The Pac-12/Big Ten scheduling deal fell through last week, but all hope isn't lost as the reason the Pac-12 couldn't make it work could soon be a feature of the Big Ten: a nine game conference schedule.
This would be an unquestionably good thing for the Big Ten. Conference games -- even when played against Minnesota or Indiana -- carry more weight and mean more to the fan base. People are going to show up in greater numbers for a conference game than a mercy killing of Bodybag Technical College. That is more nationally marketable games between Big Ten teams, less payouts for one-off home contests to fill the schedule, and more power for the Big Ten network.
Not to mention, it's just better football. Last year Michigan didn't play Wisconsin or Penn State. Ohio State didn't play Iowa. Michigan State didn't play Penn State. Those are just four marquee games that are easier to schedule with an additional conference game. Instead of Michigan having to wait four years for a regular season game against Wisconsin, the Wolverines would be able to play four of the six Leaders division opponents every year instead of three, greatly increasing the frequency of intra-division games.
The only downside? It could hurt bowl eligibility for bubble teams like Purdue and Northwestern. However, as the bowl structure begins to change and conferences take control of the bowl system, things will no doubt change at the lowest levels where third-tier bowl games will be forced out of business -- and with them will go slots for 6-6 teams from major conferences.
Let's hope the Big Ten gets this one right.
Brandon to seek Regent approval for two projects - Maize n Blue News reports that the athletic department is looking to push through funding for a marquee on Stadium boulevard as well as the plans for the Schembechler Hall renovations.
This is an interesting debate, notably because we're not talking about whether Gardner will play receiver, but how much. And that's where the discussion should be, after Gardner's spring audition at receiver, which included reps with the first-unit wideouts.
More from Nick and Kyle at AnnArbor.com as they look at the 2012 season. This edition focuses on Devin Gardner and rumors of a swtich to receiver.
"I'm pleased that the administration and the program are looking ahead," said the 72-year-old Berenson, who was about the enter the final year of his old deal. "I'm excited about the opportunity to remain at Michigan, especially with the current Yost Ice Arena renovations, the move to the Big Ten and for our incoming recruits. "We have a great staff here, and I'm looking forward to the next few years at Michigan."
I'm not much of a hockey guy myself, but I know there will be quite a few people excited to hear this news.
Bourbon Meyer & The Coaches Of The Big Ten In Cocktail Form - Land-Grant Holy Land matches coaches to drinks, and in some cases makes up completely new drinks.
What makes it work? First off, gap control and ability to cover the entire line of scrimmage with a good blend of speed and power. With four linemen, the scheme has enough brawn to work the control of the gaps in the line and allow linebackers (who tend to be lighter and faster) to fly to the ball and do nasty damage to ball carriers. Assignments become key here; most teams still number the gaps in the line and refer to specific techniques by those numbers, rather than just telling them "um, yeah, go block that guy." (Michigan fans might disagree with this point, having had Jim Herrmann as their DC for an unfortunate span of years.) The systems vary, but all you need to know is that each defensive player in the 4-3 has a specific gap to cover and should know their assignment. When they don't know them, bad things happen and running backs usually end up scaring the daylights out of lightish defensive backs on busted assignments.
EDSBS teaching the basics of the 4-3 defense like only EDSBS could.
B1G position rankings: QB (individual) - Denard Robinson headlines the ESPN Big Ten blog's list of top quarterbacks for 2012. Too high? Quite possibly Braxton Miller at number three.
Nebraska and Corn Nation insist the count was fair and accurate. Voters had been urged to show their support for the Nebraska coach and athletic director in defiance of the voters for other candidates, candidates who were far more worthy of such an accolade by virtue of not using criminals to win national championships. During polling, many voters trampled Iowa flags, and some signed their ballot-papers in their own blood in a display of loyalty to their leader; also, because they've never used a computer before and don't know what those squiggly lines on the keys are for.
So I can blame Nebraska for Schembechler losing the SBNHOF vote? I'll do that.
After the jump are a few Penn State (which you may or may not care about).
Bomani Jones takes a look at Joe Paterno's statue and the legacy that he built up, and Jones concludes that Joe deserved that much. Paul Myerberg of Pre-Snap Read isn't so sure, but he votes to keep the statue -- with one big change.
Meanwhile, other things are changing over as the student body once again set up the formerly named "Paternoville" under the new nickname of "NittanyVille".
Finally, well, there is this:
There are other writers mobbing the Paterno temple that these giants designed, to be sure. All of the new columnists like Dan Wetzel or Gregg Doyel or Andy Staples tee-up Joe and Penn State because, I suppose, it's an easy column to write. They're all too young to have played a part in building up Joe's legend, so they lack the personal betrayal of Geno, Rick and Sally. But given the volume of such columns, that just means they're unimaginative and unoriginal. Nothing feels better than knocking out 800 words in an hour-and-a-half, amirite guys?
Over at Black Shoe Diaries one of the contributors takes issue with all the supposedly "easy" criticism of Joe Paterno, but gets lost down the rabbit hole trying to defend Paterno by citing that it was the media that built up Paterno in the first place and how his greatest legacy was embodying "The"Penn State Way":
The Penn State Way commissions a multi-million dollar independent investigation which, in eight months, revealed more than did three years of state criminal investigations. Then, the Penn State Way publishes the painful results for the world to mock, while we admit our mistakes, and resolve to move forward and improve.
Which is all well and good except that A) if you give your football coach the most credit for building that ethos then your priorities are probably messed up a bit and B) Joe's actions ultimately run against the entire idea of the Penn State way. Those are the reasons people write scathing columns about Paterno now, and feeling betrayed by someone who purported to be what Paterno did isn't wrong, its human, and in this case understandable.