Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

The Date Is November 12th…

Posted by Mike on November 12, 2008

…And every team in the ACC still has a shot at bowl eligibility.

Atlantic Coast Conf All
Atlantic
Wake Forest 4-2 6-3
Florida State (20) 4-2 7-2
Maryland 3-2 6-3
Boston College 2-3 6-3
Clemson 2-4 4-5
North Carolina State 1-4 3-6
Coastal
Virginia Tech 3-2 6-3
North Carolina (17) 3-2 7-2
Miami (FL) 3-2 6-3
Georgia Tech 4-3 7-3
Virginia 3-3 5-5
Duke 1-4 4-5

Eight teams have already sewn up spots, and Virginia can win one of two to make it. Wake, BC, Florida State and Virginia Tech all did what they needed to do on Saturday, while the Clemson and Virginia did not. Clemson needs to beat Duke this Saturday, and then The Tigers, Blue Devils, and Wolfpack all need to win out to make this possible.

At this point in the season, the scenario is neither likely nor in any way desirable. But the mere fact that we’re having this conversation in mid-November is nothing short of mind-boggling.

Posted in ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, College Football | 2 Comments »

How To Make EVERY ACC TEAM Bowl Eligible

Posted by Mike on November 4, 2008

Coming into the season, pretty much everyone knew that this ACC season was going to be crazy. But not this crazy:

Atlantic Coast Conf All
Atlantic
Maryland (23) 3-1 6-2
Wake Forest 3-2 5-3
Florida State (24) 3-2 6-2
Clemson 2-3 4-4
Boston College 2-3 5-3
North Carolina State 0-4 2-6
Coastal
Georgia Tech (22) 4-2 7-2
Miami (FL) 3-2 6-3
Virginia 3-2 5-4
Virginia Tech 2-2 5-3
North Carolina (19) 2-2 6-2
Duke 1-3 4-4

Four teams are currently bowl eligible (North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Miami), Five more are one game away from bowl eligibility (Florida State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Virginia, and Virginia Tech), and two more have a .500 record (Clemson, Duke). Only NC State as a losing record, and even the Wolfpack have been competitive in their last three losses. No one has been formally eliminated from bowl contention, and only two teams (NC State and Clemson, because the Tigers played two FCS teams) need a record above .500 to achieve qualification.

Are you wondering how every ACC Team can become bowl eligible? Sure you are. Here are the scenarios that must happen. A number is placed in parentheses as another team becomes bowl eligible. ACC geams not mentioned are fairly irrelevant towards the goal of bowl eligibility.

Week 11 (Nov. 6th/8th):

NC State beats Duke

Boston College beats Notre Dame (5)

Virginia beats Wake Forest (6)

Week 12:

Clemson beats Duke

NC State beats Wake Forest

Florida State beats Boston College (7)

Week 13:

Clemson beats Virginia

NC State beats North Carolina

Duke beats Virginia Tech

Week 14:

Clemson beats South Carolina (8)

Duke beats North Carolina (9)

NC State beats Miami (10)

Virginia Tech beats Virginia (11)

Wake Forest beats Vanderbilt (12)

Everyone would have a recored of 6-6 or better, but no one Maryland would escape with fewer than four losses. This scenario is a tad far-fetched. But in the bizarro conference that is the ACC, it’s impossible to dismiss.

Posted in ACC, AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, College Football, Stuff That Involves Things | 4 Comments »

A Pictorial Representation Of Texas Tech’s Win Over Texas

Posted by Mike on November 2, 2008

PLUS

PLUS

PLUS

PLUS

MINUS

PLUS

EQUALS

Posted in College Football, Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree, Photo Finish, Pudding Pops, Texas, Texas Tech | 1 Comment »

FEI Is My New Favorite Poll

Posted by Mike on October 30, 2008

This article was originally posted on Tar Heel Mania, but I like the FEI system so much I’m going to post it here.

Many thanks to Tomahawk Nation for tipping me off to this.

As someone who majored in a hard science in college, I should probably be more knowledgeable about advanced football statistics. Alas, I have been pretty faithful to the box score up until now. But then I was tipped off to Brian Fremeau’s Efficiency Rankings for college football (FEI for short). It’s a very interesting formula, which you can read about in detail at Brian’s website and in Football Outsiders articles such as this one.

In essence, the rankings are based on the principle that a team’s efficiency in each offensive and defensive drive is a better reflection of a team’s quality than simple statistics accumulated over 60 minutes of play. Like some human and computer polls, the quality of opponents and how well a team plays against good teams. Unlike most human polls, the system rewards teams that play well against good competition whether they win or lose.

Fremeau’s Game Efficiency formula is fairly simple, involving margin of victory (MOV) and competitive possessions (CP, meaning the number of possessions in the game before garbage time, or the opposing team has fewer remaining possessions than is required for a comeback). The formula is as follows:

Game eff. = (MOV / 7) / (CP / 2)

Based on this rubric, one can get a pretty clear idea of how games stack up against one another. Let’s use three examples. First, Florida’s frighteningly efficient 63-5 victory over Kentucky:

Game eff = (58 / 7) / (16 / 2) = 8.2857 / 8 = 1.0357

Pretty scary, right? Conversely, here’s Auburn’s infamous 3-2 victory over Mississippi State:

GE = (1 / 7) / (31 / 2) = 0.143 / 15.5 = 0.0092

Granted it would have been the same if the score was 49-48, but still. Finally, here’s UNC’s 45-24 win over Boston College:

GE = (21 / 7) / (24 /2) = 3 / 12 = 0.2500

Fremeau then takes the game efficiency data and adjusts and expands his stats, factoring in strength of schedule as well as adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency based on opponents. Most or all of Fremeau’s statistical explanations can be found in his articles on Football Outsiders.

With this rubric in mind, Let’s look at his FEI top 25. Keep in mind, he factors out all games against FCS opponents.

Rank Team W-L FEI
1 Texas 8-0 0.302
2 Penn State 8-0 0.284
3 North Carolina 5-2 0.277
4 USC 6-1 0.267
5 Florida 6-1 0.266
6 Alabama 8-0 0.245
7 Georgia 6-1 0.217
8 Virginia Tech 4-3 0.200
9 Georgia Tech 4-2 0.200
10 Oklahoma 6-1 0.200
11 Oklahoma State 6-1 0.197
12 Texas Tech 6-0 0.194
13 Florida State 4-1 0.192
14 Missouri 5-2 0.184
15 Ohio State 6-2 0.166
16 Connecticut 5-2 0.162
17 Mississippi 3-4 0.157
18 Vanderbilt 5-3 0.141
19 Boston College 4-2 0.138
20 Ball State 7-0 0.135
21 Miami 4-3 0.134
22 Pittsburgh 5-2 0.129
23 Iowa 4-3 0.128
24 Wake Forest 4-3 0.120
25 South Carolina 4-3 0.119

Wait a minute…am I reading this right? Is North Carolina…NUMBER 3!?!?

It’s like that, except replace “Michael Bay” with “the collective heads of everyone outside the ACC”.

Even more interesting than UNC’s #3 ranking here is their #1 ranking in adjusted defensive efficiency. What this means is that the Tar Heels do a better job of disrupting the efficiency of opposing offenses better than any other defense in the nation. And this is in spite of an apparent allergy to blitzes and the frustrating 2-minute defense. That, my friends, is impressive.

Mind you, FEI is not my new favorite poll because it’s very UNC-friendly. (But it helps.) It’s my new favorite poll because it is a lot less arbitrary than the coaches or media polls, and is a statistic-based ranking that better reveals who the good and bad teams really are.

Once again, this post could not have been possible without Tomahawk Nation.

Posted in College Football, NCAA, Oooh shiny stats, Tar Heel posts | Leave a Comment »

What Your Athletic Director Says About You: Syracuse

Posted by Mike on October 27, 2008

Welcome to What Your Athletic Director Says About You, showing the cautionary tales . Today, Syracuse and their AD, Dr. Daryl Gross.

Syracuse: You serve primarily as a warning to others. Those athletic programs who pay attention to Syracuse will notice three lessons about their athletic director:

1. Hiring a football coach without recruiting experience or head coaching experience isn’t always a good idea.

2. Self promotion, hyperbole, and a Ph.D. not always equal competence.

3. An Athletic Director’s performance is inversely proportional to the number of BlackBerries that he has on his person at a given moment.

Yes. That is Dr. Gross on the sidelines, talking on two cell phones at the same time during a 30-10 road loss to northwestern that surprised absolutely no one. That photo, along with its context, encompasses Syracuse football in the Gross era.

Posted in College Football, Syracuse | Leave a Comment »

Tom O’Brien Wants You To Love America

Posted by Mike on October 6, 2008

When I saw this picture on EDSBS, it blew my mind.

1. Football Coach

2. Irishman who graduated from a military academy

3. Golf shirt which you can buy at GOPack.com NOW NOW NOW

4. Team hat which you can also buy at GoPack.com NOW NOW NOW

5. wraparound shades

6. Panoramic reflection of packed football stadium off of said wraparound shades.

7. Prominent American Flag

8. Special Effects

9. Game Face

10. A hundred guys behind him, in full uniform that would look ridiculous anywhere else

If this picture doesn’t embody everything the terrorists need to know about the United States of America, I don’t know what does. Show this to Moqtada Al-Sadr, let him stare at it for 24 hours, and he will tell you where to find Osama bin Laden and how to bring Al-Qaeda to its knees. And he will thank you for it. And then he will leave Iraq to begin a moderately successful career in Bollywood, typecasted as a genie. And then J Leman will be elected president. Because the only man American enough for the job.

Posted in ACC, AMERICA HELL YEAH!!!, College Football, NC State | 1 Comment »

 
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