Author Archives: Chris Henderson

NCAA – Chris’ Brackteology v5.0

Updated after October 15 matches. Next update: After October 20 matches.

* before conference indicates projected auto-bid winner is current league leader as all conference teams have played half of league schedule.

*America East – New Hampshire*
*AAC – [1] UCF*, Cincinnati, South Florida
*A10 – La Salle*
*ACC – [1] North Carolina*, [1] Duke, [3] Wake Forest, [4] Virginia, Florida State, Notre Dame, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Boston College
*Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast*
*Big 12 – [2] West Virginia*, [4] Texas, Oklahoma State
*Big East – Georgetown*, Butler
*Big Sky – Eastern Washington*
*Big South – Liberty*
*Big Ten – [2] Penn State, [3] Ohio State*, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan
*Big West – UC Irvine*
*CAA – Hofstra*
*C-USA – Rice*
*Horizon – IUPUI*
*Ivy – [4] Princeton, Columbia*
*MAAC – Monmouth*
*MAC – Kent State*
*MVC – Drake*
*Mountain West – San Jose State*
*NEC – Fairleigh Dickinson*
*OVC – Murray State*
*Pac-12 – [2] Stanford*, [3] UCLA, Cal, Arizona, USC, Washington
*Patriot – Colgate*
*SEC – [1] South Carolina*, [2] Texas A&M, [3] Tennessee, [4] Auburn, Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU
*SoCon – Furman*
*Southland – McNeese State*
*SWAC – Grambling*
Summit – South Dakota State*
*Sun Belt – Texas State*
WCC – Pepperdine*, Santa Clara
*WAC – UMKC*

Last Eight IN – Washington, Boston College, LSU, Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Butler
Last Seven OUT – Memphis, Saint Louis, NC State, Mississippi State, Colorado, Baylor, Marquette

Multi-Bid Conferences

9 – ACC
8 – SEC
7 – Big Ten
6 – Pac-12
3 – AAC, Big 12
2 – Big East, Ivy, WCC

NCAA – Chris’ Bracketology v4.5

(Note: I’ve made a slight methodology shift to punish teams without RPI Top 50 wins and “big” draws to reflect what happened to Virginia Tech last season.)

Updated after October 13 matches. Next update: After October 15 matches.

* before conference indicates projected auto-bid winner is current league leader as all conference teams have played half of league schedule.

*America East – New Hampshire*
*AAC – [2] UCF*, Cincinnati, South Florida
*A10 – La Salle*
*ACC – [1] North Carolina*, [1] Duke, [3] Florida State, [4] Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Virginia, Clemson, Boston College, NC State
*Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast*
*Big 12 – [1] West Virginia*, [2] Texas, Oklahoma State
*Big East – Georgetown*, Butler
*Big Sky – Eastern Washington*
*Big South – Liberty*
*Big Ten – [2] Penn State, [4] Ohio State*, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska
Big West – Long Beach State*
*CAA – Hofstra*
*C-USA – Rice*
*Horizon – IUPUI*
Ivy – [4] Princeton*
*MAAC – Monmouth*
*MAC – Kent State*
MVC – Drake*
*Mountain West – San Jose State*
NEC – Bryant*
*OVC – Eastern Kentucky*, Murray State
*Pac-12 – [2] Stanford*, [3] UCLA, Arizona, Cal, USC, Washington
*Patriot – Navy*
*SEC – [1] South Carolina, [3] Texas A&M*, [3] Florida, [4] Tennessee, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama, LSU
*SoCon – Samford*
*Southland – McNeese State*
*SWAC – Grambling*
Summit – South Dakota State*
*Sun Belt – Texas State*
WCC – Pepperdine*, Santa Clara
WAC – Texas Rio Grande Valley*

Last Eight IN – NC State, Boston College, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Washington, Butler
Last Seven OUT – Purdue, Saint Louis, Memphis, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Colorado, Marquette

Multi-Bid Conferences

9 – ACC
8 – SEC
7 – Big Ten
6 – Pac-12
3 – AAC, Big 12
2 – Big East, OVC, WCC

The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #29 – NWSL Playoff Semi-Final Review + Final Preview

Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) are back with episode #29 of the WoSo Independent Podcast, talking about the NWSL playoffs. First, there’s a semi-final review of Portland vs Orlando (3:45), talking about a big win for the Thorns and the differing performance of the day’s goalkeepers and defenses. They then move on to North Carolina’s ugly win against Chicago (21:50), including discussion of how the decision to make Katelyn Rowland NC’s #1 GK may have been one of the managerial moves of the season, as well as talk on where Chicago might go from here after a brutally disappointing loss. Finally, they preview the final between North Carolina and Portland and make their picks (40:52).

NCAA – Chris’ Bubble Watch v1.0

With the regular season winding down, it’s time to take a look at where the contenders for at-large bids and national seeds stand. Reminder that I’m using Chris Thomas’ guide for who past precedent tells us is in and out at this point of the season. New updates will come out once a week until Selection Monday.

America East

BUBBLE – New Hampshire

The Wildcats are in rarefied air, as an America East team still in the bubble frame after Boston University’s departure a few years back left the league mostly as an afterthought. Brooke Murphy remains one of the nation’s best kept secrets and has eight goals to this point and could draw some late round attention in January’s NWSL Draft. UNH’s profile isn’t going to get it in at-large bid though, as it’s played just two teams in the RPI Top 100, losing to Princeton, 3-1, but also beating Northeastern, 1-0, in their best result of the season.

AAC

LOCK – UCF
BUBBLE – Cincinnati, South Florida, Memphis, SMU
DANGER – Houston

Few expected UCF to be in the position they’re in, but they’ve been a wrecking ball thus far, profiting behind a swashbuckling attack. A win over North Carolina adds to their hopes of a #1 seed, but the lack of a truly great second win could push them down a bit. Cincinnati is the other team in the AAC that looks like a near lock, and their draw against the aforementioned UCF helps their hopes for a seed, but the Bearcats also have just a single win over a team in the RPI Top 30, which could keep them unseeded.

It’s shaky after those two. South Florida has a decent RPI number and solid wins at Alabama and against Memphis, but how those two results hold up isn’t necessarily set in stone. A result in the regular season finale against UCF would be a big boost for their hopes. Memphis has been erratic to a fault, with a brutal stretch of just one win in seven matches, where the defense gave up a shocking twenty-one goals in that span. The Tigers have just a win over Rice as their sole RPI Top 50 result and really needs a positive result against Cincinnati this Sunday.

SMU looked to be in good shape with wins early over Arkansas and Washington, but those results have eroded over time. The Mustangs have also made a frigid start to league play, going 0-3-1 in their first four, including what’s likely to be a backbreaking loss against Tulsa. Houston looks likely to vanish from this list next week, but that they’re even still in the conversation (even on the margins), is nice progress considering how the Cougars have struggled the past decade.

Atlantic 10

BUBBLE – Saint Louis, La Salle
DANGER – Saint Joseph’s

Saint Louis looked likely to walk the league after tearing through their non-conference schedule, which featured a win over Vanderbilt and draw against Kansas. But those results haven’t aged well, and the Billikens have dropped points in the early part of the A10 schedule, likely meaning they’ll need the league’s auto bid to go dancing. That’s a tough ask with La Salle stomping the league with four fixtures to go. The Explorers look like the La Salle clubs of old and have obliterated the A10 thus far and played West Virginia to a one-goal defeat earlier in the year, though they have almost no chance at an at-large bid.

Saint Joseph’s was a sensation last year and has a shock win at Ohio State in September but have been faltering in A10 play to crush fleeting at-large hopes. The loss of Dakota Mills to injury after just a pair of games has hit hard, though the Hawks could still be dangerous in the A10 Tournament.

ACC

LOCK – North Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame, Florida State
BUBBLE – Wake Forest, Virginia, Clemson, NC State, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse
DANGER – Louisville

North Carolina and Duke look the best sides in the ACC by a mile, but the intricacies of the league schedule mean that the two aren’t playing in a league game. UNC beat the Blue Devils in a non-conference meeting though, and that could be decisive if the two are fighting for a #1 seed, though both are on the shortlist of prime contenders for that honor.

The rest of the league is a crapshoot. Notre Dame and Florida State both have great RPI numbers and should be locked in, but they don’t have great results at this point that could boost them up the seed order. The Irish’s best win is over RPI #32 Santa Clara, though opportunities against FSU and North Carolina remain. FSU’s profile is even worse, with only wins over Virginia Tech and NC State on it, though they get a shot at Florida on Thursday, with matches against Wake Forest & Notre Dame also remaining.

It’s a logjam behind them. Wake Forest has one of the season’s best wins against South Carolina and also has beaten Notre Dame away, but they’ve cooled noticeably as of late with just one win in four and may need a strong finish to jumpstart hopes of a top two seed. Virginia are in a similar circumstance despite wins over West Virginia and Penn State. A draw against East Carolina sticks out like a sore thumb, and UVA might not get as many chances to make a big jump with Duke the sole “big” remaining regular season opponent.

There’s much bigger bubble trouble behind them. Clemson notched a win over Auburn in the season’s early weeks but has literally nothing else to fall back on and has won just two of six in the ACC thus far. There’s resume building opportunities down the stretch, but the Tigers may not be consistent enough. NC State are finishing up with a brutal four game road stretch that saw them lose three of four, and the Wolfpack’s strongest win at the moment is over RPI #51 Boston College. There’s little upside the rest of the way in the regular season, meaning a nervous wait could be in store.

Virginia Tech’s profile looks eerily similar to last year, with zero wins in the RPI Top 90 (!) but draws against Pepperdine and Wake Forest. They’re sitting at zero wins in the ACC right now though, and it’s impossible to believe they’ll get in the field without some creditable wins. Boston College has a shaky number but a nice win against Boston College but may need two or three out of four down the stretch if they want to avoid a big task in the ACC Tournament. Syracuse is alive in name only and hasn’t beaten anyone in the RPI Top 95. Louisville has managed that with a win over Clemson, but their overall win profile just doesn’t add up, with their days on the Watch looking numbered.
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NCAA – Chris’ Bracketology – v4.0

Updated after October 8 matches. Next update: After October 13 matches.

* before conference indicates projected auto-bid winner is current league leader as all conference teams have played half of league schedule.

*America East – New Hampshire*
AAC – [2] UCF*, Cincinnati, South Florida
*Atlantic 10 – La Salle*
*ACC – [1] North Carolina*, [1] Duke, [4] Wake Forest, [4] Virginia, Notre Dame, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Boston College, NC State
*Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast*
Big 12 – [1] West Virginia*, [2] Texas, Oklahoma State
*Big East – Georgetown*, Butler
*Big Sky – Eastern Washington*
Big South – Liberty*
*Big Ten – [3] Ohio State*, [3] Penn State, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue
Big West – Long Beach State*
*CAA – Hofstra*
C-USA – Rice*
*Horizon – IUPUI*
Ivy – [4] Princeton*
*MAAC – Monmouth*
*MAC – Kent State*
MVC – Drake*
*Mountain West – San Jose State*
NEC – Bryant*
*OVC – Belmont*
Pac-12 – [2] Stanford*, [3] UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Washington, USC
*Patriot – Bucknell*
*SEC – [1] South Carolina*, [2] Florida, [3] Texas A&M, [4] Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Mississippi State
*Southern – Furman*
*Southland – McNeese State*
SWAC – Alabama State*
Summit – South Dakota State*
*Sun Belt – Texas State*
WCC – Pepperdine*, Santa Clara
WAC – Texas Rio Grande Valley*

Last Eight In – Purdue, Mississippi State, NC State, USC, Boston College, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Butler
Last Seven Out – Clemson, Saint Louis, Colorado, Memphis, Loyola Marymount, Murray State, Northeastern

Multi-Bid Conferences

9 – ACC, SEC
7 – Big Ten
6 – Pac-12
3 – AAC, Big 12
2 – Big East, WCC

NCAA – Chris’ Bracketology – v3.5

Updated after October 6 matches. Next update: After October 8 matches.

* before conference indicates projected auto-bid winner is current league leader as all conference teams have played half of league schedule.

America East – New Hampshire*
AAC – [1] UCF*, [3] Cincinnati, South Florida
*A10 – La Salle*
ACC – [1] North Carolina*, [1] Duke, [4] Wake Forest, Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College
A-Sun – Florida Gulf Coast*
Big 12 – [2] West Virginia*, [2] Texas, Oklahoma State
Big East – Marquette*
Big Sky – Montana*
Big South – Liberty*
Big Ten – [2] Penn State*, [4] Ohio State, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Michigan, Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern
Big West – Long Beach State*
CAA – Northeastern*
C-USA – Rice*
Horizon – Milwaukee*
Ivy – [4] Princeton*
*MAAC – Monmouth*
MAC – Kent State*
MVC – Northern Iowa*
Mountain West – UNLV*
NEC – Bryant*
*OVC – Eastern Kentucky*
Pac-12 – [2] Stanford*, [3] UCLA, Cal, Arizona, Washington, USC
Patriot – Navy*
*SEC – [1] South Carolina*, [3] Florida, [3] Texas A&M, [4] Tennessee, LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn
Southern – Furman*
*Southland – McNeese State*
SWAC – Alabama State*
Summit – South Dakota State*
*Sun Belt – South Alabama*
WCC – Pepperdine*, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount
WAC – Texas Rio Grande Valley*

Last Eight In – Loyola Marymount, USC, Boston College, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Washington, Minnesota
Last Seven Out – NC State, Colorado, Clemson, Washington State, Memphis, Murray State, Hofstra

Multi-Bid Conferences

9 – SEC
8 – ACC, Big Ten
6 – Pac-12
3 – AAC, Big 12, WCC

NCAA – Chris’ Bracketology – v3.0

Updated after October 1 matches. Next update: After October 6 matches.

* before conference indicates projected auto-bid winner is current league leader as all conference teams have played half of league schedule.

AAC – [1] UCF*, [2] Cincinnati
ACC – [1] North Carolina, [1] Duke, [3] Wake Forest, [4] Notre Dame, Florida State, Virginia, Clemson, Boston College, Virginia Tech
America East – New Hampshire*
Atlantic 10 – Saint Louis*
Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast*
Big 12 – [2] West Virginia*, [2] Texas, Oklahoma State
Big East – Georgetown*
Big Sky – Sacramento State*
Big South – High Point*
Big Ten – [4] Penn State, [4] Rutgers*, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern
Big West – Long Beach State*
CAA – Northeastern*
C-USA – Rice*
Horizon – Milwaukee*
Ivy – [3] Princeton*
MAAC – Monmouth*
MAC – Kent State*
MVC – Northern Iowa*
Mountain West – UNLV*
NEC – Bryant*
*OVC – Eastern Kentucky*
Pac-12 – [2] UCLA, [3] Stanford*, Washington, Cal, Arizona, Colorado
Patriot – Navy*
SEC – [1] South Carolina*, [3] Florida, [4] Tennessee, Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State
SoCon – Furman*
Southland – Lamar*
SWAC – Alabama State*
Summit – South Dakota State*
Sun Belt – South Alabama*
WAC – New Mexico State*
WCC – Pepperdine*, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount

Last Eight In: Colorado, Loyola Marymount, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Boston College, Northwestern, Minnesota
Last Seven Out: South Florida, NC State, Memphis, Hofstra, Washington State, Murray State, Marquette

Mutli-Bid Conferences

9 – ACC, SEC
8 – Big Ten
6 – Pac-12
3 – Big 12, WCC
2 – AAC

NCAA – Chris’ Bracketology – v2.5

Updated through September 29. Next update: After October 1 matches.

AAC – [1] UCF*, [2] Cincinnati, South Florida
ACC – [1] North Carolina*, [1] Duke, [3] Wake Forest, [4] Notre Dame, Florida State, Virginia, Clemson, Boston College, Virginia Tech, NC State
America East – New Hampshire*
A10 – Saint Louis*
Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast*
Big 12 – [2] Texas*, [2] West Virginia
Big East – Georgetown*
Big Sky – Sacramento State*
Big South – Radford*
Big Ten – [3] Penn State, Michigan*, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Ohio State, Northwestern, Purdue, Minnesota
Big West – Long Beach State*
CAA – Northeastern*
C-USA – Rice*
Horizon – Northern Kentucky*
Ivy – [3] Princeton*
MAAC – Monmouth*
MAC – Kent State*
MVC – Northern Iowa*
Mountain West – UNLV*
NEC – Bryant*
OVC – Murray State*
Pac-12 – [3] Stanford*, [4] UCLA, Cal, Washington
Patriot – Navy*
SEC – [1] South Carolina*, [2] Florida, [4] Tennessee, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt
SoCon – Furman*
Southland – Lamar*
SWAC – Alabama State*
Summit – South Dakota State*
Sun Belt – South Alabama*
WAC – Seattle*
WCC – [4] Pepperdine*, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount

Last Eight IN: NC State, Loyola Marymount, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, South Florida, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Minnesota
Last Seven OUT: Memphis, Washington State, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Marquette, Hofstra

Multi-Bid Conferences

10 – ACC, SEC
8 – Big Ten
4 – Pac-12
3 – AAC, WCC
2 – Big 12

NWSL – What Do College Sport Marketing Students Think of the “Pass the Ball” Campaign?

So the NWSL came out with an ad featuring a collection of celebrities dubbed the “Pass the Ball” campaign. Fans on the internet had some spicy takes in reaction to the ad, with some serious negative feedback in some circles.

But what do college sport marketing students think of the ad? I showed the ad to about thirty of my sport marketing students and asked for their opinions. The students in question are upperclassmen, with more than a few soccer fans. Here’s what they said:

I thought it was a good advertisement. I really like the celebrity they chose. Also, the slogan is a good one.

I liked how males were in it too and that made it more effective for me

I liked the advertisement. I think it does a good job advertising women soccer

It works but it is a little cheesy, it would work better to show some highlights or maybe have some of the players talk too. It is not very outrageous or out there in a marketing sense.

I thought it was a nice ad that clearly stated what it was fighting for

The commercial has more of a feel good story instead of showing the talent of these female athletes that were being hyped up. To nail home the point, you need more than just celebrity testimonials.

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The WoSo Independent Podcast – Episode #28 – Gallows Humor

Chris (@chris_awk) and Jon (@jonlipsitz) return for Episode #28 of the WoSo Independent Podcast. There’s discussion of the USWNT’s two-game set with New Zealand, including Chris’ assessment of the team’s performance in the second match in Cincinnati and general comments on the direction of the program (and New Zealand’s) (1:52). They then move into the wave of pessimism that’s swept over the NWSL after revelations about FC Kansas City’s operations as well as long-term concern over the future of Boston and Seattle (19:00). Finally, they discuss the college season at the halfway point of the regular season, including some prospects to watch out for for NWSL Draft aficionados who have impressed early in the 2017 season including Duke’s Imani Dorsey and Florida’s Gabby Seiler (34:30).