Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trying to Figure Out Twitter? How About Real-Time Information to or from Anyone, Anywhere in the World - and YOU Choose your Information Partners

We missed Twitter at the beginning, thinking it to be an application for the teenies.

At wired.co.uk, Steven Levy, in the online version of an article from the December printed issue of Wired UK magazine, asks:

How will Twitter grow up?

What is remarkable and what Levy particularly emphasizes is that the application of Twitter to real life has been greatly formed by the users, who did not limit themselves to the original Twitter question of "What are you doing today?", but have taken Twitter to a new dimension, such that Facebook, Google and everyone else are falling all over themselves to integrate Twitter with their own services.

For those of you trying to figure out Twitter and wondering whether it will last, consider that Twitter at its foundation is real-time "headline" information - to or from - anyone, anywhere on the globe, and YOU decide who your information partners are. You can't beat that.

The number of possible practical applications to the various facets of life is immense. Immense.

For example, take a look at the @Scobleizer lists.

Or think of making your own Twitter list of all your favorite twittering restaurants or hotels or whatever and consulting that list when deciding where to go out for lunch or to dine in the evening or whatever else it is you want to do.

YPPSYS Ratings of Top 12 NCAA Division III 2009 Pre-Playoff Teams by NAYPPA

YPPSYS Ratings of Top 12 NCAA Division III 2009 Pre-Playoff Teams by NAYPPA
based on net yards per play advantage (NAYPPA), strength of schedule, defense and adjustment for losses through November 14, 2009, after Week 11 of regular season games.

NAYPPA = net yards per play advantage
YPP OFF = net yards per play gained on offense
YPP DEF = net yards per play allowed on defense
Schedule = Schedule difficulty thus far in the season according to Massey Ratings (SchP=Schedule Partial)

To obtain the Rating from which the Rank is calculated, one starts with the YPP OFF, subtracts the YPP DEF, subtracts the difficulty of schedule as a variable calculated as 1/100 of the schedule rating so that for a schedule rating of 18 for example, .18 is subtracted (rounded up or down to the nearest figure, here rounded up to .2), and for each loss .2 is subtracted. A penalty of .1 is subtracted if the defense allows 5.0 or more yards per play, .2 for more than 6.0 yards per play, and .3 for more than 7.0 yards per play. In the case of equal ratings, the team with the toughest schedule is ranked first. One point of rating difference is equivalent to 9 points on the scoreboard.

The average yards per play component will be similar in NCAA Division III football to NCAA Division I. In NCAA Division I-A FBS college football the yards per play stats have been remarkably constant for all the years we have kept track of them - this year showing a median for 120 teams of 5.5 yards per play gained on offense and 5.4 yards per play permitted on defense. There is at most a 1/10th yard variation (.1) any season. This is in spite of continuous tweaking of offenses and defenses. For an average schedule: a team averaging less than 5.5 yards per play on offense has either a subpar offense or a subpar offensive coordination, while a team averaging more than 5.4 yards per play on defense has either a subpar defense or a subpar defensive coordination. One must of course adjust those stats by the difficulty of schedule for each team.

Schedule difficulty beyond Division I-A FBS does not show a linear decrease - it is more than that. Massey Ratings rank Sioux Falls 92nd in the country of all football teams, Wisconsin Whitewater 96th and Mount Union 146th. We have previously given Sioux Falls a rating of -1.1 in the YPPSYS system. Sioux Falls, according to Massey Ratings played the 392nd most difficult schedule, while Whitewater played the 350th most difficult schedule. Normally, 2/100ths of that amount would have to subtracted from the NAYPPA to get a rating which fits into the Division I-A FBS rankings. But that would be too much in view of the fact that Sioux Falls beat FCS North Dakota 28-13 as compared to e.g. Division I-A Texas Tech which beat North Dakota 38-13. Hence, instead of 1/100 of schedule difficulty, we here deduct 1.5/100 from the NAYPPA.

Polls
Rank
After 11th Week
NAYPPA

YPP OFF

YPP DEF

Schedule

W-L

Rating
1Mount Union4.0

7.2

3.2

404

10-0

-2.0
2
WI-Whiteawater
3.5

7.4

3.9

350

10-0

-1.7
3
Wesley College
2.6

6.4

3.8

416

10-0

-3.6
4
St. Johns Univ.
0.7

4.8

4.1

351

10-0

-4.3
5
Linfield
2.1

6.5

4.4

456

9-0

-4.7
6
Central College
1.8

6.2

5.0

469

10-0

-5.3
7
Mary Hardin-Baylor
3.8

6.9

3.1

511

9-1

-3.9
8
Monmouth College
2.8

6.3

3.7

660

10-0

-7.1
9
Case Western Reserve
2.6

6.8

4.2

653

10-0

-7.1
10
St. Thomas
2.5

6.6

4.1

396

9-1

-3.4
11
Thomas More
2.0

5.8

3.8

513

10-0

-5.7
12
Wittenberg
3.7

6.6

2.9

616

10-0

-5.5

The above figures show in exemplary fashion for the net yards per play and schedule difficulty analysis system why Mount Union and Whitewater played in the Division III final last year as the best teams in that division and why many of the teams in the playoffs have no chance at all against teams that are much stronger than they are. It also shows how flawed the Division III rankings are. Obviously, St. Thomas and Mary Hardin-Baylor both belong in the top 5.

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