Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The President Speaks - No, Not THAT One...Michigan's

Well, here it is....And while it's not a sign of support, it's at least a breath of fresh air.

Sounds like he left himself a lot of room here if he sees to it that Brandon needs to go.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel released the following statement regarding the controversy surrounding UM quarterback Shane Morris' concussion:
As the leader of our university community, I want to express my extreme disappointment in the events surrounding the handling of an on-field injury to one of our football players, Shane Morris. The health and safety of our entire student community, including all of our student-athletes, is my most important responsibility as university president.
I have been in regular discussion regarding this incident and its aftermath with Athletic Director David Brandon and the Board of Regents. I support the immediate protocol changes that the department's initial assessment has identified. I have instructed the Athletic Department to provide me, the Board of Regents, and other campus leaders with a thorough review of our in-game player safety procedures, particularly those involving head injuries, and will involve experts from the University of Michigan Health System in assessing its medical aspects.
Despite having one of the finest levels of team medical expertise in the country, our system failed on Saturday. We did not get this right and for this I apologize to Shane, his family, his teammates, and the entire Michigan family. It is a critical lesson to us about how vigilant and disciplined we must always be to ensure student-athlete safety. As president, I will take all necessary steps to make sure that occurs and to enforce the necessary accountability for our success in this regard.
Our communications going forward will be direct, transparent and timely. The University of Michigan stands for the highest level of excellence in everything we do, on and off the field. That standard will guide my review of this situation and all the University's future actions.
My thanks go to the many members of the University community who have taken the time to express their thoughts.

Spiraling Out of Control...Deeper Into The Abyss

I was going to hold off posting until tomorrow, but so much has happened in the last 12 hours that I’m going to put one up today.  And I had no idea what to title it...So, you get what you get....

The Press Conference

The Monday Presser was downright embarrassing to the point that it made my stomach hurt from the pain that Brady must be enduring.  I almost want to just stand up and announce to the world that, 

“Brady – you’re gone.  It’s not salvageable at this point.  Let it go, man.  Just tell the truth and it will set you free.”  

Hoke was trying to make us believe that there was no concussion (that he knew of, even 48 hours after the fact) and worse, THAT HE HADN’T spoken to Dave Brandon over what has become a National News Story in that same time span.  And he also tried to make us believe that he hadn’t spoken to anyone on the medical staff and that they would be making a separate statement.  The statement part, I believed.  I believe he had been told by “someone” that there would be a medical statement.  So, there’s that.

And speaking of BranDictator, I’ve never seen him meet a microphone or a camera that he didn’t like.  So where is he helping on the spin control?  Shouldn’t this be an AD’s area of expertise?

They didn’t speak?  NOT AT ALL? NOT EVEN A “TEXT” that would be very easy to get using the FOIA? 

BS Flag!!!


And if THAT IS IN FACT THE ACTUAL STORY… I can fire Brandon for gross incompetence, too, for being a “hands off and not involved AD in what has become a shit-storm of an issue surrounding your football program” and your athletic department in general.

The Statement

Now we have the fact that the Athletic Depart released a statement at 1:00AM on Tuesday only confirms that BranDictator wasn’t getting his way with the medical staff and they firmly stood their ground.  

Which was: After three evaluations, there is a very good reason to believe that Morris suffered from a “probable” concussion.  My guess is that the BranDictator fought to have that word in there to at least have some wiggle room.

I’m appalled, frankly.  That Brandon would let Hoke go to the press conference and not even update him and I’m appalled that, for whatever reason, the mainstream media isn’t SEEING THE OBVIOUS MANIPULATION OF BRADY HOKE BY THE HEAD PUPPET MASTER!!!!  Yes, Brady is essentially the captain on Game Day and for that he will need to answer.  But, again, I think his fate was sealed long before the Morris hit.  

What we’re seeing now is a Chicken-Shit AD trying to figure out if he can save his own ass by putting it all on everyone else.  We’ve seen this act before…Fire anyone and everyone THAT ISN’T ME! 

And you know what really ground my gears last night?  As I was getting info via Twitter, Dave Brandon (or someone who has control over his account) actually tweeted, and I’m not making this up:  at 1:12 AM congratulating the Field Hockey Team and two individuals for making it into the Michigan Hall of Honor….REALLY????

I had to tweet back at him:  Dave, first lesson in Spin control:  Better to remain quiet and thought a fool than to tweet and remove all doubt….

I’m still sick…My stomach hurts because as Brian over at mgoblog stated…This isn’t Michigan.

And it’s certainly not the Michigan I know.  What is happening at 1000 SSS? 

The Fallout

So, we know that three would be recruits, one a 4 start defensive linemen have de-committed.  And it my opinion, that's the beginning.  Sam Webb sounded awfully low on 1050 AM this morning.  Like he knows a lot more than he's letting on....It's going to get worse...

It's probably going to get so bad...Again.

So, what are we going to do?

The Petition


That’s the link.  Log In and sign if you want to put your money where your mouth is. 

I’ve done some small part to support the students and this effort.  Petition Signee #3268.  I’m sure that little act will get me put on a secret list…somewhere.  If I could make the 6:00 PM rally in Ann Arbor, I would be there in full game regalia, with my torch and pitchfork, insisting we march to 1000 SSS and demand that BranDictator come out of hiding and stand up for his actions.  

Strangely, I have to admit…Signing this, though I know it won’t do much good, made me feel somewhat better.  Weird….And it was interesting that in the 5 minutes it took me to log in and sign, 300 more signatures had been collected.  I know things are easier and faster in the digital age, but still…that’s a lot of signatures in 5 minutes! 

My nephew and now student messaged me and said that at 12:30, or about the time this goes to post, that he had signed and was #4157!  

Can we get to 10,00 before midnight?

The Boycott

I am seriously considering the #Boycottmaryland.  It’ll probably be well timed.  Instead of taking the opportunity to honor the seniors, like we should, people will not show up.  Late November game with a possibility of bad weather.  I’d almost rather go, honor the seniors, and then Walk out after the National Anthem.  At least this way, I would have honored the players and the Band. 

I dunno’…and Michigan isn’t giving me the answers I really, really want to hear. 

Where Does This Go Next?

I wish I knew.  Still no word from President Schlissel, who as far as I can tell still hasn’t even figured out where the stadium is yet on campus.  Sooner or later, someone will man up and ask him for a comment or to do an interview about all of this.  And sooner or later, he will have to answer the question or do said interview.  So, that’s coming.
But, in some sort of surreal scenario, I could see this happening:

In order for Michigan to bat 1.000 here, a statement from the President’s office confirming that Dave Brandon is a great AD and there was really no other way to handle this unfortunate circumstance would be Diarrhea-Icing on the Crap-Cake.  Yep, that would be just Ducky…Peachy….And so Michigan-like.  Put up tons of walls and do something that clearly nobody associated with this University wants.  And it’s possibly quite easy to picture:  Brandon advising the new President in his best “I just want to do what’s best for Michigan” voice and advise that his dismissal would result in millions of lost donations  - And Brandon certainly doesn’t want that to happen.  And neither does the New Prez.  But Mr. President, I could really use the show of support from you…Oh God….

IF that were to happen…a statement of support from the new Prez…If that were to happen…


Monday, September 29, 2014

The Jug is Gone...Along With Pride, Safety and Integrity

Sometimes, I get a little “Jump” on the Monday morning posts, and I had originally wrote this first paragraph sometime last week…

In case you haven’t seen it, on the sidebar is a heading with the title of “The Case Against Dave BranDictator”.  It has a collection of links to the blunders of this particular individual (though he refers to them as unquestionable “successes”) while at Michigan.  I am in search of any issues the general readers of this fine blog may un-earth and feel free to send those in.  I’m really searching for photos of BranDictator in compromising positions….naked, preferably….with farm animals…and farm instruments…and anything else you can find…

However…There is now a very large elephant in the room.  A Big One.  One that forces me to forego the witty and humorous part of the Monday Morning prose and deal with an issue head-on.  One that may force me to take back the words, “It accomplishes nothing when you fire a coach mid-season.”  Well, there is now a situation that has forced a decision on Hoke that must be made immediately.  And by making it immediately, well…something may be salvaged.    

When the NBC Sunday Night news, the Today Show

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

and Good Morning America are all leading with the Shane Morris “Incident” over ISIS, the Middle East, Obama, and the economy, as a blogger that focuses on Michigan Athletics, primarily Football, I’m left with no choice but to follow that lead.  A special hat tip to mgoblog for pulling out the link.  If you didn’t see it, here it is.

I didn’t see the hit.  I was sitting in the stadium and I had taken to reviewing all the social media at that point and was responding to the myriad of texts I had received, disgusted with what I was watching on the field.  But I did hear the crowd’s reaction, the booing (which, WHERE THE F!@#$ IS A FLAG REF!!!) and looked up to see Morris on the ground getting up shaky and I asked my daughter what happened.  She said that a Minnesota player had hit Morris right in the head.  I looked for flags and didn’t see any.  I figure it was just a clean hit that looked bad and got everyone’s attention.  I thought it was clean due to the fact that officials are so zoned in on the targeting issue in College Football.

It wasn’t until I saw the replay much later that evening that I was more shocked that a flag hadn’t been thrown.  Insert any of the numerous MMQ referee rants here, please.  And then I was even more surprised that Morris was still in the game after what was so obvious to me:  His bell had been rung.  And college rules specifically state you need to be evaluated in the event that you suspect there may be a concussion.  Hoke “claims” he never saw it.  There’s a shot where Coach Nussmeier can be seen trying to tell Morris to lay down so they could get an official’s time out and not waste a Michigan TO. 

Hoke stated in the presser that he didn’t see the hit.  How is that possible?  Are you not watching the game?  70,000 or so fans that were left in the stadium saw it.  MY DAUGHTER SAW IT.  The fans booed because there was no flag and probably because poor Shane was wondering what state he was in.  No headset means Hoke couldn’t ask any of the assistants what happened.  That’s BS. 

Now, you have a statement released by the AD last night that makes Dave Brandon complicit in this entire thing (and equally responsible, in my mind):

Tell me that doesn’t look like something written by a lawyer. 

The Michigan Daily nailed it, stating that Hoke needs to be fired immediately for his gross negligence.  I have to say that, based on what we’ve seen, I can’t disagree.  Forget whether or not Shane actually suffered from a concussion.  HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMMEDIATELY EVALUATED FOR A CONCUSSION AND REMOVED FROM THE FIELD OF PLAY BY THE COACHING STAFF!

It’s this loss of protocol for safety alone that Hoke should be terminated and all the other coaches reprimanded. 

I can only imagine what the parents of any future Michigan recruit are thinking right now:  Not only can’t this guy seem to be able to coach right at this moment, but he doesn’t care about the safety of his players.  Dave Brandon doesn’t care about it either as the CORRECT ACTION on Sunday would have been to make the only decision that can be made at this point:  You need to release Brady Hoke.  Instead, the statement comes out....a cowardly move by an Athletic Department that's too afraid of doing the right thing...and it may not even know what the right thing is at this point.

Which makes Brandon as guilty as Hoke in all of this.

I can’t help but wonder if Brandon is looking at Brady’s contract figuring whether or not he can manage a $1 Million shit-storm that has erupted around his football coach.  You see, if BranDictator fires Brady today, his buy-out is $3 Million.  After January 1st, 2015, it’s $2 Million.  So, for Dave ”Diamond Jim” BranDictator, there’s some money to be saved in this whole thing….And don’t think that doesn’t matter to BranDictator…

I would like you all to recall the actions of Joe Roberson and Gary Moeller after the incident that took place in 1995.  It was May, classes had wrapped up, and Head Coach Moeller went to dinner with some friends.   Due to unconfirmed circumstances, he got very drunk and was arrested for disorderly conduct and shoving a police officer.  Roberson didn’t respond immediately.  But I’m sure he gave Moeller two options.  Roberson could address it or Moeller could resign.  Moeller, with Michigan’s integrity in mind, took the high road and stepped down, leaving the integrity of Michigan in place.  I’m not saying the two events are in any way comparable – but I think we need to look at them in context.  Moeller’s was a question of image…This is a question of safety and responsibility to the players. 

This particular event has destroyed the last shred of Michigan integrity that was left.  Forget the 2-3 record and the fact that Michigan has never lost 3 games in SeptemberPresident Mark Schlissel, still in his 1st 50 days of presiding over Michigan, needs to involve himself in the recent actions of the Athletic Department IMMEDIATELY.  If for no other reason than to show that someone, ANYONE, somewhere in this University still has some semblance of control and concern for what the University of Michigan represents. 

The Daily got it right. 

Something needs to be done.  Today.  Not tomorrow.  Not after the season to “evaluate Hoke’s performance”.  Today.  And it needs to be a complete review of the entire Athletic Department that reaches all the way up to David BranDictator.  And it’s fairly obvious, at least to this fan, what needs to happen.

Unfortunately, that probably isn’t going to happen.  As was mentioned by one of the Crew at the Tailgate in the post-mortem, “Follow The Money.”  Super- Donor Stephen Ross will see to it that BranDictator’s Bacon is saved in this entire mess.  And SI’ Andy Staples also believesthat if you follow the money, and that money is coming in from Ross due to the fact that Brandon is there. 

That was before Sunday, mind you.  Even President Schlissel probably won’t have the cajones to stand up to BranDictator and throw away any future donations that might be forthcoming.

And that’s sad….

But the question of whether or not Brady Hoke should still be at Michigan should not linger.  Not unless the University wants to kiss the entire future of the football program and any promising recruits good-bye.  It’s a question of integrity.  I’m not entirely sure how Brady himself can’t look at the job he’s done up to this point and wonder how he’s going to be successful moving forward and retaining recruits.  Without the recruits…there’s no success. 

The students and the fans that were left in the 4th quarter got it right with their chants. 

“Fire Brandon.”

I don’t see how there’s any other way out of this at this point in time.  Both Brandon and Hoke have gone too far down the rabbit hole to weather this storm.  They both need to go.

Brian Cook at mgoblog.com has started a #boycottmaryland effort and while I agree that’s one thing we could do (I did the same when Michigan played Delaware a few years back when Bill Martin was AD), it’s really unfair to the players.  But, maybe we all need to consider doing something to make our voices heard.  For what it’s worth, neither my daughters or I bought concessions at the Minnesota game.  Not one extra cent from me will go to this university until something changes.  And it may mean the future of my season tickets as well.  Hell, they only cost a Coke if we all stop buying them!

It was mentioned by another one of the crew after the game that he was afraid that one day he was going to open the link I send out and he was simply going to see the statement, “F!#$@%   IT!  I Quit!”  And believe me, there have been MANY, MANY TIMES over the last few years where I’ve thought about it.  Lingered over it.  Sat at the keyboard when the words just wouldn’t leave the fingertips.  Times when I’ve decided that, “This is it.  No one reads this crap and even less people care that do read it.”  But then I think about how in the world would I deal with ALL OF THIS and, believe it or not, 
this is my way of coping

I mean….You can’t drink 24/7. 

I guess I look at it as a way for all of us to come together and know that


Right now, this is the fault of two people and I will continue to post as long as it takes.  And then, it’ll be someone else’s turn to keep watch.  Because it may take a lifetime….

But no, I’m not going anywhere..Not yet.

The Rest of the Mess

Sparty rode over Wyoming in convincing fashion and not only are they enjoying a 1 loss season, but their most hated rival is in bigger dis-array than ever before.  But, to all the HATERZ….Please keep in mind that College Football is better when Michigan is better.  And the B1G gets a lot more respect when the Big Boys of the B1G are better.  I don’t think you want to stay on your mantra of Michigan losing every game and how wonderful that would be…that makes any chance of Sparty getting to the Final 4 that much harder.

Cincinnati losing to ohio....Same goes for you...Hatin' is as hatin' does...

The Hogs should have beat Texas A&M.  The MMQ’s Final 4 will reflect that, but I still think A&M is one of the top 4 teams in the country. 

The Seminoles also looked a little shaky against the Wolfpack but managed to come back and win the game.  Yeah, it wasn’t glamorous…and until they lose, FSU has to be in the FF.

Nebraska continues to roll and is sitting at 5-0 with a trip to East Lansing coming.  They will be tested by Sparty…

The 5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

  1.  Denial and Isolation:  Gamecocks are probably here…But I don’t know how they can’t be down in the depression area when the Ole Ball Coach is pretty much there….
  2. ANGER:  MICHIGAN FAN….’nuff said….
  3. Bargaining:  Texas A&M is probably here after a last second victory….
  4. Depression:  I’m going to put Razorbacks here because, damn…they were so close….
  5. Acceptance: Perdon’t, Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan, and Kansas…
The MMQ’s Top 10

Definitely a couple of stunners over the weekend.  And one impacting the top 4:

  1. Oklahoma – Just cause….
  2. FSU- they are not number 1, but still get a seat at the FF table…
  3. Oregon – Mariota for Heismann…Just cause…
  4. Texas A&M – is the team with the lowest percentage to hang in the top 4
  5. Satan’s Warriors – looking better all the time…can they survive the SEC West?
  6. Sparty – we have to keep them in the Top 10 or there’s no shot at the FF.
  7. Baylor – It’ll be one of these two coming out of the BigXII
  8. UCLA – It’s been ugly…I’m not sure how good the Pac12 is now..
  9. Auburn
  10. This hurts…domers
Idle Thoughts From Saturday

-Why do I have a bad feeling?
-Like we’re going to lose the Jug?
-I’ve seen it lost twice on this field. 
-And I didn’t like it – either time.
-Okay…The Shane Morris Show begins…
-Oh man…it’s worse than I thought.
-And I was thinking pretty bad.
-Is there anyone on this team that wants it bad enough to play with some heart?
-Less than 100 total yards and it’s nearly half time?
-This sucks….
-Great, pick 6.  This game is over…
-What just happened? 
-Well, the hit couldn’t have been that bad.  No Flag…
-Gardner in…Hey, he put together a drive!
-Maybe he should have started?
-HOKE!!! You’re three scores down!
-Can’t anyone manage a game on this team?
-We suck…that’s all there is to it.
-Winning 6 games…Close to impossible now, odds wise.
-It’s gonna be a long season.
-“Fire Brandon!” Chants from the Student Section…
-Way to go, guys!
-Morris off on a golf cart…
-Hoke leaving the field with 0:30 on the clock..
-How much worse can it get?

The Hot Seat

Hannah Furgeson edged out last week’s winner, Genevieve by one vote, putting her into the finals.  This week, the Hot Seat Mascot nominee is:  Lauren Mellor!  You know…you’d think those SI guys would find swim suits that actually fit these poor girls!


  1.  Weis – I didn’t even get to mention this because of the shenanigans in Ann Arbor.
Hot Seat Rank

Brady Hoke – It’s a foregone conclusion…         

  1. Will Muschamp:  Was not competitive against Bama…
  2. Hazell:  At least Purdue scored against the domers….
  3. Beckman:  He’s got problems….
  4. Norm Chow:  Hawaii.  The Rainbows haven’t mattered in a while.and that’s a fan base that cares.
  5. Mike London:  Needs wins…


I won’t have a chance to up date the FMQ today. I will post an update mid week with the FMQ results.

Thanks for your patience!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Gopher Friday - The FMQ

Good Morning All! After Wednesday’s rant and the cases against BranDictator and Hoke, it’s always nice to get to a Friday and have a little fun….Even though most of this got penned Thursday evening....

I’m actually starting to enjoy putting the Friday post up more than the Monday or the midweek based on the fact that I don’t have to care about what’s happening in Ann Arbor or what the team that wears the Maize and Blue is actually doing, rather, I don’t have to think about what THEY DID and how to spin it or report it so that Hoke and company don’t look like complete doofuses – which is getting harder and harder to do.… I can just pen about any old odds and ends in the College Football World…

And speaking of writing about anything…Besure to visit Mvictors.com for all the really important “Jug” lore…It’s still the oldest trophy in college football….even though nationally it doesn’t mean squat anymore….

This was sent to me by several people and there’s no need to panic…It’s all just a farce by the Daily Currant website…But I would highly suggest that you all check the sources and read to the end of whatever link you happen to be copying…Again, “Just ‘Cause It’s On The Internet….”You know the rest.

I hope it hit EVERYONE that was reading this that it was satire when Hollis agreed to pay the salary….

I haven’t sang the praises of the defense this season as they have actually been pretty good, ranked nationally in the Top 10.  Clark is unstoppable and this is so DAMN FRUSTRATING that we don’t have any kind of offense that can score.  I’m not ready to write the entire season off (I know…Am I a slappy or what?) but I do think there’s a small glimmer of hope that maybe..MAYBE…there’s 6 wins in the remaining 8 games.  So 8-4….Yuck….But the next two losses are losses I don’t want to think about, and either way, Hoke’s goose may already be cooked.  But BranDictator is the goose I want to see go down….Nuts…7-5 and Hoke is for sure gone and maybe BranDictator before him?  Hopefully?

The Italian Stallion (Dantonio) is trying to position the B1G for a play-off berth by resurrecting the discussion that ONLY CONFERENCECHAMPIONS should get a shot at the Final 4. Well, Big D, the MMQ has been on that train ever since a non-conference champion Nebraska somehow played for the National Title and had no business being there in 2002 against an incredibly powerful Miami Team…(Wow – Look at that sentence and think for a minute that 12 years ago Miami and Nebraska played for a National Title – How times have changed.)  And AGAIN I brought out the argument – NO REMATCHES – when we all had to suffer through an SEC re-match….So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that even my worst enemy and I can agree on things…When he actually says something that makes sense.

One of the more interesting match-ups this weekend is Cincinnati and ohio….If the Bearcats can pull off the upset…That’ll be two “little” schools that can claim ownership to The State of ohio and prove that ohio can actually have successful athletic programs…Heh-heh…

Apparently, the collective Brain-Trust in Ann Arbor (and that’s stated with the ‘ole tongue FIRMLY IMPLANTED in the cheek)  has decided on a starter at QB, but only Hoke knows for sure, and made another brilliant statement, that only Hoke can make, to address the issue after the question came up in his Tuesday Presser, to wit:

“Well, you know, we’ll wait until game time with it. We’ve got an idea of what we want to do but for what’s best for us and the program and what we’re trying to get done, and that’d be the same at any other position.” 

Instead of something short, sweet and intelligent sounding: 

“Yes.  But it will be Game Time Announcement.”

Sigh….I got nothin’….

If I had to bet, we’re going to see a lot of MorrisSam Webb also has a “Gut Feeling” and if anyone listens to Sam on 1050 AM, well…Sam’s gut is usually right.  Based on that, expect a lot of mistakes, hand wringing, throwing up in the stands, and experiencing something that will probably feel a lot like death by a 1,000 cuts and then wondering who Morris’ back-up is…I have a feeling it won’t be pretty and we’re in for a long game/season and….an even longer coaching search….

Speaking of Morris, I got some feedback from the Wednesday post and someone wondered why I thought firing 1987 Senior Captain and MVP Jamie Morris was a big deal and why I made it the Number 1 Point, especially after Jamie went behind BranDictator’s back and to the press.  “Any disloyalty like that should be punished and you can’t keep a traitor on the team.”  Look:  I’m stating here and now if Jamie did something, he did it because he thought it was the right thing to do.  IF BranDictator didn’t like it, there was a way to work with Jamie and make sure it didn’t happen again or figure out what Jamie was trying to do and consider the fact that Jamie was working in the best interest of the University and the Team.  Firing Jamie, Jim Harbaugh’s team mate for 3 years and still close friend, has closed the door on ANY POSSIBILITY of getting Jim (or John) Harbaugh back on a Michigan Sideline, while BranDictator is here.  Until BranDictator is Gone, consider the discussion on JH(s) closed! 

If Charlie Strong keeps throwing kids off the team (he’s up to 9 dismissed, for those keeping score at home), he’s going to lose some credibility, and may run the risk of losing the locker room….  Not everyone can be “THAT BAD” and not working to the level that Strong thinks they need to be working.  And where are these basket cases going?  I wonder if Hoke is following their status and asking questions?  Just ‘cause they aren’t good enough for Texas…Everyone deserves a 2nd shot, I guess is what I’m saying.

This Week’s Picks!

I really hate it when “Opposite Week” ends up working out better than “being right week”, but I guess that’s what handicapping is all about.  We’ll do mix this week and follow our gut more than our head…

Arkansas (+9) @ TA&M:  I have a feeling that Bielema might just surprise some people in the SEC West this season.  I’m not buying completely into TAM yet…But I can surely see the Hogs keeping this closer than 9.
Take Arkansas and the 9 for $30

Domers @ Syracuse (+10):  This has traditionally been a tough place for opposing teams to play and the Dome may be packed and LOUD for this one.  I’m taking a flyer on the ‘Cuse just cause….
Take Syracuse and the 10 for $20

Cincinnati (+16.5) @ ohio:  It’s going to be a war and Tommy Two-tone knows a thing or two about getting angry!!!  The now infamous "SLAP!!"

I like the Bearcats and the points and yes, I will be rooting for the outright upset! 
Take Cincinnati and the 16.5 for $30

TCU (-32) @ SMU:  SMU is a greek tragedy..If there was anyway I could see SMU keeping it close…I would take the points.  But, alas…I can’t…
Take TCU and lay the 32 for $40

Wyoming (+31) @ Sparty:    Sparty hosed me with Eastern…Mea-Culpa.  I would like to say that Wyoming will cover…I believe they covered Oregon..so, yeah, I think they can cover in East Lansing. 
Take the Cowboys and the 31 for $20

Minnesota (+11.5) @ Michigan:  Wow…Looking at the ole Spreadsheet I see that I’ve only gotten Michigan right once this year…And I’ve gone both ways…Taking and laying points.  So, they are an 11.5 point favorite at home and haven’t scored an offensive TD against anyone of importance…Is that going to change Saturday?  Till you prove it…I’m taking the points.
Take the Gophers and the 11.5 for $30


Arkansas – Cinci - TCU $30 pays 6 to 1…

Starting Bank:           $889
Total Bet:                   $200

Bank:                          $689

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Losing To Utah - What's It Mean For Michigan?

You know it’s bad that you’re a Michigan Football fan when:

1.    Sparty acquaintances begin “pre-apologizing” for the ass kicking they are going to lay on you this year….

2.    People offer suggestions for replacement coaches and say that Dick Rod might come back if you ask him nicely… (When in doubt – make a Dick Joke.  -Robin Williams)

3.    People know you have season tickets and ask if you’re giving any away yet.

4.    Which they follow up with, “You know, seeing as how the school is giving them away I figured you might be giving them away, too.” – (Please see the “Buy a Coke and Get a Ticket” Campaign that the AD has now said has been pulled.  But anyone who managed to buy a coke and get the voucher will receive tickets!!!)

5.    Sparty and ohio fans claim they are taking up a collection and signing a petition to keep Hoke as Michigan’s head coach for the foreseeable future.

6.    “Hoke is the best defense you can have, as a Spartan!”  Sparty fan…
7.    “Relax, dude!  There’s only 8 games left…Chances are you won’t win 4 more and you’re season will be over in November!”

8.    Michigan memorabilia at Meijer’s and Wal-Mart is 50% off while the Sparty crap is still full price….

9.    People hand you a used head set as a joke….

10. When part of what they are offering to console you is, “Hey, come on man…It could be worse.  You could be Texas, Florida or….Va Tech.”

While those are mildly comforting words (The Texas and Florida thing – sorry Hokies…I really don’t know what to make of your situation), I’m really at a loss.  Growing up with the idea that Michigan Football would always “BE” was kind of a given.  I just never figured that Michigan would ever be a 2nd rate has been of a program, and yet, here we are.  Buy a coke and get free tickets:

Thirsty????  Buy a Coke and Get Tickets!!!

Of course….The AD immediately issued a statement stating in part that it was a “miscommunication” and that the promotion has immediately been pulled…. Yeah…probably right after the 100,000th ticket had been sold/given away in order to preserve the sell-out run….I’m sick and tired of crap like this….It has to end and firing Brandone would be a great start.  Then, whoever comes in, needs to offer up deep and heartfelt apology to all the fans….starting with a commitment to long standing season ticket holders that something….anything will be done to re-affirm our belief in the value in this whole thing.  Lower ticket prices and a reduction in the PSL would be a nice start.
So, do they both need to go?  Brandone and Hoke?  Let’s look at it:

The Case Against Dave Brandone

I don’t even want to get into what a complete and utter fiasco the Athletic Department has created with marketing gimmicks, cheap showmanship and outrageous ticket and concession prices.  But you know what?  I believe it’s time to put together a plan. 


If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 25 years of the auto-business, it’s this:  IF you’re dealing with a great big pile of stinking shit, it’s there for one of two reasons:  There was some sort of unforeseen circumstance that created the big pile of shit, or, you’re dealing with a REALLY BIG ASS-HOLE that has “excreted” said pile of shit.  And if you have a big pile of shit, you can do one of two things:

1.    Find a better gig.  Leave the situation behind and move on. 

2.    Deal with the big pile of shit the best you can and hopefully get rid of the situation or the ass-hole that created it in the first place. 

Option 1 for Michigan Fans is obviously a no-go.  So, as a collective, we need to look at and begin to address option 2.  And seeing how Brandone’s favorite saying is,

 “Find something that isn’t broke and break it”,

I think we can all easily identify who’s heiney defecated this particular shit-pile.
In Brandone’s case, I believe – no, scratch that – I can offer enough performance-proof directly related to the head recto-cavity that would lead an objective or non-objective person to conclude that Michigan has, as the head of its Athletic Program, a huge problem that starts at the very top.

Case in point(s):

1.     Brandone, for reasons that were never really made clear but can easily be surmised, early in his tenure fired Jamie Morris from the Athletic Department for “questioning the AD’s decision making process and the handling the canning of Rich Rod and considering who should be contacted for Head Coach”.  I have mentioned before that when I heard Jamie had been canned, warning bells went off.  You would be hard pressed to find anyone truer to the program or Michigan Athletics than Jamie Morris.

2.    Brandone has raised ticket prices every single season in all revenue generating sports, as if that is the Athletic Department’s entitlement or COLA, without giving any thought what so ever as to what a 2% to 5% increase can do to the price of anything…Even Sail Boat Bill Martin understood that just because you can raise ticket prices, you shouldn’t always raise ticket prices.

3.    Brandone has “Banned” certain journalists from the Press Box and Press Conferences.  In particular John U. Bacon, after writing “3 and Out”, the Rich Rod Story, who by many is not only considered a friend of the Michigan Program, but who objectively looks at the “Michigan Condition” and comments frankly on it.  In my book, that’s called, “Being a Good Fan.”

4.    Brandone has surrounded himself with “Yes” men that have learned that it’s better to agree with “the Dictator’s” myopic ideas of what’s good for the athletic department vs. what’s good for the fans or the overall Michigan Athletic climate in general.

5.    As a result of #4, Michigan has joined the ranks of creating and deploying every marketing “gimmick” known to man, from the special uniforms “that were only going to be a 1 time thing” every season for a single game to having weddings or paid for events in the Big House.  People simply aren’t willing to stand up and say, “Hey, this isn’t a great idea” anymore.  They fear the Dictator.

6.    The quiet mass ticket dump of unsold tickets to charities through-out Ann Arbor and Michigan because tickets are so over-priced that any normal fan can go to any of the after-market locations and easily get an 80% discount.

7.    The “Groupon” ticket offer that included 4 cokes, t-shirts hats and other memorabilia….

8.    This gaffe, followed by the “miscommunicated” promotion of “Buy two Cokes, Get two tickets”.  Look, nobody printed those signs without some sort of authorization.  And that had to be discussed and that decision was made at the top.

9.    Instead of looking for ways to cut the athletic budget, Brandone continues to try to “keep up with the Jones” and increase the athletic budget every year, WHETHER IT MAKES SENSE OR NOT!!! SPEND IT OR LOSE IT is a private sector thought process.  It should not be an athletic department thought process.

10. As a result of 5 thru 9 above, the “Michigan Brand” has been destroyed.  While the Block “M” used to stand for excellence and integrity, it is now just another name in the corporate world that one associates a “value” with.  And frankly, that value is dropping like a rock.

11. Brandone continues to operate the Athletic Department as his “little Kingdom” without any oversight of…anyone at the University.  How can something that large be operated without oversight? 

12. Though not a result or measurable for Brandone, he has lost the regents, regardless of his take on the Fireworks vote and that “They have their opinion”.

There’s more… 

-running out of water after banning outside bottles because terrorists,
-Allstate field goal nets
-enormous macaroni sculpture
-seat cushions
-sky-writing over Spartan Stadium
-telling people they got a discount on their hockey season tickets when really they moved a Michigan State game to Chicago

but do I need to go on?  Of Course, it begs the question:  

Would anyone care if Michigan were winning?

Yes…I get that winning cures a lot of ills.  But I’ve been bitching about Brandone for quite a while.  A long while.  And I want to believe that part of me would look at a lot of this and state, This is not the Michigan I know, and not only that, it’s not the Michigan I want to be part of.”  And while I agree I might not be as “VEHEMENT” in my statements to get rid of Brandon, I would be vocal never the less.  And losing does make the whole discussion easier and shines a bright light where, if there were 4 W’s in the column, well, it might be more of a pen-light….

Part of the reason I used to enjoy college football was I thought I was getting a deal.  I THOUGHT there was a mystique about it and it wasn’t the commercialized euphoria that is pro-athleticsI THOUGHT there was integrity and a sense of belonging to something bigger and somewhat exclusive.  Brandone has now turned it into another money grab that has completely turned this fan off. 

Is there or can there be any hope?  Gregg Hensonbelieves so and in the following articlecites sources as two journalists, an ex-Michigan Football Star and HUGE Donor.  Excerpts from the article (more or less the entire article, but you can click the link to read in its entirety):

The Michigan Board Of Regents is off the Dave Brandon bandwagon, change is inevitable and I am told it is “only a matter of time” before Dave Brandon is done as Michigan Athletic Director.  The Regents have tired of Brandon’s act and believe his aggressive marketing and “gouging” of the Michigan fan base has done extreme damage to the brand that has been so tenderly cultivated for the last 50 years.  The “free tickets” with a Coke disaster is the final nail, although I’m told Brandon’s fate was sealed long ago.

I’m told by three solid sources that the Board Of Regents is no longer in Dave Brandon’s corner and realize that Les Miles, Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh and any other credible coach will not come to Ann Arbor as long as Brandon is the Athletic Director.  None of the big name coaches will tolerate his meddling.  The Board of Regents understands that, if Brandon isn’t fired, Michigan won’t get the right coach to lead the Maize and Blue.  Dave Brandon only understands how to make money, he doesn’t understand how to do the other half of the job, hiring the right men to lead the Michigan athletic programs.  It’s the classic sales vs. product problem.  You can only market so much without a solid product, Dave Brandon is cooked.

My three separate sources tell me that the next domino to fall is Brandon.  He must go before any potential football coach can be approached as he totally botched the Hoke hire, never offering the gig to Miles or either Harbaugh.

The two names surfacing in the AD hunt are Ward Manuel the AD at Uconn and Brad Bates, the current AD at Boston College. Manuel was a HUGE Bo Schembechler recruit from New Orleans in the mid 80′s who injured his neck and retired from football as a Wolverine.  He spent many years in the Michigan Athletic Department after his injury and was highly regarded before he left for The AD position at University of Buffalo. The second name in the Michigan AD equation is Brad Bates, the current AD at Boston College. Brad Bates, who Bo Schembecher thought would make a great Michigan AD in “Bo’s Lasting Lessons,” leaves Miami (NTM) for Boston College, according to the BC school paper The Heights. Bates played under Bo from 1977 to 1981 as a walk-on DB.

If either one of these gentlemen is hired, the road to a Harbaugh gets much more probable.  Both Harbaugh brothers and Miles would take the Michigan job under the stewardship of Bates or Manuel, none of them would come to Michigan under Brandon.

As with anyone’s “Reporting” and this includes this Henson article, I can only say, take everything with a grain of salt.  But it’s hard to take pieces of a puzzle and put them together without at least some direction from someone.  So, while I agree it makes for great reading if you want Brandone gone, it may all be speculation on Gregg’s part after a “beer talk” with his sources. 

And talk of a coaching change are pre-mature, and any speculation of Harbaugh coming is just that - speculation at best.  This article being a perfect example (Clickthe link).  Yes, a 1-2 start sucks for Harbaugh, but it’s a long NFL season.  And Brandone is still here.

The Case Against Brady Hoke

This one is a little more obvious and probably needs a lot less discussion.  But, what the hell…Let’s discuss it anyway. 

With respect to what’s on the field:  There’s no identity to this team anymore.  Hell, even Rich Rod’s teams could at least hang their hat on the fact that, “Yeah, you might be able to score on us…Scratch that, you will score on us…We’re just going to score MORE!!!”  And you know what’s really sad?  I can actually point at and show how Rich Rod’s teams improved over his three years.  And Hoke’s best season was Year 1 with Rich Rod’s guys….

What does this team “have” as far as an identity goes? 

You certainly can’t identify with the Head Coach.  I like Hoke.  I really do.  But he’s not a guy I “Think” like.  I felt Lloyd Carr was a smart guy and a master motivator with the wry one-liners that were always timed perfectly.  I even liked the way Rich Rod thought on offense and the way he embraced the changes in the game.  You HAVE TO HAVE THAT as a head coach. 

Hoke says dumb things.  Telling the fans who don’t show up that they aren’t “Real Fans” is a shot in the gut for this fan.  I am a fan…There are plenty of days lately that I wish I wasn’t a Michigan Fan.  I wish, at times, that I was blissfully unaware of what is happening on Saturday afternoon around the college football world and I could live a normal life that didn’t depend on the outcome of games played in Ann Arbor.

But I’m not that person.  I do care and that’s what makes this so hard.  Watching this once great program get run into the ground by a coaching staff that says all the right stuff, but clearly is NOT LOOKING AT THE RESULTS OR THE EVIDENCE AS TO WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE THINGS BETTER! 

Ignoring or dismissing the question over something as simple as the “Spread Punt”…Come on.  That’s like elementary school type crap.  EVERY MAJOR DIVISION 1 SCHOOL IS DOING IT…..What’s your excuse?  Not paying attention to details?

Isn’t there a stats person on this coaching staff?

I’m challenged with where to go with all of this.  Hoke, I believe, has to go.  Firing him mid-season accomplishes nothing…But may prevent further embarrassments.  How many more days like the domers and Utah can a true fan handle?  It’s getting a lot harder….

Almost impossible.

My greatest fear is that Hoke somehow manages to pull off some weird upset and then everyone says, “Well, he did beat X.  Give him another year.” And Brandone comes out prior to OSU with the slap on the back acknowledgement that "You're my guy..."

No.  This has to end.  It hasn’t felt right since U-Conn of last year and the objective data against Hoke is clear.  It needs to end.  4-8 in your last 12 isn’t good enough…not after 4 years…

Brandone and Hoke.   The same train…The same day. Am I being cold?  Maybe…

Somehow, Michigan is a 10 point chalk Saturday.  I’m not seeing it.  I don’t know how anyone can not think that Michigan and Minnesota are the same team.  Not much direction to right a sinking ship and decidedly dinosaurs when it comes to their approach of the game.  I predict a 2-0 final or perhaps a 2-2 tie that will lead to OT and forcing someone to score on offense.  And what’s worse:  I really do think the Little Brown Jug is in jeopardy of leaving Ann Arbor. 

And that’s just wrong.  But it will get us all, collectively, closer to an end that will start, hopefully, another “Bright Beginning…”