Monday, August 16, 2004

Gimme an "L" ... Gimme another "L" ... Gimme an "I" ... What's That Spell? "Tigers!"

OK, the preseason AP and Coaches polls are out, which used to mean something to me when I'd expect LSU to show up somewhere between 15 and 25. But I knew we'd be Top 5, which means we're in the national title hunt until we lose a game, so the drama of moving up the ranks is pretty much lost.

But in surfing through Yahoo's excellent new college football content, I noticed something odd. If you pay attention to the URLs of Yahoo's team pages - but why would you, unless you're an Internet geek like me - here's how they show the AP Top 10:

1. UUB
2. OOC
3. GGB
4. LLI
5. FFC
6. MMI
7. TTH
8. MMK
9. OOB
10. WWH


For whatever reason, Yahoo has chucked the idea of /usc or /lsu as being the URL for team pages and has instead adopted this cryptic system. As best as I can tell, the first letter is supposed to be the first letter of your school name, although they seem to have broken the pattern for USC (if "University of Georgia" is "G", "University of Alabama" is "A" and "University of California" is "C", how is "University of Southern California" "U"?).

The second letter seems to serve no purpose other than to repeat the first (I found no instance of a school where the second letter is different), and the third letter is the unique identifier for each school falling under the first two letters.

Under "L", for example, we have:

LLA - Lafayette Leopards
LLC - Lehigh Mountain Hawks
LLE - Liberty Flames
LLG - Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
LLH - Louisville Cardinals
LLI - LSU Tigers
LLK - Langston Lions
LLL - Livingstone Fighting Blue Bears
LLM - Lane Dragons
LLN - Lock Haven Bald Eagles
LLP - Lambuth Eagles
LLQ - La Verne Leopards
LLR - La Salle Explorers
LLS - Lindenwood Lions

I don't see the connection that makes Lehigh "C", LSU "I" and Lambuth "P", and also leaves out "B", "D" and many other popular letters.

As you might have guessed, this is driving me a bit nuts. Back in the glorious days of dial-up connections, I remember Yahoo switching to an abbreviated link structure (/r/bu instead of /business) to save about 2K of page weight (I miss my 28.8K modem). Brilliant!, we all thought.

But I'm not sure what gives with this odd NCAA link structure. Any ideas?


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