Lots of changes afoot in the Big Ten Bowl Picture, but unfortunately the abomination that is the Capital One Bowl and it's shitty cousin the Outback Bowl are still with us. The Holiday Bowl does join them in what is known as "Tier 1," putting San Diego on the possible holiday destination list for travelling fans. Details on the tier system are here. Basically it has the Big Ten working with the Bowl organizers so one team isn't stuck going to Orlando every damn year. Great. Where were you when I needed you 14 years ago?
The order looks like this...
- Rose Bowl - but if the Rose Bowl is part of the playoff (like this year) the Orange Bowl is in play for the Big Ten three times between now and 2026...this is one of those times.
Capital One Bowl (Orlando) vs. SEC No. 2
Outback Bowl (Tampa) vs. SEC No. 3
Holiday Bowl (San Diego) vs. Pac-12 No. 3
Gator Bowl (Jacksonville) (split with ACC) vs. SEC
Music City Bowl (Nashville) (split with ACC) vs. SEC
San Francisco Bowl vs. Pac-12 No. 4
Pinstripe Bowl (New York) vs. ACC
Detroit Bowl (Detroit) vs. ACC
Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas) vs. Conference USA
It's almost time. I mean, technically, it IS time. It's game week. Camp is over. Practices will focus on an opposing team, on a game plan more than a technique. Blogs will discuss App State, though mostly from a "what happened last time" and "it's so dumb that Dave scheduled this game" perspective.
It IS stupid. I'm pissed. You're pissed. The state of the program has you pissed off in general anyway. Screw it. Let's tailgate our asses off and just get Saturday over with and move on.
The home schedule is a complete pile of crap, but should provide wins. The business that needs to be dealt with happens in South Bend, East Lansing, and Columbus, and I need two out of three of those to go our way to put this season under the moniker "progress." That leaves an game in Evanston that scares me, and Under the Lights 3. So, between one and five regular season losses. Four or less keeps the Brady machine moving. Prognosticate from there on your own.
I think the above qualifies as my season prediction. A far cry from the detail that used to go into my Xbox simulated preview. I think Matt Gutierrez won the Heisman one year. I still wonder what that dude did to hand Henne the start for the opener back in '04. Oh well. Here's the weekend you missed...and it includes both a Freep link and a Rosenberg link. Yes I'm a sadist:
- Is Brady Hoke the right man for Michigan? SI.com's turncoat traitor asshat Michael Rosenberg talks about if his decision to use his position at the Free Press to have Rich Rod fired was the right one.
- UMGoBlog covers the topic of being a digital dick to our student athletes.
- Rittenburg is paging the Wolverines. It's super corny but I am hoping they answer. I mean, you weren't there for us when you pulled that screw job making us play AT Sparty two years in a row, but we'll do our best.
- Also, 10 years since our last Big Ten title. Yuck.
- Austin Hatch on The Today Show via UMHoops.
- Shotgun a beer to strike out PMS. Like the ice bucket challenge, only way cooler.
- Get off your phone and watch the game. We can be as good as soccer fans.
- Michigan has a better chance than MSU to win the Big Ten according to the ESPN Football Power Index. This caused much dismay at the Freep, who entitled their article about it "Wait, what?"...seriously.
It wasn't really all that fun, but for the football starved it wasn't a horrible way to spend a Saturday night in Ann Arbor. It's was kind of reminiscent of what the Spring Game used to be, like 10 years ago. So it wasn't great, but it was markedly better than the PNC sponsored bullshit they trot out in the current iteration each April. Complaints? I've got a few. There wasn't nearly enough announcing of the play by play by bizzaro Grapentine. New players, new numbers, constant substitutions...help a brother out! Also, someone needs to clean up those ten million dollar scoreboards: dirty, dead light bulbs, digital artifacts on the screens. And finally, don't tell me to print off a bunch of free tickets and then tell me I don't need them when I show up.
I'm no rocket surgeon, so take my opinions for what they are...a few things I saw when I wasn't trolling twitter combined with everybody else's opinion from twitter.
- Simply put, the offense is the same suckfest as last year and when you see it go against the defense, it makes you think the defense might be serviceable.
- Northfleet has been thisclose to breaking one on special teams for what seems like 5 years...I think you'll get that same feeling all year before each time he's tackled at the 30.
- Peppers looks like the kind of athlete you want on the field as much as possible, and combined with the fact that he is a child maybe the only thing to get excited about going in to this stupid opener.
- The offense line looked like disorganized crap. But that's because it IS disorganized crap. Glasgow is out for the opener, there's a true freshman that might start, Bosch has a hurt back....lots of in and outs is not conducive to the idea of a cohesive unit. I think it might be best to reserve judgement until South Bend.
- Punting and kicking looked as good as it has ever looked.
Here's what you missed around the internets when you bought a set of season tickets on woot:
- Maize and Brew covers some post scrimmage comments from Coach Hoke, which includes "We need to catch up Offensively."
- Full Hoke post scrimmage presser from MGoBlog.
- The AP Poll is out. We do not appear in it.
- Not technically from the weekend, but full of pre-season coverage, it's Dienhart's tour from BTN.
- An Oral History of the last Appalachian State loss is covered in the Freep. Why? Dave. That's why. Well, Dave and the fact that Freep cradles the stones of Dantonio ever so gently.
- Hoops is in my homeland, and they crushed Perugia Select by 39, which if nothing else got some game action for Austin Hatch....which is pretty cool.
- Notre Dame - killed a kid, cheated on some tests, faked a girlfriend with cancer and her subsequent death, cheated some more. Wake up the echoes!
Keep calm and Go Blue!