Wednesday, December 21, 2011

strange avs trends

The Avs started 6-0 in road games. Since then, they are 0-8-1. Their last road win was October 22.

They started 1-5 in home games. Over their last six, they are 6-0. Their last home loss was November 28.

They are 6-0 in shootouts. Only one other team hasn't lost a shootout--the Red Wings are 1-0 in shootouts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

fantasy 2011 lessons

(since I'm writing this monday, season stats do not include week 15)

There are seven top QBs. We have 12 teams. 3 of the 4 playoff teams have one of the top seven.

Here's where they were drafted:

Rodgers - 409 - 4th overall
Brees - 353 - 13th overall
Brady - 340 - 11th overall
Newton - 323 - undrafted*
Stafford - 298 - 92th overall
Eli - 282 - 86th overall
Romo - 277 - 31st overall

*(Mac picked him before week 1 to be Bradford's backup. Newton had completed 42% of his preseason passes with a passer rating of 64.)

Not a big surprise that the two teams that got tremendous value at QB were the two best teams--Mac and Mark. And the team with Rodgers made the playoffs while the team with Brees was tied for second best record in the league, though missed the playoffs due to tiebreakers.

There are nine top RBs.

McCoy - 8th overall
Rice - 5th overall
Jones-Drew - 14th overall
Foster - 6th overall
Forte - 30th overall
Jackson - 67th overall
Peterson - 1st overall
Lynch - 81st overall
Sproles - 160th overall (and then dropped)

If you wonder how Cobb could draft Peyton Manning and make the playoffs, here's your answer. He had 3 of the top 6 running backs. Fred Jackson missed the last three games and he's still a top 6 back. Though unfortunately he lost Forte and Jackson before the playoffs. When Mac picked up Cam Newton, he dropped Sproles--probably should of dropped Thomas Jones instead.

8 top WRs:

Welker - 64th overall
Johnson - 20th overall
Cruz - (undrafted)*
Smith - 85th overall
Wallace - 29th overall
Jennings - 18th overall
Nelson - 119th overall
Fitzgerald - 22nd overall

*(picked up after getting two touchdowns in week 3. scored 2 points through the first two weeks)

This year more than others I can remember, the best players weren't drafted in the first rounds. Everyone had chances to grab these players.

- - -

It's amazing (as always) to look back at the first couple rounds and see the disappointments, some due to injury: Vick, Charles, Chris Johnson, Andre Johnson.

Should Orton be back next year?

A lot of Chiefs fans have had it with Cassel. And after seeing one game from Orton in red and gold, they're ready to proclaim him the QB of the future. But how does he stack up to Cassel?

Cassel played 10 games for the Chiefs this year.
Orton has played 1.

Orton's game had a better completion percentage, yards, yards/attempt, and passer rating than ANY of Cassel's 10 games. And compared to last year when Bowe was going off, and Cassel threw 27 TD, 7 INT, Cassel still never had that kind of completion percentage or yards/attempt more than twice in 16 games. In fact, if Orton had yesterday's stats for every game this year this would be his ranks in the NFL this year:

Yards: 5th
Rating: 4th
Yards/Attempt: 1st
Completion %: 1st

So certainly, by any measure, Orton had a terrific game yesterday.

- - -

But it was one game. How many times have you seen no-so-great quarterbacks have great games?

And it was against the Packers. Yes, they were undefeated. But their defense hasn't been that great this year. And they're still going to have home-field throughout. While I'm sure they would have liked to keep winning, this wasn't life or death for them.

- - -

If Orton could play like he did yesterday, everyday, then sure, we should bring him back because he'd be a top-3 NFL QB. But let's not assume, after one freaking game, that he can do that every week.

- - -

P.S. It's funny that it was Orton who I railed against in my first sort of NFL column from 2005. Although if you look at his stats, I don't think you can blame me. Amazing that the Bears went 11-5 with a QB averaging 51%, 116 yards, and a 59.7 rating. (This year, Josh Freeman is throwing 61%, 217 yards, and a 73.5 rating and the Bucs are 4-10.)

And it's just as amazing that the 2006 Bears went the Super Bowl with Grossman putting up these numbers. He had two games where he combined for 0 TD, 7 INT, a 5 passer rating, and 35% completion. And Chicago won both games.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

good day to be a chiefs fan

I don't know if it's possible (and I know this means that I'm sort of but not really rooting for the Raiders) but I would absolutely love for the Orton Chiefs to beat the Tebows on the last game of the year and knock them out of the playoffs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


So just yesterday I posted how I shouldn't get sucked into hoping the Avs make the playoffs this year. And then last night I turn on the Avs-Sharks game. I had to work around Harrison's nap schedule. So I got to see a little bit of the first and then all of the third.

Down 1 going into the last period, the Avs tie it up with a wraparound during 4 on 4 play with 13 minutes to go. I LOVE wraparounds. They never seem like they should work, but they're a thing of beauty when they do.

And then with 8 minutes to go, the Avs on the power play, move the puck from Elliot to O'Reilly to Hejduk to Duchene to the back of the net.

The Sharks pull their goalie. And then with only 30 seconds to go, the Avs McClement fans on clearing the puck and San Jose ties it up.

So now we're in OT and then a shootout.

Avs score first but only go 1/3. San Jose miss their first two. One save wins it. And the Sharks score.

Then the Avs miss. So the Avs need a save. And they get it.

Then the rookie (#2 overall pick) Landeskog scores for Colorado on his first career shootout attempt. And San Jose...hits the post.

Back and forth, and Colorado pulls out two points for the standings. Sure San Jose got one, but whatever.

Good times.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

i could've been a contender

So one thing that I thought about with the Chiefs over the last couple years, particularly in 2005 when they missed the playoffs at 10-6, and in 2006 and 2010 when they lost in the wild-card that it's not really enough to just make the playoffs--you need a Super Bowl contender.

Take the Raiders this year. They're only one game out of the division. But even if they won the division and hosted a playoff game...they're not winning the Super Bowl this year. So what's the point of getting all excited about making in to the playoffs? But then you have teams like the Packers who win the Super Bowl as the 6th seed and the Cardinals that win the World Series as a wild-card. So you have evidence that all you need to do is make into the playoffs and anything can happen.

So which is it?

- - -

What made me think of this? The Avs are currently 12th in the conference. They've played 30 games. If they had won 3 more, they'd be 8th in the conference and in the playoffs. So I've been eyeing that line and hoping they could win enough to get to that 8th spot. But should I be? Is getting in the playoffs with a mediocre team enough? Or to win a championship, do you have to have one of the best teams?

- - -

Going back for the last ten years, here are the regular season records for the Cup winners:

2011: Bruins (7th best record in NHL)
2010: Blackhawks (3rd)
2009: Penguins (8th)
2008: Red Wings (1st)
2007: Ducks (4th)
2006: Hurricanes (4th)
2004: Lightning (2nd)
2003: Devils (4th)
2002: Red Wings (1st)
2001: Avalanche (1st)

I think this is pretty revealing. For seven seasons, the Cup winner had a top-4 record in the league. Over the last three years, it's expanded, but not by much. The Bruins were a 3-seed and the Penguins were a 4-seed.

So in modern hockey, in a league where SIXTEEN teams get in the playoffs, you still have to be a top team to win it all. I suppose the 7-game series nature helps that quite a bit.

So what about other sports?


2010: Packers (8th best) [They were a 6-seed but 10-6, while the 4-seed Seahawks were 7-9.]
2009: Saints (2nd)
2008: Steelers (5th)
2007: Giants (8th)
2006: Colts (4th)
2005: Steelers (9th)
2004: Patriots (2nd)
2003: Patriots (1st)
2002: Bucs (3rd)
2001: Patriots (7th)

Considering only 12 teams make it in, the fact that 4 of the last 10 NFL Champions were 7th best or lower does suggest that the NFL playoffs are more wide open than the NHL playoffs. Though it should be noted when we've had 6-seed winners, they were still in the top 9 in the league.


2011: Cardinals (8th best)
2010: Giants (5th)
2009: Yankees (1st)
2008: Phillies (5th)
2007: Red Sox (2nd)
2006: Cardinals (13th) [Won a 6-team division with a 83-78 record. Only played 161 games due to a rainout that was never made up because it didn't matter.]
2005: White Sox (2nd)
2004: Red Sox (3rd)
2003: Marlins (7th)
2002: Angels (4th)

There's just as many winners from outside the top-4 teams as from the top-4. Considering only 8 teams get in, I'd say it's reasonable for a fan to just hope their team makes the postseason.


2011: Mavericks (5th)
2010: Lakers (2nd)
2009: Lakers (2nd)
2008: Celtics (1st)
2007: Spurs (5th)
2006: Heat (4th)
2005: Spurs (3rd)
2004: Pistons (6th)
2003: Spurs (1st)
2002: Lakers (3rd)

Much like the NHL, it's not enough to sneak into the playoffs. You need to be a top-5 team in the league during the regular season. So come the 2012 NBA playoffs, we should look at the top 5 teams and be able to cross off the other contenders.

Of note: The Cavs with and without LeBron. I didn't realize how good their regular season records were since they never won a title.

2009: 1st in the NBA
2010: 1st in the NBA
2011: 29th in the NBA

Also of note: From 1980-2010, there were 31 NBA Champions. They were distributed among 8 franchises: Lakers, Celtics, 76ers, Pistons, Bulls, Rockets, Spurs, Heat. The 2011 Mavericks make it 9 franchises out of 32 titles.

In other words, of all the NBA fans born since 1976, only one-third of them has seen their team win a championship. 

- - -

So to get back to the original question. The Avs currently have the 25th best record in the NHL. Right now the 8th seed in the West is the Sharks with the 14th best record. I guess I should stop hoping they sneak up to the 14th best record, and hope they rebuild enough to be a top-5 team.

Monday, December 12, 2011

if mcdaniels gets hired

...I don't know how to finish that sentence without my head exploding.

the haley era is over

Let's review:

He inherited a 2-14 team with Tyler Thigpen.

In 2009, in Matt Cassel's first year, the Chiefs finished 4-12.

In 2010, they finished 10-6, winning the division.

In 2011, Berry, Charles, Moeaki go down at the beginning of the season. Somehow they regroup and get to 4-4. Then Cassel goes on IR and in comes Palko, who doesn't even deserve to hold a clipboard in the NFL. Haley is fired at 5-8.

- - -

I'm not saying that Haley is a great coach. He may not have been good enough to coach the Chiefs to a Super Bowl. And it's certainly possible that Kansas City could hire someone better.

But I don't see how you can fire someone for that tenure. (Even without the injuries, the Chiefs probably only finish 8-8 this year. But it sure seems like Haley would still be the coach if it wasn't for all those ACL tears.)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

troy and abed in the christmas

avs win three in a row (then get blanked 6-0)

Good weekend for Avs hockey. After posting a 6-1 win, they come back against the Blues, almost win it in overtime (goal was reversed) and then win in the shootout, improving to 4-0 in shootouts this year.

And then two days later they beat the Red Wings. Even though the rivalry is really dead, based on ticket prices and fan reaction, Detroit is still the team that Colorado wants to beat the most.

Colorado came back again and won it with a one-timer in the third:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

NHL realignment: Playoff Problems

30 teams.

Currently in 6 even divisions. With wild card spots.

Next year in 4 uneven conferences. With possibly no wild-card spots?

The plan is for the top 4 teams in each conference to make the playoffs.
So half the teams will have a 50% chance of making the playoffs.
And the other half will have a 57% chance.

Okay, so I understand that it sucks to have teams like Columbus and Detroit playing a bunch of games on the West coast throughout the regular season. I don't have a beef with the schedule, though it does take rivalries like Avs-Red Wings down to 2 games a year (ie, Detroit plays only once in Denver.) Applies to Blackhawks-Canucks, Bruins-Flyers, etc.

But what is unacceptable is having unequal chances to make the playoffs. How to fix this?


Plan 0: The old system
Plan A: As proposed, top four from each conference
Plan B: Top three from each conference, with four wild cards - divisional playoffs
Plan C: Put a 7-team conference and an 8-team conference on one side of the bracket, top two from each conference, four wild-cards
Plan D: Contract two teams, get down to 7 teams in each conference and do the top four just fine.

Personally, I like wild-cards as it keeps interest in playoff races. Anyways, let's compare plans 0-C using last years records. I know that Plan D would work, but contracting two teams is it's own ball of wax.

Plan 0

Notes: The Rangers had the 18th best record but made the playoffs over Dallas and Calgary because the West was stronger this year.

Plan A

Conference A
1 Vancouver
4 Phoenix

2 San Jose
3 Anaheim

Conference B
1 Detroit
4 Dallas

2 Nashville
3 Chicago

Conference C
1 Boston
4 Buffalo

2 Tampa
3 Montreal

Conference D
1 Washington
4 NY Rangers

2 Philadelphia
3 Pittsburgh

Notes: Changes from Plan 0--LA with 98 points misses the playoffs, Dallas with 95 points makes them. All divisional playoffs for the first two rounds, every year.

Plan B

Conference A
1 Vancouver
4 Dallas (wild-card: Vancouver was #1 division winner, so they get Dallas the #4 wild-card)

2 San Jose
3 Anaheim

Conference B
1 Detroit
4 Los Angeles (wild-card: Detroit was #3 division winner, so they get LA the #2 wild-card)

2 Nashville
3 Chicago

Conference C
1 Boston
4 Phoenix (wild-card: Boston was #4 division winner, so they get Phoenix the #1 wild-card)

2 Tampa
3 Montreal

Conference D
1 Washington
4 Buffalo (wild-card: Washington was #2 division winner, so they get Buffalo the #3 wild-card)

2 Philadelphia
3 Pittsburgh

Notes: Top 16 teams in NHL made playoffs, even better than Plan 0. While fair, this creates playoffs that aren't close in travel.

Plan C

This is a pain in the ass only because they put the two 7-team conferences on the east coast. If Columbus was in Conference D (green on the map) it would be pretty simple.

I'll do it both ways to see what I mean.

Plan C.1 

Conference A +  D Bracket

1 Vancouver
8 Los Angeles

2 Washington
7 Phoenix

3 Philadelphia
6 Anaheim

4 Pittsburgh
5 San Jose

Conference B + C Bracket

1 Detroit
8 Dallas

2 Boston
7 Buffalo

3 Tampa
6 Montreal

4 Nashville
5 Chicago

As you can see the B/C bracket is easy. The A/D bracket sucks, east-west travel all over.
But if we swap Columbus to conference D...

Plan C.2

Conference A + B Bracket (West)

1 Vancouver
8 Chicago

2 San Jose
7 LA

3 Detroit
6 Phoenix

4 Anaheim
5 Nashville

Conference C + D Bracket

1 Washington
8 NY Rangers

2 Philly
7 Buffalo

3 Pitt
6 Montreal

4 Boston
5 Tampa

Would you look at that, it's virtually identical to Plan 0. We still don't get the top 16 teams in the league, but the travel is fine. It's the easy way to fix the regular season travel without affecting the playoffs. 


Plan 0: Has worked well for the playoffs. But it's going away.

Plan A: Unfair percentage wise. Negatively impacted 1 team in 2011. Could be fixed with a tweak that says a 5th place team in an 8-team C could take the spot of a 4th place team in a 7-team C. In this example, LA would have taken the Rangers spot to play Washington. But then that makes Washington one of the only teams travelling far and they had the 2nd best record.

Plan B: I prefer it to Plan A. I think the wild-card races create more interesting games in the last two months of the regular season, which is always important. And I don't mind forcing teams to travel in the playoffs, if it's been helped in the regular season. At least we get the top 16 teams in the NHL.

Plan C:
C.1 sucks.
C.2 is pretty darn good. Requires flipping a team like Columbus (though they are in the Eastern time zone and are relatively new, so I don't see the big deal) to an Eastern division. Fixes regular season travel and keeps the playoffs as they have been. Edit: It would also work to move Phoenix to Quebec and put them in Conference C.

Plan D:
Would be sweet. But isn't on the table right now.

Post Script

Plan A vs Plan 0 in modern history...

How unfair is Plan A? Since this is the proposed plan, I think it warrants a larger investigation.

Plan A in 2010

Colorado, with the 12th best record gets bumped for St. Louis at 15. Philly and Montreal still get in at 18 and 19.

Plan A in 2009

Carolina and the Rangers get bumped with the 11th and 12th best records for Florida and Buffalo at 14 and 18. Interestingly, Carolina and Rangers were teams 5 and 6 in a 7-team conference. So this isn't a product of 7 teams vs 8, this is just what happens because conferences are never perfectly balanced.

Plan A in 2008

Another strong year for 7-team conference D. Washington at #12 gets bumped for #20 Chicago in an 8-team conference.

Plan A in 2007

Here the Thrashers with the 12th best record get bumped for Toronto at 18. This was the case of a 5th team in an 8-team conf vs a 4th team.

Verdict on Plan A

In the last 5 seasons, 6 teams that made the playoffs would not have under the proposed new rules. All 6 would have been replaced with teams with worse records, as would always be the case.

Conferences with teams negatively affected
D: 3 times
A: 2 times
B: 1 time

Conferences with teams positively affected
C: 3 times
B: 3 times

In case you forgot, A & B have 8 teams. C & D have 7 teams. At least for the last five years, it's more about who's in your conference than how many teams. If you're in conference B or C, you should be pretty happy that 4 of your teams are getting in the playoffs. D or A, not so much.

Every year the 12th best team in the NHL doesn't make the playoffs. But it's plausible for Bettman to argue that the increased rivalries and decreased travel is worth that tradeoff.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Fighting Illini in the Fighting Hunger Bowl

72 of 120 FBS teams were bowl eligible.
35 bowl games means 70 bowl berths.

Western Kentucky and Ball State are not going bowling.

- - -

Illinois started 6-0. They finished 0-6. You know what that means....

Illinois went 2-6 in the Big Ten.

One of those wins was to Northwestern.
The other was to Indiana. They are 1 of 2 Big Ten teams that are not bowl eligible.
Which means we lost to a non-bowl eligible Big Ten team, Minnesota.

- - -

Here's how the Big Ten bowls shake out:

1. Rose - Wisconsin (1) vs Oregon
2. Sugar - Michigan (2) vs Virginia Tech
3. Capital One - Nebraska (4) vs South Carolina
4. Outback - Michigan State (3) vs Georgia
5. Gator - Ohio State (8-tie) vs Florida
6. Insight - Iowa (6) vs Oklahoma
7. Meineke of Texas - Northwestern (8-tie) vs Texas A&M
8. TicketCity - Penn State (5) vs Houston
9. Little Ceasars - Purdue (7) vs Western Michigan
10. Fight Hunger - Illinois (10) vs UCLA

In parens, I've ranked the teams within the conference. By BCS standings where applicable, and then by overall record and conference record.

Since bowls don't have to invite based on finish, we can piece together trends:

Nebraska is more appealing than Michigan State
Ohio State carries a lot of cachet.
2011's Penn State players got punished for something that had nothing to do with them.
No one wanted Illinois.

- - -

Back on October 3rd, I made my Big Ten Bowl predictions. ESPN had two analysts do the same.

Here's how I saw it:

1. Wisconsin (correct)
2. Michigan (correct)
3. Nebraska (correct)
4. Illinois (6 spots too high)
5. Iowa (1 spot too high-though Insight bowl was correct)
6. Michigan State (2 spots too low)
7. Penn State (1 spot too high-though Ticket City bowl was correct)
8. Ohio State (3 spots too low)

- - -

ESPN's Schlabach:

1. Wisconsin (correct)
2. Michigan (correct)
3. Illinois (7 spots too high)
4. Michigan State (correct)
5. Nebraska (2 spots too low)
6. Iowa (correct)
7. Ohio State (2 spots too low)
8. Penn State (correct)

ESPN's Edwards:

1. Wisconsin (correct)
2. Nebraska (1 spot too high)
3. Michigan (1 spot too low)
4. Illinois (6 spots too high)
5. Michigan State (1 spot too low)
6. Ohio State (1 spot too low)
7. Penn State (1 spot too high)
8. Iowa (2 spots too low)

To sum up, no one saw the Illinois collapse coming.

this game was not worth $94

Quarterback and Running Back have long been the most marquee positions.

The Chiefs and Bears started the season with Matt Cassel, Jay Cutler, Jamaal Charles, and Matt Forte respectively.

Sunday the crowd was witness to Tyler Palko, Caleb Hanie, Jackie Battle and Marion Barber.

- - -

Palko was replaced by Orton to start the second quarter. Orton was injured on the first play and Palko played the rest of the game.

- - -

On 4th and 1 from the Chiefs 4, Barber split out wide left and was not covered at all by the Chiefs. It was an easy throw to him wide open in the end zone. The touchdown didn't count because Barber wasn't on the line of scrimmage. 

- - -

In four games in November, the Chiefs scored one touchdown. Now they've scored two touchdowns in their last five games. The touchdown from Sunday: a 38-yard Hail Mary at the end of the first half. 

- - -

The Chiefs' season was already over. But Sunday's defeat and injury to Forte may have ended the Bears' season.


Following in the history of Anchorman, here's our friends as the cast of Community.

Jeff Winger: Savan
Britta Perry: Brit
Abed Nadir: Niraj
Troy Barnes: Dave
Annie Edison: Missy
Shirley Bennett: Nirali
Ben Chang: Kirat
Star-Burns: Eve
Magnitude: Katie
Pierce Hawthorne: Matt
Dean Pelton: Mark

Nirali: Once you make a boy pee his pants, you think about where your life is headed.

Nirali: Matt has got a girlfriend!
Brit: That’s great. What’s she do?
Matt: She’s an escort.
Nirali: Oh ...
Savan: Some mysteries solve themselves, don’t they?

Niraj: I hate when they finish each other's...
Dave: ... pies.

Mark: Add Eat, Pray, Love soundtrack to workout mix.

Katie: Pop-pop!

Matt: Brit, you're the selfless one in the group, right?
Brit: Wouldn't know, haven't thought about myself in years.

Missy: Accidents don't just happen over and over and over again. This isn't budget daycare.

Niraj: Savan, you’ll have to play the part of my dad.
Savan: I don’t wanna be your father.
Niraj: See? You already know your lines.

Mark: I hope you like getting balled.

yet another BCS mess: part two

All these years I've been pushing for a 8-team playoff. Even though it's the best solution, it's asking a few teams to play too many games.

So what would recent history look like if we had a four-team playoff (aka plus-one)?

#1 LSU 13-0 vs #4 Stanford 11-1
#2 Alabama 11-1 vs #3 Oklahoma State 11-1

Improvement over #1 vs #2?
A big yes. We can't agree on who should play LSU. Let them fight it out.

Any problems?
Not really fair that Stanford gets into the mix. Though impossible, best solution would be a Alabama-OkSt semifinal and give LSU a bye to the title game.

#1 Auburn 13-0 vs #4 Stanford 11-1
#2 Oregon 12-0 vs #3 TCU 12-0

Improvement over #1 vs #2?
Yes. TCU was undefeated and beat #5 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. They deserved a shot at the title.

Any problems?

#1 Alabama 13-0 vs #4 TCU 12-0
#2 Texas 13-0 vs #3 Cincinnati 12-0

Improvement over #1 vs #2?
A substantial yes. Four undefeated teams have a shot at the title instead of just two.

Any problems?
Still excludes an undefeated Boise State. Would need an 8-team playoff to fix that. 

#1 Oklahoma 12-1 vs #4 Alabama 12-1
#2 Florida 12-1 vs #3 Texas 11-1

Improvement over #1 vs #2?
No. Even though Florida beat Bama by 19 in the SEC title game, Alabama has just as good of a chance to win it all.

Any problems?
And this excludes a 12-0 Utah. They would go on to beat Alabama and deserved a title shot. Need an 8-team playoff.

#1 Ohio State 11-1 vs #4 Oklahoma 11-2
#2 LSU 11-2 vs #3 Virginia Tech 11-2

Improvement over #1 vs #2?
Not really. If you just look at the records, I suppose Oklahoma and Virginia Tech have just as much claim to the title game as LSU--though LSU's losses were both in triple overtime and Oklahoma and VaTech both lost their bowl games.

Any problems?
Just that there are ton of teams with 2 losses. An 8-team playoff would eliminate a lot of complaining.

- - -

Time to speed things up.

- - -

Improvement: No.
Problems: Still excludes undefeated Boise.

Improvement: Actually a downgrade. This is the one year we only had two worthy teams.

Improvement: HUGE yes. 13-0 Auburn gets into the mix.
Problems: Still excludes undefeated Boise.

- - -

There you go. The plus-one helps 4 out of the last 8 years.

The 8-team playoff is the perfect system...except for the amount of games. Sigh.

yet another BCS mess: part one

Every year, the number of college football teams that have a right to play for the championship is different. In 2009 it was five. In 2004, it was four or five. This year, it really seems like there's only one. Or three.

- - -

This problem doesn't happen in the NFL. There's 12 teams in the playoffs every year. Most years, there are good teams that get barely shut out, but that's life--if you wanted to make the playoffs you have to be not just good, but in the top 6 out of 15 teams in your conference. Some years, a not-so-good team makes it in. But if the Seahawks had won the Super Bowl, I don't think anyone would have said that the Saints or Packers really deserved to win.

My point is that every year the NFL has a set number of teams in the playoffs, and there's hardly any complaints about who is selected to the postseason.

- - -

Two years ago, I made the point that it's possible for the two best teams in the country to be in the same conference.

- - -

The reason we have computer rankings in the BCS is because after the AP poll in 1997 elevated Nebraska to National Champion, (conveniently in the year that Tom Osborne retired) the computers were seen as more trustworthy than human polls. This year, the computers favor Oklahoma State. The humans favor Alabama.

- - -

Here's the final case for teams to play LSU:

Pro: only loss was overtime loss to best team in the country
Con: not conference champion, already lost to LSU at HOME

Oklahoma State
Pro: conference champion, only loss was a fluke double overtime loss after a tragedy
Con: loss to a bad team

Moot because they have two losses

Moot because they lost to Oregon and not conference champions

Boise State
Moot because they lost their only real challenge, not conference champions

- - -

In the end, we have a two-team playoff. Regardless of whether Alabama or Ok St got picked, there would be a team left out.

- - -

I don't think it's fair to LSU, that they beat Alabama at Alabama, went to the SEC championship and won that, and now are on equal footing with Alabama. If Bama wins the title, they will still have a worse record than LSU (overall with a split head-to-head).

- - -

This is what we get:

#1 LSU vs #2 Alabama

This is what a 8-team playoff would look like:

This iteration is based on rankings, restricting each conference to maximum two teams, and including at least one non-BCS team if they are in the top 12.

January 1st, Sunday
Sugar: #1 LSU (SEC) vs #8 Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Orange: #2 Alabama (SEC #2) vs #7 Kansas State (Big-12 #2)
Fiesta: #3 Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs #6 Boise State (non-BCS)
Rose: #4 Stanford (Pac-12) vs #5 Oregon (Pac-12 #2)

This includes EVERY team with a viable claim. It rewards LSU and Alabama with easier first round games.

January 9th and 10th:
Semifinal #1: Sugar winner vs Rose winner (likely LSU vs Standford/Oregon)
Semifinal #2: Fiesta winner vs Orange winner (likely Alabama vs OkSt/BoiseSt)

If we assume that LSU rolls to the title, here's where we have the teams settle it on the field who deserves it.

January 17th, Tuesday: BCS Championship

Here's my only problem with this playoff. LSU has already played 13 games, including a conference championship. This would project them to play 16 games this season. The SEC isn't about to get rid of their conf. championship, so the best we could do would be to get SEC teams to play 11 games in the regular season. Even that is a stretch.

Here's what a plus-one would look like:

LSU vs Stanford
Alabama vs Oklahoma State

That pretty much says it all.

- - -

to be continued in a part two

my sleep last night

came in 6 chunks:

1 hour
2 hours
1.5 hours
1.25 hours
1.25 hours
30 minutes

Yep, Midnight to 7:30am, just how we drew it up. I feel like I could hit something with my car and and keep driving.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

I hope Georgia beats LSU

That way the National Championship would feature TWO teams from the same conference--and neither one would be the conference winner.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

burgundy and blue

I don't know what it is, but I'm enjoying this 11-13-1 Avs season like they're still in first place.

I suppose it's better than the Chiefs miserable season and the Illini 2-6 Big Ten record.

Anyways, here's a sweet highlight from a couple weeks ago.

And here's a beauty of a shorthanded goal from last night's 6-1 win.

Maybe I just like the Avs so much because I know Mark hates them.