Sorry Tex, unscheduled rant coming…
Excuse me, WHAT THE HELL IS KATIE COURIC DOING? The whole world should be calling her out for the BS she displayed yesterday. Not gonna? Okay then, I will. Thanks Katie, for getting me back into RANT MODE.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually thought 95% of her interview was decent. It wasn’t soft, she asked some tough questions, but those questions deserved to and needed to be asked. For her to look at all professional, and to give Manti a chance to answer them.
But then Katie went too far. Katie went off the ledge. Katie went bat-shit-CRAZY when she started talking about how she would’ve handled the situation. How SHE would’ve done it differently. How SHE would’ve done it RIGHT.
GIVE ME AN EFFING BREAK. Let’s break this down for a second.
First, and most importantly, Katie is about as far as possible from being Manti Teo. She’s an old, white, washed-up reporter, and she’s a she. Manti is a young, male, Morman, Samoan/Hawaiian wrecking ball of a linebacker that attended a Catholic school and played D1 Football. THIS IS A DIFFERENT FREAKING WORLD WOMAN! I mean, there are a ton of things closer to Manti than you…
So that’s point one. You have no idea what you’d do if you were him. BECAUSE YOU ARE LITERALLY NOTHING LIKE HIM.
But, Daytime TV Talk Show hosts spin BS all the time. So, moving on, the second biggest problem with her ‘advice’ was that she used the complete timeline of information to inform how she’d have reacted and behaved. Guess what Katie, when this was all going down MANTI DIDN’T KNOW EVERYTHING YOU KNOW NOW YOU SILLY WOMAN! You can’t just take all of this data that you now have at your disposal and assume that, MONTHS AGO, Manti had the same information. Of COURSE he’d have behaved differently if he’d known it was all a hoax you twit. That tells us absolutely nothing.
Sooooo, since she’s so perfectly able to rip apart past situations, let’s find out What Would Katie Do (WWKD):
If she’s Steven Spielberg, SHE would never put Jar Jar Binks in the prequels. #WWKD
If she were Brian Kelly, SHE would’ve never called that pass play against Tulsa. #WWKD
If she were the Jets Organization, SHE would’ve never taken Tebow. #WWKD
The rest of the interview, like I said, was fair. But this was so far over the line. It was pompous, full of righteous indignation that Teo didn’t at all deserve, and disgusting from an ‘adult’. I never cared about Katie Couric. Wasn’t ever on my radar. Now she officially sucks.
And for all the ‘haters’ who may comment saying ‘yeah Manti still lied’ or ‘I’m an idiot listen to my stupid point that’s irrelevant’ I am not saying any of this exonerates Manti. He didn’t do everything perfectly and he is paying DEARLY. But that’s not the point. The point is that Katie Couric had the chance to be a journalist. To get a story and to dig deep. She started off down that path. But then, at some point, she decided to switch to being a moron. That’s the point. KATIE COURIC, you’re on the HLS WatchList. You don’t want to be there. I’ll see you on Twitter. Loser.
Ok, usually I don’t get drawn offsides very much by any “Notre Dame should join X conference” articles, but this last attempt takes the cake in terms of stupidity. You can find the original by Dave Wischnowsky here, but I urge you not to click it. You’ll get all the breakdown you need after the jump.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I’m pretty sure that old Charles Dickens didn’t pen those words with Notre Dame in mind, but here in the waning days of 2012, he certainly could have.
Man, I thought I had issues trying to write post introductions.
You know you’re in for a great ride when the second sentence contains “pretty sure he didn’t do this, but he probably totally did, just go with it.”
That’s because, on one hand, the Fighting Irish are flying as high as ever with a No. 1 ranking and a chance to win their first national championship in a quarter century when they face Alabama on Jan. 7 in the BCS Championship Game. But on the other hand, the future of Notre Dame’s athletic programs – despite the football team’s current success – has never been less stable, or clear.
On Monday, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick acknowledged that the implosion of the Big East has left the Irish in an oh-so-precarious position. Notre Dame announced in September that its sports teams – except for the fiercely independent football program – are leaving the Big East for the ACC but that the school is contractually obligated to play in the league for two more years.
OK, maybe we should give this guy a chance. This actually could make some sense and present an article worthy of debate.
Let’s see where this goes…
However, with the Big East’s seven Catholic basketball schools declaring last week that they’re departing the conference, the Big East may not exist at all by next fall. And, as a result, Notre Dame could be without a conference in which to play basketball and other sports next season.
…right into a brick wall.
So let me get this straight. Notre Dame needs to join the Big Ten because the Big East fell apart (something that our departure accelerated, by the way) and Notre Dame might not have a conference in 2013. So despite the fact that we have an agreement in place with the ACC in 2014, Notre Dame should jump ship to the Big Ten now to solve this issue.
You’re kidding right, Dave?
However this drama plays out, it appears the Irish will eventually bolt one train wreck of a league (the Big East) for another one (the ACC) that’s resembled a sputtering jalopy ever since charter member Maryland announced last month that it’s bolting the conference for the sanctuary of the Big Ten.
The ACC is destined to be a train wreck because Maryland, that’s right, MARYLAND decided to jump ship.
Now, of course, if Notre Dame itself had joined the Big Ten – that deep-pocketed, powerful and highly stable league right in its own backyard – none of these annoying headaches involved with crumbling conferences would exist.
Yeah, we’d just have to deal with the headache of dealing with a conference that can’t even figure out division alignment without an internet survey. Oh, and the small fact that Delany has seemed to lose his damn mind by watering down his conference with Rutgers and Maryland.
Don’t cite TV markets as the reason either. If you think that the entire New York/New Jersey market actually cares about watching Rutgers do anything, you are as foolish as Delany. Maryland also isn’t exactly cornering any desirable TV markets either.
Maybe Delany really loves crab cakes?
Don’t give the “in ND’s own backyard” reason either. For 125 years Notre Dame football has played a national schedule for football. Why would we ever sacrifice that kind of national presence? Regional scheduling is small-time thinking. ND operates on a national scale and limiting ourselves to “our own backyard” completely screws that up.
Finally, money? You’re joking right? Notre Dame was the eighth most profitable football program last season and that was during a mediocre year without magical conference money. You seriously think money is a concern for ND?
But those headaches aren’t likely to cease soon. And considering how drastically the college sports landscape has changed over the past few years – and surely will continue to do so for several more – here’s my advice for Notre Dame:
Just join the Big Ten already.
Things will continue to change, but the Big Ten won’t, promise!
As I’ve written before, here in this age of emerging “superconferences,” a situation is almost certain to arise where Notre Dame is going to have to join a league – all the way – or find its football team left out of the evolving power structure.
You mean that “evolving power structure” that created a new playoff system which included Notre Dame?
Come on now, where you asleep this past offseason, Dave?
And when that does happens, Notre Dame football would be a much better fit in the Big Ten than the ACC, which (if it even survives) will always be more of a basketball conference than it ever will be a football one.
Good thing the goal is to remain independent in football!
Also, wasn’t the whole initial issue all of Notre Dame’s “other sports” not having a home?
And as we all know, football is what Notre Dame is really about. Today, tomorrow and forever.
OK, I guess this post is about football now.
However, in spite of pigskin being such a priority, a few years ago a friend of mine who is a Notre Dame alum said that despite the school’s powerful desire to maintain its football independence, it wouldn’t cling to that if it ended up hurting the school’s other sports programs.
Or not. Seriously, pick an argument and stick with it.
Also, bonus hilarity for citing “a friend of mine”. You would’ve been better off saying “a source familiar with the Notre Dame athletic program” if you really wanted to properly spoon-feed us this crap.
Does this friend actually have knowledge of the inner-workings of ND? I’m assuming not, otherwise you would’ve used it to strengthen your argument that is now completely coming off the rails.
To top it all off, you are citing an opinion from “a few years ago” back when the conference landscape looked nothing like it does now. What does your friend think now with the new ACC deal in place? Shame that we’ll never know.
Actually, you know what, I’m a Notre Dame alum. My opinion should hold weight to this argument! Guess what I think? You’re full of crap. Boom. Roasted.
Right now, it looks like the Irish’s other sports programs could indeed be hurting badly if they don’t have a conference home next year. A few years down the line, Notre Dame football could end up hurting too [...]
It’s other sports! It’s football!
Rabbit season! Duck season!
[...]if it’s ultimately forced into a weakened ACC that’s lost marquee members and is instead dominated by lackluster ones.
So now you’re just going to stick with the assumptions and start making crap up?
Fine, I’ll bite. All the ACC schools will jump ship. Who? To where? When? And what makes you so certain the Big Ten won’t budge?
I’m sure the next paragraph will shed some light on these burning questions.
While I still consider it unlikely to happen, what I’d like to see is for Notre Dame to get off its high horse and politely knock on Jim Delany’s door. If Notre Dame asked, I’d be willing to bet that the Irish basketball team and its other sports programs could be fit into the Big Ten schedule next season. And then the Notre Dame football team could join the Big Ten along with Maryland, Rutgers and a 16th member TBD when the 2013-14 season rolls around.
Or we’ll just completely ignore it and move on to more assumptions!
Not only will Delany take in the Irish, but he’ll find a 16th team as well (Cincinnati must be licking their chops!). Oh and the scheduling will be fine! Don’t mind the details, just carry on with this logic! We’re on a roll here!
Alright, I’m probably being too mean. Dave still has plenty of time to clear all of this up.
Now, would it be simple to pull all that off? Of course not.
Translation: “Remember all of that crap I just made up? You know, all those reasons that will save Notre Dame from all those “headaches” I mentioned earlier? Yeah, moving to the Big Ten will create more headaches.”
Notre Dame’s entanglements with the Big East, ACC, NBC and future football opponents would all have to be sorted out and appeasements would certainly have to be made. But nothing in college sports is impossible – especially with Notre Dame’s and the Big Ten’s money.
You’re right nothing is impossible…including Notre Dame staying independent and finding another dance partner that isn’t the Big Ten should the ACC falter. If you don’t think that’s possible, you are conviently forgetting DeLoss Dodds and Jack Swarbrick have a great relationship.
Oh hell, let’s get really crazy and start making crap up since you are.
Let’s say Notre Dame sees the ACC fall apart and says “OK, forget this independence thing. We’re starting our own national conference and will invite eleven other schools. We will use the NBC family of networks to promote our conference and televise all of our conference games just like the Olympics.” The line would for invitations would form to the left and include approximately 119 schools (rough estimate) hoping for an invitation.
Improbable and unlikely? Definitely. Then again so is your scenario, and mine actually makes more sense than joining the Big Ten.
This week, for example, rumors are swirling that Butler – which is in its first year in the Atlantic 10 – may leave already and instead link up with the “Catholic 7” from the Big East in forming a new hoops-centric league.
“Our administrators, our coaches, our trustees and our team will continue to do what is right for Butler and its students,” Butler president James Danko said in a statement Monday, not committing the school one way or another while showing that changes can always be made.
Can someone connect the dots for me?
How does talking about Butler follow anything resembling a continuous line of thought after “nothing in college sports is impossible – especially with Notre Dame’s and the Big Ten’s money”?
What are you even trying to say here? Butler is keeping its options open so therefore so should Notre Dame? And even if that’s the point, do you think Swarbrick, the same guy that kept his options open this year to make the move to the ACC is all of a sudden closed-minded?
Actually let’s back up even further. Are you comparing Notre Dame to Butler?!
My head hurts.
If Notre Dame was truly honest with itself, I think it would see that the Big Ten is still the conference that’s best for the Irish athletic programs and students-athletes. Just like it always has been.
Notre Dame is honest with itself. Notre Dame is a national presence and brand. Joining the Big Ten isolates us to the Midwest region. That alone is enough reason to reject this idea.
But even ignoring that, what other benefits have you actually presented in this article, Dave? The only other two are money (which ND needs no help with) and stability (which you can’t guarantee).
So why should ND join the Big Ten again?
I suspect that even Charles Dickens would agree with that.
Even the corpse of Charles Dickens would see the light! How can I possibly argue with that?
Message to anyone thinking about writing a Notre Dame to Big Ten article: don’t. There is no logic behind it. It will never happen. Just do yourself a favor and stop.
As for Dave? Here is your prize.
By now, most Fighting Irish fans are familiar with a certain kind of article about Notre Dame football. You know, the kind that serve mostly as click-bait to drive up the pageviews, coming in two flavors: “irrelevant” and “Notre Dame has sold it’s soul for football”. They, and their target audiences, simply can’t reconcile that any school, much less Notre Dame, can achieve success in football by “doing it the right way” off the field as well. ND’s current success simply must be a product of some kind of compromise of standards and they will gladly try to tell the world why until we face off against Alabama next month.
Let me make one thing abundantly clear: Notre Dame is far from perfect.
Take a break, go back to the last sentence and re-read the bold over and over again before you continue. Realize this is a post written by an Irish football fan, former student manager, and proud alum, but also a person that has been severely disappointed by the way in which his alma mater has handled certain situations.
For instance, the Declan Sullivan tragedy, usually a must-mention in any anti-ND story, was completely avoidable. I wrote about this at length in my pre-HLS days after it happened. As a former manager, it frustrated me to no end that simple precautions were ignored. Sure, Notre Dame was fined and took action to prevent it from ever happening again, but it was all reactionary. Notre Dame shouldn’t have needed a death to figure out that high winds and lifts were a dangerous combination.
However, this tragedy being used as evidence that ND shows cracks in the “doing it right” foundation is a bit of a stretch, especially since the Sullivan family is at peace with the incident and holds no ill-will toward ND.
But what of the Lizzy Seeberg case, the go-to argument these days to show ND’s failings? After all, the alleged assailant is still on the football team and, unlike the Sullivan family, the Seebergs are far from happy as to how the investigation of their daughter’s reported sexual assault was handled.
I honestly can’t blame the Seeberg family for being angry. The timeline of events leaves quite a bit to be desired, especially in terms of how long it took to interview the accused. Further, while I understand the reasons Fr. Jenkins refused to meet with the family (as he wanted to remain impartial should he need to serve as a final disciplinary appeal), I think that refusal did a lot more harm than good, especially when juxtaposed with his dealings with the Sullivan family (and yes, I realize those are two very different cases).
In the end, the evidence wasn’t sufficient enough for any further legal action and the same decision was made on the disciplinary side. As far as football was concerned, it would be rather hard for Brian Kelly to suspend a player after two different entities withheld punishment. Further, doing so would have exposed the identity of the player publicly which is a whole other can of worms.
Unfortunately, these events are warped and sensationalized into a conspiracy that Notre Dame was protecting the football program at all costs. This misguided focus made Notre Dame football the story, cheapening the tragic events of two years ago. Upon each new mention of the Seeberg case, that same misguided focus remains, which completely ignores the fact that Notre Dame has revamped the way all sexual assault cases are handled in the summer of 2011, a move that the Seebergs hope will help young women in the future.
Much like in the Declan Sullivan case, I wish these new procedures weren’t reactionary. Considering that one in four college-aged women nation-wide are victims of rape or attempted rape (source), any policy revamp such as the one Notre Dame did is always a step in the right direction, but that’s not where the focus is. Instead of being lauded for attempting to prevent future tragedies, Notre Dame will continue to be vilified in print for the one they failed to prevent.
Some articles though go further than just the Sullivan and Seeberg tragedies. They wish to suggest that there has been a major institutional change at Notre Dame to aid the football program, citing the stepping down of Fr. Mark Poorman from the position of Vice President of Student Affairs, ND’s disciplinary wing, in 2009. Also often mentioned along with this change was a quote from a then recently fired Charlie Weis when asked what the biggest problem at ND was:
Oh, it’s Residence Life (the disciplinary arm of the office of Student Affairs), it’s not even close for second.
AHA! There’s the proof! A fired coach said ResLife was the problem, so ND removed it for Brian Kelly!
How else can you explain light punishments for Michael Floyd’s DUI (suspended for spring, zero games), Tommy Rees’ arrest (one game), Carlo Calbrese “my people will get you”-ing a cop (one game), and Cierre Wood smoking some weed (two games)? And then compare that to someone like Will Yeatman in 2008, who found himself suspended for the whole year, after blowing a .02 at a party (he was underage at the time) on the heels of being charged with a DUI (in a golf cart, supposedly) the previous spring.
Smoking “ND has sold its soul gun” found?! Not so much…
While there is definitely a start contrast, as usual with such pieces, that isn’t the whole story. First, let’s take a look a Weis’ entire quote about ResLife:
Oh, it’s Residence Life (the disciplinary arm of the office of Student Affairs), it’s not even close for second…I didn’t even know Residence Life existed when I went to school…I think if you took a poll of the students at Notre Dame on what’s the biggest negative issue, I would bet at least 50 per cent of them would say Residence Life…Without getting into the names of people who work at Residence Life…I just think that, not understanding all the principles of du Lac (student conduct manual) and everything else: I just think that these are college kids and college kids do what college kids do…Let’s say a kid has been too loud because he had some alcohol, why wouldn’t you just tell him to go to bed ? Why would that be something that ends up in the hands of Residence Life…? I’m just saying that boys will be boys and I’m just defending them; we as parents know what we interpret with our own kids what is out of line, and we all wish the best but we know our kids are going to be in trouble in their lifetime — but there are so many things that I think border on petty.
Much different in context, no?
Weis wasn’t just referring to ResLife from a football perspective, but from a student perspective as well.
I was a student during the start of Weis’ tenure and his assessment of ResLife would be 100% dead-on for that time. Punishments bordered on Draconian. Some rules seem like they were from another era in time. My favorite: no hard liquor on campus even if you were 21 or older. Hard liquor, by the way, was defined as 14% ABV, making some wines illegal contraband.
The other issue was that ResLife wanted to make examples out of athletes that got in trouble. It was a completely different standard from what normal students would experience. Considering part of the Notre Dame “doing it the right way” includes treating students and student athletes the same, this made no sense.
For instance, let’s take a time in which yours truly had a run in with a duLac violation my sophomore year. I got busted while drinking in a friend’s room. By the letter of the law I could’ve been sent to ResLife for not just the white Russian in my hand (hard liquor violation), but also for underaged drinking as I was 19 at the time.
I wasn’t even sent to ResLife. I was fined $50 and that was that.
As Weis said, “college kids do what college kids do” and our rector knew it. Sure, he could’ve sent me to ResLife if he wanted, but he didn’t feel that punishment fit the crime. In fact, most punishments in our dorm were handled in-house as most issues were minor offenses. Of course, if something more serious went down, ResLife would be brought into play; however, our rector still had the power to decide which direction to take the case. Weis simply wanted the ability to do the same without ResLife trumping him no matter what.
In other words, Weis wanted the football team to be treated just like every other student and, really, when every Notre Dame fan talks about how ND “does it right”, this is what we mean. Notre Dame doesn’t just pay lip-service to the “student” part of student-athlete. It is a part of the culture of Notre Dame and striving for, and obtaining, excellence on and off the field is what separates us from the rest of the college football world.
For years, Notre Dame fans have been told that the old days of college football was done. You simply can’t expect excellence in the classroom and on the field. As an example, take a look at what Pat Forde had to say about Notre Dame in the wake of firing Ty Willingham:
Notre Dame, football factory, fired its coach Tuesday.
The athletic director stressed that the football coach has done wonderful, inspirational work off the field. The academic performance has never been better, he said. The coach is a man of unassailable character who has recruited players of similar ilk.
“In a lot of ways,” the athletic director said, “this program hasn’t been this healthy in a long time.”
Except for one way. The wins-and-losses way. Which is what truly matters at all football factories.
Tyrone Willingham committed the fireable offense of going 21-15 in three years. As AD Kevin White said, Willingham did great work Monday through Friday.
“We just were not meeting those competitive expectations on Saturday,” White said.
Athletic directors, presidents and alums everywhere want the big lie: they want Harvard during the week and Oklahoma on the weekends. Clearly, the Fighting Irish weren’t getting enough Boomer Sooner when needed.
This move makes one thing clear: the Golden Dome might as well be located in Auburn, Ala., or Lincoln, Neb., or Tallahassee, Fla. All the things Notre Dame used to hold dear — the class-and-dignity stuff, the special-institution stuff — is officially of secondary importance.
Hilariously enough, here’s what Forde had to say yesterday about ND:
But in many ways Notre Dame remains a major-college athletic anomaly. The world’s most famous Catholic university aspires to win like a football factory while educating like an elite institution, and it largely succeeds.
The school ranks No. 1 in the NCAA’s most recent Graduation Success Rate. It is the smallest (in enrollment) and most academically prestigious (in national rankings) school to play for a championship in the BCS era (1998-present). It also is the only religiously affiliated school in that time to compete in the title game.
After decades of declining football returns, this season is the return to glory. And it’s been accomplished with players who are still part of the fabric of everyday campus life.
For too long, the powers in college football have perpetuated the “big lie” that Forde refers to as Notre Dame faltered in the win column.
We’ve talked a bit about GSR all season, and celebrated when we became the first school to hit #1 in both the BCS and GSR rankings. Notre Dame hasn’t just excelled in overall GSR, but also in graduating black male student-athletes in which they rank second at 81%, just two percentage points behind Northwestern (source).
And in comparison to the rest of the BCS top 10 — it’s a complete joke:
|School||GSR||Black Male Student-Athlete Graduation Rate|
Then again, when you have schools like Alabama participating in oversigning, it’s rather clear that the only math that matters is how to trim the total number of scholarships on the roster to 85. What’s even sadder is that many media outlets don’t seem to care.
In fact, here’s a piece on ESPN about the nine scholarship seniors on the 2012 Alabama roster. Four of those are redshirt seniors, one senior is a JUCO transfer, and one walk-on was awarded a scholarship, leaving three as true seniors from the recruiting class of 2009, which had 27 members sign a LOI according to Rivals (and yes, that’s already two over the annual limit of 25).
Two members of that same class went to the NFL and eleven more are currently on the roster as redshirt juniors. One more is listed as a sophomore, making him a “grayshirt”, that is, a player that enrolls in the second semester instead of the first. This allows the player’s scholarship to count against the following year’s count of 25 instead of the current year, which is how Alabama can do things like sign 27 players in a single recruiting year.
To recap the math there: 2 (NFL) + 3 (seniors) + 11 (redshirt juniors) + 1 (grayshirt sophomore) = 17 scholarship players still on the roster. That’s a full 10 less than the 27 listed by Rivals or 63% of the class still retained and 10 less kids that found their paid education taken away from them.
Notre Dame doesn’t play this scholarship shell game. Unlike most schools, who treat scholarships as a renewable single year agreement, when a player is awarded a scholarship at ND, it is good for all four years. The only way a scholarship is pulled before that time is if the player decides to leave ND due to the NFL draft or to transfer to another school. For the Irish, a scholarship isn’t just a spot on a roster, but a commitment to the student-athlete that extends to the classroom, a commitment to their future.
And that commitment is the heart of ND “doing it the right way.” It isn’t about Notre Dame being perfect — it never can be. Notre Dame will fail in striving for perfection both on and off the field. People will gleefully write about it, convinced that they have finally proven that ND has indeed finally fallen completely into irrelevance or that they’ve finally sold their soul for football glory.
However, ND will continue to learn from mistakes made, continue to strive to prevent future ones, and above all else, keep that same commitment, the eye on that same prize, that excellence on and off the field isn’t just some big lie.
Former Irish and current Vikings safety Harrison Smith summed it up perfectly:
You’re expected to go to class and not just be a football player. That’s real. It’s going to be hard academically, just like it’s hard academically at a lot of schools. But we’re all just college kids, we’re all playing football, and we’re all going to make mistakes. Notre Dame is not some golden perfect place. It’s a place that tries to do the right thing.
We all know the polls are dumb. I don’t mean any individuals are dumb (which is also likely) but that the collective group is. They lack data, they don’t pay attention to data if they do have it, and their own biases impact everything. It’s kind of a silly system, and the current ranking of ND behind K-State is also silly.
Let’s take a look at a few data points to evaluate the order here:
1. Performance against the same opponents
2. Absolute Stats
3. Opponent-Adjusted Stats
4. Overall SOS (stealing this from Tex’s post earlier this week)
1. Performance against the same opponents
Both ND and K-State played Miami and Oklahoma, and both teams won those games. But they didn’t win by the same margins. This is probably the ‘fairest’ comparison of the two teams we’ll get as they are the exact same opponents. The results of a comparison favor ND.
ND beat Oklahoma by 17 points for score ratio of 131%. KS beat Oklahoma by less than a Touchdown, a differential of 5 points or 26%. ND scored more points against Oklahoma and gave up fewer. This is clearly a superior performance by ND against the same team.
Here the story is more mixed as ND scored fewer points but also gave up fewer. On a percentage basis KS put up 3X or 300% of Miami’s points. But ND put up almost 13X or 1300%! C’mon now, folks!
But even if you call that a tie it’s pretty clear that ND outperformed K-State against the same competition. Say whatever else you want, but ND wins this test. ADVANTAGE ND
2. Absolute Stats
This is the one place where K-State looks better than ND, and it’s almost entirely on the offensive side of the ball. When we look at rankings of Passing and Rushing Offense (Yards), Points For and Points Against, ND only wins in the last category. And that’s where the perception that K-State is ‘better’ sets in. Here are national rankings in those categories:
PASS 82 89
RUSH 18 30
POINTS 5 72
AGAINST 21 2
So K-State wins Test 2 but that brings us to Test 3 which pretty much negates it…
3. Opponent-Adjusted Stats
The problem with the previous view is that it completely ignores who they’ve played. And while K-State clearly has better offensive stats, ND has played a slate of teams with MUCH better defenses. And that matters. A lot.
Looking at the Combined S&P/FEI rankings on FootballOutsiders.com, which accounts for the quality of the teams played, we get a very different story.
OFF 11 4
DEF 15 4
ND is better at both offense and defense once the competition is taken into account. ADVANTAGE BACK TO ND. Which brings us to point 4, competition.
See, when two teams have the exact same record, this is where the rubber meets the road. Look, if I am 100-0 in boxing and only fought 5th grade girls (or BC students – ZING!) you might not be intimidated. If I was 100-0 and took down heavyweight pros, it’s a different story. But somehow poll voters ignore this. ND is undefeated. So is K-State. BUT ND HAS PLAYED A HARDER SCHEDULE ACCORDING TO EVERYONE!
From Tex’s post earlier this week, here are the various SOS rankings for K-State and ND respectively:
KS: 30 40 13 16 33 AVERAGE = 26.4
ND: 25 8 10 7 16 AVERAGE = 16.2
So ND goes undefeated against the 16th most difficult schedule and K-State does the same against the 26th and somehow K-State is better than ND? WHAT KIND OF CRACK IS BEING SMOKED HERE?
ND performed better against the same teams, ND has better opponent-adjusted stats, and ND played a more difficult schedule and has the same record. ND is #3 folks, plain and simple.
All K-State has over ND is style points (because people love offense), ND hatred in the general populace, and ND pulling off some close Ws in OT. But I find that much less compelling than all of the data here.
So that’s that. Now, on to Oregon…
So I can’t let Rick Reilly’s article go. Maybe that was part of his cunning plan: so infuriate the Irish that they go on an undefeated run which causes him enormous pleasure because that entire bit about him turning in his fan card was actually a literary deceit. But in all likelihood, he was being sincere and he was actually offended that NBC didn’t tear up its contract with Notre Dame. So this season, a season in which The Irish have “returned to relevance” (those are air quotes – we’ve never stopped being relevant) should be analyzed a la Tex, our new fearless Editor-In-Chief (but without the circles and dramatic action-arrows) (and perhaps with no more parentheticals).
Thanks to the good people at www.sportsmediawatch.com, we know that 2011 was pretty awful, from NBC’s perspective: a 2.1 rating for the USF game, 2.6 for Michigan State, 1.1 for Air Force and a 2.1 rating for USC. A 1.0 ratings point means, essentially, that one percent (1%) of the viewing population, in this case adults ages 18-49, tuned in. To put these numbers in perspective, this week’s Sunday Night Football broadcast on NBC drew a 14.1, which equates to over 22 million viewers. I am sure some of them stopped drooling over Faith Hill’s legs by kickoff. I am talking to you Grantland-X.
In any event, 2012 is a different thing altogether. First, though, a word about my research. I cannot find the ratings for the Navy game. If anyone can and they can post them in the comments, that’d be awesome. But here’s what I found: Notre Dame is playing with the boys in 2012. Compare the BYU game’s 2.7 rating (up 125% from last year’s fifth game) to other, “more relevant” schools: 3.3 for Florida versus South Carolina on CBS, 1.7 (a 1.7) (!) for Kansas State versus West Virginia and a 2.6 for Alabama versus Tennessee. What I like about this comparison, is that you’ve got cable (ESPN) and broadcast channels (FOX, CBS, ABC and NBC) in the mix.
The Stanford game (a 3.3 rating) was second only to South Carolina against LSU on ESPN, which drew a 3.7 rating and a gator’s tooth under six million households. The Miami game drew only a 2.2 and was the second-least watched game in its time-slot. Still, again as the good people at sportsmediawatch.com point out, that’s a one hundred percent increase over last year’s third NBC game.
Michigan State was number one on ABC with a 3.3 rating on ABC and Michigan was numero uno on NBC, drawing a whopping 4.0 share. Please note that those are the only times Sparty and the Skunkbears will appear in the same sentence with “number one” this season. Very interestingly, the Michigan State game outdrew USC versus Stanford on Fox by almost an entire ratings point, 0.8.
So it seems as though this little prong of Rick Reilly’s argument can be taken away. ND’s ratings aren’t just up this season, they’re doing really well — keep in mind (perspective) that at any given moment on a Saturday that there are 147 games to watch. ND’s ability to either dominate (MSU, Michigan) or show up strong (BYU, Stanford, Navy(????)) is still there, baby.
Which leads me to Purdon’t. The singular blemish on the table is that giant morass of innanity called Purdue. NBC’s home opener, something you would expect could draw a few eye-balls, clearly did not comprehend or anticipate the shit-giving-suck that is Purdue. The Purdue game eeked out a 1.9 rating, or 2.8 million televisions. HLS pulls a 2.3 on a Thursday, brah. Okay, that part’s made up, but the rest of it is not. Purdue kills ratings.
So where do we go from here? Clearly a high 4.0 – Michigan and Alabama drew a 4.8 and it’s GameDay again (killing you, innit, Rick?) and the ESPN media machine’s going to do it’s thing, so I don’t think a 4.6 to 4.9 is out of the question. A 5.0 would make me really, really feel good. So would 8-0.