Thursday, July 10, 2008


Can it be 2008 already? Where did the time go from that BIG CITRUS BOWL VICTORY OVER THE FLORIDA GATORS?

He who laughs last, laughs best....

One small look back to 2007 and what should have been a lot better season. But, alas, the injury bug, lack of focus, conditioning and possibly lazy coaching (read: App State) cost the 2007 squad a great opportunity. It's hard to believe that the Senior squad will never be able to say that they beat OSU....It's sad in a way as they accomplished a lot otherwise.........

On to 2008!

Let's get right to it, shall we?


1. The local and National Press drivel: Rich Rod! Rich Rod! Rich Rod!
My reponse: So What? So What? So What?
2. All I can say is this guy better win and in my opinion, he needs to go 4-0 to fix all the issues he has created with the hard core and casual fans WHO APPRECIATE, RESPECT and TRUST TRADITONS!!!! What would we be without tradition, anyway? Sparty?

A. Ending Michigan Replay after a 35 year run?
B. Abandoning a decades old Captain Tradition with no tangible explanation as to why?
C. Trying to give the Number 1 Jersey to a DEFENSIVE BACK? HELLO: Number 2 goes to the D-Back, you Moron.....Or didn't you know that Charles Woodson won the Heismann?

Again, I use the term, Moron......Which the Rod may want to get used to sooner rather than later. I can only imagine what some of the other faithful will be refering to him as if he doesn't come out smoking...
3. X's and O's - I would like to say that I am comfortable with the offense - but I'm not. We have a lot of unproven people in a lot of key positions in a new offense that won't feature the QB throwing on third down....this makes me nervous. Steve Threet looks like your QB starter. TB is up for grabs with Grady drinking his bodyweight and trying to get behind the wheel...If you haven't seen the mug shot, he looks ready to pass out....Carlos Brown is banged up leaving us with a big question mark and wondering whether or not McGuffie can really run behind an in-experienced offensive line with a new blocking scheme....Otherwise, it' Brandon Minor and, well, that leaves me a little tense....
4. Defense - I'm not as worried. Returning starters and what sounds like a conditioning program that rivals the United States Army's Green Berets will have us fast and hopefully, attacking. Look for us to keep teams off balance. My guess is the first 4 games are defensive, low scoring affairs with Michigan on the winning side....
5. Special Teams: It's back to the Spread Punt Formation...Regular readers and long time fans will remember this as the disaster that lost the Iowa game a few years back...Zoltan Mesko says it will be better and the "Coffin Corner" is now back in the realm of possibility....We'll see...
6. Coaching: I know, I already talked about the Rod...But I wanted to touch on some of the other buys - er, guys - I didn't mean to imply we bought coaches.... If you don't know who Barwis is or haven't heard the name, stop reading here as it's only going to get worse. You may just want to jump to the section where I razz and harass other programs and speculate on the season. I do believe that Michigan's conditioning program was dated and old fashioned. So much knowledge and science has gone into conditioning that it's just not about lifting and running anymore...But lifting and running to your body type and conditioning for peak performance. Core strength is key as well. So, if you have been following the Barwis workout regimens and believe that a conditioned team is a winning team, then we are going to be a winnig team. Maybe. Scott Schafer, Defensive coordinator, was the mastermind behind the Stanford upset of USC and also led the Western Broncos Defense in fewest rush yards allowed in 2006...Interesting, very interesting...Calvin Magee: Credited with WVU's outstanding run offense...If Offensive Line Coach Greg Frey's name sounds familiar, he played on the FSU national Championship team in 1996 and helped launch the USF program...
7. Stadium: It may not intimidate teams yet, but if you haven't seen the pictures...It will, young Skywalker...It will.... (Special Thanks to FAN and loyal Reader Jeff G for AWESOME OVERHEAD PICS!!!)

8. Intangibles: New Regime, New Attitude. We might lose games, but I doubt we lose them in the same way...
9. FANS: Well, what can I say. Everyone is excited, to say the least. I guess I am intrigued, but I know that there is risk in any change with this order of magnitude; ie, Tiger Woods Swing, Carburator to Fuel Injection, etc, etc....This ain't a new quarterback in a proven scheme, folks...This is a whole new way of football for the Michigan Maize and Blue.
10. Season Analysis: The regular readers are wondering what took so long, so here we go:

Utah Utes: Does this team really need a nick name change by the MMQ? What the hell's a UTE? Anyway, a year ago I would have said that this was a win, but after the App State debacle, anyone can beat Michigan in the opening game. That's my new belief and philosophy. Therefore, I predict that we will be looking at a close game due to the fact that Utah has a mobile QB (NOOOOOO!!!!) and runs the spread. Maybe Rich Rod knows how to defend this offense as well as run it. Michigan 17 - UTES 13 If we lose this game, lookout for the Boo Birds and Season tickets will get CHEAP...
Miami (Ohio): This game may actually be scarier than the UTES. If we beat the Utes, there will be a big sigh of relief that the University did the "right thing" and the team may relax. This might be all Miami needs to pull an App State. Another defensive struggle with Michigan on the winning side: Michigan 21 - Miami 16
Domers: Well, well, well....Charlie Weis is still coach. And he is proclaiming that the Domers will, get this, WIN 9 to 12 GAMES THIS SEASON!!! I laughed out loud when I saw THAT headline... The Domers lost the much hated AD White to Duke, where I hope he has success. Too much blame was thrown at him and Willingham for the Domers demise. My guess is the Domers will be better than last year's 3-9 season. Yes, they really went 3-9. Let that sink in, loyal MMQ readers...Savor that. Know that there is a very good chance that Michigan should never fall to that level...Ooops, I keep forgetting that whole App State thing. But, Michigan Ain't Notre Dame and we win this one in Domer land, leaving Fuzzy Wuzzles with an O-FER against the Maize and Blue: Michigan 35 - Domers 3
Cheeseheads: What can I say about the Cheeseheads? They won't have played anyone when they arrive in Ann Arbor, but they will have looked impressive beating the usual suspects of D-II and bottom dwelling D-I schools. My guess is that revenge will be on the mind of Michigan, having lost to the Cheeseheads last year in a winnable game had Henne been healthy and if ANY OF OUR RECEIVERS would have caught the damn ball: Michigan 14 Wisconsin 13 (or vice-versa)
Illini: Uh-oh. Zooker's got a loaded team coming to Ann Arbor with revenge in mind and looking a potential Big 10 title. Don't think for a minute that the Illini haven't had this game circled since their bowl win. It'll be close, but I think Michigan's offense may have gelled at this point and we can pull off the upset: Michigan 27 - Illini 24
Toledo Rockettes: Sailor Bill needs to have his head examined with scheduling more than capable MAC teams after BIG GAMES. If Michigan beats the Illini, there will be a let down. If Michigan loses, they will come out flat. My guess is this is the trap game of the year. The Rockettes can play ball, and they wear Michigan's colors. With the proximity to Ann Arbor, look for Rockette Fans to gobble up tickets hoping for an APP State repeat: Michigan 30 - Rockettes - 23
Nittany Kitty Kats: Okay. Rich Rod will be due to lose one somehwere in here, if he hasn't lost already, and this could be the game. I can't believe this game is being played at 4:30 instead of at night for a Nittany White Out, but it will finish at night and it will be intimidating. My guess is the Kitty Kats have had this game circled as well, looking for many years of revenge and frustration with the Maize and Blue: PSU 31 - Michigan 24
SPARTY: "Bow Down Little Brother" Heh-heh-heh...Last Year was 8 in a Row.....but who's counting? Two new regimes in the Big 10. One with a history of winning and the other with a history. Sort of. Rich Rod vs. the Bowing Italian. Which University made the right choice? Sparty loves history with this game. Every new Michigan coach loses to Sparty his first game. Bo lost, Mo lost, and Lloyd lost. Sparty is WAY overdue for their inspirational victory. Last win was the 1 second Sparty Bob mess....BUT....Look for History to continue (hey, I'm a realist and Rich Rod doesn't "get" this rivalry yet - But he will): FOOTNOTE ON THIS PICK: Let's not forget The Rod lost the WVU - Pitt rivalry game that would have put WVU in the National Title Game). Sparty 24 - Michigan 23

NO - NO - NO
I almost went to post with the earlier Sparty Pick - I originally wrote a lot of this in early July, but as we get closer to the season and the blood begins to turn Blue...I just can't pick Sparty.....Screw History - Rich Rod Wins Big!!!
MICHIGAN 42 - Bow Down Boys 3

Spoilermakers: They're down, but not out. Look for a Michigan romp with a Spoilermaker late season swoon - even though this will be Spoilermaker Head Coach Tiller's last chance to beat Michigan, he let's the home crowd down: Michigan 42 - Spoilermakers 21
Golden Gophers: New Stadium - Big Game. Brewster is doing okay, but can't manage to get(and I can't Imagine) the Little Brown Jug back to Minnesota: Michigan 24 - Gophers 17
Purple Kitty Kats: Northwestern will be the next victim on the way to the game: Michigan 35 - Northwestern 14
Suckeyes: In Columbus. It will be war. If history prevails in THIS game, The Suckeyes could get surprised by a fired up, in shape, ready to kill Wolverine team looking for a better bowl bid and RESPECT. Don't be surprised if Michigan pulls off the upset of the decade against an undefeated Suckeye Team: Michigan 22 - OSU 0

So, I have Michigan losing 3 (maybe 4 or 5)games. Normally, you all know that I find a way for Michigan to win all of them....But Rich Rod has NOT inspired that kind of confidence - yet. I almost didn't make the schedule prediction with so many unknowns and questions about the roster. But this is Michigan and I believe we will go better than the Herbie 6-6 prediction. Come on - Rich Rod has something to prove and Michigan doesn't exactly re-build. They re-load. Look for no-names to make the most of the opportunity they will be given this year and Michigan, I predict, surprises some people. A top 10 finish is also expected, after we win the bowl game.

For the rest of the masses, here you go (with a small focus on the future coaching carousel):

SPARTY: Dantonio comes into his own and Sparty once again is mentioned as a good to great team. Look for them to have an 8 win season with a bowl victory....They should have beat Boston College but collapsed late..Maybe Dantonio figures that part out.....
DOMERS: Honestly, I can't see how this team can be that much better than last year, but 3 wins has to be a motivating factor. Look for the Domers to win at least 6 and get to a bowl. (They will not win the 9 that Wuzzy is claiming they will win, that's for sure...) If they don't get to a bowl, Fuzzy Wuzzy will get the COACHES HOT SEAT SPOT #1....IF they lose to Michigan and MSU, look for another season slide....Of course, Domer fan will be able to point to Losingham at Washington and say, well, we're at least doing better than THEM...Pray Ole' Ty has a bad season or Fuzzy is gone....
CORNSUCKERS: Look Out! With a new Coach (Pelini), a legacy, Nebraska could get back on the football map and be playing meaningful games in November....Time will tell
GATORLAND: After Urban's Self Proclaimed Illness that lasted 4 weeks after losing to Michigan in the Capital One Bowl and his own admission that he used the words of Lloyd Carr to get over it, I guess Florida will be back. Urban Legend had a great game to build on all spring. Look for the Gators to be dominant in the SEC this year, surprising an upstart PuppyDog squad...
Puppy Dogs: Everyone seems to love Georgia this year. Not me. Prove it, I'll believe it.
Les Miles U: Always a threat. They will get their wins. But no National Title. Will Les stay off the Hot Seat with 3 losses - Maybe 4?
USC Rubbers: Yeah, yeah, yeah...They're going to be good. Pete Carroll just reloads...
USC GAMECOCKS: The Ole' Ball Coach makes it one more season. Look for this team to upset some people....Or maybe The Ole' Ball Coach decides finally that the little white ball is more entertaining and a whole lot less demanding...which earns him the COACHES HOT SEAT SPOT #2
CLEMSON KITTYS: T. Bowden needs to win. Period. COACHES HOT SEAT SPOT #3 at the start of the season. First loss will bring out the loyal Clemson faithful and Fire T. Bowden Websites.....
AUBURN: Tommy Tutone must be getting tired of winning and not getting any respect. Look for Tommy to take new coaching offers SERIOUSLY after what Michigan did with Rich Rod....Tommy loses 1 game, misses the National Title and figures, "to hell with the SEC, I am going to the Big 10." Purdue, Anyone???? Tiller's leaving... COACHES HOT SEAT SPOT #4
Tennessee CREAMSICLES: Fulmer has to be feeling the pressure. He is not even picked 3rd in his OWN DIVISION in the SEC. Look for Phil to say "Enough". HOT SEAT SPOT # 5.
SATAN NATION: Alabama has HIGH EXPECTATIONS, laying out all that dough for Nick. After he losese his 2nd game, look for the ranting to begin....HOT SEAT SPOT #6.
MIZZOU: Are they for real? Most of the 2 loss team is back and hungry...But the LATERS are out there lurking...
LATERS: Stupor once to take this team to a championship....But is the Big 12 good enough?

Hey, did you notice Something? I just realized that a lot of the hot seat spots are held by SEC coaches - with the exception of Fuzzy and Bowden... Do you think ole' Les Miles might be wishing he had a cushier seat cushion in the Big 10 now - where he would have been coach for life? I am not so sure LSU will love him as much as they do now if he loses 4 games this year....

Hot Seat:
1. Charlie Fuzzy Wuzzles
2. the Ole Ball Coach....Spurrier
3. T. Bowden
4. Tubberville
5. Fulmer
6. Satan

Pre-season Prediction for the Top 10:

1. USC - They will beat OSU on Sept. 13th.
2. OSU - They will fight back and re-match with USC for the Title- Just a hunch
3. AUBURN - Tommy Tutone has a New O-Coordinator....Look for them to score this year
4. WVU - Call it the Weak East Pick and Poetic Justice....Just a hunch
5. LATERS - Look out...Big 12 will be tough and Stooper is due for a Big Season - Could be a Title Contender...

TIED FOR 6th (My darkhorse picks)
MICHIGAN: IF they can get on a roll....Maybe even top 5????
GATORS - Looking in from the outside at the Title game with 2 SEC losses...
GEORGIA - Won't play Florida in a Bowl game...Also ticked that there isn't a playoff
ILLINI - I know, but the Big 10 is Strong/Weak. If they can upset Michigan and get past the Suckeyes...Well, who knows?
CHEESEHEADS: Read Big East Effect. Big 10 is weak and they play defense...
CLEMSON: ACC is weak. Clemson needs to win....But, they will lose to someone, somewhere that they shouldn't....
'BAMA - Satan gets early season love....But the Tide Swoons late in the year


Michigan At Domers - September 13
OSU at USC - September 13

Until September (Or at least late August)



Monday, July 7, 2008

WTF - No Michigan Replay??????

A couple of you have forwarded or called with the latest bit of Rich Rod assininity (is that a word?) which once again has The Rod standing in the face of tradition and thumbing his nose. In case you haven't heard, check the Angelique Chengelis aritcle for the summary.

Apparently, The Rod has decided that there will be a show, it just won't be taped after the game and aired on Sunday morning. But, jeez, I have been watching Michigan Replay since Ole Bo sat at the Maize and Blue desk with Brandy off to one side. I think I was 9 or 10, back when you only had 3 stations, plus channels 20, 50, 56 and 62 on good weather days pre-cable. You woke up Sunday Morning to catch Replay in all it's glory. Remember, too, that Michigan wasn't always televised and there was no such thing as ESPN. You could catch clips on the 6:00 P.M. news, but......Now, this leaves this cheap shot artist in me to believe one of if not all of the following:

1. The Rod is scared of the season that lies in front of him. He knows that he can't win every game and he is probably not talented enough to go on TV after a loss and maintain his composure and explain how it's still just a game...Anyway, knowing that the Rod probably doesn't want to be on the firing line right after a loss is understandable...And I can sort of understand this.

2. The Rod is pissed at everyone that had anything to do with this program prior to his arrival. I am getting the feeling that The Rod is getting ticked off with local and national media and whatever shot he can take at them, he'll take. He probably didn't like the idea of "being corrected" on his Michigan History by the walking Encyclopedia of Brandy sitting across from him every time he screwed up a fact or got a legacy name incorrect. I can understand this, but this is harder for me to swallow. Everyone knows you are not a "Michigan Man", and that's what Brandy is there for anyway. Let him be the historical expert and own that little piece of the show. You just win and lose the latest games....

3. What I think is really going on is that The Rod hasn't been able to put as much of a personal stamp on the program within the University as he would like, and he has therefor decided to make his mark anywhere else that he can. So, he will still do a show, but it won't be Michigan Replay.

In summary, The Rod has done nothing at this point to endear himself to this fan. All I can say is he better go at least 4-0 in the first 4 games this season. That will leave us having to win 3 to become bowl eligible. If, God forbid, we languish and fall into a Charlie the Tuna Weis type of death spiral, well, the SCREAMS for Les Miles, Cam Cameron, or anyone else that has a Michigan heritage will be heard around the world...And the Rod will find out exactly how ugly the press can get - not to mention the natives. If you thought Lloyd was on the hot seat after a couple of losses - okay App State was a hot seat loss - then wait until the Rod loses one he shouldn't have.

Season Schedule:
Aug 30 Utah Ann Arbor, Mich. TBA TBA
Sep 6 Miami (Ohio) Ann Arbor, Mich. TBA TBA
Sep 13 Notre Dame South Bend, Ind. TBA TBA
Sep 27 Wisconsin Ann Arbor, Mich. TBA TBA
Oct 4 Illinois Ann Arbor, Mich. 3:30 ABC
Oct 11 Toledo Ann Arbor, Mich. TBA TBA
Oct 18 Penn State State College, Pa. 4:30 ESPN or ESPN2
Oct 25 Michigan State Ann Arbor, Mich. TBA TBA
Nov 1 Purdue West Lafayette, Ind.TBA TBA
Nov 8 Minnesota Minn. TBA TBA
Nov 15 Northwestern Ann Arbor, Mich. TBA TBA
Nov 22 Ohio State Columbus, Ohio TBA TBA