Topsy-Turvy–As September arrives, things change..sometimes in a TOPSY-TURVY manner.
….The NCAA turned its football world TOPSY-TURVY with an announcement of expansion of the college playoffs system to 12 teams. This championship tournament will take 4 weekends. In Week 1- #1-4 get byes while 5 through 12 play round 1. The winners of those 1st round games face the top 4 in week 2. Week 3 sees the Final 4 round & in week 4 it’s the championship game.
…Nick Saban had expressed the views previously that the bowl system & the playoff system could NOT coexist. Will schools continue to play in bowls? Their monetary payouts will probably decrease substantially due to the numerous playoff games? These bowl payouts depend, in large part, to the television “rights”. To keep the bowl system alive, after the NCAA choices are named, I’d like 8 of the remaining teams to be in a bowl system that mimics the NCAA. The winners keep playing. With 8 teams, their “tier” would be over in 3 weeks. It’d be similar to the NIT & the NCAA both existing in basketball. It’d give 8 more teams “post-season bragging rights”. Start them a week earlier than the Championship Tournament so that their “finals” aren’t close to the Championship Game date.
…Don’t tell me that it’s “too many” bowls. In the 20-21 bowl season, there were 35 bowl games—70 teams. With the NCAA’s set up & my suggestions, there would be just 20 teams in bowls. Frankly, for the last couple years there have been FAR too many bowls. .500 teams SHOULD NOT be in bowls!
…A surprising fact that is TOPSY-TURVY is the NFL Draft. Despite their dominance in national championships, Alabama has only ONE Bama player picked 1st overall in the NFL Draft!! That was decades ago–Harry Gilmore in 1948. 4 schools have seen 5 of their players drafted 1st overall(that’s the most)—Notre Dame, Oklahoma, So. Cal & Georgia. In 1970, it was a HUGE TOPSY TURVY draft…LA Tech’s, Terry Bradshaw, was drafted 1st overall. Mizzou has never had a 1st player drafted first overall in the draft while Illinois had 1—Jeff George in 1990.
… A player who is TOPSY-TURVY this year..and for that matter, in his career…. is Tyler O’Neill. His “streaks” really run HOT & COLD. But…. last year in the 17 game winning streak and now as we move into September, he is emerging as the Key Cardinal! Yes.. Goldy & Arenado are the best batters on the team.. w/o question.. but that 3rd threat in the lineup changes the game for the Cards. During the 17 game winning streak in 2021, he batted .250 (so-so) but belted 6 HR, 18 runs scored & 18 RBI’s. He became a REAL threat, hence Goldy/Arenado got to see better pitches. This year from Aug 14 to Sep 3rd, he was doing it again 15/61 batting–.245; 6 HR, 14 RBI’s, 12 runs scored. When he hits like that, the Cards lineup doesn’t just improve, it improves exponentially!! HE is the key!
…A TOPSY-TURVY change has occurred in NCAA Football Championships. The Championship History of College Football “Champions” began in 1869. Since 2006, NOT ONE NCAA Champion has come from West of the Mississippi!! In 2005 it was Texas. From 1967 through 1975, there were 7 Championship teams west of Ol’ Man River. (according to the votes of the writers in those years—no playoff system)
…The MLB has a TOPSY-TURVY look in the standings this year. Fighting for the 3rd wild-card spot is the Baltimore Orioles!! They are 71-61 .538 for 2022, 1.5 games behind Toronto. The O’s, shockingly to me, were in the 2016 playoffs!! They were bounced from the Wild Card game when they lost 5-2 in 11 innings to Toronto. As most of you probably recall, the O’s came into existence when the ST. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1953.
…Robert Thomas (Blues) was TOPSY-TURVY last year. He was TOPSY in his 72 regular season games he posted 20 goals & 56 assists in 72 game while playing 5:10 more/game than the previous year. But..he was TURVY in the playoffs. He had no goals, just 3 assists and a minus 7 in his first 10 games. The Blues need him to record a real TOPSY year in 22-23!
….Shockingly…going the other direction in a TOPSY-TURVY manner are the NY Yankees. In July it was a pedestrian 13-13 record. Since Aug 1, the Yanks are 12-22! In August, NYY batted .221 as a team. To give you an idea of the drop off, in July the Yanks batted .263.–that’s a 16% drop off! But…I don’t think that I’m hearing any hearts breaking out there for the Yanks 😊
…Week 1 of NCAA-F had a super TOPSY-TURVY game. The N.Carolina-Appalacian State was a wild, very exciting game. N. Carolina won it 63-61!! There were 10 touchdowns in the last Quarter!!! N. Carolina surrendered seven 4th quarter TD’s! The Tar Heels trailed by 14 points early but grabbed a 41-21 lead as the 4th qtr began. App State’s 40 point 4th quarter wasn’t enough!! QB Chae Brice had 4 TD passes in the 4th quarter alone!! He completed a 28yd TD pass to Dashaun Davis with only 31 seconds left. Recovered on-sides kick, then it came down to a 2 pt attempt with just 9 seconds left to tie the game. QB Chase Brice tried a pass that failed! The players AND the fans had to be exhausted!!
…While on the NCAA-F “kick”…the crazy TOPSY-TURVY world of voting for top 10 or top 25 teams. Why would a team like LSU get punished for losing to Florida State 28-27 on a last second PAT block? Some criticize new HC Brian Kelly for ignoring the 2-pt conversion attempt (going for the win) while having the momentum. Either way….Doesn’t a game like that mean MUCH, MUCH more than beating some overmatched cupcake and winning easily?
….The transfer portal has dramatically changed the TOPSY-TURVY NCAA football world. This past weekend 60 teams had starting QB’s who had transferred “in” this year!
…..Well…. It’s time to put TOPSY-TURVY to bed! Thanks for the read! Interested in older blogs… check out www.bobryansportsblog.com. Or, if you feel you’d like to express your own thoughts—go to my FB page (Bob Ryan) and put it there. If you prefer, send your thoughts to me and I’ll put it there for you.