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Thursday, February 22, 2007

No, give us a break, Bill

As first reported here on the MZone (and you only thought they were about scantily-clad co-eds and Buckstache jokes), Michigan is indeed opening its 2007 season against 1-AA Appalachian State. To find out more, I sat down with MZone co-founder Yost to discuss the game.

Yost, let me start by thanking you for taking time out of your day to talk with me abo--

Hey, asswipe, you're me. This interview is like the cyber version of FIGHT CLUB that bloggers always do, where the guy running the site asks himself questions instead of writing an article or regular post. It's a lot easier. No structure problems to worry about. So just start with the questions already.

Oh, right, my bad. So, what do you think of Michigan playing Appalachian State in the season opener?

I think it's bullshit. Complete bullshit.

You hate Appalachian State that much?

No, that's not it at all. In fact, let me start by saying please save the emails if you go to/went to/root for ASU. This isn't a slam on them. Honest. Hell, I know nothing about the school except that it's located in North Carolina, they are the 1-AA champs and have that "hot" promotional video. My beef isn't with Appalachian State, it's with scheduling 1-AA teams to begin with. Any 1-AA team.

But they're probably better than Eastern.

Maybe, maybe not. Either way, that argument - put forth by those defending the game - is not relevant. Eastern is a 1-A team. Division 1-A teams should play Division 1-A teams. Period. If not, what's the point of making the distinction? Why not schedule Grand Valley State...or Hillsdale...or maybe even a JuCo.

That's different.

Why? How? GVSU is the top team in Division III...or IV...or whatever. I'm sure they could beat a couple 1-AA squads, which seems to be big "argument" for those who advocate the U-M/ASU match-up using the "But they're better than Eastern" defense. So to say it would be different to play GVSU because they're in a lesser division, cuts against the argument of playing any school not in 1-A. Once you do it, the slippery slope has begun.

And what about the 1-A powers playing 1-AA schools that aren't the top team in that division, that are the 1-AA equivalent of Eastern Michigan. Like WVU playing Eastern Washington last season. Is that ok? And once a 1-A teams plays one 1-AA team in a season, what about scheduling a second? Or third?

I hadn't thought--

I mean, what is the fucking point of adding a twelfth game if this is what fans get?! At least be honest and call such mismatches and scrimmages preseason games like pros. Or charge half price for them. Why on earth should a Michigan fan pay $50 or more for a ticket plus the "seat licensing fee" for a game against a 1-AA team? Is that fair?

But according to AD Bill Martin, Michigan had to scramble to find a 12th opponent. Most schools already had their schedules filled.

Bullshit, part 2. Why is that Michigan is waiting until February to find its 12th game? It's not like everybody just found out about the extra game last week. I didn't read about USC scrambling to round out its schedule.

Deep breath.

I'm pissed. I'm even more pissed when Michigan's athletic director, Bill Martin, defends this game. First he said that several BCS teams wanted to fill the gap but "due to scheduling constraints," Michigan couldn't return the game." Basically, that means we only wanted to play a team in A2 this fall that Michigan then didn't have to play on the road in the future. It's about only adding a home game for money. Period. It's not about the fans. Or what's good for the game.

But Martin also told U-M fans to - and I quote - "take a look at (Michigan's) schedule overall first and foremost and see it's one of the toughest and best they'll have had in a few years. They have (at home) Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State. Give me a break."

So what he's saying is, with all these good games, shut your pie hole if we throw in one really shit game?! That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time. Give you a break? Ha! Give us a break, Bill!

But Oregon and Notre Dame will both probably be ranked in the preseason. Those are top notch out of conference games. That's a tough schedule.

Indeed it is. And I don't think anybody was saying schedule another ranked team. That's suicide in the BCS era where one loss can kill your title shot. But what about a Stanford? Or Kansas? Or NC State? A real team from a 1-A conference. Something that has at least some value.

Good point.

And didn't you just love how he announced the Appalachian State game on the 15th, after Michigan fans' preferred seating donations were due. So nobody could change their mind and say, "Screw it. I'm not paying that much money for a schedule with this game." As I said before, what bullshit.

Yes, yes, you did.

You mean, yes we did.


GoBlue43 said...

Collegefootballnews.com said Hawaii wanted to play us which would have been a fun game with a ton of points. I don't like this decision either but unfortunately there is no incentive for this 12th game to be anything but a tuneup against a AA squad. Not a knock against App. State either who kicked ass last year. I think the NCAA needs to step in and find a way to reward teams that avoid scheduling these type of games.

Anonymous said...

Well done my friend! I was born and raised in the great state of Michigan, dedicated an enitre room in my home to Michigan (http://gamedayisnow.com/michiganroom) and have had it with Billy M. I've been banging for three years now, this program was going in the crapper, mainly becuase of Billy boy!

Thanks for bringing this to light!

War John Gruden kicking Llllloyd's ass and bringing football back to Michigan.

check out www.enoughnow.com

Anonymous said...

my guess is that pie whole is really spelled pie-hole

Anonymous said...

and another one bites the dust...with OSU scheduling a 1AA, I think there are only a few....(I think only ND and Pac10 schools).....left!

Out of Conference said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Out of Conference said...

Billy M cannot be pointing to home games with Oregon and ND as bragging spots of a "tough" schedule. Is he serious? Does he think that little of his own team? ND got exposed for what they truly are last year, yet again, but I'm guessing that N(D)BC will once again hype them, and every other media excuse of an outlet will follow, again, so Billy M might as well claim accolades that are free for the taking.
I don't know Billy M's legacy for you guys, but if this is typical of it, you deserve much better.

Nicole said...

I live across the country and only come back to attend one game a year. Up until this weekend it was a debate as to which home game to go back for...that is until my significant other (an ASU alum) found out about this....sigh....

beast in 'bama said...

From the desk of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive:

Welcome to the SEC, Yost! We're glad you boys finally made it. It took a long time to break you down, but you've finally come around to OUR way of seeing things.

Let's see, now that we've got Michigan in the fold, who's left? USC? That's where we'll focus our attention next. You know, we won't stop until ALL of college football is doing things OUR way.

Again, welcome aboard!

Class of 91 Wolverine said...

Great post. Many of your comments are exactly what I wrote in a letter to Mr. Martin to express my anger as soon as the schedule was released - f*** you to the paying customer, NFL exhibition quality and GVSU has more NCs than ASU, so why not play them. He had said previously that UM would not play a 1-AA opponent, so I called him a liar (I also had a version where I called him an a**hole, but my wife edited that out). His justifications are buls***. It is all about the dollar. I also compared our lack of road OOC games to the worst SEC offenders. Sept 1, 2007 will be a truly sad day in Michigan Stadium. My seat license is going for this? I am very disappointed in my University. No longer "the Leaders and the Best", we're just like all the rest.

kwajtiger said...

Why we never can get a Auburn-Michigan home and home is beyond me. UM always needs a OOC game and so does Auburn and we always get some lower division team.

Maybe I just want an excuse to go to the Big House. :-)

MGoBlue93 said...

If Michigan scheduled Auburn as kwajtiger suggests, I'd guaran-damn-tee you if the loser of that game, went undefeated the rest of the way, they’d be in the BCS hunt.

If not for Texas tubing their game against A & M last year, they we’re knocking on Glendale’s door.

Q. How can you tell if Bill Martin is lying?

A. His lips are moving.

The reason why Billy has to scramble to fill games is because he won’t let Michigan go on the road. Which as Yost says is complete fucking bullshit.

Bill, could you imagine the national hype if the first game of the season, coming off a long dry spell of no football and lots of figure skating, gymnastics, and poker tournaments on TV, was Auburn v. Michigan? Regardless of the game’s score, how could that possibly be bad for Michigan??????????

Bill, you need to turn in your “Michigan Man” card. You’ve lost the right to carry the title.

Jeff said...

Hawaii would have been an excellent choice, since even a home-and-home series wouldn't have F'ed the ridiculous "We must have 8 home games/year" mentality; Schools who play at Hawaii get to hold an extra home game to make up for costs of traveling to Hawaii. WOULDA been cool. Oh well.

The King said...

I think Nike forced us to schedule this game to make us look bad.

Anonymous said...

After the last time Michigan played Hawaii they said it was fun but they wouldn't do it again(time, money, etc.).

BTW, I'm looking forward to watching ASU. I find it intriguing to see how the best from 1aa matches up with us. I'm sorry if I don't want to see us lose another road game in September.

dgarr22 said...

While I agree totally with your comments what are you going to say if happy appy actually beats UM.

Yost said...

Anon 4:25,

Good catch, my bad. It was late when I was ranting.

Yost said...


If Happy Appy beats us, I'm gathering my belongings, food and other essentials and heading to a secure location as I'm pretty sure that would be one of the first signs of the Apocalypse.

The King said...

dgarr, we could play App St 100 times and would win every time. Which is precisely why we shouldn't be playing them.

Anonymous said...

Hey, king,

since you insist on carrying this on. Do you take every commercial at face value, or just the ones that make people you don't like look bad?
You people are entitled to your opinion, but if you think that Nike sent a camera crew out to C-bus "just in case" that statue was going to be destroyed, then you're very naive my friends.

The King said...

Anon, my favorite part about your utterly incoherent post was how you started off referring to me as a singular entity and then switched to the plural.

We think you must have gone to Ohio State.

Anonymous said...

thanks for proving my point, king

Anonymous said...

kwajtiger and mgoblue93,

Michigan and Auburn did talk this past year about playing this next season but both teams wanted the home game for this coming up season and neither team would budge. My thoughts would have been to just find a field in the middle between both teams and do a 50/50 split for tickets. The hype would be huge for this game.

Wolf Blitzer said...

so you're telling me that when it's cold outside, it's still hot hot hot? That's pretty incredible if you ask me

Out of Conference said...

Hey King - Let me tell you something. When ya'll make a funny post- it's pretty damn funny. All your peoples make funny posts all the time. You billions of billions people make me laugh. Just wanted to let you know that I laugh immensely at many of you infinity's posts.

Go Blue Gabe said...

I don't know man, you might want to wait until after the APP ST. game to finish your top ten victories.

Anon 10:17 and 10:36,

kwajtiger said...

Regarding the MNC, you can recover from a loss to a “Name” school, UM almost did it this year, Florida did do it, but there is just no winning in playing a lower division school.

I mean no disrespect to lower division schools. But is kind of like being the high school stud and picking a fight with the high school sissy. It’s a lose-lose-lose.

Win the fight: “Big deal! You beat up a sissy!”

Lose the fight: “You got your ass kicked by a sissy!”

And good Lord what the ESPN analysts could do if it was a close fight! “Well, the Bully won because he was so supposed to win, but the Sissy put up a great fight. The Bully might be half-a- Sissy in my opinion. I’m gonna to wait on deciding how to cast my vote until after next week’s game against the ¾ Pansy.”

The damn AD’s make me sick! They have us by the balls. In order to get the Michigan State/OSU or Alabama/LSU tickets we have to pay to go watch the glorified practices.

I’m pissed. I’m about to go kick my damn dog!

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Ugh. As if the loss to Ohio State and the embarrassment at the hands of Southern Call weren't bad enough. Let's just make sure this offseason really sucks.

Michigan currently has the longest streak for not playing a non IA opponent, 74 years. That was a streak we could be proud of, unlike the current Ohio State and Rose Bowl streaks.

Nothing good at all can come from this. Michigan needs to look long and hard at its out of conference scheduling and make some adjustments that will make the team more competitive nationally instead of looking for guaranteed wins. A loss to a quality team early on doesn't ruin a chance at a mythical national championship, it simply points out that you weren't really deserving of a shot a little earlier. And, a win against a quality team that plays with a different style than that usually seen in the Big Ten sets Michigan up for success in a bowl game.

I'd rather Michigan just took a bye week and work on defending against five receivers.

Dan said...

i think it's fair to say that, as the AD, Martin has concerns to deal with that none here have to worry about. and, mgoblogs points are true: it's a trickle up effect that leads to the Vandys of CFB scheduling other crappy IAA teams. then there are no Vandys for M to schedule....and they have to go to IAA too.

MGoBlue93 said...

Dan... see your point. Nobody here has the athletic department's budget information here. And since football finances many other sports, ADs all over the land have many many concerns.

But with regard to AD Martin in particular, I'm NOT buying any of it. Other schools try to negotiate in good faith with regard to schedules and Martin tells them his way or the highway.

No cogent nor compelling reason has ever been given why Michigan cannot travel to Auburn or Georgia for a season and Auburn or Georgia comes to A2 for a season.

And if one cannot find a school that will kiss Martin's ass, then schedule a Big 10 team and get off that ridiculous rotating schedule.

Mathew said...

Hard though it is to say, I think playing ASU should take us out of the running for the MNC game. I've long been oppossed to scheduling down at all and feel that it should be automatic grounds for disqualification for a BCS bowl. Would I love for UM to play in and win the MNC this year? Absofuckinglutely. But I don't think we deserve to go for playing a DIAA school (or whatever the hell they are these days).

Anonymous said...

Michigan has no business playing a school like Allegany A&M. Who’s next, Concordia University?

Anonymous said...

As an ASU alumnus, I am saddened to see the lack of sportsmanship and the poor repuation that these Michigan fans are leaving for themselves; a reputation associated with one of the best football programs I have ever seen and been a fan of.
What is the big issue about playing a 1-AA team? Are you seriously worried about losing or are you feeling bad for ASU? Are you concerned it is a waste of time or an insult to Michigan? Put your egos aside seriously. If you don't like the match up then there is a knob on the radio and tv marked "off". Practice with it.
In defense of ASU, it is a great honor to play a team that has a tradition of great football, great players, great sportsmanship, and respect for the game. For ASU it is a great opportunity to play an amazing team and learn from players and coaches whose talents exceed our own. It will help us strengthen our skills for the 2007 season. For Michigan fans, what have you got to lose by playing or attending? ASU is coming into this match up with good sportsmanship having nothing short of the greatest respect for your team. Is it possible to recieve the same or is that also ridiculous (as I have heard the term used so much already to describe this game).

Yost said...


Trust me when I say this has nothing to do with ASU. Period. It could be any 1-AA school.

As stated in the post, ASU might well be better than EMU on Michigan's schedule. But if we're going to differentiate between the divisions, then teams should play inside their divisions. Or, what's the point?

Furthermore, to be blunt, Michigan gains nothing playing this game. We win big, so what, we're supposed to. We win by a hair and we drop like a rock in the polls. And if we somehow lose, well, you get the idea.

How many D-III schools is ASU playing? Zero, I bet. And if you were, how would you feel about paying over $50 a ticket if you're a season ticket holder? That's another factor for M fans. It's not about changing the channel.

Yost said...

PS Anger at the AD for scheduling this game has nothing to do w/ a lack of respect for ASU. As stated in the post, I'm not very familiar w/ the school.

I'll keep saying it again and again - this isn't about ASU. It's about the slippery slope of D-1 schools padding their schedules w/ 1-AA schools and doing it just to make a buck w/ another home game instead of playing another appropriate 1-A school

MGoBlue93 said...

Anon 12:11...

Absolutely amazing!!! How many times in the original thread and subsequent posts did people say:

This is not about ASU


No disrespect to ASU


This is not a knock against ASU???

But somehow, this thread still struck a nerve for you. Where's the lack of class and sportsmanship you allege? Please point it out to me... I can't speak for others, but if you find it, I'll offer you an apology.

The overwhelmingly majority of the board went OUT OF THEIR WAY not to make this a UM against ASU thing!

I hope ASU travels well. You'll enjoy your time in A2. Good luck!