Open PracticeSo, on somewhat of a whim and because it was the first one ever, and I like to go to the first one of things just ‘cause, we attended the Saturday Night Under the Lights Open Practice at the Big House. We didn't stay for the whole thing, but long enough...
I would like to say that Michigan looked good. Unfortunately, I can't. I can honestly say that “Parts” of Michigan looked good. However, the starting O-line didn’t look great, at least not to me. I don’t know how much of that is the defense knowing what’s coming and more or less having familiarity with the person across from you. So, on the other hand, the starting Defense looked okay against the demo-offense.Devin Gardener did not look great. In fact, I think the best pass he threw was an interception to Red Shirt Junior Blake Countess. Countess made a nice move on the ball and snatched it away from the intended receiver. Morris looked a little better, IMHO, and I have a sneaking suspicion that we might see more of Shane than less as the season progresses. I’m not saying there’s a QB controversy, but at the first sign of Devin having problems, I don’t think Hoke or Nuss will hesitate to try Shane out….
Overall, there was some sloppiness and I’m glad they still have two weeks left to work out some of the kinks….Guys that stood out and played very well, at least to me:
WR Funchess (87) – Well, yeah….Nice long catch that was semi - circus like....Soph WR Da’Mario Jones (10)….Mario…Wasn’t there a Mario M-something that we all liked?
Frosh Peppers (5) - Yep, he’s the real deal…Frosh TE Bunting (94) - BIG GUY….Roster says he’s 6’7” and 227…He’s all of that…
Frosh QB Speight (19) - Another Big Guy. 6’6”. Could be pretty good in a year or two…
CFP Is Upon UsDennis Dodd did a great write up recently as to what we can expect entering the new “CFP” system this season. While it hasn’t entirely sunk in to the mass population yet that we won’t get a Sunday Night BCS special, I think it will begin to sink in once ESPN starts talking about it on Saturday Morning Game Day. Not only that, but we are going to have to wait until Tuesday evening for the 13 man committee’s revelation of their Top 25.
Wow…Drama and intrigue on Tuesday evening. Must be why they moved the World Series of Poker to Sunday Night.
I also wonder how long we’ll be stuck with a 4 team play-off. It simply doesn’t make sense that all the Power 5 Conference Champs don’t get a shot at the National Title. My guess is that we see the whole thing collapse and go to 8 teams within, say…Hmmmm. I will say less than 8 years or whenever the SEC doesn’t get a Top 4 Spot – Whichever comes first. And I do believe that the SEC could get shut out of the top 4. Yes, it’s possible if the committee is doing their job and looking at SOS and who’s played who. That 8 Game in conference schedule will hurt the SEC eventually…I believe the committee will see to that.
Anyway, as we enter the 2014 “Brave New World” of a college football play-off, I couldn’t help but think of what the last 10 seasons would have looked like with a 4 team play-off in place. So many questions, so difficult to make up perfect scenarios…
But if it did, would those seasons have changed at all? Let’s reflect on them here…
2013FF: FSU, Auburn, Alabama, Sparty
Match-ups: FSU- Sparty & Auburn - Bama in an Iron Bowl re-matchMMQ Prognostication: My gut tells me that Bama would not lose on a neutral site against Auburn, but that would have been a long lay-off for everyone, so I’m not sure. Definitely the hardest game of the two semi’s to predict. I think Sparty’s D can’t contain Winston and its FSU and Auburn in the same finale. With FSU coming out on top.
2012FF: domers, Alabama, Florida, Oregon
Match-ups: domers – Oregon & Alabama – FloridaMMQ Prognostication: Oregon’s offense tears through Manti Teo and the domer’s defense like just like Teo’s girlfriend: As if it didn’t exist. Florida plays an inspired game and upsets the Tide…but they can’t stop the Ducks in the finale and Oregon would have won its first CFP National Title!
2011FF: LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford
Match-ups: LSU vs. Stanford & Alabama vs. Oklahoma StateMMQ Prognostication: Again, Alabama and LSU were pre-ordained into the National Title Game after the 6-3 yawner in Tuscaloosa. But, if LSU came out as flat against Stanford as they did against Bama, Andrew Luck and The Cardinal would have made the finale. Bama vs. Okie State would have been another story, but I like Okie State in a nail biter ….And maybe even edging out Stanford in the National Title Game.
2010FF: Auburn, Oregon, TCU, Stanford
Match-Ups: Auburn vs. Stanford and Oregon vs. TCUMMQ Prognostication: I don’t see this one finishing any differently than it did. Auburn handles Stanford and Oregon handles TCU. Auburn’s Defense proves to be the deciding factor over Oregon’s Basketball on Grass offense…the SEC wins again!
2009FF: Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU
Match-ups: Alabama vs. TCU and Texas vs. CincinnatiMMQ Prognostication: Well, this one is easy AND hard. Alabama was clearly the team to beat in 2009, as I recall. So a good Horned Frog team would have lost in a landslide to Bama. I do think that a Brian Kelly led Cincinnati team would have pulled off the upset of the Longhorns, but still, Bama would have dominated them in the finale.
2008FF: Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Alabama
Match-Ups: Oklahoma vs. Alabama and Florida vs. TexasMMQ Prognostication: This is interesting. I see all sorts of crazy scenarios here, but I will stick with Florida beating Texas to get into the Title Game. It’s the Oklahoma - Bama match-up that’s difficult. Stoops’ teams never play well with big stakes on the line come January 1st, and my guess is this time would be no different. The Sooners lose to Bama and Florida gets to do something that’s really sweet: Beat Bama twice in the same season.
2007FF: ohio, LSU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma
Match-ups: ohio vs. Oklahoma and LSU vs. Va TechMMQ Prognostication: I remember this season and I remember that this was a very good Va-Tech team by the end of the year. And I think that Va-Tech team would at least give LSU a run for it’s money. Yeah, they beat LSU. Even in the midst of the Tigers playing to keep their coach from leaving for the University of Michigan….The Sooners handle the suckeyes and Stoops wins his 2nd National Title over Beamer!!!
2006FF: ohio, Florida, Michigan, LSU
Match-ups: ohio vs. LSU and Michigan vs. FloridaMMQ Prognostication: Most of you who aren’t Michigan Fans won’t want to read this as I’m sure you know where it’s going. LSU loses in a tightly fought battle against the Red Vested lying sack of testicle sweat led suckeyes and Michigan defeats the Pre-Urban Crime led Gators with the amazing ’06 defense. In the title re-match, Michigan gets its priceless moment and defeats the hated Sweater Vest when it really counts and claims another National Title!!
2005FF: USC, Texas, Penn State, Ohio State
Match-Ups: USC vs. ohio & Texas vs. PSU
MMQ Prognostication: Wow…USC was very, very good, but ohio wasn’t that bad that year, either. I do think the Trojans beat ohio and Texas edges the Nittany Lions (Remember that the only blemish on the Lions record that season was in Ann Arbor!!!). And I think Young figures out the same game ending plan to beat the Trojans and Texas goes on to win the National Title.
FF: USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, CaliforniaMatch-Ups: USC vs. California & Auburn vs. Oklahoma
MMQ Prognostication: This is probably the greatest wrong that will be righted here by the MMQ. Yes, the Trojans will defeat California, but the Tigers of Auburn will upset the greatly over-rated Sooners and give the Trojans a helluva fight in the Title Game. In fact, let’s do it: The SEC wins another one and takes one away from Pete Carrol.
So, for the last 10 years, where does that leave us? It would appear that in 6 of the seasons, the play-off wouldn’t have had much impact on who the overall champion was…but in the other 4, fireworks abound! And that’s why the beginning of the CFP era should be fun.
Hee-hee….This is one I would be remiss if I didn’t mention. I didn’t hear about this until I was in the car on Friday or I would have posted then. In case you haven’t heard, there’s been an ongoing investigation down in South Bend regarding Academic Fraud. As Yost tweeted, “I guess Academic Integrity at Notre Dame is about as real as Manti Teo’s girlfriend.” The 4 players, starting cornerback KeiVarae Russell, leading returning receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive end Ishaq Williams and backup linebacker Kendall Moore were being withheld from practices and games until the university completes an investigation into whether papers and homework they turned in were completed by others.
Another cheap shot coming: Can the domers really be trusted to conduct their own investigation?
And of course, my guess is that if they do conclude there wasn’t any wrongdoing, it’ll probably happen sometime during the week of September 2nd in order for the starters to get in a full week of practice before Michigan comes to town.Here’s a link to Kelly stating that there’s nothing wrong with recruiting in domerland.
I will miss playing them after this season…..