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Friday, May 25, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth About Michigan's Scheduling

For those that haven't heard, the Wolverines added the Toledo Rockets to the 2008 home schedule. Michigan will host Toledo on October 11, after having played two games of their Big Ten schedule.

Although Toledo has been a strong MAC team over the past few years, Bill Martin is generally being lambasted for adding another perceived patsy to a home slate that currently includes Miami of Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State and Northwestern.

But I think we should all applaud Martin for his foresight, and for caring about the future of humankind.

He's clearly scheduling so as to minimize the effect of global climate change. Toledo is only about 45 miles away from Ann Arbor. There will be no need for the Rockets to charter a flight and the short bus ride up won't put too much strain on the environment. Certainly not as much as a flight from a team like Georgia, Missouri, or Stanford would.

So let's stop criticizing Bill Martin, when really he's doing us all - especially the kids - a huge favor. And when he ends up adding Eastern Michigan to the open date left in 2008's schedule, let's thank him by pooling some funds to buy the small carbon offsets required for the Eagles to travel down Washtenaw Avenue.


Cris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matty Blue said...

not only is he reducing the travel of the opposing team, but he's ALSO making it less likely for fans to travel to ann arbor to watch this shit.

Out of Conference said...

The way I see it, Bill Martin saw that in the end, Reagan's VooDoo Trickledown Economics kind of worked. So maybe the same would be true in college football. Give the rich schools a break on being taxed by tough teams, and the poor teams will get better.

El Pendejo Grande said...

If MArtin truly wants to make an imnpact, he would schedule the Pioneer HS team. They could just walk across the street, and the matchup would be just as compelling as what ever MIAA team is next up.

What really pisses me off is that MArtin not only won't do 1 for 1s, he won't even do 2 for 1s with the smaller schools because their stadioms aren't big enough for his over-inflated sense of self importance. He is really testimg my loyalty. O sm not going to turn into an O-stater or anything, but $120 to watch "another mac team comes to Michigan Stadium for a beatdown and a payday" is not must see TV

El Pendejo Grande said...

I mean

"I am not" not "O sm not"

Maybe Bill can schedule Dave's School of Good Typing while he's lining up other patsies for the home slate.

Out of Conference said...

You guys have AD issues, but at South Carolina, we have to play Wofford (last year) and South Carolina freaking State (this year) becaue of pressure from the state legislators. One of the legislators even went so far as to threaten a bill and a lawsuit forcing South Carolina to give South Carolina State more tickets to their fans then we usually give to in-state visiting schools under the premise that it would be racial discrimination if South Carolina did not. Needless to say our AD didn't bow to him. At SC State's credit, they dissociated with that legislator through the whole fiasco.

IamCris said...

Everyone is missing the point. I'm sure the uninformed have made comments about playing high school teams refrencing the distance of the locale in respect to Michigan stadium and are not disrspecting Toledo as being on the level of a high school team. That being said... Toledo will win this game for many reasons. I'll list them for you. Go ahead and save this post too so you can erase after it comes to fruition.

(1) Middle of Mallet's FIRST season as a starter. View the two before and the two after opponets and ask yourself, "does Juice Williams remind me of Troy Smith"?
(2)Michigan will have a new RB in backfield TBD. We are accustomed to this special player named Hart, we WILL miss him.
(3) think Ball State but on PCP when you think of Toledo
(4) hold off on your anxiety attacks about Michigan's defense until '08*...trust me here...because
(5)* Michigan will have a new head coach...(Ron English)* or if they don't we all know how Coach Carr does vs teams from Ohio

Go Blue!!!

katherine said...

1) Chad Henne was 9-3 as a TRUE Freshman. He played in a 43-10 route of Miami(OH) in his first ever start. Ryan will be just fine. And about Juice Williams...no, he does not remind me of Troy Smith other than the fact he's black, plays QB, and runs. Troy Smith in his first year as a starter threw 56% and had 3 INTs 8TDs and 2 rushing TDs. Juice threw for a beautiful 39.5%, threw 9 TDs, rushed for 2, threw and NINE INTs. He's horrible, no where near T.Smith at the same experience level.
2) Another thing about Henne's first start, Hart wasn't getting carries until the third game of the season. Mallett will have Kevin Grady or Brandon Minor, and maybe even Carlos Brown who aren't exactly new to the program...if anything, Henne was the one without help at RB to start off.
3) Half Toledo's coaching staff didn't work for Michigan like Ball St's did.
4) In '08 we'll have younger guys who will have experience unlike this year. This along with younger players now being Juniors and Seniors (like Trent).
5) I do know Coach Carr is 6-5 vs. Ohio State, and undefeated vs. Miami (OH). So yeah...but no.

IamCris said...

Nice try Katherine... I applaud your statistical data but one great thing about college football is that the parameters change quickly. Every year players come and go, get suspended, become academically ineligible, etc...so

all of your numbers about Henne and Hart don't count in '08. One of the reasons why Ball State lost was because of coaching. Toledo has a far supreior coaching staff and has how many Mac West titles under their belt over the last ten years? Juice Williams will be an outstanding QB with another year under his belt (Zook is his coach, and don't disrespect what Zook built at Florida, Illinois will compete...don't make me bring up recruiting). Mallet could get "homesick" again and fly away so he's not a lock to stay (more drama than I can remember and he hasn't got one snap yet). It's still a season and some months aways but Toledo will beat Michigan in the BigHouse, the game is smack dab in the middle of a brutal slate. I really hope i'm wrong but call it a "pre-Rose Bowl" feeling...

I get the feeling that i'll at some point hear about Toledo not being able to compete in the Big Ten week after week, I agree...but on one saturday in October 2008, in the middle of a brutal 5 game stretch for the Wolverines, the Rockets could beat Michigan.

katherine said...

Thanks, iamcris. But you can't say "one great thing about college football is that the parameters change quickly" and "all of your numbers about Henne and Hart don't count in '08" when you used that in support of your initial argument. In a debate, what works for you, works for me too.

Anywho, you say every year players get suspended and so on...well if any team is going to have players get suspended, it's Toledo. We rarely have offseasons like the one we had this year, and the chances of lightning striking two consecutive summers is slim in a program as stable as ours. Possible? Yes. Likely? No.

I'm also going to go the complete other route on the coaching situation at Ball St vs. Toledo. Yes, Toledo has a better coaching staff, but probably not vs. Michigan. You say Ball St. lost because of coaching, I'll say one of the reasons why Ball St. got even remotely close to winning was because of coaching (among other things). Brady Hoke and his boys know more about Michigan than do the guys at Toledo. I think Bo knew a lil bit too much about Woody and his staff to let OSU dominate the series for much longer.

Mallett: I'm assured Mallett will be fine because he's supposedly, and I say this with caution, as good as Henne is now nonetheless with a year under him as he will when he plays Toledo. And I'm also sure he's staying because if he wants to graduate in less than 6 years and have an opportunity to play in the NFL any time soon, he's staying put.

Juice: I'm gonna make a bold prediction and say he will suck next year and the year after if he's not replaced by another QB. Troy Smith had way more tools than [NAME REDEACTED] will ever recruit for Juice and [NR] is not nearly the coach Tressel is. [NR] may have built Florida's championship roster, but he sure as hell couldn't get them to win. Meyer won that championship with his coaching and use of talented athletes...something [NR] failed to do. Illinois will be no different. Better? Sure, but not better than middle of the pack in the B10. If there's anything to be worried about about Illinois, it's their defense, not Juice.

You mention a brutal slate before Toledo. ND, Wisky, Miami(OH), and two probably not that strong teams with those are not considered brutal. I'd say tough, but certainly not brutal....it's not like it's OSU, MSU, Wisco, Iowa and then Toledo here, good Lord child!

All in all, I agree that Toledo will have a shot to beat us in 2008, but like I said, you're running on a worst case scenario here, the chances are stacked against Toledo more than you think. Maybe the fact that we've never lost to a MAC team in our existence makes me confident. Or that our players are far more talented, (I don't care what Ball St. did, it was a fluke). Or that our QB is for sure better than Navarre and Navarre never lost to a lower teir conference team and never lost more than 4 games a season and that I doubt Mallett can do any worse. I'm just sayin, I know the past cannot dictate the future, but it's a darn good reference.

By the way, thanks for this debate because it's May and I'm dying here w/o anything to talk about. This is all in good fun, and I don't completely disagree with your concerns. Go Blue!

god of the whoppers said...

haha, you two are funny.
toledo will put up a good fight in the first half, but will ultimately lose. You probably don't remember toledo's first game last year, as those who do only went to UT (as i do, and i march snare on the drumline, so i do actually watch the games) and Iowa State. yes iowa state who only went 4-8 in 2006 got their first home win in overtime against toledo. toledo should have won, but we had just lost "god"kowski to the draft, and cochran played a pretty amazing game throwing for nearly 80% and only one interception, being only the second game he held the reigns and the fisrt game of the season. then came kansas. there was talk of just having our coaches sumo wrestle instead of actually having a football game (amstutz would have lost, by about 2 lbs). then came the smashing of mc neese state, followed by losses at Pitt, at home to Central mich, at kent state, and a stupid loss at eastern's homecoming when we decided to go for 2 and fumbled and threw the game away. then we beat akron at home (OMG!!!) then shut down garret wolfe to only 50 yards before he left the game. could not even see the field for a whole quarter it got so foggy. then lost to ball state in a close field-goal-off. then easily handled BGSU(cks). cochran startedt the season out with and 80%, 60%, and 32% passing %, Opelt took over with a few 50%, and few 60% games, then a 38% game, then back to 60% against BG ( the ball was thrown a total of 13 times between 3 people!!) in 2005, toledo bent over and raped jordan palmer (carson's lil bro) in the GMAC bowl. that was the defense, althought the offense was pretty to watch. while none of this seems to make much sense, as i have no training in football at all ( i kinda understand a cover 2) it seems like agains't shitty teams, we are even shittier, against meh teams, we can hang and even come out on top, but we have never really taken on a powerhouse like Michigan in recent years (pitt doesn't count, come on, it's pitt!). so I think we can hang for about the first 1/3 of the game, but then it will just fall apart. I think the real reason Toledo is playing them is so the marching band members get to go to a michigan game that year. I have gone to at least one a year since i was too young to remember, till i got to college. I know no matter the outcome, it will be a pretty decent game for at least the first half, and i get to march in the big house (life goal), so go blue and go rockets!

IamCris said...


I'll do my best to keep up with your flawless use of the english language. I'll have to keep track of your "Juice" sucking comment throughout the next season, it certainly is "going out on a limb". As for the brutal section of the schedule I am refering to Toledo being smack in the middle of a tough 5 game set.

Oct. 11 TOLEDO
Oct. 18 at Penn State*

I'll say that I am going out on a limb to say Illinois will be a tough game, but i'm trying to use forsight and consider that Juice Williams will develop into a great QB. A tough road game at PSU follows the Rocket contest. I enjoy our "ownership" of PSU as much as anyone but it simply cannot continue forever. Sparty should have a respectable team on the field in the second season after the "slap yourself happy" nutbag coach John L. departed (forced,shoved,kicked out).

Mallett again, I wasn't a big Navarre fan either however he has won games at Michigan. To use Navarre as the measuring stick to future success or failure is just unfair. Mallett has given me a bad vibe with this drama stuff. Unproven is the word i'm sticking with.

I enjoy the exchange of banter as well. Michigan has never played Toledo before however Toledo has beat Pitt (35-31), Kansas (37-31), Penn State (24-6) and Minnesota (38-7). It has been done and most assuredly I can say let's see how the Rockets perform vs Purdue and Kansas in '07. IMHO, Toledo is the best MAC team Michigan has faced in recent memory.

Answer me this, if not Notre Dame...what other "midwestern" school would be a better addition to the Big Ten than Toledo?

katherine said...

Haha well I'm not sure if the "flawless English" comment was sarcastic or not, but I'll pretend it wasn't just in case.

I'm going to disagree with you about Toledo being the best MAC team we'll face. We don't know how good they'll be in 2008 and if the past five seasons vs. big opponents are any indication of how good they'll be, that doesn't bode too well for them regardless of how bad we may be (and I still don't think we'll be anything less than an 8 win team, I believe 2005 was an anomaly).

I mean, sure they beat Kansas last year, arguably one of the best teams they played last season. However, they also um, lost to Eastern Michigan or something like that. Interesting fact: Eastern went 1-11 last season.

In the four seasons prior to 2006, (I'm not using '06 because it was clearly a down year), they also got demolished by Kansas, UConn, Minnesota, Fresno St, Syracuse, Ball State, Pitt, and Boston College among others. Their win vs. Penn State in '00 was 1)before Tom Amstutz arrived, 2) a season in which PSU went 5-6, and 3)was one of Toledo's best seasons in their history. Pinkel was great for Toledo in the 90's but to me, they haven't gotten to that level since he left for Mizzou. Their consistency (or lack thereof) versus large conference opponents is just not scary to me.

I agree with you that their matches vs. Purdue and Kansas next year will give us a better look at how they may shape up in 2008. I'll also agree with you about MSU and PSU, but those games do not dictate how we'll perform before/during the Toledo matchup. Illinois is a question mark that can either go south real quick or be pretty darn good in the next few seasons, a lot of that is on Juice. So for now, I'm just going to say Toledo's chances of beating Michigan look bleak.

To answer your last question, I'm going to have to go with Pitt or Iowa St. Although, the resurgence of the Big East and the regular power of the B12 wouldn't ever make that happen, I think Pitt or Iowa St. would be the most interesting teams in the B10. Pitt isn't exactly in the midwest persay, but we have Penn State so Pitt make sense. ND, Pitt, and Iowa State make the most sense, but it's safest to say that'll never happen.

katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
katherine said...

Oops, I meant PSU went 5-7 in '00. They got killed in their opener to USC, a USC team that also lost 7 games that season.

IamCris said...

Interjecting here but Amstutz prior to last season had a better win pct. than did Mr. Smiley. I'd honestly have to do the math to give you an exact Pinkle vs Amstutz SU win% figure. I actually do enjoy reading good english,something normally not reserved for sports blogs (that does not include the creators of this blog, whom I have great respect for their use of the english language).

(Addition to the Big Ten) Pitt is an interesting call as is Iowa State. I do find it odd that you'd mention two teams who've beaten Toledo in recent history and question if that bears heavily in your decision. Iowa State was a 2ot game and Toledo has beaten Pitt as I stated prior. I just was thinking more along the lines of the Bearcats or a Mizzou. If I was the commish i'd cast a vote for Mizzou.

You can tell i'm torn between loyalty to hometown and my favorite since I was kneehigh to a grasshopper. I still can't get into the Mountain West or SDSU even though the stadium is litterally a couple of miles from the house. Another story for another day, but in southern california, people just arent into like in the midwest or deep south. Go Blue!!!

katherine said...

Haha no I didn't think about Iowa St. and Pitt because of Toledo, but that's an interesting coincidence. I've always thought those two teams made the most sense geographically if not Notre Dame. Iowa is already in the B10, so why not the State school? Same goes for Penn St. and Pitt (because UPenn is Ivy League). I also agree Mizzou isn't too far away either and would be a good fit. Same goes with them as with Pitt and Iowa St. and their attachments to two pretty good conferences already. No reason for them to leave at this point.