Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stanford Gets Pun-k'd

Some more upsets from the weekend. First off (on Monday), Oklahoma State went down, at home, to Northwestern State. NSU was led by Ben Wallace look-alike Clifton Lee.

Secondly, Stanford continues to be horrible. On Friday night, they lost at Montana. Montana's a good team, made the tournament last year (as the Big Sky Conference's representative), but traditionally they are not in Stanford's class. So this blog might be able to give the Cardinal a pass on that. But then they went to UC-Davis on Saturday and lost there. (An especially bad loss compounded by their duplication of the feat in football, in the same season).

So, this blog has established that Stanford is bad. Pun City's guess is that they'll rise from the ashes and gain an at-large bid at the end of the year.

This does bring up a good excuse to talk about UC-Davis and some related issues though. The Aggies are an independent team in basketball, with no conference affiliation. This is the equivalent of college basketball purgatory (probably worse, but this site is not one for hyperbole). Opponents have no problem playing you, as long as you come in to their place. Beyond this, without a built-in conference schedule, it's a great challenge to schedule 28 opponents, primarily during the part of the season where most teams are in their conference schedules.

The result is a road-heavy schedule with most games taking place early in the season, and the end of the year filled in with games against other independent teams, very often with a home-and-home in the same season.

This year UC-Davis doesn't have the home-and-home situation, because things are looking up for them. They are joining a conference soon. In today's NCAA, when you are an independent basketball team, the point of your existence is to join a conference. Gone are the days when it was cool to be independent, as powers like Marquette and Notre Dame once were. (As you probably know, Notre Dame remains independent in football, where recruiting, television exposure, and postseason trips are easier to come by without a conference, at least for them).

So, for the 2007-2008 season, UC-Davis will enter the Big West Conference. During the years leading up to their official integration, they get to play a Big West schedule during the regular season. Wins like this vindicate the conference for adding a school like UC-Davis. The Aggies were somewhat lucky that the NCAA's Division I basketball teams decided to shake up their lineup this season, creating some openings for independents. This situation, combined with the fact that there aren't too many teams in the Pacific time zone to choose from, buoyed UC-Davis's bid for conference affiliation.

In the meantime, independent teams that are drifting along hoping to get picked up include: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Utah Valley State, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, Texas-Pan American, South Dakota State, Longwood, Savannah State, and Northern Colorado.

This blog would recommend checking out Utah Valley State's badass Wolverine logo. UVSC adheres strongly to its badass values, referring to sexual abuse as "broken hearts." Also of note is Pan American's cheesy flash intro to its athletics site.

After further research, it appears as though there are other lucky independents joining UC-Davis in being picked up by conferences: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will join the Southland Conference next season, and Northern Colorado will join the Big Sky Conference next season.

A few corporate puns to pun-ctuate the post.

Your company's phone system may be in need of Avaya-ble option.

Swingline is often a staple of the office manager's budgetary diet.

For the anti-social businessman, networking was a Novell concept.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

UTPA shows us that a series of rapidly flashing still-shots set to dance music, while not exciting, is an economic option for anyone with Microsoft Paint and an mp3 player. You can't completely blame them, though, as it's clearly a derivative of ESPN's 'Ultimate Highlight.' This of course being the seizure-inducing feature that combines dance music with video clips so short you can't actually tell what's going on.

- Moike

8:41 AM  
Blogger Cooler Brian said...

I just didn't find this one seizure-inducing enough. What I really appreciated was the geriatric-looking bronco ambling along, then taking his time to buck as not to strain himself.

5:49 PM  
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