Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Miscellaneous Minutiae, 5/15/2012

Attention, trolls. Via Auburn blog WarBlogle, here is a thing you can wear if you want to make Alabama fans get really angry and maybe let out a PAWL or two:

If you for whatever reason wanted to be a Michigan Man while simultaneously stylin' like Bear Bryant, there you go. 

Obligatory expansion/mo' money mo' problems-based sentiment: Before FSU AD Randy Spetman stated that there was no interest in moving to another conference (fresh on the heels of what many have very quickly realized that the ACC's recently inked deal with ESPN was not anything to write home about), FSU has of course altered its official position. Although, to be fair, the aforementioned about face came from FSU's Board of Trustees Chairman, not Spetman, which demonstrated the same sort of disconnect that seems to exist between the B1G presidents and Jim Delany. In the words of FSU BOT Chairman Andy Haggard: 
"How do you not look into that option? On behalf of the Board of Trustees I can say that unanimously we would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer," Haggard told the site. "We have to do what is in Florida State's best interest." 
So, there you go. It's sort of amazing how close the Big 12 was to going the way of the dodo; now, schools are looking to jump to the Big 12 and not out of it. Meanwhile, the WAC is gone, the Big East doesn't look far behind, and who knows about the ACC. Adding Pitt and Syracuse followed by possibly losing FSU is not a good look.

As with many things these days, it's a good idea to take what prominent figures say, discard it, and if it has remained static at least several days after the fact, then it is safe to logically consider. Otherwise, it's all just noise and posturing. 

 I have to agree with Zach; make fun of certain aspects of the BTN's programming all you want, but it's times like these--when other schools and even entire conferences are fighting to not get left out in the cold existential sinkhole that being without a conference affiliation or being forced to accept a Big East bid represent--that make me feel pretty comfortable that Michigan and the B1G are about as stable as financially and structurally stable as any conference can be these days. 

I sort of laughed to myself when Louisville basically dropped the mic and said "I'M OUT" to the Big East last week, but the transparency is somewhat admirable. If Ron Swanson was for some reason a university preparing to leave its athletics conference, that is probably how he would do it. Talking about your affairs in the way that FSU is currently doing is not unlike bowling like this in public. 

This type of realpolitik from FSU (and every other school involved in this big 'ol game of Risk) is expected but incredibly tiresome. Here is what Florida State--and every other school looking to head for greener pastures--should say: "Who has the most money ready to transfer to us, preferably not in Cracker Barrel gift certificates? That is where we will go. Thank you for your time." Cut out the fuss and the bureaucracy, just like Ron Swanson--actual Ron Swanson, not the Ron Swanson as inanimate university described previously--would support, insofar as said support doesn't involve actually doing any work. Fin. 

Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule: is set. It's early May, so news of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule being finalized will have to be considered "exciting" news. Still, there are some interesting matchups. Michigan will take on NC State at Crisler on November 27th; the Wolfpack roster merits a closer look at a later date, but on paper this should be a very good game. 

Although Mark Gottfried's squad has a somewhat mediocre regular season, the 'Pack did squeak their way into the Big Dance, only to make a run to the Sweet 16 as an 11-seed only to bow out after a 3-point loss against Kansas. Michigan's loss at UVA last year in the Challenge was one of the few moments that Trey Burke looked exceedingly mortal, but I would imagine that things will go differently this time around. 

Other matchups of note (for various reasons): 
  • North Carolina @ Indiana: Do I even need to say why? There will be quite a bit of talent on the floor for this one. 
  • Ohio State @ Duke: The dreaded "who do I root against" game. 
  • UVA @ Wisconsin: I'm fairly certain that the pace of this game will literally stop Time itself. Bennett and Ryan's respective offenses operating on the same floor at the same time will create a fissure in the space-time continuum from which nothing emerges but Rotel cheese and alternate realities in which Jared Uthoff transfers and ends up making Wisconsin/Bo Ryan pay for it with a game-winning basket. 
The Big Ten still has a long way to go if it wants to get to .500 in the Challenge, but winning it for the fourth season in a row would provide further evidence that the Big Ten is on the upswing. As far as I'm concerned, Nebraska and PSU are the only real gimmes in the conference, and even they pulled off conference upsets last season. 

Unfortunately, as Eamon Brennan notes in the article linked above, these games are 220 days away. 

Greg, not GERG. In news that isn't really news: Greg Mattison is pretty good at what he does, and you should be really thankful that Brady was able to bring him to Ann Arbor. Mike Martin on his transition to the Titans and the NFL game in general: 
It's really the same thing. A lot of the things we ran at Michigan, they run here. Really, it's just terminology and words that they use. It'll take some time, but that's a day-to-day thing.
 Sometimes I wonder: how many times has Greg Mattison said "son, I coached Ed Reed/Ray Lewis/Terrell Suggs, and that can be you" on the recruiting trail? It cannot be overstated how much of a coup Mattison's hiring was and will continue to be in the next few years. 

More? Maize n Brew kicks off its second week of team-by-team offseason B1G preview weeks with a look at Minnesota. MSC says hiring RR was the "wrong call", using the phrase "Midwestern ethos" to describe why Brady Hoke is better fit for Michigan. Brady Hoke is the greatest, obviously, but the aforementioned is simply gibberish in so many ways (I know she was prompted by some sort of question, but come on...there's really no need to give that anything other than a non-answer). Serious question: will Michigan fans/people associated with Michigan in any way ever stop talking about RR? They should. 

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