Mule Madness - Bracketology
Bracketology Reports provided by Mike Bruckner, vice president of public relations.
Bracketology – Report IV
March 21, 2013
You can call it report number four but report IV is probably more appropriate. A couple of teams have surged and others are going to need an IV and some cardiac paddles if they are going to have a chance to make a run at the title.
Top Seeds: In last week’s edition of bracketology, the gridiron guys remained the largest question mark. Would their NCAA playoff experience and two-minute drill prowess catapault them into the title chase. The simple answer is YES. The football team had a huge week and the squad has surged into first place. Including bonuses, the football team has a 34 percent participation rate. The gridiron guys even put some distance between them and their closest competitors.
The baseball and softball teams, who had been in the lead after the last report, have dipped all the way back to fifth place. Tough week for the diamond men and women, who now stand at 24.9%. The track and cross country teams have put on a tremendous kick and leaped/vaulted into second place at 29.5%. This is up from fifth. Do they have enough of a finishing kick to overtake the football team? Field hockey and golf have moved into third place at 27.9%, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams are at 26.7%. Field hockey moved up from fourth place last week.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse and the wrestling team remain in sixth place, with the soccer teams seventh, and the volleyball and tennis teams eighth.
The Sleepers: At the start of the campaign, the Swami had the cross country and track teams as the sleepers. FINALLY they are making the prediction look good. The track teams were ranked fourth in percentage giving, slipped to fifth and stayed there for a while before hurdling several teams and moving into second place. I am sticking with these teams as my sleeper pick, but time is running out. It could be football vs. track down the stretch.
Upset Alert: The soccer teams were the upset alert. They continue to make the bracketologist look bad. They are mired in seventh place and show little signs of life. They just can’t find the net. Apparently, they are only contenders in a World Cup year.
Longshot: The longshot pick before MULE MADNESS started were the two tennis teams and the volleyball team, which are paired together. They started out dead last in eighth place; they climbed to sixth and have slid back to eighth place. Another bad pick by the Swami. Consider it a double fault or a complete service error. So far, the Swami has been quite good at predicting the top three, but after that it’s been downhill. A top four finish was my prediction for tennis/volleyball, but now I don’t think they can get higher than fifth. They might not even get out of the basement.
Overview: As mentioned in the crystal ball report, the participation rate for former athletes had been hovering around 12 percent. The MULE MADNESS campaign has already pushed that to 16.5% with 799 former Mules making a gift in 2012-13. The Swami says THANK YOU! The campaign is already a success, but with more than 4800 former Mule athletes out there, the teams have a lot of work to do. 800 gifts from former athletes would be nice. 900 gifts from former athletes would be TREMENDOUS!
Will any team hit the 40 percent mark? Football has 162 donors. Can it hit 200? Will every team get 100 participants? Right now, the tennis and volleyball teams are at 59 participants and a 17.4% rate. Lots of work to do here, but all other teams are at 80 donors or above, so the 100 mark is a definite possibility.
Semi-final thought: Stay tuned. Mule Madness Bracketology and March Madness will return on a regular basis…
Real March Madness: The Swami promised some real March Madness predictions, so here it goes. A very even field. There are 15 teams that can make it to the Final Four. But, here are my predictions: Elite Eight: Louisville, Duke, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, Miami. Louisville wins it. Indiana second. With Gonzaga and Michigan in the Final Four. Really worry about Michigan State beating Duke in the Sweet 16, New Mexico could beat Ohio State and Kansas could even win the whole thing if it beats Michigan in the Sweet 16. But, you have to pick, so there it is: Louisville beats Indiana in the final, with Gonzaga and Michigan in the Final Four.