Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Orson's Five Questions

Parenting and husbanding duties caused me to miss most of Orson's initial foray into the seedy world of sports talk radio. I had been all ready to play the role of cliched sports talk caller, from the "first-time caller, long-time listener" introduction to the "I'll hang up and listen" conclusion with 17 irrational demands for firings and a bevy of "if you're not first, you're last" pronouncements in the middle, but sadly, it was not to be. That said, I did find the designated topics interesting:

1. Make one prediction about next season pulled straight from the deepest recesses of your ass.

Lloyd Carr announces his retirement in the bowels of Michigan Stadium after a win over Ohio State.

2. Who’s your shameshag? Someone keeps telling us that, for example, Christiane Amanpour is not hot. They are wrong, of course, but this would for a normal person constitute a “shameshag,” the celebrity only you find irresistable.

Jennifer Capriati. There's little doubt that she would be a fun drinking buddy, and the non-stop headlights she showed during matches seem to be a positive sign of fun.

3. Tweak one thing about college football. Prohibiting the wearing of pants on Erin Andrews does not count. Okay, it might.

Centralized scheduling of out-of-conference scheduling. The problem right now in college football is that major powers are too afraid to schedule challenging non-conference games because they need the revenue from 7-8 home games to keep up in the facilities arms race and because there is more to be lost than to be gained from playing a tough game, since voters have very short memories and tend to look at nothing more than a team's record. There is also a problem that the voters are presented with a very difficult task in comparing teams when many teams never leave their regions and thus comparisons are very difficult. So, from now on, here are the rules:

a. Each team will have one protected non-conference rival.

b. The remaining three non-conference games will be selected at random in February. I-A college football teams will be divided into three pools. Each team will play a game against a team in one of the three pools.

c. The protected rivalry games will be synchronized with the remaining non-conference schedules so each team will play two home games and two road games outside of the conference.

4. Hire one coach, fire one coach. Simple enough.

Jim Tressel, you're fired. You're boring, you dress like an accountant, you look the other way on everything bad that happens surrounding your program, and you beat Michigan too much for my tastes. Bobby Knight, you're the new head football coach at your alma mater. You always were a big fan of Woody Hayes, so now you get a chance to emulate him. Bring the red sweaters back.

5. Sweaters with ties: yes or no?

No no no, unless you're English.


Grandy said...

FWIW, my answers would have been:

1. The SEC East rep rolls into the SEC title game with 3 losses.

2. I can't even conceive of an answer to this question after "Helena".

3. Not sure, but I think I might like some combination of what you propose and the "13 home games in two years" thing.

4. Fire Charlie Weiss. Then hire Gary Barnet to replace him, and structure the deal in such a way that he *can't* be removed for at least 6 years.

5. Classy look in 1954.

Really, I have one problem with the scheduling suggestions people have made (which are mostly good). Allegedly, there are many AD's who are not making money. If we start taking away home games, is that going to exacerbate things?

Still, in an ideal world, centralized OOC scheduling and a limit to home games (so people don't pull an Auburn) could be terrific.

LD said...

I like the idea of centralized scheduling, but it's not without flaws. For one thing, there'd still be unbalanced schedules: the protected nonconference rival for each team isn't quite the same for everyone. For example, say Florida is aligned with FSU as their OOC protected rival. Then say that LSU is aligned with Tulane as their OOC protected rival. Both Florida and LSU then pick one team from the three categories. Assume Tulane is a Class C team, FSU is a Class A team. Florida then would be playing 2 As, a B and a C, while LSU would be playing 1 A, 1 B and 2 Cs. That's not exactly fair. The way to fix that would be to place every team into one of 4 categories. Then, the OOC protected rival becomes the team played from that group. In the analysis above, say FSU is an A, Tulane is still a C. Florida wouldn't choose at random from the A group for its other OOC games, while LSU wouldn't choose from the C group. Then both would play 1 A, 1 B, 1 C and 1 D. There are more problems though - basically, there aren't an exact number of teams to pull this off. You'd need to add a team to get an even number of 1-A teams. Would each categorization last for a 2 year span, with each team getting a home game? How would re-categorization work? Who chooses which teams go in which pot? And naturally, there's the problem with a team becoming a lot better than expected. Going into this year Rutgers would've been a C-class team, but they ended up an A. There's no precise way to tell exactly how good a team is going to end up being before the season. It's a good idea in theory, but it'll never happen. Mainly because there isn't an AD in America that wants Neyland Stadium's 107,000 seats empty because UT had to travel to UL-Lafayette's 18,000 seat stadium. But it's a fair idea - and I like fair.

Grandy said...

Good points, LD (as per usual).

It makes me wonder if we should classify the groups by some manner other than "how good a team is". Further, we shouldn't based rankings on what the schedule is "supposed" to be, but rather on what it turned out to be (but that's getting into a whole slew of additional issues).

What if the games were classified as "courtesy away game that's good for a smaller team", "noteworthy clash of equal powers", or something like that. Maybe you could have it so that a team like UT only plays a much smaller school away every 4 or so years. Further, if you went with the "7/6" method, you could grant them a 7th home game in the year they did that perhaps.

Further, you could also do *part* of the scheduling centralized. Say 2-3 games (rivarly game inclusive), with one left over you can do as you please with