Posted on 02-04-2010
Filed Under (Sports) by Rashtrakut

On the heels of one of the most exciting and upset prone March Madnesses ever, the NCAA seems to be laying the ground work for diluting its finest championship event.  See link.  College Football’s so called national championship (which is not run by the NCAA) is already a joke and despised by most fans.  The bowl season whose “tradition” supposedly is one of the reasons why Division 1A football is the only major sport in the country without a playoff gets diluted each year with the addition of new bowl games.  The scintillating match ups of teams with 6-6 records evokes a collective yawn.  But in the midst of this, college basketball delivers possibly the most exciting championship playoffs in the country.  But it was too much to expect that the money hungry overseers of a supposedly non-profit organization and coaches hoping for job security by getting their mediocre teams into the playoffs would not spoil a good thing.

A few years ago the NCAA allowed the camel to get his nose in the tent by expanding the bracket from 64 to 65 (two unfortunate teams play a one game playoff for the last spot on the brackets used in pools across the country).  Now the camel is all set to barge in with the bracket expected to expand to 96 teams.  The regular season (the holy grail in denying us a playoff in college football) now matters even less.  In the current format a 16 seed has never beaten a 1 seed.  What are the chances of a 24 seed doing anything in this bloated playoff?

A rare word of praise to baseball in this blog.  It provides the toughest challenge for a team to make the post season, providing some exciting match ups in the home stretch.  That will change in March Madness.  At present the major conferences send between 30-50% of their teams to the playoffs.  The proverbial NCAA bubble provides some exciting match ups in February as teams are fighting for their post season lives.  Now that tension is likely gone.  Making the tournament will feel very similar to little leaguers all getting a trophy.  It will be hard to generate enthusiasm for the remaining bottom feeders with losing records on the new tournament bubble.

Mammon wins out once again.

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Posted on 02-04-2010
Filed Under (Foreign Policy) by Rashtrakut

Words fail me.  The logic of the claim is baffling.  After blatantly rigging last year’s Afghan elections Hamid Karzai now claims that it was the EU and UN observers who committed the rigging to place a puppet regime in power.  See link.  Either Karzai’s delusions have deepened or this is his latest ham-fisted attempt to explain why he is trying to pack the  Afghan electoral commission with cronies appointed by him.  If he wants to bullshit his way out of his latest jam couldn’t his brain trust come up with something better?

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