about hockey. Thanks Brian!
Unverified Voracity Is Experienced
High… lights? I think that's the word. Wolverine Historian for the win:
Them. Us. As you can read in plentiful detail in the upcoming This Week In Schadenfreude*, Notre Dame fans have about had it with Charlie Weis. BGS was moved to note the rampant inexperience plaguing Notre Dame's coaching staff:
Notre Dame has the following on the sidelines:
A defensive coordinator in his second year as a defensive coordinator.
A offensive coordinator in his first year as an offensive coordinator.
A head coach in only his fourth season as a head coach.
Michigan, on the other hand:
- Scott Shafer is in his eighth year as a defensive coordinator.
- Calvin Magee is in his fourth year as an offensive coordinator.
- Rich Rodriguez is in his sixteenth year as a head coach.
As Rodriguez says, this is not his first rodeo. He's proven he can do this at two places lacking in resources; give him time to prove it here.
(FYI: I actually could not log in to the Fanhouse the past couple weeks because they key fixer of these things was out of the office, which explains TWIS's regrettable absence.)
And now for something no one cares about except me! College hockey realignment is apparently on its way:
Conference expansion is on its way, folks. Because of the looming demise of College Hockey America, don’t be surprised if the WCHA and the AHA go from 10 to 12 teams, with Bemidji State and Nebraska-Omaha joining the WCHA and Robert Morris and Niagara going to the AHA.
This isn’t just opinon. I can’t divulge my sources, but this is what is being discussed by conference commissioners. And it makes sense.
The CCHA would lose UNO and pick up Alabama-Huntsville, the last CHA straggler, leaving college hockey with four twelve-team conferences and one ten-team outfit (Hockey East). This is all well and good, I guess, as it keeps the remnants of the CHA in Division I, but I'm not a huge fan.
Adopting the above proposal has two negative effects:
- It basically forecloses on any future expansion. Anyone wishing to start a team now has no conference to slide into. When UNO started a program, they could get into the CCHA. When there were 4-6 independents they could band together for an autobid and give themselves a purpose. Now every conference is basically full and anyone joining college hockey is looking at a pointless existence as an independent.
- Adding more teams to the various conferences further restricts already-sparse nonconference games. Michigan plays either 34 or 36 games a year depending on whether they have an exemptions (ie, whether they play in Alaska or not) and 28 of those are spent playing other conference members. That leaves only a few opportunities to play teams outside the conference, which makes those games incredibly important when it comes time for PWR to arbitrarily decide who gets in.
College hockey should really consider shattering the mega-conferences they have into smaller units. As of now the only chance there is for more teams to enter college hockey is the far-off idea that Canadian teams will join the NCAA and six or so will enter en masse as a conference.
Deep in the hart of lameness. Dude, would you believe this was a home game for a top five team?
A Maize 'n' Brew diarist provides a trip report from Texas-Baylor and it, as the title suggests, "puts Michigan fans into perspective." Okay, this is the fourth quarter of the Baylor game but that's like a 50% full stadium. And it wasn't a whole lot better earlier:
The stadium never filled up. The stadium was no more than 70% capacity at any time. (box score says 97,000, i say bull)
Apparently UT has no dedicated student section:
Students are peppered in with random fans everywhere but bottom of the home side. Tailgating for students is non-existent near the campus as well. Those living out on West Campus past the Drag may have some house partying going on, but that would be like partying at Greenwood or the far side of Washtenaw at Michigan. It's just so far out of the way, its not worth going. The majority of freshman dorms are only a block away from the stadium. My sister was totally unaware tailgating even took place.
I was a little disappointed with the lack of howling banshees in the upper deck at the LSU-Auburn game, but Texas appears to take apathy to a level even beyond that you might find at a Michigan-Indiana game.
He comes streaking down field from the bottom of the screen to lay a block on someone -- pretty cool
DY - I was just finishing the video when I noticed probably the same thing you had noticed.
I remember Rich Rod stating that he wished he had more players like Odoms - Something to the fact that the kid will mix it up with anybody - no matter what his size or speed. He's just a flat out bitch! The kid is just a freshman and he's making some pretty outstanding plays on a mediocre (because of the average inexperience of the team) squad. I think that this game was a turning point in UM football. I saw a lot of competing in this contest. If you watch closely on Matthew's catch where he breaks two tackles and streaks up the sideline - Shaw gets a nice heady block and late comes Odoms to mix it up, too. That shit is sweet. Those kids understand that they need to compete on every play in order to be successful. Guys with tenacity fire my shit up! Check Koger out on Shaw's long run, McGuffie making a play up the sideline and then breaking a run of right tackle - even Stonum came back to a ball when Sheridan scrambled out of the pocket to make a first down catch. These kids are learning and you can see they are starting to understand all the little things they have probably been asked to do since day effing one, but just not are getting hold of. Who gives a shit about 3-7 or whatever we end up... I am very optimistic about what I've seen (Boubacar and Martin have also been solid from the freshmen). Give these guys (Rod/Shaef) a shot. I don't think they'll disappoint - they may just effing blow your mind next year.
I have wood after writing that long post.
"And now for something no one cares about except me!"
we exist, man. we exist.
the realignment seems logical in the short term, but not so in the long term. something has to happen with the CHA teams. independence is not preferable to anyone, save ND football. in all likelihood, no realignment == short term contraction of these small teams, but potential expansion of PSU/Ill/Syracuse, in a decade +.
it's either a result of short sightedness or a realization/conviction that big time expansion of college hockey is a pipe dream. and really... is PSU ever going to go DI? Cuse? Ill? the northern PAC10? the potential inclusion of Canadian college teams will not significantly add to the interest in the sport south of the border. TV markets will be minimally increased, save UTor. and even there, Canadian hockey snobs thumb their noses at DI college play.
summary: big time US schools do not want to make the jump, thus expansion is not a concern right now.
Yeah, this must be the latest Vista (kidding) feature. As hard as you try, paragraphs are no longer a feature.
Brian will probably fix shortly (Don't call me "shortly" and when will it be fixed?).
should be fixed
I went to grad school at UT and stayed in Austin after that... and went to a lot of games. Sorry, Brian, but it's silly to claim UT fans are apathetic. The stadium is REALLY loud, far louder than The Big House, and don't even get me started on a comparison of the basketball arenas. Baylor is the annual beat-down. I'm not shocked some people didn't show up. I've never seen it like that, but, really, how many Baylor games can you go see in a lifetime before you just give up?
Having lived in western Pennslyvania during much of RR's tenure at WVU and having seen a lot of those games, the linked WBGV article confirms what I've thought all season long: WVU's performance this year says a hell of a lot more about RR's coaching ability than Michigan's performance this year. RR has taken players that he didn't recruit and that were recruited to play a different system and has (as the season has progressed) made them into a more competent offensive unit than the WVU team that he left has become without him. Although the Michigan offense has not (and this is an understatement) been a thing of beauty, having watched the majority of the WVU games this year, Michigan's offense is at least tolerable to watch because, as opposed to WVU's offense, it is at least improving from week to week. Really, viewed in the big picture, the fact that Stewart (predictably) ruined WVU in one season with virtually the same skill players available to RR says an awful lot about what RR actually accomplished at WVU. To me, that portends great things for the future at Michigan given the vastly improved recruiting situation.
I've lived in Austin for 10 years and have witnessed the re-birth of the Texas Longhorn football program first-hand. I have attended several games during this time, and walked away each and every time feeling disappointed. Even though the football is not as good, I would much rather attend a Texas A&M Aggie game because the fans are better.
One of the reasons the stadium looks so empty is the Texas tradition for fans to leave the stadium and head to the alumni club (outside the stadium) for beers during the game. During blowouts, they tend to watch the rest of the game on TV.
I wouldnt go so far as to say A&M is better, they are just more dedicated to the team. UT reminded me (being the guy who posted that article) much of a Pro game in that is was a game for the rich elite to socialize for 30 minutes, stop at the in-stadium starbucks, then leave.
Way back in the 60's, M stadium was often 25% (or more) empty.
Then Don Canham figured out that to fill the stadium, M needed to attract lots of people who actually would care very little about football.
He, in fact, targeted the head of the household (MOM!!) to attend M football games because it was fun!
So, we can either have a stadium only 50% full but with RABID Meeeeeechigan fans. Or, 110,000 fans, with 50% fully engaged and 50% somewhat engaged.
BTW in Section 4, this year has been spectacular! We've spent most games on our feet and no one EVER says "down in front".
heard it from Fr. Hespburgh's own mouth during a recent trip to ND for a game..."it's about time to find out if Charlie can coach"
Beat Notre Dame. Extend the new streak.
Most schools compute the attendance figures well before game day. This may (or may not) account for the 97,000 figure. Michigan does this, in case you're wondering.
Meetings used to be held on Wednesdays (as late as 2004) and all of the folks responsible for game day operations were in attendance. The attendance figure's determined at that meeting, and in painstaking fashion to be as accurate as possible. In addition to tickets sold, numbers are computed to include vendors, police, EMT's, ushers, band, visiting band, color guard, Yost's seat, etc.
So there you go.
Texas has no student section? Wow, that sucks. In my freshman year (1998) they screwed it up and some freshmen had to sit with the alums, and it was awful for all involved.
I am starting to postulate this is to make the stadium appear less empty. Students made up the majority of the people sticking around through the 4th quarter. If they had been in one area the stadium would have looked much emptier.
In his nearly four years at Notre Dame, Charlie Weis has one (1) win over a BCS-conference team that finished the year with fewer than five losses: 9-4 Penn State in 2006.
He parlayed that into a ten-year extension and two BCS bowl appearances. This may suggest that there is something to the "super genius" reputation. Not in terms of doing anything on the field, mind you, but in terms of getting money and bowl spots despite what happened on the field.
Over the same span, Rich Rodriguez has six:
2005: 9-3 Louisville, 10-3 Georgia
2006: 11-2 Rutgers
2007: 10-3 Cincinnati, 9-4 Connecticut, 11-3 Oklahoma
RR doesn't have a qualifying win this year at Michigan, but they still have a shot at Ohio State. Notre Dame hasn't had one in two years and their only shot this year is beating Southern Cal.
I'm not sure we can totally credit RR with the 2007 OU victory - he was no longer the coach. He coached that team for the regular season, but he did not prepare that team for the bowl nor coach them during it. Kind of a stretch.
Minnesota only has 3 losses right now so if they win out, or go 1-1 they'll have fewer than 5 losses. Also, if we beat Northwestern and they beat Illinois they'd be 8-4. Imagine if RR got 3 wins against BCS teams with fewer than 5 losses in his first year while Charlie Weis only had 1 in all 4 years.
Actually, Weis got the huge extension after a game he LOST (USC 2005) in his first season. ND was so thrilled with that moral victory that they threw a ton of money at him in the middle of the season.
You can add me to that list of lazy UT fans.... I have a reserved student ticket about 10 rows up in the endzone and I decided to skip the game this weekend, as Michigan was on. I did travel to Lubbock vs Tech last week at least.
I would say though the right endzone and 1/3 of the sideline not shown in that picture is probably 95% students. I don't know what the classification is for "dedicated student zone", but I would consider it a student zone personally.
Tailgating is pretty lame at UT, as the places to tailgate are scattered all over. I would say the tailgating would be good if it was all brought together somehow, but there just isn't room.
Spot on UT analysis. I was on the UT sideline that game for TV coverage. I remember telling my crew, "I'm appalled at how empty your stadium is." It was really pathetic. There were empty seats everywhere.
Noise levels were meh, but it's not a stretch to say Michigan can get louder. One fan kept screaming at Baylor about how they should "quit begging" (??). Lot of idiots in the crowd. Then they sing "I've been working on the railroad" and try to pass it off as a UT song.
Also, Bevo, their cow mascot is a fucking idiot. He/She could not follow simple directions. "Get out of the way" does not mean "stop moving".
So chin up, Michigan fans. UT does not have a clue about REAL FOOTBALL TRADITION. We are better educated fanbase that truly supports our team. We DO tailgate harder as well.
Finally, to add more fuel to the fire of hatred, consider this: There are an uncomfortably excessive number of photographs of their Rose Bowl victory against us inside DKR memorial stadium.
also, the box score was an obvious farce. they probably meant 97,000 fans watching the football game on television in the Austin area.
everybody was bitchin' about the 11:00 am kickoff time. what pussies.
I'm a UM alum and a current UT grad student, and my parents were in this weekend. All three of us went to the game together, and it was pathetic. Michigan fans at least fill up the stadium and go bat-shit-crazy for the first half when we're playing someone like Eastern. If I had to guess, there were at least 15,000 no-shows (in a 95,000-ish capacity stadium), and there couldn't have been more than 60,000 there by the time we left early in the 4th quarter -- I've NEVER left a Michigan game early, and I would prefer not to here, but the fans were so miserable it wasn't worth staying.
Seriously? I actually phoned my brother and told him "the entire crowd made our alumni section look rowdy."
The observation about students was right, too. The entire bleacher section at the south end of the field is filled with students (probably 1/3 of whom didn't show on Saturday), but then the rest of students are peppered everywhere along the entire eastern side of the stadium. My seats are in the northeast corner. I'm probably surrounded by more non-students than students. It's a pretty nonsensical system.
I also care about hockey. You know better than that! :-p