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Hey, Georgetown: Stop Whining; Start Winning

When I'm not writing stuff for College Crosse I'm usually writing stuff for my other distraction, Hoya Suxa.  In case you don't know what Hoya Suxa is, it's basically a humor site masquerading as a college sports blog dedicated to hating Georgetown University.

Pretty high class stuff, if I do say so myself.

One of the major themes that I pound into the ground on a somewhat frequent basis is that Hoyas are whiny, entitled miscreants, oftentimes demanding what they do not deserve.  The theme is obviously a vehicle to push satire, but when art crosses over into reality, the stereotype really sings.  The site Hoya Laxa is the latest in such circumstances.

A few days ago, Hoya Laxa posted probably the whiniest piece of prose ever written. I mean, this is Michael Moore-level whining. In the post, Hoya Laxa essentially proffers the following argument: Georgetown deserves to go to the NCAA tournament because it's Georgetown; as other schools aren't Georgetown, they shouldn't be selected over the Hoyas for the field of 16.

Awesome.  Wait, strike that.  Reverse it.  And now, let's have some fun with it.

STATEMENT ONE (emphasis is mine):

Is Georgetown going to get snubbed yet again by the NCAA for the 2011 tournament, thereby missing the playoffs for a fourth year in a row despite consistently having one of the top teams?

History has nothing to do with tournament selection.  The NCAA selection criteria clearly indicates that. What are factors for selection are quality wins and bad losses. Georgetown's profile the last few years hasn't been rock-solid, "must include in the field"-worthy:

Quality Wins and Losses
2010 4.85 13th 1.2 7th
2009 .85 13th 2.8 26th
2008 1.35 12th .8 7th

Note: The higher the ranking, the better.  So, Georgetown ranked well in 2010 and 2008 in losses, but poorly in 2009.

Remember: There are only 10 at-large invitations available.  Does that table reflect a "top team"? I don't know, but it's not enough to affirmatively confirm that there was a "snub."  It's not like that profile is without doubt.  Syracuse and Virginia -- examples of "consistently top teams" -- didn't maintain profiles that questionable in terms of selection. The moral of the story is this: You can't blame the selection committee for Georgetown's uneven efforts.

STATEMENT TWO (emphasis is mine):

If Georgetown goes undefeated for the rest of the season and defeats Duke and Notre Dame, will the losses to Syracuse (in OT), Maryland, and Harvard (in OT) justify a rejection by the NCAA?

Let's just get this out of the way now: Georgetown isn't going undefeated the rest of the way. Forget about Duke and Notre Dame, the Hoyas might not beat Loyola, Yale, Villanova, or even Navy.  Ay-yi-yi.

Second, playing close games against quality opponents isn't really part of the selection criteria.  And if it were, you also should consider that it took a big effort from Georgetown to beat Jacksonville (they pulled away late) and that Maryland game turned into a pasting. When you examine the other wins (thus far), there's nothing to write home about: Beat St. John's (whoop-de-doo), beat Providence (just like everyone else).

To me, that's why Georgetown isn't an NCAA team yet.  LaxPower's "Tournament Selection Index" agrees, putting the Hoyas 25th in the metric.  There's no point in worrying about what will happen in the future unless you already think that there isn't much to stand on.  And Georgetown isn't standing on a whole lot right now.

STATEMENT THREE (emphasis mine):

What will it take for the Hoyas to get back into the tournament? Georgetown has one of the toughest schedules in college lacrosse. No one disputes this. Every year, Georgetown has significant wins and a few losses but prove throughout the season that they are one of college lacrosse's top teams. Regardless, having a tough schedule seems to be a penalty for Georgetown, and they fail to make the playoffs.

I addressed the first part.  Like I said, the fallacy of the writer's premise is this: Georgetown is a top team because it has "significant wins and a few losses." (Pay no attention to the losses against Loyola (2008-2010), Penn State (2008-2009), St. John's (2009), Hobart (2009). Please only focus on their 2008 victory against Duke and 2009 victory against Maryland.  And don't even bring up the fact that Georgetown hasn't beaten Syracuse in three years or even played Virginia, Hopkins, or Cornell in the same period.) 

With respect to the second piece -- a tough schedule being a penalty against Georgetown -- it actually isn't hurting Georgetown in the context of selection, it's helping them. Strength of schedule is an important criterion for selection. It stands independently as a factor, and is necessarily folded into a team's RPI calculation.  So, it's not that the NCAA is holding the Hoyas' schedule against them, it's that Georgetown simply isn't winning enough overall and against great teams. 

STATEMENT FOUR (emphasis mine):

So what does Georgetown need to do? Do they need to fire Urick and steal a big-named coach in the off-season that will earn so much hype that Georgetown will get a top 5 ranking in the preseason for the mere reason that they've done something "exciting" in the off-season?

Well, Georgetown has done dumber things than firing Urick.  Like, say, not firing Urick.