In an interview with The Daily, Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby explained his role on the task force appointed by the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which was charged with investigating the Fiesta Bowl’s improprieties and misuse of bowl funds. Some groups, however, are voicing criticism in response to the task force and its recommendations.
Even so, I still think it’s time to junk preseason rankings altogether. For starters, they are almost always proved wrong—it is simply impossible to predict the season’s results before it even starts. They warp perceptions among fans and the all-important poll voters, who are reluctant to drop a team that doesn’t lose, even if it is clearly inferior to teams below it. Through this mechanism, the preseason rankings deprive deserving teams with low rankings from getting to big-time bowl games at season’s end.
In an appearance at the Stanford Bookstore on Wednesday afternoon, author and communication professor Joel Brinkley signed copies of his new book, “Cambodia’s Curse,” offering an inside look into the difficulties facing the country and discussing his research for the book.
The scare tactic of reverting to the old bowl system wouldn’t be that bad even if it did happen. We might lose the No. 1 vs. No. 2 title game, but that game stopped delivering a controversy-free national champion a long time ago. The bowl season would be just as compelling, and each game would be free to uphold its own tradition—the Rose Bowl could stage its Pac-12 vs. Big 10 matchup every year, without having to host some team from Texas that is going to jump to the Big East. Of course, the BCS will continue to come up with excuses to justify its existence—but now that I refuse to be cowed by the threat of returning to the old bowl system, I’m excited to see what its PR spin doctors cook up next.
The Stanford men’s and women’s track teams will open their postseasons this weekend at the Pac-10 Championships in Tucson, Ariz. The men’s team enters the event ranked at No. 12 in the country, while the women’s team is unranked.
Still, I like having athletes on Twitter, and I think the fans and the athletes themselves like it, too. The best solution, then, is probably one that combines the speed and connectivity of new media with the controls that existed in older media. Teams shouldn’t kick athletes off Twitter altogether, but instead should require that players put all tweets through their media department before sending them out into the web. Athletes will still get to tweet, fans will get to connect with their favorite players and organizations won’t find themselves unexpectedly embarrassed by the players who represent them.
The Stanford Conference on Women’s Political Empowerment brought together some of the biggest names in Bay Area and California politics, including Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren ‘70 from San Jose, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Elaine Alquist, a state senator representing Santa Clara.
In a Wednesday evening discussion at Dinkelspiel Auditorium, New York Times columnist and Middle East expert Thomas Friedman explored the causes and implications of the popular uprisings in the Arab world. The talk, titled “Democracy and Energy: the View from Tahrir Square,” was sponsored by Students for a Sustainable Stanford, the ASSU Speakers’ Bureau, Stanford in Government and Hillel.