Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
Edit: embed fail. Still have the link though.
I didn't see this posted, sorry if it was already
Here's a debate between Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett (Big East espn blogger)
I think it's a fair review, Rittenberg doesn't say much about UM's exploits in the secondary, but doesn't also say much about the strenght of Michigan's Dline aside from Mike Martin of course.
I still think Uconn or the entire Big East for that matter doesn't have an idea of how explosive this offense can be (I also find funny that BB talks about Uconn's uptempo offense but doesn't seem to be aware that RR's is just as much if not more hasty)
The Big Ten brass are taking a huge risk with this live-TV unveiling of the divisions. Last time a prominent sporting figure put on a TV special to announce a very dubious decision, the reult was a PR debacle.
There's been a lot said and written about the topic of splitting up OSU and U of M and changing the time of their annual game. It's pretty clear that for the majority of fans (me included) that simply protecting the rivalry is not sufficient, that the rivalry's position at the end of the season is essential.
If the Big Ten brass do not want a LeBron-like PR embarassment they need to be ready to announce tonight that the game will continue to be played at the end of the season. I'm willing to bet that there are a lot of fans who either are unaware of the controversy or are still hoping that sanity will prevail. When they read read the official announcement that the league is splitting the two teams up, without any further guarantees about the rivalry, things are only going to get worse.
Hopefully Delany & Co. are bright enough to figure that out on their own and we'll get to move forward with the rivalry more-or-less preserved, but after all the totally unnecessary machinations we can't be sure.
Mod Edit: Title adjusted
I'm suprised one topic hasn't received more play in all the divison alignment discussion. Perhaps the thing that originally concerned me most is something Brian brought up: that putting UM and OSU in separate divisons but keeping a protected cross division rivalry will make it more difficult for UM and OSU to make the championship game, because each team always plays a top notch team in their protected game (each other). For example, one year Michigan and Nebraska might play the same schedule but UM plays OSU as a cross divison game and Nebraska plays Illinois. Those two games both count equally in UM and Nebraska's fight to win the division, but the OSU game is much more difficult, and quite a handicap.
However, upon thinking about it more, it seems like the disadvantage won't be so bad: I assume that the other superpowers, Nebraska and Penn State, are protected to play each other. This ensures that the 4 powers each have, on average, the same number of guaranteed difficult games. Likewise, Iowa and Wisconsin should probably have a protected game. The only way for the schedule to really screw us is when a normally mid level team, like MSU, has a great season by avoiding good teams in the other division. This seems rare enough to not be a major concern, especially given that the 9 game conference schedule means that each team will only miss 2 cross division opponents in a given year.
Thoughts? Is the road actaully more difficult for UM and OSU? Should we even care if it is?