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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Good. Bad. He's the guy with the gun. Yes, Autumn Thunder is carving itself a niche in the Michigan blogosphere, and how:

Eagle-eyed! SI, busy cutting writers left and right, has replaced their traditional team preview with those provided by Athlon. And by God, Athlon is on top of things:
The secondary replace All-America cornerback Leon Hall, but veteran Morgan Trent is ready to step up and assume the role as Michigan’s next great lock-down corner.
Hey, we all wish the last two games of 2006 didn't happen. Only Athlon dares to make it true. But my favorite part is the "outlook":
The Wolverines’ season will likely come down to mid-November, when they battle Wisconsin in Madison before hosting Ohio State.
Insights abound!

Na ga da. Brian Kelly, who is out of his #$*#ing mind, and Cincinnati would like to schedule Michigan... with a twist:
"My preference would be if we could schedule a home game at Paul Brown Stadium every year, we would do it," said UC athletic director Mike Thomas. "But it has to be against the right opponent."

Thomas said he has had discussions with Notre Dame, Tennessee and Michigan about playing at Paul Brown.

"I'm not going to sit here and tell you that that's going to happen," Thomas said, "but that ball is in their court."
Probably not going to happen without a two-for-one, which Cinci is trying to avoid:
"Two-for-ones are not our first option, obviously," Kelly said. "We want the one-for-one situation. We think it's befitting a BCS program and one that's in the Big East. We wanted a top-20, nationally recognizable program. Oklahoma, when you think about championships, they would be at the top of the list."
The Oklahoma series they lined up -- another one of these interesting nonconference games brokered by ESPN -- is a home-and-home. Meanwhile, Utah is geeked about the 2008 game. An interesting note or two:
Utah will receive a guarantee of $800,000, up from the $500,000 it received in 2002 to play at Michigan.

Michigan's stadium seats 107,501 fans, making it the largest college-owned stadium in the country. The game will be part of an ABC-ESPN national doubleheader.
National TV, much like the Vandy game, is the minor reward for scheduling someone marginally more interesting than your average MAC snackycake. So at least there's that. Also, I love that the prices these teams are charging continues to increase. Hopefully it gets to the point where it's economically preferable to play actual opponents.

Pictures and such. Media day was, um, Monday? Yesterday? Whatever. It happened. So did this:

+1 Shawn Crable. (HT: Hoover Street Rag.) Varsity Blue was there and took lots and lots of photos.

File away for future reference. Interesting survey of current D-I players from Bits of note:
3. Which coach besides your own would you most like to play for?

Pete Carroll, USC: 28.6%
Urban Meyer, Florida: 10.9%
Joe Paterno, Penn State: 10.2%
Bobby Bowden, Florida State: 8.4%

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina: 6.7%
Jeff Tedford, Cal: 3.4%
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: 2.5%
Mack Brown, Texas: 2.5%
Nick Saban, Alabama: 2.5%
Others receiving votes: 19.3%
Declined to respond: 5.0%

Notes: Twenty of the 34 players who voted for Carroll also picked USC to win the national championship... Carroll received a vote from at least one player in every conference except for the Sun Belt... Despite his team's success of late, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel received only two votes... Notre Dame's Charlie Weis received two votes and Michigan's Lloyd Carr received one... Eight of the 13 votes Meyer received were from players from non-BCS schools... Despite the parameters of the question, one MAC player voted for the deceased Bo Schembechler and one C-USA player voted for former Miami coach Larry Coker, insisting he would be a head coach again soon.
Seriously... JoePa and Bowden? Really? I guess past accomplishments trump the whole eats-via-straw-or-unholy-ritual thing. Also: someone find that MAC player and give him a medal.
4. Would you like to see college football institute a playoff?

Yes: 73.1%
No: 24.4%
Maybe: 2.5%
Just in case you get in a battle with a BCS advocate who invokes Save The Children.
5. How many hours per week do you spend on football-related activities?

0-19: 4.2%
20-29: 14.3%
30-39: 35.3%
40-49: 31.1%
50 or more: 15.1%

Notes: Players were asked to estimate their hours during the football season... Ninety-seven of the 119 players polled, or 81.5 percent, estimated that they spent at least 30 hours per week... Excluding two extreme outliers (512 hours and 12 hours), the average figure was 38.9... The average for BCS schools was slightly higher than their non-BCS counterparts, with BCS players averaging 39.4 and non-BCS averaging 38.4. ... A small handful of players mentioned their obligation to go to class as part of their "football-related" activities.

Quotable: Despite the anonymity granted by this survey, several players were worried about admitting to practicing more than 20 hours per week. Said one player, "What's the NCAA rule, 20? All right, I better say that." ... A Big 12 player, who estimated he spent between 40 and 50 hours per week on football-related activities during the season, lamented the long hours of a college football player: "Playing football at any major university is a lifestyle. I always make sure I'm eating right. I always make sure to get extra work in on my own. I go to class and the rest of the time I'm doing football stuff."
For the record, 7 times 24 is 184 168 (some record), so the wag above with his 512 hours was spending about three weeks every week playing football. Anyway: football is a full-time job.
8. Do you read message boards or blogs where fans discuss your team?

Yes: 39.5%
No: 60.5%

Quotable: "I read it if I want to have a good laugh," said one Big 12 player. "Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that they're showing their opinions, but at the end of the day, they don't know what's going on." ... Most players who responded "no" said the people who write on message boards or blogs do not know what they're talking about. Said one MAC player: "My grandma could guess the same thing."
Thanks, SI, for conflating two totally different things into one. I would remind you that you employ Stuart Mandel and therefore should be wary of quoting people saying things like "I read it if I want to have a good laugh."

Perception: weird. Dan Wetzel is usually on point, but, um....
Southern California, Louisiana State, Florida and Texas are ranked ahead of Michigan in the preseason coaches' poll. And for all anyone knows, each is a vastly superior team to the Wolverines.

But none have the schedule set up like Michigan. Among BCS teams, Texas might be close, but only West Virginia (ranked sixth) could argue they have a better path to an unbeaten season – and a likely berth in the title game in New Orleans.

I disagree; circle gets the square. I know Oregon wasn't gangbusters last season and Notre Dame projects to suck hard, but those are two actual losable nonconference games. Texas' nonconference killers: Arkansas State, Central Florida, TCU, and Rice. Then you've got the Big 12, which has been a vastly top-heavy conference since KSU, CU, and Nebraska either imploded or took a significant step back. I don't think OU (neutral site), A&M (road), Nebraska (home) and KSU (home) is anywhere near OSU, Wisconsin (road), Penn State (home), and Purdue (home). Texas' schedule is nummy cake this year.

Etc.: Wheatley now the head coach of his HS alma mater; Boubacar; Europeans think Michigan is EMU; RBUAS.