I’m always a little sad when I start writing the season wrap….It’s kind of like taking the docks out of the water at the end of the summer…Another season in the books and we have to wait until next fall when it starts all over again. 230 days from last Monday night until the Kick-off Classic….230 days….
Anyway, here we go!!!
First, a question: Are you satisfied? As a Michigan Fan, you have to be a lot happier with the results of the season than you were with most of the over the counter pre-season expectations going in, unless you are a long time reader of this blog and understand that the guy writing it knows a couple of things about the team and can recognize a favorable schedule when he sees one. I predicted 10 wins and a B1G championship. Right on the first count, wrong on the 2nd. But, a BCS game and victory made up for that (Suck on that, Sparty). However, I’m not sure I can go out on that same limb next year, but more on 2012 in a minute.
As far as the overall College Football Season for 2011 goes…are you happy? Satisfied? Do we have our National Champion? The MMQ is NOT that enthralled…And I can tell you why.
Fans are expressing their discontent with the whole BCS thing and stretching games out until January 9th when the real world has already returned to the daily grind. I mean look at the MMQ – this is one of the LATEST season wraps ever by date….Check out the USAToday article for details, but games not on January 1st were not only poorly attended, but they were also some of the lowest rated TV for the bowls. Ever. (Granted, a LOT of that has to do with them being on ESPN, but a rating is a rating). A couple of snippits:
-Even with a capacity crowd in New Orleans' Superdome on Monday, average bowl attendance will hit a 33-season low. It was 49,617 through the first 34 games, down almost 3% from a year earlier.
-The BCS took a succession of TV ratings hits, the biggest to last week's Orange Bowl. West Virginia's 70-33 rout of Clemson drew just 4.5% of U.S. households, making it the lowest-rated game in the BCS' 14-year history.
-All told going into Monday, the BCS' 7.3% average on ESPN was down 10% from the 2010 season and 21% from 2009 — when its games were carried by broadcast network Fox.
That’s pretty sad and hopefully sends a message to everyone involved in this mess: New Year’s Day ONLY or a Play off, or here’s a radical idea: Both. I know it’s not quite that simple, but, JEEZ LOUISE, figure it out! People do NOT want to travel after New Year’s day and burn 3 or 4 days of Vacation on what amounts to a nothing bowl during the first week of the New Year….Sorry, but it’s true. In addition, “BCS” means nothing anymore…But a play-off, well, as long as your team is alive, you might figure out a way to watch and attend the games – In December.
But NOT a neutral play-off site based play-off and NOT using the small bowls as the pre-games to the Big One. I’m talking about a play-off format something akin to the NFL. Home Game Sellouts for the 1st and 2nd rounds would be GUARANTEED! Can you imagine what a school like Michigan, Bama, LSU or any of the big boys, could charge for tickets like that? And the money it would bring in via TV revenue alone? Sheesh! It’s a wonder that David Brandon hasn’t single handedly done it already!
And isn’t that better than playing in the Idaho Potato bowl and having your university PAY a minimum of $750,000 participation fee and another $500,000 to local hotels and restaurants? You can bet that athletic departments around the US are licking their chops at that opportunity!
Will it happen? Not right away of course. But once you go to a 4 team plus 1 format (which is going to happen! Check out Frank The Tank), it will be the opening of Pandora’s Box. Because the Big Boy’s that DON’T make it into the 4 team format will start making noise and as soon as the idea of home field advantage takes hold for first round games, well, it’ll be lights out for some of the bowls.
That’s not to say that if Michigan lost in the first round of the MMQ’s 12-16 team play-off proposal (remember this from 2009?) that they then couldn’t go to the Outback Bowl…But you can bet that if they did lose in the first round and got an Outback Bowl invite, even fewer fans would attend. Hence, the beginning of the end for Bowls will be upon us. Fans would have already blown their wad on home play-off tickets or going to someone else’s place to catch a “Meaningful Game.”
And frankly, that’s not a bad thing. It’s a hell of a lot better than handing Bama a re-match without them even earning it, fer God’s sake….If you don’t make the playoffs, well, you can still go to a bowl and get the extra practices in. But bowls and universities alike will start to hate them (the bowls) and revenue will dry up as the traditions just fade away and home play-off games and the revenue they can bring in take hold. And, if the Power conferences agree to share that home game revenue, well, it’s academic
…At least, that’s the ole MMQ’s view of the world.
Idle Thoughts From the Season
-Upon reflection, after everything was said and done, the MOST SATISFYNIG WIN OF THIS SEASON was and is the last second victory over the Domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) in the first ever night game at the Big House!
-Followed very closely by the satisfying thumping we put on the Suckeyes…
-And I’m really glad I was at both games with people that will remember and appreciate what we witnessed…My brother and daughter…
-Of course, my daughter might have learned some new bad words…
-But she’s been learning them anyway.
-I’m glad we discovered a defense that works…
-And I’m even more glad we were able to build an “acceptable” offense around DeRob…
-I would really, really like to have the Iowa game back…
-Sparty, well, I’d like to have it back, but we would need to completely re-do how we snap the ball…Molk’s only downfall.
-Fond memories of the Minnesota romp will live for awhile…
-That and Purdue.
-Speaking of Purdue – last two out of three over OSU? Really?
-Suckeyes must be getting sick of that...
-Meyer to OSU…That’s just bad form, Urban.
-Sorry, but it is.
-Yeah, the SEC is tough.
-I hope we give you ulcers in the B1G next year.
-But it is kind of funny…NDNation is livid over the fact that you went to OSU when they had an (imaginary) shot at you…
-Of course, they’re just going to go hire Satan now.
-Don’t believe me? Here’s the link…
-I guess they don’t know or didn’t hear that $warbuck$ just gave Kelly a 2 year extension.
-I hope Hoke continues to be a good coach and isn’t a flash in the pan…
-We’ll eventually see, but I don’t like the idea of another coaching search in the next 5 years…
-It’s too traumatic for the fans and players alike…
-But I doubt the PTB would ever make a Rodrigues mistake again…And if they did, I’m sure hoping the hire would get more universal support than Rodrigues got.
-I think I like the amplified band…To all the people that are bitching: Turn off your hearing aid.
-I also like the pumped in RAWK music. Makes it feel a little more energized.
Pre-Season Predictions and Outcomes
Well, I hate to pat myself on the back (AGAIN!), but your ole MMQ did nail down this season pretty well – for Michigan. I only screwed up Iowa and Northwestern, and I still believe that had they just shown up at Kinnick and gotten a few favorable calls or reversed TD’s and Michigan beats Iowa.
As far as the rest of the predictions, let’s take a peek (from the Pre-season Spectacular):
1. Stanford - Come on, Luck coming back is huge for that team. – This one was closer than anyone was giving me credit for…but they didn’t win the biggest games…
2. Alabama - Bowl game loss to Luck will be sweet for all other College Football Fans….Oops…heh-heh, well, at least I got one team in the title game right.
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. – HEE-hee…HAHAHAHAHA! The Boy’s State run should be over now that Kellen Moore has left the building…
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.. – Oops…Oh well, you can’t get them all right…
5. Texas A&M – If they can get by Texas – Jeez…This had to be the biggest face plant of the year…
6. Michigan – Surprise Big 10 Champions! – Okay, so they weren’t B1G 10 champs…but they were closer than most people thought!
7. Virginia Tech – Who else can you pick from the ACC? – Clemson?
8. LSU – An extremely disappointing season for Miles… - Wow…LSU has to be considered for a national title about every three years…That’s just the way it is…
9. Wisconsin – Didn’t see Michigan coming – Well, I wish Michigan could have played them…
10. Georgia – Sleeper in the SEC. I’ve read a couple things and I like ole Richy Rich to get it right (finally) – Ooooops…Another big miss by the MMQ.
2011 Biggest Surprises:
1. Michigan – Really. No one else was giving a 1st year head coach with a lousy record any more than 8 wins this year. 9 wins was going to be incredible! 10, you were a slappy…11 with a BCS bowl victory and you would have been laughed right out of the front door of ESPN.
2. This could almost be a tie for number 1: LSU After looking at kicking two members off the team on Labor Day, not to mention all the other crap that was going on, I’m more convinced than ever that the Hatter is one of, if not the best College Coach in the game today. And Michigan let Lloyd Carr decide not to go get him…Sheesh…
3. PSU – I’m glad 2011 is in the books for this great institution and I only hope they bring someone in that can put the whole sordid affair behind him.
4. Okie State – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t buying the hype and I thought that the Laters and Longhorns would put these guys in their place….What does the MMQ know?
5. Miami Scandal…Only it wasn’t that much of a surprise, really, when it comes down to it….
6. RGB III winning the Heisman.
2011 Biggest Disappointments
1. Texas A&M
2. PSU - Yes, you can be the top in two categories with a cataclysmic event like this...
3. NCAA ruling on OSU…Should have been much, much worse….
4. Luck not winning the Heisman, not that RGB didn’t deserve it. But RGB wasn’t on anyone’s radar pre-season. Luck only has himself to blame…if he beats Oregon, he’s right there…
5. Sparty not making a BCS bowl…Oh wait, that should be in the Biggest Laughs of 2011!
6. Tennessee – will this former SEC powerhouse ever figure it out again?
Weirdest and Strangest Conference Re-alignment Developments
1. Texas A&M to the SEC…Along with Missouri. Big 12 will never be the same….
2. Pitt and Syracuse leaving the Beast in the middle of the night…
3. WVU fighting to get out of the Beast early…
Hot Seat Mascot
Just to throw another picture of Jenn in here SOMEWHERE!
Early 2012 Predictions
Well, I hate to make predictions (except when I’m right) and I’m afraid that next season may actually bring more disappointment than many Michigan fans realize. I’m actually amazed at the number of people that believe 10 wins in 2012 is a given (based on what happened this year). Sheesh…What a crappy way to make a prediction. What surprises me is how many casual fans believe that a repeat of this year should be easy now that we have the right coaching in place…To all those fans that either haven’t been paying attention or need an education, here’s some simple questions:
Did you look at the schedule?
Did you see who they’re going to have on the starting roster?
Did you see who Michigan has to play on the road?
Michigan has a plethora of incredibly tough road games….Yes, Denard is back, but they are losing a lot of key people on Defense…Especially in the middle D-Line. That’s a problem and will more than likely be a setback…
Alabama, Domers, Cornsuckers and OSU are ALL ON THE ROAD!!
(If Michigan can win two of those, I’ll be impressed.)
So, without further ado: Here’s an early peek at the season schedule in addition to the predictions associated with each game.
(Home Games in CAPS – I know, the Jerry Dome is in Dallas, but at least we’re wearing the Blue Jersey’s. Scratch that. We’re probably wearing some “one time only!” special uni….sigh…)
Satan’s Warriors in the Jerry Dome. Not the opening cream puff you’d like to have to knock the rust off, but maybe Alabama will be saying the same thing and still be drunk from winning a Mythical National Title…Question is: Does the MMQ and the faithful figure out a way to get down to Dallas on Labor Day for this one where accommodations may be available or do we just watch what will probably be massive bloodshed on the tube? That’s the question…Ask me in May.
Michigan 24-Satan’s Warriors 42
This team is NOT a pushover and could present problems to Michigan’s defense with all it’s senior leadership in the middle gone….
Michigan 41-air force – 35
UMASS – See Air Force
Michigan 35 – Umass – 27
Michigan @ Domers
I don’t like this game. B. Kelly’s back will be against the wall and the pressure will be intense. Kowing the Domers, they will have already dropped a game to either Navy, Sparty or Purdue….They will have this date circled looking not only for triple revenge against the Maize and Blue, but also for the Night Game. This is a REVENGE GAME in all capital letters! Of course, when you’re playing for revenge, you’re playing tight and we own these guys!
Domers 24 - Michigan 23
Michigan @ Purdue
Michigan 37 – Purdon’t 17
Michigan hands first year head coach Beckman his first loss to Michigan…
Michigan 52 – Illini 21
Quadruple Revenge, anyone? This is one the Wolverines will have circled on THEIR calendar…
Michigan 42 - Sparty 35
I hate Road Revenge Games….Nebraska is going to want this one almost as bad as they will want to crush Wisconsin…
Michigan 27 – Cornsuckers 30 (OT)
If Kill is still the coach, he won’t beat Michigan this year…
Michigan 42-Gophers 24
Not as much of a threat this year, but still should not be taken lightly…
Michigan 31 – Northwestern 21
Michigan owes this team as well and will be looking at a 3 game winning streak if they can pull it off…
Michigan 24-Iowa 21
Michigan will have its hands full in a game that will be much bigger for OSU as it will be the Legend’s first “Big Game” in Columbus.
Michigan 24 – OSU 35
So, for those of you keeping score at home, that’s a potential 4 losses for your Wolverines in 2012 where many people are going to have them winning at least 10 games and going to a BCS bowl…Sorry, but that’s just the way the ole MMQ sees it…
As far as my Way Too Early Top 10 Predictions? Well….I guess I can do that…
1. Alabama – returning too many players and its Satan, after all.
2. USC – Barkley’s back and there’s no bowl ban this year…In fact, I don’t know anyone in the Pac 12 that can put up a challenge at this point…
3. Arkansas – They were close this year with a bunch of guys coming back and the QB will be in his third year…And look at their schedule! Bama and LSU at HOME!!! That’s a big deal…
4. LSU-See Alabama
5. West Virgina – After the Orange Bowl Statement (I know, Bowl victories are NOT momentum), I think WVU is set to make a big run next year as they head to the Big 12…2nd season QB and a lot of offense coming back. Of course they have FSU in a early pre-season matchup.
6. Oklahoma – just ‘cause it wouldn’t be a pre-season without Stoops in the top 10 somewhere….
7. Oregon – Chip Kelly’s system is a good one, even without James…
8. Michigan – This might be a little high based on what I just predicted, but I’m just saying that to expect an undefeated season in 2012 is just kidding yourself…10 wins again would be HUGE…. (DeRob in his third year)…. Maybe a B1G Championship? Not completely out of the realm of possibility…But you gotta use the ‘ole imagination.
9. FSU – they’re pissed off about 2011 and have a bunch of guys coming back. But can they get by the Moutaineers?
10. Tie - tOSU and Texas – Meyer and Mack will have surprisingly good teams next year. Only problem is one of them is playing for nothing and the other is running into two Oklahoma teams that aren’t scared of Texas anymore…
Well, the Championship Game didn’t do us any favors, and the final result for the year is dismal. I guess that just goes to show you that even when you’re trying to leverage house money, it still hurts when you lose. But ending another year in the Green indicates that we must know SOMETHING about what we’re doing! We just need to do the better stuff better and the bad stuff less….Still, $248 for the season is nothing to sneeze at…
Kind of goes without saying, right?
The NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP Satan’s Warriors vs. LMU (+1) O/U - 40
Wow…This game might make us very happy or very sad as far as the ole FMQ is concerned….
We have $232 house money that we could parlay here if we wanted…Let’s do it…The current bet is:
Take LMU and the 1 point for $75 - LOSE
Let’s add to it and take the under for $100 – WIN! Bank $190
Let’s parlay LMU winning and the under for $50 (pays 3 to 1) – LOSE…
Starting Bank: $1,058
Total Win: $190
Enjoying the Ride....MMQ