If this happens, I may turn in my fancard. I'm completely serious. I can take all the dong punches, but neutering the most important game in sports (outside of Glasgow) is just too much.
A Different Kind Of Football Armageddon
I have terrible news: David Brandon's pimp hand has badly malfunctioned and is now marching, Godzilla-style, on the greatest rivalry ever in the history of ever. This morning he showed up on WTKA to discuss Big Ten divisons and said this:
SAM WEBB: If you are making the decision, are Michigan and Ohio State in the same division?
[pregnant pause in which Brandon struggles valiantly against the malfunctioning pimp hand's electrosteam power source. "NO," he stammers. "MUST… NOT… SUBMIT." He feels like he's trapped in an episode of Star Trek, playing Kirk in any one of the dozens of episodes in which something in his brain compels him to evil. Sweat breaks out on his brow; he begins to tremble. The shaking increases in intensity, threatening to break out into violent convulsions! At any moment David Brandon's existential dilemma will come to a head! Things are afoot—
A twitch. Two twitches. Now a facial tic. All is silent. An unnatural calm descends.]
DAVID BRANDON: …No.
[Deep in a bunker underneath a Kenosha corn field, Barry Alvarez allows himself the deep rumbling bass laugh only the blackest hearts can muster. Yes. All according to plan.]
SAM WEBB: And why? [Ed: …GOD WHY?]
THE UNSPEAKABLE THING THAT POSSESSES THE BODY OF DAVID BRANDON: Because we're in a situation where one of the best things that could happen … would be the opportunity to play Ohio State twice.
He said he has received only a couple of e-mails from people worried about the possibility of moving the Michigan game to earlier in the season. Whether those – and other critical opinions expressed on the Internet – are reflective of the broad fan base is impossible to know, Smith said.
"I know one thing for sure - that we're going to play (Michigan) every year," Smith said. "We may end up playing the last game of the year, or not. I just don't know that yet."
The "not" scenario will only come to pass if the two teams can play again and the Big Ten is trying to avoid the farce of a best-last-one-out-of-two scenario. And with both ADs at Michigan and Ohio State trying to prepare the fans for a soft landing, it's clear which way this is going: the stupidest possible way.
ONE: It is extremely unlikely that Michigan and Ohio State would ever actually score a championship game rematch. Splitting the two teams is a pointless exercise in hoping that once every ten years you get another one. This is no longer the 1970s.
TWO: Michigan's year-end opponent: Michigan State? Boy, that will fire up everyone on Rivalry Week: "It's Michigan! It's some team that's been within a game of .500 every year since SEC schools started recruiting black kids! On ABC!"
THREE: Whatever damage the rivalry sustains because of the split is going to vastly outweigh the piddling slice of extra revenue Michigan and Ohio State will get from a 1/12th split of the incremental bump the Big Ten Championship Game gets because maybe once every ten years they'll get to pit Michigan against Ohio State.
FOUR: Dennis Dodd thinks this is the way to go. QED.
Not that this matters. Apparently it's done. Get ready for Michigan-Ohio State sometime in October, not even playing for a division or anything, because the "TV people" really want it. Do I need to remind you about Mark Shapiro?
"Rivalry week" will lose the greatest rivalry in sports. Not in favor, but sure feeling like we are being prepped for surgery.
If it was 2006 I would be outraged. Somehow I have gone numb to any Michigan news since.
I think that this might be the worst news of the week.
The only good thing about this post are the tags Brian used.
I think the more important point here is that putting them in separate divisions is a horrible idea b/c it ensures that M and OSU will likely have the #1 and #2 most difficult schedules w/in B10 play, assuming the divisions are otherwise balanced.
Although playing OSU twice in one year would be awesome.
To me, this sucks even more than moving the game.
So, as Brian says, this is probably a done deal.
And I like it. Playing OSU twice a year will allow Michigan to make up for the last several years that much more quickly.
Brian's 'Unverfied Foragity" column a few days ago had this to say:
"There's a rumor out there that Michigan and Ohio State will be split into separate divisions, which I find abhorrent because it necessitates protected cross-division games, which are dumb, and guarantees that Michigan will be elaborately screwed by that cross-division game being Ohio State, guaranteeing them a brutal schedule year-in, year-out as Ohio State and Penn State go play with Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, and Illinois."
In my opinion, Ohio State's schedule in this scenario would be more brutal than ours.
In my opinion, Ohio State's schedule in this scenario would be more brutal than ours.
M, PSU, Purdue, Indy, NW, Ill tougher than OSU, Neb, MSU, Wisky, Iowa, Minn?
Care to explain?
I think, but really hope otherwise, that he was making the snide remark that OSU's schedule would be tough because they have to place us, like we're the better team. Ummm.... yeah....
Popular outcry helped kill off the "SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic" a few years ago, so it might work this time.
David Brandon, Former UM footballer, played for Bo.. And he wants to do this? How are the Jihadists going to spin this to be RR's fault? That it is RR who is ruining all of UM's traditions. My guess is, this will recieve the support of a lot of folks who would normally not be so inclined and it will recieve much less press.
Personally, I see a rematch as much more likely than Brian, and think that the chance for the B10 to be decided by UM v OSU to be the most important factor. I have been wrong before.
If you think that there are only about 2-3 teams in either division that are going to compete every year for division title, you would suspect that they could realistically only meet 1-2 times in the championship every 5 years. So, it's not as bad as he's making it sound, but it's still not good.
Also, hasn't anyone heard of the Red River Rivalry? When's that happen? October. The only thing is that they are in the same division and usually playing for the division title. I don't think anyone is going to deny that as a high profile game. I can see where you are going to "lose the importance of the game", but that is going to happen no matter what when we add a championship game.
FTR, I'm indifferent toward the change. I see pros and cons for it. If I had to choose, I'd say keep it where it is at, but I'm guessing Dave Brandon has some reasoning for wanting this that obviously none of us see.
...the fact that you apparently think the Red River Rivalry is the biggest traditional game for Texas and Oklahoma says it all. Historically, Oklahoma's main rival was Nebraska. UT was a fun nonconference game, sort of like ND for us, but it wasn't their biggest game. The Big 12 utterly destroyed the Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry to the point that many fans (like yourself) apparently aren't even aware of its prior importance.
There are two things people are upset about: Separate divisions (no championship implications) and playing in October. I'm only arguing the point of playing in October. What destroyed the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry was not playing every year. Not playing in October. Michigan and Ohio State are going to play every year. This is nothing like what happened with Oklahoma-Nebraska.
like Nixon going to China in 1972, only someone with David Brandon's background could take these steps. I'll trust his judgment to make the best of a poor set of choices.
Clearly RR has dirt on Brandon and is blackmailing him to destroy age-old traditions such as no night games, OSU at season's end, and pizza diets for linemen.
This conclusively proves RR is not only destroying Michigan's most beloved traditions, but he is also a heartless bastard who is forcing a disciple of Bo to propose, promote and enact those changes.
He is obviously the antichrist.
Is there a reason we wouldnt be able to play osu for the last game of the season? I dont see why we would have to play someone in our division for the last game. Granted that could set up Michigan playing osu two weeks in a row but like Brian said, that will probably only end up happening once every ten years. Not saying I am for this idea, but just curious.
In other threads it has been discussed that the TV people don't want the potential for back-to-back weeks.
Also, a loss at the end of the season always looks worse than a loss in October. So, if Michigan and OSU are undefeated going into the last week of play, but then say Nebraska only has one loss in big ten play. If, heaven forbid, we lose The Game, and Nebraska wins their last game, then the Big Ten Championship will be OSU and Nebraska, not a rematch of M v OSU.
If true, the zombie apocalypse could be imminent. Better stock up now.
Really hit home with you.
We had scenarios all worked out at my job when that book came out. I'm with ya man.
Good book. My zombie plan needs updating.
Awesome book. Dont know if its just me, but after reading that book and the Zombie Survival Guide, everywhere I go I evaluate my surroundings for an escape route and possible means of fortification just in case the Zombiepocalypse happens.
Bring on the super-conferences. Only thing that might get us back in the same division it seems. I assume in a 16-team conference they'd worry a bit less about 2 consecutive games, which is unlikely to happen even now....
can your dong get punched before the damage is irreversible? We may just find out.
The number is always equivalent to your MGoPoint total.
or get some serious pos-bang-age
Do not want. At all.
I actually dislike the idea of playing Ohio State twice. It renders the first game pointless, and seems to fly in the face of one of my favorite things about college football, namely, that a year's worth of bragging rights are decided in three hours on a fall afternoon. So, I really want Michigan and Ohio State in the same division so that it can be on Rivalry Weekend AND so that they cannot play twice in one year.
I can understand why you feel that way now but if they beat us the first time, and we can seek revenge with the possibility of makin it to a national title game. I for one will not be crying about a rematch.
Brian, I think it's time to organize an MGoCampaign against this travesty.
should remind DB that he is still in the probationary period as AD.
Moving the OSU game would be a sure sign that the apocalypse is upon us.
I'm so close to just being done salivating over college football. Upping my comcast every year to the HD subscription in late August. You know what, I don't even care anymore, lets sellout every inch of Mich stadium with advertising. Lets put Domino's Pizza all over our jerseys. Bring sticker helmets back just so we can put them up for auction to the highest corporate bidder. Have sponsored plays. I guess there's always high school football...
Coaches I know have told me they are starting to see the result giving everyone in this generation of teenagers medals and trophies when they were little leaguers--the notion that everyone gets to win, everyone gets ice cream after the game, and everyone gets a trophy. The result is that a lot of today's teenagers don't want to play football unless they get to start.
Folks, human beings are competitive. We are animals, too, and competitiveness is hard-wired into our DNA. To me, the safest place to scratch that itch is via athletics.
that I FIRMLY SUPPORT the "ice cream for everyone" policy.
Medals & trophies . . . not so much.
knew exactly what our fans reaction to this would be.
I think Sam even said something along the lines of: "I would hate to have to read your Inbox..."
Something to legitimately melt down over.
that crap on the hardcore fan. I am now 100% off the Brandon bandwagon (this plus "our coach this fall"). Seems like a business-centric dweeb.
I'm working my way up through the thread and you're the second person to blame Brandon for this. How did you get it in your head that he's masterminded this plot? I can't imagine it's something he wants.
Now, maybe he's just being a good soldier and trying to sell this to his constituency; a pawn in a complicated scheme. Or, maybe he just means what he said. Which is more likely?
Your second option assumes that both Brandon and Gene Smith are willfully complicit in lessening the profile of the rivalry. Seems unlikely to me, so I'll go with the "good soldier" option.
He was asked a direct question on the subject and he answered against putting them in the same division. Whether or not is was his brainchild, he's endorsing the idea and that is what is disappointing.
This is one of those times where the right move is to get Osborned and step in front of the train even though you know you're going to get smashed. So be it.
Brandon's job is to defend the best interests of the Athletic Department of the University of Michigan. Does a negligible amount of incremental revenue offset a tougher schedule or diminution of the best tradition in college football? Screw what's best for Indiana in this matter. Hell no. I don't see how Brandon is doing the right thing by Michigan by going along with this.
double post, get off my lawn, and all that
I've said it before without much fanfare, Nebraska adds very little to this conference. While they certainly have great football tradition, the addition is only serving to antagonize the league equilibrium. I'm not saying this is purely Nebraska's fault as any team addition would have produced the same fucked up conference realignment.
We never needed to add a team to the big 10. Things were fine as it was. And if its not broke...
Bo and Woody are rolling in their graves
iPhone 3G malfunction, time to get the 4
I usually hate this kind of thing, but who has the AD higher-ups' email addresses so I can send a curmudgeony email about my lawn and getting off it?