"Ohio State is only ranked 10th here, although the Buckeyes are 6th in projected MOV because of their below-average schedule. Michigan State comes in at #13, Wisconsin at #17, and Michigan at #21 is the only other Big Ten school in the top 30."
- Chase Stuart, Football Perspective
Chase Stuart over at Football Perspective released data on what he calls "Implied Simple Rating System," or SRS, for next season. The SRS is made from only two variables: margin of victory and strength of schedule. The "Implied" part refers to the fact that it is based on the Golden Nugget betting lines that were released last week (and that we looked at here and here). Here the margin of victory is replaced by the Vegas point spreads.
The Buckeyes are tenth in this implied rating system, below the usual group of elite teams plus a few kind of weird ones like South Carolina and UCLA. It's important to note that this rating system reflects public perception through betting lines (because it is created from betting lines rather than margin of victory). If tenth still seems too low to you for the 2014 Buckeyes, it might be because Ohio State's strength of schedule is so low.
The ratings are fairly stratified. Besides the elite group of Alabama, Oregon, and FSU that Stuart mentions, there's another powerhouse group of teams that OSU belongs to. Michigan State probably begins the next tier of teams, while Wisconsin and Michigan sneak in to the top 25.
While I feel confident that Ohio State is a top-10 team at this point in the offseason (with the potential to be among the best), it's easy to see why public perception for Ohio State would be a little lacking after consecutive losses to the only truly challenging teams on the 2013 schedule.
"Joyner was not perfect. But nothing else at Penn State during his stint was close to ideal, either. That he even took the job at a time when many would not have touched it is, in my mind, to his eternal credit."
- David Jones, Penn Live
Though not terribly surprising, Penn State's athletic director Dave Joyner is expected to step down soon, maybe by the end of the week and before the university has found a replacement.
Black Shoe Diaries and the SBNation mothership has some perspective on his tenure at AD over the last two and a half years. Though it seems like he rubbed some folks the wrong way (by calling for Paterno's head after the Sandusky incident) and was aloof as an AD, he made the call to hire both Bill O'Brien and James Franklin. In fact, Black Shoe Diaries notes that PSU has won three national titles recently, so at least the man's decision making and athletic department's results speak for themselves.
One of the main targets for his replacement looks like Northwestern's AD Jim Phillips, who would another in the line of analytical, metric-based decision makers.
"Staurowsky testified that the NCAA does not follow the mission it sets out in its own rulebook and that there are a half-dozen reasons Football Bowl Division football players and Division I men's basketball players - 'student-athletes' in the NCAA's nomenclature - are athletes first and students second."
- Steve Berkowitz, USA Today
Berkowitz continues his exceptional coverage of the O'Bannon trial, which is now in its seventh day (seriously, can you imagine watching a trial for days on end?). His report today covers the debate on exactly how professional college student athletes are, how much compensation they receive, and whether they are treated like normal students by universities.
What is best about Berkowitz's summaries are his embedded tweets with snarky judge commentary - can an actual lawyer confirm or deny that all judges are this funny?
"It's not ideal that we don't have a sponsor right now, but I look at it as an opportunity."
- Fiesta Bowl executive director Mike Nealy, via Chip Patterson, CBS Sports
It's a rough time for the Fiesta Bowl lately. In addition to losing Tostitos as its title sponsor for the Fiesta Bowl, they also lost the owned Buffalo Wild Wings as their sponsor for that Fiesta Bowl-owned bowl game (which was formerly the Insight Bowl, too). Nealy definitely has had his work cut out for him since he started as Fiesta Bowl director last month.
Sponsorships, and sponsorships to this bowl game in particular, normally wouldn't matter to you, an Ohio State fan. But now who will sponsor Michigan during bowl season?
STICK TO SPORTS
- The world's largest volcano, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, comes back online
- Facebook's Snapchat challenger, Slingshot, is live today. Will anyone notice?
- Can machines really detect sarcasm?
- I'm sure many of the sleepless masses can relate.