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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Blogpoll Roundtable - Week 6

CrossCyed, an Iowa State Cyclone blog, is hosting this week’s Blogpoll Roundtable. The questions and our answers are below:

1. We're about halfway through the season at this point. Have you gotten a gauge on your team's chances this year to make noise in conference play, or is the team still a total freaking mystery?

The 2006 Wolverines are not a mystery. It took a few weeks – the first two games were like NFL pre-season games where nothing was revealed – but any mystery about this team was removed on September 16 with the beat down of Notre Dame. The defense was aggressive throughout, letting their supreme talent dictate the tempo of the game and intimidate the opponent. An offense that was so vanilla for the first two weeks turned into a Baskin-Robbins, mixing 31 flavors of plays. Though the vanilla returned a bit the following week against Wisconsin, the defense continued to pound their opponents and make a 7 point lead pretty much insurmountable. Michigan is a dominant team and a BCS title game contender. It’s all going to come down to one game, and it’s the last one on the schedule.

2. Many of the bigger conferences such as the Big 12 and the Big 10 use a rotating schedule to determine conference games each year. What are your feelings on the current system used in your conference? Does a rotating schedule work? Has your team always caught a break?

I HATE the rotating schedule. Always have. The Big Ten has been using it for years, even before Penn State became the eleventh member, though it’s had a bigger effect since then. It’s helped determine conference champs. In 1998, Wisconsin lost to 10-3 Michigan, and didn’t play 11-1 Ohio State. The three tied for the conference title, but Wisconsin went to the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin and Ohio State don’t play again this year, removing one of the rare chances (albeit slight) the Buckeyes have to lose this year.

Each conference team plays eight games, leaving two teams off the schedule. Each team also has two “rivals” that they play every year. So the remaining eight teams rotate off the schedule in two-year intervals. For Michigan the rivals are Sparty and tOSU, so that means the Wolverines are playing the other top team in the conference every year. It seems as if Northwestern, Illinois, or Indiana are always off the schedule. That’s fine – we play enough patsies in the non-conference schedule. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but let’s face it, it leads to inequality. Purdue, for example, doesn’t play Michigan OR Ohio State this year. That should never happen.

3. In an effort to get to know more about college football, both nationally and regionally, what have you done to expand your college football horizons? Have you caught yourself watching games from other conferences, or taking an interest in games that show up on ESPNU or Fox Sports?

My college football horizons are probably more expanded than is really safe. I’ve always watched games from other conferences on whatever channel they might be on. I’ve particularly always enjoyed watching what is now the Mountain West games, late at night. It’s a bonus if there’s snow involved. But this year I’ve discovered a new medium for enhancing my enjoyment of the games. I’ve stopped reading the newspapers since those writers pretty much know nothing. In their place I’ve discovered countless great blogs about college football. It’s incredible how much passion people have for the sport. It’s probably not surprising that Notre Dame has a bevy of blogs about Fighting Irish football. But pretty much every school has at least one decent blog writing about their program – even Iowa State. Plus, there are several excellent blogs that concentrate on the game from a national perspective. To be honest, there are too many to read in a week, but it’s great to know that they’re out there if I need them.

4. What would you change about the current exposure your team gets, either on the radio, television, print, or on the internet?

I’ve always felt Michigan just doesn’t get enough exposure. Having every game on TV - most of them on national TV, having national magazines and newspapers across the country constantly writing stories about the team, and having tons of Internet sites to peruse just isn’t enough. The Wolverines are simply overlooked.

I'm kidding.

Only Notre Dame consistently gets more exposure than Michigan and it’s great for a fan not living in the Ann Arbor area. But this really isn’t an issue in the 21st Century. If you aren’t getting enough information about your team on the Internet, you’re not looking hard enough.
I wouldn’t change anything about the exposure Michigan gets. All of the game are on TV. I couldn’t care less what’s said about them on the radio or in the newspapers. And one of the great things about being a Michigan fan are all the fantastic blogs about the team. MGoBlog, iBlogForCookies, Michigan SportsCenter, and about eight others cover the team in every way possible. Who needs newspapers with lazy sportswriters when you have Brian analyzing EVERY SINGLE PLAY from each Michigan game? Who needs to watch the idiots on College Football Final when you get the highlights from YouTube or can watch it again on TiVo? If there’s something I need to know about Michigan football, it’s out there for me to find.

5. During last Saturday's game against I-AA Northern Iowa, Iowa State trailed 21-7 at the half. The Cyclone Marching Band played a variety of songs from animated shows, including selections from South Park titled "Blame Canada" and "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" Needless to say, the Cyclones outscored the Panthers 21-6 in the second half. If you had to pick one song for your favorite team to rally to, what would it be? Because we all know what they did for the 2005 White Sox, Journey and "Don't Stop Believing" are not to be considered.

Wow, if the Cyclones needed “What Would Brian Boitano Do?" to rally against Northern Iowa, the program is in worse shape than I thought. The Michigan Band has taken some heat on this blog. They seem much more interested in playing technically well and marching in traditional formations than actually entertaining the fans. For a while in the ’90s they seemed to play “Walking on Sunshine” just about every game. But I’ve heard they’ve become less staid as of late. And though I wouldn’t expect them to play anything (other than “The Victors”) that could rally the football team, I’d love to see them give the fans an idea by playing....


richard cranium said...

I have to say that song woke me up from my friday night hangover. Quiet Riot ROCKS!!!!! Also you know the Buckeyes would roll any team we don't play in the Big Ten!!!!

Off Topic: The U.S. Congress is looking into whether they should still fund the NCAA. This might be a tactic to get them to loosen the stronghold and get a playoff system placed. Kind of like "hey if you guys do put a playoff in, I can suddenly become too busy to look into the money-whores of the NCAA." just food for thought.

Q1Go said...

As far as the band is concerned, I think this year's Michigan song has to be "(You Gotta Have) Heart" from Damn Yankees.

And if you don't think the band is entertaining, than you've never stuck around to watch post-game. The athleticism of the percussion during Temptation/War Chant rivals that of some of our opponents' offensive lines. The stuff they do is both musically and visually impressive. Bands like Grambling that stand in place and play, and have the band wiggle their asses, and have a "dance team" in skimpy costumes are an insult to the entire concept of a MARCHING band.