Daily Archives: April 23, 2007

Conference commissioners to Machen: you’re not on our agenda.

The BCS conference commissioners will meet in New Orleans beginning today, and there is no playoff proposal on their agenda.

BCS spokesman Charles Bloom said there “could be some discussion” of Machen’s plan, but BCS matters this week will primarily deal with “maintenance” issues involving the controversial system.

Interesting that Machen’s proposal is now for an eight team playoff.  When did he get that specific?


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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Conspiracy Theory

Dennis Dodd thinks he’s on to something:

Besides, we all know the real reason Wisconsin was kept out of the BCS. The Associated Press story cited a “technicality” that allows only two teams per conference in BCS bowls. Ohio State was in the national championship game, which left the Rose Bowl to Michigan.

But try to look up the actual words that state that fact and they’re hard to find.

In fact, they’re impossible to find.

“It doesn’t look like it’s in here,” BCS official Charles Bloom said after a quick glance at the BCS media guide for 2006-07. “I can’t find it either. You have to trust me.”

That’s quite a technicality. We’re certain the words are contained in a document somewhere. The BCS commissioners wouldn’t make this thing up as they go, would they?

Sorry, dude, they wouldn’t.

4. Any bowl with an unfilled slot shall select a team from the automatic qualifiers and/or at-large teams in the following order:

A. The bowl played on the date nearest to the National Championship Game will pick first — in 2008, Orange Bowl January 3;
B. The bowl played on the date second-nearest to the National Championship Game will pick second — in 2008, Fiesta Bowl January 2;
C. The bowl hosting the game that is played in the time slot immediately after the Rose Bowl game will pick third — in 2008, Sugar Bowl.

The rotation noted in paragraphs A, B and C is as follows:
January 2007 games: Sugar, Orange, Fiesta
January 2008 games: Orange, Fiesta, Sugar
January 2009 games: Fiesta, Sugar, Orange
January 2010 games: Orange, Fiesta, Sugar

All teams earning automatic berths must be selected. No more than two teams from any single Conference may play in BCS games in a single year, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large picks. [Emphasis added.]

Hey, don’t get me wrong, Notre Dame shouldn’t have that built-in preference to play in the BCS – or the pollsters should start looking more carefully at the Irish when they rank them – but a rule’s a rule. Even when you can’t look it up.


UPDATE: Hmm. As of 11:55, the story no longer appears on CBS SportsLine’s site, although the link in my article still works. Maybe there is a conspiracy.


UPDATE #2: Get me rewrite! It’s not a conspiracy, after all. Just good old fashioned sloppiness. Here’s what the above quote has mutated into:

Besides, we all know the real reason Wisconsin was kept out of the BCS. The Associated Press story cited a “technicality” that allows only two teams per conference in BCS bowls. Ohio State was in the national championship game, which left the Rose Bowl to Michigan. That’s quite a technicality since it appears on Page 7 of the 2006-07 BCS media guide. Some might even go as far to call it a hard-and-fast rule.

Yeah, Dennis – those that can read and research a little bit might just do that. Of course, some might just mock AP to divert attention from their own shortcomings as journalists.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Spring football stupidity

The most amazing stat I’ve seen from all of the spring football stories I’ve read isn’t the attendance figure from the A-Day game, but rather this little blurb from Syracuse’s spring game:

Officials stopped the game twice to review plays (how weird is that?). Both times, calls on the field were upheld.

For the love of God, reviewing plays at a spring scrimmage? Do I even want to know why? Or how?

And, on another front, those of us who thought those family friendly zones instituted at Georgia last year were the dumbest things imaginable… well… maybe not.

(h/t Sunday Morning Quarterback)

1 Comment

Filed under College Football, General Idiocy

A look at turnover margin

Turnover margin is one of those stats that should probably have more attention paid to it.

Last year, College Football Resource did a series of posts tracking the eight year records of D-1 schools with regard to turnover margin. His post on the SEC is here. Just to summarize, here’s the total margin for the eight year period ending in 2005 at each school:

  • Alabama, +30
  • Arkansas, +37
  • Auburn, +13
  • Florida, +22
  • Georgia, +36
  • Kentucky, -35
  • LSU, -5
  • Mississippi, +6
  • Mississippi State, -22
  • South Carolina, +1
  • Tennessee, +31
  • Vanderbilt, -46

You can read his post to get a better feeling for trends and how different coaches at the same school fared. The only thing lacking is a breakdown of gains and losses.

Interestingly enough, Sunday Morning Quarterback found some correlation between turnover margin and success in 2006, but discovered that some other statistical categories were even stronger indicators.

Here’s how all the SEC schools fared in turnover margin in 2006:

                         |--Gained--||---Lost---|TURNOVER MARGIN
                         G  Fum Int Tot Fum Int Tot Mar  Per/G


1. Kentucky............ 13   18  14  32  10   7  17 +15   1.15

2. Alabama............. 13   11  16  27  10  10  20  +7   0.54

3. Auburn.............. 13   15  10  25  10  10  20  +5   0.38

4. Florida............. 14    8  21  29  10  14  24  +5   0.36

5. Tennessee........... 13    4  16  20   9  11  20  +0   0.00

   LSU................. 13    5  16  21  12   9  21  +0   0.00

7. Georgia............. 13   11  19  30  15  16  31  -1  -0.08

8. South Carolina...... 13    7  14  21  10  13  23  -2  -0.15

9. Vanderbilt.......... 12   12  14  26  14  14  28  -2  -0.17

10.Ole Miss............ 12   10   3  13   6  10  16  -3  -0.25

11.Arkansas............ 14    5  16  21   7  18  25  -4  -0.29

12.Mississippi St...... 12    8  12  20   9  16  25  -5  -0.42

Obviously, the number that jumps out from last year is Kentucky’s. The Wildcats were able to overcome the fact that their defense was easily the worst in the conference last year by going +15 in turnover margin. That number was second best in all of D-1. The big question is whether they can repeat that level of success. Historically speaking, that would seem to be a tall order.

I find Georgia’s ’06 margin worth noting as well, as it declined from +11 in 2005. Looking at the breakdown, the Dawgs were still effective at creating turnovers, something that’s been a hallmark under Martinez. They finished with 30, second in the conference. However, they were also dead last with 31 giveaways. Certainly you can chalk a lot of that up to breaking in a new quarterback, and it’s reasonable to expect fewer giveaways in Stafford’s second year. However, the defense loses an experienced Tony Taylor (seven interceptions and one very memorable fumble recovery in ’06), so Martinez has himself a challenge there.

We need to see significant improvement in this category in ’07, unless you think it’s a coincidence that under Richt, his three teams that made the SECCG were +8, +11 and +11 in turnover margin.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere