Dog-chases-tail in even SUNYAC

Definition of Parity
Ever watch a dog chase its tail? Round and round the dog goes, getting nowhere. Then, the dog gives up or tires or both and lies down licking its paw. The tail is still there. The dog accomplished nothing.

It’s great fun to watch, but in the end, nothing happens.

That’s the definition of parity in sports. It’s great fun to watch any team able to beat any team on any given day, but in the end, nothing happens. The fans go home happy after watching the entertainment. The teams go back on the bus and fall asleep. After beating up on each other, they all are clustered together in the standings as tightly as they are before the season started.

Consider these dog-chasing-tail SUNYAC results so far this year:

Morrisville beat Geneseo who beat Potsdam who beat Morrisville.

Cortland beat Buffalo State who beat Fredonia who beat Cortland.

Geneseo beat Plattsburgh who beat Cortland who beat Buffalo State who tied Geneseo.

Geneseo beat Fredonia who beat Cortland who beat Potsdam who beat Morrisville who beat Geneseo.

“Typical SUNYAC rock ’em sock ’em,” is how Geneseo coach Chris Schultz described his expectations for an upcoming game. It doesn’t matter what game it was because I have heard just about every coach this year use a very similar quote.

“Every night is a dogfight,” Cortland coach Joe Baldarotta said before the season.

Schultz said after beating Fredonia and thus avoiding dropping two in a row, “Our goal is not to lose two games in a row anytime this season. I once heard Tom Coghlin say that, and look at the success St. Norbert has had by avoiding losing two in a row.”

Then, Geneseo promptly went out the next day and tied Buffalo State. Granted, not a loss, but still that dog-chasing-tail trap.

The question now is, which dog will realize chasing its tail is a futile activity and decide instead to chase a stick, sprinting away in a straight line? So far, only Oswego has been a dog on a proper chase.

Game of the Week
Which brings us to trying to pick a game of the week. Good luck with that. Tell me how it goes.

Oh, you want me to pick it? Well, I guess that is why USCHO pays me the big bucks…

Actually, they don’t pay me enough to make that hard choice. What they do pay me is enough to pick a quadrant of games. Fredonia and Buffalo State go up to the North Country to play Potsdam and Plattsburgh. These four teams are separated by one point, with Buffalo State having the upper hand on the other three, who all have identical 2-3-0 records.

That was the easy part. Now, I have to pick the winners. Okay, I won’t weasel out this time.

Look for Mark Friesen and Fredonia’s defense to be the stars of the weekend and sweep their northern opponents. Look for Buffalo State to also play well, but fall short both nights.

Other Picks
Last week, I hit the front page headline jackpot by properly picking Morrisville’s upset over Plattsburgh. In fact, the only game I got wrong was the other Morrisville contest, as Potsdam pulled that one out (there was again one tie). Thus, I was 6-1 last week for a season total of 10-4-2 (.625).

Morrisville hosts Cortland, and there is no reason to believe the Mustangs will not continue their winning ways. That is until they host Oswego the next night. The Lakers are playing too good right now to allow themselves to be upset.

Brockport hosts Geneseo on Friday in the fight between Rochester area schools. Last year’s contests were both 2-1 victories for Geneseo. In this rivalry, expect another close game, with Geneseo coming out on top once again.

Brockport then travels to Elmira on Saturday, where they will lose again, while Geneseo travels to Hobart, where they will win again.

There are two nonconference games on Tuesday where the home teams will win — Hamilton over Cortland and Potsdam over Skidmore.

One prediction is extremely easy to make. I will have a winner of a pretzel at Brockport Friday night. I’m already salivating like Pavlov’s dog just thinking about it…

Looking Ahead
Since I will be taking Thanksgiving week off, there are other games we need to talk about now. Foremost on the list is one of the top Division III tournaments in the country — the Primelink Great Northern Shootout. This year, it’s Plattsburgh’s turn to host, and thus they get to play this year’s western guests, St. John’s. Look for the Cardinals to make it to the finals against the battle of Vermont winner, Middlebury vs. Norwich.

Geneseo takes part in the Adrian Tournament using a pre-determined schedule. Unfortunately, the Ice Knights are not slotted to play the host Bulldogs. Instead, they will face Hamline and Wis.-Eau Claire. I like Geneseo to do SUNYAC proud and take both games.

Brockport is in the Rutland Herald Invitational facing off against Tufts. The Golden Eagles will drop that game and then face the loser of the Becker-Castleton contest.

A fourth SUNYAC team is in a tournament, as Buffalo State travels to the Skidmore Invitational to face the host team. I like the Bengals upending the Thoroughbreds to face the winner of the Elmira-Southern Maine game.

Cortland plays two games at Neumann and then gets to host Hamilton. I got to think the Red Dragons can pull one victory off during the holidays, but I’m picking them to lose all three.