Thursday, August 06, 2009


Andrew Brandt, of NFP and also of the Eagles, had a very useful three part series on rookie contracts.

Every college football team's record for the past five years, including a couple splits. Only two teams have a better record away from home than at their home stadium: Notre Dame (barely-56% v 57%) and, surprisingly enough, Georgia (78% v 86%). Boise has the 3rd most wins, but a losing record (4-5) against teams that finished in the AP Poll Top 25.

Year of Sports Death Update: The latest entry is of course, Peter King's column today, but I'm catching up on links here so you get older ones. See, for instance, this post on the NFLPA using its political connections. I wonder about De Smith's election as head of the NFLPA-he apparently sounded impressive, but I'm curious how much his connections to Obama and AG Holder played a role. The players can't fight the owners-they control the stadiums and have a wide net of broadcast contracts, so they're in a good position, so they have to fight on other grounds. Thus, political lobbying. See also this Biz of Football article on the same lines.

Charts that look ominous and meaningful but aren't really: breakdown in bowl money between BCS and non-BCS teams. BCS teams are more popular than non-BCS teams. BCS teams are generally better than non-BCS teams, and go to bowls more often. Plus, the best teams tend to be BCS teams, for a number of reasons. More bowls means more BCS teams in bowls. The Bowl Alliance is an important part, too-increasing returns to excellence reward BCS teams. Really, this chart doesn't mean very much.

Oh, always fun... no matter how not hugely distinguished a player may be, there's somebody who makes an argument he belongs in the Hall of Fame. In this case, it's former Cleveland Browns wideout Gary Collins. He's probably the only guy ever to lead the league in both punting average and TD receptions. For a recent comp, using PFR's database, think Derrick Alexander, or maybe a less good version of Ed McCaffrey. But, you know, he made two Pro Bowls, so he's obviously a great player.

Fun stuff from PFR: the best players since 1950 by uniform number. Given my lack of regard for Aaron Brooks, it's dispiriting to see him as the best guy to wear #2.

PFR's Jason Lisk also continues his series on the AFL v the NFL with a look at the 1964-66 drafts. The NFL had started treating the AFL like a real competitor, and bringing its resources to bear, and it really shows out here.

Smart Football's proprietor, Chris Brown, has been contributing content to Dr. Saturday's blog. See, for instance, his piece on Virginia Tech's defense or Louisville's offense. He's more optimistic than I am about the Cardinals' fate-frankly, were I Louisville's AD, I would have fired Kragthorpe after his first year, or at least demanded he figured out what the heck he was doing, a process that apparently only happened this offseason, and that at the cost of alienating some of the faithful.

Finally, I leave you with the weirdest thing I've linked to lately:
We find a significantly positive, non-spurious, and robust correlation between the Redskins' winning percentage and the amount of federal government bureaucratic activity as measured by the number of pages in the Federal Register.

As Prof. Ribstein, from whom the link, said, "Whether this is a comment on football, politics or economists I leave to readers to discern," though of course my mantra here remains There's No Politics In Football.

UPDATE (8/7/09 1725 CT): Coincidence or conspiracy? This morning's Reading the coverage by ESPN AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky linked to the PFR piece on uniform numbers linked above. If you gakked it from here, Paul, thanks for reading and yes, I am the Tom in Chicagoland who showed up thrice in this week's chat.

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