I do not recall when or where, but after reading the solar car update I am positive that someone recently talked solar car competition trash to me in the past 12 months.
Unverified Voracity Runs On Sunlight
More yes, please. Given the current state of college football scheduling, where you have to have one real nonconference game and then you can schedule anything that will show up at your stadium down to the Albanian cricket circus, I've been in favor of expanding the conference schedule for years. So Adam Rittenberg's post on the possibility comes with some welcome quotes:
There are certainly pros and cons to increasing the number of league games, and Big Ten athletic directors expect to debate them in August during their next scheduled meeting in Chicago.
"Unless you’re really hot, fans are finding that some of the preseason games, they just don’t appreciate," Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said. "They’d rather see you play every Big Ten opponent. If you went to nine games, you’d be bringing in one more Big Ten opponent, which would make your season-ticket package more attractive."
By radically increasing the amount of money people are expected to play with PSLs and mandatory donations and whatnot, schools have increased the pressure to have home schedules actually worth buying. Burke's actually in favor of ten(!) conference games, which will never happen.
The article also quotes Barry Alvarez in support and we know that Michigan has been pushing for more conference games for a few years now, so there's at least some chance the league will add another game. Another bonus of the extra conference game: if the Big Ten does go away from pure geography and creates a division that's Michigan-OSU-Alamo Party*, additional conference games will reduce the impact of any disparity. It also makes cross-division protected games (which I don't like) less necessary since you'll be playing two-thirds of the opposite division instead of half.
*(Which seems to have something of a consensus building around it. TOC threw in the towel, and once the blogs are united nothing can stand against them. If Penn State had a vote that might be a problem, but lol Penn State suffrage.)
If NASCAR counts as a sport… then solar car competitions, where you actually build the thing yourself, is like a double sport. Also Michigan's solar car team is consistently awesome. They're running the American Solar Challenge right now and, though it's fuzzy if they're actually winning, they think they're doing well:
After being tight with Minnesota this morning and afternoon, they had to pull off the road for what is rumored to be battery problems. We don't know the current location of any other teams, but we believe we are at least 15 minutes ahead of everyone but Stanford.
That was yesterday. They learned last night that Minnesota is now 40 minutes back and Missouri S&T, which is apparently big in solar cars, is 10 minutes back. The previous stage saw Infinium finish almost an hour in front of their nearest challenger. We should totally try to get this thing in the Director's Cup.
Goodbye, almost everyone. One of the tangential discussions that's entered the public consciousness after the QC/stretching violations at Michigan is "dang, there are a lot of dudes getting paid to not coach football." The NCAA is within its rights to reel these guys in somewhat, but this seems drastic:
Back in April when the Athletics Personnel and Recruiting Cabinet began seriously discussing legislation to curb the growing football and basketball staffs, there were two big questions: exactly how many noncoaching staff members would the teams be allowed and how would the legislation deal with attempts to build new offices in the athletic department?
The cabinet gave an emphatic answer to the former question, with a somewhat weaker answer to the latter. Bowl Subdivision Football would be limited to just four noncoaching staff members, while men’s and women’s basketball would be reduced to just one. In the Football Championship Subdivision, the limit would be two.
That's not four grad assistants, it's four staff members, period. The Bylaw Blog suggests this would see athletic departments devolve the many other roles undertaken by specific sport-specific staff into department-wide organizations that avoid this new regulation. The money is always going to flow somewhere. At some point the NCAA should get serious about booting I-A teams that can't manage 20,000 paid attendance per game into I-AA. The real problem here is that teams like Michigan and Eastern Michigan are being addressed by the same sets of laws when they have zero resemblance to each other.
The elusive and wonderful. Six Zero's regular series profiling some of the characters who hang out around here has an exclusive look at youtube hero Wolverine Historian. Most surprising to me was WH's age:
Wangler to Carter. Hello Heisman. Bo singing the Victors. In your expert opinion, what is the single most iconic video clip of Michigan football?
There have been many, many memorable moments over the years. But I think Wangler to Carter from Homecoming 1979 is probably the most iconic video clip of Michigan football. I was born 4 months after that game was played so I obviously have no personal memories of it. But the video speaks for itself. One last play, Carter dancing into the end zone, the crowd going insane, Bo jumping up and down, Bob Ufer screaming, “Oh my GOD!!! Carter scored!!!” and Lee Corso having a stroke on the Indiana sideline.
Given the vast breadth of WH's tape collection, I would have ballparked his date of birth sometime around 1817. Instead he is younger than me.
Merrill watch. Not in the scary way. The first round of the NHL draft is tonight and should see defenseman Jon Merrill taken. There will also be a goalie taken, and this will be lame. But back to Merrill:
"I honestly want to get drafted, but it's not that big of a deal," Merrill said in a phone interview Tuesday. "It's tough not to hear about (mock drafts) or see things, but I really don't care that much about it.
"First pick or the last pick, you have the same opportunity to play in the NHL."
For the paranoid, there's no hint in of a Merrill defection anywhere in the article. The remainder of the draft will be more interesting as far as the composition of the team goes: CCHL forward Alex Guptill is eligible and has made some comments about deciding what he wants to do after he talks with the team who drafts him. He could spend a year in the USHL, possibly with fellow 2011 commit Lucas Lessio, or defect if the Kings or some other team run by paleolithic folk grabs him. He should go somewhere in the middle rounds.
The final word on SEC vs Big Ten. Sure, they may have won a zillion national titles but this is the Big Ten's position on vuvuzelas:
The Big Ten has specific policies that do not allow irritants or noisemakers, so vuvuzelas would not be allowed. Below is the specific language from our football game management manual.
This is the SEC's:
This instrument, no matter how irritating to some, will not be banned from SEC games this upcoming season, according to the SEC. The instrument of choice in South Africa, which may or may not catch on here in the states, can be brought into stadiums across the league.
Big Ten wins forever. Not that I imagine there will be a ton of vuvuzelas at SEC games. There will be three incidents where vuvuzelas are brought into the stadium, then gingerly extracted from parts of the anatomy plastic horns were not meant to tread, before everyone gets the idea.
Not technically World Cup content. This is about soccer but the larger point is excellent:
One of the hard things about forming an outlook on the World Cup is that when an event gets this much attention, the flow of commentary is so fast and broad that every possible angle is exhausted and trivial positions develop a kind of insubstantial politics. Conventional wisdom starts to seem like an ideology, and if you’re not careful, your own feelings about what happens will be dictated by where you want to stand in relation to that ideology rather than by what you actually think. There’s a pundit position, a cognoscenti backlash, an uber-cognoscenti counter-backlash, and so on till after midnight. Your heart and the stadium get farther and farther apart.
Case in point: two opinions that put you on roughly the same line of anti-pundit knowingness would be “the first round of games was actually great” and “Switzerland weren’t that exciting yesterday; Spain were just terrible.” Maybe you really feel those things, or have numbers to back them up. But in most cases, I’d guess that the attraction of these stances has a lot to do with the fact that they put some space between you and the thousand-mile pandemonium of cliches blasting out of the TV studios and the pages of your favorite newspaper. It’s not only that they make you sound like you know what you’re talking about, although there’s no discounting the lure of savvy disaffectedness. They also just turn down the volume.
That sort of contrarianism for the sake of saying something new is a constant temptation for anyone tasked with writing something people will find interesting. Sometimes it's right. Sometimes it's David Berri running a regression and declaring Dennis Rodman more valuable than Michael Jordan or that NBA coaches don't understand who their best players are. If you're trying to combat the conventional wisdom, you should regard it a tricky, wily foe that requires something more than a blunt-force blow.
Etc.: Citi dumps its Rose Bowl sponsorship.
I do have to say that the idea of 10 or even 11 games in the Big10 intrigues me. But, like you said, that would never happen in today's schedule. Michigan would be forced to drop ND as an OOC rival for two guaranteed home games every year in order to keep 7 home games. The only way I could see that happening is if they could add a 13th game to the schedule or a scrimmage that they could charge people to attend, both of which seem highly unlikely at this point.
I believe Brian when he says that MI and WI are in favor of a 9th conference game, but it can't be because they want to eliminate cupcake scheduling. MI and WI are big enough names that they could get almost any team on their schedule with sufficient advance work. The reason teams like UMass and Delaware State are on MI's schedule (not to mention the always heavy dose of MAC teams) is that MI does not want to give return games. Ironically, going to 9 conference games will do exactly what MI has been avoiding by scheduling cupcakes, namely require MI to give a return game.
If replacing cupcakes with more respectable opponents is the primary impetus behind the 9th conference game, wouldn't MI (and the conference) be better off if every team simply went out and replaced one of their cupcakes with a BCS level or other quality non-conference opponent? To encourage this, the B10 could pass a rule that says for every FCS opponent a team plays within a five year period they must play two BCS opponents. Or it could simply ban play against FCS teams altogether. My guess is this would upgrade the quality of schedules across the conference as much or more than adding a 9th conference game.
The "Big Kahuna" of solar car races is actually the World Solar Challenge in Australia, which takes place in alternating years as ASC. Michigan has never won the race, but has placed 3rd I three times I believe, including last summer. There are cars from all over the world in that race and it's quite the spectacle.
We've actually finished 3rd at WSC 4 times now: 1990, 2001, 2005, 2009. WSC was run in 1987, 1990, and every two years since 1993.
We've won ASC (aka Sunrayce aka North American Solar Challenge (NASC) aka the National Championship (unofficially)) 5 out of the 9 times it has been held (wins in 1990, 1993, 2001, 2005, 2008). ASC has been run basically every two years since 1990, with a couple of breaks resulting in the swap from even to odd years and back again.
So Infinium is currently in the lead for national championship number 6 out of 10 - not too shabby. The team builds a brand new car every 2 years, so Infinium is the 10th Michigan solar car. They are currently designing #11, Quantum, for the 2011 WSC
The first UM Solar Car, Sunrunner, was developed and driven by some of my classmates. Its amazing to see how much better the cars are now than they were 20 years ago. Everything has improved: the design, materials, race planning, strategy, business ops, etc.
I showed a picture of Infinium to my very engineering-minded, 10-year old son, along with a few remarks about how much fun he would have working on something like a solar car. He loves to invent and let his imagination take him where it wants. One of these days, I'll take him to see the real thing. He'd love it.
WHAT!? The Rose Bowl is no longer going to be presented by Citi? Damn you, Rich Rodriguez - why can't you leave our traditions alone??
I remeber getting my Dad to buy me a blue plastic horn to take into my first Michigan game in 1966 vs. Minnesota. My Sister and I both got one and I'm sure we annoyed many people around us that day. Michigan won 49-0 so there were lot's of Horn Blowing opportunities. I had no idea it was a vuvuzela until the World Cup this year.
I remember my brother and I bringing red vuvuzelas into Stanford games back in the late 70's, only we didn't call them vuvuzelas. We referred to them by their less commonly known name -- horns.
It just doesn't make any sense. Those things are unbearable.
Plus, didn't they just tell MSU (not that MSU) they couldn't use cowbells anymore?
and that is precisely what Brian hinted at. People in Big Ten country who think it's fine to use a vuvuzela will survive; we'll never know who they are unless they mistakenly bring one and have it confiscated.
In SEC country, however, such people will be eradicated.
The SEC believes in pom-pom's as their means of showing pride. If vuvuzelas did arrive in Sanford Stadium or The Swamp, someone is going to die.
what sound is more high pitched, droning and annoying than a stadium full of vuvuzelas?
a stadium of 70,000 hicks, spitting tobacco, talkin' 'bout how gosh durn good their conference is
Maybe this board is suffering "Conference Alignment Burnout". It would be nice to know now so we could have something to ponder till fall camp. But it looks like we'll have an information overload come fall.
Humor: On Adam Rittenberg's Chat our friend Kasey has some inside info.
After spring practice did the odds of Gardner getting red-shirted increase with Robinsons play, Coach Rod can't use all of them can he? It would be nice if Harbaugh got to have Gardner with 4 years of eligibility left.
Yeah, I'm sure Rodriguez wants to make things as smooth as possible for Jim Harbaugh. ... Michigan doesn't want to play Gardner this year, and barring injury to Robinson or Forcier, I don't see him playing, at least early on. If the team is struggling, however, you'll see Gardner. Coaches want to save their jobs.
Way to be all in Kasey...The Team,The Team,The Team.
I guess I didn't realize that Fiesta wasn't part of the Tostitos brand name.
Similar to my friends who grew up in South Carolina and were 13 before they realized the phrase "Damn Yankee" was two words.
Did someone really name a bowl just the "Fiesta Bowl",
I mean it just won't sound right if it becomes the "Esurance Fiesta Bowl".
The Rotel Queso Fiesta Bowl.
How about the Ford Fiesta Bowl?
Bochum is from Germany and damn good as well. The World Solar Challenge competiton should be very intriguing. I've been corresponding with a couple of the drivers from the '05 team. That car won a 2450 mile race (Autin TX to Calgary AB) by 11 minutes (over Minn). What these students do is unreal. Some former team members (engineers) work at FemiLab and Los Alamos National Laboratory (no dummies they).
Also, pure comedy gold:
There will be three incidents where vuvuzelas are brought into the stadium, then gingerly extracted from parts of the anatomy plastic horns were not meant to tread, before everyone gets the idea.
I believe it's FermiLab...
What a game, or at least last minute of a game. I was on the 20 yard line about 15 rows up. What is often lost is the play before the play. As I recall, our fullback had the ball and was about to be tackled inbounds near the Indiana bench. This would have run out the clock and Indiana would have won. Instead, he lateralled it out of bounds and I think came close to hitting Corso. That's when Corso went totally nuts. The rest is history, but when you think about that play give a little credit to LP Reed for setting it up.
Yes, I remember, too. It was Lawrence Reid (not Reed), and he didn't just lateral, he flung it (underhand/sidearm) out of bounds, demonstrating the value of the quality coaching once to be found in Ann Arbor.
My iconic moment is Billy Taylor rumbling down the left sideline, November 22, 1969, closely followed by Barry Pierson's punt return the same day.
Big Ten wins forever.
Annoying conference meet annoying noise maker.
Headphones for full effect...
Have all the teams schedule an extra conference game, BUT don't count it in the standings!
Example: Ohio State is in the "east", and nebraska is in the "west".....they aren't on the regular schedule in say 2012. So, they schedule an "out of conference" game with each other early in the year, in one of their out of conference slots. My solution solves serveral problems:
1) Because you get some better match-ups for the TV folks, they can kick up more money
2) Becasues the game doesn't count in the standings, nobody will have any inhibition to schedule these games
3) The bigten could let the teams schedule some of the games in neutral places that would expand the conferences appeal, ie. Sch the game in Atlanta, or New York etc. to start the season
4) You can do the "home n home" thing easily
5) it improves each teams strength of schedule...but the games would still be part ot the national title debate
See ya there. Wow, a two hour twelve minute lead on 2nd place. And to think that Stanford asked the UM team if they could lead into Normal this morning. I think the answer was "no".
I listened to this game on radio while living in Chgo. Yes, fucking radio as unbelieveable as it seems. As I remember it now, the experience was actually intensified by not having any visual stimulation only auditory. I guess that's what it must have been like for past generations of sports fans sitting by the radio before TV was invented. I can only tell you that my central nervous system felt like it was jumping out of my skin and it felt "Great to be a Michigan Wolverine".
man, if that quote isn't damning, nothing is. the ADs (or at least Purdue's AD) realizes that the sweet cuppin' cakes non-conference games are so marginal that they shouldn't even be considered part of the real season. the logical step from there sounds like having sanctioned exhibition games, which would still make money but not count towards standings.
why come no Vulva's