landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
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|1 hour 59 min ago||They had the "Golden Goal"||
They had the "Golden Goal" rule in effect for a few years. France won Euro 2000 with one. It wasn't popular enough to keep.
|2 hours 18 min ago||I stand corrected.||
I stand corrected.
|3 hours 14 min ago||Goal line technology seems||
Goal line technology seems like a no-brainer. I think reviewing offsides would be good, too. The "flow-of-the-game" concept is important in soccer, but too many games have turned on bad offsides calls in either direction. Encouraging players to finish a play with the flag up would help innoculate the game against losing scoring chances due to a bad call going against a team on attack, too.
The traditional league structure is so ingrained and so wildly different from sports in the United States that I don't think there is a good way to make the sport properly competitive at all levels. Certainly not in a way that helps the Leicesters in any meaningful way. The only possible way to instill a real "salary cap" type system is to develop a static continental super league out of the best in Europe (you know, Real and Barca from Spain, Bayern from Germany, the two Milans and Juve from Italy, etc, leaving their domestic leagues entirely). This allows those teams to compete evenly with each other... at the expense of hundreds of lesser teams in each nation who are further cut out of the game. A team like Leicester in this scenario would go from having little chance for meaningful chance to having even less.
I thought and generally continue to think that the FFP concept, if poorly executed, is a good way to protect against "plaything" abuses and in fact helps vaguely restrain other teams from running up massive debts that could bankrupt them, as happened to Leeds a few years ago. Beyond this, though, I think things are just kind of stuck the way they are.
The PK issue is tricky. It's a lousy way to end a game, but the nature of the sport with its limited, permanent substitutions and the vital role fatigue plays in 90 minute games does not allow for "unlimited overtimes." The "unlimited OT" concept really only comes into play in a small handful of NHL playoff games, and while they are magnificent those players are still able to rest on a regular basis and unless a series is clinched the teams are both affected equally for the next game, since they play 7-game series. It is glorious, but it is unworkable in many other sports, particularly soccer.
But all the other options highly distort the sport, as well. Soccer as a game has many positive attributes, and one can even appreciate the high likelihood of draws, but it does not fit well with a one game championship that television wants.
The World Cup DID try to deal with this in its history by awarding the Cup to the winner of a 4-team final group (this is also how the Miracle on Ice team actually won its gold, too, btw. The memorable World Cup moment here was Brazil's stunning home loss to Uruguay in 1950, which was actually simply the concluding and deciding game of a final group). This is, in a way, more fair--results are judged over more games, allowing more data points. It is, however, terrible television.
So all of the other solutions are bad. I like the idea of removing the goalies, but that will turn the contest into a game that favors teams that have guys that can shoot from distance, a narrow skill level elsewhere. Other people have suggested alternating corner kicks instead of penalties, and while that idea is also a bit narrow it is at least a part of the game.
So I tend to favor corner kicks.
As it is, the coin flip nature of penalties means that just getting to them in certain circumstances is considered a good result for a team. A team that is on its heels most of a game is thought to be happy to "earn" penalties, while a team that had a lead has failed to some extent to be forced to them. Makes for interesting plotlines, even if the result itself is random.
EDIT: Ok, so this was far longer than merited by my actual content. So...
tl;dr The nature of soccer as an international institution and as a game makes it hard to make big changes, and apart from video and goal-line tech I think that there aren't great options.
|3 hours 24 min ago||Don't wait till the next dead||
Don't wait till the next dead ball. Wait until the scoring opportunity is finished. If it's a minute or two, add it to stoppage time.
Refs already basically do this at the end of stoppage time--they wait to blow the whistle until after an active scoring chance has been resolved.
|3 hours 46 min ago||The 2 periods of extra time||
The 2 periods of extra time exist to switch sides for fairness (wind or bad turf can affect the game) and, frankly, to give the players a breather. I don't think that's the problem. Fatigue, however, is.
|4 hours 12 min ago||I think you're underrating||
I think you're underrating this. Michigan takes offenses like this extremely seriously. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that he won't play a single down of the season opener.
|4 hours 14 min ago||Dumb. Not exactly sure what||
Dumb. Not exactly sure what comes of this, though. And Malzone is not at the front of the queue as it is.
|4 hours 16 min ago||Hey, there's one way this||
Hey, there's one way this could work out:
Michigan, OSU, MSU, Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota join the Big 12. Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma join the Big 10. The B1G invites Colorado to join. Texas, Baylor, TCU, and Texas Tech invite SMU, Houston, and Rice to start a new conference, which they call the "Southwest" conference. Texas A&M and Arkansas, disgusted with the bloat of the SEC, join as well.
Meanwhile West Virginia also jumps ship and joins an ACC splinter group featuring Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse, Louisville, and Pittsburgh, along with UConn to form an Eastern conference. Penn State and Rutgers decide that the ethical standards of a conference with Louisville in it is a good fit for them and joins as well. The ACC, now short in numbers, recruits Maryland to join.
The "Big 12" then enters into a business agreement with the "Big 10" in which the Big Ten trades its name, television package, and championship deals to the Big 12, while renaming itself the "Big 8" and keeping Jim Delany.
In return for making such sensible moves, each conference involved is given an autobid in the new 8-team playoff.
I think this works out for everybody.
|1 day 4 hours ago||The western contribution||
The western contribution shouldn't be minimized. A second front in the war was vital, Russia could not have survived without that key economic assistance, and Britain's refusal to yield after France fell, when they were the last free nation in Europe, was crucial.
But I am grateful that the horrors of the East remain strictly unimaginable to us today. Consider what it would be like in a place like Ukraine, whom Stalin already deliberately gutted by starvation, conquered and re-conquered in turn by Hitler and Stalin in turn. Or Poland. Or Lithuania.
|1 day 4 hours ago||That ending (the perfect||
That ending (the perfect close, delivered perfectly, spoken by the actual soldier and not an actor) is as good as it gets. And draws the series to a close impeccably.
The Brecourt Manor scene in ep 2 is the best action of the series. Astonishing stuff.
|2 days 22 hours ago||We had the talent to win, but||
We had the talent to win, but not the coaching. That roster is absolutely loaded and compares very favorably with the rosters of both USC and Florida. It was atrophy on the sidelines that cost us, and that is part of why that season left a bitter taste in my mouth that I have yet to clear out.
The Cap One bowl the next season was a clear demonstration that, when coaches were willing to get creative and use the talent they possessed aggresively, mid-90s Michigan could compete with any team in the country. They simply declined to do it.
Against USC in that Rose Bowl, Michigan fielded players in almost every position that had as much skill and as much future potential as USC. Sure, USC had Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith. Michigan had future pro bowler Leon Hall available to cover, David Harris patrolling the middle of the field (fun fact--a discussion this week prompted me to look at PFR's total value ratings for past seasons, and the year that Darrell Revis was competing for Woodson for DPR, Harris tied Revis for the best rating of any defender in the League that year) and LaMar Woodley rushing the passer. On offense, Michigan had an all-decade RB, a future #1 overall offensive lineman, a future multi-season NFL starter under center (way too much under center if you ask me) and the best trio of receivers in the country.
Michigan lost the last two games because it was soundly outcoached. As they lost many other games throughout that decade.
|3 days 35 min ago||Live shot of Blanco ending||
Live shot of Blanco ending the top of the 5th
|3 days 37 min ago||Hey, nice catch.||
Hey, nice catch.
|3 days 41 min ago||This is where you regret||
This is where you regret leaving the bases loaded in the 1st. 3 runs were good, but there was a chance to really put Missouri away early (and seriously stress their pitcher, even perhaps sitting her down for some of the game) and instead she has her legs back and it's a tight one going into the 5th.
|3 days 3 hours ago||2000 was flawed. The defense||
2000 was flawed. The defense was young and not fantastic. The two spread games (18 point leads in both) were obvious, but Michigan gave up excessive points elsewhere as well. Nearly let a bad OSU team back into things in Columbus, for example.
|3 days 3 hours ago||And I'll take 1999 over any||
And I'll take 1999 over any season since, too.
|3 days 22 hours ago||Don't cross your fingers. But||
Don't cross your fingers. But perhaps, if the NCAA goes to home games for the tournament, they can get one of those.
2002 was a top five ever sports experience for me.
|3 days 22 hours ago||The regional situation and||
The regional situation and the bifurcation issue are closely intertwined, as Brian says. The "West" includes a large number of teams that are pretty far East in the view of the nation at large, but in hockey terms it's a different world.
And the proximity is a huge issue. One of my beefs with college hockey leadership is that people with an Eastern orientation really think that the whole world is exactly like their own experience of it. But it's not at all the same. It astonishes me to see games from the East where the arenas are half empty and both teams live within an hour of each other--why aren't visiting fans packing the arena out? Michigan's closest opponents are a minimum of an hour away; a team like BC has 7 or 8 teams within that distance.
So you get situations where the two eastern regionals are less than two hours from each other, while a regional in Green Bay (drove four hours to take the wife and kids, FWIW) is a minimum of four hours from any of the participating teams.
This is a very good primer. It will probably get dated fast if the NCAA ever gets around to changing its regional format and if the B1G expands some more, but this will be useful to link to for a long time.
|4 days 5 hours ago||ugh. Comment sections are||
ugh. Comment sections are stupid.
|4 days 5 hours ago||Good call. Best possible time||
Good call. Best possible time to do this--it's a pre-emptive slap on the wrist, but it won't get national play because this is the ultimate Friday news dump. A day after Briles, a day before Memorial weekend, the deadest of college football dead periods.
|4 days 19 hours ago||On this point I totally||
On this point I totally agree. Additionally, Baylor will probably want someone who can control players and coaches to keep things straight. This suggests to me that the Shane Morris situation would be as big of a red flag as the Gibbons issue.
|4 days 21 hours ago||Hoke declined to be||
Hoke declined to be forthright to the press, possibly under directive from his AD. The player's investigation was in no way interfered with by him or other officials, and in fact was pursued with a zeal that some found controversial.
Briles supervised a regime in which investigations were actively suppressed and victims were retaliated against on multiple occasions.
I don't think these things are on the same planet. You might not, either, but the wording of your post suggests that you think they're in the same category. I would agree that this might give Baylor pause, since publicity is an issue, but the way the thought comes out is an issue.
Recruiting is indeed a problem.
|4 days 21 hours ago||I think both Bama and LSU||
I think both Bama and LSU want to win, and will pursue the best candidate. Granted, Alabama can win with a "traditional" type guy, but they aren't going to hire a Hoke type just to line up under center. Granted, though, a guy like Kirby Smart, if he excels, will be an easy hire for them. And of course there is no sign that Saban is going to slow down yet.
LSU will also pursue the best guy, regardless of style. And Herman, following Meyer's lead, plays a style that is unique but is hardly soft; I think that he might be the best coaching candidate period next year, and that means a school like LSU will be looking for him.
Herman knows how to run a powerful spread offense; he was destroying Alabama with a pretty basic power/counter running package out of the gun a year ago with OSU. It's not basketball on grass, and it is not prone to big-game frustration the way Oregon's offense is. I think any major school would be delighted to get him.
|4 days 21 hours ago||I don't think that your||
I don't think that your scenario is actually on the table; this strikes me as a false choice. And, at any rate, OSU is not going to lose 8-10 guys early every year. Some years, yes, but that's when they have such incredible talent that they lose two games in two years and win a national title while beating us twice. Alabama, #1 in recruiting every year and the reigning champions, sent only 2 players. And Clemson, which hovers around #10 in recruiting every season (the ballpark you've suggested) lost 7 guys.
So I would rather recruit in the top 3 every season. Without question.
|4 days 21 hours ago||I think it's pretty clear||
I think it's pretty clear that Harbaugh goes after the big fish. And it's pretty clear that, for all the worrying we did last year about the volume of 3-stars last summer, Harbaugh finishes big and lands strong recruits.
It's hard to make any judgments beyond that. Michigan finished neck-and-neck with OSU in recruiting last season and landed the top recruit in the country. OSU's big lead this year was built before Michigan had snapped a ball in anger. The key now is to prove that Michigan merits the same standing as OSU in the eyes of recruits by winning on the field. This year.
Beyond that it is impossible to evaluate whether or not Harbaugh's recruiting approach is missing anything.
|4 days 22 hours ago||The chances of that happening||
The chances of that happening again are very, very small.
|4 days 22 hours ago||Interesting idea. Very||
Interesting idea. Very interesting. The only problem is that he's not a match with their roster at all--logically, they would want someone who can utilize the talent they have, playing like Briles did. Singletary is a Manball type.
But he would bring integrity to the program.
|4 days 22 hours ago||I've blasted teams like||
I've blasted teams like Purdue for not having any guts in their coaching hires, but this is a bridge too far, even next year.
If Briles works again (not implausible) it will be in some corner of a lesser conference, or for a run-down ethically questionable school that's in the dumps.
Or: Hey, look, Ole Miss might need a coach.
|4 days 22 hours ago||Herman already turned down||
Herman already turned down South Carolina, apparently with this in mind. He just signed a contract. He is staying at Houston on purpose.
He can afford to wait. He will win 10+ games a year until Texas or LSU open up (or Alabama by retirement, I guess). No reason to rewrite the program at Baylor when you can do it next year using a roster loaded with 5-stars.
|4 days 22 hours ago||I disagree with you about||
I disagree with you about Buck, but that will happen.
But you lost me with Michaels, one of the great announcers of all time. You could even argue that he's not your cup of tea, but the idea that he's "living off the Miracle" is beyond absurd.