Posted on: February 23, 2010 9:06 am

Dear Gary (in which I expose someone's stupidity)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How can you rank BYU consistently but poo-poo UNI like they're a bunch of scrubs? All UNI has done: 24-3, same record as your precious Cougars. UNI's RPI of (16) is (six) spots better, a SOS of (105) is (24) spots better. ... Fact is: BYU has played LESS than UNI and has won zero big games. At least UNI goes out on a limb and does BracketBusters, in which they shredded Siena AND ODU. Just wondering if you can explain?

-- Barry

This is a typical email from a fan quoting numbers and misrepresenting the truth.

I get these all the time.

Now watch how easy it is to counter.

First, BYU and UNI DO NOT have the same record. There's not a major difference -- BYU is 25-3, UNI is 24-3 -- but if you're going to try to take somebody to task it's crucial to at least be accurate on your first point. Anyway, I should point out that all three of UNI's losses are to teams (DePaul, Bradley, Wichita State) projected to miss the NCAA tournament while all three of BYU's losses are to teams (Utah State, New Mexico, UNLV) projected to make the NCAA tournament.

So BYU has three reasonable losses.

UNI has two terrible losses.

Advantage: BYU

As for the wins, UNI's best wins are over Siena and Old Dominion, both of which are projected No. 11 seeds in Jerry Palm's latest NCAA tournament bracket. Meantime, BYU has wins over UNLV (a projected No. 9 seed), UTEP (a projected No. 11 seed), San Diego State (a projected No. 12 seed), and a victory over Arizona State (a school that's second in the Pac-10 standings).

Advantage: BYU

So to summarize: BYU has fewer bad losses, more good wins, a better record, and is playing in a league projected to get four bids to the NCAA tournament as opposed to the one-bid league Northern Iowa has won. By any intelligent measuring stick, BYU has a superior body of work, which is why the Cougars are seeded two lines higher in Jerry Palm's bracket and pretty much every other relevant bracket, too.

And you know what that means?

It means I actually have BYU and UNI much closer than everybody else.

Palm has them separated by two lines; the AP poll has BYU 12 spots ahead of UNI, the coaches poll 11 spots better than UNI. Me? I have BYU at No. 23 and UNI in my top 30, and if I have a school in my top 30 that suggests I don't think they're a "bunch of scrubs."

Bottom line, UNI is good and I know it.

The victory over Old Dominion was impressive.

And I won't be surprised if the Panthers win a NCAA tournament game.

But trying to argue their body of work over BYU's body of work is silly. Only an idiot could conclude UNI's body of work is better than BYU's, and just because you're a fan doesn't mean you have to be an idiot, Barry. Have some dignity, man.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 17, 2009 8:47 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2009 11:30 pm

BYU coach diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Dave Rose has pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor cancer .

I don't know exactly what that means.

I am not a doctor.

But by chance, I happened to be sitting with a table of doctors when I got the news, and they all seemed pretty sure that this is not the type of cancer that is easily defeated, not the type of cancer that ends up being a small bump in the road. It's life-altering stuff, potentially life-ending. And because of that, I suppose there is nothing meaningful or worthwhile that I can type into this computer right now except for that this seems like as good a time as any to keep Dave and his family in your thoughts, because they are now facing a challenge that does not typically end well.

Just sad, sad news.

Man, this really is awful.

Category: NCAAB
Tags: BYU, Dave Rose
Posted on: May 21, 2009 9:20 am

Tavernari is out, but why was he ever in?

Jonathan Tavernari announced late Wednesday that he's returning to BYU.

That's good news for the Cougars.

But it also hammers home a point I made last month -- that declaring for the NBA Draft for many of these guys (and I mentioned Tavernari specifically) is as pointless as it is harmless, something that accomplishes absolutely nothing. Turns out, Tavernari went through the process without ever working out for an NBA team, meaning he never had the opportunity to "catch somebody's eye" or do any of the things people who try to make sense of these decisions insist is possible.

Essentially, Tavernari's experience consisted of filling out an application.

Then he withdrew from the draft.

And though it was all indeed harmless, I ask again: What was the point?
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 16, 2008 1:02 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2008 1:03 pm

Put the knives away, please

First Oklahoma basketball player Ray Willis was stabbed.

Then Santa Clara basketball player John Bryant was stabbed.

And now BYU basketball player Chris Collinsworth has been stabbed, too.

I won't try to draw a correlation between the three incidents because they were all unique. But my God, is this normal? Do we always have players getting stabbed in the offseason? Or is this a scary little trend that's developing?

Answer: I don't know.

And I'm not even sure there's a point to this post.

But it's hard not to notice how there seems to be a college basketball headline every other week featuring the words player and stabbed. And though it appears Willis, Bryant and Collinsworth will recover, how much longer can it be until we have a headline featuring the words player and stabbed and died?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com