Wednesday, November 25, 2009How to Save College Football...Again
We currently have 66 BCS conference teams (including Notre Dame) and two independent service academies we have to consider.
There are 55, 56...programs that are "non-BCS".
We have to reduce the overall number of teams, not significantly, but enough for us to get eight conferences at 12-teams per. That leaves us 96 teams. A fair number.
Here's where it gets fun.
Some of the conference names might change on adjust. The SEC, Big XII, Big East and ACC should be fine. The Pac-10 might become the Pac-12, the Big 10+1 might become the Big 10+2, The Mountain West and Conference USA should be the other two conference names adopted since those are the ones I like the most.
Now we're doing full-scale realignments. First with the 66 teams + Army and Navy. Everyone can now figure out where they want to be.
Remember because we've distinguished college football as a different entity, schools can leave their CFB conference and not ruin their positioning with that conference in other sports (i.e. Temple is in the MAC conference in football but the Atlantic 10 in basketball, etc.) some programs might move conferences in football to go from being a 6-6 team to a 10-2 team. Like Kentucky, who could probably win 9-10 games in the ACC or Big East, might want to leave SEC football but they wouldn't ruin their SEC certification in basketball, baseball or another any other sport. They just want to get a competitive advantage in football.
Does Colorado leave the Big XII for the Pac-12 or the new-look Mountain West? Does Boston College go back to the Big East. Does Penn State go to the Big East where they can play Pitt again? Where does Notre Dame go? Does Arkansas leave the SEC to replace Colorado in the Big XII and renew their old SWC rivalries with the Texas schools. How many conferences want to leave a few slots open for...
After the BCS teams realign themselves the old conferences may need to fill a few slots and the new ones will need to draft some programs to fill out their 12 slots.
Basically I believe the old BCS conferences could look like such pre draft
Penn State (wanting to renew annual rivalries with Pitt, Rutgers and Boston College)
Notre Dame (using their clout as a Big East school in other sports)
2 open slots
South Carolina (citing competitive advantage and natural rivalry with North Carolina)
1 open slot (hmm no Miami?)
Miami (After Miami all but begs to join conference when Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Arkansas defect. The SEC went after Georgia Tech but the Yellow Jackets declined)
2 open slots
Arkansas (citing SWC rivalry history and desire to be aligned with Texas recruiting base).
2 open slots
Iowa State (cites natural rivalry with Iowa and desire to be aligned with midwestern recruiting base)
1 open slot (Cincinnati declines offer to be powerhouse in new Conference USA)
Colorado (cites location and California recruiting base)
1 open slot (common thinking here is Utah or Colorado State or...Hawaii if they want a vacation)
That leaves five BCS schools unaccounted for: Vanderbilt, South Florida, Baylor, Louisville, Cincinnati. Baylor opts for the new Mountain West and the other four open the new Conference USA.
Now the draft begins. The old BCS conferences fill their slots first.
The Big East sticks with geographic regional sense and takes MAC schools Buffalo and Temple to basically control most Division 1-A in New England and the mid-Atlantic State. For Temple it's full circle as they were kicked out of the Big East a decade ago.
The ACC quickly snatches up East Carolina to fill their group.
The SEC is in sort of a quandary as every school is playing politics to keep other state schools from being involved. In the end Florida successfully keeps UCF out of the conference and they choose C-USA schools Southern Mississippi and Memphis (as a shot at Vandy, who was banking on an annual game with Memphis)
The Big XII takes TCU to really piss off the Mountain West people and adds Houston to keep the SWC love going.
The Big 10+2's Michigan and Ohio schools successfully freezes out the other schools in their state and eventually force the conference to reluctantly take on Northern Illinois.
The Pac 12 tries for Utah, but with the MWC losing TCU they push hard for Utah as a spotlight program leaving Boise in the wake. Hawaii, in effect, will be most likely frozen out of Division 1-A football now.
So now here's what we have.
Now the draft begins.
The MVC snaps up Fresno State and Nevada from the defunct WAC and grabs BYU, Air Force, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming from the original MWC and SMU, UTEP and Tulsa from C-USA
C-USA goes after UCF and Marshall from the old conference and cleans out the MAC with Central and Western Michigan along with Toledo and Ohio to have a Kentucky-Michigan-Ohio group to offset a distinctly Southern half of the conference. Add in FIU and FAU to dominate the secondary Florida market and we have 12. It's a very budget friendly conference.
Now we've got 96 teams. The remaining 27 or so are off to the FCS where they should do fine and be near the top of the Division. Sorry things didn't work out but it happens.
With eight conference we just need the four "BCS" Bowls. Each conference has a conference title game and the winner of the conference gets to the big bowls. It's that simple. Win the conference and you're in the big-money bowls. You want an eight-team playoff instead? Same thing. Win the conference, you're in the playoff.
We'll scale the other bowls down to 22 or so and increase the payouts from the money taken away from the fifth BCS bowl game.
So 96 teams and 52 are available for some sort of postseason play. That's fair.
As for scheduling if we go with an eight-team playoff lets scale the schedule back two games. So a ten-game regular season with eight conference games and a potential conference championship. Two bye weeks.
Oh yeah, no more scheduling of Division 1-AA teams. PERIOD.
Yep, no more Chattanooga, Wofford or Charleston Southern for you SEC'ers to munch on. No more Delaware or Appy State either. Do the Indianapolis Colts get to schedule the Hamilton Tiger-Cats? I didn't think so.
So we have 96 teams, eight conferences, 12 teams per, eight "BCS" Bowl or playoff slots for the eight conference champions. Everyone's on an equal playing field in terms of championship opportunities.
Sunday, April 19, 2009NBA Playoffs, Mets, Yankees
NBA 3-Man Weave
I'm actually going to skip LeBron because...well he's LeBron and nothing short of 40-12-9 will get him on the weave this early in the playoffs. I will say that Cleveland's victory over Detroit was very 1992 Bulls-esque. It was too easy and it could have been a 40-point victory if they wanted it to be one. So onto the weave.
Derrick Rose: This goes without saying. Only second played in league history to go 35 points, 10 assists in playoff debut and equalled the highest point total in an opening playoff game by a rookie. Just an amazing performance with with the only downfall is that he fouled out. Special mention to Joakim Noah's 11 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks. He was a presence and someone's the Celtics really never got a grasp on.
Brandon Bass: The only way to beat a team like the Spurs in the playoffs is with strong bench performances (or Kobe Bryant) and the Mavericks had several but none stood out more than Bass' 14 points and four rebounds in 18 minutes. The Spurs look all but dead without Ginobili's energy to carry them through the second half.
Yao Ming: YAO-SERS! I could have easily given this to Aaron Brooks for 27 points and seven dimes, but Houston's in-out game is focused around Yao hitting shots and that's what he did. 24 points, nine boards in 24 minutes and going 9-for-9 from the floor. This should be a competitive series but Saturday night's game was a laugher. Hey Portland, time to put Greg Oden in the starting lineup (those 15 points, five boards didn't go unnoticed by me).
Mets: I love Johan Santana, that's all I need to say.
Yankees: Remember what I saw about the new stadium and how difficult it is to win games initially? Well Cleveland has won 2-of-3 and scored 37 runs going into Sunday's finale. Here's the deal: During those first month's worth of games in the new stadium it's like an experiment for the home team and they are trying to figure out different things because the key for them is long-term success, not one series. So they have questions:
"Will the ball carry to the opposite field better than the old stadium?"
"Does the Bronx wind affect balls in straight center?"
"Will Chien-Ming Wang make it to the third inning this season?"
Anyway for the road team it's just another game in another stadium although I'm sure Eric Wedge is going to be talking to his bosses about adding some of those New Yankee Stadium dimensions at the Jake.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009Masters & Mets...
The Masters: Sorry to say for the golf purists who read this blog or any all-sports fan blog but the Masters began and ended when Tiger and Phil butchered the final two holes. I felt like if one or both guys posted an -11, the field would come back to them. I like Angel Cabrera, nice guy...don't care to watch him and once Phil did his "Phil favorites" at 15 and 17 and Tiger hit a tree, I turned to the Cavaliers beatdown of the Celtics.
On the good side it made for great television. I'm not a Phil Mickelson fan, at all. I think he's a smiley fake, the guy who'll smile at you during dinner while feeling up your wife's leg. But he makes great television, even more so than Tiger. And watching Phil on the front and back nine was mesmerizing along with watching Tiger keep pace but keep his distance until they were both at -10.
And thank you Augusta for giving the drama of The Masters back to us after sitting through Trevor Immelman's boring victory march last year. Now that Hootie is done pulling the strings I hope we won't have to worry about "Tiger proofing" anymore.
The Mets: Not surprised my beloved Mets lost the opener of Citi Field, it's hard to win those things. I remember a while back when the ChiSox opened New Comiskey with a 16-0 loss to Detroit. These things happen and especially when the enigmatic Mike Pelfrey on the mound. I didn't think Pelfrey was going to be effective but I didn't think he'd let Jody Gerut take him deep either.
But 3-4, I'm not worried. It's a 162 games and the Mets will win more than they lose as long as Daniel Murphy can catch those sun balls in left field. BTW, I was never a fan of dumping Duaner Sanchez but anyone who thinks the Mets made a mistake by dumping Heath Bell needs to be slapped with a frozen grouper. I don't care how he pitched last night, I don't care if he pitches well tomorrow and Thursday, he's terrible.
The irony of the night was that I read an ESPN Insider report on how the new Citi Field would lower David Wright's HR totals only to watch him hit a game-tying three-run shot last night.
Monday, April 06, 2009MLB 2009 Predictions
1) Red Sox
2) Rays *
4) Blue Jays
I like the Red Sox rotation. It's deep and if Jon Lester is as good as he can be and John Smoltz gives them something in the second half of the season. I like the Rays more than the Yankees because the Yankees are notorious slow starters and they will deal with blocks of significant injuries. The Blue Jays might get to 75+ wins behind a monster year from Roy Halladay
2) Chi White Sox
Cleveland is going to have the most, but don't be surprised if Kansas City finishes above .500 and gets the tag as the next up-and-coming team.
Hard to fathom anyone but L.Anaheim winning. That being said the battle for the wild card between Oakland Tampa Bay along with the AL Central squads could be exciting.
AL MVP: Grady Sizemore
AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
Division Series: Red Sox over Angels; Rays over Indians
ALCS: Red Sox over Rays in 6
Old School League
2) Phillies *
The Mets have effectively made their lives much easier with the revamped bullpen. I expect the Phillies to rally in September and get the Wild Card but Cole Hamels' status is worth watching. The Marlins should be very tough in the second half of the season as the Braves tail off.
Tough sledding here. I like the Cubs but after that it's a pretty good logjam. The Reds can rise up to be the next best...if Aaron Harang shows the 2006 and 2007 form. Everyone else in this division is treading water.
My guess is the Phillies will slightly edge out the Giants for the wild card slot but the Dodgers should win the west comfortably. The Padres' most interesting situation will be where they unload Jake Peavy.
NL MVP: Manny Ramirez
NL Cy Young: Johan Santana
Division Series: Mets over Dodgers; Cubs over Phillies
NLCS: Mets over Cubs in 7.
Friday, April 03, 2009Crazy Day for NYC Sporting Transactions...
...According to Mike Francesa the Giants released Plaxico Burress.
Monday, February 16, 2009Nice Stadium Ass Clowns
Thursday, February 05, 2009One Thing Missing From This Super Bowl...
One thing that's missing from my post Super Bowl readings is the writings of the great SI personality Paul Zimmerman.
Now Dr. Z isn't for everyone, but for a football lover he put the intricacies of the game into written form better than most.
His book, "The Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football" is probably the best ever written on the subject. [Amazon.com]
He picked the Giants to win last season...and more importantly than that he had a wide assortment of breakdowns to explain why he thought the Giants were going to pull a 24-20 upset (here, here and here)
And of course there was my annual favorite column that ripped the current NFL announcers to shreds (or complimented them if they deserved it).
And there's more -- his early prediction that Tony Romo's romantic escapades would sabotage the Cowboys among others. Dr. Z wasn't just a fan of the game, he played the game in college and at the semi-pro level and he played up front -- where the smartest football players exist.
According to his Wikipedia page the stroke that Dr. Z suffered in November has left him in real bad shape and I'm resigned to the fact that he may never write or communicate with anyone about football again. Surely SI will try to find someone that can step into his shoes but they will never be him and probably won't be allowed to do some of the daring things he's done in his life, including give every reader a look into the NFL's Hall of Fame vetting process.
So as great as Super Bowl XLIII was it has also lost a lot of luster because it missed out on the one man that could put the game in words.