Monthly Archives: September, 2011

SIX STATS you might not know about… Wisconsin vs. Nebraska

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“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.

Two Top 10 college teams face off Saturday as the Nebraska Cornhuskers (ranked 8th) play their very first Big Ten Conference game this Saturday against Wisconsin (ranked 7th). Here’s a look at the previous match-ups between the two teams.

1. Wisconsin and Nebraska have faced each other five times previous to Saturday. Nebraska holds the edge with three wins and two losses. The Cornhuskers have played 146 games against Big Ten opponents compiling a 74-64-8 record. They are 43-21-4 at home, 4-1 at neutral sites and 27-42-4 in away games. They are 8-1 in their last nine games against Big Ten teams.

2. The very first game played between Wisconsin and Nebraska was on November 2, 1901. The game was played in Milwaukee. Wisconsin won 18-0. The Badgers went on the finish 9-0 that season, the first time they went undefeated in a season in school history. Touchdowns scored in games in 1901 accounted for only five points; the Badgers scored three touchdowns and had three extra points (called goals) in the game.

3. Nebraska won the second match-up 37-0 in a game October 9, 1965 in Lincoln, Neb. The Cornhuskers were ranked number one going in to the game; they finished ranked second in the nation that season after a Cotton Bowl loss to Alabama. The Badgers finished 2-7-1 that season.

4. Wisconsin hosted Nebraska the following year in Madison. The Cornhuskers, ranked number seven coming in to the game, prevailed again, this time by a score of 31-3. One of the interceptions in that game was made by a Nebraska linebacker named Barry Alvarez… yes, that same Barry Alvarez!

5. On September 23, 1973 the two teams played for the fourth time. Nebraska was ranked number two in the nation, but the Badgers gave them all they could handle. Nebraska won the game 20-16. The Badgers that season ended up 4-7; they lost their first three games that year by a total of eight points.

6. The last time the two teams met was Sept. 21, 1974 in Madison, a date many Badgers fans remember. Wisconsin won the game 21-20 over the fourth-ranked Cornhuskers. Nebraska ended the season 9-3, while the Badgers ended 7-4. Wisconsin was ranked number 11 in the polls after their upset win over Nebraska, but they lost their next game to Colorado 24-21. The 7-4 record for the Badgers was their first winning season since 1962.

Yankees making 50th postseason appearance

Baseball

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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Friday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Six of the eight teams that will play in the 2011 MLB postseason have been determined. The Wild Card berths are still up for grabs and we will have to wait until the final day of the season (and maybe longer!) to have a full compliment of playoff teams.

One thing is for certain… the New York Yankees are in the playoffs, a place they find themselves almost every year. In fact, the Yankees have played in 111 seasons since 1901 when the World Series began and they will be playing in their 50th postseason… a postseason appearance percentage of 45%. The surprise number two team in this stat are the Arizona Diamondbacks who have made the postseason in five of their 14 seasons (35.7%).

Here’s a look are what percentage of their franchise seasons each of the teams have played in the postseason since 1901.

Team                                                         Seasons in postseason         Total seasons             Pct

New York Yankees                                                50                                                  111                        45.0

Arizona                                                                     5                                                    14                         35.7

L.A. Dodgers                                                          26                                                  111                        23.4

Oakland                                                                  23                                                  111                        20.7

San Francisco                                                        23                                                  111                        20.7

Houston                                                                   9                                                    50                        18.0

L.A. Angels                                                              9                                                    51                         17.6

Kansas City                                                              7                                                    43                        16.3

Colorado                                                                   3                                                   19                         15.8

Chicago Cubs                                                         16                                                   111                        14.4

Toronto                                                                    5                                                    35                        14.3

New York Mets                                                       7                                                     50                       14.0

Philadelphia                                                          14                                                   111                        12.6

Pittsburgh                                                              14                                                   111                        12.6

Minnesota                                                              14                                                   111                        12.6

Detroit                                                                     13                                                   111                        11.7

Cincinnati                                                               13                                                   111                        11.7

San Diego                                                                5                                                     43                        11.6

Seattle                                                                      4                                                    35                         11.4

Florida                                                                      2                                                     19                        10.5

Baltimore                                                                11                                                   111                          9.9

Texas                                                                         5                                                    51                          9.8

Milwaukee                                                               4                                                    43                          9.3

Cleveland                                                                10                                                  111                          9.0

Chicago White Sox                                                 9                                                   111                          8.1

Washington                                                             1                                                    43                          2.3

The four teams fighting for the final two spots:

St. Louis                                                                  23                                                 110                        20.9

Atlanta                                                                    21                                                  110                        19.1

Boston                                                                    20                                                  110                        18.2

Tampa Bay                                                              2                                                    13                         15.4

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION. What team has the longest active streak of making the postseason? Answer at end of blog.

Here’s a question for you: Does the team that had the better regular season record have an advantage over its opponents in the postseason? In looking at the playoffs from 1995 to 2010, here’s what we found… In the League Division Series, the team with the better regular season record won 33 series, lost 28 series and three series were played by teams with the same regular season record. In the League Championship Series, the team with the better regular season record won 17 series, lost 13 series and two series were played by teams with the same regular season record. In the World Series, the team with the better regular season record won 7 series and lost 9 series.

TRIVIA ANSWER: The Philadelphia Phillies have the longest active playoff streak with five straight seasons in the postseason.

“My team is 2-0… should I order my Super Bowl tix?”

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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Friday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Two games does not an NFL season make, and it may not be enough to prompt some fans to go out and purchase Super Bowl tickets or give up on their team’s chances for the 2011 campaign, but what does two games into the season tell us? More importantly, can past history predict if the Super Bowl champs this year will come from the teams that are now 2-0, those at 1-1, or those still looking for their first win of 2011?

In looking at the past 45 Super Bowl champions, we discover that 30 of them (66.7%) were 2-0 in the first two games of their championship season. Ten of the teams had one win and one loss, three teams were 0-2, and two teams had one win and a tie after their first two games.

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: Can you name the last team to start the season 0-2 and win the Super Bowl that year? Answer at the end of the blog.

This year after two weeks of the season we are already down to only seven undefeated teams at 2-0 (Buffalo, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, New England, New York Jets and Washington). Time will tell if all, any, or some of the seven make the playoffs, but over the past five seasons we’ve seen that close to half of the playoff teams have been 2-0 after Week Two. Of the 60 playoff teams from the five seasons spanning 2006-2010, 29 teams were 2-0, 26 were 1-1, and only five teams that started 0-2 made the playoffs in the last five seasons. Note: In the last two NFL seasons (2009 and 2010) no 0-2 team made the playoffs in those years.

Including this season and going back another five seasons, two teams have started 2-0 in four of those six years, most in the NFL: the New England Patriots, and the Green Bay Packers. Four teams, Cleveland, Oakland, Philadelphia and St. Louis have no 2-0 starts in the last six NFL seasons.

TRIVIA ANSWER: The 2007 New York Giants started the season 0-2 and won the Super Bowl that year.

SIX STATS you might not know about… the Packers-Bears rivalry

Lambeau Field, Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packe...

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“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.

1. The Packers and Bears have played 182 games (regular-season and playoff games). The rivalry began in 1921 and is the league’s longest rivalry… it is not, however, the longest continuous rivalry because the two teams did not play in the strike-shortened 1982 NFL season.

2. The Bears lead the series with 92 wins, 84 losses and six ties. If you go back to just games since 2000, the Packers lead the series with a 14-9 record. Go back to the 1992 season and the Packers have won 27 of the last 39 games.

3. The Packers have made 26 playoff appearances, the Bears 25. Each team played in ten NFL title games from 1933-69; the Packers won eight, the Bears six.

4. Eighty-one of the 182 games in the series (44.5%) have been decided by seven points or less. The last six games have all been decided by a touchdown or less.

5. The two teams have made the playoffs in the same season four times (1941, 1994, 2001 and 2010). They played against each other in the playoffs in ’41 and last season.

6. Here’s a win-loss breakdown (team with the most wins in the decade is listed) by decade of the series:

1920’s: Chicago 7-6-3

1930’s: Chicago 12-11-1

1940’s: Chicago 16-4-1

1950’s: Chicago 14-5-1

1960’s: Green Bay 15-5

1970’s: Chicago 11-9

1980’s: Chicago 11-7

1990’s: Green Bay 13-7

2000’s: Green Bay 12-8

2010’s: Green Bay 2-1

Did you know? On Christmas Day this year the Packers and Bears will play their 184th game in this series. To fly from Lambeau Field to Soldier Field is 184 miles!

The ’30-30 Club’ opens the door for Ryan Braun

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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

With a pair of home runs on September 16, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun became the latest member of the 30-30 club (30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in one season). The Dodgers Matt Kemp became a 30-30 club member earlier in the season and currently sits with 34 home runs and 40 steals for the season. Three other players have an outside chance at joining the club this year, but have a lot of work to do in the final week: Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury with 28 HRs and 37 steals; Texas’ Ian Kinsler with 29 homers and 25 steals; and the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson with 41 four-baggers and 24 swipes.

Braun’s membership this year in to the 30-30 Club comes after the Brewers had gone over 40 years since Tommy Harper’s 30-30 year in 1970 (he had 31 home runs and 38 stolen bases that year). Following are the last seasons a team had a player in the 30-30 Club:

Never had a 30-30 Club player: Arizona, Boston, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa Bay.

1922: Baltimore

1970: Milwaukee (prior to Braun’s this year)

1977: LA Angels

1988: Oakland

1991: Atlanta

1992: Pittsburgh

1995: Chicago Cubs

1997: Colorado, San Francisco

1998: Seattle

1999: Houston, LA Dodgers (prior to Kemp’s this year)

2001: Toronto

2003: NY Yankees

2006: Washington

2007: Cincinnati, NY Mets, Philadelphia

2008: Cleveland, Florida

2009: Texas

(Note: Two players, Carlos Beltran in 2004 and Bobby Bonds in 1978, had a 30-30 season but played for two teams that year; Beltran played with the Royals and Houston; Bonds with the White Sox and Rangers.)

WE INTERRUPT HIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: What player had 30-30 seasons with three different teams? Answer at end of blog.

Did you know? Barry Bonds and his dad, Bobby, top the list for most 30-30 seasons, each with five. Alfonso Soriano has four 30-30 seasons, and Howard Johnson had three. Seven players… Willie Mays, Bobby Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero, Raul Mondesi, Jeff Bagwell, Sammy Sosa and Ron Gant… had two 30-30 seasons.

Did you know?-Part Two. Only twice in major league history have teammates had 30-30 seasons the same year: Colorado’s Dante Bichette and Ellis Burks (1996) and the Mets’ Howard Johnson and Daryl Strawberry (1987).

Did you know?-Part Three. The last 40-40 player was in 2006 when Soriano had 46 home runs and 41 steals with the Washington Nationals.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Soriano had 30-30 seasons with Washington, Texas and the New York Yankees.