Finding a new way to lose
that was loss No. 20 on the year. at this point in the season there are 51 other D1 non-independents with at least 20 losses. from the major conferences the only others are Michigan, Rutgers and Oregon State. (more evidence that the big ten is weak - almost 20% of its teams lost 20 games) also on the list is Harvard. (more evidence that Tommy Amaker sucks - both the team he recruited and the team he coached lost 20 games) also on the list is Northern Illinois (more reason for me to question our latest AD hire) the rest of the list is basically filled with Kennesaw States and Centenarys and Texas Southerns, institutions that i'd prefer not to be comparable to.
furthermore, we have one game left against Wisconsin, which likely means the team will finish 1-17 in the Big Ten. which gives us 3 wins in two conference seasons. let's acknowledge for a minute that conference wins (cw) is one way of measuring a team's ability to compete against its peers. over the past two seasons, our three conference wins stack up against only a few teams:
- Oregon State - 3 cw 06/07; 0 cw 07/08. clearly a program in turmoil, but we have nothing on them. OSU has been to 16 NCAA tournaments, most recently in 1990.
- Princeton - 2 cw 06/07; 2 cw 07/08. alum Joe Scott inexplicably drove this Ivy League juggernaut into the toilet after replacing John Thompson III. still, we clearly cannot come anywhere close to Princeton's basketball heritage: 21 NCAA tourneys, including recent victories in '96 and '98, plus a Final Four appearance.
- North Florida - 1 cw 06/07; 1 cw 07/08. they get a pass considering they're only in their third season of Division 1. in Nov 2006 NU needed a put-back with 3 seconds left to defeat UNF at home 40-39. and of course Northwestern was out-rebounded by the Ospreys.
- Maryland Eastern Shore - 2 cw 06/07; 1 cw 07/08. finally a hoops program with a similar profile to ours. never been to the dance and no notable achievements to speak of. a perfect match to NU, until you consider that UMES was an NAIA school until the mid-70s. the school is a historically black university with an enrollment of 3700 and an endowment of just over $16M. compared to all that Northwestern is and our $2.4B (150x more money), and the Fighting Hawks should feel pretty damn good about themselves.
3/10 update: Princeton and UMES each picked up an additional cw since this original post.