Friday, July 29, 2016

The 2016 Pre-Season Spectacular!!!

It’s Here!  It’s Finally HERE!!!!

It took a while, but the ole MMQ got around to figuring out how this entire collegiate football season is going to unfold. 

With Michigan eeking its way into its first CFP!

Wow, I normally don’t jump ahead of myself like that, but nuts and gosh darn it, it’s hard to ignore all the other prognosticators that more or less have Alabama, Michigan, Pac 16 and ACC champion as their top 4 with the Big XXII just missing a bid once again! 

If you’ve been listening to any sports talk radio (and you know you have), it’s almost boilerplate that Michigan and Alabama are in.  Both Teams are the Odds on faves in Vegas and everyone keeps bringing up the magical 2nd or 3rd season for a turnaround coach in Harbaugh.  I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with any of it at this point.  But I will, as always, do a complete analysis of the team (at least, complete by my standards) and then of course a game by game with insights as to why I’m thinking the way I am.

And when you add the latest Jimmy H Rap video into the mix, well….How can you NOT like Michigan???

So, without further ado, let’s get the show on the road!


Yeah, I know – I hear you out there.  “Go ahead, MMQ, Take the easy one first!”  And I do mean easy.  Michigan returns a plethora of starters in key positions and SENIORS in the secondary!  Hill, Thomas, Louis and Stribling are names you’re going to get used to hearing a lot.   Not to mention that Peppers for Heisman makes the move to linebacker or safety.  That kid likes to hit and he can cover ANYBODY coming out of the back field or on the short crossing route.  While he’s giving up some Heisman glory, it’s for the good of the team.  Add to ALL OF THAT:  Michigan’s Defensive Men Up Front got a huge (and I do mean HUGE) injection of beef with the addition of Rashan Gary.  His current FAKE times would have put him in the top 10 of this year’s NFL Defensive Linemen drafted.  Maybe even top 5?  That’s wicked good.  The question isn’t if he gets playing time, it’s when. 

Not to mention that through the first 6 games last season Michigan led the NCAA in defense – both scoring and total yards allowed.  Things got worse for the D as Michigan’s offense was exposed and the defense got left on the field longer, but they were still for the most part a shut ‘em down group of Wolverines.   Makes me proud to be a fan again!  Not that I didn’t like the scores like 66-65 horse races that Rich Rod had us in, but the “Hurry up and score so we can get the ball back” mentality was getting to me.

I like this better.   A LOT BETTER.

The question is can the new D-Coordinator Donny Brown carry on and continue to build on the foundation that DJ Durkin, who left for Maryland, laid down?  I have a feeling it’ll be seemless, but sometimes my feelings aren’t 100%.  Just sayin’……I like where the Defense is right now.  I really do.  This is an attack them and shut ‘em down Defense.  A friggin’ scary defense that you wouldn’t want to have to face. 

And when I think back to the seasons when Michigan had AWESOME Defenses:

2006 – One Suckeye loss away from the National Title Game….

1997 – ‘Nuff Said……

1988 – ’89 Rose Bowl Champs….

1983 – Fiesta Bowl Champs and #2 in the Nation….

So, Yeah, you can say this right now:

 It’s Great To Be a Michigan Wolverine! (On Defense!)


The last 4 or 5 seasons (after the Robinson years) have been difficult for me to evaluate and gauge with respect to offense.  Offense is a funny thing.  You can have a great scheme and great players, but the offense can still have off days or simply not gel the way you want it to. (Hoke’s offenses were utterly abysmal, not to mention) Harbaugh is changing things and maybe he can change it in a big way in Season 2. 

I will say that there were times under Rich Rod after Robinson arrived when I believed that there weren’t many teams that could stop Michigan, but Alabama did prove me wrong.  (I know – that was Hoke, but he had a lot of Rich Rod’s guys).   And yes, Michigan was pretty one-dimensional when Robinson wasn’t playing, so maybe it was me being faked out by pretty and shiny things….in the shape and form of D-Rob…

However, I saw a lot of things I liked last season on offense, mainly the tight-end returning to the tactical game-plan!  That’s one more guy the defense has to worry about.  Harbaugh knows exactly how to execute plays to eventually set-up and get the TE wide open.  I love that.  You ignore the guy until he kills you.  Beautiful.  And Jake Butt is going to really, REALLY open some eyes this season.  Just a hunch….No, I’m not going there….Oh, who am I kidding - YES I AM!!!

You read it here first:  Jake Butt will be an upper first round draft pick next spring.  And he might – MIGHT – get an invite to New York for the Heisman Trophy.  Yep – I’m calling it in July, but dammit, that kid is good.  And he could have easily gone in the draft last season as high as the 2nd round, but decided to stay in Ann Arbor one more season.   I’m not sure how many TE’s have won the Heisman, but I’m willing to bet that Jake may be knocking on that door this season.  (I had to look it up:  There have been 3 TE’s to win the Heisman – Larry Kelley, Yale.   Leon Hart, Domers.  Ted Kaliwick, Penn State)

Of course, assuming all that crap about Butt above (Jeez - Sorry about that pun…) that means that somebody is throwing him the ball.  I’m also betting that O’Korn, like Ruddock, is going to get the “Jimmy Nod” to start as he’s the most experienced guy that has some playing time under his belt.  Speight will be ready and able, but O’Korn seems like the logical pick.  And you can bet he’s picked some stuff up from Harbs that he didn’t get from Sumlin at Texas A&M.  And if O’Korn is smart, he’ll find Butt early and often…..

Okay, yeah, I know….you’re right.  That last sentence didn’t sound good.  Didn’t sound good in my head and I didn’t like typin’ it either…  And I’m not sure I’m ready for, “O’Korn finds a wide open Butt and completes the pass!” all afternoon….

But I digress!

Newsome, Braden, Cole, Kalis, and Magnusson will be in the trenches and they’re all returning starters with a year of Har-Ball under their belts.  The offensive line will show MEASURABLE IMPROVEMENT – I promise you that as well. 

Darboh and Chesson are back as Michigan’s receivers and are proven commodities.  I’m hoping – HOPING – That O’Korn can throw more than 25 yards downfield with a little accuracy – unlike Ruddock.  I, along with everybody else, was dying last season watching Ruddock miss those two on wide open routes.  We’ll see what happens….

Running backs Smith and Johnson are serviceable and I’m thinking one of them can have that breakout season once the rest of the offense starts clicking.  D’veon has impressed and I love the Drake, but again, we just have to be patient and see where it all goes….

Special Teams

This brings back nightmares that I’d rather not re-visit.  Catch the ball and kick the ball.  Put the Goddamn BALL through the damn up-rights.  Catch the ball and return the ball. 

Everything else is gravy….I’m so dull when it comes to Special Teams.  I just take what I can get and keep my fingers crossed on the critical stuff like everybody else….


‘Nuff said….but let’s say a little more, anyway.  I do believe that Jimmy is loading a freight train full of players onto the tracks in Ann Arbor.  Furthermore, there’s very compelling evidence that the Defense has been woefully under coached - dare I say this - under the last three head coaches?  I know, I liked Lloyd and I was a fan of his DC, but I’m starting to think he had a lot of luck.  Rich Rod, I don’t want to go there.  And while I liked Hoke, clearly Hoke was not a “Coach”.  He kept guys around out of loyalty FIRST and not because they were good at their jobs.  If a guy’s good at his job FIRST, yes, you can keep him around out of loyalty when he’s got a bad group of kids or a having a bad season.  But he’s gotta prove himself initially.  It’s my belief that Harbaugh gets this and you don’t even get through the door until you prove that you’re on board, capable of executing and getting the most out of players.  Then, and only then, loyalty is easy. 

The Second Season is usually that season where magic can happen.  Even though I’m pretty sure that Jimmy wanted magic last season.  He wanted it bad.  Utah, Sparty and the Suckeyes screwed that up.  I think Jimmy knows that 2 out of 3 of those games were winnable.  Let’s face it:  Sparty was a win until the last play and Ruddock throwing for two scores in the opposite direction doesn’t help against Utah.  The Suckeyes proved to be more than Michigan could have handled in their best outing last year and you can bet that Jimmy is using that game as the motivational tool for this coming season.  Yes, The Wolverines destroyed a weak Florida team, but it was the OSU loss that brought focus.  Especially to the coaches. 

I will give Michigan the coaching edge in every game they play this season…even that one down in Columbus.

The Season

So what does all that mean for the regular season schedule?  Well, the simple analysis when you pull up the schedule is that 9 wins is kind of a no-brainer.  Yep – it’s that soft.   It’s those other three games that seem to present a problem.  But, as always, I like to go in order as they laid out on the schedule.  So let’s do that:

Hawaii:  The Rainbow Warriors ain’t what they used to be.  Luckily, what might actually help Hawaii is that games played on Labor Day inside Michigan Stadium have been known to reach 154 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Rainbows are used to the heat.  OK, I’m exaggerating…A little.  Michigan will prove to be too much for Hawaii and the first NB (no brainer) game of the season is in the W column.

Michigan 52-Rainbows falling 0

Central Florida:  Another train wreck of a program that seems to get some of the dregs from the bottomless Florida Talent Pool on occasion.  It seems like WFU, CFU and Miami are all on equal footing right now with the talent they get.  But CFU under head coach Frost just won’t be able to travel to Ann Arbor and be effective. 

Michigan 42 – Knights are forever without you 0

Colorado:  I remember beating the Buffaloes in 1997 and that was sweet.   I also remember the “Darkest Day” in Michigan Stadium.  Okay, one of the darkest days.  Let’s just say a top 5 dark day and leave it at that.  Regardless, Colorado is a shell of what McCartney built up through the 80’s and 90’s.  And they haven’t done much to improve their worth to the Pac 16.  I don’t see why this season is any different…

Michigan 54 – Beefalows 0

Penn State:  I feel for Penn State and their fans.  I really do.  What happened there could literally have happened anywhere.  The fans continue to pay and pay by having to listen to all the crap that’s come at them and their school for the last 6 years or so.  And the University is stupid and simply won’t pay the $100M or so to the victims to make the issue go away and decide they have to try every case in court.  (PSU only has $3.5B in endowment money….sheesh).  Plus you have people that want to bring back Joe’s statue way too soon….Distractions, distractions.  Anyway, Franklin struggles again this season amidst QB controversy and overall lousy play.  It will be a game, but Michigan wins this game easy for its 4th NB game of the season.

Michigan 35 – Nothinny kitties  0

Wisconsin: Anyone paying attention to the “points against” column so far in the MMQ fantasy season?  Okay, just checkin’.  I can’t believe Wiscy has fallen as far as they have and I thought their domination of the B1G West would continue, but no.  And the pundits have them not being too good this season, either.  I’m glad we have them at home, but I respect them and they screw up a good thing by scoring and nullifying the season of shutouts.  NB # 5 takes its place on the trophy wall.

Michigan 24 – Respectin’ Wiscy 7

At Rutgers:  Another roadside disaster of a program that couldn’t actually make a dumpster fire with two matches (one already lit) and a gallon of gas.  Yet somehow they beat Michigan under Hoke in their first try.  I don’t think this year’s visit will be as pleasant for Jersey, the Scarlet Knights and their loyal fans….

Michigan 38 – Scarlett, “Hey, it looks good on you, though!” 0

Illinois:  Why, oh why, are so many B1G teams a disaster and why can’t they get things fixed?  Granted, not everyone can hire a Harbaugh, but cumon’….Have a little pride!  The Fightin’ Illini they’re not and Homecoming will be a big W for the Wolverines!

Michigan 45 – chief leave me alone 0

At Sparty:  I will be shocked – SHOCKED – if Michigan is somehow NOT undefeated at this point sitting at 7-0 heading into East Lansing with a #2 or #3 National Rank.  Yep, October 29th and up to now it’s been no challenge. Michigan will have had some small “tests”.  Sparty will be ready and they are not going to give up the “crown” so easily.  Expect the dirtiest of dirty, the most dastardly of dastardliness, but Jimmy has a revenge game coming and some payback to dole out.  I expect a clever tweet from Blake O’Neill about East Lansing not burning couches when Sparty loses.  Michigan wins this first Non-No-Brainer walking away and strikes fear in the entire Collegiate Football Nation’s heart.

Michigan 35 – Sparty Green Eyes of Envy 14

Maryland:  Okay.  Remember how I said there were 9 no brainer wins?  Wouldn’t you think I would have the lowly Terps as an NB’er on the schedule?  I mean, I’m a man and a fan that knows things!  But, just ‘cause you think you know something….In the words of the Great Lee Corso – NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS!   This is the scariest game on the schedule for me, folks.  One week after an emotional victory at East Lansing.  DJ Durkin returning to Ann Arbor for the first time as the Head Coach on an opposing team.  Student meets Master.  Master meets Student.  Who will prevail???  Thank GOD this game is home.  I don’t like Maryland and this game has me terrified.  (But maybe I’m reading too much into things…)

Michigan 31 – Terps 24 (If a guy can build a defense, he may know ways to score on it!)

At Iowa:  Ferentz had a dream season last year and was in the CFP discussion leading up to the last weekend of regular season play!  So while Iowa had a bit of a resurgence last year does that transfer over to this year?  Uh…no.   S-O-I.  Same Ole Iowa…..Maybe.  They probably will have lost a couple by now and a win at home vs. Michigan would go a long way towards making it a successful season. But Iowa is an NB’er win on my list because, as anyone can tell you that’s been around the B1G:  You simply gotta’ beat the “I-Schools!!!”  And I hate Kinnick Stadium….so many lousy memories…

Michigan  24 – Hawks  14  Instant Replay:  Michgian 27 – Hawkeyes 28

Indiana:  Another “I-School”.  Somehow Michigan managed to get all three this year.  Thanks Dave Brandon?  Nah…He couldn’t have orchestrated that…This is another NB’er on my list, but at the same time, Michigan had difficulty last season and it took not one but TWO overtimes to put the Hoosiers away.  I like the head coach and I really like the Hoosier offense.  And if they ever get a defense…look out!

Michigan 34 – Doogie Hoosier MD 28

At Ohio State:  So, the new 10 Year War (or however many it’s going to be or however many years that Urban’s heart holds out) has begun.  The first battle did not go Michigan’s way.  However,

I believe in Jimmy Harbaugh

I believe in Jimmy Harbaugh

I believe in Jimmy Harbaugh….and he captured a lot of Maize and Blue magic down in the toilet bowl when he played in Columbus.  Guarantees and big plays – Jimmy had it all.  He won’t guarantee it, but when that suckeye crowd boos the Wolverines coming on the field prior to kick-off, everyone is going to be PUMPED.  The biggest Non-No-Brainer game of the season comes down to a final drive with Michigan punching it in for the winning score!

Michigan 24 – You ruined our perfect decade 20

So there you have it!  Michigan goes 12-0 (11-1 because undefeated is just so HARD) and heads to the B1G Championship.  I’ll believe they’ll face off against an uppity Nebraska team that they will easily defeat (sorry Cornhusker Nation) and at 13-0 (12-1), they’ll either be the 2 or 3 seed in the CFP.

Mr. MMQ!  Question!!!  Question!!!!!

Yes Sir?

Who else will be in the CFP?

I’m glad you asked!!!!

The Rest of the Mess

As usual, many of the returning suspects have been here or been close before.  There’s going to a load of SEC teams at or near the top and they’ll be an ACC team or two knocking on the door as well.  Without further ado, let’s get to it!

The MMQ Pre-Season Final Poll Prediction

Remember:  This is how I see the final poll at the end of the regular season.  Pre –CFP if you will…..

1.     Alabama – Satan has a cushy schedule that’s looks so easy on paper its not even funny.  12 returning starters.  Scary.  No QB of course, so rumor is they’re thinking about removing Satan’s brain in between plays and just let a player carry it out to the huddle.  Problem is they can’t figure out what to do with Nick’s hair when his skull is open….

2.    Michigan – Yep, I’m putting them here.  13-0 (if 12-1, switch with FSU) is nothing to sneeze at even if it’s not a schedule from hell.  Michigan will be in the mix somewhere….

3.    FSU – 17 returning starters, boys and girls.  SEVEN-TEEN.  As the MMQ, I can put that into football terms that everyone can easily understand: “It’s a Shit-load.  Jimbo Fisher may be sniffing around for another NC, but he’ll have the toughest road as he’ll have to beat another Jim (Harbaugh) and Satan.  No easy task….

4.    Stanford – Nobody is giving Shaw a whole lot of credit this season, but it’s hard for me not to like Stanford in a weak Pac 16.  Even with doubts at QB, I have a feeling this could be a Cardinal kind of year…

5.    LSUThe Mad Hatter will have maybe one loss at the end of the regular season, and that loss will be to Bama….Stanford may have one loss but will have played and won the “extra game” and nobody will want to see a Bama – LSU Tiger rematch.  NOBODY….

6.    The Suckeyes – They will only have lost to Michigan, but that loss will hurt.   

7.    Clemson – Couldn’t handle FSU and its Clemson fergodsakes…They can’t be that good for that long….Sorry Dabo…

8.    Sooners – The Big XII ends up destroying itself and an emerging Texas Team throws monkey wrenches all over the place beating teams they shouldn’t, but a 10-2 Laters team is the best the Big XXII can offer….and a Big XII Championship Game in 2017 isn’t a great idea, either. 

9.    Tennessee – It’s now or never.  Either the Volunteers prove that they’re actually back or they can curl up and die.  They lose to Bama in the SEC Title game, but at least they make it to said title game…However if they pull off the SEC Title Game upset….Look out!  SEC could be “frozen out” of the CFP!!!  Just a hunch…

10.  Sparty – Two losses on the schedule to top 10 teams is still two losses

11. Georgia – I actually think Kirby Smart can win the entire SEC in his first season, but its GEORGIA and until he does, well, the curse lives on. 

12. Domers – I know.  I’m giving them a lot of credit, but their schedule is a little soft….

13. USC-The Rubbers are like the Volunteers.  It’s now or never with the talent that’s there. 

14. Baylor – First mention of Baylor:  the firing of Briles is going to hurt them….Big XXII is a disaster and this may force the conference’s hand to expand, finally….or push harder to expand the CFP to at least give the Power 5 schools auto-bids…

15. Texas – Strong is going to find a way and I like him as a dark-horse to win the BigXII this season!  9 Wins or Strong is Gone…

16. Okie State – Gotta get Big T. Boone Picken’s team in here somewhere!

17. Ole Miss – whatever….College of Women Beaters….

18. North Carolina – see Ole Miss…Except for they cheat….

19. Oregon – I heard Chip Kelly might be coming back?

20. Washington – I want to put Chris Petersen so much higher on this list…but I just can’t… Not until he proves it to me.


So that’s that.  Meaning that the CFP would look like


Alabama vs. Stanford


Michigan vs. FSU

I’m going to say that the Michigan Magic is too much for the Seminoles to overcome and Michigan wins in a tight game. 

And while the Cardinal give Satan and company all that they can handle, they don’t have enough. 

Meaning we have Michigan vs. Alabama for the National Championship!

Who’s gonna win that one? 

Cumon’!!!!!  Repeat after the MMQ:





The Hot Seat

So many have been fired recently I’ve got to think about who’s coaching where….But before we go there, we need to re-institute everyone’s favorite poll:  The Weekly Hot Seat Mascot!  And seeing as how I’m one to start off with someone that I think will make the finals, we’re going to put a summer movie cutie in as the pre-season mascot.  Gal Gadot looked pretty good as Wonder Woman and I’m betting that the MMQ constituency can come to a consensus on that pick! 


As far as the coaches go, I’m going to stay rather conservative here as I believe schools have figured out its better to hire the right guy and stick with him….That’s not to say that there aren’t coaches starting this season on with warm posteriors…on the contrary, some are downright hot before the ball has even been snapped!

1.    Sumlin – Texas A&M.  Kevin was much loved when Johnny Football was there and the hate and vitriol on the blogs and the internet has grown by the day since Johnny left.  Sumlin should have looked harder at the NFL offers he was getting when he had the chance.  Needs 9 wins BAD to survive the season….

2.    Muschamp –Flor-, errrrr…. wait a minute…..South Carolina.  What a hire this was or what a complete and utter screw up this was.  One thing we do know:  We’re going to find out which one of those two items – Brilliance or Idiocy – this hire is!  I’m curious to see how it develops, but we’ve seen this guy in action and we pretty much know what Muschamp is…and we also know that SC fans are not the patient type…

3.    Malzhan – Auburn.  Could have easily been #1 on the list, but Sumlin and Muschamp don’t have National Titles helping them hang around.  Auburn Nation has been seething with Auburn’s lack of performance on the field since Cam Newton left.  Malzhan needs 9 or 10 wins and a victory over Alabama to ward off the circling vultures.  Let’s not forget that Auburn fired Tommy Tubberville after a 12 win season…I think?

4.    Strong – Texas.  Another #1 candidate.  I do believe Charlie is in his make or break season at Texas. If he can win 9 and beat Oklahoma (but don’t put the Golden Hat on) and also up end TCU and Baylor, he’ll stay.  But Texas has seen enough of his process and the Longhorns need to start coming together on the field on Saturday. 

5.    Hazell – Purdue.   Everybody can’t be #1…But you could make an argument for this guy.  Hazell is an enigma surrounded by a mystery wrapped up in a riddle.  Purdue is throwing money at its program like crazy and Hazell has somehow convinced everyone that he’s the deal and can get them back to the top of the B1G.  I dunno….but I think he needs 7-8 wins this season to keep the ax from falling…

6.    Adazzio – Boston College.  For all the BC Fans and those in the know that wanted New Michigan DC Donny Brown to take over as Head Coach at Boston College, the Sword of Damocles that is hanging over Addazzio’s head just broke another string….He needs 8 to 9 wins and an appearance in the ACC title game.

7.    Riley – Nebraska.  Riley and Nebraska suffered what can only be described as the “Season of Bad Luck” last year losing so many close games on the final play of the game that it defies my “gambler’s mind” logic.  By sheer numbers, if you’re in 6 coin-toss games, you should win 3, or at least 1.  But somehow, the Cornhuskers lost them all but found a way to beat Sparty.  Riley’s seat is warm, but he could cool it off considerably with 9-10 W’s this season and a trip to the B1G Championship….

8.    Miles – LSU.  I know, I always put the Hatter on the list and he probably has the safest job in the SEC.  But, you never know.  Another 4 loss or - god forbid- 5 loss season with a loss to Bama making it 6 in a row to Satan and the Hatter could be looking at early retirement….

9.    Whoever’s coaching USC – I’m not even going to bother looking it up.  He needs to win and win bad.  9 or less will be grounds for new AD Lynn Swann to swing the Death Scythe of doom…

10. Leach – Wazzu.  Washington State took a chance on Leach, but that chance has not paid dividends - yet.  I also think Leach might, just MIGHT, get an offer from some other school that’s not in the middle of nowhere.  I believe Leach might take a look at that offer and move on.  Either way, 8-9 wins for Wazzu and each party might say, enough.  What and who’s next?

Coaches I thought about but didn’t make the top 10:  Jones – Tennessee, Richt – Miami, Kelly – Domers, Mullen - Miss State, Freeze – Ole Miss, Johnson – Georgia Tech

Ever notice how some of these coaches never get off the hot seat list???

So, is that enough of a pre-season spectacular for everyone ?  5,000 words of pure gibberish….

Monday, July 11, 2016

And He's BAAAACK!!!!!!

While it’s still way too early for a 2016 Pre-Season Spectacular, there’s been a lot going on in the news lately and I figured, “Gosh darn it, I’ve been gone long enough!  Time to put fingers to the keyboard and see what comes out….”

So, while I’ve missed countless news stories, events, Harbaugh news items (I think JH averages 1 news item a day) and God only knows what else, I’ll see if I can’t sum everything up from the time I took off blogging till now.  But in an extremely short, succinct fashion.

A Michigan school lost to 15th seeded Middle Tennessee State in this year’s NCAA tournament.  I’m not saying that’s embarrassing, but….Aw, Hell, let’s just say it:


Yep!  It’s embarrassing and it’ll never get old! 

I love the fact that Sparty is now in a class of approximately 7 Universities that have lost as a 2 seed since the tourney was increased to 64 teams.  Sparty shares the air with some big names, so I guess you could say it could happen to anyone.  I’m just tickled it happened to Sparty!!!

Harbaugh pissed some people off.  I believe when Michigan hired him I stated that he’s an Asshole, but he’s OUR KIND of Asshole.  In that sense, Harbaugh has NOT LET US DOWN!!!!

Harbaugh’s first season was a rocky but successful one yet Michigan has still not defeated their Arch Rival and have yet to put Little Brother back in his place.  I’ll take the 10 wins.  But I can’t wait for this season and the opportunity to avenge so many, many wrongs that have transpired over the last few years!

Did I mention that Harbaugh pissed some people off?  And also made other newsy type people look like complete dolts (Finebaum, Dodd and others) for coming out AGAINST satellite camps and giving the smaller D1 schools a chance to look at players while visiting the larger D1 camps.  What really cracked me up?  The NCAA, and this shouldn’t have surprised anyone, came out against the satellite camps once they “felt” that they were somehow being abused by Harbaugh.  And this speedy ruling was led by the MAN himself, Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA. 

And was immediately overturned by the oversight committee and University Chancellors.

And camps are back and Harbs looks like a Hero-Genius for wanting to do the right thing for all the players of this great game of football.

What’s funny is the SEC coaches were doing all the bitching and complaining and Emmert saw to it that this villain of college football (Harbs) be dealt with quickly and any of the illegal activities that he was conducting be squashed like a bug.  But cooler heads prevailed and yet there’s no talk of Emmert resigning his post, even though he was clearly WRONG and did not have the greater good of the Sudent Athlete in mind. 


When in doubt, remember this:  Mark Emmert was the Chancellor at LSU and he’s the guy that originally hired Satan away from MSU.  Emmert and Satan are very good friends and talk often.  They still visit each other regularly with their families and have done so since they were both at LSU. 

Have I ever mentioned in this blog or in person that I hate the hypocrisy of the NCAA and what they stand for?  That a big part of the reason that I hate schools like Bama, LSU and Ole Miss is that they routinely cheat and never, ever get caught and punished for cheating?  That the NCAA is essentially a con game; a way to collect and distribute money that in no way has the best interest of the student athlete in mind, but rather has the interest of the large universities that pay the bills in mind whenever they make a decision….Sigh…If I have mentioned, sorry for mentioning it again.

 PSU is back in the news cycle.  OR should I say, Joe Pa, may he rest in peace, someday, is back in the news cycle.  Hatin’ on Joe is back in vogue with one sentence in a written deposition that tries to pin everything on him.  I quote, “a child allegedly reported to PSU’s head coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky” in 1976.  Some 40 years ago.  Granted, the insurance company is just doing their job.  Trying to show the judge and everyone in the judicial system that PSU was negligent 40 years ago and therefore, the insurance company is off the hook and everything is on PSU and their internal system failures. 

This deposition statement (and that’s all the detail there was) just doesn’t pass the sniff test for oh so many reasons….How does a child get an audience with the Head Football Coach at PSU?  How does that child even enter into that conversation if he was in fact molested?  If the kid has figured out that he’s been molested and is ready to talk to someone, ANYONE, why doesn’t that child go first to his parents or some other authority and tell his tale vs. going to the head coach and telling him about the encounter?  Because the head coach would be more accessible and easier to talk to?

Somebody’s lying here.  In a sworn deposition to the court.  I’m not saying the above didn’t happen, I’m just saying that as a gambler, I’d be a lot more inclined to bet that this DIDN’T happen vs. that it DID happen.  The meeting with Joe.  I’m not saying a child couldn’t have been molested in 1976.  I actually kind of believe that.    

I guess what really grinds my stones is that it’s a great big fight to determine who’s on the hook to pay all this money to the real victims.  And that’s a shame.  PSU and the insurance company both ought to take a long hard look in the mirror and figure out a way to get through this mess quietly and without dragging the Paterno name and the PSU name through the mud anymore. 

What happened was criminal.  That particular individual is paying for that with his life for the next 30-60 years behind bars (and for some people, that’s not nearly enough punishment for this individual).  The guy he reported to that may or may not have been complacent in letting the perpetrator get away with this crime for years has passed away.  Other people who were considered negligent in the process are still waiting for their criminal trial(s).  PSU (the institution) has paid the monetary penalty ($60M), damages to victims (undisclosed) and also suffered through several seasons with post season bans and the loss of scholarships.  So, to all the renewed voices, haters and general fans that want to see the PSU name and institution scrubbed from the face of the Earth and stricken from all the history books (and I get it – it was a heinous crime.  As cringe-worthy as they come):

Let it go. Just let it go.

Let PSU become great again and stop wanting to destroy an institution that has done a lot more good than this harm would lead you to believe.  It’s over.  We need to assist the victims, get them made whole, and move on.  Continuing to bring this story up every couple of years or so is not doing anyone any good. 

Michigan Women’s Softball clinched another out right B1G Championship on Saturday.  I think they had actually won it before the Rutgers game, but Saturday sealed the deal.  I believe there was a scenario where the Golden Gophers could have won out and Michigan would have needed to lose 3 to Rutgers (Wasn’t going to happen) and there could have been a tie for the B1G?  Anyway, congrats to the Soft Ballers and Hutch on 9 STRAIGHT B1G TITLES!!!!  I doubt that a similar accomplishment in NCAA softball will ever be achieved again.  History has been made.

Unfortunately, the Michigan Softballers couldn’t get the job done at the CSWS where they came up just ever so short in securing another National Title!  Gotta score runs to win ladies!  Nevertheless, it was a great season and I’ll miss a lot of those players! 

John Belien did the best he could with what he had to work with this past hoops season.  I’m still excited for next year, but it’s going to be weird (and really, REALLY hard) watching Spike Albrecht in a Purdue jersey next season.  Something about that just doesn’t’ seem right.  And it’ll probably make me a little ill….

 The Big XII recently paid BIG MONEY to a research/consulting firm that more or less told them the same thing all of my loyal readers and I could have told them for a couple of pitchers of beer and some simple math on a bar napkin: 

The Big XII has a 10-15% better chance of making the 4-Team College Football Play-Off if they have two more members and a Conference Championship game.


When I see stuff like this it really, really makes me sad to think that there’s people in charge of stuff for no other reason than they happened to be around when someone needed to be put in charge of stuff.  If I’m a president or AD at one of the Big XII universities I’m seriously questioning the conference commish Bowlsby and wondering why in the hell he’s in charge and spending our money foolishly on such nonsense. 

Anyway, The MMQ is here to tell you everything you need to know about Big XII expansion (AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN) in several easy to follow bullet points that will assist you in ANY discussion that comes up regarding the idiocy that seems to continuously surround this issue.

1.     Texas is very happy with the current arrangement that they have with the Big XII and the LHN (LongHorn Network – ESPN based).  First, they get an equal share of all revenue generated by the Big XII (something on the order of $10-$15M/year).  Second:  They will collect $300M over the next 20 years from ESPN on the LHN deal, and it’s back loaded.  So UT’s only getting around $10M/year now and they will get more as time marches forward.  Yes, the LHN (ESPN) is losing money.  Lots of money.  Due to the un-recovered high launch costs and the paltry amount they charge per household ($3.50 in Texas, $0.29 outside of Texas) with somewhere between 6M and 12M households that are buying it (ESPN claims 20M subscribers…..and admits that number is falling) - they’re losing somewhere between $7M to $13M annually, for a total loss of $50M+ since the network was launched.  Add to that the lack of watchable content for a 24 hour day cycle which often shows UT women’s field hockey, UT women’s tennis, and back to back re-airings of the National Title game against USC and actual viewership is not measurable.  Therefore, ESPN can’t sell advertising, and what they do sell they can’t charge a lot for.  Doesn’t matter.  ESPN is paying UT and UT is Happy.  Result:  Nothing will happen in the Big XII until UT decides it needs to happen.  Unless ESPN reneges on the deal as the losses continue to mount….which, it could happen.  Just not today.  (Ironic note:  Same article I pulled LHN data from cites that both Mizzou and TA&M will make $5M-$7M more per year from the SEC Network than UT and will be seen in 65M households, which adds to recruiting and brand recognition.  If that isn’t a slap in the face, I don’t know what is.)  But, barring a collapse of the LHN, Texas isn’t going anywhere. 

2.    The only other Big XII player, Oklahoma, is at war with itself.  The Prez wants expansion and the regents don’t want to bring in a “lesser” member and have to dilute the pie even more.  Meaning:  Any University that Oklahoma thinks is good enough for the Big XII probably figures they have just as good a shot at joining the PAC, B1G, SEC or ACC.  So why look at the Big XII?  Currently, only UT has a stadium with over 100K.  Oklahoma is 80K.  Everyone else in the Big XII drops down to below 70K with Baylor and TCU being the smallest (I think) at 45K.  The most realistic candidate, Memphis, lacks the “Increased footprint” appeal that the rest of the BigXII desires, even though their stadium size (60K) and enrollment (20K) sort of qualify them for inclusion.

3.    In addition, Oklahoma has an Okie State problem.  IF (big “if”) Oklahoma would get an invite from someone – ANYONE – they probably have to bring Okie State and the smaller revenue/brand that they generate along with them or face the wrath of T. Boone Pickens and the governing body of Oklahoma.  That’s not going to sit well with any conference.  And don’t forget that Oklahoma is still NOT AAU accredited (at least to my knowledge) which more or less immediately rules out the B1G and the ACC (Except that the B1G did take a non AAU Nebraska)…Leaving the SEC and the PAC.  Granted, the best move forward for the B1G (After a Norte Dame/Texas combo) would be Oklahoma and Kansas, probably, and tell Okie State to pound sand.  Which I think Oklahoma would do and thumb their collective noses at anything the state guv of Oklahoma would take away from them.  And the B1G is the one conference with that kind of power.  The B1G really wanted Maryland and North Carolina in the last adder, but settled for Rutgers once UNC threatened it’s “big-little private brother Duke” with leaving tobacco road and taking the rivalry with them and also going with fellow power ACC school Maryland.  Duke gave up some control and UNC got a little more ACC control out of that deal.  You’re welcome, Tar Heels.

4.    Possible candidates that are constantly thrown around for Big XII inclusion (kind of in order depending on who you read and trust – and the guys I read and trust nailed WVU to the Big XII and Maryland and Rutgers to the B1G):  Memphis, Houston, Cincinnati, BYU, UCF, Colorado State, UConn….But again, while this would help expand the Big XII footprint, some of these schools have to ask themselves, “Do I really want to join a conference that could potentially go the way of the SWC and Big East in 10 years, if one of two power schools leave???”  Granted, I believe that most, if not all, of these schools would jump at a Big XII Power 5 Conference offer, but should they?  Think of the famous Groucho Marx quote, “I don’t think I want to join a club that would have me as a member.”  Immediate contradictory thought:  If the Big XII were to make a REALLY BOLD MOVE and add ALL 6 teams (taking them to 16) that included everyone listed above in order to create more content and a truly national footprint, well…then Big XII expansion MIGHT happen.  And frankly, that’s probably the best way to do it.  That would be a 60% content increase in a conference that is starving for relevant content when it comes to TV rights negotiations.  That would be a lot of wheeling and dealing to pull off, and I just don’t think Bowlsby has the chutzpah to make it happen.  But then again, I was in the original camp that Harbaugh wasn’t coming….so there’s that. 

5.    Re-read the first paragraph of this Big XII summary and the answer lies in the Consultant’s advice, it’s just not obvious because it’s the opposite side of the coin. Instead of “adding members” in order to have a conference play-off, the Big XII should hang on to their “advantage” of having to play one less game annually.  And they would be much better off fighting City Hall and the “4-Team Playoff”.  Meaning:  Force the CFP to expand to at least 6 games in order to include an automatic bid to all the Power 5 conferences and one at large bid.  But City Hall includes the Big Bowls as the addition of two teams to the CFP will “probably” result in a home play-in game(s) at the stadium of the team having the better record or higher rank.  And you can bet that the Bowls will fight that with everything they can throw at it because the first time it happens and everyone sees the fan attendance and atmosphere that a “home play-off” game generates, you can bet that the semi-final teams (Money Grubbing AD’s) will be screaming to play the semi-final games at home as well. 

So there you have it.  In a nutshell:  In the MMQ’s humble opinion, Big XII expansion won’t happen anytime soon.  But, maybe CFP expansion happens sooner than we think!  I also don’t think Texas or Oklahoma are bolting for another conference, not immediately, anyway.  CFP expansion to 6 teams is more of a reality than Big XII expansion.  I originally said it would take 10 years for the CFP to go to 6 teams and that time table would only accelerate if the B1G or the SEC were left out of the play-off for multiple seasons in a row.  But I think the CFP Committee is slightly wiser than we give them credit for and they know where the viewers eyes are (and are not), not to mention the money.  With the Big XII getting left out repeatedly, there’s just not quite enough anger and angst to move the needle to expand to 6 teams.  And that suits the other Power 4 conferences just fine.

Getting ahead of myself (should save this for the Pres-Season Spectacular):  Michigan is 7:1 odds of winning a National Title in Football this season (Alabama is the favorite at 5:1).  Which puts Michigan at Number 2.  Does the FMQ (recall the gambling version of the MMQ) agree with this?  Well, I WOULD have grabbed 15:1 or 20:1 odds that Michigan opened with only because I thought Michigan would end up ranked in the top 10 at the end of this season.   7:1?  Nuh-uh….Not even if you were letting me bet with your money.  I mean, yes, I think Michigan will be a very good team and the pre-season will go into why but winning a NC in Jimmy’s 2nd season?  With the luck you need and the chance of losing any game at any time in college football it’s just hard to predict…..but wow….Hmmmmmm….I’m dreamin’ and I’m believin’ and that NC would just be SLAPPY!!!!

The Domers (JEEZ I HATE THESE GUYS!) are Back on The Schedule for 2018-19.  Away and Home. Frist:  An acknowledgement to for a wonderful collection of memories of the Michigan-Domer series.  Here’s the link:

Arkansas gone and Michigan has to pay $2M for the right to dump the Razorbacks meaning everyone believes there’s more money to be made with a Domer Game that will cover that buyout.  So, okay.  I’ll go with the good first:  Even though I gripe about hating these guys (and I do – more on that in a minute) I guess I’m glad to see the Domers back on the schedule so Michigan can go back to routinely pounding them mercilessly and killing their dreams early in the season.  That’s about it on the good….

The Bad list is somewhat more compelling:  First, the odd years of season Tix just got that much better for two huge gaffes by Brandon and now I’ll say Manuel:  Sparty, The Suckeyes, and the Domers are all in the same season leaving 4 or 5 homegames that will pale in comparison!  Unfortunately, the even year season tix just look sick without any decent B1G game or Non-Con opponent.  Let’s give Ward a little more time, but he needs to fix that and quick. 

Bad Item #2.  2018 is early in the season at the domers (September 1), but the Home game is right in the middle of the B1G season on October 26th!!!!  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!  I’m not sure why Michigan accommodated the domers – the Arkansas game was scheduled for September, but Michigan felt it was necessary to make the move and put the domers right in the middle of the B1G season.  Kind of a slap in the face to the B1G, but maybe they had it coming anyway for screwing Michigan’s odd year season schedule…Dunno

Bad Item #3:  This one is ticky-tack, but if I had been Ward, I would have wanted that last home game imbalance back for the indignity that the Domers had the audacity to walk away from Michigan with.  I’m sure Ward tried, but there’s no way Swarbucks was going to let that happen – not on his watch.  And I doubt there will ever be an early out clause in any contract between the two schools ever again.  You’ll see a lot of this in the future – two game deals that waste a lot of lawyer’s time and money….but then you’re protected, I guess.

And yes, I hate the Domers…I know I’ve penned it before, but the days of my formative youth where you spent the end of summer reading every little thing you could get your hands on about the upcoming season of promise and hope only to have it upended by the domers is probably what did it for me.  I mean, Michigan always beat Sparty; it never an issue and the Suckeyes was a coin flip.  Yes,  I hate them both, too.  But beating or not beating the Domers was huge.  I remember sanding and painting the bottom of the ole Chris Craft with the Old Man on a September afternoon in 1978 and listening as Ufer painfully announced the 51 yard Figgie that was good at the end of the game to beat Michigan…To Hell With Harry Oliver. Then in 1982, Steve Smith and AC went to south Bend to play in a night game that I had to listen to on the radio while I was driving the family home from a wedding in Kokomo, Indiana.  Best part of the evening was driving right by South Bend and seeing the lights on.  Worst part:  Michigan lost and there were iffy calls throughout the game….Yes, I hate the Domers.  For ruining promising seasons, their hypocritical nature and all the catholics that seem to side with the domers for no other reason than they’re a catholic school….

Anything I missed?  I don’t know how the College Sports world managed without me all this time!   I’m finally back to restore order and make sense of everything goofy!

Or not….