Saturday, February 21, 2009

OVC's bracket busted again

When it comes to the Bracket Buster series, OVC stands for Oh Very Costly.

The conference had a dreadful showing in this year's made-by-TV event, going 3-7. Its top four teams according to the standings -- UT Martin, Morehead, Austin Peay and Murray -- didn't get a win nor did its top three teams according to the RPI (UTM, Peay, Murray).

The only wins the OVC registered came from Eastern Kentucky (over Ohio), Eastern Illinois (over Western Michigan) and resurgent Tennessee State (over Detroit). Jax State surrendered a 30-5 run during the course of its loss to Georgia Southern, a team that had lost eight games in a row.

Since 2006 when every team started participating, the OVC is 15-27 in Bracket Busters. It is 16-29 all-time.

2009 -- 3-7
2008 -- 4-6
2007 -- 3-8
2006 -- 5-6
2005 -- 1-1
2004 -- 0-1

Jax State is 1-3, winning its first experience against New Orleans, then losing to Chattanooga, Georgia State and, now, Georgia Southern. The Gamecocks are 1-1 in the return games, losing to New Orleans and beating Georgia State.

What's it get them; the OVC didn't even get a game on the ESPN family of networks this year? At least it's one less game the league's teams have to go out and find for next year's schedule, two in JSU's case if you count the game Chattanooga still owes the Gamecocks.

What do you think of the Bracket Busters concept, especially for teams, like JSU and Georgia Southern (or even woeful SEMO), near the bottom of their leagues' standings? Should every OVC team continue to play in it? How about half the teams one year and the other half the next? Or, if the league ever expands to 12 teams, how about four different teams over a three-year period?


Smucker D said...

It was encouraging to see 4 losses by 4 points or less. I think Murray and AP just drew bad match-ups. The WAC and MVC are much better than the OVC. I know Martin played close but Missouri State is in the cellar of the MVC and they just beat argueable the best OVC team on it's home floor in that high school gym they play in. I am an OVC fan as well but the league just isn't very good and I don't see it becoming significantly better anytime soon.

I will say however, I am excited about the ovc tourney. I think there are 5 teams with a legitmate shot to win the thing. Plus you consider that TSU is playing well right now to. They are going to be a tough first round match-up for someone.

al muskewitz said...

I was just talking about the race with somebody in the league office a couple minutes ago. At quick glance, there could be five teams with 12 wins. try figuring those tiebreakers out. Thats great parity for the league, but doesn't do much for those on the outside looking in.

Now, knowing what you know about JSU, do the Gamecocks get in or not? It all comes down to Saturday, you know. As up and down this year has been for them, I can't give them the edge even playing at home. Sure, they beat Tech by a bunch on the road, but that's when they were playing lights out. Now, who knows what's going to happen.

Smucker D said...

I say JSU wins because they are at home and I think Green will have them motivated to win One last game.

Also, consider Tech as been Jekyle and Hyde all year.

Nothing against Sutton but I think Green is a better coach. He will win at JSU, just give him time.

To change the subject, what would be the fallout if JSU does get suspended from post season play in football? They basically would be playing to win for nothing, I can't imagine that Coach Crowe would sleep well at night if they are suspended? Especially with this year the way the schedule sets up with all the tough conference games at home. Semo, AP and Murray on the road is pretty soft.

al muskewitz said...

And you don't think JSU hoops has been Jeykll & Hyde this year? Even the same game.

Nobody will sleep well if the football team gets banned from postseason play. Personally, I don't think it will happen unless there are some deep dark secrets I'm not privvy to. I don't think the NCAA really wants to do that to teams, but the threat is a wakeup call. suspended. I think the NCAA wants to see people make a good faith effort toward improving their APR, and I think JSU has been doing that. I'm sure they'll pitch their highest GPA in the program's history in their request for a waiver. If you look at some of the losses that hurt their APR this year, some of those cut loose were not for academic reasons. They still count against the number, I know, but I think JSU will argue you've got to cut some bad apples loose for the overall health of the program.

Smucker D said...

There is no question that JSU has also been Jekyle and Hyde but I still predict JSU will win the game and get the 8 seed.

Al, love your stuff!!!

al muskewitz said...

Thanks for responding and for the good words. I needed it all.

As far as picking them to win Saturday, I'll believe it when I see it; they're too erratic for me to make a solid pick.

Here's a harder question to ponder. If JSU does get in the tournamemt, who do you think they'll play in the first round? The way it looks, the league can have five teams tied for first at 12-6 (and I'd get a headache trying to figure out all those tiebreakers today). And imagine being the fifth team. You share the league title and have to play on the road for your first playoff game.

Something else to ponder, and I don't know that this will happen, but there are projections that have the OVC champion playing in the play-in game.

What do you think? Should they be relegated to it, whoever it is. Or should conference champions (unless they have a woeful record, of course) be immune to that game.

The benefit of getting in it, of course, is another share of the NCAA pool money for the OVC.(If the OVC wins, it's two shares because they'll get another game).

Smucker D said...


I am glad EKU lost to Martin. I was tired of hearing about them.

If Murray beats Morehead, they are playing right now, I think it will end up in a 4 way tie.

We will have to find out on Saturday who gets the number 1 seed. I know this...You put Morehead, Murray, AP and Martin on the floor in Nashville at the semi's of the OVC tourney...all 1 team has to do is win 2 games in 2 nights and that is tough to call. I literally believe any 1 of those 4 could win the conference tourney. Those are also the 4 best teams in the league so you can bet I will be routing for those 4 in the first round of the ovc tourney.

As far as the play in game goes...If the ovc winner is there, I will watch no matter who it is and cheer for that team. The OVC is still my conference.

Smucker D said...

If Martin wins then Martin is number 1, obvisously. If Martin loses to Morehead and some sort of a tie ensues, then Morehead is number 1 based on tie breakers.

If JSU wins, plan on a trip to either Martin or Morehead.

Smucker D said...

Here al....

If Martin wins against Morehead they are #1. Assuming both Murray and AP win, Murray would be a #3 based on two way OVC head to head tie breaker 0-2 record against AP. Morehead would be #4.

If Martin loses and Murray and AP win, in a 4 way tie then Morehead gets the #1 based on 5-1 composite record against tied teams, AP gets the 2 (3-3), Murray the #3 (2-4, but 1-1 against #1 seed vs. Martin 0-2) and Martin #4.

If Martin loses and AP loses (not likely) and Murray wins, then it would be a 3 way tie. Morehead would be #1, Murray would be a #2 (2-2) and Martin a #3 (1-3). AP would be #4.

If Martin loses, Murray loses and APSU wins, then Murray is #4, Morehead would be #1 (4-0), AP would be #2 (1-3, 0-2 against #1, 1-1 head to head, 2-0 against #4) and Martin would be #3 (1-3, 0-2 against #1, 1-1 head to head, 1-1 against #4)

al muskewitz said...

The OVC put the tiebreakers out earlier today. It took forever to figure out, and they had to wait until after Thursday's game to make the process easier.

The only tiebreaker that has my interest in the JSU-Tenn Tech one, and that's an easy one. Winner goes, loser goes away.

If JSU gets the 8, do you hope Morehead gets the 1 becuase that's the only team in the mix they beat during the year?

For their sake, they probably don't want Austin Peay. Drake Reed just lights them up and they've never won there.

They've never won at Murray, either, and UT Martin, well, it's another chance to face Lester Hudson, although Hudson has been bothered by a sore hand of late.

Smucker D said...

I don't really have a preference. I am looking forward to the future under James Green!!!

Smucker D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smucker D said...

You do mention in the blog that I missed the first time around: Who does the league add to get to 12 teams? We all know 11 teams just doesn't work.

al muskewitz said...

This is the deepest post since we started doing this.

The league never tells you who they're interested in in terms of expansion, but there's been a bunch of schools tossed out there over the years -- Chattanooga; Evansville; one of the IUPUIs (Fort Wayne, I think); East Tennessee State, among them.

Do you take North Alabama if they go D-I?

Initially, the idea was to add a team that could help their football, but they've taken that off the board.

Of course, 12 makes the most sense, and then you can split into divisions. But will it really make a difference in a couple years from a JSU standpoint since they're probably going I-A in football and will be out of the OVC altogether?