Sports by guys who like sports

Monday, December 26, 2005

ESPN's USC Analysis

I'm just wondering how many other people are completely put off by ESPN's current daily comparisons of USC to the best teams over the last half century. The 1955 OU vs 2005 USC "comparison" was what reminded me of this thought that I've had before. And I think this isn't isolated to USC, but rather is applicable to any "all-time" analysis.

The fundamental issue to this is relating eras. USC is obviously the better team when compared to a team that played with leather helmets in the 50s! I mean - sure I'll take the guy with the plastic helmet and facemask over a guy who is going to potentially shatter his face when he tackles!

Or look at the size, athleticsm, and complexity of the game. I'll take USC's 300 pound offensive linemen over the 200 pound defensive linemen of past eras. Not to mention current schemes are much more complex than old ones. You can look as recently as Nebraska for evidence. You simply cannot run the wishbone effectively today with the way big players run these days.

So what you really have to do is look at their season-long "body of work". You look at how they were (if they were) challenged by teams on their schedule, where they played the games, and then a position-by-position analysis. By this comparison, I'll take the USC teams of the 2003 and 2004 over this one!

For a good comparison, Don Shula even says the 1972 Dolphins weren't his best team. They just had the best record.

My point is if you're going to compare a team from one year to another, you need to go deeper than a 1:1 comparison. And by that measure, USC is not better than half the teams they're being compared to - but rightly, commentators are picking them because they're only asked to look at players versus players.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dillon and Sports Writing

Dillon, this is a similar argument to that made by Sux fans about the Chicago Tribune. And in that case, it's even moreso since the Cubbies are owned by the Tribune, Co. Anyhow, the fact is if it's newsworthy they're going to report it with equal emotion and detail.

There was even an article in this morning's Trib from a Sux fan columnist who took the World Series trophy to Tribune's headquarters yesterday. It went as far as saying that other employees who are Cub fans avoided touching it politely.

The Joklahoman, as I've always called it, reports OU and OSU equally. But you have to admit there have been more newsworthy events coming out of Norman. The caveat I would make to that is OSU does very well in less popular sports - golf, wrestling, etc. Their basketball team has been well-covered when it does well, and their football team hasn't had much to talk about outside of a few Bedlam upsets.

So yes, once again - your orange blinders are donned.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Best football players from Conference USA

Somebody recently said that players from smaller conferences shouldn't receive All American consideration. Here’s a shortlist of great players from Conference USA.

Jeff Blake
Andre Ware
Randy Moss
Isaac Bruce
Tommy Kramer
Doak Walker
Brett Favre
Shawn King
Steve Largent
Bryan Thomas
Daunte Culpepper
Don Maynard

You know most of these names for their NFL careers, but it all started in Conference USA.

Top five college mascots

5) Joy and Lady - The Baylor Bear
4) Smokey - The Tennesse Blue Tick Hound
3) The Georgia bulldog
2) Ralphie - The Colorado Buffalo
1) Pistol Pete - Oklahoma State

Poor sports writing

Since when was “OSU Loses Player” front page news (referring to losing a 17-year-old football recruit)?

I am absolutely convinced that the Daily Oklahoman (which will be referred to as the Jokelahoman or the Daily Disappointment) is a propagation machine for the Sooner nation, and therefore report on all negative angles out of Stillwater while shining golden beams towards Norman.

In the same news cycle, the local NBA franchise (the Hornets) won a tough road game, but OSU loosing Goodson was more front page-worthy. Did the Daily Disappointment even report on Jeremy Maclin and James Henry decommitting from OU? No, originally I thought this kind of info just wasn’t news worthy to Okies, however yesterday’s Headlines must be different.

-Brian