1. We're about halfway through the season at this point. Have you gotten a gauge on your team's chances this year to make noise in conference play, or is the team still a total freaking mystery?
Definitely and it's much better than expected. After watching this team through 5 weeks I expect Michigan to be there in the end for the conference title, if we do not win at worst we should finish in 2nd place. Coming into the year I was not as hopeful as many because last year's team took its toll on me. Ever since my freshman year in 99, the last time we were 5-0, I had always been the optimistic fan always believing that this year was the year. But in those 7 years Michigan had only made it out of September undefeated 0 times. Because I take losses extremely hard I started to take the negative mentality of expecting to lose so when we have our usual slip up game that happens every year it wouldn't affect me as badly. But fortunately, the old me is coming back as now I expect to win and anything else would be devastating, Johnny at RBUAS has a great post that I completely related to.
2. Many of the bigger conferences such as the Big 12 and the Big 10 use a rotating schedule to determine conference games each year. What are your feelings on the current system used in your conference? Does a rotating schedule work? Has your team always caught a break?
I really don't like the way the conference schedules are set up in the Big Ten but there's no way around it since the conference has 11 teams. I doubt that the league would ever agree to a 10 game conference schedule so I guess the system in place now is how it will go on until one day a 12th team is added and a conference championship game put into place. The rotating schedule does not work as evidenced by 2002 when Ohio State and Iowa finished 8-0 in conference and never played each other, there are also the years when the conference championship is split but one team goes to the Rose Bowl over the year because they finished with a better non-conference record or they had not gone to the Rose Bowl in the longest time, pointless tie-breakers which should not determine the Rose Bowl berth.
Michigan has caught breaks before such as the two years we did not play Wisconsin and Penn State but because Ohio State is one of our locked games we will never catch the breaks that some other schools do, such as Purdue who has not and will not play Michigan and Ohio State last year and this year. I do have to give credit to the Pac-10 for their schedule as they only approved the 12th game on the condition that it be a conference game so now all Pac-10 teams will play each other so a true conference champion will be determined.
3. In an effort to get to know more about college football, both nationally and regionally, what have you done to expand your college football horizons? Have you caught yourself watching games from other conferences, or taking an interest in games that show up on ESPNU or Fox Sports?
I'll watch any college football game that's on pretty much, I even used to watch the HBCU games on BET, although that was more for the bands than for the game itself. Most college football fans out in the East, South, Midwest don't pay too much attention to West Coast football but since I went to Michigan but was born and raised on the West Coast I've always watched plenty of Pac-10 football in addition to all the other big conferences across the country. I still say the quality of football is better in the Big Ten and SEC but I'll watch any football played at any time.
4. What would you change about the current exposure your team gets, either on the radio, television, print, or on the internet?
Not much, I can't really think of anything I would change as Michigan gets plenty of exposure. Sure I would like to see more national coverage of the Maize and Blue since I don't get the local coverage anymore but our highlights are always shown so I can't complain.
5. During last Saturday's game against I-AA Northern Iowa, Iowa State trailed 21-7 at the half. The Cyclone Marching Band played a variety of songs from animated shows, including selections from South Park titled "Blame Canada" and "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" Needless to say, the Cyclones outscored the Panthers 21-6 in the second half. If you had to pick one song for your favorite team to rally to, what would it be? Because we all know what they did for the 2005 White Sox, Journey and "Don't Stop Believing" are not to be considered.
This reminds me of the time the Michigan Marching Band played a cartoon halftime show, I think South Park was involved but I do remember the band playing songs from the Simpsons and Family Guy which was good enough for me. When I read this question I had two songs immediately pop into my head "4 Alarm Blaze" by M.O.P. featuring Jay-Z and "Take It To Da House" by Trick Daddy. Although Take it to Da House does make sense in football terms and fits Michigan considering we've had plenty of slow starts and then needed to immediately take it to da house to come back (Minnesota 03, Michigan State 04, just to name a few). But not many songs get me pumped up like 4 Alarm Blaze does. It uses the theme song from Rocky as its base and then you get Lil Fame and Billy Danze just screaming at you, it hypes me up everytime I hear it. Add in the Hova to the mix and you got yourself a great rally song.
Update: As I was watching the great clip up on YouTube of Super Mario Highlights I also thought of another song that could be added to the list. That song would be "Super Brooklyn" by the Cocoa Brovaz. The beat is from the Super Mario Bros. game, it never was released officially because the sample didn't get cleared but it should be easily found online.