Monday, December 14, 2009

Kelly and the BCS and the Heisman and new digs randomness

Sort of a random post today as I didn't see the basketball game because I lost track of time watching Henne dismantle the Jaguars to keep the Dolphins' playoff hopes alive.

Faster, better, stronger
Attentive readers will notice the new lead image. Many thanks to former Michigan Daily coworker/photographer and all around awesome dude Forest Casey for the image. The previous one was something I had put together with GIMP--a terrible, free online knock off of Photoshop--and was a hodgepodge of good ideas gone wrong. Having neither graphic design skills nor tools with which to mess around, you got what you got. That was until I got an e-mail like this.

Just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog.

But, and I say this with all respect due, I can't really look at that head image too long, man. That blur just gets me.

So I decided to give you an early Christmas present and make you a new logo with one of my shots back at the Daily.

Anyone else intent on giving me free stuff for Christmas is welcome to do so.

BCS vs. Playoffs
So I suppose I should weigh in on this. Except I'm kind of on the fence about the whole issue. It's not that I particularly enjoy the BCS or Michigan missing out on a chance at the National Championship in 2006 or that I think Cincy/TCU/Boise State didn't get shafted this year. My main contention with a playoff system is that it will somehow dictate that The Best Team wins the national championship. And I know that's not necessarily why everyone wants a playoff--settle it on the field, yadda yadda--but it does seem to be one of the key arguments.

My biggest issue with the BCS as it currently stands is the preseason rankings and the voters' reluctance to change their respective minds. Dr. Saturday does a useful and unbiased performance-driven poll every week and is such that, at 4-0, Michigan was listed as the #5 (or thereabouts) team in the country, but quickly started dropping as they lost. Unfortunately, there's no way to really force voters to vote this way. The other way to do it would be not to release an initial poll until week 5 or 6. But, ya know, you still would've seen Florida on top this year if that had happened.

Maybe I'm just lazy and don't care to change the status quo. A playoff still brings controversy, though, as the teams that make it into the playoffs are still ranked on a computer-generated basis a la RPI or BCS computer polling and there will be a debate as to what 10-1 teams should get the final playoff spot etc. etc. The counter argument to this is: At least the top X teams get a chance to play for the title. To which I give Meh+.

Am I against a playoff system and in favor of the BCS? No. But I'm also not completely pissed at the current system and want to stab my eyes out. A few tweaks here and there and I think people will be happy enough. Plus, you're not always going to have four undefeated teams. What would a line on Cincy/Alabama realistically be right now? Cincy +7.5? Do we really need to see this played out?

Kelly to ND and Ingram wins a Heisman
Surprising absolutely no one, Brian Kelly is now the head coach at Notre Dame. This is obviously bad for Michigan. I temporarily got my hopes up thinking, "Kelly is probably just a really good recruiter and started playing at a relative talent advantage." Then Rivals shut me up: Cincinnati has hovered around the 60-70th best recruiting class the last few years. So someone with the ability to actually get the most out of his players, combined with the talent of the players Notre Dame gets could be disastrous for Michigan/Big Ten. As has been noted, the real concern will come when/if Kelly hires a good defensive coordinator. Frankly, I'm more concerned with not starting walk ons at crucial positions on my own team.

And in a move that surprised me immensely, Mark Ingram won the Heisman and Spartan nation cried themselves to sleep. If McCoy or Suh had won, I would've shrugged my shoulders and said whatever--though I was really hoping Suh wouldn't win, preserving Woodson as sole defensive Heisman winner. But Ingram winning over Gerhart who had objectively better numbers in basically every statistical category makes my bones angry. The comparison will come down to conferences, and as the SEC has the nation by the balls, a Pac-10 standout has little to no chance against a comparable SEC back. Tebow and Ingram were the two least deserving of the award, IMO, but such is the way of college football.


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