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Stadium and Main: 2 posts in less than 24 hours?!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

2 posts in less than 24 hours?!

Stop the presses! But there's some decent stuff out there for a Sunday in February, so I've gotta pass it along...

Jim Delany is already sick of Urban Meyer, too

Am I the only one that finds this really, really odd? This is an official press release – it’s not something he said in an interview. It’s a well-thought out, revised, edited press release. Ummm, huh? Reaction has ranged from confusion (me) to elation. Some fans are saying “it’s about time somebody stood up for the Big Ten!”

Unfortunately, I think most people are failing to see the motivation behind this off-the-wall war of words with the SEC (and/or the national media). The Big Ten is starting its own TV channel in August, and this is just part of the public relations campaign. See, it’s all about selling a product, creating demand, etc. Marketing 101. And as you B-school types know, this kind of stuff can get nasty. In fact, the Big Ten Network is already laying the smack down on local affiliates (like Grand Rapids, Michigan’s WXSP):
“The newly formed Big Ten Network has informed WXSP and other over-the-air stations around the state not to bother bidding for the league's telecast package. It will instead start to hoard most of those events for itself, beginning in the fall, when the conference launches its new digital channel on cable and satellite systems.”
The problem, however, is that the Big Ten Network has not reached any deals with any cable or satellite operators except for DirecTV and the little-known, internet-based AT&T TV. It’s been widely-rumored that the Network will initially start out in the 8 states that are home to Big Ten teams. But getting a national carriage agreement from Comcast, Dish Network, and Time Warner Cable is priority number one for the Big Ten Network. So at a time when the SEC is using its TV station (CBS) to push its propaganda, the Big Ten is starting up its own hype machine. In the meantime, I have two suggestions: (1) call and write your cable/dish provider and make it known that you want the Big Ten Network, and (2) be prepared to watch a few Michigan-Indiana games at a local sports bar in the coming years, especially if you’re outside the Midwest. It's all about the money. Always. Grrrr.

The 2007 Football Schedule

Don’t be surprised if Michigan plays on December 1st this year, primarily due to the BCS drama of last season. If this happens, there is also a very good chance that Michigan will open the season a week later than most other teams, on September 8th (the EMU game has been moved to October 6th - not sure if it could be moved back?). This would stink for two primary reasons: (1) we would have to wait an extra week for Michigan football (although this was the case in 1997, so maybe it’s good luck?), and (2) we would open with Oregon, who has enough returning talent (especially on Offense) to pull the upset. The old adage of “you improve the most between your first and second games” could prove to be true here.

Spring Practice/Game Info

Spring Practice begins on Saturday, March 17th, with the Spring “Game” falling on Saturday, April 14th (time TBA). Witness Ryan Mallett running a simulated 2-minute drill! Don’t witness any tackling or anything resembling an actual “game!” Complain about how you can’t get any autographs from players! Big fun!

If you’re a coach, you can check out the Spring Clinic from March 29-31. Here’s the registration form.

Thinking about a new B-ball coach at Michigan? Join the club!

Fortunately for us, the always-thorough Jake from Motown Sports Revival has it covered. 26 viable candidates, and then some! Count me in the camp of John Beilein of WVU. This guy has taken a team that lost everybody from last season and made them a NCAA Tournament team, even beating UCLA yesterday. Compare that to what Amaker has done in a season where he returned virtually everybody, as Seniors, no less. In fact, compare any of Beilein’s seasons to Amaker’s, and it will likely make you ill. And, in case you missed it, he’s doing it at West Virginia. West! Virginia! And we’re not talking Big East Football here. Big East Basketball is arguably the best in the country year-in and year-out. Quite impressive. Get this guy to Ann Arbor ASAP.


Blogger Jake said...

That is a very strange/interesting press release. I am surprised that the Big Ten Commissioner would actually feel the need to defend the conference after having the top two teams in college football for the majority of the 2006 season. I understand that he was responding to a specific article attacking the talent level in the Big Ten but he should feel confident in what the conference has managed to accomplish over the last ten years and beyond. It's not like anyone who thinks the Big Ten sucks is going to change their mind after reading the release. If someone thinks the Big Ten sucks, it probably isn't based on any sort of rational thought. I guess it shows he cares though. And to be honest—it doesn’t hurt anything either. I did find it interesting that he said he loves “speed” and basically alluded that the Big Ten can’t recruit as much speed as the SEC because they have higher academic standards. That may be true but it’s not everyday that you hear the Commissioner of the Big Ten admit that. Hopefully he puts that much effort into campaigning for a playoff.

12:23 AM  

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