I guess all of the above plus earn a diploma...
Here, for all who care to read (that includes both of you) are my current college football thoughts on the verge of a new season.
- With expansion to twelve regular season games and potentially one bowl game and one conference championship game, isn’t the yardstick of the “Ten-Win Season” getting a little watered down? Since everyone is playing their version of a MAC school for that extra game, we’ve moved the marker that used to be a nine-win season to a ten-win season. This is like gradeflation. I’m now calling it “recordflation.”
- With all the resources available at newspapers, why can’t they afford to have a beat-writer and an analyst (who actually analyzes interesting things?) Blogs have taken on many topics & issues that are pretty interesting, done some really good work. This blog especially. But a newspaper would have the resources to do it in a more rigorous and comprehensive fashion. How often has a blogger given up going further than 2001 because “data isn’t readily available”? This is in no way a knock on bloggers, they do great work with the tools they have, but mere confusion on my part at more traditional media outlets.
- Then again, they employ people like Drew Sharp, which is equally baffling. (Yes, that was a cheap shot. No, I’m not above a cheap shot.)
- Why do we, the fans, allow the farce that is the Coach’s poll? Here’s a guy who has a laser-like focus on the next opponent. He’s obsessive-compulsive to begin with, already likely skimps on time with his family. Sometimes sleeps in the filmroom… and we expect him to keep track of 25-30 games, arrange the teams in a sensible/rational order, not be political, file it Saturday or Sunday, *after* he’s just coached a game, possibly a night game, taped a coach’s show, and travelled? In reality, this gets handed off to a flunky with some macro-direction, and we should end the charade.
- What exactly would a modern athlete have to do to get his jersey retired? Look at Charles Woodson. Dominant, key to a National Championship, never lost to OSU, the first ever to win the Heisman as a primarily defensive player. His resume is impeccable, except that he didn’t stay for a fourth year. Almost any player even approaching that level as a junior would leave for the NFL. So what would a jersey-retiring resume look like? Are we just done retiring numbers?
- What will constitute basic success or failure for this upcoming season? Some years, this is a lot like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography… “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it.” This season I think it’s pretty clear-cut. No bowl is a failure. Squeaking into a bowl game is par. Success is a bowl game plus anything extra: ND beatdown part IV, making Dantonio slap himself, JoePa flat-out retiring right after losing to us for the umpteenth time in a row, or a bowl win. Extreme success is me not dropping my newborn son as I use him for a prop describing how we gave OSU a freakin red-a$$ beatdown.
Retiring numbers is a little more problematic in football (esp. college) than other sports. Generally speaking, one or two is OK but more than that and you're having to send players out there with duplicate numbers. After 100 years, you wouldn't have any numbers left.*
* - I'm being half-serious. Think about a team like the N.Y. Yankees. They have how many retired numbers? 13? 14? Assume they retire Jeter's number and maybe A-Rod's number and a similar progression of retired numbers and they'll be out of numbers in a couple of hundred years.
Woodson is the only one I would nominate in my Michigan football watching lifetime. He played on the field three years, which is more than most do. His resume is amazing. I'm surprised it hasn't happened, and I brought it up to point out that it's pretty difficult to make the case for anyone reaching that level with the way things are today.
Addressing some points: Newspapers don't have that many resources, they're laying off/buying out people in droves, mainly because readership is stagnant while another medium (the internet) is flourishing.
Drew Sharp is still employed because a ton of people read his stuff. If you're bad at what you do AND nobody reads you, then you're fired. If you're hated on a universal level (Sharp, Mariotti) BUT people read you just to criticize you, well congrats, you're still drawing in readers.
The coach's poll just is. Just like the AP poll (why do we trust reporters that attend only one game and see maybe a minute at most of highlights around the country?), or even the stupid poll the BCS used to have, letting yahoos loosely affiliated with their schools programs cast votes however they wanted? It could be argued that Henne and Hart probably deserved to have their numbers retired. Since they were not, you'll just have to wait until the next ex-football player becomes president.
My success level matches up well with yours, but I would understand if we didn't make a bowl because of OL or defensive injuries, or if all of our QB's turn into turnover machines.
I would say that newspapers do have resources. We're not talking much here, look at what bloggers can do with virtually no resources. Maybe it's just redeploying what they've already got. At the least they'd have access to Elias Sports Bureau or similar databases to conduct reserach on. The point is they don't emphasize analysis *at all*, and is part of the reason they're losing ground.
I brought this up because any medium which is always behind from a time-standpoint should naturally trend toward analysis. Yet they don't. It's really strange.
I don't agree that Henne and Hart should have their numbers retired (although they were great, great players,) and I think in college it should be a very high standard. Maybe one every twenty years. I was just pondering what it would take nowadays... and it appears to be a Herculean effort and a degree as someone else mentioned.
I'm against retiring jerseys. I think that it is a greater tribute to the player to have his jersey number honored every year, in a fashion similar to #1 at Michigan or #44 at Syracuse. Most people (who didn't read the thread on this subject last week) would not be able to tell me the names (beyond Ford and Harmon), much less the numbers (other than #98) of the retired jerseys at Michigan. But damn near everyone can tell you what number AC and Braylor wore. They should turn #2 into an award for the best d-back or corner on the team.
I actually think that's an excellent idea, one I've heard before and support. Keeps the number going, provides an incentive, etc. The other ones are 11 for the Wistert brothers and I believe Ron Kramer (87?) and Bennie Oosterban, 47.
Didn't Marlin Jackson also wear #2? It should definitely go to the best corner. Maybe Warren will get it eventually.
I think Jackson wore #3 not 2.