Morning Five: 09.07.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on September 7th, 2010

  1. If you’re inclined to buy into the ridiculousness that “every week is a playoff” meme in the college football realm, then this post wrapping up Week 1 of the season is for you.  As the article points out, 40 of the 120 D1-A teams in the National College Football Tournament have already been eliminated.  As such, let’s never discuss them again.  And each week, when many more teams are eliminated, let’s never discuss them again either.  And if that results in a meaningless Ohio State-Michigan rivalry game or a meaningless Texas-Oklahoma game come late November, then so be it — there should be little or no attention paid to those games unless their result impacts the national title picture.  But let’s pick one or the other, ok?  Either it’s a playoff system, or it’s not.  But it simply cannot be both.
  2. Oregon is bleeding players in the wake of Dana Altman’s arrival in Eugene.  The latest is Michael Dunigan, a former big-time recruit for Ernie Kent who averaged 9/5 last season while shooting 55% from the field.  Dunigan will head overseas to play professionally, and his departure represents the fifth Duck player lost since Ernie Kent’s dismissal in March.  Altman has a major rebuilding project ahead of him on the court, but hey, at least the scoreboard hanging above the court will be the best in the nation.
  3. The modern-day version of Damon Bailey?  James Blackmon, Jr., a high school freshman at Ft. Wayne’s Bishop Luers HS, committed to Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers before ever playing a game in high school.  Of course, this isn’t terribly unusual in this era, but don’t forget that Billy Gillispie had a few such beyond-early commitments when he was at Kentucky, and well, let’s just say that those weren’t exactly binding.  Four years is a long time in the high-pressure world of college basketball, and although Crean seems to be moving in the right direction, he doesn’t have forever either.
  4. With the addition of BYU, the general consensus around the WCC seems to be that a rising tide will lift all boats there.  Is that indeed the case, though?  Only Gonzaga and St. Mary’s last year were among Pomeroy’s top 100 teams, and it seems that the addition of the Cougs would help the overall league profile.  But what really needs to happen is that the bottom half of this league (squarely in the 200s) needs to markedly improve; we’re about 50/50 on whether BYU will be somewhat dragged down by it in the short term.
  5. Just a friendly reminder, but today is the deadline for UConn to respond to the NCAA regarding the eight allegations it was accused of earlier this summer.  Of course, no decisions will ultimately be made until much later into the fall, but it’ll still be interesting to see how far UConn throws itself under the bus with self-imposed sanctions in order to curry favor with the NCAA.
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7 responses to “Morning Five: 09.07.10 Edition”

  1. Andrew says:

    Just because a team is eliminated from national title contention in football doesn’t mean their season is over, doesn’t mean there is nothing else they can accomplish… Is the national title the only goal in college basketball? There are 200+ teams that have a theoretical chance at winning the NCAA tournament next season who will have to pick other more reasonable goals…

    While I love the NCAA tournament, the march towards the inevitable football playoff is doing more to hurt the sport than a playoff to determine a slightly-less-mythical national champion could ever cure.

  2. rtmsf says:

    But Andrew, that’s not the argument that we hear. We hear over and over again from the BCS-defenders that the reason it’s so wonderful is b/c every weekend is a playoff. If that’s TRULY the case, then let’s hold to that standard. Therefore, once teams are out of contention, then we need to stop talking about them. The casual fan isn’t interested in an 8-4 Notre Dame team unless they’re a ND fan.

    The flip side to the argument is that they have to admit that there are actually meaningful games that do not impact the national title race, and if that’s the case (again, not my argument, but the one we hear), then the CBB regular season isn’t meaningless or w/o value either (a common refrain).

    I’m looking for consistency in the argument. I personally believe there is value in all kinds of games in all kinds of situations, but I’m not the one running around telling everyone that every week of the CFB season is a playoff either.

  3. The Ducks should never have let Ernie Kent go. He was going back on the upswing. He either recruits or coaches, and he finally had a team full of competent players again… and then they all left.

  4. Andrew says:

    I don’t think the argument that every weekend is a playoff is inconsistent with still caring about teams once they are eliminated from national title contention.

    Because it certainly is true that every week in college football is a playoff, in that if a certain team loses, they no longer have a chance to be national champion. That hit home big time last night when Boise State was playing – if they lose, their national titles hopes were over. But, if they had lost, they would have still had many over their season goals still available: win the WAC, get to a BCS bowl, etc.

    Much like, say, Arkansas-Pine Blufff or Monmouth or Montana or Davidson in basketball – all of those teams have theoretical chances at winning a national championship, but just based on budgetary and other reasons, those chances are simply that, theoretical. Doesn’t mean we should quit caring about them just because they aren’t going to win the national championship. They still have plenty of reasons to play.

    And, for what its worth, there would have been significantly less drama in last night’s BSU/VT game if BSU could have lost and still made it into a playoff for the championship at the end of the season. The system for determining a college football champion is far from perfect, but a playoff system (of any type) has its drawbacks too.

  5. rtmsf says:

    I think you’re looking at it as fans of those particular teams would. And of course if you’re a Boise State fan, you care about every game on the schedule.

    The point I’m trying to get at is that the every game = playoff meme means that the “casual fan” doesn’t care (and shouldn’t care) about Boise as soon as they lose their next game. This is the corresponding argument that refers to the MBB season only really “matters” during three weeks in March. If all we’re talking about are meaningful games that matter, then Boise’s games after an L simply do not matter.

    My point is that neither is true. There is value to both Boise State’s games after a loss just as there is value to a January game between Purdue and Michigan State in basketball.

    I think BCS defenders try to have it both ways — they want for Michigan-Ohio State games to “matter” b/c of the rivalry and the tradition of it all, but they rip college basketball b/c of a “meaningless” regular season. You see, that doesn’t work. If Duke-Carolina in February is meaningless, then so is that UM-OSU game (assuming it doesn’t impact the natl. title race, as it does not in most years).

  6. Andrew says:

    Okay. I’ll agree with all (or most) of that, although I still can’t get past the idea that just because a game doesn’t have an effect on the national title picture that it is inherently meaningless.

    And, screw the casual fan.

  7. rtmsf says:

    Now I regret calling this site RTC… shoulda been Screw the Casual Fan, haha. Has a much better ring to it.

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