We'd also like to congratulate MGoBlog on the article mention on Deadspin. Even if not casting us as Michigan fans in the most positive light, I do think some of Brian's funniest writing of the year was highlighted and led to the creation of the "knifey" tag.
2). One of two mailbag items from the comments, since they were posed as questions-ish:
I think if the Big Ten would man up and have a conference championship, we would not be having any of these discussions. The simple fact that UF played one more additional opponent who happened to be in the top 10 added to the allure.
OK, I have two problems with this statement:
a). "Man up?" Really? I've always thought of the conference championship games as money grabs by the conferences and networks. I'm sure that alluring showdown in the ACC Title Game was a great showcase for the ACC. It was even noted friend of HSR Joe as we were talking this weekend, ABC wasn't even telling you the teams and being more than a bit threatening to you if you asked.
ABC: "Live from Alltell Stadium, it's the ACC Title Game"
Us: "Who's playing?"
ABC: "It's not important!"
Us: "No, really, I don't even know, who's playing?"
ABC: "Never you mind, just watch!"
I'd also point out that while this year worked out very well for Florida, it could have just as easily sunk their season. Yes, they beat Arkansas, but if the Razorbacks and their 18 quarterbacks win that game, Florida's out and well...
b). Maybe I am alone in this, but I have done the math from every angle, so I'll throw it out to the masses.
The only way that the Big Ten could have a title game (which, I presume would be rotated among Lucas Oil Stadium, Paul Brown Stadium, Ford Field, Heinz Field, and Soldier Field, and maybe Lambeau.) is that it needs 12 teams. Now, we all know that the dream of Notre Dame is very very very very unlikely to come true, leaving very few viable and appropriate candidates, as far as I can tell, including, but not limited to Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and my favored idea, Miami University.
Come up with a logical and workable divisional setup for the Big Ten that preserves as many traditional rivalries as possible, minimizes travel for non-revenue sports, and does not overload one division.
On the plus side, almost any setup I can see involves Ohio State having to play Wisconsin this season, which would have been interesting.
3). Brad said...
I don't remember any Manning campaigning for Nebraska in Jan 1998.... are you sure you aren't thinking of Scott Frost and his "who would you rather play?" nonsense?
No, I do remember the Scott Frost thing, but I swear that Manning, in his post-game press conference started out with something along the lines of "If that isn't the best team in the country, I don't know what is..." and continued just the praise of the Huskers for a while after that. I double checked the emails I have from 1998 about this and it does seem like it was the case. I have been wrong before though, so...If anyone can point me one way or another on this one, I'd appreciate it.