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Tag:florida gators
Posted on: April 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2009 6:11 pm
 

Best college football rivalries 2000-2009

Did a little homework on rivalries in the current century (2000-2009).

Best on-the-field rivalry: Florida State vs Miami The only major rivalry to average less than a 10 point spreat and still yield at least one BCS championship is FSU-Miami (average spread over this period is 6.22 pts per game). Although Miami has an upper hand in wins/losses at 7-3, the closeness of the games and national title implications (past few years excepted) make this rivalry (in my opinion) the best on-field rivalry. This is also the only rivalry to produce a same-season rematch in a bowl game (2003) during this period.

Best championship rivalry: Florida vs LSU No one can contest the success these teams have had this decade. Four BCS titles between them, and though the average point spread when they meet is a lofty 17.56 per game they have nearly split their series at 5-4 since 2000.

Best rivalry for drama: Ohio State vs Michigan Though the Buckeyes have won 7 meetings since the millenia, the average point spread for these games is a mere 11.78. Take away last years 35 point debacle and it's 8.87. Lump these close matchups together with one BCS title and a TON of people watching and you've got a classic year in, year out.

Best rivalry for homers: Oregon vs Oregon State With the exception of the past two years, these teams have taken turns pounding each other at home to the tune of 17.44 points per game. That makes for a lot of happy alumni.

Best rivalry to leave at halftime: Kansas vs Kansas State This one's not even close. The average massacre in this series is 26.78 points, but the series is close at 5-4. Might as well head for the exits after the first half ends.

Best rivalry for no national title implications and one-team dominance: Army vs Navy Seriously, since 2000 no rivalry has been more lopsided than this one. Navy holds an 8-1 edge to the tune of 23.78 points per game. Players rarely go on to NFL careers. And both teams tend to run antiquated option offenses. So why do we watch? We're Americans! We're proud that these guys play hard with no pro future in their sights. We're proud that they wear unit patches on their uniforms in tribute to those in harm's way. And we're proud that at the end of each game both teams stand in silent tribute to the other's alma mater.

Best rivalry for a state fair: Oklahoma vs Texas This one gets a ton of hype, but this decades statistics don't lie. Although it's produced two BCS championships, Oklahoma has taken 6 of 9 and the beatings haven't been close. With the exception of a 7 point spread in 2007 there has not been a spread in single digits. The average for this high-visibility rivalry? 22.56 points per game.

Best rivalry for "We hate the BCS" talk: BYU vs Utah
The "Holy War" doesn't dissapoint. An even record of 5-4 with an average spread of 10.11 (second only to FSU-UM). And the winner gets to look from the outside in at a National Championship. Take it from me...when I did "Hate Bowl 2008" this year one thing was apparent. Utah fans HATE BYU. BYU fans generally wonder why they are so hated. If this rivalry had the fire that Clemson-South Carolina has it would get huge ratings.

Oh, and just so I don't piss off my Irish relatives...

Best rivalry for false "throw the records out the window" talk: Southern Cal vs Notre Dame
Really. This one used to mean something, what with those gold helmets and that marching band in skirts. Now it's just another excuse to get the Trojans on national TV. USC holds a 7-2 upper hand with an average spread of 24.11 points per game. Sure, USC has ponied up two BCS championships, but did I ever think that I'd see Notre Dame pull a PAC-10 team's strength of schedule DOWN? No. But that's where this one is now.

 

 

Posted on: January 9, 2009 9:19 am
Edited on: January 10, 2009 6:58 am
 

Re-inventing the Quarterback

There are rare times in our lives that we get to see revolution.  The word itself seems to imply a violent coup of existing ideologies, but Aristotle defined it simply as a change from one constitution to another in a very short time.  Revolution in sports has mostly been confined to radical deviation from team concepts.

Think the forward pass and the jump shot.  These revolutionary changes in sport are relatively rare.  More common (but still with high impact on the respective game) is the revolution of play and position.

Changing the fundamental aspects of individual performance requires several elements:  individual talent, opportunity, coaching, and hard work.  Apply these elements to those who have revolutionized their positions and you'll see what this means.  Whether you're talking about Dick Butkus or Tiger Woods, the mechanism is the same.  Individuals excel in bringing something new to a game and that, in turn, attracts imitation.

One of the best examples in the past 50 years is Lawrence Taylor.  Arriving at a time when linebackers were a second line of defense, LT pushed the edge and brought linebacker speed and method to the pass rush, fully re-defining his position.  We are perhaps witnessing a revolution of the college quarterback.  This revolution's name is Tim Tebow.

Many of you will shrug this off as simple conjecture, but stick with me.  Define a quarterback.  It's pretty simple...brain, eyes, and arm.  That's the definition we've been playing with for decades.  Sure, there have been a few quarterbacks with the ability to gain yards with their legs, but that's rarely by design and usually a product of broken play and an opportunistic adjustment.

Face it.  The game we've grown up with gives us running backs that run, receivers that catch, and quarterbacks that throw.  Tebow is breaking that paradigm as we watch, and the floodgates are opening.

Sure, Tebow's arm isn't great...but it's adequate.  His speed isn't explosive, but he brings power and vision to the running game.  Most of all he challenges defenses to cover more of the field in ways they are not designed to be covered.  Stack the box and he kills you with a goal line jump pass.  Drop into coverage and he runs for 12 yards.

Find a way to cover both and he hands off or pitches to a receiver on a toss sweep.  A product of the system?  In part.  But an even larger part is the type of player.  Big, strong, tenacious, and focused.  Words we usually associate with a defensive end or linebacker.  Now we're associating them with the quarterback.

Nothing happens overnight, but by Aristotle's definition this is revolution.  Mark these words...imitation is the most sincere recognition of success and revolution.  Go watch some high school football games next fall.

Sure, you'll see some pro-set quarterbacks on the field.  But more and more you'll be seeing teams take their best and most determined players and line them up behind center.  Revolution begins with youth and challenges our abilities to adapt to change.  This revolution has begun.
Posted on: October 24, 2008 11:42 am
Edited on: October 27, 2008 9:46 am
 

HATE BOWL 2008

As the Plain White T's say, hate is a strong word.  A violent word.  But in sports, we don't say we "really, really don't like" teams.  We HATE them.  An interesting take on this is that football "hate" is highly dependent upon a team's success or failure.  Face it.  It's hard to hate FIU or North Texas.  It's easy to hate Florida or Ohio State.

Of course there are a lot of factors that play into football emotions.  Longstanding rivalries, fleeting coaching gaffes, media love, and conference ties (shout out to all of you other SEC homies!) all play into it.  There's also the evolution of the BCS...I don't remember hating so much back when the Cotton Bowl meant something.  The dissolution of bowls as a reward to players and fans has kicked the whole hate thing up a notch.  You know, I've been a Gator nearly my entire 50 years, but I still remember enjoying the fanfare surrounding a classic USC-OSU Rose Bowl or a 'Bama-Penn State Sugar Bowl.  Heck, I even road-tripped to NOLA in '78 just to be in town to experience the latter one. 

But I digress.  Back to the topic.  Hate.

If you're a true-blue college football fan you've GOTTA hate some other team.  It's in the rule book we all get when we sign up, right below the rule about standing up for the National Anthem.  So here's what I've got for you.  Let's settle this post-to-post.  Just who (or whom, I could never get that right) is The Most Hated College Football Team in America.

Here's how it goes.  You give me ONE team.  The one you hate MORE THAN ANY OTHER TEAM IN FOOTBALL.  Only one.  I collect yours and a bunch of others submitted by other football fans.  Based on the number of submissions I'll rank them and seed them, and then we'll play them off against each other (in the same manner as those other blogs that rate rock guitar players and scariest movies).  This HIGHLY NON-SCIENTIFIC study will show us two things...who gets the most hate mail and who, given the opportunity of playing against a number of other hated teams, would most of us hate until the end of time.

I'll set a preliminary timeline of collecting the front data until Friday, November 7.  If I'm getting a ton of submissions I'll extend it.  If not, I'll take a couple of days and post the first round of the playoffs. 

So here it is.  I humbly await your best hate.



 
 
 
 
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