Posts by Trevor:
- Colorado St. helps them regain a presence in the state but not much else
- Air Force also in Colorado is decent, but the Falcons are really loyal to the Mountain West
- UNLV provides good basketball and access to a large market
- New Mexico has solid basketball and much closer proximity to the rest of the conference
- Boise St. brings the only other real football program and a growing basketball program, but they are very distant from the rest of the conference and don’t reside in a very large market
That’s right, I said it. In this week’s upcoming Big Ten championship game, I should be rooting for the team I despise above all others to win and check its ticket to the inaugural College Football Playoff. In fact, I should also root for all the other teams I so regularly root against- Alabama, Florida St., and Oregon. If these four teams win, we think the Big XII has a good shot at being locked out of the playoff (despite what Nate Silver says).
The reason for this change is that the general consensus is if the Big XII finds itself the odd power five conference out of the playoffs, it will feel more pressure to add a conference championship game to help bolster the odds that a Big XII team will get into the playoffs. This, of course, would mean expanding to at least twelve teams- probably BYU’s best chance of getting into a power five conference.
BYU is among the short list of likely schools to be picked up during the next wave of expansion, but it is hardly a lock. While it would seem logical for the Big XII to expand westward (assuming they are going to be able to steal any schools from the B10 or SEC), they have already committed to the east by picking up West Virginia. Even if they are not able to pry any of the ACC (often viewed as the weakest of the power five) teams away due to the new $52 million exit fee, they still have Cincinnati and possibly UConn patiently awaiting their turn. Geographically this doesn’t make much sense, but it allows the Big XII to expand into new, big markets.
On the other hand, BYU does have plenty going for it. It stacks up at or near the top of the Big XII in enrollment, average GPA, sports offered, facility sized, and probably more. And though it is a little farther removed, BYU has a national fan base (with more fans than either Cincy or UConn). If it can find the right pairing, perhaps the Big XII would prefer to start moving westward (assuming they expand) where there are a few more available options in case they continue expanding down the road. Some possible BYU pairings are (in no particular order):
It’s that time of year again that everyone speculates where the top free agents will end up.
Chris Paul- I felt confident that he would stay with the Clips well before “his people” told teams not to bother pursuing him.
Dwight Howard- I think he goes to Houston. The Lakers are a wreck right now, especially with Kobe out. He doesn’t like their coach and Kobe probably takes things too seriously in Dwight’s eyes. The Rockets have a legacy of big men without the pressure of LA. His coach would be a big and he’d have more access to Hakim. They have lots of shooters to so they can play more like the Magic did, except with a lot more talent around him. Not to mention Harden would be a lot more fun to play with than Kobe. I think Dwight touches down in Houston.
Andre Iguadala- I know the Pistons are interested, and I hope they land him. They will have to over pay someone who is closing in on 30, but that may just be worth it to get arguably the third best free agent who fills a need and automatically puts them in playoff contention. Especially since Dumars has to get his team to the playoffs this next season or he is likely out. However, I think ultimately he resigns with Denver.
Al Jefferson- After striking out on Dwight, the Mavericks will probably make a push for the next tier free agents. I know they’ve had interest in Big Al in the past.
Josh Smith- The Hawks seem to be rebuilding and probably won’t land another major free agent, so I don’t see him staying. I can see the Mavs, Pistons, and Pelicans all making a push for him. The problem is that he’d be starting at SF on those teams. Not really sure where he’ll end up.
Manu Ginobili, David West, Tony Allen- Staying put.
Andrew Bynum- Is he willing to take less and a shorter contract to play for a contender that needs a center like the Thunder or Heat? Do those teams even want him? I can see Milwaukee being all too willing to pay him what he wants.
Brandon Jennings- I think he stays with the Bucks, but if he goes anywhere, I see him signing with the Mavs.
Jose Calderon- The Jazz were seen as his most likely landing spot until they drafted Burke. Hopefully he resigns with the Pistons. There are rumors of a sign and trade to Houston for Jeremy Lin. I hope not, although I think Lin is better than what he showed last year. He and Harden aren’t the best compliments for each other.
Paul Milsap- I’d like him to stay as a sixth man for the Jazz, but it looks unlikely. I know he’ll have suitors, but I’m not sure if any of them will provide a much better shot at winning than the Jazz.
Tyreke Evans- I don’t think he stays with the Kings, but I’m not sure who’d want him right now. New Orleans? Maybe the Lakers get him cheap to help hold the fort while they wait for Kobe to return.
JJ Reddick, Kevin Martin, Jarrett Jack, or Kyle Korver- I expect the Grizzlies to go after at least one of these guys for some much needed shooting.
Both my teams, the Pistons and the Jazz, are rebuilding but can stay competitive if they make the right moves and don’t overpay the wrong people (O.J. Mayo). And with the Celtics and 76ers committed to rebuilding, I’m hoping the Bucks make some bad signings paving the way for the Pistons to slip into the playoffs. After this odd draft, I excited to see how free agency plays out.
Some quick thoughts on the 2013 NBA Draft:
Cleveland- After picking Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters with the last two picks, should it really surprise anyone that they made a completely unexpected pick this year? I felt like there was a 50/50 chance they would pick Noel or someone unexpected. I suppose they are partially to thank that some excellent draft picks have fallen to the Pistons lately.
Orlando- Victor Oladipo was probably my favorite in this draft, but I knew the Pistons would not be lucky enough to have him drop down to 8.
Washington- Otto Porter Jr. was about as good as anybody in this draft. Probably won’t be an All-Star, but should have a good career.
Phoenix- They liked Len better than Noel, fine. But what about McLemore?
New Orleans- Great maneuvering to make the most of this pick that fell to them, but that 2014 draft pick could come back to haunt them (although it is protected, I haven’t seen how high). You had to feel for Noel slipping so far and then being asked questions about his situation when he didn’t know what was going on. At least Philly fans are understanding.
Sacramento- Here’s what went through my head- “On a team full of players that need the ball to be effective, could the Kings possibly pass on McLemore and let a top prospect fall to the Pistons again? With his possible character issues, do I even want that?” They probably made the right pick here.
Detroit- Whatever-his-first-name-is Caldwell-Pope? This wasn’t even a player I looked into before the draft. Everything I’ve heard makes him sound like a great fit to help fill a role in the style of Rip Hamilton, but I’m still not positive how I feel about them passing on Burke. But at least they didn’t draft Shabaaz, which was my greatest fear. Overall I’m happy.
Utah- Trey Burke to the Jazz! Way to pounce on the opportunity. Both the Pistons and the Jazz had very similar needs, so I am happy that at least one of my teams got Burke. I’m not convinced he’ll be great, but I liked him in his interviews. Here’s hoping he can be the starting PG of the future for the Jazz.
Portland- I was pretty impress with everything I read about saw on McCollum. I’m not sure how he fits with Lillard, but he should be a solid player.
Philadelphia- How were they able to keep this pick in their trade for Noel? They managed to get both a top ranked center and point guard from this draft. They are officially going into full rebuilding mode.
Oklahoma City- A chemistry guy with some upside. It still doesn’t validate the Harden trade, but if they amnesty Perkins now, it will help make up for it that much more.
Minnesota- The guy they wanted got snatched up right under their noses, so they traded down to a point where they could still draft their next pick and grabbed an extra pick. Nice move.
I didn’t have strong feelings about the rest of the draft. It’ll be interesting to see how these players pan out.