During the conclusion and aftermath of USC's domination of Penn State I, like most people across the country, was truly upset that we don't have a playoff in college football. But my anger was not over the fact that USC once against destroyed the Big Ten starting the annual talk about how they are playing the best football in the country and deserve to be playing for the title. I was upset when I heard that the Pac 10 has won the last 6 Rose Bowls (the Big 10's last win was in '98 when Wisconsin beat Standford).
It really got me thinking about how unfair the placement of some of these games are. I understand the games are played in December and January taking advantage of the warm weather states, but is it really fair that USC gets to play 11 miles from their home stadium every year while Penn State and Michigan have to travel across the country? Or is it fair that Wisconsin has to play Florida State in Florida this year and Michigan had to play Florida in Florida last year?
The biggest reason I want a playoff systems is to literally even the playing field. I don't care how many teams you select or which final bowl games you use, I just want the first round of games to played at the home stadium of the lower seed. The current system in place gives teams from the Southeast and West clear home field advantage every year. How are you rewarding a great Penn State team by making them basically play at USC for their Bowl game. I bet if the game yesterday was played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh the outcome would have been a little different. Imagine if Michigan got to play at Ford Field every year or Wisconsin at Lambeau, how many more victories would the Big 10 have? I bet we would somehow be a little "faster" in those games.
We need a playoff system to reward teams for doing well not punishing them. One of the biggest arguments against a playoff system is that we would lose the "every game matters" attitude. Well using a playoff system with home games eliminates that. Every game would matter because you would be playing for home field advantage. That is what makes the NFL great...Imagine if every year the Packers or Bears had to play their playoff games in Florida or California. What would the NFL be without the Frozen Tundra or the Ice Bowl?
The bottomline is I am sick of everyone beating the Big 10 up and worshiping USC and others after the bowl season. If your teams are so good then come to Ann Arbor Jan 1st and beat the Wolverines. Let see that so called "speed" when its 20 degrees and you are playing in a stadium only 1/3 full of your fans. Let's truly even the playing field so that at the end of the day the best team is crowned champion.
So like everyone else I have been really dissapointed by the results on the field this season and hearing the news about McGuffie only makes it worse! But I am more dissappointed at how quickly everyone is to blame RR in both of these matters. I am sure McGuffie isn't going to be the last to leave either and I'm RR will get even more heat because of it; deservedly so...maybe, maybe not. So I decided to some some research on past attrition and I think it plays a big part in our on field performance. Before you are quick to judge RR take a look at the stats below and realize that maybe we should be pointing the finger at the past staff before we jump all over RR.
I took a look at our recruiting classes starting from 2005 until now. I used 2005 as a starting point as that years freshmen class would now be seniors. I left out Manningham as he left early for the NFL and shouldn't be counted as it was not the coaches fault. *** it should be noted that all of our classes from 2005 on were Top 10 classes and for the most part were tops in the Big 10.
-2005 23 commitments of which only 11 are left! Do the math and the equates to only 47% of the class being left...hardly RR's fault!
-2006 We had 19 commitments of which 14 are still left.
-2007 Michigan brought in 20 guys of which 19 are still on the team.
-2008 U of M had 24 commitments with 22 of those still play (this does not include McGuffie and Chambers as hopefully the jury is still out on them)
-All total that equates to 66 out of a total of 86 commitments throughout that time period or 76%.
-So basically 1 out of every 4 guys brought on campus from 2005 on are no longer playing.
That is terrible and I believe a huge reason why we are having such a bad year. You can't really argue that this is RR's fault. Brian has documented several times that RR wasn't left with a very good team and it is really no wonder why we suck. He is doing his best with an average team at best with almost no seniors left from its original class.
The numbers above clearly show that attrition was a problem with Lloyd as well and is big reason why we are where we are. Give him time to bring in his guys and see how many of them stick around before you jump on his ass blaming him for guys leaving when he didn't recruit them in the 1st place. Again, Brian has documented his success at other stops but also documented that is take a little while. Let's give him that...