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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Random Internet Discovery of the Week

It'd be nice if this told you what it is before throwing you into it.

The current RID poll is likely to end on Monday regardless of when it says it's going to end, simply because the changes that will happen to Da Blog then are too major.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Say hello to the NBO!

Since the bowl contracts are coming up for renewal, here are my thoughts on a potential new bowl order. I haven't associated any of these with bowls, just idle thoughts. Mostly based on my college football rankings and bowl-eligible teams last two years.

  • SEC #2 v. Big 10 #2
  • Pac-10 #2 v. Big 12 #2
  • ACC #2 v. Big East #2/Notre Dame
  • SEC #3/4 v. Big 12 #3
  • SEC #3/4 v. Big 10 #3
  • Big 12 #4 or Big 10 #4 v. Big East #3/Notre Dame
  • SEC #5 v. ACC #3
  • Pac-10 #3 v. MWC #1
  • Big 10 #4 or Big 12 #4 v. ACC #4
  • Big 10 #5 v. Big 12 #5
  • MWC #2 v. WAC #1
  • C-USA #1 v. ACC #4
  • Big 10 #6 v. MAC #1
  • ACC #5 v. Big East #4
  • Big 12 #6 v. ACC #6
  • SEC #6 v. Pac-10 #4
  • SEC #7 v. ACC #7
  • ACC #8 v. C-USA #2
  • Pac-10 #5 v. WAC #2
  • C-USA #3 v. Navy
  • MWC #3 v. WAC #3
  • WAC #4 v. MAC #2
  • MWC #4 v. C-USA #4
  • C-USA #5 v. Sun Belt #1
  • MWC #5 v. MAC #3
  • MAC #4 v. Sun Belt #2
  • C-USA #6 v. Sun Belt #3 or Army

Let's play "What is Tom Hansen talking about?"

From his interview with the LA Times:
It [a college football playoff] would be so negative for college football in my opinion that it just doesn't make good sense. Including the fact it would be 16 teams, not the four that many people advocate, because politically you couldn't stop at four, you couldn't stop at eight, you couldn't stop at 12. And even at 16 you'd have problems.
What political pressures and "problems" is he talking about?

If he thinks a playoff would have to pick the best 16 teams, yes, that would be a problem and devalue the regular season. But the political pressures I'm imagining would create an 11/5 playoff, which would mostly maintain the sanctity of the regular season and create an exciting postseason. And wouldn't be terribly different, when you think about it, from an 8-team playoff with the best 8 teams.

Or is it just the logistical issues involved with scheduling 15 playoff games?

The last notice of links to Da Blog

Remember when I said the new Tweeter wasn't for advertisers? I lied.

Effective immediately, I will no longer acknowledge links to Da Blog on Da Blog. It makes me come off as desperate for attention. Instead all such notices will come only on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter if you're an advertiser interested in knowing when I get linked to.

Now, then, here are the last two links to Da Blog you'll find on Da Blog. First, the ArtPatient blog linked to my 8BT review and I suspect will be linking to my webcomic reviews on a fairly full-time basis from now on. Yay, an important milestone on the road to being respected as a webcomic reviewer!

Wait, what's this? My post from yesterday is a "Related Article" "around the web" for Fanhouse's examination of whether anyone else will win 10 NBA titles, behind only articles from SI and USA Today?


Monday, June 15, 2009

The legacy of the 2009 NBA Finals.

Of all the Kobe Bryant-Phil Jackson titles, this one is especially special.

But not because it's Kobe's first without Shaq. No, this title is special because it locks up Phil Jackson's legacy.

Phil Jackson now has more titles than any other coach in NBA history, even Red Auerbach, but has rarely gotten any respect for them. After all, people say, he just so happened to be the coach who won six titles with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, then won three more with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Lucking into two all-time great, title-winning pairings shouldn't be the criteria that gets you seen as great.

Well, this year, Phil Jackson proved he really is that great a coach.

This wasn't a Jackson/Pippen or O'Neal/Bryant situation. Jackson had Bryant, but he came into the 2005-06 season without much else. Those years proved that Jackson and Bryant were in fact human; they would have to earn a fourth title together. You can attribute the Lakers' success to shrewd front-office decisions, but it was Jackson that turned Bryant into the leader he always wanted to be, and Jackson that created the environment that allowed the team to gel and succeed.

The jury's still out on whether Jackson is the greatest coach of all time, but he's locked up his spot in the top five to ten. If you don't think Jackson had something to do with the Lakers' win, you're effectively saying that coaches never have anything to do with successful basketball teams. After all, didn't Auerbach have Bill Russell for much of his career?

Now, maybe that's the case. But here are the last 25 Finals winning coaches, from most recent to least recent: Jackson, Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich, Pat Riley, Popovich, Larry Brown, Popovich, Jackson, Jackson, Jackson, Popovich, Jackson, Jackson, Jackson, Rudy Tomjanovich, Tomjanovich, Jackson, Jackson, Jackson, Chuck Daly, Daly, Riley, Riley, K.C. Jones, Riley. The only possible duds (or even non-Hall-of-Famers) of that bunch are Rivers and Jones, and Rivers had three great players working for him (and arguably, Jones did too) and Jones comes close to being the oldest name on the list.

It seems apparent that even great players can't get to the Finals without a good coach by their side, especially with how egocentric NBA superstars tend to be. If Phil Jackson is the luckiest coach in NBA history, there should now be no doubt he created some of his own luck. He deserves to be on the same level as Red Auerbach and the other great coaches. That can no longer be disputed.