Daily Archives: July 2, 2008

Fish in a barrel

It’s hard to imagine a more blatant troll than the one the AJ-C is posting now, a Terence Moore piece entitled “Why the emotional fallout over Uga?”.  It’s working, too.  Big surprise, that.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series – “Why does Uga have to be a white bulldog?”


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Strength in numbers

Strategery-related thought of the day, from the always excellent Smart Football (although I wish he’d post more!):

Contrary to what you might hear on TV, football is not really about “creating one-on-one matchups.” Sometimes this works, like if you’re a high school team and you have a future Randy Moss and they have a 5’10” guy who runs a 5.1 forty-yard dash at cornerback. Then one-on-one sounds great. But the better strategy is to force one defender into dealing with two offensive players. Think of option plays (one defender and two ball carriers), a double-team blocks (two blockers and one defender), and a good zone stretching pass concepts where one defender must deal with two receivers (such as when a single free safety must deal with two receivers releasing free down the seams). An offense creates these two-for-one’s by forcing the defense to overcompensate somewhere else, such as where the defense is forced to commit two to cover one, or three to cover two receivers...

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Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

Everything you wanted to know about OOC schedules – and more

The Wizard of Odds posted some thoughts yesterday about cupcake scheduling, pointing to this remarkable post on the subject of non-conference scheduling over at the blog The National Championship Issue.

What I really like about the TNCI post is that it’s focused not on how a school’s non-conference schedule turned out when played, but on what the school’s intent was when it arranged the schedule in the first place.  In analyzing the issue, TNCI was governed by four rules of thumb.

  • So a team that is willing to play on the road is accepting a more difficult challenge than those who stay at home.
  • So overall, teams that schedule BCS teams as opposed to non-BCS or I-AA teams are accepting a more difficult challenge than those who don’t.
  • Teams looking for a challenge aren’t afraid to schedule teams with a high 5-year average or high win total.
  • a team with a top 10 finish in the last five years is going to be more challenging that one that doesn’t, while a team with zero votes in the last five years isn’t going to be as challenging as one who has earned votes.

He’s got numbers to back up all of those propositions.

The Wiz does a good job of summarizing all of this (although I could do without the gratuitous “Georgia doesn’t travel” shot) – and the fact is that the SEC does try its best to keep the OOC stuff weak.  Here are the specifics on Georgia’s and Florida’s non-conference scheduling as examples.  Keep in mind that these two are pretty much head of the class in the SEC.

The real badges of honor come at the post’s end:  the ten weakest OOC schedules of the BCS era.  The SEC has six schools on that list of ten, including the most infamous because of its context, the 2004 Auburn Tigers.

It’s an exhaustive, fascinating job.  Take some time to wade through it.


Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!, The Blogosphere

Steele’s SEC home field advantage

Among other data that Phil Steele embeds in his 328 pages of single spaced type is a rating for the strength of playing at each school’s home field.  In essence, it’s the number of points that each home crowd is worth.

I’m glad the guys at RazorBloggers Network took the trouble to put the data in a handy chart:

Rank School Home Field Edge 2007 Avg Attendance
1 Florida 5.25 90,388
2 LSU 5.25 92,619
3 Georgia 4.75 92,746
4 Auburn 4.50 84,689
5 Tennessee 4.50 103,918
6 Arkansas 4.25 66,033
7 South Carolina 4.00 78,467
8 Alabama 4.00 92,138
9 Kentucky 3.50 68,824
10 Ole Miss 3.25 49,704
11 Mississippi State 3.00 49,296
12 Vanderbilt 2.25 34,629

It would be nice to see a breakdown of LSU’s home edge during the day versus night.  And I guess those Tennessee fans need to work a little harder.  First in the conference in attendance (by a wide margin), but tied for fourth in home field edge isn’t that impressive.

At least Vandy’s number isn’t negative.


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football