Tag Archives: football

Top 25 Letdown

The Wall Street Journal recently had an interesting item about the win-loss records of the football coaches in all the major conferences against AP top-25 teams. Here’s the current ACC coaches’ records:

School Coach W-L Career W-L Current
Boston College Steve Addazio 1-6 1-4
Clemson Dabo Swinney 9-18 9-18
Duke David Cutcliffe 9-26 3-14
Florida State Jimbo Fisher 12-6 12-6
Georgia Tech Paul Johnson 10-22 10-13
Louisville Bobby Petrino 14-19 4-7
Miami (FL) Al Golden 3-13 3-8
NC State Dave Doeren 1-4 0-3
North Carolina Larry Fedora 3-9 1-5
Pittsburgh Pat Narduzzi 0-0 0-0
Syracuse Scott Shafer 0-7 0-7
Virginia Mike London 4-9 4-9
Virginia Tech Frank Beamer 45-50-1 45-50-1
Wake Forest Dave Clawson 1-9 0-2

Add it all up and these guys have won 39% of their games against Top 25 teams while coaching at their respective schools (the current number above), which is only nominally better than the 36% collective career average. Why’s that important? Because many of these coaches came from head coaching positions at smaller schools and you would expect them to have more losses there since they would have been homecoming/early season fodder for larger football schools. You would think that once they got to the larger schools their records would have improved with access to more resources, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Of course you can also look at it this way: it takes time to build a winning program and in today’s “win now” culture these guys just don’t get the time to lay the groundwork needed to have a strong sustainable program. That’s why Virginia Tech stands out. Beamer might have a sub-.500 record, but he’s had almost 100 games against Top 25 teams which indicates that they don’t run away from a tough schedule and they also give their coach plenty of opportunities to build and rebuild.

Love it or hate it, the reality is that college football is big business on college campuses and the head coaches are among the highest paid people on campus. And to be clear the ACC isn’t the only conference with coaches with numbers like these – the vast majority of coaches have losing records against Top 25 teams – so you have to wonder how so many keep their jobs right? That’s why we have the FCS which is chock full of teams from smaller football programs willing to take a beating in exchange for some cash. Everyone wins – the big schools get two or three almost-guaranteed wins a year, the coaches get to pad their records and the small schools get their biggest paydays of the season before playing their peers. It’s the American way.

True Football

Unlike American football, which has very little to do with the foot meeting the ball, soccer, a.ka. football as the rest of the world knows it, is a simple game played by children all over the world. Even in the poorest corners of the earth children find a way to play, and this group of photos of homemade footballs in Africa shows you how.


(Photo by Jessica Hilltout)

The Giants and the BCS

Last night I joked that the Giants winning the Super Bowl was proof that the NFL needs its own BCS system. I mean is it really a good thing that a team that barely had a winning record in the regular season was able to win a few games in a row and become Super Bowl champs?  Actually, as much as it pains me to say this since I truly can't stand the Giants, it's a great thing and here's why:

  • The Giants spent much of the season weakened by injuries to key players.  They got a lot of those players back towards the end of the season and I don't think it's a coincidence that's when they started to roll. If they'd been a college team subject to the BCS system they'd have been relegated to one of the bowls sponsored by a company no one outside of Tennessee has ever heard of and would have had zero chance of playing their way to a championship.
  • If the Giants had been subjected to an American Idol type system for selecting finalists the way colleges are there's no way they'd have been be selected.  Sure there are a ton of New York gomers who'd vote for the Giants even if they went 0-16 (unlike Eagles fans, who seem to enjoy hating their team more than supporting it, the fans in New York are completely incapable of being objective about the Giants) the rest of the country would see what I see – a team that wins "ugly" and has you convinced that if they weren't so "lucky" they'd be fortunate to beat a Pop Warner team. If we'd had to vote for a championship game at the end of the season we'd have probably had a Patriots-Packers game, which might have been a great game but wouldn't necessarily reflect which were the two best teams at the end of the season. 

So while it's easy for someone like me who truly despises the Giants, who can't stomach watching them win ugly time after time and who can't stand the fact that they're too stuck up to be named the New Jersey Giants as they should be (total aside – I believe my beloved Redskins should be the Subarban Maryland Redskins until they do the right thing and move back to the confines of DC) to joke that they're the best argument for a BCS system, the reality is that they're the best evidence I can think of that the BCS system needs to be blown up and major college football needs a playoff system.