Monday, December 6, 2010

weekend review

YeahYeah yyyyyyyeahhhhhhh.......I'd forgotten how sweet it was to beat VT in something that people pay attention to. The Radford game is tomorrow, and I this is what I wrote about it back in October: "There's the distinct possibility that this game will be needed to break a losing streak as long as six games." Instead it's likely to extend a winning streak. Coming off of two road games against theoretically better teams, how's that for a turnaround of expectations?

Expectations are what we're supposed to be keeping in check right now, but you know how hard that can be. Now there's talk of being 12-3 going into the ACC storm, starting with North Carolina. What fun, a big winning streak!

Of the teams that lie ahead, most are certainly the kind on which winning streaks are easily built. The competition gets a lot easier for the next month, but there's still three of those 50/50 type games ahead, and may I remind you we use five freshman and still rely on Mu Farrakhan's roll-of-the-dice method of shooting jumpers? I'll concede that there's the distinct possibility of seven more wins in a row, but I won't let myself expect it.

That's because if we really, really get honest with ourselves, beating VT said a lot more about VT than UVA. OK, yes, I love going into their gym and getting the job done, and Mike Scott is officially a double-double machine and an absolute rock of consistency. What we've really proven is that Tech is not a tournament team, nor are they as good as their preseason expectations. (The same can probably be said about two-thirds of the ACC, so not being part of that unfortunate group bodes very well for our chances.) Our own team is still feeling its way around the court, learning how to win. Maybe they're fast learners. Myself, I'm simply going to enjoy having something to lord over Tech again, and enjoy the ride too, without worrying too soon about where it's going.


With good news on the basketball court and good news on the recruiting trail it's been an uplifting kind of week. The recruiting board has another orange name, O-lineman Jay Whitmire. Heavily offered, that one. A big deal for Mike London. That gives us the requisite four linemen, a number you pretty much aim for in just about every class so as to build depth where it's most needed. Whitmire looks like the best of the bunch. Changes to the board, then:

- Moved OT Jay Whitmire from blue to orange.

- In response, moved OT Donovan Smith from yellow to red. It's an open secret that Smith likes Penn State mucho, and I'm sure the coaches would take his commitment if he called tomorrow, but they're likely focusing their efforts elsewhere.

- Added WR Brandon Reddish to yellow.

All three teams with UVA recruits won in the VHSL playoffs this weekend:

- Hermitage 42, Bayside 27
- Phoebus 21, Dinwiddie 13
- Stone Bridge 21, Osbourn 0

Hermitage plays Battlefield for the Division 6 title, and undefeated Phoebus goes against undefeated Stone Bridge in Division 5. Both games are at Scott Stadium, awesomely enough.

Phoebus may be playing without Caleb Taylor, who sustained a "leg injury" during the game. Taylor would almost certainly have redshirted next season anyway, but a long-term injury recovery would etch that in stone.

Poll study results are also up. Relatively strong bias number this week. Last time there was one this high was for the rankings of the week of 10/23, an eventful week with Wisconsin dropping Iowa, Missouri upsetting Oklahoma, and then-#5 Auburn beating #6 LSU. (Keep in mind that if you're used to seeing the numbers higher than this, it's because I was screwing up the whole time, and found and fixed my mistake last week. That made the final bias number higher than it should have been.) This week's poll is another one in which assumptions were heavily shaken, with Boise falling to Nevada. Hypothesis: I think it's possible this is because voters see the poll results week after week and shift their votes toward the mean a little bit (as in: "hey, maybe I'm overrating so-and-so, they don't end up as high in the poll, I'll knock them back a spot or two"), until something somewhat earthshattering happens and they're forced to think for themselves. Does this actually happen? No idea. It may be something I can test in the final analysis.


Daniel said...

Brendan, great review as always. I was hoping you had a chance for a follow-up interview with Jeff Allen.

Thank you for writing this blog. I have been following it for a little over a year now and always look forward to your posts.

Go Hoo's!!

Anonymous said...

After the regional bias hypothesis, the groupthink hypothesis you list near the bottom of your post is the next-most interesting to me. I can't think of a very compelling way to analyze it though.

Regarding basketball, I am totally failing to keep my expectations in check right now. Go Hoos!

Anonymous said...

Brendan, I just read this article on B/R

They're saying Michigan with Virginia as a close second for Grant.

It looks like either way you can't lose, haha.

Hoping he picks the Hoos...