The Stack is here and on time with the post today unlike yesterday. We have a few interesting topics and stories to talk about today so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, September 13:
Notre Dame joins ACC in all sports except....football
Notre Dame made a big announcement Wednesday, and it probably was one that not many expected. The school announced that they will join the ACC in all sports except for football. The Big East requires a 27-month window before exiting though Notre Dame hopes to get to the ACC sooner than that. Pittsburgh and Syracuse both sped up the exit process and paid a heftier fine to leave the conference than Notre Dame would have to pay if they accept the 27-month waiting period. It doesn't sound like Notre Dame wants to do that given the precident set by Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
The real question in all of this moving is what this does for the football program. Notre Dame still will remain an independent though it is a requirement that at least five of the games on their schedule will have to be ACC schools. That could prove to be a good thing for Notre Dame. The ACC has some strong teams like Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. That can help the Fighting Irish bolster their strength of schedule and help them get to a BCS bowl game. Then there's the question about what this move may mean to getting the football program towards joining a conference permanently. Notre Dame has enjoyed their freedom of being an independent, but it does have its limitations and drawbacks. Notre Dame is not the program it once was. They've struggled mightily in recent years and are having a much more difficult landing top recruits and having a shot at winninig the national championship, something fans at South Bend have been craving. Does moving to the ACC for all other sports help speed the process of Notre Dame football choosing to join a conference? One would think so, but Notre Dame football remains stubborn. Personally, I think it's time that they join a conference because it would help them get back to being a national championship contender what with being associated with a conference. But that appears to be a little ways down the road.
Another question that arises from this move is what this does to the Big East, mainly for basketball purposes. With Syracuse and Pittsburgh leaving after this year, two consistent winners in the program, the Big East is losing its reputation as the best basketball conference in America. Sure they're adding Temple and Memphis into the mix, but those schools pale in comparison to what Syracuse and Pittsburgh have already accomplished. Now with Notre Dame leaving, the Big East is really going to feel its effects. How much remains to be seen. The Big East may not be done trying to add schools for all sports, but football. The ACC may soon be considered the top sport conference in the land, especially for basketball. UNC, Duke, NC State, Maryland, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and soon Notre Dame. My gosh. What a conference. Enough already!! Stop with the re-allinging. It's wrecking college sports. Am I right? Surely I'm not the only one who thinks this. This madness has got to stop. The almighty dollar is winning left and right. When are principles going to take presidence over money? Perhaps this is just part of the evolution of college athletics. If that's the case, I may soon be showing myself out the door as I'm sure a few others will be as well. Will you be one of them?
Jim Calhoun will retire
UCONN men's basketball head coach Jim Calhoun, three-time national championship winner will announce his retirement this afternoon. The 70-year old recently was in a bike accident in which he fractured his hip. Calhoun's status as head coach had been in doubt in recent years as he has had several health concerns. Of course, the recent academic failings that will cause UCONN to miss the 2013 tournament probably made the decision a little easier as well. Among Calhoun's impressive numbers:
- 875 career wins (2 recently vacated)
- 40 years head coach (Northeastern and UCONN)
- 46 NCAA tournament wins
- 4 Final Fours
- 3 National Championships
Calhoun was a pretty amazing coach. Is he top ten good? I'd say so. Top five? Hmmm...I'd have to think about that. He did at times have a contentious relationship with members of the media. Now that has nothing to do with him as a head coach, because let's face it, Bobby Knight wasn't always great with the media and he is one of the best coaches of all-time. Calhoun had a great run at UCONN and it will be interesting to see where the program goes now that he is no longer going to be the head coach. Assistant head coach Kevin Ollie will be named the next head coach. Here's to a great career and one of the best college basketball coaches the game has ever seen.
NHL talks resume as lockout looms
At this point, most everyone expects a lockout, but at least the two sides are talking, trying to reach a deal. Both the NHL and the NHLPA met in New York yesterday and exchanged proposals. Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the NHLPA's proposal was pretty much the same as their last with a few minor changes around the edges. The NHL made a proposal that would give players 49 percent of all NHL revenue and drop to 47 percent as the deal continues among other things. However, there is a string attached. The deal is off the table Saturday once the lockout begins. That is a shrewd move by Bettman and I don't think it's going to work. Forcing the players to accept a deal that is not going to benefit them in the longterm is not the way to go, because once the deal expires, we're going to be in the exact same situation we were before looking at a lockout. All of us just want the NHL season to start on time for the players to play hockey. I really hope a deal gets done. Let's get a new deal done that's fair for everyone. Let's play hockey! I don't have much faith that they can get one done before Saturday.
MLB has schedule twist
Next year when the baseball season begins, things are going to be a little different. Interleague play will begin right away when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pay a visit to the Cincinnati Reds on opening day. The reason for this is because the Houston Astros are making the move to the AL West meaning each league will have fifteen teams. So they have to play a couple of series matching one league against the other every week. Now if they could only figure out one set of rules...do you want the pitcher to hit or should we permanently switch to the DH? I kind of like the pitchers hitting personally. That's another issue for another day.
Bears, Packers meet in NFC North showdown
It may be a little early to say that a Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers matchup is that crucial for one team over the other, but in this instance, I don't think we're overstating it. The Bears travel to Lambeau Field to take on the the Packers tonight at 8:20 PM ET on the NFL Network. The Bears are 1-0, the Packers are 0-1. The Packers defense was awful against the 49ers and now they get to face Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and that offense. Not a walk in the park for sure. The Bears offense may not be as good as the Packers, but their defense is. That may balance this game out and Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is doubtful for tonight's game. That's a big loss for the Packers. However, I think the Packers know the significance of this game. You can't go and start out the season losing your first two games with both of those games coming at home! 0-2 won't doom the Packers, because they are a good team, but it's not going to be an easy road ahead. They come out inspired and will play with a chip on their shoulder. Aaron Rodgers will come through with a big game as will Jordy Nelson and the Packers will squeek by.
Prediction: Packers 27 Bears 24
Coming up Friday: NFL Week 2 predictions