Friday, December 19, 2014

Harbaugh Watch - The FMQ "Call Me Deacon Blues"

Wojo’s column on the Harbaugh offer – I agree with most if not all of it.  IT’s time….

The Harbaugh camp has said….well, they’ve said….nothing.  And most of the talking heads seem to think that Michigan’s offer is bona-fide, and that Harbaugh is going to wait and take a look at all his options come December 29th, or the day after the regular season is over, in the NFL.

I’m a little miffed at the NFL talking heads that were on ESPN and again on the NFL network last night and stating unequivocally that, 

“No word from Harbaugh CLEARLY INDICATES that he’s staying in the NFL and he’s simply going to leverage the offer from Michigan to get a better package from someone else.  He did it 4 years ago with his offer from San Fran and he’s using Michigan again.  Harbaugh’s agent leaked the info so the other teams can get their offers together.” 

 That may not be the EXACT quote, but its close.

And while that may ALL BE ENTIRELY TRUE, I believe that Harbaugh is about to find out that the middle tier NFL GM’s and owners have all been through this enough to know that a guy can get on a roll for two or three seasons and then just flame out (see Daniel Snyder).  And a savvy GM is probably thinking just that:  Jimmy had a great defense and got the most out of Kaepernick as well.  And it’s hard to work miracles twice – it’s better to have proven people and even then, well, you can have a disaster.  Ask Peyton Manning and the Broncos about that.  And if I can find a coach with great personnel that can get me close, well, I can have that coach a lot cheaper than $8M+ it will take to land Harbaugh.  I’m sure New Orleans is tickled with the 5 wins that the $8M Coach Sean Peyton has led the team to this season.  Just sayin’….

So, the whole leverage thing might not be there in the end…unless the NFL is really where Harbaugh wants to be. 

And maybe, and I’m just spit-balling here, mind you….MAYBE Hackett leaked that offer or the UofM AD decided, “Look it’s in our best interests to go ahead and let the world know what we offered Harbaugh so we can at least find out what’s in Harbaugh’s  head and heart and if he doesn’t want to come back it won’t be for lack of trying.  And the money certainly should not be an issue.”

See where I’m going?  The leak is a win for everybody.  Hackett immediately has credibility that he’s doing what the fans want and if Jimmy says no, well, than on to plan B.  And that’s a good thing because than any anger the fans have after that, if there is anger, can be directed at Jim and not at Michigan.  Cumon’….Michigan did everything it COULD. 

And for everyone that thinks the offer is too much:  Uh, you’re wrong.  Plain and simple.     NFC Championship and Super Bowl coach.  This is a guy that if he had stayed at Stanford was going to have a shot at a National Title.  Saban type money is not only necessary, but you’re kidding yourself if you think Harbaugh would even give you a 2nd glance for anything less.  So, I’m not ignoring your texts or tweets, but it’s not too much money. 

It’s the necessary amount if that’s what you want.   And Michigan has heard from its fans and they are tired of losing to Sparty and the Suckeyes to what appear to be superior coaching staffs.  Fix that problem and Michigan will begin to heal itself. 

The FMQ – Call me “Deacon Blues”

They got a name for the winners in the world
And I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the “Crimson Tide”
Call me “Deacon Blues”
                                    -Steely Dan

Heard that song on the way to the office this AM and its one that gets kind of stuck in your head when you hear it…But I thought, “Gee, how appropriate for the FMQ!!!”  A name when I lose….

And what a crappy season its been.  I’ve learned a few things doing this and the one thing I learned that I seem to forget is find a team(s) that is good ATS and STICK WITH THAT TEAM!!!  Oregon, Stanford (with Luck), and others have proven they are great ATS teams.  I need to remember that and not get seduced by attractive point spreads and lousy ATS teams….

Anyway, the latest bank number is as follows:

BANK:           $419

Here’s the bowl picks for anyone that still hasn’t completed a confidence pool.  I actually got an invite into one but didn’t have time to complete.  Never the less, I like to measure my predictive capability and see how I do. 

And, of course, some bets.  Might as well blow the wad, so to speak.

Utah vs Colorado State (+2.5):  Seems like CSU should be getting a lot more points here and the UTES are by far the superior team.

Take Utah and lay the 2.5 for $30

Central Michigan vs Western Kentucky (+3):   I like the Chippies in the Bahamas and I’m really looking forward to seeing a game from the Bahamas!  I hope all you Chippie grads and students are going!!!

Take Central and lay the 3 for $40

Boston College vs. Penn State (+2.5):  Penn State’s vs bowl since the darkness…and they’re getting points?  This seems like a no –brainer to me and there’s no WAY the B1G loses all 10 bowl games….

Take Penn State and the 2.5 for $50

Oklahoma vs. Clemson (+3):  No way Oklahoma is as bad as its record.  And I think Stoops is going to be “Auditioning” for whoever might be out there looking….

Take Oklahoma and lay the 3 for $30

LSU vs domers (+7):  That’s it?  That’s it for a team that’s lost the last 4 games by a combined 100+ points?  For a team that has no defense and no desire to play?

I’ll take LSU and lay the 7 for $80

Maryland vs. Stanford (-14):  Man….B1G vs. PAC….I’ve gotta believe that Randy Edsall keeps it closer than that….

Take Maryland and the 14 for $20

 FSU vs. Oregon (9.5):  Vegas has this one right…and I think Oregon wins walking away….

Take Oregon and lay the 9.5 for $40

OSU vs. BAMA (-9.5):  I hate to do this…suckeyes simply too impressive against Wiscy..and yes, Bama isn’t Wiscy, but I find it hard to believe that the Suckeyes don’t somehow keep this close…

Take ohio and the 9.5 for $20


LSU-OREGON-Bama  $39 pays $250

CMU-PSU-Utah   $40 pays $260

Starting BANK:       $419
Total Bet:                  $419

BANK:                       $0

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Harbaugh Officially Offered

This happened yesterday and was leaked about the same time I posted.  I wasn’t sure about all the sources, but there was a definite “increase” in Twitter traffic in the late afternoon early evening (and thank you for all the texts) and then the mother lode twitter hit when Sam Webb tweeted that Michigan has in fact offered Jim Harbaugh the Head Coach position.

Officially – it’s $49M over 6 years, or about $8M and change per seasonSaban, the highest paid college coach, is sitting at $7.2M a season, just to give you an idea that this is a “SERIOUS” offer to Jim and telling him,


If that isn’t loud and clear to the Harbaugh camp at this point, I don’t know what is. 

So, what happens next?

The ball is definitely in Jim’s hands.  He knows and is secure in the fact that he’s got a cool $50M + (Television, radio, advertising, etc) sitting in Ann Arbor.  The bar has been set for any NFL teams that are out there thinking Jimmy would be a good fit and they should go get him.  For comparison, NFL salaries start at $8M on the high end and work their way down to the $3M range and average around $4M.  Here’s a list….(and note that Jimmy would be getting about a $3M raise from his salary in San Fran)

Michigan’s offer would therefore, theoretically, make Jim the highest paid coach ANYWHERE in the USA.

That’s significant.

If Jim turn’s down that offer, it means that he’s all done with college ball and he’s definitely staying in the NFL.  If he doesn’t respond immediately (and personally, I would have put a 48 hour time limit on this thing, which is not unusual of high level offers in any business - which I'll bet Hackett did) so I believe we should be hearing from the Harbaugh camp before noon on Friday, if not sooner.

How do we feel about this?

For certain, Hackett “gets” the business of College and NFL football way better than his predecessor could even begin to understand.  I’m really starting to like this guy.  No BS – Let’s get right to the point.  Hackett understands that Michigan Football is the driver of the entire machine and THAT NEEDS TO BE TENDED TO FIRST!!!  Building soccer stadiums and new women’s field hockey complexes is all well and good as LONG AS THE MACHINE THAT LETS YOU DO THAT IS INTACT.   And this offer is indicative that the Michigan machine is broken and needs fixing RIGHT FRIGGIN’ NOW!

So, in short, I feel great.  This is the best process and offer that Michigan has made in its last two searches.  I won’t feel so good if Harbaugh flips and says he wants to stay in the NFL.  That will certainly depress this fan and whatever happens after that (Plan “B”) will certainly be a letdown for everyone.  But I don’t want to go there until Jimmy responds.  There will be plenty to say and write about in the event that transpires.

On A Side Note – Lochmann Out

You can try to defend the fact that BranDictator resigned, but Hackett is continuing to push BranDictator people out the door…er, they keep resigning after doing and saying stupid things.

Brian covered this pretty well when Hunter Lochmann made what had to be the stupidest tweet ever by a “Director of Marketing” stating that Michigan’s relationship with its former athlete’s is “fleeting” and only for “4 years”.  I can only guess that BranDictator had drilled into Lochmann’s head that “big donor” relationships were much more important to the well-being of Michigan…when really ALL RELATIONSHIPS should be important to Michigan.   I remember thinking when I saw the re-tweet, “What an incredibly dumb thing to say.”  I can’t think of ANY athlete that spent 4 years ANYWHERE that would consider his relationship to his university fleeting.  Or any fan or student for that matter, either.  Regardless of what they “donate” to the university.

Thankfully, between the athletes re-tweeting and expressing their anger at the statement and fans in general calling for the head of Lochmann, he did a BranDictator and resigned.  I’m sure Hackett nudged him out, however. 

And Michigan has stated that they may not “replace” this position as they weren’t really sure what Lochmann was doing, anyway.  I mean, besides Kraft Macaroni displays, coca-cola ticket give aways, and hiring sky-writers to fly over East Lansing.

Good riddance and have a nice life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tim Kawakami Throws Ice Water On Jimmy to AA - NOT SO FAST!!!!

Tim Kawakami is a Bay Area San Fran Beat writer that has opined that there’s no way Jimmy will go to Ann Arbor.  Which got me to thinking because I’m not even sure Jimmy knows what’s going on in his head right now much less how he’s going to decide his fate for the next 5-10 years.  Let’s take Timmy’s criteria and read between the ‘ole lines and see what we get….and if there’s any real insight into what he’s writing or if he’s just some other A-hole with an opinion…..(Tim’s column in BOLD  The MMQ insight in Italics)
Let's go through some of the criteria:
Every indication is that Harbaugh wants to stay in the NFL and win a Lombardi Trophy, which is impossible to do at the University of Michigan.
Every indication?  Which indicators are those?  Are those the ones where Harbaugh can be directly quoted?  And where are those quotes?  I’m not saying this isn’t a valid observation, but I hate the “Every indication” broad-type statements.  I don’t think it’s every indication, IMHO…..
Do you think Harbaugh wants to leave the NFL after watching his brother and then Pete Carroll win the Super Bowl the past two seasons?
Yep…This one would grind my stones if I was Jimmy.  But I gotta’ believe at this point that Jimmy has seen what it takes to win a Super Bowl and may now realize that if he’s not with San Fran next season, he’s going to be a WHOLE LOT FARTHER away from the Super Bowl goal with whoever he’s with.  And that might bug him a little…..And he may also see that Carroll went both ways – (Won a National Title) after being in “The Show” and then went back to the NFL to a better opportunity to win a Super Bowl.  Who’s to say that isn’t the route Jimmy is thinking about?
Harbaugh and his family also are believed to have a strong preference to remain in the Bay Area -- which is one of the reasons he picked the 49ers in 2011, with many other options back then.
This, by far, is the most grossly over-blown reason for going to the hot mess that is Oakland Raiders football.  Yeah, the Bay area is nice…but maybe they want a change of scenery?  Again, has Harbaugh really come out and said “How much he loves the Bay Area and never wants to leave?”  Didn’t think so…..
Notably, Harbaugh has never coached anywhere outside the state of California since Al Davis gave him his first job in 2002, and Harbaugh has been in northern California for 10 of those years.
So what?  So he was a head coach at SDSU and Stanford took a bit of a flyer on him.  Then, once proven, sure – Why wouldn’t the 49er’s take a shot and why not go with what is a class organization like the Niners?   All that was simply elementary at that point and has nothing to do, whatsoever, with “Northern California” except that’s where it all happened.
Harbaugh wants to join a team with some talent, especially at quarterback, and the Raiders have Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and a lot of salary-cap space going into next offseason.
??????  Uhhhh….Tim…..I can’t believe you just typed that with a straight faceDerek Carr is….well, I guess he’s “some talent”.  But this NFL observer isn’t ready to throw Carr into the Brady – Peyton-Brees-Rogers “Talent Pool” just yet.  I MIGHT put him in the 2nd tier pool of Luck-Stafford – RGIII – Kaepernick – Ely M (I know, even though he has 2 rings)-and others….but not until he does something.  If I’m Jim, I’m NOT licking my chops at having a “David Carr” toy to play with.  Nope…Not buying this one AT ALL…..
Would Harbaugh be scared to join a downtrodden team that might finish 2-14 this season? Well, he took over Stanford after a 1-11 season and the 49ers after 6-10.
And Michigan was 5-7 with a LOAD of 2 deep talent coming back next season and can completely salvage if not completely turn around this recruiting class at Michigan by adding his name to the Michigan Stationery.  Harbaugh’s pull will be huge at Michigan and he knows it….And his best chance at success might be right there, right now for a National Title
He actually likes the tough turnaround jobs -- that's exactly when his burst of wild energy and competitive mayhem works best.
Tough turn-around jobs, you say?  Let me tell you about a little school in Ann Arbor that hasn’t even sniffed at a B1G Title since 2006 and has a loyal fan base that’s ravenous for success right now…and will fully appreciate the efforts you put into building a winner.  Jimmy – Tough Turnaround Jobs ought to have a picture of Wolverines Football right next to it. 
Also, there's little doubt that Harbaugh would love to win big in the same media market as the 49ers -- and he could help get another stadium built in the Bay Area.
?????  Again – is your face on straight?  I have no idea (and I’ve been reading A LOT OF STUFF) where the statement:   “Jimmy’s interested in getting a new stadium built in the Bay Area and loves that media market” came from.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of that in the same sentence in any article regarding Harbaugh.  DAVIS might be very interested in getting a new stadium…but not Harbaugh.  So, besides what Kawakami wrote…which, I’ma throwing the BS flag on this one…..
Meanwhile, after his battles with Baalke soured his entire 49ers tenure, it would be immensely significant for Harbaugh to get the chance to bring in a hand-picked GM.
????  Does ANYONE think that Oakland would let Jim do that?  I don’t.  And I really don’t think Jim thinks he could get that either.  He’s not the Tuna.  The Raiders are the most dysfunctional organization in the NFL….and that’s saying something….So I doubt they’re in a big hurry to throw the reins over to what is apparently a Hot-Head coach that has authority issues and give him a blank check.  Just a hunch, here on my part….
My understanding is that the Raiders are open to that, partly because the likeliest candidate is Eagles exec Tom Gamble -- who worked with Harbaugh with the 49ers and was one of Al Davis' last close confidantes.
PFFFFTTTT!!!!!  So what?  Saying you knew Al Davis and were a close confidant is like saying I got rid of that herpes/aids thing a while back.  And if you take a little trip to the Philadelphia news, you can see that Gamble and Philly are pretty happy with each other right now and what Chip Kelly is accomplishing there.  It would take some big $$$$$ to get Gamble to leave, is what I’m saying….
Can Mark Davis afford the expected $8 million a year it would take to land Harbaugh, then also buy out Reggie McKenzie's final two years ($5-$7M?) plus add a new GM and new personnel staff?
Uhhh…Let’s see…if I add all this up, carry the 1….That’s a LOT OF DOUGH.  And if I’m looking at the “Average Cost per Win in the NFL” issued by Forbes Magazine,  you’ll find that EVEN IF YOU CAN GET THE RAIDERS TO A WINNING RECORD you’re still below the performance of the great teams like New England, Green Bay, and yes, San Fran.  And you’ll actually have a much higher combined Player Payroll and Coaches Salary and Buyouts….What’s it all worth in the end if you DON’T Win???  And is one coach worth all that?  And what if it doesn’t work?  (Of course, you can ask the same question at Michigan…I suppose)
I'm told Davis understands none of this comes cheap and that he needs a major lift from the team's performance to land the best stadium deal.
I’m sure Davis understands all this better than anyone associated with the Raiders.  That’s his JOB, dumbass….Mr. Kawakami, with all due respect…The fact that you stated you were “told” that Davis understands this implies that…well…..You’re kind of a dolt.  Stating the obvious and making it “Seem” like a reason for “Harbaugh to Oakland” makes sense is asinine.  In fact, if I’m Davis, I’m trying to figure out how I can make it all work and whether or not Harbaugh is really the best fit for the kind of money I’d have to lay out for him.  And it makes me nervous knowing that Jim can’t catch a pass, throw a pass or score a TD – and I need more guys that can do that….
As the days dwindle on his current lease in Oakland, it's looking more likely that Davis could agree to one more short-term deal with the Coliseum, at least for the 2015 season.
Two separate issues that Kawakami intertwines….Either way, the new stadium issue NEEDS to be addressed with or without Harbaugh.  And let’s face it:  the Raiders are no strangers to moving around California if necessary.  Harbaugh to Oakland reasoning is mute, or actually not applicable here…..
If Davis can land Harbaugh, the Raiders can play out 2015 as a glamour team -- and wait to see if Oakland can get anything done, while Los Angeles looms in the background possibly for 2016.
Or if the Raiders land any better coach, or a sexy draft pick or whatever….Glamour team?  Seriously?   Who is this guy writing to, who is he trying to butter up or who’s butt is he trying to shove his own head up?
Of course, Harbaugh will have other bidders, possibly including the Jets, the Bears, the Dolphins and, yes, Michigan.
Finally….Kawakami says something that makes sense.  And the Raiders already have a coach with two years left that was supposed to be pretty good when he was hired, are going to have a great draft position and possibly can trade some players for even more draft picks and be a better use of the money that they would have to dole out on Harbaugh, personnel and a new GM…..
Hey, Harbaugh might be wary of the Raiders' nebulous stadium situation.
Geeee….If I’m Jim Harbaugh and my paycheck says “$8,000,000.00” I’ll coach in that shit-house over there across the free-way…..WTF???  But if you’re saying that this is a reason Jimmy won’t go to the Raiders….whatever, I’ll take it. 
Or Mark Davis could have second thoughts about moving McKenzie out.
This…this makes some sense - FINALLY.  If there’s ANY cohesion right now in the Raider’s locker room and that can be made into something promising with next year’s draft picks…that’s the way to go.  Changing coaches constantly never gets you very far….and costs money.
Or York could make it tough because Harbaugh still has another year on his 49ers contract, which is why the 49ers are making noises about getting a good draft pick in a Harbaugh trade.
This is the 2nd most OVERBLOWN “fact” that I’ve seen thrown around in the press…Again, if I’m a GM for an NFL team and I know you’re unhappy with Harbaugh and you come to me and tell me you’ve got an offer for him I’m thinking, “Yeah..Right!”  I’ll probably politely decline and tell you to take the offer and you’ll get caught bluffing and then you'll can him anyway.  When you can him, I can make a run at him and it costs me nothingThis trade assertion, Mr. Kawakami, makes you look like a complete boob……
But it makes sense for the 49ers, at some point, to just do a deal so they can get their own search started.
?????  So, you’re saying that the 49ers have painted themselves into a corner and need to get moving on to whatever plan “B” is?  That’s brilliant.  All this analysis and it boils down to you saying the 49ers can go out and do what they need to do anyway….   
And it makes sense for everybody to get this done, eventually, if that's what everybody wants.
How in the world do you know what the hell everybody wants?  You have about a million moving pieces to this puzzle and you’ve concluded nothing except what you “think” to be true about Jim Harbaugh.  “He wants to stay in the NFL.”  Even though Jim’s never said that. 
Nothing this season has been reasonable, but maybe the Raiders and 49ers can start 2015 by making a reasonable deal: Harbaugh to the Raiders for a fourth-round pick.
Really?  That’s all the SAVIOR for the Raider’s franchise is worth? 
A 4th round draft pick? 
After ALL THAT YOU JUST WROTE about him being the most logical candidate for the turn-around that Davis needs for the new stadium that he wants? 1 measly 4th round pick?  Seriously?   How about that 4th rounder, a bag of balls, and one Monopoly Token – from the Raider’s "Gold Edition" that they keep in the Locker Room.  Hey Lookieeeee  Heeerrree…..It’s the Race Car!!!!!!!!
Then the 49ers can hire their next guy, the Raiders move on with Harbaugh, and everything begins again.
Everything begins again.  Yep…Sounds like you have everything figured out there, Kawakami.  You’re right on top of it.  I guess my hopes can remain utterly and completely dashed at the prospect that Jim may never head back to his alma mater for $49M over 8 years and have a shot at a National Title….Yeah….you’re right.  You’re so right and that’s why you make money writing for a newspaper….So we can read and pay heed to your wonderful opinions….
Gosh…I wish I was more like you!!!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Harbaugh, Harbaugh, And More Harbaugh

Harbaugh Update
I re-tweeted and forwarded the link that Brian had posted on Saturday that more or less gave me a long reason to pause.  If you don’t read on a regular basis, you don’t understand how Brian’s brain works.  He is probably the most conservative “reporter” out there and even after he was “pretty sure” that the BranDictator emails all originated from the same source, he was still reluctant to report it as fact without first getting the FOIA emails he had requested from the University.  But then Olbermann went ahead and “reported” them as fact and, well, the rest is history.
For Brian to come out and state that “It’s almost a done deal with the exception of the i’s dotting and the t’s crossing”… well, that’s interesting.  I checked with another source who more or less confirmed the EXACT SAME THING:  Harbaugh wants to come, it’s all down to logistics and when it can all come together, at this point in time.  Contact has been made and there’s more than just “casual interest”.  If Michigan is asking and is serious about what they are offering, Jim’s probably coming.  The Rumor is 8 years for $49M….with an “M”.  Yes, Bo is rolling over in his grave….
Add to Brian’s speculation the following Tweets and posts from Gregg Henson and The Detroit Sports Rag…..The Rag reported a tweet was sent to Mallory from Harbaugh stating that Harbaugh “Wants to get the band back together in Ann Arbor.”  Henson had a similar post stating that his sources are saying it’s a done deal with an announcement potentially TODAY (9:00 AM) 
Well, 9:00 AM has come and gone and nothing out of Michigan’s AD….But Les Miles has vehemently stated (again) that he’s not going to Michigan….
So, that’s out there…..
I’m about 60-40 on this now.  I waited so long to post today (Monday) and now I’m into Tuesday because I figured that the 49er’s would have done… SOMETHING…by now.  I mean, the team is out of it.  The front office and the owner dislike Harbaugh.  And you’re going to try to convince us that maybe you change the front office and keep Jim?  Not buying it.  I’m not even sure San Fran is buying it.  Harbaugh fatigue seems to have everyone a little loopy around the Bay Area.  And Michigan kind of looks like the bigger idiots that want to take that slightly used clunker off your hands for you because we see the value in the deal.  And Jim’s our kind of asshole…There, I said it.
At the end of the day, I don’t see the 49er’s making this easy for anyone involved and are probably going to sit and twiddle their thumbs because: 
A.  Why not?  They have nothing to gain by letting Jimmy go and owe him money if they do. 
B.  They know that hiring someone is going to be extremely difficult due to the fact that they just fired a guy that made the NFC play-offs in 3 out of the last 4 years.  And, more importantly, who are they going to get?  And finally,
C.  They also know that Jimmy probably wants out and therefore, just to make his life miserable, they’re going to deny him the opportunity to get on with his life for as long as possible.
Stay tuned….
Andersen Leaves The Badgers Holding The Cheese
Yep – that was a shocker.  But, really, Brett B. leaving was, IMHO, a BIGGER Shocker, considering the fact that Brett, I had thought at the time, had emerged from under the large shadow of Barry Alvarez and was standing on his own.  But BB stated that there were assistant issues in Madison and that to truly compete and have a chance to win it all he needed to go somewhere that gave him the opportunity to do that.  Meaning:  Somewhere where an assistant coach can make a competitive wage.  Wiscy is currently 9th in combined assistant compensation behind the Gophers….
I’ve read all the articles and it seems pretty funny to me that several writers have taken an entire column to write what I can sum up in a single sentence:
Barry Alvarez is a jackass to work for.
But Paul Chryst doesn’t think so and it was reported all over that he answered Barry’s call and is heading back to Madison.  Today there’s some “Wait a minute” type tweets and information out there, but I think it’s all noise and Pitt trying to hang on to a coach one more time just so they don’t have to go through this again. 
Think about that:  Pitt’s been through the ringer 5 times in the last 7 years.  5 times they’ve replaced their head coach.  I guess that’s what happens when you fire a former grad and one of the better coaches that went through Pitt – Wannstadt.
The Hot Seat Mascot Votes Are In!
And the Final 8 is set!  See below and remember to vote this week as it’s a short week and most of you will only have until Friday to get the vote in.  Once I get the Final 4 Set, I’m going to leave that voting open over the holiday….in case you want to vote multiple times or whatever.
Britanny Palmer and Nicky Whelan were third seed upset winners and  Anastasia Ashley easily won her 2 see matchup against Zoe Saldana.  However, in the FIRST EVER TIE of a first round matchup, I simply have to go with the higher seed who received more votes in the week she was a Hot Seat Mascot nominee and go with Samantha Hoopes over Joanna Krupa, but I could see either Mascot in the Elite 8.  It will be interesting to see how much further Samantha can go!!!
In the meantime, get out the vote!!!

The Bowl Picks are coming!  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A PSA from the MMPG, Coaching Update & the MMQ's

A PSA From the MMPG
Normally, I won’t be posting as the MMPG until the B1G season begins and football is behind us, but I thought I should let you all know how he’s doing.



NJIT Loss – No Defense
EMU LOSS – No Offense…..

Uh, Michigan….You’re going to need both of those at some point this season.  Ideally at the same time on the same floor in the same game.  I get that there’s a lot of youth running around out there…but still.  Don’t DO THIS TO US!!!!
I abused my liver enough suffering through football season….I can’t do it again through hoops season, too!
Coaching Update
Cutcliffe was not contacted.  Miles’ AGENT was contacted, but apparently not offered.  Michigan is waiting for San Fran to act and that’s really all you need to know at this point.  Everything else is noise (or maybe some facts – Michigan has reached out to Les Miles  - Hackett personally knows the guy, so yeah) and should be treated as such. 
The MMQ’s
Last season I tried something new and found it to be fun to do.  I will continue this until it’s not fun anymore.  Therefore, your MMQ’s for 2014!!!
MMQ for Most Improved Team – Simply because I didn’t see them coming and neither did Iowa and a few other teams in the B1G West, I have to give Jerry Kill’s Gophers this award.  Yes, Miss State and Ole Miss were considered, but I think some of us saw those two teams coming.  Therefore, I’ma sticking with Little “M”.
MMQ For Most Disappointing Team – Michigan or Northwestern…or Indiana…Or the domers…or USC…OR Oklahoma, who was ranked 3rd pre-season and even had the attention of the MMQ after their big bowl win over Bama last year and had almost everyone returning this season.  So….I’m going with Oklahoma….Biggest disappointment by far when so much was expected.   
MMQ For the Most Exciting Game of the Season – This one is tough…I have several in mind, but the one game that sticks in there as an up and down event that kept me glued to the set was the Auburn-Ole Miss game.  And I can’t get the image of the Ole Miss receiver going in for the TD and instead, fumbling on the 6 inch line and breaking his leg on top of that.  Yes, that has to be recognized somewhere and there ought to be a definition of “Losing It All” with that picture associated with it.   
MMQ For the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Moment of the Season:  So many options
here….and the most recent ones seem to stick in my head more than the early ones.  Michigan has too many to list so I’m not going to try…I’m sure the domers will point to the “No Call” against FSU, but does that really matter anymore?  And I hate to pick on one team, but Oklahoma may have get the nod here with their last second SNAFU that gave Okie State the chance to win….I’m going with that.  Even though Michigan vs. Minnesota and the Morris Concussion with the ensuing “Concussion Gate” was worthy of the honorable mention.
MMQ For the Coach of the Year – This is tough.  I want to give it to someone that I personally think did a great coaching job under extraordinary circumstances, but I really hate giving it to this guy.  So, I’ll mention Urban Legend and his masterful development of JT Barret in a single season, but I’m not giving it to him.  I’ll mention Satan dodging every land mine presented to him and managing to land his team in the CFP after finishing last season with two embarrassing losses.  But I will give it to Jimbo Fisher.  That guy dealt with more media crap than any of the other coaches combined.  I’m not saying he won’t miss Famous Jameis, but I’ll bet he’ll breathe a big ole sigh of relief when the kid is gone.
MMQ For the Worst Coaching Performance of the Year  - Well, again, Stoops really let Oklahoma and their fans down.  Muschamp also had a promising start that spiraled downward and led to his dismissal.  But I have to look right here in the back yard and say that Hoke was definitely in the lead over everyone, even though Michigan’s Defense was one of the better Defenses of the season.  Coach Hoke just didn’t do a good job developing Gardner, the Special teams and the team overall.  Hoke wins, hands down.
MMQ For the Biggest Over Achiever of the Year –This one is easy.  For a team that didn’t start in the top 25 pre-season and climbed to the #1 slot and only lost to Alabama and their arch rival, you have to give it to Dan Mullen and Miss St.  This should be a season that fan base cherishes for years to come.
MMQ For the Biggest UNDER Achiever – Hmmmm, I have somebody in mind, but their only underachievement was losing the two games they weren’t favored in – Oregon and ohio.    But I can’t give it to Sparty because they did get to 10 wins on the season, and that’s not bad.  No…I hate to have one team sweep all the MMQ’s, but Oklahoma definitely under-achieved more than Sparty, USC or even the domers, based on expectations. 
MMQ For The Most Non-Football Related Issue that Occupied Our Time – Winston
Charges and Fire Brandon are the final nominees.  And the Fire Brandon includes Ticket Gate, Concussion Gate, E-mail Gate…I could go on, but you get the gist.  I want to say that in the National Spotlight, Jameis was probably a bigger deal.  But locally and with as many things as I posted about it, I have to give the award to BranDictator’s path to dismissal and wonder why it took so long
MMQ To the Team That Never Fails to Let Us Down – Wow, there really aren’t too many teams that I could nominate, but I will say that the final three this year are the domers, Oklahoma, and Clemson.  Clemson finally got the Gamecock monkey off their back and beat the Ole Ball Coach.  The domers beat their non-rival decisively (Michigan) but lost to several others in embarrassing fashion (USC, Arizona State and 100 points…hee-hee!).  The Sooners boneheaded their way into their final season loss to Okie State.  Who to choose?  What the hell, let’s do a Big12 and call it a two-way tie between the domers and Oklahoma.
MMQ for the Team That Could – In the spirit of Boise State, Marshall immediately comes to mind as the team for this award.  But there was another surprise that I didn’t see coming and I feel like they deserve some recognition.  I gave Miss State the Over Achiever, so I have to give Georgia Tech and their 10 win Season the nod for this award.  Nicely done, Rambin’ Wreck – Keep Drinkin' that Whiskey clear! 
MMQ for the Most Surprising Coaching Dismissal of the Year – Yeah, it’s Pelini.  And I’m going to add to this that hiring Mike Riley makes me think that Nebraska has followed Colorado and legalized the Devil’s Lettuce in Lincoln or something…I mean, what are they smoking out there, anyway?  Either that or their hittin’ the corn liquor again in the athletic department, which, if that’s what’s happening – send me a case!
MMQ Player of the Year – Marcus Mariota will win the Heisman and I like to give this award to a guy on a team that, without him, the team could have easily suffered several more losses.  So, looking at all the players that could receive this award, I’m picking someone that I think, again, deserves a lot more credit than he was getting.  JT Barrett helped the suckeyes to several victories that I’m not sure they would have had otherwise. 
Honorary Number Re-Think
Hopefully, after a somewhat disappointing finish to Devin Gardner’s career, we can re-think the entire “Honorary” number given to players.  And to start the re-vamping thought process: 
A:  It should go to a senior and only a senior.
B:  They truly need to be worthy, and 
C:  The player should have the choice.  Suppose the number he’s wearing means something more to him?  I mean, don’t force it on anyone, I guess, is all I’m saying.
So there you have it.  I will be posting again this week and no, I haven’t forgotten about the FMQ.  I just need some more time with the bowls!

Remember to get the vote out for the Hot Seat Mascot of the Year!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Football Bust, Harbaugh Update, and the CFP CHAOS

The Football Bust 

The Michigan Football Bust happened last night and was well attended.  Some links and photos from the event can be found here.

As always, it sounds like a great time was had by all Michigan Men that attended and there were many accolades for former Coach Hoke from the team and the brass that attended. 

Not surprisingly, Gardner and Ryan were named the captains as voted on by their team mates.  Gardner’s speech was well conceived.  Gardner also mentioned Coach Bo and the now famous locker room poster:

Gardner mentioned legendary coach Bo Schembechler as he summed up his career. Schembechler's words, "Those who stay will be champions," were clear in Gardner's remarks.
"I stayed, and I will live the rest of my life as a champion," Gardner said.
But I would like to give a big hat-tip to Will Hagerup who apparently got very emotional for Hoke while speaking and ended his address with a quote from the one and only Fielding H. Yost (via tweet and a John U Bacon Tweet):

“But do let me reiterate the spirit of Michigan.  It is based on a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways; an enthusiasm that makes it a second nature for Michigan Men to spread the gospel of their university to the world’s distant outposts; a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours.” - Yost

Sounds about right….Take the responsibility and spread the word, Michigan Men!

However, no word on who the new coach is.  This is only the 2nd time in the history of the Football Bust that Michigan’s “Active” Coach hasn’t attended.   The other time was in 1937. 

So, there’s a little trivia tidbit for you on Tuesday.

San Fran Zombies – Harbaugh is a Dead Man Walking

From the San Fran 49er beat writer, Tim Kawakami, is the following article.

If you can’t link or don’t want to read it, in summary:  The 49er’s are toast, er, Zombies walking as they cannot possibly get a play-off berth in the NFC west (where Seattle is 9-4 and Arizona is 10-3).  It would take a complete collapse of one of those teams and San Fran winning the rest of their games.  In NFL terminology, that’s called, “Impossible.”

So, Harbaugh is kind of in San Fran Limbo Land.  And everyone knows that San Fran is unhappy with Harbaugh and looking to “trade” his contract for draft picks or players.  But here’s the thing:  If I’m ANYBODY ELSE in the NFL and I know you’re going to more or less can a guy at the end of the season or sooner, why on earth would I give anything up when I can have a free run at Jimmy in however many weeks until you fire him?

That’s limboF’d if you do and F’d if you don’t.  San Fran management painted themselves into a corner.  And Jim hangs in the balance.

The only thing that makes sense for anyone in this complicated game of chess right now is Michigan should act, and it sounds like they have.  According to a lot of reports, there’s been contact.  That we can believe.  What’s come out of that contact is where all the rumors start, and that’s where you need to apply “the sniff test”  to figure out what’s going on.  My guess is Hackett spoke to Jim or his agent, one of them said, “Yeah, we’re looking at our future options right now” and Hackett said, “Okay, well Michigan is open to discussion and here’s what we’re prepared to offer for starters.”

And that was probably it.  Jim Harbaugh is fully aware that the Michigan option  

Everything else is BS.  Don’t believe the NFL analysts that Jim told Michigan no.  That would be utterly ludicrous for, well, anyone that has as much uncertainty in his career as Jim does at this moment in time.  You just don’t limit your options at this point.  It’s common sense.

But, Jim can’t do anything until he either resigns (unlikely) or is canned (likely).  San Fran just needs to get to that point and realize that their options are limited.  Limbo. 

Big Ten Bowls – Vegas Has Spoken

And it isn’t pretty for the B1G.  Which, well, I dunno.  I mean, I know the B1G isn’t good, but every single game they are a dog?

That’s a tough one to believe.

LA Tech -5 vs Illinois
North Carolina -3 vs Rutgers
Boston College -2.5 vs Penn State
USC -5.5 vs Nebraska
Stanford -13 vs Maryland
Auburn -5.5 vs Wisconsin
Baylor -3 vs Michigan State
Missouri -5.5 vs Minnesota
Alabama -10 vs Ohio State
Tennessee -3 vs Iowa

But there you have it.  My earlier analysis that the B1G going 0.500 was a possibility just took a back seat to a more realistic 3-7 or 2-8.  And I’m not even sure which 2 or 3 teams I’m picking yet, but there’s bound to be a couple of upsets….right?

Speaking of the CFP

So, are we happy?  Frankly, the MMQ couldn’t be happier.  We still have controversy, which, if you’re a fan of the NCAA Tournament, you know just goes with any college sports play-off and tournament territory.  But instead of having a “weak” computer and public opinion poll handing us undefeated Florida State vs. Alabama in the BCS Championship, we have two additional teams that can vie against FSU and Bama.  And that’s good.  We would have been screaming that a 1-loss Oregon was a much better team than FSU.  And TCU, Baylor and ohio would have been additional noise.

And that’s a very good thing.  Two less teams got hosed this year and get the opportunity to prove they belong and deserve a shot.  I’m not sure the suckeyes are going to be able to do much against Bama, but the Ducks may prove they’re worthy against FSU and earn a spot in the national title game. 

And if FSU and Bama prevail, nothing’s changed….But, this whole thing got me to thinking about the MMQ position of “Conference Champions ONLY” and is that really the right thinking?  If we would have had TOTAL CHAOS (Which  I was vehemently rooting for) on Friday/Saturday, well, we would have the following conference champions:

PAC12 – Arizona
B1G – Wiscy
SEC – Mizzou
Big 12 – TCU and Baylor…or whatever they want to tell us this week.

So, that would have left us with 5(6) teams where only 2 (Baylor and TCU) had been in the top 6 prior to Saturday.  And I’m not sure that any of the other CHAOS champions are worthy of playing for the National Title.

Yet, I have firmly believed up to this point that you have to earn the conference title to be in

Where does that leave me?

As the MMQ, I’m in a big time conundrum (For the Sparty and suckeyes out there – that means I’m extremely confused/perplexed/baffled).  IF I had gotten my wish and said that only conference champs in the CFP, well, I would be bitching pretty loud that Oregon, Bama and even FSU deserve a spot.  And I do believe they each deserve a spot based on their overall season performance.  But they would have lost the most important game on their calendar!!!

So, what now???

Just like the NCAA Basketball Tournament, I suppose that’s why the committee is there to bring sound reasoning into the discussion.  If there had been CHAOS, I’m guessing we would have seen the following:

ACC:  FSU would have been OUT of the F4 if they were the only CHAOS loss.  That much is clear.  If Quad Chaos – I could see an argument where they were still a 1-loss team that deserved a spot and chance to defend National Title.
SEC:  Alabama, I’m guessing, would probably be in and would have fallen to the 4th slot, regardless of how many CHAOS losses we had.  Which, okay.  But does Miss St. with 2 losses look better than Bama with two?
PAC12:  I could actually see where Oregon falls to 6-7, right behind Arizona, and if there had been at least DOUBLE CHAOS (Two top 4 teams losing), then POSSIBLY, Arizona could have been in the F4.
B1G:  there’s no case for a B1G team getting in….At least, there’s not one I can dream up at this point.

B1G 12In the event of Double, Triple or Quad CHAOS the Big12 probably has two teams in the Final 4. 

And somehow…that’s wrong, too.  But I can’t solve ALL OF THIS entirely by adding additional teams/games to the play-off.  But it’s not a bad first step8 teams would insure that anyone playing in Championship Weekend is probably in the final 8 even if they lost.  The committee could see to that and the next 4 teams in line get moved up and seeded as well. 

IS that the answer?

What are we going to do?

Frankly, I’m stumped.  I guess we ride this 4 team/3 game leg of the CFP journey out until we have a single thru Quad Chaos scenario occur and see how it all plays out.  But you can sure as hell bet that when it happens, there will be an uproar….and it will be LOUD. 


Yesterday I posted that there were 16 teams in the B1G and there are actually only 14. I’m not sure where the ole noggin’ was yesterday morning, but I thank G-Money for pointing that out.  Life without an editor is tough.  Last one left because the pay sucked….go figure.