…but is set to further erode the atmosphere in the stadium as the first three rows of the student section have been excised for additional handicap seating. I guess it's inevitable that would eat out a chunk of the students because money is the primary motivator for the department, but that continues a long tradition of crapping on the student section without offering anything in return that started with the terribly-designed (and perpetually half-empty) club seat overhang that eliminated the last four rows on that side of the arena and made a further four or five partially obstructed when you stand, as students do. With every renovation the capacity gets smaller and the prices go up.
On the bright side, it appears that opposing parents are sitting next to us this year. [insert evil laugh here]
Maybe the student section has mellowed enough in the past five years to make this workable but the last time this happened, hockey parents moving into the students to find who was talking about their boy were an annual occurrence. Michigan's asking for it.
Descent into Captain Queeg-dom: 75% complete. Mark Dantonio's presided over two mass player brawls, picked multiple players up from jail to drive them to practice, seen William Gholston treat Denard Robinson's head like a beer with a twist-off cap and punch Taylor Lewan without lifting a finger (the Big Ten levied the suspension, remember), had a public hissy fit after last week's EMU game, and he's just getting started.
As I was checking out the Brayfriend Experience in Athens, Michigan State was playing Ohio State in East Lansing. A film kerfuffle and eye-gouging incident have obscured the true WTF moment from that game:
Will Gholston laid motionless on top of Braxton Miller for a good 30 seconds after that hit, wobbled off the field, and then returned. The sideline reporter dutifully related that Gholston "had the wind knocked out of him."
That's appalling. Anyone who hits the video above can see the ref tapping Gholston in the back to get up; he does not get up. He's just taken a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit and lays there for 30 seconds. Does it matter if he's actually unconscious or just incapable of moving for 30 seconds? No. That guy is done for the day, unless you're Dantonio. The blatant lie about what happened to him is just the cherry on top.
I guess it's nice that Dantonio has the same disregard for the safety of his own players as he does for his opponents, though. (Remember who was Robert Reynolds's DC: Dantonio.) He's got that going for him.
I assume this will once and for all end the bible-thumping, square-jawed discipline dean media meme, right?
BONUS: hey, guess what everyone who said words to the effect of "good" in the thread on this on the board got? Banned.
In other MSU news. Their OL took another hit when starting center Travis Jackson went out for the year against OSU. They inserted journeyman senior Ethan Ruhland at center after the injury and are rolling with a redshirt freshman at LG; Blake Treadwell has been bouncing in and out of the lineup with injury. If Michigan had suffered the injuries they have already we'd be sitting here in sackcloth and ashes—okay, more sackcloth and ashes—gibbering.
OSU's Jordan Hall tore his PCL and is doubtful for next week but apparently will be "evaluated on a week to week basis."
Uniforms. No Z. We'll see how the motion shortz go with these things but these actually look pretty slick from the rear:
This will all be ruined by Muff the Magic Block M on the front, I know.
If only anyone had paid any attention last year. Gholston a draft faller:
William Gholston*/DE/Michigan State: Gholston failed to impress during the Spartans' devastating conference defeat at the hands of Ohio State. Though he continued to play despite being injured in the first half, Gholston provided no impact and was minimally productive. In five games this season, he has posted just a single sack.
I thought they were nice. I may have been wrong.
Yeah, but have they had two people on Survivor? Georgia has. I saw it on their jumbotron.
Has MSU issued any statements about this? With as much attention as this topic has gotten over the past few years, I'd be shocked - and disappointed - if this passed without the full story getting out there.
If Michigan did this (or the eye gauging), it's a front page story on espn.com right now.
Brian LIKES the new uniforms!?!?!?!? The world is ending. Also, agreed on banning the assholes that were saying good about Gholston getting hurt. People seem to get irrational about anything Michigan State related.
I bet NBC's pissed that the M-ND rivalry is ending, and I bet that is reflected the next time a contract extension is negotiated. Even in years where VT or Miami or FSU are good, ND's games against them will not be as watched as M-ND is. The years where M and ND sucked, that game got great ratings. Outside of USC, any year where ND or their opponent sucks, the ratings will suck. ND-FSU might get great ratings this year, just because both teams are so good. But that game three years ago? Garbage.
Forget Duke and WF, does anyone think ND-Maryland or ND-NC State are any good? ND-Pitt and ND-BC were already there, so that's a wash, but what about ND-Syracuse? ND-post-apocalyptic-UNC? ND-GT? Almost all of those games are mediocre at best, and are made worse by the fact that they have less history behind them than Purdue and MSU.
One of two things is going to happen here. Either NBC will tell ND to put their best ratings game back on the schedule, or NBC will tell ND to take a hike and they'll be football members of the ACC faster than you can say Knute Rockne.
I agree. I wouldn't be surprised if NBC comes back and offers to pick up their 4 or 5 best home games every year, but with USC only being in SB every other year, I don't know if NBC wants to pay the big bucks for the crappy ND games. Just like home ABC doesn't want to nationall televise OSU-Indiana or M-Purdue (like this weekend) I don't know how long NBC will want to nationally televise ND-WF or ND-NC State. They already have the academy games that no one cares about except ND fans. I don't know why NBC will want to pay ND huge money to get 2 good games a year when they could approach a conference and get similar viewership for half the money.
The only league that's coming up for negotiations is the Big East. Everyone else just re-upped for big money. Fox got Pac-12. CBS has SEC afternoon slot. ESPN / ABC took the rest (Big Ten / ACC / SEC). NBC Network desperately needs content. Don't expect ND to go anywhere ever.
NBC might, however, seek to have the ability to shift ND's unattractive games (eg, ND-Duke) to the NBC Sports Channel, particularly if they have something like the Ryder Cup programmed at the same time.
Btw, does anyone know if ND's bye week and the Ryder Cup are connected, ie did ND schedule its bye this week on NBC's request?
I doubt we'd see that. NBC is definitly invested in ND football as a brand. Like it or not, ND moves the dial. While an ND Duke game might look like dreck to a Michigan fan, there are still enough people who follow ND to make it worthwhile.
Overall, ND delivers viewers and that's what matters. While the Duke game doesn't appeal. Other ACC matchups (Florida State / Clemson / Virginia Tech) should deliver big numbers.
I don't think there's a correlation between Ryder cup and ND's bye. Ryder Cup is a four day deal. NBC can carve out three hours for football.
Bottom line: ND is the closest thing to the Yankees is CFB. They're the team everyone loves to hate and they survived two awful tenures (Weis and Willingham) and still command big TV dollars.
ND doesn't always deliver viewers. When they play us, the game always gets killer ratings, but a lot of their other games aren't rated that highly. ND alone isn't necessarily a great TV draw. ND plus another big-name opponent is the key.
I'd be curious to see a comparison between the ratings our games get and ND's get. I'm not sure they have the edge. It seems like Michigan is consistently involved in some of the highest-rated games of the season, year after year.
I think they were the Yankees of CFB in the past, but I don't know how true that is anymore. They've been mediocre for most of the last quarter-century. It's hard to really be hated when you're not very good. Moreover, they have a small alumni base, and are thus more dependent on "subway alumni" than most other schools - people who have no connection to the school, but who started following them when they were good. Those are the kinds of fans that a school can start losing when it stops winning.
There's no doubt that ND's recent run of futility hurt their relevancy. But I still think they matter. As long as they have favored nation status in the BCS and their own network deal they will be hated. And I think Brian Kelly will have them winning lots of games.
Notre Dame's football ratings on ABC/ESPN and NBC has followed a consistent pattern over the last five or six years. ND will get strong ratings out of their game with Michigan because it's early in the season and expectations are high. Once ND starts losing, the ratings begin to fall in a marked fashion, although there is a spike up for the USC game.
Here's some numbers for 2011 with ratings numbers and viewers that illustrates my point:
9/3 (NBC) - South Florida 2.1/3.2M
9/10 (ABC/ESPN) - at Michigan 4.5/7.5M
9/17 (NBC) - Michigan State 2.6/3.8M
9/26 (ABC/ESPN) - at Pittsburgh 3.1/4.3M
10/8 (NBC) - Air Force 1.1/1.6M
10/22 (NBC) - USC 2.1/3.2M
10/29 (NBC) - Navy 1.1/1.7M
11/13 (NBC) - Maryland 1.3/2.1M
So far this year, here's what ND's ratings numbers look like for three of their games: Purdue (2.1) at Michigan State (3.2/5.0M), Michigan (4.0). That Purdue game was the second lowest opener on NBC in terms of ratings over the last fifteen years--see http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2012/09/ncaa-week-2-nbc-has-second-lowest-notre-dame-opener-in-at-least-15-years/. If ND keeps winning, their ratings should do fine. But if past is prologue and they have a couple of losses in hand, then the ratings start dropping off considerably (FWIW, UM-Alabama had a 4.8 rating this year).
IRT the ACC, the agreement has Notre Dame playing all 14 conference teams in what is essentially a three-year period (or perhaps six years if they do home-and-home games in consecutive years). The ACC is directing the schedule IRT which teams ND will be playing and when, so I think it'd be fair to call Notre Dame a "semi-independent" in football.
There are four ACC programs which are recognizable as marquee names--Florida State, Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech. All the programs have historical and/or recent success that give them high recognition levels from most college football fans. I suspect ND will play at least one of these four teams each year.
But the ten other schools in the conference are at best a mixed bag. Going from north tho south, they are Boston College, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. None of them have had any real sustained success over the last twenty years or so that would merit national attention. ND will probably play four of these schools each year as part of their five-team annual SEC schedule.
Because Notre Dame has annual games with USC, Stanford and Navy, we're probably looking at them playing at least two really big games per year with opponents on par with Michigan. Since ND will need to play at least seven home games per year, the other four games on their schedule will probably include two home-and-home series and two buy-in games.
Since Notre Dame has a long-term contract with Purdue still in place plus a four years on/two years off deal with Michigan State, that means there will be window to play a major team (ex. Texas) in a home-and-home twice every four years.
We'll see what happens as Notre Dame works out its schedule, but my guess is that they'll play three and sometimes four teams on part with Michigan each year. That's roughly what they do now, so what will really touch on their ratings will be driven less by schedule and more by their on field success.
Also, Mon-L, I didn't say anything in my original post about NBC straight up dropping ND, just that the relative undesirability of their schedule moving forward might behoove NBC to offer ND less money than they have in the past. Part of the reason NBC has thought ND a cash cow is because their 2 (or so) biggest games of the year are huge draws, which make up for the days NBC has to air ND-Air Force or ND-Tulsa or ND-Western Michigan.
But if NBC sees that the ND-Tulsa games are balanced out by ND-VT or ND-Clemson instead of ND-Michigan, they might not be willing to offer as much money. When Stanford undoubtedly goes back to 6-6 or 7-5 Stanford, this point will be even stronger yet, since Stanford will always be a home game when USC is away.
The contract is up in 2015. We'll see what happens.
The money is not going down. Because there is a relative scarcity with regards to college football product, the contracts have skyrocketed. If this current upward trend of the Irish playing better holds, expect them to command a very sweet deal.
I'm not sure how adding 5 ACC games makes ND's schedule worse.
Dropping Michigan seems dumb to me, but we'll see what their slate looks like.
Do you know who's in the ACC? A bunch of teams who draw pretty poorly compared to much of college football. It's not like ND is going to play FSU, Miami, VT, Clemson and whoever the 5th best ACC team is every year. My guess is they try to play Pitt and BC almost every year, since they have a little history there. Those are both pretty bad. Then you probably have one of the four I mentioned above and two of WF, NCSU, Duke, Maryland, UVa, etc. These are not teams that people outside of those fanbases care to watch. I'm not going to get terribly excited about Michigan playing those teams, and I'm a Michigan fan.
Tell me - are you going to tune in to watch ND plays those guys? Keep in mind, that unless it's in the first three weeks of the season, there are probably 4 or 5 other good games on at the same time. My answer is absolutely not.
Funny thing is, ND games got a lot of viewers from Michigan fans, because we had a vested interest in how ND fared. I will now not give two shits about ND and will watch almost any other game over them, unless they're playing a top-15ish team (which will be USC and almost never).
Of airing things on a tape delay as evidenced by this year's Olympics, so had ND and the Ryder Cup overlapped, one of them would've aired in primetime at night on a tape delay. It's not like NBC has anything major scheduled on Saturday nights anyways. I don't think that NBC influenced ND's bye week in any way. Also, ND could've had a road ame this week which wouldn't have aired on NBC in the first place.
Those are all for primary TV rights, and NBC might decide that secondary rights to a major conference is better than junk ND games. Or they might wait until one of those contracts is up, which is a short time, in TV years.
You think ND is such a cash cow, and compared to each individual school, they are. But the point is, big draw schools (Alabama, Michigan, OSU, Texas) don't get great nation ratings when they play the crappy teams on their schedules. And now that ND eliminated their biggest TV draw, there is less to make up for it. This is why ABC loves Michigan when they play the top half of the Big Ten, and passes us off to the BTN or ESPNU when we play Purdue or Northwestern (usually). NBC might decide to do that with ND when their home games one year are Stanford, Navy, Maryland, NC State, Duke and Pitt. Does NBC want to take up 4 hours of their day to show those games for 18 million a year?
The only rights coming up are for the Big East. Everything else is locked up for quite some time. There are no secondary rights out there to grab.
NBC would be taking a massive gamble if they dropped ND and expected to outbid ESPN or Fox for some other conference's secondary rights.
Not sure why you claim ND dropped their biggest game. They're still playing USC.
The bottom line is not what big games they have, but that the $$$ make sense for NBC. This marriage makes sense to me and all this whinging about ND dropping Michigan seems pointless to me. The Irish aren't lacking for big games and they won't be when they add the ACC slate.
First of all - USC might be ND's biggest rival, but from a TV dollars perspective, UM was the bigger game. Michigan just has a much bigger fanbase than USC, and it has traditionally been a bigger game. Many Big Ten fans watched that game - other Pac 10 fans don't care at all about USC-ND.
Secondly - you keep mentioning this ACC slate that ND will be adding as if the ACC has teams that people care about. There are 14 ACC teams, and the nation cares about 1-3 of them any given year. So chances are ND will get one good game and 4 mediocre at best games out of that "slate."
ND USC brings the second biggest TV market in the nation. Storied rivalry. I don't have the ratings, but I would guess it pulls similar if not better numbers than Michigan ND.
I really don't get the sweeping generalizations about the fanbases. PAC-12 fans don't care about ND USC but Big Ten fans care about ND Michigan? Where is the basis for that? Both these games create national interest.
Also don't get why the ACC is such a tire fire. There are good teams in that league. And while you say the "nation doesn't care", I would guess that ND is more than happy to get access to the ACC's bowls and put games like Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech on the schedule.
So I looked up the ND-USC ratings for last years game, played at night, and it's shocking how low the ratings were. The game did a 0.8/2 share, coming in third place on the network broadcasting for Saturday night.
The complicating factor is that it was up against the World Series (though a World Series with two medium market teams - St. Louis and Texas) which did a 3.2/10 share, but it still came in behind CBS's broadcasting of 2 1/2 Men, Hawai'i 5-0, and 48 Hours Mystery, all of which beat the ND game in their time slots. It did beat the ABC game, but that game was presumably even more affected by the World Series, since it was Texas Tech - Oklahoma, two teams in the general footprint of both WS teams.
And perhaps last year was an exception, as ND lost its first two games and had already recorded its lowest rating ever for an NBC broadcast in the Air Force game. But, given the huge gap between the ratings, I think its safe to say that ND-USC draws significantly worse that ND-Michigan (this year 4.0, last year, a 4.8, and that on cable rather than a broadcast network). I'd actually be surprised if Michigan has ever had a prime time game that's drawn worse than last years' ND - USC game.
In short, I'd imagine that NBC's not thrilled that this game is going away, while ABC/ESPN are less annoyed, given they have a far wider variety of games they can broadcast.
EDIT: Found conflicting info about the ratings. This site
has it as a 2.1, which is better, but still half what ND-Michigan draws. ND's ratings last year topped out at 2.6 for the MSU game. In terms of comparison with rivalry games, OSU-Michigan did a 5.3 last year at noon (albeit on T'giving weekend).
Here's the site with the .8/2 rating (I'm guessing its the share, the latter number that Brian's reporting).
This year's game doubled the rating of last year's ND-USC game, and was the most watched ND game on NBC since the last time they played Michigan in 2010. It seems pretty clear that NBC is losing their most consistently watched game, and a game whose ratings seems relatively impervious to the quality of both teams.
Also, while the "Pac 12 fans don't care about USC" thing is difficult to determine, what is clear is that people on the West Coast simply watch a lot less football than do people in the Midwest and South. The top 25 college football markets are almost exclusively in those two regions, with the only exceptions being Las Vegas (duh) and Portland (go ducks, I guess). The good news for NBC is that ND's arrangement with the ACC combines the two regions which most reflexively watch watch college football when it's on.
As long as NBC can profitably broadcast Notre Dame football games, I doubt they care who is the opponent. As soon as flagging ratings result in lower demand for advertising and profits slide, NBC will apply pressure appropriately. I don't know what kind of profit margin NBC is running with ND football, so when that happens, if ever, is hard to predict.
"...what do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?"
I doubt the excision of the first three rows had anything to do with money. More than likely it is done to meet the ADA standards for accessibility in new construction public facilities. My limited understanding of the accessibility laws is that wheelchair accessible seating is required in all levels of seating provided the views are unobstructed and the route to those seats is accessible. Because of the nature of many sporting events frequently the wheelchair accessible area is the lowest portion of a section to provide unobstructed views. If the question is whether the student section should be the one that was modified I guess I would argue that there are probably handicapped students that appreciate being a part of the student section rather than being on the opposite side of the arena.
No mgolawyer here, but since yost was changed in a material way, it was most likely needed since the arena was no longer grandfathered. The blog should ask that question via Heiko or ping Bruce Madej before assuming that installing some handicap seating is for some monetary reason. Don't let personal feelings toward Brandon cloud objective reporting. Get the facts first.
I think Brian's point on this is that the Athletic Department probably had several possible locations around Yost to add in handicap seating to bring the renovated building up to code. Rather than choose a location that would least impact the atmosphere of the building (i.e. don't screw with the student section), the AD decided to do the opposite, with the assumed motivation being money. It's an all-to-familiar pattern with Brandon in all the recent Michigan renovations.
"...what do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?"
I know you are joking, but look no further than Fisher Stadium to see exactly how not to do a renovation. They screwed up the seating (putting the bleachers in front of the chair seats) and they screwed up the roof (either take it all out or leave it all in, don't leave two disconnected pieces of roofing over two separate sections). It's not Brandon's fault, though; that was completed before he arrived at Michigan.
Sorry--I have wanted to rant about that for a while but haven't had the opening until now.
As far as Yost is concerned, I'm not sure much could have been done differently. You can't put the handicapped seats in front of the Zamboni entrance, so all of the non-luxury box handicap seats on that end of the ice have to be in front of the students. I think you need about 25 or so accessible seats on each end of the ice to be compliant. That means a very large section in front of where the students sit.
I was at the game, and I honestly thought it was a Eric LeGrand situation. He was OUT COLD and did not move for at least a minute...
Additionally, who here has EVER gotten the wind knocked out of them from hitting their head? Also, if that is possible (doubt it), wouldnt you roll to your back to try and get air instead of laying motionless with your arm around Braxton?
Bullough had to crawl out from under Gholston because he was out
The thing that makes me happy about the Gholston situation isn't that he got injured, but that even before the injury, he kinda sucked at playing football. Cheering for a guy who is your rival and an asshole to get injured is wrong, but cheering to a guy who is your rival and an asshole to just suck, it totally OK in my book.
In the youtube Brian links to, Gholston is hit at 0:07 of the clip. They cut away from the live feed when it looks really bad, and he only wobbles to his feet with help at the 1:27 mark. Why do I feel like I'm analyzing the Zapruder film?
Every time I see that Stauskas jersey, it looks like the front of a jersey for the University of Stauskas. I imagine them being a Canadian school or playing in Towson's conference.
Everyone's talking about Gholston, but no one is talking about OSU's Jordan Hall's PCL tear and being "evaluated on a week by week basis." Isn't a PCL tear a major issue? Wouldn't that be like an MCL or ACL tear and keep you out for the rest of the season? Any MGoDoctors that can weigh in?
Or is this just smoke and mirrors from Urban to disguise a major injury, sort of trying to fake out his opponents' scouting reports?
Clip 2: About 17 second mark, referee is tapping Gholston. He is lying on his own player and Miller.
Clip 3: About 30 second mark. Gholston has moved his right arm and leg and is supporting his own weight after #40 got out from underneath him.
Clip 4: At 37 second mark the medical staff is in and already has a hand on his c-spine/skull base.
So what to gather from all this? Well, everybody is going to have their own interpretation but the medical staff is in and assessing Gholston and his neck within 30 seconds from the end of the play. That's pretty good and they deserve some credit here. Also, Gholston is moving and supporting himself maybe 10 seconds before the medical staff get there.
A head/neck injury occurred obviously and this is not "getting the wind knocked out of you" but rather almost getting your head knocked off. I think the concussion talk has been overemphasized but am surprised they were not more concerned with a c-spine or skull base injury (at least enough to go get a scan). Quite frankly, I hope he's gotten one to be sure.
We are not privy to what was said in that pile, but given the attention concussions get it would be very difficult to believe the med staff wasn't convinced he passed their tests.
A) That he was administered the proper concussion evaluation. Football sidelines can get pretty frantic. It's possible the head trainer / doctor was attending to someone else. Ghoslton re-enters game before he's tested.
B) That all concussions are evident right away. It's not like a sprained ankle or a knee issue where it happens and that's it. I have read multiple accounts from players who get knocked out and have a significant delay in experiencing warning signs. A concussion may not become evident for several hours.
Regardless. It's been shown that the real issue with concussions is secondary trauma. Where a player has been light up and plays on and the second hit is that one that really does the damage. Therefore every guy who experiences this kind of motionless response needs to sit for the rest of the game. If he got the wind knocked out of him, too bad. It's better to risk not playing a kid who's okay than to throw him back out there.
Assumption 1: The medical staff know what they're doing.
I can't prove what they know, but if the med staff is assessing the c-spine within 30 seconds of the end of the play, then they are not idiots.
Assumption 2: All concussions are evident right away.
Never really said that. However, there are relatively standard ways to assess for concussions and early deficits would likely be more easily detected than 1-2 days later.
Your "Regardless" paragraph is incorrectly worded. Secondary injury after concussions is a serious concern. Repetitive concussions ever moreso.
There seems to be a lot of second guessing by non-medical personnel of this injury and I might suggest some more humility as you were not on the field and not privy to the examination. Yes, this involves trust of the MSU staff. As I already mentioned, however, I think a more thorough evaluation of his neck/skull base should have been done prior to his return to the game.