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It was supposed to be Cal traveling to Life and Penn State meeting Lindenwood in Moraga, Calif. on the campus of St. Mary's. Those are the semifinal pairings the original bracket called for. However, D1A decision makers have switched the bracket pairings mid-tournament, so Cal now gets to stay in Northern California and play Lindenwood at St. Mary's, and Penn State will travel to Marietta, Ga. to face Life. 

“It’s important that we do what’s best for the growth of the college game,” stated D1A Commissioner Kevin Battle in a release. “Three teams criss-crossing the country with five day’s notice is financially prohibitive.” 

The issue arose when injury-riddled St. Mary's was upset by Lindenwood in the quarterfinals. Had the Gaels won, only two teams would have been left traveling long distances.

Attendance for the nationally-televised semifinals was also a concern, as Penn State and Lindenwood playing in Moraga would have been unlikely to draw much of a crowd. The change not only cuts cost for Cal and Penn State, it provides a higher likelihood empty stands won't be beamed across the nation via CBS Sports Network. Relocating the matches wasn't considered, as the venues were already locked in due to television production logistics.

“As we grow our brand and the game, it is important for us to maximize exposure and support the teams, to support the game," said Paul Keeler, D1A executive committe chairman. "Having teams compete regionally helps achieve that goal and helps manage costs to our members.”

The team most negatively impacted is Lindenwood. LU was always going to have to travel to either Life or St. Mary's had it made the semifinal. However, the cost of getting to Life is much lower for the Lions than that of getting to St. Mary's.

The decision on who to send to Marietta and who to send to Moraga between Penn State and Lindenwood appears to have come down to re-seeding. Undefeated Life would be the top seed. Lindenwood's only losses this season have been to Life, and the Lions beat St. Mary's, which beat Cal, so Lindenwood would be the second seed, Cal the third and Penn State the fourth. Such as it is, one plays four and two plays three.

Should the Lions beat Cal and advance to the final, they'll return to Moraga for a third-straight week.

This is the second debacle regarding D1A's postseason this spring. The first came when Notre Dame College bowed out of the playoffs citing budgetary concerns. The Falcons were slotted to travel to Cal in the first round on less than a week's notice, but D1A decision makers refused to make accomodations for NDC in creating the bracket similar to those they made in changing the bracket before the semifinals.

 

 

 

Comments

This is how USA Rugby folds to NBC and CAL. Cal who many believe were thoroughly beaten by Navy if not for some fortuitous calls and non-calls is now the defacto number one seed in the country. They stay home, they get BASICALLY HOMEFIELD ADVANATAGE THROUGH THE FINAL if they beat Lindenwood, which is a big IF. So the team with the most money, does not travel. Lindenwood gets to travel three times even though by D1a standards they are now, with their victory over St. Mary, a higher seed then Cal. This issue goes back to caving to NBC , used to be National Title went back and forth to opposite sides of the country, this will make the 3rd year in a row in California. Life who has earned the right to play someone they have not played this season (Lindenwood and PSU) is denied the advantage of its ranking when it/if it plays Cal. There is nothing about this that is right, it is all about trying to save a California Team for a California final. NBC does not want an empty stadium on TV, which is what they will get when Lindenwood beats Cal. If this change stands, then a close watch will be needed on the calls ion the Life v Lindenwood game.
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meant Cal vs Lindenwood game will need a close watch
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You voted '+1'.
OOPS, I meant Cal vs Lindenwood
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Demand both games at Life leaving the original match ups. Do not let CBS run the show because they want to film from hillside at St. Marys and do not want empty stands. The teams just lost days of prep, travel plans already made by fans, bush league. No one asked the teams, so even if Jack did not ask for it, it will be thought that he was part of it because as usual Cal is the beneficiary. DEMAND BOTH GAMES AT LIFE!
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Next thing you know there will be TV timeouts during the games for commercials. I would rather see a stream on FLORugby or even RugbyChannel then sell out the game to commercial TV.
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This is absolute bullshit. This isn't the first time either. Back in the 80's Jack convinced USA Rugby to change the playoff structure so that the 1 seed would play the 3 and the 2 seed would play the 4. He said it was to, "make the games more competitive" (paraphrasing here) but the real reason is Cal would have had to play a strong UCSB team that they had already lost to that year if they as the 2 seed were stuck playing the 3 (UCSB). Jack has been pulling this shit for years and he is ruining the game. The man hates a fair fight.
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