December 20, 2013 by Shash
Filed under Uncategorized
Bowls start tomorrow! Hurray!
'Twas the night before drinking, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The growlers were stacked in the cooler with care,
In hopes that St. Hokelaus soon would be there;
The Brew-ers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of pale ales danced in their heads;
And Zach in his 'kerchief, Papa Dave in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature keg, quite full of beer,
With a sharp-taken breath, nearly did I choke,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Hoke.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Devin! Now, Devin! Now, Jer'My and Jake!
On, Taco! On Frank! On, Derrick and Blake!
To the top of the league! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of beers, and St. Hokelaus too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard something neat:
The prancing and pawing of each monst'rous cleat.
Stein in my hand, I was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Hokelaus came with a bound.
He was dressed all in blue, he had been for days
And his clothes were all tarnished with highlighter maize.
A bundle of beers he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His heart yearned for Roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as clean as the snow;
The neck of a bottle he held tight in his teeth,
And the haze it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a big ol' round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old coach,
And I laughed when I saw him, above all reproach;
A wink of his eye and a double-point with glee,
Soon gave me to know I had no reason to flee;
He pulled down his keg, seeming so far from frail
And poured full all the growlers with Bells' Christmas Ale!
"It's spicy! and malty! and not even bitter!",
And giving a nod, he gathered his litter;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Bowl Season, Michigan Faitfhul, and to all a good-night."
December 20, 2013 by Brad Idelkope
Filed under Uncategorized
The New York Times published an article comparing the OHL to the NCAA featuring Michigan Forward Boo Nieves.
In Yesterday's New York Times, the Gray Lady ran an article highlighting some of the differences between Major Junior Hockey in the Ontario Hockey League and life as an NCAA hockey player. The article looks through the viewpoints of Anthony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting and Michigan Forward Boo Nieves. It's a brief piece, highlighting some of the advantages and disadvantages of both.
On the early pressure:
DeAngelo and Nieves have been focused on hockey since around the third grade, rising to the top of the many-tiered and colorfully named age groups — mite, squirt, pee wee, bantam, midget. By the time the players were 14, agents or family advisers were in the fold, and a whole conversation was heating up around them: Just how badly, and quickly, did they want to get to the N.H.L.?
"From a parent’s point of view, it’s disappointingly early," Rafael Nieves, Boo’s father, said.
Advantages of the OHL:
O.H.L. people refer to college hockey, a little dismissively, as "a weekend league." DeAngelo’s regular season in Sarnia stretches to 68 games, nearly twice the number of games Nieves will play at Michigan. On trips, DeAngelo rides a bus back and forth across the border to O.H.L. cities like Erie, Pa.; Plymouth, Mich.; and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
All players live with a local family, or billet, that provides room and board. DeAngelo and a teammate occupy basement bedrooms in the home of Sharron Willock, a retired financial adviser and widow.
As an O.H.L. student-athlete, DeAngelo, who has an agent, is paid $50 a week. The Sting are paying for the high school degree DeAngelo is pursuing online. As an elite player, he is guaranteed four years of college tuition. But that arrangement has caveats: DeAngelo has to enroll in a college within 18 months of leaving the team, and the money disappears if he signs an N.H.L. contract.
"I could care less about it," he said of his education package, a defiant edge in his voice. "It’s just something there in case, God forbid, I get hurt or whatever."
Versus life in the NCAA:
“A kid like Boo, we recruit him because of his offensive skill and potential,” Michigan Coach Red Berenson said. “And then we teach him how to play without the puck.”
While DeAngelo often plays at a half-filled RBC Centre, Nieves plays in front of a boisterous student section, all clad in maize yellow, at Yost Arena, a 90-year-old field house renovated to project the university’s well-heeled athletic department. Nieves and his teammates take charter flights to most away games, and they eat a catered dinner, high above the ice, after practice.
And the competition difference:
Nieves does not buy the argument that he would be getting in better game shape in the O.H.L.
“If I were to go there now, as a 19-year-old, I would be playing against 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids,” he said. “Whereas here I’m one of the younger kids in the league, and I’m a sophomore. It’s that experience of playing against older, bigger, faster, stronger.”
N.H.L. Central Scouting had Nieves rated as the top American high school player heading into the 2012 draft. When the Rangers took him in the second round, the TSN analyst Bob McKenzie called him a project who “skates like the wind.”
The entire article is a quality read and definitely worth checking out: LINK
December 20, 2013 by Peter Putzel
Filed under Uncategorized
Here's a quick look at the Wildcats' receiving corps.
Backups: Torrell Miller (6' 2", 216 lbs, Sr.); Kyle Klein (6' 4", 210 lbs, So.)
The K-State receivers are almost Lilliputian, but they are talented and experienced enough to get the job done. (It isn't all about size, right Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo?) Lockett ended the regular season with 1,146 yards (104.2 ypg) and eight TDs, which is comparable to Gallon's 1,284 for a 107 average and nine TDs. And Lockett can do this...
Tramaine Thompson is Jeremy Gallon-sized, has 28 receptions on the year, 495 receiving yards, and 6 TDs. He also has a 94 yard kick return against Louisiana-Lafayette. He's more of a Drew Dileo-type; the number of receptions may not necessarily be there, but he's going to break one open sooner or later. Curry Sexton has 409 yards on 36 receptions for an 11.36 average. He seems to be most dangerous on second down, as that is where he's racked up 212 of his 409. It may also be worth noting that he has 198 yards in the fourth quarter, and only two receptions in the red zone. It should also be noted that Lockett and Sexton have received some pretty good team awards, too.
Torrell Miller has 11 receptions in seven games for 106 yards and one touchdown (against Oklahoma State). Klein played in five games and has only 59 yards and no touchdowns. Three of his five receptions came in the loss to Oklahoma State.
Although he isn't a wide out, FB Glenn Gronkowski will need to be watched if Michigan wants to keep K-State honest. Gronkowski has only four receptions out of the backfield, but three of those went for touchdowns (one for 50 yards and another for 67 yards). He has no rushing touchdowns this season.
Starter: Zach Trujillo (6'5" Jr.)
Bill Snyder hasn't used the TE position as pass-catcher very much this year, which is obvious when you look at Trujillo's stats: 5 receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown in ten games played. The lone TD came at the end of the season on a 35 yard reception against Kansas.
The Michigan defense has allowed 228 receiving yards per game, while Kansas State is averaging 220 yards per game. Fouad has a good analysis of the K-Sate OL, which shows that the group has a lot of talent and experience. What that means for this WR/TE post is that the Wildcats could give quarterbacks Jake Waters and Daniel Sams enough time to get the ball to the explosive Lockett with dire consequences (you did play the video, right?). The Michigan secondary is going to have to play a solid and perfect game to keep the Wildcats' receivers in check--they won't stop them, but if they can "dig deep", as Fouad says, Michigan will have a shot. There's no doubt that Lockett will burn the Wolverines at least once, but Michigan needs to limit the number of burns if they want to keep this game competitive.
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December 19, 2013 by SHirko
Filed under Uncategorized
A few years ago, Goat Killer introduced a piece of food stamp reform legislation. The intended purpose was to reduce abuse of food stamps (a problem that takes place at a much lower frequency and at much smaller dollar amounts than waste, fraud and abuse in the military procurement process), and he wanted to do this by requiring that people using Bridge cards to buy food present a photo ID to prove that they were indeed the person authorized to use it.
As some of you are probably aware, I work weekends in a group home for developmentally disabled adults, all of whom require food stamps to eat. My employer operates group homes all over Isabella and Clare counties, and the people who live in them are at all levels of ability to function. Some of them are very active and hold down jobs and only live in a group home because they need some extra help, and some of them are in such bad physical shape (either because of their disabilities or because of their medical condition) that they can't leave the house. The home I work in is a high-risk medical home, which means that several of the people who live in it have very serious medical conditions. All but one of them are confined to wheelchairs during protracted trips outside the home.
Under Goat Killer's bill, the staff in my home would have been required to either take someone with very serious medical conditions grocery shopping. And, because in group homes it is more efficient and cost effective to do a lot of shopping at once, it means using more than one Bridge card at a time. That means extra staffing to take several people out shopping at once, and some of those people with doctor recommendations to not spend time outside when it is cold. For other people in other group homes, who cannot leave the house, and for elderly shut-ins, it would have meant a death sentence of sorts. Can't leave the house, and whoever delivers care services can't buy you food. Obviously, no one would have died because someone would have figured out a diferent way to get those people fed, but that's the way Goat Killer wrote his bill.
It would have affected everyone on food stamps but the only way to really demonstrate how absurd were the lengths Goat Killer was willing to go to "fix" food stamp fraud was to point out that Goat Killer wanted to starve group home residents and elderly shut-ins. Fortunately, the bill didn't go anywhere.
This bings us to today. In The Nation, Jessica Valenti says that we shouldn't call last week's crime against democracy "rape insurance."
Last night Michigan’s legislature passed a measure banning coverage for abortion in private health plans. Women who want abortion coverage will have to buy an additional rider, essentially planning for an unplanned pregnancy. I understand why opponents of the measure are calling it “rape insurance”—there are no exceptions for rape and incest, and State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer told her own story of sexual assault and how such a law would have impacted her if she had become pregnant as a result of the attack. It was a brave moment. But the term “rape insurance” does a disservice to women—and to the reproductive justice movement.
It is not just sexual assault survivors who need their abortion covered. Yes, there is an added dimension of cruelty when you’re talking about denying women who get pregnant as a result of rape care and coverage. But we cannot create a hierarchy of “good” and “bad” abortions. Or of “deserving” women. One in three American women will have an abortion, and the circumstances behind that pregnancy is none of our business—and it certainly should have no bearing on whether or not women can afford to access care.
I think we can agree on just about everything she's written. We shouldn't have a hierachy for which abortions are good and which abortions are bad. In fact, it's not anyone's business why anyone would get an abortion. It's also not anyone's business that someone would get an abortion in the first place. Privacy in medical decision making is either important or it isn't. If the medical decisions women are forced to make are subject to scrutiny then I can't really be said that we take the idea of private decision making seriously.
In that agreement, we also find where we disagree. Valenti doesn't want to make a strata for who gets abortion coverage and who doesn't, just like it would be wrong to create a strata for which food stamps users get carded and which food stamps users don't. You shouldn't have to explain your circumstances to anyone for using a Bridge card to buy food. If you are a poor person who can't afford food because of job loss, you have the same rights to dignity and privacy of hardship as someone who requires a paid staff person to buy your groceries and cook for you. If you feel you need to abort a pregnancy although not being raped, you are the same as someone who wants to terminate a pregnancy that results from incest. Because they are the same, you take the most extreme case possible and hang it around the law. In this case, the most extreme case possible is that it forces women to consider the possibility that they might be raped in the future and buy extra insurance in case it happens and they want an abortion. The idea that we'd force people to do that is one of the most horrific things I've ever heard.
So what happens if the people behind this change their minds and say that they're okay with insurance companies offering policies with abortion coverage for rape and incest included? Well, for starters, there's no indication that they'd do this. Earlier this month, Right to Life brought some people who were children of rape and paraded them around the Capitol. There's some speculation that the real point might be to get rid of the Hyde Amendment's exception for rape and incest. But, in the event that it happens, there is a very easy and ready made alternative to stratifying abortions into one group that is okay and one group that is a filthy form of emergency birth control for sluts who couldn't keep their knees together: Michigan's rape insurance law still represents interference in the marketplace by government that tells consumers what they can buy and vendors what they can sell.
I have a real-life muse over on Facebook who hits me up with ideas every so often. Well, today he suggested that I write stories based on songs. I likey. Imagine Dragons “Demons” is one of my favorites, at the moment. So, I wrote a little story based loosely on the song. Here ya go. Warning, slightly depressing.
I stand at the kitchen sink, the water running so hot that the steam blurs my vision as the fog covers the window. I pour too much liquid soap into the pans, the suds rapidly grow into mountains of bubbles. The sponge I’m using smells strongly of mildew, but I use it anyway because I don’t care.
At the kitchen table, the twins sit with their dad. They are arguing over math homework, it’s a language none of us are fluent in. Their protests escalate and my husband starts yelling in frustration.
The dogs sit on the back of the couch, barking at passing neighbors who are out walking their own dogs, post dinner-time fullness. Perhaps my dogs, two small, mixed-breeds, are actually reminding us of their need to be let out. My husband stops yelling at the kids and turns his annoyance onto the dogs. They become silent, afraid of their owners wrath.
I scrub the baked fish off the broiler pan, putting my full concentration into making it look like new. The burnt on crud doesn’t budge, even with my elbow grease. I let it soak longer and set to work on the rest of the dirty dishes,scraping off un-eaten food into the garbage can and then placing them into the dishwasher, taking care to organize it in the way that’s expected of me.
The twins are crying as their father belittles them, insisting that even ‘retards’ can figure out this third grade math homework. I sigh and think that he is must be dumber than a “retard” because he hasn’t been able to help them with their work yet. The name calling worsens, tempers tantrum. I cringe and open my mouth, quickly shutting it again. I am weak. My battle has rendered me useless.
I mind my own business, knowing full well that any involvement I could offer would end up being met with insults of belittlement. Showing respect isn’t my husbands strong point,it’s just another demon I’ve tucked into the bed I’ve made for myself.
After the dishes were done and the twins were sent to their room to read for an hour before bed, I set to work on folding the laundry. My husband pours himself a drink and sits on the couch, the football calling for his undivided attention and he must comply.
As I fold the laundry, I try to push my demons back into the recesses of my mind. Those thoughts that I never allow to make it past my lips, they beg to be heard. They plead to be answered. I take a deep breath and close my eyes, I want to cry but I’ve run dry. The lump that is always in my throat is the only reaction to feelings I’ve, for so long, kept at bay.
I know so many women, my friends, take all the bad with the good and swear they’d do it over again. They are grateful for their lot in life, some lives bigger than others, but all happily content with the choices they have made.
I never share the truth, my facade so reinforced that I even fool myself. Until, I remember. Small cracks open wider and reality whispers in my ear. I pair socks and think back a few hours to the conversation today at Coffee Club when the women, my friends, were discussing whether or not they’d do it all over again. When it was my turn to answer, I avoid eye-contact by fussing over my coffee.
No words, I simply nod while crossing my legs. I will never let anyone in, I will never speak the truth. I don’t want to spoil the only friendships I have by sharing. I am rewarded by approving smiles, still part of the group while my demons remain silent.
I never let on how easy I think it would be to just turn the steering wheel, ever so slightly, into oncoming traffic. I don’t utter a peep of the dark thoughts that come forward when I am alone and there is nothing to distract me from their words. I have become a professional at keeping up the guard, it doesn’t take much effort anymore. I’m am the keeper of my own secrets, the weight of my burden will never be noticed.
I head to the twins room, they still share one even though there is another empty bedroom available. Together, forever, as it has been since the beginning. They insisted, we allowed. One thing we actually agreed on. Together.
I tell them that it’s time for bed. I shoo them into the bathroom and watch over them as they destroy the sugar bugs with a single brush. I follow them, playfully swatting their behinds, and tuck them into their beds. Leaning over each one, they wrap their arms around my neck and express love. I do the same. I love my children, despite the protesting of my demons.
Heading back downstairs, my husband demands a beer which I produce for him. I tell him that I’m headed to bed. He mutters something along the lines that he’ll be up soon. But he won’t. Not for hours. I always wait for him yet, when he finally comes to bed, I close my eyes and slow my breath.
Our marriage is held together by duct tape. Soon, more will need to be applied as new cracks emerge. I wonder if there is enough duct tape in the world.
I go through my own bedtime routine. Brush my teeth. Wash my face. Apply moisturizer. I answer the Coffee Clubs question as I meet my reflection. My eyes demanding an answer.
I wouldn’t do this all over again.
I remember my mother’s words from many years ago when I asked her if she’d marry my daddy all over again. I was about the same age as my own children. She told me no. I cried because that would mean she would not have me. She lovingly stroked my hair and told me that none of us would ever know the difference.
The words that hurt me so long ago now made complete sense.
If I had followed my dreams, my reality would have been completely different. And no one would have been the wiser.
Instead, I ignored the signs. I ignored that inner voice and all its brilliance. Until, it too, turned into one of my demons.
I turn back the sheets and climb into my side of the bed. I turn off my lamp and pull the sheets over myself. I lay still, in the darkness, listening for his footsteps yet knowing it won’t be until much later. I turn onto my side, balancing on the very edge of the bed. The only spot left in the bed for me.
I leave room for my hidden demons.
Jack Lessenberry is one of my favorite opinion writers. I originally found his work through his online columns for the Metro Times back before online news was really a thing and when Friendster was the Facebook of the day. What I liked about his work was its "toss the chips into the air and let them fall where they may" style. When I started writing my own column, at an age where most center-leaning* opinion writers published nebbish, hedging work intended to pose the journalist as a serious adult rather than a foul-mouthed kid, I looked back to his work as an example of how to tell unvarnished truth with strong, provocative prose.
Then I found his work for Michigan Public Radio ... and occasionally found his work to be a disapppointment. Not because I disagreed with his premise, but because it seemed like something takes the edge off his work. My assumption is that public radio and an alt weekly (or whatever we call them these days) have different rules; and, folks, if you want to publish you do have to play by the rules of the people who run whatever you want to get published by. It ain't censorship. It's how the market works.
Occasionally I complain about his work in this space, and did this very recently when he wrote that people annoyed by the crime against democracy taking place in our ongoing experiment in the Dunning-Kruger effect over the rape insurance rider should contact each chamber's leadership and express themselves. My point is no one in Lansing really cares what the voting electorate thinks on the hottest button of issues because they've got the numbers and the process and aren't about to let a quaint notion like democracy get in the way of them getting what they want. We all know how things worked out.
Anyway, Lessenberry responded to my blog post yesterday. Or the day before. It doesn't really make any difference.
A week ago, a blogger named Eric made fun of me for suggesting a common sense approach. He said the people running our government don’t care.
“They aren’t interested in clever editorials or sound reasoning.” Eric said. “Time and again, all they’ve demonstrated an interest in is what they can get away with.” He thinks any reasoned argument “isn’t going to make a damned bit of difference.”
I hate to admit this, but I now think he is right.
Welcome to the party, Jack. You can toss your jacket on the bed. The bedroom is first door on the left down that hallway. There's beer in the cooler out on the patio. Don't mind the weird odor over by the nachos. It was made with the rotting meat of a ruined process.
Now, I've read enough of Lessenberry's work over the years that I don't actually think this is a new revelation for him. I think he's thought this all along but that there are rules in civilized opinion writing -- spoken and unspoken -- about being too direct about things. The people who run places where civilized opinion writing still labor under ideas that dead and gone. They believe they need to be polite to people they disagree vehemently with and who they think are probably crooked because they've been told that they need to be fair. Rather than going 100 percent to the truth, they go 80 percent. Unfortunately, it means being fair to the wrong people. First and foremost, they need to be fair to their readers by telling them the truth, even if it means saying very horrible things about the people they're writing about, directly and bluntly.
Part of this is also driven by a belief that it's not entirely the job of the media outlet to "take sides." This is because conservatives have spent so much energy over so many years whining and bitching about a liberal media bias that, guys, we all know either no longer exists or never did. The real shame of this is that the same conservatives who complain are not interested in seeing you write something that is balanced and fair to them. They are only interested in seeing you not say mean things about them.
Let me introduce you to the reason for that. Conservatives have their own media that plays by its own rules and is even going through the same contractions as the legacy media. When they are interested in seeing what case there is to be made about something, they don't go to Jack Lessenberry or the Detroit Free Press editorial page to find out. They go to the Detroit News blog section and CapCon and a hundred other insular, mostly self-reinforcing rightwing news and commentary sites. I mean, we just had a protracted conversation about all this just last year, when the conservative media was absolutely stone certain that Willard "MIttens" Romney was going to win in a landslide. They even had their own favored pollster who knew, despite his lack of training, in his heart of hearts that the polls were all wrong (and then when it turned out he was wrong, he blamed "voter fraud").
I had an asterisk up above next to a reference to "center-leaning" opinion writers. I explain my point below the fold.
*--It is my suspicion, based on years of reading Lessenberry's work, that he is a liberal. We don't really know, however, because our politics have shifted so far to the right and gotten so far out of joint that we have no idea where he actually stands. He is left of where we are at today, which is very far to the right of center. When the window starts to shift back to sanity, we will find out the limits of his "liberal-ness." The same goes for everyone currently assembled under the banner of "liberal." Very few of us would probably be so far left as to be genuine socialists or communists or whatever slur is being hurled at anyone who today isn't a batshit crazy conservative.
December 19, 2013 by Big House Jack
Filed under Uncategorized
The first game of Michigan's 2017 season will be against the Florida Gators in Arlington, TX.
Breaking news straight out of Ann Arbor, MI: the Wolverines are set to kick-off their 2017 football season against the Florida Gators in the Cowboys Classic, played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Need proof? Here's the press release via mgoblue.com:
DALLAS, Texas -- The University of Michigan and University of Florida football teams will square off in the 2017 Cowboys Classic on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game will be televised nationally in primetime.
"We are excited to make a return trip to Dallas for the Cowboys Classic against Florida," said U-M head coach Brady Hoke. "This is a great way to reach our fan base in the south and to continue to expand our recruiting efforts in the state of Texas. Our goal is to have as many Michigan fans at the game as possible.
"Florida has been one of college football's best programs over the past 20 years, and we are excited to face the Gators in a regular season football game for the first time ever," added Hoke.
Michigan will be the away team with Florida designated as the home team. The game officials and instant replay crew will come from the Big 12 Conference.
Ticket details for the 2017 Cowboys Classic will be announced a later date.
This will be the third all-time matchup between Michigan and Florida and the first regular-season contest played between the two programs. Both previous matchups with the Gators came in bowl games. U-M won both of those Jan. 1 bowl contests, claiming a 38-30 win in the 2003 Outback Bowl and a 41-35 victory in the 2008 Capital One Bowl.
The addition of Florida completes Michigan's 2017 football schedule.
Michigan also announced that the previously schedule 2016 football game against Ball State has been moved to the 2020 season. The Wolverines will host Hoke's alma mater on Sept. 12, 2020, at Michigan Stadium.
Also, via Michigan football's twitter:
Michigan to face Florida in the 2017 Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas: http://t.co/dZvr6Ufvt9— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) December 19, 2013
Brian Cook on mgoblog weighs in:
I'd say this further proves that Dave Brandon charged his family for Thanksgiving dinner, but like playing a canned version of the Victors against the #1 basketball team in the country, money isn't actually a good explanation. These games are kind of inexplicable when OSU and MSU are locking down quality home and homes.
Brad Muckenthaler at maizenbluenation:
You may recall a certain bowl game in which a certain outgoing Michigan coach handed a certain Florida coach his one and only (to this day) bowl loss. Yeah. Me too.
This game has been widely rumored to be happening ever since the leaked Big Ten schedules found their way onto the internet a few months ago. So, now it's official. Michigan is headed back to Dallas (Arlington) in 2017 to redeem themselves from the Alabama shellacking from 2012.
Nick Baumgardner at MLive:
Michigan is headed back to Cowboys Stadium.
And this time, it'll be hoping for a better result.
The athletic department announced Thursday that Michigan will open its 2017 season against Southeastern Conference opponent Florida in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas.
The game will kick on Sept. 2 from AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium). It will be a prime time kick before a nationally televised audience. Time and network details have yet to be determined.
On the Florida Gators front, here's SB Nation Florida blog Alligator Army:
Rumors of a Florida-Michigan neutral site game to open the 2017 season first hit the Internet in October, when a leaked Big Ten schedule including future seasons listed Florida as a 2017 opponent for Michigan.
From Scott Carter at GatorZone.com:
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley receives calls regularly that pitch potential non-conference games for the Gators.
The latest offer was too good to pass up: Florida vs. Michigan at AT&T Stadium -- aka Jerry's World -- to open the 2017 season.
The 2017 Cowboys Classic is scheduled for Sept. 2, 2017, and will be broadcast nationally. When Foley was recently approached about the possible neutral-site game against the Wolverines, he was intrigued for several reasons.
"You don't get these opportunities very often,'' Foley said. "Our schedule has been pretty consistent through the years. We were presented this opportunity and just thought it was something that our fans would embrace, our program would embrace.
"It would give us great national visibility. Obviously, a very difficult ballgame against a storied program -- that excites us."
I wasn't too excited by the prospect of playing Alabama in 2012, and even less so when they were coming off a national championship and en route to another one that year. The rough patch that Florida is going through right now is temporary, so despite their recent struggles they will be ready to play the Wolverines in 4 years.
I'm probably more concerned about where Michigan will be. We will either have figured out answers to our problems or will we be in year two or three after another coaching change. Undoubtedly we as Michigan fans hope that it turns out to be the former, but this 7-5 season has proved to be more damaging than we could have ever thought possible.
I expect that both teams will be ready by the time they square off and regardless the game itself should be very good.
What are your thoughts?