Wednesday, May 27, 2015

USA Today Releases Finances Database, Including FCS Schools

One of the best pieces of data reporting, in regards to NCAA athletics, comes from USA Today Sports and a group of lawyers and reporters.

It's called the NCAA Athletics Spending database, which details the amount of revenue and spending that every public school makes on athletics.  (By law, every public or partial-public school needs to disclose this information.)

It also computes the amount that each school receives in "subsidy", which is a combination of institutional support (a direct payment from the school to the athletic department), student fees (fees included in tuition that end up going to the athletic department), and taxpayer money.

The full database is here, which is interesting in and of itself, but I wanted to break out the database to only include those schools with FCS football programs.  That's what I've done below.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

LFN's #FCS Top 25

If it's late May, it's magazine season.

With the season still three months away - the official kickoff to the FCS football season, North Dakota State at Montana, will be happening on August 29th on ESPN - the big way to whittle away the time is to look at the many FCS Top 25's that are getting published in airport reading material such as Athlon and The Sporting News.

Preseason Top 25's are not right or wrong - they're just one sportswriter's opinion on the top teams going into the season.

So I figure, I've got as good as opinion as anyone else - so why don't I post my Top 25 here, and let people read that when they go on an airplane this summer and head to the beach, the lake, or wherever their hearts take them?

So here we go: My preseason Top 25, from No. 25 to No. 1.  As a added, free bonus, you'll learn exactly why I put each team where I did.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The 2015 Patsy Ratings - Fordham's Class of 2019

The businesswoman who looked suspiciously like Nicki Minaj was packing her suitcase.

Art sighed, again.

"We're done here," the businesswoman said.  We can stop the work.  Fordham's won.  Head coach Joe Moorhead won the Patriot League last year, the Patsy Points this year, and, for all we know, has won the annual Patriot League head coaching marble championship, too."

"THIS IS A JOB WE NEED TO DO TO THE FINISH," Art said ominously.  One more squad, one more final revision, and we're done for another year.  Coach Moorhead certainly seems like he has a lot of marbles in his pocket, but we need to figure out exactly how many."

"All I know is I'm fairly certain you'll find something bad to say about THIS class too," the businesswoman said.

"You know me well," Art said.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

LFN Lunchtime Reading, 5/21/2015

I'm thinking about starting something daily during the work week - a section of five lunchtime reading links I found interesting.

Most times these will involve the Patriot League, FCS football, college football, or something else that I find interesting or amusing.

Let's get right to it: Your LFN lunchtime reading for today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The 2015 Patsy Ratings - Bucknell's Class of 2019

The businesswoman who looked suspiciously like Nicki Minaj broke out the pink champale, something that made Art very angry.

"What the eff... are you doing?" he angrily asked.

"Aren't we done?" she said, almost levitating off the ground.

"NO!" Art said.  "There are two teams left to do.  I know these have been a grind - and it's taken us an unnaturally long time to do these - but there's really only two left."

Art looked at the spreadsheets again, his eyes uncomfortably glancing at the bottom drawer where he knew the Corvousier was kept.

"Two more," he said as much to himself as he did the businesswoman with the champale.  "Two more, then we can get to our summer plans."

The businesswoman sighed.   "Bucknell," she said.

"Yes, Bucknell," Art said.  "The surprise of 2014, the team that was one play away from knocking off the eventual champions.  While they won't be anyone's surprise team in 2015, what is a bit of a surprise is their overall Patsy Rating.  It's been their best in a while.  A... LONG... while."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Farewell to Grandma

How do you summarize a 96 year life?

You can't. But you try.

Such a long life is, by itself, extraordinary. So much has happened in that one life that one entire book, sometimes multiple volumes of a book, can't even cover it.

My grandmother, who died in her sleep a little more than a week ago, was one such person.

She passed away, quietly, and, by all accounts, without pain.  Death is never a complete surprise when it occurs in someone that age, though as soon as you hear of it, you feel the inevitable guilt that all survivors feel.

"Why didn't I visit more? Go out that one last time to see her? To share in her stories?"

 As I heard of her passing, I, too, felt those same pangs of guilt, the same dead feeling inside when someone who loved you, and inspired you - even from across the country - passes away.

Those feelings would eventually give way to a celebration of her life.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The 2015 Patsy Ratings - Georgetown's Class of 2019

When Georgetown's envelope appeared at the Committee's relatively empty offices, the businesswoman who looked suspiciously like Nicki Minaj was shocked.

That's because the envelope looked like someone had stuffed a copy of War and Peace inside of it.

"There's no question that this is unusual," Art told her.  "I remember the days when the Battleship Grey's entire recruiting class was released late on a Friday afternoon in May, with all the corroborating information on the class contained on a 3x5 index card.  This is.... different."

The businesswoman nodded.  "I honestly wasn't counting on needing to do this much work with Georgetown's class," she said.  "Looks like we're going to have to put on another cup of nasty coffee.  And don't cross me."

"Huh?" Art said.

"You know," the businesswoman said.  "I was thinking that I was just going to put Georgetown last in the rankings before I even did them.  I'm thinking now that they're going to be one of the best classes in this year's Patsy Ratings."

"I agree," Art said.  "Do we have to do the breakfast defector thing again, or can we charge a new round of pulled pork sandwiches to the Committee's account again?"