Time for some links from the weekend:
A Few Recruiting Notes 6/9 - Tremendous catches you up on quite a few developments around Michigan's 2013 and 2014 recruiting including good news about some 2014 OL and another possible advantage Michigan might have in the quest for Leon McQuay III.
The 11-win season was a tremendous accomplishment for a program that had been mired in mediocrity and controversy for three years. But it also has raised expectations, and raised them for a season in which Michigan faces one of the nation's most difficult schedules.
That could be a recipe for a letdown. Is second-year coach Brady Hoke concerned about a sophomore slump?
Unfortunately, with the way the schedule lines up, the odds strongly point to Michigan regressing in the win column in 2012.
Jerod Ward passing down knowledge to players of all ages - Jerod Ward, making a difference in the lives of young people. H/T: Bill Pooch
Delany's comments, which came after a teleconference of the B1G's presidents, are important because I think so many in the national media are missing something here. Why are so many people convinced that Jim Delany is bad at his job? Jim Delany may be passionate about the Rose Bowl, Jim Delany may be a traditionalist, but Jim Delany was also the guy who figured out the Big Ten Network, at a time when almost everyone was skeptical about it, and turned it into a cash cow which essentially launched conference realignment into the stratosphere. So is it possible that Jim Delany is negotiating in public* by setting a B1G position far enough out that the conference and its member schools can give up things that they have publicly stated are meaningful to them, but of which privately they believe that they can be used as bargaining chips? Delany knows that the SEC holds many of the cards, but sometimes its not about holding the cards.
The Hoover Street rag talks about recent comments from Brady Hoke, Dave Brandon, and Jim Delany regarding the future of college football.
Human voters and computers agree with Delany, and Michigan is placed into the title game. For weeks, fans complain that the Big Ten runs college football. These complaints are loudest in SEC country. The Southerners take a small measure of pride when Tennessee whips Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, but they claim en masse to be too disgusted with the process to watch the title game. Come Jan. 8, 2007, most of them watch anyway. The Wolverines hammer the Buckeyes in the rematch, and across the nation, pundits wonder aloud whether the Big Ten has grown too powerful. After the game, SEC commissioner Mike Slive releases an open letter to fans vowing to pursue a playoff that will provide a fair process for every conference
Any time your hypothetical involves Michigan finding a way to win that 2006 national title, I'm going to be a fan.
One officer said that after Stoneburner and Barnard were caught, one of them said that they had initially run because "we thought (the officers) were our girlfriends, and we took off running in order to ditch them."
Gentlemen and scholars, apparently.
Given that the Gophers ended last season well and are a better team in 2012, could this team squeeze into bowl play? I can see it happening. More likely, however, and as at Southern Illinois, Minnesota takes a step forward this fall before making its bowl run 12 months down the road. My prediction is no more than five wins, with no more than two coming during Big Ten play. Two wins after September would be outstanding, in fact.
Pre-Snap Read on Minnesota. Just think, we have 83 of these previews left. Jackpot.
In terms of revenue, however, the SEC's position is not as strong. It is one thing for the SEC to be distributing less money to its members than the Big Ten does (although, as John Pennington points out, that is not an apples to apples comparison). It is another for the Pac Ten to have a more favorable media deal. If a league that draws half as many viewers for its games as compared to the SEC is striking a better TV deal, then the SEC has made some mistakes along the way. Hence, Mike Slive's sudden interest in expanding the conference so the league can revisit its TV deals and take advantage of a favorable market. (If only the Braves could do the same.)