Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammunition

Today, Houston Baptist Huskies, as 17-point underdogs, defeated vaunted ACC stalwart Wake Forest 93 to 91, in overtime, on the Wake Forest home floor. Sagarin Ratings suggested the Demon Deacons were about 17-point favorites on their home court. And they were defeated by two points. That’s a 19-point difference.

So, what the heck is going on here? Let me tell you…

I don’t have a religious bone in my body, so please do not think I am denigrating religion in any way. I’m just calling it as I see it.

Prior to the contest with the Demon Deacons, the Huskies played at Arizona (L), home to Fordham (W), then at Wisconsin (L). The Deacons played a rather pedestrian schedule of home to North Carolina A&T (W), then St. Joseph (L), Cal State Fullerton (W), Valparaiso (W). The last three contests on neutral courts in the Myrtle Beach Invitational.

According to Sagarin Ratings, in today’s contest, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (that’s religious, no?) had a power rating of 74.6 and played a Strength of Schedule of 212. The Houston Baptist Huskies rated a 61.4, with a Strength of Schedule of 8. When we subtract the Abilene Christian Power rating from the Wake Forest rating, and add in the expected Home Court Advantage of about 4.0 points, we arrive at a betting line of about 17.0 points.

What I want you to think about here is the relative Strengths of Schedule…

Playing that difficult early schedule is HOW the Huskies wound up with the 8th most difficult schedule in the country, as the 324th rated team in the country! Why would a team do this to themselves? Couldn’t they play an easier schedule? Of course they could, but that is NOT the point.

The point is this…and please forgive me if I step on any of your sensitive toes. A significant tenet of Christianity, is evangelism. Evangelism is defined as: the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.

“Public preaching or personal witness…”

What better way to spread the Good Word and potentially gain converts through evangelism with college sports? I know what some of you are thinking and NO, I am not a jerk. I am simply recognizing college basketball teams because of their competitiveness, which is part of the mission of evangelism. If a Christian-oriented college basketball team can get the point across by winning games, or at least playing their hearts out against strong competition, then they have accomplished their goal and at least part of their mission!

In the Olden Days, it was substantially Oral Roberts playing for God and Country. These days, there are plenty of teams that embrace the notion of evangelism through sports…Consider Abilene Christian, Grand Canyon, Incarnate Word, Liberty and others!

These are not household sports names, yet. But I promise you, part of their mission is to evangelize through sports! And you will hear more about their sporting conquests! Be sure to handicap the contests you find these teams (and similar teams) playing. You will find value on these underDogs! At the risk of being corny or sacrilegious, I will close with this – the reverse of Dog is God.

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