This one is titled "Getting Personal", continuing a trend of naming these Roundtable-things. I had already finished the first two questions, and had written quite a eloquent opening, before my computer freaked out on me and decided to kick me off the internet. I hate when that happens. So, I am not going to redo my opening, but I will tell you it essentially consisted of discussing the long-term ramifications of the Appalachian State-Michigan upset. As discussed in the Roundtable, the game will be called upon rather frequently over the next 20 years, most of the time in situations that have little to do with the actual events of the game. Whether you only watched the short package of highlights on SportsCenter or obsessively watched the game on the Big Ten Network from start to end, you will be expected to know the general happenings and the outcome, specifically in places that either hate Michigan (read: Columbus, Ohio and South Bend, Indiana) or Boone, North Carolina. Just simple things, like the whole 1-AA/1-A thing and how the game ended (on a blocked FG, for the 2 of you who have forgotten). Oh, and the score 34-32 should always remain in the back of our brain, recallable on a moment's notice no matter the situation. The propensity of people in general to call upon situations assumed to be popular knowledge is quite amazing, letting casual diuscussions about the stock market into a reference of the underdog implications of Appy State over Michigan. Now, I am likely reading too much into it, and have made the opening even more eloquent than the original, but the long-term implications of this game shouldn't be overlooked.
1. What did you learn, if anything, about your team on opening weekend? More specifically, did you see anything that brought complete elation or utter disappointment?
I learned a helluva lot about our offense, specifically QB Todd Reesing. Despite actively backing Kerry Meier and disagreeing with Mangino on the decision, it appears I was wrong and the coach, in fact, was right. Shocking, I know. Our offense moved the ball at will after our first drive on Saturday, and even though it was against a MAC team, it was the defending MAC Champion returning about half of their defense. Plus, the ability to move the ball like that on anybody shouldn't be overlooked, especially on an offense breaking in 6 new starters.
2. 20 years from now, someone will ask you "Where Were You When Appalachian State beat Michigan?". Describe what you were doing at the time, your reaction.
This is a good story, although not as good and less heartbreaking as Maize n Brew's. As mentioned before, I happened to turn to the Big Ten Network just in time to see Dexter Jackson scamper 74 yards for a TD to tie it at 7. This sheer display of speed most likely encouraged me to believe that Appy State could, in fact, stay competitive for a half or so. So, I kept it there (with a couple of commercial-flips mixed in), and was planning on watching it "until Michigan pulled away". Yes, I assumed that it was inevitable that Michigan would, at one point or another, realize that they were the #5 ranked team at home, not the other way around, and begin to impose their superior talent. Not to say that my hopes weren't raised every time Appy State drove down in scored, but I never considered it a real possibility until Armanti Edwards dove into the end zone to make it 28-14. Moving ahead to the final play of the game, as soon as the FG made contact with flesh I began to scream and yell quite loudly, all while jumping up and down. The reaction was very similar to the one I had following Boise State's hook-and-ladder on 4th and 18 in last year's Fiesta Bowl, and similar to that of the Appalachian State radio color guy. In case you missed it on the ESPN family of networks, here was his call:
3. Given the big event of this past weekend, what's the worst you've ever felt about your team?
No real specific example. We were pretty bad for a long time period there in the late 90's and early 00's, and I think just that whole period as a whole made you feel pretty sick to your stomach. Everyone does remember Terry Allen, right?
4. Take a classic - like Homer's Odyssey, Lord of the Flies, Little Women, or, heck, even the latest Simpsons Movie and tell me how it relates to your team this season. Editor's Note: This one is requiring extra thought, and will be put up here sometime Wednesday. Sorry, but I wanted to put something up here tonight...
5. It wasn't just by accident you got here. Somewhere, some time, there was someone who influenced you to become a fan of your team. Tell that story.
Simple answer. Both of my parents are alma maters of Kansas University, so as a kid growing up I had little-to-no choice. I went to games at Allen Fieldhouse when I was 2 years old, so Kansas is basically inside of me. Basically.
6. Give us your nominations for the offensive and defensive players of the week within the conference. As much as I would love to plug Reesing here, Sam Bradford is the obvious choice. He simply had a phenomenal night Saturday in Norman against North Texas, going 21-23 for a boatload of yards and 3 TD's.
On the defensive side, I have no real idea. I didn't watch any other Big 12 games close enough to get a real beat on who had a monster game, so I will go the easy way and pick a Jayhawk. Which one, well I guess I will go with Chris Harris, mostly for the impressive factor. I wasn't expecting much, but he played very well. That is horrible reasoning, but it is the best I have...
Sorry for delaying my Big 12 Week in Review and Top 25, I will get one done late tonight and the other will be shoved on the ballot tomorrow.