly even split between (1) the Franklin believers and (2) the "Franklin just burned through 2 years of goodwill in 1 night" folk.

Here's a statistic: PSU is 1-10-2 ATS under Franklin when coming off of a straight up loss.  I find that statistic a tangible sign of how he and the team haven't really rebounded well off of adversity or stress.

I feel that PSU's game vs. MSU in 13 days will be a bellwether for not just the rest of 2018, but perhaps the next 2-5 years of PSU football.  Could be very much like the PSU/Minnesota game in 2016.  FWIW, that game is one of the 2 ties in the 1-10-2 statistic above.  It was darn near a loss, of course, except for McSorley's last minute of regulation heroics.

09/30/2018 - 6:35pm It's a directional tool.  It…

It's a directional tool.  It isn't gospel. 

I look at LSU's S&P+ ranking and my primary take-aways are:

(1) Their offense is ranked 38th per S&P+, whereas last year it was 42nd. 

(2) Their defense is 15th per S&P+, whereas last year it was 18th.  

(3) So, S&P+ thinks they are basically like last year's team.  And last year's team lost 4 games (including, since you mention App State, a home game to a team from App State's own conference!!!!), and finished ranked #18 (AP Poll). 

(4) This model is telling me to be cautious in expecting LSU to remain a top 10 team (AP Poll) as we progress into October & November.

09/30/2018 - 2:45pm I wouldn't get too caught up…

I wouldn't get too caught up in the absolute rating --- I find it more interesting to look at teams in tiers/groups:

Tier 1 --- Alabama.  They stand alone.  They're a full 5 points ahead of

Tier 2 --- Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State.  All bunched within 1.5 points of each other, and nearly 2 full points ahead of

Tier 3 --- Michigan, Oklahoma, PSU, Washington.  All bunched within 1.2 points of each other, and nearly 2 full points ahead of

Tier 4 --- Notre Dame.  Nobody else particularly close to them. They're another 1.5-2 points ahead of

Tier 5 --- Auburn, Oklahoma State, UCF, Wisconsin.

Then everybody else from there.

Those groups feel about right to me.

09/30/2018 - 12:25am Franklin has moved PSU to a…

Franklin has moved PSU to a certain level. 

PSU will win 9 or 10 games this year.  And PSU will do that most years.  And PSU will be, more often than not, a legitimate contender for a B1G Championship.

But the thing is --- that's exactly what PSU was in the 1993-1999 era (first 7 years in the B1G before Paterno's coaching ability started tailing off).

So, it's not THAT much of an accomplishment what Franklin has done.  The program is just back to a certain level they've been at before in relatively recent history.  And I give O'Brien, not Franklin, nearly all of the credit for keeping PSU afloat during the sanctions era. 

A truly great coach gets the program to the next level (e.g., PSU of the 1980s where they were winning MNCs). 

I don't think Franklin is going to be a truly great coach.  Ever.

09/29/2018 - 11:34pm Uh --- yeah.  That was…

You are correct.  That was unbelievable.

09/28/2018 - 9:37pm That Tampa Bay @ LA Raiders…

That Tampa Bay @ LA Raiders game was a few days before Christmas in 1993 --- the full game video is on YouTube.

Between the game being delayed as the fans acted up and it being a dirty game in itself (Tampa Bay wanted to rumble w/ the Raiders from play 1 for who knows what reason), it was a uniquely odd game to watch.  The Christmas spirit!

09/27/2018 - 10:43am Actually a cool graphic ---…

Actually a cool graphic --- but a bad caption.

Stealing a better caption from Reddit (and this movie was actually on HBO last night): "Well Trace, have the Lions stopped screaming?"

09/26/2018 - 9:18pm Tribalism in action. 


Tribalism in action. 

And, for better or worse, tribalism is not a thing seen solely with college football fans.

09/26/2018 - 8:43pm Shelley's definitely come…

Shelley's definitely come off as unlikable herself over the last 2 months.

Yesterday, Shelley took to Social Media because she was upset that somebody on eBay is out there hawking $10 "Urban Liar" t-shirts that are colored in blue and white.  Obviously, someone trying to make a quick buck off PSU fans before Saturday's game.

Which - now I wouldn't buy nor wear one of those t-shirts.  But her husband IS a liar.  That's just a fact.  The "Urban Liar" thing is only a thing because of the actions of her husband.

09/25/2018 - 12:19pm Last year in the same…

Last year in the same weekend, FOX chose Kansas @ TCU as their Prime Time game.  It wound up going against (1) USC @ ND on NBC, (2) U-M @ PSU on ABC, and (3) Yankees @ Astros ALCS on FS1.

The KU @ TCU game didn't draw many eyeballs, to say the least.

Honestly, that decision of KU @ TCU was FOX "punting."  They wanted to protect their FS1 broadcast and given that ABC/NBC both had very good college football games on themselves, FOX just chose a filler college game for Prime Time.

I can see them doing the same thing this year.  NBC won't have ND in Prime Time, but ABC will have some decent game, and of course there's the potential NLCS Game 6.

I think FOX's play is to put U-M @ MSU in a 3:30/4 PM slot.

09/25/2018 - 12:06am Note: Northwestern still…

Note: Northwestern still plays Notre Dame.  Game is in early November.

It's still possible they can still get to 7+ wins w/ one of them over a 10+ win team Notre Dame.

Northwestern would have to get their crap together quickly, and pull at least one B1G upset (they're likely home dogs to U-M and Wisky, and road dogs to MSU and Iowa), but that could still happen.

That then likely becomes the "signature" OOC win for the conference as a whole.

09/24/2018 - 11:50pm Texas may finish with a…

Texas may finish with a better record than TCU ---- but I don't think Maryland's win is the "signature OOC win for the conference" unless Maryland actually turns out to be a fairly decent B1G team (e.g., finishes with 7+ wins).  If Maryland turns out to be a "4-win pumpkin", the narrative will be that the win was just a fluke.

In 2014, Indiana had a road win over SEC East Champion Missouri.  That was certainly better than anything OSU (lost to VT), MSU (lost to Oregon) and Wisconsin (lost to LSU) did in the OOC season.  Those 3 teams, the best the B1G had to offer in 2014, had no Power 5 wins at all OOC.

But nobody really talked about that Indiana game or remembered it come November.  Because Indiana was 4-8. 

If anything, people talked about Nebraska (4th best team in the B1G in 2014)'s OOC win over Miami as being the B1G's "signature" 2014 OOC win.  A Miami team that finished 6-7.

09/24/2018 - 10:51pm Indiana (4-8 in 2014) had a…

Indiana (4-8 in 2014) had a 21-20 lead on OSU in the Horseshoe late in the 3rd quarter that year as well.  Michigan had them tied 21-21 in the 3rd quarter in Columbus too.  Cincinnati was down only 5 late in the 3rd quarter in an OSU home game.

I'll give that 2014 OSU team credit.  Their offense could hit the gas and accelerate quick when they needed to and escape with wins.  They did it several times that year.  The 2OT game against PSU - the offense was unexplosive the entire game but they scored TDs with ease in both extra periods.