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NEZAGFAN
05-06-2008, 08:02 AM
I was fortunate enough to have my questioned answered by Jay but didn't really care for the response. He never likes to give much love to "mid-majors." He's all about the Carolina's and Dukes. Regardless here is the question I asked:

C. J. (Aurora, NE) : Jay, if Jeremy Pargo returns to Gonzaga as expected, do you see the Zags being a legit final four team?

Jay Bilas: (12:02 PM ET ) I have no real idea what "legit Final Four team" really means. Is it possible? Yes. Do I consider Gonzaga to be a contender like North Carolina? No way. Gonzaga is still a mid-major, and still has issues with resources. They are, however, an absolute marvel to have accomplished all that they have. Incredible.

Just A Zag
05-06-2008, 08:38 AM
No way. Gonzaga is still a mid-major, and still has issues with resources.

What does that mean exactly?

GoZags
05-06-2008, 08:40 AM
What does that mean exactly?

Perhaps it means the Zags can't buy a decent home schedule like the big boys.

MDABE80
05-06-2008, 09:09 AM
Being a Duke grad, he does have major biases.... PLUS a few years ago he gave his philosophy about mid majors (usually he likes them) which reminded me of a nice "pat on the ass" type, quaint lil programs we must have (considering this is America).
Those bigtime announcers will always look for an odd story of success but won't admit the Zags, Butlers, Davidsons, etc are anything BUT an anomaly which happens every year. And they truly DO believe the "mids" are merely a colorful addition to the college basketball landscape.
GU absolutely MUST get back to serious contention or the "disappointing", "also ran", "mid major" tag will always be with us and every other non BCS school who makes a run. Makes me crazy!
Winning changes everything..... at least I used to think so. If a school doesn't have a big football program those BCS controlled media types will always designate mid majors (which doesn't mean much when they're losing by 10 to a mid) as a lesser presence. It's just a name.....but it's one that won't go away easily. The designation is sorta fluffy to us but I'm beginning to wonder when it comes to recruiting. All we can control are the games though. We win, we'll be fine. Rant over.

CDC84
05-06-2008, 09:24 AM
I bet Clemson, Penn State, Iowa State, and Mississippi wish they had Gonzaga's TV contract with FSN, as well as their ability to get more games on ESPN than any other basketball program besides Duke. This, of course, contributes to the fact that Gonzaga, even in recruiting down cycle, consistently beats out mid to low level BCS teams for prep talent. Sometimes they even manage to beat out the upper tier schools for players.

everybodycougsit
05-06-2008, 10:24 AM
Jay Bilas: (12:02 PM ET ) I have no real idea what "legit Final Four team" really means. Is it possible? Yes. Do I consider Gonzaga to be a contender like North Carolina? No way. Gonzaga is still a mid-major, and still has issues with resources. They are, however, an absolute marvel to have accomplished all that they have. Incredible.

I remember back when Violette, Stepp, and Gourde were still playing and Bilas was saying that they should banish the term mid-major and he couldn't say enough about the zags. To me, Bilas isn't a true journalist who takes pride in his viewpoints and is passionate about his work. He'd rather be playin ball. That was his moment in the spotlight. His opinions aren't bringing new ideas to his listeners or readers. I think what he says is just a reflection of what the nation currently thinks about Gonzaga. That is, "they've had a good run, but they are not the elite of the elite." Whereas four years ago everyone was a fan of the zags.

ZaginLaw
05-06-2008, 10:24 AM
As Jay has said in the past, The Zags do more with less money.
Jay has said 'issues with resources' means that the Zags don't have nearly the same basketball/recuriting budget of Oregon State (yes, he used OSU as his "hig-major" example) but the Zags have done phenominal with a limited budget and resources. Zags have a better TV contract, better name recognition, much better team, but still don't have the same resources as OSU.

You can't argue that the Zag's talent level drops off sooner than UNC's. That doesn't mean the Zags "don't belong", or "can't win" or are "not as good", etc. What that means, on paper, UNC looks better and you'd have to give the nod to a UNC as a "contender" (whatever that means) before the Zags.

Jay has repeatedly said that "mid-major" relates to budget & resoures - not they are a sub-class within Div 1. We need to get over thinking people are saying "sub-class" when they say "mid-major".

Think of it this way - many industries include companies that are "small cap", mid cap" or "large cap" who compete against each other all the time. Each wins and loses to each and there are advantages each has over the others. That said, if you were asked to predict who would sell more laptop computers to students in a year: Dell or HP? Would you get mad at a person who says Dell because they have more resources? I wouldn't. They'd likely be right, although HP does hold their own against Dell.

Mid-majors doesn't = "bad", "subclass", "can't win".....

OSU is a "high-major" and Gonzaga is a "mid-major" - which would you rather be?

It's Go Zags for me...

CDC84
05-06-2008, 11:45 AM
I guess my issue with Jay is that "resources" can mean many different things than just how much money your athletics program takes in on a yearly basis. Especially when it comes to a sport like basketball. Having the FSN TV deal - something that no "mid major" comes to close to having - is one such "resource." So is the gulf stream jet that Gonzaga travels in. So are the 15 games that GU gets annually on the ESPN channels. And while Few and his staff are certainly getting paid less $$$ than they would if they coached at the average BCS school, Gonzaga seems to be willing to increase their salaries to keep them satisified. Another "resource" is Gonzaga's geographic isolation...they have to compete with very few Pacific NW schools for players.

Look, I am as humble as it gets when it comes to these matters. I remember the days when Gonzaga was not pulling off winning seasons routinely. But as things are currently setup, the Zags are simply picking from a different class of player than the overwhelming majority of non-BCS teams, and it's largely because they have "resource" advantages that the average MVC or MAC school doesn't. When it comes to college basketball, that's the only thing that matters: recruiting. If you can get the players without your athletics program taking in 67 gazillion bucks, so be it. Bilas' analysis is what leads, in part, to the great amount of coaching turnover we see each offseason. It deludes athletic directors of non-BCS schools into believing that they can just pull off another Gonzaga with the right kind of coach. It's just not that simple. Gonzaga is doing less with more, but they still have way "more" than programs outside of the BCS leagues typically have.

CaliforniaZaggin'
05-06-2008, 07:17 PM
"They are, however, an absolute marvel to have accomplished all that they have. Incredible."

Is it just me, or does this seem like a back-handed compliment??

MedZag
05-06-2008, 07:28 PM
Awww look at da widdle Gonzaga baaaaaby. Making the tournament all by himself. Oh yes, all by himself. All by himself. He wanna play with da big boys. Oh yes, da big boys. Aint that right baby? Yes, Yes it is.

http://www.indianchild.com/images/b35.jpg

ZaginLaw
05-06-2008, 08:21 PM
Cali - I think it's just you.

No team in Div 1 has come from NAIA to a consistent NCAA invitee. Therefore, yes it's truly amazing and when you factor in the uneven playing field it's utterly amazing! Sure other "mid-majors" have had deeper runs but were short-lived and fall back into the pack. Occasionally a high-major who is not known for being a powerhouse has a run (Oregon State in the 80's) then falls into obscurity. Heck, the Oregon Ducks have had a total of 10 NCAA appearance in their school history (!) with 4 of those in the past 10 years! Gonzaga tied Oregon's appearance record in one decade. Absolutely amazing!

I guess I'll never understand how some people can never accept a compliment. Not only does it happen on this Board but in life as well. Just accept a compliment and don't try and read into it.

It's as if we feel we need basketball commentators on network TV to be bigger Zag fans than us on this board and spout "legit this and that" in May.

CDC - sure the Zags have a resources such as great TV package, a jet, and as well paid staff. However, if you look at the net worth of all those items and put them into dollars, I'd think you'd be suprised that OSU would still have a bigger total resources than the Zags. The Zags just get more ROI. They are smarter and better...but still a "mid-major" - and that's ok. In fact it should be a badge or pride. The Zags student's don't feel inferior to OSU students even though they are vastly outnumbered, don't have the same access to deeper resources, expensive research laboratories, bigger research grants, etc. Why should Zag b-ball fans have a inferority complex about the term "mid-major"?

You'd think that as the Zag envy across the "high-majors" has grown our inferiority complex would have diminshed.

As far as a legit FF team? First, let's play an entire 40 min game with whatever players are on the floor next year. Then let's consistenly improve each game and everything will take care itself.

MDABE80
05-06-2008, 08:37 PM
It's like taking a test: You study? You do well. We score lots, we win. We win, we grow. We grow, we get highly regarded. Highly regarded, we recruit well. We recruit well, we go further. We go further, we grow. We grow further, we go to the E 8 lots....sometimes the Final Four. See how science works? It's all logical Mr Spock. NOW......comes the Wrath of Kong;)

CDC84
05-06-2008, 11:04 PM
You'd think that as the Zag envy across the "high-majors" has grown our inferiority complex would have diminshed.

I actually could care less about whether Gonzaga is called a "major" or "mid major," so I don't have the inferiority complex you talk about. Maybe others do.

I just don't like seeing good coaches getting routinely fired from outside of the BCS leagues because they cannot make their school into a program that exhibits multiple high major qualities like Gonzaga does. No amount of smarts, money or coaching acumen is going to make Missouri State into a Gonzaga.

As long as the coaches keep getting canned for reasons very often related to the Gonzaga Syndrome, I will take issue with Bilas or anyone that insists that GU is a mid major. If these athletic directors begin to understand the inherent ceilings that their programs have due to geography and other factors, and hence, stand by their coaches more, my issues with Bilas and Co. wouldn't be nearly as strong as they are now. For one thing, once the firing stops and coaches hang around a bit longer, analysts will probably begin to acknowledge that just as the high major conferences have their own pecking order which separates the factory schools from the non-factory schools, the teams from outside of the BCS leagues also have their own pecking order. But you don't see analysts doing that right now because all of the firing makes it look like the non-BCS teams are plagued by poor coaching....like if Missouri State could just hire a guy like Coach Few, all would be well. It's simply not the case.

ZaginLaw
05-07-2008, 05:47 AM
CDC, point taken on coaching mid-majors. I have found it fascinating that over the past several months Coach Grier has talked about "the Gonzaga formula". He has been very forthcoming to the San Diego public (press) about the why Gonzaga is sucessful. You can tell from reactions across basketball that people are not listening or understanding, which I think is fairly typical of talking heads (Bilas & Co.). Perhaps I don't give basketball analysts as much credit in effecting coaching changes as I should. Rather, I see them as a press club coming in after the fact to state the obvious in a way that makes themselves seem intelligent and on the cutting edge. Then again, I am starting to get older and not care about "respect" from talking heads. Instead people's reaction to the talking heads get to me instead - hopefully that too will subside as I age.

I didn't see Bilas's comments as condescending, or backhanded. I think he truly thinks it's amazing that Gonzaga has done what it has done without the resources of a Duke or UNC, especialy since he is a product of a basketball factory. It's been my perception that he has changed they way he talks about Gonzaga over the past three years by not giving the Zags any slack in comparing them to other teams as he would any b-ball factory school. His comments on defense, etc. have been fairly accurate and no where near as bad as some comments on this Board from depressed fans immediately after losses.

"The Digger/Bilas/fill in the blank doesn't give us any love anymore" comments get to me sometimes. I don't want love from analysts, I just want W's...

Go Zags!

Psychozag
05-07-2008, 07:39 AM
Bilas wrote the forward to Bravehearts, and in it basically wrote the same thing stating that Gonzaga has "defied" the odds and created a culture of winning without the same resources. I don't see any disrespect in saying that because I believe it is true.

CaliforniaZaggin'
05-07-2008, 10:22 AM
Cali - I think it's just you.

....

I guess I'll never understand how some people can never accept a compliment...


I ask a question, and now suddenly I don't know how to take a compliment... ?

Bilas's comment clearly implied that GU will never be a legitimate contender. He also acknowledged that we've had some amazing success, but the crux of his statement was that we can't hang with the big boys like UNC, UCLA, ect. That doesn't sound like much of a compliment to me.

cjm720
05-07-2008, 12:03 PM
Bilas's comment clearly implied that GU will never be a legitimate contender. He also acknowledged that we've had some amazing success, but the crux of his statement was that we can't hang with the big boys like UNC, UCLA, ect. That doesn't sound like much of a compliment to me.

This is fairly accurate, though. What Bilas doesn't say (but implies) is he absolutely has no clue what's going to happen and many programs that position themselves well do have a shot to make it to the Final 4...just not like NC, Kansas, Duke, UCLA, etc. who year in and year out get the best recruits in the nation. George Mason's run a couple years back proves that the smaller schools can compete, just not with the consistency of the major schools. On the flip side, Arizona or Kansas got bounced in round 1 several times this past decade while having lofty expectations.

For some perspective - the last non-BCS champion was UNLV in 1990.

I absolutely think we have a top 10 program coming into the next couple of years and can hang with any team in the country. With the right amount of luck (wins, seedings, lack of injuries) we have a shot to make the final 4. That said, when compared to the elite schools we have to keep our expectations in check with reality.

Ezag
05-07-2008, 01:11 PM
Jay, if Jeremy Pargo returns to Gonzaga as expected, do you see the Zags being a legit final four team?

I wouldn't start hollerin' out final 4 until we figure how to get outta the first round. I have been hearing final four team for 2 years in a row and it's getting old

ZaginLaw
05-07-2008, 07:09 PM
Cali - It's your question, I was just answering it.

Jay responded "it's possible" that GU is a legit FF team but not as possible as UNC due to resources for a question posed in May. Don't see how one can read that he really meant that GU will never be a legit contender. Ease up, I thought everyone in Cali was relaxed. It's all good. Bilas doesn't hate GU.

MickMick
05-08-2008, 05:12 AM
Flavor of the month.

After a season where all #1 seeds make the Final Four, Jay (and others), have examples that are fresh in everyone's mind. They can openly support the notion that factory schools have a lock on post season success.

The reality is that the margin for error is typically very slim. The national champion could have been Davidson (seriously). Factory schools are not immune from being dominated (Kansas-UNC). When a team is clearly the best, they can dominate everybody (Florida waxes everyone including UCLA).

The best college team I have ever seen was upset by Jim Valvano's unheralded NC State team. The margin for error is slim indeed.

The bottom line for maintaining the Zag's lofty status is getting to post season consistently. It is like getting free rings to toss from a "carny." Although the odds are stacked mightily against you, the extra "tosses" improve your odds of winning a prize by a large amount.