Noles News 08.04.11

In case you live under a rock, yes, Florida State did indeed receive a commitment from the nation's top prep QB, Jameis Winston, out of Alabama, as we predicted.  If you encounter Bama fans who tell you that FSU always wastes its 5* players, simply say "Mike Shula," "strip clubs on a company credit card," or "Mike Dubose."  Coaching matters.  What happened during the lost decade =/= what is happening now.  10 of FSU's 14 non-kicker recruits are in the ESPNU150.  FSU is the only team to have more than 50% of its non-kickers (kickers not eligible for ESPNU150 IIRC) be from the 150.

You're doing it wrong.  Miami signed a 3* corner out of South Fort Myers in Nate Dortch.  Decent player who had committed to UNC before Butch Davis was fired.  Seriously though, wouldn't you want to wait to announce the commitment and not do it on the day in which your chief rival lands one of the best players in the country?  Oh, and they also just took a commitment for the last class (2011) from a kid to whom Illinois put on delayed enrollment (not good enough to enter Illinois immediately).  

On the other hand, UF did sign a 4* linebacker in Antonio Morrison.  Good player.  I've said it before, but will say it again in case you are new: UF is hanging with FSU in recruiting (close) and Miami is recruiting like a small private ACC school should. 

All-Access: FSU Highlights
Watch all the best highlights from your favorite Florida State athletes for free on All-Access. Ever wanted to go back and watch the best highlights from athletes like EJ Manuel, Michael Snaer, or James Ramsey? Well here's your chance to relive all the great moments inside All-Access with more than 40 player highlight reels.

Much, much more inside!

2011 Season Preview: Stereotypes And The Clemson Tigers -

Below is a small handful of projection and change factors most pertinent to the Football Outsiders' preseason projections you will find in the Football Outsiders Almanac 2011.

Four-Year F/+ Rk 15
Five-Year Recruiting Rk 15
TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin**** -3 / -1.0
Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.) 15 (8, 7)
Yds/Pt Margin***** -3.1

It almost goes without saying at this point, but this should be a pretty good football team. They have an emerging star at running back (Andre Ellington) with a blue-chipper backing him up. They have one of the most experienced offensive lines in college football. They have a pair of potentially big-time defensive tackles lining up in front of one of the more underrated sets of linebackers in college football. They have a star at cornerback, a good defensive coordinator and an up-and-coming offensive coordinator. They are once again projected in Football Outsiders' Top 25.

But that doesn't really mean a lot, does it? It will be hard to truly believe in Clemson until they come up big in a big game. And in 15 days starting in mid-September, they play three huge ones. They host Auburn on September 17 and Florida State on September 24 (they lost to these two teams by a combined six points last year, both on the road) before heading to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech on October 1. The Tigers could somewhat legitimately be anywhere between 5-0 and 1-4 (with a loss to Troy) on October 2; none of those options would surprise anybody too much (okay, 5-0 and 1-4 probably would). The above stats show that Clemson has (on paper) achieved about the level of quality their recruiting rankings would suggest, and they were not particularly lucky or unlucky last year (aside from the injury to Kyle Parker, anyway). They will likely play quite a few more close games this fall, and they will either live down to the stereotype in those games, or they will regress back toward the mean in a crazy way.



Be sure to purchase your Football Outsiders Almanac 2011 today! The college portion is available for just $5, and if you pre-order the entire book, you can download the college portion instantly.


* For more on the 'Adj. Score' and 'Adj. Record' measures below, feel free to read this Football Outsiders column. Adj. Score is a look at how a team would have performed in a given week if playing a perfectly average team, with a somewhat average number of breaks and turnovers. The idea for the measure is simple: what if everybody in the country played exactly the same opponent every single week? Who would have done the best? It is an attempt to look at offensive and defensive consistency without getting sidetracked by easy or difficult schedules. And yes, with adjusted score you can allow a negative number of points, which is strangely satisfying.

** F/+ rankings are the official rankings for the college portion of Football Outsiders. They combine my own S&P+ rankings (based on play-by-play data) with Brian Fremeau's drives-based FEI rankings.

*** What is S&P+? Think of it as an OPS (the "On-Base Plus Slugging" baseball measure) for football. The 'S' stands for success rates, a common Football Outsiders efficiency measure that basically serves as on-base percentage. The 'P' stands for PPP+, an explosiveness measure that stands for EqPts Per Play. The "+" means it has been adjusted for the level of opponent, obviously a key to any good measure in college football. S&P+ is measured for all non-garbage time plays in a given college football game. Plays are counted within the following criteria: when the score is within 28 points in the first quarter, within 24 points in the second quarter, within 21 points in the third quarter, and within 16 points (i.e. two possession) in the fourth quarter. For more about this measure, visit the main S&P+ page at Football Outsiders.

**** Adj. TO Margin is what a team's turnover margin would have been if they had recovered exactly 50 percent of all the fumbles that occurred in their games. If there is a huge difference between TO Margin and Adj. TO Margin (in other words, if fumbles and unlucky bounces were the main source of a good/bad TO margin), that suggests that a team's luck was particularly good or bad and might even out the next season.

*****Phil Steele has long tracked Yards Per Point as a means of looking at teams that were a little too efficient or inefficient the previous season. A positive Yds/Pt Margin means a team's offense was less efficient than opponents' offenses, and to the extent that luck was involved, their luck might even out the next year.

ACC Preview (8/2) The Solid Verbal Podcast
Ty and Dan talk with Jim Young from about the hype in Tallahassee, Virginia Tech’s chances with Logan Thomas, Al Golden’s impact in Miami, the supporting cast around Montel Harris, and the pure, unadulterated excitement of the Randy Edsall era at Maryland.

Knife Wielding Dolls are Readily Available in the Florida Weight Room - Friends of the Program
It's not quite the hot rod magazine knock-off that we are used to, but a couple of Florida's most-shirtless took a few minutes to pose down and mean mug. Lol.

What Comes Around, Goes Around for Swofford, UNC & Clemson | College Football News, Opinion and Analysis | Chuck Oliver.Net

Fact: Clemson was guilty. The football program as a whole had violated NCAA rules in regards to improper recruiting inducements, extra benefits to student-athletes already on campus, unethical conduct, etc, most of which occurred over two seasons when Charlie Pell was head coach in 1977 and 1978, a portion of which continued after Ford took over. This all came to a head in November 1982 when the NCAA imposed two years of recruiting sanctions on Clemson, as well as a two-year bowl ban and two-year television ban. That’s where it was supposed to end.

Then Swofford stepped in.  

In a behind-closed-door meeting called by Swofford and including every athletic director in the conference . . . except Clemson’s . . . the now-ACC Commissioner stated, essentially, that the ACC was a hallowed collection of academic institutions that shouldn’t be sullied by the rule-breaking of one member institution interested only in winning. Therefore, Swofford continued, all should agree that what the NCAA handed down simply was not severe enough. Even though Clemson, one of their own in the league, was at its lowest point ever, the ACC should add another year of sanctions. (No, I’m not kidding.) Swofford and his counterpart from Duke led this initiative and were ultimately able to garner enough support from the rest of the conference to make it so. Only Wake Forest and Maryland were opposed to further punishing one of their fellow ACC members and the representatives from both schools walked out of the meeting when Swofford suggested the vote be taken anonymously.  

Which brings us to 2011. The NCAA hammer is about to fall in Chapel Hill. Will John Swofford be consistent now that it’s his school on the business end of sanctions and probation? Is the integrity of the entire league threatened by UNC, as it allegedly was by Clemson in 1982? Given what’s transpired over the past year at North Carolina – academic fraud, agents, trips, jewelry, cash, etc. -- , it far surpasses anything Clemson was guilty of. The bottom line is the commissioner’s response will be very telling in regards to what type of leadership the conference has right now and what type of man is at the head of it.

Yeah, not a Swofford fan here.

Baseball notebook: Three pitchers heading to FSU, FAU; Martin County SS staying in school | High School Buzz
* American Heritage lefty Dylan Silva committed to Florida State. Silva is a 6-1, 210-pound power pitcher who struck out 41 batters last season.

Hoops?  Hoops!

It's the Schedule, Stupid | ACC Basketball

So who are the contributors to the ACC's poor RPI? I looked at all 73 BCS conference teams and four of the worst ten were from our conference. Checking in at 10th in the country was Virginia Tech who missed the tourney despite a 9-7 record in conference (prior to this year 3 ACC teams had ever missed the NCAA field with a winning conference record since expanding to 64 teams - and two of those three were Virginia Tech. Please tell me their Director of Basketball Operations is now flipping burgers.). Tech's actual SOS was 50, while their RPI SOS was 77. At #9 was Wake Forest, who pretty much failed in every way in 2010-11. Next, all the way at #3, was Virginia. They didn't play a particularly tough OOC schedule (weighing in at 57) but the teams they chose to play (RPI SOS of 107) may have well have been picked out of a hat. UVA is supposed to be filled with smart people. They're not. Then there's the worst offender in the conference, and the 2nd worst in the entire country: Florida State. According to the RPI their SOS was a terrible 87th. Because of this an 11-5 conference record only landed them a 10-seed (the previous low for an 11-win ACC team was a 6 seed). Their actual SOS was 41. Had they scheduled with a purpose they likely would have been a 4-5 seed (and considering they lost in overtime in the Sweet 16, that's probably where they belonged).

Unsurprisingly, it was Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils who had the ACC's smartest schedule. Maybe the media should start listening to what he's actually saying. And maybe the people in charge of scheduling can figure out how simple math is costing the conference millions of dollars.

Great, great piece by our own Michael Rogner.

Florida State Seminoles will challenge Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels - ESPN

Florida State is not without its warts. Turnovers should be an issue again as Loucks tries to make the home run pass too often, and Miller is just not a point. Arkansas transfer Jeff Peterson (eligible right away) is an average athlete who has a lot of experience at two schools and whose coaches were both fired after he started at the point (a remarkable record when you think of it). Still the Seminoles are worthy of consideration for the No. 2 spot, despite losing their top two scorers and leading rebounder, because of the job they have done in recruiting and the focus on the defensive end Leonard Hamilton and staff have stressed.

Discount the Noles at your own peril.

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