Summer time programming has been a wasteland for broadcast networks since the beginning of episodic television. People are trapped indoors during the winter months, and sweeps (introduced in the 80s) arrive in May. It makes the most sense for networks to put forth their best effort when they are trying to compete for the most viewers and ultimately, the greatest advertising revenue, and hit shows release their new episodes from autumn to spring. In the summer, it was more cost efficient to use content already owned by the network. For the most part, that’s how it is today, and that’s why we have reruns in the summer. Continue reading
Hi! Happy October! I just wanted to announce that today a lengthy post by yours truly will be appearing on this site at 11. It’s part of a new initiative by me to start writing some longer, more detailed pieces every once in a while. This one happens to be about the TV show Reckless. I never said these pieces would be sports related. If that’s not your thing, stick around for Power Ranks!
The Royals won their first playoff game in 30 years, beating Oakland almost exclusively by bunting. Or rather, beating them when they stopped bunting.
The FCC has voted to do away with the blackout rules that allowed the NFL to block local games that aren’t sold out. The NFL can still black games out, but the FCC no longer condones it.
Football League Championship
Rotherham 2, Blackburn 0 – Rotherham was promoted just this year. Not a great game for the inconsistent Rovers.
Lots of my favorite TV shows are returning. I have been trying to keep up with all of them! Here’s my thoughts on a few of them. The good, the bad, the insane?
- Once Upon A Time – I was thoroughly skeptical of this season’s Frozen timeline. It seemed too opportunistic and forced. Also, the last couple of seasons of Once Upon A Time have been grasping a little bit. There was a curse, then a new bad guy and another curse, and finally another villain with a third curse on the residents of Storybrooke. You had to watch the entire premiere episode to see how everything was going to tie in though. Turns out that the story is taking place while Anna is approaching her wedding after the events of the Frozen movie. After seeing the episode, I am super excited for this season. Anna left Arrendale to research where her parents were going when they died and what they were searching for. Anna disappeared and now Elsa has followed a lead to Storybrooke while looking for her. There’s going to be a lot of mystery this season and I think once Elsa calms down and talks to the residents of Storybrooke, she will be much more cooperative. So exciting!
- The Amazing Race – So far there aren’t too many teams I’m super attached to yet. I am really cheering for Bethany and Adam because I have followed Bethany’s story. I think they are going to be fun to watch. The big twist of the episode was fairly anti-climatic. The team that finished first in this leg won a free pass. If that team is going to get eliminated, then they can use their save. The last couple of seasons have had similar incentives on the first leg, so it’s not very shocking. The beach challenge was difficult for the teams and really leveled the playing field. The season should be good, because all Amazing Race seasons are good. That said, I do want to learn more about the other teams.
- Castle – No big wedding. Just a crash, potential kidnapping and a very tangled web of what happened to Castle since last season. Castle is one of my favorite shows. I can’t wait to find out how things unravel this season. I really hope that this doesn’t tie back to Kate’s mother, because that storyline dragged on for far too long. I also hope that while the show takes it’s time explaining everything that happened, it better not take the entire season!
September is coming to a close today. This month went by super fast, didn’t it? Anyways, I’m including a few bonus links today, because I’m not posting again until Thursday and I just feel like it.
Nick Nelson says what I’m thinking about the decision remove Ron Gardenhire as manager.
The Raiders fired Dennis Allen by phone. Must have been an awkward 11 hour flight from London to Oakland.
Te hitters that improved the most and fell off the hardest in 2014.
Nothing. So sad and empty without baseball.
Ron Gardenhire has been let go by the Twins organization. Whether or not you liked him or not, it’s refreshing to see a bad organization admit that changes needed to be made.
Note: This was originally posted on 9/30/13, but we’re posting it again to kick off the series of follow-up posts that were planned to follow this one a year ago…
Way back in late 2007, with all of the craziness in college football regarding conference realignment (how naive we were back then), Ryan and I proposed a way to fix it: Creating 12 10-team conferences based solely on geography, and not historical ties or money, and ending things with a 12-team playoff with only conference champs. This led to the original 3 posts that explained it all: Here, Here, and Here. Since then, each of us performed a simulation using Whatifsports, starting with the 2008 season. Last year, you may have (but probably not) noticed that only Ryan posted results of a 2012 simulation. The reason why I did not was because I was working on something new, and wanted to go back and test it out over multiple seasons to see how it worked out.
I’m not much of a soccer fan, but I think the European leagues’ system of promotion and relegation is a very interesting concept. In the past, I was thinking it could be a fun concept for baseball if minor league teams weren’t aligned with major league teams. Could you imagine the the Astros in AAA (not too much of a stretch) and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in the majors? (much more of one). But in reality, as college football conferences continue to cannibalize each other and with some major pieces like Nebraska and Texas A&M involved in those moves, while other teams like Cincinnati are being kicked to the side, college football almost already has a makeshift relegation system, especially considering how some conference champs get automatic BCS bowl bids and others do not. So there really already are unofficial tiers within college FBS.
These tiers have been recognized before, and I’ve seen on some other sites a relegation plan that involved adding and removing teams from the current conference structure (like Purdue gets relegated to the MAC and Northern Illinois gets promoted to the Big Ten), but I think the only way to implement something like this would be to blow up the conference structure all together.
My plan involves taking all 125 (and counting) NCAA FBS teams and seperating them into 5 24-team Tiers, with the remaining teams in a Tier 6. Each Tier would have 2 12-team divisions, separated by geography (east vs. west). Each team would play the other 11 teams from their division and 1 team from the opposite division within their Tier. At the end of the regular season, the top 3 teams from each division in each Tier would be placed in a playoff (With the 2 1st place teams getting byes and East #2 vs West #3 and West #2 vs East #3) to determine a champion from the Tier (The Tier 1 champ would be the National Champ). The 2 division winners will earn automatic promotion, while the winners of the 2 #2 vs. #3 matchups will earn the other 2 promotion spots. The bottom 4 teams, regardless of division alignment, from each Tier would be relegated to the lower Tier. In the case of a tie, those bottom teams would play a playoff to see who gets relegated.
So how would teams be sorted into their initial Tiers? Ryan and I discussed this for a while and decided to organize not by any sort of pre-season poll, but by a weighted win total…meaning each program’s all time wins multiplied by that program’s winning percentage. This awards both longevity and success, so it pushes up a successful newer program like Boise State (but not too much) and pushes down a program like Rutgers, who played in the first game ever but have only been mediocre all-time. From that point on, it’s pretty simple: 1-24 go in Tier 1, 25-48 in Tier 2, 49-72 in Tier 3, 73-96 in Tier 4, 97-120 in Tier 5, and everyone else in Tier 6.
Here are the initial Tiers, based on records heading into the 2012 season, and sorted by record and east/west division alignment (The Tier 6 teams make up teams that did not join NCAA FBS until 2012 or later. Also Miami (OH) in Tier 1 is not a typo. I’m as surprised as you):
|Tier 1 East||Tier 1 West||Tier 2 East||Tier 2 West|
|Ohio State||Texas||Michigan State||Minnesota|
|Georgia||Oklahoma||Boston College||Ole Miss|
|Penn State||Alabama||Miami (FL)||Arizona State|
|Miami (OH)||Washington||Central Michigan||Tulsa|
|Georgia Tech||Texas A&M||Southern Miss||Fresno State|
|Tier 3 East||Tier 3 West||Tier 4 East||Tier 4 West|
|Florida State||Louisiana Tech||Marshall||Boise State|
|Western Kentucky||Iowa||Ohio||Oklahoma State|
|Middle Tennessee||Purdue||Mississippi State||Washington State|
|Western Michigan||Illinois||Akron||North Texas|
|Bowling Green||BYU||Louisiana-Lafayette||Oregon State|
|South Carolina||Kansas||Tulane||Iowa State|
|Vanderbilt||Northern Illinois||Duke||San Jose State|
|North Carolina State||Nevada||Ball State||Colorado State|
|Troy||San Diego State||Northwestern||SMU|
|Tier 5 East||Tier 5 West||Tier 6|
|Eastern Michigan||Kansas State||Texas State|
|Temple||New Mexico||South Alabama|
|Wake Forest||Arkansas State||Georgia State|
|South Florida||New Mexico State|
To test this out, I created the Tiers and went back to when Ryan and I first started doing individual simulations, 2008, and simulated the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons, which I’ll cover in the next 5 posts on this topic over the next month or so, to eventually get to an alignment for this upcoming 2013 season simulation. To give a preview, here are some of the lessons learned from a system like this:
– Each Tier 1 team’s schedule is incredibly challenging, making that league almost an unpaid (wink wink) NFL. I think excitement around a league like this would be off the charts, but would also make some great teams look bad because there are no gimmes. For example, in the 2008 sim, Notre Dame plays Michigan, Arkansas, Washington, LSU, Alabama, and Nebraska at home, and Colorado, Texas A&M, Auburn, USC, Oklahoma, and Texas on the road.
– A real-life 6-6 rebuilding year for a Tier 1 team usually resulted in a 1-11 or 0-12 instant relegation in this sim
– Tier 2 games would be pretty big on both TV and on campuses. They usually have interesting matchups and the hope to qualify to play with the big boys the following season
– Programs that have been good recently but started in lower tiers (like TCU, Boise State, and Houston) tore through their leagues and moved up fast, while some of the “old guard” teams like Army and Navy fell fast (but there’s a twist there that only whatifsports could provide)
– It’s kind of interesting to see a playoff involving teams like FIU and UTEP playing to turn their school’s fortunes around. Having multiple Tier champions gives these kind of smaller schools something to celebrate and hope to become the next Boise State
– Speaking of that, a team like Boise State could actually get promoted all the way to Tier 1 and play top level talent to compete for a national title, without having to worry about being invited to a conference
Details to follow in the next posts in this series. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.
As you have noticed already, I’m sure, Steve reposted an introduction to a mythological universe in which college football had promotion and relegation. It’s a pretty cool concept, I think, and he will be sharing simulations from 2007 to 2013 over the next month and a half, every Monday to see just how such a scheme would work. I’m intrigued, and I hope you will like it. Go read his post now!
Derek Jeter finished his career yesterday, if you hadn’t eard. Now which baseball player will the media obsess over?
Steve Smith made a fortuitous catch yesterday. Sorry, Eric.
Jordan Zimmerman had a no hitter yesterday. He had some help.
Baltimore 38, Carolina 10 – Steve Smith faced his former team, and crushed them.
Indianapolis 41, Tennessee 17 – The Colts are very good against the AFC South so far this season.
Minnesota 41, Atlanta 28 – Teddy Bridgewater looked good in his first NFL start.
San Francisco 26, Philadelphia 21 – I guess the 49ers are better than the Colts
Detroit 3, Minnesota 0 – The Twins finished their season with 70 wins. That’s better than last year!
Kansas City 6, Chicago 4 – THE ROYALS ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS.
Rosenborg 3, Aalesund 0 – Big win. Both new players Thomas Malec and Holmar Eyjolfsson scored. i would love to see more of those two.
Today is the final day of baseball’s regular season, and along with the playoff positioning that teams are angling for, individual players are locked into some contentious battles for end of season awards, and for supremacy in a particular category. One such instance is the American League batting title. The Houston Astros, long out of the race only has Jose Altuve’s attempt for the batting title to look forward to. In order for him to achieve the individual honor, the Astros intended to bench him today, lest his average dip during game action this afternoon. Altuve wanted to play though, and talked his way into the lineup.
Altuve, batting .340 on the season, is trying to hold off the Tigers’ Victor Martinez, who boasts a .337 average. It would be tough for Martinez to catch Altuve, and really, the best way for Martinez to get there is if Altuve helps by having a rough day at the plate today.
Altuve and Martinez have very different profiles, but both are having breakout seasons. Martinez is a power hitter, and in addition to his high average, he has also hit a creer high in home runs, with 32 going into tonights game. Altuve is a speedster who has driven his average up thanks to a .359 BABIP. When he is on base, it’s practically a double. He has a whopping 56 stolen bases on the season, and provides as much value on the bases as he does at the plate.
Martinez actually gets on base more than Altuve, at a tune of .411 (!) to .376, as Martinez walks more than twice as often. If I were a GM, or if I was in charge of a team, I would want Altuve’s skill set, as he is valuable at the plate, on the bases and in the field, not to mention, he’s 11 years younger at 24 compared to Martinez at 35. That said, I hope Martinez wins the batting title, because he is the better hitter than Altuve. He has the plate patience and raw power numbers to prove it.
Are we ready for some football? Yahoo’s fantasy site was down for a minute. I was NOT ready for some football.
Minnesota 30, Michigan 14 – The Gophers won in Michigan for the first time since the French Revorlution. Or something like that.
Auburn 45, Louisiana Tech 17 – The Techsters are excited that C-USA conference games are on their way.
FAU 41, Texas-San Antonio 37 – A shootout for the Owls, as it appears that UTSA isn’t the defensive stalwarts Wyoming is.
Miami 22, Duke 10 – Duke isn’t as good as they were last year.
Minnesota 12, Detroit 3 – Where did this come from?
Chicago 5, Kansas City 4 – The Royals are making their way into the playoffs white hot.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 27, 2014
It is clear from Tottenham’s image associated with this tweet, goaltender Hugo Lloris is being held in an isolated, dimly lit location and is very scared. It appears he is being treated well. No word on why his captors are shoving a remote control in his face.