here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
- Member for
- 1 year 41 weeks
|44 weeks 5 days ago||Who cares?||
Seriously. Why does anyone care that Kelly downplayed the game? Does that make it count less, or make you care less?
|1 year 41 weeks ago||Naah.||
The series is 14-14-1 since it resumed in 1978. The3 years prior were bad (and weird) for ND, but this year karma came back around a little bit. You can easily say that we dominated the game last year, gaining more yards than UM, but lost becuse of bad turnovers. But the fact of the matter is that points are all that matters, and the other stuff evens out over time.
And the series isn't bad for us, any more than it's bad for UM. Nor is it fear - we have Texas lined up in 4 of the 8 coming seasons and I guarantee that we'll try to add other top tier opponents.
|1 year 41 weeks ago||My $.02||
Full disclosure - I'm an ND alum, and have lived in SE Michigan my entire life. I got a grad degree from MSU and I'm enrolled in another grad program at UM-Dearborn. So, I'm not just some arrogant ND slappy - I know that we've had a not great 15 years out in the wilderness. I'm also not here to flame or troll or engage in internet combat, but I do feel compelled to add my $0.02 from the ND side of things.
The OP is pretty accurate in his reasoning. The fact of the matter is that ND needs to maintain its national presence - it's our comparative advantage. There are no other schools that have a national footprint like we do, and we can go play anywhere in the nation and sell out a stadium. Without that footprint, we'd fall to a Northwestern-level football program. This is why joining the BIG was never a legitimate option for us - it would isolate us as a midwestern school.
The ACC also makes more sense from a cultural standpoint, as there are numerous other small private schools, and also religiously-affiliated schools. We'd be a fish out of water in the research-institution dominated BIG. We simply don't fit in with the mission or academic strengths of the other BIG schools.
So, that's the cliff notes version of why the ACC made more sense for us. The deal to play 5 teams every year isn't so bad or even much of a departure from our past schedules when you consider that we've regularly played 1-2 teams against traditional ACC teams and another 2-3 games against new ACC (and former Big East teams) like Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College, etc.
So why are we dropping Michigan, and not (yet) Purdue or Michigan State? Quite frankly, it's rooted in history. Not to be pedantic (and I relize that using the word pedantic automatically makes me pedantic), but our shared history goes back a LONG way - I think I may have heard something about UM teaching ND how to play football, you guys ever hear that story? Anyways, after ND beat UM for the first time Yost dropped us, refused to schedule ND for 30ish years, and blackballed us from the Big 10. After two games in the 40s there was another 35 year break. So even though our history goes back 125 years, we didn't play for 70+ of those. Further, Yost's blackballing was the thing that led to ND having to barnstorm across the nation. On the other hand, we've played Purdue consistently for decades, and MSU and ND also have a more institutionally-chummy shared history (not to be confused with our relationship with MSU fans these days).
So when it came time to decide which BIG team to drop, I suspect that our closer ties to Purdue and MSU outweighed carried the day against our contentious history with UM. There are undeniable benefits to the ND-UM matchup, and I'll be very sad to see the game go as a regular event, but I think the historical aspect skewed the final calculus. What I DO suspect is that we'll move to more of a rotating list of BIG teams to fill 1 or 2 scheudle slots. We have a 4-on 2-off rotation with MSU starting soon, which probably helped their case for staying on the schedule, but also would certainly allow for future games against UM as part of a BIG rotation. I hope that is the case. At any rate, having 1-2 BIG games a year is definitely to our benefit and, emotional reactions aside, also to the benefit of the BIG teams we play.
As a final thought - I don't think this is about watering down our schedule. We have early-season games scheduled against Texas in 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020 which effectively replace the UM game those years. We also added Oklahoma to this year and next years' schedule as a possible replacement for UM when there was uncertainty about the future of the UM-ND series a few years ago. I'm sure we'll end up with replacements that are lower quality than UM in some seasons, but not as a general rule.
This ended up a lot longer than I wanted it to despite the fact that I didn't cover some aspects of things in the interest of "brevity." I'll go put on my asbestos suit now, so flame away if you'd like.