No more gray space at the top of the student section after kickoff. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Michigan football Saturdays have for a long time been a disparate culture with an egalitarian problem when it comes to student tickets. There are those, much like myself and probably many of you reading here, who spent years as a student living for football Saturdays. We woke up early, watched college gameday, had a few beers, then headed off to the game. We were football fans first and foremost, and we didn't show up late. It was all about the game.
Then there was the other Saturday contingent: the drinkers. These are the ones that you probably spent a large portion of the game silently hating. Sorority girls who stumbled down to their seats in a loud pack, asking stupid questions about what was going on. The guy so drunk that he stunk of alcohol and wobbled back and forth on the bleachers, dangerously close to toppling over. The drinkers trickle in slowly, and almost always after kickoff. Some don't show up until the second quarter, most are gone by the end of the third (earlier in a blowout). Saturday is a party, the football game just an excuse to drink.
Contrast this to Michigan State basketball. I lived in East Lansing with some friends the year after graduating from Michigan, and despite basketball having a much more inconvenient schedule -- football Saturdays on a college campus tend to be like holidays whereas basketball games can be almost any time -- my friends with tickets made it work, made it to every game, and did it on time. That is what fandom is supposed to look like.
So after years of treating everyone the same, the athletic department has finally decided to look into doing things the right way: rewarding loyalty, punctuality, and attendance. Not only is it a wonderful idea that will help improve attendance early in games, but finally students who show the most dedication to Michigan sports (and believe me, if I could have gotten points for revenue sports by showing up to volleyball games or soccer games, I would have done so much more often) will get tangible rewards and not just that false feeling of superiority you get when you watch a drunk sorority girl bite it on the way down the big house steps. Karma.
Michigan is finally going to treat its students the right way. It is about time.
Rivals100 for 2013 updated - Touch the Banner runs down the moves on the Rivals 100. Nothing major, but don't panic that many of Michigan's commits drop a few spots each time these things are updated on recruiting sites. It is harder for players initially rated high to hold on to those spots as more players are evaluated and develop. That's the nature of the beast.
Profilin' the Tide: Linebackers - Holdin' the Rope continues his excellent Alabama preview with a look at the linebackers the year after losing Courtney Upshaw and Dont'a Hightower to the draft. Don't get your hopes up, they are still really good. Just maybe not as experienced as last year. Take what you can get.
Did Brady Hoke simply recruit him because his name is Taco, and he was hungry? No, we would not suggest that, but yes.
Big 10 Win Totals: Expensive Prices on Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan - Jamie Mac over at Just Cover Blog -- a great college sports betting site that I strongly recommend for all of you
gamblers interested parties out there -- takes a look at some of the early action on the Badgers, Buckeyes, and Wolverines. He also does his best to temper optimism for a ten win season, which, seconded.
James Vandenberg Killed a Bear This Weekend. What Did You Do? - First off, that is a gigantic bear, and before I make any snarky jokes I just want to lay that out there. I get perspective and all, and him being behind the bear inflates the size to the viewer, but still, I wouldn't want to run into that in the woods. Second, I have never understood bow hunting something that A) can eat you and B) can climb trees. Third, why is he crouching behind the bear?
In the end this probably bought Vandenberg at least four more interceptions this season before the locals turn on him while the Iowa offense stagnates.
Notre Dame, Conference Realignment, and Boredom - A Notre Dame fan is tired of hearing about conference alignment. Good, because I'm tired of hearing about Notre Dame.