Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays!

It just wouldn’t be a Friday without something from the FMQ, would it?  As we head into Bowl Season (It starts tomorrow!) we are all dreaming of a White Christmas and multiple exciting bowl games to get us through the season!

If you didn’t see the last post, check it out as I do have a bowl picks sheet out there and there are so minor updates, but the picks remain the same.  I’m looking forward to watching some and avoiding most of the games, to be honest.
It’s not that I’m not a fan of the bowls…but the more you learn about all the sleaziness and all of the back door dealings over the years, it just kind of makes you hate the whole process and what it represents, to a degree.  Don’t get me wrong:  I love the game of football.  But the commercialism of college football is really starting to wear me down as to who is profiting off unpaid collegiate athletes, and more importantly the “why?” they are profiting.  Should a slew of “Bowl Executives” be making 6 figure salaries for what amounts to a couple of months of work, planning and organizing?  I’m not saying there isn’t work that needs to be done – and more than likely a lot of it.  But, should the compensation for that work be as large as it is for what they are providing?  Now I sound anti-capitalism, and I’m not that either. 
But what if the PTB at the Universities banded together and simply said, “Hey, Mr. Bowl guys – how about sharing a little more of the love with the players?  More than just a gym bag and a sweat suit and a watch?  How about a little bonus that the kids could use for walking around money for the school year?”  Isn’t that a more appropriate use of all the money these guys collect?  Just sayin….
And also getting some of these locations to charge just a little less for the “Bowl Experience”.  While Michigan’s tix to the BW3 Spectacular are pretty reasonable (Starting at $30 and going up to $100) and the Alumni Travel package sold out in under 72 hours, rumor has it the Rose Bowl individual tix are going for upwards of $1,000…..and that’s nuts.  The travel package started at $4,500 per person and you could go as high as $8,000 per person.  I’ve been to the Rose.  It’s a great experience.  It’s NOT a $16,000 experience for 2 people or a $20,000 to $35,000 experience for 4. But, if you plan on going on the University sponsored package, open up the ole pocketbook….
I guess I’m just a little cynical heading into the holidays and I shouldn’t let that get me down! 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE HOT SEAT MASCOT!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mack Retires, The Bowls and the Bets

With a general lack of football news over the weekend and the Heismann all but a certainty for Jameis Winston, the news of Mack Brown stepping down on Saturday pretty much filled the air waves on ESPN and other sports news sources.  While many had reported it early and stated through reliable sources that it was a “Done Deal”, it appeared that once Powers retained his seat, Brown would be able to keep his job.

But it would appear that Brown had a change of heart and probably started thinking to himself:  I’m 62.  Do I really want to put myself through this again for an entire season?  And then the answer became quite simple….Brown and the situation he found himself this season is one of his own making and frankly, a result of his past success.  Brown threw down the gauntlet when he stated that he believed Texas would win the Big 12 Conference and also be in the NC discussion.  And the reporters ate it up…Of course, greatness courts failure and the Longhorn’s 1-2 start only amplified the issues at Texas.  Really, Brown was out at that point, probably, even though he hadn’t figured it out for himself yet.

Another of the lesser known “Facts” regarding the Brown Situation:  Mack Brown’s recent recruiting blunders.  Johnny Football, Jameis Winston and Robert Griffin were all Texas QB wannabe’s and when recruited by Texas, were recruited into other positions.  In other words, they wanted the players, but they didn’t want them to play QB.  That doesn’t sit well with any of the in the know fans and, more importantly:  the bloggers.  They get that information out early and often and missing on those three recruits because Mack didn’t want them to play QB is just as big an issue (if not bigger) as a 9 win season…

What isn’t as simple, and I will certainly check with my source, is the way in which the Saban situation was either handled or not handled, depending on your point of view.  It’s my belief that Saban and his agent used the Texas offer to sweeten the pot as much as possible at Bama and for Nick to get the retirement bonus “pre-retirement” as large as possible.  I believe Nick when he says that he’s too old to start over.  What I don’t believe is that Nick’s an idiot and just said, “NO” to Texas when the unsolicited offers began trickling in the back door.  I’m sure the offer(s) was real and he simply said to Bama – “What’s it gonna be, fellas?”  Granted, he is established and he can probably quit whenever he chooses and possibly survive a single digit win season…But it will get ugly in Tuscaloosa when that happens.  Success fatigue isn’t nearly as bad as failure wrath and SEC fans can get ugly when their team isn’t winning.

So, the real question for Texas is “Who’s next?”  As Michigan and others have discovered in this process, it’s not necessarily about finding the best guy, it’s really about finding the right fit.  And the right fit at Texas is everything.  I thought Michigan would adjust to Rich Rod and Rich Rod would adjust to Michigan, but that never happened – on either side.  Brady Hoke, on the other hand, once was an assistant at Michigan and somehow made his persona into that of a “Michigan Man” and is now riding that into his 4th season. Some would argue his success is not only mediocre, but Hoke has taken what was once the most explosive offense ever seen at Michigan and done as much damage on that side of the ball as Rich Rod did on the defensive side of the ball.  But there is no uproar simply because Brady is a “Michigan Man”….I’m not sure I like that word/phrase any more.

The one thing Brady isn’t doing is running around having the crowd sing Josh Groban songs…That alone is a huge step in the right direction.  But unless Michigan finds itself in the B1G mix next season with at least 10-11 wins, this fan will be ready for something to happen.  It shouldn’t take this long at Michigan.  If Auburn can right the ship in one season, it can happen here.

Back to the previous question:  I think Texas will surprise some people and they may not go after the high-profile current head coach that’s out there.  The new AD Patterson is a savvy guy, and one that won’t bend to the will of the Texas Mob that thinks its running the show on the 40 Acres….My guess is he interviews less than 3 people and already has someone in mind.  But he had to at least “Give In” on the Saban offer to prove a point (Saban wasn’t going anywhere) and tell the billionaire mob to butt out. 

A short list of Texas candidates:

Franklin – Vanderbilt.  I know there’s some Commodore fans that read the blog and are saying to themselves – “No way!  James is a Commodore to the end…”  I think it would be an interesting hire and allow Texas to go in a different direction.  And he could be there quite awhile.

Briles – Baylor.  Can you see it?  The Bears offense at Texas?  That would be a change..And while Art would be seen to some as a long shot, others would welcome the hire with open arms and minds and realize that college football is moving in a certain direction and Art is at the front end of that movement.  Of course, so was Rich Rod…..

Cameron, Narduzzi, Smart, etc  - Who are all these guys?  Locked in coordinators that have made a name for themselves at their current schools or in the NFL.  But note that several of those names were not too long ago on the chopping block (Sparty was ready to run Narduzzi out on a RAIL about 4 years ago) and Cameron was fired from the NFL….But does that make them better now?  I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of them find spots in higher profile organizations in the near future. 

Where Texas could screw this up, but I doubt they will, is pursuing super high profile individuals that have a good gig where they are.  Harbaugh, Sumlin, etc will give you a listen, but more than likely will politely decline.  Even though Harbaugh has declined to re-up in San Francisco due to his dislike of the GM.

We will see.

The Bowl Mess

They’ve named the Championship Locations for 2016 and 2017.  Tempe Arizona and Tampa each won a year….If I was the PTB, I would front sell as many of those games as possible…..I think we are going to see fans that find the game way to expensive to attend.  This isn’t the Super Bowl where half or more of the seats are corporate sales.  This is going to be regular fans hard earned cash going on the line…I’m thinking the attendance might drop off a little based on cost..Just a guess.

So, here’s the completed chart all the current spreads.  The FMQ will be betting a couple of these games.  My circled picks are WITHOUT THE SPREAD.  I haven’t seen a bowl pool yet this year, but if I get in one, this will more or less be my entry.  I’m not saying take it to the bank….I’m just sayin’!

The Hot Seat

Things are “Heating Up” In the Hot Seat Mascot Play-Off!  We’re down to the Final 4 and all the number 1 seeds have made it.  Now, it’s gonna get tough.  Who will be in the final contest with a shot to be the 2013 Hot Seat Mascot of the Year?  The readers will decide!


  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
  8. Mack Brown – Retired…..
  9. Ellerson- ARMY
  10. Ogeron – Resigned….
Hot Seat Rank – Getting Serious as this is the time when the Carousel gets fire up!

  1. London – Virginia….Its not a good situation…
  2. Weiss:  Can’t believe he’s still there…
  3. Paul Johnson – Lost to Georgia…Look Out.
  4. Pelini – It’s not good in Corn land either…
  5. Biliema:  Arkansas Nation does not like a B1G re-treas – no SEC wins
  6. Norm Chow - Hawaii
  7. Holgorensen:  No Bowl doesn’t bode well for Dana…

  1.  USC – Sarkisian
  2. Washington - Petersen

 The Bowls!

I’m probably going to try for a double up in the bowls seeing as how I’m so far down now, I don’t think I can do any worse in the bowls than I’ve done in the regular season.  So, without further ado:

 Fresno State vs. USC(-6.5):  I like Fresno State here.  Something about the underdog and the USC boys may not be as motivated as Ogeron has already left the building….

 Take Fresno State and the 6.5 for $50

 Minnesota vs. Syracuse (+4):  Even though they’re getting points, I don’t think Syracuse has the guns to hang with the Gophers.  Gophers finished strong and are looking to use this as a building block to next season.

 Take Minnesota and lay the 4 for $30

 BYU vs. Washington (+3):  What a strange game.  Two schools with coaches leaving, but one left and will coach his new team against his old team!  Weird, to say the least….And will it give Petersen the edge he needs to beat is former guys?

 Take Washington and the 3 for $40

 Domers vs. Rutgers (+15):  This should be a cakewalk for the domers….Unless they simply don’t want to be there or it snows….

 Take the domers and lay the 15 for $30

 Louisville vs. Miami (+3):  I think Louisville proves why they were ranked so high pre-season.  And Miami needs to figure out how good they are or aren’t…

 Take Louisville and lay the 3 for $40

 Michigan vs. Kansas State (-4.5):  Interesting connection to K-State and Fielding H. Yost…K-State is where Yost started coaching!  So, Michigan is getting points in a bowl game.  I don’t know what to do with this game, but I want to believe the team we saw against ohio is the team that can do the same thing against K-State.

 Take Michigan and the 4.5 for $60

 Nebraska vs. Georgia (-9):  Georgia wins, but I think Nebraska keeps it closer than last year in the replay…Then again, maybe not….

 Take Georgia and lay the 9 for $30

 Wiscy vs. USC (E):  In what could also be titled, “The Disappoint Bowl”, the Capitol 1 once  again has pitted two of the better teams this year that didn’t make BCS games….

 Take Wiscy for $40

 Stanford vs. Sparty(+4.5):  I like Sparty here.  I have a feeling they are on a mission. 

 Take Sparty and the 4.5 for $40

 Clemson vs. ohio (-2.5):  I think ohio is a much better team the frauds from Clemson. 

Take ohio and lay the 2.5 for $30

 Florida State vs. Auburn (9):  Auburn getting 9 here is very tempting.  The whole discussion about who FSU has played and the SOS are interesting, but FSU is a very good football team.  And they have a defense that may actually slow down Auburn.  Still, 9 is a lot of points…

Take Auburn and 9 for $50


It wouldn’t be a bowl season without some fun old fashioned Parlays!

 The State of Michigan – domer parlay:

 Michigan-Sparty-domers             $30

 The ALL RED Parlay

 Louisville – Wiscy – ohio             $30

 The “Just ‘Cuz” parlay

 Fresno-Minnesota – Washington          $30

Starting Bank:         $573.50
Total Bet:                  $530

BANK:                       $3.50

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's Thursday - Get Out the Hot Seat Macot Vote!

So, the Play-In games are complete and the 2013 Hot Seat Mascot Bracket is down the the Elite 8.  Vote Early and Vote Often!

There weren't any major upsets (how can there REALLY be an upset when we're dealing with the Hot Seat Mascots???) but there were a couple of tight races!  Leryn Franco pulled off the 3 over a 2 and Natasha Poly did the same. 

I will keep this voting open until the end of Monday.   Tuesday, I will reveal the Final 4!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Insider Info!

I needed some time to confirm some information and check a couple of facts that I received earlier this week (on Monday) and I was also, frankly, hoping that one of the major news sources would break this information earlier so that your own MMQ didn’t have to put this out there, I would just be a follow along blogger.  I hate blogging things like this only to have them either not materialize or come out differently to what I heard – even though this is from an incredibly reliable source.

However, seeing as how the situation at Texas is taking longer than expected to resolve, your MMQ has received information, from a source who must remain nameless, that the University of Texas Longhorns have already offered Nick Saban a total compensation package offer of
$10.5 Million
to coach the Texas Longhorns Football Team.  That’s a double digit annual salary - the first ever for ANY collegiate coach and the most ever offered by an athletic department.  Some of that is salary, the television/radio show contracts and some of that is ownership rights (?) to the Texas Television Network.  Don’t ask me, I have no idea how an individual can have ownership “rights” to a television network or what kind of compensation that involves.  It makes sense that he would receive something for a Texas Longhorns Football Show, but the ownership rights to the television network part, I don’t get as I thought the University held exclusive rights by contract per Big 12 rules. 
I was also told that while Nick would really like to end his career in Tuscaloosa, those close to Saban say that Texas represents a fan base that is more in line with what a “Career Destination” coaching position should be and does not have the day to day, week to week and year to year pressures of coaching in the SEC.  The Saban camp is currently asking Texas for increased compensation for the assistants and staff that Nick will bring with him from Tuscaloosa.
So, while it may or may not come to fruition, the offer is definitely being considered in the Saban camp.  The sources also stated that Alabama recently offered Nick a contract extension (worth $5.62 million annually – that confirmed via ESPN), just for coaching and a total compensation package over $7M.  However, no other extensions were made to the assistants – from the source I spoke with Monday.  The Alabama contract has not been signed and the Saban camp is waiting for the final offer from Texas before deciding how to proceed. 
The fact that Mack Brown is either going to resign or get canned is moot in this dialogue. 
We’ll see what happens!

Wednesday Thoughts & The MMQ's!

This is just a reminder!  You have until tonight to vote on the Play In Game for the Hot Seat Mascot!  I’ve inserted the 2013 Bracket here just in case you didn’t print out the home version on Monday.

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Urban Crime Follow Up: Good Guy, Bad Guy

There's a great article by Pat Forde in that addresses two things Urban Crime Legend did right and wrong on Saturday.

Unbeknownst to anyone in the media or elsewhere (including the ohio Athletic Department), Urban made a game time decision to bench Hall, the twin fingered saluter of the Michigan Fans during his exit from the Big House.  Kudos Coach Meyer for doing the right thing....

But, at the end of the game, in what is truley a time honored tradition (That Urban Legend should know) he skipped out on the singning of Carmen, Ohio with the team and the band at the end of the game.  For those that don't know, this song is traditionally sung by the team as the band plays at the end of each and every game, win or lose.  It's one of those things that Michigan fans hate because it actually makes ohio look good...but in this case, Meyer chose the low road and snuck out without singing or givng the press the opportunity for the photo op....

Poor Urban....Tries so hard to do the right thing and he never quite gets all the way there...

Here's the Forde Article for your reading pleasure.

Burn East Lansing....BURN!!!

And because I like to think of myself as a "see both sides kind of guy", and after lauding the efforts of the Sparty Football team yesterday and showing what I believed was a great deal of respect and admiration for what was accomplished on the field of play, I feel its necessary to show why I would NEVER let my kids attend Sparty Central. 

From the East Lansing Journal:

Police made 15 arrests over the weekend in the celebratory aftermath of the Michigan State University football team’s Big Ten Championship win over Ohio State University.
Police said this morning they are “still gathering information as it pertains to statistics from this past weekend's events” and would release further details this afternoon. But the department’s weekend police report indicates a dozen of those arrested were students at Michigan State University. One was an MSU alumnus.
UPDATE:ELPD, MSU offering $20K for info leading to arrests in post-game disturbances
The affiliations of the other two were unknown, according to the weekend report from the East Lansing Police Department.
The report also says the East Lansing police and fire departments responded to “a minimum of 57 fires.”

Stay Classy, East Lansing!

After all, as students, You Earned It!

And if anyone knows who this is, send me his name!  The MMQ could use the $20G's.....

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