Introducing The Conference III Championship Belt

by J.R.

4horsemen4beltsEvery sport should have a championship belt.

This is an idea that’s kicked around the Internet for awhile — there are a couple efforts to track the NCAA football belt: here’s one that starts in the 1970s and another that goes way back to the first game between Princeton and Rutgers. Here’s a site has a belt for NCAA basketball and the NFL and Grantland has one for the NBA.

In sports like the NBA and NHL with playoffs that include a large number of teams, if extended into the playoffs, the belt will almost always end up with the actual champion at the end of the year, which, while sensible, is boring (NB: if the title holder at the end of the regular season didn’t qualify for the playoffs, this wouldn’t necessarily be true, but if the belt makes it into the playoffs, it will be held by the actual league champion). And, as we know, Conference III is neither sensible or boring.

J.R., J.R. Get it?

J.R., J.R. Get it?

However, if the title belt is limited to Conference III, it won’t necessarily go to the Stanley Cup Champion at the end of the year — either if the holder doesn’t qualify or if the holder, somehow, loses to a non-Conference III team in the playoffs, which is possible in the early rounds because of the convoluted crossover system and in the later rounds, because the playoff match-ups won’t be divisional.

In any event, this is an idea whose time has come and, as the Conference III Blog of Record, we’ll keep track.

I started with the first-ever Conference III game of the Conference III era — Predators at Blues on Oct. 3. Some of you may say that the belt should begin in Chicago and I’m certainly open to that argument, except that Chicago won the old Central Division, which included the cowardly Red Wings and the very Not Conference III Columbus Blue Jackets. In any event, had the belt began in Chicago, the lineage would be the same, because, as you’ll see, Chicago’s first Conference III game was against the then-holder of the belt.

We’ll keep track throughout the year and throughout the ages of the holder and the lineage will always be available under the Championship Belt tab at the top of the page.

Here’s how we get to where we are currently. New holders will be bolded in the score line, teams that defend successfully will be in italics:

10/3/13 St. Louis 4, Nashville 2
10/9/13 St. Louis 3, Chicago 2
10/17/13 St. Louis 3, Chicago 2 (SO)
10/18/13 Winnipeg 4, St. Louis 3 (SO) (St. Louis: 15 day title run, 1-1 in defenses)
10/20/13 Nashville 3, Winnipeg 1 (Winnipeg: 2 day title run, 0-1 in defenses)
10/22/13 Minnesota 2, Nashville 0 (Nashville: 2 day title run, 0-1 in defenses)
10/26/13 Minnesota 5, Chicago 3
10/28/13 Chicago 5, Minnesota 1 (Minnesota: 4 day title run, 1-1 in defenses)
11/2/13 Chicago 5, Winnipeg 1
11/6/13 Chicago 4, Winnipeg 1
11/9/13 Chicago 5, Dallas 2
11/16/13 Nashville 7, Chicago 2 (Chicago: 14 day title run, 3-1 in defenses; Nashville: two-time champion)

s/t to Chase Stejskal for the belt

s/t to Chase Stejskal for the belt

The Predators will not defend the belt until the first Chambers Pot game of the season against Dallas Dec. 12.

Here’s some statistical information:

Number of Titles
Chicago 1
Colorado 0
Dallas 0
Minnesota 1
Nashville 2
St. Louis 1
Winnipeg 1

Record as champion
Chicago 3-1
Colorado 0-0
Dallas 0-0
Minnesota 1-1
Nashville 0-1
St. Louis 2-1
Winnipeg 0-1

Record as challenger
Chicago 1-3
Colorado 0-0
Dallas 0-1
Minnesota 1-0
Nashville 2-1
St. Louis 1-0
Winnipeg 1-2