Monday, November 28, 2016

So Close, And Yet So Far......

This is a hard Monday to post.  I haven’t looked forward to a Post-Thanksgiving Monday in a long time, and the most recent one (read: win) I can remember is beginning to fade.  The season is over, with the exception of the Bowl Game (probably the Orange against FSU) and the Defense should be praised for holding the suckeyes to 3 points for nearly the entirety of regulation.   But before I get ahead of myself:

First – It was a great game that lived up to the hype.  That so rarely happens in football that its nice to see when it does happen.  2 OT thriller was great for the neutral fan.  Had to be.  I would have loved watching any other two rivals play in a game like that and watch it go down to the wire.  Only problem was – I had a dog in the race.

Second – Thank you Coach Harbaugh for making this game matter again.  I’m looking forward to the next seasons and better results.  I know I shouldn’t be results oriented and that these are 18-22 year old kids, but we all want to win. 

Yep, It’s hard to post for many reasons, but the primary one is this: This has been a “So Close, and Yet so Far” season for the Wolverines. 

  1.  In the games that have actually been close and competitive, Michigan has two road losses by a combined 4 points. 
  2. Michigan’s performance in the 4th quarter on the road is abysmal, and needs a lot of thought and deep reflection during the off season by Coach Harbaugh.  He needs to learn how to put teams away. 
  3. And Michigan, while many believe is still one of the best 4 teams in the country, is effectively out of the CFP.
  4. And they’ve lost to the suckeyes – again.
  5. And somehow, two teams Michigan BEAT decisively (PSU and Wiscy) are playing for the B1G Championship.  That is the one I’m struggling with the most.  That fact alone has me scratching my head wondering what’s wrong with the B1G and CFP in general. 

I know, there’s a mathematical way and if all the stars align correctly and everyone that needs to crap the bed craps the bed that there’s still some weird scenario where Michigan gets into the CFP.  To that I have this comment:  Right...

I’ll get the lousy officiating in a minute, but that’s NOT why Michigan lost the game.  Costly interceptions, a goal line fumble, and squandered opportunities always – ALWAYS – come back to haunt you.  I’m not saying you can’t make mistakes.  But when an opportunity presents itself, not capitalizing is, in many ways and in my mind, worse than the mistake you could make going after the opportunity.

I could go into some long “bitter” rant about how poor the officiating was.  I believe if you were neutral, there’s no way not to agree that the officiating was atrocious.  And it would be nice to see that get corrected, somehow.  The most controversial calls:

  1. The pass interference that was called on Delano Hill that WASN’T PI.  The ball was uncatchable.
  2. The Pass Interference that WASN’T called on the suckeyes when Speight threw to Grant Perry in OT and Perry had no chance to make a catch as he was practically tackled before the ball got there…
  3. And finally, the first down that wasn’t.  I guess it was as the officials on the field saw it one way and the replay guys couldn’t reverse it based on what they were looking at.
  4. Calling an unsportsmanlike on a coach for yelling at the officials is bad form, officiating people.  Get over yourselves.  You’re not more important than the game. 

Any or all of those go a different way, and you have a different outcome of that football game. 

And here’s a little thing that I’m not sure how the B1G let happen:  The head referee was previously dismissed from B1G officiating for screwing up and was allowed back into the ranks.  And he was also from ohio.  Not to mention he was a self-proclaimed osu fan.  Can someone explain that to me? 

Does that warrant the tirade that Harbaugh went on in his post-game presser?  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times:  When Michigan got Jimmy to come back, I posted “He’s an asshole, but he’s OUR KIND OF Asshole.”  You get everything with Jimmy, like it or not. 

When the sting of this subsides, I’ll attempt to post and regale the team’s accomplishments and the Defense’s excellence on the season.   It’s a shame this team can’t play for more, as they are more than worthy and deserve the shot. 

The Rest of the Mess

This has to be the WORST SEASON in the SEC EVER with the exception of Bama.  Why?  I’ll tell you why:

Arkansas @ Mizzou:   Mizzou was a 3 win team going into the final game – and they were awful.  Yet, somehow, this 3 win team finds a way to beat BB’s Hogs and keep Arkansas out of a New Year’s day game…

Georgia Tech @ Georgia:  GT has been a disappointing team this season and had clinched a bowl berth last week with 6 wins.  Georgia was at home and needed a victory to play on New Year’s day as well.  Yet somehow, Kirby Smart LOST this season finale at home…

Miss State @ Ole Miss:  Ole Miss was a team that earlier in the season somehow had Bama down 3 scores and it was looking like an upset in the making. Since that day, Ole Miss has stunk the place up and has multiple NCAA sanctions coming.  Miss State OWNED ole Miss on Saturday.  Hugh Freeze will be looking for a job soon! 

Tennessee @ Vandy:  Mason has been hurting at Vandy ever since taking over for James Franklin, but he found a way to take another 3 win team and beat the Cremesicles, the SAME CREMESICLES that were supposed to win the SEC East and vie for a National Title.

South Carolina @ Clemson:  I thought the Game Cocks were playing better football.  I was wrong.  Really Wrong.  Clemson destroyed the Cocks and have more or less put an exclamation mark on how bad the SEC East is. 

Florida @ FSU:  Ditto Florida.  Won the SEC East which is like winning 2nd place in a beauty contest with 2 participants.  FSU DESTROYED Gatorland.  I’m not even sure a team of All Stars from the East could compete against Bama, much less the Gators on Saturday. 

Wiscy vs. Gophers:  Talk about your so close and yet so far games!!  Gophers couldn’t close the deal, however, and Wiscy quietly escapes to play for the B1G Title in Indy on Saturday. 

LSU @ Texas A&M:  Another disaster of a finish for Sumlin.  A&M wasn’t even competitive on the field at the end, and looked as if they were mailing it in….Speaking of which:

PSU vs. MSU:  Final sparty record:  3-9.   In what should have been a somewhat competitive game, sparty went all SOS and proved once again why they are and will for the future tenure of Antoninus’ regime be stuck in 4th to 5th place in the B1G East.   I foresee the day when Durk’s Terps challenge for the perennial 4th place spot (Michigan, osu, PSU 1-2-3) and sparty will be looking for a new head coach. 

Eye-wa vs. Cornsuckers:  Smiling Mike Riley isn’t smiling today as he explains his team’s ineptitude against the Hawkeyes.  Granted, the game was at Kinnick, but the Conrnsuckers just plain didn’t show up. 

Trojans vs. domers:  Final domer record:  4-7 Amidst a growing cacophony of “rumors” that B. Kelly was out looking for a job, there was even louder tweets and press releases coming from Kelly’s camp that he’s in love with domerland and never leaving!!  Of course, all that went south when someone was able to determine

TCU vs. Texas:  NOW IT’S OFFICIAL:  Charlie Strong GONE!!!

The 5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief

  1. Denial and Isolation –Any team that’s going to lose their head coach this season to a better opportunity that’s out there waiting.  Western Michigan, Houston, etc.  All those fans will operate under the belief that the coach doesn’t matter that much now that the program is “established”.  It matters  A LOT…   
  2. ANGER –Domers They’ve owned this spot all season and they’ve gotten louder with the rumors flying that Kelly is dis-loyal for looking elsewhere.  There’s a bunch that are even jubilant that he might actually find a sucker that want to take him for close to what he’s making in Domerland now. 
  3. Bargaining –LSU Tigers.  Got Ogeron after firing Les after the 4th game, which, if I’m Aleva (the LSU AD), I’m wondering why I fired Les at all assuming I was hiring Ogeron?  The rumor is that the price tag on both Herman and Fisher was too steep and Aleva figures he can wait another couple of seasons and ride the “coaching carousel” out with Coach O and a better offensive coordinator.
  4. Depression –Michigan Fans  I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m depressed.  Should have won that game.  This rivalry has been too one sided and it’s time to flip the script. 
  5.  Acceptance – Is it Basketball season yet???


Idle Thoughts from Saturday

-Game Day at 7:00 AM. 

-Granted, they’ll probably just end up repeating everything at the end…

-It’s finally here!

-364 days of waiting to right the wrongs of the past…

-I believe this is the season!

-Cautiously optimistic!

-Somehow, what you believe and what actually happens is never the same thing.

-Speight – looks good!

-Speight – What are you doing???

-God…Don’t lose like this.

-10-7 at halftime. 

-This game is winnable.

-Just stop making mistakes!

-Okay – good score!!!

-Awesome!!!  Another score of separation in the 4th should seal it.

-What are we doing?

-Why conservative?


-This is painful.  Squandering a lead like this sucks. 

-This officiating is horrendous….

-What are we doing?

-Can the osu kicker miss one more?  Please?

-Nope.  OT. 

-Are you kidding me???  A flag THERE?????

-After everything else we’ve seen?

-Fine – 2 OT’s is better than 1. 

-Where’s the flag!!!!

-OMG….this is too much

-We stopped him!!!  No way is that a 1st down!!!

-Biggest replay review of the season.

-I hope they get it right.

-You’ve got to be kidding me. 

-Why have replay?

-This is nuts….

-And it’s over.

-How can we dominate a team and lose?

-4th quarter problems need addressing, Jim.

-You had this one and let it get away.

-Till next season, I guess…

-I hate losing to these guys.  I really do.

-For the neutral people, yes, it was a great game.

-For the losing fans, this pain will linger.


13 Weeks into the season and the field is just about final.    

Top 4 teams in the Country and the first two out:

  1.  Bama
  2. Suckeyes
  3. Clemson
  4. Wiscy
  5. Michigan
  6. Washington

If the committee is truly trying to pit the best 4 teams against each other, it would recognize that Wiscy lost to both Michigan and OSU.  PSU at least beat osu but was destroyed by Michigan.  If the Buffalos can somehow pull off the Pac 12 upset, that would help Michigan’s case.  So, for the Championship Rooting Guide:

B1G Championship:

Wiscy vs. PSU   As a Michigan fan, you’re rooting for the Nittany Lions.  If they win a miserable squeaker of a game (9-6, for example), the committee could argue that Michigan’s destruction of PSU is significant and that the game really didn’t prove anything regarding who the better team was Saturday.

Pac 12 Championship:

Colorado vs. Washington.  You want to root for the Buffalos here.  They many not get into the CFP with a win, and Michigan’s victory over them looks that much better.

ACC Championship:

Clemson vs. Va Tech.  Root for Va Tech and hope for the upset.  Another Clemson loss and the near loss to NC State should be enough to keep them out of the CFP

SEC Championship:

Bama vs. Florida    Root for Florida.  It’ll be a complete waste of time, but root for them anyway. 

The Hot Seat

Week #13’s Hot Seat Mascot.  Heading into the play-offs with a Hot Blonde seems like a good way to finish, donchathink???  This week’s Hot Seat Mascot:  Jade Bryce!!!! 




We’ll keep track of who’s gone as the season progresses….

  1. Miles and Cameron – LSU Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. 
  2. VanGorder – Domer D-Coordinator. 
  3. Ron Turner – FIU. 
  4. Hazell PURDUE!
  5. Tim DeRuyter – Fresno State. 
  6. Charlie STRONG- Texas.  So now that’s official and Texas wasted not time hiring Herman!
    Electric Chair of Death Seat!

  1. Kelly and $warbuck$ - I know this one is getting old, but I’m still not going to rule out that Kelly could be gone in addition to $warbuck$.  It’ll be a mid December decision that will either get one or both of these guys. Another scenario - $warbuck$ resigns his position and Kelly will be doomed.  Which is maybe why he has his agents exploring his options?

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

  1.  Rich Rod – Arizona.  The Top 5 on the Hot Seat are kind of all tied for 1st in my mind right now.  Therefore:
    1. Todd Graham – this love affair is over!!!
    2. Helfrich – Oregon.  With Kelly at San Fran sitting a 1-10 and not long for the NFL world, is Chip eyeing his old office?
    3. Butch Jones – Cremesicles.  A train wreck at the end of the season.  Butch has worn out his welcome and Vols are tired.   
    4. Grobe – Baylor.  He’s gone.  But who can Baylor possibly hope to get with the shit show that’s going on down there?
  2. Kirby Smart – Georgia a mess….and losing to GT doesn’t help.
  3. ANTONIO, MARK – They won’t fire him but next season is a massive re-building year.  Is he up to it? 
  4. Sumlin  Texas A&M.  Gotta have him on the list again…
  5. Muschamp – still here just because it would be THS without Will! 
  6. Mike Riley – Still not Husker Football in Lincoln.  This experiment close to over.
  7. Malzhan – Auburn wasn’t even competitive in the Iron Bowl. 

Short List of Available or Desirable Head Coaches

  1. Jimbo Fisher –SEC or Texas Job?  ….
  2. Kiffin – Somebody will hire him.  Might as well go for broke…
  3. PJ FleckRowing the Boat….for Purdue?
  4. Willie Taggart  - Oregon????
  5. Les Miles AVAILABLE FOR HIRE – Spent the Weekend in Michigan!!!
  6. Mike Leach – The Pac 12 is taking notice!!!
  7. Dan Holgersen – IS he available?
    And HIRED!!

  1.  LSU – Ogeron!  Aleva figures as long as he’s paying Miles, he can’t afford another $5M Coach.  He’ll stumble along with Coach O, but if Coach O falters in 2 seasons, he’ll be out of a job!
  2. Texas – HERMANN!  Did anyone not see this one coming?  Than you haven’t been reading the MMQ!

Side NFL NOTE:  The Lions are rolling along and are above 50% to make the play-offs!  When was the last time we said THAT around here?


Msuperfan said...

The suckeyes DO NOT deserve to be "In". This will be especially true if PSU wins the BIG Championship. How, HOW can the team that lost to the BIG Champs get in and not the BIG Champs? If PSU wins and they get in, along with the suckeyes, then how, HOW is Michigan not allowed in? Deserving or not based on talent, the committee needs to send a message that not even getting to the conference championship game will cost you. If the PSU win over the suckeyes had happened in early October or earlier, I would be inclined to dismiss it; but it just happened! And what have the suckeyes done since? Nearly lost to the slime! At best that should be considered an OT situation due to the 2-point foolishness. If emphasis is to be placed on late season performance, then the final 4 should be Bama, USC, Clemson, and PSU. Or, just avoid all of this debate and promote the conference champs. Let the suckeyes play USC in the Rose Bowl, Wiscy can play the PAC runner-up, and we can play OU or FSU in the Orange or Fiesta. Clearly, the current system is flawed. We should just go back to the old days of New Years eve and Day Bowls. After the Bowls, a committee picks the top 4 based on who is best at that time and there will be three more games. If you do not win your Bowl game, you are OUT! Thus the Bowls are, effectively, the first round of the playoffs. This will provide a nice inter-conference evaluation at the end of the season. Who knows, maybe the PAC12 is better than the BIG? Not likely, but I would bet on USC against the suckeyes, and I would not look forward to playing them in the Rose Bowl, would you?

MMQ said...

Completely agree. Conference Championships are a curse. In the case of Clemson and Washington, they'd be better off staying home and calling in sick. They can only drop.