Time for College Football

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Time for College Football

#1

Post by juliets » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:05 am

Hard to believe the season has finally started. We (Alabama) play FSU tonight and I'm nervous as hell. Usually we play some school like Barton College for the first game of the season but no, this time we have to play a powerhouse. Hate to lose right out of the gate. Well, root for us! We're on at 8:00. Who's your team this year?
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Re: Time for College Football

#2

Post by juliets » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:51 am

So, nobody watches college football here? You're missing out! It's better than the NFL and I love the NFL. So much more emotion in college and nerve wracking if you're pulling for a particular school.
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Re: Time for College Football

#3

Post by G-Man » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:33 pm

Here's my problem with college football- it's an inferior play style compared to the NFL. Few college teams even run NFL-style offensive and defensive systems, which is why rookies often times look overwhelmed in the NFL. Top draft picks are never a sure thing and a fair amount of them turn out to be busts because they can't adapt to the NFL game. It's becoming more and more a problem and is weakening the NFL (though the continued reduction of contact practices isn't helping players adjust either). Take last week for example- Week 1 of the NFL season was pretty lackluster. All week I heard sports radio people talking about how young lineman just aren't playing well.

Plus college football has a lot of BS in the ranking of teams. I don't think they should rank teams nationally until at least halfway through the season. You also have a number of top 25 schools that pad their records and stats by playing against nobodies and yet we're somehow supposed to apply significance to those games.

DISCLAIMER: I've lived in the heart of Penn State football country all my life and the rampant idiocy of die-hard fans drives me bonkers. This probably is the foundation of my indifference to college football.
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Re: Time for College Football

#4

Post by juliets » Sat Sep 16, 2017 3:33 pm

Thats very interesting GMan. I find college football superior to the NFL because most of the time I get the feeling the players in the NFL are just all about the money and many times are indifferent to their play. And not all college stars are bad when they move to the NFL. Some colleges play a more pro style offense and even those that don't like Alabama produce some awesome NFL players. So mostly for me its the passion with which the game is played in college that wins me over. A lot - though I'm sure not all - of those kids care whether they win or lose or even just get the opportunity to play. As for the fans, you've not seen rabid fans until ou go to Alabama during football season, and if possible the Auburn-Alabama game. The state is divided between Alabama and Auburn and people are just wild about their team. Families (like mine) are divided. It's a lot of pure, uncomplicated fun and a nice break from the stress of real life.
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Re: Time for College Football

#5

Post by G-Man » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:42 pm

There's probably some truth to your "all about the money" feelings toward the NFL. Some guys bust their butts for lucrative contracts and then ease up once they get their fat contract.

As for struggling in the NFL, a lot of the top QBs in college struggle taking snaps under center when they hit the NFL because most colleges call offensive plays from the shotgun. Given that the speed of college football is much slower than the NFL, shotgun snaps become a crutch and a burden to unlearn. To find a total-package, NFL-ready QB is rare.

As far as kids caring more than the pros, I can see some of that. There are over 100 Division 1 FBS teams and only 32 NFL teams. You have to work hard to get yourself noticed (if making the NFL is your goal). For some players, professional sports is their only shot at escaping poverty or bad home situations and wouldn't be going to college if it weren't for their athletic scholarship. That's a whole other can of worms though.

In some ways, I think central Pennsylvania is a little like Alabama in that we don't have a professional football team claiming our full loyalty. Where I'm from, it's a mix of Eagles fans and Steelers fans but both teams are far enough away to not make it worth the time and money to attend games. Penn State is the closest thing central PA has to professional football and it runs deep. I'm glad they brought back the rivalry match-up with Pitt though. Alabama doesn't have any major professional sports teams, though, so I suppose that magnifies the obsession with college football beyond my comprehension.

Amusingly enough, many of your points in favor of college football match my views on why college basketball is better than the NBA.
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Re: Time for College Football

#6

Post by juliets » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:36 pm

Lol G-Man that is funny! I'm not a basketball fan but I know the NBA playoffs can't match the insanely crazy passion for March madness. I even occasionally watch it when it gets to that point but I never watch the NBA.
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Re: Time for College Football

#7

Post by G-Man » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:53 pm

I think Miami is going to find itself outside of the top 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings after their loss. Alabama? I see them dropping to #2 since Oklahoma's loss was worse. It's even possible that they retain #1 because of Clemson's sketchy loss to Syracuse.
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Re: Time for College Football

#8

Post by juliets » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:00 pm

G-Man wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:53 pm
I think Miami is going to find itself outside of the top 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings after their loss. Alabama? I see them dropping to #2 since Oklahoma's loss was worse. It's even possible that they retain #1 because of Clemson's sketchy loss to Syracuse.
Noooooo they lost to Auburn so they're out. Oh well. Next year is another year.
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Re: Time for College Football

#9

Post by G-Man » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:12 pm

Nah. Alabama will still be in the top 4. Their only loss all year is to #6 team. I see no reason for them to drop out of the top 4. Wisconsin and UCF are the only undefeated teams left but Wisconsin plays in the inferior Big Ten West and UCF is in a minor conference, so they get no respect.

Alabama is still the best 1-loss team in college football and everyone knows that your record matters. The CFP folks jumped the shark when they shot Miami up to #2, so they will fall out of the top 4. Clemson's stinky loss to Syracuse will bite them in the butt. Oklahoma's stinky loss to Iowa State will hurt them more as well. Losing to #6 doesn't hurt Alabama like those other losses hurt those other teams. Last year, Ohio State made the CFP as a non-conference champion. I see no reason for Alabama not to find themselves in the same position.
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Re: Time for College Football

#10

Post by speedchuck » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:23 pm

mmmm depends on the conference title games I suppose. I hope Alabama or Auburn get into the playoffs.
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Re: Time for College Football

#11

Post by G-Man » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:56 pm

I stand corrected. Perhaps Alabama had a soft season. I can see the logic of placing them above Auburn but is Alabama really inferior to those other teams as well? Once we have a final ranking, I'm going to bust out some data nerd moves.
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Re: Time for College Football

#12

Post by MovingPictures07 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:26 pm

Here's some 538 modeling for anyone interested. I know nothing about this subject.

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Re: Time for College Football

#13

Post by juliets » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:20 am

Go go go CFP committee - Alabama is obviously the one to put into the playoffs. I'm so nervous - announcement at noon today.
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Re: Time for College Football

#14

Post by juliets » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:44 pm

Well G-Man you were right after all.
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Re: Time for College Football

#15

Post by Epignosis » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:49 pm

Uh.

GO NAVY!

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Re: Time for College Football

#16

Post by juliets » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:25 am

Oh sorry Epi, another Army win.
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Re: Time for College Football

#17

Post by Epignosis » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:35 pm

Live look at the Birmingham Bowl:
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:offtobed:

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Re: Time for College Football

#18

Post by juliets » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:08 pm

Epignosis wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:35 pm
Live look at the Birmingham Bowl:
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:offtobed:
Hahahahahaha! One of my alma maters is playing, USF. We have it on but I'm not watching.
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Re: Time for College Football

#19

Post by Epignosis » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:53 pm

I had the over on that game. I turned it off with about five minutes in the fourth quarter to go. Looks like I turned it off at the wrong time.

Holy cow.

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Re: Time for College Football

#20

Post by juliets » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:21 pm

Epignosis wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:53 pm
I had the over on that game. I turned it off with about five minutes in the fourth quarter to go. Looks like I turned it off at the wrong time.

Holy cow.
Yes, I started watching it in the nick of time.
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Re: Time for College Football

#21

Post by G-Man » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:33 pm

Looking for some feedback on a football analytic tool for I came up with for kicks and grins. My hope is to use it to compare the teams in the top bowl games and make predictions. If successful, I'll use it on the NFL playoffs too. My system generates scores for the following areas:

-Points scored
-Passing Yards
-Rushing Yards
-Discipline (penalties)

It's all built on ratios. The first three categories are [(Team Stat - Opponent Stat)/Team Stat] * win or loss percentage of opponent (depending on whether the team being evaluated won or not; win and you multiply by the opponents overall win% and multiply by the opponents overall loss% if you lose to them). Discipline is [(Opponent Stat - Team Stat)/Team Stat] since you want fewer penalty yards than your opponent.

Other significant stats that are sitting on the sidelines right now include First Downs, Time of Possession, and Turnovers. Right now everything is weighted evenly, which strikes me as wrong. Sometimes the discipline score makes a team's game score really high when it would otherwise be low but it can also be crushing to teams that lose the penalties battle in a lopsided way.

Using the setup I have now, my spreadsheet favors Clemson over Alabama almost 2:1.

@Epignosis- You're a stats guy. Got any thoughts on this?
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Re: Time for College Football

#22

Post by Epignosis » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:22 pm

The method you've described here is going to generate some majorly skewed results (as is evinced by your having Clemson favored so highly over Alabama when Clemson is a slight dog right now).

Yardage doesn't always tell the story. It's a piece of the puzzle, sure, but those numbers are going to vary wildly from team to team depending on the coaching tendencies and a given team's offensive scheme. Some successful teams like to grind out the game, so while their yardage totals may be low, they can build a lead and start killing the clock.

Certain other factors tend to play a bigger role than raw numbers.

1. Home field advantage. This is going to be more of a factor for some teams than others due to splits, and sometimes those splits are absurd, even for individual players (there's an NBA player for the Rockets who is a terrible shooter at home, but much better away, apparently because he is colorblind and being at home around all that red fiddles with his depth perception).

2. Injuries and suspension. This is a big one for me when I handicap teams. If a team is missing key pieces due to injuries or suspensions, it's a bump to the opposing offense or defense. Raw data like yards vs. yards allowed mean less and less the more decimated a given team is.

3. Weather. If it's extremely cold, snowing or rainy, very windy, etc., it affects game play. Wind can be especially crippling. Bump down kickers significantly and the passing game slightly. Bump up the running game slightly. If the game is played in a dome, obviously weather won't matter.

4. Rest and travel. How many days of rest has a team had? What kind of travel are they dealing with?

These are some things to consider.

A stat that I find to be very helpful in general would be yards allowed to position (WR / RB / TE). Some teams may boast shutdown corners, but struggle against the run. Or they can stop the run but get beat in the air. Consider a team's defensive capabilities (or shortcomings) and compare that to the offensive scheme of their opponent.

Another thing you might consider is QB splits versus defensive schemes. Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is the most scheme sensitive quarterback in the NFL. He has excelled against zone coverage, but struggles against man coverage (although this may change due to recent personnel changes).

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Re: Time for College Football

#23

Post by G-Man » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:14 pm

@Epignosis I realize that my little for-fun calculations are done in a vacuum. I'm going to keep it simple at the start and see if adding relevant stats makes it more accurate. And I can always overrule the spreadsheet based on other circumstances (weather, injuries, etc.). This is all in the name of nerdy fun anyway. I can tell that the Discipline category needs weighted but perhaps we'll see. Here's what my spreadsheet came up with for tomorrow night's big game:

#13 Stanford vs. #15 TCU
Neither team looks all that impressive per the spreadsheet. Stanford played a harder schedule than either Alabama or Clemson but they had respectable losses. TCU had the softest schedule of the four teams I've run through so far and they have a sketchy loss to Iowa State, which hurt them in my numbers.

Neither team scored big on point differential, which means they didn't light up any good teams nor did they get blown out by soft teams.

Both teams LOST points in the Passing Yards category. Stanford's passing game v. passing defense numbers were horribly inconsistent. TCU struggles to defend the air against better teams but I don't know how big a threat Stanford's passing game is going to be.

The Rushing Yards category was night and day. Stanford rarely dominated the rushing game. They had three games where they put up over 100 rushing yards more than their opponent and those were all against mediocre or worse teams. TCU only got out-run in two games and both of those games were against Oklahoma. Still, their best rushing games were against meh competition, save for one game against OK State.

Stanford got almost all of their final score from the Discipline category. They typically play very disciplined football, because they only had more penalty yards than their opponents in three games. TCU on the other hand only had three games where they had fewer penalty yards than their opponent. TCU's sloppy play might keep opponents in games.

The spreadsheet likes Stanford by about half. My eyes see how skewed the scores are from the Discipline category, so my brain says TCU (if they keep penalties to a minimum). Take out the Discipline category and it's almost 3-1 TCU.

What are the betting world odds on this game?
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Re: Time for College Football

#24

Post by Epignosis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:34 pm

TCU is currently favored by three points.

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Re: Time for College Football

#25

Post by Epignosis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:33 pm

You could add a heavily weighted category, "Epignosis bet on this team" and downgrade them. :rolleyes:

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Re: Time for College Football

#26

Post by Epignosis » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:55 pm

G-Man, I took TCU to win by four or more.

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Re: Time for College Football

#27

Post by juliets » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:20 am

Epignosis wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:55 pm
G-Man, I took TCU to win by four or more.
4 or more or 3 or more? cause if 3 or more you're in the money.
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