Updated with actual scores
The Massey Ratings formula went 20-8 (.714) in Week 1 games.
It's that time again, and thanks to the USA Today High School Sports site - powered, I should note, by info provided by the Clarion Ledger - we can look to the Massey Ratings for projected scores from the first weekend of high school football.
The USAT prep site has been reworked this fall, and it contains some intersting features - even if I did find it a bit hard to navigate at first. As a USAT alumnus and current Gannett stockholder (sigh) I suggest you give it a look.
We started looking at these projected scores a couple of years ago, and the fact is that Massey's formula does a pretty good job of picking winners - often in the 75% range, which is way better than a coin flip. When all else fails, I say you always take the home team and it seems like this formula tends to follow that notion.
As far as accuracy on the projected scores - every week, there will be a couple that are almost scarily spot-on and a couple that are completely wrongheaded. But it is fun to watch.
Alcorn Central 32, Biggersville 26 (Actual: Alcorn Central 36-22)
Amory 41, Mooreville 20 (Amory 48-14)
Booneville 28, Walnut 10 (Booneville 35-15)
Bruce 29, Mound Bayou JFK 12 (Bruce 40-8)
Byhalia 28, Tishomingo County 20 (Byhalia 26-14)
Calhoun Academy at Sharkey Issaquena, “too close to call” (Calhoun Academy 20-6)
Calhoun City 41, Coffeeville 0 (Calhoun City 47-14)
Columbus 22, Aberdeen 14 (Columbus 21-0)
Falkner 33, Middleton, Tenn. 7 (Falkner 34-13)
Hamilton 35, Smithville 10 (Smithville won, 21-12)
Hatley 42, East Union 24 (East Union won, 45-20)
Holly Springs 24, Coldwater 21 (Coldwater won, 53-20)
Houston 42, South Pontotoc 8 (Houston 47-13)
Itawamba AHS 40, Saltillo 26 (Itawamba 17-7)
Kossuth 29, Baldwyn 14 (Baldwyn won, 22-6)
Lafayette 35, Tupelo 14 (Lafayette 8-3)
Marshall Academy 37, Magnolia Heights 21 (Marshall Academy 28-10)
Nettleton 28, Caledonia 21 (Caledonia won, 50-7)
New Albany 31, Ripley 7 (New Albany 28-21)
North Pontotoc 48, Mantachie 14 (North Pontotoc 19-16)
Okolona 36, Houlka 0 (Okolona 33-0)
Oxford 34, Grenada 26 (Oxford 28-22)
Pontotoc 28, Velma Jackson 21 (Pontotoc 24-6)
Potts Camp 28, H.W. Byers 20 (Potts Camp 32-6)
Shannon 33, Kosciusko 14 (Kosciusko won 41-30)
Starkville 22, Noxubee County 20 (Noxubee County won, 29-8)
Strayhorn 20, TCPS 14 (Strayhorn 45-0)
Vardaman 20, East Webster 13 (East Webster won, 30-14)
South Panola 31, West Point 14 (South Panola 12-10)
ESPN.com has one of those way too early Bracketology projections out this week (behind the Insider paywall) and one of the things that caught my eye is that Ole Miss would be, wait for it, among the "Last Four Out" of the 2013 NCAA men's basketball tournament field.
Five SEC teams would make the cut: Kentucky (1 seed), Florida (3 seed), Missouri (6 seed), Tennessee (10 seed) and Alabama (11 seed).
That would be a poor overall effort by a newly expanded SEC, by the way, but it mainly makes me wonder if Andy Kennedy will survive another season at Ole Miss without making the Big Dance. If the Rebels don't make the field next season, that would be seven years in a row under Kennedy - his entire tenure - without an NCAA trip.
A program planning to build a new facility wants to go there on a high note. Coaches whose teams are underachieving when the program is about to move into a new gym sometimes find the team moving in without them.
Kennedy shared a couple of SEC West titles (2007, 2010) before those were done away with, but it's the total losses - double figures in each of his first six seasons - that have weighed again his team getting into the field. In that time, I don't think Ole Miss was done any great injustice in not making the field - nothing on the order of Mississippi State's egregious snub in 2010, at least.
I have said this before on radio appearances but I'm not sure I have written it down - a baskteball program in one of the "Big Six" conferences with any pretense to being competitive should able to make the field at least once every four years. More than that would be great, certainly, but a coach should be able to build and refill his roster to reach that point with some regularity.
If Kennedy had a 2010 trip to the NCAAs on his resume, say, the conversation heading into next season would be perhaps not as urgent but still essentially the same - largely because of that new gym and the need to generate some sizzle for it.
Brian Dozier, the Fulton product who's been starting much of the season at shortstop for the Minnesota Twins as a rookie, was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after the Twins' game on Tuesday night.
A Twins blogger provides some analysis here.
The 25-year-old Dozier, who played at IAHS and Southern Miss, was hitting .234 in 84 games with six home runs and 33 RBIs. There had been buzz this week at ESPN.com that the Twins' management was considering sending Dozier down for more work on his hitting and fielding. Dozier has 15 errors this season.
“I'd have sent me down, too,” Dozier told reporters. Last year, he was the Twins' minor leaguer of the year.
Minnesota assistant GM Rob Antony told the local ESPN Radio affiliate that the demotion to Triple A was as chance for Dozier to “get his confidence back offensively and defensively.” Story here.
He may have made the decision easier with a play in the field on Sunday that that led to a Twins loss, after he failed to try to throw home in tie game. It didn't go into the books as an error, but was portrayed by the Twins' local media as a mental lapse.
Jamey Carroll (.247) started Monday and Tuesday at shortstop for Minnesota.
A quick fan favorite despite his struggles, Dozier has been the subject of a couple recent stories in the Daily Journal, this one from about a month ago and this one from about two weeks ago. Always, he's been unfailingly good to deal with.
A couple of things that jump out after looking in depth at Dozier's batting stats – he was hitting only .206 in night games, .227 against right-handed pitchers and .207 with runners in scoring position. He had 16 walks against 58 strikeouts and a .271 on-base percentage.
Dozier was hitting .276 in 28 games at Rochester – with a much better .339 on-base percentage – before his callup in early May. At Triple-A, he was hitting .316 against right-handers.
(We’re counting down to the first Saturday of college football, now 19 days away)
Wow, sorry, but the past week was mainly dedivated to the production of our Football Journal high school preview section.
A question I was getting a lot at the end of last week was how I thought the departure of "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu from the LSU roster would affect the Tigers' outlook.
I sad then, and I'll repeat - it will cost LSU one win at some point this season. His potential as a kick returner and a general all-around gamebreaker will be hard to replace.