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Chris Dufresne on the BCS (Basketball Championship Series)

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Johnny Dangerously, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    {(LAT-WP All Sports!)}
    {(Editors: Note that this is make believe.)}
    {//In Alternate Universe, BCS Drives March Madness//}
    {By Chris Dufresne}={(c) 2007, Los Angeles Times}=
    The much-maligned Basketball Championship Series standings spit out a title-game matchup on Sunday and, for a change, the system may have, sort of, gulp, worked?
    Not that the BCS was spared the usual say what? that much is a given in a sport that refuses to decide its champion with a tournament.
    Its good to be an Ohio State Buckeye today, though, and a Kansas Jayhawk.
    Those two storied basketball programs finished first and second in the BCS standings and will meet April 2, in Glendale, Ariz., for the national title.
    The players should be well rested.
    This proves the BCS works, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said on a conference call. This proves we dont need a playoff.
    Some folks in Gainesville, Fla., however, think they have been sold swamp land.
    Ohio State was a runaway No.1 in the final standings with 99.92 points, No. 2 Kansas edged out No.3 Florida, the defending national champions, by a margin of 92.51 to 92.46.
    We cant defend our title because of five one-hundredths of a point? Florida Coach Billy Donovan asked. And you call this a fair system?
    One Florida congressman has already threatened to introduce a bill to outlaw the BCS (Note: It was tried before in Texas, in football, but legislation was dropped the year Texas made its run to the BCS title.).
    Kansas was clearly the peoples choice for No. 2 this year, so strong in both human polls that it was able to survive a No. 11 ranking in the Ratings Percentage Index, the computer component used in the three-pronged BCS formula.
    Florida was No. 3 in the polls and No. 6 in the RPI.
    Florida will argue its conference, the Southeastern, was ranked No.2 in the RPI compared to Kansas conference, the Big 12, which ranks seventh, one spot below the Missouri Valley.
    Official BCS response: take it up at our spring meetings.
    North Carolina finished fourth in the final standings, with 91.70 points, followed by UCLA, Memphis, Wisconsin, Georgetown, Pittsburgh and Texas A&M.
    Memphis, a member of a non-BCS league, Conference USA, earned an automatic bid by finishing in the BCS top 12.
    So the final Basket Bowl lineup is set.
    The Rose Basket, which lost No.1 Ohio State to the title game, gets to replace its Big Ten anchor with Wisconsin.
    The Badgers will meet Oregon, which clinched the Rose bid by winning last weekends Pacific 10 Conference Tournament.
    Were thrilled to keep our traditional and geographical matchup, Rose Basket CEO Mitch Dorger said.
    The Fiesta Basket will get at-large UCLA vs. at-large Memphis, the Sugar will pair Florida against at-large Texas A}M, and the Sugar will feature North Carolina against Georgetown, a rematch of 1982s mythical national title game that introduced the basketball world to a young Michael Jordan.
    UCLA has to be kicking itself.
    Two weekends ago, the Bruins were No. 2 in the BCS and appeared headed for a title showdown with Ohio State in Glendale, Ariz.
    But late season losses to Washington and California, two unranked teams, knocked UCLA to the land of cactus.
    What cruel irony.
    In 1998, the UCLA football squad needed only a late-season victory at Miami to clinch a spot in the first BCS national title football game, played that year in the Fiesta Bowl.
    If only, against Miami, UCLA had brought its tackle box.
    Maybe those BCS bosses arent kidding when they say, in college basketball, its all about the regular season.
    Basketball purists will continue to clamor for a playoff.
    Think of all those UCLA teams coached by John Wooden that had to settle for mythical national titles because the top-ranked Bruins were contracted to play the Big Ten champion in the Rose Basket?
    Donovan said the BCS system needs to be nuked despite the fact the Florida football Gators won last years national title after edging out Michigan by decimal points for the No.2 BCS spot.
    Donovan advocates a tournament format that might involve as many as, get this, 64 teams.
    Dream on, right?
  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Jim Delany, the Big Ten commissioner and a defender of the BCS, argues, when will our student/athletes go to school?
    The controversial BCS rankings system was developed in 1998 in an effort to pair No.1 and No.2 in a championship game.
    Prior to that, conference champions were bound to specific basket bowl games, causing numerous split titles.
    The rankings, which have been tweaked more than the carburetor on your old jalopy, are now comprised of The Associated Press poll, the USA Today Coaches poll and the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
    This years new double dribble format created a fifth BCS basket bowl to open up two more at-large possibilities for mid-major conferences that had claimed the sport was a monopoly.
    Only the conference tournament winners of the six BCS conferences earn automatic bids to basket bowls.
    So, will there ever be a playoff in college basketball?
    Dont hold your breath.
    College presidents, citing lost class time, have for years resisted the idea of a national tournament for Division 1 despite the fact there are playoffs at all other levels.
    Conference commissioners continue to insist a tournament in March would dilute college basketballs fantastic regular season.
    Regular season ratings for college basketball have never been better.
    Would a game in November mean as much if you knew both teams were going to make something called the NCAA tournament? SEC Commissioner Mike Slive wondered.
    Some are convinced a tournament would destroy the complicated bowl labyrinth that has evolved since James Naismiths Peach Basket Bowl first debuted in 1902.
    How many basket bowls, though, are too many?
    This years Phog Allen Classic was the 98th certified by NCAA, meaning more than half of the major college basketball schools will play in a bowl this year.
    The joke is there will be more nets cut this year than by dory men in Boston Harbor.
    No one would deny the Basketball Championship Series has caused as many headaches as it has offered solutions:
    The Associated Press returned to the formula after pulling out three years ago following a conflict-of-interest ruckus that involved one voter admitting he voted his alma mater No. 1 one week after writing a $30,000 check for the new arena fund.
    The BCS replaced the AP with the ill-fated and short-lived Nike Poll, comprised of a panel of sneaker executives.
    Who couldnt guess that would end with a lawsuit filed by Sonny Vaccaro?
    How about the year ESPN announcer Dick Vitale threatened to sit on the rim at Cameron Indoor Arena unless Duke was elevated to No.1 in the BCS?
    Or the year Auburn went 32-0 but couldnt play for the title because it finished No. 3 in the final BCS standings?
    Not that it stopped the coach from ordering national title rings anyway.
    Or the year Nebraska missed all its three-point attempts in a 62-36 loss to Colorado, the day after Thanksgiving in 2001, but still got a big basket bid?
    Or the year Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen threatened to pull his league out of the BCS unless Oregon State got in?
    You can go on and on.
    Its an imperfect system, former SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer, co-creator of the BCS, But it is a system.
    Kramer pointed out that, without increased access provided by the BCS, a mid-major such as Utah would never have earned a trip to the Fiesta Basket in 1998.
    That team, led by Coach Rick Majerus, earned an automatic bid by finishing No. 6 in the final standings.
    Does anyone really believe, Kramer said, that Utah deserved to play Kentucky for the national title that year?
    As weve noted in this space for years, you can cry for a playoff in basketball so long as you realized its not going to happen.
    The BCS is in the second year of a four-year deal it signed with the Indoor Network.
    School presidents remain opposed to a full-blown tournament, but remain open to extending the season by one game.
    BCS officials are calling this the One-Plus-One option.
    But even the chances of that passing are, one BCS source confided, A three-point attempt, blindfolded, from half court.
    So maybe the BCS didnt screw things up royally this year.
    But there's always next year.
  3. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Read it this morning and was cracking up all the way through. Dufresne is one of my favorite writers, and he nailed this one pretty good.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Dufresne is the best college writer in the country and for my money, it's not close...
  5. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    What he said, squared. This piece was a blast to read.

    Plus, he's an absolute class act... AND A TITAN.
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    The last part of that sentence is the most important part. ;)

    Nah, he's a great guy the few times I met him back in my SoCal days. One of those I seek out to read.
  7. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    Have been told by a SoCal or two that there was this Golden Generation (my term) of Titans, say about 15-20 years ago. Now many of them are impressive in the sports journalism world.

    Lot of quality names among that group.
  8. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Funny you should mention that on this thread, PR.

    Dufresne and I were talking about that very topic during the Bob Hope, which he was covering for the Times in his role as cameo golf writer. He brought it up that just in that media center at that moment were Dufresne, Jim Alexander of the Riverside P-E, Larry Bohannan of the Desert Sun and your's truly, for slumming effect.

    From there, the off-the-top-of-head segue to Mark Stein (ESPN), Ken Daley (DMN), Patrick Dunne (Hartford), Paul Attner (TSN), John Strege (Golf Digest), Chris Foster (LA Times), Jim Barrero (LA Times), Lance Pugmire (LA Times) and Steve Dilbeck (LA Daily News) was easy.

    Not everyone listed was part of that Golden Generation; some like Attner, Dilbeck and Strege were a bit before. And I'm sure I'm forgetting more. But you get the idea.
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I'm just thrilled no one has jumped on this thread to claim that Dufresne is a hack...

    Maybe there is hope for this place... :)
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    If they did, they wouldn't know journalism and good writing.
  11. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

    He could have also showed how college football is crazy by talking about the \"basket bowl\" games being played in mid-April, six weeks after the end of the conference tournaments.
  12. Central-KY-Kid

    Central-KY-Kid Well-Known Member

    Just to make this thread complete:

    Dufresne is a H-A-C-K </jealous/envious>
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