Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Where To From Here, Fred?

(Editor’s Note:  Thank you for all of the e-mail and concerns as to the MMQ’s health, well-being, and making sure that I was off suicide watch.  While I diligently try to get this column out every Monday, there are times when work simply makes it impossible.  Last week I was at our plant in South Carolina, there was a come to Jesus meeting yesterday at my main customer, and next week I will be in Dusseldorf, Germany…HOWEVER!  I will try to make time to get a post out Monday as I see that some of you simply don’t know what’s going on in the college football world without the MMQ! And I know how much all you haterz wanted to see this column….Enjoy!)

As I sat in a friend’s basement watching the end of the game, an all too recently familiar feeling started to wash over me as Devin threw his last interception of the game…Michigan was about to lose again to Sparty.

The truly humiliating part to me as a fan:  It wasn’t even close.  I stated earlier in the season that some teams should just accept the fact when they get beat.   And Michigan GOT BEAT BAD…This was the equivalent of…Actually, I cannot think of many, if ANY, Michigan victories over Sparty where things got as lopsided in the opposite direction as this one did on Saturday against Michigan.  Bobby’s last game?  Saban had a stinker in Ann Arbor before he left and there were a couple of Perles gems in there as well…But I don’t think I ever recall one game where the Sparty’s were held to negative rushing yards.  EVER.  That noise you heard on Saturday was Bo Schembechler rolling over in his grave when it became clear that Michigan would not only finish the game negative rushing…but Michigan would also go a 2nd year without scoring an offensive TD against Sparty. 

Therefore, I guess you could say that Sparty owns the worst beat down of Michigan ever, Alabama and Tennesse beat downs included.   Great.  I’ll say that.  In addition, Sparty more or less came out and said, “Hey, Michigan, here’s what we’re going to do on Defense.  We’re going to blitz, apply pressure, and force you to throw.  And oh, by the way, we aren’t going to let you throw back side screens or slants.  And you are more or less going to have to beat us deep.”  And that’s exactly what they did.  On offense, they just didn’t screw up (that much).  And that’s all you need.

I am one fan that can’t wait for the next guy to screw up at some school where Narduzzi will want to be a head coach.  Is that a B1G or an SEC team?  What’s he waiting for?  I dunno…But his stock has never been higher, that’s for sure.  And while that does offer some balm to the wounds, it still doesn’t answer all the Michigan questions that are lurking in every Michigan Fan’s mind…

Will there ever be dominance again?  Can Michigan ever put it all together?  Why is it taking SO LONG when we watch other teams with redshirt freshmen or sophomores gaining success so quickly?  Is it the fact that the coaches are stubbornly standing behind lesser athletes that are seniors?  What are the reasons and more importantly, what and where are the answers?

The answers coming out of Ann Arbor will sound like a lot of excuses this week:  Sparty executed better, they wanted it more, yadda-yadda-yadda...  But, again, WHY?  What are the issues that are keeping Michigan from executing?  I’ve harped on the Offensive line all year and that clearly was one of the major issues Saturday.  But, the coaches had two weeks to game plan for that.  I understand now (after re-reading my comments from PSU) as to why Michigan stubbornly stuck to that game plan in Happy Valley.  Maybe the coaches were peeking ahead a little to the MSU game (and to a lesser extent, Indiana) and they were aware of the fact that without a solid run game, the season is lost…Well, there’s no run game.  Period. 

So now what, Fred?  I’m not on the Fire Fred and Barney bandwagon – even though it’s filling up fast….But the bar is being raised in this rivalry and Michigan cannot keep thinking that Sparty is a victory on the schedule….and for the rest of the B1G…It’s time to step up or get out of the way….

I hate to think that the season is for naught…It seems to me that some sort of salvation can come out of the last 4 games, with two at home.  But, just based on the probabilities, it doesn’t look good. 

Michigan has less than a 2% chance of going undefeated at this point.  Not that it matters as Sparty has more or less won the division and has some fairly easy games the rest of the way.  How did I get to 2%?  Simple:

Michigan vs. Nebraska      
70% chance of winning (At home, should be up after loss)

Michigan vs. Northwestern: 
35% Chance of winning (on the road, NWU HUNGRY for a win…)

Michigan vs. Iowa: 
30% chance of winning (See NWU – but they have bowl hopes)

Michigan vs. OSU: 
25% chance of winning (Hey - It is home and there’s a chance!)

Multiply all that out: 

0.70 x 0.35 x 0.30 x 0.25 = 0.01975~ 2%

chance of winning out.  Even if you take OSU out of the equation, it’s less than 10% that they can win the other 3. 

So, I’m now thinking that winning two of the last 4 would be great, leaving Michigan looking at 5th or 6th place in the B1G…a truly sad state of affairs.  I was actually trying to find some highlights that I might have been able to throw down here…All I can think of is that the scotch selection at the party I was at was pretty good.

5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

  1.  Denial and Isolation This stage is thinning out considerably as fans come to realize that any early season hopes and aspirations have more or less vanished and continue to dwindle with each loss.  There are very few fans left up here, but some of the new fans to this category may in fact be the OSU Suckeyes and possibly the FSU Seminoles.  IF (that’s a big If) the Ducks and Bama win out, two very good football teams are going to be left on the outside looking in.  Yeah, you could argue that Stanford is in here, also, but they have a loss and they have to beat Oregon.  If they do that, there’s a whole new group  in this stage Quacking that the Play-Off should have started 1 year sooner….
  2. ANGER  - While there’s a lot of anger out there and you can add some new faces, there’s probably no-one angrier than Michigan Fan and possibly Purple Kitty Fan.  If you didn’t hear, the Children of the Corn managed a last second Hail Mary at Northwestern to clinch the come from behind victory.  The Purple Kitties are 0-fer in the B1G and are going to want to spoil someone else’s party – soon.  Gator Fan might also be bubbling UP to this level from the bargaining / acceptance level due to the fact that they are not happy with what has been happening in the 3rd year of Will Muschamp’s tenure.  Let’s remember that Will didn’t exactly inherit a fleabag of a program, but he’s kind of turning into one and GATORLAND is getting pissed….
  3. Bargaining – This is where I believe you will find a large majority of Michigan Fans after what happened on Saturday.  Yes, they’re angry, but after each and every poor offensive and defensive display that occurred this season, only the truly slappy could assume that Michigan would somehow find a way to pull off the impossible up in East Lansing.  Again, 2 out of the last 4 now seems reasonable…and the season outcome already unsuccessful as, again, the Wolverines will not be going to Indy for the Championship.  Multiple fan bases are all here as they await the outcomes of future games and figure out which flea-bag bowl they will attend that is not BCS affiliated.
  4. Depression –NWU, Georgia, Gatorland, Game Cocks, Trojans, Wolverines, Clemson Tigers, Hurricanes, Gophers, Kansas and Horned Frogs to name a few…. 
  5. AcceptanceKansas and Purdue.  How incredibly bad do you have to be to know that you don’t even have a shot at winning a conference game for the rest of the season?  Really Bad….
The BCS Mess

The chips are falling into place…and how important it becomes to have that pre-season #1 Ranking!

Last Week


So much is happening this weekend that it will tell a lot about where this finishes up.  It’s hard for this fan to believe (if you’ve seen Oregon and FSU play this year) that Bama is still in the top slot – given the obvious weakness of the SEC.  There’s a LOT of Auburn fans, Mizzou fans and whoever else is left on Bama’s schedule in Oregon, Columbus and Tallahassee.  Whether or not FSU can get the point it needs with the schedule they have remaining is the big question mark.  I believe Oregon controls their own destiny and just has to keep winning.   The Suckeyes?  Michigan losing hurt them A LOT……

Idle Thoughts From Saturday
-All right, Fred and Barney….You’ve had two weeks to get ready for this…
-Please prove me right and show that the Sparty Defense is simply a product of its competition…
-ALL RIGHT!  Long pass to start out the game..
-I hate field goals in this game…
-And they march right down and answer….How about some defense?
-We cannot let them score anymore…
-I’m not unhappy at half-time, but I’m not elated, either.
-Uh-oh….3 and outs are never good…
-Jeez…Gardner is getting absolutely no blocking up front…
-Screen is covered all day and Sparty corners are covering the deep routes…
-Maybe they are as good as advertised..
-But aren’t we good too?  What gives?
-Minus 49 rushing yards?  Where’s the Scotch…
-I guess I must have had too much…
-The crowd I was with made me don the “Mraz Safety Helmet”
-Now Officially known as the "MMQ Helmet"
-(Apartment 4 Guys will immediately get the reference…)
-Thank God for Hot Seat Mascots....
-Why do I let myself get so wrapped up in this game?
-ITS SPARTY fergodsake!
-Great – they scored again…
-I hate these guys…maybe they have taken over this adage…Seeing as how the domers won’t be around to kick around after next year…
-Everything this season is now for naught…
-No B1G Championship Appearance..for the 3rd straight year…
-No BCS game…
-And there would have at least been a chance had they beaten PSU…
-I’m not ready to can Fred

The Hot Seat

 Natasha Poly was a two week winner (since I was unable to get a bye week edition out) so we missed a Hot Seat Mascot for Week #9.  This is another SI Swimsuit model that caught my eye and without further ado, Hot Seat Mascot nominee for Week #10:  Hillary Rhoda!



GONE LIST:  (It’s not the EARLIEST we’ve ever had a gone list….but it’s the earliest “in season” we’ve had a Gone List…)

  2. Paul Pasqualoni
  3. Treadwell

 Hot Seat Rank

  1. Hazell:  Poor Purdue….what are they gonna do?
  2. Weiss:  Can’t believe he’s still there…
  3. Snyder:  Retiring?
  4. Fitzgerald – Can’t stop a Hail Mary and no B1G wins?
  5. Holgorensen:  Moves down a little…but had better find a consistent offense
  6. Mullens – Mississippi State…gotta be getting warmer…
  7. Biliema:  Arkansas Nation does not like  a B1G re-tread…
  8. DABO:  no chance at national title….
  9. Richt – Wow…Again, injuries are tough….
FMQ Betting Results:
I missed the FMQ last week due to work related issues as well…I really hate it when work gets in the way of getting screwing off stuff accomplished.  But, I will report on the last bets (It wasn’t pretty – we’re simply going to call it a “Michigan Week”) and I will get out the FMQ tomorrow as I can foresee that I want some action on the Oregon Stanford battle in Palo Alto.
USC @ Mizzou (-2.5): 
Take Mizzou and lay the 2.5 for $40

UCLA @ Oregon (-23): 
Take Oregon and lay the 23 for $50
WIN!  Bank $95

Nebraska (-10.5) @ Minnesota: 
Take Nebraska and lay the 10.5 for $60

Texas Tech (+7) @ Oklahoma: 
Take Texas Tech and the 7 for $50

MSU (-10) @ Illinois: 
Take the Illini and the 10 for $50

Starting BANK:       $1,174.50
TOTAL WIN:            $95
BANK:                       $1,269.50

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