The Football Championship Subdivision is on the verge of expanding its playoff system to 24 teams, from 20, by 2013. The proposal would give an automatic bid to all FCS leagues that want one, seeds the top eight teams and gives them first-round byes and home games in the following round.
The Ivy League doesn't want one.
From an Ivy League statement yesterday on a basketball tournament proposal:
"After careful consideration of these proposals, the athletics directors decided that our current method of determining the Ivy League Champion and our automatic bid recipient to the NCAA Championship is the best model moving forward," said Robin Harris, Ivy League Executive Director.What do these two things have in common in addition to the timing?
That's easy. The Ivy League is right about football and the entire free world has it wrong. The Ivy League is right about basketball and the entire free world has it wrong. If you don't believe it, just ask them.
But riddle me this Batman. If the argument is that playoffs unnecessarily tax student-athletes why did the Ivy League add a postseason lacrosse tournament to get more student-athletes into those playoffs?
If adding another week or two to the football season is so bad, why is it a good idea that the champion of a hockey conference for which the Ivy League is the backbone began play on Oct. 8 and ended play on April 5, a span of 181 days? The 2012 Ivy League football season, from game one to game 10, will last 64 days.
One Ivy League football team would go on to the playoffs if the conference allowed. By way of contrast, all six Ivy League hockey teams went to the postseason, playing a total of 21 games if my math is correct.
And an 11th game for football? Perish the thought because, and tell me if you've heard this somewhere before, the Ivy League is right and the entire free world has it wrong.
Are Ivy League lacrosse and hockey players really so much more accomplished students than football players that they can handle the challenge of the postseason while the football players cannot?
•As an aside, I grimaced at the executive director talking about the best model moving forward. Not moving backward? Not the best model, period?
•It's been raining off and on (mostly on) for the past two weeks and that is wreaking havoc with the Hanover baseball season. Today the Marauders (and a Certain Sub Second Baseman) will be playing local rival Hartford and Dartmouth has graciously allowed the teams to play at Red Rolfe Field. It's a tremendous thrill for the guys, particularly after practicing all week in the gym. Well done, Dartmouth.
•Researching and writing the Ivy League chapter and essay for the ESPN College Football Encyclopedia was an arduous project and I would be lying to you if I didn't admit it was a huge relief when I finished it. Of course, when it was finished it wasn't finished because at that point the fact checkers got involved. Dealing with them was almost worse than the researching and writing. That said, when the book came out I wasn't as anxious as I usually am when these things are delivered because my piece had been vetted very, very thoroughly. Sure, some mistakes snuck through but I knew we'd all done our best to make the section as clean as possible.
Likewise, Mrs. BGA spent countless hours working on a chapter she wrote for the just-released Primary Care, A Collaborative Practice. The fact checkers got to her, too, and unlike me she wasn't getting paid anything other than a copy of the weighty (in more ways than one) tome. But because of the eyes that studied her submission she could be confident they caught what she might have missed, which when you think about it is a lot more important in a medical textbook than some silly sports book.
All of which brings me to this week's Sports Illustrated. Dartmouth golfer Peter Williamson is recognized in Faces In The Crowd for winning another Ivy League golf championship and being named Ivy player of the year for the third consecutive year. But how in the world did the fact checkers allow him to be listed as being from Portsmouth, NH, more than 100 miles from his home right here in Hanover?
•When we brought the first of these babies home with somewhere around 100,000 miles on it I thought it was the ugliest car I'd ever seen.
|A dirty Vlad in happier times|
I thought it was my jokes but the truth is the players on my Little League team used to race to ride with me to away games because they thought it was hilarious to ride in a clown car.
I get it.
The sliding door was finicky, so much so that one of our kids (or maybe it was me) dented it near the handle hip-checking it closed. The back hatch wouldn't always latch and I'm embarrassed to admit I had to take it to the mechanic just to get the front hood to close properly on those few times I checked the oil. Oh yeah, and the gas cap door was stuck open a couple of inches after the time I had to pry it free with a screw driver while the line built behind me at the gas station. People would point it out all the time and I'd thank them and go on my merry way. Doors weren't exactly a strong point. Good thing it had only the one door on the driver's side ;-)
And no, it didn't have much power. Actually, it didn't have any power and the engine really did sound a little like a sewing machine. Good luck pulling into traffic with one of these bad boys. The AM radio was unplayable because of static from the day I brought it home, the squirter for the back wiper dangled by a thread, the AC didn't work and even the mechanics couldn't figure out why one brake light worked some times and not at other times. I could go on.
But even at 19 years old it got better than 30 mpg on the highway, was pretty dependable in the snow and was a great car to teach the kids to drive in, what with a truck-sized windshield that afforded a great views as people blew by us on the highway. And the inside was cavernous. Fold the seat down and you could save a few bucks on a road trip by sleeping in the back without bending your knees if you absolutely had to. At least that's what I was told ;-).
Over the last 16 or so years I had two of these cars, identical except for the badge and the fact that one was a five-speed and one an automatic, one a four-wheel drive and the other two. The first was a 1984 Eagle Summit. The last a 1993 Mitsubishi Expo we bought seven years ago. Yeah, we went backwards a year but that's the kind of thing you do when you are in love. A better $1,800 I never spent.
I'd hoped the old friend we bought with about 100,000 miles on it would make it to 200,000 and dang if it didn't get close. Made it to 197,000 and change before the transmission finally gave out. The sad fact that it would have cost more to replace the tranny than we spent for the car 97,000 miles ago left us little choice. Sadly, it was time to let it go.
Yesterday Mrs. BGA visited the mechanic to collect the key for our PO box and my parking pass, who knows how many coins from the floor and under the seats, and assorted other flotsam and jetsam from the seven years I shared with a car we nicknamed Vlad (as in another certain old Expo named Guerrero). I just couldn't bring myself to say goodbye in person.
According to Mrs. BGA, the mechanic said the money the car will bring from the junk people should about cover the cost of the time he put into diagnosing its end, and at my request, looking into the possibility of a installing a used transmission if he could find one. (He couldn't.) We may even come away with a few dollars, but that feels like blood money.
So long, old friend.
Editor's Note: If you happen to see another one of these odd little creatures for sale in the next few weeks drop me an email. (The Dodge Colt Vista is the same car.) Doesn't matter where in the lower 48. It's a longshot but I may just take the plunge because when the right one comes along you can't let her get away.