Thursday, June 26, 2008

As bad as it gets... literally

For those that aren't too familiar with college football scheduling, schools often sign contractual agreements to a series that'll take place over the course of 3 or 4 years.

Some are fun, like last year's USC - Nebraska match up, or this year's Nebraska - Virginia Tech game. Others end up lopsided as one school builds a strong program while another can't build a team to save its life. Such is the case with the Duke - Louisville series.

An agreement was reached between the two schools that they'd meet four times between 2002 and 2009. The first game, in '02, ended ugly for the Blue Devils; they lost in a 40-3 blowout. Seeing the discrepancy in talent - and not wanting to essentially punish their program with three more contests - Duke backed out of the deal and the remaining three games (one which was originally scheduled for last season, the others in '08 and '09).

The only problem is the $150,000 fine built in to the contract for each game Duke backed out of if Louisville was unable to find a replacement opponent after a "good faith" effort was made. The only catch: the replacement had to be a team of similar stature.

Apparently, Louisville struggled with its search and filed a lawsuit against Duke, asking for $450,000 in damages for the three games they were missing out on.

This is where Duke took one on the chin.

Duke lawyers actually argued that the Blue Devils program was so bad, and that their performance on the field was so poor, that any Division 1 team would suffice as a replacement! Judge Phillip J. Shepherd agreed:

"At oral argument, Duke persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower. Duke's argument on this point cannot be reasonably disputed by Louisville."

Duke won in court, which means there was an actual, official court ruling that Duke football is literally as bad as it gets in Division 1 football.

And that is Bad Baseball (and other sports!) worthy.

In other Bad Baseball news from Wednesday night...
The Indians lost at home to Barry Zito, so you know they were bad . . . The Rays scored 10 runs in the 5th inning against the Marlins. Ryan Tucker got the start for Florida, lasting four innings and allowing seven runs on eight hits. Eulogio De La Cruz came on next but was pulled before recording an out. He allowed five runs on three hits . . . The Mets avoided a sweep by the lowly Mariners, pouncing on M's starter Miguel Batista for five hits, five walks, and eight runs (though only four were earned, for what it's worth).

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