The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the category “Hockey”

Around the ACC: April 11, 2014

Basketball is over.  Football is long over.  In fact, we are closer to the next football season than the last one.  So… what else is going on to keep us interested?

Well, there is always lacrosse.  The ACC is stacked in lacrosse right now.  All six of the ACC programs are in the top 10, with Duke leading the way at #2.  The women are nearly as dominant, with the same six programs in the top 18.  On the womens’ side, however, the ACC has the top three spots: UNC, Maryland, and Syracuse.  Also, Louisville is #19.

And the ACC is doing typically well in baseball too.  Florida State is #1, while Virginia is #2.  Clemson and Miami area also ranked, while soon-to-be ACC member, Louisville, is #11 overall.

Softball is not faring as well for the ACC, with only FSU and Notre Dame in the top 25.  Meanwhile, Union eliminated Boston College in the frozen four last night in mens hockey.

But if you cannot get away from the revenue sports, there is always something going on somewhere involving an ACC team.  Consider the following articles on the Internet today:

So… there you go… some football and hoops news, even in the middle of April!   Enjoy the day!

The Confidential Cup!

As previously noted, Big 10 fans do not like the Capital One Cup.  Now, the world could be polite and let the Big 10 have its complaints and criticisms.  But not the Confidential.  The Confidential is creating its own “Cup,” this one being so very ACC-centric that it will be sure to anger Big 10 fans.  Here is the scoring system:

Read more…

North Carolina Women Win Capital One Cup!

Congratulations to the North Carolina Tar Heels!  Their women have claimed the Capital One Cup!

Read more…

N-C-A-Absurdity

The college basketball season just ended.  You knew that from your bracket.  Heck, even Ned Flanders would think a bracket is too much fun to be immoral.  But the season just ended two days ago.  And guess when the deadline is for college underclassmen to decide whether to turn pro?  Next freakin’ Tuesday, according to Syracuse.com, who laid this all out for Syracuse fans wondering what CJ Fair is going to do.

This is the timeline:

  • April 8, 2013: Championship Game
  • April 10, 2013: The deadline to apply for an assessment from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee
  • April 15, 2013: The deadline to receive assessment from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee
  • April 16, 2013: NCAA Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline

That’s right.  The underclassmen in the Final Four have exactly one week to decide that they are not going to make themselves eligible for the draft.  The most important decision of their respective lives, and the NCAA gives kids as little as one week to decide.  Even worse, a kid like CJ Fair can receive his “assessment” on April 15 and get a whole 24 hours to decide.  24 hours.

An NCAA apologist might say that a kid could still decide to go pro between April 16 and April 28.  However, anyone choosing to go pro during that period would give up their NCAA eligibility.  There is no chance to return to college at that point.

It gets better.  The purpose of moving up the dates to crunch this timeline was…. get ready for this… to benefit the student-athlete.  That’s right, the NCAA is actually telling the world, with a straight face presumably, that they tightened the deadlines to help kids.  The Syracuse.com article stated as follows: “The NCAA moved this date up in 2012 ‘to help keep student-athletes focused on academics in the spring term and to give coaches a better idea of their roster for the coming year before the recruiting period is closed,’ according to the organization.”  Right.  The latter part of the sentence is true, but not the former.  This has nothing to do with helping kids.

If the NCAA cared about the players, it would allow them to go all the way through the draft, see where they are drafted, and then decide whether to come back to college.  Indeed, as long as the player did not sign a contract, why should they be deemed to have lost their amateur status?  Larry Bird was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1978.  He played for Indiana State in the 1978-1979 season.  He then went pro for the 1979-1980 season, and the rest is history.  Despite the Boston Celtics holding his rights, amateur athletics did not come to a halt.  Things worked out quite well, actually.

Surely, you say, it would be improper for any current college athlete to be drafted and stay in college, right?  Well, not if you are a baseball player.  The MLB draft is set up to allow the drafting of three categories of players:

  • High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college;
  • College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old; and
  • Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed

A high school player that is drafted, but chooses not to sign gets to go play college baseball.  The NCAA will let him play.  For a while, as the college baseball player will not be eligible again for the MLB draft until he turns 21 or completes his junior season.  So, somehow, the NCAA allows drafted, but unsigned, baseball players to compete.  It works the same way in hockey.

So, why is there one set of rules for baseball and hockey, but a much more onerous set of rules for basketball and football?  If you are an optimist, you think it is because the NCAA makes so much money with football and basketball, that they care a lot more about keeping the amateur ranks clean.  But, if you think about it, that cannot be.  If it was only about ratings and attendance, keeping the best basketball and football players around would be even more profitable.  If you are a pessimist, you might suspect racism.  Right?  The more “white” the sport, the more likely the NCAA is to allow you to be drafted and return to college nonetheless.  At the very least, with a largely African-American sport such as basketball, the NCAA is more than willing to force kids to make a decision, one that will either be smart or terrible, in one week.  Every time a basketball player leaves early, is not drafted, and is never heard from again… it is a warning sign to others that might consider leaving early.  The NCAA will gladly ruin someone’s life to protect their cash cow.  Especially when they are ruining a young African-American male’s life.  Yes, this is a pessimistic view, all right.

Hey… if you can find a rationale for having different rules for the different sports, feel free to share it.  The Confidential would love to hear why it must be different.

Whatever the reason, it is just one more example of just how absurd the NCAA is.  But you knew that already…

 

 

FOOTBALL COMPETITION AND REVENUE: PART I

This is a two-part series—a joint venture between HokieMark, who founder of http://accfootballrx.blogspot.com/ and acaffrey, founder of this blog.  We all need to thank HokieMark for putting this data into a very useful spreadsheet that allows the analysis. This data is out there for anyone to see. You may think you know what the correlation is between spending on football and on-field success. The purpose of this two-part article is to analyze whether you were right—what is the true correlation, if any, between spending on football and on-field success. Part I will explain the nature of the concern and some of the analysis. Part II will complete the analysis. Instead of publishing these on different days, we’ll publish them on different blogs. Remember to check out both. And we hope that you will take the time to comment on the discussion.  This is Part I.  Here is the link to Part II.

Part I

From 1973 to 1975, Florida State went 4-29 in football. Needless to say, the Seminoles were not a football “king” back then. In 1976, they hired a head coach named Bobby Bowden. Bowden had immediate success in turning the Seminoles into a decent football school, with a 10-win season and Tangerine Bowl appearance in 1977 and an 11-win season and Orange Bowl appearance in 1979. By 1987, the Seminoles went 11-2, beginning an incredible streak of fourteen straight 10+ win seasons. During this period, Florida State moved from football independence to the Atlantic Coast Conference (“ACC”). This did not slow the Seminoles down at all. As the calendar passed into a new millennium, Florida State was a football “king” by any definition.

However, for an 18-year-old college freshman on September 1, 2012, it had been quite a while since Florida State was in the hunt for a national title. Indeed, this person would have been in the first grade the last time the Seminoles had a 10-win season—the 11-2 campaign in 2000. To that person, college football was all about the Southeastern Conference (“SEC”), with schools like LSU, Florida, Auburn, and Alabama winning national title after national title. Meanwhile, Florida State was struggling to get into the ACC championship game. How times had changed.

Of course, that same college freshman would have spent the summer of 2012 listening to Florida State fans discuss how they absolutely needed to move to a better football conference. To these fans, Florida State could not compete with their neighbors in the SEC because of the huge revenue disparity. It is unclear whether these fans were using money as an excuse for the mediocrity of the prior decade or expressing concern about the next decade to come. Fortunately for the Seminoles, Jimbo Fisher did not care about the revenue, instead just going back to doing what always worked in the past—developing recruits and coaching them well. In 2012, Fisher led the Seminoles to a 12-2 record, an ACC Championship, and an Orange Bowl victory.

But what about that proverbial “smoke” regarding the inability to financially compete with the SEC schools on the football field? Is there “fire” underlying this oft-repeated concern? Well, two ACC blogs decided to take a look at the actual numbers.

As a preliminary matter, it should be noted that revenue has not prevented non-AQ schools from being competitive. Boise State spent approximately $8M on football for data ending in June 2012. Future Big East members Houston and Tulane each spent more, actually.

Boston College spent more than twice as much as Boise State—an amazing $18M! Interestingly, Boston College also spent $10M on basketball, as well as $5M on hockey. The Eagles may have struggled on the court and on the field, but they spent some serious money to try to be competitive. Unfortunately, it did not work. You do not need a fancy degree to figure out that Boise State is a LOT more successful at football right now than Boston College.

We do not need to pick on Boston College. A lot of big spenders did poorly. Duke spent over $20M on football. Tennessee and Vanderbilt spend a similar amount of money on football–$20M and $19M, respectively. It has been quite a while since either played in a BCS bowl. Of course—these statistics are further interesting. Duke and Boston College spent about $38M on football, while Tennessee and Vanderbilt of the vaunted SEC spent about $37M on football. Can critics of the ACC really suggest that the ACC does not care about football when two of its private schools are spending more than two SEC counterparts?

Of course, not all SEC schools bother to spend as much on football as Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The Mississippi schools put a total of $24M into their two respective football programs. Kentucky does a little better, investing $14M.

Surely, the uber-wealthy Big 10 is all about football, right? Not so fast. Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Purdue all spend less than $17M on football. In fact, those four schools spent a total of $63M. That is approximately $16M per school.

But what about the ACC? Well, as noted above, Duke and Boston College do their part, spending $38M between them. Wake Forest, another school criticized for its football prowess (despite tending to beat Florida State), did lag behind by spending only $15M on football. Future Big 10 member, Maryland, fits right in at $14M. Still, these four ACC schools spent $67M on football, more than the four Big 10 schools discussed above.

In Part II, we will move away from the lower echelon of football success and take a look at the big football names and football expenses.


Boston College Wins Hockey National Championship

The Confidential does not cover many sports outside of football, basketball, and lacrosse–but it is always noteworthy when an ACC school wins a national title.  Thus, congratulations are in order for Boston College, who won its third national title in five years by defeating Ferris State University (of Michigan), 4-1.  It was the Eagles’ fifth national championship overall.

The ACC had this to say about the game:

Top-seed Boston College scored twice in the first period and sealed the fifth national championship in program history, 4-1, with two more goals in the third. Junior goaltender Parker Milner recorded 27 saves en route to being named the 2012 Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player on Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

* * *

Steven Whitney led the Eagles with two goals, scoring the first on a put-back at 3:18 in the first. Senior forward Barry Almeida won a loose puck near the crease and put a shot on net. The puck deflected off a Bulldog skate, landing in front of the Reading, Mass. native.

While Boston College is the ACC’s only hockey team, it is nevertheless a source of pride that the ACC now has the best team.  Let’s hope that starts carrying over to the revenue sports.

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