I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
This is about as worthless of a topic as there could possibly be. But it's late, my JV football team plays it's first game tomorrow and I can't sleep, and the NW preview is on BTN.
I really like Pat Fitzgerald. I watched him as a player and was impressed by his tenacity and leadership qualities. I loved the way he played the game. I felt horrible for the guy when he led his team to the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl but was unable to play due to injury. Can you imagine how heartbreaking that must have been?
I'm watching their practice on BTN and I admire his coaching style. He's intense but has fun. I loved the line he used on his D-lineman during one segment when he referred to him as "Molasses." After a less than stellar effort, Fitz blows the whistle and ends the drill by yelling, "That was just too painful to watch." I love sarcasm when trying to coach up a player.
I've coached football for some time now and I like to think I run a practice with the same enthusiasm and intensity as Fitz. My son is an excellent student and will start his first varsity game at QB this Friday. I don't know if he's got what it takes to earn an athletic scholarship but he can certainly gain admission to just about any school he chooses. I would be elated if he walked-on and played for Coach Fitz.
(Of course, my first choice would be for him to follow in his old man's footsteps).
This five minute video is worth your while if you have any love for the heritage of the Michigan Marching Band. It's from the mid '80's when it was last conducted by a "Michigan Man." I am not trying to imply that the band is anything less today, but this clip gives you a good sense of the "historic sound" at its best. It also gives you a look at the practices that most people never get to see. Watch the first and last minute if you're bored with this sort of thing, but don't skip the last minute.
A few notes:
1. The picture quality is poor. The sound is quite good. Thanks to the original uploader.
2. Yes, the young lady getting her ankle wrapped was very attractive.
3. When the shows were almost all high-stepped, band members got hurt all the time.
4. Silverdome officials told the M director that the MMB was significantly louder than The Who, who had played there a few months earlier.
5. Note that Michigan was using a glide-step and has, at times, ever since the early 80's.
Just saw this linked on the twitters-
University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez confirmed Wednesday that when a two-division format for football is unveiled by league officials next month, UW and Iowa will be separated.
The best part about being at the UConn game is going to be seeing Brock lead us out of the tunnel and into battle. Battle something he's been doing ever since the accident. Go Brock and Go Blue
So, MVictors has a good post about conference realignment and The Game: http://mvictors.com/?p=7960#idc-container
Craig Ross talks about the divisional title conditions as well. My 2 cents (AKA, everyone else is NUTs b/c the following is the most logical avenue of reasoning):
1) A simple question: Why is Michigan-Ohio St the greatest rivalry in sports? No really, think about specific reasons.....
OK, now is it really b/c it's played on Nov 22nd? Or in November? Or the end of the year? Can a date on the calendar define the importance of this game? Not really. The reason the Game is so big is simply b/c when the teams play, the BIG TEN TITLE always seems to be on the line. This is the crux of the rest of this post: Overwhelmingly often, the M-OSU winner definitively determined the BIG TEN CHAMPION. That is what made The Game, well.... THE GAME. Nothing more, nothing less. Not the weather or the date on calendar.
Based on the above, if both M and OSU were in the same division, THEY WOULD NEVER DEFINITIVELY PLAY FOR THE B10 TITLE. They would only play for the division. Hence, the game loses it's significance. The Game went from 'determining the B10 Champion' to 'determining the division winner.' By definition, this would be less important.
I therefore submit that, if you truly want to protect the importance of The Game, you MUST support M and OSU being placed in different divisions. Therefore, unlike the alternative, the opportunity to play for the B10 Title will still be available thus maintaining the sustainability of the importance of The Game. It will sustain it's own importance if it deserves to: if M and OSU are good enough to meet in the B10 title game on a regular basis. If they aren't good enough to do this, nothing can sustain The Game's importance.
Obvious point: We must play every year to avoid the Neb-OU situation of the recent past. Hence, the protected rivalry game.
Obvious point: playing a 2nd time in the Title game WOULD BE AWESOME!!!
Not-so-obvious point: Would it not benefit (from an on the field competitive viewpoint) both OSU and M to move The Game a week or two earlier to avoid having to play the 2 biggest games of the year in consecutive weeks? In addition, this may reduce the number of times when the divisions have already been determined prior to the last week of the season (thus diminishing the stake of The Game some years).
Finally, the MVictors post linked at the top discusses the inherent disadvantage M and OSU would have simply by virtue of having to play each other EVERY year in the cross divisional protected game. Craig Ross suggests a complicated point system to mitigate this disadvantage. I submit a simpler strategy for determining the divisional champions:
-- intra-divisional record determines the division champion.
-- overall B10 record is the 1st tiebreaker.
-- head to head in the 2nd tie breaker
moving head to head to the 1st tie breaker may be fine, but then makes overall record moot and essentially makes the cross divisional games worthless.
The End...... ?