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rock flag and eagle

Member since 17 June 2013 | Blog

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Comment 11 Oct 2015

ESPN has sort of been chomping at the bit to heep praise on the guy. He is a heck of a coach but they were ready to nearly appoint them Big Ten Champs before the season started 

No, ESPN was not close to picking Michigan to win the Big Ten.

They had them ranked 7th in the Big Ten, 4th in the East Division.  Their preseason ranking said:  "The defense should be solid. The offense? There's plenty of work to do. Jim Harbaugh should instill some toughness on that side of the ball. But what's the ultimate ceiling for a team without any bona fide stars?"  

In fact, no Big Ten writer predicted better than 3rd in the Big Ten East.  Every writer predicted their record between 8-4 and 6-6.

Comment 11 Oct 2015
2014 Florida State was in a slightly different situation. they had already beaten Oklahoma State and Clemson at this point last season. at this point in the season last year, Oklahoma State was 5-1 and ranked about 16th, and Clemson was 4-2 and coming off an Orange Bowl winning season. so Florida State didn't look great last year, but they still had a fairly impressive resume. Right now, Ohio State does not.
Comment 08 Oct 2015

Michigan's strength of schedule to this point is ranked No. 31. Ohio State checks in at No. 74, while the Spartans pull up the rear at No. 83

It says "to this point..."  The Sagarin SOS rating is up to this point of the season.  It doesn't have anything to do with who they have yet to play.

Notice, according to Sagarin's formula he says the strength of schedule is determined by the games played so far...

The SCHEDULE ratings represent what the rating would have to be for a hypothetical team to have a mathematical expectation of winning precisely 50% of their games against the schedule played by the team in question in the games that it has played so far

Your comment is incorrect.

The reason _ichigan has a tougher schedule is because they play Ohio state and Michigan state who are higher ranked

Comment 06 Oct 2015

Well, the tweets didn't strike my ear as all that encouraging.  It seems like the backups haven't gotten nearly as much time/opportunity as last year.  So, even though the stats are the same, they are achieving it by playing the starters much longer.  Outside of Hawaii, I don't recall much opportunity to take their foot off the gas.

For instance, against Indiana, other than QB runs, only 3 OSU players had rushes: Elliot (23 rushes), Braxton Miller (1 rush), Curtis Samuel (1 rush).  That means Elliot took 92% of all Buckeye RB rushes.  But, last year, OSU was blowing overmatched teams out.  For instance, against Cincy in 2014: Elliot (28 rushes), Rod Smith (11 rushes), Curtis Samuel (5 rushes), Jalin Marshall (3 rushes), Bri'onte Dunn (1 rush).  In this case, Elliot shouldered only 58% of the rushes.  

Against Kent State last year, Elliot had 7 of OSU's 41 non-QB rushes.  That's 17% of the load.  The stats may be the same as last year, but they are definitely NOT THE SAME as last year.  Starters shouldn't have to be in until the last play against 2-3 NIU.

Comment 05 Oct 2015

Any word on Indiana's QB and RB injuries?  IU wasn't the same team after Howard went down.  And, Diamont is a big step down from a healthy Sudfeld.  Hard (for me, at least) to pick IU over a legit defense with Diamont at the helm.  Plus, IU currently has the 119th ranked defense nationally.  Even PSU's offense (117th nationally) has a chance to move the ball on a team that porous. 

Comment 05 Oct 2015

Andy Staples (SI writer and Florida Grad) touched on this in his Sunday column.  He agrees.  This feels like the 2009 Gators.

This spring, I asked Urban Meyer how he planned to keep this season from feeling like the 2009 season at Florida. The parallels were pretty strong, but the major difference seemed to be a changed approach by Meyer to handling the departure of assistants and a better chemistry among the Buckeyes than Meyer's Gators had in 2009.

Despite that, these Buckeyes have looked an awful lot like those Gators.

Comment 04 Oct 2015
I suspect that the voters who felt Alabama should be ranked higher didn't feel that Ole Miss won handily. They probably felt that Alabama was the better team but they gave the game away with careless turnovers. In my personal opinion, It's a similar situation to Baylor vs. MSU last year. Baylor threw for over 600 yards and built a 20 point 4th quarter lead, but cooked it away with missed field goals, penalties and not paying attention during an onside kick. I feel Baylor was a better team than MSU, which just didn't happen to win. Play that game 10 times, I bet Baylor Wins 7 or 8. Perhaps the voters feel the same way about Alabama and Ole Miss
Comment 04 Oct 2015
Well, OSU hasn't beaten a ranked team. MSU hasn't beaten a ranked team. Baylor hasn't beaten a ranked team. TCU hasn't beaten a ranked team. Why not Utah? They have a better resume than any of the top 4 at this point.
Comment 02 Oct 2015

If there is a major reason for the benefit of the doubt that FSU received and the skepticism that OSU is receiving this year, it's most likely due to schedule.

Neither team looked great.  But, 4 games into the 2014 season, FSU had already beaten Oklahoma State (ranked approx. 30th in coaches poll, 33rd in AP at the time) and Clemson (ranked 22nd at the time.)  They played better competition.  Why would anyone suggest a defending champ with 2 decent scalps (one ranked) by week four didn't deserve to be in the playoff? 

At this point, OSU hasn't beaten a ranked opponent and VT was ranked approx. 29th in the preseason and gone downhill from there.  They haven't accomplished as much as FSU at the same point in the season.  It doesn't strike me as biased.

Comment 01 Oct 2015

Wasn't "flipping the switch" or "another gear" exactly what FSU was known for last year?  Like the OP said, they were often in very close games, or losing midway through the game.  They played complacently.  But when the clock started to tick away, FSU would start taking things seriously, "flip the switch" and found a way to win every regular season game.  It seems exactly like the OSU vs. VT game you just referenced.  OSU was losing at the half, but turned it up a notch after the half.  FSU did that many times last year, most notably against Louisville (down 14 at the half, destroyed the 'Ville in the second half and won by double digits.)  They did the same thing to Clemson (down 7 at the half, outscored Clemson 20-7 in the second half.)

The only difference was that Louisville (#25) and Clemson (#15) were ranked teams last year, and VT likely won't be.

Comment 26 Sep 2015

I have to agree with the above poster.  It's very premature to call the OSU defense elite.  Michael Brewer was averaging 10 yards/attempt before he got injured (that's excellent) and had an 82 QBR.  The OSU defense didn't look like it was in control until he got knocked out.  

OSU shut out Hawaii, but Hawaii has the 124th ranked offense in the nation.  Wisconsin shut out Hawaii today, too.  Does that me Wisconsin's D is elite?  Northern Illinois's offense was completely shut down by Boston College today.  In fact, they held the NIU offense to fewer yards than OSU did (153 yards), and fewer offensive points (NIU scored on a kick return.)  Does that mean BC's defense is elite?

Western Michigan ran the ball pretty well against OSU.  Considering they ran for 18 yards against Michigan State, and 25 yards against Georgia Southern, it doesn't bode well that they put up 170 rush yards against OSU.  The OSU defense looks solid, but it doesn't strike me as elite. 

Comment 26 Sep 2015

Ohio State's strength of schedule took a nasty hit today.  Hawaii will certainly lose to Wisconsin.  VT just lost to a mid-major (28-35 ECU).  Northern Illinois lost again to Boston College.  And, as good as OSU's defense looked against NIU competition, BC's defense was even more dominant, holding NIU to 153 yards and only 7 offensive points (NIU also scored on special teams.)  The OSU competition so far has certainly proved underwhelming.  

Although, I get the sense that WMU could be pretty decent this year.

Comment 01 Sep 2015
The odds don't solely reflect the oddsmakers opinion on team quality. They also reflect likelihood of making the conference championship game and winning the conference in a one off CCG. Wisconsin has a much, much easier schedule, hence their odds.
Comment 21 Aug 2015
In addition to making the playoff with a new starting QB, They also won the 2009 and 2011 national championships with new QBs under center (McElroy and McCarron, respectively.) Alabama has proved they don't need especially experienced QBs to succeed. If they experience a drop off, it likely won't be because of the QB situation. Of course, that's assuming Kiffin doesn't exacerbate the problem with reckless, pass happy play calling.
Comment 03 Jul 2015

Well...I don't know.  I mean, you're right that it's not really about Fisher vs. Dantonio.  It's just that Dantonio doesn't strike me as top five.  Dantonio is 1-3 against Brian Kelly.  That's an instant disqualification for top 5 consideration where I come from.  

Comment 02 Jul 2015

I think Dantonio is a fine coach, but I don't really understand his inclusion on these sorts of lists over someone like, say...Jimbo Fisher?  I try not to weigh national championships too heavily when thinking about coaching ability/ranking, because not every coach is fortunate enough to have A+ resources.  But, Fisher generally has a very strong argument over someone like Dantonio.  Dantonio finally got MSU to the upper echelon in 2010, and he is hailed as having four 11 win seasons in five years.  However, since MSU's rise in 2010 (the same year Fisher took over at FSU), Fisher actually has the BETTER winning percentage (84% vs 76%.)  Fisher has the better overall win percentage (84% vs 66%), better bowl record (4-1 vs. 5-4), more conference championships, despite less time coaching (3 ACC vs. 2 B1G) 

Of course, Fisher has the National Championship on his resume that Dantonio doesn't.  He also has a 29 game winning streak (2012-2014) and he is the man who ended the seven year SEC reign of terror by beating Auburn.  He is also 1-0 vs. Urban Meyer. 

While Dantonio is regarded as a defensive master, it's actually Fisher's Seminoles that have been ranked higher in total defense 3 out of 5 years (2010, 2011, 2012).  And, if one wants to tout Dantonio as a masterful program builder, it's not like Fisher doesn't have that on his resume too.  He took over a Florida State team that went 30-20 from 2006-2009.  (60%)  He instantly took a 7-6 team to 10-4, and has since won 84% of his games.