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McZag
04-10-2007, 08:22 AM
With the CFB and CBB seasons neatly behind us I have had time to reflect on the specifics of this year's BB tournament and the trends that seem to be emerging in our beloved sport.

The basketball schools years ago used to be clear as day: Kentucky, Duke, Georgetown, UCLA, North Carolina, Kansas, Syracuse - the very best. Then there were honorable mentions: St. John's, Arizona, Villanova, UCONN, Maryland, Providence, UNLV, even Marquette.

But there were many well known sports schools that were clearly NOT basketball schools: Florida, Ohio State, Texas, USC, Wisconsin. No one associated these huge sports programs with basketball success. So why now? Overnight? What's happened in the last 48 months that has transformed these schools into basketball icons - dynasties in the case of Florida?

I've been listening to the radio pundits speak about this and have looked up a few things on my own. It seems that in 2005, the year Texas overcame USC for the football BCS Championship, UT football grossed $55 million in revenue for the university. That same year, Duke basketball grossed a measely $12 million. $12 million you say? Duke? Couldn't believe it myself. I'm still looking for the USC figures from 2004 and the Florida figures from 2006 but I can only imagine the numbers increased this year and will continue as long as the BCS is in place.

Playoffs? Are we talking about playoffs? Playoffs? Who needs football playoffs when we have these kinds of PAYOFFS? There is no reason for legitimate championships as long as all the top 8 schools that make the BSC games get paid - and get paid they do.

So where does that cash go? Even the football teams can't spend all of it year in and year out. Well Ohio State took their payouts, hired their local rival Matta from Xavier, beefed up the recruiting budget and landed the best young big man in the country. In other words OSU decided that they were going to have a basketball program, wrote the checks, and have one - overnight. Most people forgot that USC had basketball. Pete C is the face of SC not the indoor court. But its amazing what money can do. Redirect the funds and you can make any amateur 18 year-old feel like a pro. Can you blame anyone for going to play hoops at SC? Little private jet ride, brand new everything - anything. Another NCAA bid the the BCS. Wisconsin wasn't known for football OR basketball until about 10 years ago. A few Rose Bowl's later and Barry Alvarez running the Athletic Dept, BOOM you have Wisconsin in the number one spot in the AP poll in February and a number 2 seed. What? How? Huh? Wait...slow down...

The BCS works people - with the efficiency of a guillotine. And it's victims are and will be schools without top football revenue. We're seeing it with Kentucky which used to have the most coveted job in America. Now no one wants to go there because the expectations are too high and the revenue is nonexistent. Duke has fallen off it's horse, not permanently, but there is no money machine working 4 months a year on their football field either.

There are exceptions, Texas A&M and WAZZU have no BCS dough to speak of and managed to have great years. Hats off to them. But as more BCS cash trickles down at other places like Louisville(as if their BB ball needs it), LSU, Oklahoma, and dare I say it - MICHIGAN - there will be less room for the non-football, NCAA middle class to compete for at-large bids come March.

I will be watching college football closer than ever this year and next. The top teams will have the paydays, their basketball teams will benefit and be in the hunt the following March.

Please let me know if I'm seeing things

RanchZagFan
04-10-2007, 09:02 AM
McZag, couldn't have said it better myself if I spent a week trying. You absolutely nailed it! Alot of folks on this board are not going to be able to accept your conclusions because they won't like what it means for CBB programs such as Gonzaga in the long run. Your post (especially when combined with the recent post by gamagin) is real and true.

EL MUSTACIO
04-10-2007, 10:49 AM
Great, great post Mc Zag, I agree with everything that you have said in your post. It will be interesting to see what happens when the dual sport giant schools get the big paydays. I hope the little schools will still be able to contend...

229SintoZag
04-10-2007, 03:07 PM
Great, great post Mc Zag, I agree with everything that you have said in your post. It will be interesting to see what happens when the dual sport giant schools get the big paydays. I hope the little schools will still be able to contend...

Georgetown made the final four this year without a cent of football money. Their football program generates little to no revenue.

Ditto last year for George Mason.

When was the last time Maryland football was good? And they just won a title in 2002.

Michigan State has been to three final fours in the past decade and won a title. When was their last BCS bowl payout again?

Arizona is the class of the Pac 10 in hoops in the past two decades. 23 straight NCAA tournaments. Multiple Final Fours . A Pac 10 title. Tell me again how many Rose Bowls they've been to, ever? (Zero). How many BCS bowls? (Zero).

Since Boise State did so well in the BCS this year, should we expect them to win a hoops title soon?


I don't disagree that football money helps with facilities, recruiting, etc., but the bottom line is that hoops is still a game of 5 on 5, and each team still gets only 13 schollies. Coaching matters, and small schools can still compete well. Many hoops powers are weak in football. Syracuse and UConn from the Big East have both won titles in the past few years without any success on the gridiron whatsoever.

And Florida's success was not limited to the past 48 months. Remember who the Zags beat in 1999 to get to the Elite 8?

And Ohio State was down, but has been decent before. Scoonie Penn got them to a final four in 2000. They won a national title in the 1950s or 1960s.

Until recently it was indeed rare to be title-level competitive in both sports. But you overstate the problem, which I think is more a coincidence than anything else.

Though I would get a real kick out of Boise State winning the NCAA hoops title anytime soon.

BobZag
04-10-2007, 05:12 PM
With Jameer Nelson, Delonte West and serviceable guards and bigs, St. Joe's came within a whisker of the FF. They might've won it all had Lucas not hit that last second trey for Okie State.

Has Barnes taken Texas to one FF? Maybe one. I think TJ Ford was on that team. Not sure, though. Maybe it was EE.

I side with 229 on this. It's tougher for Gonzaga but that's half the fun.

RebornZag
04-10-2007, 05:53 PM
A very well, thought out post McZag. You DID put a lot of work into it. However, I also feel that, although you're very logical, your logic won't cut-out Non BCS schools from the Tournament. I, in fact, see the opposite. Mid-major schools are getting better and better. What happened this year is that a few of the mid major universities were higher seeds this year: Butler, Xavier, Memphis, So Illinois, Virginia Commonwealth, Nevada, and others. Butler, Memphis and So. Illinois did great. Virginia Commonwealth also.

I think what will change college basketball the most is the kids that are coming in for one year and then they're off to the NBA. These kids will most likely all go to BCS schools. However, I am still happy for Gonzaga and the others who recruit and mostly get kids that are in college to get an education first. That's college basketball to me.

My main focus during basketball Season, and especially with Gonzaga, s NOT whether or not we ever win a natiional championship, or make it to the final 4. We may not. I just love to see Gonzaga knock out the Giants of basketball as much as we can. This year we took down North Carolina and Texas (who had the best player in the country. We also knocked out the UW, which is ALWAYS A MUST for a Zag team. For Gonzaga to make it to the Elite 8 is and will always be an awesome thing. I think for a small university like GU to make it to the Sweet 16 IS JUST AWESOME.

To move beyond the Sweet Sixteen teams must be truly special teams (like our '99 team), and, imo, and are not just about talent but about team chemistry. And I think Florida is a great example of what I'm talking about. They only had one Mc Donald's All American. And I think only one other player in the top 50. The team had chemistry and they played the game for each other. They were special that way. I also believe that Gonzaga has not had a team that played as well together, and played with a special passion for the game (the way our '99 team played) since our '99 team. Would you agree that that WAS a special group of guys?

I think for Gonzaga to continue to make it to the Sweet 16 every 1-2 years will be great. If we have a special team (kids that have talent, but more, have the love for each other and for the game as well) who can go beyond the Sweet 16 I will be very very happy. I think we have the makings of a very special team right now..but only History will tell. If guys bail out early for the NBA, then it won't be all that special. If the guys are more interested in the NBA then in winning a championship, then it won't be. IF they're more interested in money then their love for the game, it won't be that special in my opinion. I hope that one day soon we will find those kids that have that all illusive THING for the game of basketball where the players play for nothing more then just the love for the game, the deep desire to win and be the best, and have that special comradoree that you only find in the hears of champions (the "thing" Florida had). Money can not, and did not, buy that championship in my opinion.

I think in many ways this was a very disappointing NCAA tournament. It did not have the "madness" (upsets) that the tournament has had for so long. The thing that has made college basketball so special in the last 10 years is that so many small schools have upset the larger schools. If, in fact, McZag is right, we will certainly not have March Madness any more, and the tournament will lose much of what it has gained.

I felt refereeing had more to do with this tournament then any other, and I hope others see it. I can tell you that Ohio State should not have been in the Final 4 nor should have Georgetown. A bad "no call" by the officials in both games cost a smaller school a lot. It cost them that special joy that only comes when a smaller school knocks off a BIG BCS school. Oden's intentional foul at the end of that game was so obvious, and everyone knows it. And said it for awhile. I think there is a real power at work here by the BCS schools to get more teams into the tournament because they have been humiliated by the mid-major programs like GU, Butler, Memphis, So Illinois, Bradley, ect ect ect.....One point in McZags post that does make sense (unfortunately) and that is that MONEY TALKS. And if anything truly ruins the college game of basketball, it will be money....

McZag
04-10-2007, 06:11 PM
Good points by all. A clarification, I do not think that march madness is in any jeopardy or that non-football schools will not be successful in the tournament. I expect small schools to compete, win and shock as we've seen every year. My concern is the lower number of at-large bids going to non-football schools as football powerhouses turn into basketball contenders. Once in the tourney, anything can happen. It's just going to be more difficult for conferences, like the WCC, to get more than one bid if (when) the power conference teams use the increased BCS dough to bulk their programs and resumes.

Time will tell. To be continued...

Zags4life
04-10-2007, 09:38 PM
Alot of folks on this board are not going to be able to accept your conclusions because they won't like what it means for CBB programs such as Gonzaga in the long run

There's a difference between making an astute and thoughtful observation about the state of D1 college hoops, as McZag has done, and co-opting that observation just to attack an imagined misperception or burn a straw man.

What kind of egomaniac believes that only he is rational and unbiased enough to enlighten the masses?
What kind of simpleton visits a Gonzaga message board and is offended to read posts with a decidedly pro-Gonzaga slant?
What kind of "fan" makes it his calling card to post for no reason other than to take down any slight hint of optimism?

ZagNative
04-10-2007, 09:45 PM
My brain hurts, and this thread looks really hard to wade through. Should I call it a night and hope my little gray cells surge tomorrow so I will be up to the task of diagraming a whole bunch of complex sentences? Or can some kind soul summarize for me, in ten points or less, what it says?

soonerterp
04-11-2007, 02:35 AM
When was the last time Maryland football was good? And they just won a title in 2002.

Maryland football is competitive if not always a powerhouse or a BCS lock like USC or Ohio State. I tend to put them in the middle of the pack in the ACC on average in the Ralph Friedgen Era. They have been to a BCS bowl in this decade (Orange, 2002 -- I believe in Friedgen's first season as HC), and played in a couple of other non-BCS but not necessarily crap-bowls either.

I'm not so sure any longer that football success equals basketball success. I'm convinced that Ohio State and Florida happened to catch lightning in a bottle at an opportune time.

Oklahoma -- which will ALWAYS be a football school no matter what -- played for the BCS championship in 2005 (for the 2004 season, got trashed by USC). A couple of months later the Sooners were knocked out in the 2d round of the NCAAs by the Andrew Bogut-led Utah team. The year before that, OU missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly a decade (they were eventually knocked out by Michigan in the 2d round of the 2004 NIT). This year, OU played in a BCS game, not the big one (I see you Boise State fans smiling ... and actually that was one hell of a game), and failed to get any kind of postseason basketball bid (NCAA or NIT) for the first time in 25 years.

Another thing to remember too is that dual success in the so-called "revenue sports" at the big schools is cyclical and bound to end at some point, and it WILL end for the Gators and the Buckeyes in due time.

Not to disparage Billy Donovan's ability to coach -- he's obviously a very good coach, but so is Gary Williams, and Maryland missed 2 NCAA Tourneys and hasn't seen the Sweet 16 since 2003 (the final year of Steve Blake, Drew Nicholas, Tahj Holden and Ryan Randle, the last principal remnants of the 2002 title team). Back to the Gators, Donovan is a good coach, but you can't just go to an orange grove and pluck a Joakim Noah or Al Horford off a tree, NOR can you guarantee that his next group of players is going to have the same incredible and terrific chemistry and camraderie that Noah, Horford, Brewer etc. had -- and chemistry does have a little something to do with success. As for Ohio State, I think they just happened to catch lightning in a bottle with Greg Oden, and while Thad Matta is a good coach I don't see the Buckeyes making another run next year if Oden jumps to the NBA (he has yet to announce).

I really think this year has been a hiccup and won't be repeated next year.

RanchZagFan
04-11-2007, 09:35 AM
Zags4Life, really no percentage in me responding to your personal attacks, so I won't (although I really liked your usage of the word "simpleton"...a very underrated word I plan on using more frequently).

Anyway, do you have something substantive to add to the discussion? You sound like a pretty smart guy, so I'd be curious to read your thoughts on the subject.

229SintoZag
04-11-2007, 01:28 PM
Zags4Life, really no percentage in me responding to your personal attacks, so I won't (although I really liked your usage of the word "simpleton"...a very underrated word I plan on using more frequently).

Anyway, do you have something substantive to add to the discussion? You sound like a pretty smart guy, so I'd be curious to read your thoughts on the subject.

Ranch

You're new to these parts, so I will write off the above post as most likely an unwitting display of ignorance rather than an intentional display of malice.

For your edification, the esteemed Zags4life is one of our finest posters, and has been with us much longer than you have. He has earned the right to call you out; the reverse is not true. He raises a good point and asks a good question about your posting history here, and I think it is fair for you to answer him.

As for your query on whether he has anything substantive to add to the discussion: please help us out and point to those areas of your first post in this thread that added something substantive to this discussion, and tell us what the substance is. We all missed it (though we did catch your dig on the membership of this board and their inability to accept the Solominic wisdom of the post that started this thread.)

And by the way: there is no "percentage" in responding to Zags4life? WTF is that supposed to mean?

RanchZagFan
04-11-2007, 02:28 PM
229, a few random thoughts/responses to your post:

...Zags4Life may be a longtime, well-regarded poster on this board, but the guy called me an egotistical simpleton. What would you have me say to that? Are you saying that his standing on this board gives him the right to call new posters (or posters with whom he disagrees) names?

...your post answers the question you pose about WTF I meant by "no percentage". Lose/lose for me. Anything I say, short of "thank you sir, may I have another" was simply going to result in more slams from guys like you...and I got slammed anyway.

...I don't feel like I have to prove my membership in Zag Nation in order to offer up thoughts and opinions on this board. I'm a big fan of the Gonzaga basketball program, and I joined this board to shoot the bull regarding hoops with other hoops junkies. I'm sure we'll never have the opportunity to talk hoops in real life, but you might be surprised and feel a bit differently about my posts if you knew the details of my ties to the program. Doesn't, and shouldn't, matter though.

...are you only interested in opinions that align perfectly with yours? In order to gain acceptance in your little club, am I required to do the whole "rah rah" thing rather than engage in fun and interesting back and forth. So what if I think that it is virtually impossible for the Gonzagas of the world to win a national title? Great school, great coach, super kids, fabulous program! Why is that take so offensive/irritating to you?

...I didn't really add any particular detail to McZag's post. I simply was rogering what I thought was a very interesting take. I also knew that it would rub guys like you the wrong way and stated as much.

One more time: I'm a big fan of the Gonzaga hoops program! I hope they go to many Final 4s and win a ship (preferrably in the next 2-3 years), but I just don't think it will happen. Okay with you then if I have my own opinion 229?

229SintoZag
04-12-2007, 02:32 PM
Ranch

I credit you with actually answering some questions and being levelheaded in tone when doing so.

In response to your points and comments, my response follows:

1. Yes, Zags4life has the right to call you names. It's just the way it is. Figure out a way to deal with it. He has earned that credibility and license over a long time with a history of solid, insightful posts here without flaming. You have not yet earned your stripes, but you do show promise. This is a bit like asking why a Sergeant can yell profanities at a newly-enlisted private. The answer: just because. And like that private, it is not advisable for you to yell back. Trust me.

2. Agree that calling you out for your "percentage" flap was perhaps a cheap shot. Not a big deal. Just a small error like a typo. Not a big deal.

3. Yes you do have to prove yourself here to offer thoughts, especially when the thoughts you offer are thoughts that are backhanded digs at the membership of this board at large. You are the new guy here, not the rest of us. Imagine walking into a party with a room full of people you don't know, finding another newcomer behind you. You introduce yourself, and then loudly proclaim that everyone else at the party is an immature jackass with no class. That is roughly what you have done here, only in an online forum. Don't be shocked that the longtime partygoers who preceded you are a bit upset.

4. You are indeed correct. I might well feel differently about you if I knew your ties to the Gonzaga program. So please do us a favor and shed some light on just what those ties are. Because otherwise you are hiding behind the anonymity that comes with the internet and your claim of "ties to the program" is nothing more than a bluff and a ruse to instantly obtain with no effort the credibility that others (like Zags4life and myself) have to earn over time and through a lot of effort on this board. If you are indeed a Zag fan with ties to the program, start acting like one. And let us know a bit more about just what those ties are. If you are not willing to shed light on what those ties are, don't bring them up.

5. I am most certainly not interested in opinions that only line up with my own. Any casual perusal of the OCC would confirm that. But what I and others here like are opinions, whether pro or con, that are supported by facts, analysis, examples, anectdotes, links, and anything else that can lift an opinion from the level of a "Great taste/Less filling," to an informed debate from which we all learn and enhance our understanding of the game and Gonzaga basketball.

In sum, I think you have the potential to be a meaningful contributor to this board, but in going about that, just be aware that there are a lot of folks who have been here a lot longer than you, and we will demand respect, and will not sit idly by while being attacked by the guy who just rode his horse into town.

Your rah-rah agreement with Gamagin here started our suspicions:

http://216.229.189.28/showthread.php?t=2214

And you lost a lot of respect when you said Nevada owes Fazekas "nothing" here, then, when challenged, asked one of the regulars here if he had "anything substantive to add to the discussion." Your performance went downhill from there, including an embarrasing retraction after Lothar called you out and a retreat of sorts that could, at best, have been embarassing, and it got the the point where one astute observer had this observation: "Wow...off the topic of the thread....but in years of lurking (and a little posting), I have never seen one poster shred their own integrity so fast and then wonder why no one takes them at their word." Quite an accomplishment:

http://216.229.189.28/showthread.php?t=2204

Finally, it appears to win an argument you concede that you are willing to just lie and make things up:

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?t=2120

Overall, the theme of your posts seems to be that Gonzaga is a cute little program and that we are fun to pull for, but that we will never compete with the big boys and that we should be happy to be the class of "the worst of the mid major conferences," (your words, not mine).

Sorry, but that is not what we are about. This is Gonzaga University, and we are the Zags. We back down from nobody and we make no excuses. We can compete with and expect to compete with anyone. We will never be happy being the best team in the WCC but seek more. Much more.

That is just the way it is and as long as you continue to tell us we should expect less we are going to tell you thanks, but no thanks. What you are saying reminds me of what the administration said to Monson and Few when they came aboard (GoZags has this info--something along the lines of "just don't finish last in the conference). I am glad Monson and Few declined to accept that conventional wisdom then and I am glad we reject your conventional wisdom today.

Hope this helps.

RanchZagFan
04-12-2007, 09:37 PM
229Sinto, you guys obviously take this forum very (and I mean very) seriously...I get that. And while portions of your post are a touch arrogant and condescending, you make some good points. No worries. I'll post when something strikes me as interesting or worthy of comment and try to be sensitive to how you guys like to roll around here and the fact that I'm a NFG. Do me a favor though, and let me know when gratuitous personal attacks are coming from guys who are authorized to make them, so I know how to respond.

BTW, I think Gonzaga is way, way more than some cute little program in the NW. Anybody who holds that opinion is an idiot frankly.

One additional thought regarding McZag's original post. I think the core point to what he was trying to say is that schools with bigtime football programs (and the corresponding waterfall of BCS dollars) are in a position to become basketball powers virtually overnight if they choose to do so (e.g., USC, Ohio St., Florida, Tenn., etc.). In many ways, this fact and other factors discussed ad nauseum on this board makes what Few has done over the last 8 years at Gonzaga even that much more impressive.

Rubbadub
04-13-2007, 07:27 AM
who needs comedy central?

Zags4life
04-13-2007, 10:58 AM
I think the core point to what he was trying to say is that schools with bigtime football programs (and the corresponding waterfall of BCS dollars) are in a position to become basketball powers virtually overnight if they choose to do so (e.g., USC, Ohio St., Florida, Tenn., etc.).

I agree with your synopsis, and with McZ's original point. It's an interesting phenomenon, one that's worth discussing on any college BBall board. I don't recall seeing anyone on this board dispute its relevance. But it's a much less interesting topic when it's highlighted only to suggest that those who envision similarly great things for this program are p*ssing in the wind.


this fact and other factors discussed ad nauseum on this board makes what Few has done over the last 8 years at Gonzaga even that much more impressive.

Absolutely true, although your definition of "ad nauseum" is likely different from that of others on this board.


So what if I think that it is virtually impossible for the Gonzagas of the world to win a national title?

Nothing wrong with holding and expressing that opinion; the empirical evidence certainly supports it. I assume you don't think that I called you out for stating as much. What grates on some of us is the veiled suggestion that our optimism about the next few seasons reflects an ignorance of the challenges that a small program faces. We're all quite aware of the unique spot this program occupies; we come here to discuss (among other things) the ways in which the program might overcome those challenges.


am I required to do the whole "rah rah" thing rather than engage in fun and interesting back and forth.

Of course not. You're not required to do anything, and I'm not a moderator. All 229 and I have done is explain how we view the difference between (1) a "fun and interesting back and forth" on a topic like McZ's and (2) the suggestion that we need to pull our heads out of the sand.

To return your compliment, you too sound like an intelligent guy. You know a thing or two about hoops and this program in particular, and you're welcome to share those thoughts. You'll get less static, however, if you avoid taking it as your personal mission to lift the masses out of what you perceive as myopia.

RanchZagFan
04-13-2007, 11:05 AM
Nice post Zags4life, and points taken. I look forward to shooting the bull with you on this board.

Bow Man
04-14-2007, 12:22 PM
McZag's hypothesis: If a BCS football power chooses to have a good basketball team, they can and will. Good football schools will begin replacing longstanding good basketball schools as more BCS bowl money rolls in.

Does this logic hold up in a different context? Assuming that GU has increased its revenue from basketball for the benefit of the athletic department, does that mean the school could choose to make one of the other sports dominant, i.e. women's basketball or men's soccer?