Thursday, April 3, 2008

Conference News & Web-o-Rama

I'll open with the "breaking news"...I was just about to click PUBLISH when the release hit about the Conference announcing the 2008 Class for the Big South Hall of Fame. Get the names and their claims to fame with the release on!

We've been collecting a few gems to share with the SHOUT crowd, plus we've got the SHOUT debut of the Big South on...

First, the Sasser Cup Standings have been updated through the winter sports results.
"What's the Sasser Cup?" Glad you asked!
Named for former Big South Commissioner Buddy Sasser, the award is given to the Conference member with the best overall athletic year. That's calculated with a points system based on a school's finish in the regular season and in the tournament for each sport that the institution participates in for the Big South (news release with standings and full explanation at this link).

Although the spring sports will have much to say about the final results, so far it's a clean sweep for the Liberty Flames through the fall and winter. After winning seven of the ten Conference Championships awarded this academic/athletic year, LU leads in the respective All-Sports Award standings for Men and for Women, and therefore naturally holds first place in the race for the Sasser Cup Trophy. So far, so good for the folks at Liberty--congratulations on a spectacular season to date across all sports!

Not to be denied, Coastal Carolina sits at second in the Women's All-Sports Award standings and in the overall Sasser Cup list, while Winthrop holds second in the Men's All-Sports Award and third in the overall rankings. Plenty of opportunities remain for movement in the standings with eight titles still to come this year: golf (M/W), tennis (M/W), outdoor track (M/W), baseball, and softball.

New topic...the selection of the next host for the Big South Conference Women's Basketball Championship has been announced. High Point University will be the home for the tourney in 2009 and 2010. The Millis Center on the HPU campus welcomes the event after two successful years at the Justice Center in Asheville, with host school UNCA. It could be a good sign for the Lady Panthers--after all, UNCA won a title in one of the two years the event was contested on the Bulldogs' home floor. Aside from that Asheville victory, the tournament championship has been firmly in the grip of Liberty (11 titles) and Radford (9) throughout the Conference's history. TRIVIA--of the 22 tournaments staged to date, we have accounted for all but one of the winners in this paragraph--who else captured a Big South crown at the women's tourney? (answer at the end of the post)

Time for Web-o-Rama...our trip across the web sites of the Big South Conference to find news and notes for your amusement (a couple of these surfaced when we did Big South Sportstalk, but very few folks saw that, so I'm bringing them back)!

Charleston Southern--try the fan poll on the lower right of the home page: "As a CSU fan, would lights on outdoor playing fields increase home attendance? (Yes/Maybe/No)" This type of question can carry a little more weight than the typical web opinion poll, because this actually provides valuable information to the athletic department. The results are split so far, meaning you may want to enter your vote now if this issue matters to you!

Coastal Carolina--look for the blog "Out of the Pen" from members of the baseball team. That's right, more bloggin' in the Big South! Keep up with the Chanticleers by visiting "Out of the Pen," linked from this post today or from the blog list in the right column every day.

Gardner-Webb--I know, the Runnin' Bulldogs are not full members yet, but they will be soon. This week they released the GWU 2008 volleyball schedule, their first as part of the Big South and "arguably the toughest schedule the Bulldogs have faced since moving to Division I."

High Point--the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Baseball Player of the Week is also the McDonald's HPU Athlete of the Week: outfielder Pablo Rosario. Read more about his exploits on High Point's home page or see his player bio. Oh, and did we mention the thing about High Point hosting the women's basketball tournament? Just making sure you're paying attention.

Liberty--ah, you may recall how we mentioned Ritchie McKay (Men's Basketball Coach) in the last post and his status in the "Fashionable Four." Well, he advanced to the second round, and you can read Liberty's take on that from the Flames' site or check out the bracket on CollegeInsider, where analyst Seth Greenberg expressed "amazement" at McKay upsetting Washington's Lorenzo Romar.

[Sidebar: you already knew Radford's Brad Greenberg was eliminated in the "Style-In" count out Winthrop's Randy Peele (from coach/analyst Seth Greenberg: "Why is Randy in the field?") and High Point's Bart Lundy (from Lundy himself: "I have no chance."), making McKay the only Conference survivor.]

Presbyterian--do you think PC's transition up to D-I means they're small? Ask the football teams left in their wake last season about that, then check out the NFL scouts visiting the campus in Clinton for PC Football's Annual Pro Day. As Yoda once asked, "Judge me by my size, do you?" No, say the Blue Hose, "and well you should not..."

Radford--it's worth one more SHOUT-out: the RU Director of Athletics keeps his own blog! Visit Lineburg's Line linked from this page or from the lower right of the Radford home page.

UNC Asheville--if it seems I'm plugging some of the blogs out there...I am--and here's another one: the "Bulldog Blog" from UNCA. There's a box linking right off of the UNCA home page (bottom center area).

VMI--check out the video salute to Big South Conference and VMI all-time leading scorer Reggie Williams, as the Keydets acknowledge the senior's remarkable contributions to the team over the last few years.

Winthrop--the box in the upper right of the Winthrop home page says it all: "Is football in Winthrop's future?" That's been a popular question for years, but the WU administration is taking the question seriously and looking at what it would take to make such a thing happen. Eagles fans will find it interesting, as will many followers of big-time college sports.

Okay, YES, I thought about coming up with a gem of an April Fool's column, but I just couldn't do it. After all, this is the internet--putting out stories like "Notre Dame thumbs nose at other offers, joins Big South" or "All Big South schools to add football by 2010, League expands to 12", etc. would probably not have seemed like a good idea by the time they traveled around the web and back. We'll try to stick with fun minus the practical jokes. Meanwhile, ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" guys had fun of their own Tuesday with the notion of the NCAA invalidating the end of the Kansas-Davidson game and making them play the final 16 seconds over again, an amusing concept (as long as you're not Kansas).

And wanted the TRIVIA answer (can you still remember the question)?
Former Big South member Campbell won the women's tournament title back in 1989. Only that win by the Camels and the UNCA Bulldogs' victory in 2007 have kept Radford and Liberty from collectively sweeping all the Big South Women's Basketball Championships over the last 22 years.

1 comment:

BigSoutherforlife said...