Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Congrats to Softball and 2015 and 2016 Seasons Are Out

First and foremost:  Congrats to Michigan Softball for winning the First Round Regional AWAY from Ann Arbor!  For anyone not in the know, the 1st Round Regional is a Double Elimination involving 4 teams.  Michgan came from behind on Friday, got a VERY controversial call on Saturday, and handily won walking away on Sunday.  The Saturday controversy:  Michigan's Blanchard was up to bat with bases loaded and was hit by an inside pitch.  Problem was, if you catch the re-play, is that Blanchard looked like she LEANED into the pitch, which before this season, was illegal in softball.  You could get hit by a pitch and still get your base, but the umpire could leave it up to his discretion as to whether or not you did everything humanly possible to get out of the way.  This year, the batter's box is theirs and if they want to stand their and take one for the team, that's their right.  And Blanchard did and scored the victory for Michigan. 

Now, it's on to the Super Regional where the Tide of Alabama will be waiting for a best of 3 series with the Wolverines.  Coincidence and hopefully a tone setting series that leads up the the kick-off classic?  Let's hope so!

Now, on to the next mess:  The B1G Schedules are out. 


Oct. 3: at Michigan State
Oct. 10: Wisconsin
Oct. 17: Minnesota
Oct. 24: at Illinois
Oct. 31: Bye
Nov. 7: Nebraska
Nov. 14: at Northwestern
Nov. 21: at Iowa
Nov. 28: Ohio State
Dec. 5: Big Ten Championship Game

Oct. 1: Michigan State
Oct. 8: at Minnesota
Oct. 15: Northwestern
Oct. 22: Bye
Oct. 29: at Wisconsin
Nov. 5: Illinois
Nov. 12: at Nebraska
Nov. 19: Iowa
Nov. 26: at Ohio State
Dec. 3: Big Ten Championship Game

Thoughts on 2015:  Why did they move Sparty to the Big 10 Opener spot (for both '15 and '16??)  Granted, years ago, when Sparty sucked, we opened with them a couple of times, but I have a hard time believing that's what Brandon or Hollis wanted.  Or maybe they are thinking that early season night games in Ann Arbor and East Lansing for the Big 10 opener might be a great tradition to start.  Truly mixed feelings here.  Hate to open up with the third tier rival, but you have to play them sometime.  Love the home schedule knowing that the Domers are in there as well.  A well placed bye before the Corn Suckers come to town is a plus as well.

2016:  Puke.  With the exception of Sparty, why on EARTH would you buy this home season ticket package?  I was afraid of this when I first saw the Leaders - Legends divisions and knew we'd be looking at seasons where we were not only not playing everyone (PSU, Purdue and Indiana) which are easy wins, but we play EVERY DECENT B!G team on the ROAD!  (Wiscy, Cornsuckers, Suckeyes).  That sucks.  Now, depending on who Brandon gets from the PAC to agree to a home and home, it's going to get tough to sell tickets.  From the PAC I would love to see a USC home and home.  I know, year in and year out they're good, but I think they're fundamentally easier for Michigan to play than say, Oregon.  I don't want to try that experiment again...Stanford would have been fun with Harbaugh there, but now, not so much.   Even thought that's probably who we're looking at...Still, it's better than WSU or Oregon State.

In summary:  Similar to this year, when I predicted a potential 4 losses, the even years moving forward are going to be something you almost need to recruit around and be ready to take advantage of the odd years when the home schedule favors victories.  Yes, I know you should be able to win on the road, but let's face facts and realize that in college football, that's always tough to do....And the even years are simply going to suck for home games from an entertainment standpoint. 

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