Whoo hoo! Late post! I knew there was a reason to stay at work until 5:00PM on a beautiful California day.
Weekend on a good trajectory.
Falk never stops. Falk.
I'd look suspicious, too, kid. Via the SI vault, Desmond Howard dealing with the world's least enthusiastic autograph-seeker:
"Why don't you get out of that bucket of ice," I says, and he says "because you're wearing a Bulls jersey, a Phillies hat, and asking me to sign a Jaguars pennant. Also because I'm in crippling pain."
Score-o. Thanks to the largess of some guy who sold his company to Shell for just under five billion-with-a-b dollars, Penn State's perennial powerhouse club hockey team appears on the verge of moving on up to the big time:
Rumors and speculation have existed for more than a decade, but it finally appears Penn State is on the verge of building a new ice hockey arena near the Bryce Jordan Center and adding Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs.
“We’re close,” a source close to the situation told the Mirror on Thursday. “It won’t be long before we’ll be able to potentially make some kind of announcement. But it’s not a done deal yet.”
Close means within two months. Score. Penn State adding hockey would be the biggest positive development in college hockey since… uh… the shuttering of Division II gave D-I enough teams to expand the tournament to sixteen teams? I guess. If you even see that as a positive.
The existence of the Nittany Lions would bring Big Ten hockey into play—you need six teams to have an official Big Ten league—but extracting Minnesota and Wisconsin from their rich history in the WCHA is problematic. (No offense to the teams in the CCHA but I assume M, MSU, and OSU would leave in a hot second.)
There is the possibility that ripping flagship teams out of the CCHA and WCHA would see several weaker schools in those leagues fold, but it doesn't seem like a strong one. A WCHA anchored by North Dakota, Denver, and Colorado College is still a powerhouse full of good games. A few CCHA schools might be on shakier ground but the emergence of Notre Dame and Miami as powers with shiny new rinks would give the smaller conference a couple of anchors. Also, even if Big Ten teams play each other four times each they'll still have 12-14 nonconference dates to fill and will be able to keep up local rivalries.
Negotiating all that will take time; as it stands Penn State will be a member of the CCHA as soon as it fields a team. I'm betting the powers that be in the league had been informed that Penn State was laying groundwork when they rejected Huntsville's application.
(HT: Slow States. If you miss BSD's content from Kevin HD and RUTS, that's where they've relocated.)
Except with more Coastal Carolina. Slow States—which I don't think I'll be abbreviating, thanks, why don't you just name your blog Not Another Zimmerman Impersonator*—also looks at what a Penn State schedule might look like after the Big Ten goes to nine conference games by pretending ND is part of the Big Ten and looking at Michigan's schedules during the 12-game era. BCS opponents are bolded:
2002 – Washington (return trip), W. Michigan, ND, Utah
2003 – C. Michigan, Houston, ND, @Oregon (H-H)
2004 – Miami OH, ND, SDSU (11 games)
2005 – N. Ill, ND, E. Michigan (11 games)
2006 – Vandy, C. Michigan, ND, Ball State
2007 – [The Horror], Oregon (H-H), ND, E. Michigan
2008 – Utah, Miami OH, ND, Toledo
2009 – W. Michigan, ND, E. Michigan, Delaware State
2010 – UConn (H-H), ND, UMass, Bowling Green
Vandy isn't much but a couple of games against Utah were against vaguely(2002) to extremely(2008) BCS-caliber opposition
The assumption is that the best looking out of conference game gets the bump and Penn State's OOC schedule is going to look pretty sad. Thoughts related to this:
Solution: man up. Or have the legislature threaten terrible things unless you play Pitt every year like you goddamn well should.
*(Which is actually a great blog name for a technically-inclined fellow. Except for the acronym.)
Optimism is a disease. The readership of this here blog has predicted an 8-4 regular season according to the recent survey conducted by MGoUser "tpilews", with 84% predicting a win over UConn, 71% predicting one over Notre Dame, and so forth and so on. Despite being a home game, Wisconsin was declared the most terrifying opponent at 14%; other hypothetical losses come against Ohio State (31%), Iowa (35%), and Penn State (49%—a margin one vote VOTE OR DIE). As these things always are, it's too optimistic but that's life in August.
Divisions. None of this means anything, but:
Dorsey difficulty. Premium article, but the bit that's relevant($) is small:
If Louisville is having a hard time getting him through, all conspiracy theories about admissions doing anything other than what they had do can go out the window. RR should never have gone after Dorsey; hopefully Michigan's pursuit of him didn't cost them Tony Grimes or Sean Parker.
Etc.: Via the MB, UConn has lost linebacker/DE Greg Lloyd for the season. Lloyd was UConn's second-leading tackler last year and possibly their best defensive player. If you don't know this already, the Big Ten Championship Game will be played in Indianapolis, as was ordained by geography.
Whoo hoo! Late post! I knew there was a reason to stay at work until 5:00PM on a beautiful California day.
Weekend on a good trajectory.
I am impressed you came in at all. When I was in LA, getting business done on Friday was a feat of magic. It didn't take me long to evolve and adapt to that higher plain of thinking. Love that place!
How long you been out there?
Work at home, so I'm always in, I guess. Been here a one and a half years.
Didn't want to come here, but, Los Angeles grows on you...
It sure as heck does. Anything you want to do, every sort of culture and food, amazing women, and perfect weather. There's a reason people are packed in like peanuts in a air tight jar. The place is greatness.
I am a member of your union too. Best move I ever made.
Check out this place called "The Hat". Best Gravy doused French Fries in the world. They call them Wet Fries. http://www.thehat.com/
You got us making 8 wins and keeping Rich for 11?
And you have poutine.
You cannot beat the food in California in general. The avocados, citrus, and strawberries (year round!) are enough to live on. Will have to try the Hat soon. A few weeks ago I did Lawry's and tried to win the Beef Bowl by myself.
I moved here with Ms. MBAgoblue, which is all the amazing woman I can handle, thank you very much.
I got us for 8 wins and a second tier bowl
Love the signature MBAgoblue. Any reference to antiquated english phrases is fine by me.
might of cost us grimes. probably didn't matter to parker.
Parker was a silent commit to Michigan since Army AA game. It was a complete surprise to RR and coaches that Parker committed to Washington at the last hour.
Its too bad about Parker, but like Coach Rod says, if they're still taking visits, they aren't totally committed. They're just real interested.
Boo-urns! I'm disgusted by the decision to have the Big Ten title game played at Lucas Oil. This is a Midwest conference in which every team plays outdoors (now that the Gophers have gotten with the program); it's Ludacris to have the title game played in a dome. In my opinion, Soldier Field and Paul Brown Stadium are really the only logical places. Stop pretending to be the SEC!
but the Luke (ha ha, they hate that - I guess the guy who paid for naming rights actually thought we wouldn't use a nickname) does have a retractable roof and a window that opens. (Yes, a window. It's pretty cool, and you get a nice view of the city.) So it is still possible to play the game "outdoors" in Indy.
The stadium itself is very, very nice ... but it's also a pro stadium. Having seen a college game at Ford Field (well, WMU-Illinois, some jokes write themselves), I can imagine that not everything translates perfectly. And it is considerably smaller than, hmm, one-fourth to one-third of the stadiums in the conference.
But it's somewhat centrally located. It's a nice compromise, and it gives me a chance to head downtown for another Big Ten championship event ...
You need the game inside a dome to get the best game. With the game outside you could have the weather help determine the out come. How would you feel if Michigan's kicker slipped in the snow on a last second FG?
Football was meant to be played outdoors. Man up.
This is an outdoor cold weather football conference. If the supposed best team can't beat an opponent because of the elements then that's their own fault.
but it's seating capacity is listed around 61,000. I'm guessing the Big Ten would like to find a venue that holds more then that for their championship game.
1) Lucas Oil seats 63,000. Not a big difference.
2) If travel on short notice is required for fans of two teams, you're not going to sell out 100,000 seats. Better to have a slightly smaller stadium full than to have that infamous no-crowd shot from the ACC title game.
Illinois, IU, Purdue , and northwestern in the same group? that's crazy talk...
I can't imagine that they'd actually do that. Would they?
Geography is the only sane way to do it; it matches the rivalries perfectly (the only protected games you'd lose on a straight E-W split are Illinois-Indiana and NW-Purdue), and geography doesn't change year-to-year like competitive balance does. Even if you are worried about balance, Wisconsin and Iowa are close enough to be considered part of the top tier, and while splitting the top six 3-3 might be fairly important, getting the top four 2-2 is less so when there's so little dropoff to #5 and #6.
If a rivalry ends but no one knew it existed in the first place (e.g. Illinois v. Indiana and NW v. Purdue) did it really ever matter?
Seriously, Illinois v. Indiana and NW v. Purdue are rivalry games?!?!?
Brian, is that today's subtle reference to Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children? I would not be surprised if you were a fan of his writing style.
homage to Troy Woolfolk's "diseased" work ethic quotations. Perhaps sarcastically referencing the internet firestorm that happened as a result.
to their best defensive player. He's a two down MLB that moved to DE. Their best defensive players are the linebackers Lutrus and Wilson.
If Michigan gets put in the west, which I think they will, Wisconsin will likely be in the east. No other combination really works that well, IMO.
They lose both of their protected rivalries and the one they want against Nebraska. No way in hell do they go for that.
Why is Desmond sitting in a garbage can?
Ha! I was wondering the same thing.
So they put the rookies in for garbage time
Even 7 - 5 is pretty bullish. I think most people would say Michigan gets both gimmies (UMass, BGSU) and splits vs ND and UConn. Getting to 7 - 5 means going 4 - 4 in the Big Ten, which by most people's standards means 0 - 2 vs OSU and Wisconsin and, therefore, 4 - 2 vs.the rest of the schedule.
Getting to 8 - 4 only requires sweeping the OOC which is entirely feasible. It's optimistic but I don't find it crazy optimistic.
It's like Brian's already predicting Rich's firing. Because of the 6 remaining Big Ten games, 4 of them are Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, and MSU. If you can't win those four in year 3, and go 0-3 against 3 of them (which would get us to the 6-6 and under), we probably ARE looking for a new coach. But it seems those that are the most confident in Rich's abilities as the coach have the least confidence in him, and predict the doom and gloom. I mean, if we've slightly underachieved for a few years, aren't we due (with a great coach) to slightly overachieve? That's how I got to 8-4. I figure we are (and Rich is) due to pull off one unexpected victory, after a number of unexpected losses (one that isn't offset by the MSU style big victory-shocking loss daily double). So of the ND, Iowa at home, PSU on the road group...(and maybe if you want to feel lucky, throw Wisconsin since it's a home game in there), he pulls off the upset to get to 8. I think I chose ND, due to the new offense, and it's going to look bad if we can't beat them in that state...but with our problems playing down there, I could see the logic for Iowa at home after we should have beat them at their place, or PSU with a new QB. Wisky, I can't really see any good reason for...other than it's at home. Now this isn't to say that something wacky couldn't happen, like losing to Indiana, and then beating OSU. But I was going on a more even keel.
I think Joe Schad has this one wrong. Nebraska and the triumverate of hate makes a very good west. With us getting our sea legs, it is pretty good balance going with more obvious Indiana/Illinois border dividing line.
My only theory on there being truth to it, is the conferences obsession with Eastern expansion and setting the table for two sort of power house programs in the east to join at some point. When anyone can find one of those let me know. Maybe Pittsburgh and ...... um...
You'll have to shift somebody when (if?) that happens anyway. Make the divisions make sense for now and worry about what they'll look like with two eastern powerhouses when you get the two eastern powerhouses.
Who hijacked you're handle because you're making way too much sense today.
...another hockey team we get to enjoy beating the crap out of on a regular basis
player. Seems like a bit of info. to a coach that the player would never be admitted to UM in the first place would be imprortant during the process. Go Blue!!!
I was looking a few weeks ago on the UofM job site and noticed a "Director of football operations" position that was open. Amongst a plethora of other job duties was something along the lines of "track high school recruits GPA and SAT scores." So this is clearly something that we are now placing some emphasis on. Just thought I would pass on that info.
They come and they go - but there's always a new season, new optimism, and the kids running out of the tunnel are always 20 years old. Fans, coaches, the staff - they feel the history that the players only sense. Great stuff.
is wearing a Phillies hat. It looks more like a Little League hat.
That is all
Definitely not a Phlliies hat
As I've said here before, no offense guys, but Minnesota truly couldn't give half a shit about the idea of a hockey-Big-10. The most listless fanbase I've ever seen at a game (vs a real opponent) was a visit from Ohio State. I am virtually certain that the Wiscy fanbase feels the same. Doesn't mean it won't happen, but I don't think the potential for seething hatred and to-the-grave bitterness can be overstated.
Ohio State has a pretty lackluster hockey tradition. Not much sustained success anywhere in their history. They're running somewhere in the peloton as far as fan interest goes in OSU sports not called football or basketball.
Minnesota does have a lot of big rivalries in the WCHA - North Dakota, Wisconsin, St. Cloud State, Duluth, and to a lesser extent Colorado College. I can see why it would have less appeal to them than to MSU or Michigan. Wisconsin, I think, would be more likely to go for it, but Minnesota is so central to the WCHA.
Perhaps, but only by delta. Surely they HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE North fucking Dakota just as much as we do. I can't speak for the rest, not being a heathen Badger.
But they'd at least think about it.
nothing to see here.
I'm getting sick of Indy. Every basketball tourny has been there for the last few years and it is getting old. It is a nice town, but it is really boring. Why can't we have it in Chicago? Chi town is centrally located and the Big Ten offices are there too.