At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
Hey guys. After sleeping for 12 of the last 16 hours, I feel better. Better is not great, but here is a linkdump.
Oh, and an mgolicious note: my chrome extension broke when delicious updated their site for the first time since the Civil War, so that aspect of the site has halted for the moment. If anyone knows of a functioning chrome extension for the new delicious let me know. Also: sidebar tabs. Why do you hate me, Google?
Click through for bigger to confirm. Yes, that last one is from the Outback. Via r/cfb and Eleven Warriors.
Bowl revampin'. It appears that the people with the football teams have surveyed the landscape and discovered that oh yeah we have the leverage here. Mike Slive:
“Since we’ve made such a significant change with the playoff, it’s a perfect time to look at the bowls and how they work,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said this week. “This is a very good time to take a hard look at how we do our bowl relationships and see if there’s a better way.”
Since Mike Slive just created a "Champions Bowl" that he let sites bid for and picked the Sugar Bowl to host it despite what I assume was a ridiculous offer from content-mad Jerry Jones, I'm guessing his better way does not involve bowl directors making 800k.
According to Stewart Mandel, that model is already in place with the Rose Bowl, which is probably one of the reasons the Pac-12 and Big 10 were so intent on keeping their baby. Anyway, the schools are going to move the risk from the schools to the bowls, because they can see...
Meanwhile, Jim Delany made some noises about diversifying the Big Ten's bowl slate. The current setup is great if you like the worst cities in Florida, but not so great if you like, you know, culture and stuff.
We heard this about seven months ago as well when the Big Ten had its smoochy session with the Rose in a futile attempt to cover up for the fact they couldn't get enough votes for home playoff games. I assume that the desire is real, and that when the contracts come up there will be diversification into places that are more than strip clubs and strip malls.
Congratulations to all of us for collectively being fed up or financially unable to support this model, and thus forcing a change.
Obligatory plea. Denver! December/January highs average in the mid-40s, it's usually sunny or snowing, the stadium district is pretty cool, and the Front Range is just an hour away.
Threes of doom. I wish this Five Key Plays bit included the loony long Burke two that kicked off Michigan's fatal sequence, but it gets everything else:
1. Hardaway takes heavily contested three with a hand in his face with 25 on the shot clock.
2. GRIII takes a basically open three with 11 left—the contest is token and doesn't impact him.
3. Burke runs down and takes a three that Ravenel is credited with a block on that airballs. Since Ravenel comes nowhere near the top of Burke's shooting motion… no. This should be a foul, and with Morgan charging towards the basket with Craft on his back anything that hits the rim has a decent chance of being a putback dunk. Much less upset about this, now filing under Big Ten refs are cowards instead of insanity. Dollars to donuts there is a post-airball whistle if this game is at Crisler.
4. Terrible contested NBA-ranged three with 29 on clock from Stauskas.
5. Decently open look from Hardaway with 25 on the clock; Hardaway run over, no call.
Part of the reason Michigan's offense looked so bad in this one is just the way the game was being called. OSU was in They Can't Call Everything Mode—and with M so foul-averse I wonder if that hurts them on the offensive end since refs have an unconscious bias towards keeping foul calls relatively even.
Beilein was okay with the final three, BTW. I didn't mind it either since going for a win in that situation is at least on par with attempting to tie it with a slightly easier shot. If Michigan gets that one extra point from the Burke breakaway bucket, though…
The D-I average points per possession is 0.995; every Big Ten team is well below that. I wonder if the data is only considering shots from post-ups and not kicks and rotation and suck, because that's so amazingly low across the board that it feels faulty. Surely there are some post-touch benefits this analysis is missing, or coaches simply wouldn't run them anymore.
When deciding on division names in December 2010, Delany said the Big Ten "didn't have great options."
"We weren't going to go with 'Bo or Woody,' 'Black or Blue,' or 'Plains or Lakes,' " Delany said. "Obviously we got some acceptance [with Legends and Leaders], but not as much as we would have liked."
Delany said he was a "little surprised" by the backlash when the division names were announced.
People in charge of things are just in charge of them. There is not a reason. They instantly become megalomaniacs despite this.
"I'm not sure it was a national survey [of people who didn't like the names], but people who hit the 'send' button," Delany said. "I don't take umbrage to negative reaction. I don't necessarily change when I hear it. I think on the other hand, we said we would test-market it, and we have for a couple of years. We have the opportunity to look at it again. I'm sure we will. Whether or not we change or not is to be determined. I don't have any presumption that we'll change on it, but that doesn't mean we're not looking at it.
"I don't think when you try to build something, lead some organization, you don't want to be tone deaf. But it's not up for vote every week."
That is the best probably unintentional double-negative ever.
The UV bullet doesn't count. Hockey got swept by Alaska this weekend for the first time ever, which came as no surprise, really. The first line was AJ Treais and the only guys who skate hard consistently: Andrew Copp and Zach Hyman. They skated five defensemen since they've got three out injured. So that's where the team is: injured on the backline, lackadaisical on the front line, and still getting really bad goaltending.
Zak Irvin: 6’7” Shooting Guard, Hamilton Southeastern H.S. (2013) I just love watching him play. He is the best Senior in the state and I don’t think it is even that close. At 6’7”, he can shoot the lights out, handle the ball well, and really gets after it defensively. I really don’t see how he isn’t ranked higher by some national scouting service. He is the total package. Will be great at Michigan.
“He is fundamental with both hands,” Harrison senior Mark Huston said of Irvin. “The best you can do is try and contest (his shot) to the best of your abilities and hope he misses. But he is a great talent, and he doesn’t do that a lot.”
“It almost felt like he was guarding three people at once with his length on traps,” Huston said. “He can jump passing lanes real easy, so it was tough for us to get the ball moving."
I know you've pined for it before Brian, but sending a football team full of 18-22 year olds to Denver instead of somewhere warm with a beach just seems like more of the 'using poor black kids to fund rich white people activities' that you're typically against.
You'll have a bunch of 18-22 year old kids from generally poor backgrounds who have never been skiing, their families have never been skiing and their coach won't dare let them go skiing during a bowl trip on the chance that someone blows out a knee. At least in Florida the kids can go to the beach or go ride roller coasters at the theme parks. It's not much but it's at least some sort of reward for the players.
(and yes I realize most 18-22 year olds would prefer drinking on Bourbon St to any of those alternatives but I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say most players in CFB would rather go somewhere in Florida, get a half day at the beach, a half day at a theme park and some warm weather than they would a trip to Denver where they can look at the mtns 30 miles away but won't be allowed to go skiing).
The bowl system certainly needs reforming, but I'm not sure that putting bowl games in places that overwhelmingly draw upper middle class or rich white people is the answer to that.
You can Wikipedia whatever you want, but Pasadena is one of the wealthiest areas of Los Angeles, a very wealthy city. My wife and I make very good money and we can't afford a house there. Also, the reaso. It's only half white is because the rest is Asian, so it doesn't really change your point.
You're wrong. Pasadena has some very wealthy areas, and some not so much (I live in one of the latter). Housing is expensive across LA; it is on the expensive side but an order of magnitude less than areas like Santa Monica.
Also, I believe there are roughly as many hispanics and blacks as there are asians in Pasadena. Asians are far more common just to the south though (Alhambra, San Marino, San Gabriel).
I guess I still don't get the strange city love you have.
I'm not sure I see a huge difference between Denver, Atlanta, Houston, Tampa Bay, or Dallas. Bit urban cities, none have any particularly historical value, or a unique culture about them. None are bad places for a bowl game, mind you. I just don't see the big dividing line. Most of my trips to Denver have entailed leaving Denver to go to other cities and their microbrews and such. Tampa sucks, Denver rules seems totally based on whether you like the beach or skiing. 40 isn't bad, but it's not exactly an exciting bowl destination. New York is porbably the only one that offsets "crappy weather."
And Los Angeles, sure, but let's be honest, that's a trip where none of the ends meet. You're not anywhere near anybody else who went, you're not near the game (unless you're staying in Pasadena...then what is there to do?), and everything you want to see that's unique is a horrifically long freeway drive from the next thing you might want to see. LA is Orlando spread out.
And Santa Fe? Santa Fe?? You think San Antonio's a bad destination, but Santa Fe is a land of culture and worth?
If you don't think Santa Fe's a land of culture and worth, you must not have been to Santa Fe or know much about it. It fits both the unique culture and historical value criteria you lay out to a tee.
In Santa Fe or nearby you have:
1. An awesome Spanish era plaza with many of the buildings from pre 1800s, that's the center of a very compact area where many of the hotels are.
2. An amazing array of cultural institutions: about 5-6 native american art museums, Georgia O'Keefe's house, the School for American Research, a great opera house.
3. Taos Pueblo (and Taos ski resort), and a bunch of other pueblos with continuous inhabitance back to the 1400s.
4. A huge number of great restaurants. Plus, New Mexican food. Mmmm, Sopapillas.
5. A wide variety of outdoors stuff. Hiking, river rafting, rock climbing in terrain ranging from alpine forest to high mesa to river canyon.
Now, it's not a great bowl site. (and this clearly isn't a list of great bowl destinations, see Prague). It's cold in the winter (it's up at 7,000 feet) and it's a PITA to get to (few flights into Santa Fe and the drive from ABQ is 90 minutes), but it's a far, far better tourist destination than San Antonio, which is basically the Riverwalk, the Alamo (which, as a somewhat native Texan I think I'm allowed to say is totally overrated), and a bunch of military bases. It's a good place for a bowl game or a convention, b/c everyone gathers in the same place ... but that's because there's nowhere else to go.
It may actually be a better tourism destination. But as much as Prague was a joke, he wasn't picking places there are bowls....but places that he'd like bowls to be.
I'm not sure how it can be a better bowl destination as long as they are playing the bowls in the winter. Because a lot of what you mention seeing is outside, and I think the Pueblos would be grand, but not if I'm freezing my ass off to see them. When the bowl games are in May, then it jumps to the top of the list. But till then #3 & 5 on your list get X'ed out.
San Antonio has nice weather, the Riverwalk, which just isn't pretty, but has an array of restaurants, bars, shopping (if you have a lady with you, they'll appreciate it), and nice hotels on the Rivewalk that don't just make you close to all that...but lets you walk to the Stadium. Sounds small, but with all the bad neighborhoods and hellacious long drives you have to do to get to other bowls it matters. Sure, the stadium is awful, but I'm not guessing Jerry World is in El Paso either. And if you want to do the driving you list, they have some family stuff, like a pretty nice zoo and such.
And sure, the Alamo is overrated. You walk in, and you want to walk out. But seeing it is at least a historical destination.
So yeah, El Paso is probably a great town. But it's not a really good bowl trip.
I've been many a time. There's nothing wrong with Denver. It's just cookie cutter big city that you can get with a lot of the other ones.
I guess I have a bias that people on vacation do a lot of the same things. Eat, drink, relax in nice weather. And while say, Chicago, has a lot more great restaurants than Detroit, you can't go to ALL of them on a vacation, so you're hitting a couple. And you can find a couple of great restaurants, bars, or whatever in every major city. (No, not Jacksonville).Other than the rare place like New Orleans where THAT is exactly what they're known for.
Unless there's something particularly historically unique, or some entertainment you can't get elsewhere (Yes, I can't go to the beach at the Pizza Bowl), I'm not sure how Denver/Atlanta > Dallas/Houston. And of those, I probably have enjoyed Denver the most. But I just don't see anything that makes Denver that different.
Knowing you're not going to the town to live, but go to a bowl, and yes, sorry, be a tourist, you basically want warm weather and fun things to do. I can get the latter pratically anywhere. The former is not Denver.
The year that the Super Bowl was in Jacksonville was hilarious, in that the visiting press couldn't do all the things that they had come to expect in any cookie cutter big city, like find a good restaurant or a decent bar or a cab.
I agree on the Denver/Atlanta/Dallas/Houston equivalence, at least from convention experiences. If you experience them in that vein, they're all basically the same place, except in Denver you can longingly look at the mountains and wish you could be there, rather than at the meeting that you're actually at (this may only apply to skiers).*
I'm moving to Jacksonville next week. It can't be THAT bad, can it? I don't know much about the downtown but between the beaches, Sawgrass and St. Augustine, I'm thinking that tourists can entertain themselves for 3-4 days. I actually went there for NYE in 2010 when Michigan was playing in the Gator Bowl. The riverfront area seemed nice enough....at least for one night.
As someone leaving North Carolina....I'd throw my pitch in that Charlotte is actually a pretty decent bowl city. It has an NFL stadium downtown within easy walking distance of lots of hotels, bars and restaurants. The weather isn't great on NYD.....but it's not Detroit either. Raleigh is missing some of the amenities needed for a top notch bowl game but the city pulled off the NHL All-Star game pretty well a couple of years ago. The fans would definitely be welcomed.
The biggest benefit to Charlotte is that it's driveable for most of the B1G footprint. I would think that's a key deciding factor in bowl attractiveness. Especially since plane tickets are purchased with short lead time.....during the Holiday season. Denver just seems like a ridiculous place for a B1G bowl game.
one issue that i have found with the bowl destinations is that tickets, accomodations, air fare are often packaged in one group, either by the university or alumni groups. so, even if the bowl game were in paris, you are not going to the louvre unless you specifically make an effort to do so. if not, you are part of the cattle on a bus heading somewhere.
1. Detroit is an awesome city for a bowl game because, firstly, it's close and, secondly, Detroit is just plain fucking awesome.
2. Denver sucks.
3. Bacardi Bowl. Since it turns out that there once was a bowl game sponsored by a rum company in the Caribbean (link), this needs to be brought back. Havana would be fascinating but with embargos & all, I'd be open to other suggestions.
That somewhere in the college hockey pantheon, there is a good goalie on a bad team, or sitting on a bench somewhere, that's looking at this situation at Michigan and licking his chops at the prospect of 1)playing and 2) playing behind what will hopefully be a decent team next year and thinking about transferring. But I also can't think of any player that's transferred into the program and I haven't heard any rumors or really thought of anyone that might fit the bill. So it's just a fond thought.
I posted about a year ago on the site, and I was critical of the basketball coverage on MGoBlog. Just wanted to say that over the past 6 months or so I've noticed an increase in both the amount of bball coverage and the quality of it. Ace has really added to the site's coverage of the sport, and I like that a nuanced analysis of the game (Ace's inside the play posts) is becoming commonplace. While I tend to think KenPom is a somewhat lazy way to view the game, I understand its value and enjoy when it is used in addition to "eye-test" methods. Keep up the good work, Brian and company.
I think we can all agree that the bowl destination illustration works as a funny joke but not as a graphic of realistic bowl destinations.
Bowls are hosted by places that are willing and capable of hosting bowls. It's not some insidious plot hatched by Jim Delaney. People like warmth and beaches and that's probably why so many otherwise boring Florida cities are tourist destinations also making them willing and capable bowl hosts.
The only realistic alternative presented is Denver. I like Denver but I also like Tampa and have very little interest in Atlanta. I think this conversation can go off the rails very quickly if people start explaining why cities they like are so much more worthy and cultural. Everywhere has history and culture and things to do. It's not like we're talking about Fargo, North Dakota in February here.
A test market, in the field of business and marketing, is a geographic region or demographic group used to gauge the viability of a product or service in the mass market prior to a wide scale roll-out. The criteria used to judge the acceptability of a test market region or group include:
a population that is demographically similar to the proposed target market; and
relative isolation from densely populated media markets so that advertising to the test audience can be efficient and economical.
So in Delany's case, his rollout market must be the universe since he's already tested his product on all of the Earth people. For two years.
While I have adopted new technology at a greater pace than my years would suggest, I still haven't found any value from Twitter. As a product manager for mobile software products it is interesting to me that the twenty somethings and below have picked it up as a replacement/parallel addition to texting and email. A typical not famous teen is basically only being followed by their "true" friends. So I don't think any of these kids entering college realize what can happen when they are a celebrity, and suddenly the entire world has access to them, and it is access they have freely given to the entire spectrum of public opinion.
But I do love this quote from the article the most, especially since it's from a teammate,
"What we are about is the people in the locker room and the people close to us," says Stauskas' teammate, Corey Person. "Fans are going to be your best friends when you win and walk away when you lose. The danger is you start to play for the fans instead of for the people in the locker room."
emphasis mine. And think what a great thing it is to be a part of something that is, The Team.
I really hope that college basketball players start to realize the value college as a place where they can take the time to learn and grow before the big responsbilities of the world hit them in the face, and they are all alone. Because once you are making millions of dollars a year, who really is your friend?
What does Atlanta have besides traffic congestion and Waffle Houses? Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area have great weather in winter, more golf courses than you can shake a stick at, and unique Sonoran desert scenery.
Bahamas is an interesting idea. I'm in New Orleans, and I don't see why the Big Ten/SEC bowl can't move one of those awful Florida bowls to the Super Dome. I think everyone loved the 2012 Sugar Bowl. Lets take a vote, eat at a Waffle House and stay at a Motel 6 on the outskirts of Orlando, or party in the French Quarter on New Year's Eve?
New Orleans-based Wolverine fan.
Honors and Awards:
Curmudgeon Of The Year - 1948, 1955
Special recognition for fist-waving and yelling, Oct. 13, 1990
Full of Big 10 fans. Denver is a city mostly made of transplants, with a bunch of them coming from the midwest (like me, anything to get out of Ohio). There are entire bars dedicated soley to OSU and Michigan alumni that are jam packed every Saturday gameday. Also, slight correction from the article. Denver is not an hour away from the front range. Denver is on the "front range", it is an hour away from the mountains.
Bowl game don't exist to provide recreational opportunities
to the players and their families. They exist as marketing vehicles for the sponsoring city to get out-of-state tourists to come there and spend money. That's it.
I don't go to bowl games, but if I did I couldn't care less if a particular venue like Denver or Boulder doesn't have beaches or warm water in late December or early January; there's enough to see and do in the Front Range/Denver/Boulder environs to make up for it. Maybe it would be a broadening experience for a kid from Detroit or Romulus or Columbus to get into a completely different environment.
Occasional excess is necessary to remedy the deadening effects of moderation.
Not a very interesting story for others and probably won't even be read at this point but in regards to warm beaches and Bowl Games being a destination for people in need of the said climate: I went to the Orange Bowl in 2010 for the Iowa-Georgia Tech game. Great win for Iowa. Okay trip overall, I guess. The best part of the trip, though? 35 degrees at kickoff and a 50 degree day at the beach a day or two before the game. What a friggin crock of sh*t. My first and only time in Miami, Fl and the coldest temperatures recorded occur. Also, I had zero sympathy upon return as 2 feet of snow had dropped in Iowa.