Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hey look! A big, steaming pile of NOTHING from the committee. Merry Christmas.

Just like they did last year, the selection committee has seen fit to publish an embarrassing and insulting Q&A with one of their members.

I'm not going to even bother reviewing it like I did last year, because that would lend some credibility to this fraud of an exercise. It's nothing. It's fluff. It's an exercise in futility.

None of the truly interesting questions were asked, none of the questions asked were really answered.

The bigger question -- which I asked last year -- is why does the committee embarrass itself and insult the collegiate volleyball community by going through this charade every year if they're not going to bother doing a halfway decent job?

Alaina Bergsma, no ugly duck, et cetera, et cetera

Did you hear? Oregon's Alaina Bergsma, at 6'3" surely one of the world's tallest ducks, was crowned Miss Oregon USA!

The Miss Oregon USA website is oddly short on details, so we can't tell what Bergsma did for the talent portion of the competition. I'm guessing it wasn't commit blocking on a 3-ball and then transitioning for a slide down the line.

Maybe ballroom dancing? Or baton twirling? Is that still a thing? Either way, Bergsma now is eligible for the Miss USA pageant, where she'll be befriended by an awkward but winning Gracie Lou Freebush who'll take everyone out for pizza while asking a lot of oddly personal questions.

Things you may have missed: TMZ and Morgan Beck

You remember Morgan Beck, right? Cal Berkeley, tall, blonde, and empirically speaking, goooood lookin'. Well, a while back she was spotted by, of all things, TMZ cameras outside some club.

TMZ asked her some questions, there was a little back and forth, and now we have...this.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

I don't know what if "smuggy buggy" is TMZ's version of "That's so fetch" or "streets ahead," but they sure try to drill it in, don't they?

Can we expect coverage of Jessica Gysin leaving a Starbuck's soon? Whitney Pavlik at the Roosevelt Hotel?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yep, the "bracket" is a joke

Every year the committee gets together, and like the cat that thinks it's doing you a favor, puts a dead bird on college volleyball's front step: the bracket.

The worst part? There will be, invariably, an "interview" with a member of the committee where they're asked specific, pointed questions, and to which they'll answer in vague, general nonsense, which is even more insulting than the bracket itself.

If you don't recall, here's the "Q&A" we highlighted last year.

Twitter! (Part the second)

Questions are fun.

Oh yeah, there were matches, too

Through a haze of turkey, I remember some results:

Northwestern beat Nebraska - Shut. The. Front. Door.

Oregon State beat Oregon - Of course they did.

Arizona State beat Arizona - Was there something in the turkey this year? Is that what it is?

Miami beat Florida State - Like a group salmonella that caused upsets.

Texas A&M beat Iowa State - Or a haze-inducing creamed spinach.

TCU beat UCSB - Or everyone ate at the same Sizzler.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Caaannnn you feeeeeel the looooooove, tonight.

Jimmy Mac not an RPI guy

"Psst. Hey, I don't like the RPI. Pass it on."
Washington's student newspaper took time out from covering the Apple Cup-thing to talk with JMac about the upcoming NCAA tourney. After covering the basics, the article waded into the murky waters of the RPI.

"The RPI takes into account a team's winning percentage (25 percent of the formula), opponent's winning percentage (50 percent of formula), and opponent's opponent's winning percentage."

Is that accurate? So the RPI uses the same kind of logic that they tell you in college health classes to use before you sleep with someone. "Whoever you kiss, you're essentially kissing everyone they've kissed." Interesting. I had no idea the RPI was so...salacious.

"And this year, at least, the RPI does not like the Pac-12."

Yeahbut, since the RPI is an equation, it isn't capable of, you know, human emotion. Just like a Vulcan. Or Keanu Reeves. But the best stuff from the article is when JM blesses us all with his thoughts about the RPI.

"I think we're one of the top ten teams in the country. The RPI is a joke."

Well, let's remember that the RPI doesn't factor in what coaches think, first of all. Math is very funny that way.

"I looked at some of the teams in the top 10, and there's no way you can logically look at it and say, 'This schedule is stronger than this schedule.'"

I assume JMac has a better idea in mind? Something perhaps from the GM2 oeuvre?

"The coaches know."

And we all know coaches are infallible...

"They've been ranking five Pac-12 schools in the top ten."

To be fair, he has a point. Washington's RPI is 30 (snicker), and they're more realistically somewhere in the 9-15 range. So why the discrepancy?

"It's hocus pocus, and we need some people that understand the game."

Hocus pocus?

"It's very ambiguous. I'd like them to tell us, 'OK, here's how you should schedule.'"

Wait wait wait. Is McLaughlin, in his 10th year at Washington, the only guy to win a men's and women's NCAA title, saying he doesn't know how to schedule to help his RPI? REALLY?

"'Do we go to the east coast to play those teams?' he continued, referring to the RPI's more highly rated teams."

I'm gonna assume he's talking only about Miami, Florida, and Florida State, because there aren't any other "east coast" teams ahead of him in the RPI.

I'll tell you what you shouldn't do, Jimbo, is play only two teams in the top 100 in pre-conference tournaments. Oh wait, that's what you did.

"What if we don't have the money? We're cutting back on everything."

Yyyyeah, I'm sure the UW athletic department is cutting back on your ability to go to pre-conference tournaments featuring teams better than Prairie View A&M and Seattle...

"And what if you lose three seniors? How do you regulate that?"

There's a lot to assume here, because the writer doesn't bother to give context to that quote. I assume he means if you graduate seniors and don't want the new, younger team getting drilled by tough competition.

"It's got to be fair for the teams, the teams that develop and produce over the course of the year. And volleyball people know who they are. They should be rewarded."

The RPI is far from perfect, but using "volleyball people" can be just as ineffective. Some people can get entrenched in their views and base their ratings / rankings on names and reputations rather than actual results.

JMac has some good points, but it seems rather lame to claim he doesn't know how to schedule to benefit his RPI. The guy's been around the block. But he has a great volleyball mind, so I'd like to hear any ideas he has to improve the system.

"I dunno. I don't want to get all into it."

Really? It seemed like that's exactly what you wanted to do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Justin Ingram out at Ark State; player approves

Aw, that's adorable...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Everybody cut loose. Footloose.

Many, many teams are now going to the Big Dance, so go fork over some money for a crappy corsage, put on the uncomfortable shoes, and pay too much for chicken piccata.

The Chippewas are going dancing! - For the first. Time. Ever, Central Michigan wins the MAC title after coming in as the #6 seed. Mount Pleasant? Mount Really Pleasant.

UW-Milwaukee? Also dancing! - This should take the sting off that Brewers playoff loss. Maybe. Probably not. Who knows. Let's go drink a Schlitz and talk about it, talk about our feelings.

Dayton, put on your dancing shoes - Flyers are caught on that wheel of romance (we all get that reference, right?), beat Xavier for title.

American style dancing! - Do the Hustle, because Barry and the Americans beat Army for the Patriot title.

Buffalo, Bison. Bison, Buffalo - Nevermind the kangaroos and chipmunks, Lipscomb puts the kibosh on Belmont to return to the dance! That's the way the thunder rumbles.

Now they're the Dancin' Blue Hens! - VCU really caused a ruckus in the CAA tournament, but Delaware rights the ship in 5 in the finals.

There's a lot of dancing, is what we're saying - Niagara falls? Nope, they win MAAC. The branch of Maryland University? The one on that Eastern Shore over there? They won the MEAC. Plus Morehead State (immature snicker), North Dakota wins that weird conference, Texas State, Jackson State, North Dakota State, and Western Kentucky!

Ugh. Do I have to pay attention to Arizona now? - Wildcats might be in the tournament after drilling the Bruins for the second time this year.

Chris Riley, Hokies, making life miserable for naysayers - You can hear them now, the Anti-Riley contingency, in various corners of the internet. After the Hokies beat the Tar Heels and red-hot Wolfpack, they now have to go with the "blind squirrel / nuts" argument.

So, Colorado won. - They beat Washington State for their first PAC 12 win. I don't know how to feel about this.

East Lansing is NUTS - Spartans are a long way from that loss to Bowling Green after beating Illini in 4. Remember when the Illini were #1?

Notre Dame beats Syracuse -- this time - Phew, right?

Notre Dame then upsets Louisville - Well of course they did...

Cincy beats Notre Dame for Big East title - OK, but I'm still chewing on that previous result.

Bay Area hates Ducks! - Which is funny because it seems like a pretty inclusive area. Regardless, Oregon goes on the road to beat the Bay schools.

Cal also has a Beaver problem - I didn't even know Oregon State was still in the conference. Now I do, and so does Cal.

Well, it is "Happy Valley" after all - Purdue's 10-match winning streak halted by Deja and Slay Bells.

"We won the conference last week, AND then we drilled you 3-0." - Pepperdine adds insult to USD's injury. Now it's on to a first-round NCAA match against USC... Congrats!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

BREAKIN': Loyola Chicago pops and locks out five players

Loyola Chicago has chopped five players off the team after going 4-22.

Hey, is Muscat friends with Kritza?

Totally Unfair Photo Captions with Clemson

Frenchy takes a moment away from the Pink Ladies to play some defense.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hey, here's some stuff I found.

"We can be really bad, the good teams can’t get as bad as we can get. Our upside is that we can compete with the top teams. But our downside, it’s embarrassing." - Russ.

"Everybody was really zoned in. Our staff was zoned in, our crowd was zoned in." - Dave Shondell explaining the Boilermakers' "Vini Vidi Vici" game plan against Nebraska.

"We didn't compete, we didn't play, we didn't adjust." - Cook on the Huskers, uh, anti- "Vini Vidi Vici"?

"We won the first set, and then we were up 23-14 in the second set, and then we took a little nap." - Mike Sealy on Oregon loss. 23-14? "A little nap" is one way to phrase it. "Full-blown narcolepsy" is another.

"We’re still in the national championship picture." - Jerritt. Well, in all fairness, it's a HUGE picture. More like a mural. I'M in the national championship picture.

"That’s the best winless team you’ve ever seen." - Dave Rubio on Colorado. To which Colorado responded, "Thank you...?"

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team." - Mary Wise after the Gators narrowly defeated Arkansas in 5. Really? You almost lose to Arkansas and you're bursting with pride? “That was our single biggest win of the entire year." You are aware that you beat Texas earlier this year, right Mares?

"The highlight of the night came from freshman setter Shannan McCready who played soccer in high school. A ball was sailing to the ground when McCready saved a ball by kicking it into the air." - from Statepress.com's article on ASU's win over Colorado. Is McGown aware of your blasphemous ways, McCready?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Someone get Jeff Goldblum's character from "Jurassic Park"

We could use a good explanation of Chaos Theory right now 'cause this season is off the hizzy. It would not surprise me at all to see Xavier win the national championship. ...OK, that would surprise me, but you hear what I'm sayin', right?

U! C! LLLLL-- wait, what happened - The web-footed wonders of the northwest ensure a new #1 in the land after sending Sealy's swingers away with a loss.

Maybe Rooty should play? - In Daughter Cook's 2nd match back, Boilers sweep Huskers without calling one timeout all match. Boilers are a team you don't want to see in your part of the bracket.

Call the U.N.! FSU loses! - Keep hope alive, Miami! Seminoles lose first ACC match of the year to Duke, who may have just punched their ticket to the dance.

Pepperdine just keeping things interesting - Waves lose their first conference match, to St. Mary's, because they wanted to give USD some incentive?

Illinois sweeps Penn State - Because that's just the kind of month Penn State's having.

Huskies would like to remind everyone that they're still around - Beating Stanford does get your attention, I suppose.

7-10 is a good thing? - When you're NC State, and it's a whole galaxy away from the previous regime? It's a really, really good thing. Bunn for COY!

Meanwhile in the Big 12 - Texas is still in first, Iowa State's still in secondzzz... zzzzzzz...

'Cuse knocks off Irish - I just bet you that, before he left, Jing Pu taught the Orange how to do a mean foxtrot. He knew that's how you beat Notre Dame; with fancy footwork, a modicum of rhythm, and lots of enthusiasm.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wolverines name look-a-likes

MGoBlue.com is one of the more entertaining websites out there. Lots of features, lots of interviews. Some good, some... well it's a hit-or-miss genre, so there's no one to blame here.

Anyway, recently, in the Question of the Week feature, they asked each of the Wolverines, "Who would play you in the movie?" Let's take a look at what they said and unfairly mock the answers.

Claire McElheny - Kristen Wiig. Why? "I would enjoy seeing how she would handle some of the things have happened in my life, such as breaking my hip playing kickball, peeing in my snow suit on an eighth grade ski trip and having a unibrow for the majority of my childhood."

Wow. I forgot what the question was.

Brittany Lee - "I would choose Selena Gomez..." -- oh no -- "...because..." -- don't say it -- "...she dates Justin Bieber." Oh that is so sad. "And yes, I do have Bieber Fever." You've got something.

Jennifer Cross - Elisha Cuthbert. Why? "She is tall, blonde, blue-eyed and Canadian!" OK, Jennifer Cross is 6'4". Elisha Cuthbert is 5'2". On a good day. With the wind blowing in the right direction. But three out of four, that's close enough.

Molly Toon - "I would have to say Beyoncé, for obvious reasons." So she could turn down "Austin Powers in Goldmember," right?

Lexi Dannemiller - "Shakira because we both have crazy hair." Apparently I don't understand hair.

Michelle McMahon - "I would play Cameron Diaz in 'The Holiday' because she gets away from her life for a bit and ends up in the cutest little house in Ireland for the holidays." Uh...hm. Did I read the question wrong?

Lauren Cook should probably invest in a bus pass

Just a suggestion.

Lauren Cook has been accepted into a diversion program -- which frankly sounds like some kind of camp for spies, you know, to master the art of medium-sized explosions so that they can gain access to the secret, heavily guarded lair.

This means she avoids jail time, fines, and being forced to join Charlie's Angels or the Mod Squad or that La Femme Nikita thing, whatever that was.

Feel free to keep obsessing about the whole thing, though.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Weekend that Was kinda normal, actually.

Wait, the #1 team didn't lose? - I don't know what to make of a week where #1 holds onto their ranking. It's...unsettling. But, Bruins -- as well as Trojans -- send WA schools packing.

Not a good weekend for Penn State at all - Even if you're not the PSU A.D., it was a tough weekend. Russ' bunch barely beat Minnesota, and then fell to the Badgers in 5. Which means...

Florida A&M is totally better than Penn State! - Florida A&M beat UNF. UNF beat College of Charleston. College of Charleston beat Furman. Furman beat Wisconsin. Wisconsin beat Penn State. Voila.

Rooty comes through! - ROO-TY! ROO-TY! Brigette Root comes through for the Huskers in their time of need. Hopefully this doesn't lead to Sean Astin playing her in a movie with an XL Jon Favreau.

Maybe she should be the first server? - Game 5 of Wake / Virginia was 7-6 Wake before Kylie Hargreaves went back to serve. Eight serves later the match was over. Now, either Hargreaves has a serve we've never seen before that's incredibly difficult to pass and disrupts even the stoutest serve receive...or Virginia just fell apart. Or something in between. Could've been anything. I don't have a lot of information to work with.

.176 for the win! - How did Florida State International House of Volleyball hit .176 versus UNC's .234 and still win in 4 games? Well, they hit a flabbergasting -.207 in the one game they lost (4 kills, 10 errors, and 29 attempts), .212 or better in the the other three. If you're gonna lose one game, go big.

American beats Army - Just sounds weird. Like "the United States beats Captain America."

Musketeers win - No, not that goofy movie with the chick from The Fifth Element. We're talking Xavier, in five, over Dayton despite monster nights from Krabacher (24 kills) and Marten (20 kills).

Notre Dame beats Seton Hall, Rutgers - Well of course. Because neither of those teams can dance.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's official: John Cook can do nothing right

Really? Sorority members are "peeved"? And about what, you might ask?  Apparently, this is in reaction to Cook's statement about wishing his daughter -- in the wake of her car accident -- was a sorority girl and not a Husker volleyball player. According to miffed sorority girl Allison Shirk:

"Sorority girls — and fraternity boys — don't get away with anything. We have to project a good image and we have the same consequences as everyone else."

What? How did this become about you?

"A lot of us were just a little disturbed."

Really? Honestly? You were disturbed.

Look, I know it's fun to be outraged at perceived slights, but this is not a chance for everyone to jump on the Victim Train. Next thing you know, the Genie Association of America is going to lodge a complaint. ("We don't approve of John Cook's use of a 'wish' with such nepotism.")

Do sorority girls honestly think that Cook was saying, "You know, if my kid was a sorority girl, she could have gotten away with this. Have you ever seen a sorority girl held accountable for anything? O, why didn't I make her pledge Delta Delta Delta when I had the chance! Stupid, stupid, stupid!"

So now, Cook, on top of everything else in this crummy, crappy week, has to go meet with representatives of the Panhellenic Association.

Hang tough, Cook. Surely next week will be better, right? But to be on the safe side, don't make any references to the following: sororities, sorority girls, the Greek system in general, the Greek letters alpha, beta, chi, upsilon, and pi. Zeta, eta, phi, mu, nu, sigma, epsilon, and omega. Greece, the movie "Grease,"
pledging, pledges, PBS pledge drives, and tote bags. Frats, fraternal orders, fraternization, and "brosephs."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I'm starting to think -- with this headline, and the the earlier one -- that the headline writer at GoDucks.com has never actually seen a duck.

Day 2 of Occupy VolleyTalk

It's the 2nd day of heavy "discussion" on VolleyTalk re: Lauren Cook. Have we learned anything new? Accomplished anything? Gotten anywhere?


Have you not had 20 minutes of your life to waste reading the Lauren Cook thread? 20 minutes you'll never see again? Don't worry, you haven't missed much:

1. Lauren Cook got arrested.

2. She's evil incarnate. She's Lindsay Lohan. She's a ticking time bomb. People aren't surprised this happened.

3. OR Lauren Cook is probably a nice kid who made -- allegedly -- a bad decision after hitting a parked motorcycle. She should be punished appropriately according to whether or not she actually fled the scene and whether or not she was driving with a suspended license. 

4. Her parents are bad parents. They've coddled her. They've spoiled her. They'll probably let her off easy again this time.

5. OR they're parents, especially dad / coach, who are trying to handle a tough situation.

6. Something about gravel roads, various legal discussions.

There. Now you don't have to read the thread. You're welcome.