Archives For NCAAB

A day after the Big East lost its fifth member in nearly a year and a half with Rutgers leaving for the Big Ten, Jim Boeheim (Syracuse head basketball coach) had this to say: “Maybe they should just have a draft, each conference should just draft teams … except then they’d have to make a decision and they wouldn’t be able to figure it out. Eventually, they’ll get this thing figured out. They’ll get all the teams moved and then in a year or two someone will say ‘We need to take somebody,’ … But I’ll be long gone by then.”

After Louisville announced its switch, the number is up to seven teams bolting the Big East for the ACC. Jim Boeheim, a man who helped build the Big East into a national power, is now is going to struggle making a competitive conference schedule starting in 2014, and he isn’t the only one upset about the changes.

The biggest reason evident in all of the realignment is simple; college football television contract money has never been more valuable. Now, I won’t go into the reasoning behind every schools switch. Instead, I will offer a solution. Jim Boeheim suggested drafting, some say make four sixteen-team college football monster conferences, while others say make a basketball conference, football conference, and baseball conference. Even more might say, “leave them the way they have been for the past 30 years.”

I love the drafting idea, and even though it would never happen, I think it’s really interesting on paper and, perhaps, the most fair and reasonable way as well. I do agree with maximizing your profits, but all within the realm of making it somewhat geographically friendly. My rankings below are what I believe would be the ten most sought after schools if a draft took place today.

  1. Texas- The Longhorns athletic department has an operating revenue around 160 million dollars, the next closest is 20 million back from the Horns. If the 20,000+ square foot weight rooms, 50 total championship banners, and top notch coaches do not entice a 18 year old to go there for free, maybe a 24 hour network dedicated to all things Texas will. The Longhorn network is still in its beginning stages, and has a 247 million dollar, 20 year contract with ESPN. Bill Byrne, Gregg Byrnes father, and former A.D at Texas A&M had this to say about the Horns: “They do everything they can to set themselves apart, that they are the very best, they are elite.”
  2. Notre Dame- The only independent (football) team on this list and in my opinion one of the most valuable colleges in America. Apparently NBC thought so too, as the television station has a 15 million dollar deal with the Irish (the only team, college or pro with a national TV deal), and that deal has been restructured to increase the total to 17 million starting in 2015. We all know about the Irish’s success in football, 11 national titles, most consensus all Americans among any other school, and 7 Heisman trophy winners. Although the rest of their athletic programs have not shared the same success as the football team, Notre Dame has won 26 national championships overall since its inception. While they are currently in the Big East in all sports but football, the Irish join the ACC starting in 2014.
  3. Ohio State- The Buckeyes are among the nations elite in revenues at around 135 million dollars (second to Texas). And, probably the most complete athletic dominance among every sport, men’s and women’s. Since the inception of the Athletic Directors Cup, Ohio State has finished in the top 25 each year, including top-6 finishes in three of the last five years. Ohio State is one of only four universities to have won a NCAA national championship in baseball, men’s basketball, and football.
  4. Florida- Easiest thing to do as a Florida assistant? Recruit. The university sells itself. Warm weather, beautiful campus, and most of all, winning… and lots of it. Every year since 1983, the NACDA has recognized the Gators athletic program as one of the ten best overall Division 1 athletic programs in the country in its annual cup standings. Florida is the only school in NCAA history to win a men’s basketball championship and football championship in the same year. During the 2011-2012 academic school year the Gators men and women’s teams combined to win the SEC all-sports trophy for the 22nd time in the past 25 years.
  5. Alabama- This is one school that is on this list simply because of their football program, without it, Alabama probably isn’t in the top 20. In 2002, Sports Illustrated named Alabama the 26th best collegiate sports program in America. That was before they won 2 National Championships in 3 years under Nick Saban. When you can compare, as a coach, to Bear Bryant, that’s saying something, and Saban has done just that. He is in the process of building a dynasty in Tuscaloosa making it nearly impossible for other SEC teams to compete in recruiting against the Tide. 23 SEC titles, 14 national titles, and 58 bowl appearances (record) are just icing on the cake at this point. Alabama generates revenue of around 125 million/year.
  6. Stanford- If this was a list based on tradition and academic success alone, Stanford would be a unanimous number 1. The school has won the second most national championships of any school in the nation at 116. They rank first in women’s titles at 42. And, is the number 1 school in individual sport titles at 448. In the NACDA Directors Cup I mentioned earlier, Stanford has won that title for 18 consecutive years running. Their figures are not released to the public as far as budgets and finances. But the “Ivy League-like” atmosphere, beautiful weather, and winning tradition make the Cardinal one of the very best athletic schools in NCAA history.
  7. Oregon- Nike, Nike, Nike…. Phil Knight (Co-founder of Nike) graduated from Oregon and ran track for the Ducks. Nike supplies the Ducks with all of their equipment and gear. The Football team has been known for being one of the most exciting teams to watch in college football. And, they have participated in 4 BCS bowl games since the BCS’ inception in 1998. They are known for their “flash” and “uniqueness” with a new jersey for seemingly every game, air conditioned football pads, and their basketball court even has painted trees on the edges to simulate “The Pond” feel. It also doesn’t hurt that Phil Knight has also recently made a 100 million dollar donation to the Athletics Legacy Fund. They currently have the 2nd ranked athletic budget in the PAC-12, behind USC. But, many predict that over the next 10 years that could change.
  8. Michigan- Michigan’s success seems to come in spurts, whether it was the “Fab 5” revolutionizing modern day basketball, or the 11 national championships the football team owns. The Wolverines have been one of the top athletic programs since its inception. Their 33 overall Division-I national championships rank 10th all time. Now the “X-Factor”? The near 130 million dollar athletic budget, which they don’t mind flaunting. By the way, they are currently ranked 2nd in Men’s basketball with a 15-0 record.
  9. USC- In a conference draft, its key to gain hold of each state. And, what better state to own other than California? USC’s recruiting is about as easy as Florida’s. Athletes love playing there. Rich in history and tradition, the Trojans have won 118 national titles, which ranks 3rd all time. USC football is 2nd in Heisman winners and won the National Title 11 times, and their baseball team has won the national title 12 times, which more than doubles the next closest. Further, their women’s teams have won a total of 23 championships.
  10. North Carolina- North Carolina has won 39 team national championships in six different sports, ranking 8th all-time, and 51 individual national championships. And, that’s just for starters. They arguably have the most influential athlete of all time as an alumnus in Michael Jordan, who now proudly sponsors the basketball teams with his Jordan apparel, and is worth around half a billion dollars himself. Their baseball team has enjoyed plenty of recent success reaching the College World Series in 2006 and 2007.

**The financial figures that I included are from USA Today and the NACDA Directors cup, and they can be found here.

Other notables: Oklahoma, LSU, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Auburn, UCLA

In conclusion:

  1. Texas
  2. Notre Dame
  3. Ohio State
  4. Florida
  5. Alabama
  6. Stanford
  7. Oregon
  8. Michigan
  9. USC
  10. North Carolina

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By: Baxter Price

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My Top 10 Sporting Events

Spencer Boothe —  Sunday, January 6, 2013 — 6 Comments

As a sports fan, there is always something on TV that I can watch. However, some of those events are more appealing to me than others. Some events I can tolerate, while others I would do anything to be able to watch (I thought about inserting some corny over-exaggeration here, but I’ll just let you use your imagination). So I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite sporting events. Now I am a Mississippi State, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Team USA fan, so this list is assuming that my favorite teams are NOT involved in that event. Obviously, if my favorite teams are involved, then I would be much more interested. Also, since I am in SEC country here in Mississippi, there is a little SEC bias. So here goes:

10. SEC Baseball tournament- As a former high school baseball player, baseball was always my one true love when it came to playing sports. However, watching baseball has never been as appealing to me as actually playing. I enjoy watching the SEC tournament because I know all the teams and have watched many of them play throughout the season. As for the tournament, it is interesting for me, but it’s not something that I feel like I have to watch.

9. World Series– Along the same lines as the SEC baseball tournament, I just don’t LOVE watching the World Series. I generally do watch the majority of the series, but it is generally for an inning or two at a time.

8. World Cup Qualifying– From my previous article, it is fair to assume that I am a soccer aficionado. Well, that assumption is correct. I really enjoy the sport, but I am much more of a fan of the international game, rather than club seasons. The World Cup is the mecca that every country in the nation longs to play for and win, and every country has an opportunity to get there during qualifying. 207 national teams from around the world have the opportunity to be among the final 32 that make it to the World Cup. The World Cup takes place every four years, so qualifying is taking place in between events. I really enjoy watching the qualifiers because every team is playing to advance, or to have to sit at home during the big event.

7. SEC Basketball Tournament– I am a big college sports fan, in general. Much more so than professional sports because in college players are playing to win rather than for their paychecks (I know that is debatable, especially here in SEC country). The SEC tournament is the end of the basketball season, and it is one last chance for teams to increase their seeding in the Big Dance, push themselves to the right side of the bubble, or steal a bid from someone else by winning the tournament. There is so much emotion during the tournament because for seniors it may be the last game they ever play. Every team wants to go to the NCAA tournament, and the SEC tournament is the last chance to impress the selection committee, or to win an automatic bid.

6. SEC championship game (football) – In recent years, SEC champion=BCS national champion. So, basically, watching this game is like watching the national championship game. It is always fun to watch the best team from the West play the best from the East for their shot to play for the BCS title. Even when it is not a de facto semifinal match, the game still determines the SEC winner and who will go to, at worst, the Sugar Bowl.

5. BCS National Championship– Now for the actual national championship game. As I just said, the winner of the SEC championship game usually wins this one, as well. But that is not always the case, and one of these days it will change (maybe Notre Dame this year. Probably not, though.) The national championship game is usually a hard-hitting affair for all the marbles, and it is a game that I always enjoy watching. Another thing I like about the broadcast is that they always show a “Year in Review” montage of all the big plays from the college season. It is also the last chance we get to watch football for roughly 8 months, so it is something that I cherish.

4. Bowl Season– You’re asking, ‘how can this guy like all the bowl games more than the actual championship game itself?’ Well, I do. I’m one of the people who actually enjoy watching all of the bowl games. As a huge college football fan, I enjoy watching as many games as possible. So you think that an Arizona vs Nevada matchup is boring? Well, I think that it could be awesome, and I’m going to watch it because you never know what’s going to happen. Some of the best plays of the season come in the small bowls that no one is watching. I’m watching, and I always will.

3. Super Bowl– I’ve already said that I like college sports much more than professional sports, and that is true. However, the Super Bowl is the exception. The talent in the NFL is so much better than it is in college football, and the game is so much faster. I am absolutely amazed by the freak athletes that play in the NFL, and the two teams in the Super Bowl are the best of the best. This is the last football action that we have until the preseason for the next year, so it is one last time for the guys to get together, grill out, and watch some football. Oh, and the commercials involved don’t hurt either.

2. World Cup– Yep, soccer again. I told you I love it. The World Cup is the only event in the world that the best players from each country play against each other to see whose country is superior (other than the Olympics, which I don’t care about, and other small sports that the USA doesn’t take part it). I love watching from the group stages to the knockout rounds to the finals while 32 countries battle to find out who is the world’s best. The fact that it is a tournament consisting of nations rather than professional teams is a huge reason why I am such a fan of the World Cup. Also, the fact that it takes place only every 4 years makes it that much more prestigious to me.

1. March Madness (NCAA Basketball Tournament)– And last but not least, as if there was any doubt, March Madness is my favorite sporting event. From flipping the channel between 4 games at one time on the first weekend, to the final buzzer of the championship game, I love every minute of it. The win or go home mentality makes every game as intense as possible, and who doesn’t love an upset? The first weekend of the tournament is as fast paced and unpredictable as anything else in sports (sorry NASCAR, you aren’t a sport). Does the best team in the nation always win the tournament? No, but 68 teams have a chance to win it. And whichever one of those teams actually does hoist the trophy will absolutely deserve it. I love watching every game of the tournament, and I always make sure my schedule is empty come March.

What say ye?

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By: Spencer Boothe

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