"The face of the operation is Briatore (referred to exclusively in the film by his colleagues and angry, chanting detractors as "Flavio"), an anthropomorphic radish who spends most of his time at QPR plotting to fire all of the managers."
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.”
Although not formally announced, ESPN's Mike Soltys confirmed Sunday that college football analyst Paul Maguire, 70, will have a "reduced role" this season. Rather than having a full slate of games, says Soltys, Maguire will work only "the occasional game and do some studio shows and radio."
As long as that "occasional game" is the Society of Eastern European Panhandling Midgets versus Regan Pornography Czar Ed Meese's Metacarpals, I'm okay with it. Anything less obscure and we have issues. Just keep him away from the otherwise excellent Nessler-Griese pairing. And all other ones involving the Big Ten.
Side note: Maguire is 70! That guy is hitting up the Just For Men like crazy.
Hype video. Haven't had one of these for a while, and this one is well-executed:
(So… yeah, the top recommended Youtube video I'm getting for this: "So Ronrey." Is this because I posted about soccer earlier?)
It appears someone let a spellchecker loose on that article with "replace all" checked, or something. I'm at a loss how "Smotrycz" can become "Metrics" and "ESPN" can become "SPUN," though the latter is a serendipitous slam at the Favre-Owens Network. Evan Metrics sounds like a superhero from Square One who goes around teaching people about kilograms and centiliters; I suggest people condemned to write Smotrycz for the next four and a half years band together and force him to officially change his name. We'll buy him a Zorro mask and a meter stick in exchange.
M-Boned. So, yeah, the athletic department has switched official providers of Michigan apparel from the locally-owned M-Den to the Jerry Jones-owned and spammy-sounding "eSports Partners." The reason is the same reason it always is: money. eSports Partners has guaranteed millions that the M-Den could not, though I strongly suggest that the Athletic Department keep its PIN numbers to itself. Be suspicious of any barristers, yo.
Cue consternation from dual sources. MATW, the first link in the previous sentence, knows more about this than I do but has a dog in this fight; I don't really have an opinion yet.
There can be no better reason to do it than someone else's reason not to. Outgoing Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen is not well-loved by his fan constituents, who have to turn to Fox Sports Atlantic to catch any Pac-10 game not involving USC. And I don't think we should be big fans, either. TSN's Dave Curtis has an exit interview of sorts:
Q: So what are the chances of a playoff down the road? A: We get playoff proposals around the calendar, with many more coming in the late fall. There just isn't anything that would be good in our opinion. We would have to go to 16 teams. The political pressure for participation would be even more intense than in the BCS. You'd have to play the games until the championship on campuses, so you'd be playing games at Michigan and Ohio State, weather-wise, in late December or January. Most of the TV time periods that are attractive then are taken by the NFL. There are some many factors that people never consider.
Well, one: that's just, like, his opinion, man, that you'd "have to" go to 16 teams. Why would the political pressure for participation be more intense? And why couldn't you structure a playoff such that everyone worthy is included? This is common anti-playoff gambit: you can't have a good playoff that makes sense, you have to have a stupid one because of fuzzy reasons I will not justify. In it is an admission that a properly structured playoff would be awesome.
Two: the bolded section is one of the best aspects of a true playoff. Who hates it when NFL playoff games are rough and tumble affairs on the frozen tundra of Lambeau? Oh, that's right: no one.
Low places. Vegas has released a bunch of win over-unders. Your most relevant set:
Over 6 reg season wins -165
Under 6 reg season wins +135
Six seems low but you have to bet 165 to win 100, so it's not a great deal or anything. Still… if anyone wants to do the Forbidden Thing and wager on your own team, there you go.
"...a villain saying that he had flunked out of the University of Michigan and "had to finish at Michigan State"... "
"While examining a list of bank accounts that had been robbed, the Ohio State Alumni fund was noted as having lost $136. When Pat Tuesday states, "At least they didn't get much," George Frankly replies, "What do you mean? They cleaned the whole thing out!" "
Oh Sleeping Bear!
Ran to the top and got scared
of what I could see.
Regarding Kiffin, resident SI College Football God Stewart Mandel had an interesting note in his most recent mailbag on that. Not so much on the qb end of things, but on his general behavior and incurring of secondary violations. According to Mandel, he's doing it on purpose.
I was anti-playoff for a long time, but I think I'm coming around to it. Properly done, there's MORE money in it for the schools and the NCAA and so on, the smaller schools won't be any more likely to break into it than they are now, and when was the last time you heard a football player other than a pro complain that they got to play MORE.
even though arod you are completely correct in your assesment in the fact that college football players can play in cold weather and i would love to see the rose bowl in the big house. it is, unfortunately not about the players, it is all about the fans that are shelling out big bucks for their new years vacations and including their college favorites bowl games to the mix. if you saved all year for the money to take a vacation and include a bowl game do you think most people really want to spend it in cold weather climes where there might be 12" of snow on the ground and below freezing temps? i grew up in monroe mich. i know the weather your talking about and if i saved all year i'm not spending jan. on vac. in mich.. it sucks i know cuz i really do think we'd kick usc's ass in jan. at the big house but the ncaa and the teams won't go for it.
Yeah, it must suck for the packers when they get home field in the playoffs since no fans shows up for the game. If you want to plan a vacation around your favorite college football team, then watching your team is going to be the priority and not the weather.
I think there are lots of reasons why playoffs in the big house would never work, weather is NOT one of them.
Are you a park ranger at Yellowstone? Say hi to Yogi Bear for me. - the_big_house 500th
One hundred percent agreed, it pisses me off every year when my USC-fan friends gloat about winning another Rose Bowl. Of course they win all the time - it's basically a home game for them, and they get to play against a team that travelled 2000-3000 miles to be there! I want to see USC play in Columbus or Ann Arbor around New Year's, and see what happens. If they win - fine, I'll give them credit. But until that happens it's really hard to look at their Rose Bowl record without seeing the huge benefits they get from playing at home in January.
Glad that he is being sent out to the pasture. But I hope this also signals the end to having more than two announcers calling a game. It is like an arms race in football broadcsting booths these days. (The NFL pre-game shows are horror shows.) Just show me the game and have someone who is not an idiot provide a bit of color commentary here and there.
Playoff games on campus is the biggest reason I would support a playoff. Students would have a chance to go to the games without having to travel to three different locations on short notice across the country over a span of 3-4 weeks. I don't know about anyone else, but back in '97 for example there's no way I could afford to buy plane tickets from Michigan to Playoff location 1, Playoff location 2, and the Rose Bowl all with less than a week's notice to follow the team.
I imagine if we ever do get around to a playoff situation the biggest opposition to home games will come from the SEC and PAC-10 who have most of the bowl games in their backyards already.
Why would the political pressure for participation be more intense?
Because the BCS, outside of the championship game, does not have the slightest bearing on determining the actual championship. Autobids are not autobids to the national championship, they're just autobids to a particular bowl game the same way C-USA's champ has an autobid to the Liberty Bowl. If you structure a playoff without autobids, the current "BCS conferences" won't go for it because they don't want to lose the money train, and if you structure it with autobids, you can't include some and exclude others.
Once you go from BCS to playoff, complaints about being left out of the national championship become legit, thus raising the pressure: every other sport has autobids. Right now it's just bellyaching about how the money is split up.
And why couldn't you structure a playoff such that everyone worthy is included?
Because the number of worthy teams is different every year and entirely subjective anyway.
Somehow I don't think the political pressure will be half as big when you're deciding between #8 and #9 as it is when you're deciding between #2 and #3. The former group knows it would take a miracle run of two road games plus the final to win it all; the latter are teams that (most years) would have about a 40% chance of winning against #1.
Yes, the number of worthy teams is different every year. But I think we can all agree it's nearly always greater than 2.
As for the structure of a playoff, the autobid question is problematic. Personally I'd go with 8 teams, either no autobids at all OR specify that at least six (or maybe five) different conference champions must be included but not guarantee any particular conference. But that's probably not going to fly with the ACC or Big East commissioners (let's face it, they're the ones that would get passed over for WAC/MWC champions more often than anyone else and they know it).
I take "political pressure" to mean actual political pressure; i.e., Congress, AGs, etc. If you think there's pressure now, and that the MWC is making some noise, wait til there's a playoff with autobids for the current BCS conferences (because you know those guys are going to fight like hell to preserve their prestige) that doesn't include the MWC.
(yes, it's a defacto playoff) to an official, NCAA sanctioned playoff structure you are now inviting NCAA committee structure to make decisions. there are waaaaay more little schools than big BCS schools. so a huge 16 team playoff with 3-4 4 loss teams would be implemented. i'm all for a modestly sized structure (say 8, maaaaybe 12 teams) but 16 would dilute the regular season too much by including teams that have no business arguing to be included for a chance at a MNC.
I think if they used the Big East basketball format, the regular season would still be diluted but not nearly as much as a straight-up bracket would. There wouldn't be that many 3-4 loss teams anyway, except for autobid teams from crappy conferences.
Yes, if the NCAA gets involved a 16-team playoff is fairly likely. But you have to go down to #19 in 2008 in the final BCS standings to find a four-loss team, #16 in 2007 (even with it being the Year of Chaos), #22 in 2006, #20 in 2005 and 2004. No four-loss team is getting in except via small-conference auto-bids.
I agree 8 would be better, and at that level I'd say forget auto-bids tied to specific conferences. It would be silly to have a 10-3 ACC champion get an auto-bid while Utah has to pray for an at-large at 12-0. But anything is an improvement over the current system.
If they can beat three other conference champions along the way, why not? Maybe the ACC was loaded that year and the third-best team in the ACC would have won anywhere else. There's hardly enough interplay among the major conferences to establish a reasonable pecking order among them within a given year.
(I do think the ideal system would have no auto-bids tied to specific conference championships, thus removing said possibility as there's no way in hell a 10-3 ACC champ gets in an eight-team playoff. But if they can win two consecutive road games and a neutral-site game against top 10 competition, they'll probably have a better resume in the end than anyone else.)
I think my answer to your question, "if they can beat three other conference champions along the way, why not?" will probably be fairly predictable: because it puts the regular season for elite teams on the brink of irrelevance.
And I doubt they would have a better resume than anyone else at the end of their run. Consider if there was a consensus #1 who was undefeated and made it to the final, that one loss would outweigh all 3 of the ACC champions losses. And everyone would go, "Playoffs are fun and crazy! Isn't this great!?" and I will go, "No. This may be exciting, but it's a terrible way to choose a champion."
The good thing about auto-bids is that they allow teams to take more risks (i.e. challenges) with their non-conference schedule, as a tough non-conference loss will not hurt their playoff chances as much, and would help prepare them for tougher playoff competition. (Of course non-conference results would affect their at-large bid chances).
Without them, the meaning of conference is weakened, and the incentive is to make the schedule as light as possible in order to maximize the number of wins.
You would have to have a 16-team playoff eventually because the political pressure from anything smaller would be too much to bear. An 8-team playoff would produce too much complaining and bitching. That's how the hockey and basketball tournaments grew and it would be inevitable in I-A football if there is ever a playoff. With this system, you would probably have automatic bids for shitty teams from the Sun Belt, conference USA, WAC, and/or MAC while 3-loss or even 2-loss teams from the Big 10, SEC, Big 12, etc, would stay home and get nothing. In the meantime, some ofthe huge early games from recent years like Ohio State vs. Texas and Ohio State vs. USC would mean much less. A playoff has some great benefits but it has some huge drawbacks too.
If you have to argue about whether you're #8 or #9, it's pretty unlikely you're really #1. That's much less true of #2 and #3 (and somewhat less so of #4 and #5). When you're arguing between #2 and #3, the arguments often hinge on factors beyond the team's control (relative strength of conferences, the powerhouse you scheduled for your big non-conference game had a terrible year, etc.) and so the #3 team often has a reasonable case for #1 (or at least #2). When you're arguing between #8 and #9, you may have to draw similar distinctions, but you can always say to the team that comes out on the short end, "Don't lose twice and you won't have to worry about it."
And for every early Armageddon Game that becomes less meaningful, you jack up interest in several others. A late-season game between #8 and #10 means little now (it may be the difference between a BCS at-large and a non-BCS New Year's game, but it has no championship implications whatsoever), but an eight-team playoff makes that more or less a play-in game. For that matter, those early games don't really lose any luster anyway - the loser still has a shot but the winner is almost a lock to make it, while the current system does the reverse (winner still has a shot, loser is almost toast). Late-season Armageddon Games would lose a little bit if they're just for playoff seeding, but the fact that more games matter on the fringe should make up for it.
This is a good point - there are enough conferences that a 16-team playoff requires either leaving out some conferences entirely, or leaving out good-but-not-good-enough teams from the tougher conferences. Not sure how to fix that, really.
"Huge" early games often don't mean much anyway. That early in the season, the losing team has plenty of time to make up ground if they keep winning afterwards.
"In it is an admission that a properly structured playoff would be awesome."
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Highlighting the problems with a more likely outcome is not an admission that the less likely outcomes would be awesome. I don't think a "properly structured playoff" -- which is sort of an arbitrary designation -- would be awesome, and I certainly think the playoff system the ever-bumbling NCAA will eventually implement will be substandard to whatever a properly-structured playoff would be.
What I'm saying is that I'd prefer not having my playoff objections erroneously painted as tacit approval.
You've said, in a little bit of a different way, something I say all the time too. It goes like this: The typical "I want a playoff" argument is as follows:
- I want a playoff.
- Here is the playoff I propose (describes playoff of some kind.)
- If we had that playoff, things would be awesome.
However, the likelihood of ending up with that playoff, whatever the proposal, is small. Everyone has such divergent ideas of what the ideal playoff would be. I think Brian is particularly guilty of this, to be honest: the six-team idea is one of the more esoteric ones and not especially likely.
Oh, there will be initial happiness, to be sure, once a playoff gets instituted that isn't most people's idea of a perfect system. They'll just be happy to be rid of the BCS. Just like when the BCS was created in the first place, it was great, and everyone was happy not to have a system that could end up in a split championship. This will last a few years. Then the flaws and cracks in the system will begin to show, and writers being what they are, will harp on every team that got jackscrewed out of their shot, and there will be an uproar again. Eventually "this isn't what I wanted" will be a prevailing sentiment.
I myself, like everyone else, have my own idea of an ideal playoff system, but that doesn't make me pro-playoff.
Totally agree. It's a very sloppy argument that basically goes, "Pac-10 commissioner didn't consider the ideal version of a playoff, therefore Pac-10 commissioner concedes an ideal playoff system would be awesome."
I personally would like to see the BCS give way to a playoff, if it's done right. But why Brian thinks this is likely is beyond me.
The point is that most playoff objectors who show up in the news or on TV make a straw man argument that assumes a badly-structured playoff, and that therefore playoffs can never work. The implication Brian is making is that they are using this straw man because a properly-structured playoff would come across well, and so counter their point.
But what is a properly-structured playoff? Everyone's idea of one is so wildly divergent from everyone else's idea of one that one person's straw man is another's bright idea.
Not only that, but there are flaws in every existing playoff proposal. Every single one. Some more than others. If you want a "properly-structured" playoff, you might as well let the playoff objectors pick off the sick and weak ideas.
Yes, you'd "have to" go to 16 teams. There would ultimately have to be auto-bids for every conference- there are currently eleven conferences in the FBS. Till then we'd have endless complaints and controversies and legal threats from mid-majors. Auto-bids are also probably the best way to retain the significance of the conferences and regular season for the largest number. So with any playoff you'd have a minimum of 12 slots, allowing for one at-large berth (for ND, etc.).
12 would inevitably swell to 16, as any argument against would be overwhelmed by the arguments and pressure (financial, Notre Dame, BCS conferences) to create extra slots/games. Sooner or later, whatever playoff scheme you begin with, that is where we'd end up.
"Why would the political pressure for participation be more intense?"
Because with a four-round (16 team) playoff, the stakes would be that much higher. Most- if not all- the bowls would invariably be crowded out. While some might say, 'good riddance' to them, in the current environment making a bowl is at least a realistic consolation for those not appearing in the NC/playoff game. Bowls also provide motivation and reward and a means for added exposure, which are especially important for the non-premier FBS programs (the vast majority). Making the playoffs would become an all-or-nothing proposition. Hence more pressure.
"And why couldn't you structure a playoff such that everyone worthy is included?"
Because definitions of worthiness of inclusion are even more subjective when you talk about six or eight or sixteen than when just talking about two. Even though the supposed purpose for a championship is to determine 'The Best College Team in America', simply handing the crown to a team that seems to be head and shoulders above the rest- i.e. most worthy throughout the regular season (e.g. OSU 2006) without holding a championship game only in such years is impractical; and for that matter, as often as not, an ostensibly inferior #2 (quite arguably the best among several ostensibly inferiors) prevails. Other years there are three teams arguably the best, but perhaps none clearly superior. Whatever the size, for every team receiving a playoff spot, there will always be at least one or two more than feel they are 'worthy'.
"This is common anti-playoff gambit: you can't have a good playoff that makes sense, you have to have a stupid one because of fuzzy reasons I will not justify. In it is an admission that a properly structured playoff would be awesome."
If you read the interview, he wasn't throwing out a straw man argument. He just didn't elaborate about playoff scenarios. Part of his answer to the previous question about the BCS: 'the regular season is by far the most successful of any American sport'
BTW I do very much agree with Brian et al. re: 'You'd have to play the games until the championship on campuses, so you'd be playing games at Michigan and Ohio State, weather-wise, in late December or January.' That would be perhaps the most redeeming feature of a playoff. Come to think of it, it is also what is so redeeming- and good and just- about conference alignments and schedules...
No dice. No dice at all. Look at last season. Playoff-wanters hang their hat on last season when so many teams got "screwed." How does one measly at-large bid solve anything? Take a 12-team playoff, with autobids, and last year's results, and tell me there wouldn't be howling and screaming that Alabama and Texas Tech are out in the cold while Troy and Buffalo get to play ball.
I don't understand why this ridiculous "win your conference" argument only surfaces in CFB. Would you prefer the NCAA tournament without Cinderellas, or would you have preferred this year's NBA playoffs without the Bulls-Celtics series? The more teams, the more potential for fantastic games - only to a point, obviously, but the "win your conference" argument really doesn't work.
I'm willing to accept the argument that the regular season is like a long playoff, with each game a potential eliminator for a team (actually, it is like a double elimination structure for most teams--lose once, you still have a chance, lose twice and you are in trouble) but would like to see a additional rules. For example, there should be a rule that no 2-loss team can play for the title when there is an undefeated team remaining.