ATN podcast: All about the bracket

Matt Wenger
North Central is a No. 1 seed. Why? Pat and Keith debate.

We know, there’s been a lot of talk about the bracket already, but there are some great questions being raised and although we answer them in the comments, sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle.

In this week’s Around the Nation podcast, Pat and Keith don’t come to a lot of consensus, but there’s certainly a lot of good discussion. And when there’s not consensus, heck, at least you get two opinions.

Some of the lines of questioning:
Why not Wabash? How close was Wabash? The NCAA liaison explains.
Why have regional rankings if you’re not going to follow them?
Why does Wittenberg travel and DePauw get a home game?
Is strength of schedule the only criterion in play for 2010?

And really, there’s much more. It’s worth the hour.

Click the play button below to listen.

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5 thoughts on “ATN podcast: All about the bracket

  1. great podcast…I enjoyed hearing both sides of the arguement on whether UWW should of been a number 1 or not.

    Like you said Pat (and most are wondering the same thing), why rely so much on SOS this season rather than in past years?

  2. 1. I hope UWW will use this as motivation. They (and the WIAC) seem to be penalized with the non-conference piece (yet several years ago UW-EC got in as a surprise with 2 losses. I cannot figure out what the committee is doing.) Wesley should be careful for what the wish for if UWW makes it to the semi’s as does Wesley … a lot of complaining on their end about the weather in WI and “if they could only play UWW at home the outcome would be different.” Let’s see if it works itself out.

    2. I do not think MU has to worry about travelling up to Saint Paul. Linfield would be the round 2 opponent versus UST and I just don’t see UST coming out on top (see their struggles versus SJU and Bethel as evidence this year). Linfield is battle tested, well coached, and dangerous. Their conference is quite strong and physical with good teams (PLU, Willamette). They gave UWW everything they could handle last year on the road. I predict Linfield will take out UST and hopefully there will be a showdown at MU. UST is simply not a strong as some on the committee believe. As I mentioned last week, Linfield is my dark horse to do damage on the brackets.

    3. I saw on last night’s post something about 3-4 loss teams making the tournament. What I would like to see the committee do is require that all 32 teams have no more than 2 losses, period – even if you win your conference. That way, there could be room for more Pool C considerations. Certainly the Saint Norberts and Saint Lawrences of the world could still be considered because they won their conference, but they would be moved to Pool C consideration based on their number of losses and compared to others in the Pool C group. I would really like to see the TOP 32 in the bracket, not just a selected group of conference champions, with a few more additions in Pool B and C.

  3. @uwsystemfan – concerning your requirement that teams can’t have more than 2 losses, it might make sense until teams start scheduling easy non-conference games. I don’t have a solution for picking playoff teams. D3 is a tricky issue because D3 is so regional. Who knows how good Linfield is? There’s rarely common opponents among teams from different regions. The NCAA selection committee would have a difficult time if they had to select most of the bracket, but at the same time, if they only have 6 (I think that’s what it is) picks, that is not enough. My St. Norbert team at 7-3 is not good enough this year. They played St. Thomas, lost 40-7 and looked out of their league. SNC is good, but they will lose by 25+ to North Central. I think somehow teams like SNC should not get in this year and give someone else a shot. But how to make it fair and easy for the committee?

  4. St. Norberts started out as a terrible team this year but they got their act together during the season. I think this year was a down year for them and they salvaged it quite spectacularly. It certainly doesn’t say much for the rest of their league, not being able to capitalize when they were on the ground….

    St. Lawrence at 5-5??? This year’s Lakeland I bet….The Raiders are probably yawning in meetings right now….

  5. @Keith, I need help understanding your argument that weighting SoS so heavily will discourage what you call “the Wittenberg method.”

    Wittenberg can only schedule one non-conference opponent each year. Even if they had scheduled North Central this year instead of Olivet, at the end of the season their SoS still would have been lower than DePauw and ONU. In a best case scenario, Witt would finish 10-0 but still be seeded in the same place as if they had played Olivet due to the minimal change in SoS. In a worst case scenario, if they had played NCC and lost, they would certainly be dropped to the bottom of the playoff bracket based on their 9-1 record and their weak SoS. Either way, I’m just not seeing how this incentivizes Witt to schedule a tougher non-conference opponent.

    What am I missing?

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