Friday, December 15, 2006

Some people just can’t let it go

ESPN is in the process of publishing a series of “year end wrap-ups” for each conference on its website.

One Bruce Hooley, who was given the opportunity by ESPN to write the year end summary for the Big Ten , evidently thought the exercise an opportunity to, once again, shill for Michigan.

ESPN Big Ten Wrap Up

Hooley takes up a majority of his post season review by complaining about how Michigan did not make the BCS title game. Apparently, the unpardonable slight Michigan suffered at the hands of the voters was the most important thing in the Big Ten this year.

Says Hooley –

The Wolverines made a compelling argument all season that they were, indeed, the nation's second-best team.

Too bad they eventually were undone by several unpardonable sins:

• Losing by three points on the consensus No. 1 team's home field, where the third set of sod this season afforded the same secure footing an ice rink offers someone in tap shoes.

• Concluding its season by Nov. 18, thus giving Florida the chance to impress brain dead voters with a rout of the always-stuborn Division I-AA Western Carolina Kick-Me-Hards, and an Arkansas club in the SEC championship game that can't pass a lick.

• Refusing to engage in the same posturing of Florida coach Urban Meyer, who whined and complained about everyone from university presidents to poll voters when a Michigan-Ohio State rematch looked like a certain fallback if USC fell to UCLA.

Carr declined to go that route, saying it wouldn't be good for the game. He meant the entire sport, of course, while Meyer's look at the issue was more, shall we say, Gatorcentric.

Does anyone see the irony of Meyer successfully lobbying about the unfairness of an OSU-Michigan rematch, when the only national championship trophy in his program's history came courtesy of a rematch in 1996 after a regular-season loss to Florida State?

Let's see, what was the score back then? Oh, Florida State 24, Florida 21.

And about five weeks later in the Sugar Bowl it was Florida 52, Florida State 20.

Yeah, Urban.

You're right.

Rematches are so unfair.

There you go, now, now.

Feel better little man? Are you glad to get that all out?

By my count, Hooley spends 320 words of his 454 word article whining about the fact that Michigan doesn’t get to play Ohio State again.

That’s right –whining (If the tone of the excerpt above isn’t “whiny”, I not sure what “whiny” is). Over 70% of Hooley’s article is dedicated to rearguing that Michigan should play Ohio State again.

I guess not a whole lot of real consequence occurred in the Big Ten this year.

In complaining about the human voters, Hooley makes no mention of the fact that the computer polls had Florida and Michigan tied for purposes of the BCS, and actually had Florida ahead when all six are taken into account, as one computer poll has Florida ahead of even Ohio State.

Damned “brain dead” computer polls! How could you let Meyer lobby you so?

Nor does he mention that the AP, no longer a part of the BCS, also has Florida ranked second.

The poor Wolverines must settle for that second-tier Rose Bowl. ‘Tis the “Grand Daddy” no longer, I suppose.

(Note to Michigan – you may actually want to get a coach that can BOTH beat Ohio State and make a credible argument on behalf of your team. Because, in case you have not noticed, in the era of Pete Carroll and the BCS, lobbying for your team is the modern way).

As for Hooley, keep rolling that rock up the hill, Sisyphus.

Keep complaining about Michigan’s cruel fate, and Meyer’s evidently mesmerizing effect on the voters.

Pop a pacifier in your mouth, or your thumb if you like, and watch the BCS title game – if you dare.

Because all of your whining isn’t going to change a thing.

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