Friday, February 23, 2007
Whatever This Is: Inside the Mind of Tommy Amaker
Geoff: Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. This week: Scheduling, hockey, and basketball.
Steve: Scintilating stuff.
Craig: Let's do this thing.
Geoff: Steve, you were there when I found out about Appalachian State. How would you characterize my response?
Steve: Hmm, well, for the first time in your life you categorically refused to go to a Michigan sporting event
Geoff: Yes. That was overly hasty.
Steve: Quite simply, you were pissed off. You weren't yelling or throwing things, but you looked on the verge of boiling over.
Craig: May I make a devil's advocate argument?
Craig: I don't think this is as bad as I thought it was on first blush. I am still unhappy about it, but I think this is the NCAA's fault
Geoff: From an AD's perspective, it's perfect. We get $4M per home game, so Bill Martin would be a financial idiot if he didn't try to maximize that revenue. And you know we'll still hit at least 107,501.
Steve: Although we may have to count the tow-plane pilots
Craig: Tickets sold.
Craig: And it looks like App State may actually help our SoS? Which just seems weird, but whatever.
Geoff: Yeah. It's bizarre that it might help with the computers a little, but whatever.
Steve: I don't pretend to even begin to understand the system.
Craig: So the thing is, I'm not sure about what to think, but it will make the first game of the year a little less exciting, and that is a downer
Geoff: Eh. The first game is exciting enough just to be on campus again, soaking in the atmosphere. And if it wasn't Appy Slappy, it was going to be Eastern.
Craig: True, and let's be fair, it may be the price I have to pay to see OSU. Which brings me to a second topic: The conversation that the Big Ten may have about moving the end of the season to after Thanksgiving.
Geoff: It's a good idea. You can't have the 12-game schedule without a bye, and nobody's on campus until Labor Day weekend anyway.
Steve: If they have to play in the snow to stay fresh in the minds of the voters, then so be it.
Craig: I do think that not having that first game on Labor Day weekend is a good thing. Pushing back is not the worst thing.
Craig: Although, I still think that maybe a full Big Ten round-robin may be in the best interests of everyone.
Geoff: It would be mathematically wonderful, but practically it could kill out-of-conference scheduling.
Craig: Agreed, but it would avoid the "lucky" Big Ten scheduling issue... But for now, it's just talk. So let's move on
Geoff: OK. Hockey? Little bit of a hiccup in the Soo.
Craig: Yes, but thankfully Sparty had an even bigger hiccup at home
Geoff: Yeah. Schizophrenic in the CCHA.
Steve: To use a cliche, that's why they play the games.
Craig: But then I saw them play some excellent hockey on Sunday at the Joe. They looked crisp and focused.
Craig: I am beginning to wonder if the lack of a true February home game is hurting things. Even though they are in a top four slot, they really want to hold on to #2. Because you'll get the cold team...I believe ND/BGSU is locked in
Geoff: I think so. The ND/Miami series decided that one.
Geoff: It's DEFINITELY locked in. BGSU has 9 points, 10 below Fairbanks and Northern. ND has 43 pts, 8 above Michigan.
Craig: You gonna enjoy the Irish at Van Andel?
Geoff: "Enjoy" may be too strong a word for it.
Craig: I forgot the snark tag. My bad.
Geoff: They're a good team, but not that exciting to watch.
Craig: So basically, Michigan needs two points this weekend, I think....[3 would guarantee it] because we hold the tiebreaker
Craig: We have third for sure. State cannot catch us
Geoff: I just hope that we keep that 3rd seed at Van Andel in the NCAA tournament.
Craig: The wins would be very helpful in that regard.
Geoff: On to basketball?
Craig: Sadly. Let us not dwell.
Geoff: Barring a miracle, we're headed for the NIT we all sorta knew we'd end up in all along.
Craig: Yep, it's strange to end up with the fate that seemed pre-ordained.
Geoff: Do you ever wonder what goes on in Tommy Amaker's head at halftime?
Geoff: "I should buy some more turtlenecks."
Geoff: "The floor out there is awfully shiny."
Geoff: "Jerret Smith. Now that's a point guard's name!"
Craig: How does a former point guard not develop a current point guard?
Geoff: "I went to Duke!"
Craig: "I'm untouchable!"
Geoff: Maybe he thinks they'll give him another year of eligibility if he asks nicely.
Craig: What's left in this misery?
Geoff: Same thing as always: Next year.
Craig: Ahh, yes. That seems right, except next year, we don't have four seniors.
Geoff: We didn't really have four seniors most of this year.
Craig: This is true as well.
Geoff: Sims and Abram regressed so badly (although Sims has come around somewhat). Dion Harris has been shoehorned into an unfmaliar point guard role, etc.
Craig: It's just a nightmare all over
Geoff: I think next year will be Amaker's last, unless he makes the tournament. They won't be able to ignore the attendance figures any longer.
Craig: I hope you're right
Geoff: Any final thoughts we want to share?
Geoff: I will say this: I loved that Jack Johnson article in the LA Times. Here's hoping he sticks around.
Craig: That was exceptional.
Craig: I'm good, if tired...until next time.
Steve: Same here, till next week
Geoff: OK, guys. Thanks for hanging out again.
Craig: Happy to do it.