Old Man Football Revisited, the Gators’ Loss and the Tostitos Party Bowl
The Sugar Bowl:
I tweetered about this last night to the point of exasperation, but here are a few bullet points on Florida’s loss to Louisville:
- I’m really, really glad that Charlie Strong didn’t come to Tennessee.
- Now I see why he stayed, that team is talented and most of the talent is coming back.
- I’ve said this before, but the Big East was underrated this year.
- Florida still doesn’t have an offense. Never have, at least not this year.
- Anybody who thinks this is an indictment against the SEC, please explain your logic after reading mine in the next three bullets.
- Last time I checked the winner of an automatically-qualifying BCS Conference beat the non-winner from another.
- Last time I checked Florida finished second in their division within the SEC.
- I’m not discrediting Louisville, they were the better team. But I’m making the point that it shouldn’t be so absurd that the best team in a BCS Conference beat the second best team in another conference’s (supposedly) weaker division by 10 points.
- The math said to take Louisville, as the Cardinals were getting 15 whole points.
An Interesting Thought on Gambling:
There have been eight bowl games thus far with double-digit point spreads. Four favorites (Cincinnati against Duke, Arizona State against Navy, Oklahoma State against Purdue, FSU against Northern Illinois) covered the spread and four underdogs (SMU against Fresno State, Minnesota against Texas Tech, Georgia Tech against Southern Cal, Louisville against Florida) covered the spread. That’s not surprising at all. In fact, by design it seems like a favorite should cover about 50% and the underdog should cover about 50%.
What stands out is that three of the four ten-digit underdogs who covered the spread (all except for Minnesota) also won the game outright. Fresno State was favored by 11.5, but SMU won 43-10. Southern Cal was favored by 10.5, but Georgia Tech won 21-7. Florida was favored by 15, but Louisville won 33-23. The combined gap between the spread and the actual score in those three games was 94 points. That’s huge. The odds of those things happening are slim.
Also of note: the DudeYouCrazy Normalized Scoring Model is 19-11 with five bowl games remaining. At worst it will close out with a 54.29% winning percentage. But I’m hoping I close out with five more wins to threaten 70%.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Aside from the fact that a brand of chips is sponsoring a bowl that Chip Kelly is coaching in, I’m really excited about the Party Bowl tonight. Kansas State and Oregon represent the dreams of mid-November that came crashing down when everyone lost – seemingly on purpose – to pave the way for another SEC National Championship. As for what you should expect? I’m not totally sure.
Oregon’s coach, Chip Kelly, seems NFL-bound as he’s being pursued by the Bills, Browns and Eagles for a head coaching gig (I’d love to see him coach the Eagles’ speed, for what it’s worth). Meanwhile Kansas State’s coach, Bill Snyder, seems bound for a bowl of jello and an early evening in a recliner at the age of 73. Something has to give.
I like watching Oregon play. There I said it. I rooted hard for Oregon against Auburn a few years ago. I said it. I even tweeted “War Duckle” a number of times. You mad, bro? Oregon is exciting. On the other hand, I can’t remember anything about Kansas State even though I watched them play three or four complete games this year. They’re that unimpressionable. But, perhaps that’s what you get when Calvin Klein is your quarterback and an old man is your coach.
Despite all of this, something tells me that old-man football just might win out again here. Oregon’s offense has a lot of moving parts, and as a physical Stanford team showed, when the timing is off the wheels roll in the wrong direction. I can’t help but think the long layoff and the distraction of Kelly’s potential departure might do some damage. But at the same time, don’t be surprised if nobody from the entire state of Kansas, let alone from Kansas State’s team, can physically keep up with the Ducks.
I’ll leave you with this: the math says Kansas State will narrowly cover the spread. Let’s see what the game says.
Enjoy it, I think it could be a good one.
That’s all I got/