Friday, May 4, 2012

Hot Topics: Should Michigan Schedule Revenge Games?

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Each week, our writers break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and allow them to express their opinions. Topics cover everything from rivalry games to team and fan apparel. Writers have their own opinion and readers are welcome to comment or contact them via Twitter with their thoughts.


Tyler DesyRepresenting Those Against Michigan Scheduling Revenge Games

1) I am a die hard Michigan fan. I remember horrible losses, I was there for the App. State game and you could hear a pin drop in the Big House, it was horrible.  Scheduling a team like them, or UMASS and crushing them would be wonderful, but Michigan is about a tough non-conference schedule. Sure it'd be nice to beat them, but how about this showdown with Alabama on September 1st. It's games like this that pump me up. We need a tough non-conference schedule because lets face it, outside of a few teams like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Sparty, the conference top to bottom is pretty weak. If we were to run the table we need some key non-conference wins to support that strength in the BCS.  The Notre Dame is exciting, but the fact is that they aren't that good anymore. UMASS and App. State are weak teams and they will do nothing towards solidifying our non-conference schedule and helping out with our rankings at the end of the year. The SEC as a conference is loaded, so teams like Alabama can schedule soft non-conference games because the schedule is brutal regardless.

2) A game against a Rich Rod coached team in Arizona to me, would be great. They are PAC-12, which is a power conference, and to smash him would bring some gratitude to all the Michigan fans for the horrible 3 years under his regime.  I firmly believe that the first game, and maybe even the second game of the season, should be against soft teams, but after that you gotta get into it. Michigan needs tough non-conference opponents (i.e. Alabama) because playing teams like them will more than enough get you ready for the season. Even if we were to lose against them, it's not going to hurt us that much in the rankings after all its Alabama. But a loss to a 1-AA opponent or a MAC school is just devastating to a team.  It drops us severely in the rankings and really just makes us look like clowns for losing to a school that shouldn't even hold Michigan's jock. Sure, I love a gold old fashion blow out but let's face it at the end of the day it does nothing. What can you really get out of a game against an opponent that's nowhere near your class. Revenge would be sweet but Michigan would be better off in tougher opponents, put those losses behind us because all it will do is bring up negative attention from the media about playing teams like App. State and UMASS.


Thomas Beindit - Representing Those For Michigan Scheduling Revenge Games

1)  Every fan remembers a horrible loss.  A good or great win will last for a while, but a horrible loss will sting with a fan forever.  I can remember some of the worst losses I've personally experienced in Michigan Stadium.  The 2009 blowout loss to Ohio State, where almost half the stadium was filled with Buckeye fans.  The 2010 slaughter from Wisconsin, in which they ran the same play over and over again and ended up scoring 48 points against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.  Certainly, Michigan has endured worse losses than these two, The Horror comes to mind, and there will never be any chance of making up for these games.  However, I can tell you that coming back a year or two after and defeating that same time convincingly certainly eases the pain somewhat.  Scheduling a team like Appalachian State or UMass and dominating them wouldn't make up for Michigan's poor performances against them in the past, but it allows the teams and fans to turn a new page.  Some losses will hang over the Michigan program forever, but at least stomping the team will help reduce that legacy somewhat.  Look at the battle for the Brown Jug with Minnesota.  Once in a while Minnesota will win and it's a big deal, but Michigan consistently crushes them, so most fans forget the legacy of those losses.

2)  Let's be honest, most non-conference games are a snooze for the fans.  Getting excited to face teams like Ohio State is one thing, but getting excited for teams like Western Michigan and Bowling Green isn't quite as easy.  I fully admit, I get excited for any football, but I'm not everyone.  It's important that Michigan is able to schedule big-time home games on a consistent basis for the fans.  Look at next season, Michigan will have six home games.  Granted, it's not often that Michigan has only six home games, but it does happen in rare occasions like next season.  Scheduling games against teams like UMass is one of the few ways to make sure those six games are worth it for fans.  Obviously, it's not going to be the biggest game on the schedule, but adding in the revenge factor makes the game a lot more interesting than if it was against a team like Western Michigan.  For example, look at the San Diego State game.  If Brady Hoke hadn't coached there in the past, most wouldn't have cared about the team at all.  Imagine scheduling a game against Arizona and Rich Rodriguez?  Imagine the story lines, it would be very exciting for everyone involved.  Yes, scheduling these types of games brings up a lot of pain from the past, but the reward is completely worth the cost.


Final Points

Tyler - Risk and reward? Tons of risk playing a 1-AA school. Michigan ranked #5 in the country and then to lose to App. State like that, boom, completely destroys the season right out of the gate. While the reward  for winning that game...well there's not much. Sure its a win but what does that do for the ranks, hell it could even drop us a spot or two and it certainly does nothing for strength of schedule. The preseason ranks are out and while its way early, Michigan is #10. Imagine what beating Alabama could do. Big time jump in the ranks, an insane amount of confidence for the team and the fanbase.  Yes, a loss would hurt, but it wouldn't kill us, and it certainly wouldn't hurt us that much in the rank department.  Michigan by far has the toughest schedule in the Big Ten and I am all for that. At the end of the year, when it's BCS time, I don't want people saying we had a cake schedule and shouldn't be there. I want those so called "professionals" to say you know what, Michigan played the best, beat the best, and they deserve to be right here in the BCS conversation and should be playing for a National title. Look at last year, 2 teams from the same conference playing for the title but at the end of the day they had the toughest roads to get there. I'm tired of the scrutiny for our weak non-conference scheduling and I for one am all for this change and playing the big dogs right out of the gate. I am so pumped for this season and for this Alabama showdown. Go Blue!

Thomas - As much as I love great non-conference games (i.e. Alabama game), at some point we have to step back and be real.  Nobody in a real conference schedules every non-conference game against a legitimate opponent, nobody.  Look at the Big Ten Champions, Pac 12 Champions, Big 12 Champions, and National Champions.  None of these teams had more than one game against a legitimate opponent.  In fact, of these four championship teams, they only played two ranked teams in their combined non-conference schedules.  Michigan already has Notre Dame on a yearly basis.  Sure, they haven't been that great lately, but they are fairly legitimate opponent overall and usually help Michigan's strength of scheduling.  Not only do teams not schedule tough non-conference schedules, but it makes no sense to do so under the current system.  There is no benefit to scheduling teams like Alabama or LSU during non-conference play.  Why?  Because you can schedule a nobody and boost yourself up in the rankings.  Whether fans like this or not, it's the reality and with this reality, scheduling revenge games makes perfect sense.  Michigan is going to have at least a few bad teams on a schedule in a given year and this at least would add some excitement to these games.  As I mentioned earlier, a game against Arizona would be a great game for Michigan to schedule.  However, they're not better than a team like Oregon State or Kansas.  However, it would be an exciting game just because of that revenge factor.  Due to the reality of college football, these are a great options for teams looking to make their non-conference games exciting for fans.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with their thoughts

1 comment:

  1. "The SEC as a conference is loaded, so teams like Alabama can schedule soft non-conference games ..."

    Interesting comment. I guess Michigan is one of those "soft" games, eh.