Mike Lantry, 1972
As no surprise to anyone on this board, Michigan isn't feeling a lot of love from pre-season polls. Rivals has them at #41 with the insightful comment that Rich Rod has to have a winning season to keep his job. Check out the link here:
I am just wondering why people don't like the idea of cross division rivals. I would much rather that Michigan play OSU, MSU, Minnesota, PSU, and maybe Nebraska every year and play the other teams twice every 4-5 years. To me, rotating Minnesota and PSU off the schedule so that we can play the other teams that we have little rivalry with 1-2 more times every 10 years doesn't seem very reasonable.
So, I have 2 questions for everyone. Why do you like or dislike the idea of cross-division rivals? And, if there were a way to guarantee that every team played each of their rivals AND had perfectly balanced schedules, would you be willing to consider 2 cross-division rivals?
As I sit at my computer and relentlessly check the board for new topics and all things Michigan, I thought I would start a thread with a positive tone rather than the dong-punching rubbish of the past week.
There is plenty of speculation as to whether Denard will become the starter this season. What is not in question is the fact that he is one of the fastest players on the team, and that he has the potential to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
I wonder how many times we will hear a call similar to this after Denard shows his defense shredding skills:
"If you look real close there's a jock strap on the field and it belongs to (insert defender's name here)." -Matt Millen
Starter or not, having a full year under his belt will make DRob a better all around player, and an exciting piece of the puzzle in 2010. Go Blue.
Hey guys, a couple of points I think that need cleared up for everyone here. I understand there is a lot of tension, some namecalling, a few bad words, and an otter or two hanging around these boards. I'd like to set the record straight about Michigan Football, and hopefully clear some things up.
Some of you may have heard that some of our players have been practicing without wings on their helmets. For you that don't know, it seems to be an indication of a lack of commitment. Allow me to speculate that this may not be a positive for players involved, and can, in fact, be seen as a detriment. It is okay though, as many informed sources have edified us to the fact that these players are all third string/borderline practice squad guys. I'm sure they'll all be either kicked off the team before the scrimmage, or they'll transfer unceremoniously.
Edit: I am told one of the diseased players may have obtained wings. No doubt the cheater used Red Bull, or some other PED.
Rich Rods Future
There has been a lot of speculation about what Coach Rod should do to keep his job. Now, as an 8th grade quarterback, I have a little insight into the game of football. There are nuances that some of you 'outsiders' may not understand, but try to bare with me. It is suggested that if he wins a lot of games, he will probably keep his position. The reasoning behind this is that people like you more when you win. Like I said, this is fairly technical stuff, so stop me if I start to lose you.
My take on this is that if he wins the next two BCS titles, Brandon is unlikely to fire him, eat all the food in his kitchen, and then take his wife. Also, fans may warm up to him if this happens, but that remains a little fuzzy.
There have been a couple of events over the past few weeks that have affected our secondary. They are bad, and everyone should panic. Our freshmen will get a chance to play, though. When freshmen play in games, they develop experience, so look for some experienced freshmen. Also, T-Fork will be an even more passionate leader on the sidelines, inspiring everybody to play hard. He's such a competitor.
Justin Turner transferred from us to a football team that may have reintroduced seperate but equal drinking fountains, and is run by the local chapter leader of the KKK. That speaks volumes, right? Maybe we should all cast angry glares upon RR, as he clearly cannot coddle talent. The only plus is that if Turner is half as fat and slow as reported, we still may have time to catch him with his release papers in the parking lot before he makes it to his car.
The only positive in this situation is that athletes of all types; from the intramural water polo league to the club bowling team will have their shot at a backup CB position. Most of the softball girls are bigger and meaner than RR recruits, anyway. I'd be pulling for a male gymnast from the title winning team, except that none of them eclipse 5 feet tall. It'd only be fair if they were able to use one of those batons with glittery streamers.
So there you go. All caught up on this weeks activities.
So, with two major transfer rumors coming.... and then going.... I think we as a community need to assess our part in this new media chaos. One person (albeit a very hot person) said something baseless and senseless. We all freaked and ran with it. Then with White, some person (no word on who or what started near-meltdown 2.0) declared a transfer, with the MODs eventually giving the go-ahead, and soon rumors were essentially declared fact.
Either way, the MGoCommunity took the "rumors" as "facts" and ran with it. And in White's case not very intelligently.
Basically we were Herbstreited... but by 2 "people" with a lot less credentials and with MOD approval.
We are nearing a point in year 3 where every rumor is cause for complete chaos, disrespect, and approved posts that fuel the fire.
We (seemingly collectively) hate the new media (i.e. all that is Freed and Op-Ed attention pieces) and declare them all to be jumping at conclusions and rumor mongering.
Let's get back to fact and leave the chaos to the Newspapers and the ESPN ticker.... and Favre.
[Edit: Note that I was writing this when Brian posted a front-page reference to the same idea on Slow States. All I can say is either great minds think alike or this is freaking obvious.]
What happened to the biggest rivalry of the old BIg 8 conference, Nebraska-Oklahoma, when it was split across divisions when the Big XII was formed? I'll answer that for you -- it was eclipsed by Texas-Oklahoma, a divisional rivalry. The collapse of that game is a major reason why Nebraska is leaving that conference to join the Big Ten.
What would happen to the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry if it were split across divisions? Could it be eclipsed by Penn State-Ohio State, a divisional rivalry? This isn't as far-fetched as you might think. An occasional championship matchup will not make up for turning the regular-season game into a trophy game instead of a must-win game with the divisional title almost always on the line. In the long run, the loss of this dynamic could damage the Michigan program and ultimately the Big Ten brand.
This doesn't need to happen.
It is possible to create both geographic equity (i.e., what Penn State wants) and competitive intensity (i.e., what Michigan and Ohio State should want) in a divisional alignment that preserves or protects all major rivalries. The only real question here is how to split up the quadrangle of hate (Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, formerly a triangle) -- no matter how you do it, you're going to lose part of that. Without further ado:
- Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern
- Michigan State, Penn State, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois
Protected regular-season games: Michigan-Michigan State, Ohio State-Penn State, Iowa-Nebraska, Minnesota-Wisconsin, Indiana-Purdue, Illinois-Northwestern.
- Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern
- Michigan State, Penn State, Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, Illinois
Protected regular-season games: Michigan-Michigan State, Ohio State-Penn State, Iowa-Minnesota, Nebraska-Wisconsin, Indiana-Purdue, Illinois-Northwestern.
I'm not sure which of these two are better in terms of the quadrangle, but you get the idea. This protects most border-war and all in-state rivalries while spreading out the divisions, thereby not screwing anyone in that regard (i.e., like Penn State would be if you put them in an otherwise western division).
Finally, lest you argue this is the ACC redux, let's take a look at their current alignment:
- Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami
- Boston College, Maryland, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Florida State
I don't know if there are protected rivalry games across the divisions, but regardless, this is not a consistent system. Like the quadrangle of hate, the main problem for the ACC is how to handle the four North Carolina schools and, actually, I think the current scheme has got that right. The main problem with it is they don't split up Virginia-Virginia Tech, resulting in Maryland being split from Virginia.
If the ACC were to follow my methodology with regard to the Big Ten, it would look like this:
- Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Florida State
- Boston College, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Miami
Protected regular-season games: Maryland-Boston College, Virginia-Virginia Tech, North Carolina-North Carolina State, Duke-Wake Forest, Georgia Tech-Clemson, Florida State-Miami.
There, fixed two conferences in one go!