Daily Archives: October 1, 2009

“Who’s favored? We’re favored?”

Even Mark Richt is having problems with early season polls.

A voter in the USA Today coaches’ poll, Richt admits he had a hard time filling out his ballot last weekend.

With the four losses among top-10 teams,  he grabbed some scratch paper and started trying to rank teams as if there had been no previous polls this season.

“I just couldn’t sleep, I guess,” he said, “so I started to go:  If there was no preseason rank, just who’s undefeated?  Who have they beaten? Is there some signature victory in here somewhere? Who should be No. 1 just based on who they’ve beaten? And then of the one-loss teams, who did they lose to and did they have a signature win or two?

“And then I ranked it that way, and I looked at it, and I’m, like, ‘If I call this in, they’re going to think I’m out of my mind.’

“Then I went back and did it the old-fashioned way,” which basically is use the previous  poll as a starting point and move teams up or down based on the latest results.

“The reason I can do it that way and have peace is, I always know as the season wears on it works itself out,” Richt said.  ” . . . But if there wasn’t a preseason poll or if no one had tradition or no one had this and that, it’d be interesting to see what everybody’s poll would look like.”

I give the man credit for obviously putting a lot of thought into his vote.  The sad thing is that we know there are plenty of coaches **cough**Les Miles**cough** who don’t.

There’s got to be a better way.

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Filed under College Football, Mumme Poll

Bloggy gratitude moment

As good a month as August was at GTP in terms of viewership (in other words, best ever), September blew it out of the water with about a 20% bump.

Needless to say, I love you guys.  Thanks.

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Filed under GTP Stuff

Cruel and unusual

In a move reminiscent of what the Marines once did to Manuel Noriega, Steve Sarkisian aurally waterboarded his Washington squad in preparation for the first Willingham Memorial Bowl:

… For my money, the most questionable decision Steve Sarkisian has made so far came today when about 15 minutes into practice he walked over to the Jared Blank, manning the music station for the afternoon, and instructed him to play the Notre Dame fight song “over and over and over again.”

And thus they did, for the next hour and 40 minutes or so, play the Notre Dame fight song over and over and over again.

Fortunately, there’s no truth to the rumor they’ll practice today with the PA announcer repeating the phrase “Clausen for Heisman” incessantly.

(h/t The Wiz of Odds)

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

This is your Tech on drugs.

What is it with Georgia Tech and coach-philosophers?

First we had the Chanster getting all Zen on us after he lost Reggie Ball and had to start Taylor Bennett in a bowl game (“Those are things we know about, but we don’t know about”? WTF?)

Now we get this from Paul Johnson:  “… The ball is going to take you where it is going.” That’s some heavy shit, man.  Could you pass the bong, please?

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Mandel does good.

Wow – a Stewart Mandel mailbag that I not only find unobjectionable, but one that I’m in considerable agreement with.  I feel like an ornithologist who scores a rare bird sighting.

Consider these points he makes:

  • A.J. Green is one of the two best receivers in the country.
  • Virginia Tech – great ACC team, not so much as a national title contender.
  • Jimmy Clausen needs to produce against a legitimate team before the Heisman chest beating should start, Irish fans.
  • Auburn deserves to be ranked.

Normally if he’s got a mailbag with one good observation like any of those, he’s met his quota, so this one’s memorable.  But I think he makes his best point of the week in his first answer about Boise State.  He’s in agreement with most observers that if things play out as expected, it’s not likely that we’ll see the Broncos in the title game.  Then he goes on to say this:

… realistically the Broncos would not take down a Florida or Texas in a championship setting, and there will probably be any number of other teams with better résumés. But the pollsters have set a precedent by ranking Boise this high this soon. If they suddenly turn around at the end of the season and blatantly manipulate the rankings to exclude the Broncos, the BCS is going to have yet another credibility issue on its hands.

That’s good.  And it’s another reason to question the usefulness of preseason and early season polls.

In 2007, Georgia fans were unhappy with what was perceived as the shenanigans behind the last regular season poll after West Virginia lost.  The potential uproar over Boise State’s final ranking has the potential to be much uglier, for a number of reasons.

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UPDATE: Michael Elkon parses Mandel, past and present, on his Boise State point.

How exactly is it “blatant manipulat[ion]” for the voters to reward teams for big wins by placing them over Boise State? Mandel’s characterization concerns me because it creates a narrative for the Orrin Hatches of the world to complain when Boise gets put behind teams that defeat quality opponents.

I concede that Michael has a legitimate concern here, but I think that what Mandel refers to as blatant manipulation is more akin to what happened in the polls at the end of 2007 after West Virginia lost.  In other words, if there’s an organic fall in the polls by the Broncos as the voters sour on their strength of schedule, that’s one thing, but if there’s a drop in the last regular season poll because the voters suddenly have a visceral reaction to the thought of BSU playing in the title game, that’s another.

Um… did I just defend Stewart Mandel?  My bad.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Georgia-LSU: a brief look back, a question for Saturday

We all asked the question in the offseason:  who would Georgia miss more, Stafford or Moreno?  Up until now, I think the answer’s clearly been Knowshon.  But I’m wondering if that’ll be the case with LSU.

Certainly Moreno played a big role in the win last year.

Gamble had a huge game, as well.  But I thought Stafford was the big story in Baton Rouge.  He played brilliantly in that game, both in terms of his game management and in terms of his production (two TD passes, one rushing TD).  And even though Gary Danielson’s timing in that Moreno clip was unfortunate, he was spot on in pointing out earlier that Stafford forced LSU out of its initial coverage scheme because of the strength and accuracy of his throwing (Bobo’s game plan took advantage of that, too).

Cox doesn’t have that kind of arm (duh).  That doesn’t mean he and Bobo can’t be effective in the passing game, of course.   But it’s going to take a very different approach to pull that off this Saturday, especially given the rapid improvement of Patrick Peterson at cornerback for LSU.

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Filed under Georgia Football