Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tweeting back Sunday, revisited

Everyweek of every NFL season I am disappointed by the lack of organization of NFL fans on twitter and the resulting lack of trending topics from NFL games. So let's get our hashtags straight and take over twitter.

We start with game tags. Each game has it's own tag so we know which game is being talked about the most. The format is easy, road team's 3 letter abbreviation followed by the home team's. The list for week 1:

For game action we can use:

All I want is for the game hashtags to become standard use, and for there to be at least one NFL game related trending topic. I think we can make this happen.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BCS Defender: Gloats

Yes, I am going to gloat.  I am going to wallow in the joy that my argument is gaining traction and that the points I have been making are sound and rational.

It started with St Mary's, my new favorite college basketball team not named Duke.

"Go to BCS. Go to something where there's a standardized number how you figure out who's in, who's not," Bennett said

This warms my heart. Take that 10 people locked in a backroom with no accountability!

And then my local boys over at NESN start really looking at it seriously.

It may seem like a crazy suggestion, but wouldn't a BCS-like ranking system combining human and computer polls do the best job of seeding? The flaw with the BCS as it pertains to college football, generally, isn't how the system ranks the teams, but the fact that only the top two are included. The rankings, in truth, seem pretty fair, and -- most importantly -- we know how they work. They aren't the concoction of some "committee" evaluating the teams in a short period of time.

*Ding* *Ding* *Ding*   We have a winner folks.  The best and worst of both systems summed up in one short paragraph.  The tide has turned, and I was sitting at the harbor waiting for everyone's thought processes to come to port.  Welcome my friends.  Now we can have some real honest discussions.

I am opposed any type of one style fits all system.  Basketball, Football, and whatever else we may talk about, are different sports and should be looked at differently.  Especially when you look at number of games in a season.  But each system has it's strengths and weaknesses.

Maybe we see the NCAA tournament adopt a system where they pick the enterants, the #1 seeds, then a computer ranks the rest and they can swap schools around per the guidelines (up or down 1 seed, teams in same conference seperated, etc...).  Computers and humans working together!

I'll say it again, because more people need to read it, One system is open, one is closed.  One is accountable, one is not.  One has all the information laid out, the other has backroom deals.  Neither is perfect, but maybe people can start to accept that the BCS has it's validity and the NCAA Tournament is at least as flawed as any system.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

BCS Defender: Selection Sunday

Imagine the tone of an article that described the quarters of the ten people who selected the BCS were sequestered in.  The article itself would be in the shape of a pitchfork and it would come to you already on fire.  But when describing the ten people that pick the NCAA tournament, it's all flattery and ass kissing.

So let's take a quick look at the BIOs of the ten people who get to decide the field for the NCAA tournament, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and with no accountability.

Moving back to the first link. Can you again imagine the outrage if we were told to accept that there is no bias, and that the committee member leaves the room when talking about their team begins, if we were dealing with the BCS instead of the Big Dance?  Some crazed SEC fan would track down the hotel and call in a bomb threat. But for basketball, it's all cool, we are all jealous, and completely buy into the fact that the person gets up and leaves the room!  I cry bullshit.  There's no way they leave the room.  None.

And look at the BIO's.  All of these people are active AD's or conference comissioners, and we expect there to be no bias.  Does Dan Beebe leave the room anytime a Big 12 team is mentioned? Can we get some recent retirees?  A ref, a coach, a former player, people with a little distance, yet who still have relevant experience with the game.   It gets better.  That site, Bracketology, with all the up to date and current information, still has last year's committee listed.  That's how much the Big Dance gets away with.  Wikipedia has an updated list.

So say what you will about the BCS.  But you have to admit that it's process is more open, more honest, and more accountable than the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.  Because if the BCS choose it's teams this way, someone important would end up getting shot. But for basketball it's ok to have 10 people behind closed doors and answerable to no one, pick the field. Complain about polls, complain about computers, but computer errors have been caught and corrected, and every coach has to answer for that last USA Today poll.  Do these 10 people ever have to answer even one tough question about their choices?  No, they don't even answer any questions.

And that is just the selection process.  I did not even talk about this asinine 68 team field.  They are giving an advantage to two 5 seeds to benefit ratings for a TV Network.  So two of the #1 seeds get to play a team that's already played a game, and two #5 seeds get the same treatment.  Please stop and think about that, and tell me that makes sense, never mind is anywhere near the word fair.  The questions are: if a #5 seed deserves an advantage that 15 teams better than it did not get? and if a #5 seed is a legit title contender?

Why do people hate the BCS want college football to adopt a system like this?  The BCS is not perfect, but it some very clear advantages to it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fixing the Bowl Games

One bad side effect of BCS hatred is that everyone blames every problem in college football on the BCS.    The BCS has flaws, but college football has so many other problems that really would not at all be fixed with the implementation of a playoff.

I understand that the Bowls make too much money and they would not go away.  They would become part of any playoff scenario.  And maybe the lesser bowls team up to become an NIT, but I doubt that even the second and third tier Bowl games would go away.

That being said the Bowl system needs fixing right now.  It cannot wait for a playoff, and once there is a playoff they will still need to be fixed.

1) Too Many Games.  The Solution to this is several fold.
 A) Change Bowl Eligibility to 7 wins in a 12 game schedule.  If you go back to 10 or 11 games as part of a playoff (which I want to see if there is a playoff) then you can go back to 6 wins.  But a team needs to be ABOVE .500 to be Bowl Eligible.

B) Trim the Bowls based upon a formula that mixes ticket sales, attendance, TV Ratings, and tradition.  The Bowls that sell the most tickets, get the most of those ticket holders to show up, gets the most people to watch, and has the longest run in games played should stay.  I am not sure what the equation would look like, and it could and would be tweaked over time, but these 4 factors are key. The rest should all be looked at for the chopping block.  Did you see the Mineke Car Care Bowl this year?  The endzone seats were empty.  Your game is on Dec 31st and you can't sell endzone seats?  Go away, you lose your bowl game.  I hate seeing a bowl game on TV in an empty stadium.  It reminds me of how useless this game is.

C) Take away the forced amount of tickets that schools have to buy.  No team should pay to go to a Bowl.  If your game is not self sufficient then you have a problem and it is not the school's fault your game sucks.  And if it is the school's fault then maybe the previous fix will come into play and your bowl can die.

D) Go back to real bowl names.  I don't want to watch the Chick-fil-A Bowl.  I want to watch the Peach Bowl.  Stick the sponsor in front, but the sponsor's name should not be the bowl name.  If you can't come up with a cool name for your Bowl, then your bowl should not exist.  Clever Bowl names are not difficult.  The Motor City Bowl works, The Las Vegas Bowl works, the Hula Bowl.  Simple, cheesy, lame, all are fine, just give us something real, because sponsors will change.  Bowl games should have some sense of tradition, or make an honest attempt at establishing tradition.  Having a real name gives us something.

2) TV / Scheduling
 A) ESPN should not be allowed to broadcast more than 55% of Bowl games.  If you can't find another broadcaster interested then your bowl can be discarded as well.  But this is a real issue.  The launching point of this rant was my discovery that every single Bowl game on New Year's Day 2011 is on an ESPN channel.  EVERY FUCKING ONE.   Holy crap, this flat out ruins the day.  And due to rain I can't even watch the NHL's Winter Classic in protest to get my sports fix.

B)Only 1 BCS game and the National Championship game should be allowed to play after New Year's Day.  Again, at l;east pretend that tradition is important.  New Year's Day needs to be as loaded as humanly possible with Bowl Games, and if it is not going to be this way, then that will be the death of the Bowl system.  Currently we have 3 BCS games after January 1st (including the NC), and 4 other games. The BCS is a total of 5 games.  A majority of these need to be played on January 1st.  3 of 5.  It really is that simple.  The spreading out is ridiculous and only adds to the hate.  The BCS needs all the help it can get and fixing this may seem small, but it will matter. In fact we have a Bowl game being played every day from now until Jan 10th except for January 2nd and January 5th.  No Bowl outside the BCS is important enough, relevant enough, or has an intriguing enough match-up to justify playing after January 1st.  January 1st should be College Football's version of the first day of March Madness.  With so much action you cannot keep track of it all.  Having 4, 5 or even 6 games going on simultaneously would be fantastic!

Although it impacts the BCS, these issues really are separate from the BCS/Playoff debate, and I hope are things we can all agree need to be and can be fixed.

Thanks for reading,
Enjoy the football,