Saturday, September 01, 2007

This is why they play the games

College football gives hope to MoneyLaw adherents everywhere:

Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32
. A Division I-AA program brings down the fifth ranked Division I-A program in the country. In the big team's home stadium.

The lesson is a powerful one and bears repeating: Rankings mean nothing. Performance means everything. Congratulations, Mountaineers.

Update, September 2
According to ESPN's Pat Forde, this was indeed a very good week for Appalachian State. After bombing a pageant question and becoming a butt of YouTube humor, Miss Teen South Carolina 2007, Lauren Caitlin Upton, redeemed herself on the Today Show. In the final minute of her interview, Ms. Upton revealed her plans for the future: to attend Appalachian State and study graphic design. Good for her. The Jurisdynamics Network heartily endorses visual literacy.

As for geographic literacy, the form of awareness that got Ms. Upton in so much hot water, we can take comfort in this fact: college football fans now know that Appalachian State is located in Boone, North Carolina. A host of Mountaineers, from several dozen football players to one aspiring graphic designer, have put themselves on the map.

The fact remains, though, that Appalachian State's gain comes at Michigan's expense. Just how does a team ranked fifth in the AP poll stumble, at home, to a Division I-AA opponent? The defeat exposed Michigan's glaring weaknesses. It also casts doubt on the entire enterprise of using subjective popularity contests to evaluate programs, athletic or academic, whose real value can and should be subjected to the acid test of performance.


Blogger Jeff Lipshaw said...


I have nothing more mature to say.

At some point, I may think about the arbitrariness of winning and losing - essentially all of this turns on the fortuity of one defensive player getting his hand on one kick - and we go from what might be embarrassing but forgettable (recall Ohio State and Cincinnati a couple years ago) to this.


Agitated but not Dead in Ann Arbor

9/02/2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger Nancy Rapoport said...

Hey, I'm sure that there are many lovely folks who come from Ann Arbor, and Jeff's one of them. But as an OSU supporter (and, NO, that doesn't stand for Oklahoma State!), I have to say that I'm kvelling. Sometimes the underdog DOES win. :)

9/02/2007 7:50 PM  
Blogger Jim Chen said...


I take it that you have hotel reservations for the Sept. 15 game in Ann Arbor against Notre Dame. Don't worry if you don't -- no one wants to see that stinker.

Yes, it did come down to one last kick and one last kick block. But an "elite" team does not leave business unfinished till the final six seconds, when the football gods do their finest -- and funniest -- work.

Michigan Who? A-S-U!

Yours in Division I-AA and T4 pride,

9/03/2007 3:31 PM  

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