For What it's Worth: Creativity Takes a Hit

Really? With some of the greatest marketing minds at their beacon call—the best that the BCS Commissioners could come up with for the new college football playoff—was the ‘College Football Playoff’? Are these the same guys who came up with ‘slippery when wet’ or ‘stay behind the fence’ at the tiger exhibit? Bill Hancock, the BCS’s Executive Director and a really good guy, said that they wanted to keep it simple, so they just called it what it is.

Not everything has to be catchy---

When you stop to think of it there’s a lot of ‘cutesy’ in sports. College hoops has ‘March Madness’, the ‘World Series’ and ‘Super Bowl’ are distinctive titles. You can win the ‘Grand Slam’ in golf and tennis, while the NBA calls its championship series ‘The Finals’. Horse Racing has the ‘Triple Crown’, so does baseball. You don’t win an NHL Championship—you claim the ‘Stanley Cup’. The World Cup, the America’s Cup—there are a lot of cups in sports, heck, I used to wear one at shortstop—not that anyone would have wanted to win it.

Is it really a playoff?

In January of 2015 the first national champion for the College Football Playoff will be crowned at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Do you consider four schools to be a playoff? OK, it’s a three game tournament—which is certainly better than two schools arriving at a title game through a mathematical equation that would leave Albert Einstein scratching his noggin. But something tells me that we’re still going to have a heap of controversy over the manner in which the four teams are selected—who’s making the selections, the criteria that’s used, etc. One wonders about provincialism and influence peddling, what with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. It’s a welcome undertaking, even if it’s far from a perfect one.

Hoop musings---

Gregg Marshall makes a ton of money coaching at Wichita State and I think he’s been worth every penny, he may even be a bargain---what price does an institution put on reaching a Final Four? What are the financial residuals for Wichita State? Besides, Gregg and his wife Lynn continue to be very benevolent, without making a big deal about it. Gregg hit two charity events last weekend raising over $60,000 on three items for bid—non-profits have got to love that guy.

It looks as though two significant rules changes are coming down the pike for college basketball. Starting date for practice looks as if it will come in the first week of October instead of the middle of the month and the shot clock is probably going from 0:35 seconds to 0:30. The intent, of course, is to try and put more points on the board—for that, I think, you’ve got to have better offenses—frankly, that’s the main issue in college hoops.

Gillaspie in the show---

Wichita State baseball is at a relatively low ebb for them, but let’s not forget that this program has produced, by far, the largest number of professionals at WSU. Since about 1984 over 30 Shockers have reached the major league, that’s impressive by anyone’s standards. The latest to get there and stick is Conor Gillaspie with the Chicago White Sox. The infielder, playing a lot at second, nabbed Sportscenter’s number two play in their Top 10 recently and is hitting .326 through the first few weeks of the season. Gillaspie and Andy Dirks were the cornerstones of Wichita State’s last Super Regional team in 2008, both of them are in the ‘bigs’.

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