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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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    Five New N.C.A.A. Rules Are Felt Early

    Each of the five new rules instituted over the summer by the N.C.A.A. were visible over the season’s opening weekend, though no one change more so than the alterations to the existing kickoff rule – kickoffs now take place from the 35-yard line, and instead of being spotted at the 20, touchbacks are now moved up to the 25. When it was first announced, the rule suggested one of two alternatives: teams could either kick it deep, going for the touchback, or kick it high and short, hoping that their coverage squads could get downfield in time to prevent a return from reaching the 25-yard line. So what route did most teams take through the first week of games?

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      P.S.R. 1-124: Week 2 Re-Ranking

      With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only one week in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Texas State and Houston, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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        No. 18: Michigan

        How was your first season? It’s not easy, I know. Did you reverse a losing culture? Nice. Did you lay the groundwork? Phew. Did you set the foundation? They’re not the same. Did you establish the running game, control the line of scrimmage, play 60 minutes, force turnovers, play hard? Good work. But did you rebuild? No? Why not? Because you’re Michigan, period? Hey, your words, not mine. Let me guess: You reversed a losing culture, laid the groundwork, set the foundation, establish the running game, controlled the line of scrimmage, played 60 minutes, forced turnovers, played hard and didn’t rebuild, because you’re Michigan. Oh, and you won 11 games, reached a B.C.S. bowl, won a B.C.S. bowl. But did you beat Ohio? Well, what didn’t you do?

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          It’s Open Season on Penn State’s Roster

          It’s open season on Penn State’s roster. We’ve seen this before, in the early days of the sanctions assessed on U.S.C. three years ago and, if you can think back far enough, in the weeks following the penalties levied onto S.M.U. in 1987. There’s something different about this raid, however. One reason may be the fact that everything will be done in the open: Jim Delany, the Big Ten and the N.C.A.A. have essentially turned Penn State’s players into recruits, turning back the clock to those days when, as high school recruits, these same players were available to any school that would have their services.

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            How Tippy Dye Changed College Football

            Tippy Dye changed college football. I’ll give you two reasons why, but let’s begin with a little background on Dye, who passed away on Wednesday at 97. He had an impact on college sports in three different incarnations: as a player, as a coach and as an administrator. Born in 1915 in Harrisonville, Oh., Dye was a two-sport star at Ohio State — basketball and football — from 1934-37. He took a brief foray into coaching after the end of his playing career, coaching at Brown and his alma mater from 1941-43, before serving in the Navy during World War II. Dye was actually a basketball coach: at Ohio State from 1946-50, winning 22 games in his final season, and at Washington from 1951-59, reaching the Final Four in 1953.

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              Solid Proposal for Non-Playoff Bowl Games

              Later this month, in Hollywood, Fla., the B.C.S. will discuss the merits of four postseason proposals, including one that would maintain but slightly tweak the current B.C.S. system. Another, as noted yesterday afternoon, would feature a two-bowl, four-team playoff system that may still include the Rose Bowl, should the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion – or both – finish among the top four teams in the country. Those two options have dominated the national discussion, if only because each seems, in some shape or form, like a continuation of the current postseason system. Due to the negative reaction, a fairly positive and very interesting postseason proposal up for consideration with the B.C.S. leaders has been overlooked.

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                Ranking the Big Ten’s Class of Quarterbacks

                Another Wisconsin-themed hypothetical question: Where would you have ranked the Badgers’ quarterbacks against the rest of the Big Ten if Danny O’Brien had instead opted for, say, Penn State? If Wisconsin had gone into 2012 with options like Joe Brennan and Jon Budmayr, it would have joined Michigan State as the only two teams in the conference to not return a quarterback with at least one career start under his belt. So consider the toppling dominoes: O’Brien should start, which should push Brennan into a more fitting role as his backup, which will allow Budmayr to heal and former walk-on Joel Stave to develop.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.