One Hundred Yards And Counting

The best NFL blog on the net (or at least that's what i tell my wife).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Who has the easiest schedule - week 17 wrap-up

Following the schedule difficulty break-down from the week 16, here are the updated charts after the final week 17. All the teams have played 16 games. The numbers are average win percentage of the played opponents. Enjoy.

0.574 Buffalo [7-9]
0.570 Tennessee [8-8]
0.555 Oakland [2-14]
0.543 Miami [6-10]
0.535 Cincinnati [8-8]
Cleveland [4-12]
Tampa Bay [4-12]
0.531 Denver [9-7]
Jacksonville [8-8]
0.523 Detroit [3-13]
0.520 N.Y. Giants [8-8]
0.512 Washington [5-11]
0.504 Houston [6-10]
0.500 Arizona [5-11]
Green Bay [8-8]
Indianapolis [12-4]
San Francisco [7-9]
0.496 New England [12-4]
Pittsburgh [8-8]
0.492 Kansas City [9-7]
0.488 Minnesota [6-10]
0.477 Philadelphia [10-6]
0.473 Carolina [8-8]
0.469 N.Y. Jets [10-6]
0.465 St. Louis [8-8]
0.461 Baltimore [13-3]
New Orleans [10-6]
0.457 Atlanta [7-9]
Dallas [9-7]
San Diego [14-2]
0.453 Seattle [9-7]
0.430 Chicago [13-3]

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Who has the easiest schedule - week 16 wrap-up

Following the schedule difficulty break-down from the week 14, here are the updated charts after week 16. All the teams have played 15 games with 1 game left. The numbers are average win percentage of the played opponents. Enjoy.

0.556 Buffalo [7-8]
Tennessee [8-7]
0.547 Cleveland [4-11]
0.542 Oakland [2-13]
N.Y. Giants [7-8]
Tampa Bay [4-11]
0.538 Cincinnati [8-7]
0.529 Denver [9-6]
Houston [5-10]
0.524 Detroit [2-13]
Jacksonville [8-7]
Miami [6-9]
0.516 Indianapolis [11-4]
Washington [5-10]
0.507 Pittsburgh [7-8]
0.502 New England [11-4]
0.498 N.Y. Jets [9-6]
0.493 Kansas City [8-7]
0.489 San Francisco [6-9]
0.480 Philadelphia [9-6]
Minnesota [6-9]
0.476 Dallas [9-6]
Green Bay [7-8]
0.471 Baltimore [12-3]
Carolina [7-8]
0.467 Arizona [5-10]
San Diego [13-2]
0.462 St. Louis [7-8]
0.458 Seattle [8-7]
New Orleans [10-5]
0.449 Atlanta [7-8]
0.413 Chicago [13-2]

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The records are made to be broken

I can't really agree with my friends over at The No-Huddle Offense. The records are made to be broken. One of the most long-standing world records was broken after 23 years, and it was long overdue. It's just the competitive nature of the professional athletes. Of course, in the field athletics, most of the competition does not involve intense physical contact. However, the athletes compete not only for the medals, but also for the records.

The past six days saw four outstanding league records broken by four outstanding players. LaDainian Tomlinson broke the single-season TD record with three more games to go. I wouldn't be very surprised if he makes it past 40 against Kansas City, Seattle and Arizona who are not in top 10 of best rushing defenses. Michael Vick just broke the 34-year old single-season QB rushing yards and has only 10 more to go to pass the 1000-yard mark. A quick look at the stats shows that Vick performs better than leading running backs of 19 other teams.

Morten Andersen has just become the league leading scorer in the same game that Falcons lost on the new Saturday night football on NFL network. Bears' rookie Devin Hester has returned six return TDs, a feat that has eluded Dante Hall a few years ago.

And on top of all this, Marvin Harrison has joined the the elite 1000+ receptions club that up until now had only Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Cris Carter.

The main point is that the game is played for the fans. Without us, there would be no game. Some of us just like the wins and the titles, some of us like good games, some of use enjoy seeing records being broken.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jon Gruden - is it time to go home?

The past four years have not been kind to Jon Gruden. Ever since he was the youngest coach to win the SuperBowl (and on top of that to do it during his first year with the team), Tampa Bay are 26-35 and have only one season with winning record (went to 11-5 in 2005 and lost to Redskins in the first playoff game). This season, the Buccaneers are 3-10 and are out of the playoff with three more weeks to go. What was once a perfectly balanced team assembled by Tony Dungy is now a thing of the past. Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell have left for other teams over the years, and the key players that stayed have been plagued with injuries and less than stellar performances. It's true that on the average, Tampa has one of the toughest schedules this year, but that's not a real excuse in the league.

I don't believe that deep inside Gruden really believes that he was the one to win the SuperBowl. Dungy was with Tampa for six seasons, leading them to the playoffs four times. He was the one that has built the team and he should be the one credited for winning the title. Sadly, it is not perceived as such, and Gruden continues coaching the team after all these years.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Who has the easiest schedule - week 14 wrap-up

Following the schedule difficulty break-down from the last week, here are the updated charts after week 14. All the teams have played 13 games with 3 games left. The numbers are average win percentage of the opponents (played and left). Enjoy.

*********** Games played ***************
0.568 Tennessee [6-7]
0.562 Buffalo [6-7]
0.556 Cleveland [4-9]
Tampa Bay [3-10]
0.544 Denver [7-6]
Oakland [2-11]
0.533 N.Y. Giants [7-6]
0.521 Cincinnati [8-5]
0.515 Washington [4-9]
New England [9-4]
Indianapolis [10-3]
0.509 Pittsburgh [6-7]
Miami [6-7]
N.Y. Jets [7-6]
0.503 Detroit [2-11]
Green Bay [5-8]
Houston [4-9]
Jacksonville [8-5]
0.497 Baltimore [10-3]
0.491 Kansas City [7-6]
St. Louis [5-8]
0.485 San Francisco [5-8]
0.479 Carolina [6-7]
0.467 Arizona [4-9]
Dallas [8-5]
Minnesota [6-7]
New Orleans [9-4]
Philadelphia [7-6]
0.450 Chicago [11-2]
0.444 San Diego [11-2]
Atlanta [7-6]
0.414 Seattle [8-5]
*********** Games left ***************
0.615 Detroit [2-11]
Pittsburgh [6-7]
0.590 Arizona [4-9]
Houston [4-9]
Miami [6-7]
Tampa Bay [3-10]
Tennessee [6-7]
Cincinnati [8-5]
0.564 Buffalo [6-7]
Carolina [6-7]
Jacksonville [8-5]
Philadelphia [7-6]
0.538 Atlanta [7-6]
Washington [4-9]
Kansas City [7-6]
0.513 N.Y. Giants [7-6]
0.487 Green Bay [5-8]
Oakland [2-11]
San Diego [11-2]
San Francisco [5-8]
Seattle [8-5]
0.462 Indianapolis [10-3]
New England [9-4]
0.436 Denver [7-6]
Minnesota [6-7]
Cleveland [4-9]
New Orleans [9-4]
0.410 Baltimore [10-3]
Dallas [8-5]
0.359 N.Y. Jets [7-6]
0.308 St. Louis [5-8]
0.256 Chicago [11-2]

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

An alternative to the current BCS system

Now that the college regular season is over and the BCS games are all set, the blogosphere is abuzz with the Ohio State-Michigan-Florida triangle and the playoff system. The playoff system holds many advantages to both teams and fans. Instead of 5 big games, we get anywhere from 7 (three-week playoffs) to 31 (five-week playoffs). A team that loses two or even three games in the regular season still gets a chance to win the championship (much like Steelers did last year on the road to SB, being the first no.6 in a conference to win the title). The advertisers still get a chance to shove their name (with 31 games, every game can have a "name", and with 7 we can still have all the minor bowls).

However, there's still a question about rankings and schedules. The rankings are largely (66%) subjective (even though the analysis shows that the computer rankings are on the average within 5 places over a number of years). The schedules can be very unfavorable to some teams like Boise State that didn't have a single game against a ranked opponent and ended up at no.9 despite a perfect 12-0. But wait, there is a solution in another sport - the Swiss system tournament.

Although the complete ruleset can be compared only to the BCS eligibility rules, it's all very simple. At every stage, you play against somebody with a similar record. If you have a winning streak, you'll play against good teams. If you have a losing streak, you'll play against bad teams. Eventually, after a comparatively short number of rounds, the standings reflect the actual strength of the teams as averaged over the entire tournament, and no team can complain about having a weaker schedule than the teams that are ranked higher. There are three major rules:

1. In the first round, it's either random draw or you play according to the ranking against a team of opposite strength (no.1 plays the last one).
2. In the second round, the winners of the first round are drawn to play against each other. The same with the losers.
3. In all the consecutive rounds, the teams are divided in three groups (according to the current records). First, the best team in the top group gets the top ranked team in the same group that it hasn't played against. Repeat the process from the next top ranked team. Then, the same is applied in the bottom group from the bottom. Finally, the middle group gets drawn.

This ensures that the team that is ranked no.1 at the end played most of the best teams throughout almost the entire tournament. Moreover, every round (starting from round 3) we get increasingly better matchups. In addition, every team gets plenty of chances to bounce off after a loss, since the teams above them will play other teams of equal strength.

Who wins - obviously the fans, the TV stations and the advertisers. It's practically a playoff that goes on throughout the entire season. There's no need for any human or computer based ranking. The performance on the field decides everything. There's no need for playoffs since we have them "built-in". There's no need for the championship game since no.1 had to beat pretty much everybody else in the top 10, and the same goes to no.2. Of course, this may come as a bonus (as all the other bowls). In addition, a really good team that has a breakthrough season gets all the chances it needs to go to the top.

Who loses - only the big teams (including Notre Dame). No more easy seasons with only 2-3 games against ranked opponents. No more easy money just because you have national following. They'll have to prove their worth and earn their money the hard way - on the field.

The last question remains - what about the existing conferences? This can be easily worked into the system. One week you get to play an in-conference rival, another week you get to play an out-conference rival. It can even go on two week-two week basis. This would amount to 6 in-conference and 6 out-conference games. That's OK since (1) there are conferences where you don't play all the teams (like Big 10 and Big 12) and (2) you get to play the in-conference rivals of the similar strength. The home-away issue is addressed in the complete ruleset (for chess it's white-black).

The world chess team championships usually use 13-round tournament with over 100 participating teams. Sounds familiar?

Who has the easiest schedule - week 13 wrap-up

Following the schedule difficulty break-down from the last week, here are the updated charts after week 13. All the teams have played 12 games with 4 games left. The numbers are average win percentage of the opponents (played and left). Enjoy.

*********** Games played ***************
0.597 Tennessee [5-7]
0.569 Buffalo [5-7]
0.563 Cleveland [4-8]
0.556 Cincinnati [7-5]
0.549 Oakland [2-10]
N.Y. Giants [6-6]
Tampa Bay [3-9]
0.542 Denver [7-5]
0.521 Pittsburgh [5-7]
0.514 N.Y. Jets [7-5]
New England [9-3]
Washington [4-8]
0.507 Green Bay [4-8]
Indianapolis [10-2]
0.500 Detroit [2-10]
Houston [4-8]
0.493 Minnesota [5-7]
San Francisco [5-7]
0.486 Miami [5-7]
Philadelphia [6-6]
Baltimore [9-3]
0.479 Jacksonville [7-5]
0.472 Carolina [6-6]
Kansas City [7-5]
St. Louis [5-7]
0.465 Arizona [3-9]
0.451 Atlanta [6-6]
0.444 Chicago [10-2]
New Orleans [8-4]
Dallas [8-4]
0.437 San Diego [10-2]
0.424 Seattle [8-4]
*********** Games left ***************
0.646 Jacksonville [7-5]
Miami [5-7]
0.625 Arizona [3-9]
0.583 Houston [4-8]
Kansas City [7-5]
Tampa Bay [3-9]
0.563 Detroit [2-10]
0.542 Pittsburgh [5-7]
Buffalo [5-7]
Oakland [2-10]
0.521 Washington [4-8]
Carolina [6-6]
Denver [7-5]
San Diego [10-2]
Tennessee [5-7]
0.500 N.Y. Giants [6-6]
New Orleans [8-4]
Philadelphia [6-6]
Cincinnati [7-5]
0.479 Atlanta [6-6]
Indianapolis [10-2]
0.458 Dallas [8-4]
Green Bay [4-8]
San Francisco [5-7]
0.438 Cleveland [4-8]
Seattle [8-4]
St. Louis [5-7]
Baltimore [9-3]
New England [9-3]
0.375 Minnesota [5-7]
0.354 N.Y. Jets [7-5]
0.292 Chicago [10-2]

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rex Grossman or Ex Grossman

This is simply ridiculous. Rex Grossman continues to break all records, having a 1.3 (yes, that is one point three) quarterback rating in the game against Vikings. He had three interceptions for the second consecutive week, complete six out of nineteen, had minus nine rushing yards and his longest completion was for mere ten yards. He now has 14 interceptions in the last seven games. The only offense's claim to "glory" can be found in the field goal statistics, which is attributed only to Rex's inability to deliver the ball into the endzone and to the defense ability to not allow the opponents far enough into Bears' territory. Even '99 Jake Plummer and '03 Joey Harrington didn't go as low.

Chicago has one of the easiest schedules in the league, and have St Louis (lost six of last seven), Tampa (lost five of last six), Detroit (have 2-10 record) and Green Bay (lost four of last five). That surely feels like a Christmas present to Chicago. Now, if only they could have those teams in the playoffs...

Leave Colts and perish

Two star players have left the Colts before this season, Edgerrin James and Mike Vanderjagt. Both went to teams that tried innovation and set clear goal to go to the playoffs and beyond. While Indianapolis is not the best team for the playoff grit, both were suited very well to it. And now what?

Vanderjagt has suffered a groin injury in September which has negatively affected his on-field performance and caused Parcells to release him from the team. He has been replaced by Martin Grammatica who couldn't have a better start by securing the victory over the injury-ladden division rivals.

Edgerrin's only game with 100+ rushing yards came the second-worst rushing defense in the league (ironically, the worst is Colts), and even then the three rushing touchdowns went to his team mate. All his stats are way down, including the TD and total yards, and his longest run is for mere 18 yards.

Note to any Indi player eyeing other teams for a chance to win a SB - even if you go to such a team, you may well get cut. Now, does somebody have an address of that black mage that Peyton consulted to put a spell on his former teammates?

College football regular season is over

The regular season of college football is over, and the last few weekends featured some excellent games that should sway BCS to finally adopt at least three-round playoff system in the next year. These past few weeks seen the likes of Fighting Irish, Longhorns and Trojans loose their stand and chances at better BCS games. For the Irish, the loss to the Trojans was particularly bitter since most of the starting players (six on the offense and nine on the defense) are seniors. Brady Quinn has missed a final chance to make a decisive impression on the Heisman trophy voters and Troy Smith will most probably walk away with the coveted award. Notre Dame goes to the Sugar Bowl thanks to a nation-wide fanbase, edging Wisconsin and Auburn (both ranked above Notre Dame) from the BCS bowls.

Despite the unexpected loss to town rivals, USC retains the place in final BCS top five (mainly due to a tough schedule and a good win over Notre Dame) and will face Michigan State in the Rose Bowl. The Wolverines had it really bad without a good lasting impression after a loss to the Buckeyes two weeks ago by only three points. The two-week span gave an opportunity to Trojans to edge into the no.2 slot, but they missed it against UCLA after a great win over Fighting Irish. This unexpected turn of events allowed Gators to go to the national championship game after an impressive win over the Razorbacks. The only Gators' loss was to once-no.2 Auburn, and the schedule strength for Florida and Michigan State was tied-2nd in the computer polls.

The reigning champions finished the season with two straight losses, dropping from no.4 to no.19 in the final BCS rankings. They now go to the local Alamo Bowl to face the 6-6 Iowa who lost all three games to ranked teams and lost three final straight. Colt McCoy has three great years in front of him, and Longhorns should bounce back next year.

The record 32 bowls will feature six teams with 6-6 record. While gratifying for the small teams, the tradition of creating a bowl strictly for promoting an advertiser just dilutes the value of the achievement (getting a bowl invitation). While SJSU coach is right that half of the NBA players go into the playoffs, and this has certainly been beneficial for the Scarlet Knights (thanks to a terrific coach), the first bowl bid since the 1990 season can no longer be viewed as an historical landmark.