Friday, 10 July 2020

Conference Only

I mentioned College Football yesterday and the decision of one Conference (the Ivy League) to suspend all sports, including football, until at least 2021.

While the decision was significant, the Ivy League isn't one of the Power Five (P5) or Group of Five (G5) conferences, but the Big Ten is, and yesterday they announced that they would only play conference games. There are actually 14 teams in the Big Ten, but teams usually play games against teams from outside their own conferences. It comes a day after Big Ten school Ohio State announced that it was...

...pausing all voluntary athletic workouts, football included, after receiving the results of COVID-19 testing of its student-athletes, the school announced Wednesday. The university did not release how many of its athletes tested positive for the virus, citing privacy concerns.
The question now is will other big conferences follow the lead of the Big Ten? 

It seems quite likely, with the ACC and the Pac-12 already rumoured to be following suit, and poor old Notre Dame, who compete in college football as an Independent school, potentially left without anyone to play! Following on from the terrible fire last year, this hasn't been a good year for them. Oh wait, that was a different Notre Dame.  

It seems likely that they will join the ACC to avoid this fate, as most of their sports teams are already in this conference, but because of money, they have remained independent for Football.

Conference teams share revenue but like other religious institutions, the more money Notre Dame (a Catholic college) can get and keep for themselves, the better. From May 2018
Notre Dame makes a reported $15 million annually with NBC to televise home football games in an agreement that was extended in 2013. The deal runs through 2025.
If Notre Dame were to join a conference, a certain amount of money would have to be spread through the conference, something that already happens in basketball and other conference sports.
Basically, if Florida State vs Notre Dame is televised on ESPN, Boston College gets part of that money.
Well perhaps now, Boston College will get some of that money, but there remains more than a slim possibility that there won't be any College Football this season anyway. 

The NFL's COVID-19 protocol banning jersey swaps at the end of games has come in for a lot of ridicule. As this Boston CBS article puts it:
These football players will have just completed a 60-minute athletic competition in which 10-14 people will be wrestling and colliding at the line of scrimmage.

Receivers and defensive backs will engage in man-to-man battles on the perimeter. Quarterbacks will get sacked. Running backs will get gang tackled. Safeties will jump into piles.

Refs and officials will dig through those piles looking to identify who has possession of the football.
There will also be huddles before every play. This will happen quite often.

Oh, and don’t forget the huddles. And what about those pump-up circles? Pregame prayers? Or post-play celebrations? Will that all be banned?
It does seem a little pointless, and personally I'd prefer it if they banned the pregame prayers.

Just a few days after releasing the shortened 2020 schedule, MLB released its 2021 162 game regular season schedule yesterday, which seems a little premature and perhaps overly optimistic.

I've added a couple of blogs to my blog roll. I wasn't aware of it until last night, but the Secret Betting Club, which I always thought was a rather silly name, changed its name to the Smart Betting Club (which is much more mature) and has some posts that some of you may be interested in. A little over six years ago I had a post about them which included this paragraph:
With a name like “Secret Betting Club”, it will be no surprise when I say I have no idea who the brains are behind it, but what I do know is that they have not taken a law class.
The topic was their campaign for "Bookie Fairplay" which seemed to me to be an exercise in futility. The claim that they a "defender of punters rights" still seems silly, 

The second addition is Plus EV Analytics which looks like it may have some interesting content. It's well written and very readable, and the writer has a sense of humour as well as coming across as being honest. In response to one comment asking where he'd got some numbers from, he answered:
To be honest I don’t remember where I got it, and I can’t vouch for its 100% accuracy
Can't beat that! He also seems to like NFL so one to watch. If anyone has other suggestions for additions to the blog roll, let me know. 

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