Daily Archives: March 10, 2010

He’s just being honest.

John Calipari minimizes the significance of the SEC basketball tournament:

“We’re playing for a seed. That’s what we’re playing for,” Calipari said. “Now, we’d like to win this tournament, but it’s not the end-all for us. Our whole goal is that seed, and if we lose our first game, we’re not going to be a No. 1 seed. If we win the first and lose the second, then I think we’ve done enough to get that 1 seed.”

He’s right, of course.  But would you ever want to hear Mark Richt utter something akin to that?



Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Senator Hatch’s new shopping list

Fresh off of this week’s insult, Orrin Hatch has had enough of lobbying Barack Obama and has turned his sights directly on the BCS suits.

Spring football practice is beginning at many universities. And after a bit of an off-season, Sen. Orrin Hatch resumed attacks Tuesday on the Bowl Championship Series, too.

Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., sent a letter to BCS executive director Bill Hancock attacking — and seeking more information about — BCS revenue sharing, TV contracts, computer rankings and even whether money that should go to colleges is instead being spent to lobby Congress.

Besides that letter, Hatch also issued a press release saying, “It’s clear that the BCS is fundamentally unfair and harmful to schools, students, college football fans and consumers throughout the country.”

Consumers?  Sounds like Senator Hatch ought to think about teaming up with Ralph Nader.

Anyway, the man wants answers:  “I think the architects of the BCS should provide the public with more information to dispel the notion that the system is explicitly designed to favor certain teams while disfavoring others.”

Dispel what?   The market favors certain schools’ fan bases, so of course the system favors certain schools.  Why else is Hatch’s beloved Mountain West Conference fighting the hard fight to gain an AQ bid?

If this is a true mystery for Hatch, perhaps the University of Utah has an online Econ 101 class he can sign up for.  In any event, what kind of information is he demanding?

  • why the Big Six receive a bigger share of the BCS money than the mid-majors do
  • what those dadgummed computers are up to (can’t wait to hear Hatch try to explain that to us):

They also want the BCS to de-mystify formulas used in six computer rankings that are utilized, in part, to determine BCS rankings and who will play in the championship game.

“The exact standards utilized to derive the computer rankings have not been made public. This is particularly troubling in that the apparent reason for including the computer rankings is to ensure some level of objectivity,” they wrote.

They said something seems askew since Texas Christian University of the Mountain West finished the regular season undefeated, but ranked only fifth.

The senators said one team ranked higher had a loss, and TCU had as many wins against ranked opponents as two teams that finished higher in computer rankings. They also complained that undefeated Boise State was tied in computer rankings with two-loss Oregon.

  • the new TV money and whether revenue disparity “is going to increase under the new arrangement.”
  • and, my favorite, the hiring of an executive director and a lobbying/public relations firm by the BCS.

They asked whether such spending is being “paid from funds that would otherwise be distributed to the schools?” In short, they wonder if schools from conferences without automatic BCS berths may be giving up money to lobby against their chances of obtaining better treatment from the BCS.

Gosh, maybe this wouldn’t have happened if the debate hadn’t moved into the government sphere in the first place, ‘ya think?

In response, the BCS yawned.

Hancock issued a statement in response to the senators’ letter: “I look forward to carefully reviewing the senators’ letter with its many requests. However, it sure seems odd for Congress to worry so much about college football when the nation has so many important issues to deal with.”

All that’s missing is a press release from Ari Fleischer decrying socialism and we’ve got it totally covered.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Political Wankery

We know what you are, we’re just haggling over the fee.

It’s tempting to read too much into yesterday’s news that radical conference expansion/realignment might force Notre Dame’s hand, primarily because it’s not clear that such a level of change is about to happen.  If all that happens in the near future is that the Big Ten does in fact pull the trigger and add one team to its membership, is that really enough to make the Irish give up their vaunted independence?

On the other hand, if things do start getting crazy, Notre Dame doesn’t want to be the loser in a high stakes game of musical chairs.

Staying with the Big East could be a concern as the other leagues possibly take teams for their expansion.

“What if realignment impacted the shape of the BCS?” he said. “Also, the Big East has been a great home for us [in other sports], but if there are fundamental changes to the Big East as a result of realignment, what does that do? What if a few conferences further distinguish themselves from the field? What are the competitive ramifications of that?

In the end, Swarbrick is signaling that Notre Dame can be bought for the right price under certain conditions, admittedly a somewhat startling admission.  Call it Charlie Weis’ final legacy.

It’s just that nobody’s offered enough – yet.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

This is football-related. Sort of.

I don’t know what’s more awesome about this post (h/t The Agitator), the header or the graph.

I wonder what a similar chart for Alabama during the most recent BCS title game would look like (insert outhouse joke here).


Filed under Science Marches Onward

Hearst, Bleacher Report and a new low

More negative reaction on the questionable decision by Hearst to embed Bleacher Report posts in its sports section can be read here.

To the decision-maker at Hearst who made this call, all I can say is that when The Big Lead professes to a higher level of journalistic integrity than you do, it’s time to revisit your decision.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, The Blogosphere