Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Perfect Sub Conferences for the Big Ten

We all know that in July of 2011 Nebraska will become the 12th member of the Big Ten Conference. We all know that 12 teams will allow the Big Ten to hold a conference championship game, but before the game can be held the big prerequisite of forming two 6 school sub conferences must be met.

Currently the Big XII, the SEC and ACC all have twelve teams and use the Conference championship game to decide the winner. This practice is extremely lucrative, as the championship games have created a pseudo-playoff atmosphere. Without question the Big Ten and Pac Ten will follow suit.

Unlike the Big XII and SEC the Big Ten should not create sub conferences that are based on regions, but on keeping the most important rivalries played on an annual basis, similar to how the ACC developed. Putting rivals in the same sub-conferences will ensure they play every year. Utilizing a "permanent rival", such as the ACC and SEC currently do, would allow teams from opposite sub-conferences to play on an annual basis as well.

The Big Ten should follow these guidelines:

1. Parity. Keep the strength of the sub-conference as even as possible.
2. Rivalries. Currently there are 12 trophy games and 22 "every year" games played between rivals. Keep as many of these alive as possible.
3. Big names in big games. Allow for one of the biggest games in College football, Ohio State and Michigan, to be a possible match-up for the championship game.
4. Restart the Michigan Nebraska rivalry.

This is what I have come up with:

Michigan Ohio State
Michigan State Penn. State
Nebraska Wisconsin
Purdue Minnesota
Illinois Iowa
Indiana Northwestern

Each team will always play every other teams in its group and each team would be the "permanent rival" of the team across from it, which means they would play on an annual basis. So Michigan would always play Ohio St., Michigan St., Nebraska, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana. They would play two of the remaining five teams each year.

This allows for 10 of the 12 trophy games to continue being played, the matches lost are Michigan vs. Minnesota and Ohio St. vs. Illinois. It is possible to give these four teams two permanent rivals instead of one to keep the trophy game played annually, and this would allow for Ohio State and Michigan to play a weaker team since they are penciled in for a tough permanent most years.

21 out of the current 22 remaining games that are played annually would continue, the only game lost is Purdue vs. Northwestern, which I am fine with.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mutiny in Lubbock

Mike Leech, the man that fancied himself a pirate captain (see right), will no longer roam the high seas of west Texas. Earlier today Texas Tech finally gave Leach the boot after he decided to live out a pirate fantasy and had receiver Adam James put in the brig after Adam suffered a concussion.
The school's decision also puts into question Leech's treasure chest of 800,000 shiny silver dollars scheduled to be paid to Leach tomorrow.
After navigating his offense, and allowing his defense to follow behind on the dinghy, to more bowl wins than all other Tech coaches combined, winning season's could no longer cancel out the growing hatred from school administrators or growing discontent from the players.
Who Tech hires now is up in the air, however, I expect the new coach to be Mark Mangino.
Sources close to Captain Lech say he plans to visit San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl in order to plunder as many "fat, little girlfriend's" as he can before fleeing to the gulf of Mexico and sailing to East Carolina University where he can lead real pirates.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Bowl Picks

Texas just beat North Bowl Predictions! Big Ten doesn't win a game...
Fresno State over Wyoming, how did a 6-6 M. West team get a bowl?
Rutgers over UCF,Southern Miss over MTSU
Oregon State pulls the "upset" over #14 BYU
Utah beats Cal
SMU or Nevada
Marshall beats Ohio
Pitt over North Carolina
Clemson over Kentucky
I want to pick A&M over Georgia with the offense they turned on late even though I think a bland Georgia is the overall better team...let's go A&M
UCLA over temple, what a stupid Bowl.
Miami over Wisconsin, last year Florida State proved once more the Big Ten can't handle florida speed offenses and controlled chaos defense'
Idaho vs. Bowling Green is a bowl?!? ummm....Idaho
Nebraska over Arizona though both those teams are underanked
Houston beats Air Force
Oklahoma beats Stanford
Missourri over Navy
Iowa State over Minnesotta in a battle of 6-6 teams with 3-5 conference records. Cupcake non-conference schedules for these teams, this is exactly why people say there are too many bowl and you can't even watch it because it is on NFL network. Iowa State.
Tennessee over V. Tech for my first real upset pick
Auburn kills Northwestern who isn't ranked and still overrated
Penn State nearly dies against LSU
West Virginia finishes off Bowden
Oregon over Ohio StateFlorida over Cincy
USF over N. Illinois
Oklahoma State over Ole Miss
UCON over South Carolina
Arkansas over east carolina
Tech over Michigan State
TCU over Boise
Georgia Tech beats Iowa
Central Michigan over Troy
Texas over Bama

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big Ten Defies Logic Even Further

There are three things I studied in college: Chemistry, Economics and why the Midwest can't count. After further review and research I have determined that the Big Ten's proposal to move to twelve teams makes perfect sense in all three fields.

In chemistry there is the octet rule. It states that eight valence electrons is the perfect number to keep a molecule stable and happy. For football conferences the rule is slightly different because the magic number is 12, but the general idea of the number creating stability holds true.

Twelve teams also had great economic benefits because it allows the conference to be divided up nicely into two sub-conferences of six teams. The sub-conferences themselves lead to a money making opportunity in the form of the Conference Championship game.

Twelve is also a good number for scheduling reasons. Five conference games against your sub-division and three against the other leaves four games to beat up the MAC. In this way your teams with 2-5 and 3-4 conference records can continue to be bowl eligible, pulling in more money for the conference to offset those 1-6 bowl records.

And as far as Midwesterners not being able to count, since twelve doesn't equal ten the rule still stands.

Now, all we have to do is find the perfect fit!

Let's start by examining all the teams that the Big-Ten might have the slightest interest in: which will include traditional powers located close to the region, non-BCS powerhouse programs on the rise, and teams in a state where the Big Ten currently has a team. Once this list is compiled each team will be subject to a demanding set of criteria in order to prove it is the right candidate.

Our initial List looks like this:
Notre Dame
Boston College
West Virginia
Bowling Green
Kent State
Miami (OH)
Central Michigan
Northern Illinois
Western Michigan
Ball State
Eastern Michigan
Iowa State
Texas Christian University
Boise State

The first rule will take into account prestige, this is the Big Ten we are talking about, and if you don't have a program that used to be good you can forget about being welcomed into the big boy club. So lets go ahead and cut most of the MAC teams.

The second rule states that the prestige of your name must be based on what your school did, not a school from another state with a similar name. There goes Miami of Ohio.

The third rule states that you cannot steal a team from a conference that already has twelve teams. Iowa State, Maryland, Houston and Boston College are gone.

The fourth rule states the Big Ten must be the lead innovator in college football, as showcased by their offensive creativity and team speed on defense. Therefore stealing a team from the Big East would be passe since the ACC has already done so.

That leaves only TCU, Boise State and Notre Dame.

The fifth rule states that the team must have played after the 2009 season in at least two BCS bowl games. TCU bows out.

It's down to Notre Dame and Boise State.

The sixth and final rule states that the team must be able to win a BCS game and stop the o for 6 slide the Big Ten is in.

Ladies and Gentleman, meet the newest face of the Big Ten: Boise State!

Congratulations Broncos, you now have one year to design 11 trophies to play for against your new rivals. Please don't pain them blue.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recruits Rockin Rocky Top

"Rebuilding a program ain't easy," and still Lane Kiffin does what he can to recreate the glory days. Undoubtedly you have hear the recent reports stating that Lane Kiffin and the University of Tennessee might have given recruits a little somethin somethin extra on the visit. Specifically, hookers.

Now understand, nobody thinks that Dolla Bill Lane is the only coach to guarantee recruits the all-important combination of playing time and play time, but now everyone knows for sure that he is the best wing man in the nation.

That's exactly what's so genius about the whole scandal, you have to let people know what you're offering to get them excited. After the story broke every recruit in the nation thought the exact same thing: "Les Miles might leave a sorority girl in the hotel room, but Lane Kiffin will decorate the room with black lights, will bring the entire sorority house over and even make the punch."

Immediately after the allegations first surfaced a wide variety of explanations were offered to defend the University's activities. "The recruits are going to play cover two with the ladies of the night anyways, Suede Silk Kiffin just makes sure they do it in a safe, disease free environment."

But there are undoubtedly downsides to White Chocolate L-Kif's strategy. Most players find calling the head coach "daddy" a little strange, and being threatened with a backhand after a false start often has the offensive linemen a little shaken up. Whenever coaches call for the Slot Receivers or Tight ends nobody is quite sure if they mean the players or the hookers. However, Johnathon Crompton has tweeted that his confidence drasticly increased since becoming the bottom bitch.

Overall, the bottom line is that Tennessee currently has the sixth rated recruiting class in the nation, which is somehow still just fourth in the SEC. They already have six top-150 recruits, stars at the skill positions and an OT named "Jose Jose." Let the nation know that one of college football's oldest powerhouses is back, thanks mainly to the worlds oldest profession.

Monday, December 7, 2009

How Good is the Big Ten?

Seven teams from the Big Ten will be making bowl appearances this year, and that stat becomes only slightly less impressive when you take into account the conference actually has eleven teams.

In the Coaches Poll the Big Ten finished strong: Conference Champ Ohio State and Iowa finished in the top Ten, Penn State finished just outside at #11 and Wisconsin was able to round things out at #24.

This year the Big Ten is gearing up and looking to build off the 1-6 record from the 2008 Bowl schedule. Putting together a winning bowl record for the first time since started keeping electronic records of Bowl seasons would cap a ... another season of Big Ten football.

The conference will especially look to improve results in the BCS games. Since Michigan and Ohio State were robbed of the rematch game for the title game in 2006 the Big Ten has gone 0-6 in the big boy bowls. That year Ohio State lost by 27 to Florida and Michigan lost by 14 to USC.

So lets take a quick preview of what December of 2009 and January of 2010 hold for the Midwest's champions:

Conference Champions Ohio State have alot to prove after going 0-3 in BCS bowl games during the last three seasons. The good news is that the Buckeyes will put on their sundays best helment stickers and praise the Lord that they don't have to play USC in the Rose Bowl. However, playing a red hot Oregon team is a tall order for any program right now and there is no reason to believe a potent spread offense won't continue to pull apart the Ohio State bowl game defense.

Advice for the Buckeyes: If Lagarette Blounte finds his way to the field make sure you keep safe and leave your helments on.

Iowa, the stalwart of 2008 after beating South Carolina, will face ACC champion Georgia Tech, a team that features the triple option and so-so defense in the Orange Bowl. Whether or not the formidable Iowa defense can figure out the Georgia Tech offense is the key, if they can then Iowa has a good chance of remaining the pride of the Big Ten's bowl season.

Advice for the Hawkeyes: If you play defense and there is a Georgia Tech non-lineman still standing, takcle him, there is a good chance he has the football.

Penn State will play #12 LSU in the Capital One Bowl. Good luck.

Advice for Penn State: Enjoy the time you have with Joe Pa, as we have seen with Bobby Bowden you never know when he won't be there anymore.

Wisconsin will for a second straight year play a team speed oriented program from Florida, and will meet Miami, Northwestern will play Auburn and Michigan State will play Texas Tech

Advice for Wisconsin, Northwestern and Michigan State: Don't play like you did last year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ranking Conferences Based on Bowl Records

The problem with ranking conference strength before the bowl season is two-fold. The first obstacle is the general lack of out of conference games that pit BCS conference teams agasint each other in the early weeks of the season. The second is that once conference play begins the paradigms of college football take over, and those take a very long time to catch up to a conference's actual strength.

Thus we have to look to the bowl season to give us the true story on the relative stengths of the conferences. Of course the bowl season presents its own set of problems: dissapointed teams going to smaller bowls have a long history of being upset by a hungrier underdog. Not all BCS conferences play each other in the Bowls, and if they do it might be a game pitting six and seven seeds. Also conferences don't send the same amount of teams to bowls; last year the Pac-10 sent five teams to bowls while the ACC sent 10 programs, more teams that are even in the Big East.

Trying to put together a mathematic formula to this mess gets complicated very, very quickly. But this is the system that I have so far, and it will be based on a scale of 0-100.

Each bowl bound team is ranked according to their conference schedule only. I have disregarded the non conference games in order to rank the teams against the same level of opponents, even though the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and ACC do not play the same conference schedule and may played a weaker seet of teams from the other sub-conference. Furthermore each team is ranked according to the pre-bowl ranking, not their spot in the final post-season poll.

For example the Big XII from the 2008 Bowl season would rank as such:
1. Oklahoma (7-1)
2. Texas (7-1)
3. Texas Tech (7-1)
4. Oklahoma State (5-3)
5. Missourri (5-3)
6. Nebraska (5-3)
7. Kansas (4-4)

Since I don't think a linear system of ranking teams in a conference (simply saying that OU is #1 and Kansas is #7) would tell the entire story, I have a devised a system of awarding points to each team within the conference, so we can measure whether a conference is more "top-heavy" or "evenly matched". Clearly the Big XII is top heavy, with three teams at 7-1 and the other four bowl teams having close to .500 records.

This sysetm averages two numbers, the first is simply the number of conference wins. The second takes into account the teams conference ranking and its conference record and follows: Conference Rank (#1 = 10 points, #10 = 1 pooint) + conference wins - conference losses.
Oklahoma would be awarded [ ( 10 + 7 - 1) + 7 ] / 2 = 11.5 points. (The Pac-10 will have a further step of multiplying their number by 8/9 to correct for playing nine conference games when all other conferences play eight) This number will be referred to as the RCR, the Real Conference Rank.

1. Oklahoma - 11.5 points
2. Texas - 11 points
3. Texas Tech - 10.5 points
4. Oklahoma State - 7 points
5. Missourri - 6.5 points
6. Nebraska - 6 points
7. Kansas - 4 points

These numbers are alot more indicative of how the conference really should be ranked: OU, Texas and Tech close to each other at the top and the Kansas at the bottom worth a litttle more than 1/3 of the top teams.

At this point one last change is made to the rankings, they are converted to percentage points. This is done in order to even out the different number of teams each conference sends to Bowls, and does not affect the points assigned to teams according to conference rank and records.

This is done by adding together all points assigned to the teams, in this case 56.5. Then dividing each teams points by 56.5 and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. This number will be called the PCR, the percentage conference ranking.

1. Oklahoma - 20.35%
2. Texas - 19.47%
3. Texas Tech - 18.58%
4. Oklahoma State - 12.39%
5. Missourri - 11.50%
6. Nebraska - 10.62%
7. Kansas - 7.08%

Now we have the teams in the conference ranked in a way that corrects for both inter-conference issueas and intra-conferences problems. Hooray.

The next issue to tackle is the system to decide how many points the team gets to keep for its conference. This will be a bit more complicated than keeping the points of winning teams and losing the points from the beaten teams. It will take into account that an Oklahoma team that loss the national championship game by ten is still worth more than a Kansas team that blew out Minnesotta, but probably not as much as a Texas team that did win its BCS bowl.

This system will also take into account margin of victory, the percentage conference bowl record of the team they played (OCBR), the teams own PCR, the other teams RCR. The maximum amount of points awarded by the following formula is the teams own PCR, and the minimum possible value is zero. This number will be referred to as the teams BPE, Bowl Points Earned.

For Win:
PCR/2 + *{[(Opp RCR + MOV) * (OCBR)] + (Opp. RCR + MOV)] /8}
*If the second part of the equation is greater than the teams own PCR/2 it will be adjusted to equaling the Teams own PCR/2, in this case the team will retain its entire PCR as BPE.

For Loss:
PCR * MOV - [(1-OBCR) * 4] - [(1 / OPP RCR) * ]

21 or aove win +3 loss 45%
14 -20 win +2 loss 55%
7-13 win +1 loss 65%
0-6 win +.5 loss 75%
Ovetime win Even loss 85%

For Texas: (19.47/2) + {[(11.5 +.5 * .1428) + (11.5+.5)]/4} = 13.17 BPE
For Oklahoma: 20.35 *.65 - [(1-.75) *4] - [(1/11.5) *10] = 11.36 BPE

In the above cases Texas was hinderred by the combination of only beating Ohio St. by 3 (+.5)points when Ohio State came from a conference with a horrible win percentage (.1428). Thus they were awarded only 3.43 extra points for the win even though Ohio States RCR was extremely high at 11.5.

Oklahoma was not penalized too much because they lost by 10, lost to a team with an extremely high RCR at 11.5, and lost to a team with a confernce great win record of .75. Thus they still kept a little bit more than half their points.

Conference BPE results will follow as I calculate them.