Archive for July 10th, 2009

10
Jul
09

The Mountain Best?

By Ben Linton

Everybody knows when and where they were when this happened. In the past decade, teams from mid-major conferences (particularly the Western Athletic and Mountain West) have pulled off major upsets in BCS Bowl games. In 2004, Utah, from the Mountain West, lead by Quarterback Alex Smith, crushed Pittsburgh from the Big East in the Fiesta Bowl 35-7 to complete and undefeated season. Then in 2006 Boise State from the WAC shocked the world and beat traditional college football powerhouse Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl to remain undefeated. Then in most recent memory, Utah did the unthinkable again, beating SEC-West Champion Alabama in the 2008 Sugar Bowl 31-17 to complete another unbeaten season. Ever since then the Mountain West has been pushing for college football to implement an eight-team playoff, giving their schools more of a chance to compete for a title. It was shot down by the committee and left Mountain West commissioners, players, coaches, and fans with a bitter taste in their mouths. This forced the MWC to sign a BCS agreement with ESPN allowing to run through the 2013 season.

I agree with the MWC on this one. I would love to see an eight-team playoff and see Utah take on Florida, Boise State take on Texas, and TCU play Oklahoma. It would be interesting to see how the teams match up. But the reason these powerhouses from small conferences can’t get into the big game is because their conference schedules are so weak. Only five out of eight teams in the Mountain West had winning records last season, and the Western Athletic it was even worse (four out of nine). This makes the top teams have to play arduous road games against power conference teams. Although most of the top teams have caught on to this (Boise State and Utah both will play Oregon, TCU will play at Clemson), most teams from power conferences like Florida, Penn State, and Texas, don’t want to play major non-conference games due to their grueling conference schedule. For example, Penn State plays Temple, Syracuse, Akron and Eastern Illinois to make up their non-conference schedule. Now that is what I call a  cupcake schedule.

Is this fair? No. Will it change? Maybe in five years. The only immediate way these teams can have a shot is to try to gain entrance into a power conference (Hey, that’s an idea! Utah and Boise State in the Pac-10! Bye, Bye, State of Washington Football!). As for now, they will have to settle for a consellation prize of winning a BCS Bowl, but never the championship. Unfortunately for teams like Utah, Boise State, and TCU, the two best teams in college football play for the national championship at the end of the year, not the two with the best records. Until a playoff is implemented into college football, a team from a mid-major conference will never be crowned national championship, leading to controversy year after year after year.

10
Jul
09

He Did What?!

By Jesse Jones

If you haven’t seen this indoor goal by Brazillian player Falcao in the Futsal Grand Prix yet, you must watch.

Futsal is a modified version of soccer that is mostly played indoors without walls and borders.  The game is 5 v 5 (including a goalie) that is played on a hard surface.  The court is much smaller, making the game focus on ball control, precision, and teamwork.

If you still don’t find soccer amazing, I’m not sure what to tell you…




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