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Small-College Athletic Planning, Part I: Studying the Great Predecessors

The struggle for most private, small-college athletic departments comes from an unsatisfied need for facilities to call their own. Even my alma mater, Division-I (and FBS) Kent State University, has had to deal with the chaos of disjointed athletic facilities over the years. Our "new" (1999) softball field was placed two miles east of the baseball field (1966); which, in its own right, is a mile south of the school's main gymnasium -- headquarters for the entire athletic department. Nothing was convenient. Winter baseball practices, held in the football/track teams' fieldhouse, were nearly a town away from the classrooms and dorms. I am told the weight room could also found there somewhere. 

Anyway, the reason for this sprawl is all too common across collegiate sports -- not just for the D-I mid-majors and those less than. Timing is everything. An institution typically builds when it can, where it can. Naturally, stadiums have different shelf lives and sometimes the o…
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Remind Me Again... Why Aren't The Indians World Series Favorites?

I get it. With the Los Angeles Dodgers sitting at 50 games over .500, it's a tough sell to say the Cleveland Indians are having the best 2017. Despite five straight losses, L.A. is still able to surpass 100 wins before the NFL's opening weekend kicks off. The calendar just hit September and yet their run differential is unthinkably +209. Take a moment to wrap your head around that one. The Dodgers are accomplishing all of this in a year where the game's undisputed best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, has missed five weeks with a bad back. He returns to the hill today, meaning one of the biggest World Series favorites in some time is going to get better. 

Over in the American League, the Houston Astros are no slouch. They are right on schedule for their predicted emergence into dynasty mode. Fueled by Hurricane Harvey's recent devastation, the Astros will likely receive a sentimental boost to their already stellar title chances -- a la the 2009 New Orleans Saints. They are goi…