Daily Archives: December 10, 2007

Tortured metaphor of the day

Titles don’t get much better than this: The tragic BCS is college football’s version of Big Oil.

The article is great in a pompous, hyperventilating sort of way, too.  Start with this…

The BCS has become an anchor around the neck of progress in college football. Think of it like oil dependency…

and add a smidgen of this…

Tuberville is echoing the words of W.E.B. DuBois…

and you’ve got one hellacious eye-roller of an article.  Proceed with caution.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Maybe they should get Lloyd Carr to do the coin toss.

Dan Shanoff, who’s a big playoff proponent, has a post up at Deadspin that basically sounds the battle cry to blow up the current system by telling the Rose Bowl, Pac-10 and Big Ten to take their football and shove it somewhere the sun don’t shine.  That’s cool, he’s simply a guy passionately arguing a position.

But then he goes on to extol the virtues of the real playoff that’s been ongoing in 1-AA aka the “Football Championship Division” – he gets bonus points from me because he’s actually been watching it – and notes the following:

… What fascinates me about the 1-AA playoffs (aside from the fact that, mercifully, it IS a playoff) is that for all the griping by college football fans about wanting a playoff system in 1-A, no one outside of fans of 1-AA teams actually seems to give a shit about the 1-AA playoffs.

Duh.   It’s probably just a case of bad marketing.  Or maybe it’s one of those pigs that playoff-colored lipstick can’t pretty up.

Keep in mind, I’m not saying that to knock the schools involved, or that the game might not be fun to watch.  But you’d think that if playoffs and college football were the no-brainer match made in heaven that Shanoff and other like-minded people insist that it is, a 1-AA football playoff would generate more interest than it has.

Just so you know, Appalachian State plays Delaware (you’ve kept your brackets up to date, right?) this Friday night for the whole 1-AA enchilada.  Don’t forget to mark it on your calendars, football fans.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Blogosphere

Can’t get no respect.

The Wizard of Odds discusses an interesting set of statistics about how the 119 schools in D-1 did against the spread this year.

What’s so interesting about it? Well, as the Wiz explains,

… Pointspreads are actually a barometer of how the betting public perceives a team. As money rolls in for/against a team, the pointspread is adjusted. The aim of a sportsbook is to have a 50-50 split of wagers for/against a team because it eliminates risk and guarantees a profit from the 10% commission charged by a sportsbook for its services.

So as a general rule, the better a team’s record is against the spread, the less respect the betting public has for it. Kansas, which went 10-1 against the spread this year, is the Rodney Dangerfield of college football.  Of course, the inverse of that would be schools that do poorly against the spread are overrated by the bettors.

Dawg fans, note that Georgia went 7-4 ATS in ’07. Hawaii was 4-6.

Make sure you check out which school finished 118th.

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Filed under College Football

Are the BCS games that bad this year?

There seems to be a pretty steady drumbeat this year that this season’s BCS matchups suck for the most part.  You’ve got examples like James Carville’s notable rant about the corruption of the system producing clunkers (in his opinion) like USC-Illinois in the Rose Bowl.  You’ve also got our pal Stewart Mandel lamenting an “utterly unappealing postseason” when he writes

But after all the excitement and intrigue caused by all those upsets the past 14 weeks, we’ve reached what should be the climactic point of the season, only to be treated to Ohio State-LSU and … Virginia Tech-Kansas? USC-Illinois? Oklahoma-West Virginia?

Now I know a lot of this is agenda driven, with folks frustrated that there isn’t a true playoff in place wanting the BCS to at least take the form of a playoff by having the bowls match closely ranked teams instead of following the more traditional form of lining up the games, but I’m curious if this year’s BCS is any more lopsided in its matchups than last year’s.

The major complaint about last year, of course, resulted from the process of determining whether Florida or Michigan would play Ohio State in the title game.   I don’t recall seeing much negativity about the matchups in the remaining BCS games.  So is the complaining this year particularly justified?

Looking at the current spreads, here’s where Vegas has the BCS games right now:

  • Rose:  13-14 points
  • Sugar:  8-9.5 points
  • Fiesta:  6.5-7 points
  • Orange:  3.5-4 points
  • Title:  4.5-5.5 points

And the spreads for last year?

  • Rose:  Even
  • Sugar:  9 points
  • Fiesta:  8 points
  • Orange:  10 points
  • Title:  8 points

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see a whole heckuva lot of difference there.   (2007 average spead is 7.15 points; 2006 average spread was 7 points.)

Keep in mind that what we got from last year’s BCS were three blowouts (including what was supposed to be the closest game), one boring game that came out one point over the spread and one game for the ages.  So, going in, what particularly makes this year’s set of games so much more objectionable?

One final point of consideration.  When Mandel whines that

… Virginia Tech, No. 3 in the final BCS standings, is playing Kansas, the No. 2 team in the Big 12 North. No. 4 Oklahoma’s reward for beating the No. 1 team in the country Saturday night (Missouri) is to face a West Virginia team that lost to 4-7 Pittsburgh the same night. No. 5 Georgia went from an anticipated title date with Ohio State in New Orleans to the undercard a week earlier against Hawaii. And do you think USC’s Carroll, whose teams have made mincemeat out of their previous Big Ten Rose Bowl foes, is losing much sleep over those Illinois game tapes?

… how does he know, given how unpredictable this season has already been, how things will turn out?

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs