We are a week away from the start of Big Brother, one of the best parts of summer. On Tuesday, CBS revealed 12 of the houseguests for the summer. Being a big Big Brother fan, I quickly ranked each contestant based on their appearance and brief bio they provided. It will be posted on this blog later, but here is the link to those Power Rankings.
The US Open begins today at the Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. I haven't really followed golf too much yet this year but that's not going to stop me from making some terrible predictions on this event. The big favorites for this event are Jason Day (6/1), Rory McIlroy (7/1), Jordan Speith (8/1), and Dustin Johnson (15/1). A little surprised to see Speith not be the favorite but not a lot of difference money wise between 6/1 and 8/1. So if you are wanting to put your money on a favorite, those are your best choices.
If you are actually betting money though, I always think the favorites at a golf event don't provide great odds. I like to throw my money on guys a little lower down the card. If I had a $100 and someone out in Vegas for me, here's how I would allocate my funds:
- $40 on Henrik Stenson (30/1)
- $30 on Brandt Snedeker (40/1)
- $30 on Patrick Reed (30/1)
I don't have all the information yet and am still working my sources but apparently the Iowa High School Athletic Association has approved a resolution that will change the way they seed teams in their district and state tournaments. Previously, teams were ranked on their records over a predetermined stretch, either games 1 through 15 or games 5 through 15. Now it appears, the coaches in those districts and then coaches in the state tournament will rank each team on their own to determine seeds. I do not believe the IAHSAA has made anything official yet or sent out a press release but that is apparently the change for next season.
Interesting move to say the least by the IAHSAA. I do like them making a move and trying something different. It would be easy to stay with the status quo and not do anything but apparently they have heard some complaints about seeding and want to try to improve it. They did the same thing in football when they reduced the number of teams that make the playoffs for next season. That move SHOCKED me because even though that was the right move in my opinion, I never thought they'd go that route because it would require reducing the number of playoff games that were played which would in turn reduce the amount of revenue those games brought into the Association. But they did ultimately make that decision which should keep 2-7 or 3-6 teams out of the football playoffs, a common site for the past 5-10 years.
But back to basketball. I really like this idea for the state tournament. Each year it seems like you get a 6, 7, or 8 seed in the state tournament who should be a 1, 2, or 3 seed in one of the classes. A Power 2A school that plays in a 3A conference and plays teams above them all year and comes away better from it. Their record may not show it by the time they reach the state tournament since they are playing bigger schools for a better part of the season. That team getting a low seed really doesn't disservice them as much as it does the team they are seeded against. Imagine being a 2 seed in the state tournament and seeing you draw a tough 7 seed that's been playing and competing against 3A and 4A schools all season and looks like one of the best teams in the tournament. That would leave a bad taste in your mouth if you'd draw them and end up losing. So hopefully, this new resolution takes away that possibility.
Not entirely sure how I feel about this method of seeding for the district brackets though. I am a little wary of putting that responsibility into the hands of every coach in the state. I can't imagine most coaches are going to be able to see every team in their district play. I would imagine once this voting take place it will just be a lot of coaches going to QuikStats to pull up records and ranking them based upon that information. And then you always get the possibility of coaches coming together and voting for their buddies or against coaches they don't like. You'd hope that isn't a rampant problem in the future but something to be aware of, but averaging out the votes between all 8 or 9 coaches in the district should help prevent some of those issues from causing a swing in seeding. What I would really like to see, but doubt will happen, is for coaches votes to be made public. I'd love to see which coaches voted for which teams. Which coaches ranked teams too low or too high compared to their fellow coaches. I can't see the Association putting coaches in that scenario but it would something I'd be interested in seeing, even if it's just sent out to coaches and AD's.
So I guess it's basically the same format as before (seeding based on record) with some coaches' discretion added. And ultimately, I'm not sure how much it really matters how you seed the district tournament. If you have 8 or 9 teams in a district that's already been assigned by the state, you can seed it however you want and I'd guess the best team will win that tournament 95% of the time in high school basketball. You just want to avoid having an early round match up between two of the top two or three teams, which this process should help limit. So ultimately I don't know if it's that big of a change at the district level. Possibly it will allow schools and coaches to schedule a little bit differently knowing that their record won't be the ultimate deciding factor in their postseason rankings. We'll see how it works out. I'm not sure it changes much at the district level but I do think it will be a significant change at the state tournament level. Either way, I give credit to the IAHSAA for making a change and trying to find a solution to an apparently problem.