Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Michigan Solar Car Team Makes it 3 In a Row!

Okay, this isn't football...Hell, it's not even sports. But as someone who knew someone that was on the team when I was a student, let me tell you it' s a BIG DEAL.

The University of Michigan Solar Car Team Wins the Third National North American Title!

I remember actually seeing the car up in GG Brown at one point. I believe that's where the lab was. And there were a lot of people associated with the team who weren't necessarily on the team that deserve some credit for working on this.

And not only is it three in a row, but Michigan has won 6 overall!

In any event, it just goes to show that Michigan can still put together a champion!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Coming! The MMQ Pre-Season Spectacular

The first e-mail came to me the other day with the first of the early bird Pre-Season polls. I forget which publication it was from, but it looked rather predictable. And it got me to thinking about this year's Pre-Season Spectacular and I started reading some of the past stuff to get the ole spark back. At least I want to sharpen the needle for future wins over many hated rivals. And while we're at it, the Corn Suckers can now be treated like Big10 bretheren and not "revered" for their mystique...But I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.

What was interesting is that I have been surprisingly accurate in predicting Michigan's record in the past. My pre-season analysis for this team is usually spot on down to predicting the who we would lose to and in some cases by how much.

Of course, this year, it would take a TOTAL CONTRARIAN to somehow rank Michigan in the top 25, much less have them knocking on the door of the top 10. Yes, the Defensive Line is returning 4 starters, (without the Great Brandon Graham) and the offensive scheme should be sufficiently in place for Tate and Denard...So, it kind of makes me wonder to the point of giving me an extremely small flicker of hope, but hope none the less.

Yes, there are readers out there that will immediately apply the slappy label on this. But, I believe there will be improvements. There has to be. The Rod's job is on the line and while getting to a bowl might not save him, I think it will at least force everyone to pause and look at where the program's going and what it could potentially become.

But, there's a whole lot of football coming our way. Finally.

It's been a long and tumultuous off-season and I look forward to the lighter side of my analysis.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Citi Bows out of Rose Bowl - Another Nail in the BCS Coffin?

Hmmmmm...The BCS Bowls are having difficulty "leveraging" the sponsorship of the games...Check this link for the details on Citi bowing out of the Rose Bowl.

How do we interpret this? Well, as a casual observer, I would say that you can't leverage 4 hours of television coverage into a season long commitment of advertising, plain and simple. There are 5 BCS bowl games that have exclusive time slots. That's 20 hours of television time that the BCS and ESPN are trying to use to get the sponsors to pony up additional money during the regular season for additional revenue. Let's not forget that Fed Ex dropped completely out of the Orange Bowl Sponsorship and there has not been a replacement named. Citi has stated that it would still be interested in sponsoring the game, but not the annual commitment that's tied to it.

So, it would seem that the dew has gone off the rose and maybe even the petals are starting to wilt a little on the BCS monopoly of 5 "major" bowls that they control. If we start seeing more sponsorships go the way of the Rose and Orange, which are the two biggest bowls by the way, I can only imagine that Tostito's, Nokia, and All State aren't too far behind. So, where does that leave the ole' BCS as we know it?

Follow the money, my friends. IF the BCS can't generate sponsorship, my guess is there won't be a BCS much longer. And that can only logically lead to a Playoff that people would be tripping over themselves to sponsor. At least, that's the MMQ's guess. Kind of like the NCAA Tournament and the CBS relationship. It's all about the money.

So, maybe, just maybe, if the BCS implodes because everyone realizes that a BCS Bowl is simply another bowl with a bigger payout that nobody wants to watch when it's Boise State and TCU, then maybe we end up with a College Football Playoff.

Stay tuned....Alignment was interesting...This is better!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spin, Spin, Spin

For those of you following along, with ESPN reporting from the "Big 12: Lite" Spin Doctors, this is the SINGLE BEST THING THAT COULD HAVE EVER HAPPENED TO THE BIG 12! Dr. Saturday has a great take and all the details on this, but I of course have my own...

1. Teams are going to get more revenue because:
- There are less mouths to feed
- Nebraksa and Colorado's penalty fees will go directly to bottom lines for the individual schools (prorated, of course)
2. In addition, THERE IS NO MORE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME! Which, if you listen to anyone from Texas, was the worst idea since the invention of sliced bread. This is due to the fact that the Big 12 somehow managed to eliminate 2 possible National Championship Teams that would have played in the Title Game, but lost the Big 12 Championship.
3. They can now play a round robin schedule, which is better for everyone involved.

Just in case anyone was wondering if any of this was a good thing, allow your MMQ to sift through so much Bull Shit and communicate to you accurately what the Big 12 is REALLY saying:

1. More revenue because of fewer members. While this is some what true, the idea that you can lose Nebraska and Colorado, two of the biggest draws in the Big 12 cannot possibly help revenue. Beebe only stated that the potential new contract would be larger and therefore, produce bigger revenues. Let's look at the Big 12: Lite for a minute:
Texas Tech
Texas A&M
Oklahoma State
Iowa State
Kansas St.

Any match-ups (with the exception of Texas Oklahoma) that are must see TV? Didn't think so.
So, are TV executives going to cough up more money to air these products? Didn't think so.
2. The Chancellor/President (?) at Nebraska has brought up a really good point. If Colorado's and Nebraska's exit from the Big 12 does NO FINANCIAL HARM, than the penalty cannot be enforced, per the Big 12 guidelines.
3. Schools get a chance to develop their own TV networks. Let's restate that to the obvious: TEXAS gets to develop it's own TV network.
4. The Big 12 doesn't have to play in a Championship Game: What the #$#!$@#%"???? are these clowns talk about. The championship game is supposed to be the game that generates ton of extra revenue for the conference, and now that the Big 12 doesn't have one, it's claiming that things are going to be even better financially because they have a better chance of getting two teams into the BCS and a better chance to get a team into the National Title Game...(Okay, I did some research on this one and there was one year that Missourri was ranked number 1 and would have went to the title game (2008) if they hadn't lost to Oklahoma. That year, Mizzou also got screwed out of a BCS game, just like K-State (ranked #2) in 2003.) The former Big 12 simply did not get any love with that 2nd qualifier....So, maybe this point makes some sense....
5. Playing a round robin schedule: This is one that is laughable, but so pathetic in it's premise that it needs to be addressed. If the Big 12 is now going to be playing everyone at there house, well, let's just say that for the remaining Big 12 teams, it's a better deal as Texas will be going (now) to the likes of Iowa State, K-State, etc. But I will bet that Texas fans start to hate the round robin thing the first time said team above upsets Texas on their turf....Just a hunch.

The big driver in all of this: FSN claiming they will up the season purchase some 600% to the Big 12: Lite with reduced content....Now, I don't know who has the naked pictures of the FSN executive with BEVO the cow or some Oklahoma sheep, but whoever it is, I'll bet they aren't around for long and that contract gets renogotiated "Relatively quickly".

Still you will never convince this reader that there was a financial "windfall" in losing two teams...But you might convince me that you'll have more BCS success without a Championship game...

All the more argument for a play-off....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Expansion is Over????

If you have been following along you know that the Big 12 is now going to remain in its current state as the "Texas 10", "Big 12 Lite", or, more appropriately, "The All Powerful Omnipotent Conference That Exists to Pacify the University of Texas."

I didn't realize how critical control and power was for UT. That one surprised me. Texas could not give up on the idea of having the TLN and wanted a clause with "whoever's" conference they joined to keep that revenue stream possibility open for the future. Unbeknownst to the MMQ, Florida and other universities in the SEC actually have sports tier channels that are run by the university and exclusive to those universities. I have no idea what kind of income they generate, but Texas obviously believes enough in the model that they want to embark on the idea. Hook 'Em Horns. Hearts and Minds and the bodies will follow....

The other thing that hasn't been made exactly clear yet, at least to this observer, is that how in the world do you lose your 3rd and 5th television market (Colorado and Nebraska) and somehow claim that you will now have a more lucrative television deal forthcoming, netting the schools DOUBLE what they are currently receiving??? Something's very fishy in the Big 12 Lite...And I think it has to do with influential alumni at major coporations agreeing to advertising deals on the cuff in order to hold this whole mess together. There were going to be some major players without a BCS home in all of this and those players may have some very real dollars at work behind the scenes. It's the only way this thing stays together...

Also, what happened to the SEC's offer to Texas A&M? Was there ever really an offer? If there was and A&M rejected it, well, they're idiots and deserve whatever fate they receive. If there wasn't, than A&M didn't really have any options on the table with the exception of trying to hold the Big 12 Lite together with the other losers in the deal....So hopefully that gets answered sometime in the near future.

Winners in the Deal: Nebraska and Colorado. They both get into healthier situations with better partners. The Big 10 clearly gets a superior university and collegiate football team in the conference.

Losers: I'm not convinced that the Big 12 Lite is any better off at 10 teams than they were with 12, especially when you lose two big markets. Advertising and sports revenue is kind of a zero sum game: There's only so much money to go around and my guess is that the Big 12 Lite eventually loses in this deal...No one knows it yet.

Neutral to Winners: The Pac 10. They gained a viable partner and penetration into a new television market, but they certainly did get anything close to their goals. So, while they didn't lose, they didn't exactly win what they wanted....

What remains to be seen: The BEast appears to have dodged a bullet. But in reality, with the exception of a couple of schools, what conference really wants to grab a BEast team? Any other conference could ask any BEast school to come on over and the invitation would be accepted on the spot. That doesn't make for a healthy situation.

The Domers: While they will look at this as victory, much like the global debt in the economy, all that's really happened is they have kicked any decision they will eventually have to make with respect to joining a conference down the road.

The Pac 11: Will they add Utah? My guess is they're happy with where things are currently and don't want to add someone that could prove to be a liability later on. So the Pac 11 will stay at 11 for the foreseeable future.

Is this the end of expansion for right now? Today's news would make you believe that. Everyone in the Big 12 is merely a pawn of Texas and Texas is controlling, even more so, it's own little world....Think Notre Dame in the BEast if it comes to that. They would have everyone answering to their beck and call if they ever did join in Football....

So, with that much dysfunction, what makes anyone think that it's over?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Expansion Puzzle Has Many Pieces and Moving Parts

Okay, you've all heard by now that the following has taken place:

1. Nebraska is in the Big 10.
2. Colorado is going to the Pac 10 (Assuming everyone votes Colorado in).
3. Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State apparently are being welcomed to the Pac 10 with open arms to take that league to 15 teams.
4. The one remaining spot is apparently going to Utah (This remains to be seen- See the comments below.)
5. Texas A&M appears to be headed to the SEC, leaving that team with 13 teams.
6. The remainder of the Big 12 is running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to find a home. Kansas, K-State, Missouri, Baylor, and Iowa State.

What's left that could possibly happen?

I leave that to Spencer Hall from EDSBS and his handy-dandy chart of what the hell is going on in expansion.

What's interesting:

1. The Big 12 rules of dissolution state that the Big 12 can only dissolve with a majority vote (8 votes). Seems like the Big 12 (Or at least the members that are leaving) is desperately trying to get 8 votes. So, if Kansas somehow manages to land a spot in either the BEast or MWC, would they become the deciding vote? And if they did that, why on earth would they leave before they could collect on all the penalty fees that everyone else will have to forfeit to the Big 12? That's $10M for each school, kiddies...That's $80M divided 5 ways for two plus years...That ain't too shabby...
2. The latest rumor that Beebe is able to take what will be $20M in departure fees from Colorado and Nebraska, distribute that (unequally of course) to the remaining teams and somehow keep the league alive for a couple of more years as a 10 team league. The Big 12 would lose the conference championship, but each school would gain a larger slice of the television contract pie, which Beebe is claiming will be more than what they had before...I'm not buying that last part because you lost two of the teams from the Big 12 North that people actually tuned in to watch! How can you lose content and get more money from the networks???
3. The BEast: The conference everyone thought was all but gone turns out has life after all. Which is basically because there's not a school in there that's worth a crap and any school in the BEast would immediately bolt for greener pastures, given the opportunity.
4. IF Texas A&M CANNOT be swayed by Beebe then the SEC is looking for team #14. And you can bet that it will either come from the ACC or possibly they will make a run at a different Big 12 team. If they get Georgia Tech or Clemson, the two hot rumor choices, followed closely by Miami and FSU, then the ACC needs to add one to keep it's conference championship.
5. And that one will most likely come from the BEast in the form of Syracuse, Pitt, Rutger or U-Conn...Anything about those names seem familiar? Yep, all the same schools that everyone thought would go to the Big 10. But if the BEast loses one of them and...
6. The Big 10 grabs another and the BEast is done. Meaning Notre Dame doesn't have a home for it's other sports and needs to join a conference, most likely...
7. The Big 10. So, the Big 10 adds a BEast school and Notre Dame and stops at 14. That would be more than enough for the powers that be in the Big 10.
8. Texas may become its own worst enemy with their irrational idea that they can have a Texas Longhorn Network. My guess is that there is going to be a pretty big fight for what games they can actually show. Let's think about this in terms of networks:
-Networks are going to get the big games, plain and simple. No TLN revenue there.
-Games played outside of Texas stadium are probably the property of the other team and they will sell Texas those rights, but you can bet that Texas will pay dearly for those rights.
-That leaves some small, flea bag type games on the TLN. Think people are going to pay a premium (in this economy) for that? Yes, all the bars in Texas will pay, but I doubt you generate as much as Texas thinks they're going to generate.
9. Some schools are really going to get the shaft in this deal...Namely, Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, Missouri, and to a lesser extent, Baylor. Baylor was a small school to begin with and probably didn't deserve what it got in the Big 12 re-alignment the first time around. But the others are Big 8 originals that are now left holding the bag, wondering where they can go.
10. Makes you glad to be in the Big 10 conference, doesn't it? It would seem that the only two conferences worth their salt right now are the Big 10 and SEC.

So, does that all make sense now? Good.

Please explain it to me!!!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lou Holtz Says, "Notre Dame Should Join the Big 10"

Yes, 4 posts in one day is a new record, but this is simply too good not to post:

Lou Holtz says that the best thing for Notre Dame is to Join the Big 10.

Allow your MMQ to comment openly here for a minute:


I really don't know what to say...This is like brain overload. Can this be really happening? One of their own? One of the most loyal and deserving coaches that should be put into the Notre Dame coaching legend book next to Rockne and Parseghian has come out AGAINST INDEPENDENCE????? Is Lou drinking or what?

Oh, you poor, poor Domers...what are you going to do now????

I know, you all think Lou slipped a disc way back when, so he just doesn't mean anything any more...Unfortunately, there's a lot of fans that remember he was the last winning coach you had and still watch and respect what he has to say on ESPN. So, I'm beginning to wonder what those fans might be saying to the powers that be on this whole thing now....

And While We're at it - USC Gets NAILED!

In case you haven't heard: USC has received it's punishment from the NCAA.

1. 20 Scholarships rescinded.
2. 2 years of no post-season play
3. Vacated wins to 2004, including the National Title.

HERE'S THE PROBLEM: The head coach responsible - GONE. The scholarships that the NCAA is taking away from USC - That's punishing some well deserving athlete of an opportunity to play at a major university. Vacating wins - WHO F@#$%#ing cares????

What the NCAA SHOULD DO (or, if your MMQ Ran the World, as I plan to do at some point):

1. Keep your scholarships. However, for all the years in question, which I believe is 2004-2008, you are required to pay back any and all bowl money that you received to the NCAA which will redistribute to all Division 1 FBS institutions. You will have 10 years to make good on this payment.
2. For the IDENTICAL TIME PERIOD, you will pay the equivalent fine of
- The Head Coach's salary
- All Assistant coach's salaries (offensive coordinator, D-coordinator, special teams, receivers, running backs, etc.)
to the NCAA. That money will also be redistributed to the D-1 FBS institutions. You have the equivalent of 5 years to make good on this money.
3. Any coaches still associated with the program for the period in question are on probation for the next 10 years. No questions asked. No time off for good behavior. Another incident, you're out of coaching.

Now, doncha' think that would be a MUCH BETTER DETERRENT than what they have done? I mean, you're hitting the University in the pocket book (Which they should do), you're taking the money away via penalty that they unfairly won, but you are giving them a chance to pay it back with the only vehicle they have that makes any money. When you ban the team from playing in bowls and limit their scholarships, it not only hurts football, but it penalizes the other sports as well.

Penalize the Institution and the coaches and make everyone aware that this is what happens when you pull stunts like this and you might see an improvement in the behavior of Major Univerisities and how they report on and observe issues like this.

But, when was the last time the NCAA ever did anything right?

Okay, Keep Up - Colorado to the Pac10, Rumors of Okie State, too...

This is just in:

Colorado ACCEPTS the invitation to the Pac 10. TMZ reporting that Oklahoma State University has also received and accepted a Pac10 inivite.

I believe number 1. I will only report and wait for a more "credible" source on number 2....Of course, TMZ reported Tiger Woods affairs and was apparently spot on...

What more can I say?

It's NEBRASKA! Welcome Cornsuckers! Now, Assume the Position...

While it's not yet entirely official, there's so much smoke at this point that your MMQ feels comfortable jumping on this bandwagon and proclaiming the CornSuckers as the 12th team in the Big 10. After following Frank the Tank religiously and providing you updates with my opinion thrown in, this should be coming as no surprise to the faithful. What may be a surprise, but I believe is still a smokescreen is what the Pac 10 is doing and trying to make happen with the Big 12 South. Until I actually see Stanford and to a lesser extent, California Berkley stand up and say, "Yes, you're in!", I will hold off on any belief that the Pac 10 will be expanding by more than 1 or 2 teams.

So, the Cornsuckers officially become Big 10 fodder. This isn't the Big 12 North anymore, Nebraska fans. The Big 10 is tougher than it looks top to bottom. And you're about to find that out. Yes, like Penn State, I'm sure you will have the occassional season on top, but this ain't a cakewalk to a National Title Game....So, assume the position and get ready to take your lashings!

UPDATE: Joe Schad is reporting that Colorado does in fact have an invite from the Pac 10. Chip Brown has confirmed, or it's the other way around. Whatever it is, that's unfolding like I thought it would with Colorado and maybe Utah. Texas and the collective from Texas is a big bite for even the Pac 10 to swallow and I just don't think they're ready to do that just yet.

So, where does that leave us?

Um, yeah. We're going to need to work on that logo...

NEC? (North East Conference?), uh.....No.

Big 12 Redux? (Nah, too French....)

Big1T2en looks just plain stupid....

So, I guess we need to have a logo contest and see who can com up with what....

In the meantime:

1. Watch Texas. And I don't mean just UT. They are now the next "linchpin" in any realignment activity that takes place. My guess is that the Big 10, Pac 10 move to 12 Schools and we sit like that for the next 5-10 years and see how it all shakes out. The Big 12 will add either TCU or possibly BYU (whoever UT decides) and try to keep things together in the midwest. My guess is they won't add TCU because then it becomes too much like the old SWC and you have an imminent implosion waiting to happen....BYU at least diversifies the field and brings different TV sets into the Big 12. In addition, and this is probably the big hitch with Texas to the Pac 10 is that UT can launch its own network and see how that flies. If it doesn't work out, what have they really lost? I believe the Big 12 will be around awhile longer....Just a hunch.
2. Notre Dame: They would have been happy as a 12th team in the Big 10, assuming that the BEast was going to fold. When $warbuck$ writes his autobiography, I'm sure that's how that will play out. Once he put the caveat out there that the Domers were either #12 with no more expansion, than by default the BEast stayed alive. So until there is a complete and utter collapse of the BEast, the Domers are happy having their cake and eating it, too. But if things start to steamroll in conference re-alignment, the Domers are team #13 or 14 in the Big 10. Count on in it.
3. Keep an eye on the lesser players in the Big 12. You can BET that they aren't going to sit back and let themselves get the shaft 5-10 years down the road. Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, Missourri, and Baylor might start busting their collective asses to get into either the BEast or ACC, if the ACC decides to go beyond 12...After all, it's better to be pro-active than reactive if any of this has taught anyone anything. Most likely school to bolt if the opportunity arises: Kansas. Basketball program would be beneficial to the BEast and Football would add legitimacy to the BEast as well. And with added footprint, maybe the BEast can make a better deal come contract time when it comes to football.....

As always, I'll keep you posted....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Expansion...It's Not Just For Bloggers Anymore

Expansion, expansion, expansion.

Frank the Tank, as he has been doing for the last 6 months, has a pretty good handle on the expansion mess that is now part of the mainstream media. And, quite honestly, it made a lot more sense when it was contained in the blogosphere vs. what we've seen pooping out at ESPN and you local talk show - news networks.

If you click and go to the link above, even Frank's website has gotten a little nuts... The latest rumor, in case you live in a cave and this is your only source of information on sports and the expansion topic is that the Pac 10 has let it out of the bag that they would look at a deal where they would make an offer to the six teams in the Big 12 South to join the Pac 10, effectively becoming the Pac 16. Mr. Scott, a protege of Jim Delaney, is now the director of the Pac 10 and has been trying to improve their image for marketing purposes with the latest TV contract coming due.

In case you were wondering, the Big 12 South is: Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech.

Now, the MMQ's take as to why this rumor is so full of Texas Road Apples:
1. The Pac 10 requires a unanimous vote on all members if anyone is going to join the Pac 10.
- Baylor is a religious school with 5,000 students. They are NOT a Pac 10 caliber institution. If the Pac 10 has never offered a deal to BYU, which is larger, why would they offer anything to Baylor? Not to mention that Colorado who has been the hot team for the Pac 10 for years, is suddenly off the table? And don't get me started on Texas Tech.
2. Cash. There's not that much more in the mix for Texas if they join the Pac 10, manage to get a Pac 10 Network off the ground, and manage to turn a profit with said network in 3-4 years. And it probably can't compare to what the BTN is offering annually for revenue. The numbers, populations, and cable revenue don't support it. Read all of Frank's blogs and you will start to see this bigger picture. I don't care where population is moving from or to at this point....
3. Even if Texas, the real prize in this expansion, is given free reign and a bigger slice of the pie (my guess is USC and UCLA will have issues with that, not to mention Stanford), Texas may not get any more money than they are already getting in the Big 12 right now. And they will probably have to give up and idea of a Texas Longhorn Television Network (TLN for short) in the process.
4. Texas doesn't want to drag A&M, Baylor, and Tech with them every time they want to make a move....That is like taking your little brothers/sisters on your first car date to the drive in. It definitely ruins the experience....

So, what does all of this amount to? Depending on what you know and who you believe, it's all a smoke screen. Here's what I suspect is really happening:

1. The Big 10 needs Notre Dame to shit or get off the pot. Plain and simple. Notre Dame is literally scared to death that if the Big 10 and Pac 10 move to larger conferences, the ACC and SEC will have no choice but to expand. The BEast is doomed long term, and Notre Dame knows it. Therefore, they want to be proactive but they need their fans and alumni in enough of a frenzy to see that joining a conference is the logical step moving forward.
2. Texas wants nothing to do with Tech and Baylor and told Jim Delaney that they have a "Tech" and Baylor problem. That would be like Michigan having to drag around Central and Western every time they wanted to do something. (Sorry to all the Chippewa and Bronco loyalists out there - I'm simply trying to draw some parallels here. Actually, that might be an insult to Central and Western when compared to Tech and Baylor.) A&M is worthy, but may have other opportunities in the SEC. Once the Pac 10 tells Baylor and Tech, not to mention Oklahoma and Oklahoma state no, Texas can look at the legislature and say, "Well, we tried, but nobody wants these Universities that are not AAU. Sorry." This frees Texas up to do whatever it wants to do.
3. The Pac 10 will expand, but not with 6 shcools, not at first. This will be handled delicately and deliberately when they are ready to move.

So, why the rumor? What's happening?

Simple: Jim Delaney called Larry Scott and said, "Put a rumor out there that you're taking the Big 12 South. There's plenty of rumors that we're (the Big 10) taking Nebraska and Missouri. If Notre Dame doesn't crap their pants with that development, nothing will make them get off the fence. Let's see what happens."

So, that's what happened. All smokescreens, rumors and "wouldn't it be cool if...." scenarios....But none of it is going to stick.

The Big 10, with the BTN revenue and everything it has to offer, still holds all the cards in this high stakes Poker Game. The Pac 10 just made a big raise, trying to represnt Aces, but is really sitting on something like pocket 10's. A decent hand, but nothing like what the Big 10 is holding. Texas, which is more or less on a big draw and is going to win something no matter what, is simply trying to shed itself of some extra baggage and this Delaney experiment should help them do exactly that.

Of course, this is all my opinion.....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It Made Me Angry...I Wanted to Cry

Okay. If you read this you read it because you are a sports fan. You go to games. You appreciate athletic achievement. You deal with losses. You expect controversy. It's all part of being a fan.

What happened at Comerica Park last night, June 2nd, 2010, was more than a "controversy". A controversy, as defined by Webster's, is a misunderstanding where an objective bystander can see both sides of an argument or opposing views and can ultimately understand why such a dispute began.

This, this mistake, was not a "controversy". This was one of, if not the worst call in MLB history. I don't know all the bad calls so save me the education; but I saw this one. I saw what everyone esle in the stadium saw and both teams saw. I saw an umpire make a mistake that was so horrendous that an adjective to describe how bad it was escapes me. At first we were bewildered...Then I got angry. So angry at realizing the injustice of it all and how something that has happened in this sport, once a call is made, simply can't be changed.

Good luck with the huge push for baseball instant replay. If it hasn't happened yet, my guess is that it never happens. It's a tradition in baseball to simply not have replay. And here's what all the fans should really be focusing on: This play didn't need it. If the umpire is even close on the call, it's a no brainer. Why on earth would they need replay for a call like this? There should be a democratic process where the umpires can gather and over rule a bad call immediately, but that would mean admitting human error is inevitable, something umpires are taught doesn't happen. It's sad...Sad to the point that I almost hate being a fan that gets wrapped up in situations like this.

There is a solution. A perfect game is 27 outs, no walks. Bud Selig, based on the evidence, should make an announcement today and allow the record books to show that the first 28 Out Perfect Game was pitched by Gallaraga on June 2, 2010 in Comerica Park that included a 4 out 9th inning. That would be just, and justice is more important in this instance than getting the call right.

Even if it doesn't go down as the 21st perfect game in history, at least it goes down and is recorded in history as something very special that everyone will remember.

In the meantime, I better get back to work before my boss catches me and I get "Joyced".

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Is It Over Yet?

I hadn't commented on the self imposed "Sanctions" that the University of Michigan recently levied on itself for two reasons:

1. I never fully believed the charges as defined by the Free Press and later by the NCAA
2. I never believed that there would be much more than a firing of one coaching assistant for attending a summer workout and a slap on the wrist for over-stretching.

It would seem, after reading the entire account of self imposed sanctions that the University made public, the University of Michigan AD department agrees with me. The charges by the Free Press and the NCAA could have gone against any Division 1 program that desires to achieve a National Title. All the Freep did was show the "proper" way to "cheat" by having all your CARA forms and authentication signatures lined up and in a row and then you can practice and stretch your athletes until the cows come home. As far as the paid assistant working players out; well, I would really like to see someone monitor 10 other programs and their elite starting players during summer workouts and find out exactly how many have workouts where the only people in attendance are unpaid managers. In addition, if you read between the lines, Michigan blasts the NCAA for extremely unclear and "interpretation" language in some of the rules that require University lawyers to get involved and translate. If the rules were clear, they wouldn't get broken. Enough said on this mess.

With one exception: In a way, the damage is done. Other coaches can point to Michigan when speaking to respective recruits and their parents and say, "You want to be part of THAT?" That's the part that really, REALLY annoys me. And had the Athletic Department been run a little tighter - please notice I'm not saying Rich Rod here - then this could have all been avoided.

Where does the buck stop?

I've always heard it stops at the top. So, where, EXACTLY, was Bill Martin in all of this? IF (that's a big if) he is running a tight sailboat, doesn't he review this kind of thing on a regular basis? Why are we letting him off the hook? Because he retired? And if Lloyd is this program's athletic advisor, why wasn't he making sure that the boxes were all checked?

I don't believe (too much) in successful conspiracies because sooner or later somebody cracks and the story comes out. However, if Bill Martin was trusting Lloyd Carr to monitor the Football Program and Lloyd Carr wasn't doing his job, or rather, wasn't paying attention, did he in fact help accelerate the fall? I don't want to dive into this any more than I already have, either. Lloyd is no longer the head coach. Lloyd should simply go do what retired coaches do and not continue the tradition of keeping an office in the Michigan Athletic Department. He quit. Leave.

Whatever comes out of this, to me the answer for Rich is still one he is somewhat in control of: Win Football Games. Sounds simple, but all wrongs can be made right with a winning program. Or at least a return to post season play...

Maybe, just maybe, Rich figures out what it takes to be a Michigan Man and breaks the mold of what used to be a Michigan Man. And that, I think, might be a refreshing change....

Don't you?