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Discussion: You, me, and Spike ought to...

in: Swampfox; Swampfox > 2015-11-11

Nov 12, 2015 3:34 AM # 
You, me, and Spike ought to get together in a battle for bragging rights. I thought I was in good shape but UMass is only ranked 18th (they won a game!). You're pretty impressive with two entries (Army 21st and Wyoming 8th). But Spike has a solid lead with Kansas in 2nd place and a perfect 0-9 record so far. Who would have thought?
Nov 12, 2015 4:09 AM # 
Army has been a Bottom 25 powerhouse for decades now. Very impressive--you just have to look at it the right way. And you'd think with so many coaching changes--I mean, they have run through a *lot* of coaches since I was there--they would have occasionally misfired and ended up at least temporarily with a coach who didn't have that losing thing down. But, no, the system works there. If Vince Lombardi had ever coached there, we'd have a whole different set of quotes to remember him by.

The only thing separating Kansas from #1 is strength of schedule. It simply plays in too strong of a conference. It needs to play in a weaker conference (the Mountain West might do this year) so it can roll to some real quality losses. Anyone can lose to Baylor or Oklahoma State.
Nov 12, 2015 1:12 PM # 
Kansas usually does pretty well in the highest cost per win rankings. A couple of years ago, KU was ranked #1 at over $8 million per win! UMASS and Wyoming can't even come close to that.

In 2014, Kansas dropped to #3 at $7.1 million per year.
Nov 12, 2015 1:36 PM # 
How would you rank a team that has zero wins in the cost per win ranking. Seems like at least some sort of honorable mention would be in order if they squander a lot of money in the pursuit of zero.
Nov 12, 2015 5:36 PM # 
This could have been Wyoming's year. They have a very young team, and they've had a bunch of injuries, including several key injuries in games they would have otherwise been in danger of winning. It is as the gods observe: opportunities are fleeting!
Nov 12, 2015 8:50 PM # 
How would you rank a team that has zero wins in the cost per win ranking

View it as a limit, and the answer is "infinite".
Nov 12, 2015 9:07 PM # 
I understand, but is a team that spends $8 million and wins one game less wasteful than a team that spends $1,000 and wins no games? The ranking system seems to fall apart at that lower bound of zero wins.
Nov 12, 2015 10:51 PM # 
Forbes uses a 3 year period. A team would have to go three years without a win. Even KU hasn't reached that level yet. I looked at the winless college football seasons since about 1960 and didn't see any teams with 3 winless years in a row (but I didn't study the list carefully):

Here's some early-in-the-season analysis after KU had lost 3 games:
Nov 13, 2015 12:26 AM # 
I guess it depends in part on something I have no info on, which is the return that you get. I imagine teams with poor loss records get a lot of contributions from alumni, whereas those with excellent loss records don't get much. (Presumably the donations are to try and encourage the teams to lose more.) If you spend a lot of money and win just one game, I don't know what that does to the contributions, compared to if you spent somewhat less and didn't win any.
Nov 15, 2015 12:19 AM # 
Well's that's it for my hopes for UMass. A second win this year.
Nov 15, 2015 12:53 AM # 
KU came within 6 points of a win today! And a road win. I think they've lost something like 35 in a row in road games.
Nov 15, 2015 1:40 AM # 
Wyoming plays in about 2 hours. Seemingly, it should be a routine loss to what has become a pretty good San Diego St. team. However, Wyoming has its starting quarterback back, and a running back who is about as good a running back as there is in the nation this season. If those two players play well, and if San Diego St should make a couple of key errors, it would be possible for Wyoming to lapse to a win--no matter how the long the odds are against that outcome. So Wyoming will have to stay very focused and not take it for granted they will lose. It will also help if they let their field goal kicker (who is not very good) attempt many field goals from beyond his 20 yard range.

It was scary to see how close Kansas came to beating a ranked team today. Many teams in the Bottom 25 must have been holding their breath, thinking/hoping Kansas might somehow succumb and end up winning, thoroughly ruining whatever shot they might have at ending the season atop the Bottom 25!

My understanding is the TCU coach was utterly unable to watch the game during the 2nd half, and stood with his back turned to the field, saying: "Holy crap," again and again. He is not believed to be a particularly dogmatic religious person, but he probably recognized if they lost this game he was going to get canned on the spot. It must have been a terrifying experience that no coach should be forced to undergo.

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