Monday, July 11, 2016

And He's BAAAACK!!!!!!

While it’s still way too early for a 2016 Pre-Season Spectacular, there’s been a lot going on in the news lately and I figured, “Gosh darn it, I’ve been gone long enough!  Time to put fingers to the keyboard and see what comes out….”

So, while I’ve missed countless news stories, events, Harbaugh news items (I think JH averages 1 news item a day) and God only knows what else, I’ll see if I can’t sum everything up from the time I took off blogging till now.  But in an extremely short, succinct fashion.

A Michigan school lost to 15th seeded Middle Tennessee State in this year’s NCAA tournament.  I’m not saying that’s embarrassing, but….Aw, Hell, let’s just say it:

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAAA!!!! 

Yep!  It’s embarrassing and it’ll never get old! 

I love the fact that Sparty is now in a class of approximately 7 Universities that have lost as a 2 seed since the tourney was increased to 64 teams.  Sparty shares the air with some big names, so I guess you could say it could happen to anyone.  I’m just tickled it happened to Sparty!!!

Harbaugh pissed some people off.  I believe when Michigan hired him I stated that he’s an Asshole, but he’s OUR KIND of Asshole.  In that sense, Harbaugh has NOT LET US DOWN!!!!

Harbaugh’s first season was a rocky but successful one yet Michigan has still not defeated their Arch Rival and have yet to put Little Brother back in his place.  I’ll take the 10 wins.  But I can’t wait for this season and the opportunity to avenge so many, many wrongs that have transpired over the last few years!

Did I mention that Harbaugh pissed some people off?  And also made other newsy type people look like complete dolts (Finebaum, Dodd and others) for coming out AGAINST satellite camps and giving the smaller D1 schools a chance to look at players while visiting the larger D1 camps.  What really cracked me up?  The NCAA, and this shouldn’t have surprised anyone, came out against the satellite camps once they “felt” that they were somehow being abused by Harbaugh.  And this speedy ruling was led by the MAN himself, Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA. 

And was immediately overturned by the oversight committee and University Chancellors.

And camps are back and Harbs looks like a Hero-Genius for wanting to do the right thing for all the players of this great game of football.

What’s funny is the SEC coaches were doing all the bitching and complaining and Emmert saw to it that this villain of college football (Harbs) be dealt with quickly and any of the illegal activities that he was conducting be squashed like a bug.  But cooler heads prevailed and yet there’s no talk of Emmert resigning his post, even though he was clearly WRONG and did not have the greater good of the Sudent Athlete in mind. 

 IF THERE’S EVER ANYTHING FISHY THAT COMES OUT OF THE NCAA THAT SEEMS TO FAVOR THE SEC, THIS IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW:

When in doubt, remember this:  Mark Emmert was the Chancellor at LSU and he’s the guy that originally hired Satan away from MSU.  Emmert and Satan are very good friends and talk often.  They still visit each other regularly with their families and have done so since they were both at LSU. 

Have I ever mentioned in this blog or in person that I hate the hypocrisy of the NCAA and what they stand for?  That a big part of the reason that I hate schools like Bama, LSU and Ole Miss is that they routinely cheat and never, ever get caught and punished for cheating?  That the NCAA is essentially a con game; a way to collect and distribute money that in no way has the best interest of the student athlete in mind, but rather has the interest of the large universities that pay the bills in mind whenever they make a decision….Sigh…If I have mentioned, sorry for mentioning it again.

 PSU is back in the news cycle.  OR should I say, Joe Pa, may he rest in peace, someday, is back in the news cycle.  Hatin’ on Joe is back in vogue with one sentence in a written deposition that tries to pin everything on him.  I quote, “a child allegedly reported to PSU’s head coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky” in 1976.  Some 40 years ago.  Granted, the insurance company is just doing their job.  Trying to show the judge and everyone in the judicial system that PSU was negligent 40 years ago and therefore, the insurance company is off the hook and everything is on PSU and their internal system failures. 

This deposition statement (and that’s all the detail there was) just doesn’t pass the sniff test for oh so many reasons….How does a child get an audience with the Head Football Coach at PSU?  How does that child even enter into that conversation if he was in fact molested?  If the kid has figured out that he’s been molested and is ready to talk to someone, ANYONE, why doesn’t that child go first to his parents or some other authority and tell his tale vs. going to the head coach and telling him about the encounter?  Because the head coach would be more accessible and easier to talk to?

Somebody’s lying here.  In a sworn deposition to the court.  I’m not saying the above didn’t happen, I’m just saying that as a gambler, I’d be a lot more inclined to bet that this DIDN’T happen vs. that it DID happen.  The meeting with Joe.  I’m not saying a child couldn’t have been molested in 1976.  I actually kind of believe that.    

I guess what really grinds my stones is that it’s a great big fight to determine who’s on the hook to pay all this money to the real victims.  And that’s a shame.  PSU and the insurance company both ought to take a long hard look in the mirror and figure out a way to get through this mess quietly and without dragging the Paterno name and the PSU name through the mud anymore. 

What happened was criminal.  That particular individual is paying for that with his life for the next 30-60 years behind bars (and for some people, that’s not nearly enough punishment for this individual).  The guy he reported to that may or may not have been complacent in letting the perpetrator get away with this crime for years has passed away.  Other people who were considered negligent in the process are still waiting for their criminal trial(s).  PSU (the institution) has paid the monetary penalty ($60M), damages to victims (undisclosed) and also suffered through several seasons with post season bans and the loss of scholarships.  So, to all the renewed voices, haters and general fans that want to see the PSU name and institution scrubbed from the face of the Earth and stricken from all the history books (and I get it – it was a heinous crime.  As cringe-worthy as they come):

Let it go. Just let it go.

Let PSU become great again and stop wanting to destroy an institution that has done a lot more good than this harm would lead you to believe.  It’s over.  We need to assist the victims, get them made whole, and move on.  Continuing to bring this story up every couple of years or so is not doing anyone any good. 

Michigan Women’s Softball clinched another out right B1G Championship on Saturday.  I think they had actually won it before the Rutgers game, but Saturday sealed the deal.  I believe there was a scenario where the Golden Gophers could have won out and Michigan would have needed to lose 3 to Rutgers (Wasn’t going to happen) and there could have been a tie for the B1G?  Anyway, congrats to the Soft Ballers and Hutch on 9 STRAIGHT B1G TITLES!!!!  I doubt that a similar accomplishment in NCAA softball will ever be achieved again.  History has been made.

Unfortunately, the Michigan Softballers couldn’t get the job done at the CSWS where they came up just ever so short in securing another National Title!  Gotta score runs to win ladies!  Nevertheless, it was a great season and I’ll miss a lot of those players! 

John Belien did the best he could with what he had to work with this past hoops season.  I’m still excited for next year, but it’s going to be weird (and really, REALLY hard) watching Spike Albrecht in a Purdue jersey next season.  Something about that just doesn’t’ seem right.  And it’ll probably make me a little ill….

 The Big XII recently paid BIG MONEY to a research/consulting firm that more or less told them the same thing all of my loyal readers and I could have told them for a couple of pitchers of beer and some simple math on a bar napkin: 

The Big XII has a 10-15% better chance of making the 4-Team College Football Play-Off if they have two more members and a Conference Championship game.

…Duh…

When I see stuff like this it really, really makes me sad to think that there’s people in charge of stuff for no other reason than they happened to be around when someone needed to be put in charge of stuff.  If I’m a president or AD at one of the Big XII universities I’m seriously questioning the conference commish Bowlsby and wondering why in the hell he’s in charge and spending our money foolishly on such nonsense. 

Anyway, The MMQ is here to tell you everything you need to know about Big XII expansion (AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN) in several easy to follow bullet points that will assist you in ANY discussion that comes up regarding the idiocy that seems to continuously surround this issue.

1.     Texas is very happy with the current arrangement that they have with the Big XII and the LHN (LongHorn Network – ESPN based).  First, they get an equal share of all revenue generated by the Big XII (something on the order of $10-$15M/year).  Second:  They will collect $300M over the next 20 years from ESPN on the LHN deal, and it’s back loaded.  So UT’s only getting around $10M/year now and they will get more as time marches forward.  Yes, the LHN (ESPN) is losing money.  Lots of money.  Due to the un-recovered high launch costs and the paltry amount they charge per household ($3.50 in Texas, $0.29 outside of Texas) with somewhere between 6M and 12M households that are buying it (ESPN claims 20M subscribers…..and admits that number is falling) - they’re losing somewhere between $7M to $13M annually, for a total loss of $50M+ since the network was launched.  Add to that the lack of watchable content for a 24 hour day cycle which often shows UT women’s field hockey, UT women’s tennis, and back to back re-airings of the National Title game against USC and actual viewership is not measurable.  Therefore, ESPN can’t sell advertising, and what they do sell they can’t charge a lot for.  Doesn’t matter.  ESPN is paying UT and UT is Happy.  Result:  Nothing will happen in the Big XII until UT decides it needs to happen.  Unless ESPN reneges on the deal as the losses continue to mount….which, it could happen.  Just not today.  (Ironic note:  Same article I pulled LHN data from cites that both Mizzou and TA&M will make $5M-$7M more per year from the SEC Network than UT and will be seen in 65M households, which adds to recruiting and brand recognition.  If that isn’t a slap in the face, I don’t know what is.)  But, barring a collapse of the LHN, Texas isn’t going anywhere. 

2.    The only other Big XII player, Oklahoma, is at war with itself.  The Prez wants expansion and the regents don’t want to bring in a “lesser” member and have to dilute the pie even more.  Meaning:  Any University that Oklahoma thinks is good enough for the Big XII probably figures they have just as good a shot at joining the PAC, B1G, SEC or ACC.  So why look at the Big XII?  Currently, only UT has a stadium with over 100K.  Oklahoma is 80K.  Everyone else in the Big XII drops down to below 70K with Baylor and TCU being the smallest (I think) at 45K.  The most realistic candidate, Memphis, lacks the “Increased footprint” appeal that the rest of the BigXII desires, even though their stadium size (60K) and enrollment (20K) sort of qualify them for inclusion.

3.    In addition, Oklahoma has an Okie State problem.  IF (big “if”) Oklahoma would get an invite from someone – ANYONE – they probably have to bring Okie State and the smaller revenue/brand that they generate along with them or face the wrath of T. Boone Pickens and the governing body of Oklahoma.  That’s not going to sit well with any conference.  And don’t forget that Oklahoma is still NOT AAU accredited (at least to my knowledge) which more or less immediately rules out the B1G and the ACC (Except that the B1G did take a non AAU Nebraska)…Leaving the SEC and the PAC.  Granted, the best move forward for the B1G (After a Norte Dame/Texas combo) would be Oklahoma and Kansas, probably, and tell Okie State to pound sand.  Which I think Oklahoma would do and thumb their collective noses at anything the state guv of Oklahoma would take away from them.  And the B1G is the one conference with that kind of power.  The B1G really wanted Maryland and North Carolina in the last adder, but settled for Rutgers once UNC threatened it’s “big-little private brother Duke” with leaving tobacco road and taking the rivalry with them and also going with fellow power ACC school Maryland.  Duke gave up some control and UNC got a little more ACC control out of that deal.  You’re welcome, Tar Heels.

4.    Possible candidates that are constantly thrown around for Big XII inclusion (kind of in order depending on who you read and trust – and the guys I read and trust nailed WVU to the Big XII and Maryland and Rutgers to the B1G):  Memphis, Houston, Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, Colorado State, UConn….But again, while this would help expand the Big XII footprint, some of these schools have to ask themselves, “Do I really want to join a conference that could potentially go the way of the SWC and Big East in 10 years, if one of two power schools leave???”  Granted, I believe that most, if not all, of these schools would jump at a Big XII Power 5 Conference offer, but should they?  Think of the famous Groucho Marx quote, “I don’t think I want to join a club that would have me as a member.”  Immediate contradictory thought:  If the Big XII were to make a REALLY BOLD MOVE and add ALL 6 teams (taking them to 16) that included everyone listed above in order to create more content and a truly national footprint, well…then Big XII expansion MIGHT happen.  And frankly, that’s probably the best way to do it.  That would be a 60% content increase in a conference that is starving for relevant content when it comes to TV rights negotiations.  That would be a lot of wheeling and dealing to pull off, and I just don’t think Bowlsby has the chutzpah to make it happen.  But then again, I was in the original camp that Harbaugh wasn’t coming….so there’s that. 

5.    Re-read the first paragraph of this Big XII summary and the answer lies in the Consultant’s advice, it’s just not obvious because it’s the opposite side of the coin. Instead of “adding members” in order to have a conference play-off, the Big XII should hang on to their “advantage” of having to play one less game annually.  And they would be much better off fighting City Hall and the “4-Team Playoff”.  Meaning:  Force the CFP to expand to at least 6 games in order to include an automatic bid to all the Power 5 conferences and one at large bid.  But City Hall includes the Big Bowls as the addition of two teams to the CFP will “probably” result in a home play-in game(s) at the stadium of the team having the better record or higher rank.  And you can bet that the Bowls will fight that with everything they can throw at it because the first time it happens and everyone sees the fan attendance and atmosphere that a “home play-off” game generates, you can bet that the semi-final teams (Money Grubbing AD’s) will be screaming to play the semi-final games at home as well. 

So there you have it.  In a nutshell:  In the MMQ’s humble opinion, Big XII expansion won’t happen anytime soon.  But, maybe CFP expansion happens sooner than we think!  I also don’t think Texas or Oklahoma are bolting for another conference, not immediately, anyway.  CFP expansion to 6 teams is more of a reality than Big XII expansion.  I originally said it would take 10 years for the CFP to go to 6 teams and that time table would only accelerate if the B1G or the SEC were left out of the play-off for multiple seasons in a row.  But I think the CFP Committee is slightly wiser than we give them credit for and they know where the viewers eyes are (and are not), not to mention the money.  With the Big XII getting left out repeatedly, there’s just not quite enough anger and angst to move the needle to expand to 6 teams.  And that suits the other Power 4 conferences just fine.

Getting ahead of myself (should save this for the Pres-Season Spectacular):  Michigan is 7:1 odds of winning a National Title in Football this season (Alabama is the favorite at 5:1).  Which puts Michigan at Number 2.  Does the FMQ (recall the gambling version of the MMQ) agree with this?  Well, I WOULD have grabbed 15:1 or 20:1 odds that Michigan opened with only because I thought Michigan would end up ranked in the top 10 at the end of this season.   7:1?  Nuh-uh….Not even if you were letting me bet with your money.  I mean, yes, I think Michigan will be a very good team and the pre-season will go into why but winning a NC in Jimmy’s 2nd season?  With the luck you need and the chance of losing any game at any time in college football it’s just hard to predict…..but wow….Hmmmmmm….I’m dreamin’ and I’m believin’ and that NC would just be SLAPPY!!!!

The Domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) are Back on The Schedule for 2018-19.  Away and Home. Frist:  An acknowledgement to mgoblue.com for a wonderful collection of memories of the Michigan-Domer series.  Here’s the link:


Arkansas gone and Michigan has to pay $2M for the right to dump the Razorbacks meaning everyone believes there’s more money to be made with a Domer Game that will cover that buyout.  So, okay.  I’ll go with the good first:  Even though I gripe about hating these guys (and I do – more on that in a minute) I guess I’m glad to see the Domers back on the schedule so Michigan can go back to routinely pounding them mercilessly and killing their dreams early in the season.  That’s about it on the good….

The Bad list is somewhat more compelling:  First, the odd years of season Tix just got that much better for two huge gaffes by Brandon and now I’ll say Manuel:  Sparty, The Suckeyes, and the Domers are all in the same season leaving 4 or 5 homegames that will pale in comparison!  Unfortunately, the even year season tix just look sick without any decent B1G game or Non-Con opponent.  Let’s give Ward a little more time, but he needs to fix that and quick. 

Bad Item #2.  2018 is early in the season at the domers (September 1), but the Home game is right in the middle of the B1G season on October 26th!!!!  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!  I’m not sure why Michigan accommodated the domers – the Arkansas game was scheduled for September, but Michigan felt it was necessary to make the move and put the domers right in the middle of the B1G season.  Kind of a slap in the face to the B1G, but maybe they had it coming anyway for screwing Michigan’s odd year season schedule…Dunno

Bad Item #3:  This one is ticky-tack, but if I had been Ward, I would have wanted that last home game imbalance back for the indignity that the Domers had the audacity to walk away from Michigan with.  I’m sure Ward tried, but there’s no way Swarbucks was going to let that happen – not on his watch.  And I doubt there will ever be an early out clause in any contract between the two schools ever again.  You’ll see a lot of this in the future – two game deals that waste a lot of lawyer’s time and money….but then you’re protected, I guess.

And yes, I hate the Domers…I know I’ve penned it before, but the days of my formative youth where you spent the end of summer reading every little thing you could get your hands on about the upcoming season of promise and hope only to have it upended by the domers is probably what did it for me.  I mean, Michigan always beat Sparty; it never an issue and the Suckeyes was a coin flip.  Yes,  I hate them both, too.  But beating or not beating the Domers was huge.  I remember sanding and painting the bottom of the ole Chris Craft with the Old Man on a September afternoon in 1978 and listening as Ufer painfully announced the 51 yard Figgie that was good at the end of the game to beat Michigan…To Hell With Harry Oliver. Then in 1982, Steve Smith and AC went to south Bend to play in a night game that I had to listen to on the radio while I was driving the family home from a wedding in Kokomo, Indiana.  Best part of the evening was driving right by South Bend and seeing the lights on.  Worst part:  Michigan lost and there were iffy calls throughout the game….Yes, I hate the Domers.  For ruining promising seasons, their hypocritical nature and all the catholics that seem to side with the domers for no other reason than they’re a catholic school….

Anything I missed?  I don’t know how the College Sports world managed without me all this time!   I’m finally back to restore order and make sense of everything goofy!

Or not….

Monday, October 12, 2015

Do I Dare? I MUST Be Nuts.....

Where have I been?

What am I thinking?
Did ANYONE see this coming?????

WHO’S GOT IT BETTER THAN US????
Let’s answer them in reverse order: 

NOBODY!!!!!
Secondly, no one, not I, not even the slappiest of slappies saw this coming.  And I don’t mean I couldn’t have “envisioned” 5-1.  In fact, if I had gotten around to a Pre-Season Spectacular, I think this is about where I would have had Michgan this far into the season.  But there would have been a great big question mark/Worry Bead on the BYU and the Northwestern game and there’s NO WAY I would have predicted that many shutouts.   And utter domination of the last three teams that Michigan played.  Maryland was able to score three times on the Suckeyes this past Saturday.  Ergo-Something BIG is brewing in Ann Abor.  The last time a defense dominated in the Big House like this….1997. 

Tailgate Trivia:  Name the last team to win a National Title without a 1,000 yard rusher and a 500 yard receiver.  Answer below…..

I’m thinking that I’m about to let my imagination run wild here.  If Michigan is in fact this good and even if they revert to some sort of “normalization” on defense, they’re still capable of driving offenses nuts.  I re-watched the game on Sunday Morning on the BTN“60 Minute Football” (which is absolutely incredible BTW – Thanks BTN!) and when you can watch an entire game in 60 minutes (sans pre-game warm up cocktails, Big Game and the like not clouding your vision), you start to notice a couple of things. 

1.        The defense is taking stuff away.  Mostly, the line of scrimmage and the run game.  Michigan dominated the LOS and is letting the corners take care of themselves.  Peppers and Lewis are proving, again at least for now, that they can more than handle receivers 1 on 1.

2.       The offense is incredibly patient and very tricky.  I like that….I REALLY like that!  Michigan has “re-discovered” the ability to use the fullback.  While most defenses are so set on the Tailback or QB making a carry, the Fullback can bust through and be past the linebacker before he can ever figure out what the hell happened.  Nice to see that making a comeback.

3.       Michigan is also using crafty, imaginative ways to get receivers open.  I observed defensive picks and crossing routes that appeared to use (intentionally) the umpire.  Gotta’ love Harbaugh.  If the ref is part of the field  - USE HIM!

4.       Special Teams…remember how we used to dread the kicking game?  I should state, the Field Goal unit?   Not so much now.  Mr. Allen is finding the uprights no problem.  Punting is solid and the KO return for 6 to start the game off….Well, that kind of goes without saying.

So to say that I’m letting myself believe that 10 wins is not only possible, but after what we’ve seen so far…Dare I say that 10 wins would be kind of a let down?  I mean, Sparty – God Bless ‘em – Is a festering pile of something that either the cat just kakked up or the dog just squatted down and let loose in a wet pile – You pick.  I’m not saying they’re bad, but let’s just say slipping by Rutgers, edging out Purdue, and a gift of a victory against the Ducks (Don’t give me the “they we’re ranked when we played ‘em!” garbage, either.   The Ducks stink on ice this season) when their QB missed what was a go ahead score late in the 4th quarter….Well, I’m just saying this isn’t the same Sparty as last season.  Objective Spartan fans will agree.  You other clowns will be silenced soon enough.

The rest of you will tell me I’m looking at the world through Maize and Blue glasses….maybe.  But I feel way better about this game this year than I have in a long, long, LONG time!

Where have I been?  That’s a good question.  I started a new job that keeps me incredibly busy.  And my cube is DIRECTLY Across from my DIRECTOR.  So I’m busy and I usually have 40 in before noon on Thursday.   I have a needy customer and a needier internal process that requires pushing and prodding.  While I could usually find a couple of hours on a normal Monday morning to crank this out, now, staff meetings, team meetings and everything else is making it impossible.  Not to mention that the portable data saver I downloaded everything on is now unreadable and all my MMQ stuff is on that portable storage device! 

Question to the hive:  Anyone know ANYONE that can salvage or get files off a storage device that my computer is saying is corrupted?  Any and all advice is welcome.

What I want to do is be able to post the important stuff and keep as much of the original format intact.  Another reason I haven’t written is that I really don’t want to jinx this….I know, I know.  I pick the week of the biggest game to date to tempt the Fickle Finger of Football Fate to make my appearance. 

What the hell am I thinking?  I dunno’…I just know the MMQ could not be contained anymore!

So, without further ado:

The Rest of the Mess

Texas, Texas, Texas – Two losses that could have been wins.  Ugly beat downs by the Domers and the Horny Frogs.  Burnt Orange Nation laying out why Texas needs to “Follow the Michigan Blue Print” and go hire the best pro coach with college experience that money can buy:  Chip Kelly (Now with the Philly Eagles).  And Charlie screws that plan up by beating the Laters in the Cotton Bowl!  Congrats to Charlie! The Texas pain may not last as long as everyone thinks….
Speaking of Laters:  Bob Stupor might be available at the end of the season.  I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to lose to one of your bitter rivals when they really suck and you’re supposed to be a top 10 team…Oh wait,  I do know how that feels.  The “Chip Kelly Sweepstakes” have another fan base that’s willing to mortgage their soul to get Kelly in a Later’s hat…and more support is getting a lot of traction in places like

Arkansas:  The Hogs are an inexplicable team at times…and they say a team begins to take on their coach’s identity.  Which, when you look at Brett B., well, it all kind of starts to make sense.  Brett’s latest actions and on and off field shenanigans are getting old.  I’d turn my tickets in if I were a Hog supporter….

The Rubbers:  Wow…I didn’t think there could be a bigger dumpster fire in all of college football than Rutgers (more on that in a minute) but USC is trying like hell to get to the front of the line with the biggest dumpster they can find full of highly flammable material.  Pat Haden hired what appears to be a coach that not only likes his Patron (That’s Pa-TRONE Tequila – Long “O”) but he expenses it to the school whenever he gets a chance.  After reportedly being “too drunk” to attend the team practice on Sunday, Haden instructed Sark to take a leave of absence – indefinitely.  This was after the pre-season Booster Club incident where Sark was loaded.   (That indefinite leave means that you can’t fire someone with a substance abuse problem.  You have to get them better first, THEN can ‘em.)   There’s a great LA Times piece that that pulled a bunch of expense reports from Washington via the FOIA when Sark was the Head Coach.   There’s one bill from January 2012 that lists a lunch stop in Nashville with about 8 shots and 5 brewskis for 4 coaches that has a cash out time  - and you can’t make stuff like this up – of 11:53 AM.  That’s impressive even by Automotive Sales Guy standards!  I’ve always said you can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning, but Jeez….That’s putting in some early work!  Chip Kelly is all over the Trojan message boards also with the theme that it’s time to bring Chip back to the West Coast.  Rumor is he will take an Eastern Time Zone Job, Central Zone and Pacific and just fly across the country and coach each team as kick-off rolls around. 

Rutgers – Kyle Flood got hit with a 3 game suspension for his involvement with a professor and the eligibility of a player that, ironically, was booted from the team.  Go Figure.  Not to mention all the other athletic department tomfoolery that’s been going on around that University and I tweeted and Facebooked:  What’s a university have to do to get kicked out of the Big 10 around here?  What looked like a good deal for the Big 10 and the New York TV market is quickly turning into Delaney’s White Elephant…It’s too bad as he’s done so much good for the conference, but this looks bad and has a long way to go before it starts looking even close to good…

The Cornsuckers – Overheard from Bo Pelini:  “Miss me yet?”  Here’s another team that is literally 20 seconds and about 5 plays away from being undefeated.  Miami comes back to beat them in OT….Then the Hail Mary by BYU.  Nebraska inexplicably passed on third down late in the game when running the ball against the Illini would have chewed up a lot of clock and failing to convert the 3rd down would have left  Illinois no time to score.  Which, as it turns out, the Illini found a way after the incomplete pass.  Wiscy looked beatable.  But, in the 4th Quarter, Wiscy missed the first kick, the Cornsuckers couldn’t hang on to the ball with under 2 minutes left, and Wiscy goes down and kicks the game winner.  If you’re winning these games it’d be one thing.  You’d be pissed, but you’d be undefeated.  But losing like this in the style and fashion that the Cornsuckers are losing?  No need for vascetomies in Nebraska – Just go to Lincoln on Saturday and let the team rip your balls off…The Cornsuckers are also thinking “Chip Kelly”, but come on!  He’s already got 3 jobs….

Tennessee:  As if adding insult to injury, the Cremesicles won an SEC game and kind of a big one at that.  But beating Mark Richt is kind of like beating your little brother.  Yeah, he’s pretty good but he’s not the biggest SEC bully on the block.  And right when Volfan had a chance to sit back and enjoy the moment,  Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson went at it on Sunday and Charles reminded Peyton exactly WHY he was the Heisman winner in 1997 by picking Peyton off not once, but twice.  And it’s either Chip Kelly or John Gruden for Tennessee head coach next season.

Sparty – I’ve said enough.  It will soon be settled on the field.

Suckeyes – Another team that hasn’t found the end of season offense that clobbered teams, but they’ve also lost their defense and have been either tied or losing at halftime twice this season.  I wish Michigan could’ve played them early, but that’s just not the way it works.

The Domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) – Poor Kelly.  He’s gotta be the most hated coach by his own fans of any fanbase in the country.  I mean, we disliked Brady for his performance on the field, but I don’t think I ever belittle or berated the guy or called him any of the following:  Kangaroo Guano, Captain Butt-Head, Ass Hat’s and Visors ‘R’ Us, Shallow Throat (because he chokes in any game that’s too big), Total Tool, and any other myriad of names that pop up on NDNation.  Yep, I never disliked Hoke.  In fact, I think he’s a good guy, just a lousy, god-awful coach.  But NDNation has more pure vitriol directed at Kelly that it kind of makes you wonder if in fact all those souls on that message board are gonna’ make it to the next place – you know, up there?  Methinks  - NOT!!!  And they were just way too hard on Kelly when the Domers finally scored in the deluge in Clemson and Kelly decided to go for two.  It was late in the 3rd quarter and the Domers needed points.  I didn’t completely disagree with the call and thought it was about 50-50.  Not NDNation.  That call is apparently a fire-able offense.  And according to the entire board, Kelly should be gone!

Gatorland – What a start for McElwain and the Gator Nation only to have the balloon popped today upon hearing that Gatorland’s starting QB Grier tested POSITIVE for PED’s…but get this:  It was an over the counter Muscle Milk or some such product that he thought was completely legal.  And the PENALTY for using this over the counter Muscle builder?  1 entire season.   This…IS the problem with the NCAA and their rules.  This type of punishment will be what ends the NCAA’s power because universities have way too much on the line here.

5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

1.        Denial and Isolation:  Sparty – you own this one all by your lonesome.  Yeah, arguments could be made for TCU and even the Suckeyes, but Sparty and their loyal fan-base can’t see what’s unfolding before their eyes.  I’ve never heard some much lip from them and I guess they like getting their digs in early in case they lose.  Which, Is it Saturday yet???!

2.       ANGER:  LOTS and LOTS of fan bases in here.  I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just start throwing them out there:  Cornsuckers, Rubbers, Longhorns, Laters, Sparty, Bamafan, Hogs, Tigers, Bulldogs, Domers (x2), and Volunteers….

3.       Bargaining:  This one is tough.  I think Bamafan is probably the number 1 fanbase here as they believe there’s still a very good chance that they make the Final 4 in the CFP.  EVEN WITH TWO LOSSES.  And while I can sort of see that on paper, It’s not gonna happen.  Can Satan win out?  Well – its the SEC.  And crazy crap happens down there.  In fact, this weekend at Texas A&M will be telling. 

4.       Depression:  The most depressed Fan Base – Cremesicles.  It was close between Cornsuckers and the Cremesicles, but the Cremesicles had slightly higher expectations, especially the way they finished last season.  The Cornsuckers have had their collective balls-kicked in just about every Saturday.  And if you lived in Ann Arbor that last 5 years, you know how that will quickly get you to

5.       Acceptance:  I don’t know how any fanbase can “accept” the fact that, “Yeah, we suck” this early, but if fan attendance is indicative, the last turn out for VaTech was absolutely pathetic.  They announced around 35,000 and it’s believed there was around 20,000.  And don’t get me started on the Canes.  They’ve been averaging less than 15,000 fans per home game.  That’s acceptance and apathy all rolled into one….

The CFP Final 4

No more Top 10.  Takes too long and right now, this is all that matters.

1.        Either the Suckeyes or Michigan:  NO I’M NOT JOKING AND I’M PERFECTLY SOBER.  I will be shocked if anyone else from the B1G gets through either of these teams in the Title Game.  Tim M – You’re still living in Indy, right?  All I need is a little spot on the living room floor or in the garage on December 11th and probably the 12th – assuming things go right.

2.       UTAH:  It’s weird how a seemingly innocent game on a Thursday night to open the season could possibly be the Final Scenario for the CFP in 2015.  A Rematch?  Why Not?

3.       LSU:  Yep, I believe the Hatter gets to the top of the SEC heap, but with a one dimensional offense, will it be enough to knock off the Utes who are starting to roll….

4.       Baylor:  The style points here cannot be ignored.  Baylor is simply an offensive juggernaut kind of like the Quack Attack, but they play a little more Defense.  Until they lose (and partly because the Big 12 got snubbed last year) they’re in.  If the Suckeyes get in, I like Baylor.  If it’s Michigan and Baylor… who do you THINK I’m going to pick?

Close but no Cigar:  Domers, Clemson, FSU, and TCU.  In that order.  The ACC “elite” will take care of each other and they will probably be the Power 5 conference looking in on the fun once everything is settled on December 12th.  

Idle Thoughts from Saturday
1.       “Can Game” Controversies GALORE on Saturday!
2.       For those not familiar with the Tailgate, I won’t bore you with details…
3.       But the Commish was gone and we had a lot of judgment calls that needed to be made…
4.       Fan interference, “Canners” not doing their job properly – It was insane!
5.       Finally, game time.
6.       DID YOU SEE THAT!
7.       And did you see the block that Jabrill threw to spring Jehu free?
8.       They were all good blocks….
9.       Damn, we’re really good on defense.
10.   Wait – What?  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!  How did Lewis get that ball?  Is this legit???!!!  Pick 6 Baby!
11.   A kick-off return and a pick 6 in the same game.
12.   Woah….
13.   Harbaugh isn’t playing these games…this is all the players!
14.   Yeah, he’s coaching them, but they’re making the plays.
15.   Love seeing the Fullback getting touches.
16.   Ruddock looks okay – this week.
17.   I’m not hoping for anything more at this point….
18.   He’s good at hitting that crossing route…
19.   And that play where they spring the Tight End free.
20.   Seems like a waste for the receivers when you don’t have a QB that can throw the long ball…
21.   6 games and 5 and 1.  I thought it would have been tougher….
22.   So many seasons of simply not knowing what you were going to get….
23.   And now the expectations are coming back.
24.   Huh…Thinking about the rest of the schedule, 11-1 is my expectation and 10-2 is a disappointment. 
25.   IS that bad?
26.   Yes…Yes it is.  Put your expectations in check. 
27.   Winning 1 of the 2 against Sparty and the Suckeyes will be good.
28.   Gotta get by the Gophers on Haloween, too. 
29.   Nittany Lions on the road will be a night game, also.
30.   Question at the Tailgate:  If you can only beat one (Sparty or ohio), which one do you pick?
31.   Right Answer:  You “BEAT” Sparty because you’re supposed to.  You hope for a win against the Suckeyes every other year.  So, the answer is the Suckeyes.
32.   Also overheard at the tailgate:  “Jabrill Peppers hasn’t shown me much.” 
33.   I immediately asked this individual how much they’d had to drink and were they driving?
34.   Anyone who thinks Jabrill isn’t the real deal, you’re simply not paying attention.
35.   Re-Watch the opening Kick-Off.  Who’s the guy that sprints past everybody else over the length of the field and is the second one into the endzone standing next to Jehu?  Yeah, number 5.
36.   Speaking of Endzone – READ IT!
37.   I will be posting a review at some point, but suffice it to say that when the MMQ dubbed the AD “Bran-Dictator”, it was PERFECT.  What a colossal, egotistical arrogant Asshat. 
38.   And I’m being nice, because this is a family column.
39.   John U Bacon walked by the tailgate and shook hands and even signed our Tailgate Neighbor’s copy of Endzone.  Alan – I need that book back!
40.   I haven’t felt that good walking out of Michigan Stadium in a LONG TIME.  A REALLY LONG TIME.

The Hot Seat

I feel bad that I wasn’t able to do a “complete” Hot Seat Mascot for the entirety of 2015.  I figure we can do 7 weeks and have a 4 Mascot play-off at the end of the season.  Still looking for that first one.   Any Hot Seat Mascot nominees are always welcome.

Wow.  What a season it’s already been.  Firings, Suspensions and leaves of absence. 

GONE

1.       Beckman, Timothy – Illinois.  For something that could have been handled in the Spring.  Odd timing and even odder circumstances, but gone none the less.

2.       Edsall, Randy – Maryland has had enough and the players only meeting that Edsall heard about from the press sort of sealed the deal. 

3.       Kyle Flood  - Suspended, but not canned…Yet.  I guess he might survive, but I don’t really see how.

4.       Sark – I really don’t see how Sark can get off the wagon and still have a job when it’s all said and done.  When his “Leave” is complete and he’s still the head coach, I’ll take him off the list.

Hot Seat

1.        London – Virginia.  But some time with a close loss to the Domers, but still can’t feel good to be in Virginia right now

2.       Brian Kelly – If the Domers lose again, and I’m saying they will, I think it’s going to be really hard for Kelly to keep his title….

3.       Brett Beliema – Says dumb things….does dumb things…his hire might be considered a dumb thing….

4.       Whoever is coach at Kansas – Sorry….

5.       Mike Riley – Lincoln and the state of Nebraska cannot be happy right now.  Not in the least….


Tailgate Trivia Answer:  You probably got it.  The 1997 National Champion Wolverines had neither a 1,000 Yard Rusher (That was hard for me to believe.  Chris Howard - 938) and they didn’t have a 500 yard receiver, either (Tai Streets - 476).