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LOL at the Big XII and its “One (no, wait.. two) True Champions”

I’ll admit that I  chuckled this season while I saw the Big XII’s frequent “one true champion” commercials on TV. One of the biggest areas of speculation from the past realignment cycle was figuring out who the Big XII was going  to add as its 11th and  12th members. They opted for the massive payday … Continue reading

Updates

  • Well, the first ever College Football Playoff field is set, and the last four teams standing are: Oregon vs FSU as well as Alabama vs OSU. My prediction is the Ducks vs the Tide in the championship game. I  think Oregon will have the edge and win the national title, but we'll see how things go on New Year's Day. I'm really excited for the new system, and I'm glad to see that Boise  State made it into one of the big bowls without having to go undefeated to maaaybe get selected. I think having the field be 4 teams is just about right, but the push to what I am sure will be a 64 team playoff field with  a year-round season will start before we know it.
  • I'm heading down to watch the chargers take on the cowboys today in NFL preseason action. Plus, if you can, check out the roughriders vs bluebombers in the CFL. It should be a great game!
  • Wow, this has been one crazy World Cup this year. I'm still keeping an eye on the MLS (especially that Sounders v Whitecaps Cascadia Cup match last weekend), but this has been an entertaining tournament. I didn't make a bracket this year, but before it is too late, I'm going to go out on a limb and pick Argentina to win it all this year. Germany looked amazing in the quarterfinals, but I am going to be rooting for Argentina.
  • Unfortunately, my picks did not go so well this year, but the final week of the BCS was pretty exciting! I'm looking forward to the all-star games, and I'll try to post some (hopefully better) picks for basketball season, rugby sevens, and the AFL. My new years resolution is to post some much better picks this year ;)
  • Since the final BCS title game is coming up, I wanted to share some parting thoughts on the BCS. All in all, I actually kind of liked the BCS; it produced some great match ups, but I think the College Football Playoff will produce some even more memorable games. I think the playoff should remain at four teams, but I would like each team to represent a different part of the country. If it is going to be a truly national championship tournament, it should be made up of four teams from the Pacific coast, Midwest, Atlantic Coast, and South. I think the conferences could be grouped into each of these regions, and a playoff could represent the best teams from across the country.
  • Since college football realignment is over for the next decade, I thought I would throw out some different ways of determining a college football champion. My big idea is to create a Champions League for college football; here is how it would work in the current FBS structure: Each conference champion, plus the reigning national champion, would become a conference for a year. Schools could be given once extra game in order to play a rival. At the end of the season, the four schools with the best records would play each other in a playoff for the national championship. I'll keep kicking this idea around and post more later (along with bowl projections rooted in the real world).
  • My experience in a social science MA, and part way through a PhD program, I noticed that social science methods were virtually always presented in dichotomies: quantitative/qualitative, positivist/postmodern, etc. I wonder if this is the best way to teach an introduction to research in social science? This is a topic that I want to visit a bit more in the coming weeks and months as I continue to write about higher ed. I recently started a doctoral program in Education, and I've noticed that they have stepped fairly clear of the dichotomies in social science epistemology. I think this is for the best. By introducing the social sciences in dichotomous terms, graduate students have to choose their "team" before really understanding it.
  • I took an extended vacation from blogging since I got a new job and had to adjust to less time for sleep and sports. Looking over my posts, I was surprised to see all of the crazy ideas that were floating out on the Internet for a while (UConn and Cincy to the MWC?!?!). Even though I have not been blogging, I've still been following realignment pretty closely, and I think I can say with confidence that conference realignment is OVER. Not forever, but I think all of the pieces are in place until conferences take a look at the new college football playoff. Remember, the playoff will not have to choose exclusively from conference champions, so it DOES NOT MATTER if the Big XII stays at 10 or the Pac 12 stays at 12. Fairness is not in play (at least how many of us might recognize it) when deciding a national championship, and the Big 10 will not be able to point to a #1 Texas to say, "But, but, that is unfair..they only have 10 teams in their conference while we have 14!!" I don't see any ACC defections after Maryland once they get their TV channel up and running, and I think things have stabilized. One of the biggest myths out there is that conferences have to expand because 14 makes it too tough for conferences to schedule football games. If the Big 10 and SEC find 14 teams too awkward to schedule for football season, I'm sure they can hire someone to figure it out. As always, I'll keep an eye on this story (as it is what really started to drive the blog) and I bet there will be some interesting developments down the road.
  • NCAA.org wrote up an interesting story on San Jose State putting an emphasis on academics within their athletics department. I think it is important to remember that students want to be pushed in their classes while being supported by institutions outside the classroom like the athletics department at SJSU. I think this pairing between challenging classes and supportive institutions within the university (like learning centers and clubs) is an important topic to consider in higher education, and I hope to write about it more in the near future.
  • CBS Sports and the folks over at Mountain West Connection are writing that Colorado State and the University of New Mexico are thinking about rolling the dice on a new conference. The prizes that they are after are: Boise State, BYU, and a new TV deal. Dodd also writes that SDSU, Houston, and SMU might be interested depending on what BSU and BYU do. I think that SDSU is tied pretty closely to BSU at the moment, but on the other hand, the AD at SDSU has been quite vocal about "moving forward" to the Big East. I don't think the Aztecs are a lock to move back to the MWC if Boise does (which might look likely) as they have burned too many bridges. That said, this new conference could be a way for SDSU to save face since they could "move forward" without joining a conference that continues to look very different from the line-up that will exist next year in the BE. Still, I think SDSU will be the hardest school to sell on the new conference idea since I think the Big West will save SDSU quite a bit of money on Olympic sports travel. Since Fresno State, UNLV, and BYU might be talking to the Big East, SDSU should sit back and see who wins this tug of war: the Rocky Mountain schools or the Big East.
  • Big East Split? Looks like there is all kinds of movement out of the Big East with the 7 Catholic schools looking to split. Here are a number of questions I've been thinking about (with links to answers): What are the legal hurdles to a split? Will the Big East be a BCS league next year? What are Boise State's options? Who has the most to gain and who has the most to lose with a split? I'll have more on this (along with my answers) in the next few days.
  • I watched two movies last week: Skyfall (via the drive in) and Cabin in the Woods (via Netflix). Skyfall didn't really impress me, mostly because it felt like the movie was setting up for another reboot. The most interesting thing about the previous two movies was the interconnected plot, which was jettisoned for this most recent film. Instead, Skyfall is packed with references to the Bond franchise, which felt kind of forced (especially the spy car). If you really liked Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, you may want to skip Skyfall. If you haven't seen those films but like 007, you might find Skyfall a bit more entertaining. Cabin in the Woods is quite entertaining with the quirkiness you might expect from Joss Whedon. There are some allusions to Scooby Doo and it Plays around with the conventions of horror films. If you like Buffy/Angel, Scream, or Student Bodies, you should check this movie out.
  • Now that it is the beginning of November, I just wanted to share some thoughts on new TV shows and shows that are new to me. Out of the new shows on TV, I've actually found myself really drawn to comedy this Fall. Some of the best ones out there are: The Mindy Project, New Girl, Don't Trust the B in apartment 23. The latter two are in their second season, but they are worth checking out. In terms of dramas, I would really recommend Elementary, but I would stay away from Revolution. Revolution might warrant its own blog thread...but that's for another time.
  • If you are interested in fantasy football, the cool kids are playing @ riversideawesometown.league.fantasy.nfl.com This is my first year on nfl.com, so we'll see how it goes. The password = awesomeness
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