Monthly Archives: January 2012

2011 College Football Rankings – After Bowls

After all is said and done, I must, begrudgingly, accept Alabama as my national champion.

Perhaps if LSU had kept it closer, they might have an argument for a split title. Perhaps if Oklahoma State didn’t need overtime to beat an overrated Stanford team, they might have an argument for a split title. But Alabama did what they need to, and now they’re the national champions.

Frankly, this is one of those years where the best solution might be no national champion. None of the teams involved are all that attractive. One good thing about a potential playoff system is that at least any potential champion has spent time building an aura of “champion-ness” by winning the games we consider to have the most value. Perhaps Alabama, or Oklahoma State, or even LSU would seem more legitimate by beating some number of teams along the way.

How the C Ratings are tabulated: First, A Ratings are tabulated by multiplying the total score ratio, which is expressed by (points-opponents’ points)/points, by the winning percentage. Score ratio minimizes the effect of running up the score. Next, B Points for each game are tabulated by (margin of victory)/(opponent’s A rating)+/-1 for wins, and -(margin of loss)/(1-opponent’s A Rating)+/-1 for losses. The “+/-” is + for road games and – for home ones. The total number of B Points is multiplied by the A Rating to get the B Rating. Finally, the C Rating is tabulated by taking one-tenth the difference between the team’s B Rating and the average of his opponents’ B Ratings and taking the result off the B Rating. The three ratings go A, B, C across. Click here to see the complete ratings.

1 Alabama SEC #1 ’06 Boise St.
12-1 LW: #3 A Rat: .796 B Rating: 67.874 C Rating: 59.634 AP: 1 BCS: 1
Say what you will about the BCS system, it is true what the Tide fans are saying: they won the one that counted.
2 LSU SEC #2 SEC Champ.
13-1 LW: #1 A Rat: .720 B Rating: 64.064 C Rating: 56.912 AP: 2 BCS: 2
On the plus side, Les Miles proved this year that his first national championship wasn’t just the result of inheriting Nick Saban’s players.
3 Oklahoma State B12 #1 Fiesta Bowl
12-1 LW: #2 A Rat: .651 B Rating: 55.805 C Rating: 47.798 AP: 3 BCS: 3
Sorry, but national championship teams don’t need overtime to beat teams that didn’t win their conference. Can I seriously expect you to have beaten Alabama?
4 Boise State MWC #1 Maaco Bowl
12-1 LW: #5 A Rat: .717 B Rating: 47.456 C Rating: 38.482 AP: 8 Coaches: 6
Kellen Moore ended his college career with a bang, blowing out an Arizona State team that looked like the third-best team in the Pac-10 at one point this season.
5 Wisconsin B10 #1 Big 10 Champ.
11-3 LW: #4 A Rat: .594 B Rating: 36.909 C Rating: 29.645 AP: 10 Coaches: 11
The Badgers kept it close enough against the Ducks that they don’t move below them.
6 Houston USA #1 TicketCity
13-1 LW: #8 A Rat: .695 B Rating: 38.024 C Rating: 29.006 AP: 18 Coaches: 14
Houston proved their season wasn’t a fluke in demolishing a good Penn State team.
7 Oregon P12 #1 Rose Bowl
12-2 LW: #6 A Rat: .611 B Rating: 34.317 C Rating: 28.226 AP: 4 Coaches: 4
The win over Wisconsin wasn’t impressive and the Pac-12 didn’t do that great in the bowls, but it took Stanford losing to a top-3 team for people to realize, “Wait, Oregon won this conference and Stanford didn’t for a reason.”
8 Oklahoma B12 #2 Insight Bowl
10-3 LW: #7 A Rat: .534 B Rating: 31.655 C Rating: 26.064 AP: 16 Coaches: 15
Big win over Iowa didn’t do much to impress the voters in the final standings.
9 Michigan B10 #2 Sugar Bowl
11-2 LW: #10 A Rat: .586 B Rating: 22.677 C Rating: 18.480 AP: 12 Coaches: 9
Yes, it was Virginia Tech. Yes, it took overtime. But Michigan did their darndest to prove how deserving of a BCS bowl they really were.
10 Stanford P12 #2 Fiesta Bowl
11-2 LW: #9 A Rat: .617 B Rating: 23.190 C Rating: 17.428 AP: 7 Coaches: 7
Luck and the Cardinal gave all they could, but Oklahoma State, in the end, was the better team, even if marginally so.
11 Southern Miss USA #2 Hawaii Bowl
12-2 LW: #11 A Rat: .586 B Rating: 21.956 C Rating: 14.893 AP: 20 Coaches: 19
The win over Nevada did move them up a couple of spots in the polls, even though it was by only a touchdown.
12 South Carolina SEC #3 Capital One
11-2 LW: #13 A Rat: .576 B Rating: 15.962 C Rating: 12.501 AP: 9 Coaches: 8
Big win over a good Huskers team isn’t enough to put the Cocks in the top ten, but Spurrier has definitely built an elite program.
13 Arkansas SEC #4 Cotton Bowl
11-2 LW: #14 A Rat: .557 B Rating: 16.227 C Rating: 11.767 AP: 5 Coaches: 5
Arkansas didn’t quite blow K-State out of the water, and South Carolina is still ahead of them, but they do move up across the board even if they were overrated already.
14 TCU MWC #2 MWC Champ.
11-2 LW: #12 A Rat: .606 B Rating: 17.332 C Rating: 11.036 AP: 14 Coaches: 13
Sorry, but I’m not going to give TCU the benefit of the doubt when they needed a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Louisiana Tech.
15 USC P12 #3 ’09 Boise St.
10-2 LW: #15 A Rat: .559 B Rating: 11.199 C Rating: 6.697 AP: 6 SBNBlog: 12
As I expected, with almost everyone back and the team off probation people are talking up USC as a preseason national championship favorite… so why am I hearing about so many transfers leaving?
16 Florida State ACC #1 Chmps Sprts
9-4 LW: #20 A Rat: .483 B Rating: 9.244 C Rating: 5.335 AP: 23 Coaches: 23
It was a low-scoring, tight game, but it was over a very good team, ranked ahead of them in the rankings, so a big move for the Seminoles.
17 Toledo MAC #1 Military Bowl
9-4 LW: #19 A Rat: .422 B Rating: 8.725 C Rating: 5.136
Bit too close for comfort against a 7-6 team to justify ranking them for half the year, but at least they won, which teams below them can’t say.
18 Georgia SEC #5
10-4 LW: #16 A Rat: .462 B Rating: 7.658 C Rating: 4.876 AP: 19 Coaches: 20
Georgia fought valiantly for three overtimes before falling to a very good Spartans team.
19 Notre Dame  
8-5 LW: #17 A Rat: .361 B Rating: 6.954 C Rating: 4.242
The Golden Domers should have mixed feelings about their season. On one hand, they’re 8-5. On the other, their losses were like their Champs Sports bowl: they fought hard to the end.
20 Texas A&M B12 #3 Meineke C. C.
6-6 LW: #23 A Rat: .336 B Rating: 6.519 C Rating: 2.957
A&M not only showed Northwestern how good they’ve really been, they did so in a big way, albeit close to home. But still no one is noticing.
21 Virginia Tech ACC #2
11-3 LW: #18 A Rat: .502 B Rating: 5.976 C Rating: 2.893 AP: 21 Coaches: 17
Virginia Tech fought hard to prove they belonged in a BCS bowl, but the only reason it went to overtime was that people had doubts about their opponent too.
22 West Virginia* BST #1 Prncton/Yale
10-3 LW: #29 A Rat: .470 B Rating: 4.565 C Rating: 1.812 AP: 17 Coaches: 18
What an embarrassment for the ACC. What a statement by the Mountaineers.
23 Northern Illinois MAC #2 GoDaddy.com
11-3 LW: #27 A Rat: .473 B Rating: 4.414 C Rating: -.614
One of the Huskies’ strongest seasons during their recent run even earned them quite a few poll votes.
24 Missouri* B12 #4 Independence
8-5 LW: #31 A Rat: .380 B Rating: .432 C Rating: -1.991
The Tigers say goodbye to the Big 12 on a high note with a big win over North Carolina.
25 Rutgers
(9-4, .428, -.361, -2.804)
BST #2 Pinstripe


2010 TCU Title: #31 Baylor (10-3), .447, -1.730, -4.030

Off Top 25: #26 Michigan State (was #24), #27 Nebraska (was #21), #34 Penn State (was #25), #37 Clemson (was #23)

Watch List: #26 Michigan State

Other Positive B Ratings: #28 Ohio, #30 Temple* (*=Newly Positive)

No Longer Positive: #27 Nebraska, #29 Louisiana Tech, #32 Utah State, #37 Clemson, #40 Arkansas State

Best game of year: LSU @ Alabama / BCS Championship Game: Alabama v. LSU (tie)

Redcloak, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!

(From The Order of the Stick. Click for full-sized crushing.)

Warning: This post will contain spoilers for the Order of the Stick prequel Start of Darkness. As such, we’re hiding it behind a jump break. This means the comic image will overflow past the post itself on the main blog page; I can only hope that the miscellaneous stuff at the bottom will keep it from screwing up the page layout too much (although I admit I forgot how huge the comic image can be compared to the text). Read More »

A Miniature Preview of the Divisional Games

All games are listed with their respective median expected scores.

Saints 25½-21½ 49ers
Fox, Saturday 4:30pm ET, announcers: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Most people still haven’t seen enough of the Niners to trust them enough, but the Saints are playing better than they have been all season. Then again, they’ve always been a different team at home than on the road; only time will tell if the Niners have the defense to stop Drew Brees and Co.

Broncos 18½-32 Patriots
CBS, Saturday 8pm ET, announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
If I was a betting man, I’d put good money on the Broncos, and maybe put a little on the under as well. Forget about Tebow for a second. The Pats’ defense… isn’t that great, while the Broncos have been winning with their defense. Even if you don’t think the Broncos are going to win, that MXS doesn’t make much sense to me, especially if you think what we saw last week from Tebow is a sign he’s becoming an actual quarterback.

Texans 14¼-21¾ Ravens
CBS, Sunday 1pm ET, announcers: Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
That’s one of the lower MXS scores I’ve seen all season (though not the lowest of the playoffs – Denver had an MXS of 13 for their game with the Steelers). I know the Ravens have a vaunted defense, but the Texans offense isn’t chopped liver, even with T.J. Yates as their quarterback. Despite how well the Texans played all year, this game has the feel of the Texans being the sacrificial lamb to allow the Ravens to move on in a game no one will watch, but if I was a betting man, I’d split the Texans with the over, with more money on the over.

Giants 22¾-30¼ Packers
Fox, Sunday 4:30pm ET, announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver, Chris Myers
The Giants are on such a winning streak, looked so dominant against the Falcons, and looked so good against the Packers that people have forgotten that they needed to beat the Cowboys the last week of the regular season to make the playoffs at 9-7 and are talking about them maybe possibly giving the Packers a hard time if not upsetting them. Actually, people have kind of forgotten that the Packers almost went undefeated. Really, people tend to forget everything about the regular season once the playoffs start.

We could have avoided all this if the secret players weren’t so secretive.

(From MS Paint Adventures: Homestuck. Click for full-sized discussion of dream reconnaissance.)

Just like that, we’re back to not knowing who’s really behind the assassination attempts – although it wouldn’t surprise me if Lalonde somehow had something to do with all of them. Nonetheless, you can ignore everything I said in my previous post, except the title and last line.

I could probably go into a detailed examination of Lalonde’s psyche and relationship with Jane, but instead I’ll just note that one could draw some parallels between Jane/Lalonde and Karkat/Sollux. The latter member of each pair warned the former member not to open their own file that they coded themselves, but the former member decided to run it anyway. If one were to take that precedent in mind, everyone involved is going to deeply regret Jane’s decision to run the file (although who knows if it’s an inevitable part of a scratched session).

Meanwhile, we now have an explanation, weird and incomplete as it may be, for why Lalonde and Strider know so much about the game. One may surmise that one reason for Strider’s weird state of awakeness may have something to do with this session eventually being joined by these kids’ own pre-Scratch counterparts; Jade already counts as the session’s pre-woken member, and this entire universe owes its existence to events within that session in the Medium.

Lalonde’s “wriggling day” reference remains unexplained, however, and her Sollux-like ~ATH coding skills could be seen as adding more fuel to that fire.

Getting serious about Da Blog and Da Streak

How serious am I about continuing the post-every-day streak? I’m adopting a buffer for posts.

There’s another new segment on the sidebar that will show how many days in advance I have posts in the pipe. For the moment, I have posts through next week: a post to include the MXS for the divisional games Friday, then the College Football Rankings, another sports graphics roundup, a quick observation, and at some point, an OOTS post, plus a full-fledged preview of the conference championship games. I intend to have posts going by the end of this month that will last me all of next month, and there will be a post to introduce that project on the 23rd, continuing the streak another day. And, on top of that, I hope to finally launch the forum by then, admittedly a lofty goal, but potentially bumping one of next week’s posts to the week after that.

Because I’m using the countdown script, the sidebar will include weekends and will be set for the day after the last post I have in the buffer so the day count will be accurate. For the most part, ignore the actual time except in terms of how much time I might have in the day to actually continue the streak.

I have a feeling Jane is going to regret agreeing to believe everything Ro-Lal says for 24 hours. Then again, by opening the file technically she’s already broken it.

(From MS Paint Adventures: Homestuck. Click for full-sized tree-loveseat.)

After seeing the logo on Jane’s hacked file, I think we’ve pretty much established who’s behind the assassination attempts. In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that we’ve already seen Jane and Jake’s dreamselves (as well as UU’s assurances), I’d be back to thinking that this universe is a red herring and none of these players will actually play the game – that the notion of the game is solely a ruse for Crockercorp to rub out Jane. Certainly I’m having a hard time seeing what other sources there are for the game.

Looking back at this pesterlog, we now see that Crockercorp never wanted Jane to play the game at all, but may have felt that it was inevitable. Instead, they brought the game within their own banner and made sure that the players’ every attempt to play it only resulted in their deaths. Presumably, Crockercorp knows of the game’s true nature, and how it will ruin all their plans if played. Or rather, the plans of some higher power, which the use of ~ATH in this attempt only seems to confirm… at this point, the theory – treated as almost a fact by someone at TV Tropes – that the “new boss” of the Dark Kingdom is in fact Crocker (which Lalonde seems to subscribe to) only adds fuel to the fire. The enemy is going all-out to ensure the players don’t discover and defeat it using whatever means it can.

Also, is it just me, or is Jane kind of an idiot?

What the New York City Marathon’s new TV deal says about the sports TV wars

You probably don’t care all that much about the New York City Marathon, but its recent deal with ESPN says a lot as we approach the one-year anniversary of the start of the Wars.

Previously, the New York City Marathon had aired on Universal Sports, a network most people probably haven’t heard of, and WNBC-TV in New York, with NBC airing edited highlights later. It’s quite understandable that the Marathon would want a network that could give it a truly national audience (especially with Universal Sports losing a lot of households at the start of the year as it transitioned away from airing on NBC stations’ digital feeds), but that didn’t necessarily mean leaving NBC, now that NBC has the NBC Sports Network in the fold.

I don’t know if NBCSN had other plans for that day, but it still shows that NBC has a long way to go to prove that it’s a viable platform for smaller events on par with even ESPN2.

Sport-Specific Networks
6 5.5 4.5 2.5 0 1.5

It’s the MorganWick.com National Championship Pregame Show!

I’m frantically running around trying to make sure I have classes for the coming quarter (as in, the quarter that’s almost a week old already), so I only have one thing to say about the national championship game, which I won’t be watching.

The MXS for the game is Alabama 21¾-19¾. No, I have no idea why Alabama is favored when LSU won the first game on Alabama’s home turf and is playing closer to home.

Final college football rankings coming Tuesday, hopefully, though I wouldn’t bet on it.

Predictions for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selections are performed by a panel of 44 leading NFL media members including representatives of all 32 NFL teams, a representative of the Pro Football Writers of America, and 11 at-large writers.

The panel has selected a list of 15 finalists from the modern era, defined as playing all or part of their careers within the last 25 years. A player must have spent 5 years out of the league before they can be considered for induction into the Hall of Fame. Players that last played in the 2006 season will be eligible for induction in 2012.

During Super Bowl Weekend, the panel will meet and narrow down the list of modern-era finalists down to five. Those five will be considered alongside two senior candidates, selected by a nine-member subpanel of the larger panel last August, for a total of seven. From this list, at least four and no more than seven people will be selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

My prediction for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 is:

Curtis Martin
Andre Reed
Dermontti Dawson
Cortez Kennedy
Charles Haley
Jack Butler
Dick Stanfel

Hall of Fame Game: Steelers v. Jets

Perhaps I should have seen this coming, the way he wrapped up the Fantasy crew’s quest. Ironically, the Fantasy theme had an open-ended finale.

(From Irregular Webcomic! Click for full-sized history of the periodic table.)

While researching the xkcd post from earlier today, imagine my surprise upon discovering that while I had stopped reading it, David Morgan-Mar had brought Irregular Webcomic! to a rather abrupt halt.

What’s even more freaky is that my very last IWC post predicted that the plan of the Steve and Terry and Scientific Revolution crew to turn Morgan-Mar’s pseudo-author avatar into Hitler (yes, that actually happened, and I never accused IWC of PVP/Goats Syndrome) could have wide-ranging effects on the timeline and universe of IWC.

(Not that IWC didn’t try to contract PVP/Goats Syndrome at the end, or entirely restore the history we’re familiar with, as it’s heavily implied that Death of Choking on a Giant Frog is actually Hitler, in Me’s body, after being assassinated by Haken in that fashion. Also, to clean up some loose ends from my other IWC posts, Shakespeare does in fact turn out to not only be from the 16th century, but to know it, but this leads to nothing but an incredibly cheezy and deus-ex-machina (even knowingly so) ending to the theme.)

Anyway, while Me’s death didn’t quite destabilize the timeline, that was only because the Head Death decided to send him back to 2002, because he was “the pivot point of this entire multiverse“, whose death wound up destabalizing it. So IWC wound up ending in a fashion quite similar to how I once predicted it might: Me discovering this newfangled “comics on the internet” thing.

Don’t worry, I didn’t give him the idea. In fact, he’d apparently had it in mind for years… but only came to the decision to end the comic less than a year before doing so, which makes me wonder exactly how planned the Irregular Crisis really was. (Although I call bullcrap on that claim, considering he ended the comic shortly after hitting Calvin and Hobbes’ comic-count, as he’d claimed his goal was.)

However, perhaps the real shocker of the Irregular Crisis and Morgan-Mar ending the comic? IWC was actually putting demands on his time! Who would’ve thunk it was even possible, with how many nonprofit projects he had?