Yours truly had to run out and tend to a few minor errands. You see, Mitt and Barack had me on this conference call and I was asked to fix the economy, cure world hunger, and peacefully solve that minor little dust-up in the Middle East. No biggie. Always glad to serve my country.
Problem was, I didn't get to see how the MSU/Wisconsin football game ended. After logging those miles on Air Force One, and the motorcade finally dropping me back at my house, I quickly tuned into the 4-letter network to check the results. Evidently, MSU beat Wisconsin in overtime. That's OK, I guess, unless one is a cheesehead.
MSU might have won, but they have a bigger problem. The same one Rodney Dangerfield used to have. The same one Aretha Franklin spelled out in a hit song. You know what I'm talking about....
How do I know this applies to Michigan State football? Because while watching the scores trail across the bottom of the screeen, they showed the scores of the Kent State/Rutgers and Ohio U/Miami(Ohio) games -- TWICE -- before getting around to MSU and Wisconsin. Talk about no respect.....
At that, the entire Big 10, or whatever they are these days, may very well suffer from the same malady. Here's a few not so random factoids for your consideration. Put them all together and draw your own conclusions......
The Univ of Michigan football team just got whomped out in Nebraska. (There's probably a pun to be made about what Cornhuskers can do with the Maize, but I won't go there).
Nebraska recently severed football ties with the conference they'd been in since forever and joined the Big 10. Why would they do that? More money and easier competition? Yes/no/maybe?
After flirting with the Big 10 for a while, Notre Dame opted to remain an independent in football.
Conference or not, traditionally Notre Dame and Michigan played each other every year. This was a big game -- for both schools. Whether it was played in Ann Arbor or South Bend, the stadium would be jam-packed to overflow capacity, national exposure on TV was a given, and surely both institutions raked in millions. Now Notre Dame has opted out of that series. Why would they do that?
Yours truly suggests a closer look at Notre Dame. They've got a new head coach named Brian Kelly who's probably amongst the top 5 college football coaches in the country. Further, check out their schedule this year. The only military patsy game that remained was Navy. Well OK, maybe Purdue, but that's a game played in the same 'hood, so it's never going to be easy. After bulldozing the two major Michigan schools, they had Miami of Florida, Stanford, BYU, Oklahoma, Pitt, Boston College, and USC. If anybody in the country is playing a tougher schedule than that, I don't know who it is. They just disposed of Okla out in Sooner country, no small feat, to remain undefeated. If they can run the table with their remaining schedule, they could have a shot at the "big one" in the second week of January.
Where am I going with this? Brady Hoke at Michigan is doing better than his predecessor Rich Rodriguez, but a guy or girl off the street could probably do that. Yet, Hoke remains an unknown long-term quantity. Kelly at Notre Dame is the real deal. Could it be that Notre Dame has set it's sights higher looking for tougher competition than what Michigan will likely provide in the near future? Yes/no/maybe?
Don't laugh, Sparty fans. If Mark Dantonio doesn't get his act together pretty soon, the leprechauns might plant your team at the wrong end of the rainbow next. In Notre Dame's mind, they might be thinking -- why fool around with these second-tier teams from Michigan when there's bigger fish to fry, and strength of schedule matters to the pollsters and computers? Yes/no/maybe?
Regarding Notre Dame once joining the Big 10, the legendary Bo Schembechler once said, "The hell with Notre Dame". Obviously he didn't think they were worthy and gave them no respect.
Times have changed and perhaps the worm has turned. It might just be that these days Notre Dame is looking down their collective Irish noses and saying, "The hell with the Big 10", and no longer consider THEM worthy opponents. Yes/no/maybe?
Beats me. Draw your own conclusions about the football stuff. I'm still trying to figure out how to get a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T from the Princess.