that is nice bonus change
During our bye week/wife week, Ohio is playing against Michigan State. These are our two most important opponents and rivals. I still feel numb after the tire fire in South Bend, and haven't posted in days. What can you say?
However, life goes on, so here are three simple questions:
- Who do you want to win: Ohio or Michigan State?
- Who do you think will actually win: Ohio or Michigan State?
- Who winning benefits Michigan the most: Ohio or MSU?
It is harder for me to answer these questions than usual. I have a certain malaise such that I really don't care right now. More than that, there are many and varied reasons I dislike both of them, and don't care for either to win. The bye week is good for me personally, because I don't want to watch any college football this weekend.
The answer to the questions is the same for me: I want Ohio to win, think they will win, and if they win, it benefits Michigan because Michigan State has a loss against them, affecting who wins our division. I don't think Maxwell will perform any better against Ohio's defense than he did against ND, and I think Braxton Miller may just be good enough to score against Michigan State's defense. I do believe the matchup between Michigan State's defense and Ohio's offense (especially Braxton) is the key to the game.
I heard this awhile back about Stoneburner making the switch to wider reciever. I figured someone else would have posted on it already, but in a simple site search I didn't find anything and I noticed in Todays 2012 Recruiting: Devin Funchess, Brian compares these two guys. General consesus from the
douchebags Ohio fans that I know is that he was their best receiving threat anyway, so not sure how significant this is, especially with the way the ex-Florida coach tends to use his tight ends.
Anyway, here's a link on the Stoneburner thing.*
*Takes you to a crappy website, FWIW
A new Public Policy Polling survey found that former Ohio coach Jim Tressel is viewed more favorably among Buckeye fans than current coach Urban Meyer.
Sixty-five percent of OSU fans said they had a favorable opinion of Tressel, who resigned in the wake of an NCAA scandal involving the football program. Just 14 percent have a negative impression of Tressel, the poll found.
By contrast, 60 percent of Buckeye fans said they have a favorable opinion of Meyer. Two percent have an unfavorable opinion of the former Florida coach, who's yet to coach a single game in Columbus.
That said, Meyer slightly edges Tressel on the question of which coach Ohio fans would rather have coach their team. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they would prefer Meyer, versus 33 percent who would want Tressel.
The automated poll, conducted Aug. 9-12, has a 3.16 percent margin of error.
Though I was disappointed with the decision to move Thanksgiving to the Thursday BEFORE the Michigan-Ohio game, it is now the way things are and I have made peace with the new normal. That being said, I wanted to bring up the three scenarios under which The Game could be played now that there is an actual B1G championship game, instead of The Game acting as proxy.
Dave Brandon had said, when it was announced that Michigan and Ohio would be in separate B1G divisions, something to the effect of “The only thing better than playing the Ohio game would be playing it twice.” For Brandon, this stems from the idea of increased brand proliferation. Though for fans this is supposed to stem from the idea of being able to beat Ohio twice in the same season. While this would seem to be incredibly gratifying, it ultimately breaks down functionally. If the same team wins both games then what was the point of the rematch? If the series is split, then what was proven on the field? See 2011-2012 Alabama/LSU and SEC ad absurdum.
Let us take a step back however and examine the three scenarios. They are:
- Michigan and Ohio enter The Game with each team having no chance of reaching the B1GCG. While this likely means more joy in Madison, Lincoln, or East Lansing than Ann Arbor, the effect on The Game is minimal. Though neither team controls its own destiny, the usual grudge match applies and the victor will revel in adulation while the loser suffers the humiliations of another year of failure. This is the scenario of the 2011 Game.
- Michigan and Ohio enter The Game with at least one team having a chance to secure a spot in the B1GCG. This scenario sees the grudge match in its more traditional role of having a great impact on trips to Pasadena and B1G championships. Again, the victor will enjoy spoils and the loser sees another season spoiled. If both teams need the win to secure a spot in the B1GCG, the intensity could be even more pronounced than usual. This is a scenario similar to the 2006 Game but with the immediate implications regarding the B1GCG rather than the BCSMNCG.
- Both Michigan and Ohio are already guaranteed their spot in the B1GCG. This is the scenario that Brandon supposedly thinks would be so great though I suggest it is sad and superfluous. The Game would not be The Game, next week's Game is the real Game. The rematch will determine the B1G champion while the first version will determine nothing. It is simply a qualifying heat and it isn’t even that since the qualifying has already been accomplished. Is there truly value in beating Ohio twice when once is all that would be needed? Why risk injury? Why risk spoiling a perhaps undefeated season for a game that is functionally meaningless? Think about that - The Game being functionally meaningless. Now perish the thought.
Ways around this sad situation include moving The Game to earlier in the season, and changing the conference alignment. In my next entry I will propose a new conference alignment. Thanks for reading.
We all know that the most pandemonium inducing, all out nuts with awesomeness moment last year was the UTL victory, which was of course the greatest single Michigan moment any of us has ever witnessed. However, I don't think it was really the BEST moment from last season. After all, we've been kicking ND's tail pretty well recently, with several of the games featuring ND style Yakety Sax. Had we LOST to ND, it would've been very sad that we lost our first night game in Michigan stadium. It also would've been our first loss in four years, the first year of Brady Hoke's tenure, and not a lasting pain. It would'e been a very "can't win them all" loss.
Conversely, though The Game 2011 certianly had a dramatic ending, it's drama did not even sniff UTL's level. There were several palys that made everyone's heart skip, but there was no one single, "It's this or it's nothing" play. Despite that, The Game 2011 was undoubtedly the best moment of the 2011 season. No other game had me pacing holes in my floor for the last quarter. No other game had my father visibly bemused at my nerves and consternation. And when we won, well, King Kong ain't adust mite compared to the Mutant Space Monkey that climbed off every true fan's back at that moment. A loss there would've crossed the line from soul dong punching to soul eunuch making. I would've wilted and died right there in the middle of the living room, leaving only a baren, dust gray talk hinting that once there had been a beautiful fan in bloom there. I may have honestly convinced myself that we would never win The Game again.
But win we did.
So now I ask you,do you think Bama, or any other game of the 2012 season can possibly eclipse that moment? Beating the defending National Championship to open the season would be huge, huge, but again, I think it would fall into the category of "Can't win them all", should the good guys lose.
Or how about MSU? It's been a while now. But after last year's loss, I realized something. I just didn't care as much as I do about OSU, and maybe even the bowl game. Oh, it sucked to lose, but I didn't lose any sleep over it. It's Sparty! They will ALWAYS be little brother. Maybe OSU? Go 1-0 against the new regime?
So what game, if any this season, do you think can bring that same sense of jubilation?
Today (barely) in 1936 Jesse Owens won the first of his four gold medals under the nose of 20th century supervillain Adolf Hitler.
Today athletes talk about proving themselves, or showing their "doubters" what they're made of. There's a lot of empty pride, a lot of commercialism, and a lot of media. It's the nature of sport today.
But Jesse Owens genuinely proved something in Berlin. In the most dramatic possible context. His was one of the few moments in sports that genuinely exceeded the boundaries of the playing field to impact the entire world. Along with Eric Liddell (for personal reasons that one may discern by reading my signature) his accomplishments are the most significant to me in Olympic history.
This is only semi-OT, because Owens achieved his greatest heights in purely athletics terms at Ferry Field in 1935. As a Michigan fan, a sports fan, and an American, I am proud that one of the few memorials to any athlete on Michigan's athletic campus is the plaque honoring Owens at Ferry. As Rothstein says:
"Ferry Field still stands. Outside the track a plaque commemorates Owens' record-shattering day. It is, perhaps, the ultimate compliment in college sports that a University of Michigan athletic facility continues to honor the achievements of an Ohio State Buckeye."
Some things are more important than rivalry.