Friday, August 12, 2011

2011 Pre-Season Spectacular!

Wow! It’s been and entire off season and here we sit with less than 25 days to go before kick-off. I’m writing “less than 25 days” because I’m writing this post as time allows. Believe it or not, work, life and finding time are becoming more and more difficult for your MMQ. And while I’m not quitting the blog, I do have to make time for it now.

I know some of you may have heard about the recent family issues we may have endured and I sincerely appreciate all the kind thoughts, prayers and support that you all have provided. Life is proceeding nicely at this point and we certainly take advantage of every day! But, enough about that….On to what you read this garbage for:

Current Happenings:

Numero Uno:

The Night Before Judgement Day

T’was the night before Judgement Day,
And all through the Big “C”,
Not a fan was making noise,
Not even bow tied Gordon Gee.

All the Suckeyes were quiet,
Nestled down in their little huts,
The NCAA is coming tomorrow,
As Suckeye fans feverishly rub their Buckeye good luck nuts…

The fans believe they’ll get off with a wrist slap,
The main culprits are gone, you see…
But Lack of Institutional Control,
Is too many big words for most Suckeye’s Vocabulary…

The NCAA sent another letter on August 3rd,
Stating, “Hey, Suckeyes, we found more stuff.”
So, even if we don’t pound you tomorrow,
We’ve got a free out for later to get tough.

St. Tressel took the proverbial money and ran,
Golden Boy Pryor was not far behind.
Smith and Gee still claim to be, “In control”
Which, this Michigan Fan would love to see those Suckeyes Define.

And all Michigan fans will watch the proceedings,
With interest more than piqued
As we took a big ole beating,
For a little extra stretching, less than 25 minutes a week.

And The Rubbers (Also know as Trojans)
Will be watching closely, too.
My guess is they will want to see,
A punishment equivalent handed down to OSU.

So, on the Eve of “tOSU Judgement Day” we wait,
And we wonder about it all.
Will the NCAA do what’s right?
And where EXACTLY will the axe fall?

Number 2
As predicted here, the Domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) - (Hey, did you know my word processor now completes that phrase for me as soon as I type JEEZ? It’s awesome baby!) have taken the extremely low road and re-instated “2 Beer Floyd” for the season and he will most likely be on the field in Ann Arbor under the lights. Forgive me Domers, but you now are the classic definition of hypocrite. You suck, you will always suck, and I’m truly ashamed to have been raised and call myself a catholic with your institution still standing and the people running it calling themselves catholics. When and if Judgement day comes for the Domers, there will be a lot of “good” people that will have a whole lot of explaining to do…

A&M to the SEC. It’s like a bad, bad, baaaadddd, soap opera. It ain’t gonna happen, UT and the state of Texas will NOT let it happen, and if it does happen, you can bet the Big 12 will dissolve faster than a popcorn fart in a hurricane. Texas will go the route of the Domers and try their hand at independence. They will “Set the Bar” for an independent institution, television rights, broadcasting fees, etc.

Pres Season Predictions

MMQ's End Of Season Top 10
Instead of a pre-season Top 10, you all know I try to figure out who’s going to be in the top 10 at the END of the season. Who I like, without rhyme or reason. Okay, maybe a little reason:

1. Stanford - Come on, Luck coming back is huge for that team.
2. Alabama - Bowl game loss to Luck will be sweet for all other College Football Fans….
3. Boise State - Something has been eating at me and this could be the year of the mid major in the National Title game…Not that they’ll win.
4. Oregon – Come back kids have controversy and a lot of time to prepare in order to deal with it. But Luck will be too much..
5. Texas A&M – If they can get by Texas
6. Michigan – Surprise Big 10 Champions!
7. Virginia Tech – Who else can you pick from the ACC?
8. LSU – An extremely disappointing season for Miles…
9. Wisconsin – Didn’t see Michigan coming
10. Georgia – Sleeper in the SEC. I’ve read a couple things and I like ole Richy Rich to get it right (finally)

You know, perspective is a wonderful thing. I believe I have a pretty good perspective on life in general. You can’t take yourself too seriously, don’t get hung up on the little stuff, and enjoy the ride because it ain’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Getting there isn’t half the fun, it’s the whole enchilada.

Which brings me to the hype machine surrounding this year’s Michigan Team. I know we’re going to be decent – or at least better than a lot of people think were going to be. We have Rich Rod’s 3rd year kids. The Defense should be healthy(er). I think we might win a few more games then people are suggesting (8 seems to be the common number). I also believe we might surprise an opponent or two along the way. I believe the Defense will be better and the Offense cannot (statistically, anyway) repeat what they achieved last year. And I know there will be a heartbreaking loss or two in the mix….

All that being said, I am going to enjoy the ride. Something just suddenly “feels” right with Hoke in there. Rich Rod was truly an outsider; an alien of sorts. Hoke not only gets it, I think he knows what’s expected. “No excuses, we’re Michigan.”

That being said, it wouldn’t be a Pre-Season Spectacular without the MMQ’s prediction for Michigan in 2011. So, let’s take them one game at a time starting with:

Western Michigan: Western lost a bunch of talent and frankly wasn’t all that great last year when they came into the Big House with their pro-ready QB that was supposed to light us up. They don’t have another guy like that waiting in the wings, it’s the home opener, and Hoke is going to want to send a message. Michigan wins running away.
Michigan 38- Western 16

DOMERS: First time under the lights in Ann Arbor. I have to say, I’m getting chills as I type this and I’m feeling a little excited about a night game in Ann Arbor. It should be a lot of fun, although I’m not looking forward to the 3-4 AM arrival time at home on Sunday Morning. However, I’m glad we get the Domers home in Hoke’s 1st year and Kelly’s 2nd. This is a bigger game for Kelly than it is for Hoke, but it’s still a Big Game... Kelly blew the game last year with some bad calls and I believe he’ll be coaching it a little different this year, which may play right into Brady’s hands. Michigan wins a tight one.
Michigan 35 – Notre Dame 28 (OT)

Eastern Michigan: Ron English – Brady Hoke. EMU just doesn’t have the guns to go after Michigan. It was ugly last year, it will be ugly again this year. However, if there was a potential “trap” game on the schedule, it’s this one because of who is coming to town next week.
Michigan 42 – EMU 24

San Diego State: This will be a fired up squad that is looking to “stick it to the coach that left them”. Look for a closer game than most people expect and I don’t even know what the spread is yet, but your FMQ will be taking San Diego and the points in this one.
Michigan 31 – San Diego State 27

Minnesota: Kill, the Coach, will have a couple of games under his belt and be looking for a “statement” game in order to establish the fact that he can coach in the Big 10. I’m not saying the Gophers will win, but expect a close game here as well.
Michigan 37 – Minnesota 31

At Northwestern: Honestly, this game scares me. Up to this point, Michigan has won them all, so we’re in a familiar situation at 5-0. Problem is, they’ve all been in the cozy confines of the Big House. Persa is a veteran QB and has something like 22 returning starters on offense and defense on a team that was bowling last year. Not only that, but this is the 2nd trap game on the schedule because the Italian Stallion and company are on the slate the following week. If Michigan is favored, I’m definitely taking Northwestern and the points.
Michigan 42 – Northwestern 45

At SPARTY: I have seen predictions with Sparty winning this division. A lot of them. I’m not yet convinced that Sparty can handle the hype. It’s a wait and see kind of thing. Sparty will probably be undefeated or at most one loss (Domer Revenge), but they’ll be ready for us, regardless. If Hoke and company want to shock the world, the first jolt willl have to happen in East Lansing.
Michigan 38 – MSU 35 (OT)

Purdon’t: What used to be a Big 10 doormat for Michigan has become an every growing irritant in the eyes of Michigan fans everywhere. While they will give Michigan a game early, this is Homecoming. Expect great things as Hoke will re-ignite the fires of what Homecoming in Ann Arbor truly means.
Michigan 28 – Purdue 24

At Iowa: On the road again. Iowa will be better than most prognosticators think as they are a relatively well coached team. Ferentz isn’t dumb and he will have this team up and ready for the Wolverines. If the shock the world team with one loss plans on a New Year’s day game, it has to win at Iowa. But don’t bet on it…
Michigan 27 – Iowa 28

At Illinois: Immediately following Ron Zook’s canning at Illinois (more on the Coach’s Hot Seat in a minute), the Fighting Illini vow to go out and win one for their coach. However, Michigan is running on all cylinders now with some big games in their sights. The Illini will show up, but a new attitude defense will be gelling and the offense will be firing on all cylinders. Expect a road blow out after a character defining loss at Iowa City….
Michigan 51 – Illini – 24

Nebraska: Michigan fans everywhere have circled this date and wondered, “Will we be ready?” This is a team that was a field goal away from playing as the Big 12 Champion. But they did lose to a lowly Washington team in the flea bag bowl they played in…Pellini will have these boys ready to go, but they’ve never seen anything like the Big House.
Michigan 24 – Nebraska 17

tOSU: Well, it all comes down to this. As always. Michigan with a potential shot at the inaugural Big 10 Championship Game. All the fans will be stuffed from Turkey Day and Leftover Turkey Sandwiches will more than likely be the Tailgate Theme, along with a whole bunch of Big Game. Will the Curse of Tressel die with Tressel or will it live on indefinitely? I have a feeling (I know it’s early, I’m optimistic, and I had a beer at lunch) but I have a feeling the tide may finally turn in this match up and it will become a true rivalry again.
Michigan 20 – Suckeyes 17

Big 10 Championship: Michigan looks to take on their Cheesehead foes for the right to represent the Big 10 in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin will more than likely be undefeated and playing a little tight. Michigan will be looking to put an exclamation point on an already successful 10-2 season. Can the 2011 Wolverines Shock the World?
Michigan 24 – Wisconsin 23

Come on, what did you expect? I can’t be down on my team forever. And with the defense healthy (assuming they can stay that way KNOCK ON WOOD!) I believe we have a better than average chance of achieving what many believe would otherwise be impossible with a 1st year head coach. Whatever. I think we've got a shot, at least for now.

Idle Thoughts From the Pre-Season

-I think Hoke took full advantage of the mess at tOSU with respect to recruiting.
-Dantonio is a boob for suggesting that the firing of Tressel was a tragedy. He was even more of a Boob for stating he didn’t know who Brandstatter was. Dantonio is absolutely the right coach for MSU. Classless and stupid. Enough said.
-Whatever happened to dull, boring College Football “Off Seasons?” when there was nothing going on and you longed for news or information?
-Teams that will surprise this year to the up side: Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee (all will finish in the top 25 - maybe even top 10)
-Teams that will surprise to the down side: LSU, MSU, TCU (Won’t finish as high as their fans would like - one possibly out of the top 25)
-Things I’d like to see: Big 10 vs. the SEC pre-season. ACC vs. the Big East Preseason. Pac 10 vs. Big 12 Preseason. One game corresponding to where each of those teams finished the prior year. So, Auburn plays tOSU, 2nd vs. 2nd, and so on. I know it will never happen, but it’d be nice…
-Other things I’d love to See: Domers to continue to struggle in mediocrity and insignificance for the foreseeable future. They don’t deserve to win, plain and simple. I will take great delight in Domer losses this year. And I will gladly drive down and buy a round for Floyd after every loss.
-Tressel being honored by Ohio High School Coaches is not only ludicrous, but it has to be a sign of some sort. And by sign I mean relating to a biblical upheaval or something. Let’s honor a guy for lying and breaking the rules because he was “really a good guy at heart.”
-So was John Wayne Gacy. Just a little misunderstood, that’s all.
-Who was John Wayne Gacy? Sheesh, look it up for Pete’s sake….

The Hot Seat
Well, Julie Bowen was everywhere touting her Hot Seat Mascot Championship every time she was in public. I personally didn’t know Julie was so proud of her award, but apparently she has stated it’s one of her most cherished possessions.

So, in keeping with the theme Hollywood hot chick theme from last year, were bringing you a starlet that was in this summer’s quasi-blockbuster Cowboys and Aliens, not to mention being a recurring cast member on AMC’s Mad Men. Without further ado, I introduce you to this Seasons Pre-Season Hot Seat Mascot - Abigail Spencer!

Who knew there could be SO Much Hot Seat activity in the off season. A summary:

1. St. Tressel. Yeah, I know we dedicated about a month and 5 or 6 posts to him, but it just wouldn’t be the Hot Seat without a mention of Old SweaterVesty….
2. Butch Davis – This has to be the oddest firing of all time. In fact, I decided to do a little research to see how many Division 1 head coaches had been fired in July. The number I came up with - ZERO. No other head coach has EVER been let go in June, according to records that exist. So this one, while not a surprise, couldn’t have been worse from a timing perspective.
3. Bill Stewart – I simply can’t believe the Hollywood movie this fiasco turned into. I believe this abortion has completely and utterly scared schools straight on the whole “Coach in Waiting” idea.

Hot Seat Rank
1. Without question, Paul Wulff, Wazoo. I don’t care if you’re a former player. Two wins in 2 seasons ain’t cutting it…Even at Wazoo
2. Neuheisel – Ditto. More wins, but at UCLA, more is expected.
3. Bob Toledo – Tulane is patient, but who knows for how much longer
4. Erickson – ASU had a great season in 2007 and much was expected afterwards. What’s happened? ASU has sucked, that’s what’s happened….
5. Richy Richt – Georgia fans don’t know whether to love or hate him, but he has endured. If he doesn’t do it this season, don’t be surprised is all I’m sayin’…
6. Zooky – I’m still shocked he’s still there, but I guess the Illini figure, “What the hell…who are we gonna get? Rich Rod?”
7. Tedford – California had a taste and Tedford starts out strong, but fades late in the season. Bears fans have to be getting a little tired of that….
8. Schiano – Rutgers. Turned down Michigan which now looks pretty stupid…My guess is if he doesn’t produce in the Weak East this year, they’ll look for someone else…
9. Kelly or Kelly – As in Chip and Brian. One of these guys could be staring a 2-2 or 1-3 start in the face if they aren’t careful. The other guy is not looking real good in the eyes of the NCAA. Either one of these could feel the heat get turned up sooner rather than later
10. Joe Pa – I know. He’ll be here till he dies because he ain’t quittin’. But, really, what value is he possibly adding at this point, besides being the old curmudgeon figurehead of the Nittany Lions?

By the way, have you got your name card handy? 4 new coaches in the Big 10:


Can you name the teams they coach without looking? (I know the Wilson one is tough….But it’s a test, it’s supposed to be tough)

The FMQ, for those of you that read this far, did incredibly well last season, but it was at the VERY END OF THE SEASON in the Bowls where I was able to clean up and I only did it by going for broke. So, while the results were favorable, I frankly hated the path we took to get there.

A quick summary of last year’s bowl bets and final bank:

BANK: $1,432.50

So, once again, we’ll start the year out with $1,000 cool American Clams that are technically worth a whole lot less this year than they were last year (Thank you Mr. Bernanke!) with the goal in mind to double it (or better) or lose it.

In my defense, after studying a couple of years worth of spreadsheets, I must say that my Michigan picks were less than stellar. In fact, they have been one of the problems for the FMQ as far as making money is concerned. So, we are going to continue to fantasy wager the Wolverines, but I just want everyone to know they kill me. They really do.