Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'll admit: this is an emo post.

This is the text I sent to a good buddy recently as the clock wound down on my favorite basketball team’s season:
“I hate sports. I don’t think any of my teams have ever won a championship. I now expect my teams to lose. I never thought we had a chance today. I would have been more surprised had we won. Yay.”
The crazy thing was just after I sent that text, my favorite major college team, the University of Michigan, miraculously came back to beat the Kansas Jayhawks in the Sweet 16 and prolong their season for a few more games. They ultimately lost in a heartbreaking loss to Louisville in the finals. And yet that finals loss wasn’t surprising; it was rather expected.

This must be what it felt like to be a Boston Red Sox fan for those decades of painful losses.

My earliest memories are of going to games at my eventual alma mater Whitworth College (now University) with my dad when I was four years old. A year later we moved from Spokane, Washington to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I spent hours in our garage shooting around on our Michigan Wolverines hoop with my dad.

I feel like around the age of five, you begin to become aware of the world. That year in Michigan coincided with the most recognizable team in the last 50 years—if not ever: the Fab Five. I loved the Fab Five. Chris Webber and Jalen Rose were my earliest favorite players.

When my family moved back to Spokane the next year, I started to watch the Washington teams—Washington State University, and the Seattle pro teams. I remember going to Mariners games with my dad in the Kingdome in the mid-90s and my first Seahawks game was with my dad when the Seahawks faced the Buffalo Bills, who were quarterbacked by Washington State legend Drew Bledsoe.

The problem was that, while some of my favorite players had success (Bledsoe winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots), my teams continued to suffer excruciating losses.

The ’93 Michigan basketball team and the infamous Chris Webber timeout in the national championship, the ’96 Whitworth basketball team losing in the national championship in overtime, the 2001 Seattle Mariners—who won the most games in the history of baseball—didn’t even make the World Series, the 2003 Mead High School (my senior year) team losing to Franklin High School in the state finals, the 2006 Seattle Seahawks losing a close game to the Pittsburgh Steelers that many impartial parties have blamed on the refs, and now the 2013 Michigan basketball team. Even when Whitworth was ranked the overall no. 1 seed in the 2011 NCAA Div. III tournament, they didn’t make the finals after getting hosed by the NCAA who decided to fly them for a road game in Ohio in the Elite 8 rather than hosting the game as the overall top seed.

The point is: I’m used to losing.

I was hoping this year would be different, but the promising Seahawks lost on a crazy ending in the NFL playoffs, Whitworth lost at home in the tournament to the team that eventually made it to the national championship just two rounds later, and Michigan lost to Louisville by six points.

This is just my emo rant, but at this point I truly would be more surprised to be on the winning end of a championship game.

Oh well.

I guess there’s always next year.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

NCAA Tournament Bubble Selections

There are 58 auto bids/lock in the tournament, but the remaining 10 spots will be determined by a selection committee. But how good are their picks? A few years ago Arizona St. finished higher and beat Arizona, but presumably based on Arizona’s bigger name and better tradition, the Wildcats got into the tournament while the Sun Devils were sent to the NIT.

Below are the bubble teams with their record, RPI and SOS (Strength of Schedule). Pick 10 of them to make the tournament. The catch? The school names have been removed, so these are blind picks.

Team A
Record: 21-10
RPI: 69
SOS: 90

Team B
Record: 25-8
RPI: 19
SOS: 52

Team C
Record: 20-13
RPI: 52
SOS: 34

Team D
Record: 21-11
RPI: 73
SOS: 81

Team E
Record: 20-12
RPI: 61
SOS: 58

Team F
Record: 25-8
RPI: 49
SOS: 103

Team G
Record: 20-13
RPI: 48
SOS: 14

Team H
Record: 24-9
RPI: 36
SOS: 87

Team I
Record: 22-12
RPI: 47
SOS: 30

Team J
Record: 22-9
RPI: 62
SOS: 92

Team K
Record: 20-11
RPI: 25
SOS: 4

Team L
Record: 20-13
RPI: 50
SOS: 61

Team M
Record: 19-13
RPI: 51
SOS: 15

Team N
Record: 18-14
RPI: 83
SOS: 37

Team O
Record: 23-11
RPI: 75
SOS: 127

Team P
Record: 21-11
RPI: 43
SOS: 43

Team Q
Record: 19-12
RPI: 58
SOS: 51

Team R
Record: 21-13
RPI: 41
SOS: 19

Team S
Record: 25-7
RPI: 42
SOS: 161

Team T
Record: 18-13
RPI: 57
SOS: 12

Team U
Record: 27-6
RPI: 56
SOS: 227

Team V
Record: 27-6
RPI: 63
SOS: 247

So who did you pick? See here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Proposal to Save the NHL

1- Vancouver
2- Calgary
3- Edmonton
4- Montreal
5- Winnipeg
6- Toronto
7- Ottawa
8- Quebec City (from current American NHL city)
9- Hamilton (from current American NHL city)
10- Mississauga (from current American NHL city) (rival with Detroit, other Great Lakes cities)
11- Gatineau(from current American NHL city) (rival with Ottawa)
12- Vaughan (from current American NHL city) (fastest growing city in Canada, rivalry with Toronto)
13- Halifax (from current American NHL city)
14- London (from current American NHL city)

1- Boston
2- New York Rangers
3- Philadelphia
4- Buffalo
5- Pittsburg
6- Washington DC
7- Chicago
8- Detroit
9- Dallas
10- Colorado
11- Minnesota
12- LA Kings
13- San Jose
14- New Jersey

Here’s the reason: 28 teams is realistic to pass in the players union because not a ton of NHL players lose their job (vs. a 20 or 24 team proposal). Vaughan, the smallest of the proposed cities, still has 250,000 people in the metro area, which for Canada, means they could sell out a 20,000-seat arena on a regular basis. Niagara getting a team would be good for a natural rival to Buffalo. A 16-team playoff format would still be in use, which the NHL would approve because that means more games (meaning more revenue, exposure, etc.). By eliminating or relocating a number of American NHL teams, the NHL makes the game better (fewer teams = better players, still a good size league = more cities and markets reached, more Canadian teams for their country’s national sport = a good thing). I think it’s less of relocating the American teams to Canadian cities than disbanding those teams and creating new ones in Canadian cities, but realistically there has to be relocation so there isn’t a big draft to re-organize the league.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In defense of Paul Wulff

My opinion might not be a popular one in eastern Washington, but I think Paul Wulff deserves another year…or two.

Today Wulff met with Washington State University Director of Athletics Bill Moos to decide the fourth year coach’s fate, but no decision has been made as of yet. The opinion among Cougar fans seems split, though there may be more who lean toward firing Wulff after his 9-40 record in four years. But to solely look at that number is misleading and does not tell the whole story.

When Wulff took over the downtrodden Cougs four years ago, he inherited not only the worst team in Division I football, but he also inherited a team that had over 30 arrests his first year on campus (not his recruits) and were so bad academically, they actually received scholarship penalties.

If that weren’t bad enough, Wulff has to compete for recruits with Team Nike (Oregon), Team Seattle (UW), The Gonzaga of Football (Boise St.), Teams Los Angeles (UCLA, USC), The Academics (Cal, Stanford) and Teams We Have Hot Weather and Females (Arizona, Arizona St.). It’s tough to draw five-star type talent to the Palouse, so Wulff has to take a different approach (much like Boise St. and Oregon St.): he has to find diamonds in the rough.

Though Wulff hasn’t been successful at finding those at every position (see: offensive line, running back, parts of the defense), Wulff has shown a knack at finding good under-the-radar talent: Tuel—a junior QB who might be a top four QB in the best QB conference in the country; Halliday—a freshman QB who might be the best freshman QB in the conference; Wilson—a sophomore WR and one of the most talented receiver in the conference; and Karstetter—a truly reliable WR. What also deserves to be mentioned it that Wulff has decided against recruiting Junior College transfers for short-term success, instead recruiting almost all high school seniors in an effort to build long-term success on campus.

In fact, the Cougs are top 10 in the country in passing offense thanks to the Tuel/Halliday/Lobbestael connection with Wilson and Karstetter, averaging over 322 yards per game, even though Tuel missed most of this season due to injuries, meaning that a career back-up and a freshman were accumulating all those yards against defenses keyed in on the passing game, since no running game has been found in Pullman.

Patience is something lacking in our sports win-right-now-no-matter-what culture. Remember, in 1983 Duke fans wanted a little-known third-year coach named Mike Krzyzewski fired because he wasn’t rebuilding Duke fast enough (they lost to Virginia and Wagner that year). Almost twenty years later, “Coach K” is the winningest coach of all-time. Wulff is not Coach K and WSU football is a far cry from Duke basketball, but at this point, why not let Wulff get a shot? In his first two years, the Cougs were losing each game by large margins. That changed in Wulff's third year, and this year, the Cougs were literally 5 total yards (UCLA, Utah) from bowl eligibility and a special teams blunder (San Diego St.) away from seven wins.

If he does not return, the next guy will look great because he will inherit a young and talented team—the foundation that Wulff built. The Cougs will not win the Pac-12 anytime soon, but at least they’re competitive again, something that could not be said about the mess Wulff inherited. And the reward could be great for the Cougs as Wulff, a former Coug player, would most likely not leave Pullman for greener pastures (because, let’s face it, while it’s possible to win in Pullman, high-profile coaches are not exactly itching to come to the Palouse); whereas a certain former coach in Texas would probably not be in it for the long haul.

Wulff bleeds crimson and gray, so why not give him another year or two to reap the benefits of the talented recruiting classes he has brought in the past two seasons? On top of that, there have been few off-the-field issues, which was one of his main goals when moving down to Pullman. What’s the worst that could happen? At worst, the Cougs would be in roughly the same spot they are in now: on the fringe of bowl eligibility. At best, they have found an up-and-coming coach who is rebuilding WSU into a powerhouse. WSU is in a division with Stanford and Oregon—who look like they have a stranglehold on the division for the foreseeable future, so why not take a chance and let a Cougar finish what he has started?

Let's say Moos does decide to fire Wulff, Washington State would be nowhere near the front of the line for top candidates. With Arizona State and UCLA in the Pac-12; Penn State, Ohio State and Illinois in the Big Ten; Ole Miss in the SEC; and Kansas in the Big 12 all looking for new coaches, Washington State would get about seventh pick among free agent coaches. If they wait until next year and see what Wulff does, they can either keep Wulff or be closer to the top of the pecking order for a new "big name" coach.

Facts are facts: the defense and running backs need to improve, but the passing game is one of the best in the country, and the Cougs return the most important parts of that passing attack. If nothing else, Wulff deserves to see those guys out.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011-2012 NCAA Basketball Preview

College football season is half-over and the NBA is fighting over money. That can only mean one thing: College basketball season is around the corner! It’s time for the annual (when I remember to do it) Colin Storm College Basketball Preview.

Top 20:
1) UNC. Roy Williams has complied a masterpiece. Though he has already won two national championships in Chapel Hill, this might be his most loaded team yet. Harrison Barnes (right) returns and is a top contender for Player of the Year. John Henson, Tyler Zeller and Kendall Marshall could all compete for first team All-American honors, and freshmen James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston are as talented as anyone in the country. Guards Kendall Marshall and Dexter Strickland (perhaps the best defender on the team) will also be a strength. This team is experience and talented, but if they had one weakness, it would be depth. Still, barring any major injuries, the Tar Heels have to be the favorites to cut down the nets at the end of the season.

2) Kentucky. John Calipari has done it again: he has absolutely loaded his team with freshman talent. In fact, this might be the most talented class he’s ever brought in (and that’s saying something considering his last two classes at Kentucky). Anthony Davis (PF), Marquis Teague (PG) and Michael Gilchrist (SF) were all considered the top players at their position coming out of high school, and Kyle Wiltjer (C) was the third-ranked prospect. Not too shabby for the fans in Lexington. But the real story is the return of Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb. Unlike Calipari’s teams of past, this one will feature more than just talented freshmen. And while Jones and Lamb (sophomores) are not exactly veterans, they have the tournament experience and leadership to guide the talented freshman class all the way to the championship.

3) Connecticut. The defending national champions lost all-everything Kemba Walker, but surprisingly, coach Jim Calhoun thinks this could be an even better team. Jeremy Lamb is certainly a favorite for Big East Player of the Year and Shabazz Napier is almost equally as talented. But the big reason for the Huskies’ potential success is because of talented freshman Andre Drummond who could be the top pick in the NBA in 2012. Drummond has everything you look for in a center: size (nearly 7’0”), athleticism, shot-blocking ability. He’s a little raw offensively, but his size, defense and presence in the paint is second to none. Freshman wing DeAndre Daniels’ shooting ability could very well propel him into the national spotlight as well.

4) Ohio State. Though they lost a lot of talent off of last year’s team, it’s ultimately not about what the Buckeyes lost, it’s about what they return: Jared Sullinger. Sullinger, who is a favorite for national Player of the Year, is enough to land Ohio State the Big Ten title and a top 10 ranking, but it’s supporting players like Aaron Craft, William Buford, and freshman Amir Williams that push the Buckeyes over the edge. They have arguably the best frontcourt in the nation and one of the best backcourts (and they added a star freshman to the backcourt in Shannon Scott). Don’t be surprised to see them in the Final Four.

5) Duke. The Blue Devils always seem to be in this area pre-season and though this year’s team might not be as good as last year’s, Coach K always puts a winner on the floor. This year they are led by the Plumlee brothers (Miles, Mason and Marshall), Seth Curry, and potentially the best freshman in the country with Austin Rivers. Add in freshman Quinn Cook and a potential break-out year from Ryan Kelly, and another Final Four is not out of the range of possibilities.

6) Syracuse. The Orange are kind of the great unknown. They could be really good. Like, national championship good. Or they could struggle to finish in the top three in the Big East. On paper, it should be somewhere in-between, but we will see. They did win 27 games last year and return most of that roster, but it will be interesting to see if returners Dion Waiters and Fab Melo, and freshmen Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney and Michael Carter-Williams can develop into major contributors.

7) Louisville. Despite his off-the-court troubles, Rick Pitino has put together some solid teams in Louisville. Peyton Siva is a solid guard, plus the return of Kyle Kuric should be enough to keep the Cardinals near the top of the Big East standings. Plus the addition of forward Chane Behanan, center Zach Price and guard Wayne Blackshear will only help Pitino’s club make a run for the Big East championship.

8) Pittsburgh. The Panthers would be favored to win many conferences in the country, but unfortunately for them, they play in the loaded Big East. But look for Jamie Dixon’s club to make a deep run into the tournament thanks to returners Ashton Gibbs (left), Nasir Robinson and Travon Woodall. Dixon also added some talent in shooter Durand Johnson and the raw, but athletic forward Khem Birch.

9) Vanderbilt. This team could be underrated at number nine, which would surprise many people because the Commodores are not a traditional basketball powerhouse. But this isn’t your traditional Commodore team. Kevin Stallings has put together a deep and talented team. John Jenkins, Jeff Taylor and Festus Ezeli could all go to the NBA and incoming guards Dai-Jon Parker and Kedren Johnson will only add depth to the backcourt.

10) Memphis. Josh Pastner’s first recruiting class was talented, but injury-prone. If the Tigers can stay healthy, the return of Will Barton, Joe Jackson and Tarki Black, plus the addition of the athletic Adonis Thomas, and the Tigers should win the C-USA easily. This team eventually came together at the end of last season to push Arizona to the brink in the NCAA tournament, so if that can level of play can be sustained throughout the season, look for Memphis to make a run in the tournament.

11) Florida. Billy Donovan has been slowly rebuilding this program after they lost so much talent in those back-to-back championship teams. This might be his best team since those championship runs. They return guards Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton who led the Gators to the Elite Eight last year, and they bring in two really good players in freshmen guard Brad Beal and transfer guard Mike Rosario. The Gators backcourt is as good as anyone in the country. The season might hinge on the development of Patrice Young, who has the potential to be one of the best players in the nation, and troubled forward Cody Larson who was recently reinstated to the team after his second run-in with the law.

12) Baylor. A combination of the Big 12 being down and the return of Perry Jones and Quincy Acy to an already pretty good Bears team should lead Baylor to a Big 12 championship. Expect Quincy Miller to make an immediate impact as a freshman.

13) Xavier. Tu Holloway (right) was a third team All-American last year as he averaged nearly 20 ppg. He also distributes the ball well, averaging over 5 apg. The Musketeers could emerge as the next great mid-major, following the blueprint of Gonzaga and Butler.

14) Cincinnati. The Bearcats return their top four scorers off a team that did well last year, plus they’re bringing in stud shooter Jermaine Sanders. Sanders has good range, but can also score on mid-range jumpers consistently.

15) Gonzaga. The Zags lost their starting backcourt in Steven Gray (graduated) and Demetri Goodson (left the program), but Gray was a streaky shooter and talented freshman Gary Bell should replace him. Goodson was a decent point guard, but couldn’t shoot and eventually lost playing time over the course of last season to returners David Stockton and Marquise Carter. The Zags have talent in both the frontcourt and backcourt, but the backcourt lacks experience. This team might take its lumps early, but it’s not a team you want to play in March.

16) Michigan. If Darius Morris had stayed at Michigan for one more year, this would have been a Final Four caliber team. Instead, he’s sitting at home waiting for the lockout to end and his career with the L.A. Lakers to begin. But John Beilein brings back a balanced group. He has a penetrating guard (Tim Hardaway Jr.), shooters (Zack Novak and Stu Douglass), some height (Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford), some length (Evan Smotrycz), and some talented freshmen (Trey Burke and Carlton Brundidge). A Big Ten championship is not out of reach for the Wolverines, especially after they lost to Big Ten favorite Ohio State on a half-court buzzer-beater last season at the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.

17) Texas A&M. The Aggies have a new coach in Billy Kennedy, but there is plenty of talent returing on this roster. Khris Middleton should be as good as any player in the Big 12 and Ray Turner can flat-out shoot.

18) Kansas. This is not Bill Self’s best team and the NCAA ruling that freshman Ben McLemore is ineligible is a big hit. But Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson should be enough to get the Jayhawks back into contention for a Big 12 title.

19) Wisconsin. On paper, this isn’t Wisconsin’s best team, but Po Ryan has consistently put out winning teams during his tenure, so don’t expect anything else. They do have Jordan Taylor, who is one of—if not the best—guards in the nation.

20) California. Probably the Pac-12 favorite after Arizona's off-season troubles (top three scorers are all gone--one to the NBA, one transferred to be closer to home, one was shot at his mom's funeral), so the Golden Bears are poised to take the Pac-12. They return four starters and coach Montgomery is used to successful teams in the Bay Area. Jorge Gutierrez (14.6 ppg) is one of those guys who seems to have been there for 10 years, but he's back along with Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Allen Crabbe (13.4 ppg). They also return Harper Kemp (14.2 ppg).

National Championship:
UNC over Kentucky

Five Freshmen to Watch: Austin Rivers (Duke), Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Andrew Drummond(UConn), Josiah Turner (Arizona), Cody Zeller (Indiana)

First Team All-America:
G- Jordon Taylor (Wisconsin)
G- Ashton Gibbs (Pitt)
F- Harrison Barnes (UNC)
F- Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
C- Jared Sullinger (Ohio State, Player of the Year) (left)

Second Team All-America:
G- Tu Holloway (Xavier)
G- John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
F- Will Barton (Memphis)
F- Kris Joseph (Syracuse)
C- Perry Jones (Baylor)

Third Team All-America:
G- Scoop Jardine (Syracuse)
G- Kendall Marshall (UNC)
F- Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota)
F- Perry Jones (Baylor)
C- Andrew Drummond (UConn)

Fourth Team All-America:
G- Jorge Gutierrez (Cal)
G- Kenny Boynton (Florida)
F- JaMychal Green (Alabama)
F- Yancy Gates (Cincinnati)
C- Josh Smith (UCLA)

Honorable Mention: Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas), Tyler Zeller (UNC), John Henson (UNC), Peyton Siva (Louisville), Robbie Hummel (Purdue), Jeremy Lamb (UConn)

Five teams that are sleepers:
1) Drexel. The Colonial Athletic Association favorites return their 2010-11 leaders in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks. The duo of Samme Givens (12.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg) and Chris Fouch (14.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg) should be enough to have the Dragons contending for the CAA title, but it will be the growth of promising sophomores Dartaye Ruffin (8.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 89 orb) and Frantz Massenat (5.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg). This team won 21 games last year despite the youth movement and losing two key players off the previous year's team, so the return of the bulk of the roster should lead to many more wins and perhaps some surprises in March.

2) Marshall. The Thundering Herd get overlooked because they play in the same league as Memphis, but don’t count Marshall out of the C-USA picture quite yet. They truly do not have a weakness on their roster. Last year they won 22 games and return a backcourt composed of C-USA freshman of the year DeAndre Kane (15.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg), guard Damier Pitts (right) (16.2 ppg, 4.7 apg), Shaquille Johnson (8.7 ppg) and sharp-shooter Dago Pena (7.2 ppg). Johnson and Pena both had injuries that hampered their minutes, so both should see those numbers increase. Talented freshmen Chris Martin and Devince Boykin will also play a big role in the backcourt. Down low they will look to JC-transfers Dennis Tinnon (13.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg) and Robert Goff (9.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg), along with junior Nigel Spikes (5.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg).

3) UNLV. This team is good, but you’d never know it if you didn’t follow the Mountain West real closely last year. While the Runnin’ Rebels were left in the shadows thanks to BYU, San Diego St. and New Mexico enjoying unparalleled success, UNLV quietly won 24 games. They return most of the scoring and rebounding of that team, making them a team to beat in the MWC. Their defense is good, plus they play an up-tempo style that is fun to watch. Senior point guard Oscal Bellfield (11.2 ppg, 3.7 apg) and Anthony Marshall (9.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) return in the backcourt, giving the Rebels plenty of experience. Down low they feature 6’8” senior Chace Stanback (13.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and 6’8” UCLA transfer Mike Moser. They could sneak up on quite a few teams.

4) Rutgers. Like a few of the other teams on this list, Rutgets is young. Real young. Seven of their scholarship players are freshmen (verses only two seldom-used seniors), and while they are talented, they are sure to go through some growing pains. However, between Jerome Seagers and Myles Mack they should find a solid point guard. Add in the return of two of their top three scores in Gilydas Biruta (9.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) and Dane Miller (9.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and the Scarlet Knights might see some success this season.

5) Wichita State. The defending NIT champions—who, by the way, rolled through the tournament, beating NCAA tournament snub Virginia Tech on the road, Washington State by 31 and Alabama in New York city—are back with five of their top six scorers off last season’s roster. The Shockers even held eventual champion UConn close in Maui, losing 83-79 after leading with two minutes left. With Creighton and Indiana State their major competition in the Missouri Valley Conference, look for the Shockers to make a run to the NCAA tournament if they can stay healthy. They have balance in the backcourt with seniors Toure Murry (9.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and David Kyles (9.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg), plus 7-foot senior center Garrett Stutz (7.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg) back and a host of other players averaging around those numbers. They may not be house hold names, but they are balanced and experienced.

Predicted order of finish by conference:
ACC: North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Miami, Virginia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Boston College

Big 12: Baylor, Texas A&M, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Iowa State

Big East: UConn, Syracuse, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Villanova, Marquette, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Georgetown, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence, South Florida, DePaul

Big Ten: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Penn State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Iowa

Pac-12: California, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona, USC, Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah

SEC: (EAST) Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina (WEST) Alabama, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, LSU, Auburn