Daily Archives: August 23, 2008

Know thy opponent, LSU edition

The Quad has the Tigahs checking in at #7.

It’s standard fare to look at Miles and see a doofus, but his record grows more impressive each season.

… His 34-6 record stands as the finest three-year stretch in L.S.U. history, and the team’s three consecutive top five finishes also marks a program first. Some more numbers: L.S.U. is 15-5 against ranked teams under Miles (meaning the Tigers have played nearly seven ranked teams a season) and 7-3 against teams ranked in the top 10. One of college football’s best late-game decision makers – though some of his strategies may cause premature aging among the Tigers’ fans – Miles has led the Tigers to nine come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter, including four in 2007…

That is nothing to mock, folks.

They’ve got LSU finishing 10-2 (losses to Georgia and Florida), which I think looks right.  After all, that’s what LSU does under Miles, innit?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

“People like passion.”

Two nice pieces on Knowshon Moreno:  one in the New York Times, the other in the Times‘ blog, The Quad.  There are some good pictures in the latter – check out Grandmomma’s mailbox.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Auburn 2004 and the Mumme Poll

Pete Holiday over at AOL FanHouse is an unabashed Alabama fan.  Part of the genetic makeup of the unabashed Alabama fan is filtering the perception of day to day life through an anti-Auburn mindset.  It’s somewhat akin to the attitude of Jews of my grandmother’s vintage who would judge any current event by one overriding standard:  “is it good for the Jews”?

And so it is with Pete, who takes a look at criticism of preseason polling in these two posts.  Pete doesn’t waste any time letting us know where he’s coming from on this, either.

It’s fashionable these days to decry the terribleness of the pre-season poll. After all, it is a travesty that young men like those on Auburn’s 2004 team can best every challenge laid before them, and then be denied the right to play for the national championship because, before they had even stepped on the field, some voters didn’t think they were going to be very good.

I mention this only because I think that, despite his mindset, he goes on to make some interesting points. Some I agree with, others I don’t.

If I had to summarize his criticisms, they would be as follows:

  1. There’s too much data for the voters to absorb credibly.
  2. There’s no fixed standard for the voters to rely on in casting their votes.
  3. Voters do a poor job of calibrating their decisions after games are played.
  4. Putting off the first poll until mid-season would simply exacerbate problems 1-3, above.
  5. Putting off the first poll until mid-season would result in voters resorting to artificial polling methods to create their first set of votes.
  6. Putting off the first poll until mid-season would result in teams gaming the system eventually to take advantage of voters’ short-term memories by loading up with cupcakes over the early part of  the season to create lopsided won-loss records.

From this, Pete draws two conclusions.  First, Auburn fans need to get over 2004.  Second, there has to be a better way to conduct polling.  Now, I don’t disagree with either of his conclusions, but I can’t say that I’d dismiss the elimination of preseason polls as a factor in that.

Look, Pete’s first three charges have nothing to do with when the voting gets underway.  They’re, instead, a factor of asking the voters to evaluate and rank the twenty five best teams in the country.  And his last point, given Hawaii’s ability to crash the top 10 and the BCS last season, is simply irrelevant.

His solution to the problem is to change the psychology of the voting.  And he’s right about that, although he offers no specifics on how it might be accomplished.

In short: more agility in the polls. Getting rid of the notion that it’s taboo for a team to win and drop or lose and move up. Eliminate the infrequency with which teams jump other teams when both have won. Make the polls measure something specific. Set a goal and specific question, since “who are the 25 best teams” is truly unanswerable.

I don’t think we can do much with that last point about goal setting, but I hope the Mumme Poll can address his first suggestion there.

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Filed under Mumme Poll, The Blogosphere

Saturday rollin’ around

Fortunately it’s the last Saturday for a while without college football games being played, but here are a few items to tide you over until things get underway.

  • Darren Epps eloquently explains what should be an obvious truth:  the NFL is a poor template for college football.
  • Stewart Mandel, innovator.  Bet you’ve never heard of subjective statistics.  They’re probably big in Montana, though.
  • Taylor Zarzour’s fifteen minutes of fame get a little more disrepect.  Deservedly so.
  • I’ll also bet you didn’t realize how special Florida’s season was last year.
  • Of all the coaches to say that they use the spread offense to cover poor recruiting on the offensive line, Mack Brown is the last one I’d have thought to hear it from.

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Filed under College Football, Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles, Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere