BC guys evaluate Bates's tenure positively.
With that out of the way, I will now proceed to mention the obvious; the BCS is broken as a system. Very good teams, like 2006 Boise State and 2008 Utah have been shafted, going undefeated, winning a bowl game against a BCS opponent, and not getting a shot at the national championship, as one loss teams from BCS conferences take their place. Furthermore, it is evident that a playoff, a more equitable and fair scenario, will not come about because the BCS is supported by every BCS-conference and most BCS-conference athletic directors. Barring government action (which is somewhat unlikely, especially considering that they have a lot of other crap to do at the moment and steroids are their pet sports issue to mess with at the moment), the status quo will be held for awhile. Therefore, an alternative method of reform is needed.
I'm not going to address the most heavily discussed methods of reform that do not include a playoff, such as a championship after the bowl games or other quasi-playoff ideas. They have been widely discussed and I have nothing to add to them. Furthermore, I have my doubts that anything short of a true playoff will work in practice anyway. My alternative instead attempts to work within the current system, and would simultaneously make college football more entertaining. It is to simply form a new conference that holds the best teams from the MWC and WAC, that could be on level with teams from BCS conferences (or at least be on level with the ACC and Big East).
This conference would not be easily created (re: nearly impossible), considering the contractual obligations involved between the conferences and individual teams. However, it is an interesting idea to consider on paper. To begin, I'll add teams that have been reasonably successful on the football field recently:
- Boise State
- Boise State
- Air Force
- Boise State
- Air Force
- Utah State
- New Mexico
- San Diego State
By no means is this idea flawless. It would screw over the remnants of the MWC and WAC. It would also allow a team like Hawaii to play a schedule of cupcakes, go undefeated, and potentially get a BCS bid and embarrass themselves. Furthermore, it doesn't include teams like Hawaii and Fresno State, who have played well in the somewhat recent past, but don't look to be good in the immediate future. However, what it does do is expand the pool of teams that could make it to the National Championship game, making college football a little more equitable than it is now.
Quarterbacks:5/5 - The question on everyone's mind in Ann Arbor these days (aside from 'What's the best sandwich at Zangerstein's?') is, "Who in the world is playing quarterback?" Thrillhouse Productions is sticking with it's summertime prediction - Roland "Tate" Forseeair. Remember, you heard it here first!
Running Backs:5/5 -Brandon Minor looks to build on last year's success as he leads a group of talented tailbacks. Big Blue Nation hasn't been this excited about their starting RB since the days of Tyrone Willingham.
Receivers:5/5 - Rich Rodriguez likes referring to his wide receivers as the X, Y, and Z. He can call them whatever he wants just as long as they A, B, C their way to endzone!
Offensive Line:5/5 - Stuart Schiller and Co. are lean, mean, and ready to pin all comers to the ground. And this is what I learned just while hiding in the team shower!
Defensive Line:5/5 - There hasn't been as fearsome a fella in Ann Arbor as Big Willard Campbell since Anne Coulter was stalking through the quadrangle!
Linebackers:5/5 - Last year's starters have been replaced by three mysterious guys calling themselves Mike, Will, and Sam. How Madonna!
Defensive Backs:5/5 - You can hear the whispers and feel the excitement in Ann Arbor - this is finally the year Stevie Brown breaks out! Thrillhouse Productions agrees!
As the Wolverines continue to learn Rich Rodriguez's system, fans of the Big Blue Nation in Ann Arbor can expect big things this year. Last year's 3-9 record is a thing of the past. Thrillhouse productions sees the Big Blue Wolverines finishing no worse than 11-0!
The Michigan Man does exist despite what drivel you may have recently read; He's just not what everybody thinks he is. ‘They’ think a Michigan Man is some kind of prototype forged in the mold Bo Schembechler. Bo’s famous quote seared into the public perception an awesome and tenacious image that resonated within the Michigan community and throughout the sports world to this very day, a generation later; the very definition of a meme. As the man who coined the phrase and undoubtedly a Michigan Man himself, he himself is said image.
A closer Look at the context of the quote reveals the true definition of Michigan Men. Bill Frieder accepts a job elsewhere and leaves Michigan behind. As soon as that agreement was made, it was determined that Frieder was not a Michigan Man. At that moment he was no longer the right man to lead Michigan.
So, the definition of a Michigan Man is simple: He who is unequivocally devoted to Michigan. A Michigan Man stands for what he believes is right and has the grace to acknowledge and correct his errors. A Michigan Man loves Michigan and represents her with courage, valor, and passion; to his grave. A Michigan Man respects his adversary but will never fear him.
Unfortunately, many within the Michigan community do not understand this simple definition. This is not to say that they do not love Michigan, but they fail to see what it was about Bo that made him a Michigan Man. Gerald Ford. Bob Ufer. Those who stayed in ’69. Gary Moeller. Tshimanga Biakabutuka. Lloyd Carr. Tom Brady. Brian Cook. This list never ends.
Bo and Lloyd were clear-cut Michigan Men but they do not encompass all Michigan Men. What I saw on August 31 was stark contrast to what I would expect to see from any of the afore mentioned men, but make no mistake…I saw a Michigan Man.
What we’re dealing with in this episode of evolution is the unknown. It is scary to not know what to expect and it’s OK to be critical of what you see. But it’s not OK to reject someone because you don’t understand him and are so attached to the mystique of what has come before that you won’t take the time to get to know him. That’s not Michigan.
Do you love a mystique or do you love Michigan?
I thought my first blog should be about the predictions that I heard while listening to the radio yesterday, and that appear in the Free Press today. The prediction for Michigan, which was done by the always bias, Mark Snyder have Michigan going 5-7, with a loss this weekend to Western. So in the last week Mark Snyder has co-wrote one of the most insanely bias, witch-hunting pieces of "journalism" in recent memories, then blatantly ignored the fact that this season will be far better than last for Michigan for all of the obvious reasons (second season for Rich Rod, new QBs that can run the system, and a new DC that actually knows what is going on).
In the same paper, MSU was predicted to go 9-3, with a win over PSU, "being a game that could decide the Big Ten Champion." This is absolutely insane!!! The boys in East Lansing may not be being coached by John L anymore, but to think that they will beat PSU and possibly be going to the Rose Bowl (and at worst the Capital One Bowl) is down right stupid.
All the projections for Michigan this year have them at a minimum of 6 wins, with some as high as 8 or 9. While MSU may go 9-3, in no way is that going to be close enough to win a Big Ten Championship. I am not a conspiracy theorist (all the time), but you cannot tell me that the Free Press does not have an agenda here to smear the good name that is Michigan. We will talk to you more soon...Go Blue!
So, who wants another long, cathartic, vindicating take-down of a B.S. local newspaper article?
Who wants to have a meaningless tournament over which Michigan uniform is the most awesome?
|Let's rip on the Freep for like the 100th time|
|pollcode.com free polls|
Okay, you asked for it…
(click on the image to get the full effect)
Summer's almost over. It's back to school time. Whatever shall you wear? You want something that's going to make you stand out, that shows you are part of something great, that makes you look so good that your hot English GSI will start hitting on you in your story reviews…
But this is Michigan. So can we say the same thing, but a little more understated, a little more traditional, a little more intellectual?
That is an awesome hat.
No doubt that's why the survivors of the Final Four of our M Uniform Tournament were the first two teams in Michigan history to sport Michigan's iconic wings (or is that a forehead stache?)
That's right, the first two.
The football team had it first. Says Bentley:
The famous "winged" design dates from 1938 when Coach Herbert O. "Fritz" Crisler arrived from Princeton to begin a new era in Michigan football. Even as the design and composition of helmets evolved from stitched cowhide to high-tech, molded plastic, the winged design has remained the pre-eminent symbol of Michigan football.
The wings and stripes made their debut against Michigan State in the 1938 season opener, a 14-0 triumph in the Big House.
The hockey team took a few decades to catch on to the amazing powers of painting a mega maize mustache with soul patch and fu manchu on one's helmet. The painted helmets debuted against Bowling Green on March 3, 1989, at the start of the CCHA tournament.
And wouldn't you know it: (Red had red hair?) the jerseys were the forerunners of today's blues, including the big honkin' M in the middle of the chest.
And thus we have our two final contenders: football's home blues, and the icers' block-M blues. If you want to see the rest of the tournament, head back to the Final Four, which has the entire recap, and links to each round. If you're ready for this whole Uniform Tournament thing to be done and for the football season to start already, rotate that mouse wheel down just a tad and vote for the ultimate uniform of Michigan varsity and club varsity sports.
However, there is one section in his article with which I resonate. Litke writes,
Rich Rodriguez was never going to be "a Michigan man."
Not when he was hired, not when he cried after being accused of pushing his players too hard, not even if he wins nearly every game for as long as he lasts in the job.
That's not a slam on Rodriguez. No one in charge of a topflight major college football program anywhere else qualifies as "a Michigan man," either. The last one, Lloyd Carr, resigned at the end of the 2007 season, when he realized he could no longer be both. Trying to uphold a winning tradition while following both the letter and spirit of NCAA laws finally wore him out.
I think Litke is right. Carr, the Michigan Man, the man who read Kipling, who retired to travel and do other things, who is a personal friend of Russell Crowe, who required players to look up a new word in a dictionary, is a vestige of a past I loved, but which is no more.
Rodriguez came in, was brought in, to win. No more, but no less. Was I supportive of this move? Yes. Do I continue to be supportive? Yes. At the end of the day, I want Michigan to win. I want MY school to compete for the MNC. I choose Rodriguez, and 10&11&12 wins every year, over Carr and 7 or 8 or 9 wins every year.
However, the romantic and the elitist in me is saddened at the cost. I loved the idea of Coach Carr who read Newsweek and read books and was conversant in National Politics and listened to NPR and cared about his players, loved them, while still competing. I loved the idea that you could work hard, play hard, win, but still have a life. Those days, I think, are over. It's stupid to moon and pine over a lost past. But a small part of me died when Carr retired. Even Bo&Woody had life beyond the gridiron. Nowadays? I don't know.
I think this is why I was not thrilled by the "General Studies" brouhaha of a year or so ago. GS was one more sign that FB players were barely students, were largely segregated from the regular student body, so they could focus on their job of football, and not be bothered by homework and competition with the typical Michigan student.
In other words, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want a coach like Carr, a well read Renaissance Man, a literate Michigan Man who is also a winner. Alas, this day has passed. Somehow, I wonder if this is what grieved Rosenberg. The reality is that we have entered a New World, and we can't go back home again. This world represented by Carr, by Bo, by Woody, is the past I mourn losing. I wonder if our team is now interchangable with Florida or Alabama or Florida State or USC. I always thought Michigan was "better." Not in terms of wins & losses, but in terms, somehow, of quality.
If there was a way to have it all, I would. But I don't think there is a way to have to all. So, we have Rodriguez, and hopefully, the boatload of wins that come along.