Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

So, here we are on the first “Work” day of the New Year and I am going to give you a brief wrap as to how I’m seeing everything so far (I'm trying to stay up-beat here but this may get a little darker than the MMQ usually is for obvious reasons):

Michigan-While I thought the ohio game could be a springboard of sorts to a 2014 Season of Hope, assuming Michigan could follow that up with a successful bowl game against KSU, what I witnessed and stayed up until 1:30 AM watching on December 28th was a pitiful display of football – at least on the Michigan side.  I thought the extra practice time would show me something…and it showed me that while Morris may be a “phenom” at some point in his Michigan career, he’s young and raw and needs to develop.  As for everyone and everything else that happened in that game?  I’ve fortunately forgotten most of it.  Kind of like shooting a 100 on the golf course.  This season on the whole was an embarrassment and that needs to be addressed in the off-season.  From coaching to team attitude.  I get that Gardner broke his foot against ohio…but man, you came to Michigan to win….Not try.  Everyone needs to remember that.

The MMQ’s Prescription for Re-Hab:  Not only weight training and running, but re-watch the Tom Brady pre-season speech a million times (or at least once every day) until the 2014 season kicks off.  In addition, the coaching staff needs to watch every other teams’ positive yardage offense from this season and go back and potentially dust off a few of the Rich Rod plays from the “Dark Period”.  It’s 2014 or bust for this coaching staff.  Let’s do it.

Sparty- Yes, you were a legitimate success this season.  Even if you had lost to Stanford, I believe you could have hung your hat on making it to the Rose as this is something Sparty does only every 25 years or so.  Winning the Game is icing on the cake.  And, unfortunately, just like the domers playing (wait – playing is a strong word – let’s say “Appearing”) in the NC last year against Alabama, some of these weird, inexplicable anomalies of life as a Michigan Fan have to be endured..unfortunately.  I was hoping at one point that Sparty wouldn’t make a BCS bowl in the 16 years of its existence.  However, that hope went careening down the tubes along with so many others (for Michigan Fans) this season….Sparty’s first BCS Bowl and they also manage to win….Is there a bigger nightmare scenario for a Michigan fan?  I can only imagine how Sparty Fan felt last year as Michigan was knocking on the door for a National Title in Basketball.   That has to be similar to the feeling that I’m feeling right now.  They have no business being there, yet somehow, there they are. 

But, I will give Sparty credit where it’s due.  Winning the 100th Rose Bowl is a big deal and I’m not sure there’s one pundit out there that picked you to do it.  But winning a single Rose does not a bouquet make…And I believe you are about to discover how difficult it truly is to maintain a level of excellence on a regular basis.  Come back to me after you have managed to get to your next Rose before another quarter century expires and we will discuss the overall legitimacy of your current run and your program as a whole. 

Sour grapes?  You bet.  Do I expect Michigan to use this as fuel to stoke their own fire?  They better!

B1G – Nebraska surprised me and was the only team that didn’t do what I expected all of the other B1G teams to do…Win.  Why did I not take Nebraska to win?  Too much crap going on in the coaching staff and a new QB starting.  But the Dawgs plain didn’t show up.  As for Iowa and Wiscy, I was disappointed by their displays and I still believe had they played their best games they would have won their bowls.  The injury to Stave and the Wiscy turnovers in the 2nd half became unbearable to watch and I’m glad I’m not a Wiscy fan or I’d be shopping for a new TV.  Iowa simply didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them and lost to a very beatable LSU team….So while the SEC proved it’s “dominance”, the table was set for the B1G to do some damage and they blew it on New Year’s day.

Texas – Adieu, Mack.  Thanks for all the memories.  And while I spoke with a lot of fans over the break that said that Texas was making a huge mistake in letting Mack Brown go, I only had to reference Joe Pa to explain that there’s a time when everything and everyone has to either end or hang up the whistle.  This was Mack’s time; I firmly believe that.  He should have gone out after Young won him the title in 2006, but it’s hard to go out on top when everything is “working”.  But, he did go out rather gracefully and I hope he can adjust to being an advisor.  However, whoever the new guy is (Franklin and Strong have reportedly been interviewed for Texas gig…Either coach I believe would be a great hire) he’s going to have big shoes to fill.  And I pity the poor guy if he can’t at least make the CFB play-offs in his first 3 years.  Would Jimbo Fisher listen to an offer from UT if he wins it all on Monday?  Yes, UT is a step up over the Seminoles…sorry FSU fans.   And I think Jimbo would seriously consider it.

Fiesta – I should have learned a long time ago that WHOEVER is favored from the Big 12 in this game is DOOOOOOMED to losing to a double digit underdog…This goes way back prior to the Boise State upset of Oklahoma, but it should make my point.  Never again will I ever take a Big 12 favorite to win (or cover!) in the Fiesta.  I’m simply not doing it anymore. 

Penn State – Bill O’Brien’s “Lifetime” commitment to PSU lasted all of 2 years.  I’m sure the lure of the NFL money, fame and fortune simply proved to be too much for O’Brien, as well as the fact that he certainly over-achieved with what he had to work with at PSU.  He had to realize that the pressure to win even more with sanctions being lifted early.  I also believe that there was a “quiet” group of PSU “Paterno Loyalists” that probably didn’t like the way O’Brien was doing it.  I’m not saying that they were or are influential, but whoever replaces a legend is going to have a lot of fans that simply don’t like that individual for whatever reason.   Win or lose.  And O’Brien might have been feeling some of that heat as well.  Actually, let me re-phrase:  O’Brien was feeling the heat of replacing a legend, of that I’m sure.  I’m sure the Loyalists will push for a “Nittany Lion Man” from the Joe Pa coaching tree to replace the late great Joe….now that the drama from the fiasco has died down a little….Johnson, the interim, is a carryover from Joe Pa’s coaching staff.   My guess is they administration might be feeling some pressure from influential (Read: RICH) alumni to “Get back to PSU’s roots” and they might take the easy road.

The 'Ole Ball Coach – Speaking of hanging them up…Do you think the 'Ole Ball Coach was looking at this season as “The One” and now that he’s losing Clowney, will he also think about hanging up the whistle?  The coach is closing in on 70, loves his golf and has to be thinking that there’s at least another 2-5 years before the stars align again and give him a shot to win it all.  Don’t be surprised if an announcement of his retirement happens out of the blue. 

The Punch – I stated earlier that one of the reasons I would enjoy this year’s Orange Bowl between ohio and Clemson is that we would get to see “The Punch” re-visited multiple times leading up to the game.  As a fan, and more importantly a hater of ohio, I have to say that it never gets old.  I do believe that Woody’s body of work has kept his legacy intact, but it’s just one more example of a Coach being bigger than the program.  Woody should have been told when it was time to go if he couldn’t figure it out for himself.  But “The Punch” should be a lesson to everyone.
Briles - I'm only putting this in here because Snyder is such a wild card.  But after what Kelly accomplished in Philly this season...Don't be surprised if Briles gets called to Washington DC for a head coaching position...Just sayin'.  Especially after the lack luster performance in the Fiesta…..

The Hot Seat

The Final 2!   Decker and Marcum will battle it out to see who will adorn the side bar and keep us warm through this off-season!  I will keep voting open until Tuesday, January 7th at NOON!  Get your votes in and I will post the winner in the season wrap on Tuesday! 



  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….
  11. O’Brien – Left for Texas (NFL)
Hot Seat Rank – Getting Serious as this is the time when the Carousel gets fire up!

  1. My feeling at this point is, if you haven’t been canned by January 1, you are probably safe for this year...

  1.  USC – Sarkisian
  2. Washington – Petersen
  3. Dave Clawson – Wake Forest
  4. Bryan Harsin – Boise State
  5. Chris Creighton – Eastern
  6. Bob Diaco – UCONN
  7. Jeff Monken – Army



The FMQ is going to have an incredibly bad year….I will have a full report come next Tuesday, but suffice it to say, I’m glad its fantasy money and not the real thing.

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