First, if you care about that last play in the Minnesota game I suggest you check the comments on yesterday's voracity. There's a lot of intelligent discussion (much of it disagreeing with me) about the play and exactly what the problems were. I still hold to my belief that the call was a major coaching mistake above all, but you can read both sides and decide for yourself.
I have to be faster because people keep "stealing" my obvious column ideas. Offtackle beats me to the halfway point punch with six reasons Michigan has done poorly. I agree that QB play and the Long injury have been major problems but I think the problem on defense hasn't so much been tackling as extremely poor play by the outside linebackers, who have all too frequently tried to run around blocks instead of taking them on and have let running backs escape contain with disturbing frequency. And who knows what's going on with Breaston? Crap crap crap crap great game. Is it injury or is he just not as good as we thought? Probably some of both.
The Athletic Department, in the hunt for funding for new stadium renovations, has floated the idea of building a new level of indoor luxury seating, a proposal that while potentially lucrative, risks irreparably altering the face of the Big House as we've come to know it. Athletic Director Bill Martin, in weighing different alternatives to offset construction costs, should consider the stadium's structural and commercial integrity as nothing less than sacrosanct.
(Someone hit the author with "Elements of Style" before he writes again.) I'm all for removing the head of the first AD who approves that advertising in Michigan Stadium and placing it on a pike on Stadium as a warning to others who would be so foolhardy, but I don't get this. If people want to pay an insane amount of money to sit very far away from the game, we should encourage them. Luxury boxes will help shift the burden of funding Michigan Athletics towards the people with enough disposable income to purchase a small island and away from people like, well, me. They'll also get some of the ancient, silent people who actively detract from the atmosphere of the stadium into a quarantined place where they can no longer ask me to sit on third and five in the fourth quarter. How is getting rid of several thousand of these people going to hurt anything? The idea that Michigan Stadium--where the new PSLs have made seats between the twenties approximately twice as expensive as endzone seats, where the only way to get said seats is to donate a metric buttload of money to the athletic department--is somehow an egalitarian place where Downriver Bob in his Red Wings pleather jacket and Grosse Point Bunny in her mink stoal commune as one with the football team found therein is, uh, interesting. Bring on the rich old people bilking-machines, I say! Huzzah!
My only concern with the proposed renovations is they put a fairly hard cap on the ultimate seating capacity of the stadium--personally I would add a dozen or so rows to the top of the stadium before sealing the sides off with relatively immobile luxury/press boxes. I'm talking Maracana here. Screw this "largest crowd watching a football game in America" stuff. I want "largest crowd watching anything in the Solar System."
The BCS could be only one of its annual train wrecks away from going directly to some sort of a playoff system.
At least that's the view of BCS coordinator and Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg.
"If the majority of the folks agreed to take a look at something like that, it could possibly happen," Weiberg said. "It's hard to predict what would trigger our presidents changing their minds about the structure.
"But, if we have another year with three major teams unbeaten and one left out of the championship game or some additional situation, that could cause folks to at least think about it."
In hindsight this extra-bowl-a-week-after thing does look mighty convenient. The idea of a college football playoff has been beaten to death, reanimated, and then beaten to death again in this space, so I'll skip it this time. But: yay.