Monday, August 20, 2012

Pre-Season Spectacular! A little later than usual....

Here we are again! After the break in the heat, I finally let my mind wander towards the upcoming season and thoughts of another BCS Bowl…Oops…Wait an MMQ minute…I can’t call them that anymore…
I was also thinking about all the conferences and how Syracuse or Pitt might actually rule the Big East with WVU gone…Oops, tack on another MMQ minute…I forgot that Syracuse and Pitt are now (or will be soon) in the ACC….

Then, I started thinking about poor Penn State….and I really don’t know what to think….

Then Fitz Toussaint decided to go on a bender and more than likely got himself tossed off the team….And the MMQ started thinking doom and gloom….But it’s TOO EARLY TO BE THINKING THAT WAY!

With so much happening and so little commenting from your MMQ, I guess it’s time we get the housekeeping in order and get some of the minor things out of the way!

First Things First: The Playoffs!

Well, we are going to have a college football playoff…Sort of. I’m not 100% convinced that everyone will be happy with what is being proposed, and in case you don’t know all the details, they can be found here. In summary: It’s a 12 year deal with 6 bowls that will rotate the semi-finals with a Championship Game (Not a Bowl) going to the highest bidder, kind of like the Super Bowl. In addition, the president’s agreed to form a committee that will more than likely form a selection committee that will choose the favorite sons of each conference to be one of the 4 teams every year.
Pros: Hey, it’s a playoff and I like it. I guess I’m glad to see that the suits that are forever saying that a play-off would interfere with class and the student athlete’s schedule are finally not hiding behind the lie and doing what should have been done 10 years ago.

Another Pro: I guess we’re finally going to get to see the match-ups we’ve all wanted when in years past we said, “Hey, wouldn’t it have been cool if so and so would have played so and so after the Rose and Fiesta (Or Sugar and Orange…Well, maybe not the Orange, but you get my drift.)

Cons: As a Michigan Fan, I kind of like the idea that there will be a committee that takes the best teams without looking at the public sentiment vote. However, having a committee also scares the bejeezus out of me for too many reasons to list…Ah, hell, lets list a few:

1. I can see a committee that ends up taking up to 3 teams from a single conference (cough-cough..ESS-EEE-SEE) based on the fact that there isn’t round robin play. That makes me nervous.
2. Boise State, Utah, and TCU: Your chances of getting in the play-off are slim to none. This is going to be big money and you can bet the big money boys are going to make sure that a 1 loss big conference team gets a shot over an undefeated based on “Strength of Schedule” and “Tradition”.
3. Which means that a 1 loss Domer team would probably NOT get the nod in that type of situation, also. A 1 loss, 11 victory Domer team or a 1 loss, 12 victory B1G, SEC, or PAC12 runner up? Yep, that’s what I thought, too.

Where I see this thing going: Looking back over the last 10 seasons, I don’t see a huge amount of discrepancy in the number 1 or 2 team (a 2 loss LSU in 2007 that won the whole ball of wax is the only issue) and even down to the third ranked team going into the bowls. Where I have an issue is with that 4th slot. That one becomes the “This is who we “THINK” deserves the shot” slot. And with everyone lobbying (think Florida in 2006) for a shot, well…I guess we’ll just have to see how it all works out…

But it’s a far cry from what we had!
Number 2

Future schedules have been announced and frankly, Michigan isn’t doing the season ticket holders any favors…Once again, the odd years are the seasons that everyone wants and the even years are, well…. they are the even years.

Something needs to happen to try and figure out how to get OSU and the Domers off the same home schedule….That would help the even season with respect to one more decent game on the schedule. All I know is with other pressing activities outside of Michigan Football, the even year home games lack some luster…and that should not be the case.
Item 3

Part of what has been holding up the Pre-Season Spectacular is the turmoil that is plaguing The Nittany Lions and their program. I’m shocked at this point, somewhat baffled, and saddened as to what the NCAA handed down with respect to penalties and sanctions.

Don’t get me wrong: Penn State needed to be punished and woken up to what “Institutional Control” really means and I believe this will have an overall positive effect on the sport of college football. I’m just appalled that there are still some staunch supporters that are upset with the current Powers That Be for agreeing to the sanctions and penalties. There is a lone Trustee Board member announcing that he’s ticked that PSU agreed to all of this. Look, dude: PSU did WRONG. Wrap your little pea brain around that and noodle on it for a while.

In my mind, all of this is somewhat academic. PSU enjoyed financial gain for the 12 years when Joe Pa, and everyone else, knew about Jerry Sandusky’s actions of evil on small boys/young men. For that, they need to be punished. The statue should have come down the day after the Freeh Report was released. Why that took as much time as it did is beyond me... In case you haven’t read it (I have not read in its entirety, but I’ve read the most damning parts) Freeh and his staff conclude that there is “absolutely no way Joe Pa and others didn’t know what was going down in 1998 with Sandusky and the victims.” And then Jo Pa lied about it to the Grand Jury under oath.

As much as it pains me to say, Shame on you Joe Pa…Shame.

Does this hurt the B1G much in the same way that SMU’s Death Penalty brought about the demise of the SWC as some pundits (mostly PSU supporters hoping to drag everyone else down with them – see Black Shoe Diaries Blog for all the B1G ramifications….) would like you to believe? I think not. The B1G is going to be just fine, thank you, and doesn’t have the same external pressures on it that the SWC had. It’ll hurt the overall performance of the B1G, but it might actually help the other Big 4 (Michigan, OSU, Wisconsin, and some mix of MSU-Northwestern-Iowa) get the recruits that were going to PSU…

Still, my heart goes out to all those kids (victims), the current administration and players, and the fans that did nothing but root for their team and their alma mater…Try to picture your school going through this. Frankly, it sucks. The fans didn’t do anything wrong…The players didn’t do anything wrong. But they are paying a HUGE price. Is that morally right? Or any more morally correct than what Sandusky and Joe Pa did? I dunno….I think there was a penalty out there that would have been just as harsh (monetary) and would have pained PSU the “institution” but not brought on the destruction of the program long term. PSU recruiting is in the potty for the next 4 years…No one is going to want to go there if they can’t be in a bowl game. You could have left the scholarships and taken the bowls away and had the same affect. In addition, by taking those scholarships, the NCAA (which – REMEMBER!- is about the STUDENT athlete) just deprived 10 to 20 kids annually of a compensated education at PSU…Does any of that make sense? In what world? As you know, whatever the NCAA does when it comes to handing out punishment rarely makes sense to the MMQ, but this one absolutely takes the cake….No one can give back to the victims what was taken from them. This is about showboating and trying to one up everybody else in the due process area of resolution.

And frankly this exercise by the NCAA is just that: A way for the NCAA to say, “Look at me. I matter.”

Mr. Emmert, I hope in the coming years you can live with the results of your actions and understand that two wrongs do not make any rights…..and destruction for destruction’s sake in the long term helps no one….What if one of the “student athletes” you denied an education becomes something ugly themselves? The butterfly affect and potential for unintended consequences abound with your decision……

One Last Fun Little Thing….

An avid reader and brother in law sent me this link. It’s the writer’s opinion of what the top 25 Touchdowns are in Michigan History. He didn’t rank them in any particular order, but it certainly got me to thinking about it. Check the link and see what you think about the ranking and order of these touchdowns and we will vote on them up to the first game of the year! I hadn’t ever thought about it, but this is definitely something that I can kill some dead time with any day of the week…..

My 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. USC – Look out for this team….Could be an FMQ FAVORITE week in and week out….
2. Alabama - Bowl game loss in the National Championship Game…
3. LSU – I’m done doubting Miles…Seriously….
4. Oregon – Process, program, speed and execution…REPEAT
5. Michigan – Surprise Big 10 Champions! Well, maybe not a surprise, but the National Title will be out of reach with two or more undefeated teams above….
6. FSU – breakout year finally for the Seminoles with an Orange Bowl Win…
7. Wisconsin – look for the Cheeseheads against Michigan in the B1G Championship
8. Georgia – I don’t know what I like about Georgia except for their schedule.
9. Arkansas – I really wanted to put this team higher based on returning players…But John L Smith keeps me from doing that…
10. SPARTY! – Never let it be said that I can’t or won’t rank a rival. I just hope we beat you this year….

Perspective….Trying to find that in this year’s team is tough. Michigan lost a lot of key players but has many returning key players as well, 13. Of course, it looks like we just lost Fitz Toussaint to a DUI and that’s going to be a huge problem, especially against Alabama, but I believe Hoke will find a way. In fact, if you believe the hype and you believe everything Fred Jackson (Michigan’s running backs coach) says about Thomas Rawls, that we aren’t even looking at a drop off…It’s going to be a step up in power and speed…so, I dunno…

That being said, I’ve said earlier that this team faces incredibly difficult road challenges and I’m not sure the maturity and poise is there to come out of those with a 0.500 out where Michigan ends up.

SATAN’S WARRIORS: Yikes. I was much more confident in this game when Fitz was going to play. Now I think our chances of hanging within two touchdowns is in jeopardy - maybe. I just don’t want to see a PSU egg laying and Saban calling the dogs off to keep it “respectful”. I’m not following any of the local hype…Not that there’s a lot. Just slappy believers that say, “You’ve gotta’ play the game! Michigan just isn’t going to hand it to them…” Well, no, I don’t think anyone thinks that Michigan is going to hand them the game. And Michigan used to win big games like this where they were huge underdogs…We’ve all just seen what well coached CHEATERS can do with extra players and kids that don’t need to make grades…
Michigan 27- Satan’s Warriors 36
The MMQ Slappy Prediction: DeRob 35 – Satan’s Boobs 31

AIR FORCE: I never say that any team is a push over any more. And coming off what will most likely be a trouncing against Bama, well, I’m nervous that bouncing back may be difficult. Not only that, but it’s an early game (time wise) in September and the Big House field gets hot – not to mention that the Air Force offense will have been prepping for this game and setting up to give Michigan fits. But, I want to believe that we can get to 500 with a win, so
Michigan 42 – Air Force 28

U MASS: Again, after App-State-Gate, take no on lightly. But here’s a team that simply should NOT be on the schedule. Take your pay day and lay down for Michigan, UMASS
Michigan 35 – UMASS 14

Domers: It would appear that even the most loyal of Domer fans have had it with this institution…Rick Reilly lambasted them nicely and you can read it here…

Reilly: Notre Dame Irish have relegated themselves to insignificance

Can you say, “Must win game for Brian Kelly?” He has to beat Michigan for no other reason than the fans will get him fired long before $warbuck$’s end of season evaluation will take place. Kelly is 0-2 against the Wolverines and 0-2 against USC. That’s not good. After stealing the last 3 out of 4 from the Domers, I can’t help but think that the big ‘ole revolving door of Karma is down there waiting for us…OR is there still Reggie Ho and other sins of Domer game’s past that still need to be atoned for? I think DeRob is going to have a “Big Game” and Michigan might pull off 4 in a row down in Domerland!
Michigan 42 – Domers 38 (Double OT)

Purdue: Again, it’s a B1G Game and anything can happen, but Danny Hope may be on the Hot Seat and I don’t think the Wolverines are going to help his cause….
Michigan 31 – Purdon’t 17

ILLINOIS: How Ron Zook keeps his job at Illinois – almost…. Tim Beckman is the new man on the sidelines at Illinois! Some of you may remember some of the close games he had Toledo in and who Toledo beat under his tenure….I don’t like to go there as Beckman is 1-0 against Michigan lifetime…Can anyone say REVENGE?
Michigan 37 – Illinois 14

SPARTY: Jeez…..I almost hate these guys as much as those other clowns. Somehow, the balance is going to start swinging back to the good side, I just can’t seem to figure out how…But I don’t see DeRob losing all 4 years to the Jolly Green Giants….I just hate the Back To Back games this sets up…
Michigan 42 – Sparty 35

Nebraska: After the shellacking that the Wolverines put on the Corn Huskers last year, I gotta’ believe Bo Pelini has a couple of motivational scores up in the locker room in Nebraska this year. Last year’s blow out at the Big House has to be one of them. I’ve heard that Lincoln can be a tough place to play and Michigan is going to find out…
Michigan 28 – Nebraska 31 (OT)

Minnesota: Kill is back and I don’t think he has the Gophers quite ready for B1G play…And I know he doesn’t have a defense that can contain a mid-season Denard…
Michigan 45 – Gophers 23

NORTHWESTERN: Who let Northwestern get good? I mean, I should have to worry about a team like this but I guarantee you that Hoke and company will be looking ahead to the following week with the Children of the Corn coming to town. And that’s a revenge game as I recall…..This one will be closer than you think.
Michigan 27 – Kitty Kats 24

IOWA: Can you tell me who the longest tenured coach in the B1G is? I’ll give you a hint: He’ll be in Ann Arbor coaching his team against the Wolverines this Saturday….I can’t believe it, either….
Michigan 51 – Iowa 37

At ohio: Once again, Michigan will be looking at beating a B1G opponent hoping to represent the Legends division in the B1G Championship game. Based on the tea leaves and the fact that we will hold the tie breaker against Sparty (yes, this means we’ll beat Sparty), we can still lose this one and make the Championship…I think. And I have this sick feeling that Urban Legend will start his chapter of this series out on the right foot….
Michigan 20 – Suckeyes 27

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 have earned their way into the game by default and the fact that there is no way that OSU or PSU can go….Who else is left in the Leader’s Division?
Michigan 35 – Wisconsin 23

So, while I don’t believe the pre-season hype and Michigan being the 4th, 6th, 8th or whatever best overall team in the nation, I do believe that they can win the B1G and face the Pac 12 Champion (or the runner up) and maybe exact a little revenge on Oregon….Buy we’ll see….
Idle Thoughts From the Pre-Season

-Did anyone talk about anything else?
-Well, there was the whole FSU and Clemson to the Big 12 that lasted about a minute before those two universities came to their collective senses.
-It was actually after the president’s at both respective universities more or less told everyone else, “What, are you out of you @#$!%$#$ing minds?”
-Remember: The ACC is an AAU conference with ties to huge government money.
-You’d be an idiot to leave…And an even bigger idiot not to join (See Syracuse and Pitt)
-Is there still a Beast? I mean, who’s left?
-We are going to have a Playoff!
-Or, is this just a fancy way to keep the Boise States and Utahs out of the club?
-The MMQ has an opinion…And if you’re Boise or Utah, you aren’t going to like it.
-The Domers might win 10 games this year…
-There, I said it. But I did say, “MIGHT”!
-And they can’t beat USC …and I believe they won’t beat Michigan.
-Has any Head Coach ever won 10 games and still gotten the Ax?
-Earl Bruce won 9 and got the Ax for not beating you know who….
-Petrino doesn’t count…well, technically I guess he does.
-I could see the same fate awaiting Kelly if he lost those two games and a BCS game…
-Just saying…
-What friggin’ page is Fitz on? I mean, come on guys…I know kids will be kids.
-Can’t they at least figure out how to do it and not drive?
-Lock ‘em in Ann Arbor and take away the keys.
-David Brandon is sort of getting on my nerves….I think I liked it better when the Michigan AD wasn’t ACTUALLY INVOLVED in athletics.
-Looking forward to this year’s defense. I don’t think last year happened by accident.

The Hot Seat

Jenn Brown made a comment on ESPN that she was “Honored to receive the Annual Hot Seat Mascot award and that the picture we’re using to represent her this season is one of her more flattering ones.” I’m not sure I got that quote exactly right, but she said something about something and that seemed like enough of an endorsement…

And I got to thinking about the origin of the Hot Seat and how many coaches, players and men in general have been put in the ole hot seat by women in their lives? You know, Samson, Clinton, Petrino….And I thought, “Hey, MMQ, what a great idea for a Hot Seat Mascot Theme for 2012!”

And while I won’t guarantee that EVERY Hot Seat Mascot nominee will be one that got a man in trouble, I figure we could give the honorary first week slot to Jessica Dorrell, the woman that brought down Bobby Petrino!

Off Season Coaches canned:

1. Bobby Petrino – Jessica sucked him down like a golf ball through 20 feet of garden hose….

Hot Seat Rank

1. Kelly, Brian: Until someone, anyone unseats him or he beats Michigan, he has to be number 1.
2. Derek Dooley: No way he survives another bowl-less year…Much less another year of sub 0.500 SEC ball…
3. Tedford: Cal seems so good early and then it all goes to hell…Why? And do they care enough to can him?
4. Mack Brown: I know, I know. But you didn’t think they would fire Joe Pa, either. Believe the MMQ when I say that his retirement or canning is nearer than you think…
5. Randy Edsall: Maryland is going to start thinking that with the ACC as screwed up as it is, why aren’t we winning more football games?
6. Kevin Wilson: But can Indiana really expect much more? Really?
7. Mark Richt: Just because he will lose some game he’s not supposed to and the annual “Fire Mark Richt” bandwagon will get a spit polish and a coat of paint…
8. Dabo Sweeney: Either find a defense or find a new job….
9. Frank Spaziani: BC is a proud school that doesn’t get a lot of attention…
10. Tubberville: Yeah, he’ll have a defense, but those people at Texas Tech are used to FIREWORKS!!!!!


The FMQ was in the green last year, but the bowl season did NOT do us any favors. That and some bad picks near the end of the season made of an up and down rollercoaster of a season….


FINAL BANK: $1,247

The Bank looked like this for the Season and much of it (in fact A LOT of it) had to do with the Andrew Luck Freight Train that was 8-0 ATS for the first 8 games of the season…When Andrew stopped beating the spread…well, that hurt me. However, I won’t make the same mistake twice. (Yes, we peaked at close to $1,800…sad how quickly a couple of losses and the vig can get you…)

We’ll start the year out with $1,000 cool American Clams with the goal in mind to double it (or better) or lose it all…and maybe re-load from prior year’s winnings, even though we’ve NEVER had to do that…(knock on wood).

Sneaking a peek at the schedules ahead, I like (ahem) Michigan to cover in Dallas (the early line is 12 and I have a hunch it’ll move higher, so I’m waiting. I also like USC to be this year’s Mr. Lucky in Waiting team…I most likely will be taking a lot of points and this team….I will need to study some other games more closely as the time approaches, but I’m looking forward to padding the FMQ bankroll a little more!

There you have it! Look forward to updates on Mondays or whenever pressing news presents itself!

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