Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday thoughts

Some thoughts on a big Sunday (furniture shopping! naps!)

-Lost in the hoopla surrounding the basketball team was the men's track and field team's eighth straight indoor Big Ten championship. Just think about that for a minute - eight straight conference titles. Like Andy told me, if Ed Nuttycombe had that kind of success coaching football or basketball, imagine how wealthy he'd be or how many buildings would be named after him. The guy has 24 conference titles overall. Congratulations, men.

-While driving to Madison on Thursday I listened to Mike DeCourcy, college hoops writer for the Sporting News, talk to some Chicago radio host idiot. DeCourcy brought up Tony Bennett as a great candidate for the Indiana job. Sort of makes sense, doesn't it?

-Along those lines, I'm really glad Indiana didn't even come close to sharing the conference title. Given what Kelvin Sampson likely did to break the rules, they certainly didn't deserve it.

-My early thought on the 2008-09 Big Ten basketball standings: 1. Purdue, 2. Michigan State, 3. Ohio State, 4. Wisconsin, 5. Minnesota, 6. Michigan, 7. Indiana, 8. Iowa, 9. Illinois, 10. Penn State, 11. Northwestern. Matt Painter is building a beast, and MSU and OSU both have lots of talent coming back, but I like our chances.

-(Tappa pessimism alert) So it's either Michigan or Iowa in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. We could lose to either of those teams, and the BTT is notorious for favorites not winning. I just want to see the Badgers play three times, like we have two of the three years we've gone to the tournament. Three wins would be even nicer.

-I love the Packers, but get upset when they upstage the Badgers, and Brett Favre's retirement was the second time in two years that happened. The same day the Badger football team beat Auburn in a huge Capital One Bowl win, Barry Alvarez's last game as coach, the Packers fired Mike Sherman, relegating Bucky to second-hand news. This year, the day before the basketball team wins an unlikely Big Ten championship, Favre retires, and the day after is his official press conference.

-The Badger hockey team will start the WCHA playoffs on the road, after finishing one point behind St. Cloud State for fifth place. That referee's blown goal call in Denver that cost us one or two points looks pretty big now, doesn't it? Unbelievable.


Badger Tracker said...

I dunno, I'm optimistic about the Big Ten Tournament ... the final game has been #1/#2 four times straight going into this year. Of course, the conference is a bit more balanced this year, so who knows. This team hasn't lost to a team it shouldn't have, but then again I'm not sure that they'll be able to beat Purdue.

mjschwal said...

I've heard Tony Bennett's name for the IU job but I wonder if there's any bad blood there. Didn't his sister get canned as the women's coach?

As for hockey, yeah the Denver thing is big but the Badgers had an opportunity at the end of the year to control their destiny, more or less. It's not like the Denver thing happened the last weekend of the regular season. They knew where they stood, regardless of getting jobbed during an early-season series.

Speaking of hockey, it's great to see the Badgers getting some great recruiting classes, but you have to wonder how much that truly helps a college team anymore with increased incentive to go pro early. It's a shame to see the college game getting decimated.

mjschwal said...

Oh, and congrats to Ed and the boys! It's clearly an afterthought to many, indicative of this post.

Eight in a row is truly amazing.