Tonight’s only game in the schedule is a non-conference matchup between UT Chattanooga and Eastern Kentucky, which brings back memories of Bracketbusters, (gone too soon!) but it brings with it a interesting question: is it a good idea to step out of conference in the middle of the campaign?
I’ve been able to ask coaches about this over the past few years, and most of them have the same answer: it doesn’t really matter. While we, as fans, tend to look ahead quite a lot, most coaches don’t as much. They have an assistant scout the next game, another scout one game ahead, and that’s about it. They take it a week at a time, and with Chattanooga being one of two games for EKU this week, they’re, in all likelihood, doing things the same way they would a normal conference week.
In fact, it might actually be better they’re playing this game, as it keeps the team in a bit of rhythm, preparing for two games this week, much as they normally do this time of year.
Just…the game doesn’t mean that much at this point. To either team.
In yesterday’s winners and losers post, I missed a big winner last weekend: Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles absolutely needed to break their losing streak, but there’s a second benefit to beating Belmont – tiebreakers.
If a two-way or three-way tie can’t be broken by head-to-head records, then it goes to record against best team, and then down the standings. If things stay the way they are now, TTU’s win over Belmont could have benefits.
There is a problem though: SIUE, a team expected to be in that mix, beat Murray, who looks like the favorite to win the conference .(Pending Thursday’s result) The other: most of their potential ties are against team’s in the West, of which any two-way tie will be broken by head-to-head record, because they’ve played just once.
Still though, TTU’s is still in the race for Nashville, which is something that looked to be slipping from their hands.
Tomorrow is signing day, which means our recruiting section will get a much needed update. Earlier this year, we adopted a new policy only to announce signings once their official: meaning no verbals. The reason, in part, was an excellent article Tom Via wrote on recruiting violations, and how contacting a recruit, even via twitter, is an NCAA violation, and could theoretically get your school in trouble.
There are other reasons as well: recent decommits, inaccuracy of information, and the overwhelming nature of following all 12 schools.
This policy may change and adapt over time, and could very well change in the near future. While I appreciate the stand we’re taking, I’m not sure it really has any impact on the overall field of recruiting, and that information is available from other sources, that obviously don’t have a problem reporting it.
It’s something worth considering, and we are doing just that.
If you’re on twitter, and see recruit information tomorrow, forward it to us @OVCBall. We’ll be combing twitter and contacting the teams for the latest signing information, and we’ll post it here on OVC Ball tomorrow.