Opening a New Door

Many times in life, we open a new door. Sometimes its by our choice, other times not by our choice. This opening door often lead us to new adventures in life—some good, some not so much….same is true in the sports world.
…A new door was forced wide open for the NCAA last year. The new NIL regulations changed the entire surface of the sports world. Instantly, players were being paid, usually much more that some fans expected. It turned the NCAA upside down w/o any answers.
…. Since this brand new HUGE door has been opened for college athletes, how about a players union for all the players in the D-1 level? That’s where the really big money often lands. Maybe…. maybe… even all the NCAA schools? It seems that it would become much more transparent to players and their families, fans and the sports world in general about the payouts. Possibly, it’d grow to reach all D-1 players….maybe even D2 on a lower scale. It seems to me that D3 would remain the ol’ fashioned college athletes (playing ball to pay for their educations & to prepare for the “real”world)
…. I think that you’d see some of the D-1 teams dropping to D-2 for lack of the will &/or money to compete at the D-1 level. It’ll eventually sort itself out by level. Once a school makes its initial determination of its “level”, a plan may be developed to have each team land in its appropriate level as time changes.
….I can hear the groans now about the big money going into college players pockets. What are they in college for? Well….to find a way to support themselves for the rest of their life…either in the office (oops…won’t be any more offices soon) or on the field. The NCAA has become an obsolete organization with their archaic regulations that began about 100 years ago when sports was viewed as an “extra-curricular” event. It has evolved into an opportunity for some to prepare for a career job.
…Now the Door of transition opens wider and moves towards only 2 or 3 super major football conferences. The UCLA & USC move to the Big 10 conference wipes out “regional” conferences. It appears that the Champions of these 2 leagues SEC/Big 10 will automatically be the contestants in the national championship game in the near future. Look for defections from the ACC in the future. Clemson might be the 1st to move through that door. Oregon & Washington may also be on the move to a new conference soon. Already walking through a bigger door to the Big 12 are: Houston, Cincy, BYU, Cen Florida.
… I’m wondering if the college football leagues will become tiered. There could be movement from 1 conference to another every 2-3 years. The weakest teams in the higher league(based solely on their record over those 2-3 years, moves down to a 2nd tier league. While the top teams of league #2 move up to that top league, their 2 weakest teams of league 1 move down to league 2. The same process would be invoked for the #3 &#4 rated leagues. Repeat process with leagues 4 &5, 5&6, etc. This is the same model utilized by European soccer leagues.
….Of course, it all comes down to opening the HUGE $$$$ door. The SEC generated $777.8m last year with each member receiving an average of $54.6. Using the word “average” clearly indicates to me that there are various levels of distribution to the member schools. Mizzou received “just” $49.6m last year from the SEC ($5m below the average). Missouri’s distributions were reduced because of recent postseason football bans according to SEC officials. Continuing to look @ other conferences, the Big 10 generated $680m with the average distribution/team being $46.1m. The ACC set a league record in generating $578m last year with the average distribution being $36.1m/school.
….Walking through a new door each year are the rookies in the MLB. The Cardinals are extremely sharp at identifying talent, developing it in the minors and as the player matriculates, moving him to the MLB level. The latest “heart-throb” in the Lou in ’22 is Brandon Donovan. Donovan was drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 draft by the Cardinals. He received a bonus of $200,300 to sign. Side note… I didn’t realize that players outside the top 2 or 3 rounds signed a 6 figure bonus to sign!
…Other Cardinals had their door opened in that 2018 draft also—in the 1st round @ #16 was Matthew Libatore and @ #19 was Nolan Gorman. Rounds 2,3,4,5,6 came up empty for StL for MLB players. In the very next round (#8) right after Donovan, the Cards drafted Lars Nootbaar.
…Trying to push the door open to mediocrity & escape the dreadful basement of awful baseball are the Miami Marlins. The Marlins have their ace (Sandy Alcantara), a bullpen that’s vastly improved with an offense that isn’t powerful but can scratch out some runs. The Fish won their 36th game of the year over the weekend to raise their record to 36-40. They are now 11 games out of 1st place & 9 games out of last place…about midway between the two extremes. They actually hold a winning record at home (which all good teams do) @ 19-16. Since their 1st year in 1993, Miami has been over .500 just 6x in a season yet have won 2 World Series w/o winning their division! They are one of 2 MLB teams that have never won a division title in their history (Along with Denver)!
…The door has been swinging both ways at Columbia, MO in the Mens basketball office. 9 players from 21-22 season have transferred out and 9 players new players are transferring into Mizzou. I guess this will be the “new” course of action when a new Head Coach arrives on the job.
…Seeing a door open that very, very seldom opens is always noteworthy. 3 Houston Astro pitchers combined for a 3-0, no hit win over the NYY last week. While it was Houston’s 14th career No-No in their club history, it was the 1st time since 2003 since the Yankees went w/o a hit in a game against Houston. Prior to that 2003 no-hitter, you have to go back to 1958 to find another NYY team that went hitless. Of course, you ask when were the Cards hitless in a game? In 2012, Johan Santana threw a no-no against our Redbirds. So…that leads you to a great trivia question, who threw the last Cardinal no-hitter? Gibson? Forsch? Wainwright? Kile? Matt Morris? Nope! On July 3, 2001, Bud Smith hurled a no-hitter for the Cards against SD Padres with Eli Marrero as his catcher. The All-Time leader in No-Hitters is Nolan Ryan with 7. It sure fooled me about which catcher has caught the most no-hitters? Shockingly, at least to me, it isn’t Yogi, Roy Campanella, McCarver etc. Instead, it’s Jason Varitek (Boston) & Carlos Ruiz (Phillies)-each had 4 no-no’s as a catcher. Long ago? Not hardly, Ruiz’s 4 no-hitters all took place after 2010!
…Well, it’s time to shut my door for this week. Thanks for the read! If you’d like to comment, go to my FB page (Bob Ryan) and let it fly. I’m not asking for a dissertation, just your idea on some part(s) of this blog. Or, send to me & I’ll post for you. If you’d like to “go back” to find earlier blogs, go to

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