The next seven posts should be read in reverse order from the bottom up
Wrapping it up for now.
7 Chapters for 7 Championships
This little 'book' was written for TENNESSEE Women's College Basketball Fans and any potential Lady Vols who might drop by The SUmmiTT from time to time.
It was written by an Orange Blooded Tennessee Fan and does not pretend to be from an unbiased perspective. However it all depends on the FACTS and the actual records and schedules of the Tennessee Lady Vols and the Connecticut Huskies and their coaches Pat Summitt and Geno Auriema
The comparative analysis of the Strength of Schedule and the verifiable record leaves no doubt that the Tennessee record was built on playing ranked opponents approximately 50% of the time while the Connecticut record is built on playing ranked opponents less than 20% of the time. This writer and observer believes that to be incredibly significant in comparing the two programs.
A potential recruit attempting to make a life changing decision concerning her four years at one of these fine Universities and excellent Women's College Basketball programs should know that there are major differences between the two programs.
Part of that is due to the measurable superiority of the Southeastern Conference in fielding teams that are highly ranked year in and year out. But even larger is the out of conference schedule that takes the Tennessee Women to most of the strongest programs in Women's College Basketball across the country.
In addition to this dramatic difference at the top of the WCBB world there is the unranked portion of the schedules of both teams. In 2007 Tennessee played four games against teams ranked below the top 100 in RPI. Coach Summitt's alma mater Tennessee Martin, The University of Alabama in conference, Louisiana Tech - a perennial powerhouse that for the first time in history failed to make the NCAA tournament and Drake University in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Meanwhile the Connecticut Huskies played 14 games against teams with RPIs below 100, 200 and even 300. Five of these teams were part of the Big East conference, one was the NCAA opening round opponent, and the rest were out of conference elective games with Colgate, Colorado State, Sacred Heart, Holy Cross, Richmond, Oakland, and Boston University. Some UConn fans say these games are played to "help out" these undermanned teams. I will wonder aloud how it helps to be soundly over-matched and beaten by a superior team?
But the choice is clear to incoming recruits and it could play a significant part in any decision that is made. On the surface in terms of winning percentage and National Championships there seems to be little difference between the two programs. Once you look beneath the surface the difference is huge.
Playing for the University of Tennessee is the most difficult and the most rewarding experience available for a young woman who has what it takes to be invited to be a Lady Vol. In terms of difficulty the Tennessee schedule is so far above the rest that nothing really compares. If you seek to be the very best then you play the very best all season long. Stronger players improve by playing against stronger player.
Fans will always compare their teams with others who assert comparable achievement in any sport. UConn fans are great fans. They assert that UConn is comparable to Tennessee - an equal or better team in terms of accomplishment. This little book is my answer to their assertions. It was written to give my fellow Tennessee fans some ammunition when they find themselves debating or discussing WCBB with fans of other schools. It was written to give potential recruits something to think about when making a choice if the choice is very close between UConn and Tennessee. And it was written to illuminate the significant differences I have found while researching the comparable differences between Tennessee and UConn in the WCBB world.
I have posted these chapters to THE LADY VOLS WEBLOG so they can be accessed at any time after this disappears from The SUmmiTT messageboard. Please feel free to use any portion at any time for any purpose. Journalists who may find this information helpful are encouraged to borrow it and use it.
I want to thank all of the SUmmiTTeers who would just a soon see this subject disappear from the SUmmiTT for their patience in putting up with it's presence during the past several days and I especially want to thank those of you who wrote such kind comments about the content.
I hope all of you who know how great it is to be a Tennessee Lady Vol Fan now know a little something more about how great it really is.