“If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.”
Acclaimed American educator William Lyon Phillips taught this clever idiom to his students at Yale and Harvard. At inferior institutions like the University of San Diego, students are used to getting a substandard education. But by the looks of USD’s newest basketball strategy, the perennial losers located slightly west of SDSU might actually be learning something after-all.
This Saturday, the undefeated San Diego State Aztecs will welcome the all-but-defeated San Diego Toreros to Viejas Arena for the annual San Diego Championship. The Sons of Montezuma have shown anything but mercy to the helpless Catholics and defeated them four straight times and seven of the last eight in this supposed rivalry game.
“It’s not a rivalry,” Controversial SDSU mascot Zuma said. “Those pampered, spoiled b*tches need to step up their games and make this sh** competitive. D*mn, their sh** is weak. They f%$#ing suck!”
According to Webster’s Dictionary, a rival is “a person or thing that is in a position to dispute another’s preeminence or superiority.”
“There’s only one position USD should be on, and that’s on their knees,” Zuma said.
Although undoubtedly crass and tasteless, Zuma has a point. USD is in no position to challenge SDSU for anything, besides a rousing game of “Let’s waste our parent’s hard-earned money for outlandish tuition payments towards an average education.”
I would like to go back to where we started, that is, that maybe not everyone at USD is getting dumber from their time there. But first, I need to explain something called, “The Ratings Percentage Index” or the RPI. The RPI is a quantity used to rank NCAA basketball teams based upon a team’s wins and losses and its strength of schedule.
For instance, San Diego State currently has an RPI of 9, which means the RPI has ranked SDSU the 9th best school based on the quality of teams the Aztecs have beaten. USD has an RPI of 341, or 5th worst of all the teams in college basketball that have played a Div. 1 game.
So how could the USD Tostitos cause any harm to the Aztec Warriors by being so miserably pathetic?
Well that’s where USD’s sneaky ploy comes into play. You see, the NCAA selection committee looks at the RPI to determine seeding in the NCAA Championship tournament. Right now, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has SDSU as a 4 seed in the Southwest region. The higher your team’s RPI, the better your team’s odds are of receiving a high seed when March Madness comes around. USD’s coaches and players surprisingly know this information, which comes as a shock to many considering their incredibly low-level of basketball IQ. Could USD’s path towards putrescence really be a savage attempt to destroy SDSU’s compelling odds at a deep run in March Madness?
Let’s crunch the numbers.
SDSU’s RPI is a healthy 9 as of today. But even after beating USD tomorrow, their RPI is projected to double to 18. Their strength of schedule will also drop from 51st in the country to 118th.
Is this merely a coincidence or another example of this Catholic school’s Machiavellian treachery, similar to the Spanish conquistadors’ reign of terror from the 15th-19th centuries?
“It’s ground-breaking, really,” USD Head Coach Bill Grier said. “I’m so proud of this institution for thinking this up. Even if it was our assistant janitor who thought of it.”
“It hasn’t been easy,” Torero leading scorer-by-default Darian Norris said. “We knew we would have to suck to epic proportions, the likes of which college basketball has never seen before.”
“When coach told us the news, we were all a little confused,” Norris said. “But then when we realized that we weren’t good at basketball anyway, and SDSU would probably beat us by 50 points, we decided this was the best route to take.”
The crazy thing is, USD hasn’t even been losing to good teams.
“It’s been tough,” Sophomore scrub Ken Rancifer said. “Normally losing comes really easy to us, but some of the teams we’ve played are so bad, I don’t know how we do it. I don’t think Fresno St. had even won a game, and they beat us. One thing that helps is our lack of talent and coordination. That’s been a key to keeping us behind teams all year long.”
It’s hard to believe, but pretty much every player and coach at USD is on board. Whether its due to lack of talent, flagging ticket sales, or just outright jealousy, the hatred for SDSU at USD still runs deep.
“I hate SDSU so much,” a student at USD said, who is speaking on condition of anonymity. But his name is Kelsey Chase, the USD Associated Students President. “Last time SDSU came to the Slim Gym, we tried to yell at them, call them names, even pick fights afterwards, but they can’t understand the pain that goes on underneath it all, knowing that we attend an incomparably worse university. That night, all my friends got together in my dorm room and just cried. Cried like little b*tches.”
So is this a strategy USD might employ for future years to come?
“I don’t see why not,” USD freshman forward Dennis Kramer said. “It’s not like we are going to be good anytime soon. Everyone knows SDSU is our biggest rival. Hell, no one on campus even remembers we have a basketball team unless we are playing the Aztecs or Gonzaga. At least this way we can effect their season somewhat negatively.”
What about the Torero’s lone win, against Div. III school Occidental?
“Oh, see, we took that into account.” Coach Grier said. “Luckily, only games against Div. I opponents count in the RPI rating. I’m actually shocked we won that game, but fortunately we will still be able to ruin SDSU’s RPI as much as possible despite that victory.”
Finally, unfortunate looking USD senior guard Matt Dorr summed it up best.
“We’ve sucked at so many other things at this school through the years. It just feels right to suck more than anything at basketball, the one thing people might actually care about when it comes to USD. Sometimes I wonder if I really have anything left to live for.. Just kidding.. Not really, though…”
Hopefully, this Saturday, the Aztecs can exact a worthy revenge upon USD for their devious scheme. And if anyone from USD is brave enough to venture into Viejas for the 7 PM tip, I think the better-educated and incalculably more clever students from SDSU will embrace those wise words from Professor Phillips, and give those “losers” all that they can handle.