Monday, September 26, 2016

Nittany Nuthin's

Once again, a team that has come into the Big House and left Ann Arbor hurting a LOT MORE more than when it arrived.  And I do mean hurting…Physically and mentally.  Michigan not only beats teams, but with the Nittany Lions final abysmal numbers (less than 250 total yards) on the offense and defense, well, it can’t be a good feeling mentally when reviewing game film on Sunday and Monday. Wait – I take that back:  PSU had 6 punts for a total of 270 yards of punting.  That’s good!

Getting serious, sort of, Michigan defeated an opponent it should have destroyed so I’m not entirely sure what we know yet, but we are 4/12’s of the way towards knowing more.  4 Games, undefeated, haven’t left the state of Michigan with a very surprising 4-0 Cheesehead team heading into town.  SuperFan – the price of that ticket just went up! 

Michigan was effective from the opening kick in this game.  After a very efficient defensive first series, J-Peppers took the first punt back ALMOST all the way.  The Turf Snake grabbed his ankle and tripped him up or another Heisman moment would have been added to his highlight reel.  As hair raising as the Colorado game was (btw – Don’t look now, but Colorado is 3-1 with an upset victory over the Quack Attack!) in the first quarter, this game was under control and more or less over in the 2nd quarter when Michigan went up 28-0.  Michigan ran at will against a PSU Defense that simply wasn’t there.  UCF presented more rushing difficulty than the PSU Defensive line could have ever hoped to create. 

Michigan is averaging over 50 points a game.  I know, I know….I have to keep telling myself the same thing I’ve been saying since Hawaii:  Who’ve they played?  Colorado is looking like a better win and I hope the Buffs keep it rolling.  Penn State was simply not good.  Not good at all…..They were awful. 

I feel for PSU fans, in a weird way.  They’ve been to lower, darker places than most loyal fans deserve to go.  But they really need to let what happened go and that means letting JoPa go, too. 

I saw a Nittany Lion stumble by with a lone white 409 on his blue t-shirt during the tailgate.  I’ll admit it took me a minute as I thought it had something to do with the cleaner AJAX or the Beach Boy’s Song, and then it hit me that it was for JoPa’s Total Wins (which are now re-recognized by the NCAA after they initially scrapped 111 of them after the scandal).  If you can stomach wearing it – nice honor.  But.  This is a sad, sad, SAD fanbase that may actually be in a lower place mentally than where Michigan Fans were when we were at the bottom of the Rich Rod and Hoke-Brandon nightmare years.  Their nightmare continues to live even when everyone associated with that issue has been jailed, fired or has died.  When fans don’t let go of the past, haters and the broader community are continually reminded of the sickening facts…..

Let it go…. 

Wiscy 4-0.  I had them at 2-2 or 3-1 at best coming into the Big House.  So much for pre-season prognostication.   They are very much the surprise team in the B1G West with a QB that seems to know how to throw a pretty good pass….more on the Sparty collapse in a minute.

Bring on the Cheeseheads and let’s see where the chips fall come Saturday! 

The Rest of the Mess

Lots of Elimination games and opening conference game Losses…

Clemson @ GT:  The FMQ totally blew this game as did the Wramblin’ Wreck.  I was disappointed to see what’s usually a hallmark of a Paul Johnson coached team, the Defense, more or less bend a knee to the will of Clemson.  This game was sort of over right at the end of the 2nd quarter when GT intercepted a pass in the end zone, fumbled the interception, and Clemson tackled the GT player that recovered the fumble in the End Zone for a safety.  That was a potential 9 point swing in the wrong direction and it only got worse from there.  Still not impressed with Clemson, though they did take care of business on the road. 

Wiscy @ Sparty: That sound you heard was Marcus Antoninni’s heart skipping a big

‘ole beat after the Wiscy Beat down at home.  I didn’t get to see as much of this game as I would have liked on Saturday – Tailgate had it on behind us – but from their cheers I could tell that Wiscy was doing good things.  And Sparty was doing bad things.  Caught the BTN in 60 on Sunday and Sparty more or less got “Sparty’d” by a hard hitting turn-over causing defense and a very patient and efficient offense.  And O’Connor showed us why he was sitting on the bench behind Cook for the last three seasons.  Sparty is reeling, but I can’t count them out yet.  Side Note:  Nice Field Touch with #3 at 50 Yard line for the former Kicker Sadler.  Still can’t believe that happened.

Georgia @ Ole Miss: Hugh Freeze handed a heaping cup of “SEC West” to Kirby Smart.  After all the years that Kirby was handing that out from Alabama, you’d think he’d know how to manage that.  The curse of Georgia lives on and Kirby just found out what the Hot Seat feels like. 

Arkansas @ Texas A&M:  Technically this game was at Jerry’s World, but whatever.  Sumlin is proving once again that you should never count a good coach out even when things are looking grim.  With all the crap that went down in the off-season, Sumlin has a QB and an offense that is going to wreak havoc in the SEC West.  I’m convinced A&M beats somebody they’re not supposed to this season.  And the initials of that team might be Alabama.

CornHUSKERS @ Northworstern: The Wildcats didn’t even make this a game as the Huskers cruised to an easy victory.   Smilin’ Mike Riley was as pleasant as ever in his post game interview and I have a feeling there’s a big showdown coming in the West between a couple of Red and White teams….   

Iowa @ Rutgers:  Iowa better look out.  You shouldn’t go to Jersey as double digit favorites against a team that has two blow-outs (the wrong way) on their resume and almost get beat.  Bad form, Iowa.  Bad form. 

FSU @ USF: Jimbo Fisher just polished up his resume by going to Tampa and taking care of business.  With LSU looking, you can never have too many big wins behind you.  Beating an upstart Taggart lead Bulls team is a good way to get you noticed for the LSU gig- again.

Gatorland @ Tennessee:  While the FMQ’s prediction that it would be close (and taking the Gators and the points started out to be accurate), the Cremesicles came out in the 2nd half and simply said, “No.  This is our house, our Game and our Season.”  Jones avoids the hot seat and McElwain has to endure the first loss to Tennessee since before there were I-Phones.  Seriously – look it up!

The Electric Chair Games!

Dooooook @ Domers:  21 point Underdog Duke went into South Bend and the lack of respect on the Irish Blogs and even in the local press was utterly amazing.  I saw no less than 3 articles last week that talked about “What a great time to get into the weak part of the ACC schedule to get healthy on the Win-Losses”.  Duke and Coach Cutclift, you may recall, is not that far removed from winning the ACC Coastal and going to the ACC Championship game.  Duke knows how to win Football Games now.  And they proved it on the field on Saturday. It absolutely DELIGHTS me to see the Domers spiral out of control into the quagmire of football wasteland!  Every time it happens to them!  Final result:  Defensive Coordinator VanGorder was placed on the Domer Football Sacrificial Altar and lit up on Sunday.   And with that Domer loss and a Michigan W, Michigan regained the ALL TIME Win Percentage Title from the Domers!!!  WOO-HOO!!!!! 

LSU @ Auburn:  The Electric Chair of Death Bowl has been decided and the Electric has been switched ON!  After the craziest ending to a football game (oh hell, when Les Miles is involved, what’s a football game WITHOUT a crazy ending!) where emotions roller-coastered up and down in both directions for both teams, the Auburn Tigers ended up on top because LSU’s final TD didn’t count.  Les Miles, the WINNINGEST COACH to ever have coached at LSU (0.770 winning percentage) was canned yesterday afternoon.  Les and Cam Cameron were given their walking papers and Ed Ogeron is the temp Head Coach.  My guess is this might be Ed’s last gig because I’d be really nervous about bringing Ed in as a Defensive guy thinking I was about to get Axed….

The 5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

  1.  Denial and Isolation Hawkeyes.  Still telling themselves they only have 1 loss and the B1G West is still a possibility….RIGHT!!!  And the Check is in the mail and all the other clich√©’s can apply….
  2. ANGER –The ANGRY, ANGRY fanbase still has to be the Domers.  They got blood (after BKelly said they wouldn’t get it) and they’re still pissed because most of them believe the wrong guy got canned.  LSU fans are here as well after watching a very promising season squandered to the stubbornness of a Ball-Control-Defense is Good oriented Head Coach.  I have to say that even Satan figured out you need to score at times in today’s modern game and made the adjustment. 
  3. Bargaining –USC Trojan fan – step right up and be accounted for.  Players bailing on the team, getting beat in the last 2 minutes of the game…Yep, Rubbers are down here this week at 1-3 wondering where to go next.  Keep losing to get Helton Fired or try to salvage the season? 
  4. Depression – Shared amongst Domers and LSU Tiger fans…Nothing is as depressing as canning coaches knowing that changing a system mid-season never solves anything.  IT’s over for the knowing fans and that’s disheartening, for sure. 
  5. Acceptance – Northwestern and Illinois remain.  Georgia Fan is also down here.  They’ve accepted the fact that just getting an SEC Coach doesn’t fix the curse or whatever it is that plagues this team. 

Idle Thoughts from Saturday

 -Gorgeous day in Ann Arbor

-4 games in a row is tough, but it’s easier when the team is winning!

-Canners out in force, again.

-Easy points on Saturday.

-Lots of Tailgate Walk Bys!  Remember:  Corner of Hoover and Greene.

-The ‘ole Tailgate sometimes tries to solve the worlds problems…

-LBGTQ came up at the Tailgate – of all things.

-I know – don’t ask.  Beer and Big Game and God know where a topic can go….

-Anyway, Everyone more or less agreed the NCAA should keep their nose out of stuff….

-But why this is even an issue still baffles….

-And we still didn’t solve that one….

-Okay – I’m tired of the cheat stick that the Drum Major is using. 

-She needs to figure out how to do the head touch without the Baton.
-And don't give me, "You do it!"
-It's Tradition, dammit!

-Another fly-over!  They’re always fun!

-Good Defense.

-Go Peppers!  Oh…He’s gonna be mad when he sees that replay come Monday.

-PSU fans are here, but not very loud.

-They’ve been through a lot.

-A lot fan bases probably wouldn’t have endured. 

-I guess that’s always a good test. 

-Stress makes you stronger and better.

-Just what can you endure.

-And right now, PSU is enduring as much as any fan base has ever endured.

-Of course, the school keeps bringing it on itself.

-And the Paterno family needs to walk away and let it go, also.

-This game is over.

-Maybe the halftime show will be okay.

-2nd half highlights: Uh…..Higdon, I guess?  He had a 40 some yarder for a score.

-The turnovers were good, also.

-Bring on Wiscy!!!

The Hot Seat

Week #4’s Hot Seat Mascot.  Thanks for the positive feedback on the ring girls from the MMA!!  This week’s Hot Seat Mascot is ring girl Arianny Celeste!


I can’t remember coaches getting canned this early in the season in this kind of volume just for losing on the field…..Gonna’ be a long year for some schools.

  1.  Miles and Cameron – LSU Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.  Winningest coach at LSU ever.  A National Championship.  After 12 Seasons and a National Title, LSU to cough up $12M for the right to dismiss Les.  As was texted to me by G-Money:  May LSU wander in the desert for years to come.  Latest Example of “What were we thinking?”  Georgia’s beat down from Ole Miss knocked them out of the polls and Miami just checked in at #14.  That’s where fired Coach Mark Richt ended up.  LSU is going to miss Les Miles….Count on it.   
  2. VanGorder – Domer D-Coordinator.  B. Kelly stated in his Saturday Presser that everyone on the coaching staff had his support.  Sunday there’s a press release that VanGorder has been relieved of his duties.  Can anyone say $warbuck$ Interference and meddling?  I couldn’t get a screenshot of the tweet before it got deleted, but VanGorder’s daughter tweeted “F#$@ Notre Dame!” right after her dad got canned. 
  3. Ron Turner – FIU.  Former Florida Coach out at FIU after an auspicious 0-4 start. 

Electric Chair of Death Seat!

  1. Kelly – Domers (1-3).  Why he might get fired:  Hey - $warbuck$ made him fire VanGorder and maybe that’s a message to BKelly that he needs to get his shit together or he’s next.  I believe he’s lost the team at this point.  IF the Domers lose another “Easy ACC Game”, I foresee a Zapping of Kelly. Why he Won’t Get Fired:  Still $warbuck$ Guy.  That’s not going to change and he bought Kelly some time by supplanting the masses that were chanting “Fire VanGorder!” at the end of the Duke Game. 

The Hot Seat – Guy’s that have Hot Seats but Won’t get Canned, Immediately

  1. Whoever’s coaching USC – Helton.  Losing and going 1-3 at a school as talent rich as USC puts you number one on the Hot Seat.
  2. Muschamp  - Losing to Kentucky this season?  Seriously?  South Carolina will be in the market for a new coach soon enough.
  3. Stoops – Oklahoma.  Holdover till he wins again.   
  4. Dave Doeren – NC State.  Added him, cause NC State isn’t good….
  5. Helfrich – Oregon (2-2).  Wow…I mean, just Wow.  Losing to the Huskers at their place – forgivable.   Losing to Colorado (team that won 4 games last season) at HOME when you are a DOUBLE DIGIT FAVORITE – Inexcusable.  Oregon may be shopping for a new deal soon….
  6. Franklin – PSU.  His seat didn’t get any cooler with a blow-out loss at Michigan
  7. Hazell  - Purdue.  Just cause
  8. Adazzio  - Boston College. 
  9. Malzhan – Auburn.  He’s 2-2 and an Alabama win will cure everything….

Short List of Available or Desirable Head Coaches and Where They Might Go

  1. Kiffin – Satan’s O-coordinator…For head coach at – wait for it….wait for it…AUBURN!!!!  Or LSU….
  2. Hermann –Probably heading for USC.  This is purely an MMQ hypothetical, but Hermann at USC sounds so logical with B1G roots out in the Pac 14.
  3. PJ Fleck – Western Michigan.  I’m going to guess that a B1G team grabs Fleck…I don’t know which one, but he’s impressing some of them.
  4. John Bonamego – Central Michigan, may be a cancidate.  He’s still pretty new at Central but has Central trending up.   NC State perhaps?
  5. Willie Taggart –Played and Head Coached WKU and coached under Jimmy Harbaugh at Stanford before that.  Buzz is up on Taggart for a Big Time School.  If Stoops at Kentucky gets the axe…would Taggart be a hire for the Wildcats?
  6. Les Miles – Don’t laugh.  I know you’re laughing out there.  Do you know how many schools would take a 3 to 5 year flyer on a 62 year old Miles thinking he could possible do a quick turnaround job and fix some things?  Short list – USC, PSU, Boston College, NC State, and maybe South Carolina (after they get rid of Muschamp)

Side NFL NOTE:  The Lions showed up for the 2nd half, but were not aware they had to play an entire 60 minutes of football….

Golf Side Note:  Arnold Palmer, RIP.  TH and I got the chance to see him play down at the Omni Resort in Orlando at the Father-Son Tournament that they host down there in November or December.  I think it was back in 2005 or 2006 when we saw him play.  Class act and will be missed….

LSU Head Coach Watch:  I’ll be posting off and on this week as the Rumor Mill gets cranked up regarding who LSU will offer.  Fans are split on Fisher and Herman, as near as I can tell. 

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