Wednesday, July 18, 2018

2018 Pre-Season Spectacular - Part Deux


Guess I should have waited a day…

But last Wednesday marked exactly 50 days until the return of college football and it seemed like a good day to post.  It never fails that right after I post, I stumble across something that would have made sense to put in the post.  And ESPN did an article titled “50 thoughts from 50 different people in football”.   Michigan’s Shea Patterson was one of them:


Michigan QB Shea Patterson: "I'm excited to get back on the field, especially with an early exit last season and the stress of potentially not being able to play this season during the spring. I'm just ready to play ball, but I'm really ready to play with this team because if we reach our full potential with the talent we have, we should be unstoppable."

And of course, I love when an expert agrees with the MMQ!!!  Err…Maybe I agree with him??

ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill: "The Big Ten East division. It's going to be a bloodbath, a battle of attrition. I think there could be three CFP contenders in Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State. Add to the mix a pesky team in East Lansing and I don't know how anyone comes out unscathed. It's the best division of the power five conferences."

And no pre-season article would be complete without a PJ Fleck “Row the Boat!” reference for good measure:

Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck: "Our young players playing. I'm really excited about this 2018 class. They're a special group of young people. They're people who have bought a vision, bought the 'Row the Boat' culture, bought the vision of winning the Big Ten West championship, starting with that, and then the Big Ten championship, getting into the playoff. That's why they came here. They gave up a lot of opportunities elsewhere, maybe more recent, modern, traditional programs than us to make it that traditional program again, to connect the bridges between the '30s, '40s, '50s and '60s to the 2000 teens and '20s and '30s, because we've had a gap in there, a 51-year championship drought. That group bought that and they gave up a lot of opportunities that most people sat there and thought, 'Why would you pick Minnesota?' I'm excited to watch them play. I'm excited to get them in camp and see what they can do."

Mgoblog does a “Best Athlete at Any Position” All Time

This is one of my favorites from the now Head Coach himself.  Every Michigan QB needs to watch and learn that glory is defined as standing there, taking the hit and making the play!!!


Marcus Ray letting David Boston know that you probably shouldn’t go over the middle in the Big House….


Conference Predictions

From the Mailbag: 

The Pre-Season Spectacular usually gives me some insight as to what you think about the rest of the teams in College Football.  Where’s my insight???

Okay – You asked for it, here it is

ACC

Favorite:  I’m not going against the grain on this one.  Clemson should repeat as conference champion.  17 starters returning and barring injury (or a “complacency” issue – which I doubt Dabo lets happen) an ACC Championship should be a task they can accomplish.

Oh So Close:  FSU, Miami & Va-Tech.  You have to keep an eye on 1st, 2nd and 3rd year coaches and FSU has Taggart, Miami has Richt and Va-Tech has Fuentes.  1st, 2nd and 3rd year guys. They could each muddy up the water for Clemson.  Especially watch out for FSU and Taggart.  I feel like that’s a match made in Heaven….

True Dark Horse:  NC State?  They’ve been close and they’ve upset Clemson.  They know how to win, can they just put it all together for one season?

Upset No One Sees Coming: Again, NC State gets Clemson RIGHT BEFORE Clemson plays FSU.  I’m not saying the Tigers are going to overlook the Wolfpack, but then again…Upsets happen. 

SEC

Favorite:  Satan’s Warriors.  I really don’t see how they don’t win the West, but they did lose to Auburn last season, albeit it was at Auburn.  But they kind of got rolled by the Tigers. 

Oh So Close:  Georgia, South Carolina, Florida.  Again, see the ACC for why I like these guys.  2nd year coach, SEC Champion and National Championship runner-up Smart will have Georgia rolling again.  Muschamp at South Carolina has that team playing well.  And 1st year Coach Mullen at Florida will probably have a good to great defense and if he can find a viable QB with his offense, the Gators could become problematic for the rest of the SEC East.

True Dark Horse:  LSU.  With grad Transfer Joe Galloway joining the Tigers from the suckeyes, things could be looking up in Baton Rouge.  Orgeron is also one of those 3rd year guys and he needs to win.  Honorable mention to MSU and new head coach Moorehead as being a disruptor, but I just can’t pick them to win the West.

Upset No One Sees Coming:  Texas A&M @ Alabama (9/22).  4th game for new Head Coach Jimbo Fisher.  He’d like to prove that he’s worth that $75M.  I have a feeling all the trickery gets used and all the stops get pulled in this contest.

Big iiX

Favorite:  This one’s tough.  I have a couple of different ways I could go here, but I’m not going to waffle.  I think Holgersen (WVU) finally figures out a way to pull off the Conference championship and with QB Grier in his 2nd year in the Holgersen offensive system, he might just be able to do it. If not the ‘Neers, then Oklahoma has to be the favorite.

Oh So Close:  TCU, Okie State and Texas.  TCU could be in the “Favorite” section if it wasn’t for the fact that Pattersen seems to screw up one game each season (sometimes 2). There’s no reason Okie State shouldn’t be battling for the Big 12 every season.  2nd year Coach Hermann at Texas should have everyone buying in to his system at this point.  Still, all three of these teams have to prove it to this guy before I’m a believer.

True Dark Horse:  Iowa State isn’t going to sneak up on anyone this season.  Snyder is keeping everyone in suspense as to whether or not he’s actually going to coach K-State this season.  If he steps down and his son takes over, look for an inspired push by the Wildcats to pull off the impossible and win the Big iiX.

Upset No One Sees Coming:  Baylor, coming off one of its worst seasons with a single conference win last season, has the potential of being undefeated heading into Norman to face the Sooners.  Ruhle is in his 2nd season, BTW.

Pac 12

Favorite:  Washington.  I don’t see anyone else with the exception of maybe Stanford with Bryce Love returning being able to run the table in this conference.  And Stanford, like Michigan, always seems to find a game somewhere they can lose.  Stanford and USC square off early (9/8/18) in the season so that will define the season for one of those teams very early.  The Pac 12 hamstrings itself with late game start times, Thursday and Friday night games (short week) in addition to just being the Pac 12.  This conference will struggle to place a team in the CFP.

Oh So Close:  USC.  While they dominated last season, they lost a starting QB and that’s simply tough to replace, I don’t care who you are.  Helton is a good coach and USC will be in games, but the championship will elude them.  Utah is in here also, as Whittingham is a great coach and just reloads.  But they will struggle against better teams.   

True Dark Horse:  Any other season, they would be in the “oh so close” category, but UCLA with new head coach Chip Kelly could actually be a force to be reckoned with in the Pac 12 south.  Kelly’s offense is unique and difficult for any defense to manage.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see UCLA still in it in November…Arizona will make early noise playing nobody until October…Then reality will set in. 

Upset No One Sees Coming:  The Pirate and WSU finds a way to screw somebody every season.  Last year it was USC.  This season?  Who knows, but there’s a school out there that’s going to lose to Leach and the Wazzus....  It’s just what happens in the Pac 12. 

B1G

Favorite:  the suckeyes.  They’re loaded and they have a very FAVORABLE schedule.  The toughest road game they play is at PSU, and, as stated previously, when a Team loses 35% of its offensive production, not to mention losing its Offensive Coordinator (who went to MSU to replace Mullen).  Penn State simply can’t be as good as advertised this season.  The suckeyes kind of have an easy path to Indianapolis, that is, until the last game. 

Oh So Close:  Michigan, depending on how the initial half to 3 quarters of the season plays out, could be the “disruptor” in the B1G this season.  Beat the Domers, LNU and Wiscy and things will be interesting in November.  Oh yeah, they also have to beat the Cornhuskers and the aforementioned nittany lions, too.  And eventually win the B1G Championship against whoever survives the B1G West.

True Dark Horse:  Nebraska.  Frost will be looking to get the most out of what he has in Lincoln this season.  He’ll ride his Juniors and Seniors HARD convincing them that they are at Nebraska for a reason.  And that reason is to WIN!!!  If he can get buy-in from those guys, look out.   The Gophers and Purdue with 2nd year head coaches could also make noise…

Upset No One Sees Coming:  Let’s go early and big.  Maryland picks up where they left off early last season and makes Texas sorry they scheduled a home and home with the Terps.  The terps get some early season love with a home upset of the Longhorns in the 1st game of the season. 

More Mailbag, Texts & Tweets

In response to the Pre-Season Spectacular – Part 1: 

Well MMQ:
A.  You are delusional:)
B.  If we are going to have such a great D, why do your prognostications have so much scoring against us?  I will not say that it is impossible that we go undefeated, but what I will say is that if you are correct on how many points we surrender, there is no way in hell we go undefeated.

MMQ Response:  I’ll admit that I give a lot more credit to other teams scoring on what I suspect (with good reason) will be a great Michigan defense.  I just understand that Michigan is usually the biggest game on most schedules and a lot of coaches and players circle that date as being something “Special”.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in the Big House or watched on TV when a team “on paper” that is dismally inferior to Michigan comes into the Big House or on their home field in front of their own fans and has “the game of their lifetime”. 

Shit happens.  I don’t want to recall them all here, but nobody is sitting around “Trying to get worse.”  Everyone is striving to be a better team than they were last season.  So, yeah, I’m cautiously optimistic and I always respect my opponents.  It’s just the smart thing to do…And maybe I show my respect for them by not giving them all a “Goose Egg” when they play Michigan. 

Hey Slappy – Sparty has owned your ass for the last 10 seasons.  We have arguably the best receiver (Davis) in the B1G coming back and he’ll be catching balls from what could be argued as the best QB (Lewerke) in the B1G.  If you think your team can come to East Lansing and win on our turf, you’re sadly mistaken.  Sorry.

MMQ Response:  Fuck you.  As stated earlier, LNU overachieved last season and probably won 3-4 games they shouldn’t have.  Including the game in Ann Arbor and getting real lucky to beat PSU.  If things go back to “normal”, I expect LNU to be at most a 7-8 win team.  If they’re lucky.  And yes, I do believe that history is about go back to LNU being a disruptor and less of a winner when all is said and done. 

MMQ – I see where you’re going with the one game at a time and the mantra of “Michigan has to go through it to get through it.”  And I also see the parallels to 1997, which I also remember thinking that Michigan wasn’t going to be that great that season.  1997 kind of came from out of nowhere.  That was a really good analogy.  Still…Do you really think they can pull this off?  Seriously?

MMQ Response:  Yeah, I really think they can pull this off.  Seriously.  Again, check out one of Patterson’s Freshman highlight videos.  And imagine him wearing Maize and Blue!


Again, Michigan’s offensive production in 2017 was the third lowest since 1990.  That’s bad.  It can only get better (I hope).   Patterson is calm and cool in the pocket, extends plays and scrambles as well as any QB out there.  There’s a reason he was one of the top QB recruits 3 years ago.  Am I putting too much on Patterson?  Maybe.  But jeez, what else do we have to look forward to if we can’t hope? 

ETC

SOS – Same Ole Sparty Still Running LNU

As much as I’d like to give Engler and Beekman the benefit of the doubt…I just can’t.  If you were there when the Larry Nassar stuff was going down, you have to go.   Or at least, not be PROMOTED as part of the “New Deal!” LNU!

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/sports/columnists/john-niyo/2018/07/16/msu-sends-muddled-message-bill-beekman-permanent-hiring/788689002/

Cada Makes Final Table, Finishes 4th and Wins 4th Bracelet

Local Sterling Heights resident Joe Cada made the Final Table at the WSOP Main Event and then bought into the Closer event featuring over 3,000 players and won it!!!

Amazing feat and a lot of poker over 11 days.  Even a lot for me!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The 2018 Pre-Season Spectacular!!!


I “sometimes” don’t necessarily like doing the “Pre-Season Spectacular”!  Seriously!

Every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion as to how the 2018 season is going to play out.  Why does mine make any difference?  I follow the team and CFB like everyone else and I guess there are times when I’m a LITTLE better at prognosticating.  But at the end of the day, the teams have to play the games and everyone that follows a team wants them to finish on the right side of the fence when it comes down to the final score. 

Will I find a way for Michigan to win all their games?  Of Course!  That’s what slappys do.
We always see the silver lining


Even though Michigan hasn’t even had a close whiff of a B1G Title since 2004.  And while they were close to a B1G and a shot at the Mythical National Championship in 2006, 1997 was the last time Michigan hoisted the hardware…

However, this season for me is reminiscent to 1997 when I didn’t think there was a snowball’s chance in HELL that Michigan would win every game.  Too much had happened in the off-season and Michigan had a questionable QB in Griese, even though he had just beat the suckeyes on their field and lost a close contest in the Outback Bowl to Alabama. 


Nope – there wasn’t a lot of optimism in Ann Arbor in 1997.  Three horrific seasons of single digit wins and a sort of uninspiring coach.  We knew the defense would be great but the offense…not so much.

And then what happened was pure poetry.  Truly.  Carr transformed himself into  an inspirational coach and employed a motivational tool using the guy that lost so much climbing Mt. Everest…This became a team that simply refused to lose.  Everyone wanted to keep moving the hammers…Woodson boiled the team’s goals down to two words: 
“Just Win”


Heading into the Iowa game at 5-0 after defeating #8 Colorado, Baylor, the domers, Indiana and the Purple Kitties, it looked like the defense was finally going to have a down day.  Giving up 21 points in the 2nd quarter (all on explosive – HUGE GAIN type plays), this guy thought it was over, down 21-7. 

Yep – no way to come back from that. 

But they did.  In atypical Michigan fashion.  Passing the ball.  Hanging around.  And a Sam Sword interception sealed the deal. 

Defense was winning games...  And I started to let myself believe…

And then everything was REALLY SEALED for me when the team went into East Lansing and more or less owned sparty, and this happened.  Yeah, still one of the best plays ever.


A HUGE Road Win of three really tough road games in a row (Sparty, the nittany kitty kats and Wiscy).  Was I a believer then?  I was getting there.  But I also knew that this team could rip your heart out as they really couldn’t play offense all that much.  But the defense!  Oh, that defense!

Michigan faced their 2nd hostile environment in Happy Valley.  This was to be the biggest “Test” to date.  The nittany lions were on a 12-game winning streak and were ranked #2.  Michigan was ranked #4, but everyone who was paying attention could see that Michigan was playing better than that.  A ROMP in Happy Valley moved Michigan to #1 in the AP.  And suddenly, people were talking about the Defense AND the Offense!

Wiscy ensued.  You can’t overlook Wiscy and Michigan took care of business IN MADISON and came home to face the suckeyes, and that became one of the most famous games in the history of “The Game”.

Boston and Woodson.  Woodson taking it all the way on a punt return.  Defensive guys playing offense!  Defensive stands (all day) and in the end, Michigan was on top.  And that was it.  Woodson would then rightfully win the Heisman as the most exciting

11-0

Only Washington State stood between Michigan and a National Title.

And we all know how that turned out…

So why the trip down 1997 Memory Lane?

Because I have all the same feelings this pre-season that I had that season.   Low expectations with a pretty good returning team and superstar type players and the dread that this team might face a let-down… somewhere.

Too many tough opponents.  Too many tough opponents on the ROAD.  A 12-game schedule that nobody should be able to run through undefeated. 

Yep, a lot of the same feelings. 

How good will they be on offense?  How many games can the defense keep us in? 

I think we all know the personnel at this point.  But let’s talk about some players anyway…

OFFENSE

QB – Looks like it’s going to be Patterson.  With only 2,226 passing yards (3rd lowest since 1990) 9 throwing TD’s (and 17 INT’s – 21 Turnovers TOTAL!)  last season more or less tell you that things can only be better at the QB position moving forward.  I mean, how on earth can it get any worse?   If Patterson looks half as good as he did at MSU in his frosh season, well, everyone could again be talking about the offense being as good as the defense. Fixing the turnover thing will help, too.

Backs & Receivers – Black is back.  That should be huge boost to the receiving core. DPJ should improve and Higdon and Evans will probably take most of the carries.  Gentry and McKeon at the tight-ends should be thrilled that Shea is chucking it to them.  I’m not too worried about this group assuming the next group below is back and improved. 

The Offensive Line These guys were used and abused for the better part of the last two seasons.  Drevno leaving should help the situation.  Warriner is reportedly well liked and the players seem to be responding to him.  Again, looking at some of the numbers from last season, it really is a question of how can it get any worse? 

Kickers – So, will the real Quinn Nordin return this season or are we stuck with the mentally challenged Nordin that finished the season?  Hopefully an off-season of head-cleaning and Nordin the Wild Thing is back.  As far as punting, Hart and Robins will hopefully improve.  But it’d be nice to not have to worry about the punter at all! 

DEFENSE

Let’s all agree that they are going to be good.  The Defense from 2016 carried over into 2017 and if there was ANY fall off, it was due to a lackluster offense being unable to stay on the field or support the Defense with a little bit of scoring.  Gary, Winnovich, Hudson, Bush, Galsgow, Long and Kinnel are the names you’ll hear.  And Don Brown has given me complete faith in his ability to coach the 3-3-5.  That’s all I’m gonna’ say about the D because they’re going to be AWESOME!

Speaking of Coaches

Harbaugh – Needs to do a lot of things better this season than he’s done in the past.  Game management HAS TO GET BETTER risk needs to be taken when you absolutely have to have a 1st down.  Again, offense can’t get much worse so we’ll see what happens.  I am a little nervous because we still don’t know who’s going to be calling the plays. 

Let’s look at the games!!!

Again – not an excuse, but Michigan plays 5 games that feature teams that will be ranked in the pre-season top 15.  Not only that, but I see the potential of 5 NIGHT GAMES in this schedule!!!! 

Jesus Tap-Dancin’ Christ On A Cracker!!!  That sound you heard was Bo “Toe Meets Leather at 1:00PM” Schembechler rolling over in his grave!
 
9-1-18   First Road Test:  The domers (early line +1.5)

The domers will be good this season.  They bounced back nicely last season and will have a good to great QB under center in Wimbush.  But it is the first game.  And Michigan is hungry.  And probably angrier than the domers.  Harbaugh will make the build-up to this game exactly what it needs to be.  And I have a feeling Michigan’s “re-booted” offense will be tricky for the domers to handle.  The domers will adjust by the 2nd half, but by then it might be too late.  I’m not going into superlatives and say this is a BIG GAME or this game sets the tone for the season…But this IS a BIG GAME and this game kind of sets the tone for the season. 

Michigan wins one for the ages…in a night game.

Michigan 28 – domers 26

9-8-18:  HOME Western Michigan

The broncos under Lester are NOT what they were on PJ Fleck.  They’re not bad, they’re just not the giant killers Fleck had produced and could incite into a fervor to beat the “Big Boys”.  Still, after what could be a big emotional victory in South Bend, the Broncos cannot be taken for granted.  However, I feel like Michigan is going to see a lot of the new “Blue” Endzones here

Michigan 42 – little horses 14

9-17-18:   HOME   SMU

More horses.  And new coaches.  Dykes will be in his first year at SMU and would like nothing more than to put a “big pelt” on his wall down in Texas.  I really don’t see the Mustangs coming up to Ann Arbor and pulling off the upset, but still, you can’t take anyone for granted.  The mustangs will have a couple of games to look at with respect to Michigan.  But, and this is important - Michigan will get to see SMU on film as well. 

Michigan 35 – bigger horses 10

9-22-18:  HOME Nebraska

This game scares me.  Frost believes he had a “better team” and were the “harder hitting team” when UCF came to the Big House and lost a couple of years ago.  Frost will have the cornhuskers ready.  But it’s still Michigan and it’s still the Big House for a reason.  I’m nervous picking this one…  the Huskers will be ready.  Big House night game, perhaps? 

Michigan 28 – cornsuckers 13

9-29-18:  At Northwestern

Again, when you haven’t dominated for a few seasons, all these games can look like disasters in the making.  The purple kitties will be a test and because it’s the 2nd road game, they could present problems.  If there’s one coach I have a lot of respect for its Fitzgerald.  He understands how big this game is.  The Purple Kitties will be ready, but it’ll be tough for them as Michigan’s D and revamped O will have 4 games under their belt…

Michigan 34 – Purple Kitties 17

10-6-18: HOME Maryland

This game is another one that bothers me because I’m worried about Maryland (not that much) but due to the fact that Michigan might be looking ahead to Wiscy, which will more than likely be undefeated.  If Michigan has already lost, not as much of an issue.  If they haven’t, after reviewing Wiscy’s schedule (they will have already faced the Cornhuskers), this could potentially be an undefeated showdown, distracting Michigan from the Terps.  THIS could be a close one….

Michigan 28 – Twiddling Twerps 13

10-13-18:  HOME Wisconsin

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I believe this will be the first “B1G” test of the season.  Chryst is a great coach and Wiscy is a good team that just re-loads season to season.  Wiscy will have had a couple of tricky tests with respect to Iowa - away – and everyone knows how difficult Kinnick can be, and Nebraska home, but I’m sure they’ll be favored in both.   I’m glad Wiscy is in the BIG HOUSE...

Michigan 24 – Wiscy 21

10-20-18:  at LNU

Assuming Michigan is undefeated at this point, LNU could be undefeated or easily sitting on 1-loss (LNU plays the week prior AT PSU).  The Wolverines could find themselves facing a pissed off LNU team and, as everyone knows, they think they own Michigan.  Look for a slobber knocker in East Lansing and Michigan starts setting the ledger straight and getting back on the right side of history.

Revenge is in the Air…Look for a potential night game here, also.

Michigan 35 – LNU 21

11-3-18:  HOME PSU

Michigan will be coming off either a very happy bye week or will have been upset in East Lansing looking for revenge.  I want to believe that this three-game “Murderer’s Row” is survivable, but the gambler in me says otherwise. In the last difficult test of the trifecta, we will have seen PSU and know a little bit more about what they’re capable of.  But losing 30% of your offensive production in Saquon Barkley has gotta’ hurt.  And whoever is home in the last few seasons seems to blow the other guy out.  History may not repeat itself, but it often rhymes…

Michigan 45 – nittany kitties 24

11-10-18:  At Rutgers

Chris Ash probably has the warmest seat of all the B1G coaches (well, maybe behind Lovie Smith) but he’s going to continue to get a bye due to the fact that he’s coaching the worst program in the toughest division in all of college football.  Keep your SEC West comments to yourself.  But Rutgers is still way behind Michigan when it comes to personnel.  Michigan can only beat itself in this game.  Granted, 78-0 is probably painted on a locker room or weight room wall somewhere

Michigan 42 – Rutgers 10

11-17-18:  HOME Indiana

Indiana was improving under Wilson but Allen is still somewhat of an unknown.  There’s an old adage from the 70’s that in order to win the Big 10, you “have to beat the ‘I’ schools – Indiana, Illinois, Iowa.  They used to all be gimmes but there’s no gimmes any more.  Well, maybe Rutgers.  Michigan at home with superior talent should hold serve heading to Columbus.

Michigan 31 – Indiana 13

11-24-18:  At the suckeyes

It’s been way too long since Michigan has owned the suckeyes.  Every Michigan fan now knows what it feels like to be on the other side of the “Cooper Era” when Michigan was 10-2 over Cooper’s 12 seasons.  I think the tide is about to change in this one.  Michigan should have won the last time they were in Columbus, and that’s going to come up a lot during practice week.  If these teams are both undefeated, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a night game here…

Michigan 24 – Suckeyes 21

12-0

12-1-18:  The B1G Championship

Michigan will visit Indianapolis for the first time since the B1G incorporated a Championship game in 2011.  This will be the 8th Championship Game, and it’ll be an interesting question as to who from the West will make it.  There’s a very good chance that Michigan could potentially be in a re-match with Northwestern or Wiscy.  And of course, Iowa is always a pain in the ass.  In any case, Michigan, undefeated, would be favored, but it’s SO HARD to beat a team twice in one season. 

This team can do it.   At night, no less!

Michigan 38 – IowaWiscyNorthwestern 27

13-0

Now, for the “Realistic Look” from Bill Connelly over at SB Nation:





Bill’s reads are in depth and little long, but they’re good.  The only problem I have with Bill’s information is that he uses metrics from the previous season and right now, the offense is impossible to project, with the exception to say, “It’s GOTTA’ BE BETTER!!!”   And again, those pesky turnovers…which usually have a way of evening themselves out year over year. 

Never the less, Bill is the best. And while he concedes that this might be the best Michigan Team Harbaugh’s had since he’s been in Ann Arbor, 5 “Top 15” games with three of those ranked teams on the road is a tall order for anyone…

Kind of like 1997????
 
The Rest of the Mess

Now it’s merely a question of who are the other 3 teams in the Final Four.  The Rest of the Mess may not be as interesting as usual over the regular season (oh who am I kidding – it’s going to be AWESOME!!!), I’ll keep this brief as I see I’m approaching 3,000 words, and that’s too long for ANYONE to read.

1.    Satan’s Warriors  - Really can’t pick against them as they are pre-season favorites in EVERY GAME THEY PLAY THIS SEASON.  The only thing that MIGHT happen is a Bulldog – Bama showdown in the SEC Title Game could have the Bulldogs in the Final Four vs. Bama.  So, take your pick of those two from the SEC.
2.    Clemson – Again, with that many defensive starters returning, how on EARTH can you pick against them?  They will be a tough and legitimate out for anyone that faces them.
3.    Michigan – as discussed above.
4.    The suckeyes.  In a repeat of last season, IF the suckeyes are undefeated up to the Michigan game and ranked #2 behind Bama, they’ll only drop to #4 (this assumes for a minute that Satan’s Warrior’s win the SEC) and the committee will have no choice but to include them in the play-off. 

The Big iiX will eat itself alive and no one will come out unscathed.  The Pac 12 doesn’t have a truly legitimate contender, but we’ll hear a lot about Washington and their 1 loss, probably.  

So, in the final match-ups:

Michigan vs. Clemson

Bama vs. the suckeyes

And if Michigan manages to clip the Tigers, beating either Satan or Urban Legend (the latter twice in one season) will be sweet.

15-0

15 games.  15 victories…

Can you believe?  Dare to Dream?

ETC

Being a kid that grew up dreaming of flying motorcycles over crap like Evel Knievel, well, this is too cool not to watch!!!  Travis Pastrana is a modern Dare Devil that’s known for doing a lot of crazy stunts including jumping out of an airplane without a parachute into a safety net from 20,000 feet.  Here, he recreates 3 of Evel’s most famous jumps including the leap over the Caesar’s Palace Fountains, the jump that nearly killed Evel and left him in the hospital for nearly two months.  Pastrana didn’t perform the jump with a modern jump bike, but instead used a 750 CC nostalgia Indian bike, making the jumps slightly more difficult and similar to the tech that Evel used.  Still cool to watch and see the jumps recreated “successfully”. 


Evel’s Failed Attempt

I guess he didn’t fail the attempt as much as he failed the landing.  If you watch the clip closely, he shorted the landing ramp with his rear tire by about a foot.  I always think about this whenever I’m considering any endeavor when “leaving it short” is WAY WORSE that over shooting or going long 

NEVER LEAVE IT SHORT OR COME UP SHORT!!!