Daily Archives: December 9, 2009

I think they’re all bozos on that bus.

I really should start a contest for which person in the BCS/playoff debate says the dumbest things.  I confess that my money right now would be on Joe Barton, but I have to admit that it looks like BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock intends to give Barton a run for his money.

… Bill Hancock, on CBS College Sports Network Tuesday, suggested a college football playoff is simply too complex an idea for universities: “In reality it’s very difficult if not impossible. Who plays? Where do you play? When do you play? And what’s to be gained by it?”

Dooooode.  Those schools you’re referring to have basketball, baseball, gymnastic, golf – you name it  – programs.  Some of those schools even play in conferences that host football championship games which are… two team playoffs.  Trust me, somebody in each school’s athletic department figured out a long time ago how to manage with a playoff.

The man’s obviously an idiot.  But the bigger idiots are the guys who thought it was a swell idea to hire Hancock and Fleischer to represent them.



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

This changes everything.

Joe Barton’s BCS-you-can’t-call-it-a-title-game bill moves out of his subcommittee.


UPDATE: The BCS is doomed, Andy Staples tells ‘ya.  Why?  Because a lawyer representing the Mountain West and Boise State says so.  Oh.


UPDATE #2: Ray Ratto’s take on the situation is spot on, though.

… What we want, essentially, is to know how much money has been generated from all sources, and how and to whom it has been distributed. We want to know how much money the TV smart folks project a playoff system would generate, and how many schools would benefit from that system.

What we suspect is that the bowl system makes more money, but it is distributed to more schools, which means that the shares for the largest schools and conferences are smaller. What we suspect is that the playoff system would hasten the reduction of the FCS (big-time) football conferences to six — the ACC, Big 12, Big 10, Big East, Pacific 10 and SEC. What we suspect is that the conferences would then re-align to cherry-pick the few strong schools from outside the circle and perhaps eject some of the weaker operations inside it.

But “we suspect” is a pretty thin reed to swing from. What we need out of the BCS Bill is not necessarily a bill, because the laws of unintended consequences come into play when we don’t know what’s being voted on. What we need is the hard and real information, as opposed to the “I want a playoff because my school got screwed” crowd or the “I want the BCS because my school didn’t get screwed” crowd.

The bill would still be stupid because it eats up finite time and resources on something that is essentially trivial, and it would be stupid because it would further convince people who don’t love college football that our politicians really are the intellectual lightweights and dilettantes we suspect them to be.

It could, though, provide the actual working data upon which we can all draw and make actual learned judgments on that trivial issue. We could see why people perceive a value in the BCS that its opponents do not. We could actually learn something.

If this political farce leads to a consolidation of D-1 power conferences and teams, then in the end Joe Barton will have done the Republic a favor. Although it won’t be the one he intended. Which will make it even better.
UPDATE #3: Tony Barnhart makes an amusing point at Barton’s expense.

… And by the way, if I live in the district of Texas Republican Joe Barton, I have to wonder what he is doing with his time. In sponsoring the legislation, Barton said: “It’s December and the BCS is in chaos again!” Really? Alabama and TEXAS are playing for the BCS title. Is old Joe saying TCU should have been in the game?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

Since I’m stirring the pot anyway…

on the subject of playoffs, let me toss out a couple of thoughts I’ve had this morning about a four-team postseason in the context of 2009.

  • Mike Slive’s “plus one”. I’ve got a real simple question here:  has anybody thought about the pressure that would have been brought to bear to include Florida in the top four of the final regular season BCS rankings if that meant playing in a national semi-final championship game?  (Which really means the pressure brought on the human voters in the polls, of course.)  It would have been insane.
  • BCS Guru’s “Playoff that works”. I posted favorably about his proposed format back in the spring.  If it were in effect, we’d be preparing to watch Alabama host TCU and Texas host Cincinnati this weekend, with the winners playing in the national title game and the losers playing in BCS games in the first week of January.  How much happier would you be with that?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The gap between Colt McCoy and Reggie Ball is smaller than we thought.

The Texas quarterback confesses that he didn’t know the rule on clock stoppage for a pass thrown out of bounds.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

It’s a basketball conference, don’t forget.

Here’s a helluva compare-and-contrast for you.

SECCG broadcast numbers:

The SEC Championship Game was the “cherry on top” of an impressive ratings year for the SEC on CBS, Sports Media Watch writes, providing the ratings numbers for Alabama’s victory over Florida: a “massive” 11.8/24 overnight rating on Saturday, “up 13 percent from a 10.4/21 for last year’s SEC title game between the same two teams. The 11.8 overnight is the highest ever for the SEC Championship Game, topping the previous record set last year, and marks the highest overnight for any non-Bowl college football game since Michigan/Ohio St. in ‘06 (13.7/28). Additionally, the 11.8 is the highest overnight for a regular-season college football game on CBS since Notre Dame/Miami in ‘89 (14.6).

ACCCG broadcast numbers:

… Georgia Tech’s victory over Clemson drew a mere 1.9 overnight rating on ESPN Saturday night, down 35% from a 2.9 for last year’s Virginia Tech/Boston College game, and down 55% from a 4.2 for Virginia Tech/Boston College in ’07. Both of those games aired on Saturday afternoons on ABC.

The 1.9 overnight rating is the lowest in the five-year history of the ACC Championship Game, the second straight year the game has drawn a record low.

Head-to-head, the ACC Championship Game was outdrawn by 300% by the Big 12 Championship Game on ABC (7.6 to 1.9).

Those are, like, Mountain West numbers, people.  On a Thursday night in October.  Ouch.


Filed under ACC Football, SEC Football

Joe Cox and what could have been

When the dust settles on this very disappointing season and we’ve all had some time to absorb and reflect on things, I believe the key factor we’ll wind up pointing to is turnover margin.

As David Hale demonstrated in this excellent post, Georgia’s TO margin in 2009 is bad.  Epicly bad, as he wrote.  As you can see from his charts, it’s almost impossible for a program to wind up with a winning record when its propensity for giving up the ball is in the territory Georgia occupies this year.  That 7-5 record seems even more remarkable when you consider the quality of Georgia’s 2009 strength of schedule.

And here’s some more food for thought to chew on over this winter – a statistical breakdown of the SEC’s top nine starting quarterbacks (based on yardage) in conference games over at MrSEC.com.  Take a look at how Joe Cox shapes up in that group:


Quarterback School C-A-I Yards TD Pct. YPPA
R. Mallett Ark 139-272-5 2189 16 51.1 8.04
S. Garcia SC 167-305-7 2105 11 54.7 6.90
J. Cox Ga 130-215-11 1806 17 60.4 8.40
J. Crompton Tenn 137-243-6 1686 14 56.4 6.93
J. Snead Miss 119-227-15 1605 10 52.4 7.07
G. McElroy Ala 128-216-3 1484 11 59.2 6.87
J. Jefferson LSU 131-211-4 1464 9 62.1 6.93
T. Tebow Fla 103-159-4 1305 7 64.7 8.25
C. Todd Aub 109-196-5 1292 6 55.6 6.59

As Pennington notes:

* If you take away his interceptions — and you can’t — Georgia’s Cox had one of the best seasons in the SEC.  His YPPA was the best in the league (aided by AJ Green) and his completion percentage was very good.  Ironically, it seems that when Cox would miss, he would miss right into the arms of an opposing defensive back.  But his season from a purely statistical standpoint was actually a pretty good one.

If by “pretty good” he means stellar as to completion percentage (3rd), passing yardage (3rd), touchdowns (1st) and yards per attempt (1st) and abysmal with regard to interceptions (8th), he’s right.

Again, at the time I read this quote from Mark Richt,

“I think that as I look back I’ve never had a season where the turnover ration was just so poor,” Richt said. “I think if you just take that one thing and make it just break even, we’d probably win two or three more games without changing one thing. But you can’t do that, and there’s definitely some things we need to correct…”

I took it as little more than wistful excuse making, but the more you look at the team’s statistics, the more credible that observation is.  If nothing else, it ought to be a top priority for the next defensive coordinator in Athens.  As well as for the next starting quarterback.

Next year’s mantra:  regression to the mean, baby!  It may not be as catchy as “Finish the Drill”, but it’s got potential.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Kiffin watch: “You don’t want to go to a college where they ain’t pretty.”

To absolutely no one’s surprise, the NCAA is digging into some of Tennessee’s recruiting tactics, per the New York Times.

All you “it’s part of the plan” believers should appreciate this:

… Kiffin’s numerous secondary N.C.A.A. violations could be a factor or might have prompted the investigation.

“Secondaries mean something to the N.C.A.A.,” Evrard said in a telephone interview. “It’s very telling if an institution continues to report secondaries particularly if they’re in the same category. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and keep reporting it, that would trigger the N.C.A.A.’s enforcement staff to possibly go in and look at some of that activity.”


UPDATE: 2,300+ words about why there’s nothing to this story, followed by an update to an official comment from the school that includes this statement:  “We are concerned about the alleged activities of some members of the Orange Pride. Both university and NCAA guidelines are a part of the Orange Pride’s orientation and training. If those guidelines were violated, we will take appropriate action.”

God, I love Clay Travis.  If there’s a press conference one day, maybe he’ll get the chance to ask if these girls are saving themselves for marriage.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting, The NCAA