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Chicago Connection

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Comment 14 Jan 2019

The other factor in this thing is that Burrow's exit provides a kind of model for other Buckeye QBs that might not see the field. Other than making some ill-advised public comments, Tate's situation is pretty similar to his--not the exact same, but pretty close--and if he winds up elsewhere and then enjoys as much success as Joe Burrow, we can expect to see more of the thing.

On the surface, this development doesn't seem like an ideal trend, since you'd like to see as many top QBs in camp competing for the starting role. That said, if we still wind up with top talent like Haskins or Fields starting, on top of which, we can recruit still more top talent because they know what the worst they can do if they come to Ohio State is either start here or transfer to another top program, but in any case, enjoy a fabulous college career, well, on second thought...

Maybe it is an ideal trend, and so, rather than fight it, or bash Martell (even if his comments invited some backlash), we ought to embrace these developments as potentially a big and unique selling point for top QB recruits (i.e., the ceiling for QBs is exceptionally high if you come to Ohio State, and, oh, yeah, the basement for OSU QBs is exceptionally high!).

I mean, right now, any top QB looking for the best program has got to say, "man, even if I don't become a star at Ohio State, they'll set me up as a star elsewhere, and where the Hell else am I going to get that kind of development and treatment? So... sign me up now!"

Comment 13 Jan 2019

You may be right about what we don't know, Navy, because, well, we don't know. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if there was more to this story and said information didn't put either party in a good light. 

It's a totally legit and fair point per Martell's situation being qualitatively different from Fields and various respects, but rest assured, there are more than a few critics in Georgia who nonetheless perceive him as quitting on their program. I'm thinking this comes with the territory of a transfer, especially since this a relatively new development in college football.

Anyway, my point wasn't to actually claim Fields is a quitter, because personally, I don't perceive either him or Tate as quitters. I see them both as exploring their options after having been good solders at their schools for a couple years. 

That said, Martell's comments and subsequent action certainly has feed into the perception of quitting, and for that, he only has to blame himself. BTW, I've elsewhere been critical of him for those comments, even if I understand his frustration, because most of all, they would only make him look bad. 

Nonetheless, despite those comments and the negative light he's cast on himself, I honestly don't see him as a quitter, even if he transfers, and I don't see Fields that way, either. I think they're both exploring their options, and as college QBs, I appreciate that they have limited options with a limited number of years to maximize their opportunities. 

In short, I sympathize with both guys, and I only wish they'd both stick around to compete, and then may the best man win (and remain a good teammate), but... I don't think we'll be seeing them on the same roster. Still, I wish both the best wherever they land. 

Comment 13 Jan 2019

Sure, neither of us knows if the Martell situation has been handled differently or the same as the Burrow situation, and I didn't claim that I knew it was handled in the same way (although I suspect it was handled similarly even if the situations don't exactly correspond), which is why I said "if" we discover otherwise, and if either the coaches or Tate handled it poorly, then I'd be disappointed to that degree depending on whatever information came to light.

Comment 13 Jan 2019

I totally get why any Buckeye fan wouldn't want a player who doesn't want to be here, Zak, but in fairness, there's no "quit" yet on Tate's part--no more than Fields "quit" on Georgia--but, yeah, Tate very well might transfer.

But even if he does, for what it's worth, both Baldwin and Fields will need to put in a full two years of healthy, hard work before they match Tate's commitment to the team thus far, and that ought to count for something.

Heck, by all accounts, Tate's ability to play the role of Trace McSorley in practice has been pivotal in helping the Buckeyes to beat Penn State for two straight years. That's not a shabby contribution in itself. 

By my reckoning, it might even merit a "hey, thanks for your effort and contribution and best of luck." But that's just me, and everyone has their own feelings on these things. 

Comment 13 Jan 2019

All true, Lou. 

Actually, I think the way that the way the Burrow situation was handled would be attractive to any recruit, who'd know that the team will be frank with him about his role, and if he decided to transfer, the school wouldn't try to stop his transfer; he'd have Buckeye Nation cheering for him; and he'd leave town as a far more developed and skilled player. 

Witness the fact that Burrow has done fabulously in his own right, and he has expressed ZERO negative feelings towards the team or coaches. In fact, he's not only appreciative of his time spent in Columbus, he's profiting from it. 

Rather than worrying about the Burrow situation hurting Ohio State's recruiting, I see no reason why it wouldn't be a fantastic selling point that virtually no other major school could offer or has offered.

The bottom line is that every recruit wants to maximize his upside while minimizing his downside, and while major programs can offer the former opportunity if you start for them, few can provide an examples of minimizing a player's downside if he doesn't start.

But Ohio State can. And Joe Burrow is the poster boy for that case. 

Still, to the OP's point, the Martell situation might turn out differently. However, we don't know that yet. There's still a whole lotta stuff that needs to be settled, and even if Martell goes elsewhere, I''ll be totally shocked (and more than a little disappointed) if Tate goes elsewhere, becomes a star, and then either claims or can prove that he was lied to by Day or urban and/or  the Ohio State program otherwise unfairly held back his development and progress. 

Comment 13 Jan 2019

No hate for Tate here. Heck, he still might be our striating QB. 

Regardless of whatever Martell recently said, or why he said it (i.e., for better or worse, maybe it was a public trial balloon to see where he stood with Day?), far more importantly, by all accounts, the guy has been an exceptionally hard worker; he hasn't asked for any special treatment; he's been a great teammate by all accounts, as well as a great student and citizen; and beyond that...

Well, maybe he hasn't made the most judicious comments in the press, but in doing so, he's hurt himself more than anybody else. Moreover, actions should count more than words, and so, per what Tate is actually doing, it's nothing worse than Fields himself--i.e., he's analyzing his situation and fully exploring his options.

That being the case, we all know (and Tate knows) that only one QBs can start, and each college player has only one career with four years of eligibility, and as long as he's acting within the NCAA's rules, I can't blame him or anyone for trying to do what's best for themselves. 

I mean, geez, if Bosa can be forgiven for making money his clear priority over being a legendary star for the Buckeyes, it seems far more forgivable for a guy like Tate to simply seek to maximize his only opportunity to be a starter vs. sitting on the bench his whole career (and, thus far, he's patiently sat on the bench for two years). 

Oh, and let's also not forget that Fields wasn't part of "The Brotherhood" when Martell made his comments--he was still an SEC opponent, and Martell did, in fact, say that he'd be a good teammate if Fields did join the team. Plus, regardless of whether or not Tate transfers, his unsolicited comment, which basically amounted to saying, "watch what you wish for," isn't exactly considered to be bad advice.

The irony here is that now Tate needs to carefully consider his own advice to Fields about the grass being greener. 

Comment 12 Jan 2019

The "experts" say Field's eligibility to play in 2019 should be decided within the next 6 weeks, Citybuck. Meanwhile, Martell and Hurts could make a decision at any time, and a best guess is that they'll make their choices by the end of February, if not within the upcoming weeks.

As for Hurts, he's currently visiting Maryland, where Alabama's OC just took the Head Coaching job, and for all we know, this is just the first leg of Hurt's "transfer tour." In short, the timing for the scenario I've proposed probably won't work out, on top of which, Fields will probably be granted a waiver, BUT...

Ya' never know.

Comment 11 Jan 2019

Wow. If all of that is true, I'm surprised Tate has cut himself off this much, and it smacks of hard feelings, which suggests there's aback story we haven't heard. I mean, thing is, if Fields is denied his waiver, which isn't impossible, Tate would seem to be the runaway favorite to start, unless...

Maybe Day has been frank enough with Martell to tell him that he expects his QB to be able to run, BUT, first and foremost, he expects them to be a highly effective pocket passer. If that's the case, while I'm sure Day would invite Tate to stay in the program and compete, Martell would be smart enough to know that it'd be a big, uphill struggle, so why not cut his losses right now and transfer?

However, I'm only speculating about that sort of exchange between Day and Martell. Heck, Tate could come to the same conclusion without even speaking to Day, in which case, he knows that Day personally recruited Baldwin, and both he and Fields possess the size and skills to fit Day's scheme.

Again, this is speculation, and it might equally be the case that, right or wrong, Martell feels like his teammates haven't had his back. Maybe there even was an incidentthat we'll never hear about. Who knows?

However, none of that speculation is really necessary when the surface dynamics are self-explanatory enough.  

Comment 11 Jan 2019

Great point about the unfairness Haskins faced vs. Barrett, Kmp, which might have cost the Buckeyes a National Championship. I was one of those people who said that Haskins absolutely needed to start in 2017, because Barrett's limitations would limit the team's potential, but...

It was painfully obvious that misguided loyalty would lead to yet another deadly and unnecessary self-inflicted wound.

In any case, while  no small part of Meyer's decision was totally subjective and blatantly unfair, because Haskins obviously is and was a far superior quarterback, it's also true that Barrett fit Meyer's preferred offensive scheme and philosophy, so there was an objective aspect as well.

While I doubt Day has any 'bias" for Fields, per se, it seems fair to speculate that his system might favor Fields more than Martell. Now, that might feel unfair to Tate, but if so, at least it's based on something objective as opposed to being a matter of politics or someone being favored because of reputation or hype.


Comment 11 Jan 2019

Hey, I conceded up front that my speculation was "out there," but... it was still driven by logic and circumstance rather than cannabis. I provided my rationale. I didn't say it was likely--just not impossible, which is wacky in itself.

But I get where you're coming from. After all, if back in July, you told me that Meyer will be suspended from the program then retire from football; even though the Buckeyes will still win the Big Ten, put up 62 points in their biggest-ever slaughter of TTUN, while only losing a single game--yet still not make the playoffs--even though Haskins will be a Heisman finalist and possible overall #1 pick in the NFL draft, on top of which, Justin Fields will transfer to Ohio State while Tate Martell pursued a transfer, well...

I would've said that you need to ease up on your meds. But sometimes, weird happens. Sans marijuana. 

Comment 11 Jan 2019

I might quibble over the wording, Kmp, (i.e., I suspect Day would be less likely to pronounce Fields is his guy than to tell Tate that he "might not be" an ideal fit for his system, but... same difference, and it's a good point.

I just wonder if Day would be so unselfish and noble as to proactively chase away one of only three QBs on his roster? Then again, the more likely scenario is that Martell proactively knocked on Day's office door and asked for his honest assessment of the situation, in which case, Day seems like a decent enough guy that...

1) he'd be reluctant to make any false promises, such as either guaranteeing him a starting role or at least naming hims as the starter going into spring, and
2) if Martell asked Day if he planed to maximize a dual threat or would he lean more towards a pass first offense a la Dwayne Haskins, I can see Day saying, "Well, as you know, we always want our quarterbacks to pose a run threat, but in our current system, we're not likely to seek the sort of 50/50 run/pass split out of that position, which was always Coach Meyer's goal. In our current scheme, we'll ask and expect our quarterback to be able to throw from the pocket on a routine basis."

Of course, I don't presume to know the exact wording in this exchange, but the gist of it is the same as you suggest--Day diplomatically but clearly offering no commitments to Martell while mapping out a direction for his offense that might be a bit less favorable to Tate than Justin--not that either guy can't run or throw.

Thing is, while I have not doubt that Tate is utterly confident in his ability to throw from the pocket, I'm sure he's smart enough to know that others will doubt his ability to some degree, most importantly, Ryan Day.

In other words, while I'm pretty sure wouldn't want to lose Martell, it's hard to imagine him giving Martell the sort of assurances that he want, or more importantly, the sort of qualified endorsement that Tate feels he's earned through hard work and patience.

Without the latter, Tate doesn't need to feel betrayed--he just needs to feel like he'll be competing with a bit of a schematic disadvantage. In short, while Tate's public comments have made it seem like his decision to pursue a possible transfer is an emotional reaction (and maybe it is), in the end, it's probably a fairly rational calculation, regardless of his feelings.

Comment 11 Jan 2019

That's certainly one legit take, and I'm guessing we'll hear a lot of that, fair or not.

Another legit interpretation worth considering is that Tate consciously or unconsciously floated those comment as trial balloons to see if anybody had his back, from Ryan Day to his teammates. If so, as best as I can tell, he didn't garner a lot of support, at least not publicly.

The again, I'm sure a lot of his peers or coaches wouldn't want to put themselves in the middle of a drama. Still for what it's worth, there have been plenty of people in this forum who've expressed a fondness for Martell and wish him the best, including yours truly. Beyond that...

Heck if I know what Tate's really like behind the scenes, or what his true motive was for going public. I only know what coaches and/or players have either said on the record.

To that end, while everyone has said that Martell's a confident guy and his own man, I haven't heard anybody even remotely suggest that he's either selfish or, frankly, anything but a great teammate who's put in tons of hard work and is loaded with talent.

In other words, their attitude towards him hasn't been much different than what we saw with Joe Burrow. 

Granted, should Tate skip town, it's possible that we'll suddenly hear a flood of talk about what a bad guy he is/was. But I doubt it. My guess is that most guys will simply say they completely understand the position he's in and they sincerely wish him well. 

Of course, the other possibility is that Fields won't get his waiver, in which case, I'd be shocked if Tate left. The only trouble with all of that is timing. Supposedly, we'll know whether or not Fields will be eligible to play in 2019 by the end of February, so I wouldn't expect Tate to leave before then, because he's clearly the lead candidate to start if Fields can't play. BUT, BUT, BUT....

One HUGE consideration that (others might have brought up, but I haven't personally heard it yet) is WHAT IF Tate gets a transfer offer he feels that he can pass up, so he leaves campus ASAP, and then... Fields doesn't get his waiver!!!

Yikes! It could be that overnight we'd only have two QBs with Matthew Baldwin as the presumptive starter,. Frankly, there woulnd't be many options beyond that, unless, let's say, someone like Jalen Hurts transferred (NOTE: As a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility, Hurts isn't requited to get a waiver, so he could immediately play for anybody in the country this fall).

How weird would that be? I mean, imagine if at the first half of last year's Alabama-Georgia championship game someone told you, yeah, in barely more than one calendar year, both Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields will be QBs on Ohio State's roster?

Comment 10 Jan 2019

Retaining Tavers would be a really, really bad sign, whether on the field or for recruiting, but I'm otherwise okay with the moves and think they can work out. That said, nothing blows me away, so I won't give it a long leash.

But, hey, that's just me, and I'm not all that signifcant. More importantly, other teams won't give a crap about who's standing on our sidelines as long as they can score points on us. So...

That'll be the true, simple measure of Day's moves: Do we stop other offenses and win games?

Comment 10 Jan 2019

Sad stuff.

I've always liked Tate and it would've been fun to see what he could do as a starter, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. The dude can run, and by no means that justify pigeonholing him as "only" a runner, because he's got strong, accurate arm, too.

I wish Tate would have toned down his comments directed towards Fields--not because what he said was wrong, but because there was nothing to be gained form them--but I can't really blame him for exploring his options

I mean, being totally honest, if I were in his shoes, I'd have to wonder...

1) Will really, truly, honestly be given a fair shot to win the starting job?

2) Even if it's a level playing field, what if this guy beats me out? What if... he truly is the best QB in the nation, so that he narrowly beat me out, and in fact, it's so close that I'm basically one of the top three or five quarterbacks in the nation, well, should I really be OK with spending my whole college career on the bench?

That's a key consideration here, because unlike Haskins, Tate knows he might not have a pro career, at least not at QB, in which case, sure, it's easy tor us to criticize his ego, but college ball might be his only shot, and spending his career as a practice player is a big pill too swallow.

In fairness, Fields himself wasn't okay with sitting on the bench. 

It's also worth noting that Urban recruited Tate, but now Meyer's gone. And when you lose your key supporter, you can't help but wonder if the handwriting is on the wall?

Now add the Haskins factor. Mind you, I love Haskins and while I can't say he's done anything wrong here, again, if you step in Martell's shoes, it's fair to wonder if there might be some politics working against you, whether internally or externally.

For starters, despite the usual mantras about "the brotherhood," Haskins openly invited an uninitiated brother to join the Buckeyes to take the job of his current 'brother"--a guy who has fought alongside him in the QB film room and in the trenches for the past two years. 

And while it's easy for us to presume that Day will be fair and let "the best man win" the job, Martell knows that Haskins and Fields are part of the Quincy Avery pipeline, which has become a premier source of QB talent in college football. As such, Tate knows there will be invisible pressure on Day to indulge said pipeline... or the pipeline just might dry up for Ohio State.

Given the above factors, as well as the fact that Tate knows that there's an inherent bias and/or skepticism about his abilities because of his size, again, I can't blame him for exploring his options, even though the Buckeyes will be poorer for it.

Fact is, Nick Bosa explored his options; Haskins likewise declared eqrly for the draft, thus exploring his options; Fields did the same by transferring to Ohio State; and Ryan Day has been busy exploring all of his options since taking over, whether interviewing coaching candidates or recruiting, including offering a scholarship to Fields.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

I just wish that we would have seen how Martell would have performed as a starter, but then, I suspect we will... just probably not in a Buckeye jersey. That said, I wonder what jersey we'll see him wearing--will it be in the Big Ten?

Uh-oh... I think I hear Purdue calling.

Comment 09 Jan 2019

The great thing about being a Buckeye receiver these days is that there's an offensive scheme and culture that spreads the ball around, so not only does everybody get an opportunity to see some game-time action, but even in practice, you have three of the top QBs in college football throwing to you (under the guidance of the two best QB coaches in college football).

I know we've got a lot of guys with unique skills sets in different sizes and shapes, which allows for mismatches against almost any team, but what I'm most interested in seeing is which WR wins the Paris Campbell / Curtis Samuel / Dontre Wilson / Jalen Marshal speed role--i..e, the guy who can take hand-offs, reverses and quick screens to the house and/or blow the lid off defenses downfield like Devin Smith?

A lot of people thought that by now the speedster/WR/H-back role would have been Demario McCall's, but that just hasn't happened... at least not yet. I still can't figure out why he's gotten so little playing time. Meyer always claimed it was his weight/size, but that didn't stop him from getting some meaningful playing time. I dunno--maybe McCall will see more action under Day.

Actually, in terms of 40 yards dashes, does anybody here know the latest number per THE fastest guys in Zone Six? It might even be Jameson Williams, the incoming freshman, although it'll be tough for him to get lots of reps in the crowded receiver room.

Comment 07 Jan 2019

Thanks, Keith--I hadn't caught that news (at least not at elevenwarriors), and I hope it's confirmed sooner than later. Meanwhile, I did see the rumors about Washington but with no follow-up... yet. Assuming that Mattison likes him, that should happen fairly quickly. 

If that happens, I hope he's good and a top recruiter. The Buckeye score didn't reflect that, but that can be explained away as a matter of interior talent plus Don Brown was calling the shots. 

Anyway, let's hope we're taking the best guys from TTUN and making them weaker rather than stronger--sortuva a matter of killing four birds with two stones situation. 

Comment 07 Jan 2019

I see today's moves as a transitional plan.

Day has a lot on his plate with minimal experience on the defensive side of the ball, so he has clearly decided t0 rely on well-established coaches to fill his personal void in knowledge. To that end, I'm guessing that he has relied on Meyer per the Mattison hire, while Hafley is clearly his guy, which suggests that familiarity and comfort level was THE key factor (hopefully, not at the expense of expertise and recruiting ability).

For me, the most disturbing twist here would be if Day retains Davis and Tavers, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and presume that it's just a matter of time before he lets both of them go. My guess is that Day wants to empower Hafley to hire a new DB coach and Mattison to hire a new LB coach.

In the big picture, per the 2019 season,  it's hard to imagine the Buckeye's coaching won't be capable enough on defense in terms of Xs and Os, or else relatability to coach up ballplayers. However, at least for now, the staff looks especially weak from the standpoint of recruiting.

In fact, should Day make the horrible misjudgment of keeping Tavers and Davis, the Buckeyes suddenly might go from having THE best crew of defensive coaching recruiters in all of college football a few years ago to perhaps having the worst and oldest recruiters of any major Power Five program. However...

That's why I believe that this is a three-step transitional move, wherein Day

1) hires 'safe' guys that he can fully trust to know what they're doing per Xs and Os and getting more out of the existing, talent-heavy roster; 2) develop Hafley's ability as a DC as he works with a highly experienced staff; and 3) scout around this year and next to find the best possible coaches who can also recruit.

The lynchpin for success with this move depends on Hafley ibeing a really personable guy and a top-notch recruiter (for a top college program, not Rutgers), which remains to be seen. For now, basically, we're relying on Day's judgment, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and see how it plays out. 

That said, if Day keeps Tavers, I'll raise my eyebrow above my hairline as my doubts grow a lot higher. And If he keeps Davis, well, sorry, as much as I like a whole about Day so far, I'll immediate conclude that he's merely an offensive specialist and nice guy who simply isn't head coaching material.

However, I fully trust that he will dump Davis, or rather, he'll have Mattison or Hafley show Davis the door.

Anyway, I can't say the new hires are home runs, at least not on the surface, since Hafley might be a classic overreach as a "buddy" hire (i.e., repeating Meyer's nepotism syndrome), and Mattison's best days 'might' have passed him by, on top of which , they might both damage the program per second-rate recruiting ability, but... I dunno... maybe they could turn out quite well. 

I say, let's see if and when the next shoe(s) to drop. But at this point, if nothing else, I give Day due credit for sending the message that the defense's performance in 2018 simply was NOT acceptable. 


Comment 06 Jan 2019

Yep, more damning stuff, MaxPower. The slow part is especially mystifying when it comes to Pryor, who, otherwise, is actually one of the faster guys on the team.

Now, obviously, it doesn't help that he was consistently out of position and misaligned, all of which was made worse by taking bad angles, but still, the crazy thing is just how unbelievably slow he was when it came to chasing guys down from behind, or attempting to, which he did far too often.

Yeah, I know, there's a big difference between how fast a guy runs a 40 yard dash when when measured against a stopwatch vs. how fast he runs on game day, but still, it's hard to account for such a HUGE difference other than to point to the brain-body connection, or disconnection, which is one of the most underrated parameters of athleticism (that is, at least any useful level of athleticism).

In short, the more slowly a guy's neurons are firing, the more slowly the rest of his body will move.

This factor only underscores the most damning thing of all about Grinch, because even if you totally blame Pryor for having a slow mind, having slow feet, playing out of position, taking bad angles, exercising an abysmal tackling technique, and not properly preparing for games (heck, while we're at it, let's say he's a very bad young man who is mean to babies and old ladies and never returns his library books) you still have to ask...

Well, how do any of Pryor's deficiencies get Grinch off the hook for not noticing said deficiencies and then taking remedial action?

Answer: He doesn't get off the hook.

In other words, even if we presume that the alleged "Grinch who stole Ohio State's once-great defense" actually had minimal input into the team's scheme this year--and even if we give Schiano 100% of the blame for the huge collective drop-off on defense---Grinch's failure to diagnose Pryor and Wint poor play is THE smoking gun that justifies letting him go.

And as you note, the only one who deserves credit for finally putting White on the field wasn't Grinch--it was the referee who tossed Fuller out of the game on a bogus targeting call.

Needless to say, should Pryor and Wint suddenly become proficient players in 2019 (I can't say I'd be surprised), it'll only reinforce Grinch's most obvious and damning shortcoming. I mean, c'mon--the results were there for the whole nation to see: The guy not only can't recognize who's good and who's not / who's ready and who's not, he's totally blind to a player's talent and skills.

No wonder he can't recruit.

So, good luck Lincoln Riley. Apparently, he's still only good at offense.

Comment 05 Jan 2019
We'll put, Jarhead. The other thing is that the proverbial "intangibles" you mention can evolve over time... or not... as players mature at different rates and respond uniquely to the heat if competition within different co texts and systems. In short, there aren't just a lot of moving parts that go into a competition, there are countless invisible parts, and these factors often outweigh the tangible things that we can see--i.e., the low hanging fruit that's easy to assess, like size, arm strength, speed in the 40, etc.
Comment 05 Jan 2019
I still hear lots of love for Tate, Cincy, even.if some people are excited about the latest shiny nee object. Most of all, I hear a lotta love for the competition. As for Tate's talk, while I'm glad he stuck up for himself, I agree that now it's time to button up--continue to be a great teammate and go fight for the job. Besides, there's no guarantee that Fields will get a waiver or that someone might get injured or, hey, maybe Baldwin will win the job. Bottom line: The only thing Tate, Fields or Baldwin control is their own performance.
Comment 05 Jan 2019
Thanks Buckaroo--that's the rule I was thinking of! Then again, if you're talking about the Southeastern Conference (SEC) vs. the Security Exchange Commission (SEC), I think the former has a different twist on that rule: "Regardless of past, present or future schedules and outcomes, the results in our conference are always better than the results in other conferences."