Thursday, November 29, 2007

Les Miles Michigan Interview

Les Miles will interview with Michigan athletic director on Sunday. It could go something like this:

Monday, November 26, 2007

What is Old?

I don't buy at face value the Iowa AD comments. There have been many rumors today that no offer has been made. I agree, and have agreed, that no such offer has been made. However, I don't buy that he has not been contacted.

DeBord has been contacted. By now English has been contacted. It sure looks like LSU AD was contacted last week -- leading to the comment about ok to coach LSU for MNC game.

The Iowa AD said that he had not been contacted in an article published in an Iowa paper on 11/19. That's old news. The quotes from Mlive and the Demoines paper today don't state explicitly when the Barta quote was given. Are the Mlive and Demoines quotes merely a rehash of something last week?

In fact, the Iowa paper which deflects contact attributes only ONE quote from Barta today:

Any discussions I've had with or about Kirk have been focused on
improving the Hawks in 2008,? Barta responded today.

Well. Okay. But what about your contact with the Michigan athletic department? And the Mlive blurb says nada, with no dates.

Mgoblog is sticking by its sources. The poster on RCMB (dantonizzo) sounds legit regarding multiple sources. So, my bet, there have been informal coummunications and a statement from Michigan AD to Iowa AD regarding contact. The Iowa AD denial is probably old. It may also be based on semantics regarding a "request for permission" as opposed to a call indicating that reps of Michigan would be contacting Ferentz.

I bet we've contacted LSU and Iowa by now. No offers. And, Les is choice 1A or 1B depending on whether you're talking to Bill Martin, Lloyd Carr or Mary Sue Coleman. Choices 1C and D: Gruden and Chuck Martin or maybe, just maybe (--calling out Brian now -- ) Tedford? Cuz, dude, if we're up to paying the cash for Ferentz or Miles, we're also up to paying the cash for Tedford or Gruden.

And. . . . .

Is this a fake. John Miller is a radio host.

Quick question for you, as I want to establish your timeline

Is this the post that you believe 'started it all'?

Trust me, if someone pulls of a hoax of this magnitude, I would stand and laugh and laugh at myself, too. I just want to make sure I am following you here.
That would be the one. Here is how it went down:

3:00 pm 11/24 - I was reading and saw that some guy was on Fox Sports Radio saying that Ferentz was the #1 canidate on the list.

4:53 pm 11/24 - I decide, after reading the Michigan rivals board that it would be hilarious to make up an obviously fake rumor just to see thier reaction. I even go so far to show it is fake by listing Ron Christensen as the "rock solid" source.

I follow this up by posting that thread you show above here at letting everyone here in on the joke.

11:47 pm 11/24 - After seeing the melt down in the first thread, I decide to push the stupidity even further. I post the following thread:

This, along with the "Ferentz seen spotted boarding UM private plane in Chicago" really start to cause a riot on the Michigan board and soon after

From there it just took on a life of it's own. Sunday morning comes and we all see that some idiot blogger has the balls to not only post a blatantly false rumor disguised as a real scoop, he actually references the original posts as back up to his source.

The rest of the day on Sunday (11/25) we just would post things like "Ferentz seen at local deli in Ann Arbor" and "Ferentz wife puts in an offer on a house". HIG / Doug Lambert had a big part in these.

Then around 4:00 pm, the Michigan board posts everything up as front page news. I then make a post in thier premium area telling them the whole thing was a joke and they ban me and delete the thread.

Next thing I know, Jon Miller is on the air and WHO is reporting on the whole debacle.

Hope this helps.
Personally, I don't believe this is a hoax. Where does the info from RCMB come from? No, this is very likely mutual interest by both parties. I still don't buy a firm offer has been made. But, it sure looks like it may have.

Did Ferentz Accept?

Holy bujeezuz! There appears to more than mere internet rumor behind the Ferentz thing. And, he may have accepted an offer. From the guy mgoblog claims an iowa newspaper editor from RCMB:

I had two independent sources call me tonight and tell me they had heard Ferentz has indeed accepted the job.

We'll see what happens tomorrow.

I'm passing along the information I received from:

A) A well-respected media source in Michigan.
B) A well-respected college coach in Michigan.
C) A well-respected media source in Iowa.

Sorry if the evidence isn't concrete enough for you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Top 10 (Ferentz, Kelly and Martin edition)

It is paramount to continue the Michigan tradition, as instilled by Bo Schembechler, his predecessors and successors, to win with integrity. Lloyd Carr. November 19, 2007. With that in mind, consider the following prospects:

It is paramount to continue the Michigan tradition, as instilled by Bo Schembechler, his predecessors and successors, to win with integrity. Lloyd Carr. November 19, 2007. With that in mind, consider the following prospects:

1. Les Miles.
2. Greg Schiano.
3. Paul Johnson.
4. Jeff Tedford.
5. Rich Rodriguez.
6. Jon Gruden
7, Brian Kelley
8. Chuck Martin
9. Kirk Ferentz
10. Ron English

Brian at Mgoblog says the job has already been offered to Ferentz. I doubt it. I am sure that Iowa's A.D. has been contacted. When DeBord got a call, that is enough to tell you and me that the calls were out. That call led to the LSU a.d. making this comment.

You've heard about Les Miles, and I won't belabor that point. I've been pimping Gruden here for some time, and you can see what I have to say about him by the links. I'll outline the remainder of the guys here.

I'm going to start with Ferentz, Kelley and Martin because Ferentz and Kelley are the hot topics right now (excluding Les Miles, of course). Why Martin, well read below.

Kirk Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz is 52 years old. He was born in Royal Oak. Of all of the candidate for the job, he is clearly the most similar to Lloyd Carr. Ferentz was an English Literature teacher at the Worcester Academy. He is very involved in community efforts, and has contributed 400k to the Iowa childrens' hospital. Of all the mentioned candidates for the job, he is clearly the most like Lloyd Carr. His players graduate. According to his Hawkeye bio:

And while Ferentz has guided the Iowa program to great success on the field, the Hawkeyes have also made their mark in the classroom. In 2005, Iowa tied Southern Cal and Virginia Tech with the best football student-athlete graduation rate (58%) among all Division I teams earning a bowl invitation. Among the teams which participated in bowl games following the 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons, only Iowa and Southern Cal ranked in the top five in graduation rates in each of the three seasons. Among the 64 schools who participated in bowl games following the 2006 season, Iowa's graduation rate (72%) ranked ninth best.

Don't let it be lost that Bill Martin has said he wants another Lloyd Carr. This is unlikely merely lip service. Kirk Ferentz is the most similar to Lloyd Carr of any candidate, and he Mary Sue Coleman hired him at Iowa.

If you don't believe Ferentz is a real candidate it is probably because you think he isn't a good coach and has had a let down the past few years, or that Michigan won't pay him enough to hire him. If you think so, you are mistaken. Ferentz is, despite popular opinion on message boards, an excellent coach.

Kirk Ferentz is a highly sought after candidate every year. NFL teams interview him. College teams want to interview him. He has been very tied to Iowa, and has always dispelled interest in other jobs, including the Steelers job. Ferentz has coached a plethora of all americans. His assitants and players have become highly attractive coaches (Brett Bielema for instance). The widespread longstanding interest in Ferentz is certainly not an accident.

FWIW, Ferentz has made comments about coaching positions in the past, uniformly indicating no interest. For instance, according to wikipedia:

Ferentz was asked about his possible interest in the position, and stated: “I know that staff pretty well and they’ve got some good guys in that building. My guess is that’s where they would go. But I’m not interested, and I doubt they are, either. I’ve got a great job right here.”

Regarding the Michigan job, he has made no comment. Instead, the Iowa A.D. simply remarking that Ferentz will have no comment. That alone should tell us that he has been contacted, and will at least consider, if not jump at, an opportunity to coach Michigan.

As far as money, this is the face of Michigan and Michigan football. We are building a two hundred million dollar stadium addition. I suggest that money will not be an obstacle.

But, the biggest question regarding Ferentz: why would he take the Michigan job?

For a few reasons. Ferentz would like a real shot at winning. Michigan would give him that shot. As of now, Ferentz is much like Beilein. A damn good coach, with terrific character at a school which is not cut out to win a national championship. He would no doubt like to win. He will not win at Iowa. It is simply too difficult to recruit to quality talent to that school. At Michigan, well, you know Michigan can recruit top level talent every year, even amidst all the rumors in the last couple of years that our coach was sick and/or retiring. Ferentz would be able to recruit at Michigan.

Ferentz knows Michigan. He was born in Royal Oak. His daughters have attended the University of Michigan. There is mutual respect among Lloyd, Bo and Ferentz unlike other Big 10 coaches.

In addition to a good track record and unimpeachable character, Ferentz would continue the pro-style offense. While it is speculation on my part, I suspect that the this is an intangible factor that will be taken into consideration by Michigan. We have recruited and graduated very talented quarterbacks and receivers, and that prospect will continue absent a major offensive philosophy change. And one factor, which will not be lost on the players and coaches on this search committee, his teams play TOUGH, hard hitting football and generally tackle well.

The biggest obstacle with Ferentz, assuming he were interested: age. Martin wants a guy who will coach for at least 10 years. Ferentz is 52 years old. Two years younger than Les Miles. So, if we're looking for someone who is older than 50, he certainly has a good shot.

Sideline Rover Says:

Lloyd has never worn a winter jacket on the sideline. Does anyone remember the Gary Moeller collection poofball winter coats. He looked like frickin’ Wayne Fontes when it was cold out. Unacceptable. The biggest character indicator is the coach wearing a sweatshirt in November or a winter coat. Ferentz passes this test from this November 17, 2007 Iowa v. WMU game (which Iowa lost 28-19, btw):

Iowa does not suffer from a poorly managed clock. Which is more than can be said for Les Miles or Gary Moeller.

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly wiki entry. He is 46 years old. His bio is here. He coached Central to one game better than .500 (19-18) from to after Mike DeBord quit that job. Before CMU, Kelley coached GVSU to an outstanding 118-35-2 in 13 seasons. GVSU won 2 national championships during his tenure in 2002 and 2003. He is a hot commodity.

Kelley’s character may be questionable. He left CMU under less than stellar circumstances. His players were mired in a murder scandle in which he purportedly told some of them not to cooperate with the police investigation.

Graham, of Mount Pleasant, was beaten unconscious outside Shaboom's Pub during a fight on June 25, 2004. He died 19 days later at St. Mary's Hospital in Saginaw.

The charges were contained in an indictment issued by Isabella County Chief Judge Paul Chamberlain, who has acted as a one-man grand jury since September 2004. Prosecutor Larry Burdick requested the grand jury after investigators said witnesses interviewed about Graham's death were not cooperating or were lying.

Defensive tackle James Edward Cooper Jr., 22, a fifth-year senior from Detroit, was charged Tuesday with two counts of perjury, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of being an accessory after the fact. Cora Lee Hawkins, 20, a sophomore from Detroit, was charged with one count of perjury.

Seymour, a Mid-American Conference first-team running back last season, was suspended from the team by Chippewas coach Brian Kelly on April 1. Kelly also suspended Lewis and Cooper indefinitely after they were indicted Tuesday.

He also has made what some call racially insensitive remarks during the investigation:

"Based on the information we had at the time and from talking with the attorneys, we thought Jerry had a chance to rejoin the team," Kelly said.

"My first reaction when this all happened was to assist in any way possible with the request from Mt. Pleasant police. I didn't know all of our guys, obviously, because I had only about three weeks with them at that point relative to spring practice, and then they were dismissed because school was over.

"Once we met that minimum criteria of assisting the police, Herb and I got together and said, 'Look, we need to reach out quickly here to find out who was where.' We had a team meeting, and we laid down the ground rules for what the expectations were for our players, post incident. We told them there was a difference between being truthful and forthright.

"Our players were truthful. They may not have been forthright in the early beginnings, answering questions truthfully, but not answering questions that weren't asked. They weren't volunteering information needed in the investigation.

"Ninety-eight percent of our players weren't there, but you're dealing with 105 players, and this is an opportunity to educate about what happened."

Kelly said the players' socio-economic background might have influenced how they reacted the night of the beating.

"For example, a number of them were African Americans that had been in that culture of violence, and they're taught to look away," Kelly said. "You don't want anything to do with it. Get out of there. You don't say anything to anybody.

"That is a culture that they are immersed in. When they come here their first reaction is to react the way they've been taught to react in their culture and in their environment. That's difficult. In no way am I excusing that behavior. They have to be accountable, and I've clearly said that.

"It's a tough situation to put a young man in because he doesn't know the difference between blind faith and ... Doing the right thing to them is saying I didn't see him or I didn't see that.

"That's really where this case got tangled. You had some young men that didn't think they saw some things or didn't think that was what they should be doing because that's how they were brought up. Don't squeal. They were challenged in their own being as to what the right thing was."

Remember Martin’s quote about paying attention to how coaches conduct themselves, about what they say, and whether comments may reflect poorly on the school. Kelley may not to live up to these standards.

Brian at Mgoblog claims that Lloyd Carr has contacted GVSU doing background on Kelley. While that's possible, it seems unlikely that Lloyd himself would be doing the contacting. This is unlikely for at least a couple of reasons. First, why would Lloyd be doing the contacting? Second, if Lloyd has this large a role, I find it very questionable that he would have any favor for Brian Kelley from what I have read about Kelley. And, there's enough out there from CMU and Cincinnati to know what Kelley's all about.

If Kelley is on Martin's list, Martin may be a genius. Kelley the politician, the guy who followed Mike DeBord, the guy who walked out of CMU without notice, is not likely a Carr favorite. But, if in doing the background, Lloyd could be satisfied, then the door opens to Kelley.But, I am not convinced that Kelley is on the short list.

Sideline Rover Says:

Kelly runs a dynamic offensive scheme, and doesn’t appear to suffer from clock management brain lock. More importantly, in a true judge of his character this is a photo of Kelley in after winning the 2002 championship:

According to Wunderground, it was 40 degrees that Saturday. It's not a sweatshirt, but I'll give him a pass, especially compared to that old timer next to him. The thumb, mmm. Not sure.

Chuck Martin.

Chuck Martin is 38 years old. Martin has coached GVSU since 2003, taking over after Brian Kelley left. To quote that bio:

All Martin has done his first three years is lead the Lakers to two NCAA DII Football National Championships, 38 total wins and the nation's longest active winning streak at 28 games. He has been named the American Football Coaches Association DII Coach of the Year each of the past two years.

The bio for Martin at GVSU emphasizes that he and his team take active roles in the community. Martin is a graduate of Millikn University in Decatur, Illinois. Brent Musburger would be happy if Martin became coach as Milliken University is known as the Big Blue. Like Michigan, the Big Blue does not have a mascot, though you can vote for one here. Like Michigan, Millikin University sports the block M. Now, that's ironic.

And, Brian at Mgoblog claims that Lloyd Carr has contacted GVSU doing background on Brian Kelley -- not something I am willing to accept as fact. But, if it is true, I suggest that the reason is not to do background on Brian Kelley. Instead, it’s more likely that a representative of Michigan has contacted GVSU, like they have with Iowa, LSU, and others, to speak with Martin.

Chuck Martin is much closer to the mold of Lloyd Carr or Kirk Ferentz than Brian Kelley. His players appear at hospitals in GR. He stresses community. In his bio, he sounds a lot like Lloyd Carr. Martin has something going for him that Ferentz does not: age. Martin could coach for 23 years at Michigan before being the same age as Lloyd upon retirement.

And, Bill Martin has experience with GVSU. When Bill hired Borseth as the women’s basketball coach, Martin also hired GVSU’s basketball coach. Borseth told Martin to hire her, if he didn’t hire him.

But, it is certainly possible that UM has contacted GVSU. Chuck Martin is much closer to the mold of Lloyd Carr or Kirk Ferentz than Brian Kelley. His players appear at hospitals in GR. He stresses community.

Chuck Martin's youth may be an advantage in comparison to other candidates. But, Bill Martin didn't led age play a factor in the hire of Beilein and it won't likley be a factor now.

Sideline Rover Says:


And, more vest.

And, holy GVSU, he's already coached at Michigan Stadium, where GVSU pounded Mich Tech.

Rover doesn't know whether the block M, appearance at Michigan Stadium, championships, and his same last name as the AD who would hire him can outweigh the Vest. If he's hired, we have not only the clash of the biggest rivals in sport, but a vest clash. Adidas had better get busy with an M vest, just in case.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Tool on Miles

Somthing, like the ozone layer, or perhaps Charlie Wies, is telling Trev The Tool Alberts that Les Miles won't be the next Michigan Coach. I view this as further confirmation that Les is likely the guy.

Gruden is Not Harbaugh

Does a dui remove a coach from candidacy for the Michigan job? Bill Martin has said:

One of the things Martin will pursue is background checks on candidates. When Michigan was searching for a men's basketball coach last spring, Michigan hired a private firm to dig into coaches' histories.

"You want to see if they've had DUI's, or they're a deadbeat paying their bills or if there's anything that could be a pattern that would embarrass Michigan," Martin said.

Well, in Harbaugh's case, yes. Laughably, Harbaugh has removed himself from contention.

“As far as the opening they have, the Michigan people will do a great job in selecting someone to carry on that tradition,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not going to be me. I am happy where I am.”

According to a Buccaneer message board, Gruden also has a dui, along with several of his players:

This sort of thing seems like a Right of Passage for Tampa Bay Buccaneers Players and Staff. Just a few months ago former Bucs WR David Boston was issued a DUI as well. TE Jerramy Stevens has one under his belt, as does Head Coach Jon Gruden and QB Jeff Garcia. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to make light of this situation, it just seems like an issue, that has occured repeatedly and I'm sorry but its kind of laughable when it happens to players on a team that should know better by now.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see what type of punishment is handed down by the League or Bucs Organization, if any at all.

I'm betting a mistake is a mistake, and won't remove Gruden from consideration at least. At least I'm hoping so.

LSU Fans March in the Streets

Les is on tv this afternoon at 2:30. Les continues to deflect questions about the Michigan job by focusing only on the job before him. The LSU faithful is now marching in the streets to support Les, with Les asking for that support to be shown to the LSU football team.

Miles said he was flattered by the “wonderful” gestures by fans, calling them “very kind,” but he said fans shouldn’t make Friday all about him.

“What I wish that they would do,” Miles said, “is put everything that they need to honor our football team in focus and don’t worry about me. I’m coaching. I’m happy. We’re pointed in the right direction.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Connecting the Dots!

Carr . . . . Martin . . . . . Wangler . . . . . .Miles = Coach

Beginning this summer, Lloyd knew he would retire. His wife knew.

One of the reasons Laurie Carr was able to get through the difficult start was the fact she knew this would be her husband's final season as head coach. She can't pinpoint the day, but there was some moment during the summer when he informed her this season would finally be it.

Lloyd informed Martin after ASseD. Bill has been assembling a list (in his head mind you to avoid the foia inquiries) of coaching candidates since. And, Martin says he is looking for another for Lloyd Carr. Who has these characteristics. Who will respect and carry on the Michigan Tradition of Winning with Integrity? Jon Gruden? Jeff Tedford? Greg Schiano? Kirk Ferentz? Mike Debord? Ron English?

One could assume that the search committee formed will help shape the final list and ultimate criteria. And, who will serve with Martin on the search committee? Tyrone Wheatley? Tom Brady? Lloyd Carr? Desmond Howard? I think you can count on John Wangler. We already know that John Wangler has Bill Martin's ear. The coin toss on November 16 was a coin made by his company. As Wangler said:
The former Wolverines QB said the rivalry was a great one before Schembechler and Hayes walked the sidelines, “but they were the ones who really took it to the next level. They put their stamp on it, and they were the ones who made it special,” he told The Ann Arbor News. .

Bill Martin accepted Wangler's idea:

"I thought it was a great idea,'' said Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin. "It's got a great likeness of Bo on it and of course, I wasn't going to look at the other side.''
So Wangler has the ear of Martin and Les. And, in case you haven't read it yet:
Start with the quote delivered to the Detroit News by John Wangler, former Miles teammate and current Miles friend, the one that read like this: "If the job's open and they offered him the job, I believe he would come up. I don't think there's any ands, ifs or buts about it ... Les loves Michigan. That's always been his dream. He'd come here."

And, while Les has stopped answering his phones, he's still taking calls from old number 5:

“I have great friends in that area code,” Miles said, “and I do not answer (calls from) that area code.”

The exception, he said: longtime friend John Wangler, who was in Miles’ wedding party.

“If he calls me and I don’t return that call, I’m in trouble, but other than that I am a blind eye and a deaf ear, and I’m preparing for Arkansas,”

So, yeah, Miles and Wangler are talking regularly. And Wangler and Martin are talking regularly. And if Johnny isn't on the search committee, it would avoid the appearance that Wangler has had any official capacity in contacting Miles.

While I've pimped Gruden quite a bit, it seems that anyone other than Miles is now a long shot. I cannot see Miles pulling Petrino, a Saban, or a Franscione. Which one of these guys can compete with Miles really depends on whether Martin thinks they have a character better than Miles, and are willing to accept a ginormous buyout clause:

On the type of candidate he is looking for, Martin said: “If someone is looking as a way station to move elsewhere, that’s not our guy. The one way that you can do it with the contract is have a huge buyout clause. If a guy objects to it, that’s going to tell you something about him, isn’t it?”

On the potential of paying a big buyout: “I’ll have to evaluate that. I wouldn’t let that stand in the way. I would negotiate that. That wouldn’t be one of the defining issues. If you have the right individual, that individual is going to come here.”

Link. With Miles we don't need to worry about his leaving. And, I doubt Gruden, even if wanted, would take a ginoriffic buyout clause. So, from where I sit, it's going to be Miles. Which Bertman has now implicitly confimed.

A.D. Bertman is trying to paint a contract renegotiation. He says LSU will do whatever is necessary to keep Les. Even if it means paying a Sabanesque $4 mill. But, he also claims that Miles isn't about the money:

“I don’t think this is a real money issue, No. 1,” Bertman said. “This guy’s more family-oriented and more community-minded and — this is my word — nobler than most of the coaches that I’ve dealt with.

“I think that this guy wants to come to work every day and feel comfortable. I think the people that he wants to come to work every day and feel comfortable with are on his side 100 percent of the time.”

And, while as of the 19th, the A.D. says that he has not been contacted by Michigan, that may not be the case as of today. Lloyd only announced his retirement on the 19th. Bill has assembled his team, and formal may commence literally, any hour following the 19th. DeBord has been contacted by the athletic department, and the contacts have, therefore commenced. The obligatory contacts of DeBord and Ferentz (Iowa AD has already said Ferentz will have no comment) have been made. Assume that the obligatory contact to the LSU AD has now been made as the 20th or 21st, which would coincide with the Bertman statement that LSU wants to renegoiate Les' contract and coach LSU in the MNC if he takes the Michigan job before then.

Meet Coach Miles.

So, in an effort to get to know our new coach better, I present you with this. Did you know Les has driven tons of steel?

Recalling his childhood in Elyria, Ohio, Miles said that during a junior high football game his father would yell out to him the number of the opponent’s best player on kickoffs. “Duke,” he would scream, using Miles’s childhood nickname. “No. 46.”

“It didn’t make a difference what my assignment was,” Miles recalled with a laugh. “I was blocking 46.”

Hope Miles worked at a variety of blue-collar jobs, but his drive led him to eventually become vice president of a steel company. Les Miles remembers his father coming home disappointed when a marketing colleague got a promotion over him.

“These are the days that make a man,” Les Miles recalls his father telling him. “These are the days that things don’t go exactly right, that you look forward to because they mark your life.”

He paused. “I’ve fallen back on those words at times,” he said softly.

After graduating from Michigan, Les Miles worked as an agent for a trucking company. His work ethic helped him rise quickly, and he even learned to drive an 18-wheeler loaded with steel. But the tug of athletic competition pulled at him, and he met with Schembechler three times before convincing him that he would take a job that would cut his pay from $50,000 to $8,200.

Or broken chairs in the lockerroom?

The former Oklahoma State lineman Sam Mayes recalled Miles as a smashmouth coach who fearlessly took on the longtime state power Oklahoma, beating the Sooners twice in four attempts. Mayes recalled a pregame speech in which Miles broke a chair against a wall in the student union to fire up the Cowboys before one of the victories over Oklahoma. “It was one of the most memorable moments of my life,” Mayes said. “It was like someone lit the room on fire.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gruden in the Mix?

AP reports that Gruden and Pettrino are possible candidates. Sure they're both on the list of 20, but are they actually possibilities? In Gruden's case consider the fact that he was identified as an option when Tressel was hired at OSU:

Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden joined Oregon’s Mike Bellotti in dropping out of contention, following in the footsteps of Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, Stanford’s Tyrone Willingham and Pittsburgh’s Walt Harris. Ohio State assistant head coach Fred Pagac and former OSU and NFL linebacker Chris Spielman interviewed for the job, but neither received a call-back.

Does Jeff Backus quotes below sound more like Les Miles or Joh Gruden:

Backus, on his favorite Carr story:"I have a lot of things, but more than anything, just the guy. He’s a stand-up guy through and through. I love the guy. He gave me a chance to have somebody to look up to every day. I was 1,000 miles away from my dad. My parents were in Atlanta, Ga. So he gave me somebody to look up to, to follow, to learn what it takes to succeed in this business and life. That’s one of the greatest things a Michigan player experiences when they’re playing for Lloyd. It’s not just X’s and O’s and football. I mean, he’s teaching you how to live life and live life the right way every day. I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.

Backus, on the next coach: No. 1 thing, integrity. Have strong moral beliefs and stand behind them. Run the program the right way, just like Lloyd and Bo did. Just carry on the tradition. I’m not saying he can’t freshen things up, but the integrity they had, the moral standards that they had, was undeniable. They carried it throughout the way they handled their job and the way they lived their lives. I think that’s so important, because that’s the tradition of Michigan football, and that’s a big part of the tradition there. He might have lost his last game, but you can never take away the type of man he is, and that’s more important than any football game.

Do Wheatley's comments regarding Gruden sound more like Lloyd or Miles:

"I'm not going to have any magic; I'm no guru like the guy with the Lakers," Wheatley said, referring to Phil Jackson. "I don't have any Zen books. But what I do know is coaches."

Wheatley was more than just a player who carried the ball. He was a student -- a student of the game and a student of coaches like Tampa Bay's Jon Gruden.

"I've been watching coaches for 20 years," he said. "I've been watching motivational styles. I kept track of what worked for me and what worked for other players.

"The biggest thing is to get them to believe in themselves."

That was his challenge after taking over a team that never enjoyed a single victory last season.

"You've got to get them to trust you," Wheatley said. "If you have the experience, they will trust that. I speak a bunch of mumbo jumbo and they'll do it if they think it works.

"I tell them we've got to do things right. Gruden used to say: 'Do it my way because it's my way. It's not the right way because it's my way. It's the right way because it's right.' "

Link here. This from my earlier post 10/14.

I'm not saying it's going to be Gruden. I think it'll be Miles. Hell, I think it already is Miles. But, maybe, just maybe Gruden is on the short go to list. And if so, I for one am in favor.

Monday, November 19, 2007

OSU wrap

The Game:

I am disappointed. I had hoped that Chad Henne would be healthy. He was not. While the first pass left me thinking he might be healthy, a bomb down the west sideline, the next floated pass as quickly proved he was not. The Game continued that way. When Chad threw the ball was high. It was also thrown with virtually no velocity. Chad has a great arm, but there was just no "pop" in the passes.

I am also disappointed that Jake, Henne, Hart, and mostly Lloyd couldn't go out with a win. I really wanted Lloyd to go out with a win. Really. Badly. He deserved it.

In the second half, Chad came out. Mallett came in. There was such a difference in the velocity of the passes, it was really amazing. Mallett has a strong arm, but no stronger then Henne when healthy. Of course, the coaching staff doesn't trust Mallett, nor did I, and I cheered with the rest of section 6 when Chad came back onto the field from the tunnel. (Speaking of tunnel did anyone notice the extended video of the lockerroom to tunnel to field before the game -- pretty cool). While I hoped that the cortizone would help, it didn't.

Of course, neither did superimmatureMario. But, despite superMario's failure's it is doubtful it would have made a difference. Henne's subpar health gave us really no chance. Michigan has been woefully bad at sustaining the run this season. With a gimpy Hart, that ineffectiveness was amplified.

The offensive and defensive lines crushed Michigan. I was a little surprised not to see more of Minor and Brown after it was clear that Hart wasn't 100%. But it would not have mattered without a passing attack. Our line simply couldn't effectively run block. Which is something that will certainly change next year once we abandon the zone blocking scheme. So, next year, I look forward to greater confidence in the run game, particularly short yardage running.

Said and done, the story of the game was told by the offensive and defensive lines. We were pounded. Our sole chance of success in light of that pounding was our passing and outside skill players. Chad wasn't up to the challenge, as you saw.

The Good

I give Ron and the D credit. While tofu blew up out defensive line on numerous occasion, we actually held tofu to a respectable yardage and point total. Some of that was due to conservative playcalling (2 passes) some due to the rain, and some due to the D. The only big play of the day was Wells run. A run that could have been stopped without a missed tackle (subject to my review of the replay, it looked like the backer should have had him, or at least slowed him down enough to allow help). So, Ron, I again spare you the spankboard. I also must mention the Englemon interception, which was a nice play and should have set up a score.

Zoltan the Inconceivable. I am buying a shirt for next season.

The Crowd. I stood (with the rest of my section) the ENTIRE game. While we stand a lot in section 6, it is typically only OSU for which we stand the entire game, and stand and clap and yell we did. Even the 3rd and 4th quarters, which all things considered for this game, was pretty damn good.

The Bad

Line play. Mike Hart. Mario Manningham. Carson Butler penalties. The weather. Uggh.

The Ugly.

Ghoston is ugly good. How did we let him get to Colombus. Not good. Oh yeah, and the twelve Buckeyes in the three rows either side of me, really ugly. One dude, who called Zoltan the Inconceivable a "European Gypsy" on 13 separate occasions during the game. Zoltan proceeded to kick a 70 yard punt inside the Buckeye 10 yard line. This guy was wearing 70's style white rimmed glasses with red tinted lenses -- LLLOOOOOOOSSSAAAHHHHH!!!


The coaching staff does not trust Ryan Mallett. He got his head chewed off after the only series he played. By looking at Henne, you know that if they had any faith in Mallett, he would have played. They don't. He didn't. While I hope he can get his head out of his ass because it appears he has all the physical tools to become an exceptional quarterback, I doubt his mental and emotional ability match his physical skills. Steven Threet may be competition next year, which would truly be a shock considering the fanfare with which Mallett entered.

There is a realistic chance that tofu will be in the MNC. They are not that good. They are a shadow of an Oregon team with Dennis Dixon. That said, I would like to see our future coach kick some Buckeye ass in the MNC. Would be nice, wouldn't it.

If Penn State gets taken ahead of us after losing to us and to little brother, there is something seriously wrong. I will boycott the Outback Steakhouse or Capital One if that happens. In the case of Outback, I would actually be kind of bummed because their sirloin, filet, and tuna appetizer are all very good. As for Capital One, not so muc . . . . Wait! I mean I control millions of billions of dollars, capital one. Yeah, and sure, they happen to all be stuck with a foreign bank in Nigeria, but I have a way to get that out if you can just send me a check. Not that San Antonio is all bad -- they really cook some fabulous food down there. And, hey, the odds in are in our favor this time if we need our tight end to do anything other than run out of bounds on the last play of the game. On second thought, our tight end is Caron Butler.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bye Guys. Beat OSU v7


I am heading to the game this afternoon, and this will be my last post til post game. The season comes down to this game. A victory will mean another successful season and a Rose Bowl bid. A loss, well, I'm not going to talk about it. After 3 seasons having lost to the Tofu, the seniors need to pull this one out for themselves, for Lloyd, and for Michigan.
Prediction: Mike Hart and Chad Henne play all four quarters. Carlos and Brandon Minor both get some time, but Hart rushes for 150-160 yards on 25 carries. Chad for 300 yards on 25 completions. Michigan scores 3 touchdowns and 2 field goals for 27 points.
This is scary b/c to only score 27 means that our D must play well. Play well they do. Beanie Wells runs for 80 yards in the first half and is shut down the remainder of the game from his injury (come on, it's time our opponent suffered from some injuries). In an inspired outing the D line sacks Boekman 7 times, and gives 190 passing yards. Tofu scores 2 first half touchdowns on the ground, but manages only 2 more field goals the remainder of the game. Boekman and the bucks have the ball with 5 minutes left on their own 30 to try to make it a 3 point game. Boekman is drowned out by the crowd and forced to call his last timeout on 3rd and 10 with 2:30 left. Sack. On 4th and 17 incompete across the middle.
M wins one for Lloyd and sends him out with a 27-17 victory and Rose Bowl berth, where Michigan meets Arizona State.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Diag rally. This ain't no shanty.

If you are in Ann Arbor Friday night for the game, you should really be at the diag. I will be. Beat OSU rally. Hart, Henne, Long et al. Go Blue.

Harnessing the passion of the greatest rivalry in all of college sports, student leaders at the University of Michigan have come together to coordinate the Go Blue, Beat OSU Week which concludes with a campus wide pep rally on the Diag on Friday Nov. 16. The event is scheduled to start at 6:30pm and features the team Captains Michael Hart, Jake Long and the voice of Michigan Football Jim Brandstatter.The first 1,000 students will receive a free maize 'Go
Blue, Beat OSU' t-shirt as well as a chance to win prizes. Come out and support the Michigan Football team as they compete for the Big Ten Championship on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007



Spielman. Buckstache

Say more? Mmmm, no.


Take that, Herbstreit

1991. Michigan loses to the domers third game of the year and wins every game coming into Ohio State. In Ann Arbor, Michigan crushes tofu and Kirk Herbstreit 31-3.

Poor Kirk, he had long forgotten the game and couldn't get the hotty buckeye babes out of his head. Thanks, Mzone for this priceless piece. If you look closely, you'll see at least three buckstaches on those girls.


In 2004 Michigan enters the Tofu game 9-1, and having already earned a Rose Bowl bid. Upon arriving at Huntington Bank Stadium, and departing the team bus, Michigan is met by bomb and drug sniffing dogs courtesy of Jim Tressel. The buckfucks initially claim that all teams are sniffed as required by Homeland Security. This claim is refuted, and other coaches interviewed deny their teams were sniffed. A security guard tells Lloyd Carr that the search is ordered by the tofu athletic department:

Carr said an Ohio State police officer told him the athletic department was behind the sniffing.

"He said, 'Coach, I want you to know that we were only following orders and they were not the orders given us by our superiors.' I said, 'Well, who decided it then?' He said, 'The athletic department,'" Carr said.

Miles Ahead

Les Miles was interviewed by Tirico yesterday. As you know, Tirico is an Ann Arbor resident, and relatively close to goings on in Ann Arbor. It's no surprise that he would do an interview, in which he professes his love for the University of Michigan, calls Lloyd a GREAT coach, and says he is doing exactly what Bo would do, on that radio show the same week that information regarding Lloyd's retirement is "leaked". (I doubt sincerely this "leak" was by accident. Lloyd has likley known for some time this would be his last season. He likely promised Hart, Henne and Jake that he's stick around through their last year, and he's made good on that promise.)

The full article citing the Tirico interview is by a writer from Louisiana. Here is the interesting part of that article:

Miles, speaking on ESPN’s Mike Tirico radio show
Tuesday, also did his best
Trindon Holliday end run around the issue.
“Well,” he said, “I’ve got to
be real honest with you. I’m doing what Bo
(Schembechler, the late Michigan
coach) would do. He says, ‘Hey, you worry
about the job you’ve got. Don’t
worry about anything else. Coach the guys
and the team that you are
responsible for.’

That’s sensible, except when you think that’s what Miles was doing
right up
to the end of the 2004 Alamo Bowl before he left Oklahoma State for
LSU. “I’m not paying attention to what-ifs,” Miles said, before letting
and blue color his words. “Coach Carr’s a great coach, and he should
stay as
long as he’s able, and I’ll root for that team, not only this
Saturday, but
every Saturday that I’m alive. I give little or no thought to
any other

Now, I believe, unlike those in denial, that the decisions to offer by Michigan and to accept by Miles have already been made. (Please recall the manner in which Martin "interviewed" and hired Beilien). The comments by Miles are anything but a denial, as they have been all season.

To me, the interesting slip is that Miles said "able". Unlike Martin, who says that Lloyd can coach for as long as he wants. This would seem to confirm the idea that Lloyd does have some illness -- which many have thought for some time.

Despite whatever recruiting rifts may have developed between Michigan and LSU/Miles about Jai Eugene or negative recruiting, I cannot imagine that Lloyd would hold such a grudge against Miles as to not look beyond that to see that Miles, even moreso than Bo is a Michigan Man able to carry forward and communicate to recruits and players the great tradition and privilege to play at Michigan.


The University of Michigan forfeits games, takes down final four banners, and self imposes substantial penalties as a result of Ed Martin's shananigans. this fiasco devastates the basketball program for years, and leads to the hiring of the single worst coach in the history of Michigan sports (hint, not Amaker).

Years ealier, in bucknut country a young football player for Tofu is frequently seen with a big time money man gambler at the local race track. Rumors locally about payments made to the football player. That player: quarterback Art Schlichter He is out of jail now. In any event, Tofu does nothing. Tofu deserve to suffer as we have.


I hate Ohio State. Michigan hates Ohio State. Hell, I call itTofu (The ohio fuck up). Which is an apt name, by the way for Huntington Bank Stadium -- which they call something else in bucknut country. And, though we don't need any more reason to beat Tofu than the mere fact that they exist, I'll offer up some reminders this week. Please comment or email with your reasons, and I'll get them up here.

#1) Michigan is undefeated last year and heads to Columbus for The Game. OSU has been ranked #1 the entire year. At OSU, we play them tight, and but for a really shitty call on Shawn Crable have a chance to take the lead. Instead, the personal foul is a first down and leads to a touchdown. Still, we manage to come back with a chance at the end. In the end, a 42-39 loss. The Rose Bowl seems the likely destination for M, until USC, then number 2 in the nation loses to lowly UCLA. Michigan is amazingly passed by for the MNC by Florida, after Urban Creyer pleads his case to the world.

Jim Tressel pulled this:

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel chose to abstain in this weekend's coaches poll instead of helping decide which team he would face in the title game. It was a move that Carr would only touch on briefly.

"I thought it was real slick," said Carr, who also said he could not see any situation where he would give up his vote.

Don't think for a second that Lloyd has let our team forget that slight last year. Kick his ass, Michigan.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hail Beilein

Michigan 72, Brown 57

Michigan took it to Brown today, and the threes continue to rain, courtesy

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
24 Coleman, Ron........ f 1-4 1-2 0-0 1 5 6 0 3 6 0 0 0 35
32 Gibson, Zack........ f 4-6 0-0 0-0 3 3 6 2 8 0 3 2 0 24
34 Sims, DeShawn....... f 7-11 3-5 0-0 1 3 4 2 17 1 1 2 0 25
03 Harris, Manny....... g 6-8 3-4 7-9 0 2 2 1 22 4 4 0 0 31
44 Grady, Kelvin....... g 2-5 2-4 4-4 0 2 2 2 10 2 2 0 0 22
02 Lee, C.J............ 0-3 0-2 0-0 1 4 5 0 0 3 0 0 1 18
05 Morris, K'Len....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 9
12 Wright, Anthony..... 3-8 3-6 1-3 3 5 8 0 10 0 2 0 1 19
15 Shepherd, Jevohn.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
22 Udoh, Ekpe.......... 1-2 0-0 0-3 0 1 1 2 2 2 0 3 1 16
TEAM................ 2 2
Totals.............. 24-48 12-24 12-19 11 25 36 10 72 18 14 7 3 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-22 54.5% 2nd Half: 12-26 46.2% Game: 50.0% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 9-15 60.0% 2nd Half: 3-9 33.3% Game: 50.0% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 4-4 100 % 2nd Half: 8-15 53.3% Game: 63.2% 4

Deshawn Sims 3 for 5 from three range. Really. I know Belein requires threes, but watching him last year would give little hope that he'd shoot 5 from three, much less make 60%.

Cheese Curds are Gross

In a losing effort we learned some very important things about this team. First, Chad Henne is not only a great quarterback, he's also a great team leader. Anyone who watched the game Saturday on TV saw Henne out there coaching, and encouraging the players on the field, and especially Mallet. I was disappointed that he didn't play, but he's obviously hurting.

This game had "Beat Ohio State" written all over it. Carr thought Henne was ready to go. He sounded genuinely surprised post game that he wasn't. But, if this had been the osu game, you know he wouldn't have left the field. He looked to be saving the shoulder for The Game. Hart never saw the field, even though he lobbied to get in the game. You know Lloyd was saving Hart for The Game.

Wisconsin looked like a game (contrary to what I believed going in) that the coaches and team said, we're going to give our best effort, but regardless of this game, our first priority is to beat the Buckeyes and go to the Rose Bowl. And, while I would like to have seen them gut it out, and play Henne and Hart to get the win, if they beat osu this weekend with Hart and Henne playing, I'll be happy. You know one thing, Hart won't sit out the OSU game. And, if Henne can play through pain to beat Sparty, he's going to play vs. osu.

The fact that these guys didn't play tells me two things. First, that the players are desparate for a win knowing they're 0-3 vs. osu, and are focusing on osu ahead of the game to put an end to that streak. Second, that Lloyd is already focusing on osu. He wants to get the sweater vest monkey off his back, and beat osu in his final game at Michigan Stadium. At this point, I'd rather see Lloyd back next year than not. But it's my bet he's not. There would be no better way to go out than beating osu, winning the big ten outright, and winning the Rose Bowl. Lloyd would be happy, and Bo would be smiling.

So, I'm going to take this loss with a grain of salt.

We probably win the game by two touchdowns had Henne played. As it was, we coulda shoulda. If Mallet doesn't throw that ball up for grabs, we have a hell of a shot to go up by two little or no time on the clock. Mallet looked like a freshman who hadn't played before. It's his first real road game (I'm not counting NW), so perhaps that's not too surprising. But he looked awful. Anyone who booed Henne or asked for Mallet earlier this season should be forced to put the tape of this game in their dvd player and watch that performance before they are permitted to open their mouth about any quarterback at Michigan. Will Mallet be good down the road? Maybe. He certainly is not what Henne was as a freshman.

Mario Manningham needs to grow up. The bickering with Mallet (even if justified) on the sideline was riduculous. It is spartyesque. Yes, Mallet played horribly. But, Mario, encourage the freshman. Act like the leader you're supposed to be. Hell, you're the second best player in that huddle after Jake with Hart and Henne out, lead. Don't bitch about not getting the ball. I understand that Mallet has an attitude and confidence which doesn't match his play. I understand he doesn't always listen real well. But, Mario, you're supposed to be above that crap, and a team player. Take a lesson from Long or Henne. Grow up.

Most concerning, what in the hell is Ron English teaching our linebackers. Crable blew contain on a couple of big plays, and we couldn't stop the run game between the tackles. Some of that is because we couldnt keep our offense on the field, and the D got worn down. But, some of it is on English shoulders. In the end, though, the badgers had 23 points with about 7 minutes left in the game, which our offense should be able to overcome. With Mallet, though, the D needed to play its best game of the season, and it didn't. While the defense didn't play well, the performance is mitigated somewhat by the inability of our offense to stay on the field, so I spare English from adding this game to spankboard.

Yet, with the bucks loss to Illinois, we've got a shot to take the Big 10 outright and have a great season. Lloyd deserves at least on Honorable Mention for that after ASseD and ODD. This game was not in the class of those first two debacles. Michigan plays osu for all the marbles again. And, we've got a chance to be 10-3. In this crazy season of college football, I'd take that.

Oh, and by the way, is Andre Ware not the single worst color commentator in all of college football? That guy should take his complete lack of insight (and, in fact, blatently wrong statements) and go back to Houston where he belongs. What a tool. The only thing I can say in favor of Ware is that of the two worst draft choices in Lions football history, he's probably 2nd behind Charles Rogers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Mantonio vs. Mike Hart's Little Brother

As you know, Mike Hart compared the Spartans to a little brother after Michigan came back to lead and went on to victory with 2 touchdowns in about four minutes. Like the brother that you let hang around, and then beat his ass with 4 straight blocked shots and 5 hoops in row in the driveway. You can find the audio of Mike's comment here.

It's hard to tell from the camera angle below, but Dantonio is huge. He's like Jake Long size, really -- or at least inside that very cloudy skull he's 6'6" 280, minimum. I like to call him bigMantonio--or just Mantonio for short. Mantonio comment:

Yesterday, Mike called Mantonio. I have obtained a super secret copy of that conversation between Mike and Mantonio which I obtained with my super stealthy blogger sleuth skills:

Mike Hart: Hey, Mantonio, I want to apologize for comparing you to a little brother. I was just excited to beat you every year of my Michigan career, and heythat's six straight, you know. It's no big deal though, M, I mean you called out my man Terrance, you installed a clock to count down time to your one game season, AND you asked your players all week to refuse to bow down to Michigan.

Mantonio: Well, you see, Mike, I'd really like to hold on to this job for awhile, it's real important for me. I mean, you know, Mike, I don't have a pro career headed my way. I need to milk this baby a little longer than John L. did. I need to build some confidence and kickass attitude here in East Lansing.

Mike Hart: I know how you feel. You know my little brother told me the same thing the other day. I beat him every time we play. He's just an average ball player, and I'm well, pretty good, M.

Mike Hart: The problem, Mantonio, is that while I know you're not threatening, my little brother is pretty offended that you asked whether he existed. Really, M, you should know better. And, he's a tough little bugger. I mean, hey, he's not as tough as me, but he'll still kick your ass, M:

Sparty Gameday

I arrived in East Lansing at about 11:30, after a late start Saturday morning, my tailgating partners significantly ahead of me. I heard that Munn was mostly full. I was still a good half hour from East Lansing, on any day, much less a day that the Spartans had been counting down since hiring the the successor to the Crazed One. I was worried that with traffic and parking I might not get to the tailgate before 1pm. I did find parking at the corner of Harrison and Michigan with no problem at all. And, for only $15. There are many reasons to dislike Michigan State, both in general, and on football Saturdays. The price to park your car gameday is not one of them.

I proceeded directly to meet my cronies, about one half Michigan faithful, and the other Sparties. Nice spread, lots of food. Great beer -- I recommend a growler stop at Michigan Brewing Company on your way past Webberville. Even Sparty fans can appreciate a good brew (not something which can be said for Penn State fans). Try the Imperial IPA, or the High Seas. Excellent choices.

Both Wolverines and Sparties were in good spirits before the game. Sparty not optomistic, but still believing in the Great Dream. The one moment that would make the year. Every Sparty we encountered during the tailgate, and on the way to the stadium was reasonably behaved -- keep in mind this was a 3:30 game with lots of partying going on before kickoff, not that it would have mattered since partying would have started at 7:30 for a 1pm kickoff.

It had been a few years since my last trip to spartan stadium. My last trip was Chris Perry's domination of the Spartan defense.

It's easy to forget how poorly that stadium is designed. For those who complain about the time to enter or exit Michigan Stadium, the time to get to the concession stand, or for that matter most anything at all about the game experience involving the stadium itself, make a visit to East Lansing.

Entering the stadium resulted in a herd of traffic in the bowels of the stadium that can best be described as pigs being blindly herded to the slaughterhouse. Literally, I could not extend my arm from my elbow in this mass of humanity. There were quite a few Michigan fans in this mass, though. While there were a few ASseD (Appy State) comments, we fired back with the "Let's Go Lakers" chant -- about half of Sparty got it -- really, only half. The remainder just had that dazed John L. look on their face. Maybe its the water.

One thing about every Sparty game I've been to -- you can always count on one or two middle aged angry Spartan fans to get all scary and stuff. Only one of these knuckleheads actually gave us a threatening look. He couldn't have shown his fists had he wanted to among this herd.

Upon entering Section 19, we went up. Farther up than I expected given our seats in row 45. We were in our seats about 10 minutes before kickoff. It was truly amazing how few people were in their seats at that point. Even after kickoff, there were empty seats throughout our section. Not until the end of the first quarter were all of the seats filled. This was really suprising. I can't remember a Michigan home game against a MSU, OSU, ND or even PSU where every seat near me wasn't occupied shortly after kickoff.

We led right away, and the guy in the seat next to me (who, incidentally brought the MBC beer and had quite a few) was feeling pretty confident. Sparty did not like this confidence. There were shouts from above. Something about ASseD again. My friend reminded Sparty about the Lakers which bred silence, and then rubbed it in a little more when he duly noted the bad call by the refs that prevented the Lakers from winning in regulation.

Michigan, somewhat predictably, got conservative and did nothing in the second quarter. Sadly, the game was uneventful until halftime. At halftime, Sparty trotted a dog onto the field. I assumed this dog was some marvel from the school of veterinary medicine -- something about Jake the party dog who could shotgun a beer whist standing on his tail. Our neighbors in the row above were kind enough to steer us in the right direction. It turns out that this animal is not a veterinary marvel, rather he is Jake Jr., or Jake III, or something like that. Anyway, Jake is supposed to catch frisbies. it looks like Jake is not under the tutelage of veterinary medicine students because he is not very good. Like Sparty, Jake should practice catching more often. [correction, thanks to comment board and hometown sparties, it's zeke III -- and he is the receivers coach for sparty]

After halftime, State scored. Then they scored again, and yet again. This is not good. Especially considering the way JayHooooo was running right over us. I was concerned.

That is until, we stopped overthrowing open bombs, and started hitting the 10 to 15 yard out pattern at will. Even before scoring that first touchdown, I knew we were going to come back. I actually told the Sparty in front of me, who had sniped comments here and there after taking the lead, that we were going to win the game. He didn't believe me, at first. But, there was no question in my mind. And, after we scored to make it 21 - 24, I tapped him on the shoulder to remind him that we were going to win -- he mumbled something about only wanting to win one game a year. At that point, I think everyone sitting around me, Sparty or Wolverine, believed Michigan would win the game. The Sparty d had no answer for the short to mid out patterns, and couldn't get to Henne. If you watched it on tv, you probably didn't see the cushion the Michigan receivers were given -- you could fit 10 each of Monte Clark and George Perles' (or a mere baker's dozen of Charlie) between Mario and the nearest defender.

Henne was great during these last 7 minutes. He made good reads, and threw on target. The pass to Mario was a thing of beauty. It was right in our corner, and it was a perfect pass. Keep in mind that Henne had not thrown a ball all week to his receivers. As Lloyd said: "If you want to define courage, one way to do it is mention Chad Henne,".

Going into the game, I thought 3o points would win it, and we were still 2 points short, so I was a little nervous with all that time on the clock. But, the D came through, and we sang the Victors with our Michigan brethren among the frustrated middle aged angry spartans. Ahhh, sweet victory. We watched the Michigan band until it played Temptation and the Hawaiian War Chant, because, as you know, you can't have one without the other, and then headed back to the tailgate.

Go Blue!