Thursday, July 26, 2007

Brief mid-majors interlude

This'll be quick, Auburn fans, I promise.

But I did want to toss a few rapid mid-major links into the void before football kicks into high gear, starting at the D.C. Sports Bog, which today not only revealed that Tony Skinn is the Philistine brother rat from Ratatouille when it comes to French cheese ("Don't just hork it down, Tony!") but that George Mason's miracle Final Four run is still paying big financial dividends. Which isn't surprising. What is is the Colonial's complicated revenue sharing system, in which success on the court = "shares" in the conference's profits = cold hard cash for questionable mascot uniforms like the one seen at right. (That's "Gunston," btw, who is exactly the sort of, uh, being I think of when I think "Colonials.")

Steinberg thinks the shares-plan is a good thing ("I'm all for sharing, but George Mason's contribution to the CAA's basketball profile in recent years is surely greater than five times that of [James Madison]") but the JCCW disagrees. Rising tides in mid-major conferences lift all boats towards those golden at-large bids. If JMU becomes a better program, that will directly help GMU's RPI and by "opponent's opponent's strength-of-schedule," the RPI of every team in the conference, i.e. GMU's opponents, i.e. GMU again. That the dregs of the West Coast Conference are still just as dreggy as they were before Gonzaga blew up is proof it's not in the CAA's best interests to put all its eggs in a few good baskets.

Speaking of the CAA, Michael Litos is so hard-core he's blogging the hell out of the Pan-Am Games and conjuring conference Power Rankings on the back of napkins ... and it's July.

Not too much else worth checking over the summer in mid-majordom, but CHN has been rolling out a series of team previews, the most interesting one of which predicts that neither Penn nor Princeton will win the Ivy's bid for the first time since the late Cretaceous. Cheers to that. Let's go Yale.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled gridiron programming.

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