This is a first in a new series on Canespace titled: In My Humble Opinion (IMHO). But in reality we do not plan to be very humble although we will definitely be very opinionated when we write a piece like this about any subject.
For our first subject we chose college baseball. We realize that only about 25% of Miami fans can be considered hard core baseball fans but still, we think the sport, and this issue, deserves our serious attention.
The issue: It has become the common and accepted practice for college baseball teams participating in their conference tournaments to rest their best starting pitchers in the championship game even with the conference title is on the line.
The reasoning: The apparent theory is that the conference title is much less important than the upcoming NCAA regionals, super-regionals and making it all the way to the College World Series.
The problem: This does not happen in ANY pother collegiate sport other than baseball. The practice directly and intentionally diminishes the value of winning a conference title which should obviously be a huge priority in any college sport.
Now before we go there, let me be clear: This is not a criticism of UM head baseball coach Jim Morris and the Miami Hurricanes baseball team. Morris, albeit willingly, simply followed the currently accepted college baseball playbook on how to handle the conference baseball championships. To be fair the Georgia Tech coach took the same approach as Morris but only with different results.
In addition, this is not just a UM or GT issue, or just an ACC problem, but a NCAA wide issue that applies to all college baseball teams and their respective conferences.
But can you imagine UM head football coach Al Golden intentionally putting his team at a disadvantage and minimizing the importance of winning an ACC title. Can you imagine Golden sitting his starting QB for an ACC title game for fear of injury and "saving him" for a BCS bowl game? Can you imagine Jimbo Fisher doing the exact same thing?
Of course not because winning the conference title means something in college football. It determines your ranking in the polls, your BCS standing, which bowl game you will attend and millions of dollars are on the line.
Can you wrap your head around UM head basketball coach Jim Larranaga resting his starting five in an effort to "save them" for the NCAA tourney? Can you just imagine Miami facing down North Carolina for an ACC title and Larranaga starting his bench and resting his starters in an effort to try not win the ACC crown and but set up a run at the Sweet 16? Can you imagine Roy Williams from UNC doing the same?
Never in a million years would this happen in basketball because your seeding in the NCAA tourney is directly related to your conference tournament performance.
Georgia Tech went on to win their fifth ACC baseball title on Sunday. Miami has won one since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference when the Canes won it in 2008 under Morris.
Still, I think another one in 2012 would have been really, really nice, don't U?
Or maybe we should just ask Al Golden or Jim Larranaga how much an ACC title would mean to them and their teams right about now?