I was doing some research on USC’s dominance in bowl games, and spent some time poring over the Wikipedia Page. Of course, a Wikipedia search is not “real research” – much as this blog isn’t “real journalism.” (My grammar is too good for that.)
As a sports-fan, I’ve always liked statistics. In college, I spent hours with my future-wife tutoring her for our Stat final. I scored 100% on it, by the way; although the professor was convinced that I somehow cheated. 10 years later, in business school, I helped my classmates decipher our professor’s lectures. (His nickname was “Rain Main;” he wasn’t known as a great communicator.)
I’ve combed through the numbers for you, and here are the results:
The Trojans are #4 in number of bowl game appearances, but are second in # of wins. (And Alabama took 58 bowl games to get their 32 wins, while we pulled off 31 wins in 48 appearances. That’s a 0.660 win percentage, for all you math-handicapped bruin fans.
Of the 117 college football teams listed as having appeared in bowl games, USC is ranked 6th in win percentage. If you take away all the teams with single-digit bowl appearance #’s, we are #2. If you pull out Utah on account of their measly 16 appearances, than USC is #1. And I think it is fair to ignore Utah’s results – They fell way short of even ucla’s 30 bowl appearances. By the way – the bruins are 14-15 in bowl games, a winning percentage their coach Neweasel can only dream of achieving this year.
In summary, USC owns the bowl system. That’s probably why so many haters are calling for a college football playoff system; they’re tired of counting all the Rose Bowl banners on the press box. It’s just a political ploy – don’t buy into it!
The Royal Wedding
Okay – I’ve paid zero attention to this royal wedding garbage; but I think that the whole royal family compares pretty well to college mascots. Take Brutus Buckeye for example. It probably costs a significant sum of money to pay a guy to dress in an expensive costume and travel with the team. Ultimately, though; Brutus doesn’t win the team any games. (The Buckeye players only have themselves to blame for all those big-game chokes. Well – themselves and the lying sweater vest.)
This same argument can be made against Traveler and Tommy Trojan. In response, I’ll point out that Traveler is ridden by a volunteer, and the horse is funded by an alumni-funded endowment. We spend this money willingly because Traveler is pretty cool.
So – the entire royal family are basically expensive mascots. The Sex Pistols famously sang “God save the queen; ‘cause tourists are money!” I, however, don’t think that the royal family attracts any more tourists. I’ve looked through the fence at Buckingham Palace, and visited royal palaces in France, Belgium, and Venice – and I’ve even toured Hearst Castle and the Biltmore Estate here in the U.S. All those non-English palaces were more enjoyable; since the residents were no longer living there. When I toured the White House in the early 80’s, only getting to see a small part of the house was kind of a bummer. Throw the royal family out so I can see what the place looks like on the inside!
I was reading a story yesterday that talked about Prince William “riding his Ducati motorbike” on the day before the wedding. If I were English, I’d be pretty pissed off about my tax dollars going towards ferrying this entire non-producing family around with expensive Italian motorbikes, Jaguars, Austin Martins and Bentleys. For god’s sake – even the French dragged their king out of his palace and cut his head off! I’ve read extensively on the British royal family. The story reads just like that of the Roman Emperors or the Venetian Doges – they are among the most treacherous bands of murderers that the world has ever seen. Their living relatives hardly deserve to be glorified in this way today.
Although; I suppose I’m in a glass house here. I remember sitting in England in 1990 and watching the dedication of the Richard Nixon library on TV – and the commentators had plenty to say about that. Also – Ted Kennedy got a lot of favorable press over here after his recent death. To paraphrase Chris Rock – “His father made his money as a bootlegger, a gangster. Sure – he killed cops and children but hey – that’s all in the past, right?”
Enjoy your weekend, and Fight On!