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Messages - jknezek

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South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: Today at 09:32:24 am »
You don't really have to "adjust" for non-elite seasons. I didn't in the stats I ran and including UWW and NCC's 2012 seasons, both of which were the stinkers over the 6 year period, and you still got very, very bad odds of beating one of these teams. Does it really matter if you go from essentially 1 in 20 or eliminate those seasons to go to 1 in 30? In this case bad odds are bad odds and you don't need to make them worse...

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: Yesterday at 08:35:29 pm »
A scare is not a win. A win is a win. HSC troubled Linfield, JCU worried UMU, but in the end the elite teams won as they almost always do.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 27, 2014, 05:20:58 pm »
There always exits the possibility that a team that is usually "elite" is not "elite" in any given year.  That certainly was the case for UW-W in 2012. Often "elite status" is rendered after the season, not during or before. 

I concede that the UW-W 2012 season is a huge statistical anomaly among the elite teams. But with Mount Union showing very real chinks in their armor last year as well, I am guessing the gap is narrowing and that these elite teams may have a few more toe-stubs than they have the past 10 years or so.

I obviously cut out a piece of your posts because what's above is what I want to address, not to change the tenor of what you wrote.

You are correct that sometimes elite teams don't have elite seasons. I didn't want to pick and choose because it then becomes a self-completing statistic. In other words if I picked the 6 teams every season that essentially lost only in the last stage of the playoffs, of course those teams didn't lose to anyone but that grouping. It twists the stats. Elite teams aren't earning that status in one season in my mind. That's also why my data started to fall apart in 2005-2008, because Linfield and NCC just wouldn't qualify. It's also why I didn't include a MIAC team. You can always say the best teams in one year were the best teams. That's self-evident, but an elite team does it year after year, even if there is an occasional anomaly. Of those six teams, I think NCC and UWW both in 2012 were the only anomalies. That's not bad for essentially 36 seasons (6 teams, 6 seasons).

As for Mount showing chinks I'm not convinced yet. They were national champs in 2012, and runner ups the other years. The only big chink has been UWW has been a better team, except for 2012. No other team in all of D3 has beaten them since 2005. I believe last year's team wasn't as good as 2012, the defense looked off to me. But it was VK's first year. And I don't think the 2013 team was much different from 2011. 2013 labored with Franklin, Heidelberg and JCU, three playoff caliber teams though Heidelberg was blocked by Mount and JCU. 2011 labored with ONU who went 6-4 and B-W, who was probably playoff caliber but was blocked by UMU and a bad loss to Capital that kept them from a "C".

We'll see if Mount's chinks stay, but at this point in time I'm not sure it was anything but a "down" year which still resulted in a runner up. The same ending as some of Mount's better teams in the recent UWW era...

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 26, 2014, 04:57:19 pm »
Yes I can see how it could be a cardinal sin to use statistics and data in an online message board. I can see how that would be upsetting. My apologies. As for food poisoning and an accident I used them as possibilities for why a severe upset might occur. You know, one of those real long shots? An interesting story, but not necessary tied to an upset, about food poisoning possibly affecting a sporting event can be read here:

An unsettling accident that has been partially blamed for an upset occurred just recently, when the undefeated Oklahoma State football team lost to Iowa State in 2011 following a plane crash that unfortunately killed members of the Ok State athletic department. That massive upset helped lead to our all SEC National Championship game.

So as you can see, they aren't really far fetched ideas. But again, I understand that research and data has upset you. I'll try not to have a conversation with you that includes those facets again. I've never thought it a bad idea to back up my ideas with actual data before. Must be nice to think "I believe X" is the correct way to make an argument successful.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 26, 2014, 03:00:39 pm »
How did the conversation go to the crapper?  Basically because you keep pointing out how dumb it is to believe in ones team and coaches.

Yep. That was exactly what I said and exactly the problem.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:08:26 pm »
Well that whole conversation went in the crapper. Hate it when that happens.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 25, 2014, 06:11:32 pm »
True. A more modern example might be appropriate. Thank goodness you did not give a pre game speech to Appalachian State before they beat Michigan, or JMU when they beat VTech.  Upsets happen.  Your elitist argument is what's fantasy.

I don't know my fellow board user. I swear you are proving my point. I've said upsets happen. They are extremely rare. App State is the only FCS school to ever beat a top 10 ranked FBS school at the time of their ranking. THAT MEANS IT IS EXTREMELY RARE. Thanks for proving my point. A 1 in a large number chance, which is EXACTLY what I've been saying. I just don't know what to tell you. Statistics aren't that hard. Understanding an upset is EXTREMELY RARE, which is what makes it an upset, isn't that hard. I guess some things just don't click no matter how much evidence you provide.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 25, 2014, 05:38:18 pm »
Holy Cow JK. Give it a rest. We get it they are good. Passion, emotion, and momentum will never play a roll when a team is playing a team you designate as elite.  A non-elite cannot beat an elite. Got it.

Thank goodness you were not around to advise the colonies during the revolution.

Yeah it's always tough when reality intrudes on your fantasy. Being woken up that way always makes me grouchy. Of course even that wouldn't sink me down to trying to make an irrelevant link between modern sports and 18th century warfare when no other logic prevailed.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 25, 2014, 03:43:16 pm »

You are working too hard. I agree with your argument but what has not been mentioned, and part of the reason the elite teams are so dominant is, they never have to travel in the playoffs. Much easier to sit home and win. Granted, they earned the right to play at home, but if home field advantage is taken away, the stats you are using would look different than they now look. Shack up the home field advantage, don't always give it to UWW & MU (i know they earn it) make MU travel to MHB in the quarter finals or semi finals and I doubt MU would make it to Salem as often as they have.

Not a great argument. UMU and UWW rarely lose road games in conference. Even if you put them on the road against UMHB or Wesley they would still only be losing to another elite team. It wouldn't change the stats about who they lose to. For example UWW beat UMHB last year in Belton. So it was an elite loss for UMHB and qualified as their only loss in 2013.

If you were to put them on the road in the first or second round I suppose that would change the stats if they lost, but do you really think UWW loses at St. Norbert or Franklin last year? They gave up 10 points total to those teams and scored more than 60. UMU beat W&J by 14 in the first round and Wittenberg by 35 in the second. They aren't losing those games on the road either.

It's an interesting straw to grab, but not a supportable one.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 25, 2014, 03:15:04 pm »
I, and maybe others, sit back and look at the d3 landscape and see the same top 7 or so and it seems like unless they play one another then the games played should be blowouts/easy wins. That's not the case some times.

I was curious about this so I took a bit of a deeper look. For the last six seasons I defined the top six teams as these: UWW, UMHB, UMU, Linfield, Wesley and NCC. I refer to these teams as "elite" through the rest of this post. You could probably sub someone else in for NCC or even Linfield. A MIAC team makes sense, but it's somewhat hard to do. The MIAC champion is elite every year, but over this time that has rotated a bit. St. Thomas is probably closest with big seasons in 2010-2012, but not really before that.

Anyway, the six teams I chose had 43 losses over roughly 468 games (I didn't count the games, just assumed 13 per year per team. Since some teams played 15 games and others played as few as 10 in a season, it probably averages out close to correct +/- 10 games). Of those 43 losses, 23 came to one of the other five teams. So when these teams lose, a rare occurrence, they lose to each other more than half the time. 20 losses came to others outside those 6, but that includes Linfield losing to NC runner up St. Thomas in 2012.

Team by team it looks like this: UWW had 3 losses in 2012 to non elite teams. Other than that they have had one non-elite loss in six years. UMHB has taken a single loss to D3 competition in each of the 6 seasons, only once to a non-elite team. UMU never lost over the period to someone who wasn't UWW. Linfield had 5 non-elite losses (including St. Thomas) and 3 elite losses. Wesley is the real tough one. They have 10 losses to D3 over this period, 7 to the elite teams. NCC is the least by this measure, 10 losses but only 3 to elite teams.

So these six teams lose at varying rates to non-elite teams, with UMU, UMHB, and Wesley losing the least to non-elite teams, a total of 4 times in six seasons, and Linfield and NCC losing the most, a total of 12 times over six seasons. UWW falls in the middle, thanks mainly to a crappy 2012 season.

What does this mean? It not only seems like the top 6 lose primarily to each other, they actually DO lose primarily to each other.

I will say if you go back slightly farther the numbers change a bit. Primarily because Linfield and NCC are less dominant in 2005-2008. In those years UWW never lost to a non-elite, UMHB lost 5 times to elite teams and twice to non-elite, UMU lost once to an elite and once to a non-elite (their only conference lost in a long time), Linfield lost 5 times, 4 times to non-elite teams, Wesley lost 5 times, 3 times to non-elite, and NCC lost seven times, only once to an elite. Over this period you would probably sub Linfield and NCC for other teams, since they lost 10 of 12 to non-elite teams.

The fact remains, however, that elite teams are elite for a reason and non-elite teams don't stand much of a chance of beating them. There is always a 1, but the number on the other side is pretty big. In the information for the period above you have a 1 in 23 chance of beating these teams as a group. Individually you have a 1 in 10 chance of beating NCC (7 out of 73 games) and a 0% chance of beating UMU (0 out of 90 games). What do you know? There isn't a 1 for UMU in this sample!

Data and stats, not always the answer but a pretty good indicator...

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 25, 2014, 12:13:00 pm »
Probabilities? Laws of physics in the Universe? This is freaking athletics. Where crazy s**t happens. I know it can and does - so do you. I don't think a loss by UWW to a top 30 team be it HSC or some other team would be the upset you're making it out to be. The best team don't always win and the loss is not typically because they all had food poisoning.  Am I they only that believes this? 

It's really not that important. And yes, crazy stuff does happen, but not often. For example, UMU is 125-1 in the OAC since 1999. That's a large sample size that tells us that an elite team like UMU rarely loses to a non-elite team. So the laws of probability do apply even in sports. We just prefer to focus on Buff State versus UWW rather than the reality of UMHB being 107-6 versus the ASC since 2000 and of Linfield being 72-4 versus the NWC in the same period. We ignore the overwhelming evidence of how often the odds are correct in favor of giving an outside credence to our favorite underdog winning on "any given Saturday."

I get that you think HSC can win against anyone on any given Saturday, and statistically you are correct. There is always a chance. The reality, however, is that you could grow to be a very old man before it ever happened, especially with the infrequency that HSC is likely to face an elite team. Then again, of all HSC's teams in recent years, this is probably the best shot.

I don't think a loss by UWW to a top 30 team be it HSC or some other team would be the upset you're making it out to be.

About the above quote you are simply incorrect. The playoffs every year show this. UWW's only playoff losses are in the finals to UMU. In their 8 trips to the playoffs, which include 40 games, a statistically significant sample for our purposes, they have NEVER lost to a team that wasn't elite. To use an even larger sample, we can look at UMU's playoff history. Since 1993, UMU has lost a playoff game only to the National Champion or the Runner Up. They have never lost to "a top 30 team". That spans 20 years of playoffs. Something more than 75 games. NEVER a loss to anyone but the champ or runner-up.

That top 30 upset you think isn't all that rare? It is insanely rare. In fact, in the case of these two teams, at this sample size, it disproves my theory that there is always a 1, because it has never happened. Personally I think that's because it's still a small sample, but still you have to understand just how rare that kind of upset would be. The statistics prove it, even if you wish it weren't true.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:50:50 am »
Now you are being completely and entirely unreasonable.

To a degree, yes. But it's also completely true. That's how probabilities work. It's why people win lotteries. There is always a 1, regardless of the odds on the other side. For everything that is possible under the laws of physics in this universe there is a 1 in something chance that it occurs. That's why I defined a "peer group" as a 3 in 10 chance of winning, not a 1 in 10. The 1 chance in a lot is always there, but it doesn't mean it is substantially likely. As the "a lot" turns into enormous turns into ridiculous the impossibility of the event changes, but does it really matter at that point? So defining HSC's ability to win a game on any given Saturday against a peer group has to draw a line somewhere. We can each choose where since it is impossible to a) know how the games would turn out over a large sample or b) come to an agreement on what probabilities correctly define the group...

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:22:25 pm »
I would give every team in D3 a 1 in something shot at beating any other team. There is always a 1.  Statistically there has to be. Heck I would give UMU a 1 in something shot at beating Alabama. That 1 has to be there. The fact that at some point it becomes statistically irrelevant is not important. The 1 must be there for every possibility. 1 in 10, bad odds. 1 in 20?  Really bad odds for this conversation. Giving HSC a 1 in a large number against someone doesnt mean I think they can win, it just means the other team could suffer from food poisoning or get shaken up by having an accident on the way to the field. Still, the 1 must exist.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 24, 2014, 08:19:03 pm »
Having one very good/great/elite team in your conference does not make your team's conference a power conference. Is the ACC a power conference in D1?  There are only 2 power conferences in my opinion - WIAC and the MIAC.

Ok. You used power instead of elite. But you set two conferences apart from the rest of D3 as being stand apart better. That's pretty much the definition of elite. If you want to quibble over "2 power conferences" versus "2 elite conferences" in order to try and bolster your point that is your decision.

And yes, I do think there are tiers of D3. I put that in my second to last post. Definition of a bell curve and all that. But if you asked me whether I would lump HSC last year and Linfield into the same category the answer is no. But there certainly becomes a point in D3 where there are a grouping of teams where one will win 7 of 10 instead of 9 of 10 or 19 of 20. When you get to that 7 of 10 grouping and beyond, that is a legitimate peer group for competitive purposes. I don't think HSC takes 3 of 10 from Linfield or any of the teams I consider elite. They might take 1 of 10 or 1 of 20, but who knows? No one can, it's just my opinion.

It's impossible to define and varies for every team. Suffice to say I think of all the ODAC teams HSC would have had the top peer group last year and I expect the same this year. That doesn't necessarily mean I think that peer group includes the elite of D3.

In very basic terms, I think UWW, UMU, UMHB, Wesley, Linfield, NCC, and whoever is hot in the MIAC are going to be elite most years. HSC wouldn't win 3 of 10 against any of these teams last year in my opinion. I'm not sure HSC takes 3 of 10 against the WIAC, MIAC, NWC, or CCIW runner up. After that? I think it starts becoming more plausible though it is a team by team type thing. For example Franklin last year? HSC stands a good chance of getting 3 of 10. The year before? No way.

So that's where I stand. And it's just an opinion but I think it's an entirely reasonable one. HSC just hasn't proved they belong higher. They lost two stinkers last year and that's pretty consistent for them. Not something elite teams do against HSC's typical level of competition. This year has the possibility of being significantly different and Wabash will be an interesting opening test.

South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: July 24, 2014, 04:23:10 pm »
Remove the best team from EVERY SINGLE conference (which includes Mount Union, Whitewater, UMHB, Linfield) and play the season, then we'll figure out who the power conferences would be.

So true.  What some forget is while Whitewater has been the gold standard in D3 is that before UWW when on their run starting in 2005, the WIAC struggled mightily in the playoffs.  Struggled badly. 

In fact if you take UWW's 37-3 (wow) playoff record out of the total the WIAC sits at 9-12 in the playoffs.  If UWW didn't figure out their formula I wonder what our perception of the WIAC would be today?

9-12 isn't really that bad in the AQ era. And again, in a bunch of those years you are dealing with a team that was blocked from a better seed by losing to Whitewater, so it's possible a few more wins after 2005 would have been added in. Certainly 2006, the year UWW wiped out their very good conference mate UW La Crosse, that La Crosse team might have won a game or two more. A lot of those first round losses came pre-2005. In fact, 4 first round losses came in 99-02, so in the last 10-12 years the WIAC non UWW has done pretty well. It's hard to say they aren't a power conference now, even if they weren't all that close until the early naughts.

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