Keep him in Britain. There will be many in the Liberal Party delighted that Lynton Crosby has got the gig helping the British Conservative Party try and hang on to power. The last thing those back in the campaign director's home country with even a small amount of liberalism in their Liberalism want is to see any further lurching to the right by their party. The push now is to get Tony Abbott to moderate his stands rather than strengthen his conservative and reactionary views. And that's if the Opposition Leader survives at all. There are many in his party who believe it is too late for Tony Abbott to change the extremely negative view that most voters have of him. A replacement is what they are increasingly talking about. Sacking the coach. I've not really studied the record of political parties that change their leader when the polls say they are going bad. The sample is a bit small to know with certainty whether new ones do better than the old and for every Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd on one side of the scales there are all those recent NSW Labor Party failures on the other. But when it comes to football, well, that is a different matter. A just published study from the United States confirms a finding I recall from the U years ago that sacking the coach does not, on average, change the performance of a team. Professors from the University of Colorado and Loyola University Chicago studied what happened to the records of college football teams that replaced a head coach for performance reasons in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division 1-A) between 1997 and 2010. Over this period, an average of 10% of FBS teams fired their coach each year because of the team's poor performance on the field. The authors used statistical methods to compare groups of teams that were similar except for the fact that one set of teams replaced their coach in an attempt to improve performance while the other set of teams did not. They assessed how coaching replacements affected team performance for the four years following a replacement. They found that, on average:
  • When a team had been performing particularly poorly, replacing the coach resulted in a small, but short-lived, improvement in performance after a change.
  • The records of mediocre teams -- those that, on average, won about 50% of their games in the year prior to replacing a coach -- became worse.
The study -- Pushing "Reset": The Conditional Effects of Coaching Replacements on College Football Performance -- appears in the journal Social Science Quarterly. It should be made compulsory reading for football club committees. Al Gore as a rapper. There's one thing you have to say about Al Gore - the man keeps trying. Here's a musical extract from his latest effort to raise public awareness about climate change--- his 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report.

A quote for the day.