Navy – San Jose State Drinking Game

OK fans, this is an abbreviated drinking game because it’s not like we have a lot of history with SJSU.  So, if the announcers do or say any of the following, you should do what I write!

1.  Mentions the song “The Way to San Jose” in any way ==> DRINK A SHOT.  TAP YOUR IPAD IN HONOR OF SILICON VALLEY.  LOOK TO HEAVEN AND POINT TO STEVE JOBS.

2.  Talks about how Navy’s offense isn’t built for 3rd and 20 (like anybody’s offense is built for that) ==> DRINK SOMETHING.  MAKE LIP FLAPPING RASPBERRY SOUND.  CALL YOUR MOTHER.  SHE LOVES YOU.

3.  Talks about how Navy’s offense isn’t a “quick strike offense” ==> REPEAT #2 TWICE EXCEPT FOR THE CALL YOUR MOTHER PART.

4.   Shows Navy’s turnover margin for year ==> DRY HEAVE. DRINK.  SAY “WELL, THAT’S LEGIT.”

5.  Catch all: any service academy related cliche that deals with discipline, academics, unnecessary suffering, or lack of real college life ==>  DRINK. THINK TO YOURSELF “WOW, WHAT WAS I THINKING?”  THEN, FOR NO REASON, STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM AT PARADE REST.

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Navy-Penn State Drinking Game

For this weekend’s game, all Navy fans are encouraged to do the following when the announcers say or do the following:

1.  Penn State players overcoming adversity. ==>  Drink two sips of beer and eat a Tostito chip. Say hi to your child or wife or whoever.

2.  “They have so much pride in their school (Navy or Penn State).”  ==> Drain your drink, eat Tostitos and use the head.  Soothingly sing “Troy Calhounnnnnnnn protects his players from the media swoonnnnnnnnn” while using the head.

3.  “There’s no quit in these Midshipmen! They play all 60 minutes.”  ==> Slap yourself, call your Grandma, and do a shot of Jack Daniels.

4.  “Navy’s defensive line is outweighed by an average of 30 lbs!”  ==> Do 10 pushups, drink half a beer, make grunting sound.

5.  Mentions Joe Paterno’s legacy. ==> Roll eyes, sigh, say “whatever!” really loud, and of course – take a drink.

6.  Mispronounces Ken Niumatalolo’s name.  ==> Shake head with an attitude, drunk text your neighbor and drink.

7.  Mentions that the student body was really hard on the PSU kicker last week.  ==> One “waaa”, two “deal with its”, and three gulps buddy.

Not exactly our best performance

Greetings Navy fans! Who among us can contain their excitement after Saturday? I had the unenviable task of re-watching the Navy-Notre Dame game tonight. I should get paid extra for that because it was every bit as painful as watching a stammering plebe deliver a chow call with three menacing upperclassmen surrounding him. From Gary Danielson’s lame announcing to the jealous Irish Rugby guy, I could have watched Battleship and been happier. Anyway, there are a lot of analogies one could use to describe Navy’s loss to Notre Dame, but anything that involves inappropriate prison humor will suffice. But let’s not forget, this game is always a stretch for Navy. I’m not just falling back on old clichés about how we should NEVER beat Notre Dame, but it’s always a tall order. Ten years ago I would have given anything just to beat Notre Dame once in my lifetime. By the way, I hope God doesn’t collect on some of the things I promised to give up if Navy ever beat Notre Dame. Please Lord!!! Needless to say, we’ve been insanely blessed to win 3 of the last 6 games against the Irish.

Last year’s game featured a Notre Dame team that was just plain solid. This year was no different. It’s one of Mike’s pet peeves to talk about intangibles like heart and preparedness for a game. Why? Because as fans we have no clue how prepared the teams are or how much heart they exerted. Either way, Brian Kelly seems to have had the last two Notre Dame teams ready to play Navy. He obviously learned something from the 35-17 shellacking Navy put on the Irish in 2010. Let’s do a review of this game using the three phases of the game: offense, defense, and special teams.

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2003 Houston Bowl: Shalimar Brazier Brings the Pain

Looking for some late June motivation? This was 9 years ago but MAN was this an awesome hit. The 2003 EV1.net Houston Bowl didn’t feature a lot of Navy highlights since Texas Tech won 38-14, but this will hit will live on for years. Texas Tech’s QB B.J. Symons actually lost a tooth. You can see him handing it to a coach at the end of the clip. To his credit, Symons didn’t miss a snap.

Buddy Green: Thank God he’s back

I'm back people. Prepare to die.

Buddy Green: “I don’t think 50 wind sprints and 100 up-downs is too much, Wagner. Maybe you do.”

We all know that the margin of error for Navy Football is pretty slim. If all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) aren’t clicking, there’s a better than average chance that we’ll lose a given game. Last season was evidence of that as Navy lost five games by 3 points or less enroute to a 5-7 season. The team struggled at key times and couldn’t seem to win the close games which had been a hallmark of the past 8 seasons. Specifically, the defense and special teams had a difficult time making big plays when we needed them. One reason why the defense struggled last season was that Buddy Green (praise be upon him) spent last spring recovering from gall bladder surgery. To the casual fan, that might not sound significant but it was a major factor.

“He’s a major, major part of our program. Not to have him was a huge loss.” -Ken Niumatalolo

Coach Green is a lot like Rocky Balboa’s trainer Mick, just a lot younger. He’s out there preparing, coaching, training, kicking guys in the ass, patting them on the back, and pushing them to their limits. Anyone that’s ever been around 18-21 year olds, knows that they need guidance and focus…constantly. Even Midshipmen, contrary to what the cliché-slinging announcers on TV would have you believe, need adult leadership. Also, Green has one tough job. I think some Navy fans don’t appreciate how difficult it is to coach football at Navy, especially defensive football. Offensively, we can run the spread option and make life VERY difficult for teams that rarely if ever practice against it. But as Mike (CEO and Chairman of this glorious blog) has noted, the defense has no such equalizer. Add in all the height/weight and academic restrictions that come with coaching at USNA and the D Coordinator has his work cut out for him. Green is such a talented Defensive Coordinator that the Tennessee Volunteers wanted him. He politely declined which was an enormous victory (and relief) for Navy. There’s a reason why Tennessee wanted Buddy Green and it’s not because he was voted Mr. Congeniality by the Annapolis Rotary Club. He’s a great coach and he gets results. Having him back for the Spring should pay dividends next season.

The Cost of Recruiting

Well, it is June and there is not much to talk about right now. The Mids are doing summer cruises, Marine Corps training (hoorah!), taking some leave or taking summer classes. So news out of “The Yard” is pretty slow. Even Scott Strasemeier, Navy’s Sports Information Director, was rumored to have been pacing Ricketts Hall muttering “I hope something happens this month or else I’ll be forced to take leave!” Unfortunately, there still isn’t much happening. But we do have an ESPN article that is sort of related to our world.

Yesterday, Mitch Sherman posted an ESPN article on the Cost of Recruiting. It’s a short piece but it’s worth reading. Overall, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. With a few exceptions (e.g., Boise State), the biggest baddest FBS schools generally spend the most on recruiting. No shock there.

What might shock the average college football fan is the amount Army ($512,000) and Air Force ($336,000) spent on recruiting. Navy did not provide a number. That’s some pretty hefty spending on first glance. Of course, what many people don’t realize is that the service academies are recruiting nationwide. Take a look at the big school on any given Saturday and you’ll see that their teams are stocked with local kids. Georgia has a lot of kids from Georgia; LSU has a lot of kids from Louisiana; Florida has a lot of kids from Florida. You get the point. The service academies don’t have a regional focus and they shouldn’t; but nationwide recruiting costs a lot of money if you want to do a good job and fight for a limited pool of athletes that are interested in playing FBS football and also serve as military officers. Travel expenses are a major factor. Many service members who read this blog know that a two week cross country temporary additional duty (TAD) trip can cost $5,000 when you include airfare, hotels, rental car, per diem, et al. Now, start applying these costs to multiple football coaches and multiple trips and you can see how costly recruiting can get.  That’s just the travel budget.  We’re not even talking about all the other expenses like those shiny brochures.

Two other things jumped out at me:

-Tennessee is spending almost $1.5 million on recruiting. That’s $500K more than Alabama and it leads all other programs that submitted data. Wow. That’s saying something. What that’s saying is anyone’s guess. Tennessee has had a difficult time since Phil Fulmer stepped down as head coach in 2008. So you’d expect some type of recruiting emphasis, but I don’t know how you justify that recruiting budget given that Tennessee’s season ticket sales are slumping along with the football team.

-Georgia Tech is spending $883K on recruiting, which is $260K more than its arch rival Georgia. I have no idea what accounts for this, but I have a feeling Coach Paul Johnson is spending more money to look for the type of players that fit his spread option offense. Perhaps our Rambling Wreck readers can comment below.

THE FLUTIE EFFECT AND ADMISSIONS QUALITY

My name is Tony and I study economics. The last time I studied economics was yesterday. I started studying economics in 2002 and I haven’t stopped since. Oh, wait, this is the wrong forum for that speech. My fault.

MikeTBD, way back in May 2010, wrote a pretty devastating and hilarious retort to a certain USNA English Professor. For the record, it was a very witty put down and it was a needed comeuppance for this particular professor. I am not going to rehash any of that here, but what caught my eye was when MikeTBD mentioned the so-called “Flutie Effect”. For those that don’t know, the Flutie Effect refers to the phenomenon of having a successful college sports team increase the exposure and prominence of a university. It is named after Boston College’s QB Doug Flutie whose game winning Hail Mary pass in the 1984 game against the University of Miami allegedly played a large role in the school’s increased applications the following year.

This got me thinking about the quality aspect of the Flutie Effect and not simply the quantity. One of the criticisms offered about the Flutie Effect is that it doesn’t attract smarter students and therefore it’s not all that useful for a college. “Hey, the school just gets more applications from easily impressionable low quality students” goes the argument. There is data in the study to support that thesis. BUT, and this is a big BUT, the study also found that all SAT subgroups (900 and below, 901-1090, an 1100+) increased as well. I will now break down, in detail, the econometrics used to generate these findings. I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t do that to you dear reader. The study also found the following (pages 19-20):

The results indicate that sports success increases application rates for all three SAT subgroups. However, the lower SAT scoring students (less than 900) respond to sports success by about twice as much as the higher SAT scoring students. These results suggest that schools that have athletic success are not receiving extra applications solely from low performing students and greatly strengthen the SAT results derived from the Peterson’s data [emphasis added]. It appears that athletic success does indeed present an opportunity to schools to be either more selective in their admission standards or enroll more students while keeping a fixed level of student quality.

Using two unique and comprehensive datasets in conjunction with an econometric design that controls for the unobservable features of schools, we find that football and basketball success increase the quantity of applications to a school, with estimates ranging from 2-8% for the top 20 football schools and the top 16 basketball schools each year. We also provide evidence that the extra applications are composed of students with both low and high SAT scores. Additional evidence that we present suggests that schools use these extra applications to both increase student quality and increase enrollment size. There is no evidence that schools adjust tuition levels in response to receiving these extra applications.

Why is this important Salty? Hey, thanks for asking. It’s important because the admissions offices are getting more qualified applicants. Even if just 10% of the excess (read: Flutie effect) applicants are from super smart kids, then that is a win for the university. Sure, the admissions staff is going to have to spend time on lesser quality kids too. But those applicants are normally screened out pretty quickly. A kid with a 700 SAT (math+verbal) who applies to Stanford because of Andrew Luck isn’t going to garner much attention from the admissions committee (unless he kills or captures Joseph Kony). So, the admissions office might have a problem on its hands with more applications, but it’s a good problem to have based on the data.

Major sports programs like football and basketball create a positive externality (in economic jargon) for most schools. I’m sure that goes for nearly all schools. I doubt that USNA is an exception.

Here’s the link to the study by the Pope brothers: http://economics.byu.edu/Documents/Jaren%20Pope/pope_pope_2007_sports2web.pdf