Saturday, January 01, 2005

Texas Vote Fraud

Once again we see an example of fraudlent efforts by Texans to influence votes. I'm not talking about the Bush elections or DeLay's redistricting, but of the Coaches Poll.

Going into the last week of the football season, it looked like California would go to the Rose Bowl as Pac Ten runner up (due to Pac Ten champion USC playing for the National Championship). Texas's coach started to lobby coaches who vote in the Coach's poll (something which traditionally has never been done) to vote for Texas above California. This moved Texas up one spot in the poll, allowing them to go to the Rose Bowl instead. Fellow coaches in the Big 12 were willing to change thier votes as they share in the multi-million dollar pay out from the Rose Bowl.

By playing Texas, rather than a Pac Team in the Rose Bowl, Big Ten Champion Michigan has a second chance for a post-election victory over a red state team. It was hoped that the Michigan-Ohio State game would be an opportunity for such revenge. Unfortunately, the young Ohio State team which struggled early in the season gelled by the Michigan game. While some may dispute the results of the Ohio election, there was no dispute over the results of the Michigan-Ohio State game, as I must admit Ohio State clearly outplayed us. The turning point was when Ohio State was forced to start a pocession from the one yard line, and moved 99 yards for a touch down. Later in the game, Michigan appeared to be launching a come back, but our freshman quarterback threw an interception ending the come back drive. This forced Michigan into desperation measures such as an unsuccessful attempt to go for a first down in their own territory, allowing Ohio State to expand their lead. A victory over Texas may allow a measure of revenge over the red states, with Texas favored by seven points.


Blogger Bob Evans said...


After reading your thoughts on the Rose Bowl, I’m giving second thoughts to rooting against Michigan. I never lived in Ohio, but I became an OSU fan through the influence of friends in that state--and, of course, Buckeye fans ALWAYS root against their archrival, Michigan.

When I was in Ohio, I got to go to the Michigan/OSU game you described. I’d gained a lot of new friends among the locals while working in the campaign out there, including “Buckeye Connie,” a 17-year veteran “redcoat” (Buckeye stadium usher). Her nickname was given to her by an OSU coach on-air because of her enthusiasm for the team (and for their exceptional marching band). The other redcoats still call Connie “the new girl” because most of the ushers have been doing it for more than 30 years. (It’s kind of like the Supreme Court or the papacy—there’s a long waiting list, but a slot usually doesn’t open up until someone dies.)

Connie and other friends persuaded me to extend my “tour” in Ohio to go to a Buckeye pep rally a few days before the game, and to try to get a ticket to the game itself. The pep rally, at a local Columbus restaurant, featured about one-third of the Buckeye marching band. It was a very impressive show played to a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred people, many of whom had arrived hours early to stake a claim to a table. The band performed in the restaurant for 45 minutes until their break, when they retired to an upstairs room (rumor has it that a keg of beer was involved). When the band members returned for the second half of their show, I noticed something was different—they had all switched instruments! It was quite a night, with more than 50 brass instruments rocking the house. For me, the pep rally alone was an intensive introduction to Buckeye tradition and spirit.

My friends did find a hard-to-get game ticket for me, and it was a steal at only $75 on the eve of the game. And instead of grabbing my seat, I stood with Connie at her position on the 30-yard line right in front of the $3,000 box seats!
For this, the 101st year of the OSU/Michigan rivalry, it was a sellout crowd of more than 105,000.

Well, Ron, you know the rest. Though I’m not a big sports fan, it was a real treat to witness an exciting game (and from a great vantage point), and to see the famous Buckeye marching band performing their half-time routines, including “Script Ohio.” (Buckeye fans say they’d like to see Michigan try that!)

Now, thanks to your influence, I guess I’ll have to root for Michigan (with apologies to all my Buckeye friends). Not because of the red state/blue state rivalry. What I object to is the kind of base political manipulation that got Texas into the Rose Bowl. For that reason alone, it would be a pleasure to see Texas defeated.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

This shows the difference between us Michigan fans and many Ohio State fans. I always root for Ohio State in the bowl games, as well as whenever they play a nonconference game.

Actually, I've often even (quietly) rooted for Ohio State against other Big Ten teams, in the hopes of setting up a great Michigan vs. Ohio State game to end the season.

1:20 PM  

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