Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Posts about College football

TFD: Boise State, which is not east in any way, could join the Big East for football

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: October 13, 2011 - 5:13 PM

Per the AP:

The Big East is considering adding Boise State football to help bolster the conference's chances of retaining its BCS automatic bid, though both sides still need to be persuaded that it's the right move.

A college football official, who spoke Thursday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the Big East's plans, says some Big East presidents are resisting adding Boise State and the school itself has reservations about joining a conference in flux.

The Big East said earlier this week it would like to expand to 12 football schools and split into two divisions, which would allow the league to play a championship.

The official said that some Big East leaders believe the priority in expansion should be bringing in programs that will ensure the Big East remains an automatic qualifying BCS conference when the current Bowl Championship Series television and bowl contracts run out after the 2013 season.

Presumably the Big East is also interested in Fresno State, the entire UC-system and Hawaii.

TFD: Proposing a sin tax on college football and basketball

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: October 6, 2011 - 4:44 PM

RandBall friend and occasional contributor Jody believes in stretching properly before athletic endeavors. He believes very much in iPhone lists. But most of all, he believes in sending us quality links. As such, he directed us to the Freakonomics blog, which puts forth a modest proposal: a sin tax on college football and basketball. To wit:

Let’s impose a sin tax on the revenues intercollegiate football and basketball generate for everyone but the players. This money could be set aside to provide funding for the ex-players to return to earn a degree, enter a graduate program and/or start a small business. Fans and universities benefit enormously from this exploitation. It is no stretch to treat this as in the same category as smoking, drinking, gorging ourselves on hot dogs and nachos, most of which we do in the stands or our family rooms while these exploited workers toil for our entertainment and the coach’s yacht.

It's hardly revolutionary in building off the "pay these exploited college athletes" theme that has been gaining steam, but the notion of some sort of escrow, while a little out there, is not the most daffy notion we've encountered.

The world, by the way, needs the word "daffy" used more. And lunges. Always lunges. Feel that deep burn.

Thursday (Twin Cities ahead of Green Bay, Milwaukee in Top Sports Cities of 2011 list) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: October 6, 2011 - 9:30 AM


publications often put out "best" lists, designed for quick reading, page views and perhaps even some good old-fashioned debates. For our money, these lists can be effective when they are well-reasoned, carefully considered and probably even a little subjective -- like, say, a list of the top 100 athletes of all time. You can look at quantifiable data, but in the end that kind of thing is in the eye of the beholder. No magic formula can tell you Michael Jordan was better than Babe Ruth.

A couple of days ago, though, The Sporting News seems to have failed at a "best of" task. in putting together a list of the best sports cities in the U.S. based on summer 2010 through summer 2011, the publication chose "point values assigned to various categories, including but not limited to, won-lost records, postseason appearances, applicable power ratings, number of teams and attendance."

That might have seemed reasonable to the powers that be. Sometimes, though, you just don't know how flawed a method is until you see the results (for another example, see: Forbes' GM rankings from 2007). We say this as someone who follows Minnesota sports intensely and who tends to loathe -- as most local sports fans do -- any success Wisconsin teams have: There is no way these cities should have the following rankings if common sense is going to come into play:

14. Minneapolis-St. Paul

33. Green Bay

38. Milwaukee

51. Madison

Not ranked among 271 markets: Duluth

The Twin Cities -- a fun summer of baseball in 2010 and the current Lynx run being the primary exceptions -- are in the midst of a terrible sports drought. Green Bay won a Super Bowl. The Brewers were great this summer. The Badgers went to the Rose Bowl in football and the Sweet 16 in men's basketball. UMD won two NCAA titles.

This was not a good sports year here. Not even close to No. 14 in the country. No amount of number-twisting will ever convince us of that.

Bonus: Using that image means we get to link to "I Want a New Drug."

Gophers football team sitting at No. 9 in ESPN.com rankings

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: October 5, 2011 - 12:18 PM


The Gophers football team is firmly entrenched in ESPN.com's rankings at No. 9. Unfortunately, it is the rankings of the Bottom 10 teams in college football. Minnesota was actually No. 8 last week before losing 58-0 to Michigan. Before the season started, the Gophers were not ranked. Per this week's writeup on the site:


With everything that's happened to Minnesota this season, it's hard not to feel sorry for the Gophers. Maybe they'll find a little relief in Saturday's trip to Purdue.

Ouch. While we still sense a good amount of long-term optimism from fans regarding Jerry Kill, the short-term pessimism is hard to ignore.

Wednesday (Wisconsin tailgating about to get boozier?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: October 5, 2011 - 8:38 AM

What do Wisconsin fans want? ALCOHOL! (Yeah, no kidding).

When do they want it? RIGHT NOW! (Or at least two hours earlier).

Yes folks, 8 a.m. just isn't good enough for our imbibing neighbors to the east. It seems a law aimed very much at making it easier for fans to buy alcohol for tailgating parties could change that opening time to 6 a.m.

Per Fox11:

Enjoying an adult beverage before a big game is something Wisconsinites have been doing for years. "Clearly there is a tailgate factor," said State Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neeha. "I mean we're in Wisconsin. We love our tailgating. People love it."

Kaufert says he has heard from people who want to pick up their alcohol on their way out of town to a big game whether it's the Brewers, Badgers or Packers. He's also heard from the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

"They had found their members were asking them, times have changed and people's buying habits have changed. More and more people were buying early in the morning," said Kaufert. Committees in both the State Senate and Assembly have approved the idea of allowing stores to sell liquor and beer at 6 am.

Please do read the entire story. As someone who has several friends from Wisconsin -- including one who had another friend who moved back to Wisconsin from Minnesota in disgust (and we are not making this up) because Minnesota "doesn't take drinking seriously enough -- we are hardly shocked. The mere act of drinking is celebrated as THE event by many more folks in Wisconsin than Minnesota, we think, rather than just part of the social experience.

Your thoughts on the tailgate law and Wisconsin drinking, please, in the comments.


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