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Texas A&M Basketball

Bjork says A&M is gathering data, feedback from selection committee

March 14, 2023
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During Tuesday morning's edition of TexAgs Radio, Texas A&M Director of Athletics Ross Bjork joined to discuss yet another case of Aggie accomplishments being diminished by an NCAA Selection Committee as the Maroon & White head to Des Moines woefully under-seeded.



Key notes from Ross Bjork interview

  • We had the same conversation a year ago on Monday in terms of being left out of the NCAA Tournament. We're super excited about being in the tournament, what the team has done, how Buzz Williams runs his program and how they present Texas A&M, so we can't lose sight of that. We have to be excited, and as competitors, you just have to go compete. My job is to eliminate those distractions for the coaches and players and work on this to understand what happened. What are the dynamics of this? What are the dynamics of the committee? That's what we're doing. The SEC does a great job of showcasing the data and metrics. They have biweekly with members of the NCAA Selection Committee, so the SEC is out there fighting for all of its teams in the hunt. We've been in the hunt since January. It's disappointing because I'm a believer that you are what your record says you are, but in this process, that's not the case because they can use selective data and nit-pick certain negative things about you. How are the positive things weighted vs. the negative things? We don't know. It's not transparent from that perspective. That's what's disappointing for the players. We have to go out and win and compete. It sets up well for us to have some great matchups, and we're excited about going to Des Moines later today.
     
  • If this team was penalized for Buzz's "rant" last season, then the process and the people are more flawed than maybe we think they are. It has to be about this year's team, this year's analysis and this year's metrics. If there is any holdover from that, then that's completely wrong and unacceptable for college athletics should operate, how leadership and ethics should operate. It should be about the players on the court, not what somebody said or manipulated data. The players on the court earned the right to play. The players on the court played good basketball. That should be looked at more than what somebody said. You can also manipulate some data.
     
  • The potential matchups between Texas A&M and Texas have always been a fascinating part, and not just this example. You can look at lots of examples across the board in the history of the NCAA Tournament of convenient matchups. Is it accurate that the committee manipulated our seeding to set up that matchup? We'll never know. We'll never know what happened inside that room. I know that when they start scrubbing conferences matched with other conferences and how people travel, they run into complications. Is there a conspiracy? I don't know, but let's embrace it. First of all, let's beat Penn State on Thursday night and then let's embrace it. We're excited about going to Des Moines, and I know our players are fired up.
     
  • Last year after what happened with missing out on the tournament, we moved around three non-conference games to try and overcome our non-conference strength of schedule. We played SMU. They've been a historically good team. We played at DePaul. We played at Memphis. We played Boise State in a neutral-site game. We played Colorado. We played Murray State. We played Loyola Chicago, who, again, in the last five years has been a good team. That's a good matchup. It's not our fault that those teams didn't perform like they normally do. That's the part that really needs some further analysis. I think the NET is a flawed metric. We all focus on that from a scheduling standpoint and how you're stacking up. We were No. 120 in the NET in December, and on Sunday morning, we were 18th. The selection was pretty much done on Sunday, so why are we not getting more credit for the NET number? If we had a bad non-conference schedule and two bad losses, those are facts based on metrics. The NET should calculate that, but the NET rewarded us by being 18th? Which is it? That's the part that is frustrating. Are you better off scheduling a ton of Power 5 matchups and maybe going .500? Maybe that's the formula. We analyzed that last year, and we will again. A lot of our non-conference schedule is already locked in for next year, and we have some good matchups. We just want to know what you have to achieve to. Is it just non-conference schedule? It appears this committed weighted non-conference strength of schedule heavier than they weighted winning 17 conference games and finishing second to the No. 1 overall seed that we split with. Alabama beat us on a neutral court, and we beat them at home. I guess that's what the committee weighted more than a lot of quality wins that we had. We'll continue to analyze, and Buzz and his staff are doing that. He's doing a great job of running our program, and we need to keep getting better and keep improving.
     
  • As Buzz has mentioned, they were left for dead at 6-5. I couldn't make the Wofford game because that was the day of Mike Leach's funeral, so I remember coming back that day and looking at everything. I knew we had a good team, and with college basketball in the modern era and transfers and trying to get chemistry and finding your way, those guys did that. To see those next two games, they won in good fashion. Then the first SEC victory, they won at Florida. We saw the crowds start picking up throughout the year and setting the tone for this great run that we had. Our guys really embraced everything. They kept getting better, kept learning and kept improving. Buzz does a great job of staying in the moment and having an intentional approach to everything he does and the program does. It was great to see that we can have a great basketball program. We don't have to just focus on football and have basketball be a bridge to baseball. We can have a great basketball program here. You have to have the right leadership. We have that in Joni Taylor. We have that in Buzz. We want it to continue to grow. It's just fun seeing our guys embrace all of that and the crowds. The 12th Man was electric. We want to keep this momentum going for a long time.
     
  • We're getting intel directly from the committee. Luckily, I have relationships with pretty much everyone on that committee. Some longer than others. We're able to get intel and get feedback. Again, you can get twisted up in a lot of metrics. The other No. 7 seeds in the NCAA Tournament have NET rankings of 41, 42 and 33. Our NET ranking is No. 19. How does that make sense? Clearly they hurt us by having two Quad 4 losses. Utah State was No. 18 in the NET, and they ended up ranking them No. 40 in their overall seeding. They had two Quad 4 losses. They really knocked them down, and obviously, their conference was not as strong as the SEC. Those are the things you want to learn from. What are we trying to achieve here? What are the numbers that say if you do "this" then you put yourself in a better position? Each year, the goalposts move. Last year, our NET wasn't high enough. This year, our NET is really high, but we got dinged a little bit. What we want to find out is where are the goal posts and how is this consistent every year. At the end of the day, it's Tuesday. We play Thursday. We have to have our guys focused. We have to win this game. That's the whole goal, and then you have to adapt and try to win the next game. Let's make a run. That's what our guys are hungry about. If we can use this as a motivating tool, I know Buzz is a master of that. When we get on that plane later this afternoon, it's go-time. That's what we have to focus on.
     
  • We've had football scheduling on the agenda for almost two years now. Hopefully, we can get to the finish line. I think we need a little more data from our TV partner and more data from our scheduling facilitator that is working on all of these different models. I hope that we can be in a good spot by May 1 to really make a recommendation. The athletic directors will make a recommendation to the presidents. If we can vote on it before the SEC Meetings in Destin, great. I think waiting until Destin has to be the farthest point we can let this go on. Anything beyond Destin puts us in a tough spot in terms of moving non-conference games around, securing hotel rooms and things like that. We need to know by early May for sure. We're making great progress, for sure.
Discussion from...

Bjork says A&M is gathering data, feedback from selection committee

13,151 Views | 24 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by Dave Robicheaux
i is smart
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AG
Those guys and Buzz worked too hard building their resume to have those dweebs on the selection committee slap a 7 Seed on them. If there's another team that got shafted, I hope their schools are doing the same.
Texmexag
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AG
94chem
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Sounds like they just don't like Aggies. New Mexico State shuts down their program, and Utah State and A&M get shafted.
94chem,
That, sir, was the greatest post in the history of TexAgs. I salute you. -- Dough
12Power
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Bjork said "SEC does a good job of fighting and advocating for it's teams" I don't believe you.
ABATTBQ87
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12Power said:

Bjork said "SEC does a good job of fighting and advocating for it's teams" I don't believe you.


Sometimes you have to make public comments that aren't so controversial, even if they may not be completely true
hunter2012
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12Power said:

Bjork said "SEC does a good job of fighting and advocating for it's teams" I don't believe you.
They probably told the committee to match us with the sips. Snakey can't stop fantasizing about forcing us into match-ups with the sips.
The Chicken Ranch
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AG
Sometimes I don't even think that Snakey even takes calls from Bjork.
SABUILDERAG
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Bjork has "relationships with almost everyone on the committee" and we still don't know what the standard is and are "trying to gather intel".

Sounds like we either don't have the relationships or they are intentionally hiding what they are doing.
AggieTFA06
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AG
I wish Bjork actually stands up for us instead of acting outraged all the time.
To 1,000,000 touchdowns ...and beyond
Al Bula
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Which texags intern thought this was the correct board to post this on? If it was a hot girl, then it's ok I suppose.
OKC~Ag
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David Happymountain said:

Which texags intern thought this was the correct board to post this on? If it was a hot girl, then it's ok I suppose.
lol
Agsrback12
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That dude loves him some drama
Divining Rod
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You want an example of why a lot of people don't trust you, Mr. Bjork, and think you're suspect to put it nicely?

You said you're gathering intel to find out what happened and luckily you have relationships with almost everyone on that Committee. And yet you make a statement "we'll never know what went on inside. We'll never know."

Well, I guess your contacts don't trust you. Or your relationships arent that good. Or maybe you don't really want to spill the beans and expose their secrets to us. Not sure what it is, but those contradictory statements pretty much tell it all.

Too bad we don't have a Bill Byrne here- at least he had balls and was a fighter and didn't get pushed around. Now his son is at Bama pushing you around. A&M has never been so blatantly toyed with and disrespected in all my many decades of being an Aggie.

I guess they know when they can do it....
AWP 97
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AG
Listening to Ross Bjork as representative for A&M makes me cringe. I'm not sure what it will take to get him fired but I can't imagine he is around in five years. Of course, that may just be wishful thinking.
tk for tu juan
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All the complaining looks pretty dumb now
AgsMyDude
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AG
tk for tu juan said:

All the complaining looks pretty dumb now


Classic Aggie move
Buford T. Justice
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I doubt that he wants to be here for five more years.
I'm sure that he wants to get through the facility campaign and then apply for an Ohio State type job whenever it opens up.
rgag12
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AG
Buford T. Justice said:

I doubt that he wants to be here for five more years.
I'm sure that he wants to get through the facility campaign and then apply for an Ohio State type job whenever it opens up.


I would be thrilled if someone were to take him off our hands, but Ohio State isn't dumb enough to take an empty suit milquetoast specimen like Bjork.

Isn't it interesting that ever since Bjork left Ole Miss, their programs have been getting better and better, while ours get worse (Maybe with exception of baseball)?
The Chicken Ranch
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I'd Bill Byrne was still here, we'd be in the PAC-16.
WC94
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And if Bow Tie was still here, sips would be in the pack 12.
Divining Rod
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tk for tu juan said:

All the complaining looks pretty dumb now
was still justified. we ran into a buzz saw 3pt shooting freak show that few teams would have survived. Maybe 2 or 3 in the whole tourney. No, we got screwed any way you slice it.
spherical
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AG
tk for tu juan said:

All the complaining looks pretty dumb now
so you don't understand the point of seeds huh?
tk for tu juan
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spherical said:

tk for tu juan said:

All the complaining looks pretty dumb now
so you don't understand the point of seeds huh?

Literal Larry
Dave Robicheaux
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AG
Has bjork been ahead of anything when it comes to scheduling, committees or change in the college football landscape?
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