Daily Archives: March 19, 2008

Post header of the day

Perfecto.

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UPDATE: Jason is positively giddy.

With his signing, the Buckeyes are automatically preseason conference favorites for the next three seasons. If he pans out in the least bit, you’re looking at two, maybe three more national championship appearances over the next four years.

Pretty modest expectations there. Good luck, kid – you’re gonna need it.

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Filed under Recruiting, The Blogosphere

More blathering about schedules

Yesterday, I responded to a post by Michael Elkon about Georgia’s scheduling. Michael in turn responded to me in part with this comment

… I acknowledged in the comments to the post that the better criticism of Georgia’s OOC scheduling is not that they never leave the South, but rather than they never play name opponents. Arkansas has played Texas and USC this decade; when is the last time that Georgia played a program on that level? Florida plays Miami and Florida State this year; when is the last time that Georgia played programs on that level (assuming, for the sake of argument, that Miami and FSU are in temporary dips right now). Tennessee has played UCLA and Notre Dame this decade. Alabama has played Oklahoma. Auburn has played USC. LSU has played Virginia Tech. Where are Georgia’s comparable opponents?

… to which I came back with

… it might be interesting to see how the weaker parts of Georgia’s schedules over the same time period compare to some of those schools you mention. If they’re similar, I’d expect that Georgia’s overall strength of schedule rankings would be lower than those schools. But what if the SOS numbers are roughly equivalent?

I decided to take a look at that. I’ve used two sets of SOS rankings (CollegeFootballPoll.com and Sagarin) from 1999 to 2007 for seven schools, several that Elkon named in his comment (LSU, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, and Arkansas) plus Michigan and Southern California as non-regional controls to make the comparison.

One caveat as you check these out. These are the rankings for the complete seasons, so they’re going to be a little biased in favor of higher ranked schools, because those schools will generally see better opponents in their bowl games. With that in mind, here’s what the SOS rankings look like.

First, CFP.com:

Year LSU S. Cal. UGA UF Aub. Mich. Ark.
               
1999 34 35 23 9 46 3 60
2000 41 26 64 16 14 6 69
2001 11 5 30 27 19 8 32
2002 30 3 31 6 42 14 29
2003 38 12 22 41 48 23 27
2004 59 25 15 49 46 11 38
2005 34 6 27 17 64 9 50
2006 54 5 51 4 65 15 3
2007 16 14 15 24 30 29 54
               
Avg. 35.22 14.56 30.89 21.44 41.56 13.11 40.22

Next, Sagarin:

Year LSU S. Cal. UGA UF Aub. Mich. Ark.
               
1999 32 36 33 12 20 2 53
2000 59 11 32 27 51 38 63
2001 20 24 48 23 11 13 18
2002 33 1 24 9 27 6 18
2003 28 19 5 7 13 36 35
2004 46 7 41 57 60 36 38
2005 50 8 49 40 61 3 51
2006 20 2 24 8 23 12 26
2007 11 29 23 3 35 37 43
               
Avg. 33.22 15.22 31 20.67 33.44 20.33 38.33

Man, those Southern Cal numbers are something, aren’t they?

Anyway, Georgia’s SOS ranking is squarely middle of the pack. So even starting with Elkon’s premise that Georgia’s non-conference opponents over the years have lacked star power, that would seem to be balanced out for the most part with schedules that aren’t as weak at the low end as some of the other schools he cites.

Does that make his point unfair? Maybe from a raw statistical perspective it does. But I suspect it plays in to the national perception of Georgia’s program. People tend to remember the glamor games more than they do the turkeys. From that standpoint, Damon’s efforts to punch up the schedule are probably necessary to get people to look at this program in the same way as the Southern Cals and the Ohio States. Whether that’s fair or not I’ll leave for somebody else to answer.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

Whimper, not a bang

Part the fourth of the Ann Arbor News’ series on how the University of Michigan handles the academics of its student athletes contains no earth shattering revelations, unless you’re surprised to learn that major colleges devote significant resources to making sure that their student athletes remain academically eligible.

The truly damning stuff came out in the first article.   The rest of it can be summed up with this quote:

… Daniel Horton, who played basketball at Michigan from 2002 to 2006, was more blunt, laughing at the suggestion that academics came ahead of sports.

“There are consequences immediately if you don’t show up for practice,” Horton said. “The next day, you have to run or aren’t going to play or something like that. There’s no immediate consequences for not doing your homework or not studying that night.

“It’s a farce for the NCAA to say that academics should come first. It’s good in theory. … But it’s not really like that, not just at Michigan, anywhere.”

It’s the world we live in.  And UM, as much as some would like to believe otherwise, is a part of the same world.

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Filed under Academics? Academics.

Brackets, democracy and the postseason

Here’s a guy who loves him some March Madness. And hates  him some BCS.  (h/t Georgia Sports Blog)

… It happens only in college basketball, which has the most democratic qualifying system in sports. It also exposes college football as a tinhorn dictatorship, where the bureaucrats decide which of two teams gets to play for an imaginary title and where no one else, not even the third-ranked team in the nation, is allowed to compete.

It’s a loss for football, which could use an upstart — even a 10th-ranked one — coming through once in a while, like the Giants did this year in the NFL. But that’s the BCS’s problem.

And right now, we don’t really care if the BCS chooses to continue to be the enemy of fair competition. (We’ll start caring again in late August, when the season begins.) All we care about now is that Georgia, the most unlikely of qualifiers, is adding its own touch of Madness to March.

They’re the reason they play the games instead of letting committees decide who would have won if the teams had played. They’re the reason we can keep telling our kids to don’t ever give up, no matter what the experts tell you. They’re the reason we love this game and this month.

There is nothing better.

There is so much stoopid in that quote that I hardly know where to begin, so I’ll just make one point here.  Organized sports aren’t supposed to be democratic.  They’re supposed to be about talent, competition and the ability to succeed.  They’re about elitism.

Again, if you’re someone who likes brackets and Cinderellas, that’s great.  I don’t have a problem with your taste.  Just don’t tell me there’s something superior about a format that legitimizes the opportunity, faint though it may be, for a 16-20 team to play for a national title.  Because, as Michael Corleone said in The Godfather, that insults my intelligence and makes me angry.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles