SEC scheduling is genius…and a scam.

Surprisingly, the fans of “the greatest organization of teams since the Allies in WWII” are pretty sensitive whenever you poke at their ‘superiority complex’ with information they don’t like. Debate always veers off-topic right away, so I’m putting together the entire basis for my claims that SEC scheduling is brilliant, and amounts to a scam in today’s national (vs. historically regional) college football landscape, and that the conference as a whole is overrated. It’s a great conference, but it’s overrated. Its best team is annually great, but the conference is overrated.

- First of all, let me confess something: I love SEC football. I think it’s fantastic, because the passion in the south is what I view as the rightful & beautiful celebration of such an awesome game! It’s the fans that drive me nuts…

- I think the SEC has been the best conference for the last few years.
– I think this is self-evident based on the NFL draft, and their performance in the (relatively few) OOC games and bowl games in which the teams were evenly ranked & matched.

- I also think that the way the SEC approaches scheduling is genius, but a scam.
– In general, the conference plays nobody for a month, never leaves home, and certainly not their time zone.
– This cannot be shrugged-away. This matters when we’re talking about 18-22 year old kids who are full-time students, limited practice hours in a week to prepare, etc.
– Ever since USC swept Auburn and Arkansas (which included a shut-out of top-5 Auburn at Jordan Hare, dropping 55 on Arkansas at home, and *70* on them in the Coliseum), which preceded a mostly the same, undefeated Auburn team from being a victim to the 2004 USC team that murdered Oklahoma in the BCS CG, SEC scheduling has noticeably changed.
– OOC home & homes have all-but disappeared (thanks to USC?) When SEC teams do travel, it’s to a friendly site against a name-brand teams that coincidentally, are all on the downswing when they’re scheduled (Michigan, VA Tech, Penn St. (h&h), WVU, and getting beat by Boise St.)
– The lone exception to this has been LSU in some years. They get credit for playing Oregon when they were rolling, and at least making the trips out west, if it was to play teams then at the bottom-end of the Pac-10/12
– Compared to teams like Stanford, UCLA & USC (the latter two have never played an FCS team–ever), who often play only 6 or 7 home games & 10-11 real games, the average SEC team almost universally plays 8 at home, only 8 in conference, for a total of 8-9 real teams annually.
– Stated another way, PAC-12 teams nearly universally play 25%–38% more real opponents, 50% or more of which are on the road in a given year.

- Given the above, the mathematical advantage is massive when applied across the entire conferences, which is how we get what we have every year: SEC teams “float to the top” to quote Ivan Maisel, in September, then circular-logic season ensues. And by November, when the full slate of 25—38% more real games has kicked in, you have a significant advantage mathematically, and in perception.

- Given the indisputable mathematical advantage, and the obvious perception advantage, do you think that had any impact at the end of the season? In getting to the BCS CG’s?

Am I crazy? I mean, ESPN says “the SEC is the best evvahhh!”

Go look at the SEC’s record vs. the Big East in the BCS era (a conference so invested in football, that it has ceased to exist): 17—20 in the regular season, and 5-8 in bowl games. Yep, you read that right. A losing record

“Well, surely that’s an anomaly, right?” Ok. Let’s look at the rest of the Power-5:
– PAC-12: 13-13
– Big-10: (I mean, we all know they owned the B1G, right? Ok, if 23-21 is owning them
– Big-12: 8-12 in regular season

Are you convinced yet? (Certainly not, if you’re SEC guy, because no amount of information will ever get you to publically doubt your ‘vast football superiority’)

“Well, if other teams played the SEC schedule, they’d be massive LOSERS!” Gee, if only we had an idea of what teams from the “weak, no-defense-playing, overrated, flag football conference” like the Big-12 would do if they moved to the SEC. Oh wait! We do!

Mizzou Record BCS era, Big-12: 100-73 57.8% (Bowls: 5-5 50%)

Mizzou Record SEC: 21-10 67.7% (Bowls: 1-0 100%)

Texas A&M Record BCS era, Big-12: 98-76 56.3% (Bowls: 2-8, 20%)

Texas A&M Record SEC: 25-7 78.1% (Bowls: 2-0, 100%)

I rest my case. Not only do the records vs. the other real conferences in the BCS era illustrate that the SEC wasn’t as dominant as the narrative, but the narrative is highly shaped by genius scheduling manipulation.

So why do I care so much? A few reasons: because I love this game, I really believe in rational, data-driven discussion when it comes to the opportunity to compete for a national championship, and because arrogant people annoy the hell out of me. And there is no more of a universally insufferable bunch than SEC fans. Some select few are reasonable about other conferences and teams, but none are reasonable about their own.

This point is free, because I’m a USC fan, and soon-to-be alumni of my dream school:

- USC is 9-5-1 vs. the SEC since the Pac-10 era began in 1978.
- Trojans are 17-10-1 all-time vs. the SEC.
- USC has won its last four games vs. the SEC by an average of 30 points.
- The SEC hasn’t beaten USC since the 1987 Citrus Bowl, 25 years ago.
- USC hasn’t lost at home to an SEC school since September of 1984, over 30 years ago.

My Political Platform In A Parallel Life

My Political Platform In A Parallel Life, Had I Decided To Run For Office

I’ve come to realize that I’m no longer a social conservative. I’m fiercely pro-life, and otherwise libertarian. Our Founders did declare we were endowed inalienable rights by God; LIFE, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–and that declaration mostly shapes my views.

- I’m adamantly against the death penalty.

- I’m for getting the Government out of marriage entirely & offering equal protection & opportunity under the law for all adult couples that so choose to enter into Civil Unions together.

- I’m against the war on drugs.

- I’m in favor of legalizing & regulating all naturally occurring drugs.

- I want to entirely overhaul our criminal justice system which (thanks to the war on drugs & abortion) has played a giant part in destroying the nuclear black family. Realizing Margaret Sanger’s racist, evil dream.

Fiscally, I’m as staunchly libertarian conservative as it gets; income taxes should be abolished (our earnings are our most basic & fundamental property rights).

We should be taxed on what we CHOOSE to consume from the economy, not what we produce & put into the economy. Meaning, we should pay taxes on what we purchase. Never on what we make. This could be socially engineered & progressive as well, to help those that are poorest amongst us by exempting entire categories of goods & services; Eg gasoline, used autos under $XYZ, medical, electricity, cell phone & service, all groceries and all clothing items under $100. There should be no exclusions for corporate expenses, but no confiscation of the money they make either.

On the top-end, the rates could climb higher on higher consumption, and on items that are more middle & upper class, or those that the poor CHOOSE (there’s that word again) to purchase, such as electronics, new cars, and anything over $100 (Jordan’s & $200 jeans, for example).

All levels of Government should be required to operate on a balanced budget (with exclusions at the Federal level for times of declared war).

You want to revitalize the American economy & reverse the off-shoring of the industries that could still operate here? Watch how fast money flies into the US economy when you eliminate confiscation of their capital. When every purchase that every individual & every corporation makes has a clear “price of Government” attached to it in the form of a sales tax, we will see a more accountable & transparent Government at every level.

Can you imagine the wake-up call that people would get when–overnight–the price of gasoline dropped by 50%?

When those layers of “hidden” taxes are removed out of the cost of everything we purchase, we won’t even notice when the $150 pair of shoes has $45 in taxes removed and the $105 shoes now only cost $133 even with the 27% sales tax (which the authors of many studies say is the ‘revenue neutral’ starting point) clearly seen on the receipt.

Most importantly, this is a foundational principle of liberty: you are only separating with your most important property–that which you give your time & abilities to earn–BY CHOICE! No more of this confiscating of your property between your employers & your bank account, as they recklessly spend what they continue to pillage from We The People.

Moons over San Antoni! (OV 207, Portland +6.5)

We moved to 4-1-1 last night as we’ve started publically handicapping games and scoring them on ‘the record’ here on this blog.  4-1-1 will help you turn 5 talents into more than 10, really fast…and that’s the point here!

I agree with the great David Glisan on tonight’s game, and I’ve found that the more often that my handicapping aligns with Glisan’s is a good thing.  I think the Spurs & Trailblazers continue their OV ways tonight as the Blazers rebound from a disappointing game one no-show.

I also am leaning towards Portland to cover the 6.5 tonight, in a desperate situation. Heck…I might’ve just talked myself into it. Yep, just changed the blog title; take a very good Portland team to rebound here. Just as OKC did the other night, I love bounce-back performances after game one blowouts.

Final score prediction:  SAS 107, POR  103

Now Miami vs. Brooklyn wasn’t the same deal.  Spurs/Blazers and Clippers/Thunder were blowouts, the Nets have an old-fashioned mismatch on their hands.  While I expect game two to be closer, this spread (6.5 to 8 depending on when & where you look) feels just about right to me. So does the total at 191.5/192. Final score prediction:  MIA 99, BKYN 91

Happy NFL Draftivus & Good luck!

Nets tonight (+8.0) Enjoy the Spurs/Blazers, get down on the Pacers & Thunder now!

I just lost all of the text of this post–complete with what I assure you was a stellar, and thought-provoking write-up on the Heat/Nets tonight, the series, as well as the Spurs/Blazers and looking ahead to the Pacers/Wizards and Clippers/Thunder in what amounts to must-win positions for the home teams.

Bummer–Wordpress screwed me there–oh well.

Long story, short; take the points tonight with the Nets. Enjoy the Spurs & Blazers and let’s try to get a feel for how the Spurs are playing.   Get down on the home teams tomorrow night, as well as the UNDER in the OKC/LAC game, as OKC will bring the intensity, and the Clippers have shown that they respond to the tempo, not necessarily force the tempo (as seen in the two UNDERs in the GSW series)

James Pierce

Clippers +5 1/2, over at OKC and Clippers +160 for the series

I like the Clippers to keep it close tonight at OKC, and in fact, put real pressure on the Thunder to keep home court advantage for more than 48 minutes in this series. I don’t care for the Thunder at a strategic level, because I don’t think they truly know who they are, or whose team it is, and I don’t like this match-up at a tactical level. I’d take the Clippers front court over OKC’s, and the Clippers backcourt over OKC’s, and while everyone loves Durant, herein lies my problem with him, and why I just chose the Clippers backcourt over OKC’s with Westbrook: Durant doesn’t play like he’s the second best player in the world, or the MVP of the NBA. Russell Westbrook does play with that attitude and chip on his shoulder, that competitive fire to win, but I think that creates more problems than it solves for the Thunder–especially as they go deeper in the playoffs.  I want my teams to resemble the championship teams of the Bulls, Spurs, Celtics, Lakers and even the ’11 Mavericks and the last two seasons of the Miami Heat: everybody knows and plays their role! 

To hear the second best player in the world say “I’m a decoy out there sometimes” tells me this team isn’t his, it’s the wildly inefficient, if marvelously talented and extremely fun to watch, Westbrook’s team.  Sure KD might have the endorsements and be the more likeable and recognizable player, but between those lines, who is bringing the competitive fire, and who is carrying this team? Is it the guy who’s always going 9-21?  Sure sounds like it if you listen to KD.  Not a blueprint for championships.

Memphis should’ve ousted OKC if not for being down half their team in game 7.  Take the points and the over tonight, take the Clippers for the series.

 

LA CLIPPERS are 15-3 ATS (+11.7 Units) revenging a straight up loss vs opponent as a favorite this season. 
The average score was LA CLIPPERS 112.9, OPPONENT 100.1

LA CLIPPERS are 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent this season. 
The average score was LA CLIPPERS 111.0, OPPONENT 103.3

Both the Clippers and Thunder are 5-2 OVER in the playoffs, and both teams likely to have a little less intensity on the defensive end, and see a little higher tempo out of OKC after seven game series and the pressure of Saturday’s first round tilts.

 

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Dear Caroline, aka “Cliney”

Dear Caroline-y!

On this major milestone in your life, I want to tell you how proud I am of you:

  • I am so proud of your love for God, your faith in God, and your pursuit of a relationship with God!
  • I am so proud of the way your fearlessly tell people about The Lord—not out of pride, knowing that you’re ‘right’, but out of love, wanting them to enjoy a relationship with God the way that you have come to enjoy it!
  • I am so proud of the way you care so deeply for other people.
  • I am so proud and so thankful of the amazing big sister you are to Abby!
  • I am so proud that she gets to look up to you, and follow in your footsteps through high school, into college, and as you girls become young adult friends
  • I am so proud that you have left (most) of the drama and meanness of yesteryear’s friends behind—that it didn’t leave a permanent mark on your character, or trust in friends
  • I am really, really proud of the student that you are!  You represent the best in a student: you’re self-disciplined, you’re driven to succeed, but not controlled by it, you’re curious, so you truly seek to learn, and you’re very gifted—you’re very smart, you learn very well in a variety of different ways, and you retain the information and know how it all ‘works together’. I’m so proud of you!
  • I am so so so proud of your awesome sense of humor and blazing fast wit, which you clearly were blessed with from your stepdad! ;)  No, really—I LOVE your laugh, I love your smile, I love your sense of humor, and I really love when you get into laughing/giggling fits that you can’t stop!
  • Lastly, I want to remind you that you are a stunningly beautiful girl!  Seriously—you are a breath-taking beauty, and I am an expert. To believe anything else is because we have a real enemy who attacks girls with that lie; John 8:44 “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” and John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  And so as your stepdad, and one who is outside of these lies and attacks, I can see them clearly—and as a husband to a bombshell, and dad to six girls, I know this is how Satan attacks you all.  Right at the heart, making you all believe lies that you’re not pretty, you’re not skinny, you’re not worthy, and you’re not worth it.  The most important thing I want you to take out of Middle School is this: I want you to be 100% secure in your identity in Christ! He says you’re beautiful! He says you’re special! He says you’re worthy of Him coming and dying just for you!  And He says, He loves you and you are perfect, just the way He made you and knew you before the beginning of time!  And I want to encourage you in that, Caroline!  For a guy, I know beauty, and you are incredibly beautiful—but lastly, what I’m most proud of is that you are even more beautiful inside than out!

 

I love you! I am so proud of you!

 

                                                Cheering you on, for the rest of your life!

                                               Jared

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