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Archive for June, 2010

Starts Lost To Injury

June 18th, 2010 9 comments

 

As you can tell by going through the magazine there is very little advertising and there are several pages that are left out due to space constraints. One article I wanted to expand on was starters lost during the year. (see Football 365 Days A Year Pg 17, 314)

Remember when Oklahoma won the National Title in 2000? Not a single OU starter lost a single start due to injury! My research has shown that teams that benefited from very few injuries, in this case 6 or less, usually have a weaker season the next year.

The bottom line is, teams that have suffered a lot of injuries the previous year will generally have a better year the next season. A lot of backups were forced to play during the injury-riddled year, gaining valuable experience and the team figures to not be so injury-prone the next year.

In a study over the last 6 years, my research shows that if a team had 32 or more starts lost to injury the prior season, they improved or had the same record the next year on 48 out of 58 occasions for an 82.8% success rate. How about teams that are really banged up? Well from 2001-2005 12 teams went through seasons of having 40 or more combined starts lost and ALL 12 had the same or better record the next season. It surprises me that 17 teams met that criteria in 2006-’07 but only 7 had a stronger record the next year and 9 had a weaker record.

In 2008, Utah was at the top of the chart with 51 starts lost to injury and they went from 9-4 to 13-0 and #2 in the country! Last year was another solid year as 11 teams had 40 or more starts lost to injury in ‘08 and 8 of the 11 improved their records (72.7%!). Here are the teams that suffered 32 or more starts lost to injury last year:

Read more…

Who Will Be This Year’s Vanderbilt?

June 17th, 2010 No comments

I have been publishing a Most Improved Teams list since 1999 and the list hit a home run that very first year. I pegged Hawaii as my #1 Most Improved Team and they were coming off an 0-12 record in 1998. The then “Rainbow Warriors” simply set an NCAA record for largest improvement ever by going to 9-4 in 1999!

This year there are 19 teams on my Most Improved List and these are all teams that had losing records last year but ones I believe will be bowl eligible this year. Last season I had 22 teams on the list and 12 of them were bowl eligible at the end of the year! Do you think it is easy picking teams with losing records that will have a winning record the next year? 

I went back to 1992 and there have been 918 teams that had a losing season. Of those 918 teams only 261 had a winning record the next year which is 28.4%. That means if a team is coming off a losing season there is over a 70% chance that they will have another losing record the next year!

Over the last eight years 96 of the teams that have made my Most Improved List have been bowl eligible the next year. In that same eight-year span there have been 424 teams with a losing record and of those 424 only 111 have gone onto a winning record the next season (26.2%). Now you do the math here but as you can see very few teams go from a losing record to a bowl the next year if they are not on my Most Improved list. Read more…

Most Improved Offensive and Defensive PPG

June 16th, 2010 2 comments

My 2010 College Football Preview Magazine has so much information in it that it would take months to go thru it all. It is like 120 media guides rolled into one. 

Magazine is a loose term for it as the Preview is more like a book with over 100 pages more than any other college football magazine. Not only does it have more pages but the magazine has 2 to 3 times the amount of information on each page! That gives my magazine 3 to 4 times the amount of information of any other magazine!

I mention all of this because there are even parts of the magazine that I myself forget about during the year. Every spring once I have finished my conference write ups, Top 40, All-American and All-Conference Teams I wrap up the “other” pages in the magazine. One of those pages that I find a lot of fun is the projected stats which is on page 324 and 327. Read more…

Expansion Thoughts and Power Ratings

June 15th, 2010 1 comment

Expansion Thoughts

The conference expansion/re-alignment situation to me is very similar to all the talk earlier this year of the NCAA Basketball tournament expanding. While I do not follow college basketball, it seemed like every day I turned on SportsCenter I would hear the rumors and possibilities of the tournament expanding to 96 teams but when it was all said and done only three teams were added.

With the news of Texas deciding to stay with the Big 12 (or is it now the new Big Ten?), I think all the expansion talk of there being four 16 super conferences will probably go by the wayside. All the talk about the Big East and ACC being in danger seems moot and I think Utah going to the Pac-10 should probably close all the moves as I do not feel the Big 12 will expand as they will not want to divide the TV pie up among two more teams.

Naturally the Big Ten is now a stronger conference with the addition of Nebraska and are clearly the #2 conference behind the SEC now. The WAC was dealt a severe blow with the loss of Boise to the MWC.

What I do not understand in this whole mess is how the Big 12 can lose two teams with one of them being Nebraska and go from a 70 million dollar TV contract to a 200 million dollar deal. Obviously Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe did a great job of convincing Texas to stay and I am sure Kansas, Kansas St, Baylor and Iowa St fans are glad he did. Read more…

Turnovers = Turnaround

June 14th, 2010 No comments

Turnovers can have a huge impact on games and on a team’s season. They can also lead to many misleading final scores. During the season I list all of the previous week’s misleading final scores on PhilSteele.com in my Monday Daily Blog. By reading about them each week you can uncover some underrated and overrated teams throughout the season.

Here are a couple of examples from last year. Iowa St benefitted from +8 in TO’s vs Nebraska and pulled out a 9-7 win. Nebraska turned it over 4 times inside the 5 yard line and lost despite a 362-239 yard edge. The next 2 weeks Iowa St was overrated and they lost by a combined 69-18 vs Texas A&M and Oklahoma St despite only being slight underdogs in each.

Florida St appeared to pummel BYU 54-28 on the road but they only had a 512-475 yard edge as they benefitted from +5 in TO’s. The next week FSU entered the Top 25 but lost to USF at home as a 2 TD favorite 17-7 and BYU bounced back with a 42-23 whipping of Colorado St.

Turnovers can not only make a difference in a game but can make the difference between a winning and losing season. Read more…

The Close Loss Factor

June 12th, 2010 No comments

In 2008, Alabama was only ranked #24 at the start of the year. They were just 7-6 in 2007, had just 12 returning starters and faced a schedule that had four brutal road games. They had to take on the preseason ACC Title favorite Clemson in Atlanta, take on the defending national champ LSU in Death Valley where they would be sky high for Saban’s return, face the defending SEC East Champ Tennessee in Knoxville AND take on the 2008 preseason #1 team Georgia on the road. That does not sound like the recipe to vault into the Top 10 let alone become the #1 team in the country. Read more…

Thoughts On Expansion and USC’s Probation

June 11th, 2010 3 comments

When it comes to college football, I am a traditionalist.  The one thing I love about college football is of all the sports, college or pro, the regular season in college football is the one that means the most. I also love the rivalries and the tradition of the bowls. While I have been calling for a system that pits the #1 vs #4 and #2 vs #3 teams in the Jan 1 bowls for nearly a decade, I am vehemently against an 8 or 16 team playoff which would destroy the bowls and make the regular season meaningless.

In 1995 I was actually sad to see the SWC fold as I really enjoyed the great tradition and history of that conference.

From the recent news of Nebraska joining the Big Ten and Colorado heading to the Pac-10, it looks like college football re-alignment and expansion is going forward and I think it will move quickly. However, unlike some of the past radical changes to college football, I actually look forward to seeing which programs end up where and I salivate at the possibility of there being multiple super conferences. Read more…

The Conference Polls are Open!!!

June 10th, 2010 No comments

THE POLLS ARE OPEN!!!

The last couple of years I have I put up a poll for everyone to pick who would win each conference game during the year. I found these results fascinating prior to the year. When you vote in the poll, it tabulates the current % of votes for each team in each individual game. Here are the results of the fan poll from 2009.

When initially reviewing the results I was quite impressed with the accuracy as you the fans did quite well in numerous conferences. In fact, when I calculated the results (similar to what stassen.com does for all the major preseason college football magazines) you guys finished #1!!!! Read more…

Draft Day Party Hangover

June 9th, 2010 No comments

The official on sale date for my 2010 College Football Preview was yesterday and if you do not already have a copy, head out to the bookstores and newsstands today. The magazine is available nationwide at Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, Borders, Hastings, Media Play, Target, Books-A-Million, K-Mart and Circle K. There are other locations where we shipped to, so check the magazine section at stores near you. The cost is just $8.95 in the stores but they tend to fly off the shelves. If you’re having trouble finding a copy visit our store or call 1-866-918-7711 and order your copy thru the office (plus shipping). 

The past few weeks I have been giving you some advanced articles from the magazine to wet your appetite for the upcoming year. Today I will give you the results of the Draft Day Party Hangover, which is on page 308.

After several years of research I have found that almost 7 out of every 10 teams that rank among the top in the NCAA in players drafted struggle the next year and have a weaker record. I call it the Draft Day Party Hangover Effect. Read more…

2010 Schedules: Going Up…..Going Down

June 8th, 2010 No comments

Today is the official on sale date for my 2010 College Football Preview!!! If you do not already have a copy, head out to the bookstores and newsstands today. The magazine is available nationwide at Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, WaldenBooks, Borders, Hastings, Media Play, Target, Books-A-Million, K-Mart and Circle K. There are other locations where we shipped to, so check the magazine section at stores near you. The cost is just $8.95 in the stores but they tend to fly off the shelves. If you’re having trouble finding a copy visit the store or call 1-866-918-7711 and order your copy thru the office (plus shipping). Read more…