Burnt Orange Nation is beginning to select its nominations for the first annual College Football Blog Awards. BON's nominees for each award will be laid out in a separate post.
Readers note: nominating blogs is open to everyone. To nominate blogs for any of the categories, simply go to the Nomination Page and nominate blogs of your choice.
CATEGORY: The Dr. Z Award
FOR: Cogent, interesting analysis.
CRITERIA: Emphasis placed on statistical manipulation, well-researched pieces that reveal something new, and/or solid argumentative pieeces that function as the authoritative last word on a subject.
MGoBlog Cogent and interesting analysis is Brian's forte, really, and his readers are flat out spoiled. Think about what a typical MGoWeek is like for Michigan fans: On Thursday or Friday, they get one of the most comprehensive game previews that anyone offers, at any site. Brian's readers get the full skinny on the upcoming opponent, game trends to watch for, and so on. By Monday or Tuesday after the game, Brian's offering his readers a play by play breakdown of the game on both sides of the football. Charts galore filled with the formation of each play, goats and heroes from each snap, and tidy total game summaries that give the reader all the information they could possibly ask for.
And that's just what Brian does for football games. He's put together third down efficiency charts, a BlogPoll, and a recruiting board that most sites charge $100 a year for.
Cogent? Check. Interesting? Always. Analysis? As much, or more, than anyone around.
These guys rock. Look up cogent in the dictionary: the definition reads "convincingly to the point." That just about sums up MMBW. They burst onto my radar this summer when I started digging into Associated Press preseason voting data, hoping to find some meaningful trends and correlations. I got off to a good start, but Tom, Dan and Brian took the proverbial football and ran with it, answering the questions I raised in terrific detail, providing the insights I'd hoped to pick up.
They've not looked back since, treating readers to regular updates on "experts" and their predictive capabilities, interesting insights into "The Conversation," and more.
I promise I'm not going to nominate MGoBlog and SMQ for every category, even though they do so much so well. But this category is the one right in their wheelhouse, and I'd do the entire award an injustice not to talk about each prominently.
SMQ covers so much ground so interestingly, that there's no way to discuss it all in just a couple of paragraphs. What I will say, though, is that no other blogger has inspired so much critical thinking in me. Whether it's reconsidering how I put together my BlogPoll ballot, or whether the current BCS system ought to be scrapped, or even just a simple evaluation of an individual team, my thinking is more critically challenged by SMQ than anyone else.
It helps, of course, that SMQ's got a way with words that tickles my fancy. Eloquent, clever, thorough - SMQ's the most enjoyably loquacious blogger that I regularly read.