Luckily I was able to take a long walk on the Indian Rock’s Beach in Tampa in the middle of the 3rd quarter of the Gator Bowl to collect my Michigan thoughts and get away from the tube that was generating nothing but angst and misery for me on New Year’s Day. The beach house we were staying at had an incredible ocean view that became too hard to ignore as Those Who Cannot spiraled into yet another black abyss and it was too beautiful of a day in Tampa to let it go unappreciated. Right down the road, Joe Pa was battling for Big 10 respect. But more on that in a minute.
Yes, MSU (not that one) is a good team with some very talented athletes in a very good conference. But Michigan is supposed to be a good team with some very talented athletes in a very good conference. So what happened? Too much to tell, really. And yet, everything in the game was a reflection of this entire season.
When I look at the situation that’s current, the engineer in me always wants to go back to a root cause. And the root cause in this particular issue is Bill Martin. Always was, always will be. Rich Rod doesn’t show up here (probably) if Bill Martin had put together a better plan or process for replacing Lloyd. I’m not here to say I know what that plan should have been at this point. I’m not the AD (nor will I ever be) at the University of Michigan.
I figured after the time off, Those Who Cannot would be rested, fast and ready to hit and tackle – more like the team that we saw at the beginning of the season. Of course, so would Mississippi State. But Those Who Cannot would want it more…I figured. Once again, I figured poorly. I figured Rich Rod would be coaching for his future. (He hopefully was and the result is that Brandon will be forced to make a change). I figured some things very poorly. Exactly like Sail Boat Bill planned (NOT) for the Lloyd Carr retirement 3 years ago…Poorly.
So that’s out there.
But I’ve truly seen everything I need to see to make the decision that needs to be made on Rich Rod. I hope David Brandon is thinking the same thing, but you can never be sure. My guess is that Brandon alluded to his decision by merely stating that the expectations were higher for the bowl game and that it was an extremely disappointing day. I’m not even saying that I have a plan for Michigan moving forward. But I honestly believe that Brandon was hired in the eventuality that the Rich Rod Decision didn’t work out. And Brandon now has the weight of the world (Michigan’s World) on his shoulders.
Will it be the one decision he makes that defines his legacy as AD? Brandon has bigger and bolder aspirations if you believe the political hacks around Michigan which include running for the office of governor. And of course if he achieves that, who knows what else?
But would he, could he, possibly upset the whole apple cart that is his career by making an incorrect decision at this juncture? That has to be grinding on him every day. Don’t fire Rich, it will cost you. Fire Rich and hire the wrong guy, it will cost you. Fire Rich, hire the right guy only to see him come in here and fail and it will also cost you.
Make the Right Decision, hire a guy who wins and all is well with your world. Do I want to be in his shoes? Nope. But if I was, I know what the first step has to be RIGHT NOW. You cannot continue on this course with this individual. Pull of the band-aid - quickly. Bring in a replacement and hope that it’s someone that unifies the team and fan base. Otherwise, everything you’re hoping to achieve later in life will be for naught.
With respect to what I think will happen and when it will happen: He will of course evaluate Rich Rod. Today or tomorrow. There is a team meeting set for tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7:00 P.M. That meeting was set before Gator Bowl. Tonight is the Orange Bowl. Tomorrow, Brandon will undoubtedly speak with Jim Harbaugh with the Stanford AD’s (Bowlsby) permission. Harbuagh HAS NOT signed his extension with Stanford (That says a lot right there.) Harbaugh is a smart guy that a lot of teams would take in a heart beat. And San Francisco, along side Denver, now needs a head coach and both have made overtures toward Jimmy. Is the call of the pros stronger than the call of the Maize and Blue? Only Brandon and Jim Harbaugh know that for sure.
The Rest of the Mess
And what a mess it was…New Year’s Day, if you are a Big 10 Football fan was Armageddon. It was a sign of the apocalypse….Okay, I might be exaggerating slightly here, but it certainly wasn’t good. The Big 10’s best hope, in my mind anyway, was:
Wisconsin vs. TCU: I wasn’t buying the TCU hype, especially due to the fact that Brady Hoke and San Diego State played these guys to a very close loss…And somehow BB’s Boys didn’t show up. Yes, TCU looked better and shut down the Cheeseheads at every turn, but come on…That Cheesehead team can put points on the board.
PSU vs. Gatorland: I really thought Joe Pa and crew could pull this one out, but somehow, Gatorland’s Defense rose to the occasion and continued to be a thorn in the Nittany Lions side….
Satan vs. SPARTY: Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I honestly believed that Satan’s Warriors were the best 3 loss team out there. Right \next to Texas Tech. Everyone in the SEC wanted a piece of Satan this year and a few teams got it. But that didn’t mean that Satan’s warrior’s were pushovers. Now, on the other side of the coin you have a Sparty team that overachieved (yes, I’m using that word) against a couple of big boys in the Big 10, but they didn’t play the Suckeyes and had a huge up day against the Cheeseheads. Iowa, (they finished 7-5, remember?) mopped the field with them. So, it really boiled down to which Sparty team showed up…The Cheeshead Clobberers or the Hawkeye Hacks…It looked a lot like the latter.
Northwestern vs. Texas Tech: Again, I had a sick feeling in my stomach on this one. Fitzgerald had his boys ready to play, but TT was too much at the end of the day. One of the better 9-3 Big IIX teams out there…
Cornsuckers vs. Huskies: Explain to me how you can destroy a team early in the season and then not show up for the re-match? Cornsuckers…Welcome to the Big 10…
Laters vs. Huskies: Huskies tried, but just couldn’t compete. Beast was down this year and could be back next year with a vengeance…
Domers vs. Gangstas: Domers finish on a high note which has to make them feel good, but was Miami as formidable as the Miami’s of past? I don’t think so….
The big games are still to come…So let’s all take a nap and stay up so we can watch till the end.
Idle Thoughts From New Year’s Day (and the Bowls):
-Rich Rod is so done…And if he’s not, Michigan just lost a fan….
-I’m done rooting for this guy…
-David, did you hear that?
-The MMQ will officially pick another team to root for next year.
-It won’t be from the SEC
-I hate those guys more than I hate the NCAA, Domers, Sparty, and the Suckeyes combined…
-Why? Have you seen this? (Thanks MZone)
-Yes, I hate the SEC. “Bending” the rules is one thing.
-Abusing kids is another.
-These are 18 year old kids being treated like cattle.
-Don't think so? You didn't watch Houston Nutt in the clip about half way through...
-And where’s the NCAA? Nowhere…
-Will Jimmy say yes?
-Depends on the question.
-Okay, so the question is: “You coming home to coach for your Alma Mater?”
-Or something similar…
-The Suckeyes in the middle of a scandal are now the Big 10’s best shot at somewhat salvaging the bowl season.
-They lose, it’s 2002 all over again.
-That wasn’t a pretty year, for those that can recall.
-You know who’s been really quiet lately who probably still talks to Jimmy?
-Jamie Morris…Who of course got canned from the University for “questioning” authority?
-Do you think Jimmy would bring him back immediately? For recruiting purposes alone?
-UConn didn’t deserve to be in the Fiesta…
-But from the looks of it Michigan and Sparty didn’t deserve what they got, either.
-Weiss will go back to college coaching…
-As an O-Coordinator at Florida? Really?
-Why not just stay at the Domers under Kelly?
-Baffling, my friends…Simply baffling.
The Hot Seat
Your Hot Seat Mascot is still Julie Bowen and she’s on the side bar as a reminder that the Seat is always hot when you’re not winning…
1. Rich Rod – I really don’t see a way he survives.
2. Richy Rich – Lost to UCF? Really?
2010 GONE LIST
1. Brewster – Did you hear they are trying to get Peterson from Boy’s State to interview? Riiiiight…..
2. Dan Hawkins
3. Randy Shannon
4. Bill Lynch
6. Heywood – Pittsburgh fires two head coaches in less than a month….
7. Edsall – Uconn…but only to go to Maryland.
8. Golden – From Temple to Miami…
Hot Coach Search
Edsall – Gone from UConn and going to Maryland.
Brady Hoke –had TCU by the short hairs. He’s raised a lot of eyebrows this year.
Harbaugh – It will take the right job to make him leave…
Gruden – This guy’s name comes up for every vacancy….
Houston Nutt – See Gruden…
Steve Mariucci – I guess a few years after the Lion’s debacle erases the memory banks…
For anyone looking to improve on the ole pocket book, well, I decided early that I wasn’t going to bet the early bowls. They are simply too unpredictable. I made some imaginary picks and while I would have gladly taken the Cornsuckers and laid the points (to Washington) I would have been killed. But the same logic would have worked splendidly with Oklahoma vs. UConn…So, I don’t know how to bet the bowls…But…
I am looking at tonight’s game and thinking that Stanford has a serious edge and Va Tech is simply lucky to be there. And Stanford is getting points! Is that disrespect for Stanford, the Pac 10, or both? And is Va Tech that good? And does Va Tech have that much more to prove? I have to take Stanford and the points for $100 tonight…Just too good to pass up.
Tomorrow, we have OSU getting the 3.5 teaser….Normally, after the drubbing that the Big 10 took on New Year’s day, I would jump all over Arkansas to cover like white on rice…But something is telling me that the Suckeyes are going to come out a little pissed off tomorrow…I have to take OSU and the 3.5 for $100, also.
And because you can’t have two picks without a 3rd, I have to look at the 3.5 that Oregon is getting from Auburn. I have flip-flopped on this game so many times based on what I’ve seen, heard and read that it’s not even funny. But based on what the SEC has done, I want to go early here and take Oregon and the 3.5 for $100.
And what the hell, let’s parlay the 3 for $50. That’s $300 if they all come home…
And just to be on the safe, idiot side, let's parlay everything the opposite way: Auburn, Arkansas, and Va Tech for another $50.
Bet Total: $400