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September 03, 1996 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-03

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSTuesday - Tuesday, September 3, 1996 - 15A

I

BARRY

SOLLENBERGER
*ollenberger in Paradise

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A di erent look on the Rose
Bow 's move to bowl alliance

Yes, we are all still going to die. Yes, we are all
still going to give the government about a third
of what we earn.
But the three certainties in life - death, taxes and the
Big Ten champion versus the Pac-10 champion in the
Rose Bowl - are no more.
Because starting in 1999, the Rose Bowl will join the
bowl alliance, which matches the top two college foot-
b41 teams in one bowl game. This means that for the
time since 1946, the Big Ten and Pac-l0 champi-
ons are not obligated to meet in the Granddaddy of
them all.
And it's about time.
This constant fighting over the polls has gone on long
enough. The bickering should end when the Rose joins
the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls to make up the four
major alliance events.
"To have a national championship in the context of
the traditional bowl season is a great ending," Big Ten
Commissioner Jim Delany said. "The bowl system will
eaithier."
his certainly is true. But will this new agreement
really have much of an impact on the Big Ten? With one
exception, the 11 league teams rarely challenge for the
national championship.
Michigan has not been a factor in the national title
race in recent memory. And Ohio State can't even get to
the Rose Bowl,,let alone win it.
Last October, everyone was up in arms over the pow-
erful Buckeyes being locked out of a national champi-
otship showdown with Nebraska or Florida because of
1 Big Ten's ties to the Rose Bowl.
here was even some talk of attempting to break
those ties so Ohio State could play in the winner-take-
all Fiesta Bowl.
As it turned out, the Buckeyes weren't even the best
team in the Big Ten. And the best team, Northwestern,
wasn't even as good as the best team in the mediocre
Pac-10, USC. The Trojans beat the Wildcats, 41-32, in
Pasadena.
For the record, the Buckeyes last played in Pasadena
on New Year's Day in 1986 and last won there in 1974.
d the Buckeyes are still considered a national
*er?)

If you listen to Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, winning
the national championship isn't even his team's No. I
goal.
"The way we looked at is that it's been too long since
we have been to (the Rose Bowl) on New Year's Day,"
Carr said. "It is more imlportant to win the Big Ten
these next two years before the bowl thing kicks in."
The point is that the only school in the Big Ten that
should be whistling Dixie over the agreement is Penn
State.
The Nittany Lions are the conference's only true
national power. They won the national championship in
1982 and 1986 and (some would say) were robbed of a
third national title two years ago.
That season, unbeaten and No. 2 Penn State was
locked out of a matchup with undefeated and No. I
Nebraska. The Nittany Lions proceeded to beat Oregon
in the 1995 Rose Bowl and the Cornhuskers beat Miami
in the Orange.
Nebraska won the national championship and Penn
State got a pat on the back and a "sorry 'bout that"
from the NCAA.
The two would have met under the new agreement.
And Penn State coach Joe Paterno must be tickled to
death.
In the long run, everyone benefits from the comple-
tion of the alliance. The players benefit from finally
getting to decide the national championship on the
field. The conferences benefit. The fans benefit.
As a whole, college football benefits.
But perhaps no one will reap the awards from the new
agreement more than the Rose Bowl. Based on a rota-
tion, the Granddaddy of them all will host the title game
in 2002, its centennial year.
And thank goodness for Rose Bowl officials. They
are guaranteed a national championship game. And they
need this guarantee.
Because if you look at the perennial mediocrity of the
Big Ten and Pac-10, it could have been another 100
years before they would have hosted a national champi-
onship game.
- Barry Sollenberger can be reached over email at
jsol@umich.edu
His column appears each week in SPORTSMondav

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Michigan men's tennis adds
Pusztai,.B lain to spring roster

Richard Shin
, Sports Writer
While the Michigan men's tennis team
may have lost Peter Pusztai, its top play-
er from a year ago, to graduation, the
Wolverines still have a Pusztai in the
lineup.
Miki Pusztai, an Ann Arbor native and
the younger brother of the former
Michigan standout, will don the maize
and blue for the Wolverines this spring
joining fellow junior transfer Brook
-Win.
The two shore up a Michigan lineup
which lost three starters, including its top
two singles players, Pusztai and John
Costanzo.
"Peter Pusztai's shoes will be hard to
fill," Michigan assistant coach Dan
Goldberg said, "but we're pleased with
who we have."
Miki Pusztai, a senior, has junior eli-
*ility after transferring from Virginia
h over the summer. At Virginia Tech,
r played first and second singles as well
as No. I doubles.
Pusztai cited displeasure with the
Virginia Tech program as one of the
ynain reasons for leaving the team.

"I had some differences with the
coach, and the program wasn't improv-
ing my game,' Pusztai said. "I'm happy
to come back to Ann Arbor and look for-
ward to playing for (Michigan coach
Brian Eisner)."
Blain, a West Bloomfield native and a
transfer from the University of Florida,
will also join the defending Big Ten
champions.
Blain was recruited by the Wolverines
three years ago and played No. 3 and No.
4 singles for the Gators as well as the
first doubles position.
Blain, whose older brother Brady
plays tennis for Illinois, was ranked in
the top 30 in the nation in high school
and was the state high school champion
in Michigan his junior year.
Pusztai and Blain, now teammates,
have faced each other in high school
play. Blain defeated Pusztai in a three-set
match in the state semifinals in 1993.
Blain eventually defeated current
Michigan player Arvid Swan in the final
to capture the title.
"Blain .and I have bumped heads
before,' Pusztai said. "I am really look-
ing forward to playing together with

him."
Pusztai and Blain will add depth to a
solid doubles corps, as well as provide
immediate help to a veteran singles
group.
Michigan sophomore Jake Raiton is
recovering from right shoulder surgery,
and Goldberg recognizes the benefit of
adding two experienced players while he
recovers.
"We definitely have more depth than
last year" Goldberg said. "Overall, we'll
be an improved team over last season,
especially at doubles."
Under NCAA eligibility rules, both
Pusztai and Blain will not be able to
compete for Michigan until the spring
season. Pusztai will have time to reflect
on the impression his brother made on
the program, as well as what he can con-
tribute.
"Pete's a great player, and no one
expects me to do what he did," the
younger Pusztai said. "I just want to be a
part of the team and make a contribu-
tion."
Michigan begins fall conditioning
today and returns five starters from last
season's 18-8 squad.

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1996-97 Michigan men's basketball and ice hockey schedules
Here are the men's basketball and ice hockey schedules for the upcoming season. Tickets go on sale Monday at 8 a.m.
E at the Athletic Ticket Office at 1000 S. State St.
Wen's basketball Ice hockey

1K

Crisler Arena games in bold

Yost Arena games in bold

I

,..

z

Date Opponent _Time
Nov. 11 Australian Adelaide 36'ers 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18 Athletes in Action 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 26 Ball State 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 Cleveland State 7 p.m.
Dec. 2 Bradley 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5 Detroit-Mercy 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 8 Duke 1:30 p.m.
,ec. 11 St. John's 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15 LSU* 3 p.m.
Dec. 21 Arizona* 3:45 p.m.
Dec. 27-30 Rainbow Classic TBA
Memphis vs. Michigan
Pittsburgh vs. Maryland
Northwestern vs. Hawaii
Washinatnn Sate v. Gonrgia

Date
Oct. 5
Oct. 12
Oct. 18
Oct. 24 & 25
Nov. 1
Nov. 2
Nov. 8
Nov. 9
Nov. 15
Nov. 16
Nov. 22 & 23
Nov. 29 & 30
Dec. 7

Opponent Time
Blue-White Game# 7 p.m.
Lake Superior State 7 p.m.
Maine* 7:30 p
Alaska-Fairbanks 7 p.m.
Notre Dame 7 p.m.
Michigan State 7 p.m.
Ohio State 7 p.m.
Bowling Green 7 p.m.
Michigan State 7 p.m.
Bowling Green 7 p.m.
Brown 7 p.m.
College Hockey Showcase*
Nov. 29 Minnesota, 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 Wisconsin, 4:30 p.m.
Ferris State 7 p.m.

.m.

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