2012-09-27

Week Five FBS Preview - Coaching Changes ...

In 2012, there were 25 coaching changes on the Headcoach position in the off season.
25 changes!!! That's around 20% of all schools or every fifth school.

I don't know what you are thinking about this number, but I'm thinking "What the hell is going on?"

OK, maybe a statistical peak, right?

Wrong!

In 2011: 24 coaches
2010? 22 coaches
2009: 21 coaches
And 2008? 18.coaches
In the same time frame the number of new FBS teams did grow by just 5 teams, so it is not a matter of additional teams.

These are 110 Coaching-Changes in 5 years; means in average 90% of all programs did change their leader in the last 5 years.

So the numbers are high and they are increasing.

Why is that?

From my point of view of course the answer is "Success" and "Failure" and bound to that … money, because with success you get the better contracts, the better recruiting class and more money from your former students.

The "Success" of coaches coming to a program and WIN did go up, at least it looks that way.

Especially the latest National Championship winners did great early in their area.

Let's have a look at the last ten years:

2001
Miami 12â€"0 Larry Coker
First year of Coker as HC of Miami, but he was before that the OC of Miami and did basically helped to build the team. Still .... He won in his first year. After that year he had some more very good season and good season, but never a trip to the big game again.

2002
Ohio State 14â€"0 Jim Tressel
It was the second year for Tressel. He did reach the finals two times again, but didn't win it again; still, he was very successful.

2003
LSU 13â€"1 Nick Saban
USC 12â€"1 Pete Carroll
2003 was the last time the title was split.
Nick Saban was in his third year at LSU, two years later he went to the NFL, later to Alabama to win a few more, see below.
Pete Carroll was also in his third year and did win one more time a year later.

2004
USC 11â€"0 Pete Carroll
As said, this was his second trip and his second win, but this was later vacated because of the Bush-incedent.
After that season, USC did return to the final one more time, but did not win it.

2005
Texas 13â€"0 Mack Brown
Basically he did have a lot of successful seasons, but needed 8 seasons to win it all. After that, never again, but they went to the final once more.

2006
Florida 13â€"1 Urban Meyer
Meyer took over the Gators and in his second year he won it all. He won a second one two years later, see below.

2007
LSU 12â€"2 Les Miles
He became Sabans successor and did win it all for LSU in his third year. After that he did very good, and went to the final last year, but did not win again.

2008
Florida 13â€"1 Urban Meyer
That was the second title for Meyer in his fourth year. After that it went kind of down and he changed the team after a sabbatical.
We will have to wait, what he can do at Ohio State in the next few season.

2009
Alabama 14â€"0 Nick Saban
Most people know how Saban left the NFL and went to Alabama. He won here in his third year and one more in his fifth.

2010
Auburn 14â€"0 Gene Chizik
This is the most amazing story of all coaches above. He became Head Coach of Iowa State and had two bad seasons. Then Auburn called and he went there to win it all in his second year. He looked like a Hot Seat candidate at Iowa State and went to the big game two years later at Auburn.
How did that happen? Doesn’t matter, it worked out for Auburn.

2011
Alabama 12â€"1 Nick Saban
They are the reigning national champion under Saban, who won his second title with the Cromson Tide here in his fifth year.

So, as you can see, that’ what happened.
Most of these guys came in and won it within their first three seasons.

If you are an Athletic Director and do have a multi million dollar facility and an FBS team in one of the six BCS conferences, wouldn't you want to hire also THAT next hot coach, coming in and win it all in the next two to four year?
Yes you would and that happens now on the coaching market.

And as always, the bigger fishes are eating the smaller one.

Last season, there were five coaches (Hugh Freeze, Kevin Sumlin, Todd Graham, Tim Beckman, Larry Fedora), heading to big dollar Programs from mid-level or even low-level Programs to be that next hot thing.
The basically left those programs after 1-4 season.

Of course those left alone programs had to hire new coaches, and normally this are coordinators from big dollar schools, looking for the chance to make the next step.

And there were additional five more schools, which did hire former successful coaches to give the program a new boost (Rich Rodriguez, Charlie Weis, Urban Meyer, Jim Mora, Mike Leach).
All these coaches were once Head Coaches of College or NFL teams and were in some way successful, even if only for a few years.
Personally, I think some were bad acquisitions, but I don't have to pay them, so it doesn't hurt me. LOL.
Most of them were fired in their career, because they did not deliver the wins expected at some point.

This brings us to the „Failure“-part of this article.

About 15 schools did fire their Headcoach last year, because of unsuccessfulness. Some of these coaches had only 2 years to rebuild and because the results were below the expectations of the Athletic Director or the School Board, the fans or what ever, they get fired.

Regularly the coaches get 4+ years. Getting fired after 2 seasons is from my point of view a big "failure" in the Athletic Department, not by the coaches.

Turner Gill for example did everything right at Buffalo and was one of these "the next hot coaches". He went to Kansas for a rebuilding and had little success in two years. The AD of Kansas pulled the pluck and hired Charlie Weis, former Headcoach of Notre Dame and Coordinator in the NFL. Smart move? We will see. Maybe the jumb from a MAC-team to a Big 12 team was to big for Turner Gill in one step? Maybe he was not able to HIS thing at a university like Kansas? He became the new coach of Liberty, a FCS-Program.

The thing is, in two years it can happen, that you rebuild a team, but that happens only with the players selected by the former coach. That new coach had only two recruiting classes, which is not enough for a full rebuild. Yes, you can implement new systems and can bring in a new attitude, but the players you normally build your team around are the juniors and seniors and these are, after a 2 year reign as new headcoach, still from the old coaching staff selected.

That's why normally a coach gets 4+ years, since only then it is 100% his team. If he then fails ... OK, fine. That’s why it will be interesting to see how that Kansas team will do in 4-5 years. Charlie Weis came in to Notre Dame and took over the old team, did win good in his first 2 years and then crashed with HIS team. Will we see a team on the rise in 4-5 years or will the headcoach Charlie Weis finally become the coordinator Charlie Weis for good (because that’s something he can do good)?

Judging success before that fourth or fifth year ... unfair, I think.

But the athletic departments seems to get greedy and don't want to wait four years and more for success, if they see lots of programs turning around in basically no time and win it all.

The most ironic thing in those wholes sports business is, for every win, someone has to lose. Means, if there is a program going from 2-10 to 10-2 in a few seasons, there is also a program (or even more than one) going from above .500 to below .500 winning percentage, which regularly means some coaches have to go and new do come in.

So the whole system is fuelling itself with this mechanics and the only thing that changed from my point of view in the last few years is that the greed did speed up that circle a lot.

I’m expecting also at least 25 changes for next season.

Enough of this topic and lets have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 5

#8 Stanford @ Washington
For Stanford, this is the beginning of a schedule part which might become a tough one.
Lot's of question marks for the next few games and this includes the Huskies as well.
This can end in a blowout win for Stanford or a close win for Washington,
The Huskies did win only against low level teams and did lose big against LSU in the swamps of Louisiana.
But this one is at home in the state of Washington, which is a total different story.
I'm looking for a great matchup here and this could very well become an upset.
I still pick the Cardinals in a close one.
Please be aware that this game is already on THURSDAY!

#25 Baylor @ #9 West Virginia
Baylor did escape the Warhawks and do travel to the Mountaineers with a perfect record.
West Virginia has also a perfect record and for both teams this is the Big 12 opener.
Unfortunately, this is played in West Virginia and the Mountaineers are in very good shape, while Baylor is in rebuilding mode after losing RGIII last year.
So I think this will be a close one, but West Virginia will prevail.

#14 Ohio State @ #20 Michigan State
Oh boy, this could be a great one.
I'm not sure if Ohio State is already back in competitive mode but I'm sure they will give 100% and more in this one.
The Spartans did lose one against Notre Dame at home and probably don't want something like that happen again this season.
The odds are slightly in favour for Ohio State, but I do trust the Spartans to defend their endzone and stop the Buckeyes when needed.
So I go with the Spartans here.

Western Kentucky @ Arkansas State
Some of you might think: Is he nuts to bring up this Sun Bowl Conference game?
Yes I'm nuts.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves are the reigning champions of the SBC, and Western Kentucky is a serious contender.
ASU is a strong team, but did lose their HC (one of the next hot coaches, now at Ole Miss) and Western Kentucky did play very good (did beat Kentucky from the SEC and they beat Southern Miss from CUSA).
Arkansas State was basically unbeatably last year (in the SBC) but I think the Hilltoppers from WKU will win this one and will fight out the crown for the SBC with the Warhawks from Louisiana Monroe.

#12 Texas @ Oklahoma State
Since a few years, you can't dismiss the Cowboys.
They almost played in last years BCS-Championship game, if they wouldn't have lost against Iowa State after that tragic air plane crash in which some OSU-Students died.
I still believe that the game against the Cyclones would have gone different without that distraction. Still, it happened and you can’t change it.
The Cowboys had a rough game against Arizona this season and some may think they are on a down year.
That could be, very well. But I think that Cowboys coach knows better. He did turn that program around and he probably will bring Oklahoma State on the field in best conditions against this Team from Austin, Texas.
The Longhorns are looking strong after a few down years, but I think this won't be enough to overcome that Big 12 opener in Oklahoma.
Texas will lose, OSU will take the win.

Wisconsin @ 22 Nebraska
This was meant to be the clash of the Titans. These two juggernauts should have battled this out as unbeaten teams each, but both did lose already and the matchup is only half as hot as it could have been.
Still, a great matchup and I think it will be a great game.
It looks like Wisconsin has a RB-Problem with Montee Ball eventually out, but I don't think the game will be decided by a playing Montee Ball or a sitting Montee Ball.
It looks like Wisconsin has some trouble on offense in total and you can't go to Nebraska in that kind of shape.
I think the Huskers will win.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2012-09-24

Week Four FBS Results - Now everybody should be in shape ...

So, that's it. The Most-Of-The-Time-No-Conference-Games-Weeks are over. From next week on more and more conference games will come into the schedule and we will see classic matchups which are fought on an annual basis or at least (if the conference is too big and does a rotating) at least very often in a decade.
Some might think these games are the best of a college football season, some might think they are the most boring part.

I like the repeating, since it helps to put accomplished results in perspective. I also like the non conference stuff; since it helps to compare the conferences and how to judge the upcoming Bowls (two and a half month left ... LOL).

What I like most is that from the upcoming weeks on the teams do play for their conference standings and if you think this is not important, take a look into the Bowl seeding contract and you find such things as #1 Big Ten vs #1 PAC 12 (Rose Bowl) or #2 Big Ten vs #2 SEC (Capital One Bowl, known as Citrus Bowl) and so on.
I took these two examples, since the show the difference between #1 and #2 in the Big Ten.

Being #1 means:
You won the Big Ten Championship game (and are not ranked #1 or #2 in the BCS-Ranking, otherwise it gets complicated).
You also play the Rose Bowl in California, one of the most known Bowls of all, and the oldest one, played first time 1902!!
I think many Players dream of playing in it, period.
By the way, the cash out of that Bowl is around 18 mio $.

Being #2 means:
You LOST the Big Ten Championship game (and by that you most likely are NOT #1 or #2 in the BCS-Rankings).
You play in the Capital One Bowl in Florida, which is played since 1947.
This is NOT a shabby Bowl, by far, but it is by far not the Rose Bowl.
The cash out here is around 4.25 mio $.

Off course the players don't get the money and that way they could give a damn, right?
No.

First of all, the coaches will do their best to motivate them, since this cash does help to get those coaches THEIR loans.
But they also will motivate the players for the representation of the University.

Granted, the selection of a school is also motivated by playing times and ... other stuff (even money).
But once you are part of that bunch called football team, you normally are part of this bunch for the rest of you live.
You represent the University, also after you left as a pro or as a graduated student or both.

As a player you don't want YOUR school look bad. No Sir.
And here the annually games come into play.

If you meet every year ... you think those matches do not count?
Those matches, even if not hyped by the media, are all at least mini rivalries (and some are BIG, no VERY BIG rivalries).

So expect no down fall the upcoming weeks and great football games.

I did 3-2 this week with my pick and I think that was OK, so lets have a look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 4
Missouri @ #7 South Carolina
Oh man, this was a wrong pick by a mile.
Mizzou had a down-quarter in the second and did get three TDs based on a big punt return for a very good field position, a fumble of Mizzou inside their own territories and a very good drive from the 50.
Mizzou did answer that with a field goal....
I'm curious what will happen when South Carolina will play the other SEC foes, but I still expect some defeats ahead of them.
Still, this week, they played good and Missouri did not.
The Gamecocks QB Shaw did play also very good and did not go down.
10-31 -> Jacks Score: 9-8

#18 Michigan @ #11 Notre Dame
Yeah, this one I did pick right.
It did not turn out to be an offensive battle; instead the defenses did take over.
Manti Te'o, the Irish Linebacker from Hawai'i did pick Denard Robinson twice and two other defenders did also pick him once.
I'm impressed by Te'o, since he really had a bad week last week, when his grandmother died and the next day his girlfriend passed away by leukaemia cancer.
He still played Michigan State and Michigan and did terrific.
I don't know what they told him or how they treated him in South Bend, but if I know I would have had a hard time in that situation and I don't know if I could have played ....
Back to the game: I think Michigan has a problem. This offense is hurting.
I don't know if all those DCs just found a way to stop Denard Robinson or if Hoke just changed something to the worse, but with this performance they won't survive the Big Ten in good shape.
6-13 -> Jacks Score: 10-8

#15 Kansas State @ #6 Oklahoma
For this game I love my wrong picking!
The Wildcats did win!
They played their TOP game and Oklahoma did not enough to avoid the loss.
I love underdogs and KSU was the underdog here.
I hope they can handle those other Big 12 opponents as well.
24-19 -> Jacks Score: 10-9

#10 Clemson @ #4 Florida State
If you don't know it, but one of the FSU Defensive Ends is from Germany.
Björn Werner did play for the Berlin Adler and I saw him playing the Cologne Falcons in the National Championship Game of the GFL juniors in Mönchengladbach (which the Berlin Adler won) a few year back.
I would never thought he would get such attention at FSU, but it looks like he has a good shot getting drafted at the end of his college career. Wow.
Well ... this Defense Line did basically step up in the third quarter and did shut down the Clemson offense for good.
The Seminoles are now a big favorit for the ACC Championship, period.
37-49 -> Jacks Score: 11-9

#22 Arizona @ #4 Oregon
This one did not turn out the way I thought. There were a lot of points, yes, but only on one side.
Who had thought the Ducks could not only score much more than the Wildcats, but would SHUT OUT ARIZONA THE WHOLE GAME?
No points by the Rich Rod Offense? I'm impressed.
By the way ... No Ninja Ducks were seen. LOL.
0-49 -> Jacks Score: 11-9

Some games of interest:

- Boise State did edge BYU 7-6. Funny thing, the high scoring offense of the Broncos did basically nothing, the TD was scoured by a BIG MAN WITH FOOTBALL, DT Michael Atkinson had a pick six!
BYU could have won, but the brave call for a 2-point-conversion did backfire.

- Baylor did play Louisiana Monroe and did barely win 47-42. For some time it smelled like UPSET. I'm really looking forward for those SBC-games.

- Wisconsin did lose Montee Ball with a head injury in their win over UTEP. If he is out for longer time, it will be interesting to see, if Wisconsin finds another RBs to fill the void.

- Central Michigan did win against Iowa. Man, looks like a Down-Year for the Hawkeyes. Do you think Kirk Ferentz is on a hot seat in his 14th season at Iowa?

- Ole Miss did win against Tulane. Hugh Freeze does seem to bring the Rebels in the right direction again in his first year, right?

- UTSA is a newcomer in the FBS-football circus and did start 4-0! Ok, they haven't played a single quality team yet, still impressive.

- Western Michigan did beat UConn. The MAC does make some noise this year.

- Miami (FL) win against Georgia Tech. Looks like the yellow jackets are in some trouble this year. The Hurricanes are not supposed to be competitive, so either they ARE competitive, or the yellow jackets are NOT.

- Upset of the week for me: Oregon State wins against UCLA. Wow. I never expected that. Are the Beavers that good, or are the Bruins that sloppy?

- Northern Illinois did win against Kansas. OK, let’s summarize this: The Huskies did win 3-1 and that one loss was by 1 point against Iowa. Kansas did win 1-3 and that one win was against a FCS-team.
Now the question: Did Charlie Weis turn the Kansas team around already? Last year they won 2 games the whole season. They won against a FCS-Team and - you guess right - Northern Illinois.
This year they lost that game and they now have to face all this Big 12 opponents in their remaining schedule. Anyone thinking the same as I do?

- Colorado did win against Washington State and gets its first win of the season.

- South Florida did lose against Ball State. OK, you remember my comment regarding the Bulls? Looks like it will be an awful year.

- LSU barely wins against Auburn. I'M not impressed and I can't see the LSU Tigers go the whole season undefeated.

- Rutgers defense did again good and helped beating Arkansas.

- Western Kentucky did beat Southern Miss and I just can repeat, I'm looking forward for those SBC-Games.

- New Mexico did win against New Mexico State the Rio Grande Rivalry, which is played since 1894!!!!!

- Louisiana Tech beat Illinois. Two thoughts on this: LT is destined to win the WAC and Illinois is destined to have a tough season.

- Nevada did crush Hawai'i 69-24. Imagine this: You fly thousands of miles to Aloha Stadium, having a jet lag and all that stuff, beat the shit out of the Warriors and then fly home. Sounds like fun, right?

Well, that's it.
I'm excited about the next weeks, and I hope are as well.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2012-09-19

Week Four FBS Preview - Guess a champion

I did some stuff on rankings last week and this week I like to give you some stuff to think about regarding the rankings.

Basically they are done (at least the two main ones) before every gameday.

So, there is a preseason ranking for week 1 and ranking for game two and so on.

This week there is the fourth edition of the ranking.

What I want you to think about is, which team on this list will be National Champion?

Because, even if all the regular conference game did not start completely, it's almost 100% sure, one team on that list will win it all.
Not a team which almost got on that list because it had a view less voting points than the team at spot #25, and for sure not a team not even getting voting points at all.

In fact it is most likely that a team within the top 10 spots will become National Champion.

Why?

History does show this: In the last 10 years, every later voted National Champion was

a) Ranked on the preseason poll
b) Ranked inside the TOP 10 in week 4, with 2 exceptions.

First exception:
In 2003 LSU and USC were voted National Champion. LSU got the Coaches votes, USC the AP-Votes.
USC was ranked #8 in preseason and #4 in week 4 (both lists), LSU was ranked #14 (AP) and #15 (Coaches) in preseason and they were ranked #12 (AP) and #11 (Coaches) in week 4.
So LSU was barely NOT in the TOP 10.

Second exception:
In 2010 Auburn won it all behind Cam Newtons magic season and basically Auburn was not ranked that high in the beginning.
They were ranked #22 (AP) and #23 (Coaches) in preseason and the got a little bit higher at week 4 with #17 (AP) and #14 (Coaches).
This is the biggest exception of all teams in the last 10 years. At least this won is easy to explain, since NOBODY had Cam Newtons outstanding performance in mind, when the season started and when they played all those tough SEC teams during later weeks, they did rise very quickly.

Of course this season could deliver another surprising performance of some team. At the moment there are four teams which were not ranked in preseason but are now on the list, Notre Dame, UCLA, Arizona and Mississippi State.
Each one has a decent shot for a surprising season, if they win. They have a shot for national championship. Losing games doesn't help in this case.

But more likely is, that a TOP 10 team will be champion, since 8,5 (remember the split 2003) of 10 champions were ranked not worse than #8 in week 4.

Looks like those coaches and those journalists do have a good hand on this, right?
A little bit, maybe, since all those teams DID win a lot of football games, but that doesn't explain it completely.

Remember the BCS-meta-list?

This is fuelled by some different polls, but one main ingredient is the coaches’ poll.
You get into the BCS National Championship Game, if you are ranked #1 or #2 at the end of the season on the BCS-standing.
You need a #1 or #2 ranking on the coaches’ poll to get into that game and this is done by humans.
If you are in preseason not ranked or ranked lower than another team which later becomes a clear contender, you are basically have a hard time to jump the ranks ahead of that team or teams, if they keep winning.

Assume you did well and have a perfect season. But a higher ranked team in preseason did also good and had also a perfect season.
Well, in this case, be sure you will NOT play in the big game, if you do not happen to be #2, because that other team is for sure ahead of you.

All I want to say with this is that the preseason ranking to align the teams and based on this list all other votes are done.
So you better be ranked ahead of those other contenders.
How do you get that?

Well, I don't have insides here, but I'm sure you have to play the whole media circus at its best to get all the attention you can get.
Because, with no attention, no ranking, for sure.

And if you are ranked and the hype is not justified later ... well, you simple drop and that's it.

And that's what happened already. Some teams already dropped out of the poll and some did rise.

So, think about the list of week 4 and try to imagine the National Champion.

Funny thing as a side note, some of those ranked teams on the list will play against each other in the upcoming weeks and most of the time; the loser eliminates himself from competition.
But sometimes this doesn't work, as seen last year, when Alabama battled LSU twice in the season (they play in the same Division).

The rankings for week 4 are:








RankTeamRecordPoints
1Alabama (58)3-01498
2LSU (2)3-01433
3Oregon3-01356
4Florida State3-01275
5Georgia3-01203
6Oklahoma2-01181
7South Carolina3-01081
8West Virginia2-01051
9Stanford3-01009
10Clemson3-0899
11Notre Dame3-0854
12Texas3-0816
13USC2-1776
14Florida3-0743
15Kansas State3-0683
16Ohio State3-0680
17TCU2-0535
18Michigan2-1448
19UCLA3-0429
20Louisville3-0366
21Michigan State2-1318
22Arizona3-0296
23Mississippi State3-0106
24Boise State2-195
25Nebraska2-180


I heard many journalists did pick Florida State as their favourite in preseason; still that team got zero first place votes in both polls.
THAT'S college football. LOL.

Here are the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 4
Missouri @ #7 South Carolina
On paper this is a clear match.
South Carolina did play good enough to not lose its first 3 games and Missouri got its butt handed by Georgia in week 2.
The play on the Gamecocks ground, so that's it, right? The Tigers will lose and that's that.
Wrong.
First of all, South Carolina did win only against some bad teams; they barely beat Vanderbilt, which was the toughest team of those 3 teams played.
And their starting QB is basically banged up.
He will play, but with this Tigers defense, he is one hit away from being out of the game.
Mizzou is hot, they DID play good against Georgia for 3 quarters and I think Georgia is way better that South Carolina this year.
This will be a close game, I think, but I'm leaning towards and upset here.
Tigers win!

#18 Michigan @ #11 Notre Dame
This is one of the TOP 5 rivalries in College Football. Both teams know this and so they play it every year and did renew some seasons ago the commitment to play yearly for a few decades.
Last year, the Wolverine got the better of the Irish thanks to some Denard Robinson magic in the 4th quarter at Michigan in Ann Arbor.
THIS year they play at South Bend, against a better Irish team...
Well ... this game is always something special and the last time, the Irish did win both Michigan rivalries (Spartans and Wolverines) was 2004 under Tyrone Willingham.
So, I think it's time for a win here.
This game will be decides at the line of scrimmage and the Irish did look terrific last week, while the Wolverine looks bad against Alabama.
Irish win!

#15 Kansas State @ #6 Oklahoma
If this game would be at Kansas State, I would pick them.
The Wildcats do look good and they play like there is no tomorrow.
On the other hand I'm not completely sold on that Sooners team.
This game against UTEP was not a good sign.
But, since this is played IN Oklahoma, the Wildcats have to play more than 100% to upset the Sooners.
Not unlikely, but I doubt they can go over 100% for full four quarters.
Sooners win!

#10 Clemson @ #4 Florida State
This will be the first real test for the Seminoles and I think they will prevail.
As much as I like Clemson to win this, FSU will win this at home with in a close game.
The ACC Atlantic division is up for grab for FSU with this game and they will take it.
Seminoles win!

#22 Arizona @ #4 Oregon
And now, a big welcome to the fun game of the week.
Rich Rodriguez Wildcats against the Kelly Ducks.
Fast paces offenses against each other.
Should be fun to watch.
The play in Oregon, so combined with a team in rebuilding mode (Arizonas first season under Rich Rodriguez) this should be a clear Ducks win.
The only question will be, which Ducks dress will we see?
Maybe the Ninja Ducks dress? LOL.
Ducks win!

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2012-09-17

Remember, discount on buying shirts

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So don't wait, and place your order...

Week Three FBS Results - The human factor

Well ... my picks were not that good. LOL.

But I have to admit I was in good company.
Lots of journalists and fans did pick similar to me.

Why did it turn out this way? Why did we all pick wrong?
Because you never know how two teams play against each other for sure, BEFORE the game.
Wise guy, I know ...

Seriously, the main reason for different results than expected is the most important factor by a mile: THE HUMAN FACTOR!

First of all, there are 50+ players in each team on the sideline.
Each player has his own history of injuries, illnesses, moody situations, motivations and some other stuff going on in his live.
They play every week, which is huge stress for the body, but they also attend classes, the do have a love life (or don't which might be worse) and even have to deal with their parents.
Remember, they are regularly 18 to 22 years old.

So, what I want to say is, everyone is looking on a team and thinks they will perform THAT way, because the have the talent and they played against THIS team in the past THIS way.
But those thought normally do not include the human factor.

Of course everyone does look into injuries and sometime, if star players are effected, the do also bring in some emotional factors, but nobody does value the small stuff, which DO effect the players, every day.
Of course they and we do not, since it is impossible.

And that's in my opinion is the main reason for results different that expected.
The human factor.

No coaching crew can anticipate how 50+ players will work together on gameday.
You can do repeat stuff over and over again, and yes, most of the time the results are as expected, but ask every coach: Did you every saw a PERFECT GAME of your team?
Where every player did reacted 100% as coached?

I think you know the answer. Not very often would be the polite version.
But that's OK, since THAT's the reason for playing.

Imagine game, where you already know how they will turn out, always!
BORING!

So, praise it, honour it, curse it, the human factor.

With this said, how did the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 3 turn out?

Rutgers @ South Florida
Well, I expected a Bulls win and the Scarlet Knights did play much better than I expected.
I did learn two things; the defense of Rutgers is very good.
I don't know how they would stand against an Alabama offense, but inside the Big East they will do fine.
The other thing is, that the secondary of South Florida was awful.
I hope for Coach Holtz, that he can fix this, because otherwise they will have a hard time in the Big East.
This coach was not hired to lose.
23-13 -> Jacks Score: 7-5

#18 Florida @ #22 Tennessee
The attention for this game was huge, the media made a hype around this game, like it was the national championship game.
And the players did deliver for three quarters.
About three minutes left in the third quarter, the Gators took over and never looked back.
They intercepted Tyler Brays pass and then scored 17 unanswered points to win 8 straight against the Vols.
I think Tennessee will give a lot of SEC teams a challenge, but they are not ready for the big stage yet.
37-20 -> Jacks Score: 7-6

#2 USC @ #22 Stanford
This was hyped a little bit less than the Gators-Vols-Game, but maybe that's only the thing I did get here in Germany.
Maybe the hype was equal to the SEC-game, at least in California.
For sure the newspaper had something to tell AFTER the game.
Image the world as you know it did say "You win!", "You get the Heisman" and "You will go to the BCS championship game".
You did believe it and decided to come back to USC (instead going to the NFL with those millions of dollars) to win it all.
You know, that damn super QB of Stanford is gone.
Now you have to play Stanford and the world does say "You will win!" and so on ...
And then, after the game, the scoreboard says 14-21 and your whole season took a nosedive.
Not all hopes are lost, but this will maybe end all hopes for Kiffin and Barkley to win something in this season.
First two quarters did look like the expected USC game, but the Cardinals did not give up and won by THEIR QB Josh Nunes and their strong defense.
Great comeback Cardinals!
14-21 -> Jacks Score: 7-7

#20 Notre Dame @ 10 Michigan State
Let's make this short: The Irish did dominate the line of scrimmage though the whole game and with this kind of football ... that's the way to win.
If you look into the stats, you don't see much difference, but stats don't tell, when a crucial stop did happen or when a first down was made.
The Irish did almost everything right here and deserved the win.
Well done, next nightmare opponent ahead.
20-6 -> Jacks Score: 8-7

#25 BYU @ Utah
Did I not say, this rivalry will be good?
Boy, what a game!
First half was fine, the Utes did score in the first, BYU in the second quarter. Tied 7-7 in the half.
Then a huge quarter by the Utes, going up 24-7, including a fumble return TD.
The Holy war was over? No!
The Cougars did score two Touchdowns and with about one minutes left in the game, they got the ball back.
At 4th down on their own 19 they pass deep and get it, first down on the Utes 34 yard line.
With few second left, they tried a long pass again, but it way dropped.
The Holy war was over? The crowd did storm the field! But wait a minute ... let's review the time ... No! One second left!
Let's kick a 51 yard field goal ... Blocked! The ball bounces around ... BYU recovers and it's a live ball, the Player advances the football and gets tackled!
The Holy war was over? No! The crowd did storm the field while the ball bounced on the field! 15 Yard penalty against Utah, since it was Utah fans storming the field.
So ... let's try a 36 yard field goal. Kick ... looks good, looks good ... oh oh .. HITS THE UPRIGHT, GAME OVER, THE CROWD STORMS THE FIELD AGAIN AND THIS TIME IT'S PARTY TIME!
Even Hollywood can script such games ... LOL.
20-6 -> Jacks Score: 9-7

Some games of interest:

- California did almost beat Ohio State. Looked the Bears should be taken seriously.

- Virginia tech did lose against Pittsburgh. That's tough, since Pitt did not win a single game before that and VT was destined to go to the ACC championship game.
The loss does not hurt VT in the ACC but still ... that game hurt.

- Northern Illinois did win 41-40 against Army. The Huskies look good, but allowing 40 points is not a good sign for the upcoming conference games.

- TCU did win its first Big 12 game against Kansas.

- Louisiana Monroe did almost upset the second SEC team in two weeks. Auburn was lucky the Field Goal try of the Warhawks was no good and the Tigers got their own try trough the uprights in OT!
I'm curious to see the Warhawks play in the SBC. Hopefully they can keep up the level and are not burned out after those two games.

- Alabama did hammer Arkansas 52-0. I should give myself 0.5 points on that prediction. LOL. Looks like the Razorbacks are going for a new coach.

- Penn State did beat Navy for its first win. It was also a home game, so a very nice moment for O'Brien. Now they can move forward.

- East Carolina did beat Southern Miss, the defending champion of the CUSA. Not a good start for the Golden Eagles.

- UTSA (new to the FBS) did beat Georgia State to be 3-0. Not bad for a new program.

- Cal Poly (FCS) did beat Wyoming 24-22. Next upset happened.

- Western Kentucky did beat Kentucky 32-31. Next SBC-team beating an SEC team. What's going on here?

- Middle Tennessee did win against Memphis, which leads me again to the question ... Memphis to the Big East? Really? By the way, the Blue Raiders are also a SBC team. The Sun Belt seems to have a sunny year ...

- Toledo win against Bowling Green. The Falcons were destined to compete in the MAC. Same for the Rockets. Looks like the Toledo Rockets are competing better. LOL.

- Ball State did defeat Indiana. Well, OK the Hoosiers are not the best team in football, but they should win against Ball State, no matter what.

- Wisconsin was almost upset by Utah State. Wow, those big time football teams do really have a hard time out there.

I'm really looking forward for week 5 and further, since then will the conference games start to come in a heavy load and that means the big timers will face other big timers much more often.
Could this be a year where everyone beats everyone and at the end of the season two 9-3 teams or worse to play for the national championship?

We will see.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2012-09-13

Week Three FBS Preview - The problems with rankings ...

When I started this blog, I knew it would be tough to cover every week the whole college FBS world.

There are A LOT of team out there and it's tough to keep track on all those games and teams.

I think, the main reason most people outside the USA are NOT interested in college Football, even if they like the NFL, is: The system is too big and too complicated to get in the first few steps.
Over a hundred teams on the highest level, over 10 different conferences playing out their own champions only to play no playoffs and at the end of the season half of the teams go to an extra game called BOWL and that's it.
The Press and the Coaches do name the national champion and hopefully they agree on him.
Additionally those teams play other teams from lower levels and there seems to be an endless pool of teams to come in as training partners.
How can this make sense?

It can and it does in some kind of way. But it takes time to GET it

Yes it looks chaotic and weird, and most of the time I get questions like "Why don't they do some system with relegation and promotions?" like the common german/european guy is used to it in soccer/football or other sports?
They (and maybe you) don't understand the long history of the college sport, which is older than most of the relegation/promotion-league-systems establish today in europe.

The bottom line from my point of view is, the system is different and in some ways, human beings always do fear different systems.
Funny thing is, even if I try to explain the system, from small (conferences) to big (national championship) it seams the people do except it, but still can't make it "OK" in their sports universe. It stays in the weird corner and most of the time the asking person does forget about it in short time.

Right over my table at work I have a colleague doing coaching on a football team in cologne. He loves football and he even loves seeing college football on TV. He went to the states and did visit the Longhorns Campus in Texas and the Trojans Campus in California. STILL he does not get the system and I think he doesn’t want to, because it seems to complicated to get.

So here is your chance to GET it a little bit more than before, since I'm only putting spotlights on certain situations.

I don't expect you to understand everything, hell this will take more than a small blog with a few words, but if you like to know some stuff I did not cover, ask for it!

We are still not in full season mode, since most conferences did not start playing against each other. This will start at week 5 to 6. Why is that?

Good question. Most teams try to get in gear for their "real" season in the conference games, by playing non-conference teams.
It's not 100% true for all teams, having 4 non-conference games in the first 4 weeks, but the amount of conference games is dramatically increasing in week 5 and stays in this figures until the regular season ends.

But don't underestimate the played games or coming games in the next 2 weeks as pre-season.

No, the do count for bowl-eligibility (you need at least 6 wins to be that) and do also count for the TOP25 rankings. And believe it, this TOP25 ranking is worth a lot.

At the end of the season it determines the bowl pairings in some kind of way and these are worth a lot of money. It also has an impact on recruiting and probably on money gifts from graduated students and companies.

Yes, the rankings are done by some journalists in the AP-List and another version is done by coaches, but they do put two things together, which are essential:

How did teams perform and how did they perform in perspective of our expectations?

Why is that so important?

Because some teams do play bad teams ... all season long. And some teams play tough teams, all season long.

How do you value such wins?

Is a team like Notre Dame with a supposed toughest schedule of all teams this year worth more with a 7-5 record, than an unbeaten Ohio team at 12-0 from the MAC which had as toughest opponent on paper Penn State?

The simple mathematical compare between the wins and losses would give Ohio the edge, of course, but would this be right?

If Ohio would play Notre Dame, who would win? Whom do you expect to win? I think not many would pick Ohio.

So Ohio should be ranked lower than Notre Dame?
That might be right or that might be wrong. It depends on the deserved ranking. What it should show. Should it show the potential strength or the accomplished results?

Should Notre Dame be ranked higher, since we expect them to be the better team, or lower, since the lost against some teams, and Ohio did win all of them?

Everyone has an answer for that, for sure, but both perspectives DO make sense.

That's where these Polls come into the game. If 60 Journalists do vote their TOP 25 each week, do you get a fair ranking, if you compile them all together in one list?

If 59 coaches of FBS-Programs do list their TOP 25 each week, do you get a good ranking if you do add them all together each week?

Well, since ages these Polls are in discussion, with no real solution for that.

Main problem is, to determine the real value / power of a program as in "let these two teams play 100 times against each other, which one would win more?" to rank them up one by one. You can't do that.

There are some computer models based on hard mathematical formulas to compare all those teams, by analyzing all played games in a season and they do also deliver rankings. But they also deliver different results and a funny thing is, they often do not have many differences to the main Polls, AP and Coaches.

So those damn journalist and coaches might be as good or bad as the smartest computer algorithm.

The BCS (Bowl Championship Series) did know about this shortcomings and tried to do a sort of meta poll, by fusing some polls together in ONE ranking.

Teams ranked no. 1 and no. 2 would play for the BCS-Championship-Game, and the winner would get most likely the votes of AP and the coaches (which make that team the national champion! Not winning the game itself!).
It is agreed by the coaches to vote the winner of the BCS-Championship-Game as No. 1 in their Poll, but the AP-Poll is no longer part of the BCS-Formula and the members of the press are free to vote different, which happened in some situation since developing this system in the late 90s.

So, with all this said and done, is it worth to play such crazy system?

Yes and No!

Let's start with the No!
No, because the teams which would be at places No. 3 to let's say No. 6 most of the time also have good cause of playing in the national championship game.
Some years, there are more teams worth a look, some years less.
Most of the time, there are more than two teams to consider, but only two can be chosen and the rest has almost no chance winning the championship by being voted No 1. in the AP Poll at the end of the season.
Also, every Non-BCS-Conference team has basically almost zero chance ever getting into the BCS-Championship game, since they always get fewer votes than BCS-Conference teams.
After playing 12 games, you can't determine a fair final match that way.

And now to the Yes!
It's true that most of the time teams get ignored playing for the big game, and get a BCS-ranking of No 3 or less, which would probably deserve a deeper look.
But those teams all know the rules and they had 12 games to play by the rules to maximize their chances.
My main passion for this system is that it makes every playing week exciting, since every week the spot for being ranked No 1 or No 2 is at grab and the teams playing tougher opponents have to be very careful.
Losing ONE of these games is almost certainly the end of all championship hopes.
First week, Alabama - Michigan? Had Alabama lost, their season quest for repeat would be probably over, at least it would make the pressure much stronger.
Week 2, Nebraska - UCLA? Well, it could be that UCLA will win a lot more games in season and it might be that THIS win against Nebraska will count huge at the end of the season, if Nebraska for example becomes the Big Ten champion.
THAT's what I like about this System. Every game counts. From my point of view the losses do weight more to let you sink in the rankings than the wins do let you rise up, but that's also cool, because that makes every game important.
Ask Wisconsin, or Arkansas ....

The system is not perfect and most likely we will see a small playoff addition to that system in some time.
Models discussed are a 4 team or 8 team playoffs, and by that I think most teams would get a shot, a decent shot, for the national championship game.
I like that idea, even if it would pamper those loss-effects of the current system a bit. But still ... last season, the TOP 8 teams had maximum 2 losses and even a Non-BCS-Team was in that area, so it would be a nice take, I think.

You might ask, why not bring in a 16 team or 32 team or even 64 team playoffs?

Because this would make the regular season almost worthless. In my opinion, a playoff system does NOT support finding the best team. Yes, every team which is the winner did win several games in the row, sure. But getting into the playoffs is not that hard anymore. At the moment there are 2 spots for over a hundred teams, soon there will be 4 or 8. It’s just pure mathematics to see, that the more you put into the playoffs, the less you have to do in the regular season.
And in the playoffs, the chances are the same for all team. And the supposed best team only needs one bad day to be eliminated. All other remaining team are then lucky to never meet that team on their path to the final.

I like the 4 team approach, and I could live with 8 teams making it to the playoffs. I would not like to have more of them.

OK, let's move forward to the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 3

Rutgers @ South Florida
Neither of those teams is ranked, but the winner of this game probably will be in the next version.
Still, this game could be one of the crucial ones for the Big East Championship.
Both teams did not do well in their first games, still they won and matchup as two unbeaten teams.
I don't think the Scarlet Knights will win against the Bulls, but I'm expecting a close game and a tough game as well.
I think Coach Skip Holtz of South Florida will have a nice season.

#18 Florida @ #22 Tennessee
When Lane Kiffin left to Coach USC after one year at Knoxville, he left the Volunteers in worse shape than when he got their to turn the program around.
It's not the players pool, I'm talking about, it's the respect of the Tennessee program.
Kiffin did act like a jerk and that did have an impact.
Derek Dooley took over and it seems he got the program on the rise again.
If I were a Gator this year, I would at least respect the program this week.
I think Florida is not quite ready for the SEC games. That A&M game was from my point of view to close.
They still have QB-issues and this can be very dangerous in the SEC.
I'm leaning towards Tennessee in this one.

#2 USC @ #22 Stanford
OK, the Trojans are a 95% favourite in this game, for sure.
The team is destined to play for the national championship game and any loss during the season probably will eliminate them from the contenders list.
Stanford on the other hand does still live on the Andrew Luck Area votes, they did barely beat San Jose State and did crash Duke, still they are ranked #22.
I also think that USC will win here easily.
But I can't help to hope for an upset, not because I hate USC much (just a bit) or I like Stanford that much (I liked them more, before the got successful and dropped their academical standard to become that), no it's because I love underdogs and upsets 8as I mentioned before ...).

#20 Notre Dame @ 10 Michigan State
There was a time, this game would be a schedule filler and the winner was clear, the Irish.
But this is different since 20 years.
The Spartans are a good team and the Irish do look good again also, so good conditions for a nice matchup.
Last year, the Irish won at home, and the last time they won back to back was 93 and 94.
Every series does end, so there is no guarantee for Irish loss in this away game, still the Spartans are favourites in this game and this has to be respected.
But, you what? I think this year is upset year and the Irish get their first one here.
Play like a champion and remember Rudy! LOL.

#25 BYU @ Utah
The next State-rivalry in the state of Utah. It's called "The Holy War".
It's one of the oldest if not THE oldest rivalry in the USA.
It's much to complicate to describe the rivalry in a few sentences, but it refers to the fact that Utah is a state university (biggest in Utah) and BYU is a private school of the Mormon Church (largest in that organisation).
Religion is of course a part of that mixture, but there are several more ingredients in this.
Utah is leading by a mile overall, but since years this is a very even matchup. Still, Utah won the last 7 of 10 meetings.
The Utes did loose last week against Utah State and BYU seems to be on the rise.
I wouldn't count the Utes out, since this is a home game, a rivalry and the probably got some nice words during the week, because of that loss against the Aggies.
Most people think the Utes will loose.
Guess what? I think they will come back and win. LOL.

So, some risky picks this week.
If Arkansas had won against Louisiana Monroe, that game against Alabama would be on the list, but I think they will be washed away by the Crimson Tide now, so they dropped from my list.

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2012-09-10

Week two FBS Results - There can't be enough upsets!

Is anyone as excited as me on that college football season?

Well, I tell you why I am: I love upsets!
And we got lots of them in the first two weeks.

This week looked like a pushover week and off course, some teams did their thing and did their regular rout on the weaker teams.
But some teams stood up against their destined winning opponent and shoved them their big school attitude ride back into their throat.

First we look at the BLOCK OF GRANITE TOP GAMES FOR WEEK 2

Utah @ Utah State
Haha! First upset already!
That "Battle of the Brothers" was great!
Utah State did lead early in the first quarter. 0-13.
The Utes needed 2 Quarters to get the equalizer, only to see the Aggies score again 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Utah did answer with a Touchdown to get the game even again at 20-20.
They had the game winning field goal on the feet and kicked in the last second from 52 yards away.
Seriously ... If you are the kicker of a football team and take away a roster spot, you should be good, right?
Well ... that Utes Kicker did of course miss and the game went into OT.
Aggies did win the coin toss and went first. They did good and scored a TD.
The Utes responded and made it to the six yard line only to get a pass interference call and 15 yards penalty.
That was basically the death penalty in this game. They were not able to tie the game and lost it.
20-27 -> Jacks Score: 4-2

Miami @ #21 Kansas State
Well, there is not much to tell. The Hurricanes came into town and got their butts handed to them ....
They lost every quarter and of course they lost the game.
Small error of mine: Kansas State was ranked #21 before the game.
I will love to see the Wildcats in the Big 12.
13-52 -> Jacks Score: 5-2

#24 Florida @ Texas A&M
That went closer than I expected.
The Gators did lead in the first quarter but a good second quarter did give the Aggies the lead at half 10-17.
I think both teams did play well and did not have big opportunities to score against those defenses.
Florida did kick a Field Goal in the 3rd and also did score a Touchdown early in the 4th quarter to lead 20-17.
Well ... from this point on, the defenses did outshine everything and did basically shut down every progress on both sides.
Unfortunately, Texas A&M was behind and stayed behind to loose the game (as expected).
But ... that WAS a close game and it was the Aggies first game!
I think they will do well in the SEC even this year.
They are not in shape to take over Georgia or LSU and Alabama, but they don't have to hide for the next opponents.
20-17 -> Jacks Score: 6-2

Iowa State @ Iowa
I wouldn't like to sit on Kirk Ferentz chair at the moment.
The Hawkeyes did not only win a very close game against a supposed weaker opponent last week, no ... they did LOOSE against the Cyclones, AT HOME!
So the Cy-Hawk Trophy stays with Iowa State for another year. And the Hawkeyes can think about themselves a while.
I hope the real, big teams dreams spoiling Hawkeyes do show up soon.
9-7 -> Jacks Score: 6-3

#16 Nebraska @ #22 UCLA
THAT was a great game, as long you are a Bruins game.
I think the Huskers fans were quite OK for half time, having the game tied 24-24.
I think some of them got worried starting of the forth quarter when the game was still tied, 27-27.
Then both teams did miss Field Goal tries and the Bruins did score a safety. I think some fans got worried a little more.
Close game, away game? Not good ... right?
Right! UCLA did intercept Taylor Martinez of Nebraska three and a half minutes to go in the game.
The Bruins did score right after that interception and didn't let the Huskers take over the game from that point on.
If Nebraska is really a contender in the Big Ten, I'm waiting for the UCLA - USC battle.
30-36 -> Jacks Score: 6-4

#7 Georgia @ Missouri
Well ... One thing is clear ...
Georgia is from my point of view the front runner for the SEC East.
That Florida game will be on a neutral site end of October. THAT will probably determine the SEC East champion.
But I'm getting ahead.
What happened at Mizzou?
The Tigers were reduced to kitty cats and got bitten by the big bulldog UGA, that's what happened.
Mizzou was in the game, until end of the third quarter, when the Bulldogs got ahead 24-20.
Up to this point it was a great even match.
But from this point on, it was like the Georgia defense found the key to shut down the Tigers offense completely.
The Bulldogs offense didn't have to do much to score 17 unanswered points, since they got the ball through that great defense in excellent field positions.
41-20 -> Jacks Score: 7-4

Some games of interest:

- Penn State did loose at Virginia 16-17 on a missed last second field goal (and 3 others during the game). A tough spot to coach at the moment.

- Auburn did loose against Mississippi State and I think they will have a tough time this year in the SEC.

- Illinois State (FCS) did win against Eastern Michigan. I love it when FCS-Teams show up and win!

- Which also did Sacramento State by beating ... Colorado! Oh man, that Buffaloes Fans did have to suffer these days.

- Mike Leach did get his first win as Washington State coach by beating Eastern Washington. Not much to be proud of. 20-24 ...

- Notre Dame almost lost to Purdue 20-17. Everybody was high on the Irish after their win against Navy. What's the Situation now? We will see it next week.
For Purdue, I'm curious to see them against the Big Ten opponents. Is this a Boilermakers year?

- Michigan did win against Air Force 31-25. If this is the Wolverine team to show up against the Spartans, they will get slaughtered.

- UPSET ATTENTION: RICE ... YES .... RICE did win against Kansas 25-24! Is it Charlie Weis choking time already?

- South Florida did barely win against Nevada 32-31.

- And North Carolina did barely loose against Wake Forest 27-28. All bets on the Tar heels to win the ACC as a dark horse are off.
So VT will be in the ACC final again? How boring.

- Next UPSET ATTENTION! Wisconsin, destined to battle it out for the Big Ten crown did loose against Oregon State.
Good news for the Badgers fans ... this loss does not count on the Big Ten standings ... Bad news is, that what ever they do the rest of the season ... forget about national championships.

- Savannah State did loose only 0-55 against Florida State, because the game was suspended over bad weather conditions.
Savannah State had lost against Oklahoma State last week 0-84! And everyone did think they will loose on a higher margin this week.
Petrus seems to be a Tigers fan.

- Florida International did win against Akron 41-38. This still does not convince me to get on the Panthers-for-glory-bandwagon.

- Louisiana Monroe did UPSET ARKANSAS! The biggest win in school history.
They did score the tying Touchdown 47 second before the forth quarter ended, did intercept Arkansas in the drive and forced OT.
And the Warhawks did show balls on OT.
They held the Razorbacks to a Field Goal in the first OT and then had a 4th and 1 on Arkansas 16 yard line.
Filed Goal try, right? Wrong! They lined up to play and rushed for 16 yards and a Touchdown for the win.
Guts!

- And the next upset by a FCS-team. North Dakota State did win against Colorado State 22-7! Not a good time to live in Colorado. LOL.

- Arkansas State did win against Memphis and still brings up the question, why Memphis will be a Big East team, next season …
They got beaten by a FCS-Team and a SBC-Team. Next up another SBC-team.

- Northwestern did beat Vanderbilt. Good year for Northwestern?

- Louisiana tech did beat Houston 56-49! Defense did not play, or what?

- North Arizona beat UNLV 17-14. Next upset by a FCS-team.

- And the next BIG UPSET: The Oklahoma State Cowboys got a fifty-burger by the Arizona Wildcats! 59-38!
Rich Rod did get his first big win.
I still think he would have been successful at Michigan, but OK, now he can get the Wildcats on track.

You see? Lots of upset!

Funny thing, with those upsets the path to national championships is shaped early and did almost for sure eliminate some very good teams already.
That makes room for some other teams, we will see how this will go ...

‘Til next time
Jack6 on BLOCK OF GRANITE

2012-09-06

Season opener pick - we have a winner

What an opener. The Cowboys won over the Giants at Giants ground, 24:17. A minority of our users picked right. Though there was no exact pick - but we have a winner.

We wrote down 2 points for each user that made the pick "Cowboys win". Another point was added for those 3 people that picked the exact "points difference". So we had to use a tiebreaker, and we decided to use the "score total".

Congrats to Robic, enjoy this 1 month supporter account. The runner-up is our Monkey, 50 Credits are on its way.

Thank you very much for joining our small game, and don't forget to read the news. We will do more stuff like this in the near future.

2012-09-05

The Imperium is growing - Merchandising

Hello community

after months of hard development, sleepless nights, lots of Guinness and many many discussion...we are proud to present you our brand new Merchandise Department.

http://redzoneaction.spreadshirt.net

We are using Spreadshirt.net. This provider is delivering nearly wordwide for small money, the quality of goods is more than acceptable, and they are providing all option necessary like customized text areas and so on.

From September 18th to 27th, they celebrate their 10th anniversary, and provide a special discount - details could be found here (Details).

We plan some surprises, stay tuned. For the moment we would like to point your attention to the T-Shirts with customized areas for your name, your personal, unique RZA-Shirt...Just use the "Change text" option in the Detail view...

NFL Season opener - only a few hours to go...

Hello everybody

within a few hours the NFL season 12/13 will see the grand opening. The Giants host the Cowboys.

We would like to introduce you our NFL Pick'em game on ESPN, ran by Monkey. Just join the game, it is not too late yet.

Please follow the instruction given here: http://redzoneaction.org/football/index.php?page=community&subpage=thread&thread_id=4144.

The winner of this competition will receive a unique T-Shirt, so there is something to brag with...Winner of RedZoneAction.org NFL Pick'em on ESPN, Season 12/13...does not sound bad, does it?

Still reading? JOIN!

2012-09-02

1 year...

...ago, during the evening of the 2nd of September 2011, we opened a webpage, so called RedZoneAction.org, to the public.

This means nothing else than today we celebrate birthday!

This was a year full of nice experiences, surprises, and some disappointment too. But most important: it was an year full of fun. We will raise a virtual pint to all of you, and we thank you so much for your ideas, critics, warm words when needed most, and the time you spent here.

We will send 20 Credits to each of you, and we know you will spend wisely.

Cheers!

2012-09-01

Small changes in the engine

Hello all,

we added some tweaks to the game engine...

On Friendlies (test Engine V2) there is a better chance on deep pass tackles for defenders to lower the chance of "Hail Mary touchdowns"

On all games there is a new value in the stats available, so called Yards after Catch. We think this one is self explanatory. It is not fully ready yet, there might be some more tweaks on it necessary. So don't value it too much for the moment.

On top of that we found some issues with tackles and tackles missed, especially on deep pass tackles, and turnovers. We fixed them.