The offseason brings us another variation from the format of your midweek news and notes, as a couple of big stories have dominated the college sports landscape. That being said, it’s not like I’m going to deprive you of your Wednesday motivational tunes.
Lack Of Institutional Control
On Tuesday, the NCAA finally sent their Notice of Allegations to the Hurricanes, after a week that saw the folks from Indianapolis as the well focused center of national ridicule. We’d be wondering what was taking so long in this process, given that the NCAA had been “involved” in the investigation for over two years- turns out that the time in question had been spent violating the NCAA’s own principals and going against the advice of their legal counsel in their conversations with Nevin Shapiro.
In addition to paying the attorney who was questioning Shapiro as a part of his financial issues, the folks at the NCAA also provided him with a “burner” cell phone to contact them and financial resources to his prison account. Again, not the best idea for an organization who prides themselves on holding people accountable because the “should have known” what to do and dings them for not doing it.
The fallout was immediate- NCAA folks terminated or “resigned”, and folks calling for NCAA president Mark Emmert’s head, which, given the recent friends that he’s made across the nation, completely seems within reason.
The news of the “injustice” done by the NCAA to the fine folks in Miami ended up finding many fans in an interesting place- turning to Da’ U as their white knight in the fight against the evils of Emmert’s staff. Tuesday’s official response by University President Donna Shalala continued to create the dissonance- she is right that the NCAA has overstepped themselves extensively, but seems to forget that the University’s representatives were involved things that led them to receiving what many say is the “lack of institutional control” label in their Notice. Read More
And then there were 4! While I love to sit here and talk about the Syracuse Orangemen falling from the ranks of the unbeatens, Christmas came a week early for me. Three teams lost their first game of the season - Syracuse, Illinois, and (No….I do not have my shocked face on at this one) New Mexico. In addition to these upsets, several other ranked teams lost at least one game this week. Some teams lost in surprising games and others to fellow ranked squads (I thought the madness was in March). Wichita State fell from the Top 25, as expected, and made room for Butler after their amazing win over Indiana. This week many teams take a very light schedule to spend time with their families and gear up for their conference runs. So, without further delay, let’s see what happened this week.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.
1. Duke (11-0) Previous Rank: 2
Past Week: 12/19 Cornell, W 88-47 & 12/20 Elon, W 76-54
Upcoming: 12/29 Santa Clara
Duke spent their first week at Number One with easy wins over Cornell and Elon. Santa Clara visits Cameron Indoor this week but Duke should win this one easily. Read More
After opening the season with a tough game against #5 Notre Dame that they came up short in, the #15 Ohio State women’s basketball team has won four in a row at home. While the wins are nice, they have come against substandard competition that didn’t really provide a test. The same could not be said about today’s game as the Buckeyes visited #22 North Carolina as part of the Big Ten-ACC challenge. The Tarheels are not only a talented team but they present a contrast in styles, preferring a more up-tempo game. The Buckeyes can run, not as much as they did last year of course, but when forced into their half-court game they prefer to be more methodical and generate good shots off of ball movement.
North Carolina won the tip and immediately hit a basket to start the game but Ohio State scored off of an Amber Stokes jumper on their first trip down the floor to set the tone for what would be a back-and-forth first half. After an Ashley Adams jumper gave OSU a 4-2 lead, UNC ran off 5 straight points to take a 7-4 lead two and a half minutes into the game. The two teams traded baskets for the next seven minutes before the Buckeyes went on a 7 to 0 run to take a 15-11 lead at the midpoint of the half. The Tarheels came right back with five straight to retake the lead only to lose it again a few minutes later as OSU went up 25-22 with four minutes left until the break. The Buckeye offense stalled at this point though and North Carolina closed out the half with seven straight points to go into the locker room up 29-25.
Time for Wednesday’s wander through the wonderment of college sports, brought to you by music appropriate for this week
O’Brien The Lion- In today’s B1G conference call, coach O’Brien commented that they are preparing for Braxton to be healthy and leading the Ohio State offense. He spoke highly of his senior quarterback, Matt McGloin, calling him smart and tough and the reason that they’ve been so successful this season. Penn State’s “NASCAR” offense, which has been averaging 90 plays a game in conference play, is reliant on execution and communication, and O’Brien believes that his senior leadership has bought in totally- no “doom and gloom” in what could be a very dour locker-room, considering the off season events and team transfers.
“Oregon has developed into one of the premier football programs in the FBS.We are excited to add them to our future slate of games.”
Unspoken, but inferred- “Plus, we’ve sold our soul to Nike anyway with our ‘one time tribute’ jerseys and such that this move only makes sense.” Read More
Ah, fall… the wind turns brisk and in Los Angeles the birds turn colors and fall from the trees (ht: David Letterman). We talked last week about “pumpkinitis” that’s sweeping the country… some people are taking it seriously. Instead of subjecting yourself to such a task, take time to kick back with some new tunes and enjoy a great weekend in college sports.
In case you haven’t noticed (and if you haven’t, please PLEASE let me know how you’re managing to pull that off), it’s election season. And you thought the BCS was complicated and overwrought… three more weeks, people. You can do it.
“But Mali- there’s never been politics on tBBC… what gives?”
That’s a fine point, but it’s the only way I could think of to lead into this week’s “marquee” matchup. Given how much they like football, I’m sure that there was some tension on the Romney/Ryan campaign bus when Notre Dame and BYU squared off in South Bend. (See, ’cause one candidate is a Mormon and the other is a Catholic… oh, nevermind.) Yup, The Golden Domers met the People of the Golden Plates, with the former looking to continue their undefeated season. The Cougars managed to do something that was pretty rare this season, and scored an offensive touchdown against a resurgent Irish defense, led by Heisman (?) candidate linebacker Manti Te’o. It wasn’t enough, though, as they fell to .500 in a 17-14 loss to Brian Kelly’s team, who was led by backup quarterback Tommy Rees’ and his one completed pass after halftime. So, yeah- that Notre Dame fan in your office has yet another week to be a bit boisterous regarding his fifth ranked favorite squadron.
In order to make sure I cover both sides of the 2012 election, here. Ok, I’m done talking religion and politics… you can come back now.
On the topic of mistakes that I’ve made recently, I’m more than willing to acknowledge that my purchasing the hype regarding West Virginia was misguided. They still seem to be a Big lEast team of sorts, where defense is even more optional than it has been in the B12 lately. This isn’t to take anything away from the October Heisman frontrunner; Colin Klein has rightfully taken the crown from Mr. September, particularly in their “head to head” contest on Saturday. The Wildcats now sit at 7-0 , and even managed to jump Oregon in the BCS rankings this week, all the way up to #3. While I won’t argue with the BCS… At least Oregon beat a team this week that had a defensive pulse. We’ve not seen that from West Virginia, so it’s hard to assess Kansas State’s victory fully. Hooray subjectivity!
Although this is traditionally a “Saturday” wrap up, the truth of the matter is that Thursday’s game between the Ducks and Arizona State was pretty freaking impressive. After an initial ASU score, Oregon cranked up it’s offensive game and scored 43 points before there was even ten minutes left in the second quarter. Mercifully, they pulled back the horses at that point- although, they certainly could have kept rolling if they chose to… when a team scores on a two point conversion this easily, you’ve got to know that they are only stopping themselves for the rest of the game. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Chip Kelly was pissed that his team was only ranked third in last week’s BCS- since they actually fell one slot this week, I’m afraid to see what happens to this week’s
victim opponent. Read More
If you think the “Final Verdict” segments of College Gameday are amazing places for rhetoric and logic, you’re probably excited for the beginning of the Presidential Debates tonight. Me? I’d rather argue about college sports… compared to politics, the BCS makes sense.
If you’re reading this, you’ve survived Bloody Tuesday… don’t you just hate corporate bonding retreats? Here’s some happy music to get you through the day.
Yup, it’s that week again- we find ourselves looking to the skies and hoping for an astronomical event to head toward… let’s see… this year the game is in South Bend, so that will do just fine. Just think, if Notre Dame’s previous coach was still on the sidelines, there just might be enough gravitational pull between the two head men to facilitate this.