Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 COAS Pigskin Pick 'Em Week 11

The coalition is moving on to Week 11, but I feel like it was a subpar week overall.

Geoffrey Clark remains in the lead that he has held for a good chunk of the season, and currently has sole possession of first place. I gained the tiniest bit of ground on Adam after taking three of five disputed games last week. Adam did goof again last week, accidentally picking Dallas on ESPN when he picked Atlanta for the blog. He gets credit for it, which means ESPN is now short three wins for him. You can view an accurate count, as well as a breakdown of all our picks in relation to each other, here.

This week, Adam and I disagree on seven games out of the 14 being played, a high for recently.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017-18 NCC Men's Basketball Preview

The women's preview is up and running, but with the season starting today, I need to get the men's preview up and running as well.

I'm about to begin year four of full time announcing for the North Central men's team, and it's given me the privilege of working for a team that has been good over the last few years, and I'm honored to continue to work for them.

I mentioned this in the women's preview, but I want to bring it up again. If you're on the full version of the website, you'll notice in the sidebar on the right that I have a standings feature for both the men's and women's teams of the CCIW, something I will try to update daily if I can. It'll be harder during non-conference play, but a lot more doable when we are in conference play since everyone will be going at it all at once.

Let's take a look at what the men have in store for us this winter.

2017-18 NCC Women's Basketball Preview

The Division III football playoffs near this weekend, but another season is about to get underway. Today marks the official start of basketball season for the division, and that means I need to prepare my vocal cords for a seventh year of their gradual destruction.

I used this feature last year, and I'm bringing it back again for use on the main site (there's no way to make it available on mobile, so if you read this on your phone you'll need to enable the full site). On the right sidebar with my post archives you'll find near the top I'm going to have standings for the CCIW all season long, with plans to update every day, or close to it. It will be easier once conference play starts, but overall it should be a good tool to keep tabs on the action.

Every year I've done a preview of North Central basketball, but it's only been the last couple years where I've split the women's and men's previews into their own posts. We'll start on the side I've been with for longer and take a look at the women's team first.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 NCAA NCSS Rankings: Week 12

For those of you who either ignored my warning yesterday afternoon or were intrigued by it, I have one thing to say to you this morning: Happy Nick Saban Is A Coward Week!

To be completely fair to Coach Saban, it's not just him. During last year's Nick Saban Is A Coward Week, five other teams joined in on the cowardice of playing an FCS team the second to last week of the regular season, and all of those coaches are equally as cowardly as Saban. Saban is just the highest profile coach of a team who does this, and thus has the indignity of getting this week named after him.

Also to be fair, there are still other non-conference games that need to be factored into NCSS scores, and with the way the Sun Belt has scheduled out its season, they could finally supplant the MAC atop the conference rankings. But we have to check to find out.

You can find a primer on how the NCSS metric works in my season introductory post. Below are the ten FBS conference ranked by average NCSS.

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 Death to the BCS Playoffs: Week 11 Mock Bracket

I mentioned it early this morning, but in case you didn't see, chaos reigned during Week 11 of the college season. There was even a little bit in D-III as well, where the playoff brackets are built, North Central won the CCIW's automatic bid, and until they get bounced in a disappointing Round 2 performance by UW-Oshkosh or something to that effect, all is right with the world.

Meanwhile, the selection committee for the College Football Playoff has a tall task on its hands, but not as tall as I've got. They only have to fill four spots; I have to fill 16. Now what helps is that, per the design created by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter, and Jeff Passan and perfected in the book pictured here, 10 of those spots go to conference champions, the way God and nature intended, yet is perverted by the greed of the big time conference commissioners. So it is that every year I try to take this system built by these authors, and set up a 16 team playoff the way they intend: seeded and on campuses through three rounds.

The trick is how to build the field. Since I don't have the benefit of a selection committee, I use a number of metrics to try and help myself out. To a very minor extent I look at Non-Conference Schedule Strength (NCSS) to see how tough teams made their out of conference schedules. This is mainly just a look at road/home imbalance and how Power Five teams tend to fill their schedules with home games against Group of Five teams (and tomorrow, you get my best rant of the year as to how Nick Saban is a coward). More weight then gets put on First Degree (PP1), Second Degree (PP2), and Adjusted Playoff Points (aPP). This is basically a tabulation of wins of vanquished teams by a given program, then a deeper look at how good those teams actually were, and then an adjustment to factor in losses. Finally, to make sure I get rid of any bias, I also look at three separate computer rankings: Jeff Sagarin's (SAG), the late David Rothman's via a UCLA staff member (ROTH), and from the website All My Sports Teams Suck (AMSTS).

These factors are all kind of organically combined to build the 16 team field that would decide a national champion. After much consideration, as well as some waiting for computer rankings to update while I was working on this, here is the sixth mock bracket of the season.

2017 NCAA Playoff Points Rankings: Week 11

Wow. Where to begin?

I always expect some degree of chaos in college football, but not like this. The top of the College Football Playoff rankings got shaken up last night, which means last week's mock bracket for the Death to the BCS Playoffs needs to be blown up and rebuilt from scratch. But I'll get to that later.

For now, as I've done every Monday morning for the past several weeks, I'm running through results and updating my spreadsheet for Playoff Points. If you need a refresher on how these work, you can view that in my season introductory post.

Below are the averages for win totals and First Degree, Second Degree, and Adjusted Playoff Points for each conference, along with how they rank.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

2017 COAS Pigskin Pick 'Em Week 10

We're past the halfway point of the 2017 NFL season, and the coalition marches on!

Adam had a nice bounceback week, taking three of four disputed games (including two of three hero picks) to not only extend his lead that he's held all season, but also to move back into a tie for first place with Geoffrey Clark. My dad is even starting to catch back up to the pack a little bit. You can look at our ESPN standings here, but with a Week 1 error on there, you can view correct standings and a full breakdown of our picks in relation to each other here.

This week, Adam and I disagree on five games out of 14.