billsportsmaps.com

January 31, 2012

2011 NCAA Division I Football Rankings – Final AP Poll, Top 10.

Filed under: NCAA Gridiron Football,NCAA/fb->AP top 10 — admin @ 9:50 pm

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NCAA Division I Football, 2011 AP Top Ten


BCS national championship game: Alabama Crimson Tide stifles LSU Tigers‘, (washingtonpost.com)

The Associated Press Top 25 Poll‘, (sportsillustrated.cnn.com).
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Photo credits -
Alabama/Bryant-Denny Stadium… http://www.rmbama.com/alabama.html.
LSU/Tiger stadium…http://www.collegecharlie.com/stadiums.html.
Oklahoma State/Boone Pickens Stadium…collegegridirons.com.
Oregon/Autzen Stadium…http://tom.nosleep.net/flying.html.
Arkansas/Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, football.ballparks.com / War Memorial Stadium (Little Rock)…bing.com/maps.
USC/Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum…usctraditions.com/Images/Carousel
Stanford/Stanford Stadium….Skyscrapercity.com/thread ‘USA – College Football Stadiums’, submitted by westsidebomber here.
Boise State/Bronco Stadium…BroncoSports.com, here.
South Carolina/Williams-Brice Stadium… gamecocksonline.com; thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com.
Wisconsin/Camp Randall Stadium…bing.com/maps.

Thanks to MGhelmets.com, for the helmet illustrations.

January 26, 2012

2011-12 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper.

Filed under: 2011-12 FA Cup — admin @ 1:05 pm

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2011-12 FA Cup Fourth Round


FA Cup – results, fixtures, articles (bbc.co.uk/FA Cup).

[Note: the text and the illustration below were added 2 days after this post was originally posted.]
FA Cup 4th Round upsets, from Saturday 28 Jan. 2012 -
Hull City 0-1 Crawley Town…45 places and 2 leagues separate Crawley Town (who are in 3rd place in League Two) and Hull City (who are 8th in the Championship).

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Newcastle United…24 places and 1 league separate Brighton (10th in the Championship) and Newcastle (6th in the Premier League).

Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United…5 places separate Liverpool (7th in the Premier League) and Man Utd. (2nd in the Premier League).

Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Swansea City…4 places separate Bolton (17th in the Premier League) and Swansea (13th in the Premier League).

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Photo credits above – Reuters via dailymail.co.uk. Getty images via uefa.com.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011-12 FA Cup‘.
Thanks to the FA.com, for the photo of the FA Cup trophy.

January 19, 2012

2012 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 5:00 pm

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2012 Copa Libertadores


Copa Libertadores – scores, schedule, and standings (ESPN Soccernet).
First Stage – 2012 Copa Libertadores preliminary round matches begin on 24 and 25 January; second-leg matches from 31 Jan. to 2 Feb.
The 32-team Second Stage – The 8 4-team groups begin their 6-games-per-team schedules on 8 February, ‘2012 Copa Libertadores/schedule’ (en.wikipedia.org).

The 2012 Copa Libertadotes is the 53rd edition of South America’s most prestigious professional football competition. 2011 winners were Santos FC of Brazil, who, led by the young footballing wizard Neymar, defeated Peñarol (of Uruguay) 2-1 in aggregate to claim their third Copa Libertadores title, and the club’s first since 1963, when the club featured Pelé.

The competetion, run by CONMEBOL, features qualifying clubs from the 10 South American nations under CONMEBOL’s jurisdiction, plus, since 1998, clubs from Mexico (despite the fact that Mexican football is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF). 9 of the 11 countries involved are allotted 3 qualifying spots, while Argentina and Brazil get 5 spots. The Holder gets an automatic spot, so Brazil has 6 spots in this tournament. The football associations of each country involved have different criteria for awarding their Copa Libertadores spots, and you can see those details here {‘Copa Libertadores/Format/Qualification’ (en.wikipedia.org)}. In general terms, each country’s most recent champion or champions will qualify, plus the best-placed non-champions. In Brazil’s case, the 5 qualifiers are first place through 4th place in the previous year’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Corinthians were champions in 2011), plus the current Copa do Brasil winner (Vasco da Gama were the cup winners in 2011). In Argentina’s case, the qualifiers are the previous year’s Clausura champion (Vélez Sarsfield won it in May, 2011), the previous year’s Apertura champion (Boca Juniors won it in December, 2011), and the next best-placed non-qualifiers via aggregate of the previous Clausura season and Apertura season (Lanús and Godoy Cruz qualified this way); plus the Copa Sudamericana spot. Arsenal de Sarandí qualified this way, as best performance [Semifinalist] in the 2011 Copa Sudamericana not already qualified. Since 2010, the Argentine Football Association has had the winner, or best-placed non-qualified Argentine team, from the Copa Sudamericana also get into the next year’s Copa Libertadores, as the 5th-seeded Argentine team. [The Copa Sudamericana is analogous to the UEFA Europa League tournament in Europe, and features clubs who won national cups or who placed in the 2nd-to-14th-place range in their respective leagues].

The current format, which has been in place since 2005, has 38 teams in it, but 12 of those teams must play in a preliminary round (involving a two-legged tie), called the First Stage, in order to get to the 32-team group stage, which is called the Second Stage. The Second Stage is comprised of 8 groups of 4, and the top 2 in each group advances to the Round of 16.

On the map page, a list of the match-ups for the First Stage (aka preliminary round) is just below the top banner, at the upper right-hand corner. Or you can see the matchups at this link…’2012 Copa Libertadores/First Stage‘.

The map page features a location-map of the 38 clubs, and profiles boxes for the clubs arranged by country. Each club’s profile box features…the club’s crest and home kit; their stadium(s) and location; how the club qualified for the tournament; the club’s total national professional titles (and the year of their most recent title); the club’s total Copa Libertadores appearances (and how the club fared in their most recent Copa Libertadores appearanace); and the club’s Copa Libertadores titles (and the year of most recent title).

After the First Stage is completed, I will post another map of the 32-team Second Stage.


Records and statistics of the Copa Libertadores/by club‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Below is a chart I put together which lists the 38 qualified clubs by all-time Copa Liberrtadores appearances. Copa Libertadores titles are listed at the far left.
(You can click on the image below to get the chart on a separate page.)
2012-copa-libertadores_qualified-teams_list-of-all-time_titles_appearances_e.gif

Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs, http://www.footiemap.com/.
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2010 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012 Copa Libertadores‘.

January 11, 2012

2011-12 Conference National – Location-map, with attendance data and league table chart (inclusive to 11 January, 2012).

Filed under: 2011-12 English Football,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 7:00 pm

Note: to see my most-recent map-and-post on the English 5th division (now called the National League), click on the following…category: Eng-5th level.
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2011-12 Conference National


Conference National (aka Blue Square Bet Premier League) – results, fixtures, table (Soccerway.com).

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Photo credit – http://www.fleetwoodtownfc.com/club/highbury-stadium/.
As of 12 January, 2012, coastal Lancashire-based Fleetwood Town occupy the sole automatic promotion-spot and lead the Conference by a point over North Wales-based Wrexham, though the Red Dragons have a game in hand on the Cod Army. Fleetwood made a splash recently with their first-ever FA Cup Third Round Proper appearance, though they fell 5-1 to the second-tier club just down the road, Blackpool. Now Fleetwood, managed by the Scot Micky Mellon, can concentrate on their goal of gaining promotion to the Football League for the first time ever.

Wrexham have plenty of history in the League (80 seasons, last in 2007-08). Since late 2011, Wrexham has become the latest club in Britain to become fully supporter-owned, and they too have made a few headlines recently, being the sole remaining Non-League club still alive in the 2011-12 FA Cup. From Guardian.co.uk, from 11 Januarry 2012, by David Conn, ‘Wrexham hoping FA Cup run can complete Dragons’ rise from the ashes – Wrexham, now owned by a supporters trust, are making headlines for the right reasons again…‘.
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Image credit above – bing.com/maps/bird’s eye satellite view.
Wrexham are helmed by player/manager Andy Morrell, who at 37 is still putting balls into the net. Wrexham is seeing attendance up +23% (730 more per game than last season, to a 3,791 per game average). Wrexham’s gates are currently second-best in the Conference. {Attendance figures can be seen at the following link, just above the league table, here (Soccerway.com)}.

The biggest draw in the Conference is, for the third straight season, Luton Town, who found themselves relegated out of the Football League following financial meltdown and a 30-point deduction in 2008-09. Luton sit third, 6 points off the pace. Like another recent example of a rather large club to be marooned in Non-League football – Oxford United – Luton Town are finding it very hard to get out of the Conference and back into the Football Legaue. It must drive Hatters fans crazy knowing their club outdraws over 75% of fourth-division clubs [League Two] and over 60% of third-division clubs [League One], but still remain at the wrong side of the bottleneck at the top of the fifth division. Luton are averaging above 6,000 per game once again (6,127 per game as of 11 Jan. 2011), which is a spectacular figure for Non-League football.
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Image credit above – bing.com/maps/bird’s eye satellite view.

Rounding out the 4 play-off spots are two northern clubs – Gateshead, of Greater Newcastle, in 4th place; and North Yorkshire’s York City, in 5th place. Gateshead’s crowds are not that large for the Conference (where the median figure currently is 1,805 per game)…Gateshead are averaging 963 per game, but that is a +27% increase (an increase of +210 per game).
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Image credit above – bing.com/maps/bird’s eye satellite view.
The problem for Gateshead, nicknamed ‘the Heed’ [a Geordie colloquialism for the word 'Head'), is that they play in a dire multi-purpose stadium, the Gateshead International Stadium, that is as charmless as a running track-scarred venue can get. York are drawing well these days (currently averaging 3,150 per game), despite the fact that the Minstermen's ground is inadequate in a different way - their Bootham Crescent (opened 1932) is a relic of a ground that harks to a bygone era. From York City official site, 'Why Not Bootham?'.
Here is a supporters' site dedicated to getting York City a new ground - http://www.astadiumforyork.com/
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Photo credits above - yorkpress.co.uk. dubsteps.blogspot.com/2007/11/york-city-havant-waterlooville
That bygone era included no automatic relegation out of and promotion into the Football League, and York City, stuck in the Conference since 2004-05, could be seen as a prime example of a certain type of club - the once-seemingly-permanent-members of the 4th Division who must now labor in the wilds of the Non-League game. Back in the day (before 1986-87), the York Citys of the English football scene didn't really have to worry about losing their League status if they finished in last place, because the old boys' network of club owners would inevitably vote back in last place finishers almost year-in and year-out. In the 29 seasons from when the Fourth Division was formed, in 1958-59, to 1985-86 (which was the last season in the Football League with no automatic relegation out of the League), only three clubs got voted out of the Football League. So the last place finisher (or second-to-last place finisher, see below) in the Football League was spared 26 out of 29 times. It happened to York City in 1980-81, when they finished in last in the old Fourth Division, but were not voted out.

It was only if the club finished in or near last place in the Football League for two or three straight seasons that they risked being voted out - and this occurred with Bradford Park Avenue being voted out of the Football League in 1970, after 3 consecutive seasons at the bottom of the Fourth Division. Present-day Conference National club Cambridge United took Bradford Park Avenue's place in the Football League for the following season [in 1970-71, but CUFC were relegated in 2004-05, after a 36-season spell in the Football League].

The next club failing to be re-elected was Cumbrian club Workington, who were voted out of the Football League 7 years later in 1976-77, after two consecutive seasons at the bottom (and replaced in the Fourth Division for the following season [1977-78] by none other than Wimbledon FC). Interestingly, in that following season of 1977-78, Rochdale finished in last place in the Fourth Division, but 23rd place finisher Southport were voted out instead (Southport had finished in 23rd place for 3 consecutive seasons). The Merseyside-based Southport FC, currently a Conference National club, were the last club ever voted out of the Football League via election. That same election process in 1978 saw present-day Premier League club Wigan Athletic join the Football League, replacing Southport for the 1978-79 Fourth Division season. Wigan had never got a shot at playing League football until 1978-79, and they were a club back then who were able to draw from 4,000 to 6,000 per game [Southport were drawing just 1,873 per game and Rochdale just 1,275 in 1977-78, which were the two worst gate figures in the Football League that season]. Those 4K to 6 K per game figures that Wigan were drawing in their first 4 seasons in the Fourth Division is still higher than most clubs draw in League Two these days. It is an example of a club who was big enough to be in the Football League but for years couldn’t get voted in. One exception, in the other direction, to that state of affairs was Lincoln City, who were voted out of the Football League 3 different times in the early part of the 20th century, but each time were voted back in after just one season in Non-League football. In 1966-67, Lincoln City finished last in the Football League yet were re-elected for the following season. Then in 1986-87, the first season that the Football League allowed one automatic promotion/and one automatic relegation, Lincoln City got the unwanted distinction of being the first club to get the automatic drop to Non-League football.

Now, for the second time in their history, Lincoln City find themselves automatically relegated (along with Stockport County) out of the League [incidentally, Stockport County finished in last place in the Football League in both 1964-65 and 1973-74, and were re-elected both times].

This has added two to the ranks of the clubs with more than 65 years of Football League history that are now stuck in Non-League football. There are presently 8 clubs in this category – Lincoln City and Grimsby Town (with 104 seasons in the Football League each), Stockport County (with 99 seasons in the Football League), Luton Town (with 85 seasons in the Football League), Darlington (with 81 seasons in the Football League), Wrexham (with 80 seasons in the Football League), Mansfield Town (with 70 seasons in the Football League), and York City (with 68 seasons in the Football League). That list will probably expand in future seasons, as newcomers such as Fleetwood Town displace other clubs who have spent multiple decades in the lower divisions of the Football League.

The opening of the barred gate between the 4th Level and the 5th Level in 1986-87 will continue to have the knock-on effect of putting more clubs with no League history prior to 1987 into the Football League, at the expense of down-on-their luck clubs with vast League history. From en.wikipedia.org, ‘Former Conference clubs now in The Football League‘ [21 clubs]. Of the 21 clubs on the list, 13 had no Football League history prior to 1987, and 10 of those are not re-formed clubs (like Aldershot Town, Accrington Stanley, and AFC Wimbledon) and thus are absolute newcomers to the Football League thanks to the establishment of promotion/relegation between the Football League and Non-League football. Those 10 clubs are Barnet, Burton Albion, Cheltenham Town, Crawley Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Macclesfield Town, Morecambe, Stevenage, Wycombe, and Yeovil Town.

The map page featutes a location-map of the 2011-12 Conference national, with 2 flanking sections. On the left of the map page is a chart which shows attendance data and League/Non-League history – total seasons spent by club in the Football League (ie, the top 4 Levels of English football) and in the Conference National (the 5th Level of English football), as well as how the club arrived into their current spell in the Conference, and how many seasons that spell has lasted.

On the right of the map page is a league table chart which shows the clubs in profile boxes arranged to reflect the standings from 11 January, 2012. At that point in time, most clubs had played 27 or 28 games of the 46-game season. The profile boxes feature the club’s home kit badge, their 2011-12 kits, and info on the club including formation date, nickname, stadium name and location, 2010-11 league finish, 2010-11 average attendance (from home league matches), best finish all-time, and seasons spent in the Football League.

Scoring leaders in the Conference (as of 11 January 2012)…
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Photo credits for above – John Shaw (Gateshead), gateshead-fc.com. Liam Hearn (Grimsby Town), mansfieldtown.net/Gallery. Jamie Vardy (Fleetwood Town), fleetwoodtownfc.com/teams/jamie-vardy. Jason Walker (York City), yorkpress.co.uk. Matt Green (Mansfield Town), mansfieldtown.net/Gallery.

Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011–12 Football Conference‘.
Thanks to Soccerway.com for attendance data.
Thanks to E-F-S site for old attendance figures.
Thanks to this set of lists on the Football365 site – Club’s all-time season by league level [Levels 1 through 4, from 1888-89 to 2001-02].
Thanks to the Footy-Mad.co.uk sites, for their League History charts of each club {Levels 1 through 5], usually found at top menu bar under Club/League History; example, http://www.wrexham-mad.co.uk/.

January 4, 2012

2011-12 FA Cup, Third Round Proper.

Filed under: 2011-12 FA Cup — admin @ 9:36 pm

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2011-12 FA Cup Third Round Proper


FA Cup, results, fixtures, articles (bbc.co.uk).

The FA.com.

Note: the chart below was posted after Third Round results came in…
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The map page features a location-map of the 64 clubs playing in the 2011-12 FA Cup Third Round Proper. Attendance data inclusive to 3 January 2012 is shown at the far left on the map page. Full fixture list is at the far right on the map page.


Derbies -
The match-ups that feature clubs whose grounds are closest apart (as measured by approximate driving distance)…
Manchester City v. Manchester United – 9.4 km. (5.8 miles).
Fleetwood Town v. Blackpool – 14 km. (9 miles).
Fulham v. Charlton Athletic – 16 km. (10 miles).
Dagenham & Redbridge v. Millwall – 20 km. (12 miles).
Birmingham City v. Wolverhampton Wanderers – 23 km. (14 miles).
Nottingham Forest v. Leicester City – 38 km. (23 miles).

Here is the breakdown of the clubs in the 2011-12 FA Cup Third Round Proper…
All 20 clubs from the Premier League [the 1st Level].
All 24 clubs from the Football League Championship [the 2nd Level].
7 clubs from the Football League One [the 3rd Level] – Charlton Athletic, MK Dons, Notts County, Oldham Athletic, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Stevenage.
9 clubs from the Football League Two [the 4th Level] – Bradford City, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Crawley Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Gillingham, Macclesfield Town, Shrewsbury Town, Swindon Town.
4 clubs from Non-League football, with 3 clubs from the Conference National [the 5th Level] – Fleetwood Town, Tamworth, Wrexham; and 1 club from the Conference South [the 6th Level] – Salisbury City.

The Third Round is when clubs from the top flight and the second division enter the competition. That accounts for 44 of the 64 spots. The other 20 spots are comprised of the clubs who have survived Qualifying Round ties (4 Non-League clubs) and/or First and Second Round ties (16 third and fourth division clubs).

Salisbury City of the 6th Level league the Conference South are the lowest-placed club still alive in the competition. The Wiltshire-based club, nicknamed the Whites, have advanced through 5 rounds, and defeated Swindon Supermarine, Poole Town, Bishop’s Stortford, Arlesey Town, and Grimsby Town to get to the Third Round.

Salisbury City. Est. 1947. The Whites.
The Raymond McEnhill Stadium, Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire. Capacity 3,740. Opened in 1997. Salisbury City, a 6th Level/Conference South club, currently are averaging 738 per game, and sit 16th in the Conference South (5 points above the drop-zone).

In 2011-12, under second-year player/manager Darrell Clarke, Salisbury City reached the 3rd Round of the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s 66-year history. The Whites did this by first holding Grimsby Town to a 0-0 draw before 2,161 at the RayMac, then winning the replay at Grimsby 3-2 in extta time. From bbc.co.uk/Football, from 13 Dec. 2100, ‘Grimsby Town 2-3 Salisbury City‘.

Salisbury drew Sheffield United in the 3rd Round, and will travel to Brammall Lane in South Yorkshire for the match on 7 January, 2012.
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Photo and Image credits – bluesqfootball.com. salisburycity-fc.co.uk. Mrs.Plum at en.wikipedia.org
maps.google.com/maps. gloupe.com. english-heritage.org.uk.
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Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2011-12 FA Cup/Third Round‘.
Thanks to the FA.com, for the photo of the FA Cup trophy.

Thanks to soccernet.espn.go.com for Premier League and Football League clubs’ current attendance figures [3 January, 2012].
Thanks to soccerway.com for Conference National and Conference South clubs’ current attendance figures.
Thanks to southern-football-league.co.uk for Salisbury City 2010-11 average attendance figure.

Thanks to Sportmapworld.com for Man City/Man Utd. distance.
Thanks to UK Distance Calculator.com.

Thanks to Salisburyjournal.co.uk/sport/salisburycityfc/Salisbury City Club History.

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