Tuesday, October 31, 2017

All Kinds Of Numbers

(Updated with Dartmouth-Alabama score – Check below)

Perhaps I told this story in this space before but indulge me because at least I find it amusing ;-)

When I was the assistant director of sports information at Dartmouth a reporter for the local daily served as the stringer covering Big Green football games at Memorial Field for the wire service. Having done that same duty when I was at the paper I can tell you it was an annoying little assignment that wasn't worth the farthings they tossed you. Bit I digress.

As it turns out, the game pitted this week's opponents against each other: Dartmouth and Cornell. In a hurry to get to his regular story, the fellow writing the capsule blurb got the score wrong by a single point. And that's how it went out on the wire all across the country.

Keep in mind, this was before the Internet became a household thing.

Come Monday morning the phone in the sports information office started ringing with callers asking the score of the game. We were curious about the calls, although after the first three or four we figured it out.

I clearly remember taking a call from a fellow in a strong New York accent who introduced himself by saying something along the lines of, "I am an alumni of Dartmouth University." Then he asked the score of the game. Told the correct score, he asked, "Are you sure?"

Yeah, I was sure.

As you might have guessed by now, the one point mistake made was the difference between winning and losing a bet on the game.

Asking around, we learned that at least in those days gamblers liked betting on the Ivy League in part because they believed all the games were on the up-and-up. At least that's what we were told.
All of which brings us to the offshore Wise Guys. Here's what they had to say this morning:

Dartmouth is favored by 9.5 over Cornell in Hanover
Yale is favored over Brown by 29 points in New Haven
Columbia is favored over Harvard by three points in New York City
Princeton is favored by 8.5 over Penn in Princeton

Green Alert Take: As someone who has never even bought a lottery ticket, I'm not a gambler and never will be, but I can tell you this. Anyone who bets on an Ivy League football game this year is nuts. In a quiet moment earlier this fall I joked that if I were a bettor, I'd bet the farm on a particular game. If I were a bettor and had a farm I wouldn't have one anymore.
Here's how Massey sees the week going:
at Dartmouth 27, Cornell 17 (80 percent confidence)
at Yale 35, Brown  7 (99 percent)
at Columbia 28, Harvard 21 (72 percent)
Princeton 35, at Penn 28 (71 percent)

Holy Cross 30, Fordham 27 (58 percent)
Butler 27, at Stetson 17 (79 percent)
Sacred Heart 34, at Bryant 31 (60 percent)
Here's how the Compughter program sees the game:

The Compughter thing is actually kind of interesting because you can tweak the variables and pit different teams against each other. Check it out HERE.

(I was going to have Alabama play at Dartmouth and see what the final score would be but fiddling around on the site I have now exceeded my allotment of simulations for the day ;-(

Thanks to a BGA reader who plugged in the simulation, the score of that game per Compughter: Alabama 66, Dartmouth 0
Here are Northeast teams in the two FCS polls:
STATS Top 25
14. Stony Brook
20. Villanova
21. New Hampshire
28. Monmouth
34. Yale
37. Columbia
39. Maine
41. Dartmouth
42. Princeton

FCS Coaches Poll
19. New Hampshire
20. Villanova
21. Stony Brook
24. Monmouth
35. Dartmouth
40. Yale
Here's how Massey ranks Ivy League teams among the 124 FCS teams:
27. Yale
41. Columbia
42. Princeton
51. Dartmouth
69. Harvard
71. Penn
72. Cornell
103. Brown 

And here's how the Compughter ratings see the Ivy:
19. Yale
22. Columbia
36. Dartmouth
46. Princeton
59. Cornell
64. Harvard
71. Penn
103. Brown 
Happy Halloween!