January 28, 2009

Jaybro Must Answer for This

This internet thing is full of many sick, twisted, disgusting things, but this one may take the cake. What say you, Jaybro? How could you let something like this happen?

January 26, 2009

January 10, 2009

The BCS As Bureaucracy

Note--This piece, recreated from BON because JBrater doesn't read anything on the non-anarchist side of the internet beyond this site, is the opinion of Jeff. Spell checking and grammar were Abram's department, so any mistakes in that category are his alon.e

This post is not a defense of the BCS. It is not an argument with any depth for or against any form of playoff. It is simply a defense of the complexity of the current BCS situation. Because it is a complex situation as I see it, solutions will not be easy, and change will likely be incremental. Fans are as pissed off as I can remember, hell even the President-elect is clamoring for change.

To begin, when PB writes "Why can't we have a college football playoff?Because at least by one measure -- dollars, the only one that counts to those who make the decisions -- the system ain't yet broke" I assume that he is assessing the primary reason the BCS still exists in its current form is because the NCAA only cares about the amount of money it makes? I disagree with this assertion but I should caveat my earlier comment. "It's complex" is no better of an argument than "it's all about the money". The question on everybody's mind is why has the decision not been made by the powers that be to change the current structure to a more encompassing playoff? More precisely, why hasn't the BCS changed the 2-team playoff yet?

To get to the answer as I see it, one must first think about 'what is the BCS'? Because, in reality, the BCS ain't much. Its power and its existence is tied to the conferences, and in that way (to me) it's kind of like the United Nations. The way I see it, the BCS only exists and does stuff because it's in the interest of the conferences and individual schools. Much like individual countries in the UN each team and conference has its own unique set of interests and biases concerning what is best for it in the long run. I see the BCS as a large bureaucracy. Bureaucracies are slow, inefficient and hard to maneuver in any direction because so many interests come into play on every decision. That's the way our government works and, to a much smaller degree, that's how I think the BCS works. 

I think, I suspect, but I do not know, and I'm willing to bet that you don't have any greater insight into the BCS decision making procedures and process than I do (no offense). I doubt that any fan and few insiders really truly knows how the BCS works or takes the time to think about how that might effect whether a playoff can or will be pushed through. How many times have college football analysts gotten into the weeds and focused on the 'why' of BCS big picture decisions rather than the 'what'? The answer, I suspect, is not very often.

Getting to the money, it's not about the money in my opinion so much as it's about the guaranteed money. TV and advertising money on highly-rated BCS games is all well and good, and would certainly only be increased by a playoff. But wouldn't the conference guaranteed money probably decline significantly for several of the conferences? The SEC and Big XII have much to gain by a playoff, they're pulling two BCS teams a year, but the ACC and Big East are lucky to get even one, not to even mention the non-BCS conferences. The ACC and Big East make the same amount of guaranteed money on the Orange Bowl whether it's the greatest game ever played or the 2009 Orange Bowl. 

Through this lens, I suspect this is why only two teams per conference are allowed, having more might create competitive disadvantages for the better conferences. The Big East makes a boatload off of its Orange Bowl appearance that it wouldn't get if the selection were done purely on ranking. You could have a playoff, but it would have to be expanded so far (16 teams at least, right? Maybe 8, but you're still leaving teams out because you'd have to be doing it based on a guaranteed conference slot, therefore it'd be six BCS conferences and 2 wild cards -- Texas and Bama. USC and Utah are still left out this year).

Once you get to 16 teams you are in fact degrading the regular season in my opinion. 3 and 4 loss teams should not be given a chance to win a title. Additionally, it is a valid point that many of the younger players are not built for a 17-game season at this high level of college football. It is done at lower levels, but the difference in physical intensity between D-I and D-II is pretty high. Finally, the conferences are hesitant because of the well documented traditions, and they would be forced to give those up. Big Ten and Pac Ten resistance to losing the Rose Bowl alone likely makes up a large part of the reason there is no playoff.

Getting back to the bureaucracy, each potential playoff scenario creates opportunities for resistance amongst the members of the bureaucracy. The further you expand it, the more resistance you are likely to create. There is no consensus among college football pundits for which playoff road to take, and given the assessed need for general consensus around a move to a playoff, it's not surprising we're stuck where we are.

flex system is a beautiful solution, but given the constraints involved it just seems like a fantasy. Getting the players and coaches and stadium ready would be the easy part. There's a lot of money to be lost in a 2-team playoff under the flex system, from sponsorships and advertising to the guaranteed payoffs the teams and conferences get. Considering the bureaucratic resistance to expanding by just one game, adding potential chaos to the situation by adding in an undetermined (preseason) number of playoff games seems impossible. Uncertainty and bureaucracy don't mix very well.

A Plus One isn't perfect. This year would have been Texas vs. OU and Alabama vs. Florida with the winners playing. Under a Plus One, however, USC in '03 wouldn't have been left out, nor Auburn in '04, or Texas in '08. But with the constraints already faced in changing the BCS, I think it fits the round peg into the square hole a lot better than what we've got now. 

January 4, 2009

Pat Swilling Wishes You A Happy New Year!

It's been slow, so we figured we would post one of our favorite Onion articles to celebrate 2009.

Who Do You Think You Are -- Former New Orleans Saints Linebacker Pat Swilling? 
Do you think posting above-average sales numbers for two months means you are a versatile, savvy defensive player with excellent lateral motion? It's a rhetorical question, Swilling—you don't need to answer it. I feel like I'm talking to someone whose football instincts let him perform effectively as both a linebacker and a defensive end, here. Jesus. You are not former New Orleans Saints linebacker Pat Swilling, and it's high time you stopped leaning back in your chair and twirling your pen around during the Friday wrap-up meeting.

December 23, 2008

Mythbusters

We've had a few myths broken this week:
  1. Jeff does not suck at softball, evidenced by his clutch hitting and solid defense including the speediest 14 second inside-the-park home run in Jacobs Camp history.
  2. The Saints are not doomed to lose to the Lions. Moreover, the Lions probably will go 0-16 unless they beat the Packers in what would go down as one of the worst losses in that franchise's storied history. 
  3. The Red Sox are not the Yankees. $400+ million on 3 players? That's insane. The top 4 highest paid players in the Majors including an incredible $275 million to Alex Rodriguez, a guy whose most memorable hit in the postseason remains his futile slap at Bronson Arroyo in the 2004 ALCS? This should put to rest that the Red Sox (or anybody else for that matter) are anything like the Yankees. 
  4. Camp is a sacred place. That one's only partially true after this weekend.

December 19, 2008

A Missed Fortune

Apparently we choose our name smartly as there is now a 40AcresSports.com. A real site legitimately dedicated to Texas sports, by 2 friends who are apparently smart about the intraweb. 

Our name was originally going to be that, but a typo in the creation stage, combined with our laziness and the fact that we kinda liked the name to produce 40 Acre Sports. Not to mention the fact that we wanted to do with the concept of 80 acres and a mule that 40 Acres Sports brings up. 

Anyhow, one of our lawyer friends suggested that without our little typo we'd be on easy street, most likely with "a few rolls of quarters" in our possession. 

Damn. That could've gone to parking.

December 14, 2008

Lions Over Saints -- Bet On It

We're calling it, the 7-7 Saints are going to spoil history by losing to the 0-14 Lions. The reasoning is as follows:
  • The Lions at 0-14 have nothing to lose
  • The Saints at 7-7 and out of the playoff hunt have nothing to gain
  • The Lions have played opponents closer in recent weeks including Indy last week and the Vikings the week before
  • The Saints have been awful on the road, holding an appalling 1-6 record. 
  • Traveling to Green Bay in week 17 it seems inevitable that the Lions must beat the Saints if they're going to win at all this season. 
With those facts in mind, if you've got some disposable cash sitting around (and in this economy who doesn't?) put it on Detroit. And when you speak of us, speak of us fondly. 

December 7, 2008

11:30 AM, The Day Texas Gets Screwed

Reading a fantastic biography of Robert E. Lee by Douglas Freeman, I (the one of us reading the biography) came to the section about the end of the Army of Northern Virginia. As Lee was surrounded near Appomattax (in Virginia) he knew there were two options: fight his way through the vastly superior Federal forces, or surrender. Around 1 AM on the day of surrender one of General Gordon's staff officers came to Lee asking where General Gordon should halt his movement the next night. Lee's response was to "tell General Gordon I should be glad for him to halt just beyond the Tennessee line," about 175 miles away.

Well, here we are. Tonight the Longhorns will have to surrender to the fate of being screwed by the BCS arguably worse than any team in the history of the system. One of us hates the system in favor of a playoff, one of us is a general proponent of the system but is of the belief that a "plus-one" is needed for flexibility in times like these. Beyond that, Colt will be screwed out of the Heisman that should be his because Sam Bradford gets all the publicity (he completed 77% of his passes and had 4,000 yards passing/rushing, seriously! Again! The Heisman is such crap).

Texas will likely be relegated to the Fiesta Bowl to play Ohio State, a seemingly amazing fate to begin the season will be relegated to one of two story lines: Texas will beat OSU because we're better than them, or Texas will come out flat and lose (a la Texas 2003, Cal 2004) because they're pissed of about losing their chance for glory. Until our destination is decided this afternoon, however, we are very much looking forward to booking our hotel room in Miami. And if not, we will take great pleasure in Florida whipping the crap out of OU.