the just released schedules were a flat-out statement that the B10 doesn't believe SOS will matter in playoff selection
I hear a few people calling the BigTen behind the times, even Sean and Terp on 96.1 made a few sarcastic jokes at the start of the day about the BigTen not being progressive and how this move is so shocking for this conference. I don't know what these people could possibly be thinking. There isn't anything further from reality.
The BigTen is at the forefront more so than any other conference out there. Case in point:
1) The BigTen was the first NCAA conference to initiate Instant Replay for football games. Now all conferences have copied the success of the BigTen and implemented it to the point where it is an NCAA wideregulation.
2) The BigTen was the first conference to start its own TV network and force its way into the market. The financial success has set up the conference nicely in the future and other conferences are now once again set up to play copy cat as they try to create their own network.
3) The BigTen from top to bottom has the best academics in the FBS (Div1A). The BigTen is the only FBS conference to have all of its members ranked in Newsweek's Top 100 Universities and the CIC is a powerhouse of Research on the Global scale. This conference + the University of Chicago have always put academics and research as a strong priority within the schools. The BigTen is at the forefront of academic research there is no dispute about that.
4) Canham is the first AD to act like a modern AD....$$$ Once again, the BigTen at the forefront of the modern era.
5) The BigTen has the three largest college football stadiums...#1, #2, and #3 in capacity...always pushing to new heights.
6) The BigTen has the strongest history and one of the most progressive revenue sharing programs of any conference. Other conferences are changing over to the BigTen style of having a strong revenue sharing program. In terms of money in a conference, no one is more progressive.
7) Now apparently the BigTen is making the push in creating super conferences if you believe the rumors of a 14 or 16 school conference. If so...other conferences will most definately follow suit and once again the BigTen will be on the cutting edge of the trends in football.
I wrote into the show and made these points, I don't know if they read it, because I had other appointments and couldn't listen any more. However, we have a very proud conference history of being the leaders that bring about change nationwide. Even the 3 yards and a cloud of dust still existing today is a bunch of tripe...the BigTen has many unique offenses like Purdue's 'basketball on turf' and Northwestern's spread. Heck even, 'conservative' Carr had some spectacular years of passing offensive stats and games.
Berenson turned around a struggling UofM program and turned them into the most consistent program in NCAA history, finishing in 1st or 2nd place in 18 of the last 20 CCHA regular seasons.
It is hard to argue against his 23 straight winning seasons and his 20 straight NCAA playoff appearances, which is an all time historical NCAA record...and counting. Berenson also won the NHL coach of the year with the Saint Louis Blues in the 1980-81 season, proving that he can get the job done at all levels.
Head to Head comparisons:
Ron Mason > 36 seasons with 3 CCHA teams
Red Berenson > 26 seasons with 1 CCHA team
Ron Mason > 924 wins (25.6 a year)
Red Berenson > 698 wins (26.8 a year)
Ron Mason > 24 NCAA playoff appearances
Red Berenson > 20 NCAA playoff appearances
Ron Mason > 8 Frozen Four Appearances
Red Berenson > 10 Frozen Four Appearances
Ron Mason > 2 NCAA Titles
Red Berenson > 2 NCAA Titles
Ron Mason > Longest NCAA appearance streak: 9 seasons
Red Berenson > Longest NCAA appearance streak: 20 seasons
Ron Mason > Longest streak without a losing seaon: 13 (with LSSU and BGSU, 11 at MSU)
Red Berenson > Longest streak without a losing seaon: 23
Ron Mason > NCAA Hockey Coach of the year 1992
Red Berenson > NCAA Hockey Coach of the year 2008
EDIT: I failed with my table, so I just switched to this awkward format.
Tomorrow, be as loud as you can at the game. As loud or louder than you were at the Notre Dame game. Let this team know that we love and support it. I almost blacked out at the Notre Dame game from screaming and stomping my feet and clapping. The blue hair next to me had ear plugs in and was still covering his ears and giving me dirty looks. Give our team the advantage.
Reasons to love this program and look forward to the future:
1) We went from a quiet stadium to one of the loudest in the conference. People at the MSU and Iowa games, commented that it was no where near as loud as the Notre Dame game at Michigan Stadium.
2) This team is supposedly 16 scholarships short of the limit, which is a huge disadvantage. This shortage will eventually be filled and when this gap is filled, some will be quality players and starters.
3) We have the most players in the BigTen with 3 or more years of eligibility left. This means that in 2011 and 2012 we will most likely have the most experienced team in the league, which will set us up for a run at the Rose Bowl at that time.
4) For all of the whining about 3 star players in this years recruiting class, I see some solid players getting added to an already strong foundation. Some of our recruits are lights out amazing. Would you trade any HS QB in the nation for Devin Gardner? I see about 4 guys in this class with the potential to be future all conference players (Gardner, Marvin, Miller, Hagerup).
5) The media has attacked coach Rod and he is still standing with the control of his team. The media has invented BS stories (shredding papers), used unethically written stories written by someone who publicly admitted that he wanted Rod fired (hours), printed mountain out of a mole hill stories without doing any research to disprove the crap (Tiller) and etc.... All while giving our in-state rival's coach all of the benefit of the doubt on everthing blowing the positives out of proportion.
6) This team is better than lat year and will be even better next year. How many players do we actually lose of note? Brandon Graham, Warren, Minor, and Brown. Well, we have a lot of young talented RBs and Brown and Minor are injured enough that I don't think we will miss much of a step at that position. Sure we will miss Graham, but the Dline could actualy get stronger. Lolata and Campbell were 2 highly sought after recruits and will be playing. Martin is a beast and will be back. I think Roh will improve and VanBergen is a solid contributor. Warren leaving would be rough, but we have Woolfork, Floyd and Turner still here.
7) The QB play should only get better and we will have 3 options next year -- someone will rise to be a solid performer.
If any of you think that I am over optimistic....I got negbanged for saying that I thought we would finish 5-7 before the season and picking MSU to win after the 4-0 start.
If you are the type of fan who booed Navarre and are now ripping on these kids, feel free to consider changing allegiences to another team. This team will develop into a great team if we give it time and support. No one can develop a winner with the media and the fans against it...no one. Stand behind the team and coaches win or lose tomorrow.
The stats within the series:
-3 clutch performances in close games
-Passing TDs: 14
-Passing Yards: 880
-Completions/Attempts: 79/120 (66%)
Henne's worst game in the series was 2006, where he went 11 of 17 for 140 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs in a 31-13 victory. His stats could have been much more impressive had Lloyd Carr not called off the dogs and went to conservative play calling. In example, Carr only called 1 passing play in the final 26 minutes and 22 seconds of game time, with only a total of 4 passing plays called in the final half.
Henne's best game would have to be the 2007 comeback game on the road. Henne braved severe should pain and injury to comeback and make clutch throws to gain 211 yards with 4 TDs and 1 INT in the victory.
I posted this on the ESPN board a year and a half ago. A few Spartans argued me tooth and nail over it, but they refused to name anyone who might be better within the series, which is a tacit way of agreeing with me.
Can anyone think of a QB who might have performed better within the series?
P.S. I am still cheering for Henne with the Miami Dolphins.
Michigan scores very well in these position ratings, however Lindy projects us to finish 7th in the BigTen overall. I find this a bit odd. So I personally calculated every team's average position group rating according to Lindy and compared it to their projected order of finish.
Here are the results:
1. Ohio State 2.75
2. Penn State 5.25
3. Michigan State 5.25
4. Illinois 6.75
5. Wisconsin 5.875
6. Iowa 5.0
7. Michigan 3.375
8. Northwestern 7.75
9. Minnesota 5.875
10. Purdue 9.75
11. Indiana 8.375
I really find this striking. Lindy's believes that Michigan is the 2nd most talented team in the BigTen according to the positional group ratings, yet they have us finishing 7th in the conference. This seems a bit perplexing, especially with Illinois finishing 3 spots above UofM in order of finish, but averaging nearly 3.5 spots below us in positional talent.
The one area where they rate us the lowest is QB, which is understandable with 2 true freshman and a walk-on competing for the job. However, they still rated us 8th overall in QB play. Yet Wisconsin is ranked 10th in QBs, but still 5th overall. In fact UofM was rated higher than Wisconsin in 7 of 8 talent groupings (Special Teams, UofM finished 1 spot below Wisconsin), yet Wisconsin is projected to finish overall 2 spots higher in 5th.
Where Michigan ranks in conference by position according to Lindy:
8th QB, 1st RB, 2nd WR, 3rd OL, 3rd DL, 4th LB, 4th DB and 2nd ST.
Is it fair to give your 2nd most talented team in the BigTen a 7th in the conference finish and a 47th in the nation finish? I don't think so, even with a Freshman QB. Perhaps they overrated our positional talent, but they also could have nasty 3-9 taste in their mouth biasing the overall finish.
Of course Lindy's could be way off in their positional talent rankings for the conference, but if they are accurate, it should be a sign of positive potential for the 2009 season.
I had been worried of a 5-7 season, but I am starting to think that if QB play improves along with the turnover ratio that we could be looking closer to 8 wins.
P.S. Lindy's in preseason individual awards (which granted are meaningless) also gives us THREE 1st team All-Conference Defense, ONE 2nd team All-ConferenceDefense and THREE 2nd team All-Conference Offense.
P.P.S. If I gave out too much of Lindy's info, I will happily edit some out upon request.
Elon J. Farnsworth was born in the Wolverine State in 1837. As a young man growing up he always dreamed of joining the cavalry and fighting on the frontier - making gallant charges like the ones he read about in the Napoleonic Wars, but his parents steered him away from that dream. Farnsworth thus chose to attend the University of Michigan.
At UofM, Farnsworth joined the fraternity Chi Psi. One night a drinking party got out of hand and a fellow student was thrown out of a window. The death forced the university to expel the fraternity. So much for the past as a golden era of innocence. Although not having a direct hand in the incident, Farnsworth made the best of the situation. Now an adult and free from his parent's wishes he could pursue his dreams.
He packed up and left Michigan, fostering his cavalry skills as a civilian forager for the army. He later officially joined the army and served in the Utah War, putting down a Mormon uprising out west. After wards, he served as a scout and a Buffalo hunter to the US forts in Colorado.
Then came 1861 and the firing on Fort Sumter. The start of the Civil War. Throughout the early stages of the war he served with distinction and bravery - rising in rank.
On July 1st 1863, a small Pennsylvania town was turned upside down for 3 days as thousands of lives were lost in what would be the bloodiest battle of America's bloodiest war.
Farnsworth's unit arrived to the battle late and performed flanking movements with his cavalry. On the night of July 2nd, he and his men were positioned near the notorious deadly Wheatfield that some soldiers claimed changed hands up to 11 times during the fighting. That night, they could hear the screams from the severely wounded men caught in no-man's land between the Union and Confederate lines. These men were wounded too badly to crawl back to their lines or defend themselves from the pigs in the field that were eating them alive. Hearing their screams gave men nightmares for the rest of their lives.
On July 3rd, the Confederates launched a massive assault across an open field that was beaten back, essentially sealing the victory for the Union in the Battle of Gettysburg. During the tense silence after the failed Confederate attack Farnsworth was ordered to take his cavalry across a field with high grasses hiding boulders strewn about, which would be hard for the horses to navigate through and attack a prepared confederate position. What happens next will come from Henry C. Parsons' words:
"In a moment, Farnsworth rode up. Kilpatrick impetuously repeated the order. Farnsworth, who was a tall man with military bearing, received the order in silence. It was repeated. Farnsworth spoke with emotion: 'General, do you mean it? Shall I throw my handful of men over rough ground, through timber, against a brigade of infantry?'
"Kilpatrick said: 'A handful! You have the four best regiments in the army!' Farnsworth answered: You forget, the first Michigan is detached, the 5th New York you have sent beyond call, and I have nothing left but the 1st Vermont and the 1st West Virginia, regiments fought half to pieces. They are too good men to kill.' Kilpatrick turned, greatly excited and said: 'Do you refuse to obey my orders? If you are afraid to lead the charge, I will lead it.'
"Farnsworth rose in his stirrups and leaned forward, with his sabre half-drawn; he looked magnificent in his passion and cried: 'Take that back!' Kilpatrick rose defiantly, but repentingly said: 'I did not mean it; forget it.' For a moment, nothing was said. (Then) Farnsworth spoke: 'General, if you order the charge I will lead it, but you must take the awful responsibility.' I did not hear the low conversation that followed, but as Farnsworth turned away, he said: 'I will obey your order.' They shook hands and parted in silence. I recall the two young generals at that moment in the shadow of the oaks and against the sunlight, Kilpatrick with his fine gestures, his blond beard, his soft hat turned up jauntily and his face lighted with the joy that always came into it when the charge was sounded. Farnsworth- heavy browed, stern and pale but riding with conscious strength and consecration… two men opposite in every line of character, but both born to desperate daring.
"The direction of our guns was changed… (and) the artillery duel began. A shell shrieked down the line of my front company a few feet above their heads, covering them with leaves and branches. We rode out in columns of fours with drawn sabres. After giving the order to me, General Farnsworth took his place at the head of the 3rd Battalion.
"As the 1st Battalion rode through the line of our dismounted skirmishers who were falling back, they cried to us to halt. As we passed out from the cover of the woods, the 1st West Virginia were falling back in disorder on our left. A frantic horse with one leg torn off by a cannon ball rushed towards us for protection. We rode rapidly to the left and then to the right, across a depression at the left of a stone wall. The sun was blinding and Captain (Oliver T.) Cushman, who rode at my right, shaded his eyes and cried: 'An ambuscade!' We were immediately upon the enemy, and the deadly (Confederate) volley was fired, but it passed over our heads. It was the most concentrated volley I ever heard. Taken by surprise, they had shot over us. With the head of the column we cleared the fence at the right and formed under cover of a hill. The 3rd Battalion under Major (William) Wells, a young officer who bore a charmed life and was destined to pass through many daring encounters… moved out in splendid form to the left of the 1st Battalion, and swept in a great circle to the right around the front of the hill and across our path, then guiding to the left across the valley and up the side of the hill at the base of Round Top. Upon this hill was a field enclosed with heavy stone walls. They charged along the wall and between it and the mountain directly in the rear of several Confederate regiments in position and between them and the 4th Alabama. It was a swift… charge over rocks, through timber, under close enfilading fire. The rush was the war of a hurricane. The direction towards Devil's Den. At the foot of the declivity the column turned left, rode close to a battery, receiving the fire of its support, and swept across the open field and upon the rear of the Texas skirmish line. Farnsworth's horse had fallen; a trooper sprang from the saddle, gave the General his horse and escaped on foot. Captain Cushman and a few others with Farnsworth turned back. The 1st Battalion was again in motion. The enemy's sharpshooters appeared in the rocks above us and opened fire. We rode obliquely up the hill in the direction of Wells, then wheeling to the left between the picket line and the wall. From this point, part of my men turned back with prisoners. The head of the column leapt the wall, into the open field. Farnsworth, seeing the horsemen, raised his sabre and charged as if with an army. At almost the same moment his followers and what remained of the 1st Battalion cut their way through the 15th Alabama, which was wheeling into position at a run and offered little resistance. We charged in the same direction but on opposite sides of the wall that parallels Round Top and within two hundred paces of each other.
"Sergeant (George H.) Duncan, a black-eyed, red-cheeked boy, splendidly mounted, standing in his stirrups, flew past me with his sabre raised and shouted: 'Captain, I'm with you!' and threw up his left hand and fell. My horse recoiled over his dead body, my men swept past and I was a moment alone on the field. The enemy ran up crying 'Surrender!' as if they did not want to shoot me, but as I raised my sabre a gun was planted against my breast and fired; my horse was struck at the same moment and broke frantically through the men, over the wall and down the hill. Corporal Waller overtook me from the left and riding close supported me on my horse. As we rode on he told me how Farnsworth and Cushman fell together.
"I doubt if an order was given beyond the waving of a sabre after the first (order). The officers rode at the front and the men followed and as the officers fell the men pressed on more furiously. In that charge the private in the last file rode as proudly as the General. Farnsworth fell in the enemy's lines with his sabre raised, dead with five wounds, and received a tribute for gallantry from the enemy that his superiors refused. There was no encouragement of on looking armies, no cheer, no bravado. There was consecration and each man felt as he tightened his sabre belt that he was summoned to a ride of death."
Elon Farnsworth died 146 years ago July 3rd for his country.
I hope some of you enjoyed my diary entry, I am packing for a vacation so I don't have time to make it better. Have a great Fourth everyone.