This gem from Fran Fraschilla last night

SelectionSunday

Active member
I preface all this by stating that the Big 10 -- despite all of its warts and abundance of "fugly" games this season -- is currently the #1 rated conference in the RPI. To be completely fair, RPI ratings are not the be-all and end-all. I understand that. In fact, I'm in agreement with the ESPN wonks that the Big East and ACC (in that order) are better than the Big Ten, though I don't need to be pounded over the head with it at every turn. I would have the Big Ten a clear #3.

What I am not in agreement with, however, is ESPN's insistence on taking potshots at the Big Ten at every opportunity. Case in point, I give you Fran Fraschilla last night. Speaking about the Big 10, Fraschilla said (paraphrasing) "the Selection Committee will take a good, hard, long look at the Big 10 and perhaps decide that the conference is not as good as it appears to be in the conference ratings."

Huh?

How can I rip this idiotic statement? Let me count the ways.

(1) For the millionth time, and you would think the talking heads at ESPN would know this by now, TEAMS gets bids not CONFERENCES. How many times does the Selection Committee have to point that out? Once they have the 31 automatic conference qualifiers, CONFERENCE AFFILIATION MEANS NOTHING. In layman's terms Fran, get it through your head. ... teams 32-65 are, in affect, INDEPENDENTS being judged on their own individual merits.

(2) Does Fraschilla really think the guys involved in the selection process -- highly respected people at the top of their profession -- are going to put their heads together at the start of their meetings and say, "Hey folks, such & such a conference isn't really as good as its rating so let's make sure they don't get too many bids." Again, idiotic Mr. Fraschilla.

(3) Most importantly. ... . here's what pisses me off the most. Let's roll with Fran's thesis that the Big Ten should be "downgraded" in the eyes of the Selection Committee because it's not that good in comparison to some others. I would assume he's basing that opinion on how the Big Ten performed in November and December vs. other top-flight leagues & teams, etc. That's the only thing he'd be able to fairly judge it on because the major conferences January through March are just beating up on each other.

Let's look at some of the wins the Big Ten earned outside of the league in November and December and tell me how Fraschilla can come to the conclusion that the committee should downgrade the Big Ten as a league and, in essence, penalize its teams in contention for at-large bids.

(1) Illinois (currently 3rd in the Big 10) pounded Mizzou on a neutral court. Mizzou is tied for 2nd in the Big 12 and a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

(2) Iowa, one of the clear bottom two in the Big Ten, beat Kansas State (tied for 6th in the Big 12) on a neutral court.

(3) Bubble team Michigan (tied for 8th in the Big 10) beat Duke (2nd in the ACC) at home and UCLA (2nd in the Pac 10) on a neutral court. Both Duke and UCLA are locks for the NCAA Tournament, while Michigan is just fighting to get in.

(4) Conference champ Michigan State scored a Big 12 trifecta beating Kansas (at Breslin), Texas (neutral court) & Oklahoma State (neutral court). Big 12 leader Kansas and Texas (tied for 4th) are locks for the NCAA Tournament, while Okie State (also tied for 4th) has a very good chance of making the field.

(5) Bubble team Minnesota (tied for 5th in the Big 10) beat Louisville (tied for 1st in the Big East) on a neutral court. Louisville is now being considered as a possible #1 seed.

(6) Bubble team Northwestern (tied for 8th in the Big 10) crushed Florida State in Evanston. Florida State (tied for 4th in the ACC) is a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

(7) Bubble team Ohio State (tied for 5th in the Big 10) beat Butler in Columbus, Miami-Florida on the road and Notre Dame on a neutral court. Butler is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, Miami-Florida is an ACC bubble team & Notre Dame, well, your network has been telling us how great they are all season, so if that's the case you better give the Buckeyes credit for that win.

(8) Purdue (2nd in the Big 10) beat Boston College (8-7 in the ACC) on a neutral court. BC is a bubble team & will likely get a NCAA bid if it beats Georgia Tech this weekend.

(9) Bubble team Wisconsin (tied for 5th in Big Ten) won at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is a fellow bubble team from the ACC.

I would argue that there's enough evidence here that the Big 10 can hold its own against the best leagues. So I ask you Mr. Fraschilla, what more did/does the Big Ten as a conference need to do in November & December to meet your criteria as a quality conference?
 

Schnoodler

Ice Cream Abuser
I still remember how much hype they gave the big ten when we were beating the rest of the country. And now we're no good.

And to add to your point, we didn't come into the season with an advantage. We weren't ranked that highly to start. We had to earn our rankings from the start. It is rediculous. We'll just have to prove it.
 

SelectionSunday

Active member
"We'll just have to prove it."

You hit it right on head. For better or worse, that's the bottom line. Just as college fooball conferences are judged by the bowl season, so too college basketball conferences are judged by March Madness. I'm crossing my fingers that the Big Ten will hold its own, unlike what happened in football.
 

HopHead

rank lieutenant
Unfortunately, too many "experts" think that the points scored in a game have to be 150+ for the teams in it to be any good. This is the same mentality of fans from other teams that criticize Tubby and the Gophers for only scoring 51 points in a WIN while their team scored 85 points in a LOSS.

I would love for nothing more than to see the Big 10 march 4+ teams into the sweet sixteen.
 

Dr.Don

Active member
SS....your biggest problem is you make way, way, way too much sense in this, the talking heads just babble, babble, babble, blah, blah, blah.

Thanks for your insight and reasoning. Dr.Don
 

I preface all this by stating that the Big 10 -- despite all of its warts and abundance of "fugly" games this season -- is currently the #1 rated conference in the RPI. To be completely fair, RPI ratings are not the be-all and end-all. I know that. In fact, I'm in agreement with the ESPN wonks that the Big East and ACC (in that order) are better than the Big Ten, though I don't need to be pounded over the head with it at every turn. I would have the Big Ten a clear #3.

What I am not in agreement with, however, is ESPN's insistence on taking potshots at the Big Ten at every opportunity. Case in point, I give you Fran Fraschilla last night. Speaking about the Big 10, Fraschilla said (paraphrasing) "the Selection Committee will take a good, hard, long look at the Big 10 and perhaps decide that the conference is not as good as it appears to be in the conference ratings."

Huh?

How can I rip this idiotic statement? Let me count the ways.

(1) For the millionth time, and you would think the talking heads at ESPN would know this by now, TEAMS gets bids not CONFERENCES. How many times does the Selection Committee have to point that out? Once they have the 31 automatic conference qualifiers, CONFERENCE AFFILIATION MEANS NOTHING. In layman's terms Fran, get it through your head. ... teams 32-65 are, in affect, INDEPENDENTS being judged on their own individual merits.

(2) Does Fraschilla really think the guys involved in the selection process -- highly respected people at the top of their profession -- are going to put their heads together at the start of their meetings and say, "Hey folks, such & such a conference isn't really as good as its rating so let's make sure they don't get too many bids." Again, idiotic Mr. Fraschilla.

(3) Most importantly. ... . here's what pisses me off the most. Let's roll with Fran's thesis that the Big Ten should be "downgraded" in the eyes of the Selection Committee because it's not that good in comparison to some others. I would assume he's basing that opinion on how the Big Ten performed in November and December vs. other top-flight leagues & teams, etc. That's the only thing he'd be able to fairly judge it on because the major conferences January through March are just beating up on each other.

Let's look at some of the wins the Big Ten earned outside of the league in November and December and tell me how Fraschilla can come to the conclusion that the committee should downgrade the Big Ten as a league and, in essence, penalize its teams in contention for at-large bids.

(1) Illinois (currently 3rd in the Big 10) pounded Mizzou on a neutral court. Mizzou is tied for 2nd in the Big 12 and a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

(2) Iowa, one of the clear bottom two in the Big Ten, beat Kansas State (tied for 6th in the Big 12) on a neutral court.

(3) Bubble team Michigan (tied for 8th in the Big 10) beat Duke (2nd in the ACC) at home and UCLA (2nd in the Pac 10) on a neutral court. Both Duke and UCLA are locks for the NCAA Tournament, while Michigan is just fighting to get in.

(4) Conference champ Michigan State scored a Big 12 trifecta beating Kansas (at Breslin), Texas (neutral court) & Oklahoma State (neutral court). Big 12 leader Kansas and Texas (tied for 4th) are locks for the NCAA Tournament, while Okie State (also tied for 4th) has a very good chance of making the field.

(5) Bubble team Minnesota (tied for 5th in the Big 10) beat Louisville (tied for 1st in the Big East) on a neutral court. Louisville is now being considered as a possible #1 seed.

(6) Bubble team Northwestern (tied for 8th in the Big 10) crushed Florida State in Evanston. Florida State (tied for 4th in the ACC) is a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

(7) Bubble team Ohio State (tied for 5th in the Big 10) beat Butler in Columbus, Miami-Florida on the road and Notre Dame on a neutral court. Butler is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, Miami-Florida is an ACC bubble team & Notre Dame, well, your network has been telling us how great they are all season, so if that's the case you better give the Buckeyes credit for that win.

(8) Purdue (2nd in the Big 10) beat Boston College (8-7 in the ACC) on a neutral court. BC is a bubble team & will likely get a NCAA bid if it beats Georgia Tech this weekend.

(9) Bubble team Wisconsin (tied for 5th in Big Ten) won at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech is a fellow bubble team from the ACC.

I would argue that there's enough evidence here that the Big 10 can hold its own against the best leagues. So I ask you Mr. Fraschilla, what more did/does the Big Ten as a conference need to do in November & December to meet your criteria as a quality conference?
Results in March will be telling.
 
I saw what Fraschilla said too, it was very upsetting. Its obvious the guy doesn't want to be forced to cover 8 Big Ten teams in the tourney. He's totally a Big East homer! One thing I've learned, ESPN equates how good a team is by how many points they score. Which is why they think the Big Ten is not as good as other conferences. But like SS said, the only thing you can go off of at this point is what took place in the non-conference. The Big Ten was arguably the best!
 

leftyslefty

Active member
They can argue that.....

the teams are not as fun to watch in the Big Ten, but the evidence says they are pretty good. I really think any of the 9 that get in.......are going to tough to knock out.....that is they won't go down easily, and I think if 3 get through to the round of 16, we'll have bragging rights again.
 

Dr.Don

Active member
TT....I was thinking the same thing when SS beat me to it. I often wonder just whom you are trying to impress other than yourself????? You are certainly not impressing me.
 
TT....I was thinking the same thing when SS beat me to it. I often wonder just whom you are trying to impress other than yourself????? You are certainly not impressing me.[/QUOTE]

No! Say it isnt so!

Dr. Don is not impressed with a post!?!?!?!?

My entire year is ruined.....
 

sal

Active member
Fran of all people should know that when a B10 team is involved in a game, it sometimes can be a low scoring affair...at least for one team. I give you the 1996 tilt between a Frachilla coached St Johns squad and our own Gophers. Minnesota 77, Redmen (that was then) 39. Thats 39 total points. Ouch. Nice job at SJU Fran.
 

Monty519

Active member
When you have teams within a conference that know each other so well and it is a physical, defensive oriented conference, you're bound to get some low scores. When it's hard to get a shot off, it makes it harder to score. The Big East has had it's share of sub 60 games as well. ACC, well, they play a little more uptempo on a regular basis so you won't see it as often. The point is, when March Madness rolls around, you need to win games. It doesn't matter what style you play, as long as it is a winning style.
 

minimax

Member
I didn't hear his comments, but excellent points all SS.

I won't say that the BT has the same caliber of pure offensive talent as the Big East, but Fraschilla is just another dunk hound. He's too impressed with showy shooters. Maybe it's because of the BB that I grew up on but it's a better game to watch when a TEAM has to work for a basket against another TEAM's defense. Maybe we miss out on some moments of flash, but think how many real nailbiters we've seen in the BT this year - real sustained excitement due to disciplined TEAM play. By far more thrilling and indicative of high quality college PROGRAMS.

Fran's been watching too much NBA. His talents would be better appreciated there. It will be interesting again to see how we stack up against the eastern teams this year, especially as every ranked team has shown a surprising ability to lose.
 

SelectionSunday

Active member
Though it didn't show in my post, most times I respect what Fran has to say. I think he knows his stuff and is usually very fair. But I thought in this case he was just way out of line.

The Big Ten may flop in the NCAAs, it may shove it ESPN's face and send 3 teams to the Sweet 16, which would be a success because I don't think the Big Ten will have 3 teams seeded to go that far. But it's unfair at this point in time for Fraschilla to basically say the Big 10 sucks relative to other conferences when there's little evidence to back it up. Oh well, either way, it'll all come out in the wash very soon.
 

Dr.Don

Active member
Thanks, Schnoodler. Time for TT to STFU with his BS. I guess that not quite everyone is out to get me, so time to change my psyche. LOL
 

minimax

Member
SS, I've got no interest in trashing Fran either. I don't have strong feeling about him either way - other than I think he's drunk the koolaid a bit on flashy shooters being the best thing in basketball. I just don't feel that way. If he was an NBA writer . . . .sure, why not.
 

vaporboy

Patiently waiting in Pasadena
Per Kenpom

Here's why we are matching up better w/ BE over ACC and have lower scoring games:

TOP 20 TEAMS, DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY RANKING
4 BIG TEN: ILL, PUR, MICH ST, MINN
3 BIG EAST: LOU, CONN, WV
3 ACC: FL ST, DUKE, WAKE

AVERAGE DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY RANKING
ACC: 56.67
BIG TEN: 63.18
BIG EAST: 72.13
 

Dr.Gopher

Member
I think one of the reasons the Big 10 scores are so low is how the refs call the games. Some of the defense in the Badger game the other night that they let go would be a felony in several states. The ACC games I see are not as physical as the Big 10.
 

freshtrout

Active member
An e-mail is in order to FF

Selection Sunday you need to send your (well thought out) reasonings to Fran .... hopefully he takes time to read his e-mails....
 

cncmin

Well-known member
I think one of the reasons the Big 10 scores are so low is how the refs call the games. Some of the defense in the Badger game the other night that they let go would be a felony in several states. The ACC games I see are not as physical as the Big 10.
I completely agree with you here that the Big Ten refs let play be rougher (and GOOD - I hate those flusie refs that call ticky-tack fouls and make basketball games be determined at the free throw line)...

...but funny thing...the Big Ten seemed to do just fine on the road and on neutral courts this preseason.
 

coolhandgopher

Active member
Being in Peru, I haven't been able to hear all the bellyaching from analyists from around the country, but have been reading things hear and there and I'm somewhat astounded by the hate thrown towards the Big Ten. As pointed out by SS, the Big Ten teams acquited themselves very well in the pre-conference slate, defeating a wide range of quality, tourney bound teams, often on neutral or away courts. Can the style be ugly at time? Sure, that Penn State-Illinois game sounds like it was straight out of the pre-Whitey Skoog era, but as stated by several others on here, the style of play and familiarity of opponents seems to lend itself to the low scoring contests we've become accustomed to. I would also agree that we don't have the teams at the top level such as UNC, UConn, Pitt, Louisville, and Duke and probably Michigan State would be the only threat for a Final Four run this season. However, the depth and quality of the conference this year is very impressive, with the exception of Iowa and Indiana. To have 9 of 11 teams harboring legitimate (or arguably legit) NCAA tourney hopes is pretty solid.

Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that I think the Big Ten, while having a solid season, is really a year ahead of potentially being the best conference in the nation. Consider:

* The senior class in the Big Ten is probably as weak as it's been in decades. Besides the forwards for Wisconsin, Cornley and Pringle for Penn State, Craig Moore at Northwestern, Trent Meachem and Chester Frazier at Illinois and Goran Suton and Travis Walton at Michigan State, the conference is not losing any other impact seniors.

* Three programs (Minnesota, Michigan, and Iowa) are in year two of a new coach. It seems a solid rule of thumb to say year 3 is when a new head coach can solidly put their stamp on a program. Two of the aforementioned programs are in contention for NCAA berths this season.

* The Big 10 freshman class, some of whom were heavily hyped, did not make as big a splash as anticipated. That may be bad news this year, but could be good news next year (especially if B.J. Mullins, seemingly the only early entrant candidate sticks around). If Mullins, William Buford, Devlon Roe combine with Matt Gatens, Ralph Sampson, Colton Iverson, Devoe Joseph, Tom Pritchard, Nick Williams, Verdell Jones, Lewis Jackson (and others I'm sure I missed) to significantly improve next year, that will bolster the league.

* Purdue's best player and one of the top performers in the league in Robbie Hummel was very limited this season with his back. Michigan State was another squad that struggled with key injuries/illness to top performers. You never know about the injury bug from year to year, but you would hope next year would not visit such problems on talented players like Hummel, Raymer Morgan, and Devlon Roe.

* Indiana will be better next year. Tom Crean has another strong recruiting class coming in to mix with this current group of freshman and it won't be long before Bloomington is once again a tough stop on the conference tour.

Without knowing what will be happening with early entrant candidates, right now the only two teams that I see taking a step back next season are Penn State (losing two of their top three) and Wisconsin (losing their stalwarts on the front line). Ohio State could join that list, depending upon what Evan Turner and B.J. Mullins decide. Otherwise, I see the Big Ten teams just continuing to improve and becoming more formidable to the nation.
 



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