Monday, October 12, 2015

Do I Dare? I MUST Be Nuts.....

Where have I been?

What am I thinking?
Did ANYONE see this coming?????

Let’s answer them in reverse order: 

Secondly, no one, not I, not even the slappiest of slappies saw this coming.  And I don’t mean I couldn’t have “envisioned” 5-1.  In fact, if I had gotten around to a Pre-Season Spectacular, I think this is about where I would have had Michgan this far into the season.  But there would have been a great big question mark/Worry Bead on the BYU and the Northwestern game and there’s NO WAY I would have predicted that many shutouts.   And utter domination of the last three teams that Michigan played.  Maryland was able to score three times on the Suckeyes this past Saturday.  Ergo-Something BIG is brewing in Ann Abor.  The last time a defense dominated in the Big House like this….1997. 

Tailgate Trivia:  Name the last team to win a National Title without a 1,000 yard rusher and a 500 yard receiver.  Answer below…..

I’m thinking that I’m about to let my imagination run wild here.  If Michigan is in fact this good and even if they revert to some sort of “normalization” on defense, they’re still capable of driving offenses nuts.  I re-watched the game on Sunday Morning on the BTN“60 Minute Football” (which is absolutely incredible BTW – Thanks BTN!) and when you can watch an entire game in 60 minutes (sans pre-game warm up cocktails, Big Game and the like not clouding your vision), you start to notice a couple of things. 

1.        The defense is taking stuff away.  Mostly, the line of scrimmage and the run game.  Michigan dominated the LOS and is letting the corners take care of themselves.  Peppers and Lewis are proving, again at least for now, that they can more than handle receivers 1 on 1.

2.       The offense is incredibly patient and very tricky.  I like that….I REALLY like that!  Michigan has “re-discovered” the ability to use the fullback.  While most defenses are so set on the Tailback or QB making a carry, the Fullback can bust through and be past the linebacker before he can ever figure out what the hell happened.  Nice to see that making a comeback.

3.       Michigan is also using crafty, imaginative ways to get receivers open.  I observed defensive picks and crossing routes that appeared to use (intentionally) the umpire.  Gotta’ love Harbaugh.  If the ref is part of the field  - USE HIM!

4.       Special Teams…remember how we used to dread the kicking game?  I should state, the Field Goal unit?   Not so much now.  Mr. Allen is finding the uprights no problem.  Punting is solid and the KO return for 6 to start the game off….Well, that kind of goes without saying.

So to say that I’m letting myself believe that 10 wins is not only possible, but after what we’ve seen so far…Dare I say that 10 wins would be kind of a let down?  I mean, Sparty – God Bless ‘em – Is a festering pile of something that either the cat just kakked up or the dog just squatted down and let loose in a wet pile – You pick.  I’m not saying they’re bad, but let’s just say slipping by Rutgers, edging out Purdue, and a gift of a victory against the Ducks (Don’t give me the “they we’re ranked when we played ‘em!” garbage, either.   The Ducks stink on ice this season) when their QB missed what was a go ahead score late in the 4th quarter….Well, I’m just saying this isn’t the same Sparty as last season.  Objective Spartan fans will agree.  You other clowns will be silenced soon enough.

The rest of you will tell me I’m looking at the world through Maize and Blue glasses….maybe.  But I feel way better about this game this year than I have in a long, long, LONG time!

Where have I been?  That’s a good question.  I started a new job that keeps me incredibly busy.  And my cube is DIRECTLY Across from my DIRECTOR.  So I’m busy and I usually have 40 in before noon on Thursday.   I have a needy customer and a needier internal process that requires pushing and prodding.  While I could usually find a couple of hours on a normal Monday morning to crank this out, now, staff meetings, team meetings and everything else is making it impossible.  Not to mention that the portable data saver I downloaded everything on is now unreadable and all my MMQ stuff is on that portable storage device! 

Question to the hive:  Anyone know ANYONE that can salvage or get files off a storage device that my computer is saying is corrupted?  Any and all advice is welcome.

What I want to do is be able to post the important stuff and keep as much of the original format intact.  Another reason I haven’t written is that I really don’t want to jinx this….I know, I know.  I pick the week of the biggest game to date to tempt the Fickle Finger of Football Fate to make my appearance. 

What the hell am I thinking?  I dunno’…I just know the MMQ could not be contained anymore!

So, without further ado:

The Rest of the Mess

Texas, Texas, Texas – Two losses that could have been wins.  Ugly beat downs by the Domers and the Horny Frogs.  Burnt Orange Nation laying out why Texas needs to “Follow the Michigan Blue Print” and go hire the best pro coach with college experience that money can buy:  Chip Kelly (Now with the Philly Eagles).  And Charlie screws that plan up by beating the Laters in the Cotton Bowl!  Congrats to Charlie! The Texas pain may not last as long as everyone thinks….
Speaking of Laters:  Bob Stupor might be available at the end of the season.  I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to lose to one of your bitter rivals when they really suck and you’re supposed to be a top 10 team…Oh wait,  I do know how that feels.  The “Chip Kelly Sweepstakes” have another fan base that’s willing to mortgage their soul to get Kelly in a Later’s hat…and more support is getting a lot of traction in places like

Arkansas:  The Hogs are an inexplicable team at times…and they say a team begins to take on their coach’s identity.  Which, when you look at Brett B., well, it all kind of starts to make sense.  Brett’s latest actions and on and off field shenanigans are getting old.  I’d turn my tickets in if I were a Hog supporter….

The Rubbers:  Wow…I didn’t think there could be a bigger dumpster fire in all of college football than Rutgers (more on that in a minute) but USC is trying like hell to get to the front of the line with the biggest dumpster they can find full of highly flammable material.  Pat Haden hired what appears to be a coach that not only likes his Patron (That’s Pa-TRONE Tequila – Long “O”) but he expenses it to the school whenever he gets a chance.  After reportedly being “too drunk” to attend the team practice on Sunday, Haden instructed Sark to take a leave of absence – indefinitely.  This was after the pre-season Booster Club incident where Sark was loaded.   (That indefinite leave means that you can’t fire someone with a substance abuse problem.  You have to get them better first, THEN can ‘em.)   There’s a great LA Times piece that that pulled a bunch of expense reports from Washington via the FOIA when Sark was the Head Coach.   There’s one bill from January 2012 that lists a lunch stop in Nashville with about 8 shots and 5 brewskis for 4 coaches that has a cash out time  - and you can’t make stuff like this up – of 11:53 AM.  That’s impressive even by Automotive Sales Guy standards!  I’ve always said you can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning, but Jeez….That’s putting in some early work!  Chip Kelly is all over the Trojan message boards also with the theme that it’s time to bring Chip back to the West Coast.  Rumor is he will take an Eastern Time Zone Job, Central Zone and Pacific and just fly across the country and coach each team as kick-off rolls around. 

Rutgers – Kyle Flood got hit with a 3 game suspension for his involvement with a professor and the eligibility of a player that, ironically, was booted from the team.  Go Figure.  Not to mention all the other athletic department tomfoolery that’s been going on around that University and I tweeted and Facebooked:  What’s a university have to do to get kicked out of the Big 10 around here?  What looked like a good deal for the Big 10 and the New York TV market is quickly turning into Delaney’s White Elephant…It’s too bad as he’s done so much good for the conference, but this looks bad and has a long way to go before it starts looking even close to good…

The Cornsuckers – Overheard from Bo Pelini:  “Miss me yet?”  Here’s another team that is literally 20 seconds and about 5 plays away from being undefeated.  Miami comes back to beat them in OT….Then the Hail Mary by BYU.  Nebraska inexplicably passed on third down late in the game when running the ball against the Illini would have chewed up a lot of clock and failing to convert the 3rd down would have left  Illinois no time to score.  Which, as it turns out, the Illini found a way after the incomplete pass.  Wiscy looked beatable.  But, in the 4th Quarter, Wiscy missed the first kick, the Cornsuckers couldn’t hang on to the ball with under 2 minutes left, and Wiscy goes down and kicks the game winner.  If you’re winning these games it’d be one thing.  You’d be pissed, but you’d be undefeated.  But losing like this in the style and fashion that the Cornsuckers are losing?  No need for vascetomies in Nebraska – Just go to Lincoln on Saturday and let the team rip your balls off…The Cornsuckers are also thinking “Chip Kelly”, but come on!  He’s already got 3 jobs….

Tennessee:  As if adding insult to injury, the Cremesicles won an SEC game and kind of a big one at that.  But beating Mark Richt is kind of like beating your little brother.  Yeah, he’s pretty good but he’s not the biggest SEC bully on the block.  And right when Volfan had a chance to sit back and enjoy the moment,  Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson went at it on Sunday and Charles reminded Peyton exactly WHY he was the Heisman winner in 1997 by picking Peyton off not once, but twice.  And it’s either Chip Kelly or John Gruden for Tennessee head coach next season.

Sparty – I’ve said enough.  It will soon be settled on the field.

Suckeyes – Another team that hasn’t found the end of season offense that clobbered teams, but they’ve also lost their defense and have been either tied or losing at halftime twice this season.  I wish Michigan could’ve played them early, but that’s just not the way it works.

The Domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) – Poor Kelly.  He’s gotta be the most hated coach by his own fans of any fanbase in the country.  I mean, we disliked Brady for his performance on the field, but I don’t think I ever belittle or berated the guy or called him any of the following:  Kangaroo Guano, Captain Butt-Head, Ass Hat’s and Visors ‘R’ Us, Shallow Throat (because he chokes in any game that’s too big), Total Tool, and any other myriad of names that pop up on NDNation.  Yep, I never disliked Hoke.  In fact, I think he’s a good guy, just a lousy, god-awful coach.  But NDNation has more pure vitriol directed at Kelly that it kind of makes you wonder if in fact all those souls on that message board are gonna’ make it to the next place – you know, up there?  Methinks  - NOT!!!  And they were just way too hard on Kelly when the Domers finally scored in the deluge in Clemson and Kelly decided to go for two.  It was late in the 3rd quarter and the Domers needed points.  I didn’t completely disagree with the call and thought it was about 50-50.  Not NDNation.  That call is apparently a fire-able offense.  And according to the entire board, Kelly should be gone!

Gatorland – What a start for McElwain and the Gator Nation only to have the balloon popped today upon hearing that Gatorland’s starting QB Grier tested POSITIVE for PED’s…but get this:  It was an over the counter Muscle Milk or some such product that he thought was completely legal.  And the PENALTY for using this over the counter Muscle builder?  1 entire season.   This…IS the problem with the NCAA and their rules.  This type of punishment will be what ends the NCAA’s power because universities have way too much on the line here.

5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

1.        Denial and Isolation:  Sparty – you own this one all by your lonesome.  Yeah, arguments could be made for TCU and even the Suckeyes, but Sparty and their loyal fan-base can’t see what’s unfolding before their eyes.  I’ve never heard some much lip from them and I guess they like getting their digs in early in case they lose.  Which, Is it Saturday yet???!

2.       ANGER:  LOTS and LOTS of fan bases in here.  I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just start throwing them out there:  Cornsuckers, Rubbers, Longhorns, Laters, Sparty, Bamafan, Hogs, Tigers, Bulldogs, Domers (x2), and Volunteers….

3.       Bargaining:  This one is tough.  I think Bamafan is probably the number 1 fanbase here as they believe there’s still a very good chance that they make the Final 4 in the CFP.  EVEN WITH TWO LOSSES.  And while I can sort of see that on paper, It’s not gonna happen.  Can Satan win out?  Well – its the SEC.  And crazy crap happens down there.  In fact, this weekend at Texas A&M will be telling. 

4.       Depression:  The most depressed Fan Base – Cremesicles.  It was close between Cornsuckers and the Cremesicles, but the Cremesicles had slightly higher expectations, especially the way they finished last season.  The Cornsuckers have had their collective balls-kicked in just about every Saturday.  And if you lived in Ann Arbor that last 5 years, you know how that will quickly get you to

5.       Acceptance:  I don’t know how any fanbase can “accept” the fact that, “Yeah, we suck” this early, but if fan attendance is indicative, the last turn out for VaTech was absolutely pathetic.  They announced around 35,000 and it’s believed there was around 20,000.  And don’t get me started on the Canes.  They’ve been averaging less than 15,000 fans per home game.  That’s acceptance and apathy all rolled into one….

The CFP Final 4

No more Top 10.  Takes too long and right now, this is all that matters.

1.        Either the Suckeyes or Michigan:  NO I’M NOT JOKING AND I’M PERFECTLY SOBER.  I will be shocked if anyone else from the B1G gets through either of these teams in the Title Game.  Tim M – You’re still living in Indy, right?  All I need is a little spot on the living room floor or in the garage on December 11th and probably the 12th – assuming things go right.

2.       UTAH:  It’s weird how a seemingly innocent game on a Thursday night to open the season could possibly be the Final Scenario for the CFP in 2015.  A Rematch?  Why Not?

3.       LSU:  Yep, I believe the Hatter gets to the top of the SEC heap, but with a one dimensional offense, will it be enough to knock off the Utes who are starting to roll….

4.       Baylor:  The style points here cannot be ignored.  Baylor is simply an offensive juggernaut kind of like the Quack Attack, but they play a little more Defense.  Until they lose (and partly because the Big 12 got snubbed last year) they’re in.  If the Suckeyes get in, I like Baylor.  If it’s Michigan and Baylor… who do you THINK I’m going to pick?

Close but no Cigar:  Domers, Clemson, FSU, and TCU.  In that order.  The ACC “elite” will take care of each other and they will probably be the Power 5 conference looking in on the fun once everything is settled on December 12th.  

Idle Thoughts from Saturday
1.       “Can Game” Controversies GALORE on Saturday!
2.       For those not familiar with the Tailgate, I won’t bore you with details…
3.       But the Commish was gone and we had a lot of judgment calls that needed to be made…
4.       Fan interference, “Canners” not doing their job properly – It was insane!
5.       Finally, game time.
6.       DID YOU SEE THAT!
7.       And did you see the block that Jabrill threw to spring Jehu free?
8.       They were all good blocks….
9.       Damn, we’re really good on defense.
10.   Wait – What?  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!  How did Lewis get that ball?  Is this legit???!!!  Pick 6 Baby!
11.   A kick-off return and a pick 6 in the same game.
12.   Woah….
13.   Harbaugh isn’t playing these games…this is all the players!
14.   Yeah, he’s coaching them, but they’re making the plays.
15.   Love seeing the Fullback getting touches.
16.   Ruddock looks okay – this week.
17.   I’m not hoping for anything more at this point….
18.   He’s good at hitting that crossing route…
19.   And that play where they spring the Tight End free.
20.   Seems like a waste for the receivers when you don’t have a QB that can throw the long ball…
21.   6 games and 5 and 1.  I thought it would have been tougher….
22.   So many seasons of simply not knowing what you were going to get….
23.   And now the expectations are coming back.
24.   Huh…Thinking about the rest of the schedule, 11-1 is my expectation and 10-2 is a disappointment. 
25.   IS that bad?
26.   Yes…Yes it is.  Put your expectations in check. 
27.   Winning 1 of the 2 against Sparty and the Suckeyes will be good.
28.   Gotta get by the Gophers on Haloween, too. 
29.   Nittany Lions on the road will be a night game, also.
30.   Question at the Tailgate:  If you can only beat one (Sparty or ohio), which one do you pick?
31.   Right Answer:  You “BEAT” Sparty because you’re supposed to.  You hope for a win against the Suckeyes every other year.  So, the answer is the Suckeyes.
32.   Also overheard at the tailgate:  “Jabrill Peppers hasn’t shown me much.” 
33.   I immediately asked this individual how much they’d had to drink and were they driving?
34.   Anyone who thinks Jabrill isn’t the real deal, you’re simply not paying attention.
35.   Re-Watch the opening Kick-Off.  Who’s the guy that sprints past everybody else over the length of the field and is the second one into the endzone standing next to Jehu?  Yeah, number 5.
36.   Speaking of Endzone – READ IT!
37.   I will be posting a review at some point, but suffice it to say that when the MMQ dubbed the AD “Bran-Dictator”, it was PERFECT.  What a colossal, egotistical arrogant Asshat. 
38.   And I’m being nice, because this is a family column.
39.   John U Bacon walked by the tailgate and shook hands and even signed our Tailgate Neighbor’s copy of Endzone.  Alan – I need that book back!
40.   I haven’t felt that good walking out of Michigan Stadium in a LONG TIME.  A REALLY LONG TIME.

The Hot Seat

I feel bad that I wasn’t able to do a “complete” Hot Seat Mascot for the entirety of 2015.  I figure we can do 7 weeks and have a 4 Mascot play-off at the end of the season.  Still looking for that first one.   Any Hot Seat Mascot nominees are always welcome.

Wow.  What a season it’s already been.  Firings, Suspensions and leaves of absence. 


1.       Beckman, Timothy – Illinois.  For something that could have been handled in the Spring.  Odd timing and even odder circumstances, but gone none the less.

2.       Edsall, Randy – Maryland has had enough and the players only meeting that Edsall heard about from the press sort of sealed the deal. 

3.       Kyle Flood  - Suspended, but not canned…Yet.  I guess he might survive, but I don’t really see how.

4.       Sark – I really don’t see how Sark can get off the wagon and still have a job when it’s all said and done.  When his “Leave” is complete and he’s still the head coach, I’ll take him off the list.

Hot Seat

1.        London – Virginia.  But some time with a close loss to the Domers, but still can’t feel good to be in Virginia right now

2.       Brian Kelly – If the Domers lose again, and I’m saying they will, I think it’s going to be really hard for Kelly to keep his title….

3.       Brett Beliema – Says dumb things….does dumb things…his hire might be considered a dumb thing….

4.       Whoever is coach at Kansas – Sorry….

5.       Mike Riley – Lincoln and the state of Nebraska cannot be happy right now.  Not in the least….

Tailgate Trivia Answer:  You probably got it.  The 1997 National Champion Wolverines had neither a 1,000 Yard Rusher (That was hard for me to believe.  Chris Howard - 938) and they didn’t have a 500 yard receiver, either (Tai Streets - 476).