Monday Skull Session

By Luke Zimmermann on November 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Happy Monday afternoon, 11Dubskateers. Evil has been vanquished. Right has been restored in the universe. That silly counter about how many days it's been since most hated rival has beaten our fair Buckeyes is now assured of reaching 2926 (though man, how sweet would 3000 be?). I can't help but point out that while Michigan Saturday is a day like any other and while I watched HBO's phenomenal "The Rivalry" documentary an hour before kickoff and got goosebumps, after the actual proceedings got underway, things didn't quite feel, well, like they normally do. I heard from some first hand accounts of individuals who were on hand in Columbus that 4 hours before kick, campus was unusually lifeless, particularly for Michigan Saturday. While I have no doubt that all of you that were fortunate enough to make the pilgrimage got every pennies worth to the nth degree, I can't help but feel like this game almost got dare I say boring at times. It's a good boring, don't get me wrong, but 2006, or hell, even 2007, this wasn't. None the less, the forces of good are alive and well. Whether or not that showing was Rich Rodriguez' finale in the long storied tradition of the rivalry remains to be seen. In the interim, let's touch what's hot on the ol' telegraph wire and run through a few (silver) bullet points of what else is good in the universe:

 “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” I don't profess to know much about the so-called BCS Guru, but he sure ignited a firestorm of blind (see: false) optimism amongst Ohio State message board type/twitterati when he boldly claimed that the Buckeyes would be jumping Wisconsin thus earning their second straight trip to represent the league in Pasadena. As we all know by now, this proved to be completely and utterly inaccurate with Wisconsin's trip to Pasadena all but a formality at this point (the conditions are such that per BCS gurus like Jerry Palm, there is no circumstance other than mass voter conspiracy that doesn't involve Wisconsin going to the Rose Bowl after next week's standings are released). To his credit, the self-professed guru owned up to it like a man and fell on the sword for his mistake, a feat seldom, if ever broached on these here interwebs:

Now you must wonder, given that I had to know Wisconsin would stay ahead of Ohio State in the two polls, did I completely screw up on the computers?

The truth is, I didn't. That's why this was such a mind-numbing debacle.

I simply transposed two projections, on Massey and Sagarin, I assigned the values of 20 (for No. 6) to OSU instead of OU on my spreadsheet, and 10 (No. 16) for OSU to OU.

By making these mistakes, Ohio State's computer numbers were inflated to .790 instead of .680 (OSU's actual BCS computer score was .660) and Oklahoma's was deflated from .780 to .640 (OU actual: .760). This explains why OU was also initially projected to be a spot lower (No. 10) than it ended up (No. 9).

I don't expect everyone who reads this blog to get all this - and you shouldn't have to. It was incumbent on me to check and double-check my own data before publishing the projections. Perhaps I was in too much of a rush to get the projections out (this has become a bad habit since I moved back to the West Coast), or maybe because I did so well the last two weeks (1-10 in exact order two weeks ago and 1-13 last week) that a little hubris got the better of meticulousness.

Death by spreadsheet. Admirable honesty as again, 99999/100000 in the same scenario would find some way to spin it and not admit their mistake (much less outline it specifically). Hat tip for the forthrightness at the very worst, and at best, we may actually be willing to give his preachings credence going forward since we know he'll be accountable for his calculations.

Apolitical Scientists The title game really only has ~5 possible game theory conclusions at this point and while we know Ohio State's realistically lone two possibilities, what of the Grand Bag of Tostitos of them all? We turn to the Good Doctor for his always essential realpolitik:

Only three possible scenarios remain for a championship result other than 13-0 Auburn vs. 12-0 Oregon:

a) Oregon loses at Oregon State, moving TCU into the ultimate Cinderella role opposite Auburn in the championship game;
b) Auburn loses to South Carolina, either setting up a TCU-Oregon showdown for the championship (channel your 2004 self and read that again) or snubbing the Horned Frogs anyway for a one-loss Tiger outfit that didn't win its own conference, inventing an entirely new screw job scenario for the haters to attack; or
c) Auburn and Oregon lose, setting up No. 1 TCU against one of a menagerie of one-loss candidates for No. 2. Again, because of the persistent Tiger love in the computers, the most likely to emerge from that pack would be Auburn, though the crippling fall that always accompanies a late loss in the human polls could leave the door open for Stanford. (Sorry, Wisconsin, but the Big Ten as a whole has too much baggage in the computers to make an 11th-hour leap without playing another game.)

Wisconsin's schedule ranks roughly around (or below) Boise's in most strength of schedule measurements you'll find out there which unfortunately for thoose rooting for Big Ten national title prospects likely dooms them.

  Abmaj7 Every one of you is fired/ Ebmaj7 Every one of you is oh oh oh oh/Abmaj7 G G7 Every one of you is fired Jim Tressel's jiujitsu has gotten so freaky The Vest can now get opposing coaches fired before Ohio State ever even plays them. Following the late season dismissal of Colorado head man Dan Hawkins, Ohio State is now guaranteed to have (a minimum of) a quarter of their 2011 opponents have first year head men. The Buckeyes' biggest profile out of conference home game in 2011, the Pac-12 Colorado Buffaloes, according to CU blog The Ralphie Report, have but six truly realistic, on-the-radar candidates for their vacancy:

1) Bill McCartney - former Colorado Buffalo head coach.

2) Eric Bieniemy - former University of Colorado football player, current running backs and assistant coach for the Minnesota Vikings.

3) Jon Embree - former University of Colorado football player, current tight ends coach for the Washington Redskins.

4) Troy Calhoun - current Air Force Head Coach

5) Brian Cabral - current Colorado Buffaloes interim head coach, before being named interim head coach, he was assistant head coach/linebacker coach. 

Not exactly a list that inspires great trepidation and worry for a team playing host to them during the individual chosen's inaugural campaign. Think Doc Holliday's first go in The Shoe potential.

"Hoosier daddy and what does he do?" Indiana too joined the hot exclusive new 'buzz' fraternity "let's fire the living s*** out of our head coaches". While levels of confidence amongst Hoosier partisans certainly differentiated towards Bill Lynch, there's no question that after the first emotional year in lieu of the tragedy that befell the team with the untimely loss of Terry Hoeppner, Lynch was never quite able to maintain that same program momentum Hoep had going during his too brief tenure in Bloomington. The gist of the aforementioned (see: linked) press conference with Indiana University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass can best be summed up as such:

  • The school feels there is no hurry and will take their time/due dilligence in the process of hunting for a replacement.
  • Glass and Glass alone will be the prime decision maker in determining whom that individual is.
  • The school is willing to spend the money necessary to bring in the caliber of coach they feel necessary to take Indiana to the level of competitveness they feel it belongs at.

One early name to keep an eye on is current Miami University head coach Mike Haywood, the very same institution responsible for Hoeppner.

#UNCLELUKE4DaU And hey, speaking of Miami but, uh, not that Miami, their new found coaching search is turning out to be quite the doozy. Renown chill bro Bruce Feldman has a pretty straight forward (in$ider) primer on prospective guys for perhaps the most interesting vacany in college football (potential Rich Rodriguez necessitating vacancy withstanding). Amongst them, some of the obvious: Jon Gruden, Kevin Sumlin, Bob Stoops, though one name that immediately jumped to my mind but is somewhat off the normal national wavelengths Feldman also thinks highly of:

Another name to remember is former UM player Mario Cristobal. He is also a local product, whose FIU team actually won the Sun Belt title a few hours before Miami canned Shannon. The job Cristobal did at upstart FIU is one of the better stories of the season. Cristobal got his job around the same time Shannon was handed the keys at UM. FIU barely resembled a D-I setup. The place was in total disarray. It went 0-12, was put on probation, lost 20 scholarships, had 17 ineligible players and zero NFL prospects, but with three recruiting classes, he got the job done.

Cristobal is also awesome for dressing like his hero, Joe Paterno, during games. Style points indeed 'Canes.

Those who enjoy riding the twitterwaves undoubtedly followed anxiously Sunday evening as rumors abound that Jon Gruden had agreed in principle (or was to close) to a deal that would pay him over $3 million dollars a year to be the next Hurricanes head man. As is the norm with the powerful social media platform, it can both break hotbed stories at breakneck speed, and it can also propagate complete and utter b.s. Former Blog Ten proprietor Tom Fornelli has his thoughts on the mess. But so is life in 140 characters; when it hits, it's like this, when it misses, it results in (literally if you consider the TV show it spawned) this. It should be fascinating to see whether or not Shalala and company open their wallets and whether the Canes, Hoosiers, or any of these vacancies get their heads out of their behinds and call Mike Leach.

View 10 Comments