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Monday, October 1, 2012

Reviewing Tulane Watch 2012, 3184 points, and more fun with the transitive property

Tulane Watch 2012. Tulane did not disappoint in week 5. The Green Wave managed a whopping -9 rushing yards against ULM to bring their season average to 5 rushing yards per game and .2 yards per carry. They also managed 160 yards on 45 pass attempts. Tulane is now firmly in last place nationally in rushing yards per game and per attempt, points and yards per game and points per possession. They fell 30 spots to 94th in completion percentage and are 123rd in yards per completion. On the other side, they are allowing 43 points per game. Tulane Watch 2012 marches on.

This remarkable and controversial photograph appears to
capture a Baylor tackle in progress. Skeptics argue that the
Baylor tackle is nothing more than a myth
FBS teams in week 5 scored 3,184 points, the point equivalent of 455 touchdowns. In 51 games involving two FBS teams, six teams lost despite scoring 40 or more points and 12 lost despite scoring 30 or more. Ten teams gained over 500 yards and lost. Five rushed for more than 220 yards and lost. Arkansas had 515 yards of offense and lost by 48.

But one game surpassed them all. Baylor and West Virginia scored 133 total points. Last week the model projected this game to over 900 total passing yards. West Virginia almost did that by themselves. Together they managed over 1,200 passing yards and over 1,500 total yards. Two receivers had more than 300 receiving yards. Sources tell me that the two teams agreed just to let the defensive players sit this one out altogether.

But the real takeaway from this game is that West Virginia is not a legitimate title contender. There are three dozen high schools nationally that could throw for 400 yards against Baylor. I could throw for 400 yards against Baylor. And 63 points is the most the Bears have scored all season, even when ULM took them to the wire (and remember ULM barely beat that terrible team best known as Arkansas). Anyone that left this weekend impressed with West Virginia isn't paying attention, or isn't very smart, or both.

Roll Purple Tide!
I don't know how many Oregon fans were actually cheering for Stanford, but Washington beating Stanford did more to help Alabama repeat as national champions and hurt Oregon's chances of getting another shot as anything these teams did themselves. "How?" you might ask. There are very few linkages between the Pac-12 and SEC, so LSU stomping Washington will weigh heavily on how the respective conferences and conference champions are evaluated. Now that LSU is looking less than intimidating and Washington has a 1st and 2nd order win over Stanford and USC, respecitively, Alabama has a clear transitive advantage over Oregon. Now, Alabama doesn't need the help - they have a standing reservation in the title game until they lose - but Oregon does.

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