Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Trouble with the Husker Offense: A Defensive Mentality in the Wrong Place: A Lesson for all Coaches

For background, see my posting on Selected Secrets of Good Coaching.

One of the problems that I have with the current offensive coordination at the University of Nebraska football team is that the Huskers have a zone-read "dive" offense that has a defensive mentality, and depends ON WHAT THE DEFENSE DOES.

That is not a true offense, that is a defense masquerading as an offense.

The defense is reactive by nature and reacts to what the offense is doing. The offense by its nature is not reactive, but active, and its job is to dictate the flow of play to the opponent. That is why offenses of coaches such as Chip Kelly at Oregon and Gus Malzahn at Auburn are so effective. THE OFFENSE IS DICTATING THE GAME, not vice versa.

The current offensive coordination at Nebraska does not understand that and should be removed at the end of this season.

An offensive coordinator who is trying "to control the ball" and "to control the clock", given the great defense that the Huskers have, is totally out of place. The only job of the offense is to score -- QUICKLY and OFTEN.

The offense is not there to keep the other team from scoring, that is the job of the defense.

Nebraska had the players this year to go undefeated, but not the coaches. That must be changed.

Ndamukong Suh Named Pro Bowl Starter for the NFC as a Rookie

Ndamukong Suh Named Pro Bowl Starter for the NFC as a Rookie
"It’s a tremendous honor, obviously being a rookie and getting my feet wet in the NFL,” Suh said. “I can’t expect anything more … it’s only going to make me want to work harder to get back there again.”

At the Olympian Todd Miles reports on the Husker Offense Against the Huskies

Nebraska will run its favorite play again and again and again against the Huskies - University of Washington - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington

Nebraska can only hope that this Holiday Bowl game will be the current Husker offensive coordinator's last game for the Cornhuskers. Anyone who talks about controlling the clock is just parrotting Callahan-nonsense. The job of the offense is to SCORE. SCORE. No one controls the clock. Time marches on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big Ten Conference Divisions to be Named LEGENDS and LEADERS

The AP reports that the new divisions of the Big Ten Conference -- to be comprised of twelve schools after the addition of Nebraska (UNL, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln) -- will be called LEGENDS and LEADERS.

In the LEADERS Division the six schools will be (alphabetically):
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin

In the LEGENDS Division the six schools will be (alphabetically):
Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern

See a map of the Big Ten 2011 plus informative links to the other Big Ten Conference schools at the website of the Nebraska Alumni Association.

One reason for the clout of the Big Ten Conference in American football doings comes from the tremendous size of the campuses, as 4 of the 10 largest universities by enrollment in the United States are Big Ten schools (see the Wikipedia).

College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2010-2011 NCAA Division I-A (FBS)

College Football Bowl Game Predictions 2010-2011 NCAA Division I-A (FBS) 

The numbers in parentheses give the YPPPSYS Final Pre-Bowl Ranking. The odds are taken from Yahoo odds on December 7, 2010, which may change and in many games surely will change by game time, so do not rely on our quotation of the Las Vegas odds. We use the odds as we find them.

As for our predictions, past results are no guarantee of future performance.

Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware). We make this material available in good fun out of interest for the sport of college football. Please do not rely on our material to place bets or wagers of any kind. No one knows the exact outcome of a game or a season before it is played and that is what makes it so interesting. We disclaim any and all liability for the consequences of anyone relying in any way upon our postings, analysis or reasoning - for which we make no warranty of accuracy. May the best team win.

All total offense and total defense stats are according to cfbstats.com.
We calculate schedule difficulty using the Massey Ratings (but we take the average ranking of opponents, not the Massey Ratings schedule rank, which we find to be not optimal).

We use Massey Ratings ranking for the best win and worst loss rank. Our own ratings sometimes might give diverging results, but this avoids confusion.

Saturday, December 11, 2010, 2:30 p.m. (all times EST)


AMERICA'S GAME, PHILADELPHIA'S HONOR
Army (90) vs. Navy (48), Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Navy was favored over Army by 7 points.
Our call: Navy 28-17.
Result: Navy won 31-17.
This season we are now 569-195 in calling the winner and 318-338-18 against the spread (betting line).
 
Saturday December 18, 2010

The 5th Annual  New Mexico Bowl, 2 p.m. in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Brigham Young (65) is favored over UTEP (89) by 12 points.
Our call: BYU 38-14. The Cougars have gotten much stronger as the season progressed, losing 17-16 to Utah on the road in their final regular season game, so we add a special calculation here, equating them with Utah, who we rank 26th.  Sagarin ranks the Cougars 55th and the Miners 112th, while Massey Ratings rank BYU 67th and UTEP 118th.
BYU: best win over a team ranked 31st (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
BYU: worst loss to a team ranked 113th
UTEP: best win over a team ranked 73rd
UTEP: worst loss to a team ranked 149th
BYU: total offense ranking 80th
BYU: total defense ranking 33rd
UTEP: total offense ranking 72nd
UTEP: total defense ranking 86th


The uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, 5:30 p.m. in Boise, Idaho
Northern Illinois (52) is favored over Fresno State (68) by 3 points.
Our call: Fresno State 34-31. We soured on the Huskies after they lost ignobly to Miami of Ohio in the MAC Championship game. Sagarin ranks the Huskies 56th and the Bulldogs 63rd, while Massey Ratings rank Northern Illinois 56th and Fresno State 54th. Jerry Kill, the head coach of the Huskies, has been named new head coach at Minnesota so that linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz will be the the interim head coach for the Humanitarian Bowl. Could it make a difference in the game??
Northern Illinois: best win over a team ranked 69th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Northern Illinois: worst loss to a team ranked 76th
Fresno State: best win over a team ranked 76th
Fresno State: worst loss to a team ranked 80th
Northern Illinois: total offense ranking 21st
Northern Illinois: total defense ranking 27th
Fresno State: total offense ranking71st
Fresno State: total defense ranking 50th

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, 9 p.m. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Troy (102) is favored over Ohio (79) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Troy 28-17. All of Ohio's wins have come against teams with offenses ranked 80th or worse. The Ohio defense may hold the Trojans occasionally, but not always, and their own offense is too weak to make much impact.
Troy: best win over a team ranked 152nd (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Troy: worst loss to a team ranked 161st
Ohio: best win over a team ranked 92nd
Ohio: worst loss to a team ranked 119th
Troy: total offense ranking 24th
Troy: total defense ranking 93rd
Ohio: total offense ranking 94th
Ohio: total defense ranking 28th

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Beef O'Brady's Bowl, 8 p.m. in St. Petersburg, Florida
Louisville (53) is favored over Southern Mississippi (74) by 3 1/2 points.
Our call: Southern Miss 24-23. The Cardinals beat BCS-bound Connecticut 26-0 in the regular season. UConn has the 96th ranked offense in FBS and Louisville wins have come against weak offenses. Southern Miss, however, sports the nation's 15th-ranked offense. By contrast, according to the Split Stats at cfbstats.com, Lousville leads the nation in ypp defense against FBS teams with winning records. Sagarin ranks the Cardinals 68th and the Golden Eagles 66th, while Massey Ratings rank Louisville 68th and Southern Miss 61st.
Louisville: best win over a team ranked 52nd (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Louisville: worst loss to a team ranked 85th
Southern Miss: best win over a team ranked 57th
Southern Miss: worst loss to a team ranked 122nd
Louisville: total offense ranking 65th
Louisville: total defense ranking 12th
Southern Miss: total offense ranking 15th
Southern Miss: total defense ranking 54th

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Maaco Bowl, 8 p.m. in Las Vegas, Nevada
Boise State (1) is favored over Utah (26) by 16 1/2 points. Sagarin ranks the Broncos 8th and the Utes 21st, while Massey Ratings rank Boise State 5th and Utah 23rd. The Broncos rank 4th nationally in both offense and defense, while Utah ranks 41st in total offense and 20th in total defense. Boise State can only be beaten, as in the case of Nevada, who should not have won, by a top-ranked offense. How can Utah win?
Our call: Boise State 38-17.
Boise State: best win over a team ranked 9th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Boise State: worst loss to a team ranked 13th
Utah: best win over a team ranked 39th
Utah: worst loss to a team ranked 26th
Boise State: total offense ranking 4th
Boise State: total defense ranking 4th
Utah: total offense ranking 41st
Utah: total defense ranking 20th

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Poinsettia Bowl, 8 p.m. in San Diego, California
San Diego State (23) is favored over Navy (48) by 5 points (updated December 13 as no line was known before that)
Our call: San Diego State 35-31. The Aztecs may have a relatively better rushing defense than the Midshipmen have passing defense, but neither should be able to stop the other much of the time.
San Diego State: best win over a team ranked 39th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
San Diego State: worst loss to a team ranked 67th
Navy: best win over a team ranked 26th
Navy: worst loss to a team ranked 87th
San Diego State: total offense ranking 18th
San Diego State: total defense ranking 43rd
Navy: total offense ranking 36th
Navy: total defense ranking 69th

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hawaii Bowl, 8 p.m. in Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii (9) is favored over Tulsa (56) by 11 1/2 points.
Our call: Hawaii 54-37. The offenses are both about equally strong, but the Warriors seem to have the stronger defense, ranking 38th to Tulsa's 107th spot.
Hawaii: best win over a team ranked 13th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Hawaii: worst loss to a team ranked 64th
Tulsa: best win over a team ranked 26th
Tulsa: worst loss to a team ranked 74th
Hawaii: total offense ranking 8th
Hawaii: total defense ranking 38th
Tulsa: total offense ranking 5th
Tulsa: total defense ranking 107th

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, 8:30 p.m. in Detroit, Michigan
Toledo (84) is favored over Florida International (93) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Florida International 31-27.
Toledo: best win over a team ranked 85th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Toledo: worst loss to a team ranked 127th
Florida International: best win over a team ranked 110th
Florida International: worst loss to a team ranked 169th
Toledo: total offense ranking 77th
Toledo: total defense ranking 62nd
Florida International: total offense ranking 44th
Florida International: total defense ranking 57th

Monday, December 27, 2010

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, 5 p.m. in Shreveport, Louisiana
Air Force (42) is favored over Georgia Tech (62) by 2 1/2 points.
Our call: Air Force 31-24. We are not sure what sense it makes to match the No.1 and No. 2 ranked rushing offenses in the nation, but here we go. How about defense? In terms of yards allowed per rushing play to opposing teams, Georgia Tech is 93rd and Air Force 96th. Do we expect much passing? Not when we see that Air Force ranks 117th and Georgia Tech 119th in passing offense.
Air Force: best win over a team ranked 85th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Air Force: worst loss to a team ranked 127th
Georgia Tech: best win over a team ranked 110th
Georgia Tech: worst loss to a team ranked 169th
Air Force: total offense ranking 25th
Air Force: total defense ranking 43rd
Georgia Tech: total offense ranking 34th
Georgia Tech: total defense ranking 66th

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Champs Sports Bowl, 6:30 p.m. in Orlando, Florida
West Virginia (32) is favored over North Carolina State (55) by 2 1/2 points.
Our call: West Virginia 20-17. The Mountaineers lost 3 games by a total of 14 points. The Wolfpack lost 3 games by a total of 16 points, but one of those losses was to East Carolina. The difference should be the West Virginia defense.
West Virginia: best win over a team ranked 34th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
West Virginia: worst loss to a team ranked 66th
North Carolina State: best win over a team ranked 20th
North Carolina State: worst loss to a team ranked 80th
According to the Split Stats at cfbstats.com, West Virginia is second in the nation in ypp defense against FBS teams with winning records.
West Virginia: total offense ranking 64th
West Virginia: total defense ranking 3rd
North Carolina State: total offense ranking 40th
North Carolina State: total defense ranking 35th

Insight Bowl, 10 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona
Missouri (19) is favored over Iowa (28) by 1 point.
Our call: Missouri 31-27. Missouri should not be rated better than Nebraska by any means, but their offense should be strong enough to beat Iowa.
Missouri: best win over a team ranked 10th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Missouri: worst loss to a team ranked 44th
Iowa: best win over a team ranked 19th
Iowa: worst loss to a team ranked 86th
Missouri: total offense ranking 45th
Missouri: total defense ranking 42nd
Iowa: total offense ranking 61st
Iowa: total defense ranking 15th

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Military Bowl, 2:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
Maryland (41) is favored over East Carolina (76) by 7 1/2 points.
Our call: Maryland 38-31. East Carolina is hard to predict because they have a terrific offense and an equally dismal defense, last in FBS. Which will prevail?
Maryland: best win over a team ranked 29th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Maryland: worst loss to a team ranked 38th
East Carolina: best win over a team ranked 28th
East Carolina: worst loss to a team ranked 128th
Maryland: total offense ranking 85th
Maryland: total defense ranking 46th
East Carolina: total offense ranking 22nd
East Carolina: total defense ranking 120th

Texas Bowl, 6 p.m. in Houston, Texas
Baylor (36) is favored over Illinois (50) by 2 points.
Our call: Illinois 31-27. The Bears' offense ranks 13th, one notch above Stanford, but their defense ranks 98th, whereas the Fighting Illini sport the nation's 57th ranked offense and 38th best defense.
Baylor: best win over a team ranked 49th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Baylor: worst loss to a team ranked 44th
Illinois: best win over a team ranked 53rd
Illinois: worst loss to a team ranked 54th
Baylor: total offense ranking 13th
Baylor: total defense ranking 98th
Illinois: total offense ranking 57th
Illinois: total defense ranking 38th

Valero Alamo Bowl, 9:15 p.m. in San Antonio, Texas
Oklahoma State (8) is favored over Arizona (18) by 6 points.
Our call: Oklahoma State 41-31.The Wildcats have lost every game this year against better offenses, so that against the top offense in the country it is difficult to see them keeping pace for the space of an entire game.
Oklahoma State: best win over a team ranked 16th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Oklahoma State: worst loss to a team ranked 18th
Arizona: best win over a team ranked 31st
Arizona: worst loss to a team ranked33rd
Oklahoma State: total offense ranking 1st
Oklahoma State: total defense ranking 90th
Arizona: total offense ranking 23rd
Arizona: total defense ranking 37th

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, noon in Fort Worth, Texas
SMU (44) is favored over Army (90) by 8 points (updated December 13 as no line was known before that)
Our call: SMU 36-21. SMU has been unpredictable and Army played strong against Navy, but the stats favor the Mustangs.
SMU: best win over a team ranked 47th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
SMU: worst loss to a team ranked 124th
Army: best win over a team ranked 83rd
Army: worst loss to a team ranked 105th
SMU: total offense ranking 33rd
SMU: total defense ranking 56th
Army: total offense ranking 86th
Army: total defense ranking 26th


1st New Era Pinstripe Bowl, 3:20 p.m. in the Bronx, New York
Kansas State (63) is favored over Syracuse (49) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Syracuse 24-21. The Orange have a defense ranking 5th in the country so that it is hard to see how the Wildcats are supposed to win this game.
Kansas State: best win over a team ranked 48th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Kansas State: worst loss to a team ranked 64th
Syracuse: best win over a team ranked 27th
Syracuse: worst loss to a team ranked 68th
Kansas State: total offense ranking 62nd
Kansas State: total defense ranking 106th
Syracuse: total offense ranking 106th
Syracuse: total defense ranking 5th

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, 6:40 p.m. in Nashville, Tennessee
North Carolina (24) is favored over Tennessee (46) by 2 points.
Our call: North Carolina 27-21. The Vols have been a disappointment and their best win is over a team ranked 59th out of 120.
North Carolina: best win over a team ranked 20th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
North Carolina: worst loss to a team ranked 60th
Tennessee: best win over a team ranked 59th
Tennessee: worst loss to a team ranked 35th
North Carolina: total offense ranking 51st
North Carolina: total defense ranking 32nd
Tennessee: total offense ranking 74th
Tennessee: total defense ranking 70th

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, 10 p.m. in San Diego, California
Nebraska (11) is favored over Washington (47) by 13 points.
Our call: Nebraska 38-10. This is a meaningless game since it is a senseless repeat of a regular season game -- such repeats should be forbidden for bowl games -- so we hope the coaches and players at least have some fun in sunny San Diego. The Huskies have improved in the course of the season, beating USC, whereas the Huskers have not improved at all, especially on offense, so the score will likely be closer than the Cornhusker's 56-21 romp early in the season in Seattle, unless the defense shuts down the Washington offense entirely this game.
Nebraska: best win over a team ranked 15th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS) (we rank Oklahoma State 8th)
Nebraska: worst loss to a team ranked 63rd by Massey (we rate Texas 33rd in our ratings)
Washington: best win over a team ranked 21st (USC)
Washington: worst loss to a team ranked 67th (BYU)
Nebraska: total offense ranking 35th
Nebraska: total defense ranking 10th
Washington: total offense ranking 75th
Washington: total defense ranking 84th

Friday, December 31, 2010

Meineke Car Care Bowl, noon in Charlotte, North Carolina
Clemson (45) is favored over South Florida (57) by 4 1/2 points.
Our call: Clemson 26-21. Two teams with top-notch defenses and subpar offenses meet. The Tigers nearly beat Auburn in the 3rd game of the season, losing in overtime 27-24, but were otherwise spotty in performance, losing to South Carolina 29-7, a team that Auburn beat handily 56-17 in the SEC Championship Game. 
Clemson: best win over a team ranked 29th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Clemson: worst loss to a team ranked 43rd
South Florida: best win over a team ranked 32nd
South Florida: worst loss to a team ranked 65th
Clemson: total offense ranking 87th
Clemson: total defense ranking 23rd
South Florida: total offense ranking 103rd
South Florida: total defense ranking 21st

Hyundai Sun Bowl, 2 p.m. in El Paso, Texas
Miami of Florida (38) is favored over Notre Dame (31) by 3 points.
Our call: Notre Dame 26-24. Head coach Randy Shannon is gone and the Hurricanes will be led in the bowl by interim head coach, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Shannon's departure was not popular with Miami players.
Miami of Florida: best win over a team ranked 34th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Miami of Florida: worst loss to a team ranked 88th
Notre Dame: best win over a team ranked 23rd
Notre Dame: worst loss to a team ranked 47th
Miami of Florida: total offense ranking 31st
Miami of Florida: total defense ranking 16th
Notre Dame: total offense ranking 63rd
Notre Dame: total defense ranking 47th

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, 3:30 p.m. in Memphis, Tennessee
Georgia (35) is favored over UCF (Central Florida) (43) by 6 1/2 points.
Our call: Georgia 24-17. Both teams will have trouble with the opposing defenses, which are the teams' strengths. Both teams are ranked considerably higher than the best team either of them has actually beaten.
Georgia: best win over a team ranked 46th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Georgia: worst loss to a team ranked 64th
UCF: best win over a team ranked 74th
UCF: worst loss to a team ranked 61st
Georgia: total offense ranking 48th
Georgia: total defense ranking 29th
UCF: total offense ranking 58th
UCF: total defense ranking 18th

Chick-fil-A Bowl, 7:30 p.m. in Atlanta, Georgia
South Carolina (27) is favored over Florida State (14) by 3 points.
Our call: Florida State 27-24. Our stats favor the Seminoles.
South Carolina: best win over a team ranked 8th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
South Carolina: worst loss to a team ranked 59th
Florida State: best win over a team ranked 30th
Florida State: worst loss to a team ranked 37th
South Carolina: total offense ranking 50th
South Carolina: total defense ranking 52nd
Florida State: total offense ranking 55th
Florida State: total defense ranking 41st

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1st TicketCity Bowl, noon in Dallas, Texas
Texas Tech (61) is favored over Northwestern (73) by 9 1/2 points.
Our call: Texas Tech 38-21. The Red Raiders are likely to win against a team that lost its starting quarterback near season's end and so can not take advantage of the atrocious Texas Tech defense. Texas Tech has a potent offense, that Tommy Tuberville, who is a candidate for the University of Miami head coaching job, did not seem to be able to develop to full potential.
Texas Tech: best win over a team ranked 15th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Texas Tech: worst loss to a team ranked 66th
Northwestern: best win over a team ranked 41st
Northwestern: worst loss to a team ranked 90th
Texas Tech: total offense ranking 16th
Texas Tech: total defense ranking 116th
Northwestern: total offense ranking 49th
Northwestern: total defense ranking 92nd

Outback Bowl, 1 p.m. in Tampa, Florida
Florida (22) is favored over Penn State (58) by 7 1/2 points.
Our call: Florida 27-17. Urban Meyer will be coaching his last game as Florida head coach against Penn State and a Joe Paterno who pledges to return next season. Even Paterno sees this as a sentimental advantage for the Gators, whose main strength, surprisingly enough, is not offense, but defense.
Florida: best win over a team ranked 35th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Florida: worst loss to a team ranked 24th
Penn State: best win over a team ranked 50th
Penn State: worst loss to a team ranked 55th
Florida: total offense ranking 79th
Florida: total defense ranking 9th
Penn State: total offense ranking 67th
Penn State: total defense ranking 45th

Capital One Bowl, 1 p.m. in Orlando, Florida
Alabama (5) is favored over Michigan State (15) by 11 points.
Our call: Alabama 34-21. Our stats favor the Crimson Tide and so we were interested to see that Sagarin's predictor, which operates by margin of victory -- we do not take margin of victory into account -- gives the same result.
Alabama: best win over a team ranked 6th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Alabama: worst loss to a team ranked 13th
Michigan State: best win over a team ranked 11th
Michigan State: worst loss to a team ranked 42nd
Alabama: total offense ranking 27th
Alabama: total defense ranking 6th
Michigan State: total offense ranking 38th
Michigan State: total defense ranking 31st


Gator Bowl, 1:30 p.m. in Jacksonville, Florida
Mississippi State (37) is favored over Michigan (30) by 6 points.
Our call: Michigan 36-35. We have a Wolverine grad in the family, so we root for Michigan, even though the stats favor the Bulldogs. However, because of the weak Mississippi State offense and in spite of a desolate Michigan defense, the high-powered Michigan offense has a chance to take this game.
Mississippi State: best win over a team ranked 30th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Mississippi State: worst loss to a team ranked 12th
Michigan: best win over a team ranked 26th
Michigan: worst loss to a team ranked 53rd
Mississippi State: total offense ranking 47th
Mississippi State: total defense ranking 53rd
Michigan: total offense ranking 6th
Michigan: total defense ranking 108th

Rose Bowl, 5 p.m. in Pasadena, California
TCU (4) is favored over Wisconsin (13) by 2 points.
Our call: TCU 27-17. Can Wisconsin move against the Nr. 1 defense in FBS?
TCU: best win over a team ranked 23rd (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
TCU: worst loss - none - undefeated
Wisconsin: best win over a team ranked 7th
Wisconsin: worst loss to a team ranked 19th
TCU: total offense ranking 9th
TCU: total defense ranking 1st
Wisconsin: total offense ranking 17th
Wisconsin: total defense ranking 31st

Fiesta Bowl, 8:30 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona
Oklahoma (21) is favored over Connecticut (64) by 17 points.
Our call: Oklahoma 34-13. When a 4-loss team that we rank 64th (ranked 52nd by Massey Ratings and 56th by Sagarin at USA Today) gets a BCS bowl bid you know the BCS system stinks to high heaven. The other team of the Big 8 championship game, Nebraska, is playing 6-6 Washington, ranked 31st by Massey Ratings and 43rd by Sagarin. The Huskies are a team the Cornhuskers beat 56-21 in the regular season. Big 12 Conference University Presidents and Chancellors as well as the Big 12 Conference Commissioner and administrators are failures for permitting such scandalous matchups to happen.
Oklahoma: best win over a team ranked 17th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Oklahoma: worst loss to a team ranked 15th
Connecticut: best win over a team ranked 27th
Connecticut: worst loss to a team ranked 106th
Oklahoma: total offense ranking 12th
Oklahoma: total defense ranking 58th
Connecticut: total offense ranking 96th
Connecticut: total defense ranking 48th

Monday, January 3, 2011

Discover Orange Bowl, 8:30 p.m. in Miami, Florida    
Stanford (10) is favored over Virginia Tech (17) by 3 points.
Our call: Stanford 31-24. The SportPundit is a Stanford alum, so we are hardly going to forecast a Hokie victory, though Virginia Tech has improved greatly over the space of the season. But it is unlikely they can match Stanford.
Stanford: best win over a team ranked 21st (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Stanford: worst loss to a team ranked 1st
Virginia Tech: best win over a team ranked 20th
Virginia Tech: worst loss to a team ranked 5th (not including James Madison loss, FCS)
Stanford: total offense ranking 14th
Stanford: total defense ranking 24th 
Virginia Tech: total offense ranking 37th
Virginia Tech: total defense ranking 40th

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Allstate Sugar Bowl, 8:30 p.m. in New Orleans, Louisiana
Ohio State (7) is favored over Arkansas (6) by 3 points.
Our call: Arkansas 34-27. The Buckeyes are over-rated and should have serious problems with the Arkansas offense.
Ohio State: best win over a team ranked 32nd (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Ohio State: worst loss to a team ranked 11th
Arkansas: best win over a team ranked 11th
Arkansas: worst loss to a team ranked 8th
Ohio State: total offense ranking 18th
Ohio State: total defense ranking 2nd
Arkansas: total offense ranking 10th
Arkansas: total defense ranking 34th

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Go Daddy Bowl, 8 p.m. in Mobile, Alabama
Miami of Ohio (80) is favored over Middle Tennessee State
  (111) by 1 1/2 points.
Our call: Miami of Ohio 31-14. The win over Northern Illinois was impressive.
Miami of Ohio: best win over a team ranked 79th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Miami of Ohio: worst loss to a team ranked 85th
Middle Tennessee: best win over a team ranked 161st
Middle Tennessee: worst loss to a team ranked 249th
Miami of Ohio: total offense ranking 83rd
Miami of Ohio: total defense ranking 29th 
Middle Tennessee: total offense ranking 70th
Middle Tennessee: total defense ranking 71st
 
Friday, January 7, 2011


AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, 8 p.m. in Arlington, Texas
LSU (20) is favored over Texas A&M (16) by 1 point.
Our call: LSU 17-14. Both of these teams played Arkansas. Texas A&M lost 24-17 at home. LSU lost 31-23 on the road.
LSU: best win over a team ranked 8th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
LSU: worst loss to a team ranked 6th
Texas A&M: best win over a team ranked 10th
Texas A&M: worst loss to a team ranked 17th
LSU: total offense ranking 89th
LSU: total defense ranking 8th
Texas A&M: total offense ranking 20th
Texas A&M: total defense ranking 51st

Saturday, January 8, 2011

BBVA Compass Bowl, noon in Birmingham, Alabama
Pittsburgh (40) is favored over Kentucky (60) by 2 1/2 points.
Our call: Pittsburgh 24-21. The Panthers have lost their head coach, Dave Wannstedt, for the coming season, due to another dubious call by their AD, a former Nebraska AD, and a name one does mention gladly in Huskerland, but it appears as if Wannstedt will coach the bowl game, which should give the team tremendous motivation to win his Pitt coaching finale. On the opposing front, as reported at Yahoo Sports, Mike Hartline, the starting Wildcat QB was arrested Friday and has pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication. We originally favored Kentucky in this game, but due to those two bits of news, switch our call to Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh: best win over a team ranked 58th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Pittsburgh: worst loss to a team ranked 52nd
Kentucky: best win over a team ranked 14th
Kentucky: worst loss to a team ranked 81st
Pittsburgh: total offense ranking 73rd
Pittsburgh: total defense ranking 11th 
Kentucky: total offense ranking 26th
Kentucky: total defense ranking 49th

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, 9 p.m. in San Francisco, California
Nevada (12) is favored over Boston College (39) by 9 1/2 points.

Our call: Nevada 38-24.
Nevada: best win over a team ranked 5th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Nevada: worst loss to a team ranked 28th
Boston College: best win over a team ranked 36th
Boston College: worst loss to a team ranked 34th
Nevada: total offense ranking 3rd
Nevada: total defense ranking 66th
Boston College: total offense ranking 105th
Boston College: total defense ranking 14th

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tostitos BCS Championship Game, 8:30 p.m. in Glendale, Arizona
Auburn (2) is favored over Oregon (3) by 3 points.
Our call: Auburn 49-45. Speed meets speed as two of the best offensive minds in college football clash on the gridiron. Will Kelly get the best of Malzahn, or vice versa. Or will the defenses decide this game? Can the Pac 10 break the current hold that the SEC has on national championships?
The detailed cumulative stats of the two teams are amazingly similar:
see Auburn, see Oregon.
Oregon has only 3 wins against teams with winning records.
Auburn has 6 wins against teams with winning records, counting South Carolina only once, but its close overtime win 27-24 was against 6-6 Clemson in its second game of the season.
Oregon beat an SEC team, Tennessee, 48-13 in the 2nd game of the season, inflicting the worst loss on the Vols this year, the second worst being a 41-10 loss to Alabama, the defending national championship team that Auburn beat 28-27. Auburn did not play Tennessee this year.
Auburn: best win over a team ranked 6th (by Massey Ratings, see YPPSYS)
Auburn: no worst loss - undefeated
Auburn: 2.2 NAYPPA - net average yards per play advantage over opponents
Auburn: average rank of opponents this season was ca. 40th
 Auburn: total offense ranking 7th
Auburn: total defense ranking 54th
Oregon: best win over a team ranked 3rd
Oregon: no worst loss - undefeated
Oregon: 2.3 NAYPPA - net average yards per play advantage over opponents
Oregon: average rank of opponents this season was ca. 60th
Oregon: total offense ranking 2nd
Oregon: total defense ranking 25th
In one stat Oregon has a tremendous advantage - punt returns, but that may play no role against an Auburn team not likely to punt much in this game.

FBS College Football: Replace BCS with a Game System of 60 Bowls Matching Neighboring Teams from the Massey Consensus of 132 Football Ranking Systems

There is not enough support out there for a playoff system in Division I-A FBS college football, but it is clear that the current BCS system is flawed to the core.

What we propose here is a full-fledged bowl season of 60 Bowl Games including every school in Division I-A FBS. There is no reason to limit bowls to so-called "bowl eligible" teams sporting at least a 6-6 tie record. Precisely the weaker football schools could use the extra cash from bowl games to help finance improvements to their athletic programs. Moreover, why should good players be denied bowl games just because their team goes 5-7, or whatever. The game is there for the students. That is the whole idea.

Our proposal is to take the Massey Consensus Ratings of currently 132 Football Ranking Systems (or some similar consensus of team rankings for all the teams in FBS) and to match the teams in order, i.e. 1 with 2, 3 with 4, 5 with 6, etc. For the current season, this would have resulted in the following bowl matchups.


Team & Rank
Conference
Won-Loss Record

Team & Rank
Conference
Won-Loss Record
1 Oregon
PAC 10
12-0
vs.
2 Auburn
SEC
13-0
3 TCU
MWC
12-0
vs.
4 Stanford
PAC 10 
11-1
5 Boise St
WAC
11-1
vs.
6 Oklahoma
BIG 12
11-2
7 Ohio St
BIG 10
11-1
vs.
8 Arkansas
SEC
10-2
9 Wisconsin
BIG 10
11-1
vs.
10 Alabama
SEC
9-3
11 Missouri
BIG 12
10-2
vs.
12 LSU
SEC
10-2
13 Oklahoma St
BIG 12
10-2
vs.
14 Virginia Tech
ACC
11-2
15 Nebraska
BIG 12
10-3
vs.
16 Nevada
WAC
12-1
17 Texas A&M
BIG 12
9-3
vs.
18 Michigan St
BIG 10
11-1
19 South Carolina
SEC
9-4
vs.
20 Florida St
ACC
9-4
21 Utah
MWC
10-2
vs.
22 West Virginia
BIG EAST
9-3
23 Mississippi St
SEC
8-4
vs.
24 Hawaii
WAC
10-3
25 USC (no NCAA bans)
PAC 10
8-5
vs.
26 NC State
ACC
8-4
27 Notre Dame
FBSI
7-5
vs.
28 Arizona
PAC 10
7-5
29 Florida
SEC
7-5
vs.
30 Iowa
BIG 10
7-5
31 Air Force
MWC
8-4
vs.
32 Miami FL
ACC
7-5
33 Maryland
ACC
8-4
vs.
34 UCF
CUSA
10-3
35 Navy
FBSI
8-3
vs.
36 Arizona St
PAC 10
6-6
37 Texas Tech
BIG 12
7-5
vs.
38 Pittsburgh
BIG EAST
7-5
39 Tulsa
CUSA
9-3
vs.
40 Baylor
BIG 12
7-5
41 San Diego St
MWC
8-4
vs.
42 North Carolina
ACC
7-5
43 Michigan
BIG 10
7-5
vs.
44 Penn St
BIG 10
7-5
45 N Illinois
MAC
10-3
vs.
46 Oregon St
PAC 10
5-7
47 Georgia
SEC
6-6
vs.
48 Kansas St
BIG 12
7-5
49 Washington
PAC 10
6-6
vs.
50 Connecticut
BIG EAST
8-4
51 Illinois
BIG 10
6-6
vs.
52 Clemson
ACC
6-6
53 Fresno St
WAC
8-4
vs.
54 California
PAC 10
5-7
55 Boston College
ACC
7-5
vs.
56 Southern Miss
CUSA
8-4
57 Tennessee
SEC
6-6
vs.
58 BYU
MWC
6-6
59 Texas
BIG 12
5-7
vs.
60 South Florida
BIG EAST
7-5
61 Colorado
BIG 12
5-7
vs.
62 Iowa St
BIG 12
5-7
63 Northwestern
BIG 10
7-5
vs.
64 Kentucky
SEC
6-6
65 Toledo
MAC
8-4
vs.
66 Temple
MAC
8-4
67 Syracuse
BIG EAST
7-5
vs.
68 Georgia Tech
ACC
6-6
69 Louisville
BIG EAST
6-6
vs.
70 SMU
CUSA
7-6
71 Miami OH
MAC
9-4
vs.
72 Ohio
MAC
8-4
73 UCLA
PAC 10
4-8
vs.
74 East Carolina
CUSA
6-6
75 Mississippi
SEC
4-8
vs.
76 Army
FBSI
6-5
77 Cincinnati
BIG EAST
4-8
vs.
78 Louisiana Tech
WAC 
5-7
79 Houston
CUSA
5-7
vs.
80 Idaho
WAC
6-7
81 Troy
SBC
7-5
vs.
82 W Michigan
MAC
6-6
83 Purdue
BIG 10
4-8
vs.
84 Indiana
BIG 10
5-7
85 Minnesota
BIG 10
3-9
vs.
86 Florida Intl
SBC
6-6
87 Virginia
ACC
4-8
vs.
88 Marshall
CUSA
5-7
89 UTEP
CUSA
6-6
vs.
90 Duke
ACC
3-9
91 Washington St
PAC 10
2-10
vs.
92 Rutgers
BIG EAST
4-8
93 Utah St
WAC
4-8
vs.
94 Kansas
BIG 12
3-9
95 Wake Forest
ACC
3-9
vs.
96 Kent
MAC
5-7
97 UAB
CUSA
4-8
vs.
98 Rice
CUSA
4-8
99 Wyoming
MWC
3-9
vs.
100 Arkansas St
SBC
4-8
101 Middle Tenn St
SBC
6-6
vs.
102 ULM
SBC
5-7
103 Colorado St
MWC
3-9
vs.
104 C Michigan
MAC
3-9
105 Vanderbilt
SEC
2-10
vs.
106 Tulane
CUSA
4-8
107 UNLV
MWC
2-11
vs.
108 FL Atlantic
SBC
4-8
109 Ball St
MAC
4-8
vs.
110 North Texas
SBC
3-9
111 ULL
SBC
3-9
vs.
112 Bowling Green
MAC
2-10
113 San Jose St
WAC
1-12
vs.
114 New Mexico St
WAC
2-10
115 W Kentucky 
SBC
2-10
vs.
116 New Mexico
MWC
1-11
117 E Michigan
MAC
2-10
vs.
118 Buffalo
MAC
2-10
119 Memphis
CUSA
1-11
vs.
120 Akron
MAC
1-11

* If matchups involved the same conference or a repeat of a game that was already held in the regular season, then the ultimate system would have to have provisions 1) to allow teams to keep a matchup if desired, e.g. Michigan vs. Penn State, who did not meet in the regular season, could be a game played, or 2) opponents could be exchanged with other conferences facing the same problem, or 3) bowl system administrators could shift games -- based on predetermined written criteria -- with the most closely ranked teams to insure that teams from the same conference do not play each other or that regular season game opponents do not play each other again.

By contrast, the current BCS System is totally out of whack.

Here are the current bowl matchups for the Big 12 as an example. The rankings are taken from the Massey Consensus of 132 Ranking Systems:

Conference champ Oklahoma 11-2 ranked 5 vs. Connecticut 8-4 ranked 50
Conference runner-up Nebraska 10-3 ranked 15 vs. Washington 6-6 ranked 49
South Div. runner-up Oklahoma St. 10-2 ranked 13 vs. Arizona 7-5 ranked 28
North Div. runner-up Missouri 10-2 ranked 11 vs. Iowa 7-5 ranked 30
South Div. 3rd  Kansas State 7-5 ranked 48 vs. Syracuse 7-5 ranked 75.
North Div. 3rd Texas A&M 9-3 ranked 17 vs. LSU 10-2 ranked 12.
North Div. 4th Baylor 7-5 ranked 40 vs. Illinois 6-6 ranked 51.
North Div. 5th Texas Tech 7-5 ranked 37 vs. Northwestern 7-5 ranked 63.

The eight Big 12 teams in 8 bowl games have a combined ranking of 186 or an average ranking of 23 and are playing 8 opponents in bowls whose combined ranking is 338 or an average ranking of 42. That can not be the purpose of the bowl system.

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