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Messages - jknezek

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1
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: Yesterday at 04:08:57 pm »
 2015 I agree were not the best teams, but H-SC was a significantly better team than RMC. H-SC lost to the two best teams in the conference going into the game, and one of those losses was a 4th quarter goal line stand. RMC lost to the conference bottom feeder and only beat the two other teams at the bottom of the standings (until H-SC). So HSC was good enough to take out all but the best, RMC wasn't even good enough to consistently beat the worst. That's an upset.

2014 was a huge upset. Missing All Americans or not, that was a good H-SC team and a not good RMC team. Worse, "The Game" was at H-SC. Ugly.

2013 wasn't an upset, but that RMC team was nowhere near H-SC's quality that year and you know it. The final score was way closer than it should have been. That H-SC team had the offensive pieces to play with the big boys. Explosive. RMC had the offensive pieces to be competitive in the ODAC. That RMC team squeaked past W&L and Bridgewater.

I'll give you 2012. That was a good HSC team but I think Nance wasn't quite ready after a year or two on the Volunteer practice squad and it showed in the early loss to Catholic, which was ridiculous, and the justifiable loss to a good Huntingdon squad. Macon was ok that year, but they got shellacked by W&L, squeaked past a mediocre Guilford and a miserable Shenandoah team. I just don't think that team was all that good but you are probably right that HSC was hit or miss that year. Of course it was also at HSC.

2011. This was an upset. HSC was on their way to a perfect ODAC record before they started looking ahead to the playoffs or something else and blew the RMC game. 8-2 both, sure, but RMC dropped two conference games, so the final record flatters them immensely compared to a similar record HSC. Close conference losses by RMC, but HSC only had 2 conference games within 1 score before they managed to lose by 14 to an RMC squad that lost to a bad E&H team and a darn good W&L team. No, this was a big upset.

2
On the topic of St. Thomas, athletic dominance, and enrollment figures, I've been doing some research into what actually constitutes as a competitive advantage in D3FB. Here's a plot of relative 2015 enrollment figures for every football-playing D3 school versus their average rating in my system over the last 16 seasons. Compared to cost of attendance, acceptance rate, graduation rate, and pretty much every other quantitative stat you can find on D3 schools, enrollment has by far the strongest correlation to on-field success.


https://static.wixstatic.com/media/21a7bc_8958abf1e6e94931a97001e023124abb~mv2.png/v1/fill/w_600,h_371,al_c/21a7bc_8958abf1e6e94931a97001e023124abb~mv2.png


D3 is not D1; size does matter, but it's not as simple as "going into the cafeteria and finding the best football players." Cherry-picking UW-Eau Claire's (recent) or other large schools competitive struggles as anecdotes for why it doesn't matter isn't a fair argument (commenters on the Star Tribune article may not be as informed as posters here).

If I remember my statistics correctly, and using some explanatory terms to help facilitate the discussion, your correlation coefficient is .175 correct? Scale of -1 to 1 with a -1 being a perfect inverse relationship (size is a perfect detriment to your rankings) and 1 being a perfect positive relationship (size is always related positively to your rankings). So there is some positive correlation, but is it really significant? As I'm sure you know, there is no true agreed upon "this is significant" level for R^2, so while this is clearly a simple application (limited variables), it appears there is a correlation, but not a strong one. If this is the greatest correlation you were able to calculate, I would say that you haven't found the true X axis factor that correlates to a high ranking, probably because successful recruitment and coaching aren't easily measurable.

I won't bother with the potential problems of your Y axis, which could be the other significant issue, because I'm not sure how it would be solved. Your rankings are probably fair enough to be as good as D3football.com's for this application, but the limited cross pollination of games among the pool of teams leaves the rankings as a crude approximation... especially outside the top 10. Those top 10 generally have some useful data given the last rounds of the NCAA tournament, but 10-25 the quality of the rankings is much more suspect.

Please understand I'm not knocking your rankings or this fun bit of data you provided, I'm just exploring and explaining what I see as the limits in terms of stating, as a fact, that enrollment size does or does not matter.

3
Lacrosse, track, cross country, softball / Re: Lacrosse
« on: Yesterday at 02:31:28 pm »
A closing note for Amherst Lax this year.   On Amherst social media section wrt to Commencement 2016, there was an Instagram photo of the women Lacrosse seniors.....standing at the War Memorial in their capes on, holding their class canes in the air and smoking their cigars!  Seems a new tradition is being set :).  Pic had over 200 likes.  Brave new world for the ladies....wife laughed and shook her head.  Players/grads smoking cigars....I associate with football. 8-)

I think that's awesome. Cigars as an occasional celebration is something I can be behind, and as a father of a young daughter  without ties to Amherst, I would love to show her this pic. Even sans context, it sounds like something she would benefit from.

4
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: Yesterday at 12:01:45 pm »
And last week you were talking about how H-SC is always in the title hunt and now your talking about how they aren't that much better compared to RMC, who has rarely been in the title hunt, over the last 5 years.

What am I looking for? Not much. I just think H-SC has underperformed in "The Game" in the last 5 years. I don't know why. You posited that it was because "The Game" is all RMC has to play for while H-SC doesn't have as much invested. I don't really buy that theory but I don't have a good one to substitute.

Regardless, the discussion came out of my ludicrous attempt to project ODAC records and games this year. TFA2 and I had some fun comments about me including a loss in "The Game" in my projections. It seemed a good laugh to me. That's all.

5
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: Yesterday at 08:55:49 am »
I guess I just don't understand much of what that has to do with it. H-SC used to dominate the rivalry until about 5 years ago. I'm assuming Coach Arruza had the same antipathy for HSC then as he does now. Maybe not? Either way, the team with the better squad should win. You'd be hard pressed to find many people that think RMC has been better over the last 5 years so H-SC is  dropping the ball losing to a team that doesn't have their quality 4 of the last 5 times. That's on H-SC and it's not about RMC.

Quite frankly, as good as H-SC has been in general, they have stunk up the joint in The Game for 5 years. Even the game they won there were 5 turn overs, 8 penalties, and only a stopped 2 pt conversion at the end of the 4th quarter saved them from OT. And that was probably the best H-SC team I'd seen in 5 or 6 years. No, something isn't right with H-SC about that game. I'm very skeptical of pawning it off as RMC is miraculously better one game a year.

6
St. Thomas's peak enrollment was in 2001 according to this:

http://www.stthomas.edu/news/enrollment-here-down-slightly-from-last-fall/

So they've been more less stable for at least 15 years in terms of enrollment at least as far as my simple internet searches can tell.

7
You'd be hard pressed to find too many schools without at least some tiering for athletes at the upper academic levels. The NESCACs even have some kind of formalized slotting system that at least some of them use. That being said, as you slip from schools that are accepting 20 or 30% of applicants (or significantly less) to schools that are accepting 70% or more of applicants, let alone 84%, I think it's slightly silly to be letting in kids that can't otherwise get in. How far do you really need to dip to find athletes and how important is it to accept kids that can't get in when you are only rejecting less than 1 in 5 anyway?

8
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 24, 2016, 12:17:58 pm »
If you can't get excited to beat your rival, something is wrong. The crowds at The Game are huge. Football alumni are big into The Game, so the current team knows it. It matters whether the ODAC is on the line or not. And it certainly matters when playoff seeding is on the line. HSC has just dropped the ball recently when it comes to The Game. And I don't buy that it is Coach Favret's indifference since he dominated that rivalry until the last 5 years.

Maybe it's just bad luck. We aren't dealing with a huge sample size. But whether it is RMC's superbowl or not, HSC has been the significantly better team and they've been made to look like chumps too often recently in the last regular season game.

9
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 23, 2016, 05:42:04 pm »
You are forcing my hand so here you go; RMC will not beat HSC in 2016

That's the spirit!

10
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 23, 2016, 04:36:03 pm »
It's funny. It's hard to do this year because of the way home/away sets up. For example, W&L gets HSC, RMC, and E&H at home. So in my estimation, they get 3 of the top 5 ODAC teams at home, with the only road trip to Guilford. Similarly HSC gets RMC, E&H, and Guilford at home. So again, that's 3 of the top 5. RMC gets the shaft, getting only Guilford at home, so they road trip to 3 of the top 5. E&H has a split and poor Guilford goes on the road for all but W&L.

In other words, as you look at it, you need to start calling home upsets to do anything but slot W&L and H-SC at 6-1 or 5-2. So if H-SC goes 5-2, they are going to most likely have a home upset (or a complete breakdown somewhere). The most likely home upset, given recent history and my faith in RMC, is The Game.

My hands are tied...

For RMC, however, it is worse. They carry a lot of momentum through the first 5 games, but then it gets tough in a hurry with 3 road games at top half ODAC teams and a home game against the last of the top 5 (plus road game at Catholic).

Then you look at Guilford. At HSC, home for W&L back to back. At RMC and at E&H to close out. Those are tough stretches.

Of course if RMC stinks, or E&H and Bridgewater switch places, the whole ratio of home/away versus top/bottom of the ODAC changes radically.

11
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 23, 2016, 04:10:13 pm »
I asked you to tear it apart, not me !!!!!!

HSC   6-1
W&L   6-1
GC      4-3
RMC   4-3
E&H    3-4
BC      3-4
SU      2-5
CAU    0-7

I did include an emojii... But anyway, it's plausible. I'll go a step further since it's early and no one will remember come Nov anyway...

6-1 W&L -- W&L loses by surprise at Guilford
5-2 HSC -- loses at W&L and home in The Game
5-2 RMC -- loses at W&L and at E&H
4-3 E&H -- loses at W&L, at HSC, home for Guilford
3-4 Guilford -- loses at H-SC, at RMC, at Shenandoah, home for BC
2-5 BC -- loses home for H-SC, at RMC, home for E&H, at Guilford, and home for W&L
2-5 SU -- loses at RMC, at E&H, at Bridgewater, home for HSC, at W&L
1-6 Catholic -- beats BC at home in their last ever ODAC conference game

Things that ring true for me. W&L has a let down game. Last year it was RMC but they squeaked it out. Otherwise, their home/away schedule sets up really well. H-SC struggles in The Game. RMC struggles on the road. Guilford wins some big games, loses some winnable games as you'd expect from a team with good but new pieces. I think swapping Guilford and E&H is reasonable. I have no idea about BC. SU's home/away sucks for them. Catholic remains terrible.

12
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 23, 2016, 02:47:38 pm »
HSC 6-1
W&L 6-1
RMC 5-2
E&H 5-2
BC 4-3
GC 4-3
SU 2-5
CAU 1-6

Ok JK, tear this apart. Actually I have no idea but this could be a fun conversation to include Hasa and TigerFan

Well the easiest way to tear it apart is to send you back to remedial math!  ;D For every game a team wins against a conference rival, there is one winner and one loser. So overall, the whole conference has to go .500. You've set up a scenario where conference teams go 33-23 against each other. Has to be 28-28. You need to find 5 more losses and 5 fewer wins.

13
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 23, 2016, 09:03:29 am »
9 out of 10

Yeesh you H-SC guys are greedy. Best conference team of the last 15 years and still wishing everyone else was weaker!  ;D

WL and HSC have won 9 of last 10 ODAC championships. Is there a team this year ready to step up to the challenge?  I see it being either WL or HSC again in 16.

This could be a year to watch out for RMC. Other than JHU and Guilford they were right there all last year and were pretty young. Lot of momentum could carry over from the 3-0 finish and I could easily see them starting the year 5-0 before traveling to E&H. To me, RMC looks a lot like W&L heading into last season. They do have to go to Lexington and to H-SC, but The Game hasn't been much of an RMC problem the last five years.

I do think it's going to be like most years in the ODAC. E&H could be good enough to surprise. They have the athletes but, at least from what I saw last year, not the mentality. Guilford loses a lot, but with the way Coach R recruited I wouldn't be surprised if they had the pieces to fill back in. H-SC will reload, W&L brings back a ton. That's most of the conference I think with a reasonable shot to be the champs.

I don't expect much from Catholic and I don't have a feel for Bridgewater. They seem perennially expected to be good, and then turn out mediocre. Shenandoah has some good pieces, but I didn't see much out of them last year that has me thinking they've turned a corner. Other than Catholic they only stayed within one score of H-SC.

I'm not thinking we will see 7-0 again for the conf champion. More like 6-1 as usual. Too many good teams. Probably no great one.

14
Lacrosse, track, cross country, softball / Re: Lacrosse
« on: May 20, 2016, 12:11:01 pm »
jknezek, I was referring to concussion issue regarding football, not financial attributes. See extensive earlier discussion on football portion of this website.

If you are referring to the discussion on the NESCAC boards, the NESCAC schools aren't particularly representative of the struggles facing DIII colleges and admittance rates. Regardless of the concussion issue, I think you'll keep seeing football being added at the broad DIII level. Bodies are needed on campus for many schools, especially the full tuition paying kind. The NESCAC, and the other top DIII educational schools, don't really participate in that reality.

15
South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: May 20, 2016, 11:04:35 am »
9 out of 10

Yeesh you H-SC guys are greedy. Best conference team of the last 15 years and still wishing everyone else was weaker!  ;D

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