Taking stock of our sports world and hoping the College Football Playoff committee doesn’t use the NCAA’s NET rankings.
You want chaos? The NCAA beat the CFP committee by a day.
Nebraska, 14th. That was before the Huskers played at Clemson, No. 51.
Texas Tech, which beat NU last week, is at No. 3 — ahead of Gonzaga, the top-ranked team in the AP and coaches polls. Also, ahead of Duke and Kansas.
Michigan State, which lost to Kansas, four spots ahead of KU.
Also, Kentucky at No. 61. Makes you wonder if Rick Pitino was in charge of the NET rankings.
Gosh, you’d think it was Nov. 27.
The NET is a new analytic ranking designed by the NCAA, brought in to replace the RPI. It updates the RPI by using all the analytics that college hoops fans devour like M&M’s.
Those analytics: game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency and quality of wins and losses.
The big game-changers that hoop heads were excited about: the addition of game location and offensive and defensive efficiencies as measuring tools. Especially more weight for true road wins.
I’m not an analytics guy. I’m more into common sense, like the kind Creighton coach Greg McDermott was offering Monday when asked about the NET.
“I have no idea what it means,” said McDermott, whose Jays are No. 36. “If somebody could explain it to me that might be helpful, but I’m not sure the people who came up with it know exactly what it means.
“It’s way too early. It’s such a small sample size. I wished we’d wait, like football does, until you’re two-thirds of the way through your season and then publish the first rankings. It’s really meaningless right now.”
» I’ll tell you what’s not meaningless: Nebraska’s win at Clemson on Monday night. That’s a road win that the NET is going to like come March.
» I’ll tell you what else isn’t meaningless: Gonzaga visiting Omaha on Saturday.
This is the sort of meat lover’s game that Omaha fans rarely saw when Creighton was in the Missouri Valley. Now that the Jays are in the RPI-rich — sorry, NET-rich — Big East, the percentages of this kind of game happening have risen.
And sometimes, it comes down to old-fashioned things like friendship — and persistence.
“We’ve been on it for probably four, five or six years,” said McDermott, a friend of Zags coach Mark Few. “We always made that phone call. Coach Few hasn’t always been excited about playing that game. I don’t know if I got him on a weak moment, or what.
“This is great for us, being Jesuit schools. It’s a game our fans have always wanted, and it wasn’t easy to get. It’s probably going to be more enjoyable for our fans than it is for me.”
You can make the case that this is the best nonconference game Creighton’s ever hosted. But it’s early. Let’s see how the NET plays out.
» Chaos, chaos, chaos. All I hear is people saying they want Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State to lose this week. They want chaos.
That means they also don’t want an eight-team playoff. There would be no chaos with an eight-team playoff.
What if it were six? Would that be the top six teams or the Power Five champs and one at-large? That would mean Notre Dame would be the at-large, and a Georgia would be left out while a less-deserving Pac-12 champ was in.
If the Pac-12 champ made the playoff this year, would it seem less of a playoff?
As for UCF, the Knights’ at-large chances would take a hit with the loss of star quarterback McKenzie Milton. That’s how it works in basketball. The committee has to project how a team will be able to compete in a championship.
Four might be the number that works — again.
Unless ’Bama loses and gets in ahead of both OU and Ohio State. Then you might get your chaos.
» One more and I’m outta here: I found this last week in some notes from an interview with Nebraska offensive line coach Greg Austin. I thought I’d share.
Austin said that early in the season, during the 0-6 start, he gave his linemen a quote to read from President Theodore Roosevelt. It’s called “Man In The Arena.” He credited the quote with bringing the group closer together.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is married by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who actually does strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Pretty cool, huh? Next year, I’d suggest another Roosevelt classic.
Speak softly and carry a big stick.
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July 1: Air Force's Nic Ready hit a total of 55 home runs, including 21 in the final round, to edge Clemson's Logan Davidson in the College Home Run Derby.
June 28: Oregon State celebrates beating Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 of the CWS championship series. The Beavers were down to their last out in Game 2 before a fielding blunder by the Razorbacks gave Oregon State a second life, which it took advantage of en route to the program's third CWS title.
June 18: John Olson, and Mary Olson, of Joslyn, Missouri, take cover under ponchos during a rain delay at the College World Series. Weather provided a huge problem in the 2018 CWS.
June 15: Cam'ron Jones checks out Omaha.com, or perhaps Snapchat, during the Huskers' Friday Night Lights camp.
June 9: Terence "Bud" Crawford celebrates his knockout victory over Jeff Horn to win the WBO welterweight title.
May 19: Fremont's Lucas Arps celebrates after winning the Class A 400-meter dash.
May 19: Lincoln Lutheran's Josie Puelz celebrates after clearing 12-2 in the Class C girls pole vault final.
May 17: Omaha Roncalli's Thomas Alitz cheers after scoring the winning run in the Class B state championship on a hit by Logan McGill with two outs in the seventh inning.
May 17: Omaha Creighton Prep's Eric Allbery, right, jumps on the dogpile as the Junior Jays celebrate their Class A state baseball title.
May 16: South Sioux City celebrates after defeating Elkhorn South in the Class B state soccer championship.
May 16: Kearney's Christian Dakan hoists the Class A state soccer trophy alongside his teammates.
May 14: Millard North celebrates its Class A state championship win against Omaha Marian by kissing the trophy.
May 14: Elkhorn celebrates its Class B championship win against Omaha Skutt.
May 9: Creighton's Will Robertson celebrates with Jack Strunc, left, after homering the fifth inning. The Jays beat UNO 10-6.
May 6: The Omaha Storm Chasers play below the newly dedicated Steve Pivovar Press Box at Werner Park.
April 21: Nebraska coach Scott Frost leads the Huskers during the Tunnel Walk on Saturday.
April 19: Awardee Dante Pettis and former Nebraska football player Johnny Rodgers, right, pictured during the Jet Award dinner.
April 19: Former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne attends the Jet Award dinner.
April 18: UNO's Malik Moore pitches against Nebraska. The Mavericks knocked off the Huskers for the first time since 1997.
April 11: Creighton's Will Robertson, left, and Thomas Luevano celebrate scoring on a triple by Jack Strunc.
April 11: Elkhorn South's Mo Gohr gains control of the ball in the Metro Conference tournament.
April 3: Scott Frost directs Husker football practice.
March 31: The boy campers pose for a photo at the Athletes' Training Center Futures Camp at Iowa West Field House.
March 27: Creighton defeats Nebraska 3-1 in the first matchup of the year.
March 25: Kansas' Malik Newman drives to the basket, drawing a blocking foul on Duke's Wendell Carter. The Jayhawks went on to defeat the Blue Devils in Omaha and advance to the Final Four.
March 17: Arizona State defeats Nebraska in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Nebraska Wesleyan celebrates winning the NCAA Division III men's basketball championship.
March 17: Creighton defeats Iowa in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Creighton's bench cheers as Michael Emodi hits a walk-off homer off Wichita State pitcher Chandler Sanburn in the Jays' home opener.
March 12: The Creighton women's basketball team celebrates making the NCAA tournament.
March 10: Wahoo celebrates winning the Class C-1 boys basketball title.
March 10: Nebraska City Lourdes' Quinten Vasa, center, holds up the trophy with his team.
March 9: Glenwood celebrates after winning its first boys basktball state title in school history.
March 3: Scotus' Maggie Feehan celebrates after winning the Class C-1 title.
March 3: Superior celebrates a Class C-2 championship win over Ravenna.
Feb. 25: Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night. The Huskers went on to defeat Penn State.
Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night.
Feb. 24: Creighton's Marcus Foster, left, and Davion Mintz celebrate Creighton's 89-83 overtime victory over Villanova.
Feb. 24: Omaha Creighton Prep's Colin LaFave competes in the 100 fly at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 24: Lincoln Southwest's Anna Heinrich, left, and Josie Ford celebrate their first and second-place finishes in the 50 free at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 17: Kearney’s Phillip Moomey is in the top 20 of his weight class in two national polls. Only a handful of underclassmen are ranked ahead of him.
Feb. 17: Omaha Burke's Jakason Burks does a backflip after defeating Millard South's Caleb Coyle during the 106-pound Class A final at the state wrestling championships.
Jan. 28: Omaha Lancers coach and General Manager David Wilkie talks with players during first-period action.
Jan. 26: UNO's Luke Nogard skates past the referee.
Jan. 16: Nebraska's Nicea Eliely gets excited during pregame introductions as the Huskers went on to beat Iowa.
Nebraska's James Palmer celebrates a home victory over Illinois with Isaiah Roby.
Jan. 9: Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, left, talks with former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne during the Outland Trophy banquet.
Jan. 4: Omaha Burke's Shereef Mitchell brings the ball up court in the Metro holiday tournament.
Jan. 1: In his final game with Central Florida, now-Nebraska coach Scott Frost raises the Peach Bowl title after defeating Auburn.