rundown of Michigan's riser
Michigan football season ticket holders have a potential souvenir. The ticket is 7 inches by 3 1/4 inches, larger than the normal 5 1/2 x 2 1/4 tickets for the rest of the home games.
Below I've presented what I believe is a solution to the Big Ten's scheduling in 2011. I know many have been thrown around and mine is yet another on the pile. All I ask is that you read it in its entirety.
1) Penn State
2) Michigan State
2) Ohio State
- All teams play everyone in their pod. (2 games)
- Pod 1 and Pod 2 play every year. (3 games); Pod 3 and Pod 4 play every year. (3 games)
- Year 1, Pod 1 plays Pod 3 (3 games); Pod 2 plays Pod 4 (3 games)
- Year 2, Pod 1 plays Pod 4 (3 games); Pod 2 plays Pod 3 (3 games)
8 regular season games thus far.
- All natural/important rivalries are preserved. (Michigan/Minnesota and Indiana schools vs. Illinois schools would be every other year.) Those schools could be marginally adjusted within EAST or WEST based on how the league desires those less sexy rivalries to shake out from year to year.
- The pods remain geo-centric, with some slight meddling in the East to offset the Pod 2 behemoth.
- Pods are slightly unbalanced, but opportunity within remains fair. Each team within a pod plays 8 common opponents. If a school doesn't get out of its pod there is nowhere to lay blame.
- A 2 division format leads to advancement where non-division scheduling must play a factor
- Michigan/OSU would be an “8th” Game. In a normal year, as much would be on the line, based on details of Game 9.
A full crossover matchup between skipped pods based on order of finish, with winners of the 1st vs.1st games (played at neutral sites) advancing to the CCG. This would grant fresh and exciting matchups for the playoff and potentially between 2nd place schools fighting for bowl eligibility.
- Home/Away pods for Game 9 can be declared before the season to avoid scheduling issues.
Conference Championship Game
Winners of 1st place matchups from Game 9 (neutral site)
- The pods would be equally sound with Michigan and OSU in different EAST pods by switching one with another school. However, the win-or-die importance of The Game may not be there (i.e. the losing team could still be in the playoff). The possibility of a Michigan/OSU Conference Championship Game would also be created. Whether that is appealing depends on your taste.
- It is possible, though unlikely, a team with a .500 or worse record could win a pod (like pod 3 in the year pod 4 and 2 are played). Unfortunately, the potential caveats to address the issue make an even greater problem. (I explored it.)
- If that scenario happens, no 2nd place team can complain with cause since the schedule is equitable within every pod.
- Any potentially aggrieved 2nd place school is still going to a quality bowl game. This school also receives a favorable Game 9 matchup that will add a win to its resume. That school could easily be considered a 3rd-ish place school in the eyes of the media.
- The pods need names, yes.
If the league goes to 14, pods are impossible, obviously. If it goes to 16 playing a balanced schedule becomes nearly impossible.
If there's one thing that is practically universal among the MGoBlogerati, it's the tenet that the Bleacher Report is beyond God awful. If you take their bait when Googling for Michigan content, you will inevitably be shocked by the terrible writing, lack of context, and misapplication of fact and opinion. And then, I stumbled upon this piece which absolutely falls under the category of "exception proving the rule" (except for the annoying one or two sentence paragraph construct - that's still employed - and that's no exception to the B/R rule).
More than any other fan base in the nation, Michigan fans are going through arguably the most strenuous offseason.
The summer is hard for all college football fans. The days are long, the weekends are even longer. But with everything surrounding the Wolverine’s program, those days and weekends become never ending as they fill with the pain of extreme anticipation.
That pain becomes even more agonizing when you add into it the tumultuous offseason Michigan fans have endured.
Sanctions, position battles, hot seats, you name the problem and chances are the Wolverines have it.
But all of that, all of those problems, and all of that agony, can go away when trounced by the pleasure of wins and the elixir that is victory.
Unfortunately, such a remedy cannot be obtained for more than a month to come. In the meantime, fans must get their fix through the ever popular “hype video”.
The selection and description of the five hype videos is remarkably... good.
The gent who penned this piece is a recent Michigan grad who majored in English (with some spurious ND connections). Mr. McNish, I don't know if you're part of the MGoBlogerati, but if you are, good on you. I actually look forward to seeing your next contribution.
I'm especially looking forward to the Alabama vs. Penn State game on 9/11. Here in the Tuscaloosa area everyone is overlooking PSU, saying it will be a relatively easy win, etc. Call me what you will, but I'll definitely be rooting for Penn State in that one. I'm unbelievably sick of hearing about SEC superiority, how pathetic the Big 10 is etc. Any chance Penn State pulls out the win?
Also, I was curious to hear about other non-Michigan games you might be looking forward to this year. Ohio State vs Miami is another good one, although I hope Miami spanks the Bucks. No Big Ten allegiance for me in that one.
Here is an NFL draft blogger's take on some Michigan players to watch in the 2011 draft. Analyzes Obi, Schilling, Mike Williams, Mouton, Moundros, Koger. Some things I thought were spot on; others I thought couldn't be further off.