Living on borrowed time

I know I should post something about the annual grumbling March Madness selection spawns and how that should be a lesson to those who think the only thing keeping college football from true greatness is a bigger postseason field, but either I’m too jaded by it or too resigned to CFP’s ultimate fate to give a shit.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

57 responses to “Living on borrowed time

  1. PTC DAWG

    What you really have is the best 32 or so teams in a tournament..about 10% of the teams that plat Division 1 basketball….not all that many really.

    As far as comparing to football, I just don’t see it.

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  2. With ~35 at-large bids, no one on the wrong side of the bubble has anyone to blame but themselves for their invitation to the NIT or the end of their season. The mid-major who got upset in their conference tournament and got snubbed yesterday should have won their league or played and beaten some teams on a bigger stage to prove they belong. The Power 5 team who thought they should be in should have taken care of business and not lost that winnable game in December or January to put them in a position where they needed to play on Selection Sunday to get in.

    To your question on college football, there are at most 6 teams per year that warrant a shot to win the national championship in the current selection format (I can’t stand that damned committee). Any expansion beyond that unless it’s a champions only 8-team format moves everyone closer to the same bitching and moaning we heard yesterday from coaches whose bubbles burst about 6 p.m. yesterday.

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  3. 3rdandGrantham

    Not sure about the rest of you, but I care very little about CBB anymore, and rarely even watch it. The product itself is a far cry from the game I grew up with as a kid 20-30 years ago, and I simply find it boring. When you combine limited talent with poor fundamentals and over coaching, you’ve got a giant mess on your hands.

    Sadly, I’m afraid CFB is heading down the same path in their own unique way.

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    • JCDAWG83

      I agree about CBB. Watching talented yet raw freshmen and sophomores and untalented but experienced juniors and seniors play “look at me” basketball holds almost no interest for me. In the past, you could at least expect a senior laden team to know how to execute plays and show some development over a young team.

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      • DawgPhan

        I get the impression that you guys aren’t watching the NBA either. Is there basketball that you do watch or did you just want to complain about basketball because, you know, other reasons?

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    • 3&G, I agree with you. I fill out a bracket with a passing interest in the tournament, but I don’t consider the tournament to be “must see” TV. Kentucky and North Carolina are the epitome of what’s wrong with CBB. Recruit a bunch of 5-star players who plan to be one and done and throw them out on the floor together.

      I just know the golf course is going to be empty on Saturday and Sunday afternoon for the next 3 weekends!

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      • sUGArdaddy

        Uh…UNC starts 2 seniors, a junior and 2 sophomores. They’re 6th man is a junior, and their 2 best players are easily their two seniors. They’re most recent national championship in 2009 came on the back of a 4-year starter (Hansbrough), and Roy somehow got Harrison Barnes to stay in school for two seasons.

        If you want to point to UK as the poster child for one and done, look down the road from Chapel Hill in Durham as the other. But, UNC has done it a little differently.

        But what are these coaches supposed to do — not sign the best players they can?

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    • PTC DAWG

      I enjoy it myself. Watch all 3 of UGA’s games in the SEC Tourney. Saw most of their games during the year in some form or another, especially once SEC play started.

      Did not make a game in Athens this year, first time in many years not hitting up at least one.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        It didn’t help matters that I tuned in to the last 10 min or so of the A&M-LSU semifinal game on Saturday while sick in bed, in which LSU shot something like 19% from the field for the game and 45% of their FT’s.

        As a UGA alum it pains me to say this, but I haven’t been able to get into or truly watch UGA BB games with any sort of consistency in years.

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        • PTC DAWG

          IF the UGA/KY game and the effort they put forth didn’t entertain, you are doing it wrong.

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          • PharmDawg

            It would have been entertaining if I had watched, but I cannot get over the fact that we will lose those games, so why watch. I just read about it later. I don’t mean to be this way, but until we change our history, I have no desire to watch. I just don’t believe UGA is committed to basketball, so neither am I. I hate it for the athletes, but my time is valuable to me, too. I know it could be a chicken – egg thing that if the fans got excited, maybe the UGA will recruit better, etc., but I am just jaded with getting involved in the past and just being beaten in the end when we play a good team. I’m tired of close, I want to win a few. I was all in during the Tubby era and into the Herrick era. I faded after that. I don’t watch other CBB games either as I am only interested in my teams in basketball, so if my team isn’t playing, I don’t watch. I do watch the Hawks in NBA and have been to a few games this year. I also like to watch the Warriors.

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  4. DawgPhan

    So I noticed last night that LSU turned down an NIT invite.

    I also remembered that Mizzou turned down a bowl game.

    Then I remembered that lots of teams turn down invites/games all the time.

    Then I wondered why Mizzou players threatening to turn down a game required the response it has gotten, when administrators turn down games all the time and no one bats an eye

    I think that it is pretty clear that Ben Simmons status for LSU was the reason they turned down the NIT.

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  5. old dog

    Coach Fox already knew he was 2 or 3 quality wins short of a full deck…he sure went on record lobbying hard to get in the tournament as the door was closing on him…maybe Kirby will teach him how to full court press on recruiting… 😉

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    • “maybe Kirby will teach him how to full court press on recruiting …”

      Maybe the problem is a recruit comes on campus and knows that his sport is a clear 2nd fiddle when he sees the arena he will be playing in and the lack of tradition his sport has at the school. A nice practice facility helps, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that the Steg just isn’t a great facility.

      To make up for it, Fox needs to be relentless on the recruiting trail, but can he do it? That’s the $2+M question …

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      • Gaskilldawg

        The Steg isn’t a recruiting liability. The players practice and have their lockers and lounge in the adjoining practice facility. It is plenty nice; the Hawks think so much of it that the Atl. NBA team uses it for preseason camp. The players don’t spend the games in Steg’s concourse or seats. The renovations to the Steg make it a nice facility for the fans, anyway.

        The UGA recruiting liability is UGA’s reputation as a football only university. Think other teams are telling recruits, “Come here and you will be a big man on campus. Go to Georgia? It is talking about 93,000 to watch a football practice, but could not sell out a Saturday basketball game against Tech.”

        Think there is a reason 3 of our 4 2016 freshmen are from out of the south, where they have not heard AAU and high school coaches are not familiar with what Michael Adams did to basketball at UGA?

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        • The Steg is symptomatic of our reputation as a “football only university.” I’m concerned that will only grow greater as the $30m Taj Ma-IPF goes up clearly in sight of a 1960s-style arena in need of replacement.

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          • Gaskilldawg

            The old Steg was. It is fine now it has been renovated with an upscale practice facility.

            In any event, Steg is part of our future. We aren’t going to be able to raise the money to build an arena impressive enough for you.

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            • I don’t think there’s any doubt the Steg is part of our future. We’ve decided a $30m IPF is a more important capital expenditure (time will tell if that’s the case) than a new arena. I do think the Steg (not the practice facility) is a drag on our recruiting and doesn’t demonstrate commitment to excellence in hoops. If you’ve been in Cameron, you know the place just drips of history and tradition even though it’s a glorified high school gym similar to Reynolds (NC State) and Carmichael (UNC). Both of those schools built large arenas that are great venues. The Dean Dome is similar to Rupp, and the PNC Arena is hosting a pod in the Dance this weekend. Rupp is getting old now, but that arena is synonymous with UK basketball. Allen Fieldhouse is old but similar to Cameron has tradition in Kansas.

              I guess my point is “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” For Georgia basketball, that means hoping March will be relevant and that the bubble doesn’t burst in our face every year. I think Georgia basketball can be and should be better than it is.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Seemed like Fox started coaching better when people started talking out loud about replacing him. A couple more wins, say over lousy auburn and taking 1 of 2 from fu, would’ve been big. The team made strides again this year – beating scu twice, beating gtu, etc. Only winning 50% of games in November and January really hurt.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        We beat Carolina three times.

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      • “Only winning 50% of games in November and January really hurt.”

        That’s exactly my point from above. Fox and his team have no one but themselves for being on the outside looking in. Win the games you’re supposed to win, hold serve on your home court, and maybe upset somebody along the way.

        Opening loss at home to Chattanooga
        Barely beat High Point at home
        Barely beat Oakland at home
        Lose at Kansas State
        Lose badly at Florida
        Lose at Ole Miss
        Blow out loss at home to Texas A&M
        Lose at LSU
        Lose at home to Florida
        Lose at Auburn

        That’s the resume of a team that had no margin of error when the calendar turned to March.

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        • Gaskilldawg

          The margins of victory over High Point and Oakland did not mean a thing in the committee room. The loss to LSU on the road did not hurt. The loss at Auburn was a killer and the three home losses hurt.

          Margins of victory or loss are not factors in the RPI formula or SoS calculations.

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          • They might not have meant anything in the committee room, but those wins weren’t the kind of wins you expect from a team who has its sights set on the Dance. Those wins dragged down the SoS (but I honestly don’t follow it close enough to know). If I remember correctly, we should have won at LSU. My point is that we made our bed early in the season and had to sleep in it on Sunday night. Our resume and NIT seeding indicated that we didn’t even come up in the committee room until they were filling out the NIT bracket.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              We finished the year with the 4th strongest OOC SoS.

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              • I’m aware … That’s why Mark Fox was relegated to giving Dick Vitale a box of cupcakes at the SEC tournament to sell his team on their tournament chances. I like Fox, but the team didn’t meet expectations even if they win the NIT.

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  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    I have this mental sound bite of Larry Munson saying:
    “And this game is really really critical for the Dawgs standing in the wild card race. We just can’t afford to lose any more.”

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  7. Bright Idea

    If Fox will continue to let his teams play loose and run a little that will help their performance and recruiting. Slow, grinding half court game killed this team much of the season and once they got away from it they played better. The one and done has made college bb a joke but there’s not much that can be done about it.

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  8. 69Dawg

    Basket ball at UGA has been 2nd fiddle forever. In the 60’s with no shot clock and a all white team that couldn’t jump, it was terrible. The only game I went too while at UGA was to see Pistol Pete and LSU. To show you how bad UGA was the fans and students were booing our team for stalling. Lsu and the Pistol scored at will. He put on one of the greatest shows I’ve seen in any sport. We put two guys on him to no effect. Our coach finally put a guywho played corner on the football team in to hard foul him. Pete’s father Press was not going to see him get hurt especially since they were up by double digits. He signaled Pete to come out so Pete dribbles over to the sideline at half court and shoots a hook shot, perfect no net shot and the crowd at the Seg gave him a standing O. The Georgia coach wrote a letter to the Red & Black criticizing the students for cheering for the other team. We weren’t cheering for LSU we were cheering for Pistol Pete.

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    • Hunkering Hank

      Hey 69Dawg – how bout you kiss my ass? My dad played on some of those UGA teams in the mid-60’s. They weren’t great, but they did more than run their mouths on message boards. I bet you wouldn’t say that to their faces – even today.

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  9. CB

    In my opinion a 16-32 team football playoff would be bad, better than the BCS, but still bad. That said, I don’t see it happening anytime soon because the old heads wouldn’t want the dilapidated bowl model overshadowed by a 4-5 week tournament of games that actually mean something.

    I’d like to see a 6-8 team playoff with the teams being chosen based on a BCS style selection system, as opposed to a committee with Condoleeza Rice. I’d also like to see the P5’s break off and do their own thing. Also, they should pay their players. Who has Emmert’s #? I can fix this whole thing.

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    • A 16 or 32-team playoff wouldn’t be better than the BCS. A playoff of that size renders the regular season meaningless like the regular season pretty much is now in CBB. The toll on the players’ bodies over a 4-5 week playoff run after a 12-game schedule and conference championship games would be ridiculous. These guys don’t get paid enough for that.

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      • CB

        You seriously have beef with the least important point in my comment. Furthermore, you used Bill Hancock’s tired rhetoric to support your position. -100

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        • What are you talking about? You stated a 32-team playoff would be better than the former BCS. I made a comment that I disagreed for multiple reasons … most significant of which would be the potential for an 18-game season for the two teams that made the run through the gauntlet including during final exams for the fall semester. I also stated it would cheapen the regular season. Very few people argue that it wouldn’t. There’s no tired rhetoric in my argument.

          For your stance on the 6 or 8-team playoff using a BCS-style ranking system, that would clearly be better than the 2 team system from before. I also believe that a similar methodology should have been the basis for selecting the 4 teams rather than the selection committee today (this has been my stance on the playoff since the CFP was announced). The only thing i differ with you on in your point about the playoff is that something other than a “champions only” format leads to bracket creep, and I personally don’t want to see “wild cards” in the playoff. If you can’t win your conference, you shouldn’t be able to win the national championship.

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          • CB

            Yeah, so let’s put the Sun Belt Champion in the game. That’ll be great television.

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            • The 8-team champions only format only works with radical change in college football to maintain competitive balance. In the absence of that, I would rather watch a Sun Belt champion play another conference champion than to watch the 3rd best team in the SEC that couldn’t even win their division become the national champion. I hated when Alabama won the national championship in 2011 because they didn’t even win their division.

              The 4-team playoff works best with a BCS style ranking system rather than the committee selecting the teams.

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              • CB

                Agreed on the committee being bad. I believe I made that point in my original post. The 5th best team in the SEC could probably win the Sun Belt every year whereas the Sun Belt champion could never win a division in the SEC, so why in the world would it make any sense to put them in a playoff?

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                • I agree with your premise. I like it at 4 because right now the system makes sure there are no teams that didn’t win their conference in the CFP.

                  I wrote a piece over at Bulldog Illustrated about an 8-team champions only playoff. To make it work would require so much change in college football that it would never happen. In particular, it would force Notre Dame into a conference which isn’t going to happen.

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                • CB

                  That is only if you make winning your conference a requirement. If you use a BCS style ranking system and just take the top 8
                  (or perhaps 6) then conference championships, while still valuable, aren’t a necessity. What are conference championships really? An extra arbitrary game that we’ve added on to generate more TV money. Sure the best team usually wins, but they don’t always.

                  I like Bulldog Illustrated and I’d be interested to read the article, but it sounds like your proposed 8 team system would have kept Bama out of an 8 team playoff in 2011, while allowing the champion of the C-USA to get in. I hate Bama just as much as the next guy, but not having them involved in 2011 would have been a joke. Think about it, they were clearly the best team that season, and even if you dispute that they were definitely in the top 6-8.

                  If the goal is to get the best 6-8 teams in the field then a conference championship model simply doesn’t get you there. Plus, as you mentioned there’s the Notre Dame issue, although I think they might toe the line if that were the only way they could win a title, especially if they were given autonomy on a TV deal similar to Texas.

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                • You have to read the article. It’s a utopian vision that will never happen that would turn the system upside down in the name on crowning a true champion. I don’t think the CUSA champion deserves a shot in an 8-team playoff, but I don’t think a team that didn’t win its conference (or division) deserves a shot at the CFP. I also don’t think the Patriot League champion deserves a spot in the field of 68 (I think the bracket is too big).

                  I don’t think Alabama deserved a 2nd shot at LSU in 2011. They lost fair & square on Alabama’s home field. That game was rendered meaningless as well as LSU’s conference championship. Just my $.02.

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                • CB

                  To your first point about the utopian vision that will never happen, you might be right, but that’s the same thing that everyone was telling me in 2009 about a college football playoff.

                  I agree that the basketball bracket is way too big. I also agree that the Patriot League doesn’t belong in the tournament, which is why I don’t understand your reason for bringing the champion model to the CFP.

                  You could argue that Bama didn’t deserve another shot at LSU, but for me that argument ended when they blew LSU out 21-0 in the title game thus proving that they deserved to be there. We could talk split title if you want, but you can’t tell me they didn’t deserve to be there. I really don’t understand why we talk about “not winning your division” like it’s some great sin. Often, all it really amounts to is losing one game, but the media places so much emphasis on the conference championships and suddenly it became a huge deal to everyone. Hint: they make it a big deal because they’re trying to sell ads. Strip off all the fancy paint and all you have is another conference game with an arbitrary amount of importance placed on it.

                  In my opinion 2011 is one of the years that the BCS actually got it right and put the best two teams in the game. As opposed to 07, when the best two teams in the country were USC and Georgia IMO. An 8 team champion model would have left Georgia out, and possibly USC since they split the conference title. That makes it a bad model in my book. If the system can’t account for two of the best teams in the country being in the same division (or conference for that matter) then it’s not going to do a good job of crowning a champion.

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                • I can’t find the article I wrote over on the site (it’s over a year old). Regarding 2007, a 2-team or 4-team playoff leaves Georgia out as well based on the BCS standings. Frankly, the further I get away from 2007, the more convinced I am that we did not have a case to play for the national championship other than we (along with USC) were the hottest team in the country at the time. Both of our losses were bad losses in the division including the whipping we took at UT.

                  I go back to 2002. That team would have beaten tOSU in a semifinal game and probably would have taken out Da U to win the crystal.

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                • CB

                  With a championship model you would be leaving Georgia out of an 8 team playoff in 2007. Are you really okay with that? I think it would be a huge flaw.

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                • My point was that Georgia 2007 didn’t deserve a shot in a final 2 or 4 (they would under the 8-team playoff you propose). You would have to read my article to understand my perspective on how an 8-team playoff would work (I’ll try to summarize):
                  8 10-team conferences (2 divisions in each) based on geographic proximity (the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida & South Carolina would be the “conference” we would play in)
                  12-game schedule with 4+2+1 and only OOC games within the “super D1”
                  Division winners (based on conference records) meet in a conference championship game
                  8 conference winners play for the title
                  (It’s really a de facto 16-team playoff with the conference championship games incorporated into the playoff).

                  I would NOT support an 8-team playoff in ANY form in the current landscape of college football because I personally don’t like the idea of wild card teams in the playoff and, as you have stated, a Sun Belt champion doesn’t deserve a shot for many reasons.

                  Gary Danielson had a 6-team proposal I thought was pretty good with the 4 highest ranking conference champions receiving automatic bids (top 2 ranked teams receiving byes to the “final 4”) and the other two slots going to highest ranked teams outside of that (could be ND, another P5 conference champion, a mid-major champion, or a highly ranked wild card). In the real world to me, what we have a 4-team playoff is sufficient with a BCS type of ranking system instead of the committee (but that train has left the station for many reasons).

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                • CB

                  Ha, wow. I didn’t realize you were talking about blowing up the entire system.You should have just posted a link to your article because I think we’re pretty much in full agreement. I like the structure of your proposal, but it is utopian.

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                • I couldn’t post the link because I think it’s gone when Greg and the guys over at BI changed service providers a couple of times. I tried to find the original document on my computer and couldn’t.

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  10. rchris

    How can anybody grumble about the NCAA BB tourney. The whole point of the thing is to determine the best college basketball team in the land. Does anyone seriously think that some team that got left out could possibly win it all?

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    • The whole point of the thing is to determine the best college basketball team in the land make as much money for the NCAA as possible.

      FIFY.

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      • Now, Senator, you’ve hit the nail on the head for why the NCAA will fight the breakaway of the Power 5 kicking and screaming but will eventually relent with true autonomy at the top of D-1. The suits in Indianapolis realize that if they lose March Madness, they lose their cushy jobs where they get to have offices, wear ties, and seem important.

        That is unless Kessler doesn’t get to them first.

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    • Well stated. The Villanova team that beat Georgetown in the final was as close as the tournament has ever gotten to a real bubble team winning the championship. No team that isn’t playing on Thursday and Friday (and that includes those who lose tonight) would be more than cannon fodder for the top teams in the tournament.

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