Monday, January 21, 2008

Season Wrap - Rodrigues is News

Well, I would like to say that after LSU's blistering defeat of OSU in the National Title Game, the season has come to a close...As messy and quirky as it was, it would be nice to let 2007 go and bring on the New Regime with a Fresh Start in 2008.

LSU - OSU: If you stayed up for the entire game, some things were fairly obvious. Tressel is NOT a Big Game Coach. I am still trying to figure out how he managed to beat Miami in 2001. My thoughts at this point are that Miami just wasn't that good, either. But my memory gets worse every year. One thing I noticed during this game was that as much as they tried, OSU simply wasn't able to adjust. LSU just kept coming after the Suckeyes, and the Suckeyes let 'em come. It was a game that was eerily similar to last year for the Suckeyes, scoring and taking an early lead only to watch as another SEC team took them to task. Now, I am not saying Michigan would have fared any better, but I do believe, that the team we watched on New Year's day play Florida in the Citrus Bowl would have beat OSU handily and may have been in a lot closer game against LSU...Dare I say, in fact, that our offense may have found some weaknesses in the LSU defense and exploited them, similar to what we did to Florida? Anyway, you have to beat the App States, Oregons, Wisconsins, and OSU's of the world to have a shot at the title....

So, why the late post? Because I have been so intrigued with Rodrigues and Michigan Football in the news on an almost daily basis. And I am not talking about local Detroit news. I am talking about ESPN first 15 minutes-half hour lead story type news. Let's run this down in case you haven't been keeping track.

Michigan Players Leave

First, Michigan loses Manningham, Arrington, and in what I think may be a blessing in disguise, Mallet. The first two hurt. I always hate to see receivers leave. I don't know why. I miss them more than I miss the running backs, Quarterbacks, o-line guys....I do miss Defensive stars, also...but receivers are different. I guess it has something to do with the fact that I can always remember some big play they made to beat somebody and when we're losing to that opponent, I remember back and think, "If we only had Braylon out there right now...." My comments to them are go forward and enjoy your Sundays. Thanks for everything you did for us and all the memories.

As far as Mallet goes, I am starting to think, "Good Riddance." Any moron who was at Michigan and got a new coach that was willing to come in and work with him in this offense, but decides instead to transfer to Arkansas with a new coach and an unknown system is
A. Not Too Bright
B. Listening to the wrong People
C. Has questionable decision making skills
D. Was never someone I wanted as a QB in the first place
E. All of the above.

The correct answer, in my opinion, is E. Mallet would have been a head case under Rich Rod and probably would have floundered in the Spread Option system. So, don't look at Mallet leaving, given the new coaching staff, as a great loss. I think we avoided another run of John Navarre like years. I could be wrong. The kid could go down to Arkansa and light up the SEC in 2009...But my guess is he gets lost in the shuffle down there. Time will tell.

Terelle Pryror

When, if ever, did Michigan care so much about a recruit that has NEVER played a down of Collegiate Football? I can't remember a time of seeing a high school kids name in the paper more than I have seen this kids. Maybe Henson's name was out there a bunch, again, my memory fades as I get older. But really. I expect this kid to ride the pine for a year, unless he can come in like Henne and show me that he has the talent to play. Let's maintain some semblance of Michigan here, people. We know that the latest flash in high school can sometimes come to Michigan and get eaten alive by the big show....

On to the Rich Rod Saga.

So far, the WVU elite and not so elite has accused Rodrigues of (in no particular order):
1. Shredding Top Secret, National Championship formula documents that included all of his "illegal" NCCA violations that were committed while at WVU.
2. Making "illegal" phone calls from his WVU cell phone to potential Michigan recruits after he quit WVU.
3. Making 112 calls to one specific number in Pennsylvania. (Turns out this was his message service.)
4. Not making good on the $4 million buy out that was in his contract.
5. Telling his WVU players via an assistant coach that he was leaving for Michigan.
6. Countless other crimes against humanity.....

Now, I could address these charges 1 by 1, and determine whether or not they are newsworthy at all. However, the news agencies have determined that they are becuase WVU officials are seeing to it and telling the news agencies that they are "Big ISSUES".

Look, I think we all know how we would feel, and by "we" I mean Michigan Fans, If Lloyd Carr at the end of last year after the Rose Bowl announced that instead of retiring, he was leaving to coach at, for lack of a better example, USC. We would have at first been shocked, then angry, then we would have talked about it on talk radio, on blogs, and in e-mail incessantly until there wasn't anything left to say, unless the University threw something new out there to talk about. "Lloyd Carr and Michigan Playbook Covers disappear on same weekend. Conincidence?" Or, "Lloyd made suspicious phone calls at his desk."

We would all be hopping mad, and spewing venom every time we saw him wearing the Maroon and Gold Colors on some news conference - which would be quite often, given the shock factor of Lloyd leaving for another Univeristy. So, I give the WVU people some slack...But come on, enough is enough already. It's been a month. You have a new coach. He won a big Bowl Game for you. Let it go, people....Let it go. OR start turning that venom towards the AD and the President of WVU who didn't do a better job of trying to keep Rich Rod from leaving.

That being said, it makes me wonder if Michigan is a permanent part of this rotating coaching show that takes place every December as part of the Collegiate Football Experience. I mean, Rich Rod left his alma mater for more money. Now there are schools in the SEC that now know that he will leave for a better offer. Don't think for a minute that some school like Tennessee or Kentucky wouldn't come after Rich Rod with another $1 million and tell him how great it would be to coach in the SEC....It's warm, nice climate, better athletes...We all know the drill and rhetoric by heart. And my guess is that South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee will all be looking for coachese in 1 to 3 years. Don't think they won't hesitate to make a phone call to Rich Rod if he hasn't won here or even if he has won here...They won't care and neither will he...If the opportunity looks better, than you can believe that he will look at it...And we'll be saying all the same stuff about him that WVU is saying now.

So, keep the headlines and info handy....We might need it some day. But, only for 1 month. That's the limit on how long you get to bitch about someone leaving your school. Then it's time to get behind the new guy.

Newer readers to this post: Usually, between January and July, things are pretty slow. Last year, I did a write up on the NCAA tournament at the end, and I may give you my usualy satirish take on the results this year. But I hope to remain silent until that first pre-season issue of whatever rag comes out and has the pre-season rankings in it...That's when we'll get it going again. So, until then:

Adieu. (That's for the Cajun fans of LSU out there....)

Monday, January 7, 2008

LSU - OSU: Arsenic or Cyanide?

The National Title Game

Here we are. It's the end of what can only be described as a "head scratching" season. Upsets were not the unusual - they were the norm. Was there any game this season that included a top 5 team where you didn't think, "Yeah, the underdog has a real shot in that game." I am not talking about just a wouldn't it be nice thought....No, these were more like "the favorite better look out because the dogs are coming home."

It's frustrating that the NFL playoffs have started and I am still going to be watching college football. Traditionally, my college hat is usually put away for the Pros at this time of year and I can get into the build-up to the Super Bowl. But it's Janauary 7th, the Christmas decorations are put away, and I am going to turn on a college football game tonight....No, something just isn't right.

If we're going to be stuck with the BCS, please turn back the clock to pre-2000 and at least let me gorge myself on football on January 1. Wednesday and Thursday were good games, but couldn't we mix those in with what we had on the 1st? Speaking of which, I would be remiss if I didn't get my Hokie and Later digs in here:

HOKIES vs. Kansas: Hokie fan, you must know how it feels to lose the last game of the season quite regularly right now. You clowns really let me down in my Bowl Pool...No longer am I a Hokie believer. You're frauds until you prove otherwise. What's your record in the last game? Without looking it up, I can't think of one you have won in the last 5 tries...I know Georgia spanked you and Auburn had a piece of you, also. What's the deal with the ACC, anyway? I don't see you guys winning a lot of bowl games, and if Sparty had not given BC the game, well, it would have looked really bad for your conference....

WVU vs. Oklahoma: IF Bob Stoops isn't campaigning to get the Big 12 out of the Fiesta Bowl alliance, he's insane. Is there anyplace - stadium - on earth that Oklahoma would rather NOT play in than in Tempe, Arizona? To say they have had some bad games there would be an understatement. Stoops and Oklahoma have not fared well at all post season since the injustice game with Jason White and the loss in the title game to KSU. It just goes to show that there is Karma and USC should have been in that National Title game against LSU in 2004.

Which brings us to tonight. OSU vs. LSU

Arsenic or Cyanide?

Personally, I literally needed to write down the pros and cons of this game to get a feel for who I wanted to win. Ideally, I want this game to last forever in an infinite tie, but that won't happen, so we need to figure out who we should root for.


Pros: I like Les Miles. How can a Michigan Fan not like him? Regardless of some of the things he's said and done, I believe he is a great coach in the mold of Schembechler and he will historically have an important place in the collegiate game. I would rather see Les win than the "Vest" take another title. Les deserves it and he will always root for Michigan, so I have to be loyal to him.

Cons: The SEC wins another title. This grinds me to the core, but I can't let my hate for the SEC overide my like for Miles. So, even though he coaches in THAT conference, I believe he deserves the win, even though it further supports the SEC supremacy argument. This is the only really bad con I can come up with...With the exception that the coach that could have been Michigan's next head man will have won a national title and we missed on the opportunity to hire him because of it.

Pros: They are the Big Ten. This was a much easier team to root for when they were playing against the crooks of Miami in 2001. However, it's never easy for a Michigan Fan to say "Go OSU" - Hell, it's even difficult to type it. But the Big Ten is the Big Ten, and we need to stick together. And if they win, the SEC gets knocked down to the level of everyone else.

CONS: What does the Big 10 winning this game REALLY accomplish? The SEC Press will say that LSU was not a great team and overall, top to bottom, the SEC is still a superior conference to everyone else....So 3 months from now, you will have both OSU AND the SEC elitist in our ear who claim that they will be back next year for vengance and victory over all...It doesn't shut Herbstriet up, it doesn't shut up Corso....No, OSU winning suddenly puts them right there in the "MAJOR NATIONAL PROGRAM" discussion in bold letters...And that really turns my stomach...In fact, I am getting a headache right now as I write this.

So, where does that leave this fan? Again, it's arsenic or cyanide, and it's tough. But I am going to stick with the Maize and Blue and turn the tint on my TV up so it looks like LSU's purple is Blue and root like hell against OSU...Sorry if I am letting the Big 10 down and going against everything I have preached up to this point, but I just can't root for the Suckeyes anymore...It's too painful and it's getting to be too much with these clowns....

If I am offending any OSU fans out there, well, blow me. But I need you knocked down a peg a whole lot more than I need the SEC knocked down a peg...that's how I feel right now.


Which means that the Suckeyes probably win as they are the dog and it will somehow put a fitting end on this whacky season...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008



No More "Mr. Heismann Tim Tebow is unbeatable"

No More "Urban Legend Oscar Mayer Whiner" is the Best Coach...

Ain't Victory Sweet?

Oh, and that thing I said in an earlier blog about the SEC being a better conference?


Yes, just when you thought it was unsafe to turn on the TV and watch the Maize and Blue, look what they do to you...They leave you wondering "What If???...."

1. What if we manage to kick that field goal against App State?
2. What if the Defense figures out a way to stop Dixon and Oregon?
3. What if the Injury bug hadn't plagued the team and Wisconsin hadn't played their best game of the season against us?
4. What if Chad Henne and Hart would have been healthy for OSU?

Yes, the what if's will abound after that game and, having watched it, whether they would have won or lost, I think it has a lot of people asking more questions, including:

1. Whose offense was that, anyway??? Now, I know Lloyd is capable of doing some things that will "trick" the opposing coaches and defenses as to what they are reading on the field..But folks, I watched this team all season and I can't recall 1 game where we ran Mike Hart out of the Spread....In addition, when did we start running very simple pass routes where it was "throw it up and let the receiver beat the defender?" When you go from 92 yards in the last game against OSU and pile up over 550 against what is supposed to be a pretty good SEC defense - with an average secondary, it kind of makes you wonder....Did RichRod already work some of his magic into the gameplan in order to keep Mallet around? Could be....Because I don't think Mike DeBord had those kind of plays in his book.....

2. Where was that attacking Defense all year? Yeah, I thought we could get to Tebow....Other teams had all year. But I didn't think we could get to him THAT EFFECTIVELY....Yes, Tim had his moments, but when it came down to game time, he is just not a QB that can drive a team down the field on his arm...He needs to be able to run and throw, and without time outs, well, he was forced to be 1 dimensional, clearly having to go to the weaker dimension -his arm....But hats off to the D...They kept us in it and that was a big question mark going into the game.....

3. Nuts, nuts, nuts....Even with a play-off, Michigan isn't in the mix. But given how we looked yesterday, I think we were a pretty good team at the end of the year...USC good - not yet...I am starting to hate those guys.... So next year, look out...Yes, I know that is the rallying cry for every Wolverine fan out there..but still, we should be okay with RichRod at the helm...

On to other Games

Did anyone have that Less than Satisfied Feeling yesterday? I think I am really starting to hate the BCS for more than just the obvious reasons. With the exception of the Outback Bowl and Capital One Bowls, there wasn't a watchable game on yesterday...The Cotton Bowl showed us (again) that the SEC isn't that great and Missouri got hosed....The Gator Bowl was good at the end, but everyone had turned it off by that time. Can't we move some of the New Year's Eve Bowls to New Year's day and overlap the two "Simply Awful" games - The Rose and the Sugar - in order to have something else to click to? NO!!!!


Because the BCS wants you to watch ONLY THOSE BOWLS.....I am really starting to hate those guys....The Rose got stinky in the 1st quarter and the Sugar was ugly from the first 2 plays Hawaii made on offense for 10 yards - negative 10 yards....Yep, after the Capital One Bowl, you could pretty much turn off the TV and do anything else....They have ruined New Year's day for the Football Fanatic.....And that's sad...

Sparty - How on earth to you let that game slip away? Well, 6 turnovers don't help, but that was an easily winnable game for you....Maybe Dantonio isn't everything he's cracked up to be, or maybe with some better personell, you make a big statement next year....By the Way, Sparty, I think you cost me 1st place in my Bowl Pool, so Thanks again....

Purdue over Central - This game was bad, then got really good if you stayed with it...But the Spoilermakers found a way to suck out at the end for the victory over Central....

Mizzou over Arkansas - You know, the Cotton Bowl usually sucks, and I can't think of the last good game that was played there....I guess the Auburn Nebraska game last year was okay, but man, it always seems like two unmatched teams meet up with one getting their butts kicked....

Chick-Fil-A Bowl (Peach): Somehow, and don't ask me how they do it, but this bowl manages to put together a game that is not only worth watching, but it usually goes down to the wire...And it's the ACC against the SEC...Auburn comes out on top in OT, but who saw it on New Year's Eve? Well, I did, because I sat at home with my family, but wouldn't that game have been a whole lot better on New Year's day???

Rose - I am tired of Pete Carrol winning...Can Michigan replace this guy and the dominance that USC seems to enjoy?

Sugar - I am tired of WAC Teams getting the nod to a BCS bowl just because they are undefeated....It isn't fair to everyone else. Bust up the WAC, make the PAC 10 twelve teams strong, and enough of this already...

Tonight: The Sooners destroy a wannabe WVU team still trying to figure out how they lost to Pitt and how they lost their coach all within less than a month of looking at a National Title....

Tomorrow: Va Tech goes nuts on Kansas...This should have been Mizzou's game...

Monday: LSU probably runs roughshod over OSU....But this one could go either way...