GRIZ GRIT: The Difficulty of Ranking 25 Teams

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. The Football Championship Subdivision Top 25 poll compiled by the Sports Network has a problem. It is getting increasingly difficult to find teams in the bottom 10 spots of the weekly poll that have impressive records. In fact, in a recent poll, seven of the lowest spots were occupied by teams that either had a losing record or were playing .500 football. I’ve been one of the approximately 140 print and broadcast sports journalists and sports information directors to vote in the Sports Network/Fathead.com poll over the last few years. Some of the former Division 1-AA teams have moved out of the division and the top of the list is dominated by teams in three leagues (Southern, Colonial and Big Sky). Often on Sundays, I am scrambling to either locate an unfamiliar team with a good record that deserves votes or support a team that has dropped a game they shouldn’t have and fallen close to even on the win-loss scale. Does a team really deserve to be noted on a national scale if they have a 4-4 record? Why don’t we go back to just listing the top 20? And then there’s the way we journalists throw around the description of parity in a league. Now, sometimes that is accurate: the top three or four teams beat up on each other so no one team dominates the league or has a stellar record and the bottom of the league, when playing at home, is just as tough as the league leaders. It could mean league teams are playing tougher competition, which makes them better during the league season from experience against better players. But parity could also mean that there is no unbeaten or dominant team because the entire league is playing at a substandard level. Now there is no argument here that there are a couple of teams that have been Big Sky Conference doormats. You know which teams they are and how long it has been since they played other than an occasional spoiler role in the league race even after numerous coaching changes and an announced renewed focus on producing excellence. Sergio, my cab driver in Portland last weekend, suggested an answer to that and then, ironically, I recently saw it mentioned in a national publication. He said if you deserve to compete at the next level because of your success, then your team moves up. And if you can’t compete at your current level, the following season you move down, much like international soccer. It sounds like a scheduling nightmare but it is an interesting concept, isn’t it? Emaillast_img read more

Horse Power Meets Ballet as FEI World Cup™ Finals Land in Lyon

first_img We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Email* Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! SIGN UP The worlds of equestrian sport and ballet met face to face in spectacular fashion today for a photoshoot to launch the start of the flagship FEI World Cup™ Finals in Lyon, France (April 17-21 ).Double Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) from the world of Dressage and US Jumping rider Charlie Jacobs were joined by dancers from the world-famous Minsk Bolshoi ballet at Lyon’s Eurexpo, venue for this week’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals.Dancers from the Minsk Bolshoi, performing Swan Lake at the Lyon Amphitheatre in Lyon as part of a nationwide French tour, took time out from their schedule to showcase the parallels between ballet and equestrian sport – the poise and grace of the dancers and the athleticism and beauty of the horses.World number one Dressage rider Dujardin, dubbed the girl with the dancing horse after claiming double gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Valegro said: “I’m very very excited to be here in Lyon and today has been a real experience.”Dujardin, who was totally spellbound by the evening performance of Swan Lake after the photoshoot, is competing in her first Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals and will be dancing to new music with her horse in Sunday’s Freestyle competition. “I’ve got brand new music that I’ve never competed to before, first time competing to it, but it’s a great floor plan and I love the music,” the triple world record holder said.Massachusetts-born Jacobs, whose family owns the NHL professional ice hockey team, the Boston Bruins (Sports Business Journal’s 2012 Sports Team of the Year), commented: “The photoshoot was drawing some similarities between the ballerinas and the jumping of the horses here. They’re very similar in terms of athletic ability; they’re very delicate but they’re very powerful.”Making his debut at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, Jacobs is keen to put up a good showing this week: “I have my fingers crossed, and my toes! It’s a very big week for us.”The FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage Finals 2014 will be held at Lyon’s Eurexpo from April 17-21 .FEI TV behind the scenes footage from the unique photoshoot can now be viewed on the FEI’s YouTube channel here. Tags: FEI World Cup™ Finals, last_img read more