One Word: Manure. Another Word: Typical

So I’m bumbling around the other day, searching for college hoops nuggets that may slip under the radar this holiday season. I hit Jerry Palm’s outstanding RPI site, figuring some background work was in order when I inevitably address the CAA and bids to the NCAA tourney.

Palm noted that the NCAA has altered the manner in which it assigns home and away distinction to teams for games played at neutral sites. As you know, a road win is worth 1.4 “victories” in the RPI calculation, and a home win 0.6 “victories.”

The change has far more detail than you are about to read, and in fairness the rule hasn’t been officially published so I technically don’t have it. But here it is in a nutshell: the team that provides game management–meaning in charge of ticket sales and game operations–is designated the home team for the game. Location doesn’t matter.

For example, Bill Coen schedules his Northeastern Huskies a game against city rival Boston College at the Boston Garden. Technically, a neutral court and thus neutral game. With all due respect to Northeastern, if 15,000 fans attend this game, 13,000 of them are rooting for BC. Coen knows this but schedules it anyway. Local flavor, good opponent, all that jazz.

Under the old rule, it is a neutral court game. Now, consider buy games and the problem major conference schools have scheduling quality opponents yet assured victories. Now also consider the importance of RPI and the mid majors assault on the higher reaches of the RPI rankings. Consider how the game is changing and the threats out there.

So let’s now say Al Skinner tells Bill Coen “hey Bill, I’ll give you the $40,000 guarantee, but it’s your game to manage.” Suddenly, Nor’easter is playing BC for 0.6 wins in the RPI calculation. BC is getting 1.4.

The buy game rules stay the same, but the seller suddenly has a better deal, on the court. And let’s take it one step further:

Al: “Bill, I can give you $40,000 and you are the home team. Or, we’ll play it for a straight 50/50 on the ticket sales and concessions.”

Bill: “Gee whiz.”

Either way, the major conference team wins. They either stop paying huge buy game sums–money in which mid majors will use to compete more favorably in terms of recruiting budgets or facilities or to underwrite more teevee–or the majors get the better end of playing a de facto home game AND the RPI benefits. This doesn’t even factor in the potential RPI disparity widening due to the natural settling of teams once conference season begins.

None of this even begins to address the dubious timing: over the holidays when everyone is paying attention to other things; and it is in effect for THIS season, giving nobody the opportunity to schedule against a changing standard.

In short:

It’s garbage. Pure garbage. Good thing there are smarter people than the NCAA–the folks on the selection committee are smart enough to know what’s going on. They know what to ignore.

Fear is a funny thing, isn’t it?


~ by mglitos on December 29, 2007.

3 Responses to “One Word: Manure. Another Word: Typical”

  1. Michael,

    All due respect, if NU played BC at the TD Banknorth Garden (Boston Garden got tore down in 1997 🙂 …

    1) There wouldn’t be 15,000 there
    2) if there were 10,000 3,500 – 4,000 WOULD be NU fans.

    NU fans will show up to play/beat BC!

  2. Come on, Geewiz…I even quoted you !!! A little slack?

    Also, I’m old school so it will ALWAYS be the Boston Garden. Period.

  3. […] This. […]

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