I woke up this morning to a tweet on my timeline that looked ominous. It was passing along a link from a local Birmingham, AL columnist who took offense to the recent quotes made by Jim Delany regarding the proposed playoff structure. "Expect 'that team' - aka Alabama -to be ready for Michigan" it read. Oh great, I thought, bulletin board material.
Then I read the article, looked at Delany's quote:
"I don't have a lot of regard for that team," he said. "I certainly wouldn't have as much regard for that team as I would for someone who played nine conference games in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games on the road against really good opponents. If a poll doesn't honor those teams and they're conference champions, I do.
...and yawned at another local columnist reaching for his big guns in an attempt to stir up the fan base. This isn't worthy of space in a paper (or on its website. Whatever.), its something I expect to hear when listening to the Paul Finebaum show. "Them fellas from up north better be ready, cuz 'that team' s'gonna be ready for 'em, isn't that right, PAWLLLL?"
At this point I think we can legitimately question whether Nick Saban is even human (cue up one-thousand keyboards in the south ready for more bulletin board material). The man has an almost robotic nature and is so dialed into the game of football you have to wonder if his wife gets tired of pillow talk that consists of stunt calls and coverage assignments. Does Nick Saban care what Jim Delany thinks?
This isn't about respect, this is about the media and fan base surrounding the most powerful program in college football looking for anything it can to latch on to in the way of "disrespect".
Want to know why Alabama will be ready for Michigan? Because Nick Saban has eight months to prepare a gameplan.
Now that's scary.
Let's go to the links:
Chris Rock leaves Michigan football - More attrition as redshirt freshman Chris Rock is leaving the program. Unless there is a staggering amount of bad luck and injuries on the defensive line this season, this departure shouldn't factor in in the short term. Long term, with some of the quality Michigan is bringing in on the defensive line, Rock's loss shouldn't be felt. Regardless, we wish the kid the best of luck and are sorry things didn't work out for the better.
Michigan football team could face historically difficult road schedule next season - Keep this in mind when you make your "Rose Bowl or Bust" proclamations to friends at work who root for Ohio State, Penn State, or Michigan State.
Badger Bits: Barry Alvarez opens up on college football playoffs - Barry Alvarez wants a selection committee because Barry Alvarez has either A) watched the Terminator movies too many times and already fears the beginning of a robot uprising. First it is our football, then it is our freedom. Or B) Barry Alvarez is worried that a playoff is going to get rid of the loads of controversy that ESPN feeds off of come December, and he wants a subjective panel in place so that Skip Bayless has something to scream about to Woody Page on First and Ten.
The Hoover Street Rag: Special K for a Day - Let's make HSR Special K forever. My thoughts on the list:
- The Michigan Replay music is second only to The Victors as a song that sends a wave of nostalgia through me.
- "Get Ready" by the Temptations has so many practical applications during a football game that you don't even need to base the argument for it on the song being awesome.
- Muppets and Michigan football? Together? You'd have to pinch me to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
UPDATE: Smith Has Contract Through 2016; No One Knows Why - I vote Gene Smith for all-time OSU Athletic Director.
Purdue Baseball: We’ve Waited 103 Years For This Weekend - Let's ruin Purdue's weekend, okay Michigan baseball?
OSU and Cover 4 - More from Ross Fulton at Eleven Warriors. A must read.
DOLLAR DOLLAR BILL Y'ALL: THE KEY PLAY ON THE ACC'S NEW FOUND RICHES - Last year around the time Michigan got an invite to the Sugar Bowl to face Virginia Tech I got an introduction to The Key Play, a great Tech blog with an even better twitter presence. Combine The Key Play and EDSBS and what do you get? Comedy gold, my friends.
THE SECRET PLAYOFF COMMISSION REVEALED - I would take the cigarette vending machine repairman over Matt Millen in any circumstance, but that could just be the Lions fan in me talking.
College Football Playoffs: Four Decades Of Arguments And The Rise Of The Tampa Spartans - It is nice to know that once upon a time Michigan's athletic director was considered to be as powerful as the NCAA president and the man who ran the biggest television sports department in the nation. It isn't so nice when you realize that Canham could have rendered the last 40 years of playoff chatter moot by just doing the damn thing when it first occurred to everyone.
Taking a broader view of Buzz's question, sports can play a positive role in breaking down barriers and college football is just as good at that as any other sport. (In fact, as the most popular sport in the region of the country with the worst racial past, college football has more of a role to play than other sports.) Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball is often cited as a major step in the improvement of race relations in America. On a more regional level, how important was it that Herschel Walker - an African-American who grew up in tiny Wrightsville, Georgia - became the most popular Georgian in 1980 and remains one of the most beloved products of this State to this day? If the national media were less provincial, then I wouldn't have to make this point because racial pioneers who played in cities not named New York would get credit for helping to change minds
Next time they want a debate about college football, I want B&B Michael arguing for my side. Bravo.
Bonus after the jump: Muppets.