Monday, January 19, 2009


Time to dump a few links.

PFR blog looked at where Matt Ryan ranked among the best rookie QBs in the NFL history. The best thing about the Ratbirds' loss in the AFC Championship Game is we don't have to listen to more about how Flacco is the best rookie QB ever despite generally sucking in the playoffs.

Michael Lombardi continued his analysis of teams' drafting with a look at the Jaguars. Check out all the 6th and 7th round picks not on the team.

Also from Lombardi, part of his interview checklist for hiring a head coach.

A look into the dark underbelly of college football: recruiting of elite prospects.

Smart Football porn: breakdown of "levels" pass play, a favorite of the Colts and other teams.

Roger Rex's annual chat with fans. Naturally, most of the questions are anodyne or about their favorite team's pet issue.

I hate linking to Advanced NFL Stats because it seems like his gimmick is ripping on FO for no good reason just to show how different he is, but his post about the integrated team nature of football is right on the money.

Continuing in the same vein, Smart Football had a post criticizing FO by name, basically for doing something other than what he's doing. To do justice to the argument, I need to spend more time than I'm willing to, but it's my blog and I'll do what I want to and simply say that there are different levels of football analysis, and they can co-exist if people are willing to let them.

Rick Gosselin's normal useful list of starts lost by injury for each team. You should not be surprised to learn that 8 of the 10 teams who lost the fewest games to injury made the playoffs.

Robert Boland of National Football Post had a nice post on how owners should use the Rooney Rule to help them evaluate their team, even if they intend to hire somebody else.

Andrew Brandt picked the best and worst signings of 2008. The worst list is exclusively populated by wideouts. The best list includes the Titans signing both Roos and Stewart to extensions (but not Finnegan).

Another part of Gosselin's year-end series: updated draft grades. The Titans actually fell from B to C, which seems a little surprising. I may revisit this later, but I thought they improved from probably a D to a B-, just offhand.

Cap space: the Titans have about $30 million.

A nice Keith Bulluck profile from the New York Times. Yes, Bulluck is the one exception to "as a Georgetown fan, I must hate Syracause." Actually, as I mentioned in the college weekly recaps, my CBB-related hate for other Big East teams really doesn't carry over to football.

That's it for now, but I'll dump some draft links later, like tomorrow or Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Total Titans

I finally got up another post on Total Titans, this one another look at my preseason prediction the Titans wouldn't win 10 games.

For those of you wondering how I got the Titans winning 10 games 286 times: the Titans won 13 games. To find a set of 10 from a grouping of 13, it's 13!/[10!(13-10)!], or 13*12*11/3*2*1 = 13*11*2 = 286. Unless, of course, I've forgotten how to do math, which is quite possible.

Friday, January 02, 2009


WVU coach Bill Stewart, never-ending source of West Virginia jokes, or is that West Virginia as joke?

An explanation of the ELO rating, from PFR blog.

Last year's CFB blog war topic, over-recruiting is back, this time by Butch Davis. Doc Saturday has the report. I know why coaches do it, but that doesn't mean I don't think it's deplorable. For more on college coaches and the unequal bargaining relationship with athletes, see the inability to amend the LOI.

Bowl game swag for players, for each bowl game.

The Arena Football League has canceled its 2009 season. I'd love to know more about exactly why this happened. This article gets into the decision to cancel, but doesn't cover the broader story of how it got to that point.

Matt Bowen reveals another dirty secret: the player politics of Pro Bowl voting.

The 50 most influential people in sports business, the annual list. Jerry Jones over Goodell is wrong, because Goodell is the one destroying the NFL remaking the NFL in his preferred image.

RIP, former Iowa State RB Stevie Hicks. Just couldn't handle not playing football.

Yahoo Sports looks at an interesting issue-college football's most profitable part isn't run by the same people who run the rest of the CFB season. This is why a a playoff is such a complicated thing to set up-the same people aren't in charge of everything.

Smart Football chimes in on Paul Johnson's Flexbone offense, another post on which was part of my previous links post.

Andrew Brandt, on creative uses of cap room. An important part of the behind-the-scenes game.

Bill Polian likes better playoff seeding, rest of NFL doesn't.

PFR blog took a look at how good Marvin Harrison would have been without Peyton Manning. Keyshawn (who's been yapping during this Rose Bowl) sounds like a reasoanble comp, in terms of quality, though I don't think they're very similar in terms of playstyle.

Adrian Peterson really fumbles a lot for a good RB. PFR blog looks at just how much a problem we should consider this to be.

Travis takes requests: fewest pass attempts by an NFL team in a game, in the past 30 years.

Chris of Smart Football gets really, really peeved at ESPN's awful (and awfully late) article on the A-11 offense. Some degree of rationality ruin here.

Mark Cuban makes the case for why pro sports need newspapers. I'm not convinced, but it's an interesting argument.

Robert Boland of NFP writes about the NFL coaching carousel, and proposes NFL teams hire an "Asset Manager", somebody to help the owner manage the organization and not be an idiot owner like Drayton McLane (sorry, peeved Astros fan).

Finally, for now, Jack Bechta on NFP shares some war stories about finding clients as an agent.

Well, I skipped a few articles, but that's a pretty good job of catchup if I may say so myself.

UPDATE (1/6/09 2200 CT): Added the link to the post explaining "rationality ruin", per the question in the comments.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Happy New Year to everybody. I hope you're as disappointed as I am in the paucity of good college football played today. That'll be the subject of a future post, but now it's time to d a better job of cleaning out the old football bookmarks.

Nice breakdown of TTU's offense, from a preview of the Oklahoma game.

What the box score (including PBP) of a 93-68 game looks like. Yes, football. West Texas A&M's QB was 42 of 63 for 595 yards and 7 TDs. In a losing effort.

Jim Schwartz profile in the New York Times, from around the time of Titans-Jets.

The value of a sack, from Advanced NFL Stats. The most interesting stuff is the chance of converting by down and distance, and the point expectancy data.

PFR blog looked at whether head-to-head was the right tiebreaker. They're more in favor of H2H than I expected. Personally, I think it makes more sense in the NFL than in college, primarily because of a more even distribution of talent.

Vic Ketchman, who does an excellent job with, took a look back at his experience with the first 15 years of the team.

Who the players are in the coaching agent business, from Robert Boland of National Football Post.

Breakdown of Georgia Tech's Flexbone offense. Football geekery porn at its finest.

Financial crisis note: the NFL plans to decrease the debt limit of teams. The NFLPA objects, for fairly obvious reasons.

Judging teams by when they scored the game-winning points, from PFR blog. An imperfect way of judging teams, of course, but not an entirely worthless one.

Andrew Brandt looked at the effectiveness of the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, and finds the unintended and easily predicted result that it really didn't make much different and actually makes the NFL look worse.

Smart Football took a look at Urban Meyer's offense. More porn for football geekery. See also this piece on Harvin and same.

Titans S Chris Hope participated in Sporting News Today's daily Q&A. Love the response about trading places with his dog. Still, not nearly as amusing as Alexi Lalas, of who I can't decide if he's trying to be amusing or quite possibly insane.

Matt Bowen talks about an unpleasant truth: faking injuries as a part of normal NFL strategy.

Jack Bechta writes on NFP about pro athletes' security concerns and how they respond-with guns, and otherwise.

I'm not a huge fan of the W$J's sports coverage, but they do sometimes do some articles that are worth taking a look at it. See the rise of the SEC, how college coaches get paid, and Ohio as the home of football coaching. For more on coaches' compensation, check out USAToday's awesome repository of coaching contracts. See also this post on Sports Economist on the rise of the SEC article.

Another year, another great shot of all the empty seats at the ACC Championship Game.

Finally, for now, the Akron Beacon Journal had an interview with Titans backup S Donnie Nickey looking at the rise in the team's fortunes over the past couple years.