by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – For quite a while now I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect martini.
Yes, I know that sounds kind of hipster-ish, but I assure you that I am not a hipster, nor do I have an Instagram account full of martini photos. I just happen to feel it’s the perfect cocktail when done right.
It’s actually turned into a bit of a running joke with my wife on that odd occasion we get out and I’m able to continue my pursuit of excellence.
I’m still searching for the perfect concoction decades later.
My mixological quest is very similar to the MCLA’s pursuit of producing the perfect poll, which has been on-going since the association’s inception.
South Carolina coach James Harkey is the most recent person to jump into the poll refining pool, crafting a thoughtful piece for our friends over at Virtually Varsity.
His main thesis is that transparency is the key to an improved MCLA Division I and II poll.
I respectively disagree.
Liberty takes on the #5 team in the country tomorrow night at home. Come out and support the flames, or watch the game online at https://t.co/2NpmfxhsiP @MCLA @LibertyU @CUMensLacrosse pic.twitter.com/9dYFspHciY
— Liberty Lacrosse (@LibertyLax) March 8, 2018
In fact, when the subject was brought up by the board when I first signed on with the MCLA, I counseled against releasing the voters names to the public.
From my perspective, unmasking the voters will do nothing but open them up to be lobbied – or worse – by parents, fans and players on social media or whatever platform they choose to get at the pollster.
Every MCLA coach has a ton on their plate, often times including a full-time job, and they don’t need to be subjected to outside scrutiny simply because they agreed to be one of the three pollsters from their respective conference.
Doing the homework required to do the poll correctly – especially when it comes to the bottom 10 – is massively time consuming. Since they don’t get paid for their efforts, I don’t feel opening them up to jabs and pleas from poll fanatics is appropriate.
If finding out who is on the poll is an overwhelming priority for an MCLA coach, they can contact their conference director to find out who the current pollsters are and request to be on it in the future. Or they can contact me if easier.
In further disclosure, I have lobbied both public and privately to eliminate our weekly coaches poll as a criterion in the selection process for nationals. [Note: I’m neither a poll voter nor a member of the selection committee].
It’s a vestige of a by-gone era in the MCLA and the selection committee members have so much other data and first-hand information that is far more useful for choosing and seeding the two 16-team fields.
This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have a poll. And this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to create the best weekly poll that we can.
I’m thankful we have Harkey and others who want to keep the MCLA striving for excellence, whether with the poll or otherwise. The more teams and groups we have invested in the association, the better.
So we will continue our quest for the perfect poll, regardless of who the poll voters are or what the poll signifies.
And I will continue my hunt for the perfect martini. As of now, the Bardeney in Boise, Idaho, that has come the closest.
* * *
As you already know, all of your attention should be directed to Nashville, Tenn., and Vanderbilt University, which is the location of Music City Judgement.
This in-season marquee event is chalk full of premium games. We know of some Periscope feeds at this point, but check the MCLA Twitter feeds for live streams if they become available.
St. Thomas has taken over the_mcla Snapchat account for Music City Judgement. Swing on by and check it out! #mcla18 pic.twitter.com/Zc3aIat73x
— MCLA (@MCLA) March 9, 2018
Staying on the D-II front, stay tuned for Sunday’s game between No. 1 North Dakota State and No. 13 Montana at 1 p.m. in Missoula. The Bison didn’t go to Nashville, but have three solid games in Big Sky country.
Colorado and Colorado State are venturing to the East Coast this weekend for a pair of compelling games. The fifth-ranked Buffs square up with No. 19 Liberty on Friday and No. 11 Georgia Tech on Sunday.
The Rams open up with the Yellow Jackets on Friday before grappling with Georgia on Saturday. We’re hoping to have live streams on three of the four contests.
Saturday is highlighted by the SLC D-I Game of the Week between No. 3 Chapman and No. 12 Concordia-Irvine. The Eagles have handled the transition to D-I with aplomb and now they get to make a statement.
Don’t be surprised if it takes more than 60 minutes to settle a winner in Irvine.
No. 7 Brigham Young caps its productive Texas swing by playing No. 13 Florida State in Austin. The Cougars success so far is predicated on its offense leading the way because they are prone to giving up goals.
Fortunately for BYU, the Seminoles tend to get into defensive grinders with good teams.
Arizona State suffered yet another overtime loss, this time on Thursday night against Virginia Tech, 11-10, in a blizzard. The Sun Devils now face Liberty on Saturday night.
For those keeping track, the loss to the Hokies means all four Sun Devils losses have come by a goal and three of them were in overtime. Having a 3-4 record is not a great look, but Todd MacRobbie’s troops are a whisper away from 7-0.
Follow your Lakers this weekend as we kickoff our #MCLA18 #RaceForSaltLake #AnchorUp pic.twitter.com/L2JRykuQ7F
— GVSU Men's Lacrosse (@GVSULAX) March 8, 2018
One of the best parts of Music City Judgement is all the teams are highly ranked, and because of that usually the games are relatively tight. Duluth blew that supposition out of the water when they blast Florida Gulf Coast, 21-2, on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs get scarier and scarier, and it’s important to remember they lost by a lone goal, 9-8, to D-I No. 4 Michigan State earlier this year. Keep an eye on them this weekend.
NOTES: A huge game in the WCLL race will take place on Saturday when Cal Poly entertains Cal. The Golden Bears made it to the nationals semifinals last year but lost to the Mustangs in the regular season and WCLL title game. The game is scheduled to be streamed…Grand Valley State kicks off their season on Friday when they face FGCU at 2:30 p.m. The Lakers have a very good Periscope stream going on their Twitter feed, so check that out…No. 15 Northern Arizona is playing No. 8 Fullerton on Saturday in a key SLC North tilt. The Lumberjacks may be the only team in that league to test the Titans...No. 14 College of Idaho visits No. 21 UC Davis in a tasty inter-divisional clash...Boise is has already shocked Oregon this year. Can the Broncos spring an upset of No. 1 Utah?...as always, get those coach's nominations for Commanding Performance of the Week powered by Under Armour to email@example.com by Monday.