The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Conference Weekend

This is the conference championships weekend for pretty much every college team in the country. I could have gone to the MAC meet--it's a fairly short drive for me to Ypsilanti--but I found the prospect less than exciting. In fact, most of college track leaves me cold.

Part of this is no doubt due to what happened at my alma mater, which severely dampened my enthusiasm for all college sports (I now say I'm a Bluffton fan). But that's not all of it. The structure of college track leaves a bit to be desired. And it's far more than the fact that college track is almost never on TV, and has been on live TV just once in the last 35 years.

Who is the favorite to win each conference? It's hard to say without really studying the numbers. There are the rankings produced by the Coaches' Association, but they're based on how a team should do at the national meet, which can differ greatly from performance at a conference championship (especially for teams outside the top ten).

The indoor season seems to be little but two months of getting qualifying marks capped by two meets that mean anything. There is no building towards a championship, no standings, no way to truly compare teams based on actual head-to-head competition. (Well, save one: we know Michigan should beat Ohio State.)

The most exciting sports event of the last year was the Super Bowl, because one team was a heavy favorite and actually lost. Possibly the most exciting event in the history of college sports was the 1985 men's basketball championship, for the same reason. Would it be a big upset if Kent State won the MAC championships today? Without knowing a favorite, you simply don't know.

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