Thursday, September 02, 2010

Big Ten did fine with its division alignment , but did justifably slight MSU

I understand that in a college football world, in which the Big Ten will actually have 12 teams, and the Big 12 will have 10, there are going to be, well, some quirky things going on.
So nothing, honestly, surprised or outraged me about the Big Ten’s division alignment.
Michigan will play Ohio State every November, like always, even if it is forced because the teams won’t be in the same division.
The conference did a good job of protecting its rivalry games - although it does seem insulting the old Old Brass Spittoon trophy for the Indiana game means more than the Land Grant trophy for the Penn State game, as far as Michigan State is concerned in the Big Ten’s eye.
To be truthful, MSU didn’t earn having its rivalry game with Penn State protected, and the Spartans will remain with their age-old issue of not having a true rival to close the season.
Of course, the Spartans can change that merely by becoming a true contender and pushing for a spot in the Big Ten championship game, which is going to be thrilling.
The divisions lineup like this: Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue in one division....Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern and Minnesota in the other.

Random Thoughts

- There are similarities between Brennan Boesch's rookie season and Bobby Higginson's in 1995, although to more of an extreme.
In 1995, Higginson hit .246 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI with an .824 OPS in the first half; .204 with four home runs and 15 RBI with a .624 OPS in the second half.
This season, Boesch hit .342 and with 12 home runs and 49 RBI with an OPS of .990 in the first half; so far .157 with two home runs, 12 RBI with a .460 OPS in the second half.
Higginson had exceptionally fast hands when he arrived in the major leagues - and tried to pull everything. Pitchers literally started throwing him nothing but outside fastballs, which he continued to try to pull. It resulted in an endless stream of ground balls to second base. The next season, Higginson started taking that pitch to left field. The result was that he hit .320 with 26 home runs and 81 RBI with a .982 OPS.
Boesch doesn't have the same issue. Seems more like he just sat on the first pitch and would crush it early in the season, and pitchers have wised up by not giving him much to hit on the first pitch.
But I do see a relatively short stroke, and some athleticism there. And while it seems unlikely he will hit .320 next season, there is a possibility Boesch will learn a lot from this season and become a solid every day player.

- Not sure the Lions will find out much about running back Kevin Smith in the final preseason game tonight they don't already know. If he lights it up against the Buffalo Bills second and third team defense, what will that mean?



Blogger Barry said...

Pat, I wish Boesch would wait for his pitch. Sit on a pitch and then go get it. He swings at alot of pitchers' pitch. He needs to improve in the outfield too. Does he really have 9 errors? Tigers should send him to the Fall League.

12:46 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It's all about adjustments. Higginson did adjust. Will Boesch?

9:58 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's struggled, as we all knew he eventually would, despite the hot start. Book's right, it's all about the adjustments.

12:11 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

My point is, I guess, Boesch could just easily become another Bobby Higginson as Chris Shelton.

6:35 PM 

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