the season has truly begun now
Surprised nobody created a thread yet. Game 1 vs. Boston one period in. LGRW!
PS: If somebody breaks Marchand's face into pieces, I wouldn't be upset.
Now lets win this game
Edit. Just thought i should add this (Dats on Crosby):
With all due respect to gobluehtown for his recent diary regarding Brady Hoke and the # of wins needed to keep coaching at Michigan, I obviously borrowed in creating my OP title here.
To be completely serious, though, my point is that, barring 3 wins to finish the season, the Lions are in grave danger of being on the outside looking in come the NFL Playoffs. There's also no chance of a wildcard spot for Detroit, either---it's absolutely win all 3 or lose all control of their own destiny for the Lions, I believe.
Even if they somehow win out and don't continue being those "same old Lions" that we've cussed out year-after-year seemingly forever, methinks they need to then advance to at least the 2nd round of the playoffs (and probably more) for Schwartz to keep his job.
With the remaining schedule being tonight at home vs. the Ravens, next weekend at home vs. the struggling Giants, and finishing on the road in Minnesota, how many of you have any confidence the Lions (and especially Schwartz) won't screw it all up once again? Lose tonight, and they're looking up at both the Bears and Packers in the standings. The Bears have games remaining at Philly and home vs. the Pack; GB hosts the Steelers and finishes at Chicago.
Over on the Chris Petersen forum thread, Space Coyote commented that Petersen will get at Washington a program he can build as he wants "and isn't required to get 9-10 wins every year."
This is something I've been thinking about lately ... that is, the disparity in expectations among major college football programs, and whether the 4-team playoff coming next year increases the pressure for coaches at high-expectation schools.
It's simply a fact some programs have much higher football success expectations than other programs. Persistent losing is rarely tolerated, but there are plenty of programs where 9-win seasons keep everyone happy. Washington is probably one of those programs. But for places like Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Texas, USC, Oklahoma ... the expectation is much higher.
So my question is this: Does the new 4-team playoff structure create more pressure on those high-expectation programs? Or less?
I'd argue more. My reasoning is this: today there's an escape hatch for high-performing programs that don't get into the BCS title game. It usually takes a perfect season and some luck to get into the BCS title game. A 10-2 or even 11-1 season won't always get you there, but it's still a great season and coaches can make that argument and generally it'll be accepted.
But with the new playoff system the expectation will be to get into that playoff. Winning it all will be great, of course ... but failing to get into the playoff will be a greater magnified shortfall.
Now there'll be four slots, so the competition is going to be fierce to be in the top 4. Four slots is twice as many as two, and the "perfect season and some luck" argument is diminished. "We finished 10-2!" the coach will argue. "Yeah, but you didn't get into the playoff so you fell short!" will be the counter-argument.
Some programs won't play that game ... preferring instead to play their game and if the record is 8-4 or 9-3 with no playoff, then okay. But the high-expectation schools are going to go all out to make the available playoff slots. Thus my argument that things get more intense, not less.
Thought I would open a thread as the Tigers finish the season with a three-game series in Miami tonight.
- The Tigers are within one game of the A's for home-field advantage in the ALDS
- Martinez will probably be catching
- Will Cabrera start?
I don't think I like what college football is becoming. I know the chaos of last year proved that the system is broken. But having 8-5 Wiscy at the Rose Bowl proves to me that the new way we're doing things (and trying to do more of in the future) isn't any better. Yes, I know Ohio is ineligible and so this season is an exception, but looking across the country and through history this isn't the first time undeserving teams win the little playoff game at the end of the season. The Big XII had it happen all the time. Georgia Tech nearly did it. UCLA had a chance to do it last season. And rematches are stupid, anyway, which is another reason I hate these expanded conferences and their title games.
Even worse to me was what SI's "mock" committee selected for the playoffs. The committee would have selected an Oregon team that didn't win its division, and they were flirting with the idea of sending three SEC teams. That makes very little sense to me - the whole point of playoffs is so we can take teams who've been isolated from each other but were the best in their isolated conferences, and match them up to see who's the best of the best. You don't think Stanford is deserving because they lost to the #1 team in the nation on a questionabl goal line stand? Fine - then send K-State, not an Oregon team who had a cakewalk of a non-conference schedule. But the morons who run college football are going screw up this playoff or expand it (which is also screwing it up).
I'll always love Michigan football and always watch them. But I used to love the "chase" for the national title, whether or not we were a part of it. I loved seeing who won what conference and who played in which bowl games and how the BCS filled their slots. But these last two seasons, that has been so unsatisfying. I almost wanted to see 6-6 GT win the ACC just so everyone can see how ridiculous this new system of super conferences and divisions are, with the de facto playoffs at the end that next year lead into the "national" playoffs.
For years we all clamored, begged, and wanted playoffs. I'm regretting what that has led to. We've ripped apart and thrown away traditional rivalries that made these conferences seems like families. I am beginning to wish Penn State had joined the Big East in 1982. I don't think it's crazy to say that none of this super conference bullshit would have happened with that being the case. Sure, maybe the SEC and Big 12 would have formed. But the 14 team Big Ten, the ACC and the Pac 12? Maybe, it was inevitable, I don't know.
Maybe I'll get used to it - Michigan at High Point Solutions Stadium to play Rutgers. Every conference having a title game, the champions meeting in the bowl game playoffs. Maybe the powers that be will figure out the kinks in the next few years and actually make it so 8-5
Wiscy doesn't head to the Rose. And it is a good thing that we'll no longer have our arguments about "who is better?" But is that worth what we've given up? Conferences felt like families, rivalries that built this sport? With Wiscy in the Rose and Maryland in the Big Ten the answer for me is no. And even if this season proves to be an anomaly, we would still have lost something with forsaking tradition and embracing a system that leaves no doubt who's "the champ." And college football is becoming a little bit less special as each of these moves happens.
Oh well. Sorry if this rant clutters up the board without adding anything, feel free to send me to Bolivia if neccessary.