At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
South Carolina was pretty similar to Maryland or Rutgers. A flagship public school with good in-state talent. Decent some years, bad others, but usually just mediocre and irrelevant. Whatever tradition they had in football, it was nothing special. Most of their good recruits went to Florida or Alabama.
But then, with the SEC money really kicking in around the early 2000's they upgraded their facilities and hired the ol ball coach. Now they're able to retain some in-state recruits and are ranked #12. Some of their key players, like Marcus Lattimore and Jadaveon Clowney, are from South Carolina.
So given the resources of the B1G and the in-state talent of New Jersey and Maryland, isn't it possible for them to copy South Carolina? Just look at the talent from those states the past 2 years. Henri Poggi, Steffon Diggs, Kendall Fuller, Eli Woodard, Yuri Wright, Darius Hamilton, Devin Fuller, Ronald Darby, Cyrus Kouandjio, Blake Countess.
Sure we have absolutely no tradition with them but I'm pretty sure ranked teams are ranked teams and always fun to play. I don't see why they can't be ranked consistantly 15~30 if they can keep some of their talent, upgrade their facilities, and hire a decent coach. They'll be earning 2x or 3x the amount of money of their ACC recruiting rivals.
I was wrong.
I thought Maryland (and DC/Baltimore Market) was the main target and Rutgers was the add in. It was the other way around.
With Rutgers as the token local team, News Corp can offer YES Network as a bundle deal (with BTN, which News Corp also owns 49%) only. This pretty much guarantees that BTN will be part of the expanded basic cable in NY/NJ area. The added revenue from this deal will more than pay for Rutgers joining the conference.
The deal finalized today, and no, the timing is not by coincidence.
The thought of Delany working hand in hand with Murdoch does creep me out a bit...
It's 4am and I wake up in a cold sweat. I've been dreaming about The Game but can't remember my dream. I start to wonder if Borges and Fickell are sleeping well these nights. My guess is they probably aren't, unless they rely upon prescription drugs for assistance.
Fickell's got a tough job defending two excellent athletes who are triple threats [maybe quadruple threats if they go back to the pooch-punting days of a few years back.].
Ultimately, though, Borges has the toughest job because Fickell can't really prepare defensive schemes; all Luke can do is make sure his best football players [Simon, Shazier, Boren, Roby] stay aggressive, but not too agressive, and do what they do best--make plays.
For Borges, he needs to do things which curb the OSU defense's aggressiveness and punishes Buckeye defenders whe they are overly aggressive. To slow them down, he must make the Buckeyes THINK, THINK AND THINK. When they think, they slow down. Here are a few suggestions on dealing with OSU aggressiveness in the Horseshoe:
- Keep Denard on the field most of the time, at least 2/3 of the offensive plays. He is equally dangerous as a decoy as he is when he has the ball;
- Run the hurry-up offense repeatedly but irregularly. Keeps defense off-balance as they try to cope with Michigan's 2-QB offense;
- Motion everybody everywhere Again, this gives defenders more to think about. It obviously also helps the QB read the defense;
- Before critical 3rd or 4th downs in the first half, line-up in a play, then call a time-out. Use the time-out to remind the play-makers they don't need to make a play at the expense of risking a turn-over. Also, it makes Fickell and his players THINK, THINK AND THINK.
- Use a trips back-field of Denard, Norfleet and Smith behind Devin. Send them sprinting out in patterns on the edges, then run the QB draw.
- DON'T GO FOR 4TH AND SHORT [Unless the game is on the line.] On the road, the better part of valor is to punt and force the Buckeyes to complete a long drive to score.
- On 3rd and 12 or longer, keep Smith and Kwiatkowski/Williams in to block, swing Denard to the outside, roll-out Devin and air it out with jump-ball 50-yard+ passes to Funchess and Roundtree. This avoids potential QB sacks/fumbles; even if its intercepted, its probably an equal percentage play re field position as punting to Brown will be.
Please tell me we are doing nothing like this at all: http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/view.gal?id=129842
UM alum Jon Chait comments on "The Madness of Big Ten Expansion" in New York Magazine:
For the first time since 1995 (when Cato was playing for the team), Anacostia HS will be playing for the D.C. championship. Anacostia won their semifinal matchup by way of forfeit last week (use of ineligible player).
Anacostia advances to the Turkey Bowl - to be played at Eastern High School (a block from RFK stadium) at 11am on Thanksgiving day. They will play the local bully - Dunbar HS - for the championship.
For those who haven't been following my posts, Cato took over the coaching duties this season and turned around a team that had won only a single game over the past two years. Let's hope they can finish this fantastic run.