Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Final Answer on Big Ten Conference Alignment.

Is that your final answer?
The mysteries of Big Ten Conference Alignment have become much clearer in the last couple of weeks.  Although no final announcement has been made, comments from Athletic Directors across the league have made it possible to predict the final outcome of Big Ten Division alignment.

What we know:

Wisconsin and Iowa will be split into separate divisions.  Barry Alvarez has made this very clear, when he told the Wisconsin State Journal the following.

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez told the Wisconsin State Journal that his Badgers will not be placed in the same division as rival Iowa.

In addition, We know the Divisions have been already set, and the league's current focus is on creating the schedule.  Jim Delany has made this clear as well, saying to ESPN.

"We've got the divisions, but we really don't have the schedules," Delany said. "The key critical area is we already had schedules [set] for '11."

We also know Brett Bielema and ex-Cornhusker Barry Alvarez would like to have an end of season game with Nebraska and have been lobbying for it.

But it looks like Tom Osborne and Nebraska would rather have Iowa yearly.

We also think Wisconsin and Minnesota will be in the same division.  This is also from Alvarez.

Alvarez told the Associated Press that at least one of the Badgers' rivalries would be protected for divisional play, with the Wisconsin State Journal speculation it being the most played game in Football Bowl Subdivision history -- Wisconsin vs. Minnesota for Paul Bunyan's Axe.

What is almost certain:

Ohio State and Michigan will be in Separate Divisions.  Both Athletic Directors Brandon and Smith have spoke to this, as well as a curious comment from OSU's President Gee when he said the following.

“We want to beat them twice,”

That very un-presidential comment created a firestorm in the state of Ohio, basically confirming the Michigan v. Ohio State game would almost certainly be moved up in the schedule.  This has sent Gee and Smith into a Buckeye Back-peddle, trying to back off the statement before anything has been finalized.  This was Gene Smith a couple of days ago.

Smith said there was an all-day meeting in Chicago for the ADs this Monday, with a conference call scheduled for next week. He believes the divisions will be finalized soon, and then the talk will turn to scheduling

An obvious contradiction to what Delany had said earlier about division alignment being complete, and schedule becoming the next order of business.  But thats what happens when a University President opens his mouth too soon.  Nice work President Gee.

I must admit I like watching Smith and Gee scrambling for cover when the truth is they have probably already agreed to the Divisional Alignment with UofM and OSU in separate divisions.

The End Game:

With what we know I believe Big Ten Division alignment will look like this.

Black Division.

Michigan----Nebraska----Iowa----Michigan State----NW----Illinois

Blue Division:

Ohio State----Penn State----Wisconsin----Minnesota----Purdue----Indy

Cross Division Rivalry Week:  (played around Halloween)

Michigan v. Ohio State
Nebraska v. Penn State
Iowa v. Minnesota  (Floyd of Rosedale)
Michigan State v. Indiana  (Old Brass Spittoon)
Illinois v. Purdue  (Purdue Cannon)
Northwestern v. Wisconsin   (Budding Rivalry)

Last Week of The Season:

Black Division:

Michigan v. Nebraska
Iowa v. Michigan State
Northwestern v. Illinois

Blue Division:

Ohio State v. Penn State
Wisconsin v. Minnesota
Purdue v. Indiana


Northwestern and Illinois could easily be interchanged with Purdue and Indiana.  With that said I believe they stay paired wherever they end up, so they can play their respective rivals the last week of the regular season.

I believe Michigan v. Nebraska is a better choice as an end of season game then Michigan State for two reasons.

  1. Michigan doesn't see MSU as that end of season rival.  If Brandon has agreed to let the OSU game be moved back in the schedule, which it looks like they have.  He is going to want Nebraska in its place not MSU.  League approval may be a different story.
  2. Michigan v. Nebraska and Ohio State v. Penn State is a major cash cow for the league in terms of TV money.

The soap opera which has been Big Ten Expansion and consequently Big Ten Division Alignment is soon to come to an end.  Delany has said it will be decided by mid September.  I have been racking my brain trying to be at peace with a conclusion.  The above alignment seems to make the most sense to me.

Regis, That is my final answer......

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Much Needed U of M "Pick Me Up"

Troy Woolfolk Possibly Done for the Season.

The Message Boards are hilarious right now.
Troy was injured in practice today and by all accounts it is ugly.

The sky is falling here, confirmed by Sam Webb here. Looks like a season ending ankle dislocation.

The Message Boards have written off the entire season because of one player. This is hilarious in my opinion.

Yes, Troy Woolfolk is an important player on this University of Michigan Football Team, he is a senior leader anchoring a depleted CB position. This news stinks, no doubt.

Who will step up?

JT Floyd, Buck, Courtney Avery or Terrance Talbot will have to fill the void.

Go Blue.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Big Florida Offensive Lineman Picks The Wolverines

Posada makes 10.
Tony Posada from Tampa's Plant Senior High School has given is verbal commitment to the University of Michigan today.

According to, Posada 6-5 325 lbs is the 75th ranked OT in the country and is rated a 3 star recruit.

That makes 10 for the Wolverines so far this year.

Go Blue!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Troy Woolfolk Weighs In On The University Of Michigan's QB Competition

Troy Woolfolk is a senior leader on this years University of Michigan Football Team. It didn't take the star CB long to stir the pot in regards to who should start at QB for the Wolverines this season.

Woolfolk made it known that Denard Robinson has been the player who has worked the hardest toward that goal. In addition, Woolfolk called out Tate Forcier's work ethic, and insinuated if Tate hadn't played so well early last year, he would have run the risk of being excommunicated for his lack of participation during voluntary 7-7's this summer.

Here is what Troy said.

"Denard has been out there through the thick and thin and been out there all the time regardless if he's hurting," Woolfolk said. "And Tate, he tries to come out, but he's not as consistent as Denard is. And that's allowed Denard to jump a little bit ahead of Tate and I think that Tate's going to have to do a lot of work to catch back up to Denard in camp this year." …
"I personally have a lack of respect for them [players who don't show for voluntary workouts]," Woolfolk said. "The outlook on them is kind of diseased. Like you don't want to be hanging around those people because they have bad work ethic. But at the same time, it's my role to try to persuade them to come out more."
According to Woolfolk, Forcier hasn't shown up to as many workouts as he and the other seniors feel he should have, and Woolfolk said it's hurting his teammates' perception of their signal caller.
"The only reason he's not really labeled as diseased is because of the way he was able to carry the team last year before we started losing. People still trust him a little bit, but he's starting to lose that trust."


Either Troy has had enough of Tate and his lack luster effort to solidify his place as QB for the Wolverines, and is firmly in the Denard Robinson camp, or he is a great motivator and is trying to light a fire under the young QB's ass, knowing he can take this team to the next level.

I believe one thing for sure. This belief is based on no personal knowledge whatsoever. But here it goes. I believe Troy Woolfolk placed one or both of these votes during Big Ten Media Day.

First I would bet a Ham Sandwich Troy was the person who placed this vote for Denard Robinson.

Who’s the most exciting player in the Big Ten?
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State - 8
Adrian Clayborn, Iowa - 1
Denard Robinson, Michigan - 1
Comment: “I’ve seen how fast he is.”
N/A - 1

Second, I would not be surprised if he placed this vote for Tate Forcier as well, after reading his comments about Forcier's less than professional attitude toward his position and the team in general.

With that said, it is more likely Wide Receivers like Wisconsin's Nick Toon or Purdue's Keith Smith or both were chosen by the head strong CB. Troy is U of M's best CB, who loves the competition of covering the other teams number one WR, and probably couldn't pass up the opportunity to show his dislike of the position.

Not to mention he is a team leader, but what if he feels like me and others, that believe the best thing for the team is Denard Robinson?

Who’s the most overrated player in the Big Ten?
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State - 3
Tate Forcier, Michigan - 1
Keith Smith, Purdue - 1
Nick Toon, Wisconsin - 1
N/A - 5

No Matter, I love the passion behind Woolfolk's comments. It is obvious he desperately wants to be part of Michigan's Football Renaissance, and is taking his leadership role seriously. I just hope Tate Forcier can do the same.

Quite honestly though, in my opinion, Tate's fate has already been set. I believe once Denard takes over the starting job, he will not look back until the last game of his senior year, barring injury. I also believe we will be saying Denard Robinson not only ushered in the Rich Rod era, but also brought a Big Ten Championship back to Ann Arbor, positioning the Wolverines for long term success.

For more information on this story, has done some excellent reporting on this situation, much more so than my speculative rant.

Go Blue!

Big Ten Player Poll

Dave Birkett of Ann reveals the answers to some interesting poll questions given to some Big Ten players here.

Here is a couple I found interesting.

Who’s the most exciting player in the Big Ten?
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State - 8
Adrian Clayborn, Iowa - 1
Denard Robinson, Michigan - 1
Comment: “I’ve seen how fast he is.”
N/A - 1
Who’s the most overrated player in the Big Ten?
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State - 3
Tate Forcier, Michigan - 1
Keith Smith, Purdue - 1
Nick Toon, Wisconsin - 1
N/A - 5

As an unabashed Denard Robinson supporter, I believe he is the man to lead U of M back to prominence.

Apparently I may not be the only one who thinks this way.

Go Blue!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Big Ten Conference Re-Alignment

Jim Delany was unusually candid during The Big Ten Media Day in Chicago on monday. He did not shy away from questions regarding Conference Expansion, A Conference Championship Game, and of course Conference re-alignment.

Here is his address to the press.

Hail to The Victors Blog is going to try again to re-align the Big Ten.

Well, Mr. Delany made some things much more clear in regards to how they would divide the new 12 team conference. Competitive Balance, Tradition and Rivalry's, and Geography in that order, will be the major factors when determining how the league will be divided. In addition, Delany mentioned the year 1993 as a fair starting point to judge the modern era of the Big Ten, noting Nebraska had won 3 National Championships during that time period.

Here is a look at The Big Ten Conference during that time period.

Big Ten GamesOverall
Ohio State1062910.7831704310.797
Penn State865000.6321476200.703
Michigan State637210.4671069810.520

Hail To The Victors Blog believes conference record gives a clearer picture of the Big Ten hierarchy.

With that said, here we go.

Michigan and Ohio State must be in the same division, This ensures the greatest rivalry in sport keeps its........


But lets not forget who got the last word in this argument......

Look at the score during these highlights.....

David Why?

OK back to re-alignment.

Bo-Woody Division:

Ohio State

Joe Pa-Osborne Division:

Penn State

Since 1993 the Bo-Woody Division has 418 league wins between them. While if you give Nebraska 100 wins the Joe Pa-Osborne Division has 425 wins. This seems to provide a very competitive environment while splitting the 4 major powers in the conference. 7 games over a 17 year period seems very even to me.

In addition, Hail To The Victors Blog would propose one intersectional game that remains on the schedule yearly. This contest will help the league keep some of those trophy games the fans seem to love, while producing some others.

We propose the following intersectional games.

Ohio State-Penn State

Finally, geography may be an issue for teams like Penn State and Minnesota. But if you look at possible schedules for such teams it really isn't that much more travel.

Example Penn State:

8 game sample schedule:

6 automatic games.

Nebraska (Home)
Wisconsin (Away)
Iowa (Away)
ILL (Away)
Minnesota (Home)
Ohio State (Home)

2 sectional games:

MSU (Away)
NW (Home)

If you look at that example, Penn State which is the eastern most team would really only have two western trips every year. Of course the sectional games would change randomly, but with Ohio State being their intersectional rival, Penn State has a yearly opponent close by, not overly straining travel.

Hail To The Victors Blog believes this schedule is not only consistent with other Penn State schedules but we believe it is in the best interest of the league to have U of M and OSU in the same division.

To further speculation, if Joe-Pa agrees to these terms without any real objection, we believe he has been told an eastern expansion will change divisions within 5 years anyway. (*speculation alert*)

Of course this is an example/prediction, and Hail To The Victors Blog remains committed to changing its mind if someone can provide the ammunition to do so. So as always all input is welcomed.

Go Blue!

Memory Lane

Monday, August 2, 2010

Big Ten Media Day Today.

Adam Rittenberg from ESPN will cover the entire day, and will be giving updates on the Big Ten Blog.

Here is the schedule for today.

11 a.m. Bret Bielema (Wisconsin)
11:15 a.m. Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
11:30 a.m. Ron Zook (Illinois)
11:45 a.m. Rich Rodriguez (Michigan)
12:15 p.m. Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)
12:30 p.m. Bill Lynch (Indiana)
12:45 p.m. Danny Hope (Purdue)
1:15 p.m. Joe Paterno (Penn State)
1:30 p.m. Tim Brewster (Minnesota)
1:45 p.m. Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
2 p.m. Jim Tressel (Ohio State)
2:30 p.m. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany

Watch Live on BTN.