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Florida States Drop From No 1 Wasnt Unprecedented

Despite beating Syracuse 38-20 Saturday, the (formerly) No. 1 ranked Florida State Seminoles found themselves ranked second in the latest AP Poll, trailing Mississippi State after the Bulldogs beat previous No. 2 Auburn 38-23 at home in Starkville. It was the first time Florida State had not occupied the AP’s top slot since Nov. 24 of last season.Although Mississippi State’s victory over Auburn was impressive, the way the polls typically work is that No. 1 stays No. 1 as long as No. 1 keeps winning (or soundly beats an underdog opponent). Florida State was favored by 23 against Syracuse and won by 18 in a game that was essentially over midway through the third quarter. The Seminoles are also the defending national champions, and so far this season they’ve outscored opponents by more than 18 points per game (a number that becomes nearly 21 if we throw out their six-point win over Clemson in which they were missing 2013 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston). If Florida State is presumed to be the nation’s best team — as it was before the season — it’s hard to find a obvious misstep that proves otherwise. (If anything, a good Bayesian should probably be more suspicious of Mississippi State, which was unranked as recently as five weeks ago.)Then again, the Seminoles have also played just one team (Clemson) ranked among the AP’s Top 25 at the time of the game, and their overall strength of schedule ranks 64th in the FBS, according to Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System. While my Elo variant still has them ranked first, it draws heavily from knowledge of how good they were last season. Computer-rating systems that don’t account for Florida State’s presumed strength as a prior, by contrast, tend to rank it among the country’s best teams — but generally not as No. 1. (That honor is more often bestowed upon either Mississippi State or Ole Miss, who very nearly bumped Florida State to No. 3 in the AP voting.) Combined with potential distaste over the sexual assault allegation against Winston, AP voters had several reasons to drop the Seminoles from their perch atop the rankings, despite the team’s 22-game winning streak and championship incumbency.How frequently do No. 1 ranked teams fall in the AP Poll despite winning their most recent game? According to Sports-Reference’s college football data, there have been 21 cases (since 1992) of the AP’s top team beating an FBS opponent but dropping in the next poll (ratings and expected margins shown below are based on the Elo rating variant I described in an earlier post):Compare the incumbents’ performances to those of the overtaking teams that claimed No. 1 in the subsequent AP poll:There are a few circumstances that can lead to No. 1 winning a game but losing its ranking, usually involving some combination of the incumbent disappointing and/or the upstart exceeding expectations. Florida State’s tumble was more an example of the latter than the former — the Seminoles underwhelmed by a bit, but the bigger factor was Mississippi State’s strong performance against Auburn.Most of the cases above involve a similar chain of events, although a few saw the incumbent disappoint by so great a margin that No. 2 slid up just by playing to expectations. On other occasions, the challenger moved up without even playing; in 1992, No. 2 Washington watched on the sidelines as No. 1 Miami struggled to an 8-7 win over unranked Arizona, then claimed the AP’s top spot three days later. (The Hurricanes and Huskies would flip-flop the No. 1 slot twice more — each time in spite of incumbent wins — before the season was over.) And sometimes the pollsters swapped teams at the top for relatively arbitrary reasons, such as when Penn State crushed No. 21 Ohio State 63-14 — yet dropped behind Nebraska, who’d beaten previous No. 2 Colorado 24-7. (Despite going undefeated the rest of the season, the Nittany Lions would never again stake their claim to No. 1 over Nebraska from that point on, and were unable to face the Huskers in the postseason because of the Rose Bowl’s conference tie-ins.)The good news for Florida State is that it still has the highest probabilities of winning out and winning its conference among the major-conference undefeateds, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index simulations. Barring the real possibility of a change to Winston’s availability — on top of the sexual assault allegations, news broke Monday night that Florida State was investigating whether the quarterback signed autographs for money — the numbers show the Seminoles as very likely to earn a berth into the inaugural College Football Playoff field, regardless of Sunday’s ranking loss. read more

The Week In College Football More Than Just BamaLSU

Stanford1161346%19%3% Penn State—2741<1%<1%<1% Oregon—2532<1%<1%<1% What to watch for this weekSECThe No. 4,1All the rankings I’m using in this article are the committee’s. one-loss Crimson Tide face No. 2, undefeated LSU in what is as close to a play-in game for the playoff as can be devised at this point in the season. Vegas has the Tide favored by about 6 points. That seems about right. After all, the game is in Tuscaloosa, and the FiveThirtyEight model gives home teams a 3.5-point advantage. But Alabama also has a slight edge over LSU according to FPI, despite its earlier loss to Ole Miss.The FiveThirtyEight model gives Alabama a 41 percent chance of making the playoff, largely because they’re favored in this game; LSU’s playoff odds are 30 percent. But let’s answer our first what-if question: How will those odds change after this game? My colleague Jay Boice ran additional simulations contingent on each team winning. In this thought experiment, if the Tide win, their odds would rise to 53 percent; but if the Tigers were to win, their odds would tick up to 45 percent. The Tigers’ odds are still lower, even if they beat Alabama, because their remaining schedule is so grueling. A road game against Ole Miss and a matchup with Texas A&M at home stand out on what is, going into this week, the toughest remaining schedule.(As a diehard fan who was born and raised in Baton Rouge, I’d like to be able to tell my fellow LSU faithful that these numbers favoring ’Bama are made up. But I can’t. What we Tiger fans do have going in our favor is Leonard Fournette, the Heisman Trophy favorite and, as Wright Thompson wrote, emerging legend.)Interestingly, though Alabama is favored to win and gets higher odds of making the postseason, because LSU is undefeated, the Tigers have higher odds (22 percent) of winning the conference, according to our model. (That’s because if LSU stumbles, Ole Miss is in position to win the SEC West with a tiebreaker over Alabama.) But beyond Alabama and LSU, Florida is waiting in the wings with an 18 percent chance of squeezing into the playoff. The Gators are looking like a good bet to win the SEC East, as they face only creampuffs for the remainder of their conference schedule; and if they emerge as a one-loss champion of the SEC, it will be hard for the committee not to include them.Big 12Baylor and TCU are putting up basketball scores each week. High-powered offenses drive the two highest-ranked teams according to FPI. Our model gives undefeated, No. 8 TCU the best chance of breaking into the playoff, even though Baylor is notionally better according to FPI. That’s because the Horned Frogs host the No. 6 Bears on Nov. 27 in what amounts to (assuming both teams are undefeated) a Big 12 championship game the conference never planned.The Big 12 is deep — very deep. Take this week’s biggest game: TCU faces No. 14 Oklahoma State. Although the Horned Frogs look strong according to our model — which gives them a 31 percent chance of making the playoff — the Cowboys can’t be ignored (they have a 6 percent chance themselves). The conference also includes a strong Oklahoma team, whom our model gives a 14 percent chance of making the postseason.Big TenThe FiveThirtyEight model gives No. 3 Ohio State the best odds of making the playoff: 61 percent. Furthermore, we give the Buckeyes a 16 percent chance of repeating as national champs. But look beyond them and you’ll see a strong conference, with the winner likely to be placed in the playoff.Ohio State has a difficult schedule ahead. Like the LSU vs. Alabama game this week, the Nov. 21 matchup against No. 7 Michigan State could be viewed as a de facto national quarterfinal game; Michigan State has a 22 percent chance of being in the final four. The winner likely will face currently undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten championship game.ACCAfter those three conferences, there’s a huge dropoff in quality. With the exception of Clemson, the ACC looks wobbly. That said, the undefeated Tigers are viewed favorably by the selection committee, which gave them their No. 1 ranking. Our model gives them a 51 percent chance of making the postseason (the best after Ohio State), but after them, Florida State is the next best ACC squad, with a 5 percent chance. That said, the Tigers face what is probably their toughest remaining challenge at home against the Seminoles on Saturday. If they survive, a what-if simulation we ran gives the Tigers a 61 percent chance of making the playoff. Furthermore, if they run the table in their remaining games, they’re likely to make the playoff (our model would put their chances at 99 percent), but if they don’t win out, the ACC champion won’t have a guaranteed spot. Why? Because if Clemson loses this week, our model would give both Clemson and FSU about a 15 percent chance.Pac-12What a total mess. Among Pac-12 teams, Stanford has the best chance of making the playoff, at 19 percent. Despite having just one loss, Utah does poorly in our model, registering a 6 percent chance — little better than unranked USC. FiveThirtyEight reckons that if Stanford does win out, it’s 90 percent likely to make the playoffs. In other words, the Pac-12 is not guaranteed a spot right now. To push the Cardinal’s odds up, Clemson would have to slip, and still a second team from the SEC or Big Ten might leapfrog the Pac-12 champ.Beyond The Power FiveThe best bet outside the five major conferences is No. 5 Notre Dame, with a 25 percent chance of making the playoff. Memphis and Houston, as impressive as they’ve been, stand only a 6 percent and 2 percent chance, respectively, of being included. In other words, the stellar mid-major teams should keep rooting for those in the major conferences to cannibalize each other. Good gosh o’mighty, what a college football season so far. It’s early November, and fans have already witnessed:a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;an eight-lateral kickoff return that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown as time expired; andthe ongoing dominance of the next Herschel Walker.Amid all this excitement, in walks the selection committee to cut the ribbon on its first iteration of this season’s College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. Unveiled over the next month, these CFP rankings will determine who plays in the second-ever four-team playoff. But reading the CFP tea leaves can be overwhelming.Confused by the CFP committee’s weird pronouncements? Fearful that Condoleezza Rice and her comrades will stab your team in the back? (Baylor and TCU fans, you know the feeling.) Trying to interpret the CFP rankings probably makes you feel like the Michigan guy who made his way around the Internet: Temple22324541%<1%<1% RankingProbability of … Mississippi St.201917<1%3%<1% Northwestern214257<1%<1%<1% Clemson17756%51%12% Oklahoma1516315%14%5% Michigan State731915%22%3% Mississippi18171020%8%2% Oklahoma St.14111415%6%1% Houston25233330%2%<1% Utah12152118%6%<1% Iowa9122925%7%<1% Michigan1722187%6%<1% FiveThirtyEight can’t stop the CFP from screwing your team, but we’re going to try to use numbers and our football knowledge to prevent you from being blindsided.Each week, we’ll break down the latest CFP rankings, preview the big upcoming games and explore what-if questions. As we did last year, we’ll take an iterative and probabilistic approach to project which four teams the CFP committee will select into the playoff on Dec. 6.We’ll cover the Power Five conferences and make a special effort not to ignore the mid-major darlings. Translation: we’ll show Memphis and Houston some love. And as a born-and-raised LSU fan, I’m obliged to exhibit a cocky and blatant SEC bias intended to solicit all your angry emails.Before we dive into the new rankings and preview games by conference, a few nitty-gritty details about the model are worth reiterating from what editor-in-chief Nate Silver has written in greater detail elsewhere on FiveThirtyEight:Game predictions are based on a tweaked version of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) for each team.Based on game results, each team is given an Elo rating that reflects, primarily, its strength of schedule and, to a lesser extent, the margin of victory in its games.Each team is given a new projected ranking based on the previous week’s ranking, the outcome of the game it has just played and its Elo rating.Then the model iterates through the season’s remaining games and, using past coaches’ polls as a guide, tries to predict what the CFP committee will decide.Latest CFP RankingsJust like last year, the CFP committee angered Big 12 fans. Baylor and TCU were ranked sixth and eighth, respectively, while Ohio State is third. One-loss Alabama sneaked in at No. 4 and LSU at No. 2, a clear sign that the committee respects an SEC schedule. But the committee really has a penchant for Clemson, the squad at No. 1. That also helps Notre Dame, whose only loss is to Clemson. The committee puts the Fighting Irish just outside the party at No. 5. Florida State16131513%5%<1% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Arkansas—3926<1%<1%<1% Ohio State31447%61%16% TCU84237%31%11% LSU25822%30%8% Memphis13143621%6%<1% Texas A&M193016<1%<1%<1% Toledo24244328%<1%<1% Alabama42614%41%11% UCLA2321225%1%<1% North Carolina—262323%<1%<1% Florida1091241%18%4% Wisconsin—18245%<1%<1% USC—20530%4%1% Baylor610132%31%13% Notre Dame589—25%5% read more

Commentary Special teams need to become a priority

This time last year, I was sitting in front of my TV, wondering why Ohio State’s special teams play was terrible. Today, I’m sitting in the press box wondering the same thing. In the off-season, coach Luke Fickell assigned special teams coaching duties to coach Dick Tressel. Last year, the team was without a special teams coordinator. Last year, OSU kept teams in games because of special teams mistakes on several occasions.. This year seems to be no exception. In the first half of Saturday’s game against Toledo, OSU had a punt blocked that was returned inside the 1-yard-line. That folly led to an 8-7 Toledo lead. The woes didn’t end with the punting game. Sophomore kicker Drew Basil has now missed both of his field goal attempts on the season. Each kick was in the 40-50 yard range. OSU did have some special teams successes on the day, including one that ultimately kept it in the game. Wide receiver and third punt returner Chris Fields took a line drive punt from Toledo’s Vince Penza to the end zone to put OSU up, 21-15. In the third quarter, defensive back Vincent Petrella tackled Toledo’s holder for a loss after a bobbled snap on a 50-yard field goal attempt, giving the Buckeyes great field position. The ensuing drive led to a TD by running back sophomore Carlos Hyde. With wide receiver and special teams specialist Eric Page creating almost all of Toledo’s offense on the day, I’m more than a little surprised he did not return a kickoff for a touchdown. Page did, however, give the Rockets great field position with almost every kick return, either because of his effectiveness or the fear of kicking to him. Basil deliberately kicked short, line drives on kickoffs to the Rockets to keep the ball out of Page’s hands. Special teams needs to become a priority for the Buckeyes. The touchdown resulting from the blocked punt sparked the Toledo offense and gave them the passion they needed to keep the game interesting. The Rockets were one score away from handing Ohio State a big loss early in the season.  Last year the kickoff coverage was the problem for the Buckeyes. This year it seems the entire special teams unit could use an overhaul. read more

Cahill hoping to join the World Cup greats

first_imgAustralia’s Tim Cahill is hoping to score one more time as he looks to join Brazil legend Pele and former Germany strikers Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler as the only players to have found the back of the net in four World CupsDespite now being 38 years old, Cahil continues to represent Australia at international level after 14 years and 106 appearances.The forward, who played with Millwall until the end of last season, and has amassed 50 goals in his international career and has scored in three separate World Cup tournaments.Despite now approaching the age of 40, Cahill could achieve something this summer that not even Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished yet.Neymar, BrazilNeymar targets Ronaldo’s record for Brazil Andrew Smyth – September 10, 2019 Neymar heads into Brazil’s friendly against Peru on Wednesday morning hoping to draw level or beat Ronaldo Nazario’s goal record.“Yeah, it’s amazing, insane,” Cahill told Optus Sport, via Sydney Morning Herald.“To even be mentioned with those greats as an Australian is insane.”Australia will face France in their Group C opener on Saturday.last_img read more

Iran boss furious with Ronaldo VAR decision

first_imgIran boss Carlos Queiroz is furious that Cristiano Ronaldo managed to escape a red card following a VAR review of an incident that saw him elbow defender Morteza Pouraliganji in the face in their 1-1 draw against PortugalThe Real Madrid forward had a rather eventful game on Monday and was awarded a penalty after going down in a challenge from Iran’s Saeid Ezatolahi.The penalty was initially waived off before the referee awarded Portugal the spot-kick after reviewing the incident through VAR.However, Ronaldo then surprisingly missed the penalty and later was under the spotlight once more.The 33-year-old attempted to get in front of Morteza Pouraliganji and appeared to hit the defender in the face with a flailing arm. But, after a long review with VAR, the referee decided to only punish Ronaldo with a yellow card.But Queiroz insisted Ronaldo should have been sent-off and suggested that there was preferential treatment for the likes of the Portugal captain and Lionel Messi.“I don’t want to talk too much, it’s about my country and a player. I know it’ll be a war against me,” said Queiroz, according to NDTV.“But the reality is you stopped the game for VAR, there is an elbow. An elbow is a red card in the rules. In the rules, it doesn’t say if it is (Lionel) Messi or Ronaldo…”Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.He added: “We accepted human mistakes before, that was part of the game. Players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes and referees make mistakes,”“But now you have one system that cost a fortune. It’s high-tech with five, six people inside and what happens? Nobody takes responsibilities.“We need to be like rugby. When there is a decision by VAR I need to know what the referee is saying to them, people need to know what is going on.”“So in my opinion, Mr. Infantino and FIFA, everybody agreed that VAR is not going well,” he added.“That’s the reality, there’s a lot of complaints.”Ricardo Quaresma scored Portugal’s only goal of the game before a late Karim Ansarifard penalty levelled the score and denied Fernando Santos’ side the chance to top Group B.Portugal will now face Group A winners Uruguay in the Round of 16 in Sochi on Saturday.last_img read more

Official Inter Milan confirm signing of Nainggolan

first_imgInter Milan have confirmed that they have signed midfielder Radja Nainggolan on a four-year deal from AS RomaThe Belgian was seen outside the Humanitas hospital in Milan on Sunday, where he successfully passed his medical and has now signed a contract until 2022 for a reported transfer fee of €24m.“The conditions have been met for a deal for Radja Nainggolan,” Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausilio told the club website.“He is a top player.”Romelu Lukaku, Serie A, Inter MilanCapello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.Nainggolan impressed in Roma’s Champions League campaign last season as they reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1984.The 30-year-old made 42 appearances for the Serie A side last season and added six goals and six assists as they finished the Serie A season in third.However, Nainggolan was surprisingly left out of the Belgium World Cup squad by Roberto Martinez with the midfielder later announcing his retirement from international football shortly afterwards.last_img read more

Van der Vaart Zlatan threatened to break my legs

first_imgRafael van der Vaart revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic threatened to break his legs in their time together at Dutch side AjaxThe duo played alongside each other at the Amsterdam Arena for three years and often butted heads with each other.Before Ibrahimovic’s arrival in 2001, Van der Vaart was an established star within the Ajax team after graduating the club’s academy system.The two exciting youngsters would battle for supremacy the moment they were put into the same team.And, 14 years after Ibrahimovic left for Juventus, Van der Vaart has now revealed the extent of how sour their relationship became.edwin van der sarReport: Van der Sar staying at Ajax for now George Patchias – September 12, 2019 Edwin van der Sar will not be leaving Ajax to take up a job at Manchester United.In the last few days, one bookmaker suspended…“Yes, he did say that, but Zlatan said it to everyone,” he told FourFourTwo.“It’s also true that around that time things just weren’t working between the two of us, but I would rather be in a team with people who are honest, like him, even if it means there are a few arguments.“But there wasn’t a specific moment we fell out – we generally didn’t get along well.”Both Van der Vaart and Ibrahimovic have had long careers at the top of football and are both in the twilight phases of their respective playing days.Nowadays Ibrahimovic plays for MLS side LA Galaxy, while Van der Vaart is in his third season of Danish football with Esbjerg.last_img read more

Special Week In Review – Swan Lake Fire Highlights

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The KSRM News Department compiled some of the top stories from the Swan Lake Fire from this past week. Monday 6/17Audio PlayerJennifer-on-Monday-swan-lake-.mp3VmJennifer-on-Monday-swan-lake-.mp300:00RPdSwan Lake Fire Reaches 12,782 With Additional Crews Added, Monday Update: Swan Lake Fire Transitioning To Type 2 Fire Thursday 6/20Audio PlayerJennifer-THursday-swan-lake.mp3VmJennifer-THursday-swan-lake.mp300:00RPdFiring Operations Continue On Swan Lake Fire, As More Crews Arrive, Thursday Update: Crews Continue Hold On Containment Line Away From Sterling Friday 6/21Audio PlayerFriday-swan-lake-updtae.mp3VmFriday-swan-lake-updtae.mp300:00RPdAlaskan Crews Maintain Southwest Containment Lines, With More Crews Added, Friday Update: Swan Lake Fire Surpasses 20,000 Acres, Heavy Smoke Expectedcenter_img Tuesday 6/18Audio PlayerJennifer-tuesday-swan-lake.mp3VmJennifer-tuesday-swan-lake.mp300:00RPdSwan Lake Fire Orders Additional Crews For Boots On The Ground, Tuesday Update: Crews Maintaining Southern Control Line Closest To The Sterling Highway Wednesday 6/19Audio PlayerJennifer-Wed-swan-lake.mp3VmJennifer-Wed-swan-lake.mp300:00RPdSwan Lake Fire Reaches 15,648 Acres With Crews Arriving From Lower 48, Today, Wednesday Update: Heavy Smoke Impacts Expected Throughout The Weeklast_img read more