Thursday, September 21, 2017

2017 COAS Pigskin Pick 'Em Week 3

The good news is I had a better Week 2 showing than I did in Week 1. The bad news is, other than Adam, so did everyone else.

Adam still had a strong performance last week though, as I blew a 3-1 lead in disputed picks and Adam finished taking four of the seven. Go ahead, make your memes. But don't the fact that I blew a 3-1 lead distract you from the fact that the Cleveland Indians blew a 3-1 lead in the 2016 World Series. So there.

This week as I try to continue my annual tradition of digging early holes before climbing out of them, Adam and I disagree on only five games out of 16. You can view the ESPN standings here, though entry error has Adam two wins under his actual total on there. I've also got them on a spreadsheet here, broken down based on how we picked in relation to each other.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

When "For Christ and His Kingdom" Goes Wrong

Those of you who are regular readers of Confessions of a Sportscaster know this, but I want to open with full disclosure: I'm a North Central alum (and guy who yells "THREEEEEEEEE!" a couple hundred times every winter), and I have no love for Wheaton. But stories like these transcend rivalries. I respect Wheaton College as an institution, and the college will be treated with the utmost respect that it deserves in this post.

That last sentence is hard to follow through on when you consider that the accusations facing five football players at the school could be true.

Yesterday I saw a news story pop up on my Facebook feed that felony charges were being filed against five Wheaton football players for a hazing incident back in March of 2016. The Tribune article I linked to there includes some details from the accuser about what exactly happened. As I understand the timeline to be, police got involved pretty much immediately and began an investigation. The college did too, and considering that got a third party involved, the allegations have some degree of merit.

Photo collage by Lou Foglia (Chicago Tribune)
D3 Football picked up the story as well, and the college issued a full statement last night, but something about this whole situation stinks. I don't think Mike Swider engaged in a coverup, and any parallels to the whole Penn State fiasco don't fit because the bar is way too high. It's clearly a bad situation though, even though we're still at a stage of "innocent until proven guilty." But if after 18 months DuPage County thinks it has a strong case for felony charges, I would imagine there's got to be something there.

The response so far from Wheaton is a little troubling though, and maybe that's why I feel like the situation stinks. Of the five accused players, three of them just played in Wheaton's win over Carthage this past Saturday. At this point, even with my advocation for due process, I'd argue that there's enough here that these players should not see the field this weekend or for the foreseeable future. I'm also an advocate that the welfare of students should not take priority over wins and losses, and keeping these players on the field given their status does the opposite.

I'm hopeful that through all of this, justice is served, the alleged victim finds closure, and that Wheaton College does the right thing.

2017 NCAA NCSS Rankings: Week 4

It's hard to believe we're already this far into the season, but here we are in Week 4. Conference play has begun for some teams, but it's not there in earnest quite yet. That will start to come within the next week or two, but in the meantime we need to continue to stay on top of this.

There were a couple of game cancellations last week due to weather which forced some changes to NCSS scores. I'll try to stay on top of those with this week's rankings, as well as the updates to everything from Week 3. A primer on how this ranking works can be found in my season introductory post. Let's get to it!

Monday, September 18, 2017

2017 NCAA Playoff Points: Week 3

I was sick over the weekend, so I'm running a little behind where I normally am with these rankings. Fortunately, coming up with the Playoff Points rankings is fairly quick and easy and I'm not that far behind.

Last week's rankings were the first of the season, given that we're not that far into it. Playoff Points are hard to come by this early in the season, but as the sample sizes get larger, so do the average scores. You can view explanations for how all three sets of Playoff Points scores work in my season introduction post.

Let's get to it!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

2017 COAS Pigskin Pick 'Em Week 2

Another season, another Week 1 of me spotting Adam a lead in our consortium.

In all seriousness though, he did well last week, taking five of our six disputed games to open the season short of the 15-0 he was shooting for, but with a two game cushion over the nearest competitor. You may notice, if you check the ESPN standings, that Adam and Geoff are tied. Usually a couple times a year though, Adam goofs when he makes his ESPN picks and they don't match what he sent me, which is what I go by. Last year he didn't make that mistake until like, Week 13. This year, he made it on opening night... and again on Sunday night.

Fortunately, I caught it both times. Precedent states that the picks that get made on here take priority over what happens on ESPN. This is why I keep track of the picks on a Google sheet. That shows a breakdown of how we pick in relation to each other, which is an easier task with four people than it is with five because there's one fewer category.

Anyway, in Week 2 Adam and I disagree on seven games out of the full 16. Let's see if I can get back into it!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017 NCAA NCSS Rankings: Week 3

We're now onto the third week of college football. Teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack, but a lot of that can be a mirage depending on non-conference schedules. And that's where we come back to today.

Last week we had 23 more teams play their first FCS game of the year, giving us a total of 69 through two weeks of play.

Thankfully so far, no one has double-scheduled any, so I don't have any disqualifications. We may see some as a matter of necessity; several games were cancelled over the weekend due to Hurricane Irma, and the NCSS scores have been adjusted to reflect these changes; bear in mind that this may mess with the rankings and figures to some degree; I'll try to note the corrections where they happened with this week's rankings.

A primer on how this scoring system works can be found back in my season preview post. Let's look at the Week 3 numbers.

Monday, September 11, 2017

2017 NCAA Playoff Points Rankings: Week 2

On this somber Monday, given the natural disasters in Florida and the anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks, hopefully looking over some results from the college football weekend will provide a welcome distraction. To any of you reading from the areas devastated by Irma, know we are with you in spirit and pulling for you.

There may be weeks where I'll push this back a day, but most likely every Monday I will be here with a look into what happened over the weekend in college football. In particular, I'm interested in results: wins and losses. I will then take these wins and losses and crunch some numbers.

This weekly post will go through and measure conference averages of four different numbers: win total, First Degree Playoff Points (PP1), Second Degree Playoff Points (PP2), and Adjusted Playoff Points (aPP). You can view a primer on those in my season preview post. In a nutshell though, these metrics dig deeper beyond just wins and losses. Playoff Points take into account records of teams played so we can find the difference between the several 2-0 teams that we have at this juncture.

Below, I will go conference by conference with a look at the aforementioned averages and where they rank. For the purposes of this post (unlike the NCSS rankings), the independent teams are grouped together as their own conference.