Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday's Rose City Ramblings... more to come on 1080 The Fan from 3-6 PM

Tune in for Sean Salisbury and Maurice Cheeks today on Primetime 3-6 PM.

Ducks and the BCS, here we go again: The best thing about the ongoing saga that is Oregon and the BCS, which should be dashed officially next Sunday during the selection show, is that it will be all over in six days. Once again, let me try to rid everyone of some of the misconceptions that are out there:
1) THE BCS ISN' T FAIR: correct, like life, it wasn't set up to be "fair." That is why there is one independent school involved, and the system is set up where that school, if it gets to nine wins, will ALWAYS be selected.
2) THE DUCKS SHOULD BE IN, NOTRE DAME SHOULD NOT: Yes, based on the "on-field" accomplishments this year, a team from a BCS Conference (except anyone from the Little East) with one loss compared to a BCS school with two losses, including a home loss to a 5-6 Michigan State team, should be in. But again, see above. The system isn't fair from a football standpoint. It is about national reputation, television ratings, national appeal, etc. The Ducks lose on all of the above to Notre Dame. The Irish mean television ratings and revenue to a degree the Ducks can't even compete with. Notre Dame's overall national television numbers have been up between 30 and 48% this season.
3) NOTRE DAME IS THE REASON OREGON ISN'T GOING TO THE BCS: WRONG. The Irish are just part of the reason. The other is Ohio State. In fact, truth be told, once Notre Dame makes itself eligible for the BCS, they will always be included. Then it is down to the other at-large schools including Ohio State, UCLA, Oregon and the runner-ups in the title games of those conferences who have such a game this weekend. Realistically, it is down to Ohio State and Oregon.
4) BEST MATCHUP FOR A BCS BOWL: As much as I want to see Oregon in a BCS Bowl, and hopefully it will somehow, someway, still happen, a Notre Dame vs. Oregon game in the Fiesta Bowl doesn't have the same national juice as Notre Dame vs. Ohio State. The Buckeyes and Irish are two of the most storied programs in college football, and despite their long history, they have met just four times.

SIX DEGREES OF.... or.. STOP, PLEASE STOP, COMPARING RESULTS: This is the dumbest thing in sports. Notre Dame is good because they pushed USC to the limit, and so is Fresno State. But.... did anyone notice who Fresno State lost to this past weekend? NEVADA! The Wolfpack, with their scary Pistol offense, lost 55-21 to WSU this year, a 4-7 Cougar team that got beat 55-13 by USC, and the only reason the Cougs only gave up 55 is Pete Carroll likes Bil Doba. Michigan State beat Notre Dame. The Spartans also lost to Northwestern, which lost to Arizona State, which lost to USC, which proves again that USC is superior to Notre Dame. Or does it? It doesn't. All it proves is you can wrap around almost any comparable scores in the nation, and make an argument that means nothing.

Local College Hoops-It could be a long, long year unless you are a Duck fan: So far, not so good for the locals in college basketball. The University of Portland, expected to be a factor for those not named Gonzaga in the WCC this year, are off to a 1-4 start, with a game at Charlotte tonight. The Beavers, fresh of a postseason NIT berth last year, are a less than impressive 1-2 with an embarassing 90-62 loss to Tennessee Tech. The defending Big Sky regular season champs from Portland State sit at 2-3. So combined, the teams not named Oregon are 4-9, and nobody is over .500 during a time of the year where the good teams in the country build up a decent record before they start to battle in conference play. The Ducks, meanwhile, are one of three Pac-10 teams still unbeaten along with Washington and ASU. The Sun Devils are just 2-0 with their first real test tonight against UC Santa Barbara, although keep in mind ASU was picked dead last, by a bunch, in the preseason media poll.

Rose Quarter Looking Good, Sort of: Something I noticed this weekend while spending way too much time at the Rose Quarter for hockey and Nemo. The look of the Rose Quarter has been enhanced quite a bit by the small "flags" for the Blazers, WinterHawks and the lacrosse team that now adorn the area. It is those small things that help.
Now.... if they could find something to put in the old Cucina Cucina that would be the next step. This area of town still is an overall embarassment. You could just as well have the arena in Gresham, Beaverton, or even Camas because there is NOTHING in the area except the low income shelter that used to house the Ramada. In fact, if the Rose Quarter was in one of those above areas there would at least be some options for a pregame meal or adult beverage. One other note, having more than one concession stand open for every six sections of the arena for an event like Nemo would be a good move.

Harder than it looks: I have been fairly lucky in my broadcasting and voice over career, doing a lot of fun things and being in some situations where there is pressure to either audition for a voice over or "perform" during a live broadcast. It makes a daily radio show seem easy at times. But I have to say, doing the PA announcing for the WinterHawks on Saturday night was not only much more difficult than I ever thought, but I actually felt some pressure to get it right. Thanks to Kris and Scruggs for not only asking me to fill in for a guy who is very, very good in Dan Fowlick, but for hanging in there with a rookie behind the big mike. I am one who has been very critical of some PA guys over the 10 years I did hockey play by play, but no more. Payback was Saturday and I was really amazed at home much there is in the pure game night production of a game here in Portland. When I worked for the teams in Seattle and Tri-Cities, I always knew the Hawks were the best at their game night production, now I know why. They have every game stoppage, pregame and intermission scripted to the second. One final shot-the local NBA team could learn something from their hockey counterparts!

Comments welcome, and after seeing some from my favorite P-1 listener Buddy Jay, I will start to respond to the more intelligent and thought provoking comments I see.

Thank you and goodbye.


At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Chris Snethen said...

You did a good job filling in Saturday night. A little rah-rah for my taste, but overall it was very professional. I did a mini-review on my OLive blog.

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Alex C. said...

I also enjoyed your play by play of the Tigard-Lake O. game last Friday night. You and Suke do a great job, and I really appreciate the increased exposure the radio station has given high school athletes this year. These kids work hard and don't get the credit they deserve. Hopefully you'll keep it up when the basketball and baseball seasons heat up!

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Gizmo said...

Well written entry, but you make the false assumption that Notre Dame will ALWAYS be picked for a BCS game when they qualify.

In 2002 Notre Dame met the necessary qualifications with a 10-2 record while being ranked 9th in the BCS. They still would have sold tickets, travelled well, and the national following, i.e. TV ratings, were still there. So why didn't they go to a BCS bowl? Because they had just gotten waxed by USC and over the course of the year had done little to prove they were prepared to beat or even play with the big boys (miraculous wins, inept offense, etc.). So while money talks and will clearly make the Irish the first team the Fiesta Bowl will pick this year, Notre Dame has also earned that right with their play on the field. Exciting (and recognizable) players, a record-setting offense, and a miraculous turnaround with first-year head coach Charlie Weis point to this fact. The debate over whether Notre Dame or Oregon is more "qualified" could go on ad nauseaum as you suggest, but whichever team comes out on top would objectively do so by a very slim margin.

And the real blame lies with the conference presidents for devising a system that guarantees each conference a BCS bid. West Virginia is the weak link this year, and next year and every year after that there will be a weak link from some underperforming conference (cough, Big East, cough) that steals a bid away from a more deserving at-large team. A nice addendum to the BCS system would be a clause calling for conference champs to be ranked within the top 10 or 12 in the BCS.

But then we should just go with the top 8 teams in the BCS. And if we're going to do that, let's put those 8 teams in a playoff. Ahhh, let's just face it. The system sucks.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Alex C. said...

You have some good points gizmo, but I think you're unaware that the Irish have a contract with the BCS that states if Notre Dame is in the top 8 of the BCS after the final regular season game, then Notre Dame is GUARANTEED a BCS spot. Fair or not, I believe that's what Ian was referring to.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Alex C.

Notre Dame must finish 6th to be guaranteed a BCS game. They are eligible with a top 12 finish.

ND is NOT guaranteed a BCS game this year, though the will go


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