We will be back with another week of our weekly Big Ten preview Monday, and Tuesday we will be kicking off a new summer series that I know you'll all enjoy. I'll be back with Happy Hour again on Tuesday.
Have a good Memorial Day weekend, everybody. Stay safe, drink some good beer, and enjoy the dawning of another summer season.
It is Friday morning, so let's hit the links lightning round style:
Michigan softball loses 4-1 to Alabama in Super Regional opener - Michigan couldn't keep up with a very good Alabama team last night, but has another chance today at 4:30 p.m. Friday (ESPNU). A win there forces a game three. Go blue!
Crisler Center renovations on schedule, Schembechler Hall upgrades starting soon - It is nice to see construction moving along smoothly on Crisler. I don't know what exactly the plan for Schembechler hall is, but I can say that after living across from that eye-sore of a building for a year as an undergrad that it could desperately use a facelift.
Interview with Chris Brown of Smart Football - Ross Fulton of Eleven Warriors talks to Chris Brown about The Essential Smart Football. The second positive behind Chris Brown actually writing the book is that in promoting it he is talking football almost everywhere these days.
The headline doesn't include all pertinent information (not that it can be expected to), but, either way, your visceral reaction of "pfft, that's it" might not be completely wrong. I still don't think it's unreasonable to wonder why the "guys in blazers" that everybody euphemistically refers to get paid so much to do so little. Bowl directors and general hangers on remind me of Turtle from Entourage in that they are completely useless vis-a-vis their role in the entire operation. This is bad because anything that reminds me of Entourage or a character from it is probably a pretty terrible thing.
Holdin' the Rope on a a whole bunch of things currently rattling around in the college football news-cycle.
Denoting "Legends" - Ace looks at the problem with opening up the Legends patch (such as the #21 patch that Roy Roundtree will wear in honor of Desmond Howard) to different numbers, and what to do about currently retired numbers.
I like Ace's thought here: the Legend's patch should be reserved for the absolute best of the best. Basically, if you won a Heisman you get one. If you didn't you better have a good claim (such as Anthony Carter and the iconic #1 jersey).
As for the retired numbers, I would leave them, especially the ones from the early days of college football. While it would be cool to see a defensive lineman wearing #11 or a running back in #98, I think the non-traditional numbers are best left as retired numbers. Let's focus this on #21, #2, #1, and eventually #77. Adding too many numbers dilutes the significance.
Big 12 realignment, playoff plans lead college football Mailbag - H/T to Holdin' the Rope for this one. Mandel talks about the downside of using a conference champs model and conference realignment.
Urban and Competition Psychology - Alternately titled, "just renaming the 'Circle of Trust', probably".
With that as a brief historical context, why are universities so eager to realign today? As best I can tell, there are five top reasons, as follows:
- Money, to fill gaps caused by bankrupt state budget cuts.
- Money, to fuel the fleet of university jets that universities can't afford not to have.
- Money, as future media rights payouts go through the roof.
- And, "Stability", defined as membership in a conference that will maintain its place at the (money) feeding trough.
A long Black Shoe Diaries post on the money behind conference realignment and the Big Ten's place in it all. An excellent read.
Bonus after the jump: Gus Malzahn on beating the Alabama offense.
You don't. You don't beat Alabama's defense, you just hope they mess up and you score a long touchdown before they clamp down and squeeze the life out of you.