Mule Madness - Bracketology
Bracketology Reports provided by Mike Bruckner, vice president of public relations.
Bracketology – Five Days to Go
Five days to go.
Top Seeds: The football team has put a stranglehold on first place. Unless they fumble in the final minutes, it looks like the gridiron gang will secure the First Annual Mule Madness title. I’m sure the trophy is some sort of kicking mule in fine crystal…..or acrylic……or plastic. The football team surged into first place last week and continues to hammer away. Including bonuses, the football team has a whopping 42.3 percent participation rate. They even managed to put some distance between them and their closest competitors.
The cross country and track teams (37.0%) continue to look strong in second place. They have an outside shot to catch the football team, but any slip-ups and they could be caught from behind by the basketball teams (35.1%), the field hockey and golf teams (33.3%) or the baseball/softball teams (33.1%). There is a great battle for spots two through five. Just a few donors can mean the difference between fifth and second place.
The soccer teams are sixth, the men’s and women’s lacrosse and the wrestling team are in seventh place, while the volleyball and tennis teams are in the cellar.
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. This week, they are in second place and realistically they are the only team with a chance to catch the football team for the top spot. And that’s a longshot. The stopwatch is ticking and the finish line is in sight.
Upset Alert: The soccer teams were the upset alert at the start of the year. They continue to make the bracketologist look bad. They did manage to move into sixth place, but they are showing little signs of life. With 87 donors, going over the 100 donor would make it a respectable stretch run. The only logical conclusion is that our Muhlenberg soccer donors sent their philanthropic dollars elsewhere, giving relief effort to the Costa Rican national team, which complained about playing a match in the snow.
Longshot: The longshot pick before MULE MADNESS started were the two tennis teams and the volleyball team, which are paired together. Call it a foot fault and a service error by the Carnac of College Competitions. These teams have not gotten the net results we expected. They started out dead last, mired in eighth place; they climbed to sixth and have slid back to eighth place. Another bad pick by the Swami. So far, the Swami has been quite good at predicting the top three, but after that it’s been a bust.
Overview: Prior to MULE MADNESS, the participation rate for former athletes had been hanging around the 12 percent mark. The MULE MADNESS campaign has already pushed that to 17.7% with 856 former Mules making a gift in 2012-13. The Swami says THANK YOU! The campaign is already a success, but the thinking is that 900 gifts from former athletes would be TREMENDOUS! Spread the word.
Can football hit the 50 percent mark with bonuses? Football has 172 donors. Can it be the first team to reach 180 or even 200? Four teams have eclipsed the 100 donor mark and three others are at 86 donors or more. Will every team get 100 participants? The lax/wrestling contingent has 90 donors and is knocking on the door. Right now, the tennis and volleyball teams are at 63 participants and a 22.5% rate with the bonuses. Lots of work to do here, but soccer (87) and field hockey/golf (86) are a throw-in or a chip shot away from the 100-donor mark.
Real March Madness: The Swami gave real March Madness predictions in the last installment. As you may recall, he gave his Elite Eight prediction before the tournament began: Louisville, Duke, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, and Miami. Seven of those are alive and in the Sweet 16. Swami saw Florida Gulf Coast University live and in person twice and loves the Eagles, but doesn’t think they can beat Florida. The crystal ball still says Louisville wins it. Indiana second. I had Gonzaga and Michigan in the Final Four. Zags fizzled. Confident in Louisville and Indiana, not quite sure about Duke. Continue to worry about Michigan State beating Duke in the Sweet 16. Rooting for Miami, but just can’t pick them over Indiana.