Hi. I would have packed this into yesterday's UV but internet problems + rehab equaled no. So here's the other stuff.
Local news, 1986. Wolverine Historian digs up a gem:
Five dollar parking and the hair, man. The hair. Check out the defector at around 2 minutes. We need a clip of that guy.
Position clarity and dang. In an interview with Touch the Banner, James Ross says he'll start off at the weakside linebacker spot. With Bolden ticketed for the center, I'm guessing Royce Jenkins-Stone is eventually slid to SAM. Where Kaleb Ringer goes is also probably in the middle.
I played hockey for a long time, and just being in that fast-paced environment helped, being able to see things. Hockey is really fast; you have to be able to move, and I think that really translates well to the football field.
Ross is 6'1", 225, and fast. If he could skate at all he would have been a crunching bodycheck factory had he stuck with the hockey. Video at TTB suggests he could not skate much as of early high school, but leave me to my lethal bodycheck fantasies.
More playoff stuff. I can't find this [freep] anywhere else, nor does this have a direct quote, but um… as far as reason not to have campus playoffs go this is even better than Bill Hancock's:
[Dave] Brandon understands the advantage a Big Ten team would gain from a playoff game on its campus but also realizes it’s not fair for schools across the country to play in the cold weather. Brandon also said he polled U-M players, who said they like to go to warm-weather bowl sites.
It's not fair. My brain stopped working. This is where I say something snarky or something about how this is not a good argument. I can't. Logic has been suspended. Get The Picture:
And just to show you how absurd this gets, rather than stand his ground on the more fan-friendly on-campus sites, Michigan State’s athletic director hopes instead that the NCAA will help families pay for the travel expense of going to an additional postseason game.
I give up. The rest of this column will be written by my wife's cat.
THE LARGE HAIRY ONE SAYS THIS NEXT. You're probably expecting this to be in hilarious broken English lolcatese. Typical. I quit.
I do say this is next. Cats: cannot get them to do anything. Anyway, blogosphere old timers may remember Vijay, who ran one of the ur-blogs back in the day. He still hangs out on some message boards and put together a picture of the distance traveled by fans to get to bowl sites last year:
Avg distance traveled for the bowl
Big 10: 1261
Pac 10: 775
Big XII: 701
Big 10 travels MUCH further than anyone else. SEC travels much less. No surprise.
Avg miles differential (how far a team had to travel, compared to their opponent: + = traveling further)
Big 10: +812
Big XII: -137
Pac 10: -470
Big 10 is the only major conference that is generally playing further from home than their opponents.
# of games within 500 miles of home
Big 10: 1/10
Big XII: 3/8
Pac 10: 3/7
EVERY SINGLE SEC TEAM played within 500 miles of home.
Guess which SEC team was the only one to travel further for their bowl than their opponent. Answer below.
Meanwhile, every single Big 10 team traveled further than their opponent. Even Purdue, which got to play in Michigan, ended up playing Western Michigan.
Trivia answer: Alabama, who played LSU in New Orleans.
Use of the word fair in relation to this makes me want to wear around a horse. I'll say "I'm actually a slide rule, call me the King of Albania." I'll wear a sock on my hand I call Prince Knight who speaks only in riddles. His only riddle is "how are these people in charge?"
The cat does not find this amusing. I'm going to shake him until he does.
HELP I'M STUCK IN BLADERUNNER
ALSO BONUS BONUS BONUS BONUS. Uniform hijinks are going to be an annual thing now From the above-linked article.
He discussed the heightened attention on U-M's jerseys, particularly in football. He said the school might have done too much with changing them last season and plans to quiet the speculation this fall by having a single rollout of all the game jerseys they’ll wear throughout the season. He said coaches, players and recruits enjoy variety.
"School" should be read as "Dave Brandon" and "speculation" should be read as "lack of speculation."
So at least there won't be any horrible, horrible surprises this year, and five different outfits seems off the table. Regular alternate whatnots are here to stay. Embrace it. I want wings on the pants. And the jerseys. I want a uniform that's just one giant wing. Like, when the offense lines up the unit should look like one winged helmet. With claws!
A note on something that happened last week. You know that child-porn-havin' OSU-recruit-creepin' twitter guy from last week? One: if you asked me to draw a composite of all OSU fans it would be him. Two: when you are in photos, keep your head straight.
WHY DOESN'T YOUR NECK WORK, MEDIAN OF ALL OHIO STATE FANS EMBODIED?
Seriously, you should get that checked out or something. Also, thank you for existing.
Better at being in photos than OSU median guy. Jehu Chesson on the track:
I'm sure Michigan football players aren't especially competitive -- after the regular season ends, they're undoubtedly more focused on the best climate to hang out in for a few days, rather than the best conditions for getting themselves into the national championship game. Every once in a while, Brady hauls them off the beach and makes them practice, if you can believe it -- man, what is that dude's problem?
I would not blame any of this on the players. There is no chance that Dave Brandon really polled any players. Like always, he starts with what he wants us to believe, then makes up some spin to support it, pats us on the head, and sends us on our way.
I don't blame the players and I don't actually think any of them said that, I was mainly just being sarcastic in pointing out that
Even if he did poll them and they did say they preferred a bowl trip to somewhere southern/southwestern, its his job to think ahead, not the guys on the team. He's the one being paid a huge salary to make decisions that are beneficial to Michigan and not doing his absolute best to give Michigan the best chance to win a National Championship is not doing his job.
In this case, I would rather have him say, "I want a home playoff game, but the SEC and the other southern teams are too scared to come north and play us" than have him try to spin some bullshit about "fairness" in a system that is already tilted against Michigan and its conference.
I simply don't buy the fact he got some master concession out of this, just like I don't buy Brady Hoke was his first choice (I buy that it worked out, obviously, but let's be honest: The guy who went 12-1 and missed out on a National Championship at Stanford by one bad half and is a former Michigan quarterback ISNT your first choice?) and I don't buy his handling of the Alabama game/band situation.
He just seems like an average politician/con artist.
but my just-recieved copy of The Wolverine seems to call into question some of the Athletic Department revenue/spending numbers as reported in the press. It's a password-protected site, but I think everybody in the Victors Club gets it so it isn't much of a secret. I read it twice, and didn't understiand it either time. I think we made less, and spent more, and the Athletic Department didn't want anybody to think that we had too much money to fool around with, like sending the band on trips to Texas and such. They do make it hard to understand and compare. I feel sorry for all of the stock analysts who have to look at those things all day in the corporate world.
(Amazon link with mgoblog referral ID attached (I think).)
"It would be a travesty, it would be ridiculous to all of a sudden come back and get the feeling back, get the health back, feel good again and then all of a sudden go throw some other colors on my shirt and go coach."
Preserving the Rose Bowl is a constant theme with the ADs. Let's assume that they aren't completely lying to us. (Hey, its possible - maybe.) Could the other conferences have actually threatened the Big Ten's tie-in with the Rose Bowl?
What if the PAC-12 and SEC told the Big Ten that they would replace the Big Ten with the SEC in the Rose Bowl if home games in the semis became a reality. The current contract is up in 2014 and the SEC and PAC-12 could throw a crap load of dollar bills at those old dudes in the yellow blazers out in Cali. (Yes, I know that the Sugar Bowl might have a smallish problem with this, but this is speculation man.)
Who knows what really happened, but that scenario would probably be enough to make Delaney (and the Big Ten ADs) back off home games.
So what? The B1G may be better off having it at a regional site within the B1G footprint.
Don't forget, this is only about the rare occasion where the B1G is the #1 or #2 ranked team in the country at the end of the season. Historically, that happens about twice a decade. The rest of the time, it's business as usual.
I think I wasn't clear with with wild, baseless specualtion.
I was imagining a scenario where the SEC and PAC-12 tell the Big Ten that they will muscle the Big Ten out of the Rose Bowl period. Admittedly, it is far fetched, but would give the SEC and PAC-12 leverage and would explain the obsession with saving the Rose Bowl.
It seems like there was so much less hatred and far fewer obnoxious drunks back then. Where did things go wrong? I think it was when handlebar mustaches became a thing of the past, thus making everyone so much less distinguished.
"Michigan Defense" is dominating everything, in every aspect of life. That's a rough definition.
I don't think the players are the key constituency
when Brandon is talking about them liking a warm destination for post-season. It's the moneyed suite people who are aghast at the idea of spending the holiday season stuck in Ann Arbor rather than some swanky hotel down south, or out west that Brandon is truly responding to.
“Experience is a hard teacher, but fools will have no other.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Yes, the players who have sacrificed all season long to win games may actually want to, you know, win the game. They may actually prefer a home field edge that helps them win the game versus walking around in shorts and flip flops.
Bowls lose, of course. First the marginal ones and eventually it will be all bowls. When the 16 team playoff begins its inaugural season in 2020, the things that made college football special will disappear. Regular seaon rivalry? Conference champion? who cares - did Michigan make the playoffs?