Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable: Ohio State Week

I don't know if there is a special group that you need to join to become an official member of the "Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable"...but like my friend KDM at Michigan Against the World...I just decided to jump in a test the waters myself. Here we go!

1. Call me crazy, but it seems like the refs have been even worse this year than usual. I've noticed what seems like an unusal amount of questionable calls/non-calls go against the Buckeyes this season, but then, I am just a little biased, and the only referee performances I notice are the crappy ones. What have you thought of the Big Ten refs this season? Do any especially bad calls stand out to you?

As a Michigan fan, I don't see it. But then again, I've been too busy being critical of our own play calling and philosophy to be distracted by officiating. When I do notice the refs, they're usually doing a decent job.

Also, I don't watch my fair share of Ohio State games, so that doesn't help either. But I did watch the Illinois game, I mean come on...who didn't. And Sir Teflon should've thrown the replay flag early on the game.

2. How is recruiting going for your team? Any incoming players that opponents should be concerned about for 2008, or will the cupboards be left bare? (Note: If you don't follow recruiting, please post an entertaining picture of some sort at this point.)

I'm not a big recruiting buff. But I know of Sam McGuffie who is a phenom RB. One of the best recruits of the 2008 class.

Other than that, I'd have to see a list of guys and their position to know more. But I have to think the impending coaching change is going to have at least a little effect, and of course whoever they bring in could either drive guys away, or attract more good talent.

Blue-chipper: Would you like play for this man?

3. The OSU-Michigan game is taken pretty seriously 'round these parts. For at least this week, the rivalry is all-consuming for just about every OSU fan I know. But let's face it, there's plenty more to hate (or at least dislike) in college football than our rivals. So, other than your team's current rival(s), what team, person, rule, concept, intangible object, etc., would you like to declare a rival, the better to focus your hatred on them/it?

I'm going to keep my OSU shots to myself for now and say that I think Michigan's biggest rival right now is itself.

Look at some of the most successful schools throughout the history of college football: Texas, Michigan, USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Penn State, Nebraska, Florida State, Miami, Florida, Alabama...the list goes on and on depending on who you ask. But the point many of those teams are struggling this year, or have struggled in recent years...from being super-powers for decades?

Michigan is starting to fall into that trap. Coaching, while I love Lloyd Carr, does need to be addressed (which I'm sure it will very shortly)...and the overall feeling that we're heading downward in terms of philosophy. Tradition is a great thing...but you can't depend on it. Michigan still sells itself with tradition and name recognition. But take Notre Dame's terrible season as a warning. Just take away a few key players, and Michigan is in the same boat.

I know it seems silly to compare historical dynasties with college football, but some of the greatest, worst and most powerful governments, dictatorships, and kingdoms in history were not toppled by wars or battles...but from within. Its a stretch I know.

But sustained success and complacency are a volatile combination and should be recognized. Luckily the turnaround with players and sometimes coaches keeps things fresh. But Michigan has a tendency to not ripple the waters too much with coaching changes. Since 1969, we've had either Bo, or a product of Bo running this team. And while I would argue anyone who said Bo wasn't the greatest coach of all-time, I see the need to evolve accordingly with the nature of the game.

Oh, and I should also add that the trend lately that coaches have, both college and pro, of calling timeouts right before a FG kick at the end of a game to screw up the kicker...that needs to be fixed. The rule should be coaches can't call timeouts when his defense is on the field, or at least not after 15 seconds are left on the play-clock. Its just not fair, and it makes you look like an ass-hole. That's right, I'm looking at you Urban.

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