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….
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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?
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!
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!