The other day I sent a message to a politican columnist I know that said simply this:
“Keep calling balls and strikes as you see them.”
I don’t always agree with her—actually, very rarely do—but I respect the way she approaches her craft and the logic of the arguments she makes.
In this day and age of polarization, it makes sense to hear both sides rather than look for ones that ratified a pre-existing view.
Later in that message, I mentioned to her that the pitch cast on the Phillies games does a much better job at calling balls and strikes than the humans behind the plate do. That’s because the computer—setting the batter’s box the way it should be (belt to knees)—doesn’t make mistakes.
That brings us to the case Temple quarterback Frank Nutile made at media day.
“We’re loaded,” he said.
His head coach, Geoff Collins, was more cautiously optimistic in that kind of setting but said after the bowl game that he was going to have a “ridiculous” team in 2018.
I interpreted that as ridiculous as in the good kind because of the number of key returning players the Owls have in 2018.
Those are humans, though, and humans, like the umpires, can make mistakes in those types of evaluations.
Setting up the equivalent of the “pitch cast” box to take an objective view is the fact that the Owls have three immovable tackles in the middle of the field in Michael Dogbe, Dan Archibong and Freddy Booth-Lloyd and options at both ends in Quincy Roche and either Nickolas Madourie and Karamo Dioubate. Madourie is a junior college transfer who had 17.5 sacks at that level and Dioubate, who has been in the interior in his first two college seasons but was a high school All-American at defensive end, which got him recruited by schools like Penn State and Alabama. If Madourie’s jump to major college football doesn’t translate, Dioubate should be able to handle the other end position. Hell, Dioubate is more of a defensive end than he is a tackle and the Owls might want to utilize his talents where he can create more Mayhem. Just a thought.
The Owls have really good linebackers and defensive backs.
Put them all together and this should be a much more impressive defense that held eight-win Florida International to just three points.
Nutile has played against that defense every day in the offseason and it might be one of the reasons he used the word “loaded” or Collins used the word “ridiculous.”
Those are subjective words, but there is a lot objective data backing it up. The ultimate arbiter will be the record, not the humans who call the balls and strikes.
Wednesday: That’s Special
Friday: Silver Linings