Thursday, January 19, 2017

Bubbling Along...More Bubble Talk


I have to admit that I do love College Hoops…Maybe not as much as College Football, but once Football is over and there’s 4 teams left in the NFL play-offs, it’s either college hoops, NBA Hoops or Hockey for the sports fan.  I don’t start watching College Hockey until Michigan makes the NCAA Tourney and I don’t watch the NHL until the Wings make the 2nd round….I will occasionally tune in an NBA game just to see how good franchises other than the Pistons do it, but I’d rather watch the college game.  So unless you’re one of those nuts that counts down to the day when Pitchers and Catchers report…College Hoops it is!

(Which is February 14th, 25 days, 14 hours and 44 minutes away as of the penning of the post..)

Michigan did what they were supposed to do last Saturday and put Nebraska away handily.  I know, I know, they still stunk on defense, but they were able to outscore the Cornhuskers anyway.

At the Kohl Center in Wiscy on Tuesday night, Michigan couldn’t hold on to a 6 point lead with 6 minutes to go.  BUT, and that’s a BIG BUT, Michigan got completely and totally hosed by the refs.  I get a little riled up with College Football refereeing, but I REALLY, REALLY HATE IT when the refs blow simple calls in College Basketball…And the refs in the Wiscy game blew a lot of them…

For example, the out of bounds call on Michigan with less than a minute to go had Dakich openly asking, “Wait, What?  Uh, Where and when, exactly, was this out of bounds??”  (I apologize to the loyal readers hoping for a photo.  Scouring of the internet yielded nothing on this atrocity…But atrocities in college hoops abound on a nightly basis.  It is what it is.)

I’m really glad Michigan gets Dan Dakich as the color guy most of the time when Michigan is on ESPN.  He has a slight Michigan tilt (due to his kid being on the team) but I also think he respects the hell out of Beilein.  And I think he gets just as frustrated at the horrible calls as Coach and Michigan fans do.

But, winning on the road in the B1G is tough.  Wiscy was a 10 point favorite and will be much less of a favorite when they visit Ann Arbor.  Forgive me if this sounds familiar, Michigan is again in a must win situation on Saturday vs. the Illini at Crisler.  Gotta happen or things go down hill from this point forward pretty quickly. 

Back to Beilein.  I haven’t seen this much venom for a Michigan coach for quite some time.  I don’t get what people all of a sudden are saying about him as being anything “new” or revealing.  Look, Beilein’s approach is to find and recruit kids that can shoot, develop them and win the 3-point game.  I’m sorry if you don’t like that or you’d rather see a different brand of hoops.  My point is Beilein has been very successful at Michigan and when he gets the right personnel, his system works extraordinarily well.  On top of that:  IT’S A LOT OF DAMN FUN TO WATCH!!!

I will take a myriad of guys lighting up opponents for three vs. watching a team run some set plays down to a goon in the low post that scores two. 

I know what I like. 

And to the naysayers and the “Fire Beilein Brigade”, I simply ask, “Who you gonna’ get?”

Michigan will have to ask that question regarding Beilein soon enough, but I really hope they get someone very similar because I don’t want to go back to a boring, slow pace of play. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What's WRONG With Michigan Hoops?


What’s wrong with Michigan basketball?  Nothing and Everything. 
How’s that for an observation?
As I watched the Illinois game unfold last night, I started questioning and thinking abot what all the nay-sayers starts chirping about when I watch games with them.  The naysayers are frustrated with Michigan hoops for the following reasons:
Michigan doesn’t crash the boards
Michigan doesn’t play defense
Michigan lives by the three and dies by the three…
And so on.
And right now, all those frustrations are 100% accurate.  Michigan’s overall Defense and rebounding stinks.  And they’re shooting is atrocious….when compared to Michigan standards.
But what I have noticed a lot more of lately is that Michigan’s Seniors are NOT leading this team.  Not that Seniors have every really “Led” the Michigan Cagers.  Trey Burke only played two seasons and Stauskas lasted 3. They were both vocal and example setting leaders….
I want to focus on the group of Irvin, Walton and Donnal.  Granted, Donnal has been a non-factor and a Beilein project that never fully developed.  But Irvin and Walton have shown glimpses of greatness over the years.  Until this season.
I would have to say that it “seems” like Walton has regressed more than Irvin, and neither one seems to be leading the team when they’re on the court.  So what gives?  This team needs your guidance guys, even if it’s to convince someone else they have the ability to do more than they’re doing.  Encourage and build confidence in others to take the shot….
That’s a big problem with this team right now:  Who’s the leader on the floor?  I haven’t figured it out.  But a leader is desperately needed or else it’s no post season for the Maize and Blue.
Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble….
That’s what I was going to title this entry, but I was thinking that maybe it’s a little too early to start with the bubble talk.  However, a little analysis can either calm everyone’s nerves or make us start sweating. 
Michigan needs to figure some things out and really start hitting some threes.  But one more B1G loss and it’s going to be hard to see a path to the Dance.  1-3 is bad….But survivable.   If they can win the next one, 2-3 at least gives you something to work with. 
1-4 with 13 games left to play is nearly impossible.  That would mean that Michigan needs to go 10-3 or at worst, 9-4 and do a lot of B1G Tournament damage.  Or win the damn Tourney….In other words, Michigan needs a win RIGHT NOW.  NEXT GAME.  Unfortunately, a red-hot Nebraska comes to Chrysler Saturday and winning that one will  be easier said than done.
I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, either.  Bielien has technically won a National Title as Louisville should have vacated the 2013 Title after Prostitute Gate.  So, that’s a big deal and should lock you into the head coaching job at Michigan for as long as you want it, assuming you keep your program above board and clean.
Let’s just stop with the talk that Beilein can’t get it done.  JB is the guy for Michigan.
‘Nuff Said on that…
But back to this Bubble talk.  After reviewing the schedule and with the funk that Michigan’s in right now, The Bubble is unfortunately all too real as 7 of Michigan’s last 9 games are against teams that are in the top of the standings. 
Okay…Sweat now.  It’s Bubble time…

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wrapping Up 2016 - Clemson Is King of the World!!!


Every Clemson Fan at 1:00 AM Tuesday morning:



Oh, what am I saying: The state of South Carolina will be drunk through the weekend with this victory!  At least the South Carolina Fans that root for Clemson. 

In what can only be described as a game for the ages, Clemson pulled off one of the most remarkable 4th quarters in its football history, on the Grandest Stage. In the last seconds.  And they did it against what has been described as the best defense that Satan has ever put together.  If you didn’t stay up for the entirety, no worries.  I’m sure ESPN will be re-running this one for quite some time.  And you really don’t need to see the first 3 quarters, just tune into the 4th quarter and hang on to your seat.

I have to admit that I was pulling hard for Clemson in this one.  Part of me just couldn’t bear the thought of another offseason of having to listen to the superiority of Cheatin’ Satan and the Crimson Tide’s utter dominance of the collegiate football game.  If Mark Emmert (president and loyal confidante of Satan) had any stones, there would be a standing investigation into the University of Alabama at all times…

But I digress…

This should be a celebration of Clemson’s accomplishment and an acknowledgement that Dabo Swinney now has to be considered one of the top 5 coaches in all of college football. 

Dabo’s favorite “Row the Boat” Saying is “Bring Your Own Guts”.  And Watson did.  Watson impressed the hell out of me last night in a way that he hadn’t done since last season.  Mike Williams was also a beast and where ever he ends up playing on Sunday, I guarantee you the QB of that NFL team will be grateful they drafted him.  I really thought it was over when Clemson only had 2:00 to get to field goal range or score the winning TD.  I just figured they crumble under the pressure.  But Watson told the huddle “Let’s be Legendary!”  Man, I really have to take my hat off to that kid for having the guts to say THAT in the huddle.  Not “We got this” or “Let’s do this” 

“Let’s be Legendary!”

And they were!  Watson drove down the field against a depleted Bama defense that was cheating as much as possible.  And they even got a flag late which put Clemson 1st and goal at the 2 with 6 seconds left.  And while every Bama fan on Finebaum will be whining about the receiver pick on the defender that wasn’t called, the play was pretty clean and Watson hit Renfrow (Who IS that little dude, anyway?) for the winning TD. 

“Let’s Be Legendary!”  You can bet that’ll be on a t-shirt or a big plaque somewhere on Clemson’s Athletic Campus.  And if Dabo doesn’t use that for the rest of his coaching career to inspire players…Well, I’m sure he will.

I think Clemson finally showed up ready to play and they proved to the Nation that they belonged.  (And I for one, wasn’t entirely sure given the loss to Pitt and near miss to NC State).

But it just goes to show you that the margins or edge that these teams in the top 10 in the country can be pretty slim on any given day.  If there was a re-match next week, Bama has just as good of a shot at beating Clemson by two scores…That’s just the way it is right now in College Football.  Play the full 60 minutes.  Don’t give up and execute to the very last second. 

A few are out there arguing that this is the end of Bama and Satan’s own hubris (firing Kiffin before the Championship) is what brought and will continue to bring him down…These are clearly people that do NOT understand what motivates and drives Nick Satan.  He will be back with a vengeance next season.  I pity the teams in the SEC.  They really don’t stand a chance…

Early betting lines are out and of course, Bama is on top with the entire cast from last night returning, for the most part.  A Complete list of odds:


Bama                          3:1 (Who else?)

FSU                            8:1 (Get this, but Jimbo really let fans down this season)

Oklahoma                  8:1 (I don’t get this.  Every year someone must lose a lot of money on the Sooners)

Suckeyes                  8:1 (Don’t get this one either.  They weren’t that good this year)

USC                           8:1  (This one, I get)

Louisville                   10:1 (This seems a little high….)

Michigan                   12:1 (This seems a LOT HIGH due to who Michigan is losing…)

LSU                            12:1  (Ditto.  LSU losing a lot of talent this year)

Clemson                    20:1 (Seems appropriate.  Can Dabo do what Meyer did this year?)



Funny how the odds of winning a National Title seem to follow great coaching.  If I had to rank or pick a top 5, The MMQ’s list would be (These would be coaches that if I had to trade for, I guess I could and not feel terrible about the deal, from a pure talent and ability perspective):

  1. Tie:  Swinney - Satan
  2. Tie:  Satan - Swinney
  3. Tie:Harbaugh – Meyer
  4. Tie:  Meyer-Harbaugh
  5. David Shaw

And because some of you are going to bitch at me and say, “What - Where's "no D" Antonio?”, here’s the next 5:

  1.  Petersen
  2. Jimbo Fisher
  3. Kirby Smart
  4. Mike Gundy
  5. Paul Chryst….Hmmm…Maybe Antonio ISN’T in my Top 10…

I only put Swinney on top today because he just beat his nemesis and also blanked Meyer in the game right before that.  That’s saying something….And he’s still pretty young.  Could he be the one to command the next dynasty?  Who knows!!!

Hot Seat Mascot!

The VOTE IS IN!!!

Jade Bryce will adorn the MMQ side bar for the upcoming Basketball and Hoops Season!!!!

 




ZAPPED List

We’ll keep track of who’s gone as the season progresses….

  1. Miles and Cameron – LSU Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. 
  2. VanGorder – Domer D-Coordinator. 
  3. Ron Turner – FIU. 
  4. Hazell PURDUE!
  5. Tim DeRuyter – Fresno State. 
  6. Charlie STRONG- Texas. 
  7. Helfrich Oregon.  Saw it coming….
  8. Kevin Wilson – Indiana.   Yes – this one surprised me but related to Player Safety and other issues.  I know, not on the Hot Seat List…..
  9. Tracy Claeys – Minnesota.  This was a must fire situation after the Title IX report was made public.
  10. Sonny Dykes – California.  Making room for Chip Kelly???
     
    Electric Chair of Death Seat!

  1. Kelly and $warbuck$ - Till Next Season!!!

The Hot Seat – Beginning Next Season!!!

  1. Rich Rod – Arizona. 
  2. Todd Graham – ASU
  3. Malzhan – Auburn
  4. Butch Jones – Cremesicles. 
  5. Sumlin  Texas A&M
  6. Muschamp – South Carolina 
  7. Mike Riley – Nebraska
  8. Kirby Smart – Georgia.
  9. ANTONIO, MARK – Sparty

Short List of Available or Desirable Head Coaches

  1. Chip Kelly – You can BET that he’ll be back in college, just like Pete Carrol and Nick Satan!!!  Will be a great hire for someone.
  2. Les Miles AVAILABLE FOR HIRE.  No one is beating his door down, however.
  3. Mike Leach – The Pac 12 is taking notice!!!  I just see Leach at a bigger program eventually.
     
     
    And all the latest HIRED Coaches of HOPE and CHANGE!!
     

  1.  LSU – Ogeron!  Aleva figures as long as he’s paying Miles, he can’t afford another $5M Coach.  He’ll stumble along with Coach O, but if Coach O falters in 2 seasons, he’ll be out of a job!
  2. Texas – HERMANN!  Did anyone not see this one coming?  Than you haven’t been reading the MMQ!
  3. Jeff Brohm – Purdue.  Didn’t see this one coming. 
  4. Matt Ruhle – Baylor.  Former Temple Head Coach
  5. Willie Taggart – Oregon!  AS the MMQ predicted!!!!
  6. Charlie Strong – USF.  Replaces Taggart
  7. Indiana – Tom Allen – Never heard of him…..
  8. Cincinnati – Luke Fickell.  Goodbye suckeyes….
  9. Houston – Major Applewhite.  Not a surprising hire, but can he be a head coach?
  10. Temple – Geoff Collins.   Gators Defensive Coordinator…
  11. UConn – Randy Edsall.  Whatever…it’s Uconn…
  12. FAU – Lane Kiffin.  Good Luck with that….
  13. FIU – Butch Davis.  Guess he was tired of his gig on Sirius XM
  14. Fresno State – Jeff Tedord.  Step down from California Bears….
  15. WKU – Mike Sanford
  16. San Jose State – Brent Brennan
  17. Nevada  - Jay Norvell
  18. Georgia State – Shawn Elliot
  19. PJ Fleck – Minnesota.  Should work out well.
  20.  Jake Spivatal (?)  - California.  Interview in process….Why no C. Kelly?

The MMQ and FMQ (Don’t want to talk about it!) will return!

The MMPG!!!

AS you know, I’ll be posting a bunch in the near future.  However, in case you don’t have twitter or can’t follow on the side bar, JB pulled a fast one on Andrew Dockich during film session yesterday!!!



Classic!!!

Friday, January 6, 2017

PJ Rowing the Boat to Minnesota! Could LESS Actually Be MORE???


This Just In:  PJ Fleck is Rowing the Boat across Lake Michigan to Minneapolis to assume same position for the University of Minnesota.


I haven’t commented at length on any of the hires this season (with the exception of maybe Taggart to Oregon – which I thought was a great move) and I do think Minnesota has made a great hire in PJ Fleck.  Purdue’s hiring of Brohm and Indiana’s hiring of Allen left me kind of “Meh”.  This one doesn’t.  Someone from the B1G finally figured out that hiring an up and coming coach from the MAC that kind of owned your Division (with wins over Northwestern and Illinois) makes sense!

As everyone knows, in 4 years, Fleck went from 1-11 in his first season at Western to this year’s perfect regular season and a respectable Cotton Bowl appearance. 

That’s saying something for the once MAC doormat WMU Broncos.  CMU has always been the “better” MAC football school in Michigan and seemed to draw better coaches and talent than either Western or Eastern.  Western and Fleck found each other and it worked out very well for both parties. 

The question is:  Can Fleck enter into the hemorrhaging disaster of Gopherland Athletics, Politics and overall strife and dismay and get everyone on board with his way of thinking?  It starts with attitude and building character, something that Fleck seems to do pretty well.  I just wonder if he knows how bad it is right now in the Twin Cities. Don’t get me wrong:  Basketball, Hockey and apparently gymnastics are all doing very well. 

But everyone knows its football that pays the bills and right now, Gopherball is under a lot of scrutiny.

Unfortunately, WMU trademarked the Row the Boat mantra which Fleck kind of copied from former Rutgers Head Coach “Chop the Wood” Schiano who used that mantra while Fleck was on his staff at Rutgers.

So on an MMQ lighter note…

Ski-U-Mah might actually become the “thing” again at Minnesota or maybe there’s something else that Fleck comes up with to keep the focus on the tasks at hand.

Hmmmm….Gophers, Gophers, Gophers….Maybe “Keep Digging the Hole?”  No….Wrong message.  “Gnaw or Chew the Wood?”  Nope, nope, nope…that sounds like a really bad strip club slogan  I guess we’ll just let Fleck and Goldy think on it awhile and I’m sure they’ll come up with something!

Could Less Be More?

I came across an article in Bloomberg News talking about small universities and the struggles they have in College Football.  While it’s not a new revelation – I think all small to mid-major D-1 programs struggle with the costs and headaches associated with college football – one of the things that New Mexico State University is considering is very new AND interesting to me.

NMSU, by choice, will televise LESS GAMES for the next 2-3 seasons.

Why?  To increase fan interest in returning to the stadiums and selling more tickets to generate revenue.

NMSU doesn’t get that much money from TV.  So the experiment makes a lot of sense, in a way, for NMSU.  …..Here’s an excerpt from the article:


One athletic director, in little Las Cruces, N.M., is trying to rebalance the scales. For the next couple of years, Mario Moccia plans to do all he can to keep the New Mexico State University Aggies off TV. Think of it like an NFL broadcast blackout.

“I’m choosing not to do damage to myself,” Moccia said. He suspects more people will come to the games if they can’t watch from home and the school will make up any lost revenue at the gate. Only 5 percent of the Aggies' $29 million annual athletic budget comes from TV, and Moccia figures it’s worth experimenting.

It's hard to overstate how unusual Moccia is. The pursuit of TV money has led programs and conferences to make all kinds of concessions, and while that might make short-term sense -- media money is guaranteed, ticket sales are not -- it threatens to irritate and alienate the fan base over the long term. In the Pac-12 Conference, for example, broadcasters adjust the kickoff times for schools six to 12 days in advance, often to the frustration of ticket-holders. The Mid-American Conference, a league of schools on par with NMSU, agreed in its deal with ESPN to play football on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, conscious that the games would draw smaller crowds.

A large college program wouldn’t benefit from this tactic due to the fact that there’s SO MUCH TV money

Or would they?

Whenever I see something like this the Ole MMQ’s brain starts to turn things over in his head and consider the possibilities of what could be…Always see both sides.

A little background and the fragile mindset of the casual fan:   As season ticket holders, we received our preferred seat donation request right before the holidays via E-mail and also received the paper copy right after the holiday. 

To give you an idea of how much the PSD is, here’s a list:

Seating Tier                         PSD

Victors                                    $630

Valiant                                   $500

Maize                                     $370

Blue                                        $210

End Zone                              $78

Outdoor Club #1                  $3,255

Outdoor Club #2                  $2,440

Outdoor Club #3                  $1,630

Westisde Chair Back 1       $2,205

Westside Chair Back 2       $1,340

Indoor Club                           $4,000

That’s per TICKET.  So, if you have two, multiply by 2, or 3, 4 etc.  Maff is easy!

And don’t forget you still gotta buy the tix…So add another $600 per ticket or so on to that total.

So, when I look at the ole MMQ entertainment budget, I’m certainly happy that I’m in the End Zone and I’m the lowest price PSD up there.  My boss has 4 in the Maize section and he was just in my office ranting about how much his total cost is and that he would probably be “giving them up” when he retires due to the fact that he sells most of his tickets now and prefers to watch on TV. 

But what if Michigan WASN’T on TV every week? 

So I asked him, “If Michigan wasn’t on TV, would you go to more games?”

“Now that they’re good again, probably.  Yes.  It would be worth the effort.”

See where I’m going here?  Michigan has a lot of fans that are on the cusp of how much of their entertainment dollar they want to spend on Michigan games. (And Remember – there’s no waiting list at Michigan anymore!) And it’s not just the tix…Parking, tailgating, everything adds up.  When I do some serious soul searching, I realize that I could be doing other stuff with that dough as well…Like helping to pay for my daughters’ college tuitions for the next 4 to 6 years. 

But what if, and I’m spit-balling here, the University of Michigan decided that two home games a season wouldn’t be televised?  Would that create the following:

  1. More demand and a higher price from the networks that would want to get Michigan on their network for the remaining 4 home games?  Probably.  If we assume for a minute that Michigan COULD do this (basically break their contracts) and ultimately create a bidding war for the right to air their home games, my guess is you could get just as much revenue from 4 televised games as you would from 6 televised games.  Maybe more!
  2. The ticket DEMAND for those two home games (even if it’s frickin’ Hawaii) would soar.  Meaning that if an average fan wanted to sell his tix and try to make a little extra scratch, well, the opportunity to do that with a crappy game.  And justify the investment every season.
  3. Selfish Reason:  The dream of a home game without TV timeouts would be alive!!!  Do you know how much I would love to attend good old fashioned game without TV TIMEOUTS!!!????
  4. And Michigan would have better attendance at those two games and sell more concessions, etc.

I guess what I’m asking is:  Could LESS actually be MORE?

Is there an argument where not being on TV could raise interest for local fans?  I get that you’re going to piss off a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE that don’t live in the state that have grown used to tuning in and catching their alma mater on the tube every week.  That’s an issue that needs to be thought through….

I’d love to see my season tickets be worth more than what I’m spending for them is what I’m saying.

Where’s all this going?  As the big boys get bigger, the little guys are realizing that there’s no way to keep up.  So instead of being “fodder” for ESPN “The Ocho”, their keeping their content private and away from the media...In order to generate more revenue.