22
Jan
08

Upset suburb, baby!!

Oh the glories of being jobless. More sleep, less showering, less changing out of pajamas, and a lot more ESPN First Take. That is, until you pass out from beating yourself over the head with the remote.

But alas, that’s what this morning amounted to. I only could handle about 20 minutes of those rousing morning roosters cackling and cawing this morning, but that was more than enough time to get my daily dose of made-up story lines to help promote ESPN telecasts.

Today brought us the college basketball edition, which analyzed the CRRRAAAZZZY start to the college basketball season and why the amount of upsets are beginning to mirror the football season. And as my mind wandered, I wondered, “Wait a second, that can’t be true? But T.V. said it was true. More than that, Jay Crawford said it’s true. Hmmm, I could sure go for some Eggos.”

So after the segment my waffles, I decided to do a little research. [Note: This is when somebody who is writing something goes back to archives, interviews or any other piece of factual information that helps give weight and validity to a story. And yes, it is, in fact, possible for bloggers to partake in this ancient writing ritual] And as it turns out, T.V. was lying.

Actually, this season is far more normal than previous years (But if it’s more normal than recent history doesn’t that make it abnormal? What is normal anyway? Why do we exist?). First Take’s claim was that upsets are riddling the top teams in the nation. But actually, when you look at the AP polls from the past three years, you see far less losses among ranked teams this year than years past. The present Top-25 has two undefeated teams (none at this point in the past two seasons), six one-loss teams (three in ’07 & four in ’08), nine two-loss teams (seven & four), six three-loss teams (nine & six), two four-loss teams (two & seven), and not a single five-loss team (four and four).

Further, seven of the top-10 teams have one loss or less this year. The past two years combined had seven one-loss-or-less teams. And to cap it all off, the highest ranked team with four losses this year is Marquette at No. 21. Last year at this point there was a No. 17-ranked five-loss team and the No. 1 team (Florida) had two losses. In 2006, Michigan State had five losses and they were No. 12.

The big closing number on the Fake Take segment likened being a conference leader to being the No. 2 team in college football — a kiss of death in that sport this year. Well, the big six conference leaders (Big East, Big 10, SEC, ACC, Big 12 & Pac 10) have a combined six losses this year. Last year at this point, they had 11. Year before that — 13.

I acknowledge that this is a long post just to prove that something nobody really gives value to in the first place is wrong. But this is really just a tiny glimpse of the lengths media members/writers are willing to go to in order to promote games and try to generate frenzy. Fact is, this season is unfolding quite normally no matter how much the media may want it to mirror the football season. But there is no problem in that.

Sorry “Mayhem Monday,” and “Super Tuesday,” and “Whacked-Out Wednesday,” and “Thriving Thursday,” and “Freaky-Fun Friday” … but you’re just going to have to stick to promoting good ol’ honest basketball. Cuz, frankly, that’s all we really want.

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