Sports

More People Preaching that the BCS is Good

I love the BCS Twitter feed. It is so much fun to read…
First, they point us to this article that basically says a playoff would dilute the regular season for college football. That is bunk. If you have a 16 team playoff field that is populated with the 11 conference champions and 5 at large bids. Schools need to ensure a conference championship to punch an automatic ticket to the playoff. Every game will still count. If by chance they come in second in their conference, they’ll be competing with about 110 other schools for the 5 at large spots so they’ll need an impressive resume to punch their ticket so they’ll need some big name out of conference wins to help get an invite.

This article basically says the BCS is good because it provides lots of money to schools/conferences that get to participate. I was still under the impression that college sports were still sports. Yes, they can’t loose money, but they do need to break even and sports like football (and b-ball and at some schools, hockey) need to pay for the rest of the non-revenue sports, but isn’t the ideal behind it that it is still a sport. (Pro-sports are a whole ‘nother can of worms.) Isn’t the NCAA suppose to help their member schools maximize the revenue of the sports. Not the revenue of their business?

It also says that for the 2 teams that make to the championship game, they’ll have to go through so many extra games that the risk of injury increases and becomes to great. Whether they play a single bowl game or 4 games to win a championship, they’d probably end up practicing the same amount of time do the risk of injury isn’t really that much greater.
I’m sick of hearing about everyone complaining that congress spent some time creating a law that says that the BCS can’t call the winner a champion. I’m guessing the discussion went like this… Hey, the way the BCS decides a champion is bunk. Let’s force them to make a playoff. Here’s a proposed law. All in favor, say Aye. And then they went back to healthcare discussions.
And if the NCAA Football is a business worrying about providing lots of money to the conferences and schools, why are they even concerned for the well being of the players? They aren’t. They use it as a distraction to protect their friends that run the bowls and makes a boat load of money for organizing a football game that the student athletes will remember for the rest of their lives. I can’t wait to hear a player shout out in excitement “I’m so proud to be the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Champion. It is the crowning achievement of my college career.” Oh wait, that’ll never happen.
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The Mess that is the BCS

Alright everyone, I’ve been chomping at the bit to write this ever since I saw that the BCS has created a website dedicated to documenting the problems with a playoff in college football. I found out about via the BCS Twitter feed. Both have been providing me with a daily source of entertainment since I found them.

First, I’ll mention an article that the BCS Twitter feed about how the BCS is going down the right path. It brings up the fact that there could be 5 undefeated teams at the end of the year and how it is nice that TCU, Boise State and Cincinnati are at least in the conversation of a national championship and how pre-BCS they never would have been. OK, I’ll grant the BCS that, but with a true playoff, not only would they be in the conversation for a championship, they’d be in a playoff that would determine one. The best quote from the article which really doesn’t help the BCS’ cause is this:

That simple truth hasn’t changed in the BCS which, for all its flaws, is largely a product of human whim.

For those unsure of the definition of whim, it is this (from dictionary.com) an odd or capricious notion or desire; a sudden or freakish fancy. With that definition in mind, the article that BCS uses to stump its case brings up the fact that the team’s playing in the championship are decided by humans that really aren’t giving a ton of thought to the votes. I’ve heard many mentions in the press that coaches really don’t have time to fill out their polls in a meaningful way, they are busy figuring out how to win their next game. Press members really don’t have the time either. Between the conclusion of games on Saturday and Sunday afternoon when the polls are released they need to thoughtfully evaluate all of the games from the previous day while writing their various articles for the local paper they work for or whatever media outlet they work for. They don’t have the time.
Now back to their new website…
On the front page of playoffproblem.com they list off 7 questions with the intent being they’d dissuade you from wanting a playoff. I’ll go through those one by one now…
1) Who would participate?
I’ll just flat out say a 16-team playoff is necessary. Checking the college football schedule on ESPN.com I found that there are 12 football conferences. You can’t have a bracket that doesn’t have at least one spot for each conference champion. If winning your conference doesn’t allow you to play for the national championship, it just isn’t right.
2) How many automatic qualifiers?
I’d award each conference champion (however a conference decides it) and any undefeated team an automatic bid. If you want to open an extra at-large spot or two, you could put the caveat in that the conference champion would have to have 2 or fewer losses to earn an automatic bid. (I would personally lean to have the automatic berth require 2 or fewer losses). This would typically open another 2 or 3 spots (for example, this year, Conference USA, Sun Belt and possibly MAC conferences would not earn automatic bids because their champions have too many losses.) Each year there would typically be 4 to 7 at large berths.
3) What would would be the criteria to qualify?
I’ve already answered this question in my answer for how many automatic qualifiers. Look to my answer for the next question for filling the at-large berths.
4) What would be the criteria for seeding?
For the at-large berths and the seeding, I’d do what the NCAA does for their exciting basketball tournament. They sequester some people intimately involved in the sport (conference commissioners and athletic directors) to select teams for the at-large berths and seed them accordingly. They seem to do a good job for basketball.  I’d personally put a heavy preference on undefeated teams getting top seeds, followed by conference champions with at-large’s getting the last spots.
5) Where would the games be played?
In the first round of 8 games, I’d play them at the the higher seeds stadium. Give them a reward for a well down season. Second round games, I’d play them at a neutral stadium that can handle the demand of the two teams that is a fairly equal distant for traveling purposes for the teams/fans. Semi-final and championship could be played at traditional bowl locations.
6) When would they be played?
I’d play the first game the week after the regular season is done and then every two weeks thereafter. This would provide a break for finals at most universities between the 1st and 2nd round games and the 2 weeks between the 2nd round, semifinal and championship would provided adequate time for fans to arrange travel, etc. This would have games on the 2nd and 4th weekends of December and January. People may say this stretches it out too long, but that would only get really long for 2 schools and sort of long for 4 schools.
7) Would everyone be satisfied?
The BCS website says no, but I’d beg to difer. Maybe teams 17, 18 and 19 aren’t too happy about not getting in, but guess what, they probably have 2, 3, or 4 losses and if they have that many, should they really have a reason to complain. No. The way things are today, there could be 3 undefeated teams on Sunday that don’t get to play for the National Championship and I think they would have a lot more right to complain than team 17, 18 and 19.
Some other notes about how to get in and what nots…
  • No limits on how many teams from a single conference. If a conference has 2 undefeated teams, they’d both get in, one via the conference championship, one via going undefeated. (This could happen in the Big Ten for example.)
  • No special rules for any independent teams. They’d need to earn an at-large berth or go undefeated to get an automatic entry.
Finally, after digging deeper on the BCS website, they pose the question Why would a playoff diminish the regular season? Here is their answer:

Playoffs would weaken the regular season. It has happened in every other sport. Once a team has clinched a playoff berth, subsequent regular-season games often become meaningless. The interest of fans, sponsors, television viewers and others is redirected from the regular season into the playoff.

I take offense to their answer. The only way to clinch a berth is to win your conference. Many conferences have a championship game which is the last game of the year for those teams. They need to win it to get an automatic berth. If there is a maximum loss to keep the automatic bid, they’d also have reason to keep winning. I don’t thin this will water down the regular season.
When they talk about about watering down an experience, I think they’ve successfully watered down the bowl experience. They say 68 teams get to go to a bowl game. Yes, some bowl games are rich with tradition (Fiesta, Rose, Sugar, Orange, etc) that every year have a quality match up. Now there is the Little Ceaser’s Bowl. Yay, I’m the Little Ceaser’s Bowl Champion… we defeated a 7-5 team and got some free pizza. (no offense to Little Ceaser’s… I eat their pizza weekly.) I’d chalk that up as one of my great college experiences…. err, maybe not. Yeah, it would be fun. But playing for a true championship would be way more fun.
Finally, just because there is a playoff, doesn’t mean the bowls can’t go on. If 68 teams go to bowls today, why can’t 52 teams go to bowls while the others play in De-January Madness.
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The Jersey… Part 2

Back in April I posted how I thought it would be awesome if the guy who put a Red Sox jersey in the cement of the new Yankee Stadium had buried a second item somewhere. I specifically mentioned a second jersey, but now there are reports of a score card being buried somewhere, and this time, he isn’t blabbing about the location.

Heard about this from Keith Olbermann/Deadspin/USA Today.

In the words of Eric Cartman… “Sweeeet!”

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Ice Mite Fight

I grew up playing hockey, so it holds a special place in my heart. The NHL playoffs are fun to watch, and so is college hockey (I follow the Badgers). Olympic hockey is also a lot of fun to watch.

One thing I’ve never been a fan of is fights in hockey. I just never really saw the point. Once you’re old enough to check, there are so many legal ways to hit someone really hard, why throw your fist into somebody’s helmet. It just doesn’t make sense. So the frequent fights in the normal NHL games are pretty much a turn off for me.

Last time I went to a Badger hockey game, they had some Ice Mites playing hockey between periods. One kid tripped another and I stood up and started heckling the “refs” about missing the call. Another guy stood up and starting yelling it was clean. It became quite the funny scene and then pretty much the whole section started laughing. See Ice Mites are about 5, 6 or 7 years old and most can just kinda ice skate. They don’t know all the intricacies about playing position yet, they just kinda follow the puck. Lots of fun to watch… at least for a few minutes.

This video came to my attention from one of the many sports blogs out there. It shows, what looks like Ice Mites, getting into a fight. Unlike most fights, this one is hilarious. It almost looks like they are on the same team and someone from the other team comes to break up the fight. I had to keep myself from laughing out loud at work when I saw this. Enjoy…

Ice Mite Fight [Video]
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This Isn’t Good Sportsmanship…

It’s GREAT sportsmanship!

Sara Tucholsk, a senior from Western Oregon’s softball team, hit her first home run ever in a game vs Central Washington. In her excitement, she forgot to tag first base as she passed it and went back to touch it. That’s when her knee gave out and she crumpled to the ground.

The antiquated rules of softball (probably inherited from baseball) state that the runner has to touch all the bases for it to be a home run and Sara wasn’t able to move anymore on her own power. The rules also state that she couldn’t get help from an official, her coaches or anyone on her team to round the bases. It appeared that they were going to have to score it as a single and then put a pinch-runner in for her.

Then Mallory Holtman, a senior from Central, asked if they could carry Sara around the bases already knowing in the rules that nothing prevented that. So Mallory and Liz Wallace, both from Central, carried Sara around the bases so her first home run would be scored as a home run.

For a few more details, go check out the full article on ESPN.com.

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The Jersey

If you pay attention to sports, you’ve probably heard that a Red Sox fan who happens to be a construction worker on the new Yankees’ stadium decided to put a Red Sox shirt in the cement of the stadium. (Here’s the story from TBL.) The guy couldn’t keep a good think secret and blabbed and then the Yankee’s went and dug it up.

Here’s what would be awesome…

He went and told about this shirt to make a big fuss about it. The secret is he really buried 2 shirts in the cement and didn’t mention that there is a 2nd shirt.

That would be awesome if he was smart enough to do that!

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Brewers Ranked #1

Over at Ladies… they have the Brew Crew ranked number 1 in the MLB standings. Now I’m not a big baseball fan, but their little summary of their ranking rational made me laugh.

1st place: Cardinals and Brewers. Best records in baseball at 5-1. This is clearly the NL Comedy Central’s year to make a dramatic comeback. Half the NL All-Star starters will be Redbirds and Beer Makers, we will win home field advantage and then the Cards will beat the Brew Crew in a dramatic game 7 of the NLCS on a Pujols bomb that knocks Bernie Brewer unconscious and causes Derrick Turnbow to collapse in a pile of tears. Yep. That’s exactly what will happen.

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MSU Likes ESPN Polls

Over at ESPN, they have a poll going on right now about who’ll win the NCAA basketball tournament. I think there are just a few people from Michigan State voting based on the results from when I took the poll, particularly in questions 3, 7, 8 & 10. I’m a big fan of the results for question 2 though.

1) Which team will win the East Regional?
48.6% North Carolina
39.5% Tennessee
8.9% Louisville
3.0% Washington State

2) Which team will win the Midwest Regional?
46.8% Wisconsin
45.9% Kansas
4.8% Davidson
2.5% Villanova

3) Which team will win the South Regional?
50.4% Michigan State
30.9% Texas
10.8% Memphis
8.0% Stanford

4) Which team will win the West Regional?
73.8% UCLA
17.0% Xavier
7.4% West Virginia
1.8% Western Kentucky

5) What was the biggest surprise of the first two rounds?
36.3% (12) Western Kentucky’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer over (5) Drake
27.6% (10) Davidson upsets (2) Georgetown behind Stephen Curry’s 25 second-half points
23.8% (2) Duke beats (15) Belmont by only one point
8.5% (13) San Diego’s De’Jon Jackson beats (4) Connecticut with a last-second jumper
2.9% (9) Texas A+M loses to (1) UCLA by only two points
0.9% (16) Mississippi Valley State scores fewest points in tournament (29) since 1946 vs. (1) UCLA

6) Which No. 1 seed is most likely to lose before the Final Four?
77.1% Memphis
12.1% UCLA
6.0% Kansas
4.8% North Carolina

7) Who has been the most outstanding player of the first two rounds?
43.9% Drew Neitzel, Michigan State
29.1% Stephen Curry, Davidson
3.7% Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina
3.3% Ty Lawson, North Carolina
3.0% Joe Alexander, West Virginia
2.3% A.J. Abrams, Texas
2.2% Trevon Hughes, Wisconsin
1.8% Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
1.6% Kevin Love, UCLA
1.0% Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
++more people that I’ve omitted.

8) Which Cinderella is most likely to reach the Final Four?
61.0% (5) Michigan State
17.9% (10) Davidson
14.6% (7) West Virginia
3.7% (12) Villanova
2.8% (12) Western Kentucky

9) How many of your Final Four teams remain?
49.5% 4
43.9% 3
4.9% 2
1.0% 1
0.7% 0

10) Which team will win the NCAA tournament?
44.6% Michigan State
20.5% North Carolina
7.9% Kansas
7.2% UCLA
3.5% Wisconsin
3.1% Texas
2.5% Memphis
2.5% Tennessee
2.2% Louisville
1.7% West Virginia
1.1% Washington State
1.0% Davidson
0.8% Xavier
0.7% Villanova
0.5% Stanford
0.3% Western Kentucky

Total Votes: 213,403

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18-1…

…so beautiful!

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Carl on the Giants and Packers

Carl is not as pissed as usual, although he is still a little grumpy. He doesn’t like that he has to wear his Jessica Simpson wig for 3 more weeks. Hopefully he’ll be able to take it off after next Sunday. Anyways, enjoy his commentary on the Giants, Cowboys and Packers.

Carl’s Pissed [Video]

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