Tagged with "USA"
Mid-Season Conference Report
Category: NCAA

*NOTE: This does not include today's games.*

I know it’s not right in the middle of the season, but we’ve had most of the inter-conference games that are scheduled, so I won’t do this again until before the bowls maybe.

The three records are overall, FBS, and power conferences. Just as a reminder, intra-conference games are excluded.


1. SEC
31-3, 26-3, 5-2
2. Pac-12
29-4, 21-4, 6-2
3. ACC
32-10, 18-10, 4-5
4. Big XII
19-8, 12-7, 4-6
5. Big Ten
35-14, 24-14, 5-11
(Independents {including Notre Dame}
10-4, 10-4, 4-4)
6. AAC
15-18, 7-18, 3-11
7. MWC
18-20, 8-20, 3-16
20-21, 13-19, 0-17
9. MAC
16-29, 6-27, 3-18
10. Sun Belt
10-23, 3-22, 1-12

I’m glad I waited an extra week. The Big Ten turned things around. Not enough to surpass any of the other power 5 conferences, but at least they look like a power 5 conference (P5).

The SEC now has three losses out of conference, but that’s still fewer than any other conference. The SEC has three more overall wins (and six more FBS wins) than the Pac-12, which has four losses.

I also think the SEC’s quality wins are clearly best: Clemson, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas St., East Carolina, Central Florida, Boise St.

The Pac-12’s P5 wins are Virginia, Northwestern, Michigan St., Michigan, Illinois, and Texas. There are no particularly impressive wins against lower teams. UTSA may be the best one, and they nearly beat Arizona. Fresno St. would have been a good win last year, but they don’t seem very good this year.

The Pac-12 is clearly ahead of any other conference apart from the SEC though. It actually has the best record against P5 teams with one more win than the SEC has. The other three P5 conferences all have losing records in those games.

Overall, the ACC, Big XII, and Big Ten are all between 70% and 75% success. The Pac-12 is at 87%, and the SEC is at 91%.

The Big Ten is clearly the lowest P5 conference still because is clearly worst (31.25%) against P5 teams (which include Notre Dame), and it’s also last of the group in overall winning percentage and FBS winning percentage. The Big Ten also has the second-highest number of FCS opponents so far, after the ACC.

It’s not easy to determine the better conference between the ACC and Big XII, but I give the nod to the ACC, who has wins over two P5 runners-up last season, Oklahoma St. and Ohio St., as well as over USC. The Big XII only has wins over Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota, and Tennessee. The Big XII has won a higher percentage (65-62%) over the FBS, but unlike the ACC, the Big XII has a loss to an FCS team.

The three independents apart from Notre Dame have done well, but it’s hard to compare three teams to 12 or 14 teams. But they combine for a winning record despite not having played any FCS opponents, so I think they would be right after the P5 conferences.

The first three second-tier conferences (I could call them group of 5, but that confuses people) that emerge are the AAC (some call it the American, it’s what is left of the football Big East), the CUSA, and the Mountain West. The Mountain West (MWC) is now basically the WAC, so it has a lot more weak teams than it used to.

I decided the worst of those three conferences, despite some similar percentages against DI as a whole and FBS was the CUSA. The CUSA has two losses to FCS teams and no wins against P5 teams in 17 games.

The AAC quality wins are East Carolina’s two wins over ACC teams and Temple’s win over Vanderbilt. I don’t think Vandy will be a bowl team this year, but they were last year, and while it wouldn’t be considered a good win for a P5, it is at this level. These are much better wins than the MWC over P5: Wake Forest, Colorado, and Washington St.

The only arguably good win for the MWC against other second-tiers is ULL, who has made (and won) minor bowl games a few years in a row, but the win was by Boise St., who may win the conference this year.

So that just leaves two more conferences to settle: the MAC and the Sun Belt. Apart from FCS teams, the MAC has better records in all the other categories. This is partly from having played 20 games already against the Big Ten, but as last week showed, that shouldn’t be completely dismissed. The only good win for the Sun Belt was ULM’s win over Wake, but Wake also lost to Utah St.

So I don’t think that one win is enough to overcome the other deficiencies. The MAC is also 2-1 against the Sun Belt.

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Better Late than Never: 2013 Conference Report
Category: NCAA

I’ll start with the records. I tabulate these myself, so they could be a game or two off for each conference (especially the “group of five” conferences, due to membership changes). If there is a reliable database somewhere, let me know though.

Best records overall
SEC 53-11
Pac-12 37-9
Big Ten 38-16
ACC 46-21
Big XII 25-11

Best records vs. FBS
SEC 40-10
Pac-12 28-8
Big XII 19-9
Big Ten 29-16
ACC 33-21

Best records vs. BCS-conference*
SEC 17-9
Pac-12 10-7
Big XII 7-7
ACC 12-14
Big Ten 11-13

Notre Dame went 9-4 against the FBS and 6-4 against the BCS conferences, although Temple really shouldn’t count.

*This includes Notre Dame since special provisions were made for them under the BCS. The American (AAC) was an automatic bid conference last season, so they still qualified. The AAC was the only conference outside of the “Big Five” (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12, SEC) that won more than 1/4 of its games against “Big Five” teams last year. Being that its membership continues to change and is now essentially what the CUSA was a few years ago, I did think it was fair to remove them starting this year. The new Playoff contract also treats them along with the CUSA, MAC, MWC, and Sun Belt (referred to as Group of Five).

I think it’s fair to say the major teams have consolidated themselves into the Big Five conferences. There were 10 fewer teams in the Big Five overall just 11 years ago, so what used to be a competitive Big East has been absorbed by the other conferences (Temple is an exception, but they were removed from the Big East effective in the 2005 season before being invited back to join what became the AAC) . There were a couple of teams that competed in the Big East recently there were not absorbed (such as Connecticut, South Florida, and Cincinnati), but South Florida and Connecticut are still fairly new to the FBS (with transition years in 2002 and 2003, respectively). Cincinnati was in the CUSA as recently as 2004, but I’ll admit they would probably fit in playing in a Big Five conference. There have always been a few outliers since the BCS started though.

Overall rankings and reasoning


Anyway, no surprise, but #1 goes to theSEC. It’s really no contest whatsoever based on those numbers alone. 16 more wins than the Pac-12 versus only two more losses. Even if you whittle it down to BCS-conference opponents, it’s 7 more wins versus two more losses.

It gets a little better when the AAC teams are eliminated, but one of those SEC wins was over Central Florida. That’s better than the Pac-12’s best out-of-conference wins Notre Dame and Wisconsin (which South Carolina also beat). Oklahoma St. (beaten by Missouri in the Cotton Bowl) was also better than those two teams.

Being that the they were the only other conference worth discussing for #1, the Pac-12 takes #2.

I’m actually going to award #3 to the ACC. They’re behind the Big XII in winning percentage against the Big Five, but look how many more games. There are more teams, but it’s approximately an average of one more opponent for every two teams. Ohio St., Georgia, and Auburn are a pretty good top of the list. Of course, LSU was the only team other than Florida St. to beat Auburn all year. Georgia’s only other out-of-conference loss was to Nebraska in the bowl game, and of course Ohio St.’s only other loss was in the Big Ten championship game.

Also, the ACC’s losses are pretty solid. The only bad ones were Northwestern (which beat Syracuse), Ball St. (which beat Virginia) and ULM (which beat Wake Forest).

Despite not having the best strength of schedule, I’m going with the Big XII as #4. Except for the FCS losses, every other loss was to a bowl team. North Dakota St. (one of the FCS losses; the other was Northern Iowa) probably could have been a bowl team had the Bison played in the FBS. I’m not going to pretend Maryland and Rice were very good but these are the rest of the FBS losses: Central Florida, Iowa, Oregon, LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, and BYU. The wins were similar in strength to those of the Big Ten, who I’d put 5th.

As mentioned, the AAC was #6, due largely to Louisville and Central Florida.

#7 is a bit of a surprise. I’m going with theSun Belt (SBC), which had a winning record in non-conference games. The only thing the Sun Belt got seriously wrong was letting in Georgia St., which lost to three FCS teams. There were a total of 12 combined losses to the SEC and Big XII, and all but a couple of those were to bowl teams. There weren’t any huge wins, but the SBC represented itself well against the other conferences: 4-2 against CUSA, 3-0 against the MAC, 1-0 against the MWC, and 5-1 against independents.

Speaking of Independents, I would put theindependents apart from Notre Dame after the Sun Belt, but since they’re not really a conference we can call them #7.5. The main reason they’re not even higher is because Idaho, New Mexico St., and Old Dominion were included last season.

CUSA is #8. North Carolina (lost to East Carolina) and Maryland (lost to Marshall) were decent wins, but there wasn’t much else to write home about. There were a very high number of losses, include two to South Alabama, which had just fully joined the FBS. There were three other losses to Sun Belt teams, three losses to MWC teams, and four to MAC teams.

#9 is the MWC. Most of Big-Five-conference opponents were in the Pac-12, but there was only the one win over Washington St. The only other FBS win was over Rutgers. There was one other win of substance by Utah St. over Northern Illinois in the bowl game, but I think that was mostly the Huskies being let down by the loss to Bowling Green for the MAC title. There were also some bad losses to Utah, Colorado, UTSA, and Texas St.

The #10 MAC only won 11 games over the FBS. It won 10 games over the FCS but lost two. Northern Illiniois beat a decent Iowa team, but the other three wins over BCS conferences were Connecticut, Virginia, and Purdue. Ohio had three wins over the CUSA, and Bowling Green had one. Also, Toledo beat Navy. Not really an impressive group of wins there.

In the comments on my blog, someone gave a website that breaks down records against teams ranked at the time, teams that finished the season ranked, wins against teams that won 7 or more, wins against teams that won 10 or more, etc.  It looks like my numbers above are accurate, at least from the ones I compared.  The only thing the site doesn't do as compared to the chart I keep is break down the matchup of one conference to another, which I think is useful in my analysis.  The site also gives an overall strength of schedule (for last season, the SEC was first and the Big XII was second), but I'm not sure how that's computed.  I think that's just averages.  I look a little bit more at the extremes: marquee wins and embarrassing losses.  I also consider who the teams are and where they fall in the conference.  There is an example this weekend when Tennessee plays Oklahoma.  That won't be a mark against the SEC if Tennessee (who was 12th in the SEC last year) loses.  It's not the same as if Alabama or Auburn were playing Oklahoma (who finished tied for second last season in the 10-team Big XII) or if Tennessee were playing Iowa St. (who finished tied for 7th with two conference wins). 

Monday Moaning (Oh Canada edition)
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Hockey NHL Olympics Sochi Canada Team USA


Well, again Canada showed their dominance in the sport of Hockey, to the entire world...First there was the Canadian women beating the U.S. women in overtime, for the gold medal...

Then in the men's semifinals, the Canadian team shutdown, and dominated an American team that had looked strong the whole tournament...The Americans looked flat most of the game, losing a tight defensive battle, 1-0...

The next day, the U.S.  fell flat again, looking pitiful in a 5-0 loss to Finland...Now, while Goalie Jonathan Quick played great against Canada, and he did play okay against the Finns, I would have started Ryan Miller in that game, just to give Quick the day off after the tough loss...I like Miller more anyways....But it didn't really matter...Quick was left hung out to dry most the game, as most of the Americans were looking flat, or in the case of Patrick Kane, pressing too hard...

So Sunday I had my money on Sweden who rolled through the tourney...But Canada played the same stifling game they put the U.S. through, and beat the Swedes 3-0...Canadian goalie Carey Price was totally out standing throughout the Olympics...

Those Canadians produce good looking goalies...


I wonder how well she can stick handle!?!

There is something unique about Olympic Hockey...I watched a lot of these Olympic games, minus the figure skating...And I got up early or DVR'ed a number of the hockey games...In all other Olympic events, winners of the Silver, and Bronze for the most part, are thrilled...They look genuinely happy when they finish their races, or what not...And they look happy to be getting their not Gold medal...But in Hockey, those Silver medal winners look just miserable...




Odd right, cause look how happy these two losers look standing on the sides of the chick that smoked them....


Is it that hockey players just care more?  Do the athletes in these others sports just have more fun, and are just happy to be there?  What is it?   I mean over time, I'd be happy to have my Silver or Bronze medal hanging on the wall, but that day...Right after some one beat my time, to take first place, I wouldn't bee smiling...I'd look pissed, and upset like the hockey players...

But now the Olympics are over and people can stop dreaming of another 1980 like "Miracle"...Every Olympics the 1980 U.S. Hockey team is brought up, and it brings us such joy...But it's time to knock it off...It will never happen again...Something that magical, and shocking, and thrilling won't happen, because, we have pro hockey players in the Olympics now...There is no dream of a bunch of college kids beating Russia's best...The Cold War is over...Their best play in the NHL, with our best, and Canada's best, and Sweden's best, and the rest of the best...Those moments are gone for good folks...

And for the few folks out there who were saying "Fuck Canada" over the last few days, I saw a great response to that on twitter Sunday morning...

"actually I'm pretty sure Canada fucks you" followed by this pic....


Pretty funny shit there!

Have a week...

The Beeze.

Slapshots and Hipchecks
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: WInter Olympics Team USA Bryan Stow John Tavares


Before I get started I want to take a minute to thank DVT for all his years of dedicated service here at the Gab. Like most of you I had the pleasure of meeting up with Doug at the now defunct TSN community. Back then he was writing a ton, he had so much going on in his head he had to create alter egos just to satisfy his urges to vent. Crabby was definitely my favorite, he was quite the curmudgeon whose brogue translated into the written word, it was a very enjoyable read for sure. I’ll miss DVT, but I see already he may have walked away from blogging, but he hasn’t left entirely, he’s around commenting and at least we still have the chance chat with him. He deserves the time away, and I hope whatever he ventures into in his “golden years” gives him as much joy as his blogs gave us here.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming: where to start? There’s not much going on in February, especially since we’re in an Olympic year. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been swept up in this Olympics as much as I usually am. I don’t know if it’s the ungodly time difference or what, but I’m just not feeling it. I love the hockey that’s been played so far but I’ve had to do a lot of dodging and avoiding of social media and news so I didn’t hear scores. If I hear a score I won’t watch the game…what’s the point? I guess the best game so far, the one that gave me the most pleasure was the Russians playing Finland. What’s better than having the Big Red Machine, or in this case, the “little engine that couldn’t”, play at home with Vladimir Putin sitting front and center watching Finland whip on them?  That was a pretty enjoyable game to watch, especially with Russia being so heavily favored by talking heads. I couldn’t understand why the hell they were routed as a favorite, even with home ice, not with Canada and the US teams competing against them…both of those teams are on another level.

Speaking of Team Canada and the Olympics, there’s a casualty coming home and for the Islanders it’s a huge loss…John Tavare has a torn MCL and meniscus and now is down for the season. The Isles were likely not going to make the playoffs, but any chance they may have had to make a run for the 8th seed went down with Tavares.

As for the Olympics as a whole, they’ve had a lot more ups than downs. From the reports of toilets not working, or two toilets being placed side by side in the same stall (remind me to hire that plumber), athletes being stuck in elevators, no one knowing where their rooms were, snow melting and just a plethora of other malfunctions, these Olympics will go down in history as the most expensive along with being the most disastrous on many levels. In excess of $52 billion dollars was spent to host these games. You’d think with that amount of money anted up they’d be able to have crews work around the clock readying the sites and being on time doing so, but that’s hardly been the case.


In other happenings, the two dirt bags that beat S.F. Giants fan Bryan Stow were in court today. Both pled guilty,  Louis Sanchez was sentenced to eight years and Marvin Norwood received 4 years for his part. Personally I think these two scumbags are getting off easy. Norwood is possibly eligible to be released as soon as today for the time he already served but the Feds have said they may very well get 10 years each on for weapons charges the government is bringing separately. GOOD! I hope they serve every day of that sentence for what they did to this poor guy, who worked as a paramedic. Apparently Sanchez was smiling while the judge was speaking and he let Sanchez have it, stating there was nothing funny about this whole debacle. Stow’s father addressed the two prior to sentencing, telling them “the years you spend in prison is what you cretin’s deserve”. I’m not sure if it were my son I could’ve been so reserved, I think I would’ve had to do a little more yelling, or at the very least the word SCUMBAG would’ve been spoken more than once.  Good riddance!


Well that’s all I have in the sport shortened month. As you all know by now, Norman and I will be alternating duties…my next time up we’ll undoubtedly have a lot more going on. Until then…enjoy the rest of the games (if you’re watching) and go Team USA!!!

Q-o-t-D 2/15/14 Tags: Olympics Hockey USA Russia
Were you up early go watch the epic U.S vs Russia Olympic hockey game?

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