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02/02/2010 - 10:15am this all but kills

the suspense around Selection Sunday. I'll be curious what they can do to rebuild the hoopla around that.

If they must go this route, they should have some kind of play-in among the additional 32 (is it?) teams. If it's just more of the same with less attractive teams wtf.

(Apologies, there's lots of talk elsewhere about expansion as if it were a foregone conclusion; I thought I was responding to a thread about that. Assuming these thoughts still apply, tho.)

02/02/2010 - 8:21am few outside observers would agree

w. your list of wins, much as I would like to. Most or all would place MSU and UConn in toss-up territory, don't you think? So to me that looks like three more or less guaranteed wins.

Of the second group I think Indiana and Purdue look good, but--again--an independent analyst might call Purdue a toss-up, too. But give us those two and throw ND back in the toss-up column, esp. since we play them away.

That might be five likely wins for an outside observer (don't think I'm overplaying the Devil's Advocate role here).

Give us one of my three hypothetical toss-ups and RR has improved on last year, to six wins. Give us two--not hard to imagine--and we are 'on the road to recovery.'

I don't see much more; it seems quite possible that we could be 5-7 again (games should offer a whole new dimension in nail-biting, with the O racking up big scores, the D showing flashes of sorta goodness and nasty breakdowns). But given that changing horses in midstream is a particularly difficult proposition with RR's offense--i.e. you go out and wait another three yrs. to get pro-style guys back in--I'm pretty sure we've got him for another year.

And I do believe that 2011 will see us fielding a fine squad.

01/31/2010 - 9:48pm interesting take, but

does "greed" really describe the actions of a 17 year old? I'm not sure. I'm not sure most of us even now how the deal went down. Or is there some part of the story I have missed?

01/31/2010 - 7:07pm appreciate it

Not sure why I got a minus; I was trying to show how this word 'entitlement' tends to get used by people, sometimes in a manipulative way on one side, more recently on the other.

Not sure I care that much, but there's a certain cowardice in negbanging someone w.o. coming out and stating your gripe--like cold-cocking somebody in a bar fight, then running for the exit.

01/31/2010 - 11:29am re: entitlement

re: Webber

I always loved the guy, and while I would love it if he finally came clean and expressed remorse about what happened, I'm probably a little biased in his favor.

re: "entitlement"

The term became popular during the Reagan era, when first efforts were being made to end welfare. (During the Nixon period, Republicans were still FOR welfare, generally; Nixon RAISED welfare payments during his time in office; then Clinton all but ended it). But the argument became politically popular that poor people had come to feel 'entitled' to welfare benefits. . . . (Sometimes it's applied to black people, sometimes to all poor people.)

I grew up among a lot of middle class black people (MIT grads; Bell Labs execs). This argument about entitlement--of course--tends to piss them off pretty good, since a lot of them had to go through more hells than you and I can imagine to get where they got. Reagan used to like to talk about 'welfare queens,' for example; it got pretty ugly. . .

More recently, this argument has begun to come from the other side. At a time when the gap between rich and poor is more skewed than it has ever been, liberals have begun to complain that the rich feel 'entitled.' This argument has esp. been made about bankers and their feeling of 'entitlement' to million-dollar bonuses, or the way they refuse--some say unpatriotically- to pay taxes, squirreling their money away offshore.

Anyway, it seems like a stretch to me to say that the Webbers felt 'entitled;' it's like stretching the notion about poor (black) people to middle class people. (In my years of teaching, I've come to believe that middle class people of all races are more alike than different.) The idea that there is a pervasive corruption in the sport--ongoing--seems much more convincing to me.

Although people like Rush Limbaugh complain about the "thuggery" in the NBA (for ex.), you'll find that a lot of these players have 100s of people who are dependent on them and who they help, along w. sizable charitable giving, etc. (This would be the opposite of 'entitlement,' right?) A lot of people are often waiting on that talented kid to cash in so they can start living better. . . and there are a lot of hangers-on, inevitably, pressuring them further.

In the end I don't think you can say much about WHAT the Webber family felt or thought, unless you have some privileged insight about them.

11/27/2008 - 10:33am hope Weis stays, too--

figures of such (Rabelasian) fun don't happen along all THAT often. The guy is worth both the popcorn and price of admission.

11/27/2008 - 10:31am didn't look anyone up, not sure

what you're on about--Grace Paley was an acquaintance, and that is a line from one of her most favorite stories. Anyone who had read it would know I am also making fun of myself, but. . . in the interests of T'giving comity I rescind my mouthy response to Brian's post.

Gladwell is more popstar than deep thinker, howeva.

11/26/2008 - 8:50pm this 'smarter than you' meme

is played. And Malcolm Gladwell is a one-note Johnny; his new book is pretty much his old book, and it sucks. And my test scores place me in 'certain circles,' as a much smarter person--Grace Paley--once said. Don't make assumptions, especially tired ones.

11/26/2008 - 1:34pm fantastic post

Well thought-out, gives me both perspective and lots of hope. Judging from the Arizona video LLP just might be quick enough--here and there, he shows some afterburners. Makes good adjustments, too. Confidence is everything, and a lot might depend on the way the rest of the team is feeling him in practices.

11/25/2008 - 2:56pm they've had a bunch

of Rhodes scholar-athletes. My wife teaches there, and I live in Tallahassee. It's not a highly-ranked school--I think they just slipped into the top 60 for the first time. But Tallahassee is a beautiful town--epodunk rates it ahead of Ann Arbor at #2 as the best college town in the US. It's got the best film school after UCLA, and one of the best music schools. And it's in probably the most beautiful unspoiled region of the country--twelve miles away are beaches that rival many in the Caribbean (and I know the Caribbean well; it's where I do my research).

FSU is also ranked among the best four or five schools for the dollar value--tuition is going up, but it's ridiculously cheap. One of the best things about living there, besides the amazing year-round climate (much better than the rest of Florida) is that you can see ACC basketball all winter long for stupid cheap. Can't stand Bobby Bowden though, and have never been able to bring myself to cheer for FSU, not since '91.

11/24/2008 - 4:33pm 18 fumbles next year

could prove the opposite--that there IS a God and he freaking hates us.

Fine post, thanks. I'll bookmark and read it over and over during the dark winter days to come.

11/24/2008 - 3:14pm don't know about your politics,

but there IS the approach Abraham Lincoln took: show you're big enough not to be threatened by the people who want your job. It brought mixed results.

11/24/2008 - 2:43pm mutual contradictions?

I agree bad luck has played a huge role--we could have three, four more wins easy and the shriekback would be far less fierce. HOWEVER, that suggests more talent than is sometimes acknowledged and we have at times played very well.

Yeah, the QB'ing has sucked (bearing in mind that these are kids in Michigan uniforms and I love them.) Who knows how well Threet might have performed without his injuries? And I was one of those who agreed Mallett should be allowed to go if he wanted to go. . .

But the inconsistency does boil down to coaching, not completely but in good part. The play-calling, even by spread standards, sometimes seemed stupefyingly unimaginative. (How could that be possible with Rich Rod, of all people?) And the idea that enough kids failed to buy in to undermine the whole team is scary.

I really didn't think I was 'piling on,' though. I hope Rich Rod pulls it out--took a shine to him immediately despite a LOT of antipathy that has developed among M Grads nationwide and in A2. But I have valued this site as a place where realism prevailed--that was Brian's strong suit, even when he was hard on Lloyd, a Hall of Fame coach. Lately, a certain homerism has entrenched itself as shell-shocked bloggers dug in their heels--sometimes against the evidence of their own posts. (Compare game-day kvetching with midweek defenses of RichRod, sometimes of the 'kill the messenger' type.)

And none of my fellow fan-friends have been able to answer the question as to whether Rich Rod may just be running a little behind the curve on his own innovation--the spread. Only time will tell.

Btw, I've been hanging out here for several years now. Just started posting.

11/24/2008 - 12:58pm "debased," btw

is not the word you're after--"discredited" maybe.

11/24/2008 - 12:55pm point taken but

lay use of this term far outpaces the technical definition, and is really not much different than yours, to wit: potential gains from further investment exceed losses.

I agree with Brian's current post re: sunk costs, but that might not prevent the institutional and other odds against Rich Rod by the end of NEXT YEAR may not be all but insurmountable. (Of course, this sunk cost argument goes for every overpaid shite coach, including Charlie Weiss.)

11/24/2008 - 12:48pm no, I don't think it has;

I know that Brian has gnawed away at the issue, but no one here has convinced me. The best answer I have heard was RichRod's, that he's incapable of anything else. That may be true, but it's also my point--someone flexible may also be more capable.

Unfortunately, you posted your picture along WITH the injudicious use of the word 'stupid.' In tandem they suggest greater worries for you than me.

11/24/2008 - 11:01am people who complained about Lloyd's W-L

average were crazy. Among coaches who had been around awhile he was right up there at the top--this at an institution that values academics (Fulmer had an easier time of it). There were OTHER things to complain about with Lloyd--his conservatism at times drove me crazy, though in retrospect (again) historians will say he played the odds from all sides and pretty well.

Rich Rod has dug himself an early hole as far as longterm WL. If he starts winning big no one will care too much about that--least of all those here who seem so convinced he will succeed. Count me among those who are worried. I think that a GREAT coach WOULD have adapted a little more this year--Urban Cryer certainly did. After all, what would you rather have, someone who can only go one way or both ways? (This could go for girlfriends, I dunno.) He's super-defensive, which means his relationship with a testy press may deteriorate further. And he's a screamer--I don't think screamers flourish in this day and age. And I certainly would not let my kids, should they turn out to be strong athletes, sign with one. Add to this the sneaking worry that many other good coaches have absorbed his insights about spreading the field and we MIGHT have a guy on board whose time has already come and gone.

He's got another year, for sure, and I wish him well, but the law of diminishing returns could take hold early in 09 if the team hasn't rounded into form--especially since the sked is in his favor.