"Dumb loses more than smart wins." Rece Davis, 12/31/21 | Syracusefan.com

"Dumb loses more than smart wins." Rece Davis, 12/31/21

Fjoinkay

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This was Rece Davis's response this morning after Gameday aired a nice report about Jim Harbaugh. The report was a rare behind-the-scenes look at the coach, and like most reports about most public figures if you tend to respect and enjoy the personality or person you have a positive response but if you dislike the person you tend to lean negative and sometimes even bitter or cynical. But not always, sometimes you can dislike the personality but after seeing a nice report about him or her you can still have a positive or at least a neutral response.

So, I wanted to know if Ole Rece Davis copied this quote or actually went all poetic on us; I Googled it. Turns out Robert Montgomery Knight once told Bill Belichik "Dumb loses more games than smart wins." For whatever reason Rece omitted "games" from the Bob Knight quote. To begin with I am glad Rece did not try to be original. That was smart. On top of that the Bob Knight quote is a good one, and despite what you may think about Bob Knight as a person he was a damn good basketball coach. The Knight quote focuses on particular games but it also encapsulates a general principle I think which is that silly or dumb mistakes or unforced errors or too many turnovers can generate an L much more often than being smart can generate Ws.

Giving Rece Davis the benefit of the doubt I'll guess that his use of the Knight quote is intended to express his belief that Harbaugh has smartened up as a coach or grown as a coach. It was just an awkward, somewhat cryptic, and wholly ineffective way of expressing that opinion. But only Rece Davis knows what he meant, and my generous guess here could be way off target. The murky nature of the quote could be interpreted in many ways especially later tonight depending on how the Michigan game against Georgia plays out.

Either way I think it is important to point out that Harbaugh's coaching record at Michigan through 6.5 seasons (half-season because the 2020 Covid season Michigan played just 6 games) is 61-23 and his overall college coaching record is 119-50. In 4 seasons as an NFL coach Harbaugh's teams were 44-19-1. For sure there have been plenty of dumb mistakes along the way, but Harbaugh has shown a long history of eliminating dumb and getting Ws.

Speaking of dumb, how about preseason rankings in general and more specifically the ESPN College Football preseason FPI?

Back in April ESPN College Football published an FPI that gave Michigan a zero-percent chance of making the college football playoff. That's right, no games had been played yet, but Michigan was given no chance, not even a remote possibility, to make the college football playoff. I had heard about this silly preseason FPI, but recently when I searched for it online all I could find was this article that discusses the report.


Keep in mind, it wasn't just Michigan. It appears the ESPN preseason FPI gave every team after #28 Virginia Tech a zero-percent chance of making the CFP. The ESPN FPI had Michigan at #40 in this preseason report. Of course, we all know preseason rankings are wildly inaccurate, and this year is no different although perhaps a bit more surprising. But how does anyone publish a report of any kind before any games have been played that says only 28 teams have any chance to make the CFP? Saying that a school like Michigan has 0% probability of making the playoff is saying that according to their FPI it is impossible. Can't be done. Sorry, no chance.

This is different that predicting how many Ws or Ls a team will have or saying that this team is #5 and that team is #15 preseason. Those predictions are silly too, but they they aren't absolutely crazy stupid. And look, there were several really dumb preseason predictions (about teams and Heisman hopefuls etc.), but it is only when you cross the line into saying that teams have absolutely no possibility (0% probability, not even .ooooo1% probability) to do something before any games are played that dumb becomes much dumber. ESPN College Football pulled that off!

So, this morning after the nice report on Coach Harbuagh perhaps Rece could have included an addendum to the Bob Knight quote he butchered and said that this season according the ESPN FPI preseason predictions Jim Harbaugh and Michigan accomplished the impossible. Jim Harbaugh it turns out is a bonafide miraculous coach.

Yeah, I know that would be a really silly thing to say, but ESPN College Football made it possible.
 
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JustPherU

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This was Rece Davis's response this morning after Gameday aired a nice report about Jim Harbaugh. The report was a rare behind-the-scenes look at the coach, and like most reports about most public figures if you tend to respect and enjoy the personality or person you have a positive response but if you dislike the person you tend to lean negative and sometimes even bitter or cynical. But not always, sometimes you can dislike the personality but after seeing a nice report about him or her you can still have a positive or at least a neutral response.

So, I wanted to know if Ole Rece Davis copied this quote or actually went all poetic on us; I Googled it. Turns out Robert Montgomery Knight once told Bill Belichik "Dumb loses more games than smart wins." For whatever reason Rece omitted "games" from the Bob Knight quote. To begin with I am glad Rece did not try to be original. That was smart. On top of that the Bob Knight quote is a good one, and despite what you may think about Bob Knight as a person he was a damn good basketball coach. The Knight quote focuses on particular games but it also encapsulates a general principle I think which is that silly or dumb mistakes or unforced errors or too many turnovers can generate an L much more often than being smart can generate Ws.

Giving Rece Davis the benefit of the doubt I'll guess that his use of the Knight quote is intended to express his belief that Harbaugh has smartened up as a coach or grown as a coach. It was just an awkward, somewhat cryptic, and wholly ineffective way of expressing that opinion. But only Rece Davis knows what he meant, and my generous guess here could be way off target. The murky nature of the quote could be interpreted in many ways especially later tonight depending on how the Michigan game against Georgia plays out.

Either way I think it is important to point out that Harbaugh's coaching record at Michigan through 6.5 seasons (half-season because the 2020 Covid season Michigan played just 6 games) is 61-23 and his overall college coaching record is 119-50. In 4 seasons as an NFL coach Harbaugh's teams were 44-19-1. For sure there have been plenty of dumb mistakes along the way, but Harbaugh has shown a long history of eliminating dumb and getting Ws.

Speaking of dumb, how about preseason rankings in general and more specifically the ESPN College Football preseason FPI?

Back in April ESPN College Football published an FPI that gave Michigan a zero-percent chance of making the college football playoff. That's right, no games had been played yet, but Michigan was given no chance, not even a remote possibility, to make the college football playoff. I had heard about this silly preseason FPI, but recently when I searched for it online all I could find was this article that discusses the report.


Keep in mind, it wasn't just Michigan. It appears the ESPN preseason FPI gave every team after #28 Virginia Tech a zero-percent chance of making the CFP. The ESPN FPI had Michigan at #40 in this preseason report. Of course, we all know preseason rankings are wildly inaccurate, and this year is no different although perhaps a bit more surprising. But how does anyone publish a report of any kind before any games have been played that says only 28 teams have any chance to make the CFP? Saying that a school like Michigan has 0% probability of making the playoff is saying that according to their FPI it is impossible. Can't be done. Sorry, no chance.

This is different that predicting how many Ws or Ls a team will have or saying that this team is #5 and that team is #15 preseason. Those predictions are silly too, but they they aren't absolutely crazy stupid. And look, there were several really dumb preseason predictions (about teams and Heisman hopefuls etc.), but it is only when you cross the line into saying that teams have absolutely no possibility (0% probability, not even .ooooo1% probability) to do something before any games are played that dumb becomes much dumber. ESPN College Football pulled that off!

So, this morning after the nice report on Coach Harbuagh perhaps Rece could have included an addendum to the Bob Knight quote he butchered and said that this season according the ESPN FPI preseason predictions Jim Harbaugh and Michigan accomplished the impossible. Jim Harbaugh it turns out is a bonafide miraculous coach.

Yeah, I know that would be a really silly thing to say, but ESPN College Football made it possible.
I think I saw a stat that had Harbaugh never winning a game as a underdog until the Ohio State game.
 

longtimefan

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I think I saw a stat that had Harbaugh never winning a game as a underdog until the Ohio State game.
He certainly won some games at Stanford as an underdog. For example--2007 vs USC. Stanford was a 41 point!! 'dog, and won 24-23. I believe our boy Scott Shafer was on the Stanford coaching staff.
 

sufandu

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He certainly won some games at Stanford as an underdog. For example--2007 vs USC. Stanford was a 41 point!! 'dog, and won 24-23. I believe our boy Scott Shafer was on the Stanford coaching staff.
Yeah, Stanford had fallen off pretty bad before he turned them around. Some stats are weird. I think it matters more how often you're considered an underdog than how many wins you have as one.
 

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