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Messages - jknezek

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South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 19, 2017, 02:49:13 pm »

1 for 3 = Cooperstown, 1 in 5 = Salón de la Fama. 1 in 4 = a happy median.

"That means if you get just one extra flare a week - just one - a gorp... you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes... you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week... and you're in Yankee Stadium."  -- Bull Durham

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 19, 2017, 10:15:50 am »
Injuries ended GC's chances last year.
I project RMC, W&L and E&H will fight it out for the ODAC champ this year. Don't see any others ready to make a run.

We'll see. W&L graduated a ton last year. As did RMC. I never put much faith in E&H. That team has mental and discipline (on field -- meaning penalties and jawing too much at each other and the other team) problems every time I see them. Maybe this is the year that they clean it up.

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 19, 2017, 09:24:52 am »
Math is math my friend. The steadier the inputs, the steadier the outputs.

I get math. If your "formula" picks Mt. Union to win so be it. But if the same formula is projecting GC winning ODAC in 16 and they finish with 1 conference win, then maybe the formula needs adjusting.

I find it interesting when a "formula system" is so pathetically wrong and yet it's presented as somehow more reliable than an educated guess.

He did finish second in our regular season Pick'em last year and all the "regular" ODAC guys pretty much finished at the bottom. As he and I discussed last year, I'm not a fan of non-returning starter adjusted predictions, but W&L returned pretty much an entire offense last year from an undefeated team and still lost 2 conference games. On the other hand, Guilford graduated pretty much 2 whole units from a one-loss team and did about what many of us expected. Returning starters isn't an end-all, be all. Predicting the ODAC right now a difficult task.

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 17, 2017, 12:38:07 pm »
Math is math my friend. The steadier the inputs, the steadier the outputs.

I imagine the private military schools are also quite well networked.  There is a strong tradition of the families and social networks that attend them, no?  Quite a strong relationship between them and the schools that feed into them?

I don't really know. I don't think they are tied as closely to specific schools anymore as Catholic colleges and Catholic high schools. There are so few academic military high schools left in this country as most military high schools are more of a disciplinary thing than an academic in my experience. There used to be an Annapolis feeder school not far from where I grew up, but that one closed more than a decade ago. Farragut Academy maybe? I knew one kid from my h.s. who went there for a fifth year of h.s. to improve his odds of going to Annapolis. I remember hearing it paid off for him. I would guess that many of the state military colleges have family traditions at the least for sure.

South Region football / Re: FB: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: June 16, 2017, 11:23:30 pm »
To be fair, the ODAC doesn't really lend itself to this kind of analysis. Heavy on past performance works best for conferences with dominant teams. As HSC dominance has faded, and Bridgewater's is over a decade in the past, the ODAC is very difficult to predict. Especially with long time doormat Catholic leaving and Guilford going from predictable doormat to unpredictable respectability.

Listened to the new episode of ATN, just wanted to say congratulations to Keith on getting married!

Also, I'm a little foggy on this maybe someone can shed some light: what are the perks of a student deciding to go to a private military college like Norwich or The Citadel?  If they're private does that mean kids are essentially paying to join the armed services (I know that some of those students are ordinary civilians)?  Why not go to one of the services academies?

You can get commissioned as a reserve officer, though it is not required. I know VMI and Citadel are tied closely to the VA and SC National Guard. But you do pay to attend though costs are more on par with state schools than private schools. One major difference is that you are not required to do military service after graduation.

I think many who attend could not go to the 3 national service academies. As W&L is literally attached by the campus to VMI I was familiar and friendly with more than a few Keydets both in school and after in my first job. They were not of the same academic caliber as the few kids from my h.s. that applied to the service academies, which is more a comment on those at the service academies than a knock on those at VMI. VMI and Citadel and the like are good schools, but West Point, the Naval Academy, and Air Force Academy are on a different level. Those young men and women are truly elite scholars with extra curriculars that are generally top notch as well. You need to get a recommendation from a Congressman to apply, and each Congressman only gets 2 recs a year (though I think there are a few more ways to gain application permission).

Coast Guard has the same requirements as the other 3 service academies, but as a lesser name it is easier to get in to. The requirements are still stringent, the campus is still beautiful and I thought about it way back in my junior year of h.s., but at the time they offered such a limited set of degrees I ended up not being interested.

General football / Re: attendance
« on: June 15, 2017, 10:48:47 am »
Lots of schools put in effort in different ways. I know W&L spends a lot of time internally promoting to students and especially among student athletes getting them to cross support. But the whole school is around 2000 students, including the law school, so there is a limit how much that matters. W&L does not charge for tickets unless mandated to do so by the NCAA, so all the promotion is a loss just to try and generate a better atmosphere for the players and fans.

East Region football / Re: FB: Liberty League
« on: June 15, 2017, 09:39:43 am »
I wonder if Ithaca will ever get turf ?

I hope not. I like football when it's played on a football field, not a multi use field with colored lines everywhere. I understand why budgetary concerns make multi use fields a necessity, but there's something I just don't like about them when I'm watching a football game. But Ithaca built a state-of-the-art field with lights in 2011 for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, so I suspect they don't need it.

Endorsed.  Your football field should not look like a craps table.

Neither should your soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse field. But the reality is, for many schools, it is cost prohibitive to maintain surfaces for all these sports. Especially those that are in opposite seasons like lax and the fall sports.

Frankly I think soccer really loses something played on turf. I can't say the same about the other sports and think lax and field hockey are better on an artificial surface. Football has both pros and cons in my mind. Regardless, we might not like the aesthetics, but it makes financial sense to have multi-purpose fields, especially as colleges get financially squeezed.

South Region football / Re: FB: USA South Athletic Conference
« on: June 14, 2017, 03:29:00 pm »
Well, Brevard lost 28-14 on the road to E&H last year and beat Apprentice 38-7 at home (their only win). Methodist eeked past NNA, and Greensboro lost to them pretty badly, so you have some comparison that would put your positioning of Brevard, based on recent historical results, in the right area. On the other hand, E&H did squeak past Ferrum, and the Wasps handled Brevard easily, so that is something to consider. Finally, E&H lost by a score to M'Ville, lending credence to not moving Brevard up any higher.

I think you could argue Brevard is a spot or 2 too high, but given the available data I wouldn't argue very much.

Men's soccer / Re: World Cup and European leagues
« on: June 13, 2017, 12:58:01 pm »
I'm a fan but not knowledgeable.
Any comments on the current status on the team.

Looking better. They seem to be reacting better to Arena. The comments from players seem to indicate he is trying to provide more traditional roles and ties to U.S. historical strengths. I don't think the talent level has dramatically changed. Don't get me wrong, Pulisic is on track to be one of the best American players, but it is still early. And he is replacing one of the best American players in Landon Donovan. Dempsey is still working hard but aging, Altidore is a serviceable target forward and should have more impact now that we have a coach that is willing to let him play that role. The midfield has more creativity, but it seems like a bit less hustle.

American players are generally known for making up with their lack of tactical skill with great athleticism and desire. The current crop seems to have a bit more tactical skill, for example Nagbe, but less of someone like Zusi's dogged determinism to play both ends of the field.

Bradley is once again being played in the proper role, and you have to respect his beautiful goal against Mexico. But overall the defense seems somewhat in flux. I admire DeMarcus Beasley. I flat out love the heart the guy has always played with and was thrilled to see him in person in Chattanooga in January. But if he is needed as an outside back still, something is not right in the defense. We seem to have no end of towering, serviceable center backs, but outside backs are proving elusive.

Overall, there is no excuse for us not qualifying for Russia. With Panama and Costa Rica at home to go, and Honduras and T&T on the road, there is no reason we shouldn't pick up at least 7 to 9 more points. Since we have 8 right now, 15 to 17 points should be just enough for us to go through as the 2/3 qualifier in CONCACAF and avoid the two-leg fourth spot playoff.

15 points put Honduras through in 2014, Costa Rica finished second with 18, and we topped qualifying with 22. Mexico had 11 to make the home and home playoff.

Are we a better team than 2014 or 2010? It doesn't seem like it. We seem to have stalled out a bit after a long slow climb to the level we reached in 2010. We just don't have that quality that is needed to jump to the next level, clearly inside the top 20 teams in the world. I think we are pretty fairly inside the top 30, roughly, but we just lack the athletes, tactics, and individual talent across the field to push higher.

General football / Re: attendance
« on: June 13, 2017, 09:36:28 am »
I'm going to tack one more addendum on to my attendance comment. I don't know the average DIII liberal arts school size, but I'm guessing it's around 2000 students. Given first and second year classes are bigger than Junior and Senior, I'm guessing you are graduating 400-450 students per year at these schools. If you assume 1 in 50 becomes an alumni football fan, and I'm thinking that might be fairly generous, you are minting 8 to 9 people a year who are going to care enough to come back for games. Translate that to your local Big State U, where the graduating classes are between 5,000 and 15,000 per year. With the same ratio, you are minting 100 to 300 alumni, per year, willing to come back. If you suppose that interest lasts roughly 20 years, until the alumni kids are in h.s. tying up most of your time, that is maybe 200 people for a liberal arts school versus 2000 to 6000 alumni fans.

A lot of the DIII problem is a numbers game. You add to the problem because for a lot of these schools, alumni aren't real local. For Big State U fans, they are almost all local. I live in Birmingham and I can't tell you how many people grow up in the Birmingham metro area, go to Alabama (45 minutes away) and come back and work in Birmingham. For a W&L grad, there were maybe 20 to 30 kids per class from within 45 minutes of Lexington Virginia, and most of them didn't go work in Roanoke or Staunton after graduation. They move away from the rural small schools, making it that much harder to return for a game.

General football / Re: attendance
« on: June 13, 2017, 06:46:23 am »
The greatest and most doggedly determined sports marketing you will find is done by minor league baseball teams. These teams do everything under the sun to bring people to their stadiums. Many of them even have some pretty nice fields. Our Birmingham Barons have an incredible downtown stadium, Memphis has a great downtown field, and more. But they pretty much never sell out. Even on 25 cent hot dog night, free kids nights, free hat nights and more. Why? Because there just isn't that much of a market for minor league baseball. Especially a game played opposite a major league team on t.v.  All DIII games are basically played opposite DI games, and sometimes h.s. games as well. There just aren't that many fans for a DIII game vs sitting on a couch watching your local State U you have supported since birth playing on your big screen t.v. with a fridge and frosty cold ones nearby and video replay whenever you want. That is simply the facts of the situation for the vast majority of DIII. 

General football / Re: Double numbers
« on: June 09, 2017, 03:21:22 pm »
That's kind of the point.  Regardless of level it's college football, not Pop Warner. It's too expensive for schools to provide equipment, uniforms etc. for 100+ players, the majority of whom will never get on the field.   Why waste the kid's and the coach's time?  Keep the best 70, make the 4th string the Scout squad, and let the rest go play intramural. 

Many kids at DIII are very good players but for whatever reason (usually size) didn't get a chance at the D1 or DII levels.  It's competitive college athletics.  On the team I follow the duplicate numbers are always offense/defense. But regardless it's confusing for spectators, announcers and officials. What happens when #60 is ejected and another #60 comes in the game later? 

Baseball don't allow it, basketball don't allow it, soccer don't allow it....why football?

I don't think you understand the economics of DIII athletics. Many schools, especially those that rely on tuition more than endowment, would RATHER have 140 football players than 90. The true cost of many of these schools is about $15K-$25K per year after aid. Shelling out a few hundred dollars in equipment, and maybe an extra grand or two per kid on medical care, travel costs, and academic aids, is nothing compared to the extra revenue from having another student on campus.

Many of these schools expect the coaches to bring in 50+ first years every year. It's part of his job, whether he thinks they are going to play or not because it helps the school make budget. Having all those first years be required to stay on campus, be required to have meal plans, sit in the largest classes with the least expensive professors and assistants, first years are where colleges make their money. Many schools NEED those first year athletes. Now if they drop to 10-20 seniors who legitimately play football, that's ok too. Seniors don't have to live on campus, don't have to have the full meal plan, have small classes taught by senior professors. You get the point? Your point about money is simply looking at things backward.

As for confusing for spectators, I don't think that is really a big consideration. Most DIII schools don't make enough from ticket revenue or streaming charges to really care. Again, a couple extra kids paying tuition will bring in more revenue. So some small confusion is not going to be high on their list of concerns. Average DIII attendance is 2000 per game. At $10 per ticket, 10 games per year, (playoff revenue goes to the NCAA I believe), and I know many schools that charge nothing, but that's $200K per year. 10 kids paying 20K? Same revenue.

Colleges have generally fixed costs. They can have variable revenue based on the number of enrollments. So athletics offers students an important outlet, teamwork, character, time management, and many other life skills are learned by the student athletes. But the primary driver of a DIII athletic department is to attract students. The more the better within reason. I have problems with schools that are bringing in 100 first years, and there are a few that do in DIII. I think it's a joke and dishonest for the school and the coach when they pitch many of these kids. But from a financial standpoint? It's just a good business decision. If giving those kids duplicate numbers and letting them be part of the dressed team on game day keeps them coming back for another year, you can bet the colleges are going to be in favor of it.

Men's soccer / Re: 2017 Classes
« on: June 09, 2017, 10:32:24 am »

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