Monday, December 9, 2013

B1G Champ Sparty - Bittersweet

Based on the fact that most of the readers of this blog are B1G Centric, meaning the outcomes of Big 10 games mean more to them than anything else, I decided to start off today with Sparty.

Congrats.  Well Done.

Anyone who knows me understands EXACTLY how difficult those particular words are to type.  While I truly enjoyed watching “Urban Crime” Legend on the opposite sideline in what can only be described as “potential heart attack” grief, flashes to the other sideline with the Roses pouring out made me equally nauseous….So, it was a bittersweet moment for all Michigan fans, and one that I hope the Michigan Team was watching so THIS EPISODE NEVER, EVER happens again in the B1G Championship game.  Of course, as Michigan fans we all got a special treat:  Somebody we hated had to lose…..

Unfortunately for the suckeyes, if this particular match-up had occurred in September or October, I’m pretty confident the outcome would have been different.  Cook and his buddies on offense are simply playing better and are vastly improved over what Sparty was putting on the field in the early season.  I’m not taking anything away from Sparty; in fact, that might be my “Green” Eye of Envy that is looking at this outcome and thinking Sparty is doing it exactly the same way Michigan used to do it…And I guess that’s pissing me off a little.  The suckeyes, on the other hand, have NOT improved on defense and have given up a little over a 1,000 yards in the last two contests….expect heads to roll in Columbus once the season is complete.

Side Note:  I was watching the 1st half of this game at the Hornet’s Nest – Which the locals amongst the readers know is the bar at the top of Alpine Valley’s Ski Lodge as my oldest daughter got some new equipment and wanted to hit the slopes for the evening with the Walled Lake Northern Ski Team.  I was sitting with some good natured Sparty’s and Maize and Blue faithful and we were enjoying the action.  Some Sparty and Suckeye skiers walked in and grabbed seats midway through the 1st quarter.  Where do all of these local suckeyes come from and what is available commercially to exterminate them?  Anyone?  Anyway, the suckeye got into a debate with his Sparty buddy and insisted that the suckeye defense, properly coached, would be “10 times better” than Sparty’s defense.  I was in a small way, rooting for the Sparty to come out swinging with his teams stats over the last couple of seasons and cite the athletic supremacy that Sparty has on that side of the ball.  But this suckeye kept on and the Sparty fan was losing the battle of wits….Badly.  I made a comment to the people I was sitting with and also sent a text.  The response I received after texting “There’s a Sparty losing an argument to a Suckeye about how the Suckeyes have a better D”

“You can’t fix Stupid…” 

Classic.  But take heart Sparty, you won the game and that’s all that matters.

Although,  I hate to keep coming back to the domer loss, but, man oh man…what a big “L” that is in that column.  If this were next year and the play-off were in place, no big deal.  I think everyone would more or less give Sparty the nod as the 4th team in the play-off.  You’d have to play the Seminoles in the 1st game, but you would have to eventually play them anyway.  Regardless, next year, you would have had a shot at all the marbles.  That’s not a bad accomplishment when it comes right down to it.

I guess the question that remains on everyone’s mind is:  Will Narduzzi continue to be part of this coaching staff after January 1st?  I haven’t heard any rumors so I’m really starting to think that he stays.  But, who knows?  December is only half over and I’m sure there’s more coaching changes coming. 

Auburn wins a shootout in Atlanta over a Mizzou team that just couldn’t shut down the Auburn offense.  I’m more of an Auburn believer now than I was about a month ago, but I will say that Auburn is a team that is playing MUCH better than it was a month ago. In fact, if Auburn and Mizzou had played early in the season, I’m sure the outcome there would have also been different.  The A-Tigers clinch their seat in the MNC on January 6th.

The Seminoles also easily defeated Duke and the devils couldn’t hang close.  I was disappointed (a little) that Duke wasn’t able to stay closer, but not nearly as disappointed as I was in the post game interview that Heather Cox did with Winston.  There’s a time and place for a lot of questions she was asking, and right after the ACC championship game wasn’t it.  Winston’s legal issues are behind him and if he chooses to discuss it, then, by all means, get 60 Minutes on the phone and set up the interview.  Otherwise, stick to the simple questions and the immediate matter at hand – How do you feel to be going to the National Championship and your chances for winning the Heismann?  That’s all she needed to ask.  Heather, whether pushed by ESPN management or acting on her own, has earned a seat in the “Drew Sharp Asshat Reporter Hall of Shame”.

Stanford dominates the Devils and I’m still trying to figure out how the Cardinal lost two games to unranked competition this season after catching parts of that game.  When Stanford wants to be the best, they simply are.  I have a feeling that Sparty will have their hands full on New Years Day. 

As for the rest of the fleabag bowls, we’ll get to that in the Bowl Mess.  But for now, let’s bring to a close where all the fans have finally found themselves at the end of the season in the

5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

PRE –GRIEF:  HOPE!  The Seminoles and the Auburn Tigers are the only two fanbases left that can be in this category.  I’m sure there are some suckeyes, Bama, Mizzou Tigers and others that are thinking, “We’re this close!  Wait till next year!”  and as Georgia Bulldawg fans can attest, that’s usually when the wheels come off.  One fan base will emerge victorious leaving the other side to wonder, “What if…”

  1.  Denial and Isolation  - Mizzou fans have to be here en masse.  After an incredibly disappointing debut appearance in the SEC and managing only 2 victories, to win the East in their 2nd year has to have a lot of fans believing that not only was getting out of the Big 12 and the move to the SEC a great thing, but they will have a chance to be in this situation again.  I’m afraid that the rest of the SEC East, however, has just received its wake-up call and that the division might just be a little tougher next year. 
  2. ANGER  - suckeyes – you get this one today all to yourself.  I saw and heard a lot of angry suckeye fans in person and on the radio shows that are EXTREMELY hostile with Urban Crime and demanding that he fire everyone associated with the defensive side of the coaching staff.  The suckeyes believed this was their God given right – to play in the National Title Game – after a 24-0 run over the last two seasons.  National Title games have to be earned…In fact, I’ll add some Sparty fans in here as well.  I don’t know if I’d be too happy with my team not playing in the National Title game after they started the season ranked higher than Auburn but somehow an Auburn team (with a much worse loss to LSU) and the only Sparty loss being by a Figgie on the road at the domers….Hmmm…yeah, I’ll put some Sparty’s in here to just for measure.  You’re not pissed with your team, but you are pissed off with the system.  If this were NEXT Year….se la vi
  3. Bargaining –Michigan, Wiscy, cornhuskers, Hokies, and everyone else that made some flea bag bowl that isn’t a BCS bowl.  Playing on January 1st is always nice and there’s a lot of teams that can’t even say that…but a lot of fan bases hear their team’s in a bowl and figure, “Okay, not so bad….”  It’s the slappies that know these games are crap and that their team can hopefully use the extra practice sessions to get better.    
  4. Depression –Some suckeyes, some Blue Devils, some Mizzou Tigers and some Sun Devils.  To get that close and not win it has to make you feel a little blue…..But you’re not as bad as some that aren’t going anywhere this season. 
  5. AcceptanceAll those slappies that are coming to the realization that it’s over.  And all they can do is watch the bowl “feast” that is coming over the next couple of weeks and wait for next year.
The Bowl Mess

Us this chart for ease of viewing and knowing when and who is playing where, including the now infamous “PF” or Puke Factor!  Before you print and slap this on your refrigerator, wait until Wednesday and the FMQ will try to find the lines – no early lines on the usual sites I can get to from work are posted yet.  With this handy reference sheet, you can decide how important and “must see” TV each bowl is before you accept or decline that holiday get together invitation!  Or, better yet, use it as part of your excuse material to turn down that holiday get together invite by knowing EXACTLY which game is on and what channel!  Biggest issue I have as a Michigan fan:  BW3 bowl comes on at EST 10:15 PM.  That truly sucks.  Bowls are longer than your average game meaning that Michigan fans will more than likely have to stay awake until well past 2:00 AM to catch the end of that game.  I hope there is someone lobbying HARD to change that game time to a slightly earlier kick-off and I’m still trying to figure out if Dave Brandon has any pull with the league office what so ever.  That Michigan has to play three time zones away isn’t the big deal but the fact that the game doesn’t start until local time of 7:30 irks the hell out of me…Especially as of the three, Michigan is the only team of Nebraska and Minnesota that is in the Eastern Time Zone.


Idle Thoughts From Saturday

-Interesting Game Day in Indy…
-A little chilly….
-All the panel taking the Suckeyes…Except Desmond.  He knows…
-So does that kid that won the $8.3 Million in the WSOP…
-That’s “World Series of Poker” for those that are unaware…
-I like Sparty in that game, too.
-Auburn and Mizzou in a track meet.
-So much for that SEC Defense I’ve heard so much about…
-I wonder if Bama fans are watching or if they’re also boycotting this game…
-FSU is ugly strong on both sides of the ball this year…
-Glad to see Winston wasn’t charged…
-I don’t know what happened, but clearly there’s some advice to be learned here:
-“Keep your Rocket in your Pocket!”, at least that’s what the old man used to say.
-You know, in order to stay out of trouble.
-That might be the best advice he ever gave me….
-Sparty starting off strong…
-This could get ugly if the suckeyes don’t find some offense.
-There goes Miller…but that’s NOT an offense.
-Sparty “D” is really rising to the occasion..
-Of course, Dantonio has to try something cute…every game.
-I’m not saying I don’t like the onside kick call…
-But with that Defense?  Why?
-Uh-Oh…I’m sitting in the Hornet’s Nest at Alpine Valley…
-Some Sparty Fans and some suckeyes have stumbled in…
-Suckeye bemoaning the fact that his team needs a defensive coach.
-Stating they have “Top 5” talent on the defensive side of the ball.
-If Bama D-coordinator or even Narduzzi was in Columbus, they’d have a dynasty.
-Sparty buddy just sort of nods and says that Sparty D is always good, but not great.
-Then went on to say how the Sparty Offense is better than people think it is…
-Oh my God….
-You really can’t fix stupid.

The Hot Seat

Okay:  After a lot of complaints and references to the fact that the MMQ always ends up with all of the Hot Seat Mascots in the finals and the open voting makes it to easy to go with the last Hot Seat Mascot nominated, I’ve decided to switch things around for a couple of reasons.  1.  We’re heading to a football play-off anyway and why not get a jump on it with our own Hot Seat Mascot Bracket?  And 2.  MY blogger still won’t allow me to put additional names into the poll so the most I can do is 4 candidates.  Here’s how this is gonna work:

First Round Play in Games:  You will have until WEDNESDAY, December 11th, to vote for the first round play in games.  At that point, I will set up the new voting for the Elite 8 finalists and you will have until Monday, December 16th, to vote.  We will have then established the “Final 4” and you will have until Friday, December 20th to vote for the Final 2 Mascots in the Championship.  Then, I will have 1 poll that will be open for the two finalists that will close on January 6th!

 So, in Summary:

Play in                        Vote before this Wednesday, December 11
Elite 8                         Vote between Wednesday and Monday, December 16th.
Final 4                        Vote between Monday (16th) and Friday, December 20th
Championship            Vote between Friday, Dec. 20 until Monday January 6th 


  2. Paul Pasqualoni
  3. Treadwell
  4. Carlson – Valpraiso….(I know, not exactly on my radar, either.)
  5. Ron English – Eastern Michigan. 
  6. Mussman – North Dakota
  7. David Christianson – Wyoming
Hot Seat Rank – Getting Serious as this is the time when the Carousel gets fire up!

  1. Mack Brown – New AD? New Coach?
  2. London – Virginia….Its not a good situation…
  3. Ogeron – All the guy did was win, but an interim won’t have the USC job…Jack Del Rio interviewed last week…
  4. Weiss:  Can’t believe he’s still there…
  5. Paul Johnson – Lost to Georgia…Look Out.
  6. Pelini – It’s not good in Corn land either…
  7. Biliema:  Arkansas Nation does not like a B1G re-treas – no SEC wins
  8. Norm Chow - Hawaii
  9. Holgorensen:  No Bowl doesn’t bode well for Dana


  1.  USC – Sarkisian
  2. Washington - Petersen
FMQ Betting Results:

 A Terrible Championship Weekend…Maybe we can get healthy in the bowls!

Oklahoma @ Okie State (-10): Take Okies State and lay the 10 for $40

I’m an idiot…should have taken the points and been happy!  LOSE
Texas @ Baylor (-14):  Take Texas and the 14 for $50

Really thought the Longhorns would show up for Mack Brown…Nope…LOSE
Stanford (+3) vs. ASU:  I’ll take Stanford and the 3 for $60

Finally…WIN!  Bank $114
Duke (+29) vs. FSU:  I’ll take Duke and the 29 for $30

Nuts…that late FSU TD hurt me here…LOSE
Mizzou (+2) vs. Auburn:  Take Mizzoi and the 2 for $75

Really screwed this one up, too….LOSE
Sparty (+5.5) vs ohio:  Take Sparty and the 5.5 for $60

Again, Thank you Sparty….WIN  Bank $114
PARLAY!  (6 to 1)

Sparty-Mizzou-Stanford for $50 - LOSE
Starting Bank:         $345.50
Total Win:                 $228.00

BANK:                       $573.50

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