Archive for Thursday, December 7, 2006

Column: Time to move past BCS griping; winter sports have arrived

December 7, 2006

It happened just like I wished; only it didn't end up how I wanted.

Of course, I am talking about the college football upset Saturday. The University of California-Los Angeles defeated rival University of Southern California.

I was so happy to hear the news Saturday night when I returned home from the Bob Seger concert in Kansas City, Mo. I saw the score and went to bed a happy man, because I thought the University of Michigan would get its rematch against "the" Ohio State University, as its often called.

Well once again, my prediction of a sporting event was wrong.

The University of Florida snuck passed the Wolverines with its win over the University of Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference Championship. The Gators became the No. 2 team and will play OSU for the national title.

Michigan's season ended two weeks ago and it was ranked No. 2 then. But in the past two weeks, the Wolverines have slipped one spot each week to another team. It's almost as if they were forgotten.

I'm not going to get into whether Michigan or Florida should be playing OSU, because my point of view has already been given. It is sad that college football is one sport where two teams from the same conference will never play in the title game.

I do have one scenario to propose for all Bowl Championship Series lovers. Suppose the Big 10 conference had a championship game, like other conferences do, and Michigan and OSU played each other again at a neutral site for the conference title.

Let's say the Wolverines won the game, which would mean Florida, Michigan and OSU would all have one loss. Who would play in the BCS title game then?

Huh, that is a tough one. It's a shame we won't find out and that the Big 10 doesn't have a championship game like other conferences. Now that I have complained again for the Wolverine's sake, it's time to forget college football for a few weeks.

The high school basketball season began this week with area tournaments. Both Baldwin High School teams sit at 1-1 and both will play for third place in their tournaments.

The Bulldogs have surprised me so far. I saw the boys' team play Monday and I must say there is no lack of effort on the team and if there is, coach Eric Toot lets the player know immediately.

The boys were scrappy and quick, and could run its half-court offense fairly well, despite learning the system in the past three weeks. A lack of height will once again hurt the Bulldogs, but effort or intensity won't.

The BHS girls' team will also suffer with a lack of height. The Bulldogs aren't short, but they lack a true center or player over 6-feet tall.

Despite the lack of height, the girls played well during their first two games. Both contests were fairly sloppy, but it's early in the year. Too many turnovers hit the Bulldogs Tuesday, but they almost create as many as they give away.

Once the girls on the team learn to settle down and play calmer, the team will be successful. I know BHS wants to get out and score in transition, I can't blame it for that, but avoiding unforced turnovers will benefit the team.

I think maybe the girls should spot their opponents 10 or 15 points before the game because Baldwin plays much better when trailing by that margin late in games.

One thing I was very impressed with Tuesday was the number of three-point shots that fell. Last year the Bulldogs relied on senior Kelsey Verhaehge for outside shots.

Against Paola, BHS had three juniors, Callie Craig, Heather Garcia and Colby Heckathorne, who were sinking shots behind the arc. If the Bulldogs are able to make those shots consistently, the lack of height in the post won't matter nearly as much.

I am excited it's basketball season finally, although the weather could be a bit warmer. Hope to see everyone cheering on Baldwin tonight and Friday.

Go Bulldogs.

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