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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Michigan-Notre Dame Series Needs a Rest

Michigan needs to end the Notre Dame series. So says former Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler.

And I couldn't agree more.

It's ironic that these thoughts of Schembechler came out earlier this week as, believe it or not, I had recently told Benny I was going to pen just such a post expressing the same sentiment right before this year's M/ND clash. But Bo's statement has forced me to move up my post.

In the Detroit Free Press article linked above, Schembechler said, "I would rather have an intersectional game than a midwest game. Play Southern Cal. I don't care. Play Texas... somebody like that. But not Notre Dame."

He's right.

That's because, since we play each season, the Michigan-Notre Dame showdown has lost its "special-ness." It now feels like any ol' Big 10 contest. Like just another game. And I bet if you ask Fighting Irish fans, they probably feel the same way.

It's a shame. But a fact.

As a little kid, I remember when Michigan and Rick Leach were set to square off against the Irish and Joe Montana in 1978 for the first time in I-don't-know-how-many years. The excitement and buzz about that game was electric. Fans on both sides - and across the country - couldn't wait.

But now, all these years later? Wolverines vs. the Irish? Ho hum.

And it's not because the teams aren't highly regarded. We're talking about the two winningest programs in the history of the greatest game on earth (blow me, soccer). We're talking about a Notre Dame team ranked no worse than #3 in just about all the pre-season polls I've seen and a Michigan squad ranked among the top 15. We're talking about South Bend in September.

Unfortunately, this once-great rivalry now feels like a Hollywood marriage that's on the rocks. It was sexy in the beginning, everybody used to talk about it and both people still say the right things. But now, the excitement has died out and each person would much rather be with someone else. Yes, the Michigan-Notre Dame series has become the college football equivelent of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

I'd much rather schedule the way Ohio State is going to do over the next decade or so: besides Texas this year and last, they're playing a home-and-home with Oklahoma, Miami, USC, Washington, Cal and Virginia Tech.

Those kind of games put a smile on any college football fan's face.

Instead of going to South Bend again, wouldn't you rather see the Wolverines preparing to face off against Georgia between the hedges? Or Nebraska in Lincoln? Or the 'Noles in Tallahassee?

Look, this isn't "anti-Notre Dame. I would say the same thing about any INSERT TEAM HERE if we played them every season. This is about variety. It's about change. Ending a once classic rivalry and replacing it with another. And another. And another.

It's about putting excitement back in Michigan's non-conference schedule.

58 comments:

WolverineinWA said...

Michigan would be playing the part of Brad Pitt in this scenario, cause we would be leaving Notre Dame for someone hotter.

fightinamish said...

Schembechler? Never heard of the guy. How many national championships did he win?

Anonymous said...

I love the game.

Tell me, are you tired of the UM/MSU game eacj season, or the UM/OSU game? They're not exciting because they're conference games, they're exciting because they're great rivalries.

Beban said...

As a West Coast guy, I must say that I love watching the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game every year. Two of the best places to watch football, and two of the traditional powerhouses going at it.

Alas, I fear that deep down, part of this has to do with softening up the schedule. I don't think any Wolverines fans would say it outwardly, but I think that's part of the sentiment. Big 10 and ND is pretty rough. Big Ten and Western Michigan is a little easier. I may be wrong. Let me know.

Yost said...

DB,

Did you not read the post? I wasn't talking about replacing ND w/ WMU or some gimme. I want to play Texas, Georgia, Florida, Miami, Nebraska, etc. Other great programs.

As for Anon, no I'm not tired of those games, they're our conference rivals. ND is not. Thus, why treat them as a conference foe and play them each season. Let's change it up with other great teams.

Beban said...

Yost, I read the post, and I agree with you, but I just think that Notre Dame vs. Michigan is a real peach, and that it won't get replaced by other great matchups.

UCLA, my alma mater, scheduled Oklahoma, Michigan, the Vols, and the Tide over a number of years, but the conference hates it when teams don't load up up easy pickins (Which is why we've had San Diego St., Utah, and Baylor on the schedule). I know you want to replace ND with other regional powerhouses, and I respect it, but schools and conferences also want wins. If you guys can schedule the monster programs, I compliment you. Very often, however, it just doesn't turn out that way. Stick with ND. It's good for you, it's good for them, and it's good for college football.

Galen said...

Just further proof: look at the Penn State/Notre Dame game this year, the Nits haven't played them since 1992 and PSU fans are buzzing about playing them again. Don't know how Notre Dame fans feel, but it's exciting for Penn State fans.

Anonymous said...

You guys sound like you are tired of the old wife and would like a new girl on the side, but with a chance to resume relations on an as needed basis.

As a Buckeye and a fan of the Big 10/11, I wish we would play ND more often. TOSU always schedules the obligatory Ohio school to keep the money in state and one "powerhouse" such as Texas. Trouble is, when scheduling so far in advance, there is no guarantee that those schools will be good in the year that you have them on the schedule. It wasn't that long ago that ND was shitty, even USC was down before Petey.

I would like to see no 1-AA teams allowed on the schedule which would force another game available on many schedules to create more intersectional games. I know Tressel is throwing YSU a bone in the next few years, but I would rather play a top Big 12 or SEC school (sorry, Vandy doesn't count).

Schools like ours don't like to give up the home games though and most games would require a home and home. A man can dream can't he?

Love the blog...keep up the good work. BTW, I'm clean shaven.

Anonymous said...

Bo was right?!?!? That thought is just weird...
Anyways, Notre Lame needs you more than you need them. I say the AD at Michigan tells them to join the Big Ten if they want to play Michigan.
As OSU fans we can only root for a black hole to swallow you both up and maybe that TD Jesus.

trojan mike said...

We will keep kicking Irish butt for ya. FIGHT ON

marychastain said...

I honestly love the Michigan/Notre Dame game. I'm so used to it I don't know what I would do without it!

St. Simons Island Nole said...

Hell Yeah, get your butts down to Tallahassee! I would love to see that....You all owe one from 1991 when we went to the Big House and won 51-31. What I remember from that game is the first play, Grbac throws and out pass that is picked by Buckley and run back for an INT. Ah, the good ole days....

Seriously, Tally is a great place to watch a game, and it would be sweet to see Michigan there.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the larger point that the matchup isn't as special when it happens every year. I'd rather see novel matchups against Texas, Oklahoma, and the SEC.

But please, Bo must be nearing senility if he thinks ND "needs" UM. Christ, we have our own TV network, and a home-and-home series with ND remains the wet dream of pretty much every AD in the country. And all this after a decade of mediocrity and misery.

Andy said...

St. Simons Island Nole you forget 1986 when we played FSU for homecoming and won 20-18. Who in the hell schedules Florida State for homecoming ???

I personally would love to see us drop Notre Dame for the next 8-10 years. Not because it isn't a good game -- but except for 2003 (38-0 stil makes me smile)-- we always seem to play at their level. If they are bad, we play bad. If they are good, we play good.

harry hasselhoff said...

I agree. ND is a great rival but its become too predictable. Anyhow, Michigan has some revenge to dish after the last couple bowl losses to the Big 12, and I'd love to see M play the 'Noles, Gators, Tigers, etc - just not all in one season :)

Anonymous said...

I would be fine w/ Michigan and ND only playing 1 home and home every 8 to 10 years, but there is no way Michigan is going to replace ND with elite (Texas/Big 3 Fl schools) teams. If ND is dropped Michigan will see one more MAC or D1aa opponent every year.

The King said...

You guys are fucking crazy.

Anonymous said...

I usually agree with your posts, but you're way off base here. This game brings in way too many viewers that normally wouldn't see a UM game. It gives UM a shot at national exposure, which should help with the pollsters and recruiting. Why can't UM drop a central mich, vandy or ball st. and pick up a second decent ooc game? I think Bo has a point, but dropping ND from the scedule doesn't help UM. Full disclosure, I went to USC and look forward not only to the ND game, but also other tough ooc opponents. And I hate it when USC winds up playing San Diego St. If your team loses to a tough ooc opponent, at least they made an attempt at proving their worth on the playing field and not in the scheduling of inferior opponents.

cottoncandy said...

I don't think PSU, MSU or PU should play them either. ND gets the benefit of playing a B10 schedule w/o actually having to be in the conference.

There isn't a school or hanger on/fan base in the world that has a more delusional belief about their superiority than ND. OSU over the past 10 years has shown them how superior they are.

Here's hoping Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State and Purdue can do the same thing this year. On Sept. 16 I'm the biggest Michigan fan there is.

goblue said...

The matchup would be more exciting if we would win more often. That's the problem. We shouldn't duck ND because we're frustrated. Even when we lose the games are full of glitz and excitement.

Anonymous said...

The only problem with Bo's comment about intersectional games and yours is that Michigan has not played a regular season contest south of the Mason-Dixon line in over 50 years. Bo wouldn't take a team south to play in that heat. Teams like South Carolina, Florida State, Miami played at UM in the 80's but UM never traveled south to meet them.

This game has become one of the marquee games of the college football year. They almost always come down to a decisive last play. The only thing I wish is that it was still the first game of the year. Made all of August more exciting.

As a ND fan I can understand wanting to play a variety of teams from all over the country. It is the reason I was eleated they chose to remain independent.

Brian said...

You say it's not anti-ND, yet the article you link is titles "Bo Belittles ND" . The old man should be put out to pasture with all his National Championships and Rose Bowl tropies.

Rudy36 said...

First of all Michigan and Notre Dame are not rivals. Notre Dame has only one true rival and they know who they are. Secondly, considering Michigan only went 3-3 against Davie and Willingham, I think this has alot to do with Notre Dame having a good coach now. Michigan needs Notre Dame on their schedule because outside of tO$U, the Big 11 survives by beating 3 to 5 crappy schools they have scheduled in conference, and then beating 2 to 3 MAC or Conf. USA schools every year. Michigan drops Notre Dame and their schedule looks alot like West Virginia's. Notre Dame doesn't need Michigan, Notre Dame has people, like PSU, waiting in line to play them because Notre Dame will do home and homes. Michigan won't play the return game. For you Skunkbear fans, when was the last time Michigan played Oklahoma, Florida, Miami, Georgia, Texas, or Alabama on the road? Michigan won't do it, that's why Michigan has only won 1/2 of a MNC in the last 58 years and only 4 1/2 MNC since the forward pass was invented. Fielding Yost, his bigotry, and his 33 year boycott of the Irish can kiss my pale Irish behind, and so can Bo (I never won anything but Big 10 championships before getting my ass handed to me in the Rose Bowl) Schembechler!

Steedle said...

Did you know...
In "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," Brad Pitt plays an art history major from Notre Dame. I can only guess that he interjected that line, being that, in real life, he's an ND fan. So wait, which one was supposed to be which again?

weirdo0521 said...

As an ND fan I like this game. As you said it is between thetwo winningest programs in the history. I like the 8 or 10 year series with a few years off. Do you what the odds are off getting UGA to play home and fome? Pretty slim. GA hasn't played in the North in about 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Bo is as funny as JoPa with his anti ND whining. Every year B10 folks dust off the old "ND needs us more argument." Yet, there is only one college football team with its own TV contract, a national schedule and international recognition. ND could play SW Appalation State on the moon and it would be a sell out. I truly wish the B10 would try life without ND for a couple of years. ND would replace all its B10 opponents with comparable teams from other conferences while Mich would pad its schedule with northern lower level teams. OSU is the only team with nads in the B10. UM fans and ex-coaches are delusional.

Give it up. UM doesn't have the guts to shore up its schedule with the likes of FSU, Texas, Miami, USC, LSU etc. It certainly doesn't have the guts to simply end the series with ND. If UM really wanted out, they have the means to do it. But, like most sheep, they'll won't budge unless they can somehow convince the other members of the B10 to join in them in a boycott of ND. Won't happen. ADs aren't stupid. Purdue, PSU and MSU know that the ND game is one of their biggest paydays. They can hike up season ticket prices and the masses won't blink b/c ND is on the schedule.

"Notre Dame, often criticized, but always televised!"

Yost said...

No one is suggesting playing some hack team, just other top programs instead.

And how is OSU the only team with "nads?" Because they play Texas? Great, Michigan plays ND... unless you're saying Texas is better than the Irish. OSU can one different big-time program each year. Why? Because they're not locked into a series like M/ND are. Furthermore, you don't see OSU (or any major conference team anymore) playing, say, ND, Miami and Texas as their non-con games. It's just one.

As for other members of Big10, I could give a rat's ass. That is their scheduling, not Michigan's. Yes, Purdue needs this game. So too, probably, does MSU. But Michigan (and PSU) don't need ND on their schedule.

B/c as for your selling out SWAS on the moon comment, seeing as Michigan has had over 100,000+ at every game since 1974, it's not about putting asses in the seats. We do pretty well, thanks. It's about different teams.

Anonymous said...

What kind of post is this??? Speaking from the ND point of view, the fans in South Bend get up for this game every year.... Not to mention, this is always going to be on national TV and you know the UM administration isn't going to trade that TV revenue playing the storied Irish program

The Irish could go 8-4, but if they beat Michigan (their only true rival), the season is somewhat salvaged

These are the two most storied programs in college football history and i'd bet most people on the national stage still like to watch this game (as the West Coast guy hinted too).

Anonymous said...

Bo is on crack if he thinks "ND needs UM." Let's be honest here: Neither school "needs" the other. More to the point, though, this is a great rivalry-- one of the best in the country. Some of the most exciting- and close- games I have ever been to were ND-UM. If UM is thinking they want to discontinue the match-ups, it is because they are frustrated with their lack of success (and they can tell that Charlie Weis will cause them substantial difficulties). Finally, I always laugh when I hear others complain that "ND needs to join a conference." What the F do you care whether ND is in a conference?

irish66 said...

The games since the series resumed in 1978 have been oustanding. It is usually the most talked about game on its day, and it's almost always one of the premiere intersectional game of the season. The intensity of this rivalry still burns. How can anyone say it has gotten "stale" ?

It'd be a shame to see the series end. I have no idea why Bo hates this game so much.

Jeff said...

I actually like your take on it rather than Schembechler's. He made it out to be a whine fest about "Notre Dame needs us more than we need them." The variety and sexiness of the rivalry is the better argument. Schembechler is getting old and does not think too much, like when he put words into Floyd's mouth.

Anonymous said...

I AM TIRED OF LOSING TO NOTRE DAME! END IT NOW!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I wonder why, among UM fans, the UM-ND game is such a tough ticket to get? I wonder why many schools, when ND is coming, place limitations on the tickets sold or increase the costs for the tickets. Does any school do that when UM is coming?

Anonymous said...

Keep M/ND and replace one of our traditional creampuff games with another strong non-conference game. Play EMU or Rice or some other bottomfeeder, then play an Oklahoma or a Texas or whomever. But keep ND.

Kenny said...

I couldn't agree more, I just had this discussion with a friend of mine this past week as well. Although I think we should play ND somewhat more frequently than to take them off the schedule for 10 years. Say for every 2 home and homes with other big time programs, schedule 3 ND home and homes. Enough to keep the fans satisfied at keeping the traditional rivalries but at the same time having enough change for the fans that want to see other big time games.

Anonymous said...

I think Bo wants scheaduling like Tosu. Tosu games in the coming years USC, Washington, Oklahoma, Texas, Miami FLA, etc.

Anonymous said...

I guess if I was fed a steady diet of MAC teams and continually lost to ND I would want a change too. But, I bet Mich will not pick up Texas, Miami, etc, because you dont want anymore non-conf home and home series and those "big" teams wont agree to play only in AA. Michigan is not our greatest rival, we simply tolerate the game as another midwest, Big 10 match up. I value the Purdue and Mich State series more so than the Mich series because Mich always makes excuses and complains when ND beats them. Second rate program deserves second rate opponents. Go schedule FIU and Troy State.

Yost said...

Really, Anon? You value Purdue and MSU more, huh? Ok.

blue2004 said...

A few points:

-the series isn't as one-sided as you might think. The home team has won all but one game since it resumed in '97, and it was dead even from '92-'94. That's why when ND suddenly steals a road game from UM, you suddenly have 1-3. Since ND hadn't won at UM since '93, UM should get the win at ND it hasn't had since '94, following the pattern.

-OSU should be commended for scheduling Texas, but at the same time, people pretend as if OSU intentionally scheduled the #2 team in the country/defending champion. Rather, Texas was a major top 15 program with a coach on the hot seat when that scheduling was made.

-the UM-ND series is great, but it would be more special if it wasn't totally annual, that's the point of this. 6 games per 10 years sounds good to me. Neither school needs the other.

-good for ND to have its own TV contract...certainly a prestigious program, but that's not the "accomplishment" their fans make it out to be. Only schools without conference affiliation are capable of doing that, and I doubt you'll see FOX doing a deal with Navy or Troy.

-I see a weather issue with a Michigan-SEC home and home. As in, we'll be willing to go down to Florida in September (hot weather team with the advantage), but only if you come up to Michigan in December. But we won't be scheduling late nonconf game anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame begins improving and Michigan people want to end the series. Shocking.

War Eagle In Fla said...

what the f@#% is up Shembechler's ass?

give that guy an enema for chrissake

of course UM doesn't want to play the pope's team, cuz ND will march up and down the field every time they get the ball.

Seacrest Out.

Anonymous said...

I'll come clean and admit that I'm your worst nightmare: an ND grad that grew up in Columbus and is a life long Buckeye fan. I can honestly say that while I was at ND ('88-'92), the Michigan game was by far the BIGGEST of the season. From what I gather, ND fans still hold the game in very, very high regard.

But I agree with your post--the Michigan v ND game has become a bit tired and it feels like a Big Ten game. There is a reason for that...ND should join the conference! I think ND's football mentality is nutso at best and its ego off the charts. The Big Ten should remind themselves of the cold shoulder of a few years ago and say "if you don't want to join the conference, than we won't play you." No more Michigan, MSU and Purdue.

Suddenly, ND may see that all that extra travel adds up to less cash in the bank and get real. Maybe they'd finally join a conference. Of course, now they'd happily join the Big East, where they could win about twenty titles in a row and laugh all the way to the bank.

Go Blue, Eh! said...

Keep ND on the schedule. I love to watch them get their overrated, overhyped asses handed to them. I actually hate them more than tOSU. Sacreligious I know, but I didn't go to UM and I don't live in Michigan. ND fans have the same obnoxious smugness toward everyone else as Habs fans have toward Leafs fans (American translation: Yankees fans toward Red Sox fans).

Besides don't we all want to see Emu boy trip over his giant ego in the Big House.

Aram said...

I've been saying this since day 1 of this 10-year contract. Having ND in the schedule each and every year means 3 cupcakes and ND every year. BORING. And Bo has been rather vocal about it every time anybody has asked him about it.

Steedle said...

I hope this anonymous guy...

"The Irish could go 8-4, but if they beat Michigan (their only true rival), the season is somewhat salvaged"

...is not an ND fan. If so, he is very poorly informed and I can only assume a very young person. There are way the hell too many anonymous people here.

blue2004 said...

another thing to remember is that this doesn't guarantee us a good enough schedule for BCS purposes. It's true that scheduling is a gamble, since you don't know how good a team is years in advance. But we can't bank on ND every year, they've been so up and down over the last decade. Some years they don't go to a bowl, and then we may have no bowl teams on our nonconf schedule.

West Coaster said...

With a 12-game schedule, why is it necessary to drop ND to fit in another quality program?

I know that it would be tough to sacrifice the upcoming game with Ball State. UM vs. Ball State. Now that's what college football is all about. I'm also sure there are concerns about scheduling a higher level opponent in place of the Ball State contest. As it is, UM faces a murderers row of Northwestern, Ball State, and Indiana -- IN CONSECUTIVE WEEKS!

The case for dropping ND would be stronger if the Big 10/11 used the 12th game to add a conference contest. But since it didn't, why not use the 12th game for a reasonably quality opponent?

Don't agree with Yost's point about the ND/UM game, but the man runs a great blog.

powdermonkey said...

Oh my God. What a piece of crap! The whole things smells of fear. Fear of getting your ass kicked for the next upteen years of the series. Pussy. Pussy. Pussy.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

ND is not going join the eff'n Big 11. No reason to. Go ahead, run and hide.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the arrogance of the ND posters. At the end of the year it's going to look something like this - Mich 9-3, ND 9-3, OSU 9-3. Great job, way to go all three, nice bowl, move on! As far as tOSU is concerned, someone please look at their non-conference schedule the last ten years and tell me, prior to Texas, who did they play that was any good, and better yet, on the road!!!! Notre Dame is basically Michigan, but without a conference - they win almost all of the games they are supposed to and split their tough games, hence the 8-4 seasons like Michigan. Give me a freakin' break - Army, Navy, Air Force, UNC, Stanford, Purdue, MSU, and Geo Tech - how many of those teams will win more than they lose? So it boils down to 3 1/2 tough games, just like, say - Michigan and tOSU, WOW! CRAZY STUFF! ND didn't join the big ten in football - 1) MONEY, 2) MONEY, 3) MONEY, and 4) they would lose too many games each year, and would rarely, if ever, contend for a national title because of the difficulty in playing in such a demanding conference. So for all you ND fans, enjoy the pre-season rankings, because by the end of the year and at least 3 losses later, they will be a distant memory! Same for you Mich(although expectations are much lower) and tOSU fans!!!

Other Andrew said...

I agree with many of the comments here stating that Bo is off his rocker on this topic and that there is no reason to take this off the schedule. These games are almost always tight contests - even when one of the teams is having a down year because everyone involved knows what's at stake. It is without question a rivalry and we should have as many of those on our schedule as possible. There are FOUR non-conference games. Just kick out one of the creampuffs and add another good team. Simple.

Papa Steve said...

I think we shoold keep them on the schedule, just not EVERY year, like an 'open realtionship' where you see each other a lot, but are free to see other people.

2-4 years on home/away, the 2-4 years off. It would create huge amounts of anticipation when the series started back up, as well as when it was coming to a close to see who comes out ahead and gets bragging rights during the off years.

I would definitely like to start scheduling some other regional powerhouse teams. I find myself extremely envious of the OSU/Texas home/away and the exposure and prestige that the series has generated for both teams, no matter who wins/loses.

I don't believe in scheduling cupcakes and shooting for numbers in positioning a team for a BCS slot. Big name teams should play each other and those that win out should go to BCS..plain and simple. It would lend more creedence to the BCS process overall as their would be more real games upon which to judge teams. Teams that have easy schedules that haven't stepped up and played against other top teams should be penalized heavily in consideration for BCS eligibility. I currently do not think that SOC is weighted nearly enough in the current formula.

In the end it would probably mean that UM loses a few more games, but that is the game right? Competition?

Al Anon said...

Michigan at Georgia. Georgia at Michigan. Big Blue between the hedges...then the 'Dawgs visit the Big House. What congressman do I write to get this done? How much do I have to contribute to the Jim Mandich fund to see this thing through? Awesome idea!

Go Dawgs!

paulwesterdawg said...

the ND TV contract is somewhat overblown in terms of exposure.

The SEC contract is as good to UGA as the ND contract is to ND from an exposure standpoint.


ND gets 6 home games on NBC without split coverage. Then usually 2 on ABC without split coverage and 3 regional ABC telecasts like BC or michigan State.

Last year UGA's TV games were:
UT - CBS national
UF - CBS national
SC - ESPN Primetime national
Boise - ESPN Primetime national
AU - CBS national
Miss State - ESPN2 primetime national
Vandy - ESPN2 primetime national
ARK - ESPN2 primetime national
LSU - CBS SEC Title Game national

GT - ABC split regional
UK - JP regional

We had 1 non-televised game and 9 nationally televised games.

I'd say in terms of total viewers that UGA's SEC contact is as good or better than ND's.

The issue is one of money. ND isn't splitting their home game TV cash with anyone.

pwd

Mike said...

Stanford? North Carolina? Air Force? Army? Let's stop pretending Notre Dame only plays national powerhouses.

And let's stop bashing the Big Ten for playing weak OOC teams. PSU has Alabama lined up when the ND series ends. They have played Miami and Nebraska in recent years. OSU plays Texas. The Big Ten doesn't duck anyone, but we're not going to give ourselves a schedule that makes it impossible to win a NC. We are doing what every BCS contender does. One major player and three cream puffs.

SSB Charley said...

Saw this posted over at Kyle's Georgia blog and wanted to make two comments. One, I am completely in line with T. Kyle King on the desirability of matching Georgia with Michigan. I would love to see this happen, and think this would be as big a national matchup as OSU/UT.

Second, this quote is only partially correct:

Do you what the odds are off getting UGA to play home and fome? Pretty slim. GA hasn't played in the North in about 30 years.

Georgia has currently scheduled series with Arizona State, Colorado and Oregon State. We had a two-for-one scheduled with Cincy, but they pulled out. Our problem with OOC scheduling historically has been that a) one of our OOC games is always the Blight on North Avenue, and II) we lose a home game every other year due to the Jacksonville game. Georgia, unlike a number of other schools (Purdue comes to mind) has used the new 12th game to schedule intersectional games against BCS schools. I see no reason why we couldn't schedule UM, other than a failure of will on the part of our ADs.

West Coaster said...

Mike:

In the words of the sage of Louisville, Lee Corso: Not so fast, my friend.

"We are doing what every BCS contender does. One major player and three cream puffs."

Consider these OOC schedules among the top Pac-10 teams (Only three OOC games, since the Pac-10 adopted an extra conference game with the 12-game schedule.):

USC: Arkansas, Nebraska, Notre Dame.

Cal: Tennessee, Minnesota, Portland State. (Okay, one cream puff)

Oregon: Oklahoma, Fresno State, Portland State. (Apparently, the conference's designated cream puff)

I know, I am inviting a whole round of "Which conference is the best", which is not the intent. But I don't think the one toughie and three cream puffs formula is universal.

Ben said...

Only at a place like notre dame are 9-3 seasons and walk-ons earning playing time magical.

(sidenote: Michigan's schedule, with all its MAC snacks, was still rated #1 last year... nd's was a paltry 64th. Embarassing, isn't it?)

All this vehement backlash toward Bo's comments sounds like an insecure teenage boy who's been rejected by the prom queen and then goes off with a tirade of insults in a feeble attempt to salvage some pride.

Good luck, domers! Here's to two winning seasons in a row!

Anonymous said...

Whether ND or anybody else, i say do NOT play any non-conference opponent in consecutive years. Take at least one year off, and allow anticipation to build, as well as increasing the amount of national exposure and entertainment for Michigan fans by 'spreading it around'.

The series with Colorado was one example: the 1994 Hail Mary game probably became more legendary because the teams did not play the next year, and was talked about until the two teams played again, building up greater anticipation for the rematch when it did come.

I also believe that Michigan's 'star power' and fan/recruit recognition are great enough, that many quality BCS teams could be found that would agree to single games at Ann Arbor, or 3 game home-away-home series.