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BlogPoll Roundtable #75?

When the regular-season games have ended and the long wait until the bowls of significance sets in (not so fast, Nebraska and Michigan), college football can be a crippling obsession: everything--save for Joe Paterno saying what we're all thinking about parolees "graduates" from the Columbus Home for Criminals and the Mentally Challenged--comes to a relative stand still, but yet we can't help ourselves. We scrounge around looking for nuggets of information; we read funny posts over and over to kill time; and we even start reading things that wouldn't otherwise interest us but serve as an illusory oasis during our prolonged fit of desperation. Really, we fans are left with our heads under the water, incapable of finding more oxygen and unable to come up for air yet. Instead, we thrash about beneath the surface, hoping that we don't die before we're saved.

Luckily, though, these internets of ours (read: BlogPoll sites) have provided the college-football set with something of a life ring if not an actual rescue vessel: The final (?) roundtable topics before the bowl games, these courtesy of TAMBINPO. Before I take in any more salt water...

Q1. Why your school? Did you go to school there? Were you legacy, did you pick it for academics, for the football team, the party reputation?
I mean, have you seen the girls at Michigan?

Oh, sorry. My bad. I was reading that as "Why not your school."

I went to Michigan, and that's why I care so fucking much. But I went to Michigan, in part, because I care so much. Despite coming from a family that had no preexisting connection to the University of Michigan, I grew up a loyal Wolverine fan. From the Fab Five to Desmond Howard, and from those effing Indiana teams with the Damon Baileys of the world to Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook, there were just too many meaningful Michigan memories--good and bad--to not love the school. Kids from New York don't usually care about a "Midwest" team so much, but no school all that close to New York was all that good at football, so I was left to choose among the teams that were on television the most. I loved FSU, but that passion has waned in recent years, and there was no way that I was ever rooting for the criminals of Columbus, the self-absorbed yahoos of South Bend, or the ultra-bland Nits of Happy Valley. Especially not when Michigan had such gorgeous uniforms, such wonderful athletic heritage, and so many cool athletes.

During high school, I found out that Michigan also offered one of the best educations available, so after that moment of serendipity and an incredible official visit (I got to hang out with the team; they had a good vibe and we played video games), I was pretty much sold.

Q2. Name a player or two who had "THE GAME" against your school. I'm talking about a guy who simply dominated your team and all you could do was tip your cap and say, "Wow."
Plaxico Burress. Troy Smith. Vince Young. Any competent coach not named "John Cooper." This question hurts too much.

Q3. There are games that I have no interest in but I watch simply to see a certain guy play. What players from this season do you do the same for?
Reggie Bush is among the obvious answers. So are, in my mind, Calvin Johnson, JaMarcus Russell (just because of how he can flick a ball 70 yards), and Marcus Vick (just to see what fourteen-year-olds do during football games while their boyfriends are playing). But none of them provides as much entertainment as the guy playing coach at Pittsburgh. I don't care who they're playing or what they're record is--Pitt is a team I will always watch thanks to Dave Wannstedt.

There is a camera technique common to football broadcasts that I affectionately call the "Update Your Resume" shot. You know when something bad happens and the camera pans over to the coach of the team that just, oh, I don't know, lost to Ohio? Or when announcers discuss new head coaches who have struggled and the camera pans over to a guy who, oh, I don't know, had lost eleven of the last twelve games that he had coached at one point? That's the UYR shot, and it is perhaps my favorite thing about football, college or pro. It is so transparent, so embarrassing, and so schadenfreudenly awesome. No coach will ever master the shot like perpetually "embattled" former Dallas Cowboy coach Dave Campo did, but Wannstedt comes pretty close. The blank stare, the resigned despair in the eyes, the befuddled nose scrunch, the embarrassed arms fold, the beleaguered lip smack--Wannstedt has the full repertoire of UYR looks for nearly all occasions, and few coaches are given more opportunities to put their array of UYR moves on display.

If that isn't must-see college-football television, then I don't know why anyone watched anything. (That's the kind of dumb statement Wanny would make, right?)

Q4. A few weeks ago we were asked who the best player to suit up for our school was. I'm curious who your favorite player to ever suit up for your school is? Certainly doesn't have to be a superstar, or even a starter.
Chris Floyd, FB. Probably the best Michigan fullback I ever saw, Floyd was athletic, tough, and always making important plays. And, to pull a Herbstreit, he looked really, really 'hood in the uniform ().