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We told you awhile back about the importance of the BCS Championship game and how teams are picked to play in the final showdown of bowl games.
Tonight, the game will be taking place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at 5:30 pm PST. You can catch it on ESPN.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know before watching the game:
The game tonight is basically a re-match of the two top teams in the Southeastern conference. They have proved to be the two best college football teams in the nation: the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide. LSU won the first match-up 9-6 in overtime.
The LSU Tigers are ranked No. 1 not only in the BCS, but in the AP Top 25 and the Southeastern Conference. Overall, LSU has the best record in NCAA football: they are the only undefeated team with 13 wins and no losses. The Tigers have gone undefeated in a dominant fashion, too: aside from their overtime win against Alabama, all of their games have been won by at least 13 points. They also have the best turnover margin in the nation.
The Alabama Crimson Tide’s worthiness of being in the BCS Championship game is a bit more debatable. They have an overall record of 11 wins and 1 loss, which is not much better than Oklahoma State or Boise’s 12-1 record. Some argue that it’s not fair for them to be competing for the BCS Championship when they’ve already been given a chance to beat the best team in the nation and are in the same conference as that team. Still, their statistics are impressive. They have not given up more than 21 points in any game this season and have held seven teams under 10 points. All of their wins have been by at least 16 points. They rank first nationally in total defense, passing defense, rushing defense, and scoring defense.
So now that you have all the facts, go ahead and enjoy the game tonight!
Around this time last year, we talked about the NFL playoff format. This year, as we head into the Wild Card Round, we will explain the rules regarding tiebreaking to determine what teams will qualify for the playoffs.
In the AFC West, the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers all ended the regular season with 8 wins and 8 losses. So how was it decided the Broncos will be advancing to the playoffs over the other teams in their division? A list of tiebreaker rules are applied until the tie is broken. Here is the list of what is taken into account for tiebreakers in at the divisional level:
1. The best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs that are tied.
2. The best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
3. The best won-lost-tied percentage in games played against the same opponents.
4. The best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
5. The combined won-lost-tied percentage of all the teams that a club has defeated.
6. The combined won-lost-tied percentage of all the teams that a club has played against.
7. The best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
8. The best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
9. Best net points in games played against the same opponents.
10. Best net points in all games.
11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
12. And finally…if the tie hasn’t broken yet the teams will participate in a coin toss.
Hit’s to a passer’s head can cause a referee to call a foul, especially when a player is covering a passer. If a player uses his helmet and/or facemask to hit a passer, or if he use his hands, arms, or another body part to “forcibly” hit the passer in the head or neck area, they will be fouled. Additionally, a defensive player may not use his helmet against a passer who is in some sort of defenseless position.
These rules came about as more concern over concussions and hits to the head have become an issue with developing research showing the severity of such actions.
The BCS National Championship is almost here. The final bowl game of the Bowl Championship Series, the game will take place on Jan. 9 in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The two teams set to play are LSU and Alabama. Undefeated LSU was the only team to beat Alabama this season.
But how are the teams picked to play in the game and what is the importance of the game?
Well, first of all the winner of the BCS Championship Game is considered the U.S. National champion of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The participants are the two highest-ranked teams in the BCS division at the end of the regular season for college football. Standings are determined by averaging the results from the final USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Harris Interactive Poll, former players and coaches, and the average of six various computer rankings.
There has been a lot of criticisms about how the teams who participate in the final game are chosen. Some criticize the fact polls and computers play a role rather than records of previous games played. The best example of this, and a highly controversial year for the BCS Championship Game, was in 2003 when #3 ranked school according to the Associated Press writers’ poll, University of Oklahoma, was selected to participate over the #1 ranked school in that same poll, USC. LSU defeated Oklahoma in that match-up.
Last year, the Auburn Tigers defeated the Oregon Ducks 22-19. This year’s game will likely be a close one as well. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The rule allows young players who outperform in their class to demand more money.
A player with less than six years of experience must earn an all-NBA honor twice and be voted an All-Star Game starter twice or be named the MVP. If the player falls under the criteria, the young player can negotiate a “max”contract and get paid up to 30 percent of their team’s salary cap on their second contract. Previously, they were only eligible for 25 percent of the salary cap.
The rule is named after Derrick Rose who, in his third year playing in the NBA for the Bulls, was named the 2010-11 MVP. He will be the first player who can take advantage of the new rule.
Rose was pleased the new rule passed under negotiations. “It’s unbelievable,” Rose told CSNchicago.com. “The rule, I guess it fits me, for what I achieved at a young age and hopefully, there will be a couple more people like me.”
Kevin Durant may also be eligible because the extension he signed has not yet taken effect due to the lockout.
Salary caps in the NBA vary year-to-year. They are calculated based on the league’s revenue from the previous season.
NASCAR has been in the news a lot this weekend, following the close of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
Tony Stewart won the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship yesterday, beating out Carl Edwards. It was Stewarts’ third championship win.
Stewart and Edwards ended the season in a first-ever points tie, but Stewart won the tie-breaker because of his five season wins over Edwards’ one.
You can watch some highlights from the race here:
We’ve never explained NASCAR in depth here at Queen of Sports, so we thought we’d break down one of the biggest series’ of the year: the Sprint Cup.
The Sprint Cup Series is the highest level of competition in NASCAR with the biggest pay-off. The 2011 Sprint Cup series consisted of 36 races over 10 months. Jimmie Johnson was the winner of the Cup over the last five years.
The champion is determined by a point system. Points are given based on finishing placement and laps led. After the first 26 races of the season, the top 10 racers and the two racers with the most race wins ranked 11th to 20th are seeded based on their total number of race wins. Those 12 racers go on to compete in the Chase for the Championship, the last 10 races of the season.
The current playoff system was implemented to make the chase for more points more competitive later in the season, when NASCAR must compete with NFL ratings.
A fun fact about the Sprint Cup trophy: the silver trophy is designed by Tiffany & Co.
Cornerbacks are defensive players. They cover receivers, and defend against pass offenses and make tackles. The cornerback is expected to defend against the forward pass, anticipate the quarterback, and disrupt pass routes and execute man-to-man and zone coverage.
Zone coverage requires a cornerback to defend an assigned area of the field. Man-to-man coverage means the cornerback is responsible for covering a particular receiver who has been assigned to him.
Cornerbacks can be anywhere on the defensive side of the line scrimmage at the start of play, so there are no “illegal defense” formations.
A cornerback who is good at his position and can shut down an entire side of the field is called a “shutdown corner.”
Now that you know more about the position, you can better understand the jobs of players like Darrelle Revis and Nnamdi Asomugha, who are considered the top two cornerbacks in the NFL currently.
The Los Angeles Galaxy beat Real Salt Lake to win the Western Conference Championship, and the Houston Dynamo beat the Kansas City Wizards to win the Eastern Conference Championship. The teams advancing in the playoffs, the Galaxy and the Dynamo, have a long break before they play for the championship title: the next scheduled game is Nov. 20.
Playoffs in Major League Soccer are similar to playoffs in other major sports. Let us break it down for you.
First of all, ten teams from both the Western and Eastern conference qualify for the tournament based on regular-season records. If there is a tie, the teams with equal records go through a series of tie-breaking procedures which begin with the highest position being awarded to the team with a better win-loss record in current regular-season games against all other teams with equal points. From there, if the teams are still tied in standings, seven other procedures exist to break the tie.
A new system was developed this year in the MLS which allows for wild card playoff games for each conference. The league’s 7th seed plays the 10th seed, and the 8th plays the 9th, with the winners playing whatever team is top-seeded in the Conference Semifinals. The team with the best regular-season record is given the Supporters’ Shield. The lowest-seeded survivor plays the team that is awarded the Supporters’ Shield.
In the Conference Semifinals, the lower-seeded team hosts the first game. It switches from home to away after that. The winners advance to a single-game Conference Championship that determines the MLS Cup finalists.
This year’s MLS Cup Final will take place at the Home Depot Center, the home of the LA Galaxy.
For the first time in his MLB career, Albert Pujols entered into free agency status following his team’s World Series win.
Pujols’ eight-year $111 million contract expired yesterday, along with 148 other players in the MLB who have become free agents. The Cardinals have four days to speak exclusively to Pujols before the market opens to all teams on Wednesday. Let us explain a little further who free agency in the MLB works.
First of all, free agents are classified as either Type A, Type B, or unclassified. Type A free agents, like Pujols, are in the top 20% of all players based on the previous two seasons. Type B free agents are those in the next 20%, and unclassified free agents remain in the bottom 60% of all players.
Any team that loses a Type A player in arbitration receives the top draft pick from whatever team signs the Type A player. Plus, they receive a supplemental draft pick in the upcoming draft. Teams who lose a Type B player only receive a supplemental draft pick.
In arbitration, the team and player each present what amount they wish to pay/be paid. The arbitration process often ends up with a compromised salary ruling.
Pujols will likely be staying with the Cardinals, but some other deals with players in the MLB may result in some line-up changes in the MLB. Stay tuned for any major changes.
A safety in football can be compared to an “own goal” in other sports. It is the only way a team not in possession of the ball can score, and is worth two points. A safety, as we saw this weekend in the Bears vs Buccaneers game, can happen when a player in possession of the ball is tackled in his own end zone. Check out the video to see Matt Forte being tackled for a safety:
Some other ways players can score a safety in football:
- player in possession of the ball steps out of play from his own end zone
- a player fumbles in his own end zone
- a player fumbles the ball and the loose ball touches the goal post in his own end zone
- a player touches the ball on kickoff and it rolls out of the back or to the sides of the end zone
- a punt or kick is blocked and the ball goes out of play in the player’s own end zone
- an intentional safety: a player falls on the ball in his own end zone
A safety is not to be confused with a touchback in the case of a player gaining possession of the ball in his own end zone through a fumble recovery or interception. If he is tackled in the end zone, it is a touchback not a safety. Also, if a punt or kick is received and the ball does not enter the field of play, and the player is subsequently tackled in his own end zone, it is considered a touchback and not a safety.
A safety is the least common type of score in football. Only 823 were recorded in the NFL from 1932 to 2009.
If you were watching college football this weekend, you may have seen a safety there too: the Michigan State Spartans scored a safety against the University of Wisconsin Badgers before the Spartans won on a 44-yard Hail Mary pass to win the game.