Here we are! More than half way through the bowl season and I can honestly say that the only bowl game I’ve watched in its entirety (nearly) was the Alamo Bowl with Baylor and Washington. Fell asleep for part of it, but made it through most of it. And it was worth watching. Also caught part of the Domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) losing to FSU.
Whatever will become of the Domers?
I thought they might pull out a bowl win for their loyal fans as FSU had to be way more disappointed and pissed about not being in a BCS game than the Domers…but I was wrong (hee-hee!). Well, either way it goes for Michigan, it was a better than expected season.
But, instead of hearing about what I think might happen in the Bowl Games that Matter, I think I need to report on the last week.
What I Did On My Christmas Vacation:
Got thoroughly pissed off at the NCAA and the ruling for the suckeyes. And if I were USC, I would be leading the charge for penalty reform and trying to figure out who has what pictures of NCAA officials doing what to donkeys. In case you didn’t hear, the Suckeyes lost some additional scholarships and next year’s bowl game, taking all the pressure off Urban Legend to actually perform well. And they released it in a holiday week when the news cycles are short. Yes, Tressel got hit with a show cause which was the minimum he should have received. He LIED to everyone involved for God’s sake! The NCAA are a bunch of Chickenshits…Somebody somewhere at OSU has dirt on the NCAA…And that’s all I have to say on that.
I received and finished John U. Bacon’s book, “Three and Out”, which is more or less the story of the Rich Rod affair in Ann Arbor. First, where ever you may fall on Rich Rod, read the book. It will change your opinion. Second, without coming out and telling you what he thinks, Bacon is masterful in laying out the facts in such a way that you can easily draw several conclusions on the Rich Rod debacle. In summary:
On the Hiring of Rich Rod:
1. It’s still not clear who from the Athletic Department leaked to Kirk Herbstreit that Michigan was hiring Les Miles. That has to be the most wondered about and frustrating fact in the hiring fiasco. I have my suspicions and they haven’t changed much after reading the book from what I originally thought: Someone wanted to get a reaction from Les and have Les go on record publicly as someone that does not react well under pressure.
2. Lloyd Carr DID NOT WANT LES MILES. That much is perfectly clear. Even after Mary Sue Coleman and Sailboat Bill decided to talk to him and Les stated that if Michigan offered him the job, “I wouldn’t say no.” That’s a direct quote from the text. Mary Sue stated she would be the one to tell Lloyd that they were going to go after Les. And then suddenly, Carr swings into action and calls Rich Rod and tells him to think about the job? Then, in an effort of “non-support”, Lloyd lines up the incumbent palyers and tells them all that transfer papers are ready…While it’s not unusual, it’s certainly not a vote of confidence in Rich Rod.
3. Lloyd (and to a certain extent, Sailboat Bill) then went on to let Rich Rod publicly screw up several press conferences and certain traditions without so much as a coaching session on such matters, even though Rich had asked for several meetings with Lloyd.
4. If there is one “singular” person that is responsible for the failure of Rich Rod, it has to be Lloyd Carr. Bacon asked for several interviews (begged, in his own words) and Lloyd would not honor the request.
On Rich Rod’s Own Screw-ups:
1. Rich Rod should have kept English and the defensive staff around based on the fact that the couldn’t get his Defensive Coordinator from WVU to come to Ann Arbor.
2. The divisions in the Michigan camp became clear and the “cockroaches” did everything they could to upset the apple cart. Rich Rod didn’t go far enough with respect to catering to the “Old Guard” and traditionalists (especially the regents) when it came to understanding the politics surrounding the football program.
3. Don’t keep forcing a defense that just isn’t working…
4. Learn to say less dumb things in press conferences….
On Sailboat Bill
1. The Martin legacy as a business man is great – and frankly, echoing Bacon’s own comments, I wish it had ended there. On running an athletic department, it sucks. Not only did he not have a clue on what he was getting into when it came to hiring a coach, he DIDN’T EVEN USE THE COMMITTEE HE ESTABLISHED! Why his name is on the stadium is beyond me. That is the fault of David Brandon.
2. Martin would have more or less been let go if he hadn’t announced his retirement. Mary Sue had pretty much seen enough of Bill and his bungling of the interview process and hiring of Rich Rod, not to mention other “mishandled AD issues”.
3. Great business man, lousy AD.
On The Free Press
1. Bacon really calls out Rosenberg and Snyder. I mean, not only does he call them out, but he more or less supports the Michigan Daily’s claim that someone should be fired for the initial article that did not have supporting facts on the claims that were made with respect to the times associated with “over-practicing”.
2. In fact, Bacon went on to state that the NCAA itself “couldn’t readily answer the question as to what constituted over-practicing” other than the simple fact that coaches or paid assistants cannot be present or it’s official.
3. CARA forms are not only dumb, but THEY ARE NOT THE COACH’S RESPONSIBILTY TO SUBMIT! The Freep has repeatedly made false statements that Rich Rod and his “staff” had not completed the forms and have never corrected the statement, looking only to put additional dirt on Rich Rod’s coffin.
4. In short, he states that Rosenberg and Snyder were not only biased in their reporting, but they were obviously being fed information from someone on the inside that had access to a lot of it. Of the 7 people “indicted” in the NCAA report, 6 are no longer with the program.
5. In my own opinion: If you currently subscribe to the Freep, please stop. They are a complete fraud of news reporting.
On David Brandon and the firing of Rich Rod
1. Bacon more or less does speculate on this one with respect to “When did Dave make his decision to can Rich?” He states that if he had to put a date on it, it would have been right after the Football Bust and the Josh Brogan incident, which was pretty much the same time that the MMQ lost it…
2. Dave was smart to wait as long as possible to make sure that Rich Rod didn’t have immediate options (Maryland was VERY INTERESTED – it’s in the book) and he could have dragged half his guys with him…
3. It didn’t say what happened to Lloyd, but it did state that David needed to bring the “fractured” Michigan program back together.
In all, the tale is a good one and I have a very different opinion of Rich Rod after reading the text. Bacon doesn’t have any reason to spin it and put Rich Rod in a good light, but that’s how the story reads. The guy simply wanted to be given a chance to coach football, work through the issues he had inherited, and build a winning program in a tradition rich environment. But the deck was stacked against him from the get go and he never really had a chance. Lloyd Carr, for whatever personal reasons he had (Loyalty to Ron English and Mike DeBord?) wanted to see to it that Rich Rod would go down as the biggest mistake the Michigan Athletic Department ever made. Unfortunately, that is also a blemish on Lloyd Carr and it is something that this Michigan Man/Fan will never be able to forgive him for.
I’m sure that the collective brain trust in Ann Arbor wishes that “Three and Out” didn’t exist and that it would just go away. However, I have a feeling that the incumbent Powers That Be will be answering questions for a long time with regards to many of the facts that are contained within.
In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Athletic Department didn’t respond in some way to the text. Because it’s not going anywhere…
Idle Thoughts From The Christmas Break
-PSU is in a world of hurt and the Joe Pa legacy will take years to recover from.
-Let this be a lesson to other institutions with “untouchable” head coaches.
-It’s not always in your best interest to keep living legends around…
-Think Bo and Lloyd Carr…When they retire, get them off campus!
-I know, but that’s the way it should be…
-Too many bowls….
-Who’s playing in this one? Anyone that I care about?
-New Year’s Eve isn’t a bad day for bowls when you think about it…
-There’s not much going on during the day
-I hate New Year’s Day on Sunday…It sucks.
-Everyone is ready for COLLEGE Football on New Year’s Day..
-My mother even called asking me if she had missed something…
-And was REALLY ticked when I told her the Rose Bowl was on ESPN.
-Nope, she doesn’t have cable.
-How many days can we stretch the Bowl Season out?
-Too many….Bowls on January 9th are too late…
The Hot Seat
VOTING IS COMPLETE! WE HAVE A WINNER!
Jenn Brown will be the Hot Seat Mascot for the 2011 Football Season! That’s who’s picture we get to stare at, er, look at whenever I post during the off season. In a record vote (over 100 votes were cast!) Jen eked out - literally – a 2 vote victory over Lucy Pinder…Amazing when you think about it!
I will continue to comment on all the coaching hiring and firing, but for today, let’s just enjoy Jenn’s moment!
Well, I haven’t bet any bowls up to this point, but now we’re at the do or die time.
So, let’s get right to it:
Urban Legend Bowl (OSU vs. Florida -2.5)
So, let me get this straight: The team that was coached a year ago by the coach that is actually on the opposing sidelines is giving points? And it’s O-coordinator (The Big One) is leaving and going to Kansas? And it hasn’t shown any promise all year long on the offensive side of the ball? I don’t care if it is in Gatorland’s back yard, The Suckeyes are going to DESTROY Gatorland today….That has to be the gimme on the board!
Take OSU and the 2.5 for $200
ROSE BOWL Oregon vs. Wisconsin (+4.5)
The cheeseheads have been to the Grand Daddy of the All several times in the last 5 years…My guess is they are playing for some national respect and want to remind people that they were two last minute plays away from playing LSU in the Title game. I know that Wisconsin looks a lot like Stanford, but I think Wiscy might be a little better. And Russell Wilson wants to improve his draft status. If Wiscy loses, it’ll be closer than most people think…
Take Wiscy and the 4.5 for $75
The FIESTA Stanford vs. Oklahoma State (-4.5)
Wow…Here’s two teams with something to play for. This might actually be the best game going in this bowl season. I want to say take Okie State and lay the points, but Mr. Lucky and company might just be able to surprise this team…Mr. Lucky was good to me all year. I hate to get off that bandwagon…
Take Mr. Lucky and the 4.5 for $75
The OUTBACK Sparty vs. Georgia (-2.5)
Sparty getting points…in a bowl game...after losing by 41 points last year to an SEC team that was playing for pride/revenge. Hmm…Cousins last game along with a lot of other seniors. I hate to take Sparty, but something is telling me that Georgia isn’t respecting what Sparty can do.
Take Sparty and the 2.5 for $50
The SUGAR Michigan vs. Va Tech (+2.5)
These are two really even teams on paper. But they don’t play the games on paper. Va-Tech fans aren’t buying tickets which tells me the fans simply don’t believe in this team. Michigan has something to prove and is laying groundwork for next year.
Take Michigan and lay the 2.5 for $125
The NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP Satan’s Warriors vs. LMU
Satan’s Warriors will have their ears pinned back in this one. LMU has already beat them once, but this is the one that counts. Never EVER go against the Hatter with all the marbles on the line as he has bigger balls than any other coach in the collegiate ranks. My heart and head want Les to win this one just to see Satan cry at the press conference…But I also know what Satan can do to make sure that doesn’t happen…
Take LMU and the 1 point for $75
Starting Bank: $1,332.50
Total Win: $600
Enjoying the Ride....MMQ