Gamenotes 3.1 – Advanced Metrics I Made Up Just Now

Week zero of college football is in the books and the season gets started in earnest this Saturday. I typically use the notes to recap, instead of predict, but the start of the seasons lends itself to predictions. This way we can all refer back to this list to see how little I truly know. Which is to say, I know nothing. You are all getting football advice from an absolute dumb-dumb. I’ll break it down conference by conference, so you’ll have talking points for whatever water cooler you’re at across the nation.

Big12: I predict zero dominant teams as well as being left out of the CFP. I think Texas and Oklahoma are ready to be the best in conference again but the other teams behind them aren’t far away. They will cannibalize each other all season and the conference champ will end up 10-3 with like 2 quality wins and a bad loss. Texas Tech, TCU, Iowa State all make solid runs and finish near the top half. Why am I rooting for Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma though? This is odd? An ex-bama player playing for Oklahoma and I am rooting for him? Maybe this is sort of a Sodium Chloride situation. (Two terrible things join forces to make something good.)

I was watching some random Youtube video talking about the 5 most improved players from fall camp for Michigan. The guy mentions, “our advanced metrics show these players have shown the most improvement in camp”. Wait. What? You have advanced metrics on… practice? First off, no you don’t. You are not inputting some statistics in a machine and getting some valuable data set that shows improvement, no. Unless your left eyeball is called Advanced and your right eyeball is called Metrics. Secondly, advanced metrics has become some buzz word that everyone feels the need to include with their statistical analysis. Stop with that. It may have value in baseball (a 162 game season) but in a 12 game season, a lot of those stats can get thrown out the window. It’s more often if you can win the match-up against the guy across from you. Every metric in the book said Michigan would destroy Ohio State’s offensive line last year, they did not. Lastly, why am I consuming Youtube videos at 3 a.m. from some guy who clearly knows nothing about football? Because I am a sick person. And I need my fix.

Big 10 West: One of the absolute hardest divisions to get a feel for. I think it is because all the teams are bad, so we can’t all agree on which team is the least bad? Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Purdue are all popping up as potential division winners. Nebraska is the “nerd” pick: People who think they know a lot about CFB will reference Frost’s record at his second season at UCF (check the schedule, laughable). The advanced metrics say there is equal odds they finish 12th or higher in the AP Top 25, or 12th and lower in the Big10. Iowa is the “PTSD” pick: If you have ever played at Kinnick you know the feeling of existential dread watching Iowa choke the fun out of football for you and your squad and are thus still rightly afraid of them. Wisconsin is the “safe” pick: We know for sure they aren’t the worst team in the division so you pick them. Northwestern is the “smart” pick: They have the best coach of the bunch (which hurts to say out loud) and they play everyone tough, that is my actual pick. Minnesota is the “trendy” pick: Hearing a lot of people take them thinking they are taking the dark horse. They COULD win it, I am not a believer yet, but your pick isn’t as brave as you think it is. Their schedule is criminally easy, that could enable them to win the west without actually being the best team. Either way, I am not rowing the boat in the land of lakes just yet. And Purdue is the “athlete” pick: You like Rondale Moore and want to see him destroy every slow linebacker in the Big10, and I for one cannot blame you. Oh and uhh… Illinois.. they are the… the ummm… the “bad” pick: Don’t pick them.

Big 10 East: I think Michigan and Ohio State are a cut above every other team. I think Michigan is trending up, adding talent, expanding its offense, adding depth through strong recruiting classes. And I think OSU will trend down… eventually. Urban Meyer is an all-timer coach, and you normally don’t get to replace all-timer with another all-timer. Ryan Day can duplicate, emulate, and try to extend everything that was going on at OSU for longer. But over the case of a 1000 decisions (gametime decisions, recruiting decisions, staffing decisions, program direction, gameplan approach, practice methodology, the list goes on) Day will make the wrong choice much more often than Urban. It wears down your program methodically, we might not see the immediate effects now, but it eventually shows. Trust me, I am a Michigan fan, I know all about erosion of a program that once felt too big to fail. All that being said, I am not picking Michigan to beat Ohio State until I see it with my own two eyes. Michigan loses to ND and OSU, doesn’t make the conference championship, and ends up in a NY6 bowl. Typing this is causing me physical pain all over my body, send help. Ohio State wins the division, and blows it against Northwestern in the conference championship, Big10 gets left out. This my sick strategy, take a bold prediction that is absolutely terrible. If it happens, I look like a genius, if Michigan proves me wrong, I will be gladly proven wrong. It’s a win-win. And this way ALL of my Big10 constituents hate my prediction.

Water chestnuts are horrible. They have zero flavor, are a terrible texture, and add nothing to your dish. Not even stir-fry. They are a pretentious ingredient designed to make you feel like you are adding something healthy to your already complete dish. No one has ever taken a dish back to the cook staff and said, “you forgot to add water chestnuts.” It even has a name befitting of it’s grotesqueness – water chestnut.

Pac12: Going out on a limb here, a lot of teams will score a lot of points, and no one will be very good. Utah wins the conference. Picking them feels fun. They do pretend to play defense which is nice. Very sick of Washington, can we just agree they are barred from the top 10? USC fires Helton at halftime of the Colorado game. Colorado wins some games or looks good versus a great opponent but can’t string enough wins together. Oregon loses a complete head scratcher. I see Oregon and Utah as the only potential playoff options here, but if I had to wager, Pac12 gets left out.

Can someone explain to me why the reaction between Gronk and Luck retiring is so different? I am guessing it is a combination of timing+position. But half of you calling him soft probably called in to work today because of the sniffles. “Well it isn’t so much I couldn’t work, I just didn’t want to give everyone else sick.” No one believes you. You sneeze with your mouth open like a bio-terrorism version of Ol’ Faithful everyday and now suddenly your germ conscience? Just admit you went on a Netflix bender last night and didn’t get any sleep. (Mindhunter!)

ACC: Clemson and Notre Dame… Oh they still haven’t joined that conference? Just hand pick their schedule with no conference championship game? Got it, got it, right right cool cool cool cool cool. K. Just Clemson then. 13-0 and the 1 seed. Trevor Lawrence wins Heisman. Over/Under is set at 4.5 for “Sunshine” references per game for him. The conference is weak right now, you know it is when Syracuse is everyone’s second favorite team.

Midland drivers, do you know it is possible to enter the turn lane before coming to a complete stop? I daresay that is what the turn lane was invented for! I’ll give you a pass on your slow roundabout usage, but this has gone too far. Move your vehicle to the left, without slowing, so as not to slow down the flow of traffic. And then, ONLY THEN, do you get on your brakes in an attempt to slow your vehicle. Thanks.

SEC: A lot to unpack here. I would have said Florida seemed like a legit contender but I didn’t particularly like what I saw against Miami. It stung extra because I am a bitter Michigan fan who still feels like we quit in the bowl game. Obviously Alabama will be good. I like Tua, despite him playing for bama, could it possibly be because his name is so fun to say? I like Missouri. Not because I actually think they can win but because I hate everyone else. BAMA wins the west, Georgia wins the East. But! Georgia takes it second lost in the SEC championship game.

That leaves us with 1. Clemson (13-0) 2. Alabama (12-1) 3. Notre Dame (11-1) 4. Georgia (11-2) I think we all know where this is going, and I hate it. Clemson repeats over Alabama. Is this the lamest prediction ever? Yes. Let’s get this notarized so my attempt to jinx a worse case scenario will be official. Two SEC teams, Clemson, and Notre Dame…. How MISERABLE.

Alternate reality Playoff: (1Michigan, 2Utah, 3Texas, 4Clemson)

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