Grantland Big Ten Preview

Submitted by Everyone Murders on August 14th, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Grantland's Holly Anderson has put together their Big Ten Season PREVIEW.  It's a good read (I'm a fan of her writing in general, so I'm biased), and contains the obligatory jab at Michigan re: Appalachian State below.  She also pronounces Tim Beckman to be on the hottest of seats, which makes sense given his abysmal record even by Illinois standards and away games at Washington, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.

Early Must-Watch Game, Nonconference Category Appalachian State returns to Michigan in Week 1, producing a problematic set of circumstances in which Michigan will have to win by gobs and gobs of points to put the ghosts of 2007 to rest, and in which even if the Wolverines trounce the Mountaineers, we’re going to have to talk about it, because of that one time they did not. Also of interest: Michigan at Notre Dame in Week 2, and Nebraska at Fresno State in Week 3.



August 14th, 2014 at 4:53 PM ^

Iowa passes the midseason mark undefeated, manages to lose to Maryland, recovers, and goes on to win 10 games. Kirk Ferentz gets another contract extension. Oceans rise; mountains fall; the world spins on.

I suppose the questions that arise are these then - does the next contract extension put him past the average lifespan of an adult male? Would Iowa, in such a circumstance, go with a year-to-year format for the contract after that? If Kirk Ferentz passes on, does he still get to coach out the season or is this a clever way of getting another extension?

Everyone Murders

August 14th, 2014 at 5:36 PM ^

My answer is not.  If Kirk Ferentz passes on, the Iowa team does some quick taxidermy and keeps Ferentz in the HC position with his assistants propping him up a la Weekend at Bernies.  (The great thing is that he already has the requisite mustache and wire-rimmed sunglasses.)  There is no discernable difference in the team's on-field performance, and his contract is renewed in perpetuity.

The only variable is whether they can find a taxidermist in Iowa.

You're welcome.


August 14th, 2014 at 5:05 PM ^

I like her writing for the most part and this in no way takes away from her writing style, but I find she writes for people that don't actually pay attention to college football.  Or maybe I just pay way too much attention to college football. 


August 14th, 2014 at 6:20 PM ^

There is almost no U of M content on this entire story, pathetic.  MSU, OSU highlights - some PSU and Nebraska...some talk about Rutgers and Maryland entering.  Aside from a tiny blurb on App State and Hoke's job and Peppers Michigan is an afterthought.  Hell Indiana got more coverage.


August 14th, 2014 at 6:30 PM ^

We're probably the 4th, mmmaaayybbeee 3rd, best team in our own division. The two big boys and the two new comer's are much more interesting than the former giant whose fallen a long time ago and doesn't appear to have any life left.

Everyone Murders

August 14th, 2014 at 6:38 PM ^

First is that Michigan went 3-5 in the Big Ten last year, and writers tend to focus (perhaps too much) on the prior year's performance.  3-5, with our signature Big Ten win premised on getting into overtime on a spectacular play that involved some generous officiating at NU.  That sort of year arguably doesn't merit a ton of coverage.

Second, Anderson tends to write for entertainment first, and substance second, and it's a generally short article overall on a 14 team conference.  I posted the link to the article because I think it's well-written and not replete with inaccuracies.  Plus it's of interest to the board because of commentary on other Big Ten teams, and noteworthy because a Grantland article goes to a wide audience.


August 14th, 2014 at 7:14 PM ^

PSU was 7th (or 6th), we were 8th.  They had a 7-5, 4-4 record.  I get that they have Franklin so worth a blurb but still.  There are 4 "historic" programs in the Big 10 - UM, OSU, PSU, and Nebraska.  Those should get a decent shout out in any Big 10 review.  I think Wisconsin likewise was nearly completely ignored considering their record over the past 15 years.  Again, Indiana got more pub than Michigan - did I remember then finishing above us?

It doesn't matter in the big picture but any somewhat serious Big 10 "review" that just uses a few throwaway lines on Michigan is sort of lame.  I guess Hoke needs to start carrying cats around.

rob f

August 14th, 2014 at 7:35 PM ^

No, Hoke has nothing to gain by mimicing Pelini. 

OTOH, if Brady were to occasionally hoist a live wolverine as he leads Michigan out of the tunnel,  that's something that would warrant a LOT more media attention.  Even if it were an itty bitty baby live wolverine.


August 14th, 2014 at 9:07 PM ^

(Zach Lowe is some kind of machine sent to put all writers to shame in sheer content), but some of their stuff (Holly Anderson, Katie Baker,  and Jay Caspian Kang) is really hit or miss. (Charles Pierce is always a miss. Can't believe that dude makes a living writing).