Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Links

Sorry there has been a whole lot of nothing lately. I got slammed at work/school and am still trying to recover. I have a few posts about ready for Fantasy Ball Junkie, so the next few posts here might be linking up over there. For now, I'll provide some links:

1. Tim Donaghy claims that basketball is by far the sport most vulnerable to manipulation. I don't have an opinion here, but I'm curious what others think. Any sport has some extent of subjectivity about them (we're not counting 'judged' olympic sports...those are a crock IMHO). I don't know enough about basketball to make a judgement here, but I imagine baseball could run into this problem as well, especially considering what JC Bradbury found about MLB umpires essentially being tenured employees, with little reprocussions for bad work.

2. We saw Cincinnati jump TCU in the BCS poll this week. I'm curious if this would have been the case if Nebraska hadn't completely blown the Big XII Championship game. Would there have been more high votes for TCU to get them into the BCS Championship Game in the Harris poll? I suspect that there are a number of non-NCAA cartel people that would have liked to see a mid-major in the Big Game. Too bad. It would have been interesting to watch Alabama play another non-BCS team in a BCS bowl game. It didn't work out so well for them last year. It should be a really good game, though, given the type of teams playing one another.

3. We have a defensive player from Nebraska in the Heisman finalist picture. This should be an interesting day. My vote is for Gerhart, but if I'd seen Suh play more I may have voted for him. Ingram has been huge for Alabama, but Gerhart has 11 more touchdowns and more yardage, not to mention helping Stanford destroy USC this season.


  1. I think Donaghy is right. A 5-person team is easier to bribe than a 9- or 11-person team. Similarly, basketball uses 3-person ref crews, vs. 4 in MLB and 7 in the NFL. The fewer people involved, either in playing or officiating, the easier to manipulate. As examples, consider Donaghy himself, or the point-shaving scandals at CCNY in 1951, Boston College in 1979, Arizona State in 1997, etc. Even Henry Hill, Ray Liotta's character from Goodfellas, was involved in point-shaving in college basketball. He also claimed to have an NBA ref working for him, for what that's worth.

  2. Yeah, we definitely see it a lot more in basketball. I think you and Donaghy are probably right.

    I think in baseball, for example, the only one involved would need to be the plate umpire (since other calls in general don't have a huge effect on a regular basis). But baseball can change so quickly on a single pitch, it probably makes it much more difficult.

    I'm not as familiar with basketball and how things work together there, but coaches go so ballistic on every call, it makes anything out of the ordinary just look ordinary.