May 28, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; Loyola Greyhounds midfielder Davis Butts (7) scores a goal while being checked by Maryland Terrapins defense Brian Cooper (40) during the first half of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse National Championship at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
These awards are costing me a fortune. I guess everyone truly does get a trophy.
COLLEGE CROSSE POSTSEASON AWARD V: ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF "AW, HELL"
Winners: Cornell and Syracuse
While Massachusetts, Lehigh, and Loyola all went in the right direction in the improvement category, Cornell and Syracuse were notable movers in the wrong direction. While two teams -- Quinnipiac and Wagner -- were the worst in the country in terms of adjusted efficiency margin change from 2011 to 2012, it's not really fair to slap them around a little bit because nobody -- save people with disasterous head wounds -- expected the Bobcats or Seahawks to do much more than field a team and hope that everyone showed up in the same uniforms on gameday.
Syracuse, which lost tons of contributions in the offseason due to graduation and never quite put all the pieces together in 2012, saw sharp regression in the metric, moving from a 10.62 value in 2011 (second best in the country) to a decent but uninspiring 4.22 mark in 2012. That -6.40 change in about 12 months was the 59th worst in Division I. Which, as an Orange fan, makes me wonder how Syracuse even managed to sneak into the NCAA Tournament field. (Answer: Luck from dousing themselves in the blood of a magical unicorn.)
Cornell didn't fair much better than their neighbors to the north. With the loss of Rob Pannell and working with a somewhat unstable goalie situation, the Big Red saw their adjusted efficiency margin value in 2011 of 12.71 (the highest value in the country) regress to a paltry 6.65 mark in 2012. That -6.06 loss is one of the differences between the Red knocking off Brown, Virginia, and Yale and staying home for May.
Honorable Mention: I see you, Pennsylvania and Georgetown.
COLLEGE CROSSE POSTSEASON AWARD VI: ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF PLAY THIS GAME NOW
Winner: Colgate at Bucknell
Let's pretend that you can replay just one game from the regular season this weekend. Who do you pit against each other? (And you can't say Duke against Virginia in a lion's cage with chainsaws.)
I don't know who I'd pick, but the "Fun Factor" scale -- which ranks teams and games based on competitiveness, pace, shooting, and generally anarchy -- is going with Colgate and Bucknell. The "Fun Factor" score of that game (if it were to be played right now) is an impressive 5.6972, with a Massachusetts-Colgate tilt coming in immediately behind at 5.5590. What's especially interesting about how the "Fun Factor" shakes out the contests is that of the top-five overall replays, all five include at least one Patriot League team with two games being entirely Conference America Freedom Barbecue events (Bucknell-Lehigh being the complement to Bucknell-Colgate).
So, what do we need to do to make this happen? Do I need to sign a permission slip or something?
Honorable Mention: Loyola-Denver, because face melting is the vogue.
COLLEGE CROSSEPOSTSEASON AWARD VII: ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF COMEUPPANCE
Winner: Eric Lusby, Loyola
"Oh, I'm not invited to your fancy Tewaaraton party? Well, fine. I'm going to throw my own party. It's called 'Run Through Championship Weekend and Murder Fools with My Murderin' Stick Party.' You aren't invited, so don't hold your breath for that Facebook invite."
COLLEGE CROSSE POSTSEASON AWARD VIII: ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF LASER FOCUS
Winner: John Danowski, Duke
College Crosse will distribute more awards as the week progresses. Feel the joy, everyone.