Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Grab Bag: Basketball schedule finalized

The @CU_Video team is at it again.  Early last week they released a spectacular video that highlighted the unique beauty of the CU-Boulder campus.  For any and all who have called the University of Colorado home, it was a timely love letter to the most beautiful academic setting in all of God's creation.

If you missed it, please do yourself a favor, and spend a few minutes watching:

(The night time shot of Norlin gives me chills.)


Today in the bag, I'm talking the completion of the basketball schedule, DirecTV dropping the ball, and the Gold Cup.

Click below for the bag...

Georgia and UCSB on Tap - 

Last week brought news that the 2013-14 basketball schedule had been finalized.  What had started a few years ago with the announcement of the KU series, ends with the addition of home dates against Georgia and UC-Santa Barbara.

The highlights of the schedule had been known for weeks. Games against Kansas, CSU, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Harvard, along with the lackluster Wyoming round-robin, form the backbone of the slate that will test the top-25 Buffaloes (that ancillary poll is just the first of many).  Georgia and UCSB are simply back-end fodder, and not particularly sexy back-end fodder at that.  However, I'm extremely excited by the overall picture painted by Coach Boyle.  It contains a healthy mix of RPI-boosting marquee events, and take-a-breath filler dates.  It's the kind of schedule a team of CU's caliber should be putting together.

Of course, what this really means is that one of the final administrative hurdles between us and the start of basketball season has been cleared.  The games have been agreed to, and tickets will soon be on their way.  November can't get here soon enough.

DirecTV has no intention of picking up the Pac12 Network - 

Pac-12 football media day is a yearly statement of pride and optimism about the oncoming start of the football season.  This year, however, it came with the bitter pill of the continuing standoff between DirecTV and the Pac-12 over carriage rights for Pac-12 Networks.  The fact is there still no carriage agreement, and it doesn't look like there will be one in the near future, leaving countless DirecTV customers in the west unable to follow their favorite teams this fall.

The hangup seems to be that that DirecTV wants to force a better deal than what the 50+ other sports networks have with the provider.  Said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, "We’re getting rope-a-doped by DirecTV."
El Jefe is getting the cold shoulder from DirecTV.  From: the LA Times.
It's funny, because, if anything, I always assumed that DirecTV was the place for sports.  They would routinely pay market price, or higher, for any and all sports programming.  It's why I used to have them as my television provider.

Unfortunately, about two years ago, they shifted policy away from providing the best sports, no questions asked, and started low-balling networks like P12N and Fox Sports 1.  Considering that sports, regardless of quality, are one of the few DVR-proof money makers for television these days, it's a confusing new policy.  Yes, the cost of sports programming is shooting through the roof, but that's because it's where the money is.

Regardless, I'm dropping DTV.  As of Wednesday, I'm moving into a new house, and I won't be bringing my dish with me.  I'm going with Comcast, and I couldn't be more excited... which may be the biggest shame of the whole disappointing scenario.  DirectTV - with all their low-balling, falling signal quality, and contradictory policies - has made me long for Comcast.  May God have mercy on my soul.

US beats Panama, sweeps through Gold Cup - 

Capping a near perfect tournament, the US beat Panama 1-0 on Sunday to capture their 5th Gold Cup title.  Brek Shea knocked home a goal-ward flick from Landon Donovan in the 69th minute to score the only goal needed to reclaim the title as the best national team in CONCACAF.
Donovan and the US dominated play in July.  From: USA Today
Sunday marked essentially the first time all tournament that the US had been pushed.  With head coach Jurgen Klinsmann relegated to a skybox due to a suspension, the Americans looked shaky to start against a tenacious Panamanian defense.  In the end, however, through a withering offensive assault that featured over 75% possession for much of the game, cracks started to show in front of the Panama net, and the winning goal seemed a fait accompli once scored.

The Gold Cup may not be a premier competition - in fact, most countries, including the US, only brought their 'B' squads this time - but the victory continues the recent run of stellar play from Team USA.  Overall, the national team has won 11 straight games, and carries with them a ton of confidence into the final stages of World Cup qualifying.  Not as if they need it, however.  America stands six points clear of the drop, with only four games to play.  The next big game will be September 10th against Mexico.

Happy Monday!

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