Three quickies: Pomeroy, Hochevar, and Mizzou trolling
The Kansas City Star
If you’re like me and you like to supplement the joy and beauty of watching sports with the information and nerdiness of knowing the numbers, you probably know all about Ken Pomeroy’s fantastic work on college basketball and might be interested in this story on him by Reid Forgrave.
I bring this up this morning because I believe Pomeroy is the absolute best at what he does, and that his analysis is a significantly better predictor than either poll or the RPI … and the article brings up K-State as the team Pomeroy says is most overrated by the polls.
K-State is 40th in KenPom, and 10th in the AP poll — though that will obviously drop after being blown out in Lawrence the other night. Kansas is 12th in KenPom, Missouri 38th. It’s interesting that Pomeroy actually has K-State as the fifth-best Big 12 team — behind KU, Oklahoma State (17th), Baylor (27th), and Iowa State (32nd).
TCU is 268th, in case you were wondering.
So Luke Hochevar says he’s found his personal elixir, and it turns out an easily fixable mechanical flaw has been making him suck all these years. Now, Hochevar is 29, entering his sixth full season^ and as Dutton points out in the article a repeat offender in the oh-crap-I-just-noticed-this-mechanical-flaw-so-I’m-all-fixed-now story, so he must know that nobody is taking this seriously until he starts getting outs with runners in scoring position.
^ Incomplete list of pitchers with fewer starts than Hochevar: Jair Jurrgens, Gio Gonzalez, David Price and Dice-K.
But, credit where credit is due: at least he’s not claiming he’s been tipping his pitches.
“We’re going to have good years again,” Dodds promised. “Our bad years are not that bad. Take a school like Missouri. Our bad years are better than their good years. But we’ve created a standard.”
Now, I’m all for this. Not necessarily for the shot at Mizzou, but the obvious statement that the break-up of the Big 12 is still an emotionally sensitive thing. It’s like this on all sides, and I don’t understand why people have a hard time admitting it. You see on Twitter, all the time, Mizzou fans slamming KU or the Big 12. Some brought TCU signs to basketball games after KU’s embarrassing loss. You see KU fans firing back about Mizzou never making a Final Four, or getting its ass kicked in the SEC.
I like that some Mizzou students made another one of those silly videos, took a few shots at KU in it, and I love that two KU employees emailed me the link with a basic message of “WTF?”
I’m all for all of this. Some of it, surely, is a professional selfishness because it makes my job more interesting. But I also like the honesty of it. It’s OK to still hate the other school, to admit that the rivalry isn’t dead, that the schools have moved on in scheduling but not in wishing the other one ill.