Possible NCAA Tournament Info

Alright, I do know some things for when it comes to the NCAA soccer tournaments. Expect the men’s side to get the first round bye and play in the second round on November 15th. So next Wednesday they should play. I will let everyone know who and what time too.

As for the ladies, it could be tricky. They honestly could end up on the road now for the first round. It is possible but regardless of where they  are at they will play on Friday night and should then again play on Sunday afternoon. Where and what time will be known on Monday.

Both brackets are released on Monday afternoon.

In other broadcast related news, the basketball seasons are about to get under way as well. Depending on soccer, the first home game for the ladies team is on November 18th. They do kick off their season on the road in the coming week. I may be doing a post game show for those games. Again it all depends on how the soccer teams are doing and when they play. Hopefully each team will be home for a while and it won’t matter. But we will see tomorrow when those brackets are released.

For those that are curious, the men and women failed to win the Big East tournament. The women lost to Rutgers on Friday after leading 2-0, they ended up dropping the game 3-2. As for the men, they took St. John’s to overtime in the championship game but with 4 seconds left in the first overtime, St. John’s found the back of the net to punch their ticket to the men’s soccer dance.

Tough Loss

You know, despite two, maybe three turnovers against Louisville, I still believe WVU played well tonight.

I do.

It was a solid performance by the Mountaineers but it just wasn’t enough to beat a very talented Louisville team in "the Ville". I hate to do it but now I will say that it is time to hitch a ride on the Cardinal bandwagon and hope they can bring the Big East a national title. Not to mention WVU just needs to keep winning here and they should…and I do mean should be able to make at least a BCS game. Yeah, it can still happen. Plus you just never know what is instored for the next couple weeks.

Do I see a let-down for Louisville next week at Rutgers? Give me a few days and I will let you know…right now I will say, yes.

Does WVU bounce back and start winning again? Yes. The schedule isn’t easy but it does allow WVU to get some W’s when they need them most. Pitt will be the most challenging. You can already mark that down. Pitt, may end up being a tougher game than tonight’s game. Not because it is a rivalry game but because Pitt has gotten better and will make it competative. Something that was lacking last year when we played them.

Still, overall, I felt alright about tonight. Sure, it was ugly at times but it wasn’t the worst I have ever seen out of a Rich Rod coached team. No, but at times I saw the brillance that I know and love with this team. They are still a class act but they are young. Let me remind you that. Slaton and White will continue to run all over the other teams as they did tonight (White had 4…count them 4 touchdowns tonight).

The National Title game dream may be all over for WVU but honestly, it wasn’t the right year for it. I still believe next year will be the year WVU goes all the way.

Projecting soccer’s NCAA touraments…is WVU really a number 1?

Conference tournaments end this weekend and this time next Monday we will be able to break down the brackets and make some picks for both the men and women’s NCAA tournament fields. If you are a fan of college soccer, this has to be your favorite time of the season. Lots of questions to still ponder but I think you can almost guess who will get what and where teams will go.

The men’s field is 48 teams, so selection can and will be tough with the amount of talented teams out there. Four teams will get hosts seeds for the entire trip to the final four (in St. Louis). Right now you can pick between 6 or 7 schools to get one of those four spots. I have my own ideas and in a way I hope I am right since it would largely effect WVU.

My top four seeds for the men’s bracket are:

  1. WVU – if the Mountaineers win the Big East, this will ring more true than ever. They currently own the nation’s best record at 15-1-2. Even if they come up short in New Jersey this weekend I believe WVU has done enough this season to get a least one of the top four spots in the NCAA field.
  2. Wake Forest – The Decons have been coming on stronger and stronger and I believe they will lock up the ACC this weekend in Maryland. It won’t be easy though, and it wouldn’t surprise me that if they do win the ACC they could end up at number one. Really whoever wins the ACC should and will be a top four seed if not THE top seed.
  3. Maryland – thanks to homefield advantage in the ACC tournament, the Terps should get a top seed in the NCAA bracket, though as runner up in the ACC title game…I think Wake has them beat
  4. California – Some think SMU, others think another ACC team, but I am going out west, mainly since the west does need a host and Cal is about it…maybe Santa Clara could snag this spot but I think Cal is it

The next four seeds are a little bit differnet, they get the right to be home for a while but once the quarterfinal hits, they will have to travel

5. Virginia – if you haven’t noticed the ACC will dominate the top 8 here…
6. SMU – The Mustangs have been in the top 3 all season, but that one loss against UAB will hurt them
7. Duke – could very well win the ACC too
8. Santa Clara – could flip-flop with Cal

I won’t get into the rest of the 48 team field because I don’t have all night to speculate things but I do see the ACC getting four teams in the top 8 seeds and another team (Clemson or UNC) right out side the top 8. The Big East will and should send 7 teams (WVU, Notre Dame, UConn, Rutgers, Providence, Cincinnati, St. John’s) and could send one more (South Florida).

Don’t be too surprised if WVU gets a team like VT or Campell waiting for them in the second round of the tournament (top seeds get a bye in the first round).

Now as for the women, things are a little more open as they field a bracket of 64 teams. Its like March Madness but only in November.

It is hard to seperate much between the top teams in women’s soccer. Some say its UNC and some believe it is Notre Dame. Some also like UCLA and Santa Clara. Its tough but I expect each of those four teams that I just mentioned to be the top four teams (or your number one seeds so to speak) for this bracket.

As for your "number 2 seeds" I like WVU, Florida State, Portland and Texas A & M. These teams will be home until the quarterfinal matches. You could also make a case for Oklahoma State, Penn State, Florida and Illinois for one of these spots. A lot does come down to regional brackets and what nots that I don’t even want to get into.

I think the Big East will send 6 but out of those 6 it could be interesting. Notre Dame, WVU, Villanova and I believe by now Rutgers are a sure thing for the ladies field. After that it could come down to the following four teams: UConn, St. John’s, Marquette, and Louisville. And really, the Big East could get lucky and send 7 or 8. It is always interesting to see who gets selected and who doesn’t in this case.

Again, Monday night we will know more for sure when both brackets are released on ESPNews. However, we do know that this weekend’s games will easily impact anything that goes into the brackets. Might see a few surprises and we might not.

Alright then…

So as you may have listened or heard…or even read at this point the men’s and women’s teams have both advanced to the Big East semifinals for next weekend. I will be traveling to New Jersey to call the men’s games now. I am not a 100% sure when the game is on Friday but I will let everyone know so you all can be sure to tune in and listen to a big and important match!

The men play Rutgers, a team that they have yet to face this season. Rutgers will be at home and that has some people a little upset that the top seed in the tournament has to travel and play the number two seed on its homefield. Hey, that is just how it works, schools put up host bids for these tournaments and Rutgers is hosting it this time. Not biggie if you ask me. Marquette hosted the women’s tournament last year when many felt that they shouldn’t. Its just the lay of the land, that is all.

So a full week for me here with school and then traveling to New Jersey. I am excited though. I called my second game this season as play-by-play man last night. I felt things went alright, since it was only my third time doing it overall. Still, it was a blast to do and I am looking forward to doing more as the team goes on.

Now, the important thing coming up will be if the men get a host seed (a top 4 seed really) for the NCAA tournament. That would be HUGE. It would mainly mean that they would be home until the Final Four (if they were to advance that far). Homefield is huge and hopefully the men can earn it next weekend. I still believe they have every way of doing so.

As for the women, they advance to the semifinals as well in the Big East like I said. They should get a good seed for the women’s NCAA tournament as well. They should host a few games too. They may need to win the Big East tournament to get a chance to host like the men.

I think the men have put themselves in good position to get that top four seed as of last night. Not to mention, despite the weather, there was a pretty good crowd out there last night. If you didn’t listen, it was cold, rainy, sometimes snowing, and extremely windy. So windy at times the ball would get in the air and catch the wind and it would block it down. It was amazing to watch really.

Well, I will hopefully be back sometime this week with more updates on everything.

Preview of the BE Tournaments

The start of both men’s and women’s Big East tournaments are about to get under way. Since I have seen most of these teams first hand, it made sense to set out a little prediction for the finals.

I will start off with the ladies bracket. The two number one seeds get a bye (Notre Dame and West Virginia) while each two/three matchup is very nice.

Notre Dame will get the winner of the Seton Hall or Cincinnati/St. John’s. Big drop off in teams for the Irish to play in the second round. Looking at it I would probably have to take the Red Storm to advance to play Notre Dame. Either way, Notre Dame should have no trouble in this bracket. Once they move on they will get the winner of the Villanova/Marquette. I think the Golden Eagles at home are a little too much for the Wildcats (who I still feel are one of the more overrated teams). But I will sneak Nova in with the upset.

So, the first semifinal will have Notre Dame and Villanova.

The second part of the bracket shows West Virginia getting the winner of the Pittsburgh/Louisville game. I like the Cardinals in this match but don’t sleep on the Panthers. This one could go either way but it shouldn’t spell trouble for West Virginia with either team. WVU should move on and play the winner of the UConn/Rutgers. UConn in an unfamiliar role, going on the road for the conference tournament. I still think they can beat the Scarlet Knights on the road and advance to play WVU.

The second semifinal will pit WVU and UConn.

I like Notre Dame and WVU to win their semi’s and Notre Dame to win the Big East. The Irish are just too strong and will look to push for a National Title. Don’t get me wrong, WVU is good and I still stand firm on my final four projection for this squad but they have to show that they can beat a strong oppenet like UConn before they can even think to beat a Notre Dame.

In the Men’s Bracket…things are a little differnet. First round matchups are interesting all across the board.

First up is the USF/Seton Hall matchup. The winner will play WVU…in this one I have to take the home team in USF. The Bulls haven’t been the team that I expected them to be from the begining of the season but should be able to muster up a win at home against a Seton Hall team that has been up and down all season. I do expect WVU to beat either one of those teams fine, and thus sending the Mountaineers to the semifinals.

Next is the most lopsided of the first round games, Notre Dame and DePaul. The Blue Demons aren’t much of anything and Notre Dame should have no trouble getting by and will go on to face Rutgers. I like Rutgers since they should use their homefield advantage to perfection. Not to mention they will have the homefield throughout the Big East tournament. However, I believe Notre Dame will get by on the road…yes…I know…its a tough pick but I wouldn’t mind seeing another Irish/Mountaineer clash again this season.

After that is the Louisville/Providence match, the winner will play Cincinnati. I like the Friers in this one, though I believe Cincinnati will prevail and move on to the semifinals to face….

UConn. The Huskies should have no problem with the winner of the St. John’s/Pittsburgh match. I will go ahead and say St. John’s will win and play UConn, pitting two solid storied clubs against one another.

So, in the semifinals, I like WVU over Notre Dame and I like Cincinnati over UConn. I am sticking with my pick from almost two months ago saying that the Big East final will be WVU and Cincinnati, and now I will preject WVU winning it all. Homer pick, sure, but I think this team can do it.

Post Season Soccer Info

Alright, both the men and women have wrapped up their regular seasons.  Both did very well this season. The men won their first ever Big East regular season title, going undefeated in conference play (only loss of the year was at then-#1 UVA). The women won their division outright and will host the winner of Louisville/Pitt next Sunday at 1 pm.

As for the men’s next game, they will not play Pitt in a make up game tomorrow night. There was basically no need for that game so it will not be played. Instead they will get the week off and play on Saturday against the winner of the Seton Hall/USF game. That game will be at 7pm, again on Saturday.

After that if both teams will I will be traveling with the men’s team to New Jersey for the finals of the Big East tournament. I will have more info on that as it comes up! Just keep checking back for more!

MLS Playoff Preview

In what I hope is the last of the eight team playoff format in the MLS. I felt it would be the right time to take and preview things for the upcoming playoffs that start later on today. First round games are two legs, meaning you play a home and home with whoever you are playing. Some interesting matchups and some that are just so typical and boring that I would rather not care to watch.

Anyways, I will just start in the East and move my way West to preview things here.

New York Red Bulls v. DC United – Some could be calling this just another year for DC but I don’t know yet. I think the Red Bulls will give the men in black and red a fight. These two are Atlantic Cup rivals and do typically have good games with one another. DC won the season series 2-0-2, but that doesn’t mean the Red Bulls will go down without a fight. I will take DC in this series basically because they have "been there" more times before and have the better talent to win this.
DC advances

Chicago Fire v.  New England Revolution – I kind of yawn when I see this matchup and I feel it is more of a toss up than anything. I know it is the #2 v. #3 match in the East but it so bland this year. Neither team excites me enough to want to pick over the other. Chicago won the season series 2-1-1, so they do have the success against the Revs, not to mention the hunger to erase what happen last year in the Eastern Conferernce finals against the Revs. Look for physical play but don’t expect a lot of scoring. Taylor Twellman needs to step up and show that he can make things happen again for the Revs, while Andy Herron needs to continue having a solid season for the Fire. I like Chicago in this one though, it just seems fitting for the Fire to win.
Chicago advances

Now moving out West…

Colorado Rapids v. FC Dallas – Dallas sure has limped into the playoffs like they did a season ago. And sure enough they face the team that gives them a lot of trouble, the Colorado Rapids. Dallas needs a strong result on the road because they could slip up at home. Sure they have been tough at the Oven this season but they need to learn how to walk the walk in the playoffs before they can talk the talk. A strong showing in Colorado will do just that for the Hoops. They do have the home field advantage for as long as they stay in the playoffs (the MLS Cup is in Dallas this year). They have to keep that in mind and stay hungry.
FC Dallas advances

CD Chivas USA v.  Houston Dynamo – This is one interesting matchup that I will pay attention to. I think there is enough firepower on both sides that will make this series worth watching. Is Chivas the darkhorse to win it all this year? Yes. But Houston is a team that has the players to do the same. They split the season series 1-1-2,  so expect close games with scoring. Razov and Ching will be the two to watch in the attack, but it will come down to Dwayne de Rosario and Pablo Garcia in the midfield leading the way for the two teams. Its a true tossup but I am going with Chivas.
CD Chivas USA advances

Could I be right with all of this? Probably not but we will see. The playoffs kickoff and I can’t wait for the MLS Cup.

Corrections the MLS needs…

With the start of the MLS playoffs coming up in the coming weeks I sat and pondered at the future of this young league and I think its time for some change.

Yes, next year there will be some change. Another new franchise will kick up with Toronto (don’t call us Inter) FC. Looking at how things are going in the league there are currently 12 teams split into two conferences, an east and a west. Right now each year the top four teams advance at the end of the season to the playoffs.

Now conventional wisdom would tell this young league that eight teams in the post season is too many considering you only have 12 teams overall in your league. Not to mention what are the changes with adding an odd number to the mix next year to make it the unlucky 13.

I look at it like this, it is the perfect time for the MLS to finally do what the world does and play in a single table format. Scheduling can still be the same but it is time for what every league in the world basically uses. Having the odd number of teams really allows the MLS to explore this opportunity for at least a season and see how the fans respond to it.

Honestly, in a way they have always had a slight single table format with the competition for the League Shield, which goes to the team with the most points in the regular season. I love the League Shield and want to keep it if the single table format does take place next season.

Sedondly, I think the MLS needs to redo their playoff format. Even if they stick with the current conference format, there should be no reason to allow over half of each conference into the playoffs each season. It’s really a lose-lose situation. It devalues the regular season for most teams, like a FC Dallas or a DC United who basically knew they were going to make the playoffs since about the middle of July.

Single table or no single table, I do like the playoff system. Its an American thing to do, and even some smaller European leagues are doing it for their promotional purposes to their top tier leagues. Keep the playoff system but only take the top teams, meaning that if it is a conference slate, only take the top two teams from each. It will put more emphasis on the regular season and give fans something to cheer a little harder for. Less is more for this type of situation.

And even if things get switch to a single table format, take the top four teams. It would still work in the same capacity. Take four teams, first round be a two legged series (like they do in the opening rounds of the playoffs now) and then have the wonderful MLS Cup.

Once this season ends it will be the perfect time to explore these options. It will only improve the product that is growing more and more each year.

National Media against WVU

(So, if you can’t tell I am ranting here about annoying people on message boards…I randomly go on message boards like bluegoldnews.com and read what the “people” have to say about current happenings in WVU sports. And right now everyone is moaning about the national media hating us, mainly Colin Cowherd of ESPN.)

Driving around Morgantown today I decided to tune from Ethel 47 on my XM dial to the good likes of ESPN 140…or just plain ol’ ESPN Radio.

I love ESPN Radio, and I listen to it probably the most out of anything that I listen to on my XM radio. I am a guy and obviously that is what I like to listen to and hear about. The show on ESPN Radio at that time is a nationally syndicated show called The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Yes, that is his name, Cowherd. I laugh when I hear it sometimes too, don’t you even worry. Cowherd is a huge football guy and to me he knows his stuff when it comes to the sport. Sure he is a west-coach homer and he does love a little much on the SEC. But, you know what? He typically has a good point, even if it is negative toward WVU.

Colin was having a fruitful discussion on college football like he normally does any time of the year. Usually when the conversation starts up and the questions roll in about WVU he typically “hates” on the school and how good/bad the Mountaineers really are. I laugh at it really because for the most part he has a truthful opinion on the schedule that WVU is playing this season. Cowherd said something on the line that if Ohio State wins out, if WVU wins out and if a Florida only has one loss that he would have no problem arguing and doing everything he could to make the national title game a Florida-OSU game.

It’s a legitimate argument. Mainly that he says if Florida loses this weekend in a close game on the road at Auburn and wins out that he wouldn’t want to see an undefeated WVU or Louisville team in the national title game.

And oddly I agree. It would seriously be bad television if that were the case. Mainly since I feel that we would be mobbed if we even played OSU in a game this year…I am not saying they are the best team in the country but they are good enough to take WVU down that is for sure.

Now I am a WVU homer like the rest here in Morgantown. I am, and I usually defend the naysayers of this team but Cowherd presents a good point about WVU, the schedule is weak. Marshall, Eastern Washington and teams like that aren’t doing us any favors right now in their own play is killing our out of conference schedule. Not to mention our conference schedule is still pretty weak. Pitt and Syracuse are still on the rebound, South Florida, UConn and Cincinnati are question marks each year, Rutgers and Louisville are good but we honestly don’t know how good.

One caller on the show was from California and was actually a WVU graduate and he probably presented the best case to make a “hater” (as some people on the wonderful message boards around here say) like Cowherd even respect us. I loved his point that the schedule is weak and that Slaton needs more love on the air and that Rich Rod is doing a decent job.

Really, to me that is all WVU need on the air. Slaton is a hell of an athlete and player and Coach Rod is doing a good job. Not to mention WVU just needs to keep winning and the harp and hate against the school will slowly side away. People can’t really argue with W’s all across the board, even if some are weak.

I say to people on the message boards that complain and moan about the anti-WVU sentiments on air, calm down…its only a freakin’ game.

WVU, if they win out will be fine and will at least make a BCS game again this year. To me, that is what is important. Win the Big East and let the rest settle itself. WVU silenced a lot of people last year in the Sugar Bowl and they can do it again this year. It may not be in the national title game but it will be in some BCS game if the team just does what it has to do and that is just win.

More than likely, this article could turn into a weekly installment until the season ends. And I will probably return soon to present my break down of the current state in college football…

The coming week…

Not to many games in the coming week. There will be one Wednesday night that will be for the men’s team. They will play American at 7 pm.

There are two ladies games this coming weekend but I will be taking the weekend off thanks to a visit from my girlfriend Becca. You can still tune into the games because I will have a suitable replacement in those two games on Friday and Sunday.

For those who tried to listen to this past Wednesday’s game, there was a bad thunder storm in the area that caused the game to be canceled. It will be made up later on this month on the 23rd. That is a Monday for those keeping score at home. If things play out for the men’s team they may not even have to play that game but as always I will let you know about it when that time comes around.

Continue checking out my new photo page, I added loads of photos this weekend to it. Some new, and some old. So enjoy!

And yes, I changed the look of this place once again…I felt it was time for a good look for the fall season. So maybe I will stick with this one for a little while than the others.