Auburn: “Worst Team Ever in a Major Conference”

Yet to be fitted for my college basketball-watching shoes this season, but after listening to College Basketball RPI guru Jerry Palm today on Finebaum (mp3), I’m fixin’ to pull out the shoehorn.

Auburn Basketball

(war DAYUM eagle)

When asked by Finebaum to analyze the SEC West, Palm, who has tracked back to antiquity the NCAA hoops RPI ranking system so critical to the Big Dance, struck as significant - and historic! - chord as I’ve heard this season.

Palm to Finebaum:

“When you look at the (SEC) West, that’s an unmitigated disaster. There isn’t one good team in the West … Mississippi is remotely competent, but if that division was a league unto itself it would rank below the Ivy League in the College RPI rankings.”

Ranked below the Ivy League? Hard to imagine it can get any worse than that.

Unless you’re Auburn, that is.

Palm:

“Auburn might be the worst team ever in a major conference. Or at least in the last generation in a major conference, not just the SEC.”

When discussing Alabama’s remote chances of snagging an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, Finbaum asked Palm, “so when you beat a team like Auburn, even on the road, does it do you any good or are you better off not even playing?

Palm:

“You can’t help it because they’re in your league. As good as Auburn is in football, the team is that bad in basketball. They’re the worst major conference team in a generation. This is my 19th year that I’ve been tracking the RPI and when you look at the big six conferences, Auburn has a chance to be the worst team in the RPI probably by 40 or 50 spots over the last 20 years from a major conference. That’s how bad they are. They are dreadful. The numbers don’t lie.” 

Palm went on to say that if the NCAA tournament began today, five SEC East teams would make March Madness while exactly zero SEC West teams would be so privileged.

South Carolina is the only team in the SEC East according to Palm that might not be invited to the Big Dance. Though Palm said of the Gamecocks, “they might be good enough to win the SEC West but the problem is they’re the sixth best team in the (SEC) East.

So when Palm talks about Auburn vying for the title of worst college basketball team in major conference history, who are the Tigers up against?

Read more…

Exclusive: Michelle Obama At NBA Finals Tonight

Sunday Michelle Obama reportedly spoke to Marines south of Los Angeles at Camp Pendleton to honor five of their recently fallen comrades in Afghanistan. Last night, TMZ.com caught a glimpse of Mrs. Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia leaving Hollywood restaurant Osteria Mozza. (Sasha and Malia reportedly dined with Mom the night before in L.A. too.)

Michelle Obama to attend NBA Finals game in Los Angeles

(Michelle’s Brother Craig Coaches Oregon State)

Today, I’ve learned exclusively that Mrs. Obama will be attending Game 6 of the NBA Finals tonight between the Lakers and Celtics at Staples Center.

Ironic when you consider Dad is a major baller and won’t join them. (He’s quite occupied at the time.)

Though basketball does run in Michelle’s side of the family. Read more…

Oregon St. Loses By 51 To Conference-Less Team

Normally this space isn’t reserved for reporting on Oregon State basketball. That is, unless the school hires someone like Michelle Obama’s brother to run the team. But after the Beavers’ awe-inspiring performance last night, I thought I’d make an exception.

Craig Robinson's Oregon State Beavers lost at home to Seattle U. by 51

Craig Robinson’s Oregon State squad last night was savaged by conference-less Seattle University 99-48 in Corvallis. The Redhawks, a longtime Division II entry, have been turned down by the West Coach Conference for membership and won’t be eligible for Division I NCAA tournament play for three years.

So what’s the reax in Oregon today? Don’t ask.

Read more…

Week In Review: NFL Boaters Missing, 1 Survives

• The sad stories surrounding the ill-fated Florida Gulf Coast boat trip of Corey Smith, Marquis Cooper, Nick Schuyler and Will Bleakley.

Corey Smith Marquis Cooper Nick Schuyler Will Bleakley

• Bouncy British babe Chantelle Houghton just can’t trust soccer stud Jermain Defoe & his amorous past.

• Speaking of sports across the Pond, many Englishmen prefer their women to wear their favorite team’s jersey to bed rather than nothing at all.

• Speaking of jerseys, crooks now using uniform numbers as criminal code.

Digger Phelps cuts a rug with a couple of Cal cheerleaders.

Read more…

Clever Caption Contest: Danger, Craig Robinson!

Hey readers! It’s time for another sensational SbB Clever Caption Contest!

Today we bounce along a snapshot of Craig Robinson, Oregon State Beavers men’s basketball coach and brother-in-law of Barack Obama:

Craig Robinson Oregon State Beavers

In what hilarious and/or thought-provoking way would you describe this scene? Submit your suggestions into the comments section linked below. Winner will be announced in the end-of-the-day recap.

Good luck and good writing!

Speed Read: Gruden Notre Dame Rumors Persist

So where does a 45-year-old guy with 11 years of NFL head coaching experience and a Super Bowl title under his belt want to go next? Apparently, to a team that went 7-6 and won the mighty Hawaii Bowl this year. At least that’s what COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK has been saying, citing Jon Gruden’s ties to South Bend and rumors that he was up for the job when it was previously open.

Jon Gruden Notre Dame

In that post, CFT basically dares Notre Dame to come out and deny the rumors before they get off the ground. Irish football media relations guy Brian Hardin did just that, and with force:

“It’s ridiculous that this rumor has even gained the traction it has over the past few days. I hesitate to respond to it at all because by dignifying this ‘report,’ I set myself up to be forced to set the record straight on future rumors. But it’s obvious that some people out there are trying to sabotage our recruiting efforts and it’s unfortunate that their agenda has been published and reproduced in recent days.” 

So, Gruden’s name isn’t coming up because it makes sense, but because of some sort of conspiracy to interfere with Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts? Hardin made this statement to BLUE AND GOLD ILLUSTRATED, which then posted a story discussing some of the other unsubstantiated rumors surrounding the program (Lou Holtz? Really?).

For now, Charlie Weis is still the head coach, though Gruden probably has healthier knees. Gruden has long been respected as a coach, but his results have been wildly inconsistent. He went 12-4 and won the Super Bowl in his first year with the Bucs, but is just 45-51 (and 0-2 in the playoffs) in six seasons since.

Getting back to that whole inauguration business just one more time, the SEATTLE TIMES has an article this morning about what the inauguration means to the Pac-10’s black basketball coaches. And while I’m sure it has some meaning to the likes of Lorenzo Romar and Ernie Kent, I think it might be hard to top Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, who hung out with the new president all day, since he’s his brother-in-law.

Craig Robinson

(”Do I really look like a personal assistant?”)

Unfortunately, NBC’s Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw didn’t get the memo about who Robinson is, because they first mistakenly identified him as Obama’s personal assistant, then erroneously reported that the orange and black scarf he was wearing in the parade viewing box represented his alma mater, Princeton, and not his current school. The OREGONIAN’s John Canzano was not amused.

It appears as if Kobe Bryant is not going to miss any time after dislocating the ring finger on his right hand in Monday night’s game with the Cavs. Bryant said it was the most pain he’d ever played with on a basketball court. As someone who plays his fair share of hoops, I think it’s the injury I fear most. I’m wincing and doubling over as I type this.

Kobe Bryant

(You sure it’s your finger that’s hurting, Kobe?)

I have to get my mind off that. Let’s get to some links:

• Russian figure skater Ekaterina Rubleva had a bit of a problem with her top falling down at the European Championships (I’m not using the phrase “wardrobe malfunction). Unfortunately, it didn’t impress the judges all that much as she and her partner are only in 12th place in the ice dancing competition. The full NSFW picture is available here.

Russian figure skater loses her top

• The CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports that a Blackhawks fan won $1 million last night when Martin Havlat scored at exactly the 10-minute mark of the 2nd period. The Hawks had to score at that exact moment in order for the prize to be awarded. It was the only goal Chicago scored in a 4-1 loss to Minnesota.

• Panthers linebacker Jon Beason may have been looking past that playoff game against the Cardinals, especially when he’s saying things on his personal blog like:

We want another shot at the Giants to prove we can beat them. But it would be great to play the NFC Championship Game at home. It’s the biggest game you can have at your place because the Super Bowl is at a neutral site, and we’re playing really well at home this season.”

• The NY DAILY NEWS says that Knicks rookie Danilo Gallinari isn’t all that happy that the team plays songs like “That’s Amore” when he scores, and that the PA announcer uses a thick, fake Italian accent when saying his name. Whattsa matta Danilo? Let’s a go havva some zeppoles!

• You can probably cross Kansas City off of Anquan Boldin’s wishlist if Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley ends up as the coach of the Chiefs, as is cited as a possibilty by REVENGE OF THE BIRDS.

• An Aussie Rules football player is recovering from being stung by a stingray, says Australia’s HERALD SUN. The guy suffered the injury during a personal training session. Which, for some reason, was being held on a beach frequented by stingrays.

• Here’s a shocker: the Dallas Cowboys weren’t particularly disciplined this year. The DALLAS MORNING NEWS says that players held up the team’s charter flight on five of eight road trips this year, and were only fined $100 each for doing so. The same transgressions under Bill Parcells would’ve cost $5,000, but Jerry Jones wouldn’t let Wade Phillips raise the fine to encourage on-time departure.

• NEWSDAY reports that Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. He’s had a myriad of injury problems as of late and doctors aren’t entirely sure that he’ll ever be 100% again. Good thing he only has 12 years left on his ridiculous contract.

• So, a guy who ran his team into the ground in the regular season is being replaced in the Pro Bowl by a guy who waited until a home playoff game to destroy his team. Meanwhile, the top-rated passer in the AFC is still not going to Hawaii. HATER NATION is as incredulous as I am.

• AWFUL ANNOUNCING brings word that Miller High Life has bought one second of advertising time for the Super Bowl to run a spot featuring that beer delivery guy. Only one of the following ads will air during the game:

Who should be coaching Notre Dame next season?

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