Friday, February 11, 2011

11 comments BotB Podcast #7

Everything from TCU/Wisconsin to Jerry Sloan. Enjoy, kind folk.

11 comments:

koleslaw said...

* Jerry Sloan was a good coach, not a great coach. To be fair, he was a Michael Jordan away from back to back rings. There's something to be said for 45-55 wins every year, but how many times can you do that without a championship before you fall under scrutiny? Now we'll get to see if Utah can go all the way in the next couple years after the Lakers geriatric star players leave or drop out of the playoffs. Four seed one and outs just doesn't cut it.

* Boise State would love to go around the country and play Big 10/SEC schools on their home turf, but the big guys are scared to death of a team like Boise State.
However, until we replace the BCS, conversations about stuff like this just seem pointless and stupid. PREDICTION ALERT: An undefeated SEC school is going to win the National Championship next year after having mid-season scare by only beating an in-conference rival by a last-second field goal.

Bengoodfella said...

Koleslaw, one of us should have brought up the point about MJ and how he would have possibly had a ring if it weren't for MJ. I don't think I meant to knock him as much in the 90's but lately it has seemed like a string of one round playoff outs. His career playoff record is 98-104. That's just not great.

I think that was the point I was wanting to make, that BSU seems to indicate they would play anyone anywhere and part of me thinks TCU should do the same. I do understand their position though. Wisconsin should have offered a home and home.

I think your prediction will hold true. I am just wondering who the undefeated SEC school will be?

koleslaw said...

Agreed on the TCU part, however one of you (Dylan maybe?) had a point that TCU has decided that they'd rather just roll the dice, play a mediocre schedule, go undefeated and see what happens.

I'm gonna make a bold prediction in FBS and say it's Georgia, not that I have any emotional connection to them. Alabama and Auburn are losing big pieces, Florida seems a year or two away to me, so Georgia it has to be. Either them or Vanderbilt. *cough*

Bengoodfella said...

I think that was Dylan who said that. It seems like this what they want to do and there isn't anything terribly wrong with that. I don't know if that gets them where they want to be though.

Vandy. Good one. I can see Georgia too. They have a Sophomore QB and had a great recruiting class. Plus there is pressure on Richt. I don't know if I can agree, but at this point they are a sleeper team like Auburn was this year.

Dylan said...

koleslaw,

I will second your prediction. The SEC will dominate for the near future. It's a cycle that's hard to break out of. Great players want to go to the best schools. Since most of them are in the SEC, they'll keep going to the SEC and maintain its status as the best football conference.

rich said...

TCU vs. Wisconsin

Now that TCU is in an AQ conference, they have no reason to accept road games like Wisconsin. When they were a non-AQ, a road game against a Wisconsin would be worth the risk of losing for a shot at a BCS game.

Now that they're in a "big" BCS conference, they have no reason to take games that only hurt their rankings.

SEC

The SEC is the best conference. That said, IMHO, a lot of the SEC reputation is based off the preconceived notion that the SEC is light years ahead of other conferences.

Look at Auburn's schedule for example. They beat South Carolina twice, Arkansas, LSU and Bama. They beat Miss. State and Kentucky by 3, needed OT against Clemson and should have lost to Bama.

Even then, it sounds impressive that they beat all of those teams right?

Look at South Carolina's schedule though. They beat Bama, Georgia and Florida. Lost to Kentucky, Auburn and Arkansas.

Still they beat Bama who were ranked number 1 at the time, so that was a pretty awesome win. Except when they were ranked number 1, they had beaten Arkansas and Florida. Florida was ranked 7th at the time because of wins against nobody in particular.

Arkansas' claim to fame? Beating Miss. State (OT) and LSU. Then you look at Miss. State and go "well they were ranked at the time, so that was a good win."

Why though? They're biggest win was against Florida.

Florida was ranked 22nd in the country on 11/13 despite having one win against a ranked opponent: Georgia in week 2. A Georgia team that was 5 and 5 entering the week.

The SEC was 5-5 in bowl games this year. Their fans keep talking about how the conference is so awesome because it wins national championships, but that's partially a product of them playing in the NCG every year.

Is the SEC the best conference? Yes.

However, it really seems like the conference really gets a huge boost from circular logic.

Take a look at Miss. State's road to being ranked:

Beat Memphis, lost to Auburn and LSU, beat Georgia, Alcorn State and Houston.

Then they beat Florida and magically became a top 20 team. Mind you Florida at that point had beat 4 crappy teams before losing two in a row to Bama and LSU.

So the logic is that Miss. State was awesome because they beat Florida, who was awesome because they were in the SEC.

The problem with this type of stuff is that the rankings propagate down the line. Miss. State beats Florida, which means Miss. State is now ranked, which means that any victory over Miss. State is now a "good" win and the entire process started with "Florida is in the SEC, so they're good and should be a pre-season top 10 team."

Another example, South Carolina beat Georgia (inexplicably ranked 22nd) in week 2 and jumped 12 spots. So when Auburn beat South Carolina, it wasn't "oh Auburn beat the 24th ranked team in the country," it was "Auburn just beat a fringe top 10 team." Now because of that win, Auburn jumps from 17 to 10.

Then a few weeks (and a loss to Kentucky later), South Carolina loses to Arkansas, who was ranked 18th, with their biggest win coming against... Georgia. That's two teams whose claim to fame is beating Georgia.

So are ranked in the top 20 because they beat powerhouse Georgia whose claim to fame is that they're in the SEC. Despite this, SC and Arkansas, both with some god-awful loses, play each other and one gets a "quality win" while only drops 4 spots despite losing by three TDs.

Martin F. said...

Yeah the SEC totally gets away with the "We're the Best Conference, so we don't actually play anybody, cause we have to be ready for our conference games...cause our conference is Super Powered!" You never know how good the SEC is, because they never play anybody outside of the SEC who isn't a cupcake. Tennessee on occasion will have home and home with Pac-12 schools, and those series run about 50/50. The entire recent history of SEC vs. Pac-12 has pretty much been 50/50, which doesn't seem right when one is the Uber-Conference. Just looking at the schedules for some of these teams, they don't even get on a plane more then twice in a season.....cause yeah, that might make things a bit easier.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, wow. That's a pretty accurate and interesting way to look at it. I have to say I do believe that is true, the whole circular reasoning thing with the SEC. I still believe the SEC is the best conference because I think a lot of that can go for any conference.

So while I do agree with your point, I think a lot of teams get ranked or move up/down based on wins against teams that are seen as strong. With the SEC being the "best" conference, I think it may be an exaggerated effect for that conference.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin F, that is a good point. I do think the SEC is the best conference, but I also think it is closer than some people may believe.

rich said...

BGF,

I feel the SEC is the best conference too. The best teams in the SEC are really, really good.

The main problem I have isn't that the circular reasoning happens because, like you said, it happens in every conference. It's just that it happens to such an extreme in the SEC.

For example, why was Michigan State ranked 5th going into the game against Iowa? They had beaten Wisconsin and Michigan (who was ranked 18th because they beat UConn...)

The problem is that MSU lost to number 18 Iowa and it absolutely killed them. They fell from 5 to 14.

After OSU lost to Wisconsin, they fell from 1 to 11.

Conversely, when LSU lost to Arkansas (again, whose key wins were SC and Georgia). They only fell from 5 to 11.

Florida was 7th when they lost to Alabama and fell to 14. Then they lost to number 12 LSU and fell to 22nd.

In other conferences, the teams move around the rankings a bit (see the Big 10), but at the end of the year you can still look at their schedules and justify somewhat the rankings throughout the year.

I can look at Wisconsin's schedule and rationalize them being the 7th best team in the nation (post-season rankings).

Can anyone justify how Mississippi State is ranked 15th in the post-season rankings? Their biggest win of the year was Florida, who ended up 8-5.

Or how about explaining how in the world SC is still ranked? Their biggest wins of the year? Florida and Georgia, which finished 6-7.

Again, it wouldn't be a huge deal, but it impacts other teams' rankings.

Look at Florida State's resume. Going into their bowl game against SC, they were ranked 23rd (biggest win: Miami).

FSU beats SC and it becomes their signature win and they jump in the rankings to 17.

So just like before, FSU is now a top 20 team, solely based on the fact they beat SC who is a top 25 team partially because of wins over Alabama (solid win) and Florida, whose claim to fame was beating Georgia which is a good win because Georgia is in the SEC.

In the end it all comes down to the pre-season rankings. Georgia was ranked in the pre-season poll, so when Florida, who was ranked in the pre-season poll, beat Georgia it seemed like a good win. Of course months later, we know a mediocre team beat a bad team.

The problem is that for other conferences, the polls seem to even out at the end of the year. Iowa is no longer ranked and Michigan State is ranked 14th because of its losses to Bama and Iowa.

If the same hindsight applied to the SEC, there's absolutely no way that Mississippi State would be in the top 15.

Because of the BCS bowl games and the fear of losing out on big money, there's no way conferences are going to play each other unless they absolutely have to. So until that changes, the rankings are greatly influenced by the pre-season polls, which are based entirely on reputation and that's where the SEC's inflated sense of worth causes problems.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I wasn't much of a Miss State fan this year either. You make a great set of points.

I HATE preseason polls. Teams are either put too far up or too far back for the entirety of the season based on those. Things sort themselves out a bit after a few weeks but I see no reason why the first poll can't be voted upon after 3 weeks of the season.