Every Year. Same Time. Once. The Last Time.

Submitted by Brian on August 26th, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Two must-read posts: Ramzy at Bucknuts on whoredom and Doctor Saturday on the sheer lack of sense.

I'm not posting this in the hope that it will change anything. Since Dave Brandon came out in favor of moving the Michigan-Ohio State game to midseason there's been tremendous fan pushback, with opinion running about 10-to-1 against. It obviously doesn't matter, because the men in suits are ramping up the meaningless PR doublespeak to alarming levels:

…the reason the Big Ten is great is because of our fans. We had five and a half million fans come to games [in 2009]. Whether it’s the Rose Bowl or Ohio State-Michigan, we welcome that, and there’s an awful lot of discussion of, generally speaking, how our fans feel about what we do. We're not fan-insensitive, we're fan-receptive and are only interested in doing what is going to grow our fan base.

Whenever someone starts talking about how great the fans are, the fans are about to get it in uncomfortable places, especially when that's the first thing they talk about in the face of obvious, massive opposition. Meanwhile, the SID is trying to calm people over email by saying for Michigan and Ohio State to meet for the conference title they will "have to play their way into the championship game." If it was a trial balloon people would be walking it back by now after the reaction it's received. The thing is far enough along that Barry Alvarez is flat-out stating that Iowa and Wisconsin will be split up. It's actually happening.

So this doesn't matter. But here's why Michigan and Ohio State's athletic directors should be out in the streets rounding up pitchfork-toting mobs instead of rolling over like Indiana:

The financial benefits are almost literally zero. Dan Wetzel cites a TV executive claiming that at maximum, the vague possibility of Michigan and Ohio State meeting in a Big Ten championship game once a decade might be worth two million dollars a year ("it might be half that," he adds). Even taking the most optimistic number, the end result for Michigan is another 150k per year (the conference takes a share). Assuming an average of seven home games a year, Michigan could earn that by raising ticket prices twenty cents. Meanwhile, every other Big Ten team sees the same increase in their bottom line.

Twenty cents!

Michigan and Ohio State will almost never meet. The Plain Dealer looked back at the league since Penn State's addition and concluded that in the last sixteen years, a Michigan-Ohio State championship game would have happened all of three times.

In the future you can expect that to be far less frequent. Michigan will be guaranteed that 1) they play an outstanding Ohio State team and 2) three of the other five teams in their division do not. If the matchup is going to occur it's going to be the same for Ohio State. The loser of that game is going to have to overcome that deficit against teams that have a much easier schedule. The addition of Nebraska adds another historic power to the league. "Once a decade" is not hyperbole. It's a reasonable estimate.

As a result, you are turning M-OSU from something that will always have stakes to something you hope to do over. This is Delany's reasoning:

"If Duke and North Carolina were historically the two strongest programs and only one could play for the right to be in the NCAA tournament, would you want them playing in the season-ending game so one is in and one is out?" he asked. "Or would you want them to play and have it count in the standings and then they possibly could meet for the right to be in the NCAA or the Rose Bowl?

"We've had those debates. It's a good one. The question is whether you want to confine a game that's one of the greatest rivalries of all time to a divisional game."

Yes. Because the loser of that game is doomed and knows it. Moving it to midseason just makes it a particularly high hurdle that might not mean much—that the conference explicitly hopes doesn't mean much—at the end of the year, when the two teams can do it again, except indoors in Indianapolis. Doctor Saturday:

Keep the game what it's always been, the ritualistic culmination of an entire season in a single, freezing orgy of centuries-old hate that cannot be overturned or redeemed for at least another 365 days. In good years, the division championship (hence a shot at the conference championship) will be on the line, preserving the familiar winner-take-all/loser-go-home intensity that made "The Game" what it is in the first place.

You are doing something your fans hate. The kids don't get paid, the stadium doesn't have advertising, the idea that there is a Michigan Thing that it is possible not to "get" in a way that it is not possible Jim Schwartz does not "get" the Lions Thing: these are the things that separate college football from minor league baseball. For decades Michigan's season has had a certain shape defined by the great Satan at the end of it.

This is where the disconnect between the suits and the fans is greatest. Beating Ohio State isn't about winning the Big Ten, it's about beating Ohio State, just like the Egg Bowl is about beating that other team in Mississippi or the Civil War is about beating that other team in Oregon or any billion other year-end rivalry games that have been played since the Great Depression. M-OSU is the super-sized version of the old-fashioned rivalries based on pure hate. It's not Miami-Florida State, a game entirely dependent on the teams being national contenders for it to even sell out, but the Big Ten is treating it like the country's fakest rivalry game anyway.

It so happens that a lot of the time OSU and Michigan do decide the Big Ten, but did anyone want to beat OSU less in the mid-90s when Michigan limped into the game with 3 or 4 losses every year? Or last year? No. Would it matter less as an October game to be followed by three or four more? Necessarily yes. Is that the worst thing in the world? Yes.

I have no tolerance for anyone too dense to grasp this, much less see it as a potentially good thing, as Dave at Maize N Brew does. I said his post on the matter was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen a Michigan fan write and it remains so. Orson's post on the matter is also the dumbest thing I've ever seen him write. The reason college football matters in a way the NFL does not is the idea it has that some things are not worth selling. Once the date of the Michigan-Ohio State game goes the only thing left is the labor of the players.

I'll still be there. I don't have a choice, really, but the special kind of misery I'll experience when Michigan plays Ohio State at 8 PM in October and Special K blasts "Lose Yourself" during a critical review will make me feel like an exploited sap, not a member of a community in which my opinions matter. They clearly don't. This will matter in the same way erosion does.

AND NOW: A BUNCH OF UNAFFILIATED FOLK SHARE THEIR OPINIONS

Jerry Hinnen:

Speaking as an Auburn fan on Big 10 moving M/OSU to midseason: If they'd tried that w/ the Iron Bowl I'd have burned SEC HQ to the ground

Doctor Saturday:

Because I have a soul, I've already firmly aligned myself with the "armageddon" crowd, made up of those of us who can't stand the thought of one side telling the other in mid-October, "We'll see you again when it really matters." Which probably means I've aligned myself with the losing side. Whatever the motivations of its less influential champions, the prospect of a Buckeye-Wolverine split only has traction among people who matter because the people who matter see a buck in it: If one Ohio State-Michigan game is good, two Ohio State-Michigan games must be even better, and I'm sure they have the ratings projections and accompanying ad rates to prove it. The rivalry has already defined and shaped the national perception of the Big Ten for the last 50 years; just think of the possibility of the rivalry-as-championship game as "expanding the brand."

Mike Rothstein:

Saving this game at the end is the culmination of a season-long crescendo.

Michigan-Indiana at the end of the year, for example, doesn’t offer the same cachet.

And it never will.

Stewart Mandel:

Are you kidding me? It's been played the last week of the season all but once since 1935, and it's the league's single most important franchise. You would think conference leaders would go to any length to protect it. …

Sometimes leaders make decisions without properly thinking through the issues. This one sounds like a case of over-thinking. Do the right thing, Mr. Delany, Mr. Brandon and Mr. Smith, lest the ghosts of Woody and Bo haunt you in your sleep.

John Taylor:

Be warned, Big Ten: you move The Game, you will rip the heart and suck the soul out of the single greatest property the conference owns.  And for what, a few more advertising dollars every few years when they do happen to stumble into a title showdown?  One that will, incidentally, likely be contested in a sterile, domed, neutral location as opposed to yet another reason that The Game is what it is -- The Big House and The Shoe.

So… yeah. Join the Facebook page. Maybe it will help. It won't, actually, but maybe you'll feel better about it.

Comments

tjm32

August 26th, 2010 at 2:21 PM ^

How this can be seen as good for the Big Ten, good for the rivalry, I'll NEVER figure out. Put them in the same damn division and keep it at the end of the year.

I don't march. I don't picket. But man, I'd have to consider being a part of a mob if/when this happens.

jerseyblue

August 26th, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

Brandon  has either happily stabbed UM fans in the back or helplessly let the other presidens roll him on this. So he's either a traitor or a Frenchman. Nice way to define you legacy.

Five Star Athlete

August 26th, 2010 at 2:25 PM ^

I was on the fence on this issue until I read Brian's post.  Once you read it (please read it Dave Brandon) the issue is clear.  If you want to preserve the essence of college football...... if you want to honor tradition....... if you want to keep college football the best sport in the country....... you must put Michigan and OSU in the same conference and have them play in the last game of the regular season.

Don

August 26th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

for AD at Michigan, as opposed to a guy coming to the position from a career in athletic departments.

David Brandon regards the tradition of UM-OSU the same way a CEO regards the recipe of a pizza sauce: it's a consumer product that can be changed at any time depending on the whims of the bean-counters and the Powerpoint presentations of the marketing idiots.

Ernis

August 26th, 2010 at 2:48 PM ^

I thought Brandon was above it all because of his roots. But, alas, it is not so. He is not a man of differentiated type -- he is not noble. He is nothing more than a figurehead for commercial interests.

"I turned my back on the rulers when I saw what they called ruling: bartering and haggling for power -- with the rabble!" -Nietzsche

In this case, the rabble are the bean counters, the marketing idiots, the TV execs ... a thousand curses upon each and every last one of them.

MaizenBlueBP

August 26th, 2010 at 2:28 PM ^

It makes me sick to my stomach that this appears likely to happen.  Hopefully the decision makers in this process receive enough negative backlash for them to realize how atrocious the idea really is to begin with.  GO BLUE!!  Mgoblog t-shirt makers should sketch something up for a "save the rivalry shirt" (it cant hurt)

WOOD

August 26th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

I actually feel bad for the kids who will grow up with the MICH - OSU  game before Halloween.  They'll never truly feel what it was like to watch those teams play last, where the teams would literally leave it all on the field.  Where it was something to look forward to for the entire season, no matter the records.   Just sad.

DesHow21

August 26th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

 

Call the regents and scream bloody murder. MSC reports to them. DB reports to MSC. 

 

They don't give a flying *uck about Facebook. This is the only thing that might help.

VAWolverine

August 26th, 2010 at 2:34 PM ^

that while CEO at Domino's the public told him clearly that his pizza sucked.

Why did it suck? Because he changed it!

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

GunnersApe

August 26th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

I'll be getting U/W and steaming towards the Big Ten Headquarters to give them my personnel response. I need all MGoMarines (U.ncle S.ams M.isguided C.hildren) to join me (army/air force can come but try not to get sea sick and puke all over the decks).

 Or I need to get with MgoShoe so we and launch a T-Hawk from Norfolk (easy range to the Midwest)

MGoShoe

August 26th, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

...whadda ya know?  I'm in Norfolk this week!  I'll just walk down to the piers and ask each pier sentry if his/her ship recently onloaded missiles.  When I find a ship that fits the description, I'll talk my way on board, discuss the situation with the CO and convince him/her that this makes sense.

Sounds like a plan!

go16blue

August 26th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

would this take effect after this year, or after 2011?

(i.e.: will we have another M/OSU game at the big house? or will this game in the horseshoe be the last one?)

HailGoBlue86

August 26th, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

First, thanks Brian for putting everything we are feeling into words. I can't even really describe how mad and sad this whole thing makes me. I feel the worst for future fans of both sides that will never get to watch The Game in late November. I feel extremely lucky to be able to have attended one of those games now. Now what future fans will have to see is just old Youtube videos of The Game in late November.

Ernis

August 26th, 2010 at 2:41 PM ^

The yearly match-up will be a fossil on a museum shelf. Nothing more than a stale relic of something once great.

Nietzsche sums up what the game will change into: "The struggle for supremacy amid conditions that are worth nothing."

I am with Brian 1000% on this. The reasons I fell in love with college football is because it retained some element of sanctity. There were traditions within it that mattered beyond petty commercial interest. Sure, some of it was not so noble, but there was always this pervasive element of grandeur -- the pageantry stood for something which transcended the people and events themselves.

And perhaps a response to that will be: "If its meaning is transcendent, then who cares how we abuse it?" Pompey could have said as much as he desecrated the Temple of Solomon -- he could have looted the place, melted the gold into coin and said, "Let this aid in your worship, as it sits in our coffers!" But even he had more reverence than that!

Now, one of the greatest and most beautiful things in college football has been desecrated. This entire world is full of rootless pawns, seeking nothing but material gain and following the whims of their self-interested peers and the cruel masters who yoke them. There are so few sanctuaries away from that meaningless, materialist swarm we call the "rat race". And make no mistake, we've just lost one of the best refuges around.

Buckeye Pete

August 26th, 2010 at 2:42 PM ^

Brian... and fellow MGo...whatevers, this is a daily must read for me.  I love the passion of the this rivalry!  If they start playing this game in October (or even September!!?) then we have all sold our souls to the devil.  We will have allowed television/media to meet us "down on the crossroads" and the deal will be complete.  This is nothing but a money grab and we all know it.  I don't think we can actually do anything to change it (really), but we are all doing the next best thing... not going down without absolutely screwing up their season/goal/objective.

We are stakeholders in the greatest rivalry in sports.  Period.  It does not matter if either of us is undefeated or winless, as long as we win the last game of the year against the antichrist, doesn't our winter pass along much quicker?  Doesn't our future look just a little brighter?  I'm not even talking about the "for all the marbles" games!  If we cannot have the cold, bleak, rain/sleet, gray heaven of a bleak November sky, then what is left?  Nothing.  The deal is complete.  See you boys down at the crossroads...

M-Wolverine

August 26th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

You make the college game more like the pros, you know what's going to happen? People are going to start treating it like the Pros. It's not an institute to donate money to, and root for. It's something you pay your money for, and demand results. That means, you better win, win big, and win all the time.  Or bye-bye fans, bye-bye money. And if you're not winning, you'd better replace the losing SOB who's in charge, and go through more coaches than Joe Dumars till you get it right. Because no one wants to pay big bucks to watch kids develop, or programs form, when it's all about the buck.  Pay money for tradition, loyalty, history...and give some patience and understanding back? Sure.  But you can't say we're going to do every damn thing for the money, fans be damned, and then say....but, he needs time! They're just kids! We're you're school, don't you have a check for us?? And then, when you're at that point, the soul of the sport dies.  Because people are watching for all these other things that can change, but shouldn't change.  It's not the best players that play college...and if that's what it's going to be reduced to, you might as well watch the pros.  It was all this other stuff that made it the greatest sport in the world.  And if you take all that away, what do you have left?

The biggest losers will be the players.  Because they'll have all that heaped upon them, at the same time the Big Ten bigwigs and the David Brandons of the world speak of amateur athletics, they'll be treated like just sub-pros. And what do they get for it in return? Loss of all the great memories that were sold out by the very same suits.

Brandon better have no hopes of ever going back into politics.  He could run for any party, and all an opponent has to do is run an ad "sold out the M-OSU Game for $$$ - why wouldn't he sell out you?', and he'd lose in the most massive landslide of all time.  He is dead to me.

CRex

August 26th, 2010 at 2:58 PM ^

You make the college game more like the pros, you know what's going to happen? People are going to start treating it like the Pros.

Agreed. College football can be infuriating to watch. With the talent spread over 117 D-I teams (or is is more these days?) you can often have to watch an inferior product on the field. Even worse are the Baby Seal Blowout Games.

With the NFL though there is always a competitive product on the field every week. Sure you have teams like the Lions and the Rams that just plain stink, but overall the NFL has better players, more complex schemes, bigger hits, faster players, etc.

I've accepted the tomato cans we play and the other negatives of CFB because I love the tradition. I have fond memories of cheap student tickets, drunken fun in the student section and the entire tradition around Michigan football. The buildup for The Game, for the Rose Bowl, etc. So there was some bad, but also a lot of good tradition. Take the tradition away and well I might as go watch football on Sundays because from a technical aspect the NFL games are better.

TennesseeBlue

August 26th, 2010 at 2:48 PM ^

I typically read Maize and Brew once or twice a week. I don't know how I had read over Dave's idiotic post. I'm not one to over react - typically so, at least. But, in good conscience I cannot read his posts any more. I can tolerate the debates over RichRod - even when I think people are being completely irrational and pessimistic. But, I cannot tolerate a person who has decided that he is not one of us. I don't think this is irrational at all ... I can understand how someone who has just been pulling for Michigan for the last 5 years to say it's not that big of a deal. But, anyone who's been loyal to THE TEAM, cannot suggest that it's not a big deal. At least acknowledge it's a big deal ... but how dare he act like it's not! To quote Luther, "Here I stand; I can do no other."

Aesculus89

August 26th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

I read that. I'd post there, but joining one UM blog a day is all I can handle.

Reading that made my Adam's apple feel the size of a grapefruit and my eyes well up. Had the referenced (other than Archie) been to great moments in OSU history, I probably would have been shaking salt water out of my keyboard.

Well said, SCM.

Don

August 26th, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

1. Michigan playing Ohio State late in November in the last game of the regular season

2. Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving Day

It is the absolute height of irony, courtesy of either a soulless, uncaring universe or a God possessing a wickedly nasty sense of humor, that the second will outlast the first.

cutter

August 26th, 2010 at 2:50 PM ^

Here's what I understand about how the divisions and schedules will be set up:

1.  The Big Ten will decide in due course on going to a nine-game conference schedule.  This should happen NLT 2015.  If adopted, it means alternating years of four and five home conference games along with three or two home non-conference games to make sure Michigan plays seven home games each season.

2.  Per Alvarez, Iowa and Wisconsin will be split up.  The article also states Minnesota will be put with Wisconsin and that Northwestern and Purdue are a pair.

3.  Per multiple sources, Michigan and Ohio State will also be split up.  This also means Penn State and Nebraska will be in separate divisions.

4.  Per David Brandon in an email exchange, Michigan State will not be Michigan's end of season opponent.

5.  The conference will make sure that the last two games of the season are against opponents within one's own division.

6.  The nine-game schedule might mean a 5-2-2 arrangement with five games within the team's division, two protected games against the other division and two more games against the four remaining opponents.  Assume Ohio State and Purdue would be the two protected opponents.

7.  In a 5-2-2 arranagement and based on what was mentioned above, here's what Michigan would be looking at schedule wise in 2015:

West (5) - Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern

East Protected (2)  - Ohio State, Purdue

East Rotation (2 of 4) - Penn State/Minnesota, WIsconsin/Indiana

Hypothetical 2015 Schedule

9/5 - WESTERN MICHIGAN

9/12 -  NOTRE DAME

9/19 - MIAMI (OH)

9/26 - At Purdue (East)

10/3 - IOWA (WEST)

10/10 - BYE WEEK

10/17 - At Michigan State (West)

10/24 - OHIO STATE (EAST)

10/31 - At Illinois (West)

11/7 - MINNESOTA (EAST) or INDIANA (EAST)

11/14 - At Penn State (East) or At Wisconsin (East)

11/21 - NORTHWESTERN (WEST)

11/28 - At Nebraska (West)

12/5 - Big Ten Conference Championship Game

The reason I threw together this hypothetical schedule for 2015 is that barring expansion, this is exactly what sort of lineup Michigan will be looking at five years from now.  This schedule has the potential to be pretty gruelling in its own right because UM is replacing one of its non-conference opponenent for a Big Ten opponent who could much tougher in a lot of cases.

I also think its a pretty worth schedule that--outside of tradition's sake--doesn't need to have Ohio State at the tail end (especially the week before a conference championship game) as its crescendo.   If Michigan were to get through that gauntlet and onto the CCG, I don't think there'd be too many people complaining that it wasn't quite the same because UM didn't play OSU on 11/28.

Instead, they'd be concentrating on who the CCG opponent would be, did UM play them earlier in the season, what the bowl implications were, how to get tickets to the CCG, etc.   While the traditions and the discussions would change, I don't think passions for Michigan and college football would be altered very much. 

 

 

zlionsfan

August 26th, 2010 at 3:55 PM ^

I say there will be tens of thousands of people complaining, especially if that is the first season in which the Madness descends.

I appreciate the effort you are expending in terms of detailing the rest of the schedule, but the point is not the rest of the schedule, it's the last regular-season game and whether it is The Game or Some Other Game With Much Less Significance No Matter What Else Happens.

CRex

August 26th, 2010 at 2:51 PM ^

When tOSU and UMich fans are united in their hatred of your idea, you've managed to screw up big time.  It's going to be weird in Columbus this year, I'm going to hate the Buckeye fans as always, but it will likely be the last time I get to hate them in this specific war, a way passed down through generations of my family since the 1930s.  So while I'll hate them, I'll always hate the leadership of the Big 10 now even more.

I know college football really isn't about tradition, it's about the dollars.  Yet it used to nice when they at least let us pretend they gave a shit about tradition.  Old brick stadiums, no advertising in them, fairly reasonable ticket prices, etc.  They're not just destroying The Game when they move  it, they're destroying the myth that tradition still matters and making it clear convenience is king and will bulldoze over things like The Game, the Bo vs Woody rivalry and such.  At the end of the day it leaves me wondering "Why not just watch pro ball?  They're honest about why they play at least."

J. Lichty

August 26th, 2010 at 2:52 PM ^

but it would have been a problem comparable to the USSR and Finland in 1980.

The GAME was against the Soviets, while the Finland game for the Gold Medal was really just icing.

Imagine if the USSR game had been during pool play however.  Still a big win anytime it happens, but means far less because of when it happened.

That is not even to mention that, while Wisconsin will likely play Minnesota in its cross divisional rivalry, UM will play OSU putting (hopefully both programs) at a disadvantage to even making it to the championship game for that coveted re-match.

Nickel

August 26th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

<santimonious blowhard guy> Oh grow up everyone,  there are more important things in life like the mortgage and a house, go hug your kids, go kiss your wife.....

</sanctimonious blowhard guy>

This fucking sucks.  The next thing I expect Delaney to do is show up at my house and run over my dog.  Twice.

Callahan

August 26th, 2010 at 3:08 PM ^

1) If you look at the last 17 years of M/OSU games, only two (1997 & 2006) have actually been for the Big Ten title AND a trip to the Rose Bowl/BCS Championship games. One of the years (2002, I think), a win by OSU created what would have been the third matchup.

2) Comparing any scenario in college basketball (Duke/UNC) to this is ridiculous because the only similarity between the two sports is the exploitation of amateur athletes for a billion-dollar profit by a "non-profit" organization.

3) The clear winner would be Michigan State, if, as some suggest, Sparty becomes the last game of the season. It would give them a greater national profile.

4) The only logical way to maintain the tradition and importance of The Game was to put both teams in the same divisions so that the game could realistically be for a berth in the Big Ten Championship game every year.

And like everyone who posted before me, I find it a disgrace that they have whiffed on this so badly. Dave Brandon has sold us out.

[email protected]

August 26th, 2010 at 3:48 PM ^

I share many of your sentiment's about the thought of moving the date of THE GAME to earlier in the season.  I have been a Michigan fan for over 35 years, with enough experience at THE GAME to rival most here.  I have seen Michigan at its best and seen it at its most frustrated recently.  

However, I have seen traditions continue and I have seen them end, and one's emotional reaction has been similar to what I see above.  Let's watch the 5 stages of Kuebler-Ross mourning of individual loss progress.  Why should I dare say this in this blog?  I will probably lose another 20-25 points, as I did for posting a speculative post about why moving the date of THE GAME might not be considered the fall of Western Civilization.  see this thread http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/why-scheduling-michigan-osu-game-earlier-se….

I could list another series of changes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Ivy League Football, but most would consider it irrelevant or even offensive to consider any comparison to THE GAME.  However, we live in the real world now, and as offensive that may seem, I am sick and tired of seeing BIG 10 Football be considered the bridesmaid to the ACC and SEC or even the Pac 10 in the BCS bowl championship.

Right now, given Michigan's status of rebuilding and being a Tier C team in the Big 10, who has not made it to any bowl in two years, it does not have much clout at the bargaining table.  Meanwhile, I don't see OSU worrying about the GAME, because they want to be #1 in the USA.  They can beat up on Michigan once a year, but they want to go on to bigger and better things.

(See these various OSU football blogs:

 

http://www.buckeyecommentary.com/

 

http://forum.buckeyecommentary.com/

 

http://www.elevenwarriors.com/

 

http://www.thebuckeyeblog.com/

 

http://www.wewillalwayshavetempe.com/

 

http://blog.blockonation.com/

)

Michigan still has to wait for the decision of NCAA COI, and while most feel the current self-imposted penalties will suffice, we could easily see Rich Rodriguez or the university put on probation or receive worse penalties.  That will lead to another coaching change, and while that may be welcomed by some, it may mean also another mass exodus of good players on offense and defense, and another phase of rebuilding.  That will not help our leverage at the bargaining table.  Not to mention if Michigan gets banned from post-season bowls.

(Which would you consider worse, a post-season ban for Michigan from bowls for 3 years a la USC, or  rescheduling the GAME from the last regular season game of the year.)

Perhaps the change of the date will be temporary, and in a few years, the athletic departments will return the date to its traditional position.  I doubt 2010 will  be the last time Michigan and OSU will meet at the end of the year.  They will probably still have 2-3 more years of the THE GAME being at the end of the season before they change the date, but I could be wrong.  

There may be other teams that may join the big 10, such as Notre Dame or Pitt or Syracuse, who could add to the competition for the Big 10 Championship.  However, the days of the BIG 2 and the little 8 are over.  Besides, whoever wins the Michigan-OSU game will ruin any perfect season for the other team, and will likely knock them down in the race for the Big 10 crown, and that will happen regardless of which division they play in.  

My response may appear to rational for some here, who would pillory me for confronting their emotional reaction to their emotional attachment.  I try to be considerate most of the time, but perhaps some people to the listen to the Eagles and "Get over it"! 

If you are serious about saving the GAME as the last game of the regular season, then we better get some support from the OSU fans in addition to our own fans to make it happan.

Seth

August 26th, 2010 at 4:30 PM ^

Before you levy "emotional" at everyone who wants The Game to remain in its rightful place, why don't you actually show how moving it will change a single thing? How will it make Michigan better? How will it make the Big Ten more marketable?

You're not acting "rational" if you apply zero rational process to your argument. The Big Ten could have 100 teams in it by the time we're 60 -- still, nobody has demonstrated decisively or even suggestively that moving The Game does anything positive for Michigan, Ohio State, or the Conference.

Most of this post you spent building straw men: "most people would say," etc. How about, instead of trying to characterize reaction to what you're writing, you actually pay attention to building an argument in what you're writing? I'll give you direct examples:

  • I have been a Michigan fan for over 35 years....

Experience duly noted. This counts. Proceed.

  • However, I have seen traditions continue and I have seen them end, and an individual's emotional reaction have been similar to what I see above. Let's watch the 5 stages of Kuebler-Ross mourning of individual loss progress.

So your experience has trained you as a Freudian psychologist. That's cool. I'm marrying one in a few weeks. But the way she would deal with a grief progression would be to identify the cause of the grief. You, instead, are minimizing the cause's importance by applying a psychiatric diagnosis: "you are experiencing grief; you must be crazy, therefore your argument must be crazy." This is the opposite of correct.

  • Why should I dare to say this in this blog?  I will probably lose another 20-25 points, as I did for posting a speculative post about why moving the date of THE GAME might not be considered the fall of Western Civilization.

You're not very trusting of opinions that are not your own, and far too quick to dismiss disagreement with you. I personally negged that post because you implied causality between Michigan's struggles against Tressel and OSU's throwback uniforms, which showed you didn't think this through very much since the implication was that changing tradition was bad.

  • I could list another series of changes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Ivy League Football, but most would consider irrelevant or even offensive to consider any comparison to THE GAME.

Again, Straw Man.

  • However, we live in the real world now, (emphasis added) and as offensive that may seem, despite the question of money.  I am sick and tired of seeing BIG 10 Football be considered the bridesmaid to the ACC and SEC or even the Pac 10 in the BCS bowl championship, whether it be the current arrangement or a playoff.

This is where you fall apart into true trolldom. "You are living on fairy world" is not a valid argument, unless you are actually physically arguing with a Care Bear. What you don't do here -- AT ALL -- is show why moving Michigan-Ohio State to early October or whatever would make the Big Ten more palatable to SEC fans? 

  • Right now, given Michigan status of rebuilding and being a Tier C team in the Big 10, who hasn't made it to any bowl in two years, it does not have the clout at the bargaining table.  Meanwhile, I don't see OSU worrying about the GAME, because they want to be #1 in the USA.  They can beat up on Michigan once a year, but they want to go on to bigger and better things.

 

Here you are absolutely wrong. I read OSU message boards. They still talk about Michigan more than anything else, literally. The prevailing argument between Buckeye fans right now is whether they want Michigan to get good again so it will be more meaningful when they beat us, or whether they want us to continue sucking because our tears taste so nice. You are wrong about the Buckeyes -- they care A LOT. In case you didn't notice, they even cared so much as to show up in droves last year, when Michigan was playing just to maybe get in a bowl, and nobody thought The Game would be competitive.

  • Michigan still has to await the decision of NCAA COI, and while most feel the current self-imposted penalties will suffice, we could easily see Rich Rodriguez put on probation or receive worse penalties.  That will lead to another coaching change, and while that may be welcomed by some, it may mean also another mass exodus of good players on offense and defense, and another phase of rebuilding.  That will not help our leverage at the bargaining table.

What bargaining table are you talking about? And what NCAA violations are you talking about? How is the practice thing, which started before RR and which Brandon has been backing RR on throughout, gonna suddenly turn around? This is Rosenbergism. Losing is the only thing that could get RR fired -- if you've been paying attention at all, this is a non-story and an even bigger non-story to Dave Brandon. Plus, you don't connect it at all to your argument for moving the game up. What the hell are we bargaining for? In the event of Michigan sucking for the next nine years, how would that at all change the meaning of the Ohio State game being played a different week?

  • Perhaps the change of the date will be temporary, and in a few years, the athletic departments will return the date to its traditional position.  I doubt 2010 will  be the last time Michigan and OSU will meet at the end of the year.  They will probably still have 2-3 more years of the THE GAME being at the end of the season before they change the date, but I could be wrong.  

Um, what are you trying to say? You're wrong about the timing, which is pretty clear: in 2011 the Big Ten goes to divisions and The Game is moved. If it's moved back to the end of the season, it would be because of fan outrage, meaning the outrage on MGoBlog today is justified.

  • There may be other teams that may join the big 10, such as Notre Dame or Pitt or Syracuse, who could add to the competition for the Big 10 Championship.  However, the days of the BIG 2 and the little 8 are over.  Besides, whoever wins the Michigan-OSU game will ruin any perfect season for the other team, and will likely knock them down in the race for the Big 10 crown, and that will happen regardless of which division they play in.  

Again, you're defeating your argument. If Michigan-Ohio State being played every year makes the likelihood smaller that they will meet in the championship game, that is an argument against moving The Game, since the only time there will be any value to moving The Game would be in the rare instances when they would meet again. If this is going to almost never happen, it means the move is almost never going to pay off. If the days of Michigan and Ohio State dominating the rest of the conference are (the days) truly over, then separating the teams into different divisions to enhance the appeal of a Michigan-Ohio State rematch in Indianapolis is an excercise in futility. The whole point of the move is because these two teams are expected to keep dominating the other 10 like they did the other 8.

  • My response may appear [too] rational for some here, who would pillory me for confronting their emotional reaction to their emotional attachment.  I try to be considerate most of the time, but perhaps some people to the listen to the Eagles and "Get over it"! 

This is where you earn your neg-bang. Nobody here likes things that are "too" rational. We dislike things that are "not" rational. Like, for example, the entire irrational argument you just presented.

Me and the guy from Alt 85 have this problem: we both hate it when someone arrogantly parades themselves as "The Truth" when they're wrong. You're like the Texas lady who said "If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

You, like the Militantly Anglophonic Texan, are being very arrogant in calling your post "too rational" then dismissing any dissent from you as double-emotion ("emotional reaction to their emotional attachment.") The only response you will brook, apparently, is for anyone who doesn't think you are a complete truth-speaking fucking Grade A genius to go listen to Take it Easy until that realization becomes apparent. Yet you are also wrong, since you have not been at all rational -- you made a completely and obviously irrational argument -- while debating an argument that is entirely rational: "The iconic stature of the game is itself more valuable than the sum total value of moving it."

  • Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do.

Yeah, Bruce Lee. Didn't Yoda say about the same thing? Didn't Goethe say something similar too? And Balzac? And Newton? Hey, you can quote me with a similar sentiment: "All the potential energy in the world won't move a pin unless it's converted to kinetic." -Misopogon. But how in the hell and Columbus, Ohio, does a quote about the tangible value of collection versus application apply to playing Ohio State before Michigan State?

You don't get points just for standing against consensus opinion -- you get points for being right, regardless of consensus opinion. To be right you need evidence, and you don't have a shred of it. You were also arrogant and dismissive, on top of being wrong. For that, I think you shoul be pilloried, preferably by middle-aged pirates.

[email protected]

August 26th, 2010 at 5:46 PM ^

Misopogon

I have read your response and feel that you are just as emotionally invested in nostalgic beliefs as anyone else.  No one can be truly rational to this upcoming loss, since it breaks your routine as far as college football glory appears.  Your view of a winning season begins with beating OSU, and from there we proceed to bigger and better things, like Big 10 championships, bowl games, and top 10 ranks.  However, if Michigan can't get it done against OSU, it is unfulfilling.

My argument with regard to changing the date of the GAME, considers it futile to have two back to back games with OSU for the end of the year and then for the championship.  The last game will not be as competitive, because of losses from injured played and the deja vu feeling.  The common argument that that Michigan and OSU should be in the same division and play to determine, who will go on to the Conference championship game.

 You seem to labor under the belief that Michigan and OSU will have equally dominate records, when they square off, that was last true in 2006, and for the last two years, Michigan was out of the running and OSU already dominate.  It would be nice, if Michigan could play a spoiler role, like Purdue did last year, and I would applaud a Michigan victory this year as sweet, redeeming success for a team that deserves, if only because of the challenges they have met so far.  

Moving on to the BIG 10 versus the ACC and SEC, the Big 10 conference will not begin to morph into its new alignment until 2015.  During that time, we may see the additional teams, perhaps Notre Dame, perhaps other teams, but I doubt we will see the addition of a team like Texas or Alabama.  That means that the Big 10 has four historically dominate college football teams, i.e. Michigan, OSU, PSU, and Nebraska, along with other college teams, which had previous Rose Bowls wins or national championships, i.e. MSU (1965), Minnesota (1960, 1934-36 national champions, although lately they are lucky to win the Little Brown jug game against Michigan even in 2008).  The Big 10 usually has 4-6 teams go on to post-season bowls, but usually don't win the majority of the games, although last year was better.  The dominate team has been OSU for the last 5 years, beating Michigan every year, but OSU has not done very well in post-season bowl games, although they did win last year.

Now Michigan has laid claim to a total 22 National championships under various schemes (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCAA_Division_I_FBS_national_football_cham…), and ignoring Princeton's 28 championships, Yale's 27 championships and Harvard's 12 championships, Notre Dame has had 21 total, OSU 13, Nebraska 11, PSU 7, where as Alabama has had 17, Miami 9, FSU 7, LSU 7, and Tennessee 7, not to mention many championships by GA Tech, Florida, George, and Auburn and even Clemson.  However, lately in the last 10 years, SEC teams has owned the top rankings, just ask Pat Forde. 

The Big 10 started the BIG 10 network to compete against SEC, ACC and Pac10, and perhaps Big 12 for TV rights with Fox, ABC, ESPN, and other networks, in search of eyeballs.  It allows the Big 10 flexibility for TV appearances, and perhaps a vehicle, if college football teams are ever broadcast real-time on the internet.  

The Big 10 teams have to complete for recruits, and one need only look at ESPN, rivals, or scout rankling of team recruiting to see that Michigan lags behind lately other teams, in contrast to earlier years.  OSU, PSU, and Nebraska have been doing better, but Alabama, Texas, USC and Florida have been consistently been recruiting higher ranked players.  

In order to compete better against, ACC and SEC, the Big 10 has to first compete better against each other, and force the dominate team to earn the right to be champion better, and later to be better able to complete in BCS championship bowl games, or at least post-season bowl games.  Bo had a great record winning regular season games, and a good record against OSU, but not so good when playing in the Rose Bowl or other bowl games.  

I will continue my response later.

03 Blue 07

August 26th, 2010 at 7:43 PM ^

Yeah, you're going to need to continue that thought. Or scrap it and start from scratch. I, for one, want to know what you have to say about Misopogon's response. Instead of going on a meandering, grammar-challenged and format-challenged reply to the response that doesn't seem to really address the reply nor the precise points it makes, why don't you try the format Misopogon employed? It will work better- trust me. You'll be able to address, head-on, each rebuttal point he made. Quote him, and then address what he says directly. This isn't fiction; this is argumentative writing. Think lawyer, not SciFi writer. You seemed to raise a bunch of stuff that may or may not be relevant, but it surely wasn't a reply to his response; you just continued your stream-of-consciousness manifesto. Sad.