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Dave Maetzold

CBJ riding a streak of of substance

 
CBJ riding a streak of of substance

Columbus loves its sporting streaks.  When the Buckeye football team ran off 12 straight in its first year under Urban Meyer last year, the Buck-nuts were down right giddy over the perfection.

When that streak approached the school record for consecutive wins, one couldn't escape the history involved and the weekly updating as the Buckeyes approached the school record set by the Woody Hayes coached teams of the late 1960's.

Ohio State basketball started the season with 16 straight wins. Their streak moved them into the top 5 in the national rankings.

The two Buckeye streaks had a lot in common. Both had the OSU faithful dreaming of championships and top seeds.

Both also were front loaded with wins over teams Woody Hayes and Fred Taylor might never have scheduled.

Wins over Buffalo, San Diego State, Cal and Florida A&M helped extend Meyer's personal record at OSU to 16-0 and launched the football Buckeyes toward a perfect regular season.

The Buckeye hoops pre-season schedule has raised eyebrows for several years.

This year's march to perfection included wins over such basketball luminaries as Morgan State, North Florida and Bryant.

Scheduling like this is common for college football and basketball powers across the country. It is certainly not unique to Ohio State nor should this be construed as a criticism of the practice.

Everyone does it.

Almost.

There are no cupcakes in the National Hockey League. A NHL team can't schedule a lower division team early in the season to pad its won-loss record.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are riding a 6-game winning streak at the moment. The streak matches the longest in franchise history.

As NHL winning streaks go, the Jackets' streak is a modest one. The Penguins have the all-time NHL record of 17 straight wins set in 1993.

But the significance of a pro streak is that all the wins come over other professional teams.

The Jackets have defeated the Rangers, the Lightning and the Capitals along the way to 6 in a row. There hasn't been an equivilant to Florida A&M or Bryant on the schedule.

Every team in the league is ranked in thtop-30 because there are but 30 teams.

So as you look at streaks, one must consider the opponents. E. Gordan Gee got himself in a little hot water for his "Little Sisters of the Poor" comments last year.

There's one sure way to avoid such criticism. Never schedule those team in the first place.

The Blue Jackets schedule is made for them. They must face each each opponent as the schedule presents them. Home or away. Sometimes on back-to-back nights.

Winning six in a row therefore is an achievement to be proud of.

There's no dilution in it. No cupcakes. Playing and beating the best without any asterisks.

Something kid of refreshing about that.

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