Reading the news that we may schedule UMass finally motivated me to post this: Scheduling weak teams (I-AA, MAC, etc.) shows how subtly the big money in sports like football can corrupt even the most well-intentioned programs.
Do you think the Wolverine players want to play UMass, and not a big game against a national power on network TV? Does it benefit them in any way to play UMass? No, they are playing UMass only for the reason that Bill Martin has clearly articulated: For the money. We're sending out these unpaid kids to bring in revenue for the University.
I understand players can't take the beating of big games every weekend, but we can play more than one (i.e., Notre Dame) out-of-conference. The kids would love it -- they didn't come here to play MAC teams -- and it would be a better football program for them as student-athletes. Does the chemistry department dumb-down its curriculum because it would bring in more revenue?
Today MSU announced they are adding West Virginia and Alabama to future schedules (which already include Notre Dame) and the news breaks that UM is adding UMass. How embarrassing. MSU will play a tougher schedule than we will ... due in part, of course, to the fact that they play us, and we play them.