and... i like them? I think I like them.
We living in the lowest "down period" in Big Ten history during my lifetime.
How far has the conference fallen from the 2006 UM/OSU game that pitted #1 against #2 and had the two teams BARELY miss a rematch in the National Championship game (over an SEC team no less)?
For a variety of reasons, both OSU and UM have been the best programs at recruiting talent. High quality talent is highly corelated with national titles. The two schools usually finished first and second in the B1G and around the top 10-15 nationally in recruiting. When the two teams were headed by Carr and Cooper/Tressel, they used that talent to each win national championships and keep in the top 5-10 in the rankings.
Of course, we know what happened to UM with the coaching changes and vastly different schemes. UM still pulled in talent, but the coaching may have been suspect and the transition was brutal. It now seems to be turning itself around, but it lasted long enough for UM to have some of its worst seasons ever.
As for OSU, they kept winning the B1G and even getting national respect to be placed in the NC game a couple mroe times. At least they got there and seemed like serious contenders prior to the final game. I don't think that is something you can say about any other B1G team. But now, we see the transition and struggles of sanctions and coach turnover at OSU. Their high level recruits still need to be focused and "coached up."
And in the wake of the two generally most-talented programs falling (UM four year ago and OSU this year), who has filled the power void?
How about Wisconsin, MSU and Iowa? Teams that have steady, quality coaching during the transition periods of OSU/UM. (Sorry JoePa, but you are not the PSU coach in reality.) While those teams may have won a game or two against the OSU/UM teams in the past, they have enjoyed a lot more success lately.
But, those teams are obviously limted by the talent level on their teams. None of them recruit like a national title contender. There are few to zero "differenc makers" whose athletic talent transcends the system run by the school and who are clearly better than the other players on the field. These teams seem to just bulk up the lines and plug in quality (but not dynamic in their own right) players in the skill positions. Solid football, but nothing to make any of them a threat to legitimately contend for the National Championship.
IMO, you need both top-level talent and high quality coaching to be a nationally elite team (legit top 5 at the end of the year) in any given year.
Either MSU, Wisco and Iowa have to start recruiting like national powerhouse teams or OSU and UM need to find (or matintain) steady, high-quality coaching. (I think the later is more likely than the former....and, of course, Nebraska could be a wild card in this equation).
Until that time though, a darkness has warshed over the B1G.
Tried calling barnes and noble stores all over Southeast Michigan and they have all sold out of copies of three and out. Would be nice to see Borders still around for some competition to B&N to actually facilitate the demand of this book.
Tulane AD Rick Dickson has accepted resignation of HC Bob Toledo (formerly of HC of UCLA 1996-2000). Al Borges was the OC for Bob Toledo at UCLA from 1996-2000.
Bob Toledo was 13-35 at Tulane over 4 years and never coached a winning season there.
In December 1998 when Tommy Bowden left head job at Tulane for Clemson HC postin.
The then Tulane AD Sandy Barbour appointed Rich Rodriguez as the interim head coach.
At that time Tommy Bowden was recruiting hard for Rodriguez to come with him to Clemson to be his OC there.
Rodriguez said this back in December 1999:
"Of the four, I'd prefer to stay as Tulane's coach," Rodriguez said. "I've kind of set next Wednesday as my deadline to decide. That's when we begin practicing for the bowl game."
Would Rodriguez ever wish to return to New Orleans, LA? Time will tell.
I have notice the incessant obsession with how dirty they MSU was and the malaise it has immediately created escpecially with the Tigers and Lions going down in spectacular fashion adding on top of it.
Enough obsessing over a team that will be demolished next week and next year. They don't deserve the attention we are all giving them. Remember this quote?: "The pride comes before the fall." And this one?: "Live by the sword, die by the sword."
The Michigan State game is over.
Lets take our cue from someone who actually had to LIVE through the Michigan State game and refocus our attentions:
Bring it on Boliermakers.
HOKE > HOPE
MSU just released some tickets for $75/piece. I got 3 together at the 20 yard line at 7:37pm, so if you were considering going to help the ratio, go do it!
LINK , pretty simple to order, just click the Michigan link.
Brian's TWIS will not be skimpy on suffering that's for sure.
Take it all in here. Remember to sip it, savour it, like a fine wine. May it last forever and ever and ever.