The rumor that I've heard with regards to the Maryland job, is they wanted a young 'offensive' minded coach, so this would be interesting. Either way, TUN losing a great coordinator one year into Harbaugh's tenure would be great.
hate trying to pick against a point spread. I'm much better straight up. I give up on the PAC 12 - there is something about that conference that defies advanced analytics. Maybe it's all the legal marijuana.
You may be onto something there..
Whelp. Last weekend sucked.
Yep. It wouldn't have sucked so bad, if I had left watching that game thinking, "well, we played well but just got beat by the better team." Instead, we played horribly (playcalling AND execution). Oh well. Move on boys. It happens, but it's all about that E + R = O
I did expect a bigger drop on our part, but as mentioned, I think the defense is carrying us strong. Man, OU reminds me a lot of us last year. One of the top offenses, combined with a strong defense, and a team that had a puzzling loss followed by strong play to finish the season. Not to mention they started at 15 in the initial rankings (we were 16). If Mayfield is healthy and plays on Saturday, I expect them to control that game and win fairly comfortably, but it is a rivalry game and we know how those can go.
I've been back and forth for a few weeks with one of my best friends who is a Lieutenant in the Navy about the Houston game coming up. I was originally of the thought that he shouldn't bet against Herman, but the direction those two teams have gone in the past few weeks makes me want to take Navy. Houston is favored by 1, but it's in Houston which basically means Navy probably would have the edge on a neutral field.
I was obviously 2-3 last week as well, since I was with you on all those picks. On the top 25 picks this week, there are some really tough matchups to try and call, but at the end of the day I would agree with all of your picks. I guess I would go with Stanford at home, but that's a tough game to have much confidence with. Same for Baylor, Ole Miss, and FSU. I'm leaning towards those as well, but they are all on the road and the latter two are rivalry matchups where pretty much anything can happen. The spreads say as much too. Already mentioned OU earlier, so that just leaves The Game..
It's really hard to tell how 18-22 year-old kids will respond to an emotional loss like they just went through. It's even harder, when your next opponent is your arch-rival and you are playing them in their house, where they should be fired up playing under the guidance of a certified crazy coach. I'm picking the good guys, but like the Stanford pick, I'm not doing it with much confidence. 27-24. We get the late FG to win it this time around.
I've been saying it for weeks, and this is my last week to get it right. I'm taking Nebraska to upset Iowa, although Vegas wouldn't consider it much of an upset (Iowa -1.5), since on a neutral field they might even have Nebraska favored. Iowa and Nebraska are 29 and 50 in the S&P+, respectively, and in Second order wins this is more of a matchup of a 9-2 Iowa versus a 6-5 Nebraska. The home team is playing for a bowl game (although they might end up in one at 5-7, which is stupid).
Other upsets? Hard to find one, but I do think UNC should be on even higher alert than they were last week going to OT at VaTech. It's hard to find a scenario where Clemson or Bama fall in their rivalry games, but I'll say it again "anything can happen in those games."
The upset that Buckeye Nation wants and needs the most is tough to see happening. Vegas doesn't have a line on the MSU/PSU game as of now, and I assume it's because of the cloudy status of Connor Cook. I would imagine a healthy Cook would give them a 6-8 pt advantage, and without him it would be closer to a Pick 'em game. I'm guessing he doesn't play, but even if he does, I don't know how healthy and effective he can be. If PSU controls the clock with the rushing game and their defense makes a few plays, anything can happen.
Thanks for the link, as I had no idea. Voted.
After a 10 game slate in which Virginia Tech, Indiana and Minnesota served as the most formidable foes
Take that Penn St! Indiana and Minnesota are more formidable than you!
They are also betting on every single game. I'm sure as a gambler, you could choose to not bet on some games that are closer/tougher to call or have more risk tied to them, and bet on the ones that seem like better bets (using the model) and potentially have a better payoff. I'm not much of a sports betting gambler, so I wouldn't know all the specifics.
It's genuinely alien to me that, after two losses, now Les Miles is a credible threat to be fired.
FWIW, I have quite a few friends that are LSU fans. Their basic gripe is what we as Buckeyes had in the mid-to-late 90s under Cooper. Miles can't beat Alabama. Starting with Saban's second season at Bama, it's 7-2 in favor of Bama. We let Cooper go 2-10-1 before he was relieved, but I can understand their frustration with seemingly always losing the same game against your rival every year.
Guys, I think I got it. He fainted briefly after seeing this:
Sean Nuernberger drilled a 57-yard field goal in practice on Wednesday.
If we are all being honest with ourselves, the lunatic fringe of Ohio State fans is as bad or worse than other fan bases. That being said, he is a proud Ohio State fan/alum/former player, so he deals with that fringe all too often.
Look, if I was in his shoes I would defend myself to the uniformed that spew hate and trash at me as well. Not because I'm thin skinned, but more so because I can be very opinionated (which is what he's paid to do - have opinions).
So it looks like over at SBnation they have been doing picks against the spread using S&P+ all season. Here is their current picks for this week. Looks like overall they are 296-279-7 (51%) on the season. If you could go to Vegas and win 51% of the time, that would be a good thing.
They are giving us an 80% chance at victory, and a margin of 14.4 pts (basically, pick the Buckeyes to cover the 13-point spread).
Broached about the idea that conference championships mean more in the Playoff era, Meyer said "I don't know. We're just focused on having a good Thursday practice."
It would be a bold strategy, and one I fully support, but it's just not going to happen. If it does, color me impressed, committee.
Interestingly enough, Navy, a team we mentioned earlier has a positive 1.9 there. BC. So basically they are more of a 5-5 team instead of 3-7. Maybe this week is where that turns around!
Another interesting aspect of these rankings as the season goes on and there is more relevant data to input into their models, is within the S&P+ ratings there is a concept called Second-Order Wins. Kind of hard to describe exactly what it tells without reading the whole thing, but basically the shortest possible sentence that I think sums it up:
the short version: look at points/runs scored and allowed, apply an exponent, and produce a team's most likely win percentage
So if a team has a negative number of Second-Order Wins, that team is probably getting a little lucky and that luck is likely to run out/even out over time. On the other side, if it is positive, then you are likely getting a little unlucky with results of games and that will likely run out/even out over time.
My interesting observations are a few teams that are negative (record is maybe better than the team actually is):
-Biggest one is Northwestern at -2.6 (essentially they should be a 5 or 6 win team instead of an 8 win team).
-Iowa at -2.1 (probably more like an 8 win team instead of a 10 win team).
-Mich St at -1.6 (more like a 7 or 8 win team instead of 9).
-OkSt at -1.5 (more like a 8 or 9 win team instead of 10).
Finally, Clemson at -1 (more like a 9 win team instead of 10)
And the Big 12 is already there, so really starting next year the only ones who won't be are the SEC and ACC.
I also believe that the playoff committee is pro-conference.
Agreed, and one of the criteria to account for is conference championships. If ND wants to affiliate themselves with the ACC to some degree, then it will have to be accepted that they didn't win their conference, and in fact lost to the conference champ.
who really wants to see a potential ND-Clemson rematch?
Only ND fans. Clemson doesn't want it again. Neither does anyone else. It's like the Bama/LSU scenario a few years back. LSU fans didn't want it, and neither did anyone outside of the SEC.
I wonder if the committee will account for 'recent' rematches when seeding the final four if it includes us and Bama. Would they try to put us in opposite semifinal games to avoid a rematch of last year's semifinal game?
BC just has zero offense. If the sun shines at least once on a dog's ass, just maybe this Saturday will be the day.
That's exactly what I'm thinking. Take out BC's 76-0 over Howard, and their average score is 14.8-16. They held strong against FSU in a 14-0 loss, so I imagine it's possible it ends up being close and low scoring, with one play that could make the difference either way.
Seems like your number heavy posts aren't nearly as popular as they should be.
Popular with me. I starting digging into these rankings/ratings last year, and they do a good job of telling more of the complete picture that sometimes bias (fandom) and national perception/narrative might not see.
No matter; ‘Bama still lost to Ole Miss, who got crushed by Memphis, who lost to undefeated Houston. The Cougars are the 2015 SEC Champion…for now.
I believe you are correct in that analysis.
Clemson, tOSU and OU remain the only teams with S&P+ ratings in the Top 20 for both Offense and Defense.
The three most complete/balanced teams. Although, Bama has been sliding up in the offense S&P+ ratings. Up to 29 now, and I believe they were around 40 for a while. Seems like they are becoming even more balanced, which is scary.. But yes, I am with you on the final four prediction. It will be VERY interesting to see what the committee does with OU and ND should the top 3 win out, and both of them do too. Can make solid arguments for both teams, and neither will be able to put a 59-0 statement up the day/night before the final rankings like we did last year.
Do you have an opinion on whether or not we could catch (or pass by) Clemson or Bama in these rankings with 3 solid performances in the next three games against quality opponents? It seems to me that the gap might be too large, although one component of the S&P+ ratings gives more weight to end of season performance.
For the matchups: Usually I can find a game where I differ from you, but this week I agree on all. Wisc, tOSU, Baylor, OU, and USC.
Peeking at some other matchups that intrigue me, I say watch out UNC. VT at home, in Beamer's last home game might get them. UNC would still hold the tiebreaker over Pitt to go to the ACC champ game provided they win the following week, but that could create an interesting scenario should a 2-loss UNC upset an undefeated Clemson. Could open the door for both ND and OU to make it in.
I wish the TUN/PSU game was a night game. Beaver stadium is a tough place to play at night, but even with the Noon kick, I say keep an eye on that one. I think TUN finds a way to win, but it might be close (Vegas has TUN -4).
The Pac 12 is a mess, and we could end up looking at a 3-loss champ before too long. UCLA beats Utah this weekend, and that would leave Stanford as the only 2-loss team. They (Stanford) play Cal this weekend and ND next weekend. Crazy. A lot of good teams in the conference (8 of 12 already bowl eligible, and ASU needs to win one of their last two to make one), just none that are elite.
Lastly, the BC/ND game is an interesting one. I wouldn't go so far to predict an upset, but BC is 125th in Offense but 2nd in Defense. Meanwhile, ND is 6th in Offense and just 36th in Defense. If BC's defense plays up to that 2nd rating, and the offense can make a few big plays (or perhaps a Def/Special Teams TD).. Watch out.
Seems like the DTs on the list are far and away the most important - filling a position of the greatest need. All great names, though.
Question for Birm: Are there any other potential loses from our current 18, or are those pretty solid? I don't believe I've ever heard any of them being discussed as such, and you don't have to mention any specific names if that helps.
Yea, hard to argue with any of that. I just think it would be closer than we might want to think, and it wouldn't shock me if ND got in instead.
Edited to say I think there is 0 chance MSU beats us, PSU and Iowa
I agree with that.
Nice. I promise I didn't look up any teams, but I thought I had an idea of who they were based on some of those metrics, and those are my prediction for the final four as well.
But I did try to look at the blind numbers and make some sense of them. AVG score margin was big for me. If it was above 15, that was big for me. 15 or less, signals some close outcomes that indicate maybe getting lucky in a game or two.
D and K were the hardest for me to evaluate, and those ended up being Iowa and North Carolina, respectively. I think those are also tough teams to evaluate without the blind numbers. Iowa's best wins are tough. NW is a paper tiger, Wisconsin is good but not great, and same for Pitt. They (NW) better get a good matchup in their bowl game, or they could get exposed (not to mention this weekend against Wisconsin). UNC's best wins are over three mediocre Power 5 teams (Pitt, Duke, Miami).
As Navy has been showing in his posts that compare the advanced stats (F/+, S&P+, and FEI) to the CFP rankings, I think the committee looks at those as a gauge on the relative strength of teams. The only BIG team that compares favorably to those I listed is the Buckeyes. If we lose either of the next two, we could get left out of the conference championship game, and obviously if we lost in the title game we wouldn't win the conference. That's why I think those four would make it if we had a one-loss champ.