Most here are likely (as the baseball fans on this board seem to be predominately Detroit Tiger fans) to remember Jim Joyce as the 1st Base umpire who blew the 9th inning call in what would have been a Perfect Game for Armando Galarraga in the 2010 season. As I recall, what initially was an ugly situation that night quickly evolved into nearly a completely "feel-good' situation when Joyce showed sincere contrition for his bad call, while Galarraga publicly forgave Joyce. Both men showed the Sports World what total class is all about, by taking the high road in a situation where many would struggle.
I just came across this new story about Jim Joyce tonight:
Turns out Joyce stepped up to the plate again in a crisis and proceeded to be instrumental in saving a life. Next time I'm at a ballgame and cuss out an umpire, I'm gonna make sure first that the Ump isn't Joyce, who, IMO, has earned a free pass from me for the rest of his umpiring career!
I'm not going to give a conference-by-conference breakdown this week, as I am pressed for time. A few notes:
-What is worse than having a team in your conference lose to an FCS school? Being the Mountain West this week, who fell four spots due to two crushing FCS losses. The Big Ten also lost a spot due to Minnesota's apparent lack of skillz. Once Jerry Kill has led a long an fulfilling life, I can revisit this loss and say that Minnesota has taken on the character of their coach. Their entire game against NDSU looked like one prolonged seizure. But I won't make that joke now, as it would be crude and inappropriate.
-The Denard WHHHHATTT of the week finds the Pac-12 gaining a spot in our standing after going 0-1 in this weeks OOC schedule. This is more due to the collapse of the Mountain West and the ACC than it is about a silver lining for the Pac-12.
-The Big 12 has all but wrapped up the Cy-Hawk Trophy Memorial Award this year after posting a perfect 3-0 record in Week 4 which included wins against Miami and two other FBS schools.
-Half of the Big Ten's 12 OOC losses stem from Indiana and Minnesota. Michigan is one of four teams to hand the conference a perfect 4-0 OOC record. Of those four, Michigan gained the most points for the Big Ten, scoring 1.966 non-adjusted points. Wisconsin was second (1.690), Nebraska third (1.540), and Illinois fourth (1.383). A large part of that is due to Michigan not playing an FCS school this year. In a follow up diary, I intend to go into more depth about the state of the Big Ten after OOC play. Look for that at some point in the next couple of days.
CPR - Week 4
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Info on how I score the CPR rankings is available here.
When I was a young boy my mother sat me down and said, "Son, one day you will grow up to write a moderately valued diary on a sports blog with a small but passionate user base."
I was a child of the 80's, so the term 'blog' was completely foreign to me. I dismissed this idea as a residual effect of too much acid and 'Earth, Wind, and Fire'. My mom was involved heavily in the 'counter-culture' movement of her era.
Twenty-some years later, as I sit here pondering whether my mom was clarevoyant or had just stumbled into some really good acid, I ask for your help. I want to write the best damned moderately valued diary that I can. I need to live up to my mother's expectations. Being that this is only my third week doing this, I am very open to suggestions. If you guys have any, let me know, as I will try to incorporate them as best I can.
Not much movement towards the front and the rear of the line, as both the top 3 and bottom 4 conferences remain the same. The middle saw big drops by the PAC 12 (5-4) and CUSA (5-3, with wins over only WAC and FBS teams). It also saw two conferences make decent gains as the ACC (6-2) and the MWC (5-2) both climbed multiple spots.
The BIG 12 continues to dominate the OOC schedule, going 9-1 this week to accumulate a 23-3 record. This record is even more impressive if you take into account the fact that they have played the fewest FBS cupcakes (6) of any BCS conference and have the most wins (also 6) against other BCS schools.
The SEC is trying to keep pace, but going 4-2 this week ensured that the BIG 12 gained ground on all other conferences. The two horse race for the innagural Cy-Hawk Trophy Memorial Award (CHTMA) has officially turned into a one point five horse race.
The Cy-Hawk Trophy Memorial Award, given to the Top Conference in the FCS.
CPR - Week 3
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The Bakers Dozen
Propelled by strong wins over Auburn, Ohio State, and Kansas; the ACC jumped 3 spots and nestled into number 6 in our CPR rankings. FSU showed flashes against Oklahoma, but came up short. The soon to be NKOTB both lost this week, as Iowa defeated Pitt and USC made short work of Syracuse.
The BIG 10 remained stagnant for the second week in a row, as a strong win by Illinois was offset by losses to two alleged conference contenders in OSU and MSU. Other teams, such as Penn State and Iowa sputtered but came through. The BIG 10 is starting to look like a microcosm of the NCAA conference picture as a whole; with a couple of solid players at the top, an extremely large middle class, and teams like Minnesota and Indiana fighting for food stamps.
The BIG 12 still looks tough, even after they packed up a little bit of snow and pushed it down the mountain, creating a snowball effect that will change the landscape of college football as we know it. As noted at the top, their 23-2 record is as impressive as it looks from the outside. The BIG 12 will have to fail miserably during the bowl season if any other conference intends on capturing the coveted CHTMA this season.
WVU continues to will the Big East to mediocrity. Without the 'eers, the Big East would have had nothing to hang their straw hats on. UCONN lost a close game to Iowa State and Pitt "Sparty nooooooo'd" away a win to Iowa. Many toothless babies were conceived in the cornfields of Iowa on Saturday. Yes, I am aware that all babies are born toothless. Except, of course, for Michigan babies, which are all born with a mouth full of teeth and grow up to be Michigan Men.
CUSA didn't really give themselves a chance to shine this week, as their only marquee game pitted Tulsa against Okie State. The rest of their OOC schedule consisted of teams that the average college football fan has probably never heard of.
The first two weeks must have been sweet for the MAC. They were 13-10, posting a few noteworthy wins along with some respectable efforts against big named schools (shoutout to Toledo!). Apparently, at some point this week, student athletes throughout the midwest woke up and realized that they played in the MAC. Consequently, the MAC posted a 1-8 record this week, with only Ohio (NTO) saving face.
The Mountain West climbed an impressive 3 spots in this weeks CPR, due to a 5-2 record which brought them to 12-6 on the season. They are currently the only non-qualifier that is ahead of a BCS conference, surpassing the Big East, ACC, and PAC 12. Their five wins all came against other FBS schools, including one against Washington State and the PAC 12.
I'm waiting to have one of those head asploding moments when some clueless ESPN drone suggests that the PAC 12 can rival the SEC for the best conference in the nation. I know it will happen. The PAC 12 has had the worst season among BCS conferences. Their 19-10 record is padded by 7 wins against FCS schools and 5 more against the worst conference (WAC) in the FBS. They are 4-6 against other BCS schools.
Here's a philisophical head scratcher... Can the SEC form a team SO TALENTED that another SEC team cannot beat them? Trick question, because when the SEC plays with itself, everyone wins. Right, Gary? As it turns out, NCAA rules state that there HAS to be a team that loses. Condolences to Tennessee and the state of Mississippi, as your teams were all losers this week. Speaking of losers, Auburn... lol.
God it gets boring breaking down the crappy conferences.
The WAC finished 0-4 against FBS opponents, cementing their place in the basement of the FBS and reminding me that I was supposed to be cleaning the basement while my wife is away getting groceries, and am instead creating a drawn out review of the week that was in college football.
Notre Dame finally played well enough to overcome themselves. If they stop turning the ball over, Lou Holtz may actually be proven right a few times this year. The service acadamies split their games against Northwestern (W) and SC (L). BYU got pounded by Utah, 54-10. BYU officials are checking into whether taking it that hard constitutes punishment for breaking the school's "no sex" policy.
Progress! The FCS got another win this week, as the Sycamores of Indiana State were triumphant over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. It wasn't even close, either, as Indiana State compiled a 44-16 win. This brings their three week record to 3-71. For those keeping score at home, that win percentage is 4% higher than the 2008 Detroit Lions.
Regression to the Mean
What do you get when you have a game between two crappy conferences, one which comes into the game posting an 8-0 record and the top CPR among all conferences, and another that comes in as the only conference not to log a non-conference win over the opening weekend?
Yaaay, law of averages.
The Big East lost their clean sheet on Friday night, as Louisville fell to the mighty Golden Panthers of Florida International. To the Panthers' credit they have started the season 2-0, even though the Sun Belt had yet to win an interconference game. Their opening game was against conference foe, North Texas - the Texas team which is least likely to start talking about how pretty it is.
The last conference to post a perfect resume for 2011 fell only hours later. The Big 12 fought hard for their perfect record, with Arizona State needing overtime to beat Mizzou and break the streak of 11-0. This is not a big deal for the Big 12, though, as it is not like they're going to disintegrate the conference because of the loss...
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From the Top
The red-headed stepchild of the BCS. The ACC comes in below both the MWC and CUSA in this weeks table. Talks of the ACC poaching from the Big East should cease, as the Big East actually looks like a stronger conference.
What happens to your CPR when you go 7-5? Nothing, apparently. The B1G stays at number 3 even after developing a subpar record this week. I was tempted to give them +1,000,000 for Michigan's efforts, but that would skew my numbers a bit. Instead, the Big 10 stays at three and watches the top two conferences put some distance between themselves and the pack.
Well, this is kinda akward. The Big 12 this year is like a boyfriend who saw the light a little too late. Yes, they are on their best behavior, but she's totally over you, Big 12. The B12 is leading our CPR at this point, but they're still going to come home at some point and find all their shit on the lawn.
The Big East took a nosedive this week, after leading the FBS in the CPR last week. They drop four spots to number 5 due to a 'meh' 4-4 effort which saw losses to teams such as Vanderbilt and FIU.
CUSA can lay claim to the title 'Best of the Rest'. Their 8-9 record is good enough as 11 of their 17 OOC games have been against BCS conferences. They have posted three wins in those games, with two more coming to other FBS schools.
Don't look now, but EMU is 2-0! Largely due to the Hart influence, no doubt. A heartbreaker in Columbus was very nearly the biggest win the MAC has seen in years. Northern Illinois also lost a close game to Kansas while CMU kept it close throughout most of their game against Kentucky, only to lose 27-13.
A lukewarm 3-2 record which included two wins against FCS schools saw the MWC drop a spot. Their lone win was a 3 point SDSU win over Army.
The Pac 12 rebounded nicely from a disasterous opening week to climb six points in the CPR. They did so with a 6-2 week that saw them become the only conference which has beaten the Big 12.
Undefeated. 8-0. The AFC Southwest. God's gift to ESPN. God's gift to God. The reason I couldn't watch the opening kickoff of the greatest game in the history of the word 'game'. The SEC shot up as the only potential challenger for the CPR crown. At this point, it appears to be a two horse race with the Big 12 narrowly beating the SEC.
The Sun Belt didn't wait until Saturday to post their first win, with FIU beating Louisville on Friday night. The Sun Belt went 4-4 with wins over the MAC, CUSA, Mountain West, and an FCS school. For their part, the Sun Belt has beaten up the fewest cupcakes (sounds like innuendo?), having only played one FCS school.
The WAC has brought up the rear among FBS conferences for the second week in a row. That's what happens when you post a 5-10 record, with only two of those wins over other FBS schools.
Navy posted the only vistory this week as they rolled over Western Kentucky. BYU gave Texas a run, but came up short by a point. Notre Dame was apparently involved in some sort of 'night game' thing.
The FCS was picked on less this week, as they only played 20 games against FBS schools, compared to 36 the week before. They posted as many wins this week as Notre Dame.