The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Ultimate Double Standard

As a perfect compliment to Ian's prior post, I wanted to talk about one of those college football phrases that make me want to PUKE, style points, also known as "the eye test".

From previous posts, it's obvious the two big fish Notre Dame and it's fans are chasing this year, a National Championship and a Heisman. We need help to get into the BCS Championship game. We also seem to be on the outside looking in in the Heisman race for Manti Te'o. A look at why will show the hypocrisy that is college football.  

Stats vs. Style Points

Let's look first at the BCS Championship. We currently sit at #3 with no possible hope to overtake Oregon or Kansas State. One of them has to lose. This is an absolute joke. The "eye test"? Who's eyes are we talking about? Is it every media member in America who said ND would get demolished by first Michigan State, then Michigan, then Stanford then especially Oklahoma? How about the college football experts who pick games each week? Corso has a 64% record picking winners. Herbstreet is about the same at 62%. Most other "experts" are around that same area, assuming they pick a wide range of games. Check for yourself. So I guess they are around 63% correct in assuming ND is no one of the top 2 teams? Look, it's clear that "the eye test" is a joke. It is meaningless. Instead, look at the cold hard facts. The stats and records of Notre Dame compared to Oregon and KSU. Brian Kelly summarized it best. Ian's post needs repeating:

"If you want style points, look at our defense, look at the schedule we played, 10 FBS teams."


Now let's look at the Heisman and see the absolute hypocrisy. While the announcers go absolutely out of their way to say why the style points supersede the schedule, the stats and quite simply LOGIC to define the BCS race, it's the ABSOLUTE OPPOSITE for the Heisman race. Here, it's all about stats. The best player with the best stats on the best team. So let's look at the candidates. 3 undefeated teams. 3 front runners.

Collin Klein
A QB who handles the ball every offensive play. He scores tons of TDs, passing and rushing. Have you heard his name before this season? A name which he even spells wrong!

Kenjon Barner
A RB on a pinball offense with some gaudy rushing numbers. Was he even a candidate before rushing for 300+ against USC? See I take issue with this because he wasn't a candidate before that. Also, he is just a cog in the wheel. Remove him, and Oregon is the EXACT SAME TEAM.

Manti Te'o
The best player on the team. He leads in tackles, interceptions and heart. He imposes fear into the opposing team, while being universally loved by opponents as well. Without Manti, Notre Dame has 2 or 3 losses this year. That's just a fact. He has literally transformed Notre Dame, and his off-the-field actions are now legendary. There are so many stories, articles and posts to support this, I can't even start to list them here.

So here, "the eye test" is 100% clear. Manti IS college football. However, the media decides instead to use a statistical test to rule him out. It just makes me sick.

I give up. All I want is 12-0. Let the rest of this crap take care of itself. I'll be pissed when we get passed over for the BCS Title and Heisman, but I know something else. Notre Dame will be ranked in the Top 5 next year, and be an even better team. The morons who are holding the BCS and Heisman away from us won't be able to do it for much longer!

1 comment:

Colin and Liz said...

I found this comment posted on SI and I felt it summarized my feelings perfectly:

The issue here isn't "why isn't ND in the Top 2?" It's "Why isn't ND in the conversation?" I'm really not all that bothered by ND being 3rd. Someone has to be. It just bugs me that there's some sort of group-think consensus on the matter. All three schools have very good arguments, but for whatever reason, people are just completely dismissive of ND as though it were obvious.

Also posted within the same article (warning contains actual facts, no eye-tests involved!!!!!):

Notre Dame's Strength of Schedule ranks 25th according to NCAA. Their Opponnents, Kansas State & Oregon, have a win percentage of .580 and are 41st (.536) & 59th (.507)

In addition, ND did not play a non-BCS program this year (let alone two, nor have they ever even scheduled one.) In common opponents (Miami & Oklahoma) they beat them both by wider margins (and many of Oklahoma's players were either limping off or being carried off the field at games end), of the 8 teams faced in Chip Kelly's history at Oregon that had top 15 Defenses, the Ducks are 2-6 against them. If you play that out to top 30 Defenses, their record is 9-10.

- ND has the #1 scoring defense in the country.
- ND is #1 in the Nation for drives of 5 minutes or more on offense.
- ND is #11 nationally in interceptions, #10 nationally in sacks, #6 in run defense, and #10 in pass efficiency defense -- despite the fact that Jamoris Slaughter and starting corner Lo Wood were lost for the season early on and before it began, respectively.
- Stephon Tuitt is #8 in the country in sacks (ahead of Jadaveon Clowney), and Prince Shembo is #32.
- Manti Teo -- and not Matt Barkley -- will likely be a Heisman finalist.
- ND is #19 in the country in 3rd down conversion %
- ND has run the ball 415 times and thrown it only 289.
- ND is #33 in rushing offense even though it has faced four of the top 15 rushing defenses in the country
- ND beat Oklahoma in Norman 31-13. ND beat Oklahoma in Norman 31-13. This is the same OU team that the week before ND's game would have been favored on a neutral field against any team in the country other than Alabama.
- ND is starting a true freshman converted WR at one cornerback, and a first-year starter at the other spot -- yet ND has had a markedly better pass defense than it had in 2011, when two seniors manned those spots.
- Notre Dame opponents have started a drive at or inside their 40 on 93 occasions this year. Only once has one of those resulted in a TD. They currently have a streak of 87 in a row since Navy scored a TD in Ireland at the beginning of the year.

KSU has played just 1 Top 25 Defense. Oregon, Zero, Notre Dame, 5.

If you break down the two schedules into tiers, I come up with the follwing

Kansas State
Tier 1 - Oklahoma
Tier 2 - Miami, Texas Tech, Ok St, Texas
Tier 3 - Baylor, Iowa State, West Virginia, TCU, Kansas
Tier 4 - North Texas, Missouri St

Notre Dame
Tier 1 - Oklahoma, Stanford
Tier 2 - Michigan St, Miami, BYU, USC, Michigan
Tier 3 - Purdue, Pitt, BC, Wake, Navy

We have the edge in Tier 1 opponents but I would give the nod to K State in Tier 2. Tier 3 goes to Notre Dame, and Congrats on even playing Tier 4. You must be proud.

These are the scoring defense rankings (in order played) Oregon and ND has played. Reported without comment:
Oregon Notre Dame

62 49
37 75
-- 11
103 17
95 88
53 12
47 7
120 24
40 35
86 77
12 70
23 40
40/47 done