Estrada's picture


Lookin' California, Feelin' Midwestern

Member since 30 August 2010 | Blog

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Comment 24 Oct 2014

Though we should really strike the Nebraska game during his freshman year from his losses.  I mean, we can't since he was the starter, but that game was in the bag until Brax went down and Bauserman aided Nebraska's largest comeback victory ever.

Comment 24 Oct 2014

People say that, but all of us from that small town (Orrville) didn't think he had the chops to play QB at OSU.

He's a nice kid and had a good arm, but that state championship was largely won in spite of him rather than because of him.  The running back/DB on that team also won the 100 M dash that year and was 2nd or 3rd the year before (he won the 110 M hurdles one of those years as well); that kid could flat out ball.  There were a number of other kids on the O and D that played college ball at smaller schools (e.g. Youngstown St., Mt. Union, etc.).  Quite simply, it was far from a 1 man team, and there were a number of games where they had to overcome costly turnovers thrown by an easily rattled QB (to be fair he was a freshman).

Comment 20 Oct 2014

Absolutely people want polls and topics to discuss (or shout mindlessly into their series of internet tubes about).  And I'm fine with preseason and early season polls existing, if they didn't matter or influence polls that actually matter.  But they do.  It's not going to change, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

And you're also right that things tend to work themselves out by the end of the season for the most part; I think that goes back to my sample size comment.  Our sample size will always suck, but obviously an n of 12 is much better than an n of 3, or an n of 1, or an n of 0.  So as a result, you tend to have a better of idea where teams fall, at least in a general grouping sense (e.g. teams A - E are the next 5 best teams). But the devil is in the details, and seemingly small ranking differences due to some early poll bias could potentially have much larger implications now that we have a playoff.  Though even without that, that preseason bias could muck up a few minor things come season's end.  And that's a shame, because what we think we know about a team before we've actually seen them play a game shouldn't have any influence on how we view them at or near the end of the season.  I know as humans it will be difficult for any of us to check our expectations and/or biases about a team at the door, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to do so (even if in vain).

Comment 20 Oct 2014

You know what, you do have some valid points.

Here's what it is for me: we just don't really have enough data to know where most teams really stand.  Part of that will always be the case in CFB as there are 120+ teams and only a VERY limited number of games played by each team.  The fact that there isn't all that much cross-over between leagues further compounds this problem (even the teams that do a nice job of trying to have a good out of conference schedule will only play 2 or 3 half decent teams from a P5 conference, at the most).  So our sample size will always suck.

But on top of that, preseason rankings bias everything way more than it should.  An easy example from this season is Wisconsin vs LSU.  Both top 15 teams when they met.  Close game that sees Wisconsin supposedly piss down their leg and lose (or the Hat pull another win out of his magic grass filled hat, if that's your fancy).  So LSU moves up because they beat the #14 (preseason) team.  But it turns out Wisconsin is 1-dimensional and probably not that good this year (their running game is nice, but aside from that their D is OK, while their passing game will make you claw your eyes out rather than watch it).  So is that really a good win for LSU?  Should they really have been a top 10 team when Miss St. played them?

The answer is I don't really know.  But in all reality, it's probably a no to both questions.  

What I do know is that we shouldn't rank teams until about the 4th or 5th week to eliminate any bias of what people project about a particular team.

I certainly think that's where some of the backlash against the SEC is coming from; having so many teams that likely didn't deserve their preseason ranking (e.g. USC, LSU, Mizzou).  The catch is, no one deserves their preseason ranking because preseason ranking is a stupid endeavor that only biases people to those irrelevant thoughts about how good a team should be, which often reverberates through the season.  

But those early rankings can color the rest of the season.  TAMU has 1 "good" win over USC (the same team that beat Georgia and ECU, but also lost to Mizzou and UK; talk about a schizophrenic team), and another over Arkansas (who knows what to think of them).  Then 3 "good" loses (whatever that means, particularly when they weren't all that competitive in any of them, especially against the Tide).  So how good is TAMU then?  Ignore rankings and really try to parse that out--when you do that, it all becomes a big mess.  A wonderful, beautiful mess that is the college football regular season.

TL;DR: Preseason ranking is bullshit and needs to go away.

Comment 12 Oct 2014

Exactly.  While the tidbit that's been making the rounds about Miss St. beating 3 top 10 opponents in 3 weeks, 2 of those were LSU (now unranked) and TAMU (who as you mentioned was ranked so high based on 1 win).  So while they were nice wins, they shouldn't really be thought of amongst historically great accomplishments.  LSU beat a 1-dimensional Wisconsin team to earn it's top 10 billing (the same Wisconsin team that lost to Northwestern, and only beat Illinois by 10).  While TAMU waxed a mediocre South Carolina team (the same team that lost to Mizzou and Kentucky) to earn it's top 10 spot.

Both LSU and TAMU are young and talented teams, but neither looks consistent enough to ever sniff the top 10 this year (honestly, LSU will be lucky to finish in the top 25 this year, let alone the top 10).

Comment 21 Sep 2014

Darrell Hazell had 1 year of head coaching experience, and finished with a 5-7 record.  Why is he the head coach at Purdue?

Hazell actually coached 2 years at Kent State, and his second year they finished 11-3, won the MAC East, and made it to a bowl game.  This was one of the most successful seasons Kent State has ever had in their entire history.  That's why he was hired by Purdue.  It may not have been a good hire, but the rationale is much better when you realize that he coached for 2 years at KSU and what he was able to do in year 2.

Comment 19 Sep 2014

If I recall correctly, he was disappointing across the board in the offseason (and I think lack of effort was often cited, sort of a catch-all).  Hopefully this year serves as a wake up call so he works hard to improve the obvious talent he possesses.

Comment 31 Aug 2014

I think "Looking Down the Barrel" would perhaps be the more appropriate choice for that school up north...

Comment 19 Aug 2014

These are my thoughts as well.

The Buckeyes will be alright, and this season will still be fun to watch as we still have shitpiles of talent at every position (including QB).

That said, this is not the way Braxton deserved to end his OSU career.  He's a great kid and I hope he is able to heal up and get a real shot at making bank in the NFL (and tearing it up at that level).

Comment 10 Jul 2014

Hey, I too was born on July 10th.  Happy Birthday Phillips.449!  Happy Birthday UFM!  And Happy Birthday to me!

Also, we share this birthday with Sofia Vergara, Nikola Tesla, Adolphus Busch, and a host of other interesting folks…pretty decent company.

Comment 19 Jun 2014

I don't want to wade too deeply into this firestorm, I just want to correct you on a couple things.


This isn't unlike grad students who work in research labs or for professors doing research for papers.  In the case of the former, the lab gets multi-billion dollar grants from the government.  In the latter case, the professors are paid six figure salaries.  In both cases, the students get a "free" education and little else. 


Per the NIH (National Institutes of Health), which is the largest source of government money pouring into high level biomedical labs, OSU has brought in $67,957,973 in grant money for 2014 thus far, and brought in $131,126,886 during 2013.  OSU brought in $48,862,000 during 2013 from the NSF (National Science Foundation), which is the other large funding source (DARPA and others can and do award research grants, but on a national scale they distribute much less to universities than the NIH or NSF).  So in total, from the two primary funding agencies OSU brought in a under $200 million during 2013, as a point of reference.

The point of that data is that no individual lab will ever receive anything remotely close to multi-billion dollars worth of funding.  The very best labs in the nation can, and do, pull in multi-million dollars worth of grant funding (though they are an increasingly rare beast these days).

This may seem like a minor point, but if you're going to have an argument, one might as well utilize the available data (all of those figures can be found through the respective NIH and NSF reporter sites).


Also, at least within the biomedical sciences, graduate students also receive a stipend on top of free tuition.  For example if you are accepted into OSU's Biochemistry PhD program, in addition to garnering a free education you will also be paid a yearly stipend of $26,502 (which you can find on their website's FAQs).


I doubt any of this information changes the thesis of your argument, but coming from this arm of academia I just want to make sure that when people toss these examples out that they're tossing out accurate information.  So, grad students who work in biomedical labs are going to school for free and being paid a modest stipend for their efforts.

Comment 10 Mar 2014

Johnny McGee (Iowa Central JC),


I remember he was pretty heavily recruited by Dan Gable (McGee was my age and my school went to a number of tournaments Coventry did), but McGee didn't have the grades and didn't want to work that hard (I believe he told my teammate that "they work too hard" at Iowa).

That kid was probably the best natural wrestler I've ever seen.  He may even be the best natural wrestler on your list (which is incredible), unfortunately he's quite likely the laziest in the wrestling room of all of the guys on your list (and probably by a rather wide margin).  What an incredible waste of talent...


To add to Scarlet's point, you have to remember that OSU is not the big dog in the B1G when it comes to wrestling.  So it will take some time to continue to attract the best Ohio HS talent to the Buckeyes.

Also, I believe Gable won 25 straight B1G wrestling titles, so you're at least 5 off on your estimate Jason.

Comment 07 Mar 2014

Thanks for the run-down Curt!

I know it's been said by a lot of other people many times before, but if we could keep the best Ohio HS wrestling talent in Ohio (e.g. Taylor), the wrestling buckeyes would be nearly unstoppable.  Obviously it's much easier said than done and probably not even remotely realistic, but a man can dream...

Comment 27 Feb 2014

Is it really fair to use the phrase "strike out" in regards to our current QB roster?  While JT and Collier weren't at the very top of the staff's want list for that position (for their respective recruiting cycles), that doesn't mean either or both couldn't become a difference maker at the QB position.  The truth is we have little idea how boom or bust either of those kids could be, and we won't know for a little while longer.  

This isn't to say that the staff shouldn't be looking for the next big thing at the QB position each and every year (given the uncertainty and volatility of recruiting), just that we can't really know whether a particular year was a hit or miss until a little while later.

Comment 16 Jan 2014

Undergraduates, like almost every student-athelete, do not receive stipends, though.


No, but in reality undergraduates generate very little useful scientific data on their own.  Without graduate students there, most of their experiments wouldn't be completed because they would never have received the appropriate training and usually lack the free time to complete all of the minutiae in a timely manner (usually due to time constraints imposed by class).  It is typically grad students or post-docs who do the hands-on training, as the faculty member running the lab usually doesn't have time to teach someone how to do the bench work (at least in biomedical sciences; their time is completely occupied with all of the other tasks required to keep the lab up and running).

So in the end, it's another comparison that doesn't quite work--which isn't all that surprising as collegiate athletics is a unique beast unto itself.

Comment 16 Jan 2014

So the student working in all the college labs all over the country don't generate any type of revenue for the universities?  Think you need to educate yourself on that one.


If you're referring to graduate students (who in combination with post-doctoral researchers, do the lion's share of data generation for all of the sciences), then you may be surprised to find that in addition to free tuition that they also receive a modest stipend.  So while graduate students in scientific disciplines do generate a great deal of revenue for the university (sometimes directly when they actually write and apply for funding, or indirectly when the data they've collected provides the impetus and support for a funded grant proposal penned by their faculty advisor), they also go to school for free AND get paid to do so (it depends on the specific department, but the salary is usually in the neighborhood of $25k).

Comment 08 Jan 2014

Well thanks for bringing my disappointment and sadness back to the forefront, Ramzy.  This handful of prozac is on you buddy!

(no I'm not actually gulping pills in response to a nicely written article, don't worry internet)