I Can’t Remember What Was Said or What You Threw at Me: Frank the Tank’s Week 1 BlogPoll Ballot, Parlay Picks and Classic Music Video of the Week

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Big Ten, Classic Music Videos, College Football, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sports
Tags: ,

With the return of college football on Thursday night, here’s the season premiere of the weekly post combining my SBNation BlogPoll ballot, parlay picks for 3 games each for college and the NFL (including every Illinois and Bears game) and a classic music video (heavily tilted toward old school rap, ’80s trash rock and ’90s one-hit wonders as always).  Let’s get to it:

(1) BlogPoll Ballot

Nothing too crazy here, as evidenced by the fact that I ranked #2 out of more than 100 voters in the “Mr. Dumb Existence” category for having a low standard deviation between my personal ballot and the overall poll.  I feel pretty good that any of the top 5 can make it to the national championship game (look at Florida State’s schedule and tell me that they can’t run the table there) while it’s more of a crapshoot afterwards.

(2) Parlay Picks (odds from Yahoo! and home teams in CAPS)

Navy (+15.5) over Notre Dame (in the land of Guiness) – These schools will be completely out of their element overseas, which means that this is way too large of a spread for my tastes.

Western Michigan (+10) over ILLINOIS – I don’t know what it is, but Illinois always sleepwalks against the Broncos.  Being a Chicago and Illini sports fan, I’ve accumulated a lot of rooting scar tissue over the years and the Illinois loss to WMU at Ford Field in 2008 is up there in terms of sheer horror.  I’ll be down in Champaign with my wife and twins for this one, so I hope I’m wrong here.

AUBURN (+3.5) over Clemson – Clemson has a habit of burning gamblers in high profile openers.  I’d take a solid SEC home team and the points.

(3) Classic Music Video of the Week: “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit

This song from my college days has held up fairly well over the years, but its video in particular has held a special place in my heart since the main feature of the town that I grew up in (Glenwood, Illinois) was its old school bowling alley that circulated the same nicotine-tinged air from the 1950s through its closing in 2008.  R.I.P., Glenwood Bowl.

Enjoy the sweet smell of a brand new football season and your Labor Day weekend!

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111 and Facebook)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    Hawks +10 to cover.

    Like

  2. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Go App State Mountaineers!

    Like

  3. tomdauwwg says:

    Go Green! Down with the Smurf Turfettes!

    Like

  4. Christian in Wylie says:

    Hook ’em

    Like

  5. Denogginizer says:

    GBR

    Like

  6. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    From not quite the eye of the hurricane with no power, GEAUX LSU Fightin’ Tigers!

    Frank – number 4?

    Like

    • @Alan – Be safe and take care down there. Thoughts and prayers for everyone in Isaac’s path along the Gulf Coast.

      For LSU at #4, I’m a little gun shy with the loss of Honey Badger. As I’ve said, though, I think the top 5 is packed pretty close and it will end up being a war of attrition.

      Like

      • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

        Frank – Issac came through Baton Rouge with a lot of rain, but not a lot of damage. I lost power for about 20 hours. Some other areas of Louisiana and Mississippi were not as fortunate. Regarding the LSU/North Texas game, I drove through the campus earlier this morning and everything looks OK. The question about whether the game will be played this weekend really deals with availability of local law enforcement to direct traffic. From what I understand, all city police and parish deputies have other things to do right now.

        Regarding the Honey Badger, he is irreplaceable. He saved 3 games for the Tigers last year. The difference this year with LSU is that the offense should be able to throw the ball downfield.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          Alan,

          You know how I feel. It is better they are behind Bama because it means they will flip in the end 🙂

          I have a feeling LSU wants some payback for last season and the Tiger will beat the Tide this time around. Glad all wound up safe and sound in your neck of the woods with the weather.

          Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            duff – my Tigers need no additional motivation for this season, but I’ll take all we can get. November 3rd can’t get here soon enough.

            Thanks for the kind words about the hurricane. The Tigers are ready to geaux! Unfortunately, I’ll be out of town this weekend. I haven’t missed a home opener in 20 years.

            Like

  7. Art Vandelay says:

    I think you’re underrating Michigan State again, and probably overrating Michigan. Personally, I think Sparty will be favored in every game but one this year.

    Like

  8. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Try again

    Like

  9. OrderRestored83 says:

    add

    Like

  10. Brian says:

    I’ll just repost this from the previous blog post:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/64344/allen-pinketts-comments-off-base

    Allen Pinkett is a jackass and decided to prove it on radio.

    Like

  11. bamatab says:

    RTR!

    Like

  12. Tom Jones says:

    Can anyone clarify the planned new Illini football uniforms? I read in one place they were coming in 2014, then I read from another source recently it was 2013. Is the matte navy blue helmet with block orange I only for one game this year, or is it the helmet of the future?
    BTY, Frank, I think predicting Western Michigan is your defense mechanism. If Illiini lose, somehow you won’t be quite so disappointed. I’m going with an Illini win with the spread. New coach Beckman is the reason. (I pray your prediction is wrong Frank!)

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Tom,

      http://www.fightingillini.com/genrel/080312aak.html

      The “ILLINOIS. OUR STATE. OUR TEAM.” campaign will be incorporated into a large-scale brand evaluation program that the DIA will partner with Nike beginning in 2013. The 18-month collaboration will result in an updated brand identity including new football uniforms for 2014.

      Uni Watch says look for the new helmets and uniforms in 2013, but the official IL site says 2014. Maybe they mean 2013-2014.

      Like

  13. acaffrey says:

    Here is The Confidential’s (http://atlanticcoastconfidential.com/) top 25:

    1 USC: Who is going to beat them? They have Oregon and Notre Dame at home. In past years, they have beaten themselves though.
    2 LSU: Look at LSU’s schedule–they host Alabama. That could be the deciding factor between those two schools.
    3 Alabama: Not only do the Crimson Tide travel to LSU, they also have to go to Arkanas and Missouri, while also playing Michigan.
    4 Florida State: The Confidential likes to pick on FSU fans, but this should be a very good Seminoles team.
    5 Oklahoma: The Sooners fall out of the top 5 because they have a trip to Morgantown–a unique place to play and a very possible defeat.
    6 Wisconsin: The big game on the schedule is the week 5 matchup at Nebraska. Otherwise, Wisconsin misses Michigan, hosts Ohio State, and will close the season at depleted Penn State. Very favorable.
    7 Oregon: Nothing challenging on the OOC slate. They travel to USC though, which should be a great game.
    8 South Carolina: Not sure how they will win at LSU, but they get to host Georgia. That will help.
    9 Georgia: No LSU. No Alabama. No Arkansas. Still, we see the Bulldogs losing to South Carolina on the road.
    10 Michigan State: If the Spartans get by Boise State, they host Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio State. The tough road game is rival Michigan.
    11 West Virginia: This season could be very tough for the Mountaineers as they adjust to playing far away. Or the Big XII will have trouble adjusting to it.
    12 Arkansas: The Razorbacks host Alabama and LSU this year, but must travel to South Carolina and Auburn. Not sure about John L. Smith though.
    13 Michigan: Not quite buying into the Wolverines yet. Neutral game against Alabama, plus road games against Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio State.
    14 Virginia Tech: It’s hard to discount the Hokies and their continued ability to finish reasonably well ranked. This year should be more of the same.
    15 Clemson: The Tigers get to host Virginia Tech, but Auburn in Atlanta and Florida State in Tallahassee could mean a 2-2 start.
    16 Texas
    17 Ohio State
    18 Nebraska
    19 Boise State
    20 Oklahoma State
    21 TCU
    22 Stanford
    23 Louisville
    24 Kansas State
    25 Florida

    What do you guys think?

    Like

    • duffman says:

      I think when the Tide rolls into Columbia the Tigers are going to be the proverbial deer in the headlights. I think West Virginia has a shot at finishing at the top of the B12 and might swap them with Oklahoma. The harder one is the B1G as nobody seems that far ahead of some others near the top. Penn State and Ohio State are not playing for bowl games so that is always hard to gauge how they wind up. Nebraska may still be adjusting to B1G play and Purdue may be my dark horse this season. The PAC will probably be the winner of Southern Cal vs Oregon and I am not sure who in the ACC or Big East is worthy of a top spot.

      Like

  14. jj says:

    Sparty’s year.

    Like

  15. Kevin says:

    FWIW Barry Alvarez mentioned on a local show that B1G teams have been told to schedule 2 BCS OOC games with the new post season format.

    Like

  16. Brian says:

    When talking expansion, we often talk about the B10 and the east coast. I came across this today, so I’ll throw it out there.

    http://www.cleveland.com/osu/index.ssf/2012/08/urban_meyer_ohio_state_buckeye.html

    “According to the Ohio State Alumni Association, there are about 10,000 OSU alumni in Washington, D.C.; 9,100 in New York; 8,500 in Chicago and 7,000 in Los Angeles.”

    That’s out of essentially 500,000 alumni. I wasn’t surprised to see a relatively low number in Chicago. Most other B10 schools have a lot of alumni there but it’s never been a major destination for Buckeyes. DC is only about 40 miles farther from Columbus than Chicago, too, so OSU grads have a lot of cities to choose from.

    Like

    • zeek says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me if D.C. only grows as a destination (i.e. that the cohort of D.C. OSU alumni is a bit younger than the groups elsewhere and grows faster), given that it’s really become a major destination for college grads over the past 10 years more than any other city.

      Like

  17. Frank, the Auburn-Clemson game is in the Georgia Dome. That’s relatively neutral-site, though I’d agree w/ the “take Auburn” lean regardless.

    Like

  18. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8319551/big-east-looking-add-14th-football-member

    The BE is looking to add 1 more team for FB. Also, they’ll have a CCG starting in 2013. The commish also said he’s confident the remaining members, like UConn and UL, will stay.

    Like

    • @Brian – Kind of cryptic when he said that “some independents” might be interested. Notre Dame obviously doesn’t want to join the Big East, while the Big East obviously has no need for Idaho or New Mexico State, so that leaves Army and BYU. My feeling is that BYU’s TV demands have been too much for anyone to bear, but we’ll see.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        BYU seems the most obvious choice, but maybe Army is willing to try a conference again and be with Navy. Navy be trying to get them in to make Navy’s schedule easier.

        Like

  19. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/08/29/penn-state-title-ix.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a11

    Another potential problem for PSU – Title IX violations in their handling of the Sandusky case. Apparently the penalties are often much worse than for Clery Act violations.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The people requesting the Title IX investigation, if you read far enough down, also are saying treating athletes differently than regular students should be a Title IX violation, even if it doesn’t involve sexual assults.

      Like

  20. Brian says:

    Nice screw job by the refs on Vandy on that 4th down pass. That was clearly pass interference.

    I’m guessing this game will be spun by the media as showing how deep the SEC is with Vandy keeping it close rather than telling the truth that SC is overrated.

    Like

  21. Brian says:

    http://host.madison.com/sports/blog/badgers-football-alvarez-says-big-ten-to-upgrade-non-league/article_59738476-f2df-11e1-bde2-0019bb2963f4.html

    Barry Alvarez gives some more info on what Delany has urged B10 schools to do in OOC scheduling. Schools are urged to play 2 AQs each year (the top non-AQs like BYU are fine, too).

    For WI fans, a 2-1 with BYU is almost finalized. He also says he’ll continue to schedule I-AA teams and liked opening on the Thursday before Labor Day so that may happen again.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://247sports.com/Article/Helwagen-Chat-Aug-30-Archive-88083

      In that same vein, Gene Smith has talked about upcoming OOC schedules for OSU.

      “Ohio State’s AD Gene Smith said OSU will play one marquee team, look for another top 50 team (Cincinnati or Vandy as examples) and play 2 more guaranteed games (MAC and CUSA teams, etc.). That’s their reaction to beefing up strength of schedule for the new format. ”

      That’s what I expected, and a reasonable approach as long as he avoids I-AAs. I like having a big game OOC every year and a second decent team is useful. I don’t mind the two cupcakes in September. My ideal schedule:

      Week 1 – cupcake (work out the kinks and get backups some PT)
      Week 2 – decent team (face some adversity and fine tune)
      Week 3 – big game (see how good you are)
      Week 4 – cupcake (recover from the big game and prep for the conference season)
      Week 5 – B10 home opener
      Week 6 – B10 road opener
      Week 7 – Bye
      Week 8 – B10 #3
      Week 9 – B10 #4
      Week 10 – B10 #5
      Week 11 – B10 #6
      Week 12 – Bye
      Week 13 – B10 #7
      Week 14 – MI

      I’d preferably put WI or PSU in Week 11 (November) to avoid tough night road games and spread out the toughest games. If you only have 1 bye, put it in Week 9 (after 8 games, before the last 4).

      Like

    • frug says:

      I wonder how much longer BYU can realistically hold on to independents if they are still having to give out 2-1 to every big name opponent they play. Giving away all those games is going to catch up with them eventually.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        They have a lot of smaller teams they can play home and home (WAC, MWC, CUSA). They can even buy some home games if they want. They also get an extra game quite often by playing HI so maybe they are selling that game to big schools like WI.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        Depends on whether they’d be fine with having 6 home games most years (which is what ND has). Remember that they pretty much play Hawaii annually now, so half the time, they have 13 games in which to fit in 6 or 7 home dates. They can easily get HaH’s with schools in the MWC, CUSA, & BE as well as schools with smaller stadiums in the power conferences. To have home games roughly half the time, for every 2-for-1, they’d have to schedule a buy game at home against an Idaho or NMSU every 3 years (or balance their 2-for-1’s with big names with 1-for-2’s with Idaho and NMSU). That doesn’t seem like that hard of an order. Plus, they can schedule an FCS school every year.

        So every year, they could have
        3 2-for-1’s with name opponents (you see this plan in action in 2013, when they visit Wisconsin and ND and have Texas visit) ensuring one big name opponent in Provo every year.
        3 1-for-2’s with Idaho, NMSU, and one other current WAC member (SJSU, Texas St., and UTSA seem like good candidates).
        1 FCS opponent at home
        HaH with the rest (including regular opponents that would be big draws for the home crowd, like Boise, Utah, Utah St., and Hawaii).

        So 1 FCS opponent at home + home and road games split 50-50 over the other 11 or 12 games.

        Playing Hawaii annually, that would mean 7 home games in 3 years and 6 home game in 1 year every 4 years.

        Like

        • bu2 says:

          FCS is inexcusable for a school like Ohio St. unless there is a last minute cancellation (and it is rare for them). Mentioned on CBS UCLA/Rice game there are only 3 schools that have not played an FCS team-UCLA, USC, Notre Dame. The only time I recall Texas playing FCS was UNT when they had to scramble to find someone to replace SMU after their death penalty.

          Its one thing for an IU or UK to do it. Yet Alabama and Florida do it nearly every year. Often they play bad FCS teams.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            I don’t have a problem with state schools playing other state FCS schools. i.e. Iowa vs Northern Iowa.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            I understand your point, but even if Florida was playing FAMU and Alabama playing Alabama St., its too much of a mismatch with 85 scholarships vs. a maximum of 63. Now Iowa doesn’t have an FAU/FIU/UCF/USF or UAB/Troy/USA, but they still should be playing schools operating under the same rules. But I would criticize Iowa less than Ohio St. And IU and especially Minnesota (who needed 3 OTs to beat #10 in the bottom 10) have grounds for playing those schools. Still, it would be preferable for IU to play a Ball St. or Akron over an Indiana St. or Southern Illinois.

            Like

          • Richard says:

            Did anyone say OSU is playing a FCS school?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Richard
            Read your own comment. You were suggesting that as a possibility.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            Richard was talking about BYU there, not OSU. The OSU thread was one comment up.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            OK
            I thought he was responding to your OSU comments.
            BYU is desperate. That is different. Although there aren’t a lot of FCS schools that want late season games against FBS schools. UGA did have Idaho St. and Coastal Carolina in the last two years, but those were bad FCS schools that didn’t expect the playoffs. UGA has a former Florida employee as its AD now and is embarrassingly softening its schedule.

            Like

        • @Richard – I agree. At the end of the day, scheduling won’t be an issue for BYU (or at least an issue that would determine whether they continue to be an independent). They can schedule anyone from the Big East and below on a home-and-home basis at a minimum and, as you’ve noted, the Hawaii series gives them an extra game every other season to play with. Independence won’t be driven by scheduling concerns, but rather what LDS leaders believe is the best way to provide maximum exposure for BYU as a school (which makes them *very* different from any other school in the country in terms of how they think).

          Like

        • Also, the feedback that I get from BYU people that I talk to seems to indicate differing views depending upon the interests. At the LDS leadership level (the equivalent of the university president’s office elsewhere), the ESPN exposure and ability to build BYUtv as an independent appears to trump everything else. The grassroots fan contingent wants to have an identity that gives them a leg up on (or at least equalizes their stature with) rival Utah, which is something that independence or joining the Big 12 can achieve but joining, say, the Big East, cannot do. So, the fans are fine with independence over the Big East, but would much rather have the Big 12 over independence.

          The athletic department, though, seems to be more interested in joining a conference because all of the fallout is on them if they aren’t able to put together a desirable schedule (not to mention that it’s not an easy thing to do every year logistically). The thing is that they’ve already tried twice (with both the Big 12 and the Big East) and LDS leadership essentially nixed any deals. Since there really isn’t any grassroots effort among the fans to join the Big East, the athletic department can’t apply any pressure on the LDS leadership to change their minds. (The Big 12 is a different story. The fans would be VERY upset at the school turning down a Big 12 invite in the name of TV exposure.)

          Like

          • Andy says:

            I wonder if the Big 12 would consider taking them if they have some high profile success on the field in the near future.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            We went down the BYU to the Big12 road several times in the last couple years (even before aTm and Mizzu left), and either the leadership nixed it, or the TV independence and control requirements of BYU were no go’s. They aren’t looking for dollars. Their athletics are their most visible missionary endeavor. B12 membership doesn’t help that mission as well as independence.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Missionary as in PR/conversion/evangelism at a gentle level.

            Like

    • frug says:

      http://www.fbschedules.com/2012/07/report-byu-wisconsin-play-home-and-home-football-series/

      Interesting that originally this was originally reported to be a home and home. It’s probably more likely that the reporting was wrong, but I guess it’s possible that UW changed their mind and tacked on an extra game.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Yep, and before even that, there were rumors of a 1-1-1 series (1 neutral site). No doubt Wisconsin and BYU have been negotiating for a long time with Wisconsin pressing for a 2-1 and BYU looking for a HaH or 1-1-1. Ultimately, BYU must have decided that the positive of playing Wisconsin 3 times was worth the drawback of a 2-for-1. If I had to guess, I would say the LDS leadership argument won out (exposure from playing a name team) against the athletic department (which probably would prefer a HaH against a BE/CUSA/MWC caliber opponent for revenue purposes).

        Like

    • cutter says:

      Brandon: Big U-M football games to be revealed soon

      With the national and Big Ten pictures cleared up for the next few seasons, Michigan apparently will be proactive in its football scheduling.

      Athletic director Dave Brandon said on a radio show today that he soon will announce games, possibly out to 2018. He implied that they’ll be against high-level opponents.

      “You’ll see some matchups, particularly in the nonconference schedule, that will be a notch above some of the things we’ve done in the past,” Brandon said on SiriusXM’s “College Football Playbook” show.

      “We are taking the approach that strength of schedule is going to be important (to the new playoff selection committee). Not just for fans because they love these great matchups, it helps sell tickets and keeps interest high. Not just because the networks love it, because they get more interest around the games or the broadcasting. We really want to put our program in a position where we can be rated against the best programs in the country, so we can compete at that level.”

      Part of the holdup on agreements were the uncertainties on the Big Ten and national landscapes.

      “Now that the dust has settled … with regard to how the national championship’s going to be determined, and we, as a conference, have come to grips with how we want to manage our own conference schedules, we’re out scheduling pretty aggressively now,” Brandon said. “I have, over the last few weeks, been working hard on 2015, 16, 17, 18. Up until recently, we really didn’t know what to do, because we were going to play an eight-game schedule or a nine-game schedule in the conference. We talked, at one point, about collaborations with the Pac-12. There were a lot of things swirling around. Now it feels like there’s more definition. I’m out scheduling. We’re talking to a lot of folks.”

      2015 already has four nonconference games scheduled. 2016 still has two vacancies — around Notre Dame and Colorado — and there is nothing announced past that.

      http://www.freep.com/article/20120830/SPORTS06/120830058/michigan-football-dave-brandon?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Michigan%20Wolverines

      Like

      • Brian says:

        It’s good that MI is going to schedule some big names, but I hate that it probably means no 9th B10 game in the foreseeable future. I wish Smith would at least get the OSU/GA series back.

        Like

  22. frug says:

    Actually, it is already starting to catch up with them as this year BYU has only 1 home game in the last 7 weeks of the season.

    Like

    • frug says:

      This was suppose to go under my previous post. And I should clarify that the last 7 weeks includes 2 byes in addition to 4 road games.

      Like

    • Richard says:

      I know you seem to care how many games or home games a school has late in the season, but I’m not sure anyone else thinks it’s relevant.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        If BYU aspires to be nationally elite, they really don’t want to end the year with 4 straight road games. An even distribution of road games is much more likely to lead to success. NW fans would complain if all 4 of your November B10 games were on the road.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          I can only speak for myself, and I wouldn’t.

          As for BYU and wanting to be nationally elite, as an independent (with a bowl tie-in determined before the season starts), they’ll likely get an increase in ticket sales above a baseline late in the season only if they are a national title contender, and I think we can all agree that they likely won’t have to worry about that soon.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            “I can only speak for myself, and I wouldn’t.”

            Fair enough. I’d guess you’re in the minority, though.

            “As for BYU and wanting to be nationally elite, as an independent (with a bowl tie-in determined before the season starts), they’ll likely get an increase in ticket sales above a baseline late in the season only if they are a national title contender, and I think we can all agree that they likely won’t have to worry about that soon.”

            I wasn’t thinking about ticket sales, but rather the ability to win games. Traveling 4 weeks in a row takes a toll and increases the odds of losing games. I’d agree they’re unlikely to compete for titles any time soon, but they may aspire to that so they ‘d want to schedule for that.

            Like

  23. duffman says:

    jj,

    Sparty on tonight my good man.

    Like

    • jj says:

      Indeed Duff. Tough win. Good game. Let’s see mi pull it off tomorrow and things will get very interesting.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        excellent win!

        shutting the broncos up this early in the season should be nothing but love for the B1G

        So much for the high scoring offense when they face a team playing defense. I know it ticks brian off but the Broncos and the B12 are offensive games that get exposed by schools and conferences that actually play defense. Sure RG III was a scoring machine but that bowl game showed the bears had no defense.

        Michigan should come in relaxed as the underdog so anything can happen

        Like

        • Brian says:

          duffman,

          “excellent win!

          shutting the broncos up this early in the season should be nothing but love for the B1G”

          I don’t think that’s how it’ll play out. I think the media will spin it as MSU was overrated and barely beat a Boise team that lost so many players. On the bright side, Boise’s shot at the BCS is over so we won’t hear about that all year. BYU is the most likely BCS buster left.

          “I know it ticks brian off but the Broncos and the B12 are offensive games that get exposed by schools and conferences that actually play defense.”

          It doesn’t aggravate me for people to point out that many B12 teams are mostly offense (UT and OU have had some good Ds). So are many/most P12 and non-AQ teams. Boise was actually good on D lately, though (scoring D – #12 in 2011, #2 in 2010, #13 in 2009, #3 in 2008). Sure, some of that is their schedule, but ask UGA last year about Boise’s D. Besides, how many teams have exposed Boise? They went 118-13 in the past 10 years including 2 BCS wins.

          Like

          • duffman says:

            Brian,

            That 2007 win was against Oklahoma and went 43 – 42. That does not look like OU had a defense that day. TCU held Boise State to 17 in the 2010 bowl game so that looks a little more defensive. More interesting as the following Rose Bowl the Horned Frogs held Wisconsin to 19. The MNC between the Sooners and the Gators meant that stellar scorer Bradford was held to 14 while Tebow and the Gators got 24. If Oklahoma had the better defense and held the Gators to a single TD they had the win.

            I thought you and I went around last season for about a month when I defended the B1G defenses when the B12 was getting all the media love for their offense. Did I dream all that, or have you mellowed on your comments? I agree tho that the numbers are inflated by who they played. I still say the better defenses are in the B1G and SEC even if they are not as exciting for mainstream folks to watch.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Actually MSU looks pretty vulnerable to a good passing team. On that last serious Boise drive, they got away with interference on just about every play but the one it was called and one where they were too far behind the receiver to interfere, but it was overthrown.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            I only recall arguing with you about B12 teams being overrated. I fully agree the B12 has been an offensive league lately while the B10 has been more defensive.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I think part of what we may have been discussing was number inflation on both sides as good Os in the B12 played weak Ds and vice versa in the B10. The B12 Os may get overrated while B10 Ds also do.

            Like

      • greg says:

        jj, nice win. Bell and the defense were awesome, though you’ll need Maxwell to improve to win the conference.

        Like

  24. Brian says:

    Rough start for the B10.

    MN, MSU and NW all struggled to beat lesser teams. PSU got beaten by Ohio. IL won an ugly game. Only OSU won big.

    Now IA, NE and WI are all struggling while PU is winning easily and MI is likely to get whipped.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Anybody watch the Gophers? Box score says 3 OT’s! Northwestern looks like a shootout with big scores on both sides.

      Frank, congrats on the win

      Like

    • Richard says:

      Is it really that “rough”? I suppose that depends on what you were expecting. The matter of fact is that the talent difference between Minny & UNLV, NU & Syracuse, PSU & Ohio, and Iowa & NIU, respectively, just isn’t that big (in fact, Solich’s Ohio may have more talent than PSU right now). Wisconsin just barely getting by UNI is inexcusable, however.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        MN, IA, IL and WI all looked terrible while winning. MSU looked terrible throwing the ball. All of them should have won by more, but I’ll cut IL some slack since it was the first game for their coach. NW blew a huge lead. PSU looked as bad as some expected and got manhandled by a MAC team late in the game.

        Yeah, I’m comfortable calling that a rough start. MI getting embarrassed by AL doesn’t help either.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Well, I thought that NU would be only slightly better than Syracuse in the Carrier Dome and Iowa would be only slightly better than NIU neutral site, so close wins there were par for the course to me. I didn’t expect much from Minny and I don’t expect much from Illinois without Scheelhaase either. So the only shocker to me was Wisconsin looking more like its neighbors to the west rather than a B10 title contender.

          Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            UNI has hung tough with a Big Ten team before. In ’09 they missed 2 or 3 field goals that otherwise would have beaten Iowa? That same Iowa team went on to go 11-2, winning the Orange Bowl. Maybe Wisconsin will have the same type of season.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            *”UNI” is referring to the University of Northern Iowa and its game against Wisconisn, not Northern Illinois University vs. Iowa today.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Richard,

            NW playing a close game wasn’t surprising. How the teams look matters, though. NW’s D looked horrible while blowing the lead just like MSU’s passing game looked terrible against Boise. IA should have been better than that against a rebuilding NIU, and WI has no excuses.

            When only 3 teams really look good, that’s a rough start.

            Like

  25. duffman says:

    Apology if this is old news

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-assessor-usc-20120902,0,2443371,full.story

    Southern Cal has more issues

    reading the article it does not look good but reading the comments they imply this was out there months ago and is just getting the press now because the Trojans are back on top. The article says it was football AND basketball. I guess it is good golf and tennis were not in this latest group! 😉

    On a related note, anybody know where the UNC scandal stands? Stuff was starting to heat up till they started mentioning it affected the basketball team as well and then it seemed to die. Anybody ever follow this lately?

    Like

  26. Craig Z says:

    Now that Fox is showing games, I wonder if they could get a Big Ten game of the week, like CBS has with the SEC. The remainder could stay with ESPN/BTN. Even if Fox keeps the MLB contract, the games could still be in prime time until later in October and then switch to the afternoon.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s possible. The B10 would have to take their top game away from ABC though. That means less cross-promotion on ESPN, so they have to factor that in.

      Like

      • Richard says:

        Well, the SEC seems to do fine with only their second tier games on the ESPN family. Can’t exactly say ESPN’s been neglecting that league.

        Plus, Fox can cross-promote as well. It may not be as strong, but their big collection of regional networks definitely promote their college football games when your tune in to watch your local MLB (and presumably NBA and NHL) team. I’ve also seen a fair number of BTN ads shown on FS Midwest.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Like I said, they just have to factor it in. If Fox offers enough more, the B10 will do it. At worst, the B10 will use it as leverage to get some concessions from ESPN/ABC. I don’t think ABC can offer a game of the week due to their other deals, and ESPN is full at night with the SEC, so ESPN would have to pay the B10 a lot or give up something else.

          Like

  27. Brian says:

    Records so far:

    ACC 8-2 (9-3 after a conference game on Monday)
    BE 4-2 (UL plays tomorrow, UC not until Thursday)
    B10 10-2
    B12 7-0 (OU is in a late game, Baylor plays tomorrow, TCU has a bye)
    P12 5-3 (3 late games and 1 game postponed)
    SEC 10-2 (1 game tomorrow, 1 game postponed)

    No real outliers there.

    Like

  28. frug says:

    http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=322450197

    Given that the final score was 84-0 the recap of the Okie St.-Savannah St. game is actually pretty interesting.

    Savannah St.’s coach said he thought the school would have to reassess whether it was worth taking paychecks to play big schools (for the record they have FSU next week).

    On the OSU side, T. Boone said it was time for the school to pursue a more aggressive OOC schedule and Mike Gundy, who earlier this week said OSU should “play the three easiest teams we can play and then play conference.”, wouldn’t say whether he would do it again.

    Like

    • frug says:

      And on the topic of OOC scheduling, Pitt became the first AQ program to lose to an FCS team this year. Youngstown St. beat them 31-17.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Yep. The last 14+ point loss to a I-AA was by NW in 2006, and the previous one in 2002. So congrats, Pitt, on being a twice in a decade team.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      To be fair to OkSU, this game was scheduled in part because of the schedule changes due to realignment. That said, WI would be embarrassed to play OkSU’s OOC slate.

      Like

      • frug says:

        http://www.fbschedules.com/ncaa/big-12/oklahoma-state-cowboys.php

        Yeah, and their game with Arizona next week probably looked better when it was scheduled, but this isn’t exactly a one year blip as they don’t have any games against AQ teams scheduled from 2013-2020. They’re talking about a neutral site game against Mississippi St. next year and better hope that happens because the other games are Lamar and UTSA.

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Sheesh. I would think they’d want more games like the one they had against Georgia two orthree years ago. OK. State also strikes me as one of those schools that requires a strong opponent in order to ensure a sellout. How are “the three easiest” opponents going to accomplish that?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s why coaches should have no say in scheduling. Gundy doesn’t care about ticket sales, just wins. That’s how he’s judged, and if he wins enough fans will probably show up despite the opponent.

            Like

  29. Brian says:

    It was a tale of two quarters for OSU yesterday:

    1st quarter
    Miami 3
    OSU 0

    Miami 172 yds (7 rushing)
    OSU 48 yds (5 rushing)

    2nd quarter
    OSU 21
    Miami 0

    OSU 297 yds
    Miami 38 yds

    Final
    OSU 56
    Miami 10

    OSU 538 yds (294 rushing)
    Miami 312 yds (-1 rushing)

    So, quarters 2-4:
    OSU 56
    Miami 7

    OSU 490 yards (289 rushing)
    Miami 140 yards (-8 rushing)

    Once the offense got going, things turned out OK. Braxton Miller set an OSU record for rushing yards by a QB with 161, passing Cornelius Greene (heck of a player who played with Archie Griffin for you youngsters).

    Like

  30. Brian says:

    So I noticed that PSU had 97,186 in attendance for Ohio. That’s well short of a sellout (106,572 is capacity so 10,386 shy) and that was for opening day after the horrible off season. With their dismal performance, how much (if at all) will attendance go down as the season progresses? Was it playing a MAC school or the new pricing or the scandal?

    Like

  31. Brian says:

    My B10 power rankings after Week 1, based solely on the games:

    1. MSU – solid D and running game against a quality opponent
    2. OSU – crushed a bad MAC team
    3. NE – big win over a CUSA team
    4. PU – big win over a I-AA
    5. MI – whipped by AL
    6. NW – blew a big lead against a BE team
    7. IL – ugly game against a MAC team
    8. MN – struggled against a bad MWC team
    9. WI – struggled to beat a solid I-AA
    10. IA – lucky to beat a rebuilding MAC team
    11. PSU – lost at home to a solid MAC team
    12. IN – struggled to beat a bad I-AA

    I’m mostly interested in how unbiased fans view this (bullet, Alan, etc) because I’m too close to some of these teams to be objective.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      My 2012 B10 tiers going in to the season (not really changed by week 1 results):

      1. OSU
      2. Michigan, MSU, and Wisconsin
      3. Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska
      4. PU & MN
      5. IU & PSU

      Without Scheelhaase, though, the Illini drop down a tier.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Richard,

        “My 2012 B10 tiers going in to the season (not really changed by week 1 results):

        1. OSU
        2. Michigan, MSU, and Wisconsin
        3. Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska
        4. PU & MN
        5. IU & PSU”

        Wow. I wouldn’t have put OSU definitively on top before the season. I wouldn’t have had PSU that low either. I would have said:
        1. OSU, MI, MSU, NE and WI
        2. PSU, NW, IA and PU
        3. IL, MN
        4. IN

        “Without Scheelhaase, though, the Illini drop down a tier.”

        Yeah, IL loses a lot without him.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      I don’t see things much different other than I don’t give much credit for barely beating Syracuse and UNLV.

      Michigan and Michigan St. were the only ones I saw any of, so with that caveat, and based on games actually played:
      1. Ohio St.
      2. Michigan St. (solid line play, but secondary very soft-Kellen Winslow would have killed them)
      3. Nebraska
      4. Purdue
      5. Illinois
      6. Wisconsin (I expect they just had a bad day and will move up)
      7. NW (I don’t think SU is going to be very good)
      8. Michigan (looked solid in 2nd half, but really did get stomped-and after 31-0, you expect a little letdown)
      9. Iowa
      10. Penn St.
      11. Indiana
      12. Minnesota (UNLV would have been a mediocre I-AA last year)

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Kellen Moore?

        Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “I don’t see things much different other than I don’t give much credit for barely beating Syracuse and UNLV.”

        I don’t give those opponents much credit, but NW did build a big lead before blowing it. NW and MN both played on the road, so I gave them some credit for that.

        “6. Wisconsin (I expect they just had a bad day and will move up)”

        I agree, that was just 1 bad week.

        “8. Michigan (looked solid in 2nd half, but really did get stomped-and after 31-0, you expect a little letdown)”

        Yep. MI played them about even after the 1st quarter on the scoreboard, but AL knew they had the win by then.

        Like

      • Richard says:

        I actually think Syracuse would be mid-table in the ACC if they were in that league this year.

        They’ll have one of the better passing offenses in the country. Check at year-end.

        Like

        • Richard says:

          Also, ‘Cuse crushed a WVU team that destroyed the ACC champ last year and were 8-5 2 years ago, so it’s not as if they have been terrible lately. Add in the fact that they have a 3-year starter at QB and a talented WR corp, and I find your assertion that you don’t think SU is going to be very good this year to be hard to understand.

          Like

  32. koxinga says:

    anyone watch anything on the PAC network? Any thoughts?

    I have direcTV so had to watch online, but thought the analysts were pretty good. Like Mike Yam, like Neuheisel, thought Parker was okay. The incessant commercials for the network that you are currently watching were as constant as the north star, and so irritating in their repetition. Really self-aggrandizing too, like every advertisement was just about how great the schools and athletics of the Pac 12 is, and with a particular emphasis on the four California schools. Okay for the most part, since hyperbolic ads for universities and athletics are way better than ones for car insurance and beer, but they could use more variety.

    the game coverage was pretty solid, they seemed to have people who knew the teams very well and had a solid grasp of what they were talking about.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I don’t get the P12N, so no. The BTN had a lot of those sort of ads at first because they couldn’t sell the ad spots. If the P12N works out, they’ll start selling more and more spots and reduce the number of in-house ads.

      Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Koxinga:

      How are you watching on line? You are supposed to have to have TV subscription in order to authenticate access to the on-line.

      Like

      • Michael in Raleigh says:

        Maybe that depends on the ISP. For example, I got ESPN3 in Indiana through Comcast without getting ESPN. Here, with Time Warner, I have to get ESPN in order to get ESPN3.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Michael in Raleigh:

          I was poking at koxinga. Authentication is required through a provider supplying the P12N on their broadcast system to the subscriber. There obviously has been, and will continue to be, pirated signal making it onto the Internet.

          Like

        • There are new restrictions that ESPN has just enacted this week for streaming. There are 2 separate but related deals here: ESPN3 (which is what ISPs sign up for) and WatchESPN (which is what cable companies sign up for to authenticate “TV anywhere” for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU).

          Up until this week, you were able to watch ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU games online if your ISP carried ESPN3. However, you now need to have a cable carrier that has a WatchESPN deal in order to watch those ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU games on ESPN3 via an authentication process. For instance, I have AT&T DSL as my ISP, which carries ESPN3, but DirecTV for satellite service. Since DirecTV doesn’t have a WatchESPN deal, all of the ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU games are now blacked out when I go to ESPN3.

          Like

  33. Michael in Raleigh says:

    Did anyone else notice that both of the Chick Fil A games had both teams playing in home uniforms? Tennessee in ugly orange vs. NC State in red, and Clemson in uglier orange vs. Auburn in blue. I liked it a lot. I wish more games were like that, as long as they’re not two teams with similar colors. (Imagine the confusion in Ohio State/Wisconsin/Nebraska games.)

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Tennessee/NCSU (awful all red) almost made me want to see Maryland. But yes, I don’t see why not if both sides agree.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      I like it too. USC/UCLA is the only normal game that does this regularly I think. It’s not difficult to do, either. Here’s the relevant NCAA rule:

      “Jersey Color and Design
      ARTICLE 5. a. Players of opposing teams shall wear jerseys of contrasting
      colors. Players on the same team shall wear jerseys of the same color and
      design.
      1. The visiting team shall wear white jerseys; however, the home team may
      wear white jerseys if the teams have agreed in writing before the season.
      2. If the home team wears colored jerseys, the visiting team may also
      wear colored jerseys, if and only if the following conditions have been
      satisfied:
      a. The home team has agreed in writing prior to the game; and
      b. The conference of the home team certifies that the jersey of the
      visiting team is of a contrasting color.”

      So the home team has to agree in writing and the home team’s conference has to certify that the colors are contrasting. Most games could do this, certainly most rivalries.

      I suppose they might need to be contrasting colors even for a colorblind official, which could be the problem.

      Like

  34. Brian says:

    Disappointing stat of the day:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1217404.html

    “1. Big Ten vs. Top 5 Non-Conference Teams
    With Michigan’s one-sided loss to Alabama, the Big Ten has now dropped 10 straight non-conference games against top 5 opponents … by an average of 16 points. It was a humbling weekend all-around for the league, which suffered a loss to Ohio and near-misses with Northern Iowa, Indiana State, UNLV, Northern Illinois and Syracuse. Michigan State got all it could handle from rebuilding Boise State on Friday night, leaving Nebraska, Ohio State and Purdue as the three members that met or exceeded Week 1 expectations.”

    The stat is roughly true, but it also doesn’t mention games against teams #6-10.

    I believe the last qualifying win was 2006 #11 MI @ #2 ND 47-21 on 9/16/2006 (OSU beat #2 TX the previous week).

    OSU:
    2009 #3 USC @ #8 OSU 15-18
    2008 #3 TX @ #10 OSU 21-24
    2008 #5 OSU @ #1 USC 3-35
    2007 #2 LSU vs #1 OSU 24-38
    2006 #2 UF vs #1 OSU 14-41

    MI:
    2012 #8 MI vs #2 AL 14-41

    WI:
    2011 #8 WI vs #5 OR 38-45
    2010 #4 WI vs #3 TCU 19-21

    PSU:
    2011 #3 AL @ #20 PSU 11-27
    2010 #14 PSU @ #1 AL 3-24
    2008 #6 PSU vs #4 USC 24-38

    IL:
    2009 IL @ #5 UC 36-49

    Depending on the poll they used for the stat, two of these games didn’t count (or they missed them). I did note at least 4 wins over top 10 teams during this period. The B10 team was a significant underdog in several of these games, especially IL and PSU, but still should have won at least one of them.

    Margin of victory
    0-8 4 (1 possession)
    9-16 4 (2 possessions)
    17+ 4 (blowout)

    Average = 14.9
    Std dev = 9.75

    Like

    • rich2 says:

      Annihilation of Michigan means that this season is already in the toilet for any school north of the Mason-Dixon line except for USC, Oregon and maybe an undefeated B12 team.

      I don’t know how any message emerges other than “SEC dominance” — unless Michigan goes 6-6. But that won’t happen. Thus the perverse dynamic is that the better Michigan performs for the rest of the season, the more that the Big 10 (and schools not named USC, OU and OU) are treated as the “B” division. No one will say “Michigan turned it around” — it will simply mean that every who they beat is even worse.

      Michigan’s performance might have been an aberration. However, as a result, I think that for this season, a non-SEC team will have to have a better record in order to get into the BCS Championship game than a SEC team and the odds of another All-SEC BCS Championship has increased dramatically. The only real exception might be USC and Oregon. Otherwise the superiority of the top echelon of the SEC has been imprinted on the general public for this year. I have to drive around a lot tomorrow. ESPN and CFN on Sirius will be brutal — and I just don’t see how it is turned around in the regular season this year.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        rich2,

        I think you’re a little over the top, but basically right. Of course most of that was already true before AL crushed MI. No B10 team was expected to be elite this year, and certainly MI, MSU and WI didn’t look elite. OSU and NE could still look elite, but OSU has no tough OOC games to prove itself and is bowl ineligible. NE also has an easy OOC schedule. A few B10 teams can improve their perception by beating MI, and MI is certainly beatable, but none of them will be considered a peer to AL unless they crush everyone. That’s fair based on recent performance.

        What I don’t buy at all is this having an impact on P12, B12 and ACC teams (the rest of the top 5-10). Most people expected a blow out, and the B10 doesn’t have any games against other powers to prove they are their equals. USC, OR, OU, UT and FSU can all win out and be considered a challenger to AL/LSU. The rest of the SEC didn’t look all that elite.

        Like

        • rich2 says:

          This is simply my opinion. Conduct a thought experiment:
          Oregon, USC, Alabama and LSU finish the season after their conference championships with identical 12-1 records.

          Which two will get picked for the BCS championship? Today, I believe that Alabama and LSU are the most likely combination, Oregon and USC are the least likely combination and a mixture of SEC and P12 are somewhere in between.

          To be confident that your team will be selected over a SEC top two finisher, I think you now must have a superior W-L record. You root for FSU? They must be 13-0 to beat out a 12-1 Alabama or LSU or Georgia.

          Simply my bet.

          Like

          • Andy says:

            If Pac 12 or Big Ten schools want to match the SEC as far as SOS, they should schedule really tough non-conference games. Of course, Michigan just tried that and look where it got them.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Well, LSU and Alabama can’t both go 12-1 since they are in the same division.

            In this situation, I assume what would happen is whichever SEC team made/won the CCG would play one of the PAC teams. Which one would depend on which PAC team had the better victory against the other (they meet in the regular season and would have to meet again in the CCG and split the series in order to both go 12-1) with the conference champ getting a slight preference.

            Like

      • Richard says:

        Outside the SEC, going in to the season, I thought USC & Oregon might be national title contenders (though both have weaknesses; USC’s is depth due to the sanctions, Oregon’s is that they don’t have an SEC-quality D-line). In the B10, I had OSU pegged as a title contender if they weren’t prohibited, and MSU definitely has the SEC-caliber defense to be a contender (whether their offense can be even average is a big question mark, however). Out of the B12, the 2 OK schools could be title contenders as well.

        In the SEC, really only ‘Bama and LSU are national title contenders. However, I think that ‘Bama is so far above everyone else right now that I think they already virtually have a berth in the title game. I think the other team will be either LSU, USC, Oregon or an OK school.

        If they face the Tide, however, it’s hard to see any team other than LSU or USC beating them.

        Like

    • Richard says:

      Of course, pretty much all conferences against top 5 OOC would have losing records. The information that’s left out is how well other conferences have done.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Very true, but 10 in a row is still bad. Especially since it includes mostly games between peers (not MN vs USC, for example). Like I said, it’s also cherry-picked because the B10 has several top 10 wins.

        Like

  35. Brian says:

    So what Week 2 games are people looking forward to? It’s not a great slate of games in my opinion.

    My games to track:
    B10
    UCF @ OSU – obvious
    PSU @ UVA – This is huge for PSU’s season
    AF @ MI – How well does MI bounce back?
    PU @ ND – If PU wants to challenge for the division, they have to be competitive here
    ISU @ IA – IA needs to play better
    NE @ UCLA – UCLA looked decent in week 1
    IL @ ASU – Can the QB play? If IL wants to win the east they need to be good here
    WI @ OrSU – If WI shows up this is an easy win
    Vandy @ NW – Another SEC win over the B10
    MSU @ CMU – cupcake beatdown
    UNH @ MN – even MN should be able to win this
    IN @ UMass – 2-0?

    Other
    Pitt @ UC – It’s the Thursday night game, and Pitt needs to bounce back from a I-AA loss
    GA @ MO – Is UGA really the east favorite?

    Like

    • bamatab says:

      I think that the UF/aTm and UGA/Mizzou games are pretty interesting. It’ll be the first test for the two newcomers againt two traditionally strong SEC East teams. I actually think both games could go either way.

      UF’s offense looks pitiful. We know absolutely nothing about aTm. UGA didn’t really impress me all that much in their first
      game. And Mizzou’s defense is a question
      mark.

      Gameday will be at College Station this week, so ESPN seems to think that that game is the most interesting game of the week. But I personally think the UGA/Mizzou is. The winner of the UGA/Mizzou game will move to the front of the SEC East race.

      As an SEC guy, I also am going to watch that auburn/Miss St game. But since neither team will probably be in real contention for the SEC West title, folks outside the SEC might not find it as interesting.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        A&M lost a lot of players. I think they will have a very long year. Missouri will be interesting. QB play was weak in the SEC last year and Missouri will present a different offense than they are used to. UGA was spotty in opening week, but that seemed to be the norm rather than the exception. I do expect the winner of this game to win the east.

        Like

      • Brian says:

        bamatab,

        “I think that the UF/aTm and UGA/Mizzou games are pretty interesting.”

        I considered adding UF/TAMU, but as you said…

        “UF’s offense looks pitiful. We know absolutely nothing about aTm.”

        I don’t think either of those teams will compete for a division. UGA didn’t look impressive but they are the favorite in the east. SC certainly didn’t look too strong. Maybe TN is going to challenge for the division.

        “As an SEC guy, I also am going to watch that auburn/Miss St game. But since neither team will probably be in real contention for the SEC West title, folks outside the SEC might not find it as interesting.”

        I may watch because it is, sadly, one of the better games this weekend. It’s mostly a futile game, since either AL or LSU will win the division, but it could be important for bowl selection.

        Your Tide looked good again. How confident are you that they can beat AR and LSU this year?

        Like

        • bamatab says:

          Brian,

          “Your Tide looked good again. How confident are you that they can beat AR and LSU this year?”

          When it comes to Arky, I am pretty confident in our chances. I don’t think they have the OL or DL to keep us from being able to dictate the line of scrimmage. When Bama wins, they are able to dominate the line of scrimmage. And when you can dominate the line of scrimmage, you will usually blowout your opponent. Since the bowl game against Michigan State, every game Bama has won has been by 16 points or more. I’m really not trying to be cocky by saying that. They will probably get a couple of “cheap” long TD throws against us due to the fact that we put our corners out on an island so much. But I just don’t think that Arky has what it takes up front to handle Bama. It wouldn’t suprise me to see a similar result as the game last year.

          The LSU game is a whole different story. That is the one team that we usually can’t dominate the line of scrimmage with (with the exception of the last BCSCG). They are the one team that has stockpiled just as much talent and depth along both lines of scrimmage as we have. I expect that game to be a knock down dragout fight. It’ll comedown to which team makes the fewest mistakes, and can capitalize when they have scoring opportunities. It’ll be a heck of a game, that’s for sure.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Yeah, AR should be an easy win. John L Smith is not known for great gameplans to pull the upset. I’m sure they’ll test your DBs, but the QB has to be standing long enough to make a deep throw and that’s tough to do against AL. I think AR will need McCarron to have a bad game and have 2-3 dumb turnovers to have any chance.

            As for LSU, I still worry about their offense. At least Mettenberger can throw the ball, but I don’t trust their gameplans. They have the talent to make it close, though, so any big play can swing the game.

            Like

        • Andy says:

          I know you would never admit it, Brian, but Mizzou has to be considered a contender for the SEC East this year. No reason to think they can’t win it. They get Georgia at home on Saturday, and Florida and South Carolina have looked weak thus far. Tennessee looked pretty good, but they sucked last year. Missouri is in it just as much as anyone else in that division.

          Like

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            Andy, reality will set in this weekend. Sorry man. Missouri doesn’t have the athletes, even with half Georgia’s defense suspended.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Yeah, that’s why Missouri has gone to 8 bowl games in the last 9 years, averaged 9.5 wins per season over the last 5 seasons, is one of only 6 BCS schools with at least 8 wins for the last 6 straight seasons, beat Texas last year, #1 OU the year before, beat Nebraska 52-17 in Lincoln not too long ago, beat Arkansas 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl not too long ago, etc. etc. Yeah, Mizzou football has been a real pushover of late. Unlike your fighting irish.

            Like

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            Baylor and Iowa St also beat Texas. Big deal. You beat Nebraska 4 years ago. Big deal. You beat Oklahoma 2 years ago. Big deal. How long ago was that Arkansas win? What has Missouri done lately so that anyone should consider them for any kind of championship at all? Notre Dame hasn’t been good; but I haven’t been on here spewing how great they are either, you see, I get it. I don’t wear tinted glasses.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            So only last year matters? Ok. Let’s look at last year.

            Missouri had 8 wins.

            Here were their losses:

            Lost to OSU, who finished ranked 3rd in the country last year. Respectable loss.

            Lost at Oklahoma by 10. Respectable loss.

            Lost in a shootout 49-42 to Heisman Trophy winner RGIII in Waco. Couldn’t stop him. Few could last year.

            Lost at KSU, who went on to finish the season ranked in the top 10 nationally, by a touchdown in a torrential rainstorm that saw Missouri lose several fumbles.

            Lost at Arizona State on a Thursday Night ESPN game in front of a huge hostiel crowd in a game where Missouri had at least 10 key players out with injuries. Had a chance to win the game on a last second FG but missed the kick.

            So there you go. 2 respectable losses, 3 very close losses. If a couple of those go differently then Missouri finishes last season with 10 or more wins for the 4th time in 5 years.

            Since about 2006 Missouri as held their own or beaten pretty much everyone they’ve played, except for an occasional beating by Oklahoma (or last year by Oklahoma State.) They’ve won a few games against top 25 teams most every year, including a few vs top 10 teams.

            And there’s been no indication of any large decline in the quality of play by Missouri. If anything, there’s reason to believe this year’s Missouri team should be better than last year’s. Last year they broke in a new sophomore quarterback and had to deal with an unusual number of injuries. This year they seem to be mostly healthy and the QB has more experience.

            There’s absolutely no reason to think that Missouri can’t keep winning. And there’s no reason to think a Georgia team that lost to Boise State and Michigan State last year and got absolutely destroyed by LSU in the SEC title game is somehow so far ahead of Mizzou that they can come into Columbia and dominate.

            I expect a close game with Missouri coming out on top.

            Like

          • OrderRestored83 says:

            There’s a lot of ‘ifs’ in that paragraph. If things went right for 50% of teams in the country, then they’d all have 10 wins; but things don’t always go right. Some teams are better at creating their own ‘good’ situation, others aren’t. Missouri is middle of that pack.

            Like

          • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

            Andy – good luck in your Tigers SEC debut this weekend.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Alan, thanks. Good luck to your tigers too this year. Hopefully we’ll have an all tiger title game.

            OrderResotred, for the 50th time you’re posting some worthless trolling flame about Missouri on here. Your current premise seems to be that because Missouri narrowly lost some games last season to some highly ranked teams on the road (in their worst season in 6 years), they will somehow not be able to hang with Georgia in a big nationally televised night game at home (the kind of game Missouri has typically won in recent years). I don’t see any reason for me or anyone else to take you seriously on this point. But we’ll find out who’s right soon enough.

            Like

          • Brian #2 says:

            “Andy, reality will set in this weekend. Sorry man. Missouri doesn’t have the athletes, even with half Georgia’s defense suspended.”

            I believe only Rambo and Ogletree are suspended, and I expect both will be back on the field for UGA now that the real games are starting.

            I expect Mizzou will give UGA everything they can handle. James Franklin is a hell of a QB and Mizzou’s defense is a bit underrated.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Andy,

            I was all for Missouri in the B1G back when Frank first started the realignment issue so it is not like I am trying to downgrade the Tigers. That said, last year I spoke often on here about the different style of play between the B1G / SEC and the B12 / PAC. Last season Missouri was not facing defenses week after week like they will face in the SEC. Winning 1 SEC game is not the same as winning a string of them. I actually think you have a shot at Georgia because you play them early and get them in Columbia. Where you may be caught of guard is your home field is not your advantage.

            B1G and SEC schools are used to playing in big venues with big crowds and traveling to Columbia will be like traveling to Kentucky. Vanderbilt is capable of beating you in your own house and your road trips are to venues with crowds that will be louder than most of the B12 schools you left. The other thing is seeing Mizzou fans thinking the B12 wins last year will equal similar wins the SEC. Last year Kansas State and Oklahoma would have been mid level teams and Missouri lost both games. Forget Baylor and Oklahoma State because that style is not played where you are now. Will you beat Kentucky, probably, but whoever wins the Florida vs Tennessee game will beat you and the loser can too.

            When Steve Spurrier pays you a compliment it is a big deal and he said this years Vanderbilt team was not the Vanderbilt of past seasons. If you come out of the east at 4 – 4 you will not win the east and I can easily see that being your final record. South Carolina won 3 SEC games their first season – Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Tennessee by 1 point at HOME – while getting their highest points (24) against a single SEC school. For the season they averaged somewhere around 14 points per SEC school. Last year Missouri averaged around 30 points per B12 school which means a -16 point differential. Subtract 16 points from your wins last season and how many wins turn to losses?

            I think what Brian and I may be saying is that if you take away half Mizzou’s offensive output means more losses that you are expecting. The Gamecocks went through several 0-8 SEC years – including losses to Kentucky and Vanderbilt – before they turned the corner. I think it was almost a decade in the SEC before South Carolina had a winning SEC record and this was when the SEC was not doing as well on the national stage. In short, hope for the best, but if that does not happen keep plugging till you guys get adjusted to the different style of play. Forget the 2008 Cotton Bowl as a fluke where Arkansas was not prepared. Savor the win, just don’t expect it will happen that way this fall.

            Good luck and I hope you guys go at least 4-4 your first year. It would beat the 3 wins Arkansas and South Carolina got their first year in the SEC.

            FWIW :
            In 1991 Arkansas went 5-3 in SWC play and South Carolina beat Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech (the year after GT won the MNC) so it was not like they entered the SEC untested. Both schools had plenty of experience with SEC schools and regular season games. When was the last time Mizzou played a home and home series with pre realignment top SEC school?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            1990 Arkansas went 1-7 in SWC and only beat just off death penalty SMU. They were a little on a down cycle when they joined the SEC.

            As for South Carolina, Virginia Tech was a very different program in 1991. GT was one year off an MNC, but 2 years ahead of a winless season (never has a program turned an MNC into so little). South Carolina was a mid-major when they joined the SEC.

            Part of the reason for the good SEC defenses last year was the lack of good QBs (not that Alabama and LSU weren’t really good). That they only had 1 offense in the top 50 was not totally due to good defenses. You are just WAY overrating the SEC last year. There were 6 pretty mediocre or bad teams last year and only two outstanding ones.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @duffman

            Yes the style of play is different, but last year the Big XII was the strongest conference in the country top to bottom. While the SEC had three power teams in the West, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. and K-State all would have gone undefeated in the East and Oklahoma St. would have competed for the West title.

            I don’t think Mizzou will win the East this year, but you are underrating last year’s Big XII.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            frug,

            This is where brian and I went round and round last season. The B12 was rated highly by the computers and polls but I was not sold by their on the field power. They had offensive teams that played and beat teams with no defense. When bowl season came around they played much weaker teams and still did not look impressive on defense. We must agree to disagree on how strong they really were last season if they had played better OOC and stiffer defense.

            Look at last years bowls :

            Texas 21
            Cal 10
            neither were top teams and the bowls exposed how bad the PAC was

            Baylor 67
            Washington 56
            Baylor won but allowed the Huskies (8) eight touchdowns!

            Iowa State 13
            Rutgers 27
            3 TD’s and 27 points allowed by the team that beat Oklahoma State?

            Oklahoma 31
            Iowa 14
            The B12 that was ranked #1 in the country plays a limping Iowa?

            Oklahoma State 41
            Stanford 38
            Allowing (5) TD’s and 38 points in regulation is not a stout defense

            Arkansas 29
            Kansas State 16
            At least Snyder limited Arkansas to 3 trips to the end zone and 3 FG’s

            .

            I just put up my first week schedule matrix like I did last year, and yet again the B12 was the worst OOC scheduler. Sure they won all their games this week but they played nobody of note yet Sagarin already has them as the #2 conference in the country!

            dated 09/04/2012 from USA Today
            #1 SOUTHEASTERN
            #2 BIG 12
            #3 PAC-12
            #4 BIG TEN
            #5 ATLANTIC COAST
            #6 I-A INDEPENDENTS

            Can you really say with a straight face that the B12 played the second toughest conference schedule this past weekend when the ACC and SEC are already playing conference games and the B1G OOC had Alabama, Boise State, and only 3 FCS schools? What games did the B12 play already that would put them #2?

            Like

          • frug says:

            Sagarin rankings don’t say that the Big XII played the second toughest schedule, they say the Big XII was the second strongest conference. Plus, by definition there is insufficient data to make truly objective SoS ratings at this point sense each team has only played 1 game.

            As for the Big XII last year, even if they gave up a lot of points in their bowls they still won six out of eight them. As long as you outscore your opponent it doesn’t matter which unit does most of the work. And the criticism of Oklahoma is just dumb. The bowl matchups outside of the BCS have nothing to do with the quality of play of the conference in a particular year. They are the result of previously negotiated tie ins.

            Obviously you are entitled to your opinion, but when virtually every objective system agreed that the Big XII was the best conference and I have a tough time believing any SEC East team could have beat Oklahoma St., K-State, or Oklahoma for a division title and believe Baylor could have been competitive (and that statement also holds true for all the West teams besides LSU, ‘Bama and Arkie).

            Like

          • duffman says:

            frug,

            The problem is we will never know and that was my point. The B12 got a bunch of softball bowl games while the B1G and SEC played the more even games. Michigan State beat Georgia by 3 while South Carolina beat Nebraska by 17. Any 1 of those 4 schools playing Oklahoma would have given a better insight on the B12 than (10-2) Oklahoma playing (6-6) Iowa! Playing a team with 4 more losses is a pretty decided advantage especially with the Iowa roster issues. Oklahoma was picked for most of the season as a BCS MNC type team and Iowa was not even sniffing the Top 25 all season. The year before Oklahoma finished in the Top 10 and was rewarded with an unranked Uconn in their bowl game!

            I understand the bowl system is part of the problem but you can see how it artificially inflates the Sooners in the eyes of the general public? The other part is Sagarin and a system that nobody has been able to verify because it is proprietary and hidden. I can understand Sagarin not releasing his system to the general public but it should as least face some independent testing and validation. Right now Sagarin has Oklahoma at #3 for scraping by UTEP at #100. He has Michigan at #31 (#35 based on the Tide SoS) after playing Alabama at #1. The folks in Ann Arbor could have scheduled as weak as the Sooners did and probably been in the Top 5 this week! Do you not see the problem in the system?

            Instead the B12 hides behind Sagarin and playing teams well below them – Like OU vs Iowa and the B12 vs the PAC – at bowl time and nobody calls foul! You dismiss the SEC east but their teams played in (3) bowls in January. South Carolina finished #9 and they beat #20 Nebraska while #17 Michigan State beat #16 Georgia in OT. Oklahoma was #14 and they were playing a 6-6 Iowa! Baylor was #12 and they played a 6-6 Washington team. Are you blinded by B12 koolaid that you can not see these scheduling mismatches? At least 1 guy on the ESPN panel yesterday called the B12 out for their OOC scheduling and the validity of their SoS when they are not playing anybody but themselves. At least I am not alone in my views but it is still the minority opinion.

            As a fan of college football we should all demand a top ranked Oklahoma or Baylor actually play a decent bowl opponent when B12 fans complain how Oklahoma State got robbed for not playing in a MNC game. You have heard the saying of what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I am just asking for it to happen in the B12! To say the SEC east was no good is to disrespect the teams plying them in the bowls and I believe Michigan State and Nebraska deserve better than such a casual dismissal! The B1G is being repressed when a 10-2 Sooner team plays a 6-6 Iowa, then struggles with a UTEP team, and still finds a #3 spot in Sagarin’s rating system. How can you defend that?

            Tell those Spartans last january that Georgia was no good. Tell the Huskers last january that South Carolina was no good. How can defend the B12 on a B1G site while telling them their teams are inferior? Give the B1G some credit for being able to play football and have the B12 swap those crappy OOC games for some B1G vs B12 OOC games and I can respect your position better than I do now. If Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State are so good then lace it up with the top B1G teams early in the season.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Duffman:

            I believe Sagarin states the early polls are less accurate, starting ranking with insufficient data. Once (several weeks in) all teams are interlocked with enough results then strictly the current seasons game results generate the ranking, not factoring whether a team was or is ranked. I’m not an expert, and could easily be wrong, but that’s my understanding.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            duffman, a whole lot of bluster and opinion with nothing whatsoever to back it up.

            Mizzou is used to playing Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Nebraska. All 4 of those programs average 80k+ fans per game and have excellent traditions. I’d put those 4 fanbases and programs up against anything in the SEC. Missouri is 9-10 vs those teams over the last 5 years. Not great, not terrible. OSU, Baylor, KSU, and TT may not have the stadiums or the prestige of the top 6 SEC schools, but they’ve definitely been on par with the bottom 6 SEC teams.

            So what you had in the Big 12 was 4 big time programs vs 6 in the SEC. 3 upper mid-tier programs in the Big 12 (Mizzou, OSU, TT (16 bowls in 18 years), CU (until the last few years they were typically a top 20 team)) compared to 3 or 4 in the SEC. 5 mediocre programs in the Big 12 vs 2 or 3 in the SEC.

            It’s not that the Big 12 is some other species from the SEC. That kind of thinking is pure fantasy. The only difference between the two leagues is that the SEC is deeper and has more good teams. The good teams that teh SEC has aren’t really all that much different than the good teams in the Big 12.

            Right now, LSU and Bama are on a whole different level, but OU, Nebraska, and to some extent Texas have all been there before. And Missouri had to play those teams for the last century. Missouri is totally used to playing top teams.

            Also, Mizzou plays in the east so most years they won’t even play LSU or Bama.

            South Carolina limped into the SEC with a down program, whether they had a couple good wins the season before or not. And 1991 does not equal 2012. Mizzou is coming in riding a 7 year hot streak. Comparing those two situations is absurd. Not even sure what you’re talking about there or what could possibly motivate you to make such a ridiculous comparrison. Bullet properly put you in your place on that one.

            Yes, Big 12 teams average more PPG than SEC teams. It’s unclear how much of that is SEC defenses being better and how much of it is Big 12 offenses being better. I think the SEC is in for a rude awakening when they have to deal with Missouri’s offense this year.

            As for your bowl analysis, I can play that game too:

            Missouri 41
            North Carolina 24
            Mizzou kicks a middle-of-the-pack ACC team’s ass. Total domination.

            Texas A&M 33
            Northwestern 22
            A&M pulls themselves out of their downward spiral and notches a solid win over a solid Big Ten school.

            Texas 21
            Cal 10
            Texas kicks a middle-of-the-pack PAC team’s ass. Total domination.

            Baylor 67
            Washington 56
            Baylor lights up one of the Pac 12’s best teams for 67 point! Offensive dominance.

            Iowa State 13
            Rutgers 27
            Iowa State sucks, finishes the season 6-7

            Oklahoma 31
            Iowa 14
            4th place Big 12 team destroys 5th place Big Ten team.

            OSU 41
            Stanford 38
            OSU with a huge win over a top 4 ranked team with the NFL #1 pick QB playing on top of his game.

            Arkansas 29
            KSU 16
            KSU got lucky several times last season, including vs Missouri. They lucked into a bowl that was too tough for them and suffered the consequences.

            Overall: 6-2 with lots of great wins.

            See how that works? Same scores, different spin. Except my spin makes more sense than yours. And I’m not a Big 12 guy. As a Mizzou guy I have plenty to be unhappy with the Big 12 about right now. But what you’re spewing is nonsense.

            The SEC is stronger than the pre-realignment Big 12 was for three reasons: 1) LSU and Bama are the top two programs in the country right now (with USC as their only realistic challenger at the moment, and 2) the SEC is about 50% deeper in quality programs with huge fanbases and lots of money.

            Missouri spent the last century in the Big 6/7/8/12. Troughout the 90s and early 2000s, I would say the Big 12 was on par with or above the SEC. The SEC has passed them in recent years. An dnow, with realignment, the SEC will be pretty far ahead of the Big 12 b/c the Big 12 lost 4 great programs and the SEC gained 2.

            But any talk that Missouri is untested or hasn’t been a part of great football in the past is total bunk. No validity to it whatsoever.

            As for Sagarin, his ratings are useless until late October or November. After that they’re pretty accurate. And he had Missouri at #16 in the country at the end of last season. And if you look at their scores and who they played, that looks completely accurate.

            16th in the country would have ranked them 5th in the Big 12. That’s about where I expect them to finish this year.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Brian alert, I just wrote a 900 word post in about 9 minutes without reading through it. I’m sure there will be minor inaccuracies and/or typos. Feel free to nitpick it while giggling maniacally.

            Like

          • Andy says:

            Found one: Should have read: “16th in the country would have ranked them 5th in the SEC. That’s about where I expect them to finish this year.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Duffman
            Heard of MACrifice week? That’s not the Big 12.

            In any event, Sagarin will be the 1st to say his ratings are meaningless for several weeks. He factors in last year’s figures until he has enough data from the current year. Sometime in October he drops the prior year data. He will label that first one without the last year data with some term (forget what term he uses). He’s actually more open than most of the computer pollsters, especially with his BCS system.

            The Big 12 scored more than the SEC because they had a LOT better QBs and receivers over the last couple of years. Everyone in the SEC but UGA and Arkansas had QB issues last year. Alan will talk about Jefferson leaving as being addition by subtraction. This year LSU is starting a guy who got kicked off the UGA team. Everyone knows Baylor had a lousy defense, but they also had RGIII. Texas was the #11 rated defense last year (top 5 until they ran into RGIII) and Ok. St. scored 38 and Baylor 48, despite a defense that had 3 of its 4 seniors picked in the NFL draft, with several potentials who were underclassmen last year.

            The Big 12 didn’t have a tremendously tough ooc last year (and certainly not this year), but 27-5 after the bowls vs. I-A is pretty impressive. The 84.3% is 2nd best of any conference going back to 1993. Only the SEC and Big 8/12 have been over 78% in that time frame. And 6-2 in bowls beats 4-6 (B1G), 2-5 (Pac 12), 2-6 (ACC) and 3-2 (BE) anyday. SEC was 6-3. Last year vs. I-A:
            Big 12 27-5
            SEC 35-8
            B1G 30-18
            Big East 22-17
            Pac 12 18-16
            ACC 21-22

            Like

  36. Brian says:

    http://www.cfbstats.com/blog/2008/10/

    I came across this blog post when researching something. Urban Meyer has often been sourced as saying a team wins over 90% of the time when they block a punt (sometimes it’s written as a kick). I’ve always found blocked kick stats hard to find since you have to trace each game to find the result. Any way, here the basis for his statement:

    As of November 2008, UF was 15-1 under Meyer when they blocked any type of kick. That’s far from the national average, though:

    Kick Blocked W%
    A Punt 65.70%
    A Field Goal 56.86%
    A PAT Kick 39.91%
    Any Type of Kick 57.26%

    It’s a little surprising that a blocked PAT usually means you lose, but winning teams do score more TDs so the losers have more chances to make a block. I’m not surprised that a blocked FG doesn’t help much as it’s only 3 points. A blocked punt presumably leads to more points on average, as many are directly converted to a TD. Also, blocked punts often happen when one team is much more talented than the other and is going to win anyway. I’m curious how much the numbers would change if they only considered conference games and bowl games to takeaway the cupcake effect.

    Like

  37. Brian says:

    Typical ACC craziness. GT can do nothing on offense all game and then drives to take the lead with under 1:00 left. They then proceed to play prevent defense that prevents them from winning as VT drives for a field goal to send it to OT. The best part is that the winner is the favorite to win the division.

    And GT chokes in OT by throwing a horrible interception. Then after letting VT drive to the 1 in 2 plays, they stop 3 QB sneaks to force the FG to win. And just like that, GT’s title chances are practically over.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      They’re not out yet. VT has to play Atlantic Division favorites FSU and Clemson this year, while GT has to play just Clemson. VT could easily lose both those games, and if they do, GT can still control its own destiny.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        That’s true, but the GT/VT winner has won the division every year. The math is daunting. VT has the tiebreaker, so that negates the FSU game. Plus, FSU plays at VT which helps. Even if VT loses to FSU, that just puts GT even with them and the tiebreaker goes to VT. GT also has to beat one more common opponent than VT. Both play at Clemson. Maybe VT playing at Miami while GT hosts Miami will make the difference, but most of their division looks soft.

        Like

  38. Brian says:

    1 Alabama (45)
    2 USC (11)
    3 LSU (4)
    4 Oregon
    5 Oklahoma – struggled
    6 Florida State
    7 Georgia – struggled
    8 Arkansas
    9 South Carolina – struggled
    10 West Virginia
    11 Michigan State – struggled passing
    12 Clemson
    13 Wisconsin – struggled
    14 Ohio State
    15 Virginia Tech
    16 Nebraska
    17 Texas
    18 Oklahoma State
    19 Michigan
    20 TCU
    21 Kansas State
    22 Notre Dame
    23 Louisville
    24 Florida – struggled
    25 Stanford – struggled

    And the AP poll confirms everybody’s worst fears. Teams that looked bad are still ranked highly based on reputation. What did OU show against UTEP to deserve a top 5 spot? How did UGA look better than WV? This poll should be based purely on Week 1 results, but it clearly isn’t.

    Like

    • Andy says:

      Rankings in the first month of the season are pretty much worthless.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        But the 1st month sets the lineup for the rest of the season.

        Like

        • prove it. give actual evidence that suggests that year-end rankings are biased by preseason and/or early season rankings. I’ve yet to see anything show that remotely conclusively.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            http://footballmath.blogspot.com/2009/08/ranking-high-scientific-proof-that.html

            Someone else claims to have proven it. On the bright side, it doesn’t seem to be a huge effect.

            However, I think most numerical proofs are inaccurate because they don’t account for the maximum ranking effect (top teams can only stay about the same or drop) or separate ordinal ranking (1-25) from relative ranking (poll points).

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Do you have any evidence that they don’t? I don’t know either way, but it seems that an early overrated team with an easy schedule could finish high undeservedly.

            Like

          • Interesting link. One criticism: he says ” It’s also possible that the relationship is spurious-voters put Notre Dame too high and Utah too low at all times, be it pre, post or mid-season,” and then doesn’t fully evaluate that possibility.

            AQ vs non-AQ, all-time program wins/titles are 3 interesting possibilities, but also potentially relevant are:
            last year’s AP rank;
            average AP rank over last X years (I’d go with 4 as a starting point);
            number of nationally televised games in that season;
            etc.

            Given that those are all potentially relevant forms of bias, the fact that without factoring them in, they show preseason bias as a relatively small impact anyway suggests to me that if indeed it exists, it’s probably REALLY small.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Matthew,

            Where I think the bias kicks in is in how losses are valued and which teams get the benefit of the doubt. Take the SEC, where they had 5 AP preseason top 10 teams. If some of those teams are overrated, and I posit that UGA, SC and AR probably were, then that influences how losses to them are viewed. It also means they get the benefit of the doubt when they play close games.

            SC beat Vandy 17-13 but is still #9. If NW beat Vandy 17-13 in the season opener, would they be #9? If NW beats Vandy this week while SC beats ECU, will SC drop for a close win over what turned out to be a not so great team? Would NW climb into the top 10-15? If not, the polls are biased. The question then becomes whether or not the bias is resolved by the end of the season.

            That question is impossible to answer, because they are so many variable. There certainly seems to be a glass ceiling for non-AQs. Despite being undefeated, they still languish in the polls. They also have played easier schedules so they might not be better than the teams ahead of them. At this point, you could compare F/+ (or something else you consider an objective measure of teams like various computer polls) to AP rankings and see how teams did and which teams are chronically over-ranked or under-ranked and whether that persists all year or not.

            As I said, though, the analysis needs to consider the maximum rank effect as well as considering cardinal rankings and not ordinal rankings.

            Like

          • cfn_ms says:

            But again, you’re citing a bias source of something other than the preseason rankings themselves. Which is kind of my point. If Auburn starts around 24th or so and gets really hot, they can occupy the #1 spot fairly quickly (see: 2010). If Boise starts around 3rd or so, they can still get passed (again, 2010). Something other than “where did they start” is driving the bus. Some of it, of course, is simply schedule; Auburn plays a FAR tougher schedule than Boise.

            But there seems to be some level of bias that favors certain teams and leagues over others, and while that bias does show up in preseason polls, it also seems to show up, somewhat independently, in the final polls.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            cfn_ms,

            “But again, you’re citing a bias source of something other than the preseason rankings themselves.”

            I don’t think I am, but I agree there are related biases that can be blurred (see below). The preseason rankings influence how every game during the season is valued by voters. It’s viewed as a “correct” ranking and every performance the deviates from that ranking is considered anomalous. At the end of the year, people explain why teams failed to live up to their rankings rather than wonder why their rankings were so wrong.

            Things to note:
            1. I don’t think preseason poll bias has a huge effect on the final polls. A closer look shows that the polls mostly list teams in order of winning percentage with some small variation (13-0, then 12-0, then 12-1, …). But if the bias moves you from #13 to #15, that’s very important for the BCS.

            2. Other biases are more important, but I think they get lumped by people in with the preseason poll bias. Major programs get overrated while non-AQs get underrated in the preseason. But those same biases also apply all year long in the eyes of many. Similarly, the media love of the SEC helps those teams while their negative lean hurts the B10.

            3. A major problem is that people disagree on what polls (preseason or otherwise) should rank:
            a. How good teams are
            b. A team’s ceiling
            c. What a team has accomplished
            d. A prediction of where teams will end up

            Computer polls try to be A or C. Humans vary amongst all of those. What drives many people nuts is that voters using C are unduly influenced by preseason rankings, and that especially irritates people that want polls to be option A.

            4. I think the preseason poll bias is blown out of proportion by people because you can always find a team or two that got screwed and everyone forgets about how many teams didn’t get screwed. Humans are bad about considering things like this rationally.

            Like

    • duffman says:

      This poll should be based purely on Week 1 results, but it clearly isn’t.

      You sir, are preaching to the choir!

      I like your struggled notation and might add cream puff to the weak schedulers!

      Like

  39. Brian says:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/09/04/penn-state-17-million-sandusky-costs.ap/index.html?sct=cf_t2_a8

    The Sandusky scandal has already cost PSU $17M in actual expenses (legal fees, PR firms, internal investigation, etc). Add that to the $60M fine, the B10 fine, the losses due to being bad, the lawsuits, etc, and this is getting downright expensive.

    Like

  40. duffman says:

    Week 1 :

    B1G : AQ = 1 – 1 : NAQ = 6 – 1 : FCS = 3 – 0 : OFF = 0 => OUT Michigan and Penn State
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (1-0) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (0-1) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (1-0) : MAC (3-1) : MWC (2-0) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (3-0)

    ACC : AQ = 3 – 3 : NAQ = 1 – 0 : FCS = 5 – 0 : OFF = 0 => OUT NC St, BC, and GT
    ACC (2-2) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (1-1) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (DNP) : SB (1-0) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (5-0)

    B12 : AQ = 0 – 0 : NAQ = 5 – 0 : FCS = 4 – 0 : OFF = 1 => OUT NONE
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (4-0) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (1-0) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (4-0)

    BE : AQ = 1 – 1 : NAQ = 2 – 0 : FCS = 2 – 1 : OFF = 1 => OUT Pitt and Syracuse
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (0-1) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (1-0) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (1-0) : MAC (1-0) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (2-1)

    IND : AQ = 2 – 1 : NAQ = 0 – 0 : FCS = 0 – 0 : OFF = 1 => OUT Navy
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (1-0) : SEC (DNP) : IND (1-1)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (DNP) : MWC (DNP) : SB (DNP) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (DNP)

    PAC : AQ = 0 – 1 : NAQ = 6 – 2 : FCS = 2 – 0 : OFF = 1 => OUT Cal, WSU, and CU
    ACC (DNP) : B1G (DNP) : BE (DNP) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (DNP) : IND (0-1)
    CUSA (1-0) : MAC (1-0) : MWC (2-2) : SB (1-0) : WAC (1-0) : FCS (2-0)

    SEC : AQ = 3 – 3 : NAQ = 3 – 0 : FCS = 4 – 0 : OFF = 1 => OUT Vanderbilt and Kentucky
    ACC (1-1) : B1G (1-0) : BE (0-1) : B12 (DNP) : PAC (DNP) : SEC (1-1) : IND (DNP)
    CUSA (DNP) : MAC (2-0) : MWC (DNP) : SB (1-0) : WAC (DNP) : FCS (4-0)

    .

    Best schedulers = ACC and SEC
    Worst schedulers = B12 and PAC

    .

    Observations :
    The MAC played 8 AQ teams and hung tough – the good
    The PAC scheduled weak and still dropped 3 – the bad
    The B12 won but scheduled nobody of note – the ugly

    Like

    • bullet says:

      How can having 5 of your 8 ooc games make you a “best scheduler?” ACC was easily the weakest 1st week. Pac only played 2.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Edit How can having 5 of you 8 ooc games vs. FCS a best scheduler? ACC have 6 AQ simply because 4 of their teams were playing each other.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          bullet,

          The point was both the SEC and ACC opened with AQ games both OOC and in conference. THE B12 PLAYED ZERO AQ’s IN WEEK #1

          B1G had : Michigan vs Alabama and Michigan State vs Boise State
          ACC had : NC St vs UTn, Clemson vs Auburn, and GT vs VPI

          How many AQ teams OOC did the B12 play in week #1?
          How many conference games did the B12 play in week #1?

          If the B12 made this huge deal about playing each other as proof of how good they were last year why do you not acknowledge the ACC and SEC schools for doing the same? I think it is gutsy for the conference games in week 1 when everybody else is playing the cream puffs.

          VPI playing Ga Tech is way gutsier than Oklahoma playing UTEP
          VU playing S Carolina is way gutsier than oSu playing an FCS school @ 84 – 0

          After all the whining the oSu people did about being left out of the MNC they are playing an OOC of Savannah State, Arizona, and LA – Lafayette. If IU played that schedule nobody would notice because nobody expects IU to be in the MNC hunt. oSu does not have that luxury if they want to be taken seriously. How can this be difficult to understand? The B12 has to much OOC fluff this season it is a joke!

          Like

          • frug says:

            You do realize that Oklahoma St. is playing the same number of AQ teams, non-AQ FBS teams and FCS teams as Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Alabama and Florida this year don’t you?

            Like

          • frug says:

            You can add USCe to that list as well.

            The fact is, the SEC (and for that matter Big 10) have as much fluff as the Big XII does.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            frug,

            Not all schedules are the same and this is the burr on my saddle. We have B1G and SEC teams playing each other while the B12 and PAC are playing each other. I will actually be happy when this Champions Bowl gets rolling because we will see how the B12 does vs the B1G when it comes to SEC matchups. I am sorry but playing Arizona (oSu) or Mississippi (UTx) is getting AQ credit for playing the bottom end. Sure the B1G plays MAC teams and the SEC plays Sun Belt but both play each other in bowls, and both play some solid OOC games during the season. When B12 folks say South Carolina and Georgia were nothing they are by default saying the B1G schools that played them were nothing too. I am not willing to concede such a point based on a lifetime of observation of watching all kinds of teams play.

            Look at the primary OOC using the 6 SEC schools you listed
            2011 = South Carolina vs Clemson :::: 2012 = South Carolina vs Clemson
            2011 = UGA vs GT + UGA vs BSU :::: 2012 Georgia vs Georgia Tech
            2011 = Alabama vs Penn State :::: 2012 Alabama vs Michigan
            2011 = Florida vs Florida State :::: 2012 = Florida vs Florida State
            2011 = LSU vs WVU + LSU vs Oregon :::: 2012 LSU vs Washington
            2011 = Arkansas vs Texas A&M :::: 2012 = Arkansas vs Rutgers*
            *RU = late replacement as Arkansas vs TAMU became conference game

            vs B12 school school you listed
            2011 = Oklahoma State vs Arizona :::: 2012 = Oklahoma State vs Arizona

            2 of those schools (LSU and UGA) played 2 serious OOC games in a season! Florida State + Clemson + Georgia Tech are rival games played year in and year out. Only Iowa State does that in the B12. If the B12 wants to whine then nut up like the B1G and ACC and play more serious AQ’s OOC. Show me 1 SEC school who played a weaker team than Oklahoma State playing Arizona over the same period from the 6 SEC schools you listed?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            frug,

            This is where duffman and I got hung up in our discussion. I contended that since they played 9 B12 games while others played 8, you should factor that in when comparing the OOC schedules. It’s the total schedule that matters, and they are all playing at least 9 AQ teams even if the OOC is a I-AA and 2 MACs. The end result is the same as a B10 team playing 1 AQ OOC.

            A valid point that he has, however, is that the B12 type of schedule can confuse the polls. If they blitz through easy OOC schedules and then just play each other, it can have a reinforcing effect where highly ranked teams stay high win or lose and raise up the rest of the conference. The other conferences get more outside exposure that allows voters to compare teams from different regions. I don’t think it’s a huge deal, and I don’t think it impacts the computers since they don’t recognize conference affiliation, but it’s a valid point for human polls.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @duffman

            How about ‘Bama playing Western Kentucky or LSU playing Idaho. You just are not factoring that the Big XII plays 9 conference games and the SEC plays an 8 game conference. What this means is that even if a Big XII team plays no AQ teams and an FCS team they will still play the same AQ/non-AQ/FCS splits (9-2-1) as all those teams I just listed.

            Parse it anyways you want, but the end result is both conferences play structurally equivalent schedules even if they go about it in different ways.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Duffman:

            You: “We have B1G and SEC teams playing each other while the B12 and PAC are playing each other.”
            No PAC schools played each other. There is only one conference game in the first three weeks, USC v Stanford in week three.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Duffman:

            Apologies, I misread what you wrote. Please disregard the above brain cramp 😦

            Like

          • duffman says:

            @ frug, from brian’s post above :

            A valid point that he has, however, is that the B12 type of schedule can confuse the polls. If they blitz through easy OOC schedules and then just play each other, it can have a reinforcing effect where highly ranked teams stay high win or lose and raise up the rest of the conference. The other conferences get more outside exposure that allows voters to compare teams from different regions. I don’t think it’s a huge deal, and I don’t think it impacts the computers since they don’t recognize conference affiliation, but it’s a valid point for human polls.

            The problem is perception vs reality, especially when it is reinforced by exposure. RG III was a story and put points on the board, but it never hid the issue with their defense. Between the OOC, their conference, and their bowl you never really got to see how good they were against a strong defense team. This is the part that irritates me as brian pointed out. If the B12 had weak OOC, followed by conference teams playing a high scoring style, and ending with competition between the B12 and the PAC you never got to see the contrast of playing a B1G or SEC school to see how good they really were.

            I am old school so I am not as enamored with a game like the Baylor vs Washington because both sides showed their complete game lacked a major component. It seems like dumbing down the general public on what football should look like. Alan’s Tigers play that same Husky team at home this weekend so if they are unable to hang almost 60 points on the SEC team it will validate my point. It is why I get ticked off when they say Michigan State had an easy game because they played Georgia. I feel certain the Spartan players did not feel this way and conversely Georgia would not say Sparty was a walkover. This has not stopped bloggers and the media from saying how bad the B1G was or the SEC east.

            This would be okay if these same people followed the B1G closer but they are too busy watching high scoring games and saying how they are unstoppable. While Sagarin says the first weeks do not matter it does when it puts Michigan as #35 (look at Alabama’s SoS this week with 1 game played) and sets up a reinforced error that will alter the numbers for the rest of the season. Boise State was racking up points on their way to their rise in the public mind. In 2011 BSU lowest points during the season scored was 30 in the Nevada game. In 2010 BSU lowest points during the season scored was 31 in the Nevada game. In 2009 BSU lowest points during the season scored was 19 in the Oregon game. When they played Sparty they were held to just 1 TD and 2 FG’s – 13 TOTAL points! – yet folks were acting like BSU was not as good instead of saying MSU had a defense to stop them.

            This may get attention from me a lot on here but it is not fair to see the B1G catch as much flack as they do when they are the ones playing the SEC in the bowls and being labeled as bad or slow. When I see more B12 teams playing SEC teams and beating them then I will give the conference as a whole more credit for being good. The University of Texas playing Mississippi is nowhere near the University of Michigan playing Alabama, yet when UTx wins, the B12 will say they have beaten the SEC as though it were Alabama! If B12 apologists complain when oSu is not in the title game I am trying to suggest why. If the B12 wants respect they have to earn it with defense the same way the other power conferences do.

            .

            @ brian

            This is where duffman and I got hung up in our discussion. I contended that since they played 9 B12 games while others played 8, you should factor that in when comparing the OOC schedules. It’s the total schedule that matters, and they are all playing at least 9 AQ teams even if the OOC is a I-AA and 2 MACs. The end result is the same as a B10 team playing 1 AQ OOC.

            I still say a school scheduling a Top 10 and a FCS plays a harder schedule than a school who schedules 2 low AQ’s or 2 non AQ’s. A certain basketball coach who I will not name was the master of the “bait and switch” type scheduling. They would play lots of mid level schools and no real bottom feeders so they always had a solid SoS. The problem arose when you really looked at the schedule and saw it contained no real top teams unless forced via conference teams or tournaments. As posted above, if IU does this it is acceptable because IU is not competing for a championship every season (in football) but if oSu or Boise adopts the same type of schedule I am going to call them out for it.

            Your comment to frug illustrated why the B12 can go 30-0 OOC this season and get the “afterglow” for the remainder of the season even tho the undefeated OOC should be expected based on the actual teams scheduled. I have a strong suspicion this was exposed when these high flying offenses are held well below their averages when playing solid defensive teams in bowl games. The “afterglow” last season seemed to affect both the human polls and the computer polls. The discussion maybe should start on how to program for conference inequalities the same way you program for wins and losses. Even a bad B1G team my have a better defense than a top B12 or PAC team.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            ps, that last post should have BOLDED the following part of brian’s post :

            A valid point that he has, however, is that the B12 type of schedule can confuse the polls. If they blitz through easy OOC schedules and then just play each other, it can have a reinforcing effect where highly ranked teams stay high win or lose and raise up the rest of the conference. The other conferences get more outside exposure that allows voters to compare teams from different regions. I don’t think it’s a huge deal, and I don’t think it impacts the computers since they don’t recognize conference affiliation, but it’s a valid point for human polls.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            frug
            You are absolutely right. B1G, SEC and Big 12 overall all play pretty weak schedules ooc. No fan of any of those conferences has any business complaining about the other. Pac 12 fans, maybe they can talk. They play few FCS and tend to play MWC schools instead of MAC & Sun Belt. But then they have to do better than 18-16 (last year) ooc to have much to talk about.

            Because an ACC school plays a conference game in week 1 to improve their TV contract while they play Coastal Carolina in week 8 doesn’t make their schedule any stronger.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            @ bullet

            Because an ACC school plays a conference game in week 1 to improve their TV contract while they play Coastal Carolina in week 8 doesn’t make their schedule any stronger.

            I am not arguing that point. I am pointing out that playing Georgia every year in addition to the ACC schedule strengthens Georgia Tech more than B12 schools scheduling weak OOC.

            This year the Yellow Jackets play BYU and Georgia. Show me all the B12 schools that play an equal or tougher OOC? If I am wrong just list the B12 schools and I will shut up.

            Like

          • Michael in Raleigh says:

            Bullet,

            You’re right that the fact the ACC opened with a pair of conference games in Week One doesn’t make its schedules stronger. It does, however, help make the schedule more interesting for any given week of the season.

            More importantly, here’s what makes the ACC’s schedule stronger than any league other than the Pac-12:
            Clemson vs. South Carolina
            Clemson vs. Auburn
            GT vs. BYU
            GT vs. Georgia
            FSU vs. Florida
            FSU vs. USF
            FSU vs. West Virginia(unfortunately canceled by WVU and replaced insufficiently with Savannah State)
            NC State vs. Tennessee
            NC State vs. UConn
            Virginia vs. Penn State
            Maryland vs. West Virginia
            Boston College vs. Notre Dame
            Miami vs. Kansas State
            Miami vs. Notre Dame
            Duke vs. Stanford

            Those are just the ones I know of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are several others. Regardless of the outcomes of those games, it can’t be argued that the ACC has a weak schedule.

            I would also like to add that it is rather unfair that the ACC is ripped when it struggles against this type of schedule while other leagues don’t come close to the number of non conference AQ games the ACC. It’s as though everyone just assumes the Big Ten or Big 12 would do better, even though those teams are rarely willing to play more than one non conference AQ team. (Again, FSU was supposed to play THREE, compared with Ohio State’s one game vs. Cal.)

            (As an aside, I would love more ACC vs. Big Ten regular season and bowl match ups. VT vs. Michigan last year was a nailbiter. The Champs Bowl games with Wisconsin vs. FSU and Miami the next year were good pairings, too. I’d much prefer Big Ten teams, which I’m mire familiar with since I used to live in Indy, over the left behinds of the Big East. But I’ll take what I can get.)

            Say all you want about the excessive # of ACC vs. FCS games. The talent difference is so wide between AQ and most MAC/WAC/Sun Belt programs as it is that playing FCS isn’t all that different, except that FCS teams cost less to bring in. Besides, the way a team’s OOC strength of schedule should be measured should be much more about the best teams they played, not on whether they were FCS or MAC.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Michael in Raleigh says:

            You’re right that the fact the ACC opened with a pair of conference games in Week One doesn’t make its schedules stronger. It does, however, help make the schedule more interesting for any given week of the season.

            You can add (games in BOLD )
            You can also add that the ACC has the extra game with the CCG

            More importantly, here’s what makes the ACC’s schedule stronger than any league other than the Pac-12:
            Clemson vs. South Carolina
            Clemson vs. Auburn
            GT vs. BYU
            GT vs. Georgia
            FSU vs. Florida
            FSU vs. USF
            FSU vs. West Virginia(canceled by WVU and replaced with Savannah State)
            NC State vs. Tennessee
            NC State vs. UConn
            Virginia vs. Penn State
            Virginia vs. TCU
            Maryland vs. West Virginia
            Maryland vs. Temple now in BE
            Maryland vs. Uconn BE, played OU in bowl game
            Boston College vs. Notre Dame
            Boston College vs. Northwestern
            Boston College vs. Army granted not AQ but not FCS
            Miami vs. Kansas State
            Miami vs. Notre Dame
            Miami vs. USF
            Duke vs. Stanford
            Wake Forest vs. Army
            Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame
            Wake Forest vs. Vanderbilt
            UNC vs. Louisville
            VPI vs. Pitt
            VPI vs. Cincinnati

            .

            http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/acc/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2012-13/misc_non_event/12accfbhelmetschedule.pdf

            here is the helmet grid I got this from

            Like

          • duffman says:

            bullet,

            Here is a similar list for the B12 that MiR did for the ACC
            (much shorter list)

            Iowa State vs Iowa
            Kansas State vs Miami
            Oklahoma vs Notre Dame
            Oklahoma State vs Arizona
            TCU vs UVA (scheduled when they were not in B12)
            Texas vs Mississippi
            WVU vs Maryland (scheduled when they were not in B12)

            .

            Teams with ZERO AQ OOC games for 2012 – 2013 season
            Baylor
            Kansas
            Texas Tech

            Like

          • frug says:

            In 2011 BSU lowest points during the season scored was 30 in the Nevada game. In 2010 BSU lowest points during the season scored was 31 in the Nevada game. In 2009 BSU lowest points during the season scored was 19 in the Oregon game. When they played Sparty they were held to just 1 TD and 2 FG’s – 13 TOTAL points! – yet folks were acting like BSU was not as good instead of saying MSU had a defense to stop them.

            Come on, that’s apples and oranges. Those teams were lead by Kellen Moore. Is it possible that this Boise team is as good as the Moore era squads? Sure, but I doubt it. (Just look at how much worse the Colts were without Peyton Manning) Check back when we have at least a few more weeks of data before you suddenly declare MSU’s defense to be the best Boise has faced since 2009.

            And I never said the Big 10 or SEC East were easy. I said they were weaker than the Big XII.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Come on, that’s apples and oranges. Those teams were lead by Kellen Moore. Is it possible that this Boise team is as good as the Moore era squads? Sure, but I doubt it. (Just look at how much worse the Colts were without Peyton Manning)

            Really? lets use your words but swap players :

            Come on, that’s apples and oranges. Those teams were lead by R G III. Is it possible that this Baylor team is as good as the R G III era squads? Sure, but I doubt it. (Just look at how much worse the Colts were without Peyton Manning)

            .

            Check back when we have at least a few more weeks of data before you suddenly declare MSU’s defense to be the best Boise has faced since 2009.

            They also played Oregon – you know the team that played Auburn in the MNC – and the Ducks held them to 19! My point about Nevada is that they do not have the best defense in the nation. If Nevada could hold Boise State to 30 points 3 years running is it impossible that Alabama or LSU could hold them to half of that?

            .

            And I never said the Big 10 or SEC East were easy. I said they were weaker than the Big XII.

            Teams playing in january bowls

            B1G = (6) teams or 50% of the conference
            10 Wisconsin, 13 Michigan, 17 Michigan St, 20 Nebraska, 22 Penn State, Ohio State

            SEC = (6) teams or 50% of the conference
            01 LSU, 02 Alabama, 06 Arkansas, 09 South Carolina, 16 Georgia, Florida

            B12 = (2) teams or 20% of the conference
            03 Oklahoma State, 08 Kansas State

            PAC = (2) teams or 17% of the conference
            04 Stanford, 05 Oregon

            ACC = (2) teams or 17% of the conference
            11 Virginia Tech, 15 Clemson

            Tell me again how the B12 was stronger if the B1G had 6 teams playing in january and the B12 had only 2? Even deducting the SEC West teams the SEC East still had 3 teams playing in january to the 2 in the B12. If you say the B12 was stronger at least wait till you have more teams playing in january to make the claim. Polls and Sagarin inflates the B12 ego enough to actually believe it, but that does not make it true.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            “I still say a school scheduling a Top 10 and a FCS plays a harder schedule than a school who schedules 2 low AQ’s or 2 non AQ’s.”

            And I largely agree, although it depends on the team.

            Win odds guesstimate:
            Bad AQ

            Top 10 – 1%
            I-AA – 75%
            Low AQ/non-AQ – 40%

            A = 0.01 + 0.75 = 0.76
            B = 0.40 + 0.40 = 0.80

            Both schedules are hard for them, and they should expect about the same number of wins from either one.

            Elite AQ

            Top 10 – 50%
            I-AA – 99%
            Low AQ/non-AQ – 90%

            A = 0.50 + 0.99 = 1.49
            B = 0.90 + 0.90 = 1.80

            A top team certainly makes things tougher.

            You can play with the numbers for different types of teams, but usually playing a top team makes it harder unless your team is really bad.

            It’s up to the SOS calculator (or voter) to properly account for the schedule, and some don’t.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            “I am not arguing that point. I am pointing out that playing Georgia every year in addition to the ACC schedule strengthens Georgia Tech more than B12 schools scheduling weak OOC.

            This year the Yellow Jackets play BYU and Georgia. Show me all the B12 schools that play an equal or tougher OOC? If I am wrong just list the B12 schools and I will shut up.”

            Here’s where frug and I have a problem with your argument. You ignore the B12 playing a ninth conference game that the ACC doesn’t play. Change UGA to a conference game for GT, and you have the equivalent of a B12 schedule. Why don’t B12 teams get credit for playing OU, UT, WV, TCU, OkSU, KSU, Baylor, ISU, TT and KU (minus themselves, obviously)?

            Let’s look at their full schedules.
            GT – VT, Presbyterian, UVA, Miami, MTSU, Clemson, BC, BYU, MD, NC, Duke, UGA
            OkSU – Savannah St, AZ, LL, TX, KU, ISU, TCU, KSU, WV, TT, OU, Baylor

            Which of those is harder? Let’s pair teams of equal ability/expectations:
            VT – UT
            Presby – SSU
            MTSU – LL
            Clemson – WV
            BC – AZ
            BYU – KSU
            NC – Baylor
            Duke – KU
            UGA – OU

            And the mismatches:
            UVA – TCU
            Miami – ISU
            MD – TT

            OkSU clearly has a stronger schedule, they just play their elite teams in conference instead of OOC.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Michael,

            Yes, the ACC plays a lot of AQs OOC. They should be commended for that. The flip side of the coin is that part of the reason they do that is because the ACC schedule is fairly weak for an AQ conference. It’s not like end of season SOS rankings have all the ACC teams at the top of the list.

            As for ACC/B10 bowls, the problem is they don’t make the B10 as much money as B10/SEC bowls. Just from a football standpoint, I’d like to see more of them as well. It makes geographic sense.

            Like

          • frug says:

            @Duffman

            Umm, I never said this year’s Baylor squad was as good as last seasons. I doubt it is.

            And I’m not sure why you are bringing up January bowl games. The Gator Bowl is a January 1 game and that featured two 6 and 6 teams (one with a lame duck coach).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Playing in January bowl games simply means your conference has a deal with a bowl that plays in January. It doesn’t mean what it did 30 years ago.

            As for FCS, win% vs. I-A teams over the last 4 years compared to the Sun Belt’s. There IS a difference.

            FCS Sun Belt
            6.2% 28.6%
            7.8% 10.8%
            5.3% 17.7%
            2.3% 25.8%

            Except for the Sun Belt and MAC and Minnesota, an FCS game is an almost sure win. Over the last 4 years FCS has won only 20 games of 368, 4 vs. the ACC, 2 vs. B1G, 1 vs. Pac 12, 1 vs. SEC, 1 vs. Big 12 and 11 vs. the other conferences and indies.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Polls and Sagarin inflates the B12 ego enough to actually believe it, but that does not make it true.

            It’s not just polls and Sagarin. It’s also FEI. And CFR’s SRS. And Football Guys SRS. And S&P+. And F/+. It is every objective system.

            You can still compare teams even if they don’t directly play. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.

            I.E.

            Last year Oklahoma St. beat Tulsa by 26 in Tulsa. Since Home field advantage is worth about 3 points (on average) in CFB we can say that OSU was about 29 points better TU on a neutral field.

            Now, Boise St. also beat Tulsa, but they only won by 20 in Boise. So we can say that Boise was 17 points better than Tulsa on a neutral field.

            Using those numbers, we could surmise that OSU would be expected to beat BSU by about 12 points on a neutral field.

            But let’s take it a step further.

            Boise St. beat Georgia by 14 points in Atlanta (let’s call that a neutral field even though it really isn’t). Now since we already know that OSU would be expected to beat BSU by 12 points, all we need to do is add BSU’s MOV in this game to that total to determine that OSU we would expect to be beat UGA by about 26 points on a neutral field.

            Or to put it another way, based purely on this connection, OSU was about 26 points “better” than UGA.

            Now, while this is an ultrasimplified version, if you repeatedly ran this simulation for every team and every game you can see how comparisons can be made. (For the record using this system you could decide that OSU really about 14 points better than UGA).

            Like

          • duffman says:

            @ Brian,

            I get the math part of your equation but what I am going for is the “smell test”

            If Michigan plays Alabama and Umass (FCS just joined MAC)
            If Oklahoma State plays Arizona and LA – LA (Sun Belt)

            It is easy to see who has the tougher road even tho they both play AQ and non AQ

            Suppose tho Michigan played Alabama and FCS school
            and Oklahoma State played UCLA and Northwestern

            I still give Michigan the harder schedule because beating Alabama by itself is harder than beating 2 mid level AQ schools. This is the root of the argument when calculating the 9 game vs the 8 + 1 that is hanging frug up. I do not think top to bottom the B12 is #1 or #2 as a conference, so as you slide down the ladder the bottom schools look more like non AQ than AQ schools. I give credit to the B12 (pre realignment) for having 3 solid teams – However, Nebraska is in the B1G so that means +1 for the B1G and -1 for the B12. If you take out more than what you put back you have lost value. The power the B12 lost in UNL / CU / TAMU / MU was greater than what they have replaced it with in TCU and WVU. The Nebraska loss alone could not be compensated for with WVU and TCU.

            If the 8 + 1 means the ACC and SEC are playing the better teams in other conferences it should mean that is harder than the 9th game in the B12 when it is a lesser team than the B12 had before the 2010 realignment. If this were the pre realignment B12 I would agree with frug on the conference holding the #1 or #2 spot in the country, but this is 2012, and I adjust downward until TCU and the lower B12 schools prove me wrong in relative even competition. Where I have the problem is saying that Alabama vs Michigan as the 8 + 1 = TCU vs Texas Tech as game 9. Sure Baylor could go on a 10 year run of winning the B12 but I think that probability is VERY low. I think the greater probability is Texas or Oklahoma doing it.

            For a new program to advance an older program must fall because there are no ties in CFB and for every winner there must be a loser. Will Texas and Oklahoma sit on their hands and let Texas Tech or Kansas State take their place? My guess is no, and this is why I harp on the value or long term brands so much. Most had given Tennessee up for dead with the last decade but I viewed it as a down cycle. 100,000 + seats and a history can carry a program through a drought, but 50,000 + seats and no history is much harder to sustain. The bigger your size and history the longer you can sustain the bad years. This is also why I put such high value on winning at the top level over multiple decades with multiple coaches.

            I do agree that weaker conferences should play better OOC like the ACC is doing. The problem is that I am not sold yet that the B12 is much better as a conference than the ACC. I have no problem buying Texas or Oklahoma but it is the other 8 schools who have to show me they can sustain solid programs. Texas Tech playing Kansas or TCU playing Kansas State does not cut it for me yet. If you follow horse racing at all, “stepping up in class” is a huge deal, as is the assignments of weights. TCU has not proven they can make this transition yet. If the Horned Frogs are beating Baylor or Oklahoma State great, but it is when they beat Texas and Oklahoma every year that I will drink the purple koolaid. I am not going to give them the upgrade pass the way the media seems to be doing. West Virginia should be able to make the easier transition but they still have to beat Texas and Oklahoma enough times that they look more like Nebraska than Texas Tech.

            Looking at scheduling the real aggressor in the ACC may be Wake Forest. For a school with their history that string of Notre Dame + Vanderbilt + Army is pretty stout. it is why I rip a school like Texas Tech or Baylor or Oklahoma State for their schedules. I could be all wet and way out in left field with all this but I also think what I am seeing has the possibility to become history. Only time will tell and I am following the money along the way. Kansas State not winning is harder to sell than Oklahoma not winning based on donor / alumni expectations. Indiana basketball is back because the ability was there in support even if the success was dormant for a period. The B12 was the 3.5 + 8.5 and now they are 2 + 8 and losing the better teams hurts more.

            This is even before you look at the monopoly power of the footprint shift which is where the real damage will be done long term. The state of Nebraska will now follow the B1G and strengthen the B1G power. The same will happen for Colorado in the PAC but the impact may not be as great. The real shift will be in the heart of the B12 via TX. Kids will grow up getting B12 and SEC news instead of the monopoly power the B12 has enjoyed. Imagine the CA market if Southern Cal joined the B1G? Imagine the MI market if Sparty joined the SEC. I am not saying it will happen, but imagine local sports and local news following 2 conferences instead of 1. This is what we have seen with TAMU to the SEC and it will have a long term effect. To think otherwise is just putting your head in the sand.

            ps, I actually agree with more B1G vs ACC match ups in the regular season even if it takes time for it to catch up on the bowl level. Right now only Southern Cal and Oregon seem poised to create multi year MNC teams and Oregon still relies on Knight.

            .

            @ frug

            I was not saying you did, I was making the point if you changed the name and the team the conversation remained the same. If you are not a brand and your whole ability rests on one player you really are not a threat to a good to great team. If Boise State can not with without Moore and Baylor can not win without RG III they will fade quickly back to obscurity.

            Even if you deduct a SEC team from january it is still 5 and 2

            5 > 2 in all the math I ever learned

            If you defend your position with just emotion you will probably fail in the long term. The smarter move is to look at how the other guy is winning and attack accordingly. If I was Baylor or Kansas State I would make a point to schedule tougher OOC just to get to that level. When LSU played WVU and Oregon (when both were good) on the road it was a real eye opener. LSU could have just played SEC but they went hard to schedule both tough. If I were the top historic schools in the B12 like Texas and Oklahoma I would have Alabama / Oregon / Ohio State type games every year. It is not that the SEC has won so many consecutive MNC’s that is impressive. The more impressive feat is doing it with so many different teams!

            Going forward I only see two current conferences that have more than 2 real threats every year at a MNC.

            Like

          • frug says:

            Well now I get your problem:

            You are using multiyear factors to judge single season results. That SEC teams have more history than Big XII has absolutely no effect on which conference was stronger in 2011. NONE.

            The fact that Tennessee used to be great and may be again does not change what they were last year (lousy).

            If you want to say that the SEC has more long term upside than the Big XII I will absolutely agree with you. But it doesn’t change the fact that, at least in 2011, the Big XII was (at least statistically) the superior conference.

            Period.

            (Also why are you so caught up on January bowls? Those business decisions that have nothing to do with how good a conference is)

            Like

          • frug says:

            And on the question of which is more difficult ‘Bama and FCS or two mid-level AQs, it depends on what your goal is.

            If your goal is to guarantee yourself a win the former is easier, if your goal is to go undefeated than the ladder is the choice

            Like

          • duffman says:

            @ frug,

            The problem in extrapolating is distance and degree. 1 degree over 1 foot is not as complex as 1 degree over a mile. Anybody can kill someone from a foot but doing so from a mile means a sniper with specialized skills. Add in the number of permutations with the individual parts of a football teams and the numbers get crazy. A kid gets sick or a a change in weather means all new calculations. It is hard enough to handicap the variables in horse racing where the field is maybe 6 – 12 horses per race.

            Using Boise State and Georgia by itself can be misleading.
            a) the game was early in the season not late in the season
            b) the win had different implications for both teams when they played

            I am not making excuses for the Bulldogs and give Boise State full credit for the win. The bigger picture is what I look at in that if Boise State lost their MNC shot was gone. Georgia could lose and they still had a shot. The fact that Georgia lost to Boise State and South Carolina and still wound up in the CCG is telling indeed. For Georgia the more important loss was to the Gamecocks because they were a conference AND division opponent. Boise State was just an OOC game that would help their SoS (which for the SEC is less important than say the ACC or Big East) at the end of the season.

            Where I think folks get bogged down is valuing a non AQ with the same weight as an AQ. beating Tulsa did not mean squat in correlation the way Georgia beating Georgia Tech did. Houston may have kicked butt in CUSA but there were at least 20 – 40 schools in the USA with a better defense to negate their high powered offense. I am sorry but there is no way you can sell me that Oklahoma State was 26 points better than Georgia by the time both got to the end of the season. Georgia lost to a top Michigan State team that could play both sides of the ball. This is why I hate when programs try to fit square pegs in round holes. It just does not work!

            If I were a Michigan State fan I would be offended by such a remark because if you are saying Georgia was a 4 TD dog to Oklahoma State you are by default saying Oklahoma State could beat Michigan State by 4 TD’s. Stanford held oSu to 5 TD’s and I was not real impressed with their defense all year. While Stanford may have had a better offense I really believe Sparty had the better defense. Iowa State held oSu to 3 TD’s in regulation and you have to think MSU and UGA had better defense than ISU! This is what gets to the heart of the issue.

            Playing top teams in lower conferences does not prepare you to do the same against top teams in top conferences. The second string of MSU may be better than the first string at Houston. Practicing with guys with 4.8 speed is not the same as playing with guys doing 4.4. the fact that you even bring Tulsa into the equation tells me you are viewing the practice team (Tulsa) as equal to the game team (Michigan State) when the game is on the line. If Boise State laced it up with Georgia late in the season they may still have won but I am guessing the score would have been much closer. An average Michigan is still better than the majority of FBS schools. It may be closer to a weighted number where it adjusts like this :

            a) Think of this as adjustments to class in horse racing
            SEC / B1G : 1 loss = 1 loss
            B12 / PAC : 1 loss = 1.5 loss
            ACC / BE : 1 loss = 2 loss
            non AQ : 1 loss = 2.5 loss

            b) Think of this as adjustments to weight in horse racing
            Top of Conference / Bottom of Conference = sliding scale between 0 and 2

            Games are not played on simulations because the variables are incredibly high for such outcomes to makes predicting fairly impossible. There is a reason the Daily Racing Form lists weather and medication. Horses don’t have to deal with getting drunk or fighting with your girlfriend the night before. Throw in injuries and non physical issues and it is a wonder anybody get remotely close to predicting outcomes. Anybody knows that air supremacy is great, but the infantry still has to occupy the land.

            I think Michigan State and Georgia had better infantry than you give them credit for.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            @ frug,

            “The war was won on the playing fields of Eaton” is as true today as it was when it was spoken. An individual year is what you see but getting there takes a window of maybe 5 years. Football is like making a good Scotch as it takes years before you taste the final product. If you do not think the number of “brands” in your conference affects overall quality you have not paid attention. Southern Cal has dominated the PAC so it has not helped the breadth of the conference. The SEC has had “the 6” going back to the days of Tulane and Georgia Tech. The B1G has been the 2 + 2 for as far back as I can remember. The Big 8 was Nebraska and Oklahoma. The SWC was Texas + 1. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

            If you missed the conversation between Brian and I, we seem to agree on the manipulation of numbers from conference to conference. I could grant you the B12 was the statistical leader inn the USA on paper it does not mean it was the best (and harkens back to scheduling the easy wins) on the playing field. Sam Bradford and Oklahoma set the all time scoring average at around 55 PPG in the entire history of the NCAA. They got 14 points when they played Florida!

            All those stats and scores did not put the crystal football in Norman so that tells you what I think of numbers without looking into how they were calculated. What I will see is when TAMU and Missouri had a year to prepare for Alabama, LSU, and the other SEC schools and if 1 year was enough to adjust between the B12 and SEC. Even Nebraska did not dominate the B12 in their first year. Utah and Colorado fared even worse. The Buffs were not great to begin with but Utah went 10-2 in 2010 and 8-4 last season. In the MWC they had 1 conference loss and in the PAC they had 5! That is a 4 game swing in conference play in 1 season and that was with only 3 competitive teams in the conference in 2011 (Oregon, Stanford, and Southern Cal)

            As for the january bowls that is where the exposure and money is! The more teams you have playing there, the more money and exposure your conference gets. If oSu had not scheduled weak OOC last year they would have been in the MNC game. LSU set that precedent when they had 2 conference losses, but they had an OOC win against a top 10 team. Go back and look at the 2007 LSU team and their schedule for the year! They beat a #9 OOC team and I believe it helped them bump ahead of others and play Ohio State for the MNC. Instead of fixing the schedule they complained about what they did not get, and how they got screwed. If you think football is just one year you have not really looked deeply into the sport.

            Keep fighting battles and you will continue to lose the war! Texas kept their network but they cost their conference the future. Things can still happen but replacing a Nebraska is almost impossible. Would the B1G let go of Michigan or Ohio State? Would the PAC let go of Southern Cal? If you keep thinking year to year you will still think the B12 is getting the short end when no school besides Texas or Oklahoma plays for a MNC over the next decade or so. The groundwork for where the B1G and SEC are now was laid at least a generation ago. What they are reaping now was sown by the previous commissioners. again, it is a zero sum game. For oSu or TCU to rise, OU and UTx have to fall!

            I am from another generation. If I wanted a job I went out and hustled for it and did things that would help me get it. If I wanted to play on a team I went above what was required in the off season. The whole “its not my fault” will be the downfall of the country. Anybody can play checkers but you have to train to play chess. If you want to play in the MNC you have to schedule teams that may play there in advance in the OOC. LSU schedules Oregon and oSu schedules Arizona. When was the last time Oregon played for a MNC? When was the last time Arizona did? Can you see the difference?

            .

            frug says:
            September 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm
            And on the question of which is more difficult ‘Bama and FCS or two mid-level AQs, it depends on what your goal is.

            If your goal is to guarantee yourself a win the former is easier, if your goal is to go undefeated than the ladder is the choice

            Alabama and LSU schedule like their goal is a MNC

            Oklahoma State and Baylor schedule like they want to pad their numbers

            Think of the playing fields of Eaton next time you watch the B12 play.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            “I get the math part of your equation but what I am going for is the “smell test””

            And I don’t disagree with any of what you said. I was just pointing out that what’s true for MI isn’t necessarily true for IN.

            “This is the root of the argument when calculating the 9 game vs the 8 + 1 that is hanging frug up. I do not think top to bottom the B12 is #1 or #2 as a conference, so as you slide down the ladder the bottom schools look more like non AQ than AQ schools.”

            And here’s another place we got stuck before. Like any major conference, the bottom of the B12 contains non-AQ equivalents (WSU, Duke, IN, UK, KU, etc). But you leap to the conclusion that the worst team is the 9th game and thus it doesn’t compare well to other OOC schedules. Why don’t you treat the best team as the 9th game? Then all the B12 teams would be adding a top 5 team to their schedule. Or, to be fair, treat the 5th or 6th best team as the 9th team? That would be adding a top 25 team to everyone’s schedule right now (5th is #21 OkSU, 6th is ARV Baylor. The point is, you make a convenient (but mathematically incorrect) assumption that makes the B12 look as bad as possible.

            Another thing to consider is that the B12 just dropped TAMU and MO for WV and TCU. That’s #9 WV and #20 TCU replacing ARV MO and TAMU. That’s an automatic upgrade that made every schedule harder right there.

            As far as realignment goes, WV is a better team on the field right now than any team the B12 lost. TCU is on par with NE. TAMU and MO are slightly behind them, but you can roughly group all 4 of them as peers. CO is by far the worst of the bunch. Just on the field, the B12 lost some middle strength by losing NE, TAMU and MO, but they also dropped a bad team and gained to upper teams.

            “If the 8 + 1 means the ACC and SEC are playing the better teams in other conferences it should mean that is harder than the 9th game in the B12 when it is a lesser team than the B12 had before the 2010 realignment.”

            You need to prove that because we don’t buy it. WV and TCU are good teams. CO sucks. NE, TAMU and MO are solid teams. I see no proof that the other leagues are all playing harder teams for their 1 AQ. Like I said, the median B12 team is in the top 25. How many top 25 OOC games do the SEC and ACC play this year?

            “I do agree that weaker conferences should play better OOC like the ACC is doing. The problem is that I am not sold yet that the B12 is much better as a conference than the ACC.”

            And there is no proof you’re willing to accept, either. You ignore every computer poll or stat that says it’s true. You know the B12 wins a ton more BCS games but don’t accept that.

            Since you are obsessed with programs, break it down that way. Where does the ACC have an advantage? The B12 is better at the top and both have several doormats. OU, UT, WV, TCU, OkSU and KSU is a tougher slate than FSU, VT, Clemson, NC, GT and ACC #6.

            “Looking at scheduling the real aggressor in the ACC may be Wake Forest. For a school with their history that string of Notre Dame + Vanderbilt + Army is pretty stout. it is why I rip a school like Texas Tech or Baylor or Oklahoma State for their schedules.”

            Nobody is defending their OOC schedules. What we’re saying is you also need to look at the whole schedule, and there the B12 teams don’t look so bad.

            “ps, I actually agree with more B1G vs ACC match ups in the regular season even if it takes time for it to catch up on the bowl level. Right now only Southern Cal and Oregon seem poised to create multi year MNC teams and Oregon still relies on Knight.”

            OSU has 4 ACC games coming up: VT in 2014-5, and UNC in 2015 and 2017.

            Like

          • frug says:

            It’s clear we aren’t going to agree on this issue so this will probably be my lost post on the subject, but I’ll just summarize my original point.

            All evidence points to the Big XII being the most difficult conference in the country last year. To argue otherwise is rely on nonsensical subjective judgements and biases that hold no validity.

            Things like brands, January bowl bids and previous seasons outcomes may be useful when determine a conferences long term value, but in no way shape or form constitute valid evidence for evaluation of a conference in a specific season.

            And make no mistake, Alabama playing in the title game had nothing to do with scheduling. It had everything to do with Alabama being a familiar brand and Oklahoma St. being an upstart. (Remember Kirk Herbstreet admitting that Oklahoma St. had played a harder schedule but saying that voters should rely on an “eyeball test”?)

            Like

          • duffman says:

            Brian,

            The goal is the MNC so how do you mesh the differences between conferences when you are trying to level it among the conference?
            (for the sake of the argument just deal with the AQ’s)

            #1 If 1 conference plays a CCG and another does not, how should you treat the extra game on conference strength and SoS?

            A CCG means schools from the best end of the conference are meeting for a 13th game. The B12 does not have this extra game so what do you deduct from the B12’s shot at a MNC?

            .

            #2 How is the fairest way to equalize conference numbers?

            The ACC and SEC now have 14, but last year they had 12. The B12 only had 10 so how do you deal with this? Do you drop the top and the bottom? Do you drop the two at the bottom? Do you drop some in the middle?

            .

            #3 How do you equalize the schedule?

            As stated before. To me a top and a bottom is tougher than 2 middles? How do you compensate for top heavy conferences? For solid middle conferences? For bottom heavy conferences? Being a Top 50 – 100 is not the same as a real Top 10. You know I am not excited by a 6-6 team going to a bowl and acting like that was a good season. Bowls should be rewards for at least 8 wins and the higher the quality of the wins the better bowl you get.

            .

            #4 How do you equalize the scores / stats padding?

            They say offense sells tickets but defense wins championships. How do you reward the teams that can score while stopping the opponent? As stated in the post above, OU set the all time scoring average but managed only 2 TD’s against Florida. Clearly the offensive advantage they possessed did nothing when it came to the game that mattered. If the SEC is on the run they are on it seems to validate the importance of defense over offense.

            .

            I am aware that I concentrate on the top over the bottom but it is all about the top in the end. Schools are playing for first place, not last. If they had a playoff for the bottom schools it would help, but they do not. I have a strong feeling that all bottom schools are not as level as you seemed to imply. A quick look at last year looks like this :

            ACC : 12 Maryland 1-7 / 2-10 and 11 Duke 1-7 / 3-9
            Neither beat a good team in or out of conference
            2 schools had 10 or more wins, 7 schools had 7 or more wins

            B1G : 12 Indiana 0-8 / 1-11 and 11 Minnesota 2-6 / 3-9
            Gopher’s big win was Iowa who got beat by OU in their bowl game
            3 schools had 10 or more wins, 8 schools had 7 or more wins

            B12 : 10 Kansas 0-9 / 2-10 and 9 Texas Tech 2-7 / 5-7
            TT beat OU, ISU beat oSu, and KU was demolished by Georgia Tech
            4 schools had 10 or more wins, 7 schools had 7 or more wins

            BE : 8 Syracuse 1-6 / 5-7 and 7 USF 1-6 / 5-7
            The worst Big East team beat the best Big East 49-23
            2 schools had 10 or more wins, 4 schools had 7 or more wins

            PAC : 12 Colorado 2-7 / 3-10 and 11 WSU & AZ 2-7 / 4-8
            Arizona was oSu’s AQ win : weak middle and bottom in 2011
            3 schools had 10 or more wins, 6 schools had 7 or more wins

            SEC : 12 Mississippi 0-8 / 2-10 and 11 Tennessee 1-7 / 5-7
            The second worst SEC team beat the second best BE team 45-23
            5 schools had 10 or more wins, 9 schools had 7 or more wins

            Tennessee could go 1-7 in the SEC but finish 5-7 for the season may indicate it is tougher to win in the SEC. The PAC looked bad in conference and outside of the conference. Too many upsets of top B12 teams by bottom ones. No matter how you slice it tho, Kansas and Indiana appear to be the worst of the worst. Even at the bottom there is a pecking order. Odd as it may sound the Big East may have had the best bottoms between their worst 2. USF beat Notre Dame and Syracuse beat West Virginia. Granted Mississippi looked bad but they were stuck in the SEC West while having BYU and La Tech on their OOC. Gophers were not great but they played tough and lost by only 2.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Duffman
            To insult Michigan St. by saying Okie St was 4 TDs better than UGA?
            LSU 42 UGA 10.
            LSU and Alabama both beat Arkansas by 24.
            Every objective indication was that Okie St. was very close to Alabama and LSU. IMO there were 3 very good teams last year and 4 close behind-Boise and the Pac 12 trio. Then it was a big drop to #8.

            As for your Boise/UGA comments, as I’m married to a Bulldawg, I follow UGA closely. UGA was ready and Boise stomped them much worse than the score indicated. With UGA’s injuries, Boise would have beaten UGA worse later in the season. But UGA did just fine against the SEC. Reality is that the SEC was down last year except for the top 2. Boise was a very good team in 2011.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            frug says:

            And make no mistake, Alabama playing in the title game had nothing to do with scheduling. It had everything to do with Alabama being a familiar brand and Oklahoma St. being an upstart. (Remember Kirk Herbstreet admitting that Oklahoma St. had played a harder schedule but saying that voters should rely on an “eyeball test”?)

            Here is Alabama and Oklahoma State from top to bottom :
            (based games played for final BCS but excluding bowls)

            # 1 LSU L 6 – 9 : Kansas State W 52 – 45
            # 2 Arkansas W 38 – 14 : Baylor W 59 – 24
            # 3 Penn State W 27 – 11 : Oklahoma W 44 – 10
            # 4 Auburn W 24 – 14 : Missouri W 45 – 24
            # 5 Florida W 38 – 10 : Texas W 38 – 26
            # 6 Miss State W 24 – 7 : Texas A&M W 30 – 29
            # 7 Vanderbilt W 34 – 0 : Iowa State L 31 – 37
            # 8 Tennessee W 37 – 6 : Texas Tech W 66 – 6
            # 9 Mississippi W 52 – 7 : Arizona W 37 – 14
            #10 Kent State W 48 – 7 : Kansas W 70 – 28
            #11 North Texas W 41 – 0 : LA – LA W 61 – 34
            #12 GA Southern W 45 – 21 : Tulsa W 59 – 33

            a) The west is above the east because they all had to play UAT, UAF, and LSU
            b) Alabama destroyed Arkansas who beat Kansas State AND Texas A&M
            c) LSU / Arkansas was harder than Kansas State / Baylor
            d) Alabama played 7 schools with MNC’s and 4 with 6 BCS MNC’s
            e) OK State played 3 schools with MNC’s and 2 with 2 BCS MNC’s
            f) OK State let all kinds of folks score on them, Alabama was much more stingy
            g) Alabama played their upper games in hostile environments
            h) OK State played their upper games in the confines of HOME
            i) adding in the bowls, Bama owned LSU but oSu needed OT to win their game

            If Alabama had played Arizona and Oklahoma State had played Penn State I might see it but that just did not happen. Can you really say that any coach in america would think the Alabama schedule was easier than the Oklahoma State schedule? How do you see the Oklahoma State schedule being harder? I know you said you would probably not respond but how do you defend your own statement of belief?

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            “The goal is the MNC”

            That’s the realistic goal of 5-20 teams, not the rest of them.

            ” so how do you mesh the differences between conferences when you are trying to level it among the conference?”

            Everyone does it differently. There is no one right way.

            “#1 If 1 conference plays a CCG and another does not, how should you treat the extra game on conference strength and SoS?”

            A CCG should have little to no impact on conference strength. It impacts the SOS for the two teams that play, obviously, but there are many different approaches to computing SOS. It does NOT guarantee a higher SOS than a team that plays 12 games. If the final difference is that a team playing 13 games played 1 more cupcake than a team that played 12 games, then they should have essentially equal SOS. If the difference is that the team played 1 more top 10 team than the other, then there should be a big gap in SOS. Either of those is possible.

            What you always ignore is that the B12 teams already play 9 conference teams just like an 8+1 team. A B12 team also can’t miss any good teams in the conference. Last year UGA missed AL, LSU and AR during the season, and then faced LSU in the NCG. OkSU didn’t get to miss anybody, and played OU with the conference title on the line.

            2011 UGA
            SEC – SC, MS, MsSU, TN, Vandy, UF, AU, UK / LSU
            OOC – Boise, Coastal Carolina, NMSU, GT

            2011 OkSU
            B12 – TAMU, KU, UT, MO, Baylor, KSU, TT, ISU, OU
            OOC – LL, AZ, Tulsa

            I’ll pair them in order by Sagarin’s final rankings (I’m not saying they are correct rankings, but he probably has the order within each conference about right).

            LSU – OU
            Boise – BU
            SC – TAMU
            UF – MO
            MsSU – UT
            AU – KSU
            VU – Tulsa
            TN – ISU
            GT – TT
            UK – AZ
            MS – LL
            NMSU – KU
            CC – nobody

            I think OkSU had the harder team in most of those pairs. By virtue of catching a great LSU in the CCG, I’d give GA the top 3 pairs probably, but almost all the rest favored OkSU in my opinion. The point is, it’s not like UGA played a clearly tougher schedule, they just played some slightly tougher games at the top (and lost them). The bottom of UGA’s schedule was clearly easier.

            “A CCG means schools from the best end of the conference are meeting for a 13th game. The B12 does not have this extra game so what do you deduct from the B12′s shot at a MNC?”

            I don’t deduct anything without looking at the actual schedules. Why should an extra game against Coastal Carolina impact anything?

            “#2 How is the fairest way to equalize conference numbers?”

            There is no one fairest way. I’d favor using a broad range of statistics and seeing how many favor each group, but frankly I don’t worry about it. I don’t care which conference is stronger (it’s always the B10 since that’s who I care about). I care about how individual teams stack up.

            “The ACC and SEC now have 14, but last year they had 12. The B12 only had 10 so how do you deal with this? Do you drop the top and the bottom? Do you drop the two at the bottom? Do you drop some in the middle?”

            There’s no need to drop anybody. You can chart various rankings systems and see how the curves compare. Imagine each conference plotted as a bell curve. You can use stats to evaluate the differences between those curves. Or you can break each conference up into natural groups (elite, solid, bad, whatever) and see what fraction of each conference is in each group. There are other methods, too.

            “#3 How do you equalize the schedule?”

            Why do I want to? Every schedule is different. So what? Can I not evaluate OSU versus MN because they don’t play the same schedule (or play each other) this year?

            “As stated before. To me a top and a bottom is tougher than 2 middles? How do you compensate for top heavy conferences? For solid middle conferences? For bottom heavy conferences? Being a Top 50 – 100 is not the same as a real Top 10.”

            One method is to postulate a team of a given skill level (#10 or #20 or #50, etc) and ask how would it be expected to do against each schedule. There are mathematical ways to predict how often a certain team should win a game based on their relative rankings. Do this for a range of sample teams, and you get a sense of how the schedules compare. Or just do it for the team level of interest and call it a day. Basically it turns every game into an expected fraction of a win and fraction of a loss. Add those up for all the games, and you get an expected season outcome (say 9.37 – 2.63). Run that same team against a different schedule and compare.

            You talk about playing #5 and #110 versus playing #50 and #51. The problem comes in when you consider all the other games. Back to my simple math example:

            Expected wins for a top 10 team against those schedules:
            A = 0.5 + 0.99 = 1.49
            B = 0.9 + 0.9 = 1.80
            A is harder.

            But what if the other 10 opponents are all ranked 10 spots higher for B than A? If that averages to be 0.03 more chance of a loss for B in each game, then B and A are equally difficult. How much is 0.03? That’s about 1.5 points difference in the point spread.

            “You know I am not excited by a 6-6 team going to a bowl and acting like that was a good season. Bowls should be rewards for at least 8 wins and the higher the quality of the wins the better bowl you get.”

            You’re preaching to the choir on that. Old school B10 fans are used to the concept of bowls being rare. For those that don’t know, the B10’s bowl rules went like this:

            1902
            1. After MI went to the first Rose Bowl, no more bowl games were allowed.

            1946
            1. B10 champ plays in the Rose
            2. The same team couldn’t go in back to back years (except in 1961 because OSU’s faculty turned down the bid, so MN went again) – the so-called “No Repeat” rule.
            3. No other bowls allowed.
            4. The B10’s quirky tiebreaker for determining the champ/representative was who had waited the longest since their last Rose Bowl (this trumped head to head).

            1972
            1. The “No Repeat” rule was overturned. Now the B10 champ always went to the Rose.

            1975
            1. Other bowls were allowed.

            This is why B10 teams and legendary coaches have so many fewer bowl games on their record than other schools of otherwise similar pedigree.

            “#4 How do you equalize the scores / stats padding?”

            There are plenty of stats that claim to adjust for this.

            “They say offense sells tickets but defense wins championships.”

            They say a lot of things. Good offense can win a title, too. See UT over USC.

            “As stated in the post above, OU set the all time scoring average but managed only 2 TD’s against Florida. Clearly the offensive advantage they possessed did nothing when it came to the game that mattered.”

            Rhythm offenses often suffer from the long layoff before the bowls. The players get a little rusty and lose that rhythm while the defensive coaches get an inordinate amount of time to prep for them. There is no evidence what OU would have scored if the teams played on 12/10 instead of a month later.

            “If the SEC is on the run they are on it seems to validate the importance of defense over offense.”

            Auburn’s advantage was on offense relative to OR’s defense. AL got lucky that Colt McCoy got hurt so early or they might have given up more yards and points. The SEC happens to be a defensive league, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to win. The B10 is also a defensive league. How’s that worked out on the national stage? It’s more about how good your team is than what they’re good at.

            “I am aware that I concentrate on the top over the bottom but it is all about the top in the end.”

            Maybe it is to you. That doesn’t mean I agree with that premise.

            “Tennessee could go 1-7 in the SEC but finish 5-7 for the season may indicate it is tougher to win in the SEC.”

            It could. It could also mean that Montana, UC, Buffalo and MTSU were really bad. MT is I-AA. Buffalo was 2-6 in the MAC. MTSU was 1-7 in the SB. Only UC was any good, and upsets do happen, especially at home. Color me unimpressed about what this says about the SEC.

            “Too many upsets of top B12 teams by bottom ones.”

            That’s a double-edged sword, and as usual you choose the interpretation that is worst for the B12. Have you considered that it also means the bottom of the B12 was better than you give them credit for so they were capable of beating a top team? That’s the logic used to prove how deep the SEC is. Why doesn’t it apply to the B12?

            “No matter how you slice it tho, Kansas and Indiana appear to be the worst of the worst. Even at the bottom there is a pecking order.”

            There is, but it’s irrelevant if you’re comparing top 10 teams to decide which is better. The bottom teams in any power league should be beaten easily by a top 10 team.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            @ bullet

            Can we agree that Alabama and LSU were solid defensive teams last season?
            Can we agree that Arkansas and OK St were solid offensive teams last season?

            If #1 LSU and #2 Alabama both beat #3 Arkansas @ their homes by 24
            If Arkansas beat KSU by 13 in the Cotton Bowl
            if #1 OK State beat #2 KSU by 7 @ OK State

            Then Arkansas > Oklahoma State by 1 TD
            Then Alabama and LSU > Arkansas by 3 TD’s

            Had either UAT or LSU played OK State in the BCS MNC,
            they would have beaten OK State by 3 – 5 TD’s
            they both may have shut out OK State or limited OK State to a TD or 2

            That does not sound like Oklahoma State was close to Alabama or LSU at all! At best they would be closer to Arkansas, KSU (who they beat by 7 points) , TAMU (who they beat by 1 point) , Iowa State (who beat them by 6 points) , and Stanford (who they beat by 3 points)

            For all this talk of how bad the SEC was they still did well in their bowl games going 5 – 2 against non conference foes . Boise State on the other hand lost to TCU and played a lackluster ASU in the Maaco Bowl. If the SEC was so bad, how did they post such lopsided numbers in their favor? ACC = 2-0 / B12 = 1-0 / B1G = 2-1 / BE = 0-1

            a) If Boise State was in a solid AQ conference they probably lose more than 1 game
            b) The SEC had 2 Elite teams, and 2 – 4 solid ones
            c) The PAC had Oregon, Stanford, Southern Cal, and nothing else
            d) The B1G had 3 good teams, and 2 more solid ones
            e) The B12 had 2 good teams, and 2 more solid ones
            f) The ACC had 2 solid teams
            g) The BE had 2 solid teams

            Like

          • Brian says:

            duffman,

            I’ll try to answer for frug.

            “Here is Alabama and Oklahoma State from top to bottom :
            (based games played for final BCS but excluding bowls)

            # 1 LSU L 6 – 9 : Kansas State W 52 – 45
            # 2 Arkansas W 38 – 14 : Baylor W 59 – 24
            # 3 Penn State W 27 – 11 : Oklahoma W 44 – 10
            # 4 Auburn W 24 – 14 : Missouri W 45 – 24
            # 5 Florida W 38 – 10 : Texas W 38 – 26
            # 6 Miss State W 24 – 7 : Texas A&M W 30 – 29
            # 7 Vanderbilt W 34 – 0 : Iowa State L 31 – 37
            # 8 Tennessee W 37 – 6 : Texas Tech W 66 – 6
            # 9 Mississippi W 52 – 7 : Arizona W 37 – 14
            #10 Kent State W 48 – 7 : Kansas W 70 – 28
            #11 North Texas W 41 – 0 : LA – LA W 61 – 34
            #12 GA Southern W 45 – 21 : Tulsa W 59 – 33”

            How many of those pairings do you think favor AL? The top 2, sure, but not the next 4.
            KSU << LSU
            BU > PSU
            MO > AU
            UT > UF
            TAMU > MsSU
            ISU < VU
            TT MS
            KSU > KU
            LL > NT
            Tulsa > GSU

            “d) Alabama played 7 schools with MNC’s and 4 with 6 BCS MNC’s
            e) OK State played 3 schools with MNC’s and 2 with 2 BCS MNC’s”

            So what? This is about 2011 only. Nothing from any previous season is relevant.

            “f) OK State let all kinds of folks score on them, Alabama was much more stingy”

            That doesn’t matter. The goal is to win, not to cede the fewest points.

            “g) Alabama played their upper games in hostile environments”

            They played LSU at home. They played AR at home. OkSU played tougher teams than all the rest.

            “i) adding in the bowls, Bama owned LSU but oSu needed OT to win their game”

            Bowls are a bad way to judge because the extra time off skews things. Besides, AL didn’t face Stanford and LSU didn’t face OkSU so we don’t know how the match-ups influenced the scores.

            “Can you really say that any coach in america would think the Alabama schedule was easier than the Oklahoma State schedule?”

            Yes, because many of them trust stats.

            Like

          • frug says:

            I’ll respond to this specific question (“How do you see the Oklahoma State schedule being harder?”) because the answer is easy;

            Because that is what the numbers show.

            http://smartfootball.com/srs/simple-rating-system-final-results-and-predicting-the-bowls-1252011

            http://footballoutsiders.com/fei-ratings/2011/fei-week-14

            http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt11.htm

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2011-standings.html

            Keep in mind that all four of these systems use very different definitions of SOS (Sagarin basis his on how good a team would need to be to be projected to go .500 against a given schedule, FEI is based on the probability that a top 5 would go undefeated against a given schedule, and the SRSs projects the expected point spread if a team’s “mean” opponent played an average team on a neutral field) and all four still have Oklahoma St. on top of Alabama.

            I defend my statements with data.

            (Note that the Sagarin and CFR numbers do include bowls games, but that actually gives ‘Bama a boost since LSU was stronger than Stanford. Prior to that Oklahoma St. had an even larger lead).

            Like

  41. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/57475/osu-psu-can-be-official-division-champs

    A little tidbit. OSU and PSU can officially win the Leaders division while ineligible for the CCG. The B10 won’t name the representative to the CCG the division winner if they don’t win the division.

    Like

    • Eric says:

      Good. If we end up with someone like UCLA last year, the last thing the conference should do is call them division champions.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        And yet they could be B10 champs. It’s sort of like AL being national champs but not SEC West or SEC champs last year.

        I think it’s big for the Buckeyes to have that little extra carrot for winning since they can’t play in a bowl. Somehow I don’t think it’ll be a factor for PSU.

        Like

        • bamatab says:

          As an Alabama/SEC fan, this sort of makes Delany look pretty hypocritical. First he makes a public statement that made all of the media rounds that a team that doesn’t win its division shouldn’t have a chance to win a national championship. Yet now he is saying a B1G team that doesn’t win its division can win the B1G championship. I know this is mainly a B1G forum, and I will probably get flamed for posting this, but it does seem pretty hypocritical IYAM.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            They aren’t being selected as one of the top two teams in the nation. It would be advancing the highest placing eligible team into the CCG.

            The only alternative is to cancel the CCG if PSU or OSU wins the division.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            The best alternative would be to cancel the CCG in my opinion if the divisional champ isn’t available and the runner-up has a worse record than the other divisional champ. Unfortunately they won’t do that, so they’ll put a team that didn’t win their division in. I’m still glad they aren’t called divisional champ though.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bamatab,

            I understand where you’re coming from, but I see a few key differences:

            1. There is no other choice to fill the game than a non-champ if OSU or PSU wins their division. There are choices other than non-division champs for the NCG.

            2. I’m sure he’d love to not let the filler team win the title, but I don’t think that’s an option. I’d be fine with the B10 declaring in that circumstance that the west champ was automatically the official B10 champ (unless the east champ won the head to head) but that the CCG winner earned the right to go to the Rose. I just don’t think they are allowed to do that, and it would confuse people anyway.

            3. It’s a terminology thing. The team may not have won the division on paper, but they did win the right to be the division’s representative by virtue of being the best eligible team.

            4. I suppose it would be easier to just say whoever plays in the game is the division winner, but I give him credit for this. He’s doing what fans always say they want – he’s not punishing the players for the misdeeds of others by taking away their division title if they earn it. The NCAA took away the postseason games, but they can keep what they earn in 12 games.

            The NC thing is personal opinion. To some, a team that failed to win it’s division (or the right to represent it) has no claim to winning it’s conference and thus also has no claim to being the nation’s best team. It’s like failing to win the Miss Birmingham pageant but participating in and winning Miss America. If you aren’t the local winner, how can you be the best in the country?

            Others argue that OOC games aren’t factored into the conference race so they are two separate issues. I could see that argument if it was for 11-1 AL with 1 close loss to a 12-1 LSU that got upset in the SEC CG by 9-4 UGA which AL beat, especially if AL had better OOC wins. Then you could argue that looking at the season as a whole, AL was better than LSU and UGA.

            I didn’t buy it last year for AL getting a rematch of a home game they lost when LSU had the better OOC slate. It’s nothing personal, I’d say the same about any team in any conference in that situation. OkSU earned the right to play in the NCG in my mind. AL clearly didn’t win their division. Neither did OU or NE back in the day, and they shouldn’t have gotten NCG shots either.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            Actually the best alternative is to give the division title to the highest ranked team that is eligible for the championship game. By giving the division title to a team on probation, you are actually taking some of the punishment away from the team that is supposedly being punished.

            Now if you want to make the argument that the current players shouldn’t be punished for past descretions, that is a totally different argument. I agree that the way teams are punished nowadays, innocient players are being punished. But unfortunately, that is the current system. And if that is the current system, then you have to take the punishment. Si in my opinion, if a team is not eligible for a conference championship, then they shouldn’t be eligible for a division title either.

            But in the end, if the B1G wants to allow a non-division champion to be able to win the conference championship, then that is fine with me. Just don’t make a statement to the national media that a non-divisional champion shouldn’t be allowed to play for a national championship, and then turn right around and allow a non-divisional champ play for your conference championship.

            And I’m not going to get into the argument about whether or not Bama should or shouldn’t have been in the BCSCG this past Jan. They majority of the media, coaches, and Harris Poll voters felt that they did. They were put in the game and dominated it. It can’t be undone, so there is no use arguing about it now.

            When I first read The B1G’s statement on it, it found it somewhat hypocritical and decided to post my thoughts. In hindsight maybe I shouldn’t have. There is my rant for the week. I’ll try and hold off at least until next week to post another rant if one strikes me. 🙂

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bamatab,

            I disagree that it reduces the punishment. The current teams aren’t prohibited from winning a conference title. Their punishment does include not playing any postseason games, though. In this case, that means they can’t win the B10 because they can’t play in the CCG. But the actual punishment never included not being able to win the division. That said, it’s all semantics. Neither OSU nor PSU can play in the CCG so one of the other 4 will be the effective division winner regardless.

            Personally, I agree with you that OSU and PSU should be allowed to win the division while ineligible. Keep it simple. The division winner is the team that represents the division in the CCG. But if this is how the B10 wants to do it, I’ll happily crow about winning the division and the B10 champ not being the “true” champ if OSU beat them head to head during the season (OSU plays MI, MSU and NE plus their division, so likely they will have played the B10 champ).

            My previous response was just pointing out why I don’t think Delany was being hypocritical. I also was pointing out that his comment about non-division champs was a personal opinion of his and not an official B10 position. I happen to agree with him, but I know many who don’t. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that other people’s opinions on this make no difference to how much AL fans enjoy the 2011 BCS title.

            Like

        • Eric says:

          I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that we haven’t had divisions long enough, but I could care less about a divisional title. Even though it’s not an official stat, I’d still like to win the regular season (traditional) title though.

          Like

          • duffman says:

            Eric,

            I agree on your opinion of the division title. The division thing is a money grab and nothing more. As the Tide proved you will get a shot if you have a big brand and a good record. I think Delany watched last year knowing he could squeeze 2 B1G schools at some point if he had them and push out the ACC / B12 / BE / non AQ in the process. It is why the NCAA going to 68 is a joke instead of shrinking it and doing double elimination.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Eric,

            As a fan it doesn’t mean much to me either. But for a player busting his ass 60 hours a week, it’s probably nice to be able to at least get a little recognition for such an accomplishment. That’s all I was saying. Being able to hang a banner (figuratively speaking) means something to those who earned it.

            Like

          • bamatab says:

            Quite a few SEC teams proudly claim their division titles (although Bama really doesn’t). SEC fans see playing in the SECCG as being a really big deal, so they most of the teams usually claim their division titles.

            Like

          • Eric says:

            You’re right Brian. I guess especially if it comes down to beating Michigan and getting to hang the banner, it will mean a lot to them.

            Like

  42. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8341821/penn-state-nittany-lions-lawyer-says-jerry-sandusky-regrets-not-testifying-trial

    Now Sandusky wishes he had testified at his trial. I’m sure that would have helped tremendously based on his interview with Costas.

    Like

  43. Brian #2 says:

    In a surprising twist, Houston has reportedly submitted the highest bid to host the Champions Bowl.

    http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2012/9/6/3296425/champions-bowl-houston-sec-big-12

    Does this mean that Houston will definitely get to host it, or will the SEC and Big 12 consider the lower offers from Dallas and New Orleans?

    Like

    • zeek says:

      I wouldn’t consider a lower offer from New Orleans over a higher offer from Houston because logistically it’s a pretty similar deal.

      But Dallas is clearly the better “stage” when you’re talking about JerryWorld versus Houston, so I could see a case for taking Dallas with a slightly lower offer just for the bigger/more visible stage.

      Like

      • Eric says:

        I’d definitely take less from either the Sugar or Cotton Bowl provided the difference isn’t too significant. You want this to be a big game, but you also want it to feel like a tradition rich game too. That’s much, much easier with the Cotton or Sugar Bowl name attached.

        Like

    • bullet says:

      I’m not surprised at all. I’ve said all along to watch out for Houston as a darkhorse. Winning this is more of an upgrade for the Houston Bowl than for the Cotton. The question in my mind was whether Houston could round up the sponsors to match Jerry.

      They will look at a lot of things other than just the bid. If Houston does have a higher bid than Arlington, it would be hard to choose Arlington. Houston has better weather. Arlington only has the Cotton Bowl tradition. New Orleans has other things to compensate, as they are more of a “tourist” city.

      Like

      • Brian #2 says:

        I wonder how much stadium capacity will enter into the discussion. Doesn’t Reliant hold about 30,000 less than Jerry World?

        Like

        • bamatab says:

          Probably not as much as one would initially think. The city/stadium would get the ticket sell revenues, not the SEC/Big 12. The SEC/Big12 gets the TV money and the sponsership money from the games (not to mention the bid money). While it may factor in to some smaller degree, I don’t see stadium capacity being a big factor for the conferences.

          Like

          • frug says:

            The only way I see it making a big difference would be if Jerry were willing to give the conferences a % of the gate receipts as part of the package. In that case it could be more profitable to play in Dallas even if the cash payment guarantee was lower.

            Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Here’s one Louisiana native’s completely unbiased opinion regarding the Champions Bowl.

      New Orleans is, BY FAR, the best location for the Champions Bowl. New Orleans is a big event city. Its a tourist destination. Its a walking city. While Houston and DFW may be more populous than the entire state of Louisiana, New Orleans has hosted more big time sporting events than those cities combined. New Orleans is more fun than DFW and Houston combined.Since Katrina, hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades have been pumped into the Superdome. It may not be as plush as Cowboys or Reliant, but there’s still a gazillion suites and club seats in the dome. The dome is a much better atmosphere than either Reliant or Cowboys stadiums. The Sugar Bowl is easily the most prestigious bowl name with the best history of those being considered.

      If New Orleans’ bid is close, then New Orleans is a no brainer.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        Alan,

        I’m not from LA and I haven’t been to Dallas or Houston, so I’ll defer to all your statements on that. That said, the Sugar is clearly the best site. There are other considerations, though (Dallas helps the SEC more for recruiting, seats more fans, and has the Cotton Bowl moniker). My end result would be this: Sugar Bowl in even years, Cotton Bowl in odd years, swap if needed to host the NCG. Houston has no place hosting it, so by natural logic they’ll win.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        I haven’t been in Cowboy stadium, but I think Reliant has a better atmosphere inside than the Superdome. Houston always does a great job with its big events, so it would be a good location. Houston changed college basketball with the UCLA/UH game in the Astrodome in 67(or 68?). It totally changed the way people thought of the US Olympic Festival with its hosting in 86. It handled 1-1.5 million for the Jarre concert that year in downtown. Its done a good job with 2 Super Bowls.

        I still think New Orleans is the best location. Its the most centrally located and it is a “tourist” city. And, of course, it has lots of experience with big events.

        The only thing Arlington has going for it is the world’s most expensive stadium and the Cotton Bowl tradition. The weather tends to be lousy. I would hate to see the Cotton Bowl left behind (as it has been the last few years), but Dallas on January 1 is just not a great site for a football game. And the stadium is in Arlington, unlike the Superdome which is downtown NO and Reliant which is a short hop down the Main St. rail line from downtown/midtown/Rice Village.

        From the standpoint of the conferences, Arlington is the most logical site of a Big 12 ccg if they go back to 12 (1st week of December in Dallas tends to be good football weather-that’s why they have the Dallas Marathon that week) and Atlanta IS the site of the SEC ccg. Houston, New Orleans and San Antonio all have the advantage there.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          At worst the Cotton will be a playoff game.

          Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          This seems like bad news for cities like Atlanta, Orlando, and Tampa.

          Regardless of whether Houston gets the Champions Bowl, it’s clear to me they’ve got the financial backing to get in the playoff rotation in one way or another.

          I w ill be very surprised if the six bowls eligible to host semifinals are not these:

          1) Rose-pretty much guaranteed to host semifinals
          2) Orange–same as Rose
          3) Cotton–Jerry’s money will make it happen
          4) Houston–High bid for Champions bowl will make it happen
          5) Fiesta–Very high revenue bowl has tons of money to spend
          6) Sugar–Supposedly Sugar Bowl has tens of millions in reserve funds for semifinals/Champions Bowl

          Like

  44. zeek says:

    RT @Ourand_SBJ: ESPN’s Boise St.-Mich St. Fri: 4.2M viewers. Cable’s most viewed college football game for week

    Say what you want about Boise; they still bring in the ratings.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      zeek,

      Note the word cable, not the word all

      Good for Sparty and good for Broncos

      Michigan vs Alabama probably drew #1 overall tho

      .

      @ jj

      Any news from your way on how much of that was MSU fans and how much was BSU?

      Like

      • jj says:

        Yep. First hand as I was there. I’d say Boise had about 5K or so. I talked to a few that drove all the way from Idaho, they were cool. The new scoreboards rock too btw.

        Like

    • Mike says:

      Wasn’t it the only game on at the time?

      How do they rate games on the ABC/ESPN mirrors?

      Like

  45. frug says:

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/8346345/big-12-announce-26-billion-media-deal-abc-espn-fox-sources-say

    The Big 12 Conference, ABC/ESPN and Fox will announce a 13-year media rights deal Friday worth $2.6 billion, an average of $200 million per year and worth $20 million per school, industry sources told ESPN.

    The new deal includes grant of rights, meaning if a Big 12 school leaves for another league in the next 13 years, that school’s media rights, including revenue, would remain with the Big 12 and not their new conference.

    $20 million is about what the Big 10 makes and slightly less than the PAC makes before the PAC network distributions.

    Like

    • Richard says:

      Average over the life of contract or right now? Nostradamus ran the number before, and i believe the B10 was still ahead of the Pac (before whatever cable profits they get are added in).

      Like

      • frug says:

        Not sure. I was just echoing what was in the article

        The Big 12’s $20 million per school average is slightly behind the Pac-12’s $21 million per school media rights deal and on par with the Big Ten’s per school average. The Big 12’s new deal also will rank ahead of the SEC and ACC’s per school averages — at least for now. The SEC is expected to have a more lucrative deal in the coming months.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Yes. Simply is averaging over life of contract. With differing starting lines it isn’t exactly comparing apples to apples, but it does give an average over a long period. Large differences may mean something, small differences probably indicate little.

          Like

          • Nostradamus says:

            @ccrider55,

            That is in large part why I like to figure out what teams are getting paid now to make a more “apples to apples” comparison.

            Like

      • Nostradamus says:

        Yep $2.6 billion or $200 million a year or $20 million per school over 13 years is an average life of the contract, not right now. It will obviously start lower than that.

        Like

  46. Brian says:

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/8346428/ncaa-discussed-final-four-move-domes-arenas

    A little college hoops news. The NCAA may consider going back to playing the Final Four in basketball arenas at least part of the time rather than just in the 8 domes they use now. The ability to play in NYC, LA, Chicago, Boston, Miami, etc is a powerful draw. The downside is the loss of 45,000 seats in ticket sales. It’s partially offset by the reduced costs of staging the game, though, plus the ability to possibly charge more per seat.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      THANK GOODNESS.

      Like

      • frug says:

        I’ll believe this when I see it. Playing in basketball arenas instead of football domes leaves a lot of money on the table. Even the article says it’s a longshot.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          I don’t know how much money it leaves on the table. How much can they charge for Final Four tickets at Madison Square Garden? That has to close the gap on a FF in Ford Field.

          Like

          • frug says:

            I doubt it. They sell out the Final Four pretty easily so the extra money they would need to charge would have to massive.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            I’m not saying it will completely close the gap, but I bet they could at least double the ticket prices and sell out MSG. That would cut the money loss dramatically. It would also have the media hyperventilating to cover a relevant basketball game in NYC besides the BE tourney. That has value, too.

            Like

  47. Brian says:

    http://tracking.si.com/2012/09/07/chris-faulk-injury-lsu-knee/?sct=cf_t2_a5

    LSU’s LT is done for the year with a knee injury. Alan, any word yet on how you’ll replace him and how much of a dropoff to expect?

    Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Brian – I’m hearing conflicting reports. Some say Faulk will be out 6-8 weeks and back for the Bama game, some say he’s out for the season. LSU’s 6th man on the O-line this season was the best lineman going into last season – Josh Dworacyzk. Dworacyzk was injured prior to the Oregon game and received a 6th year of eligibility in order to play this season. In past seasons, he played both guard and both tackle positions, as well as tight end. He was a two-year starter, earned 3 letters, and was a 4-star top 150 recruit.

      Faulk is probably LSU’s best O-lineman and a high draft pick prospect, so its a loss. But LSU O-line is very deep. A 270 pound fullback doesn’t hurt either.

      Like

  48. Brian says:

    How bad is Pitt? Can Paul Chryst manage to get on a hot seat in just one season? Soundly beaten by a I-AA and then crushed by UC in their opening game while Pitt had a week to work out their issue from game 1. The ACC must be thrilled so far with Pitt and Syracuse being 0-3 combined.

    Of course, the BE can’t be too happy either. Boise, UH, SDSU, SMU and Memphis all lost. Boise’s was a good loss, and SDSU’s wasn’t bad (@ UW). The others not so much. 2015 member Navy got crushed by ND, too. The lone bright spot was UCF crushing Akron.

    Like

    • Michael in Raleigh says:

      Not to make excuses for losing by double digits to an FCS team, but this shouldn’t come as a shock. When a team goes through four coaches in less than two years, things are going to get messy. Paul Chryst deserves a time to fix the mess largely made by former coaches and by the turnover itself.

      Like

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