Friday, December 21, 2018

Michigan Friday: Missing Bowl Games

When I went to the Orange Bowl a few years ago, I purchased seats from U of M.    We ended up at the top of the Hard Rock Stadium near an open air area.   It was a cold night and the wind hit that open area and a 60 degree night felt like 40 degrees.   My wife and daughter tapped out in the first quarter and decided to find some warmer area to watch or not watch the game.

My son and I stayed and watched Michigan sleep walk through the first half of the game against Florida State.   Michigan starts to show some signs of life and Wilton hits Jake Butt with a pass near the goal line.   Jake tears his ACL.

If you read this blog, you remember that play.  We saw a great kid and great tight end go from a 1st - 2nd round to TBD in his NFL Draft status.   My heart just sank out of my chest.  A cold day at a bad game, just got worse.

Jake says today (after his latest ACL tear) that he would suit up again in the Orange Bowl.  He did have an insurance policy and rumors are he saw something like $500K from it.   Which helps but doesn't really equal the millions of dollars he missed from his original draft status.

That play along with ND's Jalen Smith injury, really changed the landscape of bowl games.    Yes, the playoffs also has something to do with that, but those two injuries are the ones players always point to.

Gary announced the day after the Ohio State game he was out and heading to the NFL.   That wasn't a surprise as he could be as high as the #2 draft pick.  If he goes to the combine, his numbers will jump off the charts.   You could argue that his stats on the field don't match that high of draft pick, but the NFL will be drafting his upside.

Bush was the next to announce and that wasn't a surprise either.  As he is expected to be a top 10 pick and is still recovering from a hip injury from the Ohio State game.

Higdon announced yesterday that he was also sitting out the bowl.  He is rated as the 5th RB in the NFL draft which probably equals a mid - late to round pick.   Higdon has been invited to the senior bowl and could increase his status there.  So investing some extra time for that game was worth it to him.

Luckily for Peach Bowl fans, Michigan's two CB's who were also rumored to be sitting out, will be playing.

College Football is starting to have a problem and I don't blame the players one bit.

I enjoy watching bowl games but last nights game had about a 1000 people in an NFL Stadium with a team that had 5 consecutive losses.   We have 40 bowl games and the only ones that really matter are the playoff games and Rose Bowl.   (yes, I understand how important bowl games are too smaller schools)

Fans don't want to attend, high profile players don't want to play, and the best part for the coaches are the two extra practice weeks.  Side note, many smaller teams lose money on bowl games due to travel costs and ticket purchase requirements.

What are we doing?

How about a 16 team playoff for the Power 5 and the same for non-Power 5 conferences.    You could do the non-power 5 conference playoffs with home games, so attendance and interest would be much higher.    Also play the non-power 5 playoffs during the week for better viewership, like they do for the Bad Boy Mowers Bowl.

I don't know if that is the solution but seeing Jake Butt lay on the Orange Bowl field, made me really think about my position on this and how valuable these games really are.

  • Breaking:  Michigan just got a 2020 commit from QB JD Johnson who is rated as a 3 star.  On a side note, JD is sitting behind the #1 rated 5 star QB in the 2019 class, has a huge upside, and s expected to fly up the ranking this off season.   He is 6'4 and 190. 

  • More Breaking News: Aubrey Solomon picks Tennessee.  Crouch is also expected to sign with the Volunteers today and of course they just landed RB Eric Gray yesterday.  They were 5-7 this year and finished 7th in the SEC East.   They got a ton of good players in just a few days, nothing fishy here at all.   Regarding Aubrey, I didn’t want him to transfer because I thought he had a great opportunity next year, which he will now spend watching football.  At Michigan he played in 18 games, recorded 24 tackles and 2 TFL’s with some of the best defensive line coaching in the country.  Not to mention Winovich and Gary as his DE’s taking up double teams.  I think everyone involved would ageee the expectation was more then he was able to provide.  Good luck Aubrey!

  • If you want to hear some great Michigan recruitment stories, check out the WTKA podcast today and listen to Ron English Segment #2.  It will make you laugh, cry, and consider what might be happening at Tennessee right now.  


Scott K said...

Bob.... thanks for all you do. Merry Christmas.

enzo said...

Well said

Tim said...

Agreed. Well said.

I believe the NCAA will do something as the bigger names are sitting and less attendance, less enthusiasm...which leads to less dollars. When they feel it in their wallet they will make some changes. My opinion.

Merry Christmas all.

Goose said...

NO WAY, I would play in a glorified scrimmage with so much waiting for me in the future. The playoff system has diminished the value of all other bowl games.NCAA either expand to 16 or cut out the exhibition games. Just my opinion.
On a side note thanks for the blog as a michigan who happens to live in the shadow of Bryant Deny stadium its difficult to find any news on any team other than Bama. So BHB has become my go to source for quick reads to stay informed about my beloved Wolverines. Thanks again. Merry Christmas & God Bless to all...even Abu.

Steve Zander said...

Sounds like I lived the same Orange Bowl night that you did. Not fun. I've already ordered my Peach Bowl tickets before I knew everybody was sitting out. Kind of takes some of the Lester off of it. I guess I'll just go and enjoy the event. Merry Christmas to everybody.

Bob said...

Thank you guys and Happy Holiday’s!

EzmoB said...

Ten can have Aubrey. Coach mattison didn't want him, and that says a lot. A kid that wanted things handed to him does not belong at Michigan. The golden opportunity was in front of him and he passed up on it. His loss will be someone else's gain.

Everyone on here happy holidays. Bob thank you for all that you do for us Michigan fans, happy holidays to you and your family.

EzmoB said...

Shea Patterson will be back next year!

Rudy T said...

Soloman had a starting job locked up on one of the best defenses in the country to include the best coaching staff....and he walked away. Got to be a whole lot more to this story and wouldn't be surprised if academics are part of it. At Meeeeechigan, you have to knows how to read and some of these kids can't and have no desire to learn. Those are the kinds that fill the Suckeye program. That's where you go when "you didn't come here to play you no school". Maybe TN is in that basket too.

Renegade said...

“How about a 16 team playoff”

The concept is pleasing, but there are some drawbacks.

1. You are now asking college kids to play up to a 16 game season. The same as a regular NFL season where they are highly compensated.

2. It increases the possibility for injury.

3. Those players who are expected to be high draft picks will still sit out.

4. Probably will interfere with exams.

Steve Zander said...

16 teams turns in into a tournament not a playoff. Leave it at 4 anything after that is subjective.

Goblu said...

Happy holidays to all! And thanks to Bob.

Question- any chance we lose Dylan or Joe, with Shae coming back? Seems like it’s Dylan’s time (he can always compete and get it, obviously).

Mike Tebbe said...

Dylan's not leaving.. Joe might look around...

Renard Anthony said...

All the internet "chatter", says that A. Solomon did not take well to being pushed by the coaches, which is fair. Let's not always go negative on these kids (academic struggles), they are still teenagers. I remember some of my choices as a teenager, let's say I'm not too proud of them now, but they made sense then.