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Golden Nugz 2.26.09

This should be obvious: Postseason college basketball > postseason college football.

Why? For starters, basketball teams are awarded for their achievement on the court. Their success on the court determines if or where they play postseason basketball. In football, a team's achievements are only part of the process. Corporate control of the football postseason creates a situation where the bottom-line can sometimes win out over merit. Which team will sell more tickets, or be a better television draw is too much of the conversation when it comes to determining the college football postseason.

And so it's no surprise that the Big Ten has made a decision to play right into this model. From the Wisconsin State Journal's Badger Beat.

The Big Ten Conference is tweaking the tiebreaking procedure in football for determining the league's automatic representative to the Bowl Championship Series, Wisconsin Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez told the Athletic Board on Friday.

 The first tie-breaker has not changed and will remain head-to-head. But the conference has eliminated the next tie-breaker, that the team that played more games against Football Championship Subdivision teams (formerly Division I-AA) is eliminated.

 The conference also eliminated the tie-breaker that the most recent team earning the BCS berth will be eliminated. That was a product of bygone days and was implemented when the conference sent only one team to a bowl game (Rose).

 Finally, the conference added a final tiebreaker that the highest-ranked team in the BCS standings will get the automatic berth, which is what the Big 12 used to break its three-team tie last fall -- much to the chagrin of Texas fans.

(emphasis mine)

The highlighted portion is the part I have a problem with. And since I cheer for the Gophers, there's some homerism behind my objection. Afterall, the Gophers would benefit from that tie-breaker more than any other team in the conference.

But I don't think that tie-breaker was eliminated because it was "a product of bygone days." It was a tie-breaker that favored equity. What this does is favor teams like Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin who have a national reputation, garner more media coverage, enjoy a larger following and can put more butts into BCS stadium seats. Your traditional conference powers will inevitably be given more credence by poll voters, making it more difficult for less heralded teams like Minnesota to crack into the BCS.

Anyway, maybe that's way off base. Even so, the Gophers have lost a tie-breaker that might eventually come into play that would have favored us.

  • 1978. That would be the last time the Gophers won at Illinois according to the record books. The Gophers have a chance tonight of course to win on the road against a nationally ranked team. Strangely, I like our chances. The boys should be confident after holding illinois to under 40 the last time out.
  • Gophers hockey fans might be interested in an update on former goaltender Kellen Briggs.
  • Interesting question from fellow Minnesota blogger Buck Bravo. Do Big Ten bloggers parallel recruiting class rankings?
  • We've mentioned Travis Busch's hobby of creating odd videos for public consumption previously. His production now has a long feature article dedicated to it in the Pioneer Press. Apparently Tubby Smith OK'd the show and makes Director of Basketball Operations Joel Esposito monitor its content. Somehow I think Esposito's time could be spent more productively.
  • As referenced in the comments section in yesterday's Nugz, there is a raging thread at Gopher Puck Live about whether Don Lucia needs to be let go. Here is the link to that if you want to join the conversation. Those who want Lucia out remind me a bit of Kentucky's basketball fans.