Friday, September 12, 2014

The FMQ - Odds and Ends and The Picks!

To All:  Internet Explorer 10 was installed here at work and for about 3 days, I was unable to access my Blog Editor.  Luckily, with some technical assistance from a loyal follower, I installed Google Chrome and I’m back!  So, if anyone is having difficulty with IE 10, try Chrome.  What a whacky web world we live in….

Okay, I’ve had a week to digest what happened over the weekend and during the week.   I’ve decided that there’s a couple of things that need more review and or discussion.  In no particular order:

Should Hoke Get Canned?

There’s a lot of evidence to support the fact that Brady Hoke’s tenure at Michigan should be limited based on the performance of this team AFTER this season.  It makes no sense to can him today, folks.  It just doesn’t.  So stop texting me and e-mailing me that Michigan needs to can him.  I agree, they just might have to.  But not now.  After the ohio game, there should be a pretty good body of evidence from this season and you can add that evidence to all of the following:

1.  When was the last time Michigan won a truly meaningful game?  And by that I mean they beat someone in the top 10, won a big bowl game, or just beat someone that had it coming? 

The Sugar Bowl doesn’t count.  Yes BCS and all, but still…Va Tech.
Suckeyes of the same season – But, yeah, they should have won that game as the suckeyes finished 6-6, I think
Last year’s Domers – no.  Again, I think Michigan was favored and should have won.  And Ditto to Under the Lights I. 
So what I’m trying to say is:  Hoke isn’t a giant killer.  He is O-fer in Top 10 games.  He’s not getting the job done. He hasn’t won a game of significance according to what I’m looking at over the last three seasons.  Alabama would have been a statement.  Even beating South Carolina 2 years ago in the bowl game would have been something.  Losing to K-State last year?  Dreadful…. Michigan used to go on the road and beat teams.  Hoke isn’t doing it.

2.  Michigan is 3-8 in its last 11 games with victories over Northwestern, Indiana, and App State.  That’s pathetic.  And makes my stomach hurt….

3.  It’s not all Devin Gardener.  Devin has played two games in a new system.  But why hasn’t this staff been able to put together an O-line?  Michigan has never looked like this when it comes to offensive line personnel.  I’m thinking back to some of the Rich Rod years here as well.

4.  The tailback situation is atrocious.  Where are all the playmaking tailbacks we used to have and why can’t the clowns we have hit the holes vs. running into the line?

5.  When was the last time Michigan was ranked in the Top 25?  I’m not sure they get there this season.

6.  A losing record to all major rivals, with the exception of the Domers….

7.  Hoke and Michigan LOST to a decimated Penn State Squad in his first meeting against them….

But Hoke does say and have all the Michigan-Man lingo down to a science.  He talks toughness, he talks goals and he talks motivation.  You can find anything on the internet and with apologies to the late, great Chris Farley, this is friggin’ hilarious!  

Motivational Speaker Hoke living in a van down at the riverside….

All that being said, Michigan has another problem:  David Brandon(e).  I’m not sure HE’S the right guy for the job, either.  Let’s face it, DB screwed up the Rich Rodriguez thing royally.   By letting Rich hang around for the most important recruiting time from December 1 through the holiday, Michigan lost key guys.  I’m not saying it would have made a difference, just sayin’.  And with his 30 minutes or less pizza background, you’d think he would have pulled the trigger the minute he knew it was time.  But here’s the thing:  Hoke was DB’s choice and he may not want to admit failure.  Let’s face it, I’m not sure that Hoke was one of the Top 5 coaches on the list.  And if you fire Hoke, we go back to the question of:  Who are you going to get?  Forget Harbaugh…He’s not coming.  And DB probably doesn’t want to eat that feces sandwich at this moment in time.  Who would?

IF that’s true, that you have to get rid of DB first before any of this is fixed, assuming Michigan has an insolvable problem.  31(7) to 0 at the hands of the domers is the kind of bed-shitting that should at least get you brought into the office and talked to.  If DB isn’t having that discussion, then shame on DB because his golden goose is going to stop laying those golden eggs and people will stop watching, going to games and caring about Michigan Football.  Tickets on Stub Hub for Saturday are down to $15!!!!!  That’s lludicrous….

DB’s favorite saying is “Find something that isn’t broke and break it.”  Well, he might be doing just that.   

Not only that, but Brandon(e) didn’t have a plan of who to hire until after he fired Rich Rod.  That alone should be enough to get a referendum on DB.  I think there’s a mountain of evidence to suggest that DB hasn’t done a great job since he’s been the AD.  There will be some that disagree with me.  But not many.   And if DB does make the decision, that means DB hires the next guy.  Does anyone want to see that?  I’m not sure I do. 

So, if you want to can someone, can DB.  Hoke will follow if necessary.

The B1G – Where to from here?

This B1G thing is really getting on my nerves.  Yes, it is a dumpster fire as I suggested on Monday.   But, it has me wondering about a couple of teams and questioning: Why aren’t teams in the B1G getting better?  The B1G was relevant to the National Title Picture in 2006, the last time anyone from the conference really made any “National Title” noise.  Yes, I know, a 1 loss Sparty in the Rose.  Wiscy with a one loss team in the Rose… Big deal…All the talk is a 1 loss B1G team won’t get a seat at the 4 Team Table, and that bothers me a great deal.

There’s PLENTY OF MONEY rolling into the B1G’s programs and they should all be able to spend on their football programs and have enough left over to still spend like drunken sailors on the rest of their athletic department.  All the B1G’s have great fan bases and some of the largest stadiums in the USA.  So, what else is it?  Climate?  Really?  I’m sort of seeing that but sort of not.

Let’s look at it from a coaching perspective and see where it takes us:

The SOLID Tier 1’s

Penn State:  Great hire in Franklin and I believe PSU football will be back to mattering a lot sooner rather than later.

Ohio:  Urban Crime will eventually get the job done.  But I’m sure the pressure is mounting with a couple of losses to what suckeye fans believe are inferior opponents, even with the loss of their starting QB.

Sparty:  Sparty finally got it right and has a great coach (God, that’s hard to type) in Dantonio

Wisconsin:  Andersen is keeping the Beliema train rolling down the tracks.  But can he sustain it?

Tier 1 Iffies…Tradable?

Michigan:  Hoke.  No B1G title and hasn’t even sniffed at one, really.  Yes, 2011, but 2nd in the Legends Division.   Recruits like a monster, but apparently can’t get what’s needed out of the players come game time.

Iowa:  Ferentz hasn’t put it all together in a long time and he may be part of what’s wrong with the B1G overall…It may be time to move on in Iowa, but he has a contract through 2020.

Nebraska:  Pelini.  I don’t think Nebraska nation is in love with him and he, for whatever reason, can’t land the recruits that Nebraska used to get.  He needs a big season….

Tier II’s

Kill in Minnesota looked like a good hire.  He’d done pretty good things at Northern Illinois.  But now that he’s coaching the Gophers, I’m not so sure.

Northwestern:  Fitzgerald is a fixture and Northwestern has just had some incredibly bad luck.

Indiana:  Kevin Wilson.  I like this guy and he’s got a great pedigree.  It’s just hard to get good football kids to go to a basketball school.  But, then I look at Duke.

Maryland:  Randy Edsall.  Hot prospect has not been able to make it happen at Maryland, yet.  But I still like and respected what he did at UCONN and I believe he can make it work at Maryland as well.

Rutgers: Kyle Flood is not Schiano, but he may pan out to be okay….But it’s a work in progress.

Tier III’s

Purdue:  Hazell is a disaster.  He’s out of his league and should be dismissed. 
Illinois:  Beckman.  This guy has a decent resume, but I think he’s out of it, also. 

So, if we line up all those guys against the other conferences, what do you get?  Let’s look.  I threw together a spreadsheet and compared the coaches of the Power 5.  Hopefully you can see it. (If not, click on it and it will enlarge in a new window)

Based on track records or performance over period of time, I called out coaches that I thought were “Tradable”; meaning I would trade Hoke for the guy shaded in Green RIGHT NOW if given the option.  Yellow means I would need to think about it REALLY HARD before making the trade.  No color, not enough info or no trade.

Based on that and all of this being my subjective opinion, we can see that there are really only 2 tradable coaches in the ACC.  Surprisingly, the Big XI has 6 tradable and 2 questionable (Snyder – Age, Holgorsen – Iffy) that might work.  The B1G only has 3 tradable and four maybes (yes, Hoke is a maybe.  Again, he recruits great.  That’s a big piece of the puzzle).  The Pac 12 and SEC are also sitting with 6 tradable coaches, each.
What’s it all mean?  If you’re thinking about this from a “conference strength” perspective, I believe it starts with coaching.  And the B1G needs more of it.  A Lot More.  But, it also tells you that if you’re looking for a good coach, they aren’t easy to come by, either.  With only 23 tradables in the power 5, the selection pool is slim….

Another interesting fact was that the average tenure in the SEC was older than that of the Pac12 and the ACC!!!  In fact, The B1G has a pretty new set of faces if you take out Ferentz…So, while we talk about the SEC Carousel, the good coaches stay in the SEC and schools stick with them once they have them.  But they aren’t afraid to kick one to the curb if necessary.

Simply put, it would seem that your conference should have 6 tradable coaches and another 2 or three maybe’s that other schools would look at and say, “Yeah, I’d rather have him over what I’ve got.”  Granted, it only works if you’re looking at an iffy coach to begin with.  If you were starting with a Saban, well, tradables drop WAY DOWN and you end up with a lot more no color and maybes.

Any useful conclusions in any of this?  The B1G needs to hire some better coaching, period. 


For all of you that have read me for a while, I think you all know where I stood on the NCAA’s handling of the Sandusky case.   And the Grand Standing Mark Emmert making a scene about this issue so that when the final Miami verdict came in, it would simply be noise on the back burner and the NCAA wouldn’t be embarrassed by its inability to punish a University that had truly “Broken Rules” and more or less throw a pretty decent University into the fires of Hades for something that was not necessarily athletics related.
Look – I don’t like the Sandusky thing more than anyone else.  But it was WAY BIGGER than Penn State.  Yes, there was clearly an enabling atmosphere present under Joe Pa and in the football program and administration, and for that, the University should (and has been to the tune of $60M clams) be punished.  But, all the people surrounding those events that occurred over a decade ago have either been arrested and put in jail, are awaiting trial, or have passed on (RIP Joe.)  It’s time for the students who are there now (and who were in 7th or 8th grade at the time of the incidents) live their college lives to the fullest.  Small kudos to the NCAA for righting what was a terrible wrong for Penn State. 

Ray Rice, Roger Goodell and the NFL

I don’t normally get into the NFL, but Jesus-Tap-Dancing-Christ, what a circus freak show this has been….What did everyone think BEFORE they saw the video?  That Rice tapped his wife on the ole noggin’ and she went unconscious?  And if in fact the NFL received the video in April (and it certainly appears that it DID) is Roger Goodell gone for lying to us?  Let’s face it, the NFL commish is there to do one thing:  Be the scapegoat for the millionaire – Billionaire owners.  And he’s doing just that.  IF he can whether the media shit-storm, he’ll remain the commish…if not, the owners will find a new face to put on display and pay Roger a handsome retirement package and continue doing what it does – make money.  Say, NFL:  I have a suggestion. 

DAVE BRANDON(E) would make a great NFL Commissioner!!!

Wish the MMQ a Happy 500th Birthday!

A momentous occasion has come and gone.  I thought everyone would get a kick out of knowing that the Blog turned 500 with last Friday’s post.  Yes, some of them are long and some are short, but 500 postings none the less.  I don’t know if that’s good or bad….time well used or wasted time?  I’ll think about it some more and get back to you!

The Picks

I know this is why you all read on Friday, and sorry it took me so long to get here!

UCLA (-7.5) @ Texas:  Texas may actually be more of a train wreck than Michigan right now.  Scratch that, THEY ARE more of a train wreck and they have pulled a kid of an intramural team and are suiting him up for the game Saturday!  IF he sees playing time, Texas will run Strong out on a rail….Just sayin’.
Take UCLA and lay the 7.5 for $30

USC @ BC (+17.5):  I like BC here…I don’t know why.  Yes, they are the envogue upset pick, but Addazio to date has not impressed me.  Still, USC didn’t look that great and I like the points here.

Take BC and the 17.5 for $30

Syracuse @ Central (+7):  I know several people that are going to like this pick.  If the Chippies can beat Purdue by three scores, they can hang with the ‘Cuse at home.

Take the Chips and the 7 for $40

Louisville (-7) @ Virginia:  I like Louisville here even if Virginia’s Defense is that good.  I’m not sure they match up well with Louisville’s Offense….

Take Louisville and lay the 7 for $20

Wyoming @ the Ducks (-43):  Letdown, schmetdown…Take the Quack Attack and lay the points.

Take the Ducks and lay the 43 for $30

PSU @ Rutgers (+3):  Rutgers could be better than previously advertised.   And the Blue Kitties may have problems that are as yet not exposed.

Take Rutgers and the 3 for $20.

Tennessee (+21) @ Oklahoma:  I wanna take the points….I wanna take the points…Do  I believe in the power of the SEC?  What the hell…

Take Cremesicles and the 21 for $20

Miami (not that one) @ Michigan (-31):  I saw SOME things I liked against the domers…not many, mind you….But some.  If Michigan fixes those things, it could be a long afternoon for the Red Hawks.

Take Michigan and lay the points for $30

PARLAY!!!  3-way pays 6 to 1. 

Take Central – BC – Ducks for $20

Starting Bank:         $1,006
Total Bet:                  $240
Bank:                         $766

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