Author Topic: Liberty League  (Read 2511418 times)

Offline ITH radio

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46635 on: December 05, 2012, 05:32:59 pm »
At the time we are voting, of course, we don't know who is going to play in the Stagg Bowl, let alone win ...

We write this in jest, but the above statement is kind of "half true" (at least this season and with respect to who's playing since UMU is a pretty big favorite to get back and win the NC).  Also, we just finished a run of seven straight years of the same two teams from the same two regions playing for the NC, so did we really not know who was going to play and/or win (the latter holding less water since most of those UWW_MU games were competitive)?

East fans would have less of a beef if the key to winning was the total popular vote, (the Gagliardi webpage does say "the student-athlete with the highest vote total is named recipient").  If that was truly the case then you could argue that the east simply hasn't been able to do as good a job of "getting out the vote" as well as the other regions. 

However, if read correctly, it is the 35 person committee that ultimately decides the winner with the "popular vote" being aggregated into a "single vote" for how they rank and vote for the candidates ("one collective vote" = 1/36 of the equation), so the fan vote which is nice, really has little to no effect in the grand scheme of things. 

That said it does seems like a stronger case for a "regional and/or playoff bias" (the award does come from a MN/midwest school/club after all) could be made and is fair criticism given the constituency of the group.  Still, it's a football award at heart and the location of D3's best teams (and by extension, football talent) has pretty much been consistent since the mid-90's so it should not surprise many folks that's how it's panned out (and continues to do so).

ITH is on the record w/ Jknezek hoping Heinsohn wins, as it would be nice for him, W&L/South but expects Wara to take it given being the QB from the WIAC.
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Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46636 on: December 05, 2012, 05:49:16 pm »
It is true, and I wish we had some influence in the process before it gets from the 15-25 nominees to the 10 finalists, because I'm not convinced we are seeing the best 10 players.

The East used to have its own national award but the Melberger made itself irrelevant -- a decade ago that is now. If you google Melberger Award you'll see a column I wrote in 2002 about it. Even though they gave the thing to a kid from my alma mater last year, it didn't raise its relevance in our mind. :)

They used to have a national committee and a national set of finalists but there hasn't been any evidence of that in a long time.
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Offline Bombers798891

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46637 on: December 05, 2012, 06:18:21 pm »
I do think there is some logic behind the general idea that we will overlook great players on bad teams and elevate great ones on good teams. I think this is an idea that plays itself out in a lot of voters for nearly ANY award, (Heisman, MVP votes in most sports) That's not to say the finalists aren't deserving, simply that the concept of over-valuing players from elite teams and undervaluing those from not good teams isn't exactly a novel concept when it comes to sports and award recipients

Offline jknezek

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46638 on: December 05, 2012, 06:23:41 pm »
The more I look at it, it does seem very disproportionate. That being said, I'm no expert on the committee, so I don't know how it is actually voted on. My previous statement was probably too hasty, although it might still be more or less true.

Better teams = better players. Better teams also equal more name recognition. If it was purely a football MVP type award, even I think Wara would deserve it. W&L would still have been a good team without Heinsohn, although he probably carried them over the ODAC hurdle where they might have lost to HSC without him (making an absolute statement would be silly, but you can clearly read my belief). I'm not sure UWO is the same team without Wara at the helm. Are they a playoff team out of the WIAC without him? I don't really know, I'm the farthest thing from an expert on UWO...

I won't venture into the other candidates or finalists, I just don't know enough to speak knowledgeably. However, the Gagliardi is not just a MVP type award, so there is even more to look at.

Offline Bartman

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46639 on: December 06, 2012, 10:45:23 am »
The East's search for its first Gagliardi Trophy winner continues, as Noah Joseph (Union LB) and McCallum Foote (Middlebury QB) both are eliminated as the field shrinks to the final four finalists for next week's ceremony for the 20th awarding of the Trophy.

I'd just like to state that Noah is an outstanding player, student and citizen -- the type of guy you should point out to your kids in hopes of them growing up to match even some of his achievements.  He's an absolute beast of a football player, a pre-med student with a tremendous GPA, a heavily involved member of student activities at Union and a greatly involved member of the Schenectady community in the service he's provided over the nearly four school years he's been at Union.  I'm glad at the very least that he was in the running for the Gagliardi Trophy and hope he can take some solace in knowing that being a Top 10 Finalist is truly recognition of his achievements and character.

For those keeping score at home, here's the breakdown of the top four vote-getters since the change 2010, whereby the final four candidates were not based on the one-per-region basis it used to be broken down by prior:

West - 5
North - 3
South - 3
East - 1 (Matt Hoffman, Rowan DE (2010), bone marrow donor that caused him to miss part of season)

And a breakdown of winners by region since 1993:

West - 9
North - 9
South - 1 (Rocky Myers, Wesley S (2004))
East - 0
I agree that Noah Joseph was a great player for Union and represented the entire region very well this year, and I hope he gets alot of support. For next year, I would like to start a Steve Webb campaign. Attending the Hobart-UST game and having watched Steve Webb over the last 3 years, I think he deserves consideration for the Gagliardi next year, if the Hobart staff uses him the right way. He has the breakaway speed, moves and strength to play at a higher level, and Hobart has been fortunate to have such an athlete. He split playing time with a much improved and great Captain in Bobby Daugherty the last 2 years, but this took some of the limelight away from his stats that seem to drive consideration. There isn't a back I have seen Hobart play this year(yes ,including UST) that I would trade for Webb.I watched the W&L game and their fans should be very proud of Luke Heinsohn, but I think Webb would be scarier for a defense. The Hobart coaching staff should try to feature him more(seems that all his runs are in between the tackles where he has to bounce out to get a big gain). I saw an old time Hobart HOFer A-Z play and he could dominate a game and helped turn around a program that was winless in 1970, but Steve Webb has the talent to impact games as much as A-Z did in his day. This is a very special back that has some incredible natural gifts(having been a track hurdler in HS gives him some unique moves). I can't wait until next year to see if the coaching staff can maximize his impact on the game and help the team maintain it's edge on the Liberty League. It was clear from the playoffs that he enjoys playing when it means something and he has the potential to have a very special season in 2013.  Then, Tyre Coleman in 2014. :)
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Offline jknezek

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46640 on: December 06, 2012, 11:01:40 am »
For next year, I would like to start a Steve Webb campaign. Attending the Hobart-UST game and having watched Steve Webb over the last 3 years, I think he deserves consideration for the Gagliardi next year, if the Hobart staff uses him the right way. He has the breakaway speed, moves and strength to play at a higher level, and Hobart has been fortunate to have such an athlete. He split playing time with a much improved and great Captain in Bobby Daugherty the last 2 years, but this took some of the limelight away from his stats that seem to drive consideration. There isn't a back I have seen Hobart play this year(yes ,including UST) that I would trade for Webb.I watched the W&L game and their fans should be very proud of Luke Heinsohn, but I think Webb would be scarier for a defense.

Just keep in mind the Gagliardi isn't ONLY about football. There is an academic and community service component as well. Luke is an outstanding football player, but he has the academics and community service profile to compete as well. All the announced finalists were more than football players, although all of them were outstanding on the field as well. If you want to begin a campaign, make sure his off the field contributions are strong as well. Read the bios for each of the announced candidates for good examples of what it takes off the field.

Offline ITH radio

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46641 on: December 06, 2012, 11:02:10 am »
I agree with Webb's potential but think the Coaches will probably stick with a RB by committee approach given the talents of rising SO Conner Hartigan (former HS QB which lead DeWall to doing some wildcat and related plays this season until Conner was injured). 

Seems like the rise of Hartigan lead Furtado, who got some looks/PT in 2011, to transfer/quit playing, so unless another FY comes in that can replicate the "three-headed monster" we saw with W/D/H this season, we may in fact see another Doug Blakowski type of offense (i.e., feature back), which would give Webb a lot more carries.
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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46642 on: December 06, 2012, 11:38:18 am »
I hear what Jknezek is saying and while it's purported that way, the stats Frank pulled create a legitimate question whether the Gagliardi isn't mainly about football.  If it wasn't, a 3.9 GPA pre-med kid at a top private college who will likely end up at an ivy-league or on a full ride at the next tier med school, in theory would have garnered more consideration.  Same deal with Heinsohn in that W&L is by far the best academic institution by far of the finalists, but he's likely a long-shot in comparison to a Wara.

The reality is, most D3FB players are STUDENT athletes so their resumes are going to have other elements than just football, so the differentiating factor really end up being the stats on the field than off, but that's just one opinion.

Bartman - if you want Webb considered, best place to start is with Gearan.  College presidents are part of / kick off the nomination process.
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Offline pumkinattack

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46643 on: December 06, 2012, 12:13:41 pm »
Couple of points on Wedd/Hobart rushing.  Love Webb, but he tends to have too many mental lapses which he needs to tighten up if he's going to take on a lot more touches.  You can see the staff pull him after a fumble, dropped screen pass in the open field, etc.  Secondly, I expect the FB's to take on more.  Ellis averaged 5yds/carry on a decent sample size for over 300yards and is a good runner for 240lbs, and Holoman might be a more explosive runner.  Best rushing FB's we've had since Rob Nieves (who had one good year as a FR or Soph, then transferred). 

I have no idea on Webb's extracurriculars, but as has been pointed out, that's critical to this award in addition to on field excellence. 

Offline LewDogg11

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46644 on: December 06, 2012, 12:32:23 pm »
I'll take the East's schools in education all day.  The fix is in.

Offline frank uible

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46645 on: December 06, 2012, 03:05:33 pm »
If one believes the well known rankings, Pomona trumps academically all or almost all d3 football playing colleges except for MIT whose nerds don't count (figuratively) because of their otherworldly SAT scores only conceivably belonging to space aliens and for possibly the NESCAC colleges which of course by their own incestuous actions have forfeited relevance. Who was Pomona's best player this year?

Offline jknezek

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46646 on: December 06, 2012, 03:42:56 pm »
If one believes the well known rankings, Pomona trumps academically all or almost all d3 football playing colleges except for MIT whose nerds don't count (figuratively) because of their otherworldly SAT scores only conceivably belonging to space aliens and for possibly the NESCAC colleges which of course by their own incestuous actions have forfeited relevance. Who was Pomona's best player this year?

I think I'll leave the school argument alone. As I'm sure we are all aware, the Gagliardi is not necessarily awarded to the best football player on the best team, or the best football player on the smartest team, or the best football player on the team with the most community service.

Other than the facts that it incorporates the three aspects of player, scholar, and community service, there is little guidance for how it is to be voted on. I checked the website and a few other writeups and while the committee is listed, and the nominating procedure, there is not much else besides some vague statements.

My personal feeling is that football player is the tie breaker. If scholar and community service are acceptable, then the best football player, as voted on by the 35 + 1 (d3football.com voters) votes will probably win. Having read the bios of the 4 remaining, it wouldn't surprise me if any of them won, as they are all well qualified, but my feeling is Wara is probably the best remaining player in the bunch.

Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46647 on: December 06, 2012, 07:11:17 pm »
My personal feeling is that football player is the tie breaker. If scholar and community service are acceptable, then the best football player, as voted on by the 35 + 1 (d3football.com voters) votes will probably win. Having read the bios of the 4 remaining, it wouldn't surprise me if any of them won, as they are all well qualified, but my feeling is Wara is probably the best remaining player in the bunch.

That is my take as well. For me, academics and community service as a pass-fail. Is it a reasonable GPA? Is he involved in something in addition to working at camps? Great, so let's look at the football aspect.
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Offline Mr. Ypsi

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46648 on: December 06, 2012, 07:51:07 pm »
My personal feeling is that football player is the tie breaker. If scholar and community service are acceptable, then the best football player, as voted on by the 35 + 1 (d3football.com voters) votes will probably win. Having read the bios of the 4 remaining, it wouldn't surprise me if any of them won, as they are all well qualified, but my feeling is Wara is probably the best remaining player in the bunch.

That is my take as well. For me, academics and community service as a pass-fail. Is it a reasonable GPA? Is he involved in something in addition to working at camps? Great, so let's look at the football aspect.

I think that seems to have usually been the case.  The counter would be if there are any winners who clearly would NOT have won the Heisman, but had such stunningly good academics and/or community service that they still won it - any examples anyone?

Offline frank uible

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Re: Liberty League
« Reply #46649 on: December 07, 2012, 12:34:53 am »
Wasn't Mother Teresa robbed of the Heisman for the year in which she acted as watergirl for The Little Sisters of the Poor?