First off, it's a good God damn thing Turk was added to Action Football! He's out of the gate with the sort of enthusiasm that Rochester and I had at the beginning of this thing. (By the way, I guess since Rochester's name is still up there on the logo, he's still involved with AF!, all evidence to the contrary.)
Technically speaking, I have an excuse for (at least the last week of) my inactivity: I've just returned from the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Speaking of Wisconsin, the Badgers had their first game last night (well, since I'm on the East Coast, I should say "this morning" since two thirds of the game was after midnight...). No longer having Directv, I watched it online, full on illegally. How rad is it that technology exists that some dude with Directv in South Dakota can hook me up with the game? Pretty rad. (Granted, the stream was sub-starndard def, but in theory it could be high definition and likely eventually will be, and it was free.)
While I'm still working the kinks out of my 2010 football watching technique, I'm awfully glad football's back on.
The thing that stuck with me most from yesterday was seeing on the ticker that the Cardinals had released Matt Leinart. Hilarious.
Now to wrap up this un-thought out post, my reactions to Turk's reactions regarding the Big Ten-lve divisions. I'm going to end up pretty "company man" here in that I don't have the same issues as my esteemed colleague.
1. Competitive balance - Like TR mentioned, there is an assumption that programs don't get better or worse. The thing is, taking a long view, Big Ten programs rarely get significantly better or worse overall. In the past thirty years, the biggest movement in the Conference has been the progress Wisconsin made after Barry Alvarez was hired and Michigan falling off recently. In those two instances, though, Wisconsin's been generally in the top third of the Big Ten for the past fifteen years and I get the sense that Michigan's going to be back on the upswing to the same top third starting this year. Any football program can experience dips or bubble up, but the Big Ten's been pretty consistent over time.
2. Maintaining rivalries - Okay, this is dumb. Either you have it set up that each team plays every other team in its division, keeping teams in the same division as their rivals or you keep rivals in different divisions so that there's the possibility of them meeting in the Championship game. The way it worked out, it doesn't seem to matter where anybody is since, like Turk mentioned, Ohio State and Michigan will still play each other every year.
3. Geography - I'm confused by Ramsey's assertion that "[t]his obviously didn't come out in a strict East - West sort of deal, as the far east teams like Penn State won't be routinely going to Nebraska or Iowa." While not "strict" (Champaign is further west than Ann Arbor) wouldn't those divisions actually imply an East/West separation? The NFC North is the NFC North because Minnesota doesn't routinely travel to New Orleans....