Friday, December 21, 2007

Are we #2?

In the Big Ten, that is? Tom Dienhart wrote a column in the Sporting News this week about Rich Rodriguez, Michigan's new hotshot coach. More thoughts on that later.

My favorite line of Dienhart's wasn't "Let's just say there's an elitist attitude in Ann Arbor, home of the self-anointed kings of college football." Or "Big Ten titles are met with shrugs and yawns in A-Squared. Alums don't even roll out of bed for trips to the Capital One Bowl. Alamo Bowl bids are reasons to tar and feather."

It was this: " Is Michigan even second banana in the Big Ten? Is Wisconsin better? It's debatable. Illinois is making fast strides, too."

Ha! It's debatable, and I love that a national columnist is throwing it out there, but there's no way you can put Wisconsin ahead of Michigan in the Big Ten pecking order right now, even if we have beaten them two of the last three years. From this corner, right now it's:

1. Ohio State (not even close)
2. Michigan (ditto)
3. Wisconsin
4. Illinois (charging hard at #3 spot)
5. Penn State
6. Iowa (still giving them the benefit of the doubt, but not much longer)
7. Michigan State
8. Purdue (Tiller's great and has done amazing things rebuilding that program, but might be time for a coaching change)
9. Indiana (ascending)
10. Northwestern
11. Minnesota

What do you think?

-On the subject of Rodriguez, it seems like a good hire for Michigan. Successful coach, great offensive mind, shows they're not afraid to break the "Michigan Man" tendency to find the right guy. (The kind of asinine thinking that leads storied college programs to hire the likes of Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty.)

I obviously don't like another spread offense coming into the Big Ten, this could exacerbate the pussification of the conference. The other night on the Big Ten Network Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith were talking about the possibility/probability that Ryan Mallett would transfer. He certainly isn't the second coming of Pat White, but I could still see him being successful in a modified version of the spread.

Also think it was inappropriate for the BTN to be discussing a player's transfer possibilities when he hasn't announced his intention to do so yet. I suppose the print/web media have been discussing it, but it seems wrong for a regional/pseudo-national TV network to discuss it.

Losing Mallett would hurt Michigan, but if they were to get Terrelle Pryor to commit it would greatly ease the pain.

Oh, and Rodriguez fired all of Michigan's assistant coaches Thursday. Merry Christmas fellas!

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