Its shaping up to be the worst year possible that College Football could have initiated their new playoff system designed to “ensure” that a “true” National Champion is crowned.
For years people have been clamoring for a playoff in College Football and the powers that be, (Read: NCAA and university presidents) have been dragging their feet, defending the flawed BCS system like an attorney for a plainly guilty client.
There have been those proposing a 16-team playoff. In this publication, we've been begging for an 8-team tournament. In previous years, that many teams would have been overkill. The truth is, in recent memory, there have rarely been more than one or two teams left out of the BCS National Championship game who legitimately deserved a shot. But still, the fact that there were always a couple teams on the outside was enough to demand reform. So, finally, a four-team playoff will solve all of the problems, right? Surely, if you're ranked as low as 5th, you have no beef with not getting in.
Not this year. There may be as many as ten teams, when it is all said and done, that will be able to make a case for why they are deserving. Just look at the initial rankings that have come out. Compare the schedules, look at the wins and losses. A dozen or more teams can stake a legitimate claim. Yes, there will be many more ranked teams lose, if for no other reason, then that they still have to play one another. But this year even some two-loss teams will be certain to feel they should be slotted higher than others one loss. And it looks like there are going to be way more than four schools finish the season with only one loss.
So, once again the NCAA tried to get it right and fumbled the snap. Once again it all comes down to subjective opinions. Our prediction? There will not be an undisputed National Champion crowned in January. But, when the final whistle blows, our guess is that if you looked back at the “elite” eight in the country based on rankings, and had played them off on January 1st, in the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls, and then had the four winners play in the semi-final, you'd have a lot less argument as to who should be wearing the crown. And it very may well have been one of the teams ranked 5-8 that would have come out on top. But we'll never know. Is it better than before? Sure. Is it as good as it could and should be? Not by a long shot.
Thinking of heading out to the lake this weekend? See if you can get a tow on one of these watercraft from CRAZYSHARK Water Sports. It is the most fun you'll have on the water this year. Old school is water skiing where everyone in the boat has to wait their turn while one lucky person tries to get up, falls, waits for the boat to circle back around, and the cycle is repeated. It takes hours for everyone to get a chance and by then, usually no one wants to go a second time.
Not so with the fun hydro vehicles from CRAZYSHARK. Multiple riders can get on, making it more fun than solo skiing or tubing. You can have the entire party together getting huge air as you catapult over the waves. The product is heavy-duty bottom and cover and offers foam soft-grip handles with neoprene knuckle guards to make the experience thrilling, but painless. You can sit or kneel six to eight riders depending on which model you're lucky enough to be on.
So get on, hold on, and tell the driver to go fast. After your first time on this bucking bronco you'll want to do your second, third and fourth rodeos.
Through the years, as a player, coach and dad, I've seen, read and heard a lot of advice on hitting a baseball. You can get bogged down in so much detail that an average coach (like me) or player can become intimidated. You'll hear things about rotational versus linear hitting. Top hand versus bottom hand. Stride and toe-tap, starting the hands, coil, pivot, load, staying inside the ball, taking the knob directly to the ball, staying back, going through the ball, finishing high, head down...on and on. But there is one thing you don't hear that much about, but it is maybe that one aspect of hitting no one will debate. And that is that no matter what a hitter does at the plate when he swings, above all he should be balanced.
When I was younger I had a coach one time show me a tip on staying balanced. He said that after the swing, you should be able to move up and down by bending your knees and see the bat over your back shoulder. Good advice, and I taught that to my players when I became a coach. But when you think about it, that really only helps after the swing has taken place, not before, when you really need it.
There's a company called TPT Baseball that has developed a training tool intended to develop that all-important balance in hitters everywhere. Their Three Piece Tee is easy to assemble, simple to use, but brilliant in concept. Think of it as a balance beam. If you were to repetitively walk back and forth on a balance beam like in grade school gym class, your overall balance and posture would surely improve. This is a similar concept. Players who hit off the three piece tee have no choice but to stay balanced throughout the swing. Repetition develops muscle memory that will be translated into results at the plate against live pitching. Balanced hitters have more power and can hit to all parts of the field. The consumer feedback has been so positive they've even developed a golf version.
They sent us one to try. My son is a pro ball player and he coaches younger kids in the off season. His pro coaches are trying to get him to work on not shifting too much weight to the front leg, which is exactly one of the benefits of the product. My son also sees a great application for his young travel-ball team. He said that he knows if most of the kids got on the Three Piece Tee, they'd wobble and fall off on their first swings. But if they took 20-30 good cuts on it, before long they'd be forced to learn proper form. He plans to bring it with him to his next practice to create another quality hitting station, something all youth baseball coaches will tell you is invaluable.
Maybe its because I'm not a professional hitting coach, but my advice to players has always been to try and keep it simple. I think that kids can get overwhelmed by information, to the point of paralysis at the plate. The Three Piece Tee can't be much more simple. If you're looking for good, technical hitting instruction, just stand on top and start hacking. It will tell you what you're doing right and wrong.
Source: TPT Baseball
"You'll Be Glad We Found It For You." That's the motto of a unique new sporting good company you should know about, Upstart Sports, (upstartsports.com). What makes them different? Take a look at their product line and see how many you've seen on television commercials or on the end-caps of major sporting goods stores. Upstart's mission is to scour the landscape so as to bring exposure, credibility and, ultimately, lots of business to a selection of hand-picked products that are big on qualty but small in name recognition. At least for now.
Their plan is to develop a network of territory distributors who will market the Upstart product line directly to schools, colleges, youth sports leagues and end consumers. The companies that have "made the grade" and had their products included in the catalogue usually do not have the marketing budgets to hire large sales forces or advertise nationally. Thus, they tend to depend more on "word-of-mouth" and organic growth, which can be effective, but also slow. By creating a "co-op" of products all housed under one roof, distrbutors will have the advantage of being able to represent a diverse mix, making them more appealing to a broader spectrum of potential buyers.
Check them out and see what you think. Their mission is to bring you products from up-and-coming companies with a passion for what they do. You'll be glad they found them for you.
Source: Upstart Sports
Have you ever thought about the expression, "riding a bike"? You "ride" a horse, surfers ride on a weve, but unless you're going downhill, you don't really ride a bike. You push the petals, you drive the sproket and chain, but it's work. Even the phrase "bicycle tire," sounds exhausting. Before you think we're the laziest people on earth, we're saying this tongue-and-cheek. Yes, "riding" a bike is fun but when you're facing an uphill climb and/or not particularly in the mood for an intense workout, it can also be a chore.
For people who want to cycle but occassionally would like to take a break, we bring you Rubbee. What does this ingenious contraption do? It quickly attaches to the seat post and can be adjusted to "rub" the "rubber" of your back tire to turn the wheel and motorize your ride, (notice, no quotations). Battery-operated, it charges fully in about two hours and will propel you up to around 16 MPH.
The Rubbee is perfect for people who may wish to cycle to work but have a lot of hills or too much distance to pedal the entire way. Families may be more apt to take bicycle outings if they know that children can become motorized if they become weary. The ironic thing about the inventions is that, while it appears to be created so that someone can avoid the effort involved with getting on a bike, the reality is it may actually encourage more people to go for a spin. They know they can venture out on their own as far as they want and not have the worry. They can always get a ride home.