Overall, of the 697 regular season games involving IA opponents in 2012, the point spread differed from the actual result by an average of 12.10 points. While that may intuitively seem high considering the reverence with which the point spread is regarded, keep in mind that the smallest amount the point spread can differ from the actual result is zero, while the largest amount is theoretically infinite (if realistically about 55). Consider that it takes about six reasonably accurate spreads (say a difference of five points) to bring the huge UCLA/Arizona outlier down to the twelve point average.
So I'm brushing up on my Ole Miss for tomorrow's Rebels preview, and I stumble across a bounty of old stats. Turns out, Ole Miss has its season stats posted all the way back to 1967. Click here for a blown-up screen-cap from 1969. Archie Manning's 1969 stat line: * 154-for-265 passing (58.1%), 1,762 yards (6.6 per pass), 9 TD, 9 INT * 124 carries, 502 yards (4.0 per carry), 14 TD This made him a major Heisman candidate in 1970. (And while we're at it, when you woke up this morning, you and I both know the first question you asked yourself was, "Who was the second-string quarterback for Ole Miss in 1999?" Now you have the answer! Even Eli Manning rotted away on the third string for a while.)
The men who head the sports divisions of ABC and CBS say the networks did not do well financially in their telecasts of NCAA football games last season. "We had the worst year financially in our history for college football," said Jim Spence, president of ABC Sports. CBS Sports President Neal Pilson said the situation was the same for his network. The network officials, meeting in Oregon, blamed the lack of profits on overexposure and too high a price tag for the right to show the games … The Justice Department yesterday urged Supreme Court Justice Byron White not to stay a lower court order which nullified the NCAA's existing television contracts and opened the way for colleges to make their own TV deals.
In other news, Adrian Arrington's 2006 was secretly great. And when you combine the catch rates with the yards you have a dead heat between Mario Manningham '06 and Junior Hemingway '11 as the best season in this time frame, with Avant's '05 drawing an honorable mention for moving the chains.
In 1935, Alabama's head coach Frank Thomas was featured in Sport Story Magazine where he espoused his particular philosophy toward the game (he used the Notre Dame system) and his thoughts on that year's Rose Bowl which had been won by the Crimson Tide. Included in the piece was a pair of diagrammed pass plays that Thomas broke down in some detail, explaining that Alabama's effectiveness in the air had been the key to the 29-13 victory over Stanford. The labeled players are Dixie Howell, Don Hutson and the team's "other end" Paul Bryant. If I am not mistaken, this video shows the play in "Diagram No. 1." It's a fascinating little look back at the X's & O's of the game as it was played three-quarters of a century ago.