Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thoughts from a NFL Sunday

I'm back for more -

Late game
The 49ers line looks HUGE.  They go 6'5" 315, 6'5" 331, 6'3" 318, 6'8" 300, 6'5" 323.  On average, that looks about right, what stands out is how big the guards are - 6'8" is unheard of - which makes the whole line look huge.

Why did the Eagles give up David Akers?  He was the 49er's MVP last year, while the Eagles missed the playoffs.  I was going to say the 49ers would give Akers more chances from 50+ after his 63yd FG last week, but they just punted from the 40.  There is NO reason the 49ers should punt from inside the 40 yd line.

I like these Toyota coach commercials.  Fun, topical concept and the coach is well played.  I appreciate there's more than one too.  This Internet Explorer commercial with the annoying song is getting real, real old. And now they're playing the song on the radio.  I hate the radio.

Speaking of commercials, is it me or does the NFL run at least one ad each commercial break?  Do they get free air time?  Or are they paying for all this.  The networks pay the NFL huge sums of money to broadcast and then the NFL uses that money to advertise for it's own properties on those same networks.  An interesting arrangement.

The NFL commercials with the guy in the suit are dumb.  Why don't they just have cheerleaders dancing around with somebody overdubbing and words on the screen?  I guess they'd probably have to actually pay the cheerleaders then...

That's all for this week.

Early game
I'm watching the Houston - Jacksonville game, and the tarps there are ridiculous.  You'd think they'd want to keep the tarps off the side the TV cameras can see but it looks like they are everywhere.  Official NFL capacity is 67,246 - "expandable" to 76,867, but can hold 84,000 for college games and special events.  How many seats will the NFL let them take away?

The Texans have a player called Mister Alexander!

"Some guys aren't playing with a full deck" - Rich Gannon while showing clips of Brian Cushing headbutting teammates before the game.

I prefer Marv Albert and Rich Gannon to last week's team of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts.  Fouts isn't the brightest color guy.  He's not real bright period.

I thought I could see a different game on Fox when the Texans were away?  I'll never understand these broadcasting rules.

Along that line, and maybe this is why, the Cowboys play at 3:30, so that's who I'll have to watch.  And Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.  Can't stand watching a game they call.  He sucks the life out of everything.  Maybe there will be a different game on the radio I can listen to.

Switched to the radio looking for a different game, all that's on is the Texans but it actually matches up with the TV!  I'm sure I tried this last year and it was off too far to listen.  I'll have to do this from now on, especially when Dan Fouts is on the call...

I miss Gus Johnson.  Still think the Texans should have made him their default announcer.  Everone would have watched the Texans!

I see why the Jags took Brian Anger in the third round.  He's played as much as anybody today - 8 punts through 3 quarters.  Gabbert only has 7 completions.

Maybe I'll have more later.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

ISU Wins 6.42 Or 4.982 Games This Season

I put the numbers together for this post quite awhile back.  It seemed like Iowa State, during Paul Rhoads tenure, didn't lose games it was supposed to win, and pulled off at least one upset per year.  Under the previous coach, the team seemed to always drop a couple in which they were favored, and seemed to rarely pull any upsets.  I tested this observation.

Over the past three years, Iowa State has only been favored 9 times out of 38 games (plenty of opportunities for upsets!) and ISU is 7-2 in games in which they are favored.  The two losses were in 2010 to Kansas State on a neutral field and Colorado the week after they fired Dan Hawkins.  So far, so good.  How about the upsets?  ISU has had 11 upsets in the last three years.  They had two in 2010, four last year and five in 2009.  Really impressive stuff.  There's a reason one web site said Rhoads was worth up to three games per season.  The tendency to win when favored and compete when not has meant it's an exciting time to be a Cyclone fan - minimal disappointment and maximum upside.

Digging deeper, I broke every game down by home or away, conference or non-conference.  Here's a summary of the results.

Quick observations from this, Rhoads and the Cyclones have won every non-conference game in which they've been favored.  This is important because every BCS school schedules non-conference games they're supposed to win.  Iowa State can't make it to six wins and a bowl game dropping these.  The other number that jumps out is that ISU has only been favored in four conference games over three years.  That's either pathetic or the Cyclones have been consistently underrated, probably some of both.

The big payoff - predicting this season's wins using prior these prior results.

The ranks are from the end of last season.  The win percentage comes from the previous years' percentages.  Based on expected wins, ISU will go 4-8.  Based on win percentages, ISU's expected number of wins is 6.42, which means a bowl trip.

Again, these were based on last year's final BCS rankings.  I'm worried that Tulsa is favored over the Cyclones at home this first week.  That probably means Iowa State will be 'dogs against Iowa and Texas Tech as well.  If that's the case, ISU's predicted win total is 4.982, short of a bowl game.

The Big XII is always underrated.  The addition of TCU and West Virginia make it an even more difficult conference.  Rhoads has to get his team to play at least three games over its talent once again this year to have hope of a bowl game.  Watching Iowa State isn't like a roller coaster.  It's more like a hill climb.  We're pretty sure of the distance they'll cover, it's the second half that gets tricky.  Will the Cyclones overcome unfavorable odds and make it to the summit (bowl game)?  Or will they fall over early and disappoint?  With Paul Rhoads at the helm, I'd bet the former.