BRIAN BAILEY'S TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
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By Brian Bailey
WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director

Playoff model has fatal flaw

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Audio: Brian Bailey Show
The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU outside receivers coach Dave Nichol (left): Replay show...
 

MULTIMEDIA

Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday (courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250; Bonesville file photo): Select clip...

 

American Schedule

FRIDAY
Memphis 40, Tulsa 20 (ESPNU)
Cincinnati 38, Tulane 14 (ESPN2)
SATURDAY
ECU at Temple, 12 pm (ESPNN)
UCF at UConn, 12 pm (CBSSN)
Houston at USF, 4 pm (ESPNN)
Last Week's AAC Scores >>> ..... | Thursday > ECU 31, UConn 21 (ESPNU) ..... Friday > Cincinnati 34, USF 17 (ESPN2) ..... | Saturday > Memphis 48, SMU 10 (ESPNN) ..... UCF 34, Temple 14 (CBSSN) ..... .....
 
 

FOOTBALL GAME CENTER

EAST CAROLINA 31, UCONN 21

Inside Game Day | Photos... | Post-game Audio...

AAC SCOREBOARD >>> ..... | Thursday > ECU 31, UConn 21 (ESPNU) ..... Friday > Cincinnati 34, USF 17 (ESPN2) ..... | Saturday > Memphis 48, SMU 10 (ESPNN) ..... UCF 34, Temple 14 (CBSSN) ..... .....

How good is ECU?

Al Myatt

GREENVILLE ó East Carolina became bowl eligible for the eighth time in the last nine seasons with a 31-21 American Athletic Conference football win over Connecticut at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Thursday night. The Pirates improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference ... More from Al Myatt...

PURPLE HEART: East Carolina coach and alumnus Ruffin McNeill joins in on the fight song in front of the "Boneyard" in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium after the Pirates' hard-fought victory over American Athletic Conference foe UConn. ©Bonesville.net. [W.A. Myatt photo]

View more pix in W.A. Myatt's photo gallery...

Audio: Ruff Post-game

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the press after the Pirates defeated UConn 31-21 Thursday night (recorded by W.A. Myatt; file photo): Select audio clip...
 

FOOTBALL

Kevin's Keys to the Game

East Carolina is back in action today after its second bye week. The opening in the schedule came at a perfect time for the Pirates. With just one American Athletic Conference game under its belt, it gave the team the opportunity to get healthy and recharge to make its first run at the American title. ... More from Kevin Monroe...

 

FOOTBALL

'Bring 'em on' strategy proves shrewd

East Carolina has long subscribed to the philosophy of playing anybody, anyplace, anytime on the football field. Itís an approach that was accelerated back in 2005  ... More from Brett Friedlander...

 

FOOTBALL

ECU's MIB a blockbuster hit

These East Carolina Pirates simply love playing the role of the ďMen in Black.Ē
Of course itís not quite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but you get the idea. ...
More from Brian Bailey...

MULTIMEDIA

Audio: The Brian Bailey Show

The Brian Bailey Show airs on Pirate Radio 1250 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Brian's guest this week was ECU hall of famer and three-time Super Bowl champion Robert Jones (right): Replay show...
 

MULTIMEDIA

Audio: Coach Ruff Weekly Presser

ECU coach Ruffin McNeill spoke with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday (courtesy of Pirate Radio 1250; Bonesville file photo): Select clip...

 

FOOTBALL

Dťjŗ vu emerging in heart of defense

While East Carolina may not be known as Linebacker U, there should be no mistaking the quality of players that have come through the program at the position. ... More from Ron Cherubini...
 

FOOTBALL

SPC a model for success

Football stadiums will be buzzing again this weekend as the second half of the college football season begins. But there will be plenty of empty seats on game day in many of the student seating sections around the country. ... More from Greg Vacek...

 
 
 

By Brian Bailey
©2014 Bonesville.net
All rights reserved.

View ECU's 2014 football schedule

The debate rages on.

A team has to win convincingly in order to move up in the polls unless the team plays a higher-ranked opponent, and then any victory will move the needle upward.

East Carolina is a tough spot as the new College Football Playoff rankings come into play. The idea is to run the table and hopefully be the highest rated of the "Group of Five" and play in a major bowl.

Strength of schedule will factor into this equation. National rankings play in. Unfortunately for ECU, some of the team's marquee wins have turned out to be not so marquee.

Both Virginia Tech and North Carolina are in the midst of down seasons. South Carolina is also struggling and that may turn out to be a "bad" loss for the Pirates.

Do you ever wonder why there are very few one-loss and even fewer unbeaten teams in college football?

It's because everything is so even in the sport. It doesn't matter which teams are on the schedule. To win that many games in a year is rare.

I'm as guilty as anyone of comparing this season with the 1991 "dream season" at East Carolina. That team won 11 games in a row after an opening game loss at Illinois.

That team had several close calls. But somehow, some way, that Pirate squad got the job done.

Those close wins set the Pirates up for the biggest win of them all, the come from behind victory over North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl.

Coincidentally, the Peach Bowl is among the options for this East Carolina football team in 2014.

There is still plenty of work to do, but the dangling carrot is out there.

It is a sad state of affairs when fans not only have to hope for wins, but hope for convincing wins. It's another reason the new playoff, even though it's better, is still not the answer.

It should never come down to how much a team wins by in order to figure out a ranking.

Pirate Coach Ruffin McNeill agrees.

ďA couple weeks ago we didnít even play and moved up two spots," said McNeill at his weekly news conference. "Thatís why I donít focus on them. Iím not the smartest guy in the world, but I am informed. We didnít play a game and moved up."

The rankings are just a parameter, a source that changes with each week of the season.

That's why a 16-team playoff is so much of a better plan. Everybody gets to play. All of the major conference champions get automatic bids. That still leads several at-large slots available.

In this system the Pirates only concern would be in winning the American Athletic Conference title. A one-point win would truly be the goal. Just get into the playoff and see what else can happen.

If it's good enough for the Football Championship Subdivision, then the big boys should be able to handle it, right?

How exciting would that be! East Carolina in a first round matchup with another conference champion or maybe an at-large team, say from the SEC.

A conference champion moving to the post-season would be much better than trying to win games in convincing fashion.

For that matter, what amount counts? Are the Pirates, as a 7-point favorite this Saturday over Temple, moving up if they win by 10? By 14?

Perhaps the Pirates coach put it best.

"We donít coach for rankings," McNeill explained. "Iíve never coached that way and Iím not going to start now. What we coach is playing our best on every play and embracing our roles to make the team better. Thatís what we can control.Ē

Or in the words of the late Al Davis, "Just win, baby!"

BB

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11/01/2014 03:34 AM
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