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Messages - Buck O.

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1
Men's soccer / Re: D1 Men Soccer
« on: December 06, 2019, 04:24:24 pm »
The D1 tournament has got to be one of the chalkiest tournaments in history.  Thirteen of the 16 seeds, including all of the Top 11 seeds, advanced to the Sweet 16, and seven of the top eight seeds advanced to the Elite Eight.  The biggest upset to date has been unseeded UCSB over #5 seed Indiana in the Sweet 16--not expected, but not exactly a stunner.

Not that the D3 tournament has been a fountain of upsets, either.

2
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance
« on: November 30, 2019, 07:19:02 am »
Additional benefits. If you aren't going to give the public access to the games (or you are going to charge for On Demand/Live access to games), then you cannot give access to the games to the students or their families. It is considered additional benefits.

Wow.  So athletes in high-end D-1 revenue sports can practice in virtual palaces, live in athletic-only dorms, and receive intensive tutoring, none of which are available to the student body in general, and none of those things are considered additional benefits, but giving mom and dad a password so they can watch a game their kid played while they were at work is considered an additional benefit?  It boggles the mind.

Now, just to be clear, I don't begrudge those facilities that football and basketball players at certain schools have.   Given the amount of money that Alabama football, for example, brings into the University of Alabama, and given that Bama is prohibited from explicitly paying the players who make that revenue stream possible, I'm perfectly OK with paying them in kind through the provision of those kids of facilities.  And I recognize that given the demands on their time and the travel required, it would be effectively impossible for most of these athletes to compete in their sport and attend college simultaneously without the academic support staffs.

3
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance
« on: November 28, 2019, 09:21:13 am »
(Side note: giving access only to players and their families to watch games On Demand is actually an NCAA violation that I know the NCAA has reminded schools on several occasions).

Why is that a violation?

4
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 28, 2019, 07:50:25 am »
1.  What's magical about the number three?  Why is it that the best three wins and the worst three losses are all that matters?
2.  Similarly, what's magical about playoff games?  Why should they receive greater consideration in determining who should be ranked where?  UMBC beat UVA in the 2018 NCAA basketball tournament, but that didn't make them better than UVA.
3.  Why not use scores?  There's lots of valuable information there that you're discarding.  This is particularly true with respect to teams that may otherwise be hard to rank because of limited info.  For example, if a team with an excellent record, but which has played a pretty weak schedule, has played only one really good team, I'm going to look at them rather differently if they lost that game 5-0 than if they lost 2-1.  Now, one can go too far here--you shouldn't lean too far on one game in making assessments--but nevertheless focusing solely on W/L/T will reduce the accuracy of your assessments.
4.  There seems to be a significant bias in favor of teams with tough schedules inherent in your method.  To use an extreme example, suppose my schedule is exclusively against top-20 teams and I go 3-13.  If I understand your method correctly, you're going to conclude that I'm awesome because my best three wins are against top-20 teams and my worst three losses are also against top-20 teams.  I might very well be in the top 20.  But, at the end of the day, I did only win three times in 16 attempts against that level of competition.  I don't belong in the top 20.

1. Just a good number and we need to draw a line somewhere.  You can't do all Ws count because weaker schedules have a large disadvantage.  This is particularly true for HS teams in non-hotbed regions.  you can't do 1 win because 1 game is only 1 game.  So, the question is, How many games does a team need to win to prove that they're legit.  1, too few.  2, better.  And... 3 just seems to be a good number.  (Also, allows for wins to count 3x more than a tie.  i.e. One tie is counted.  Three wins and three losses are counted.  And the "3 Points for a Win, 1 Point for a Loss" formula is all but universal.)
2. UMBC is a unique example.  None the less, they earned the spot.  Bottomline, play-off games are not the same as regular season games.  they're later in the season and... They simply mean more.  The team that wins the National C'ship Tourney should be #1 (as long as they layed the top teams to win it all).
3. Just a philosophical difference.  Teams play to win, not to win by as many points as possible.  Especially teams who play 3 or so games per week.  Lots of teams pace themselves and they shouldn't be punished for doing so. 
4. I disagree.  If a team beats #18, #19, and #20 and loses to #1-#16, they should be the #17 team in the country.

Obviously, it's your model, and you can make whatever choices you make with regard to it, but if you're going to use it to support your assertions, you have to provide people with a reason to take it seriously.  With that in mind:

1. Choosing to focus on a certain fixed number of wins or losses is an arbritary distinction that will lead the model to produce unreasonable results, no matter whether you fix that number at three or some other figure.  For example, suppose Team 1 has wins over the teams ranked #1, #2 and #3 in the country, but all of its other wins are against teams in the 300s, while Team B has wins over teams ranked #1, #2, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, and #10.  Your model says that Team A has the more impressive slate of wins.  This is obviously wrong.  Similarly, by limiting its assessment to the three worst losses, your team may incorrectly conclude that Team C, with only three bad losses, has a less impressive slate of losses than Team D, even if Team D has a dozen losses to bad teams, just as long as the three worst losses aren't quite as bad.

And as a result of this, it appears that your model could rank a 3-13 team above a 13-3 team, even if they played the exact same schedule.  For example, suppose that Teams A and B both play Teams 1 through 16, with 1 being the best opponent and 16 being the worst.  If Team A has wins over 1, 2 and 4, and losses to everyone else, and Team B has wins over everyone except teams 14, 15 and 16, you'd rank A above B, because their worst three losses are the same and A's three best wins are better than B's.

Next, let's consider how you handle ties.  Suppose I have wins against teams #1, #2, #3 and I'm playing team #4 today.  My best tie is against team #300.  Under your system, I'll improve my ranking much more with a tie against #4 than with a win, because a win won't affect my slate of top three wins, but a tie will significantly improve my best tie.  Again, that doesn't make sense.

2.  Obviously NCAA tournament games are more important that non-tournament games because they determine who wins the NCAA tournament, but that does not mean that they are necessarily significantly more important for the purposes of determining which team is the best team.  Just because Conn beat Hopkins does not mean that Conn is better then Hopkins.  Upsets happen but that does not mean that a repeat matchup should be expected to lead to the same outcome.  And if the intent of your ranking system is to determine a relative ranking of teams, then the point should be to assess which team is better.  If you're simply trying to replicate the results of the tournament, then what's the point of even having a ranking system?

3.  It seems to me that the only "philosophy" that should matter is trying to produce the best set of rankings, rather than making arbitrary decisions as to which info to include or exclude without regard to whether including it or not improves the ability of your system to evaluate teams.  Close games could generally go either way and luck may be a significant factor in determining the winner, and a system that ignores that and pretends that a 2-1 win is the same as a 5-0 blowout is ignoring relevant information.

4.  Things don't work like that.  The better team doesn't always win.  If the best team in the country plays a schedule consisting wholly of top-20 teams (at neutral sites), it will be favored in each individual game, but that doesn't mean it is expected to get through that schedule undefeated.  Similarly, if the #20 team in the country plays a schedule wholly composed of other top-20 teams (again at neutral sites), it will be an underdog in each game, but it's almost certain that it will pick up several wins in the process even though it will probably have a losing record. 

More generally, you're missing the point.  If you rate teams based on their best three wins, teams with tough schedules have many more opportunities to rack up quality wins than do teams with weaker schedules.  Similarly, if you rate teams based on their worst three losses, teams with weak schedules have many more opportunities to accrue bad losses than do teams with strong schedules.  This, again, is a problem with ranking based on a certain fixed number of wins or losses. 

5
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 27, 2019, 10:46:39 am »
re: the "delusional" comment above, as HiYa spoke to, one cannot lean to heavily on objective metrics and... Nor too heavily on subjective opinions.  But objectivity and subjectivity both have a place.  One can evaluate D3 teams in innumerable ways: win %, Goal differential, strength of schedule and win %, etc.  I happen to enjoy playing around with this stuff and did for 2 seasons with lacrosse (mostly D1 and d3 mens but then... Men's D1, D2, D3, Women's D1, D2, D3, NJCAA, NAIA, MCLA, WCLA, every Boys and Girls HS team, etc.) and... There are benefits and flaws to every metric but some are more flawed than others.  Anyway, you may not agree with Conn College at #3 but it's not based on my subjective opinion.  It's based on a rational system.  So, as much as we pause and say, What's the best stat for a goalie?, we can do the same for the teams.  And teams are much easier.  The heart of my rankings are (1) Each team's three Best Wins (2) Three Worst Losses as well as (3) one Best Tie and one Worst Tie.  So a team can be amazing, undefeated, best in the nation in everyone's eyes, but if they haven't beaten good teams to demonstrate this, then they won't be #1 in the rankings.  Best Wins, Worst Losses, Best Tie, Worst Tie.  (Oh, one more thing.  Come play-offs, when you beat a team, you automatically step in front of them in the Rankings.  i.e. RPI, Centre, or whoever may not "deserve" to be #8, #10, etc. but if they beat the #9, #11, etc. team in the playoffs, they get the spot.)  You may not love the system but it's fair and it most certainly isn't delusional.  :)

This is the D3 Men rankings: http://app.endlesssoccer.com/category/ranking/54/2019
This is the system behind the rankings: http://endlesssoccer.com/2019/10/23/endless-soccer-computer-ranking-how-it-works/

And, because I find these fun, helps to keep me organized, etc.:
Best Games: http://app.endlesssoccer.com/category/best/games/54/2019
Best Upsets: http://app.endlesssoccer.com/category/best/upsets/54/2019
Best Upcoming Games: http://app.endlesssoccer.com/category/upcoming/games/54/2019

Some thoughts:

1.  What's magical about the number three?  Why is it that the best three wins and the worst three losses are all that matters?
2.  Similarly, what's magical about playoff games?  Why should they receive greater consideration in determining who should be ranked where?  UMBC beat UVA in the 2018 NCAA basketball tournament, but that didn't make them better than UVA.
3.  Why not use scores?  There's lots of valuable information there that you're discarding.  This is particularly true with respect to teams that may otherwise be hard to rank because of limited info.  For example, if a team with an excellent record, but which has played a pretty weak schedule, has played only one really good team, I'm going to look at them rather differently if they lost that game 5-0 than if they lost 2-1.  Now, one can go too far here--you shouldn't lean too far on one game in making assessments--but nevertheless focusing solely on W/L/T will reduce the accuracy of your assessments.
4.  There seems to be a significant bias in favor of teams with tough schedules inherent in your method.  To use an extreme example, suppose my schedule is exclusively against top-20 teams and I go 3-13.  If I understand your method correctly, you're going to conclude that I'm awesome because my best three wins are against top-20 teams and my worst three losses are also against top-20 teams.  I might very well be in the top 20.  But, at the end of the day, I did only win three times in 16 attempts against that level of competition.  I don't belong in the top 20.

6
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 26, 2019, 09:54:47 am »
I won't quote it because it's so long, but I'll add mu kudos for hiyasoccer.  What you said is exactly what I had in mind.  There are lots of stats out there, but many aren't useful with respect to evaluating performance, and even the ones that are, are limited.  For example, I recall watching a game in which the announcer referred to Blake Mullen, the former St. Josephs's (ME) GK, as the top keeper in the country.  Well, he led the country in GAA that year because that's the year that St. Joe's didn't give up any goals, but their schedule was ... not exactly a NESCAC or UAA schedule. 

Now, it's possible to evaluate this sort of thing using stats.  While a simple save percentage considers all SOGs the same, for example, it is certainly possible to quantify the difficulty of stopping a particular shot.  It simply requires a lot better data than the traditional statistics can provide, but with technological advances over the last several years, this is now feasible.  I know more about this in the context of football and baseball, but just as it's possible to quantify the likelihood that an average outfielder would be able to catch a given ball or that an average QB would be able to complete a given pass, it's possible to quantity the likelihood that an average GK would be able to stop a given shot.  Then you have a relevant benchmark against which to evaluate the performance of the outfielder/QB/GK.

To the extent that we don't have those data, we have to acknowledge the deficiencies of the data that we do have, and that's where subjective analysis of play needs to fill in the holes.  Obviously that's not ideal, as subjective analysis has its own deficiencies, but that's not a reason to discount it entirely when we know that the available stats provide an incomplete picture.


7
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 25, 2019, 07:03:48 pm »
Who’s better couldn’t be more relevant. That’s the whole point of the award. Those stats don’t factor in the difficulty of saves, a goalies ability in the air, his kicking. If you polled Nescac coaches they would rather have Marcucci and that’s why he’s first team. Because if he’s on your team, your team is now better.

So we are going with the eye test?  Here are Grady's stats.  If you rank first in 6 different categories, at some point the statistical body of evidence has to have some impact.  Or does Marcucci gets to be first team until he graduates just because he is Marcucci?  Marcucci had an unbelievable 2018, but his 2019 stats are nowhere near his 2018 ones, and not as good as Grady's. 


STATISTICS CATEGORY   OVERALL   CONF
Games played   20   1st   10   1st
Games started   19   1st   10   1st
Minutes   1828:40   1st   970:25   1st
Goals against   10   5th   7   4th
Goals-against average   0.49   1st   0.65   3rd
Saves   81   1st   50   1st
Save pct   .890   1st   .877   3rd
Wins   9   4th   3   6th
Losses   3   297th   2   275th
Ties   7   306th   4   283rd
Shutouts   9/2   1st   3/1   5th

And finally:  stats CAN be useful in evaluating players, but they don't have to be useful.  A keeper's win-loss record obviously sweeps in lots,of stuff that goes well beyond his individual performance.  Judging by the number of saves rewards keepers whose teams permit lots of SOGs.  Etc.

I have no doubt that EPL teams have access to lots of stats that would be very useful in assembling a comprehensive evaluation of who's the better keeper.  We don't have those stats, and I don't think that the stats we have available are much more useful than evaluating hitters using batting average and RBIs:  they tell you something, but they leave lots of stuff out.

8
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 25, 2019, 06:50:41 pm »
Tufts making the final does not make Conn the #3 team in the country. It makes tufts a top two team. Conn is not better than Calvin, Messiah, North park or a handful of other teams. You can’t just say we lost to the best team so we’re the next best team.

Conn College's loss to Tufts doesn't make them #3.  Their Ws and Ls this season does.  Their loss to Babson is definitely a blemish but otherwise, there resume is #3 in the nation. Currently.  If Centre or Calvin win, obviously, this will change. But, otherwise, they'll hold this #3 spot.

Conn is going to hold the #3 spot in your head but no where else on the planet.  Enjoy the delusion.

Actually, Conn is currently rated #4 by Massey, and might rise to #3 if Calvin loses to Tufts.  So there is a case to be made here, although the better way to make the case would have been to cite supporting evidence as I've done here.

9
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 25, 2019, 06:42:52 pm »
My observations about the players are factual and specific. You called out a player for "needing coaching" and being "a handful" while questioning his "attitude" (in that your imply his currently doesn't show a willingness to learn). 

My observation about your post: you have no facts. I asked you to clarify what you "meant". It was not clear b/c you didn't cite any specifics.

You've gone right up to the line of saying something akin to "he's got lots of athleticism but lacks brains and discipline". Which if you follow sports, you'll recognize as implicit racism many athletes of color have had to confront. I've tried to give you every opportunity to climb down, but feigning ignorance and saying you were "pretty clear what I meant" makes me conclude that your hood is showing.


9th post and accusing a long time poster of racism. That's impressive. Mr. Right and his previous name have been many things, not all of them well liked, but racist isn't a label I'd have thrown at him.

Wow, lots of stuff going on the board today.  I'll address this one first.

Buddham, your entire string of posts has been based on a poor reading of Mr Right's original post.  Read it again.  He said that the player could be very good but that it would depend on his attitude and openness to learning.  You chose to assume that Mr Right was asserting that the player had a bad attitude and wasn't open to learning, and you ignored his response which should have clarified things.  That says more about you than it does about Mr Right.

10
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance
« on: November 23, 2019, 03:55:48 pm »
And Montclair wins in the second OT.  Amherst is the only host school to advance to the Elite Eight.

11
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance
« on: November 23, 2019, 03:20:45 pm »
Kenyon ties Montclair 1-1 with about 10 minutes left after a sweet free kick into the upper left corner of the goal from about 20 yards.

12
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 23, 2019, 03:10:57 pm »
Oh, what a way to lose!  Conn scores the game winner on a shot that the Swat keeper let go, apparently thinking it would go wide.  It bounced off the post and went in.

[Edit:  I looked at the replay after seeing Mr. Right's post, and I don't think the keeper would have been able to get to it if he had thought it was going in.  So it didn't really matter.]

13
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: November 23, 2019, 03:02:04 pm »
Swat and Conn going to OT.  Plenty of action in the 30 minutes that I've watched, so I'd expect to see a goal for someone in OT.  As Mr. Right said, opportunities on both sides.  If I were Swat, I wouldn't want to try to win a third straight game in PKs, with Marcucci looming in goal for Conn. 

14
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance
« on: November 22, 2019, 09:13:58 am »
Was just reviewing the team scoring statistics across D3. Here's what they look like this week:

Offense:

1    Bethany Lutheran    3.95
2    Oglethorpe       3.58
3    Gust. Adolphus       3.45
4    Wis.-Superior       3.43
5    PSU-B          3.29
6    Manhattanville       3.28
7    Pine Manor       3.24
8    Calvin          3.17
9    Eastern Conn. St.    3.15
10    Loras          3.05

Defense:

1    WPI                  .452
2    Ohio Wesleyan       .500
3    St. Joseph's (ME)    .503
4    Middlebury       .503
5    Claremont-M-S       .513
6    Chris. Newport       .536
7    Messiah               .579
8    Rose-Hulman       .585
9    UMass Boston       .602
10    Chicago               .636

It's not hard to see which factor is more important for getting to the tournament and moving forward. Exceptions to this pattern are also obvious.

Not surprisingly, Bethany Lutheran has the #2 goal scorer, Max Busch (25), and the #3T assist man, Luuk Oosterbosch (16). Never saw them play, but the bigger picture is clear from this salient fact: they lost 6-0 last month to Wisconsin-Superior, obviously an excellent team that defeated Central before losing in PKs to Luther last weekend. They obviously got gaudy stats by feasting on turkeys.

I'd suggest that the issue instead is that reliance on raw data provide less insight as to which teams have a good offense than as to who has a good defense.  Here are Massey's top 10 offensive teams as of this moment (Sweet 16 teams in bold):

1. Tufts
2. Amherst
3. Calvin
4. Messiah

5. Oglethorpe
6. Kenyon
7. GAC
8. NPU
9. W&L

10. Loras

Seven teams still in the tournament.  (Bethany Lutheran is #157.)

And here are Massey's top 10 defensive teams:

1. Midd
2. Conn College
3. CNU
4. JHU
5. CMS
6. F&M
7. Montclair St.
8. WPI
9. OWU
10. Wesleyan

Only four of these teams in the Sweet 16.

15
Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance
« on: November 18, 2019, 07:10:44 pm »
But the deciding PK in the Kenyon game - wow. #27 for UR was having a MOTM game - several Kenyon fans said the same. Second half I was stationed on the fence at the attacking end for Kenyon - oh the chances they missed! #27 loses his footing, falls chest-first on the ball, ball touches his arm. I was 10 yards away - harshest decision - still not sure it meets the current criteria for handling. But the gentlemanly way he accepted the decision - unheard of in this era. My heart goes out to him. Class act in the face of such a decision.

Amended after finding the exact passage from the IFAB changes to handling, March 2019: (page 16:  http://static-3eb8.kxcdn.com/documents/791/171520_110319_IFAB_LoG_changes_and_clarifications.pdf)

"Except for the above offences, it is not usually an offence if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm: 
•directly from the player’s own head or body (including the foot) 
•directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close
•if the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger
when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body"

I was also at the match yesterday, in the UR section of the stands so not far from your place along the fence, and my immediate impression of the play was 'clean' and any contact negligible. Everyone wearing blue & yellow - every fan, team member and coach i heard said the same thing, not a penalty. But i wanted to see it again in video just to ensure my partisan eyes weren't blind. And having just watched it in slow motion, that impression stands. It just simply isn't a penalty in any league/contest i've seen. And certainly not a golden-goal penalty in OT of a really good, exciting NCAA knockout game. The contact is almost all on his chest (imagine falling from a pushup position over a ball centered under your breast plate). IF there was any arm contact it would've had no effect on the position of the ball or the players around it. There was no "hand to ball", no change of the direction of the ball, no denial of a goal scoring opportunity, no unnatural hand position, nothing to justify killing a game and robbing both teams of the chance to decide it with their play. I take nothing away from the Kenyon player who converted the PK - a high pressure moment and he finished, so well done to him. But to end that contest on the sort of play that all refs are taught to wave "Play On!" to and let the game decide it, it's just a crying shame. 

The game was everything you want in an NCAA tournament game - the players giving it their all, fans backing their teams, coaches making tactical changes, an even match with both teams creating chances. Rochester was the better team in the early going and got the first point, Kenyon responded and pressed hard, especially in the 2nd half - creating their own chances but also inviting counters, making for an exciting back and forth. In OT the first 7 minutes saw a flurry of Rochester attacks, a pair of corners and a few free kicks and the feeling was that UR would find the winner.  But unfortunately that one call will now mar the game in the memory banks. I remember leaving Grantham, PA two years ago after Messiah beat Rochester in the Elite 8 and hearing players and fans all say "great battle, but they were better". Last year the feeling was that Tufts took that semifinal game - physically but fairly, they were better. But this feeling, this isn't easy to settle with. Losing to an opinion is awful.

Do you have a link to the video?  I couldn't find anything.

Any credit to the Kenyon player who drove into the box and had the corner on the UR defender and put the defender in a vulnerable situation?

I would quibble just a bit with your characterization of the first half.  The UR back line was superb but imo the Lords still dominated possession and the UR goal happened due to a blatant unforced error by Kenyon's very good frosh CB who made a weak, mis-hit pass with no pressure close to midfield that was easily picked off and turned into a throw in for UR and then failed clearances by Kenyon after that and a scrum goal. 

And I also thought UR was going to score in the OT sequence you mentioned.  It wasn't so much repeated attacks as much as Kenyon couldn't get a clear from the initial foray into the Lords' final third and kept giving up corners and free kicks.  Anyway, UR definitely had opportunity and could have won it there.

I wasn't at the game but definitely looked like a very competitive, well played match overall between two worthy opponents.  I knew UR was going to be a problem.  I am sorry that you and other UR folks left with bad feelings about the ending.  I know that is a horrible feeling and one that does stick for a long time.

Sure, Muther deserves some credit.  But i saw it the same way that Mat saw it.  The UofR defender went to ground to block the cross, the ball hit him, and I don't think he did anything to make himself bigger, so they should have played on.

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