Thursday, May 5, 2016

On this and that and the other

  • Sports fans are still talking about the final 13½ seconds of the Monday night’s Spurs-Thunder playoff game and how the refs missed so many fouls. Local fanatics in these parts are yelling these oversights cost of the Spurs the game. And those statements are, to use a word that’s becoming more popular around these parts of late, hogwash. What cost the Spurs the game was their incompetent offense during the first half. And if anything cost them the game in the last 13½ seconds, it was Manu Ginobli not taking that east layup he has driving for and instead flipping the ball to Patty Mills who was way off in the corner and subsequently airballed the three attempt. Just shoot the ball, Manu.
  • The Big 12 Conference is claiming it will have a better chance of making the college football playoffs if it expands to 12 teams and stages a conference championship game. Again, hogwash. The conference is still bitter because it got shut out of the playoffs in 2014 and it got shut out simply because Ohio State turned in an utterly dominating performance in its conference championship game. As a result, the committee formed to choose the four teams in the playoff moved Ohio State ahead of the two Big 12 teams in contention. I find it interesting that Ohio State then went on and won the National Championship in convincing fashion which proved to me, at least, the Buckeyes certainly belonged in that playoff. The conference is moaning that there have been two playoffs and the Big 12 has been involved in only one of them. I have news for the Big 12: The Pac 12 has only been involved in one of them as well and it has 12 teams and a championship football game. Didn’t help that conference all that much. Here’s the problem with the Big 12's expansion argument. Any team the conference has a logical chance of adding, other than possibly Houston, would undoubtedly have a lower RPI than 80 percent of the teams already in the conference and the playoff selection committee has made it abundantly clear, that strength of schedule plays a major role in determining the final four. So instead of expanding to add weaker teams, what the Big 12 should demand is that its member teams schedule more marquee out-of-conference games against more formidable opponents. Baylor’s three out-of-conference games this year are against Northwestern State (who?), SMU and Rice. Not exactly giant killers. Substitute those for, say, Washington State, Wisconsin and Tennessee (none of which will be vying for the national championship but all of whom are respectable opponents and are well known) and you immediately elevate Baylor’s chances. That’s just one example. But forcing athletic directors to put together a more challenging out-of-conference schedule will do more to increase their playoff hopes than adding a couple of weaker teams permanently to the conference.
  • There was a case in Oklahoma recently in which a young man was tried and acquitted of rape. According to the evidence, which was not disputed by either side, the man had oral sex with a girl who was unconscious because she consumed too much alcohol. The jury acquitted the person because there is no law on the Oklahoma books protecting a the rights of a woman who is rendered unconscious because of alcohol consumption against this form of sexual abuse. Now, ask yourself this: Do you think the verdict would have been different if the victim was white and the male perpetrator had been black?
  • Many people believe that with Donald Trump as its nominee, the Republican Party has a chance to suffer a greater defeat than Goldwater in 1964 or McGovern in 1976. I don't think so. For one thing, Goldwater and McGovern were running against incumbents and Trump isn't. But I think Trump will win 23 states, including, I'm sorry to say, my own. But he will lose the entire West Coast states as well as Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico, the entire Midwest except for Indiana, and the entire Northeast, as well as Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Trump will win the Plains states, the Republicanized Deep South along with Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Alaska and Arizona. That gives him 191 Electoral College votes to 347 for Clinton.

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