Daily Archives: September 3, 2008

Confession is good for the soul.

And Stewart Mandel bares his:

… While I appreciate the kind words from all of you who enjoyed my College Football Blog the past two seasons, the reality is — I was a crappy blogger. A good blog, as I’ve since learned, gets updated every day, multiple times a day, and mine mostly sat vacant from Monday through Friday due to my other obligations. While people seemed to enjoy the all-day Saturday posts, the truth is, half the time I was writing about games I hadn’t even seen (even more so on Saturdays when I was out covering a game.)

It’s not as easy as it looks, is it… even if you skip the whole “shave and shower” thing.

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere

Rub a little dirt on it, Percy.

The only thing more impressive than Florida’s speed is the Gators’ medical knowledge.

Drs. Meyer and Tebow weigh in on Percy Harvin’s recovery.

“They actually took off a good chunk of bone, which is a pretty difficult surgery,” Meyer said. “But he’s looking good out there.”

… Florida quarterback Tim Tebow said Harvin showed no signs of discomfort during practice Monday.

“He looked full speed and absolutely ready to go,” Tebow said. “He was flying.”

As long as no bones are sticking out, I guess he’s OK.

(h/t Dr. Saturday)

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Filed under Gators, Gators...

The week’s Mumme Poll thoughts

Tony Barnhart has a post up today entitled “Why the voters dropped Georgia to No. 2″.  Skipping past his angst-inducing purpose (it’s in the AJ-C, after all), Barnhart’s points in the end reinforce my belief that there’s got to be a better way to skin this particular cat.

Here’s his list of reasons, which come off as a pastiche of lazy thinking and bias:

**—Performance on the road counts big. Southern Cal was scary good in winning 52-7 on the road against Virginia, which won nine games a year ago…

That clearly ain’t the Virginia team of last year’s nine wins, and anyone who claims to follow college football carefully enough to justify casting a vote in a national poll should know that.

**—It is a weekly poll. Some voters believe that every Sunday, particularly early in the season, you should sit down with the results from the day before in front of a blank sheet of paper and rank the teams based on their performance to date. They believe the previous week’s rankings should not be a major factor. That’s what happened here…

Then why even have a preseason poll in the first place?

**—Georgia’s injuries: Voters watch injuries. They know that LT Trinton Sturdivant) was lost in preseason. They know what DT Jeff Owens was a big-time leader on that Georgia defense. Some teams start to unravel when big injuries start to hit. Some voters will drop teams a notch because of injuries.

This reasoning brings to mind Jody’s point about begging the question when it comes to factoring scheduling into team rankings:  are you going to punish the school again when it loses a game because of injuries?

**—Next week’s game: With No. 3 Ohio State coming to Southern Cal next week, some voters no doubt feel like the winner of that early mega-game deserves to be No. 1. So they were simply positioning Southern Cal for that game. If Ohio State beats Southern Cal, you can expect the Buckeyes to jump over Georgia into the top spot.

While this point offends me the most, it surprises me the least.  Voters are result oriented?  I’m shocked.  Shocked, I tell you.  ESPN doesn’t need to push these folks nearly as much as we’d like to blame it.

Barnhart has some final words of consulation excuses for us:

… The bottom line is that the human polls are like a beauty contest. It’s in the eye of the beholder and each voter sets his or her standards. Is that fair? Probably not but it’s the system we have, at least for the next six years.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better.  And I don’t understand why we have to wait six years to fix the poll mess.  Or that a playoff (which I presume is what he’s hinting at in that quote) is going to cure the problem by itself.  It won’t; in fact, it’s easy to see how it could make matters worse.

Now, again, before I get the inevitable pushback, I’m not arguing that a poll fix is a substitute for a change in the postseason.  Quite the contrary, one has nothing to do with the other in my mind.  But I do believe that the people running the show owe us their best efforts to make the process as fair as possible, if for no other reason than to avoid muddying the waters of the playoff/BCS debate.  Or, even worse, enabling those with an extended playoff agenda with an excuse.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Mumme Poll

Bits and pieces, odds and ends

Plenty of random stuff to look at, now that the season’s underway.

  • From a week with its share of crappy losses, ESPN.com’s Bottom 10 selects Texas A&M’s stinker with Arkansas State for its prestigious #5 slot.  Good pick.  Welcome to the Mike Sherman era, Aggie fans.  Can you say Chan Gailey?
  • USA Today has the final calculations on how much the new clock rules affected game times and number of plays run.  Bottom line?  Slight drop in both; need more seasonal data before confirming any trends.  Although Jim Tressel, who saw his game wrap up in a mere 2:51, provides an early epitaph:  “It didn’t feel that much different. I just think, realistically, we’re going to have fewer plays.” Great.
  • The Week 2 version of the LVSC Oddsmaker Top 30 Poll is out, and the top nine are unchanged from week 1.  Clemson at #17 and Alabama at #22 is a bit of a head scratcher.  Not much love for Arizona State, either.
  • Here’s a helluva stat:  at one point on Saturday, the top five schools in the polls led their opening opponents by a combined score of 208-0.  (h/t Dr. Saturday)
  • Tim Stephens, over at the Orlando Sentinel blog, throws some cold water on the “the non-BCS is catching up with the BCS” train of thought.
  • Commenter NM tipped me to this tribute to the sport we love, written by a Scot.  My favorite quote is this:  “Despite commercial pressure to change, college football has by and large remembered that scarcity increases value. A 12 game season leaves precious little margin for error when a single defeat can ruin national championship or conference title aspirations. Each week offers the prospect of disaster or, for smaller programs or those who’ve already been knocked out of contention, the joy of ruining someone else’s season. These are powerful emotions.” Exactly.
  • A couple of Dawg links for you:  David Hale’s practice notes don’t hold many surprises, although Richt sounds a little coy about who the offensive line starters may be, and CFN expects the Central Michigan game to look a lot like the Georgia Southern game.

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Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere

You probably expected this.

From the Gainesville Sun:

ESPN’s College GameDay show will broadcast from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium this weekend, the site of the Florida-Miami game in The Swamp… Florida will be making its 28th appearance on GameDay, most in the nation.

Would you like to see the all time top 10 appearance list?  Here it is.

ESPN’s College GameDay

Appearances By School (after 8/30/08):
Rank School Shows
1. Florida 27
2. Ohio State 22
3. Florida State 21
Michigan 21
5. Notre Dame 18
Oklahoma 18
7. Tennessee 17
8. Miami (Fla.) 16
9. Nebraska 15
10. Southern Cal 14

As Coaches Hot Seat Blog notes, there are quite a few name programs missing there -  Washington, UCLA, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia and Alabama.

*****************************************************************

UPDATE: Mr. Westerdawg e-mailed from the road to tell me that Coaches Hot Seat Blog was a little sloppy with its description.  From Wikipedia:

… Entering the 2008 season, Ohio State is the current leader for the most times actually hosting the broadcast on-site with 10 events (9-1 record; loss to Texas). Florida and Michigan (9) are currently tied for second, while Tennessee is third with 8 events. Although the Gators have appeared in the on-site game the most times (26). Ohio State (22) is second in on-site appearances. Florida vs Florida St has been the most covered matchup, being covered 8 times. 4 times in Gainesville, 3 in Tallahassee, and once in the Sugar Bowl…

For the record, Georgia has hosted College GameDay as many times as Williams.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

The way you do the things you do.

Reviewing the whole “Tommy loses to Saban; Tommy calls Saban” story, Kevin over at fanblogs.com gives Bowden an excellent piece of advice.

… I would have told him to get the ball to Spiller and Davis more than eight times a game.

Take a peek at this handy-dandy chart:

OPPONENT DAVIS SPILLER
Florida State 18 11
Louisiana-Monroe 7 6
Furman 9 9
N.C. State 24 21
Georgia Tech 12 9
Virginia Tech 6 6
Central Michigan 22 15
Maryland 29 17
Duke 8 8
Wake Forest 21 8
Boston College 12 11
USC 23 16
Auburn 23 8
TOTAL 214 139

Does anything stand out against… say… Georgia Tech? Virginia Tech? Boston College? Auburn?

In Clemson’s four losses, either Davis or Spiller had single-digit carries. While that may work out against the Duke’s and FCS teams of the world (where the duo spent more time rooting than rushing), it won’t win you games against quality opponents.

So what did Bowden call against Alabama?

OPPONENT DAVIS SPILLER
Alabama 6 2

Look familiar?

Bowden didn’t put his team in a position to win because he took the ball out of the hands of his two brightest stars.

It’s not like this was a surprise.  So what was he thinking?

Along the same lines, check out the box score from the Tennessee-UCLA game.

Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs 20 20
3rd down efficiency
5-17 9-19
4th down efficiency
1-1 0-0
Total Yards 366 288
Passing 189 259
Comp-Att
19-42 25-43
Yards per pass
4.5 6.0
Rushing 177 29
Rushing Attempts
34 31
Yards per rush
5.2 0.9

The UT offensive brain trust, with a QB completing less than fifty percent of his pass attempts, is directing traffic in such a way that the team gains more yardage on a per play basis running the ball than passing it, yet decides to throw the ball eight more plays than it rushes.  Again, what in the hell are they thinking?

Is it ego, stubbornness, stupidity or what?  At the least, it’s the difference between having an offense with a catchy nickname… and Norm Chow up in the booth constructing a winning gameplan with a bunch of odds and ends.

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Filed under College Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere