Maddening Madness talk

It’s getting to the point where pundits and bloggers aren’t even bothering to try to make sense about the consequences of an extended tourney.  Here’s my man Joe at Coaches Hot Seat Blog:

Please, if you are going to celebrate the bowl system and the BCS we sure the Hell don’t want to hear any of you coaches telling your players that excellence and performance on the field is what counts, because then you would be a massive hypocrite.  Calling something that is real that isn’t real doesn’t make it right and when you are rewarded for mediocrity, with college football being the only sport that rewards such mediocrity in our country, is not right and the coaches know it is not right.

Now I follow a school that saw its basketball coach get a reprieve from his fate with a flukish SEC Tournament win that led to a berth in the NCAA tourney, only to get canned in the middle of the following season when that little stretch was revealed to be nothing more than a mirage, so Joe’s “only sport” reference falls on deaf ears here, but, really, how hard is it to notice that teams with losing records make appearances in the NCAA basketball postseason – which is for a national title, mind you – far more often than they do in college bowl games?

As a topper, there’s the unintentional comedy of Joe’s last comment on the subject.

… Yes, expanding the NCAA Tournament to 96 teams would raise more money but if more money is all that the NCAA is about then they might as well shut their doors and close the whole Damn operation down.

Meanwhile, here’s a brilliant observation from SI.com’s Michael Rosenberg (h/t Braves and Birds).  Extolling the awesomeness that is March Madness, Rosenberg writes, “The NCAA tournament is never overhyped because from November to March, most of the country doesn’t pay attention to college basketball.”

By that logic, what would make the tourney the perfect sporting event would be to dispense with the regular season entirely.  And best of all, nobody would miss it.

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4 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

4 responses to “Maddening Madness talk

  1. The Realist

    Rewarded for mediocrity? How many people do an okay job at work and still cash that paycheck? Most.

    It’s a long, grueling season. If coaches want their guys to be “rewarded” by going to a bowl game to have a mini-vacation, get a gift package, and bowl ring, knowing that their game doesn’t mean much outside of the reward to the players, then what’s the problem?

    Anything greater than a plus one needs a dramatic shift in the landscape including dropping 1/3 of the teams and massive conference realignment. Slapping a playoff on what we have now is like fashioning a fourth leg out of duct tape and stapling it onto a three-legged dog. Sure, he has four legs now, but he still can’t catch the damn squirrels.

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  2. King Jericho

    Meanwhile, here’s a brilliant observation from SI.com’s Michael Rosenberg (h/t Braves and Birds). Extolling the awesomeness that is March Madness, Rosenberg writes, “The NCAA tournament is never overhyped because from November to March, most of the country doesn’t pay attention to college basketball.”

    Perhaps without the tournament, March Madness and all the brackets, most of the country wouldn’t pay attention to college basketball November to April?

    The thing that makes basketball and baseball and all the other sports that play a hundred game regular season so situational for me to watch is just that, there’s a hundred different games I can watch during the season. With football, you have 1 to 2 games you watch during the week and the rest are on Saturday. I don’t work Saturday, I don’t have obligations on Saturdays during the fall, you can tailgate for hours and hours (not on N Campus) on Saturday because no one has classes, etc. It’s a whole different culture.

    Perhaps the only saving grace that college basketball has is the tournament. Take that away and you might as well be watching soccer.

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    • The Realist

      College basketball teams only play about 30 regular season games. 16 of those are conference games played in about 8 weeks. 9 of Georgia’s conference games were played on Saturdays. 5 of those at home.

      Conference play is virtually meaningless, except for its impact on seeding for the tournament.

      Does the tournament give popularity to a sport that wouldn’t have it otherwise, or does it strip the significance from a regular season that would have more popularity under different circumstances?

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  3. JasonC

    It’s been a while since I watched it, but I remember the NBA and even the NFL rewarding some mediocrity too. I mean, the NBA used to let every team in the playoffs except for the Clippers, Golden State and 2 teams from the East.
    But actually the worst for rewarding mediocrity is the Alabama High School Football Association. I remember a 3-8 team getting into the playoffs because they went 1-2 in conference.

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