Daily Archives: July 11, 2013

The science behind whining

Doctors say Bielema and Saban could… maybe… possibly have a point about the physical risks of no-huddle offenses.

In related news, playing football can be hazardous to a player’s health.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple

Big fish, small pond syndrome

You know who the BCS has been better for, relatively speaking?  Mid-major schools who spent lots of money.

The model reveals that selection to play in a “major bowl” is more likely for teams that spend more, have higher attendance and have participated in more bowls in past seasons.  The most dramatic finding from the analysis is the significance and direction of the AQ term.  We find that when we control for the other team characteristics, that AQ conference membership reduces teams’ post season opportunities. The model’s implications are best illustrated graphically.  The figure below shows the relationship between expenditures and major bowl participation for an artificial AQ and Non-AQ school.  The figures are for a school that has participated in 12 minor bowls, 4 major bowls, has won a single national championship and has average attendance of 60,000.  The vertical axis is the probability of a team being selected for a BCS bowl and the horizontal axis is the team’s football expenditures relative to the average expenditures of FBS teams.

For the Non-AQ school, the probability of achieving a major bowl is given for expenditure levels ranging from 50% to 150% of the overall FBS.  For the AQ schools, we plot the probabilities for expenditures ranging from 100% of the average to 250%. When expenditures are controlled for, the probability of playing in a major bowl is significantly greater for Non-AQ schools.  At a spending level equal to the overall FBS average, the model predicts the Non-AQ school has a 14.4% chance at a major bowl, versus just 5% for the AQ school. When a non-AQ spends 150% (think TCU) of the average the probability of a major bowl is about 27%.  For the AQ school this level of spending yields a probability of just 12%.

TCU and Utah have moved up in class, while Boise State has elected to stay in a mid-major conference.  As the author notes, that leads down two very different paths.

… The preceding analysis of the BCS system highlights another aspect of realignment: the consequences for fans versus the incentives of athletic programs.  The cases of TCU and Utah provide examples of non-AQ schools trading off wins for the financial rewards of joining an AQ conference.  The University of Missouri shows how finances can even work across the big 6 conferences.  Missouri football was a competitive Big Twelve program winning 10 or more games 3 times from 2007 to 2011 (and 8 wins the other two years).  In their first year in the SEC, the Tigers went 5-7 and ended their 7 year streak of playing in bowl games.  While the SEC does have a richer set of contracts in place, it also seems likely that Missouri will struggle to be competitive.  The question for fans and for athletic departments is the tradeoff between winning and revenue.  At this stage it doesn’t appear (with the possible exception of Boise State) that winning is viewed as anywhere near as important as money.

True ‘dat.


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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

“I had been through hell with gasoline drawers on…”

Pulpwood – the actual Andre Smith, that is – speaks to Patrick Garbin about his life’s ups and downs.  And if the quote in the header is any indication, it sounds like a helluva conversation.


Filed under Georgia Football

Murray has his moments.

Aaron Murray’s third-quarter numbers last season were astounding:  76-117 (65% completion rate), 1233 yards (10.54 ypa), 14 TDs, 1 INT.  All of which adds up to a 191.26 passer rating.  It’s pretty obvious that once he gets in a groove, he’s tough to stop.  He’s just got to find that point earlier on this year.

By the way, if you’re impressed with those numbers, have a look at what Murray did inside the Georgia 20.  I wonder if there was another quarterback in the country who completed more than 84% (!) of his pass attempts and put up a 214+ passer rating in that part of the field.  (McCarron didn’t, in case you’re wondering.)  I don’t know if that level of success was due to playcalling, increased focus, or what.  But it sure would be nice if they could figure that out and clone it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The writing on the wall

Thought this was an interesting quote from newly minted Georgia commit Jacob Park:

Wait a minute. You almost committed to Auburn? “Actually, on my birthday (Oct. 12), I was going to commit. Then Coach Loeffler kind of said under his hat that some things might be happening. ‘I don’t know if you want to commit right now.’ I was also hearing from my coach and all over the media that something was about to happen at Auburn. I held off from committing, and I’m glad I did.”

Dead coaches walking.  No wonder the Tigers were flat as a pancake in the second half of last season.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

“You almost forget the score.”

Paul Myerberg’s Auburn preview gives me an excuse…

Auburn’s magic number is 30 – as in points per game. The Tigers have won 77 games in a row when scoring 30 or more points, a streak that dates back to a 56-49 loss to Georgia on Oct. 16, 1996.

… to post one of my favorite clips.

Hines kept ’em alive in regulation and Edwards dominated in the overtime.  What a freakin’ game.

And the clip has Munson doing his thing, with a nervous Dooley hovering in the background.  Enjoy.


Filed under Georgia Football