Thursday, March 15, 2007
Whatever This Is: The Shortcut
Craig: Welcome to WTI boys and girls.
Craig: We have a veritable buffet of topics to discuss tonight, so let's get it started
Geoff: I don't know about you, but I'm always excited at this time of year.
Craig: Oh I am as well, there's nothing better than this weekend
Geoff: We're speaking, of course, of NCAA hockey playoffs.
Craig: CCHA playoffs are down to the final four at the Joe this weekend
Geoff: Michigan's a lock for the NCAA tournament, but they've got a lot to play for, seeding-wise.
Geoff: And it's always good to go in with some momentum, let alone the hardware.
Craig: In the early game, it's upstart Lake State, hot off their dual upsets, including last weekend's sweep of Miami against top seeded Notre Dame
Geoff: They possess that most dangerous of things: A goalie on a hot streak.
Craig: You can ride a hot goalie in the playoffs. It would be a stunner to see them keep winning, but you never know
Geoff: Despite them finishing something like eighth in the conference, netminder Jeff Jakaitis still pops up on the outskirts of Hobey Baker discussions.
Craig: In the late game, it's the thing that the people who sell tickets for this thing pray for: Michigan State/Michigan
Geoff: You said it, Craig.
Geoff: Michigan/MSU puts people in the seats.
Craig: The last Michigan/MSU game at the Joe was one of the most maddening and entertaining games I have seen all year.
Craig: Michigan slept through the first 30, woke up and came all the way back for the tie.
Geoff: I watched it in the middle of the woods in Gaylord with my brother and my (MSU student) sister.
Geoff: When State put that third goal in the net, I thought we were done.
Geoff: By the end of the overtime, she was thrilled to keep the tie.
Craig: It was a complete momentum flip-around on that game.
Craig: Strictly from a Michigan standpoint, I think last weekend showed us some good things
Craig: Like getting 8 goals on Saturday night
Geoff: You love seeing your team just absolutely lay the hammer down on inferior opposition.
Craig: Agreed, and TJ getting the hat trick in his last home game was not only a nice touch, but also can't hurt the Hobey talk
Craig: Now, let's talk about the stakes this weekend
Craig: It is my understanding that Michigan should be a three, and is likely slated to be sent to you out in West Michigan GZ
Geoff: That's the hope, anyway. It'll drive the attendance way up.
Craig: But, should Michigan pull the sweep, especially if coupled with a NoDak loss, we could see them get a #2
Craig: Could this be a strange case where Michigan's actually almost better off as the three
Craig: I mean, they seem to be on the 8/9 overall cusp, which means that it's just a matter of jersey color?
Geoff: It's possible. But one thing that would happen, in theory, is that it could take us out of Minnesota's bracket.
Craig: INCH has us in Notre Dame's bracket though
Craig: Which, if we beat them at the Joe, I think we could go into the game with some confidence
Geoff: Yeah. That's the difference of opinion between USCHO and INCH.
Craig: I'd worry that GR is relatively close to South Bend, but the Domers do not exactly have the hockey following
Craig: Basically, what we know is that a lot of things can still happen, and winning is what will make things better.
Craig: So we'll see what happens this weekend
Craig: Now, on to a more frustrating topic: Coach Carr's announcements in re: Spring Practice today
Geoff: Since I don't follow any message boards, that stuff came out of the blue for me.
Craig: Agreed. I did not know about the Hart surgery (question, does all surgery on Mike Hart require a cardiologist?) and I had heard rumblings about "the other thing"
Geoff: The Mike Hart stuff doesn't worry me a whole lot, since we have plenty of time left for him to rehab, but the "other thing" caught me unaware.
Geoff: Arrington, Butler, and Germany are suspended for spring practice and Carr says it's "possible. Maybe not probable" that they'll return to the team.
Geoff: Arrington, I think that situation isn't a huge surprise to anyone.
Craig: And since Coach Carr is being customarily laconic about it, it's hard to read how much he means the statement about "possible, maybe not probable." Is he trying to make it clear to those guys he means business, is he trying to downplay expectations, is he just stating his genuine opinion
Geoff: I wonder if the "not probable" might be directed straight at Arrington.
Craig: Well, you know, I think this is Coach using the media to his advantage
Craig: He knows that this will come back to Arrington. Maybe he is trying to light a fire and say "guess what, I don't think you're gonna do what we asked you to do...prove me wrong" Mar 15 10:20 PM
Craig: With some guys, that works, with other guys, it won't. I trust that Coach Carr knows his players well enough to know what he is doing here.
Geoff: It's a strategy he's used before, just in different form (i.e. presenting Crable and others with transfer papers).
Craig: I guess the positive here is that spring football means that real football is closer than ever
Geoff: I'm practically setting the countdown timer.
Craig: On to our next topic, which is a slight divergence from our usual Michigan sports talk
Craig: It's about the Sudler Award
Craig: Geoff, as a MMB alum, would you explain for our audience?
Geoff: The Sudler Trophy is given to college marching bands that have made "outstanding contributions to the American way of life"
Geoff: It was first awarded in 1982, and the first band so honored was our own MMB.
Geoff: No band can win it more than once, and it's really the highest honor a program can receive.
Craig: Which, while a little grandiose in its statement, is basically a lifetime achievement award for Division I-A Marching bands
Craig: Florida A&M being the only exception, but I mean, come on, it's the Marching 100!
Geoff: This year's honoree is Indiana University's similarly-named Marching Hundred.
Craig: Indiana is the NINTH Big Ten School to win
Craig: Which is pretty amazing when you think about it. Nine of the 25 winners are from the Big Ten
Geoff: Yeah. The Big Ten definitely gets serious respect in the world of college bands.
Craig: And yet, we learned something very interesting in the research
Geoff: You pointed this out to me last night, and it bears repeating here. The only Big Ten bands not to have won the Sudler Trophy are Minnesota...and Wisconsin. WISCONSIN.
Geoff: I've let it be known in this space before that I think the Wisconsin band is overrated, but...c'mon!
Craig: Wisconsin, beloved by the fans, less beloved by critics and fellow marching bands. I have seen where the Badgers represent the Loud=Good fallacy.
Craig: It was also pointed out to us though that another popular fan band has not won either
Craig: The USC band has not won it
Geoff: They'll have to cry themselves to sleep on their pillows stuffed with money.
Craig: Just don't break the sunglasses
Craig: Ready for the big finish?
Geoff: OK. Here we go...
Craig: Michigan is hosting the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Palace this week. Looks like attendance might set a record. Kind of unexpected.
Geoff: Yeah, I didn't see that one coming.
Craig: Tickets got on sale for the 2008 Midwest Men's Basketball Regional at Ford Field on Monday. I will not be beating down the door to get those.
Geoff: Wake me when it's time for the 2010 Frozen Four.
Craig: Duke lost. This pleases me.
Geoff: As it does all right-thinking people.
Craig: Who you got in your Final Four GZ?
Geoff: Kansas, Florida (hate the team, but don't see anyone beating them), Georgetown, OSU. Kansas wins.
Craig: Kansas, Wisconsin, Texas A&M and Texas. KU over UT in the final.
Geoff: I have Wisconsin in one of my brackets, too, just because I'm down on Florida.
Craig: And, I have this feeling we're forgetting something...
Geoff: Ahh, yes.
Geoff: Michigan lost in the NIT tonight to Florida State by a score of 87-66. Their season is over. Let us never speak of this again
Geoff: Does that about cover it?
Craig: I think it does. Let us never speak of it again. Until the semis then my friend?
Geoff: Until then.
Craig: Thanks for checking out this week's edition of "Whatever This Is". Feel free to peruse our new shop, where you can get hilarious HSR merchandise