Monday Morning Tomahawks- Friday 07.24.09 Edition


  • Very cool preview from our friends at football outsiders. 
  • A USF preview!  Good stuff there.
  • FSU's media guide- for free.
  • Two articles with quotes from FSU's new commitment (see yesterday's article)
  • Steve Ellis wonders if this isn't Bowden's last season.


Football Outsiders' college football almanac is available for five bucks here.

This is produced by Brian Fremeau of, and Bill Conneley of  Their FEI and BTBS measures are far more accurate than anything else.


1.) Virginia Tech -- 10-2 (6-2)
2.) Georgia Tech -- 8-4 (5-3)
3.) Miami -- 7-5 (4-4)
4.) North Carolina -- 6-6 (3-5)
5.) Virginia -- 5-7 (3-5)
6.) Duke -- 4-8 (1-7)


1.) Clemson -- 9-3 (5-3)
2.) Boston College -- 9-3 (5-3)
3.) Florida State -- 7-5 (5-3)
4.) Wake Forest -- 7-5 (4-4)
5.) NC State -- 6-6 (3-5)
6.) Maryland -- 5-7 (3-5)

That's certainly the most optimistic Boston College projection you'll see this off-season.  The general consensus is that the Eagles will finish fifth in the Atlantic; aside from FO, only Phil Steele expects them to finish in the top half of the division.

Personally, I think FSU will finish in a 1st place tie and lose the tiebreaker to Clemson.  Interestingly in their projections, however, is a three way tie for first place in the division!  FSU's non-conference schedule is obviously tough.

This is worth checking out, however, as we do a ton of stuff with footballoutsiders.  Their numbers and ratings are simply second to none.  They strongly support the notion that our offense was better than our defense last year.  

I did have a few questions, however, mainly about Preston Parker.  He was still listed.

Brian responded:

Thanks for the frank feedback. The Preston Parker error is obviously a glaring oversight in our editing, and the NFL projections data was gathered from a number of different sources. With regard to changes, the print-to-order book is already in the can, and instead of focusing on edits to the PDF versions -- the vast majority of which were completed a month or more ago -- our plan is simply to acknowledge that some errors are inevitable and move forward.

If that is insufficient for your endorsement, we're sorry to hear that. We certainly appreciate your acknowledgement, recognition and links to our content. And I do think we'll learn from any mistakes this season and build on our successes for next year's volume. 

I was also obviously skeptical about BC's projection, largely based on a projection of the #3 overall defense (last season they had the 4th best defense) because they did lose their two NFL monsters in the middle and the best linebacker in football (cancer).  I suggested that maybe they were relying too heavily on the number of starters returning as opposed to the specific starters returning.

Brian Responded:

With regard to Boston College, I am personally as skeptical as you are, though the Eagles have consistently surpassed expectations for the last 5-6 years. If BC is going to have success, it will come from yet another unheralded and under-recruited group of defenders, and the common thread of Spaziani might trump the perceived talent drop-off. Raji, Brace and Herzlich weren't all-world players when they were recruited. According to Bill Connelly's "Cumulative Rivals Rankings" that accompany his essay at the end of FOCFA, Boston College has been #42 in recruiting since 2002 (they don't appear, actually on his top-40 list in the essay), yet they have consistently performed above that level, particularly defensively, over the same time period.

I do agree that we can do much more research in the future with regard to our adjustments for departing talent. And we really do appreciate being challenged to re-evaluate our methodology. Let us know if you have any more questions or thoughts.

I also asked Brian about why they used 5 year weighted averages instead of another size:

On why five instead of four years with regard to projection baselines, we ran regressions on a whole slew of timeframes (5-year, 4-year, 3-, 2-, different weights) and the 5-year weighted for recent years resulted in the strongest correlation to next-year FEI that we tested. I think our methodology may be stronger in identifying teams overrated in the national consensus (we were pretty bullish on Illinois coming back to earth after their breakout 2007 season -- Ole Miss may be in store for the same), than we are in identifying teams ready to break through. That too will be a particular area of research for me going forward.

On Texas Tech, the effect of field position management on a teams performance other than its offense and defense, as a well as its special teams scoring can have an impact but not show up in the Offensive or Defensive FEI. The rating is also more important than the rank -- Texas Tech's #7 Offense has a rating closer to the #21 projected Offense (Notre Dame) than to the #4 projected Offense (Florida).

I have to say that this is something that could change the way you view football, much like moneyball did for a lot of baseball people.


The Quad Countdown: No. 40 South Florida - The Quad Blog -
Like the program itself, the 2009 Bulls will be young and hungry. Can U.S.F. factor into the Big East mix despite being overlooked? A very nice preview.


zSHARE - Florida State.pdf
Don't pay for the FSU Media Guide! Download it for free!


Florida State receives 10th commitment from Texas DE Holmes Onwukaife -
The offer wasn't given by Amato, but by Coley and Fisher. That's a sign that FSU is moving in the right direction and away from Amato's archaic ideas about linebacker fits. Holmes also says FSU treated him and his family the best and that he was motivated by a TV story he saw on Myron Rolle.


FSU locks up 10th commitment | | Tallahassee Democrat
"From the moment we got there we were very welcomed," Onwukaife said. "We sat down and evaluated all the options and decided this is where I want to play the next four or five years. My dad and Coach (James) Coley have established a good relationship. My parents felt very comfortable in handing me over to Florida State and I feel very comfortable playing there. "I enjoyed the recruiting process but now that I have made the best decision, I'm just going to focus on my schoolwork and my team this year." "I just think standing on two feet I can really explode more and get off the ball and really turn it up," Onwukaife said.


It's just about that time again for Bowden | | Tallahassee Democrat
When will Bowden retire? I think it's this year. He won't say. Spetman says Bowden has 1 or 2 years left- max. As for who hires Mickey Andrews' replacement? Fisher would get the call.



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