As you lay your head down on a pillow tonight, thank your lucky stars that the MCLA has a playoff.
There are a lot of things to mope and complain about with the MCLA. But one thing that you should be very, very happy about is our ability to determine a champion the right way.
Here’s a look at a dark, alternate universe where the MCLA developed with the same sort of inbred priorities to kowtow to old money and old logic as NCAA Division I football.
I present to you: THE MCLA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (MCS)
This unique system, created to determine the best team in the MCLA, pits the #1 team against the #2 team. The MCS uses a complex and infallible system of computer and human rankings (Laxpower, MCLA Lax Mag, and Collegelax polls) to determine the #1 and #2 teams, as well as the 8 teams that will receive bids to the remaining MCS games, known as “Laxfests.” The MCS places the #1 and #2 teams in the MCS Title Game Presented by Munchtitos™. The remaining teams are placed in four MCS Laxfest games to reward them for their hard work in the regular season.
note: Division 2 does not get to participate in the MCS system because they are heathens and less talented at lacrosse.
To begin we’ve got to review the bids into the MCS. Each conference sends their tournament champion via an Automatic Qualifier bid to the MCS. There are four at-large bids available to non-conference champions from AQ conferences and teams from Non-AQ conferences. (Teams from non-AQ conferences are not allowed to play for the title because that’s the way it is)
The Six Automatic Bid Conferences in the MCLA Championship Series:
The Non-AQ Conferences:
The West Coast teams are the old blood of the MCLA and they hold the AQ bids in the MCS. There have been many arguments to give the other conferences equal access to the MCS, but in the end they can do nothing because they just aren’t as good at lacrosse. Boston College of the PCLL and Minnesota-Duluth of the UMLL have tried to buck the trend of weak teams from non-power conferences. Unfortunately, many people think they just don’t schedule strong enough and don’t have the same type of athletes top to bottom on their roster.
Nonetheless, the MCS system is in place and it determines the champion. After a successful 2010 regular season we’re left with these MCS rankings that are a combination of the final Laxpower, Collegelax, and MCLA the Lax Mag polls:
Final MCS Standings 2010 (Bold = AQ bid as conference champ)
8. Michigan State
10. Simon Fraser
11. Cal Poly
13. Boston College
14. UC Santa Barbara
16. Loyola Marymount
19. Texas State
This final ranking index provides us with these fantastic matchups in the MCLA Championship Series:
The Sugar Laxfest presented by FunnyCommercials Insurance™- #15 Florida (SELC Champ) vs. #4 Chapman (At-Large)
The Sugar Laxfest traditionally features an SELC team against a CCLA team. The SELC bid goes to Florida here as the SELC champ. The CCLA champ however was Michigan, and as the #1 team they are in the title game. The Sugar Laxfest then chooses the highest ranked at-large team, Chapman.
The Rose Laxfest presented by BailoutBank™ – #3 Arizona State (SLC Champ) vs. #6 Minnesota-Duluth (At-Large)
The Rose Laxfest is one of the oldest Laxfests in the country. They are very traditionally and always feature an SLC team against an RMLC team. However, the MCS was recently forced to accept a non-AQ conference team if they finished ranked in the top 12. That responsibility rotates and this year it fell to the Rose Laxfest. They were forced to take Minnesota-Duluth, a team from a non-AQ conference (UMLL) that finished ranked #6 overall in the final MCS standings. Laxfest officials were very disappointed with this turn of events, but they are confident that Arizona State from the SLC will be able to handle the UMD Bulldogs quite easily.
The Fiesta Laxfest presented by Munchtitos™ – #7 Oregon (PNCLL Champ) vs. #11 Cal Poly SLO (WCLL Champ)
The Fiesta Laxfest was thankful they didn’t have to take another non-AQ team like the Rose Laxfest, and they were able to preserve their traditional PNCLL/WCLL matchup. The Fiesta Laxfest feaures Oregon against Cal Poly.
The Orange Laxfest presented by Usury Credit Cards™ – #5 BYU (At-Large) vs. #8 Michigan State (At-Large)
This game traditionally features an RMLC, so they selected BYU first. To fill the last spot though they faced a tough decision between Michigan State, Florida State, and Simon Fraser. Some people even felt Colorado deserved a look given their very difficult schedule. In the end, the committee chose Michigan State, leaving FSU, Simon Fraser, and the Red Hot Buffs out in the cold for the 2010 MCS.
This is a titanic matchup for the ages. Michigan the two-time defending champ up against MCLA lax royalty in Colorado State. Both teams have loads of talent all over the field, and both have proven their right to be in the title game with a tough schedule and convincing wins.
**end dream sequence**
Ok, so that’s what you COULD have. Notice anything? Simon Fraser, Colorado, Boston College, and Illinois get no shot at the title. Also, Colorado State gets a free pass to a title game…that they didn’t make it to in a real playoff!
We play the games because we don’t know who will win. Look, I know football and lacrosse aren’t the same. But just be happy that your league isn’t hamstrung by its dependency on deranged and/or alcoholic 80 year-olds determining the fates of your teams.
Enjoy the BCS Title game, and your 2011 MCLA Playoff!
And in case you haven’t seen it, two of the greatest things ever collide in this video below, power ballads and college football. Sebastian Bach hit the Jimmy Fallon show with a song that should be on every Duck fan’s iPod.