I used to grade the Michigan Team and that has become rather, how do they say it on line, “meh” for me as so many blogs and news media hand out grades so I figured I would create and give away some MMQ Awards for the season that are both football and “non” football in nature.
MMQ for Most Improved Team – If anyone had Auburn in their SEC West or SEC Champion Pre-Season picks this summer, I want to see the blog or the black and white paper it was written on. I think everyone thought that a new coach even with decent talent was going to have a tough time of getting through that line-up in the SEC West. This one is Auburn without a 2nd place finisher that’s even close.
MMQ For Most Disappointing Team – I’m being objective here, but I and going to put Michigan in the top spot in this category, simply because Michigan looked so good at the beginning of the season and then faded badly through the 2nd half – especially in November. In fact, Hoke’s record this November was 1-4…Something that is becoming fairly routine in Ann Arbor and does NOT SIT WELL WITH THIS FAN. Hoke’s November record needs to improve dramatically next season or the torch and pitchfork crowd will be out in droves. Florida comes in at number 2 and Clemson/Georgia round out the top 3. Florida is a riddle wrapped up in an anomaly. Constant Top 5 in recruiting talent and supposedly the best coaches to go with that. I get tired of hearing about injury and I’m sure the Gator Faithful feel the same way. At least get to a flipping bowl game…THEY NEED THE PRACTICE! I almost didn’t want to put Georgia in here because of injury, so I’m giving third place to Clemson. And Clemson fans should feel EXTREMELY LUCKY to have slid into the BCS Orange Bowl against the suckeyes. I think 2 loss Oregon would have been my “preferred Fan Choice” if I would have been given one.
MMQ For the Most Exciting Game of the Season – Can there be anything else but the Iron Bowl? Michigan’s win over the Kitty Kats is tied about four ways for 2nd with the Cornhuskers win over the same Kitty Kats, Penn State’s Win over Michigan, and the early back and forth game between South Carolina and Georgia.
MMQ For the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Moment of the Season: I debated this one several different ways. The thing I was going for here was something happened that was so incredibly out of the ordinary that it seemed that someone, SOMEWHERE, would step in and fix whatever it was that happened. And after careful debate, I have to say that “Wiscy’s loss at ASU due to the Field Goal that wasn’t” has to be the biggest WTF moment of the season. And the Pac 12 officially came out later and said the refs got it wrong. There were a couple of 2nd placers here, including Michigan’s game tying kick against Northwestern. But Wiscy’s tops the list.
MMQ For the Coach of the Year – Everyone else thinks this is Malzhan’s at Auburn, but I have to say that in the SEC, greatness is kind of expected. I think there are two other coaches that are worthy of this award, and the “nice guy” factor is what finally forced me to give it to Art Briles over David Cutcliffe. I’ve read so much “bad” stuff about the latter (And even people at Duke don’t like the guy) that I can see how he got canned at Ole Miss. Art is just a generally good guy. Art gets it.
MMQ For the Worst Coaching Performance of the Year - Again, this one is tough as I had MANY potential candidates: Beliema, Hoke, Hazell, Beckman, Muschamp, and Brown, just to name a few. But then I started thinking about what makes a coach a “bad coach” or what makes his performance truly poor and it isn’t the fact that he’s losing (I know I can’t believe I said that, either). It’s the fact that he appears to have lost his team and his team is losing as part of the overall process. Someone who is not only a jerk to his own team but to the media…Someone that just shouldn’t be coaching, period. Then it was easy: Lane Kiffin. ‘Nuff said.
MMQ For the Biggest Over Achiever of the Year – For the team this has to go either Auburn or another team that wasn’t in the Top 25 to start the season that is now sitting in the Top 5: Sparty. After looking again at what each team has accomplished, I think it’s safe to say that they can both be proud of what was achieved. But if we had played the game, “I’ll give you these two teams and you have to predict who wins their conference,” I think most people would have picked Auburn. Therefore, for the super over achievement award, I have to give the nod here to Sparty.
MMQ For the Biggest UNDER Achiever – Wow, again, so many picks and only 1 award. Michigan as always immediately comes to mind. But not everyone had Michigan doing much this season. Bama, Wiscy, Gatorland, Georgia all under achieved, but there’s one team that started out I the Top 15 - 20 that underachieved to the point where they are not only not going to a bowl, but they only won 2 conference games. Northwestern, you are the Underachievers that the rest of the B1G loves this seaon.
MMQ For The Most Non-Football Related Issue that Occupied Our Time – I guess this one was obvious, but there were a lot more than the Jameis Winston alleged sexual abuse case, even though once you heard all the evidence, it seemed to anyone that could connect the dots that we had a college groupy that liked football players. And then she wanted to get some publicity. Gotta give it to the Winston Case, even though Johnny Cash Football and the Miami NCAA penalty were out there as well.
MMQ To the Team That Never Fails to Let Us Down - Even though so much is promised pre-season. I had a couple of teams here in mind and I had to think about them both long and hard. Oregon has been “Right There” for so long and has even played in the NC on one occasion. Clemson has also been ranked in the Top 5 and was simply clobbered by FSU at HOME, no less in prime time. And they were once again gang raped by South Carolina, the 5th time in 5 years. Stanford was in the running, but somehow, they won the big games and lost inexplicably to unranked teams….When it comes to the Ducks and Tigers, Both of these teams show promise and then fade into November…never to be heard from again until they either rout or are routed by a bowl opponent. This year, I’m giving it to the Ducks. So much expected, and the loss to Arizona was so obviously a mail in that that the Ducks should have been brought up on charges. If Clemson somehow beats ohio, that will take them out of 2nd place.
MMQ for the Team That Could - This is usually your team in the mold of Boise State that surprises the Big Boys and wins a BCS Championship. While several teams come to mind, there’s one that in fact IS playing in a BCS game, but probably won’t be able to pull the upset and that is UCF. They are good and O’Leary is a good coach, but I’m not sure they can pull off upsetting Baylor. Never the less, they are this year’s Team That Could.
MMQ For the Most Over Abuse of “Special” Uniforms: The sooner the whole “Special Uniform” thing is over with, the better. I can’t even include Oregon in the voting because they are simply out of control. But the uniforms that to me went way down the bad taste road, but for an extremely worth cause were Northwestern’s Military Uniforms that were worn on Veteran’s Day Weekend against Michigan. Can we just stop this stuff and let the teams wear their traditional colors? PLEASE???
MMQ Player of the Year – While everyone votes on the Heismann for the Best All Around College Football Player, I’m looking here at something in between the Most Valuable Player and the Best Player on any given team. In other words, who was a game changer for what team that, if that individual would not have been available, the outcome of several games would have probably been different. Based on that criteria, this one is tough. I was trying to avoid a “specialist” or “hands” player, but I think the team that is going to suffer the most next season without their MVP will be Texas A&M’s Johnny Football. He wins games. Period