Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10 comments That Pain In Your Head Isn't a Concussion, But a Headache From Reading TMQ

A friend of mine quickly set up a hockey league and we need players to join. I have no idea what I am doing since this is my first season doing fantasy hockey. He set it up yesterday and the draft is Friday evening at 8:15pm EST. We both wanted to join a hockey league and so we have. We still need some more teams, so if anyone wants to join the league ID is "96573" and the password is (wait for it) "password." Feel free to join because right now we have four teams.

I don't spend a lot of time complimenting Gregg Easterbrook, but he has been at the forefront of the many columnists who now write about the NFL in regard to talking about player safety. He's not always right about some of the solutions to this problem and I don't agree with all of his ideas on the issue, but he generally speaks well about the cause (the mentality of football ingrained in players that begins with coaches in junior high and high school) and where it needs to start being prevented (when youth begin playing tackle football). So even though I will disagree with him on some of the issues regarding helmet safety, Gregg is on the right track. Naturally, he talks this week about players using their helmet as a weapon. Don't worry, he is wrong about a lot of shit too. I ain't going soft or nothing.

(cues up Air Supply as background music while writing this)

Josh Cribbs of the Browns suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit by James Harrison of the Steelers on Sunday. No flag was thrown. Later in the same contest, Mohamed Massaquoi of the Browns left the field with a head injury after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Harrison. No flag.

I have watched these two hits a few times online to look for any type of intent to hurt these players on the part of James Harrison. It is hard to judge intent, but both hits look malicious on the part of Harrison and neither time did he make an attempt to tackle or wrap up the ball carrier. There should have been a flag thrown and there was not...twice. I'm the type of person who accepts football is a violent sport and players are going to get hit hard and it will hurt, but there is no excuse for leading with your head.

I am pretty sure a tackler can't lead with his head even if the offensive player is a runner. I could be wrong about that, but I think it is called spearing.

Sam Bradford's helmet was knocked off by a helmet-to-helmet hit by Kevin Burnett of San Diego. No flag.

Sam Bradford's helmet was knocked off? Bradford should be ejected from the game immediately! He didn't have his helmet tight enough!

Gregg has the bright idea that if a player's helmet comes off then he should be removed from the game immediately because of this...this is a punishment of some sort that Gregg believes in. This is one of Gregg's terrible ideas. You can see here how a player's helmet being knocked off isn't always that player's fault. Obviously in Gregg's mind this isn't the result of Kevin Burnett's hit, but is a result of Bradford not having his helmet fastened properly. Gregg most likely fails to see why/how is suggested rule for helmets that fall off a player is stupid.

It's right here for him to say, "hey, that rule I proposed about ejecting a player for his helmet coming off...that's stupid and I see why."Of course Gregg Eastebrook won't do that. He will talk about a player getting hit so hard his helmet falls off without acknowledging that a player's helmet can come off without the helmet being loose and his stupid rule about ejecting players who have their helmet fall off is stupid.

Especially, strictly enforce the "defenseless player" rule, which is supposed to forbid contact after an incompletion goes past a receiver. A high percentage of helmet-as-a-weapon hits occur in this situation -- and defensive backs inflict brutal blows after the ball goes past a receiver because they know the foul is almost never called.

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, because it sounds like a good one, but Gregg often isn't realistic about what goes on during a football game. Yes, defensive backs do inflict blows after the ball goes past the defender, but there are times when they don't have time to pull up. Action on the football field goes by very quickly and once the players have committed to an action, there may not be time to pull up. So I am all for strictly enforcing the "defenseless player" rule, but Gregg thinks too often players have a chance to think on the field, which isn't true.

That the NFL has not, till this moment, acted to impose strict enforcement of rules against use of the helmet as a weapon points to the dark side of football marketing. Namely: a perception that the league doesn't really mind a few severe injuries, considering blood and pain are part of the product.

This is the same league that wants to expand the season to 18 games and doesn't seem to give a shit about many of the retired veterans and their pensions. The NFL doesn't care. The NFL is making money and they don't know why they should change now. So the blood and pain are part of the product and always have been. It's good to see Gregg is 30 years late on this issue. How many times have we seen pictures of old football players with blood on their face and how many times when a player gets hit hard do networks show the replay? Violence has always been celebrated. Eli Manning got hit in the head in a preseason game this year (and his helmet flew off, so he should have been ejected according to Gregg) and ESPN probably showed this replay 20 times, including him walking off the field with blood coming down his face. Blood and pain are part how they sell the product.

Hollywood eagerly markets to the desire to watch violent harm, but movie violence is fake.

This coming from a guy who every week tells us about a television show or a movie that isn't realistic enough. Is movie violence fake Gregg? Or should it be more real/boring?

When Cribbs was hit in the head by Harrison, Kevin Harlan of CBS, calling the game, said, "Wow what a hard-hitting rivalry the Steelers and Browns have," not mentioning head trauma.

Announcers should not glamorize the hard hits that knock a player out, but I do question what responsibility besides saying something about the hit being wrong or potentially hurting Cribbs that Harlan has. I'm pretty sure Kevin Harlan knows nothing about head trauma, so possibly mentioning the concept that Cribbs could get hurt wouldn't be so bad, but I would leave it at that.

If you listen to what the announcers said after the hit, it is clear that Kevin Harlan was concerned when Massaquoi got hit. The analyst mentioned that the hit was helmet-to-helmet and a flag should have been thrown. Of course the analyst also said the hit on Cribbs was legal because he was a runner, which is something I doubt it correct.

After Joseph Addai took two deliberate blows to his helmet -- first a helmet-to-helmet hit from Kedric Golston, then a forearm-to-helmet hit from London Fletcher -- and collapsed in the Indianapolis-at-Washington game, Cris Collinsworth of NBC said, "That is a perfectly clean hit, blows to the head are allowed on running plays."

Really -- it's "perfectly clean" to slam your forearm into another player's helmet?

I am not sure that is against the rules. It is probably really stupid for the defensive player to do this too often. Helmets don't seem to have as much "give" as a person's arm might. A player who starts smacking helmets with his limbs is asking for broken limbs.

Existing rule 12, 2, 7g bans "using any part of a player's helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/hairline parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily," and also states, "violent or unnecessary use of the helmet is impermissible against any opponent."

If it really were "perfectly clean" to deliver deliberate blows to a ballcarrier's head, then no one should play football.

This rule says nothing about a player hitting deliberate blows with his forearm against an opponent's helmet. I just thought I would mention that since Gregg is talking about London Fletcher using his forearm on a ball carrier and then citing this rule as a reason for why this is against the rules, yet this rule doesn't cover what Fletcher did.

Most important, Rodney Harrison said on NBC that players guilty of deliberate helmet-as-a-weapon hits should not just be ejected but suspended. Coming from a former NFL star, Harrison's statement got the NFL's attention.

I do understand union rules and the code of silence among NFL players, but it is still fairly convenient Harrison wants to change these rules after he has retired. It's not hypocrisy, it is just interesting how he feels about this issue now that he has quit playing.

If the league is just blowing smoke, or the sports media return to boosterism, then Congress should step in and regulate the playing standards of professional sports.

Since there are no other pressing issues like mid-term elections, a piss-poor economy or a couple of wars going on involving the United States...this sounds like a great way to spend congressional resources.

By the strangest and most amazing coincidence, this season the early BCS ranking creates a chance Boise State and TCU may be paired in a bowl again, so they cannot defeat teams from the AQ-insider conferences. By the strangest and most amazing coincidence!

I am pretty sure the BCS rankings are partially put together by a computer, so I am not sure how much room for manipulation by those who oversee the BCS. I'm on the "give Boise State and TCU respect" train, I really am. I am under the impression the BCS is computer generated and the idiots who do the polls don't have too much influence over it.

You know it is common knowledge, though not widely spoken, that computers and robots are some of the racist, sexist and major conference loving members of our society but this just goes to prove how true it is. I've always heard that computers inherently hate mid-majors or teams from non-BCS conferences, but this just confirms my suspicions.

The Eagles have two red-hot quarterbacks in Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb. Who should start? Andy Reid faces the Judgment of Paris -- and in that story from ancient mythology, no matter how Paris chose, he was doomed.

Since real life mirrors ancient mythology (I am pretty sure mythology is defined as "an exact realistic story that deals with modern life and details something that actually happened"), Andy Reid is clearly doomed.

I like how Gregg Easterbrook spends 1,000 words most weeks complaining about how unrealistic television shows are, but he looks to mythical stories as an example for why the quarterback controversy in Philadelphia will result with Reid losing no matter who he chooses.

Stat of the Week No. 9: (College bonus.) Arkansas and South Carolina combined for 1,039 yards of offense -- and both lost.

BUT HOW MANY PLAYS DID THEY GET OFF IN THE GAME? THAT'S THE KEY TO WHETHER A TEAM WINS OR NOT! These teams should have run 5-10 more plays than their competition and always gone for it on fourth down and they would have won the game.

Stat of the Week No. 10: The San Diego Chargers are ranked No. 1 in offense and No. 1 in defense -- and their record is 2-4.

This could easily be fixed by Norv Turner going for it on fourth down and not wearing warm weather clothing in cold weather. Or maybe the Chargers have that "California attitude" and wanted to go to the beach sooner than they normally do.

(I combined three of Gregg's stupid ass theories in there. It would take me 10,000 words to include all of his stupid theories.)

But the sweetest play of the game, if not of Week 6, was 5-foot-9 undrafted free agent Danny Woodhead, out of Division II Chadron State, picking up Ray Lewis on a blitz block.

The sweetest play of the week was when a player did his job correctly? So no other blitzes were picked up by running backs this past weekend in the NFL? Or is this sweetest play of the week chosen by Gregg because it involved an undrafted free agent?

Because the Green Bay strategy worked, the touchdown itself was the easiest NFL touchdown ever. What does it tell you about the modern, pass-wacky NFL that on fourth-and-goal from the 1, the defense was so sure a pass was coming that it didn't even attempt to prepare for a quarterback sneak?

It tells me the Dolphins called a terrible defense and Rodgers quick-snapped the ball before the defense could adjust.

Now trailing 28-17 with 2:55 remaining, Detroit faced fourth-and-2 on the Jersey/A 32. In came the field goal unit. Yes, at that point the Lions needed two scores. But you're not going to reverse the psychology of a 23-game road losing streak by launching a fraidy-cat kick on fourth-and-2 with 2:55 remaining. Now you need to reverse the psychology of a 24-game road losing streak.

It's not about reversing a losing psychology, it is about winning the game. Leaving points on the board by not going ahead and getting the field goal and spending more time trying to get a touchdown when they need two scores anyway doesn't make sense. Detroit was onside kicking anyway once they scored, so why waste time getting a touchdown when they have to recover the onside kick anyway to tie the game? If the Lions recover the kick, they have nearly three minutes to go 50 yards, which opens up the playbook for them in going for a touchdown, rather than wasting time trying to get a touchdown and chance leaving little time on the clock to get in field goal range if they do recover the onside kick.

Mike Vrabel catching a touchdown pass after reporting eligible at the goal line is on the cover of the 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book, the league's flagship publication. The past decade or so of the Record and Fact Book should sit near every NFL coach's desk. Yet the Texans were fooled -- that's sour.

Gregg Easterbrook believes coaches forget how to defend the 3-4 defense after it has not been popular for a while, but he believes coaches can remember what the cover of a book that is five years old depicts on its cover?

Thomas Bender of Chicago writes, "I just received an e-mail for the U2 concert in Chicago at Soldier Field -- on July 11, 2011. Tickets on sale now."

When are tickets supposed to go on sale for a concert? When is the appropriate damn date to allow the public to buy them? Is May a good time? It is still spring at that point and the concert doesn't take place until July, which is in the summer! That's "Summer Creep!" How about these tickets going on sale in June? It's not even July yet at that point! That's "July Creep!" I would love to know when the appropriate time to put these tickets on sale would be.

Erik Kneebone of Genoa, Ill., writes, "Henry Kravis just donated $100 million to Columbia to expand its business school. Not only is Columbia Business School's main contribution to society the Wall Street sharks who caused the 2008 financial meltdown -- $100 million is more than twice the annual operating budget of my local community college, McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill. That kind of money at McHenry County Community College could transform lives. At Columbia, it will just channel more insider status to elites."

True, but Henry Kravis went to Columbia and not McHenry County College, so that explains why he gave the money to Columbia.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's donation of $100 million to the Newark, N.J., public school system sounds like the reverse of what Kravis did -- like exactly the kind of progressive philanthropy that deserves applause. My hesitation: Zuckerberg hasn't actually given the money; rather, he said he "plans" to donate $100 million, if Newark raises a matching $100 million.

Because giving $100 million to a failing school system with no strings attached makes a hell of a lot of sense. God forbid, Zuckerberg actually wants to see reform in the public school system and wants to see dedication by the school system to this actual reform. If I was handing over $100 million I would want to see the money be used for the purpose I gave it.

If Zuckerberg does give $100 million to Newark schools, he is a hero. That he's accepted the adulation without actually handing over the money is a red flag.

That he just isn't handing a failing school system money without that system being dedicated to reform is not a red flag in my mind. Putting stipulations on the money tells me he actually wants to see reform.

Esquire just named Minka Kelly, the actress who played super-cheerleader Lyla Garrity on "Friday Night Lights," the "sexiest woman alive." That shy ingénue look she projected in the show's first season? Replaced by bedroom eyes and dominatrix gloves.

And that is why they call it "acting."

Mike Martz, his sinister Mr. Martz personality showing, called an everybody-out pattern, despite the Bears' recent problems with sacks. Chicago botched the line call -- right tackle JaMarcus Webb turned inside to double-team a defender, leaving no one to block Aaron Curry, who sacked Jay Cutler so fast Cutler could barely set up.

Clearly this is a lie. Aaron Curry can't sack the quarterback at all according to Peter King. That's why Curry sucks so bad.

At Washington, Indianapolis used an NFL version of Oregon's blur offense, quick-snapping so fast that it wasn't clear how Colts players were getting the plays -- Peyton Manning calls most plays himself, but barely shouted or signaled anything to his backs, linemen and receivers.

Oh, you mean the same no-huddle offense the Colts have been running for a few years now with Peyton Manning? Boy, they really stole that "blur" offense from Oregon.

Washington countered with the Times Square defense -- the front seven milling around at random, like tourists in Times Square. Manning couldn't predict where the front seven would be because the defenders themselves didn't know; they were instructed to move randomly.

These players didn't have assignments or anything. They were just told to "go tackle somebody." I am sure Jim Haslett created a defense where the defenders don't have assignments or zones to play. Those players who want to blitz or want to guard a certain player, could feel free to do so. That's exactly what happened. Who cares if certain offensive players may not be covered?

Trailing 24-21, Dallas faced fourth-and-5 with 2:40 remaining. Wade Phillips of the Cowboys sent in the punt team. Do I even have to tell you who won?

No he doesn't have to tell me, because Gregg only brings up instances when teams don't go for it on fourth down and then lose the game. He leaves out all the times teams punt and then go on to win the game. So if Gregg is going to talk about a team not punting on fourth down, he will only talk about this when the team lost.

Most sports-agent scandals involve comparatively small amounts of money. The three North Carolina players took a total of about $20,000 in cash, gifts and travel benefits, for example. No one is getting rich, or even making something like income, on this sort of minor graft.

$20,000 is a lot of money in cash, gifts and travel benefits. If no one is getting rich or benefiting financially from this graft than why do the player's and agents do it? One party has to be benefiting in some way.

You're trailing with less than three minutes remaining -- why are you punting? That's what Dallas did, if for no other reason than to shift the blame away from Wade Phillips, who would have been denounced if a fourth-down try failed, and onto his defensive players.

Because we all know that Wad Phillips is doing a great job of staying under the radar to avoid getting fired by Jerry Jones. Jones evaluates his coaches by whether they win football games or not, not by how close the games are. This is pretty much a known fact. Jerry Jones wants to see results, not close games. So either Gregg Easterbrook is making shit up (highly likely) or Wade Phillips is a moron for believing keeping the game close will save his job (likely, he isn't stupid enough to think a close loss saves his job).

The sad part is that if Mike Jenkins had not committed a penalty on third down, then the Vikings would have punted and Phillips decision not to go for it on fourth down would have paid off. So Gregg was really close to being wrong, though I am sure he would argue the Football Gods caused the penalty on the Cowboys for not going for it on fourth down during their previous possession.

After Minnesota took the punt and the Boys used their timeouts, the Vikings faced third-and-6 with 2:22 remaining. Cornerback Mike Jenkins brushed a Vikings receiver, and the pass fell incomplete. Then Jenkins turned to the closest zebra and made the "not me I didn't do anything" gesture -- at which point the zebra threw yellow for pass interference. Jenkins basically pleaded with the official to throw the flag!

This is a lie. FOX's cameras showed the official started pulling his flag before Jenkins had pleaded for a flag not to be thrown. It was getting thrown no matter what Jenkins did.

Forget whether Renaldo Hill of Denver committed pass interference at the Broncos' 2 with 1:26 remaining, setting up the winning touchdown for Jersey/B -- how did a Jets receiver get so deep single-covered? At the snap it was Denver leading 20-17, Jersey/B facing fourth-and-6 on the Broncs' 48. Denver rushed five, leaving six to cover four. Yet Santonio Holmes was alone down the sideline nearly to the end zone. In the replay you can't even locate the Denver safeties, they were so far out of position.

Possibly they were guarding the other receivers who had gone out on pass patterns? There are usually only two safeties on the field, so they can't be everywhere all the time. Yes, one of them should have covered the deep pattern, but we (and Gregg) don't know what kind of defense the Broncos were running. Maybe the one of the safeties had man coverage on Dustin Keller and the other was providing over the top help on Braylon Edwards.

Finally, many readers with good memories, including Gwen Peterson of Lexington, Ky., wrote to remind that I forgot to run my annual item that appears whenever the last undefeated team falls. The last undefeated, Kansas City, fell so early this year that it skipped my mind. (Last season the item did not run until Dec. 29.) Here it is, produced from my AutoText with only the initial specifics changed -- as I will produce this item from my AutoText every season, because no NFL team's going to go 19-0. My heirs will be using this item!

Why do I feel like Gregg uses AutoText for his entire column?


RuleBook said...

- I am under the impression the BCS is computer generated and the idiots who do the polls don't have too much influence over it.

Sadly, this is no longer the case. After the year when the AP gave the title to USC because the computers put LSU and Oklahoma in the championship game, they heavily reduced the computer influence. The BCS ranking score is now 1/3 computers, 1/3 coaches poll, and 1/3 Harris poll.

Interestingly, though, to counter Easterbrook's point, the human polls are what have brought Boise State so high. According to the computers, the rankings are:

1. Oklahoma
2. LSU
3. Auburn
4. Michigan State
5. TCU
6. Missouri
7. Boise State
8. Oregon
9. Oklahoma State

HH said...

(I combined three of Gregg's stupid ass theories in there. It would take me 10,000 words to include all of his stupid theories.)

You also forgot to blame the Chargers' cheerleaders for not slutting it up enough.

Mike Vrabel catching a touchdown pass after reporting eligible at the goal line is on the cover of the 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book, ... Yet the Texans were fooled -- that's sour.

Um, no. The Texans were very likely not fooled, any more than the Chiefs were fooled by Andre Johnson catching a TD pass or the Ravens were fooled by Tom Brady's passing. Just because you give up a play doesn't mean you were fooled or confused: maybe you just got outplayed? Otherwise, we'd have to ask the question on every play: "How could the Chiefs have been fooled by Arian Foster running the ball for ten yards? He runs it all the time. They should have seen this coming."

Trailing 24-21, Dallas faced fourth-and-5 with 2:40 remaining. Wade Phillips of the Cowboys sent in the punt team. Do I even have to tell you who won?

No, since I watch the games. But you might want to mention the terrible pass interference call that prevented the Cowboys from getting the ball back to get another shot. OH, you do mention it. Don't mention that this means that Wade Philips made the right call, though. Hm.

Saturday, ESPN Insider had an "NFL Player X" piece claiming that lots of college football players take $100,000 gifts from agents. This seems extremely implausible -- only players drafted in the first half of Round 1 generate large enough agent's commissions for such payment.

A few things about this. 1, this happens because the league caps commissions at 3% - this means that agents can't compete for players on price (by cutting commissions) and so have to resort to "extracurriculars," especially because agent quality is hard for players to measure. 2, Gregg is forgetting second and third and fifth contracts. Every extension and free agent contract generates a commission, too, and getting to a top player early can guarantee you income for a decade. Thus, the sums you see mentioned by player X may well be reasonable.

Bengoodfella said...

Rulebook, I should have known this. I can't believe the coach's poll counts as much as the computer. It seems like it makes sense until you think about how many of the human voters are probably idiots. They are the group that ranked Nebraska over Oklahoma despite the fact Oklahoma had more impressive wins.

So I guess Gregg is wrong that the humans do love BSU, it is the computers that hate them. Man, #7 is a low ranking for them. I think they are a better team than Missouri and Auburn.

Rich, how could I forget that the less clothes a cheerleader wears the better chance that team has of winning the game?

I think Gregg believes that any time a defense gives up points it is because they got fooled, when in reality it is often because the offense called a good play and executed it to perfection. I know Vrabel has a history of catching TD passes, but they have to guard the other offensive players as well.

I thought it was PI on Jenkins, but I am not sure an official should call that b/c I don't know if the ball was catchable or not. In essence, the Cowboys did hold the Vikings to a three-and-out and Phillips decision wasn't a terrible one.

I had thought about extensions for players as well. I wasn't sure if it was far-fetched to think an agent would give a player a ton of money hoping to get paid back in commissions 5-6 years down the road, but I guess that's the whole purpose of paying players...hoping to get paid back down the road.

Martin said...

I think that Jenkins committed a penalty if the ball had been catchable (which I don't think it was at all)...BUT, that wasn't a place to call such a minor, half assed penalty that totally gives the victory to the Packers. That ball better be no more then a foot over the receivers head, and it was more like 3 feet.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

1. i agree with gregg that concussions are a serious issue. but what are announcers supposed to say after a big hit? "i'm not so sure about that hit, I'm worried that player X was too concerned with the big hit and wasn't thinking about the brain damage he could cause to player Y, I don't think these guys should be doing that out there"

2. wasn't gregg the one advocating that more teams use random pre-snap motion like what the redskins did?

3. rulebook is correct, it is actually the voters that are pulling boise state up. i agree that there are a lot of moron voters who don't know a damn thing about college football and have pretty screwy ballots, but in this case they are being fair with boise state.

4.the whole blur offense concept is so stupid - what is the brightline between every other no huddle and oregon's "blur" offense? it's not like they are running anything fundamentally different just upping the tempo a little bit from what has previously been used. is oklahoma's offense just a regular no-huddle and needs to average about 2-3 fewer seconds between plays to qualify for blur status? did the colts up their pace on sunday from that of their standard no-huddle to reach blur territory? this is stupid for greg to delineate this as a revolutionary new system when there are plenty of teams that move quickly between plays and oregon just happens do do it faster. does he really believe indianapolis watched oregon's game film and stole chip kelly's offense just because they ran plays really fast? and wasn't gregg the one saying that all college teams ran passing trees that were too simplistic for the pro game?

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, that was a very borderline catchable ball and there was interference. I hate to differentiate between when calls should and should not be made, but in that situation it was a borderline PI call and the ball may have been catchable...but by making the PI call you are giving the game to the Vikings. I don't believe they had any timeouts left over, so that PI call essentially helps decide the outcome of the game. I am not a Cowboys fan and I am not a Vikings fan, not even close on either, but I would not have called that PI.

Arjun, that's where I think the announcer doesn't really have a responsibility as much. Sure, possibly the announcer should not celebrate the hit, but other than telling the fans if the hit is legal or not, it is not their place to lecture the audience on head trauma.

Gregg advocates that defense all the time. I am not sure in this TMQ if he was criticizing or celebrating the use of it.

I am not criticizing the voters pushing Boise State near the top of the ballot. I believe they should have been #2 in the country in the initial voters ballots. They brought back 20 of 22 starters from an undefeated team. If it was Florida who did that then they would probably be considered the #1 team in the country. I also think TCU is getting the shaft as well. BSU gets a lot of the headlines, but TCU is also a good team. I have a feeling w/ OSU, Oregon, BSU, TCU, and OU all being undefeated, this could end up being a tough year for the BCS.

You are right the whole idea of the blur is dumb. There are small differences in these offenses but Indy isn't stealing from Oregon and the hurry-up offense has been prevalent for a while now. It's just Oregon uses the hurry-up for nearly the entire game. There is no standard for how fast a team needs to be to reach "blur" territory. Of course, if there were a standard then it could possibly be measured in tenths or hundredths of a second and Gregg wouldn't believe it anyway.

Anonymous said...

"I've always heard that computers inherently hate mid-majors or teams from non-BCS conferences, but this just confirms my suspicions."

I think it's worth pointing out that in many ways, while probably not racist, the computer rankings are very biased against non-BCS teams. The rankings heavily factor in strength of schedule while ignoring margin of victory. In other words, a lackluster, 1-point win over an average, beatable team that pads its record with wins over weak opponents and its SOS with conference match-ups against powerhouses (like many of the teams in the major conferences) is much better for the computer rankings than a 50+ point win over a bad team (like the ones that unavoidably make up the schedules of Boise State and TCU).

In fact, since 2004, the BCS has made deliberate efforts to eliminate margin of victory from their rankings, going as far as to let go (arguably more qualified) proponents of margin of victory from their roster of mathematicians who devise the formulas for the computer rankings. And of course, this is all in the name of sportsmanship, because if there's anything the BCS system screams, it's fair and gentlemanly competition.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I think it is a catch-22 of sorts in regard to margin of victory. (I did like the joke about fair and gentlemanly competition and the BCS.) The catch-22 is that margin of victory was probably (I am assuming) put in place so great teams don't obliterate the crappy teams they play to make themselves look better. Now, it has hurt BSU and TCU because they don't get credit for being much better than the team they are facing. So by putting the margin of victory in there they are encouraging "fair competition" but taking it out hurts the teams the BCS gets criticized for ignoring.

So while it would make sense to take the margin of victory out of the equation, it probably hurts the teams like BSU and TCU who have to schedule as many good teams as possible to play them to impress the voters.

It's interesting that rule was probably put in effect for teams like Oklahoma or Florida, but hurts the non-BCS schools as well.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

to be clear I am totally with you on boise state.
i think they should be number one for sure, I am just agreeing with everyone else that ironically it is the pollsters that are saving them. boise is legitimately talented and in my opinion would beat any team in the country on a neutral field. pollsters look at the name on the jersey and the number of recruiting stars rather than actually watching teams, but to these eyes boise and tcu are both legit top-10 teams.

Bengoodfella said...

I figured you were with me on that. I thought you believed I wasn't with you, which isn't true. I do have to say I can see how an undefeated Oklahoma or Ohio State team would think they had claim to the national title as well.

I think Boise State COULD beat any team on a neutral field, but all I want is a chance to see this actually happen this year. I want to see them go up against another undefeated BCS team.