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Archive for June, 2009

Finding a champion – Part 1 (Offense)

Posted by cuorange on June 30, 2009

In previous seasons we have shown how important certain statistics are in determining champions.  Typically, the most important are defensive statistics and hold true across football, basketball and baseball. 
 
The table below shows offensive statistics in 4 categories for the BCS Champions over the last 9 years. 

Year Team Total Offense Rushing Offense Passing Offense Scoring Offense
2000 Oklahoma 18 68 13 7
2001 Miami 8 21 35 3
2002 Ohio St 70 31 92 41
2003 LSU 31 27 43 19
2004 USC 12 33 13 6
2005 Texas 3 2 40 1
2006 Florida 19 38 28 23
2007 LSU 26 11 58 11
2008 Florida 15 10 61 4

 
Only 2 of the last 9 champions were ranked in the top 10 in total offense, yet 5 of those 9 were in the top 10 in scoring offense.  This suggests being opportunistic with regards to turnovers, as well as on defense and special teams.

Conspicuously absent is any green in the passing offense column.  There have been some good passing teams that have won the BCS, but the highest ranked was 13th, achieved twice.

The data indicates scoring offense, rather than total offense is the most important offensive statistic and to be a contender a team needs to be around the top 20 nationally to be a contender.
 
Up next is Part 2 – (Defense).

Posted in College Football | Leave a Comment »

Finding Jamie D’Antona

Posted by cuorange on June 29, 2009

As you may recall D’Antona was the focus of “The Last Best League” and had finally made it to the Bigs last year after batting .365 at AAA Tucson.

Apparently, the Diamondbacks released D’Antona last November so that he could sign with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of Japan, where he is batting a robust .249.

Posted in Professional Baseball | 4 Comments »

College Baseball Wrapup

Posted by cuorange on June 28, 2009

Some want to deny it. Others want to pooh-pooh it. But there’s no way around it and no doubt  it exists.  However, you can learn from it.

Once again this year, and for the 7th time in 8 years, the CWS Champ finished in the top 17 in fielding and top 22 in pitching.

Year Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging
2002 Texas 5 2 99 65
2003 Rice 2 2 41 103
2004 Cal State – Fullerton 17 22 9 56
2005 Texas 3 4 80 74
2006 Oregon State 8 14 85 95
2007 Oregon State 2 11 162 129
2008 Fresno State 52 56 125 102
2009 Louisiana State 16 9 78 34

Texas would have obviously met this criteria if the Horns had won, but it was LSU’s defense in the championship series (only two errors) that vaulted the Tigers into the top 17 and kept the trend in order.

So next year, when your team looks like a champion in March and April, when you think they have what it takes, come back and visit CUOrange and we’ll give you the truth:  Contender or Pretender.

Posted in College Baseball | Leave a Comment »

Coming Soon

Posted by cuorange on June 26, 2009

The College World Series has come to an end and the two month summer dead period for college sports is in its early stages.  Typically that means fewer posts due to a corresponding decrease in activity (games!).
 
So what’s in store for the faithful readers of cuorange?  We’ve got several annual features and some new features in store for the near future.
 
1.      Our annual “Talent Level” survey for all ACC teams and select teams across the country that will give our readers an idea of the talent level of two deep rosters and gives the average fan an opportunity to see how their team and coaches are performing.  This also allows fans to see through the hype of “we have more talent than anyone” fallacy that permeates team specific web sites.
2.      A statistical look across 12 important areas and how certain of these statistics closely relate to winning championships and how others that are typically trumpeted as important are not in actuality.  We’ll track these through the year to give our readers a fact based look at whether their team is a contender or pretender.
3.      Our annual preseason poll (see sidebar to the right) where readers choose their choice for the BCS title.
4.      Final thoughts on college baseball.
5.      Have an idea?  Let me know what you want to see and read – I can’t promise I’ll do it all, but if the subject interest me and I have the time, I’ll do my best.

Posted in College Baseball, College Football, General | Leave a Comment »

Book Review: The Last Best League

Posted by cuorange on June 24, 2009

This well written book chronicles the Chatham A’s of the Cape Cod League during the 44 game 2002 season, focusing on a few of the team’s stars as they compete in the best college summer league with wooden bats and outstanding pitching.

The main players are Jamie D’Antona (Wake Forest), Tim Stauffer (Richmond), Chris Iannetta (North Carolina), Thomas Pauly (Princeton), Colt Morton (North Carolina State) and Chad Orvella (North Carolina State).

While the book had extra interest to me because of the ACC ties (and a Clemson signee in Trolia), it was the insight into the struggles and tumult of the season that held my interest throughout.

Most of the starters were superstars at their respective colleges and came in bursting with confidence and swagger. Some left humbled. Others left with buoyed spirits that they could compete and succeed at the highest level of amateur baseball.

There were several stories of small time college players from Princeton, Siena and Maine trying to catch the eye of the scouts for just a chance at pro ball.

Also included in the book is an account leading up to and including the 2003 draft in which incredibly 5 members of the 2002 Chatham A’s were drafted by the San Diego Padres.

The book also combines historical information of the Cape Cod League, how the teams obtain players, operate and market (or not) with the hard reality of big time baseball and the harsh judgment of major league scouts weaved in with the personal stories of the players.

Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a Comment »

CWS Finals

Posted by cuorange on June 22, 2009

Up to this point we’ve picked game by game and gone an amazing 9-3. If Fullerton hadn’t turned into an ACC team in Omaha the record would have been even better than 75%. For the finals we pick the winner of the series only.

College World Series Finals

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Power Rating
Louisiana State 21 9 78 39 36 712.340
Texas 4 2 208 227 16 703.573

Posted in College Baseball | 1 Comment »

Purnell lands 6’6 shooting gaurd

Posted by cuorange on June 20, 2009

Nice pick-up to minimize the loss of Oglesby (still shaking my head on that one). Makes the 2009 class one of 2 four star players, a 5 star, and Donte Hill (3 star, #25 SF). Nice work, Ollie.

Posted in Clemson Basketball | Leave a Comment »

Friday CWS Games

Posted by cuorange on June 19, 2009

The annual ritual continues: The ACC gets multiple teams to Omaha and then they fall all over themselves to get eliminated. That’s one thing I can predict.

Record moves to 7-3.

Friday, June 19
Game 11

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Power Rating
Louisiana State 21 9 78 39 36 712.340
Arkansas 62 40 264 156 3 640.021

Game 12

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Rating
Texas 4 2 208 227 16 703.573
Arizona State 63 1 127 51 4 700.759

Posted in College Baseball | Leave a Comment »

Thursday CWS Game

Posted by cuorange on June 18, 2009

Virginia finds out just how contagious dookie britches are and goes home, dropping my record to 6-3.

June 18
Game 10

Team Fielding ERA Batting Avg Slugging SoS Rating
Arizona State 63 1 127 51 4 700.759
North Carolina 48 5 105 83 47 672.477

Posted in College Baseball | Leave a Comment »

Ford injures hamstring; Ellington has knee surgery

Posted by cuorange on June 17, 2009

This year the Clemson football season decided not to wait until fall practice to rack up injuries.  If the hamstring injury to Ford lingers and he misses any appreciable time on the field the Tigers will be severely hampered as he is the lone returning starter and only deep threat at WR.

Ellington was slated to back up C.J. Spiller.  Not expected to contribute a ton this year, but he would gain some valuable experience in preparation for 2010.  What happens now is any one’s guess.

Posted in Clemson Football | Leave a Comment »