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|1 day 13 hours ago||Moved closer.||
Michigan moved closer to first yesterday--Minnesota split a doubleheader at Illinois. Now just a half game out, with Minnesota hosting Indiana in a big series next weekend.
1. Minnesota (10-3)
|2 days 6 hours ago||I will be there.||
I wish the weather were better; Michigan needs their home field advantage today & Sunday.
|2 days 7 hours ago||Penn State?||
Nothing is even remotely similar between Penn State and Arizona State.
PSU built a Division I-quality hockey arena, and hired a proven Division I college hockey coach. Arizona State does not have any on-campus arena, and their coach is an ASU alum who was a club-level coach and has no Division I experience.
Division I talent was heading to Penn State from the day they hired Guy Gadowski. Arizona State has made less of a commitment to college hockey than American International or Bentley or even Michigan State.
|2 days 7 hours ago||Maybe, maybe not.||
The NCHC released a statement on Twitter within the last hour that said, among other things, "the reports made earlier regarding an impending change of membership within our conference are inaccurate."
It doesn't exactly say that Arizona State isn't joining their conference, but it does say that a final decision has not been made.
|3 days 5 hours ago||Quite possible.||
Michigan would certainly have to win or share the Big Ten championship and would probably have to win the Big Ten tournament, but if they do they should be one of the top 16 seeds.
The top 16 seeds host regionals--there are no more #2 seeds hosting like they had a few years ago--but the baseball committee doesn't always stick to the RPI the way the softball committee has in the recent past. The hosts aren't decided by RPI, but they also aren't decided by regional considerations either.
Last season, #18 Houston, #20 Cal State-Fullerton and #24 UC-Santa Barbara all got #1 seeds and hosted regionals despite not being ranked in the top 16 of the RPI (to the annoyance of #11 Virginia, #14 Radford and #15 College of Charleston, who all ended up as #2 seeds).
|3 days 5 hours ago||What?||
So their argument is "just wait--the SEC is going to start winning all of those recruiting battles they have been losing to the Big Ten"?
|5 days 4 hours ago||Rejoicing until...||
Skip Bayless becomes the main Big Ten football pregame/halftime studio analyst on FOX.
Note how "Skip Bayless moves from ESPN to FOX" is equivalent, in many people's minds, to "Skip Bayless disappears off the face of the Earth."
|6 days 4 hours ago||Inertia.||
Starting back in the '90s and up until 2008 or so, the Big Ten had 4-game series each weekend: 1 game Friday, 2 games Saturday, 1 game Sunday. So to "even out" the MSU series, one team hosted the Saturday doubleheader and one team hosted Friday & Sunday. So every year, the MSU series was home-away-home or away-home-away in order that each team could host 2 games.
When they went to the 3-game series, nobody thought to change things--they kept the home-away-home and away-home-away pattern, even though there was no reason to do things that way any more. So yes, it's odd, but there is a "historical" reason they do it that way.
|6 days 4 hours ago||I don't agree.||
This isn't what is going on here, though. It's pretty clear that Red wants out soon. He just got renewed to a 1-year contract.
Reading between the lines, I assumed this is something like what happened to Lloyd Carr after his 2006 season--he wanted to retire, he planned to retire, but the AD asked him to come back for one more year. The difference is that Carr's situation was because of the Athletic Director not being prepared for a search; here I think it was more the Hackett / Manuel transition coming at a exactly the wrong time for finding a new hockey coach.
Although I have no knowledge of what happened, I have been assuming that Hackett tried to get Pearson to agree to come here and replace Red for the 2016/17 season, Pearson didn't agree (for whatever reason), and Hackett decided to let Manuel do a full national search and get "his guy" after the 2016/17 season. Is that what happened? Probably not. Is it plausible? Sure. Berenson, being a company man to the last, told the press that he changed his mind and wanted to come back for one more year.
I'm assuming there is a "Red Berenson Night" the night before Senior Night 2017, they raise his #9 to the rafters, and they announce his replacement the next week.
|1 week 3 hours ago||I see your point.||
It's just that, in the end, there are only 2 acceptable rules: (1) all games must be made up, or (2) no games can be made up. Otherwise, it's subject to too much manipulation.
And rule #1 would be hard to implement with different class schedules--you shouldn't force Maryland to fly to Iowa, for example, for a single Tuesday makeup game if Maryland is still in class, or if it's Iowa's final exam week, or whatever.
And anyway, now that there's a conference tournament, the rainout doesn't directly decide who makes the NCAAs like it did back in the 1970's. Everybody gets a chance to win it on the field.
|1 week 4 hours ago||Not necessarily.||
In the late 1970s, there were several baseball seasons in the Big Ten that were decided by rainouts. Back then, rainouts could be made up if both teams agreed on a date (before the end of the season, of course) and the date didn't interfere with classes. Since most schools ended classes at the end of April or early May, there was plenty of time for midweek makeup games.
But what happened is teams started to back out of planned makeup games if they saw it might be to their advantage to have cancelled games instead of making the game up. I recall one season (1979)--Kirk Gibson's senior season at MSU and Rick Leach's senior season at Michigan--where MSU backed out of a makeup game (with Indiana, I think) at the last minute, and that helped MSU beat Michigan by half a game in the final standings.
Anyway, the conference decided in 1981 that if a series can't be completed, they would just declare the unplayed games "no contest." It's more fair, at least, and not subject to manipulation by the teams for their own advantage. When they started paying softball in the conference, they just took the same rules that baseball had.
|1 week 1 day ago||Save||
One small correction--Tribucher did not get the save; he was lifted for Bryan Pall with 2 outs and the bases loaded. I think Pall should have received credit for a save (he came in with the tying run on deck), but the box score doesn't give anybody a save.
Also, Minnesota beat Northwestern easily to keep pace with Michigan and remain in a first-place tie (although Minnesota does have the tiebreaker).
|1 week 3 days ago||Two years ago.||
This guy was appointed to serve a 3-year term on this committee back in June of 2014--this wasn't an issue at the time.
It's like volunteering for something in school or at work. You know how these committee appointments are made: twelve guys in a room, somebody says "we have to pick one of you to spend 3 days in Indianapolis 6 times a year. Your expenses are covered, but there's no extra pay. Any volunteers?" And 10 or 11 guys look away, and the one or two worst human beings in the room raise their hand, thinking "this will look great on my resume!"
|1 week 4 days ago||Here are the names.||
This is the list of the people who voted for & against the ban. I posted this on Monday, but it's worth looking over again. Eight of the ten are athletic directors. Timothy Day is a professor and Maggie McKinley is an Associate Athletic Director.
YES (10 votes)
NO (5 votes)
If Guerrero had voted the way he was supposed to, it's now 8-7 for the ban. I'm assuming that the MWC would be the other conference most likely to flip.
|1 week 4 days ago||How many games on FOX?||
The Big 12 contract says at least 7 games a year on FOX; the Pac 12 contract says at least 8 games a year on FOX, and at least 4 of those in prime time. That's 15 total; figure the B1G gets 8-12 more or so. Since the FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) bought 25 games a year, that must mean that about 13 or so will be on FS1.
Here is FOX's broadcast schedule from last season. This is the main network, not FS1. They showed 18 games in 14 weeks:
Week 1 Virginia at UCLA (Sa-3:30)
That's 10 Pac-12 games (2 more than the contract minimum), 7 Big 12 games (1 more than the contract minimum) and 1 Big Ten game. 1 at noon, 7 mid-afternoon and 10 at night. Figure they add about 10 more games a year starting in 2017 once the B1G contract starts, and figure the game times are distributed the way ABC distributed their games a couple of years ago--a few noon games, a few mid-afternoon and a few night.
|1 week 4 days ago||Only in October.||
I know FOX has long-term commitments to broadcast the baseball ALCS and some of the World Series games, which will include some Saturday nights in October. That would, obviously, push their football broadcasts into the noon & 4:00 time slots.
Also, with their three major conferences being the Pac 12, Big 12 and Big Ten, it follows that any noon broadcasts will only involve 2 of those 3 conferences.
If you figure that FOX will show 2 games each Saturday and FS1 will show 2 more, you probably have a 4:00 & 8:00 doubleheader on FOX (except when baseball pushes one of those games to noon) and a noon - 8:00 pair of games on FS1 or even a tripleheader of noon - 4:00 - 8:00. The FOX networks will have rights to 2 Big Ten games, 2 Big Twelve games and 2 Pac Twelve games a week, more or less. Some B12 / P12 games can get pushed to the regional networks, or to Thursday nights.
|1 week 5 days ago||Whose mistake, though?||
From what I heard, ESPN's offer was "an insult." I also hope that ABC/ESPN gets some of the rest of the games (as I posted above), but you don't accept a low-ball offer just because it's ESPN.
|1 week 5 days ago||Some numbers.||
The Big Ten starting in 2017 will have about 90 football games under their control (9-game conference schedule = 63 conference games, plus about 2 home non-conference games by each team = about 28 non-conference games). FOX networks have purchased 25 games, and they are calling that "half" of the contract. So presumably BTN will retain about 40 games a year.
This means that in a typical October week, we will have 2 games on the FOX networks, 3 games on BTN, and 2 more games that are still up for sale.
FOX now has the rights to 25 B1G games, 30 Big 12 games, 22 Pac 12 games and 22 CUSA games a year, for a total of 99 games (figure 14 weeks = 7 games per week). Obviously a lot of those CUSA games get played Thursday night on FS2. So how does FOX distribute those games? I'm guessing: 2 games Thursday night (one on FS1, one on FS2) and 5 on Saturday (2 on FOX, 2-3 on FS1 and 0-1 on FS2). The broadcasts are probably 4:00 & 8:00 on FOX and maybe noon, 4 and/or 8 or something like that on FS1 and FS2 (NOTE: FOX seems to like 4-hour time slots).
So the B1G will get (I'm guessing) a weekly broadcast at either 4 or 8 on FOX and one at either noon or 4 on FS1. Before you jump down my throat about the noon games, remember that they will have a noon time slot with something, and college football is the obvious choice. Remember also that the Pac 12 obviously isn't going to be filling that noon slot with a game, so it's going to be the Big XII or the B1G.
|1 week 5 days ago||I could be wrong.||
This isn't official, only my educated guesses. I am hearing in places that FOX is buying half of the first-tier rights, with the other half potentially still up for bid. The only question is how those first-tier rights are structured. It's just that in my mind I can't see FOX plopping down that amount of money for 25 games a year without Michigan-Ohio State being one of those 25.
|1 week 5 days ago||Yes and probably not.||
The bigger games will almost certainly be on FOX, as they are for the Big Twelve and the Pac Twelve. This sounds like they have purchased 2 games a week. What it doesn't say is whether these are the "first tier" or second or third. I have to assume that the games FOX purchased are either first & second tier or first & third: you wouldn't negotiate the second tier first, without knowing the prices of the first tier.
It also might be a deal where FOX gets 6-8 first tier broadcasts and the other rights holder will get the other 6-8. In other words, a split first tier, with the premium game being on FOX during half the weeks and on ABC the other half. But still, there's no way FOX would have paid $250MM a year unless they knew they had the Michigan-Ohio State game wrapped up.
So that probably means that FOX has purchased the rights to the Michigan-Ohio State game here.
|1 week 5 days ago||No, it is not.||
FOX itself will probably only show 2 games a week, and I'm guessing only 1 of those 2 will be a Big Ten game. So Michigan will get its share of games on FOX, but it's quite unlikely that they are on every week. The rest will be on FS1, FS2 and the BTN, just like recent years with ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and BTN.
|1 week 5 days ago||Remember when the NHL existed?||
Unfortunately we are still at a point where ESPN controls the national sports conversation. And because ESPN treats sports as a business, they have tended to stop talking about things that they don't cover themselves.
During the fall, do you notice that there is a "College Gameday" thread here every Saturday morning? For better or worse, people pay attention to that network and not to any other network. If Big Ten football isn't on ESPN, College Gameday stops talking about the Big Ten and mostly stops showing up on Big Ten campuses.
I wonder if the Big Ten should accept a low-ball offer from ESPN rather than a better offer from (say) CBS or Turner.
|1 week 5 days ago||Hmmm.||
"Sources said that ESPN presented a non-competitive bid several weeks ago, as the company continues to look for areas to save costs."
Interesting. That doesn't sound promising for the second half.
|1 week 5 days ago||Different issue.||
The exemption that SFU needs is one exempting them from the "Must be in the United States to play in D-I" rule. The NCAA has never granted an exemption from that rule, and has not changed that rule.
|1 week 5 days ago||Problem...||
Here's the problem, though. Right now, they would be allowed to compete at the Division I level but they would not be allowed to participate in an NCAA Division I championship.
NCAA Bylaw 20.8.2: "An active memberinstitution that holds membership in Division II is eligible to compete in the Division I championship in those sports for which no championship is conducted in Division II. The Division II institution shall declare its intention to compete by June 1. This declaration of intent shall be effective for a minimum of three years.'
NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11: "To be eligible for the Division I championship in such a sport, the Division II member institution is required to meet all Division I institutional and individual eligibility requirements..."
NCAA Constitution 3.1.1: "[Division I] Membership is available to colleges, universities, athletics conferences or associations and other groups that are related to intercollegiate athletics; that are accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies and that are located in the United States, its territories or possessions..."
Also see this old document (from February 2011) where an NCAA Committee states flat out that a non-US institution would not be eligible for a Division I championship:
They contemplate changing the rule, but the rule has not been changed.
Obviously the rule can be changed, but I would have to assume that Simon Fraser wouldn't start a hockey team until they can be assured that it would be eligible for the NCAA tournament.
|1 week 6 days ago||Fair enough.||
Let's just say this isn't the first thing the NCAA screwed up this month.
|1 week 6 days ago||Check again.||
Those numbers are last week's. Michigan is now #28!
The Big Ten amazingly has 9 teams in the top 100:
|1 week 6 days ago||Different committees||
The committee that might revisit the ruling later this month is the "Board of Directors," made up almost entirely of University presidents. The committee that made the rule was the "Division I Council," made up mostly of athletic directors & conference executives.
I am confident that nobody is paying off a University president to vote in a certain way on a minor (to them) issue like this. Generally they rubber-stamp the decisions of the Council, but not always when there is a controversy and there are questions of "fairness" involved.
EDIT: here is a list of the people who voted for & against the ban. Eight of the ten are athletic directors. Timothy Day is a professor and Maggie McKinley is an Associate Athletic Director.
YES (10 votes)
NO (5 votes)
|2 weeks 3 hours ago||B1G Standings||
1. Michigan State (7-2)
The bad news is that thanks to Michigan's and Minnesota's weather cancellation last weekend, those two teams will only have a 23-game conference schedule, and the rest of the conference will have a 24-game schedule (barring any further weather cancellations, of course). The result is that Michigan State at 2 losses is ahead of Michigan at 2 losses.
The good news is that Michigan and Michigan State will have a chance to settle things on the field in 2 weeks, with (as WD mentioned) Friday and Sunday games at Ray Fisher Stadium, and the Saturday game at Kobs Field.
Michigan State can't look ahead, with a 3-game series against Indiana next weekend.
The remaining schedules of the top three:
Michigan: at Iowa, vs MSU, vs Rutgers, at OSU, at Illinois
MSU: vs Indiana, at Michigan, vs Nebraska, at Iowa, vs Maryland
Minnesota: at Northwestern, at Illinois, vs Indiana, at Purdue, vs OSU
Minnesota seems to have the easier schedule down the road, but this isn't softball--nobody is finishing the season 15-0. Everybody will lose multiple games before the end of the season, so it's still a wide open race. Hopefully we will know more in a week or two.
|2 weeks 5 hours ago||Baseball regular season.||
Michigan moved a lot closer after Purdue's win over MSU today. Only a half game behind first place MSU with 3 games against them in 2 weeks. That will be an epic series--easily the biggest M-MSU baseball series since 1979.
As far as softball is concerned, they keep a half game lead over Minnesota & Penn State. A win over MSU on Tuesday would move that to a full game lead with 9 to go. Penn State isn't a concern, because they are on Michigan's schedule, but Michigan just needs to keep piling up the wins to stay ahead of Minnesota because the teams don't meet in the regular season.