Thursday, September 30, 2010

All-time trophy update

Alabama, on a 5 game winning streak as the current trophy holder, takes on Florida this weekend. 'Bama took the trophy from Florida in the SEC championship game last season.

The trophy has been passed 270 times since Rutgers beat Princeton in 1869. Princeton then took the trophy a week later. Sixteen times the team lost the trophy back to the team they took it from:

Princeton from Yale 11/28/1878
Yale from Princeton 11/30/1893
Princeton from Yale 11/10/1894
Penn from Lafayette 10/23/1897
Harvard from Yale 11/23/1901
Yale from Harvard 11/22/1902
Swathmore from Penn 10/13/1906
Harvard from Carlisle 11/7/1908
Harvard from Princeton 11/2/1912
Brown from Colgate 10/27/1917
Stanford from USC 11/11/1934
Notre Dame from Northwestern 11/21/1936
Mississippi over LSU 11/3/1962
UCLA from OSU 11/20/1976
Washington over USC 11/15/1980
Alabama over Penn State 9/12/1987

The frequency definitely dropped after the strongest teams spread throughout the country and out of the Ivy League. In my preseason predictions I predicted Arkansas would take the trophy from the Tide, maybe I was off a week. Go Gators!


With 81 reporting, M is #20.  On the schedule, only OSU and Iowa are higher.  (that would be 10-2)

Iowa (home game) is 6 spots higher (I'll count that as a win), but PSU and Wisconsin (road games) are 3 and 6 spots lower, respectively (two losses).  (that would be 9-3. Nice)

Iowa, M, PSU, Wis, NU and MSU are within 20 spots.  That implies there should be a lot of close games this year.

Indiana Prediction Based On Cake Frosting

m34, in 33

Indiana prediction based on historical data

M is 162-43-1 in all games I have attended (all stats are only for games I have attended unless otherwise mentioned)
M is 26-12 in games away from Michigan Stadium
M is 3-0 in Memorial Stadiums (at least stadiums known only as "Memorial Stadium")
M is 111-31-1 in conference games
M is 20-5 in the 4th game I have seen in a particular season
M is 29-3 with #16 as starting QB
M is 44-17-1 against human-ish mascots
M is 12-0 against Indiana
M is 3-2 when facing a team for the 13th time
M is 30-7 against schools from the Indiana
M is 2-0 on games played on October 2nd
M is 114-20-1 against unranked teams
M is 8-1 against coaches named Bill
M is 5-0 when ranked 19th
M is 23-3 when ranked 15-19th
M is 140-32-1 when ranked

It's simple when you add it all up:

M 45 - Indiana 27

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WTKA Poll Question

Like a lot of WTKA Poll Questions, this one is more prediction than opinion.

What is going to happen on Saturday?
a) Michigan beats Indiana by 21+ points
b) Michigan beats Indiana by 10-20 points
c) Michigan beats Indiana by 1-9 points
d) Indiana upsets Michigan

Not surprisingly, M fans are extremely confident after going 4-0. +21 got 41%, and 10-20 got 39%. Unless everyone that voted c thinks M is going to win by 8 or less, more than 80% of voters think M is going to win by more than a TD. That stat concerns me almost as much as the total yards allowed by the M defense. (not really)

Winning the Coin Toss

It has actually been bad this season for M to win the coin toss 3 of the first 4 games. In all 4 games, the team with the ball first scores on their first possession. Fortunately M lost the toss this past weekend, so M scored first.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Great Northern UP Conference Ladder

Kingsley / Marquette
Menominee / Escanaba

Gladstone's predicted record using this tree: 0-4 in conference

more comments


Was that a new crew? What were the announcers saying about the officiating at the game? There seemed to be a lot of interesting calls.

Never saw a replay of the Molk hitting a defenseless player penalty

So much wrong with the two #9s penalty. This was on BGSUs second punt. I had noticed them both out there on the first one - and they were both on the hands team against UMass kickoffs (what's not wrong - 3 GUYS BACK ON A PUNT HALLELUJAH!!!!) So the officials didn't know what the actual penalty was, timeout vs. penalty and re-kick.
On the surface - big deal, but the re-kick lead to much worse field position and that was just before Denard's injury. There is an indirect connection between the re-kick and the injury.

Did the Michigan coaching staff not know this was a penalty? Did they "try to get away with something?" They quickly got a new uni for Avery - and I see today he officially changed his number to jimPossible's favorite (5). I'm not sure which scenario is better - are they too lazy/stupid to know their rule book or are they so smart/slick they think they can get away with violating the rule?

I thought the defense was decent, it was good to get so many players into the game. They really only gave up 2 drives and one play. And they had BGSU stopped twice on 4th and goal. Once the officials messed up and once the tackling. Now, obviously that was against BGSU, without their # 1 QB. But if EMU can get 20 on the Buckeyes, should M complain about giving up 21 to the Falcons? I don't think so.

Toussaint must still be banged up or he is really slow.

I think Michigan only missed two 3rd down conversions. On the first one, the game was still close-ish and it would have been a LONG field goal so I can see not kicking. The second was with a big lead, it it is generally accepted when way ahead that a field goal is douchier than going for it.


1) The Indiana spread (13 1/2) is awfully high. I'm still not sure if I am going to predice a win.

2) Why was I not worried when DRob went down with injury? I have a lot of theories, such as "he gets hurt every game". But, I finally decided that it is because I don't believe he is M's saviour for the season and the future. I don't know if I expect injury or if I expect D's to figure him out or what is making me think this way. Maybe I'm just expecting the D and Special Teams to play so poorly that it won't matter who is playing QB. Or am I just not ready to give my heart to this team and believing in DRob would mean I'm buying in to thinking this team can win a lot of games.

3) With that said, with M's offense, M really can win any remaining game except OSU. With that D, M can lose any remaining game, though PU looks easier and easier every game. I think M is better than IL, IN and PU and about even with every other team than OSU. Some really good things could happen this season. Or maybe not. You'd think I'd be able to say this is a huge game, as a loss would make people think M will have a similar year to last year. But, I wouldn't be surprised if M loses this week and still wins 8-9 games.

4) With the weakness in the kicking game, why was RR going for it on 4th down rather than attempting FGs?

5) Watching Jim Harbaugh on Gameday saying his team was tough made me excited to have him as M's coach next year. Of course, I really don't think that is going to happen. And is M's team not tough now? I don't see that. So, why did I like his comments so much?

6) Tate appears to be the second string QB. (He referred to Devin as the 3rd QB during his post-game interview) That is where he should be.

I have many more things on my mind, but I don't have time right now.

espn bowl predictions week 4

The ESPN bowl predictions are up

Illinois - None
Indiana - Dallas FC (MS) or none (AA)
Iowa - Outback (MS) or Cap One (AA)
Michigan - Cap One (MS) or Gator (AA)
MSU - Insight (MS) or Texas (AA)
Minnesota - none
Northwestern - Texas (MS) or Dallas FC (AA)
OSU - BCS champ game (both)
PSU - Gator (MS) or Insight (AA)
Purdue - none
Wisconsin - Sugar (MS) or Outback (AA)

making the predicted order of finish:


I think that shuffles things up a bit probably making it something like:

OSU>>>>>> Iowa/Michigan/Wisconsin>>PSU>MSU>N'western>>>Indiana

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Indiana Fight Song Continued

Here is The Viking March. At about 1:10 the familiar Indiana Fight Song starts

Indiana Fight Song

Indiana, Our Indiana

Indiana, Our Indiana,
Indiana, we're all for you!
We will fight for the cream and crimson,
For the glory of old IU
Never daunted, we cannot falter
In the battle, we're tried and true
Indiana, Our Indiana,
Indiana, we're all for you!

The tune was taken from "The Viking March" by Karl King, who was the conductor/composer for Barnum and Bailey Circus. While you're listening to it, just imagine animals, trapeze artists and seeing-eye Hoosiers marching around the center ring.

Indiana, Our Indiana

NSL Ladder

The North Star League Ladder looks like this:

Augres-Sims / Mio
Atlanta / Arenac Eastern

Prediction for Hillman based on this is 5-0 in the conference.

Indiana Statue

This isn't a statue of a Hoosier (actually, it probably is), but I think it is a cool statue on the IU campus, so I posted it.  It is a statue of Bloomington resident, IU alumnus (undergrad and law school) and composer Hoagy Carmichael. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

How are my pre-season predictions (non-win/loss)?

  1. The defense will be in the top 5 in all major categories (yards/game, rushing yds/game, passing yds/game, takeaways, scoring defense) but will give up enough big plays for people to complain about it. yds/game #11; rushing yds/game #10; pass yds/game #10; takeaways T#5; scoring D #10.  Not doing too well here.
  2. The QB controversy will last most of the year and we haven't heard the last of the players' anti-Tate sentiment. Which leads to...So far, so wrong
  3. This will be Forcier's last year for Michigan. He will transfer after the season, regardless of who the coach will be.  Still very possible
  4. There will be at least 2 players who start the first game (on offense or defense) who won't even be on the team by the time M plays OSU.  A few people have left.  No starters.
  5. Gardner will not redshirt.  I don't know if this is official yet, but it looks that way.
  6. M will not crack the Top 25 all season.Wrong
  7. Molk will have more postseason honors than Schilling.We'll have to see.
Pretty bad predictions, really.

BGSU Blogger picks comparison

Looks like most of the bloggers picks are in and everyone seems to be on the same page.

sarcasMikeM 45-13
jiMpossibleM 40-22
MGoBlogM 46-21
Big House BlogM 48-21
Maize & BrewM 48-24
Maize & GoBlueM 48-21
MzoneM 45-17
Wolverine BlogM 45-20
UMGoBlogM 47-24

Unless someone is spot on, it will be difficult to pick a winner....

One Year Ago Today

Or rather tomorrow.

On 09/25/10, I posted about the CFRC.  After 3 games, M was #31.  Interesting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WTKA Poll Question

After a 3-0 start, Michigan will win __ games.

a) 3-5
b) 6
c) 7-8
d) 9-12

Not surprisingly, 7-8 is winning with 68% of the vote.  Until after the Indiana game, I'm sticking with my 6-6 prediction.

BGSU Prediction Based On Paris Metro

Rose Bowl & Modern Family

Spoiler Alert

Modern Family premiered last night. At one point Claire Dunphy finds an old picture of she and Phil at the Rose Bowl (or Rose Parade - we don't see the picture). When asked about the game Phil says something like:
"...we got pummeled by Penn State"
He also mentions Angela Lansbury was the Grand Marshall.

I love Modern Family, but they mixed up their Rose Bowl years.

Penn State is 1-2 in the Rose Bowl. Their only victory came in the 1995 match-up against Oregon. However, the Grand Marshall that year was Chi Chi Rodriguez. Angela Lansbury was actually the Grand Marshall for the 1993 Tournament of Roses, where she presided over the Michigan victory against Washington.

I wonder if they just picked her so Phil could make the joke "...Good times, she wrote." If that was the case why not have the Dunphys be UW alums? To my knowledge they have no previous references to being Oregon alums. Perhaps someone on the writing staff is from Oregon or from Penn State and wanted to reference that game.

Either way, it seems Michigan's reign as the school that pops up on my favorite shows (Dharma Initiative on Lost and House and Cuddy on House) appears to have ended.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BGSU Fight Song

Forward Falcons

Forward Falcons!
Forward Falcons!
Fight for victory,
Show our spirit,
Make them fear it,
Fight for ol' B-G.
Forward Falcons!
Forward Falcons!
Make the contest keen,
Hold up the fame
Of our mighty name
And win for Bowling Green!

And because it has a silly name..

Aye Ziggy Zoomba

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba
Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Ze
Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba
Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Ze

Roll along you BG warriors
Roll along and win for BGSU!

Forward Falcons
Aye Ziggy Zoomba

BGSU prediction based on historical data

M is 161-43-1 in all games I have attended (all stats are only for games I have attended unless otherwise mentioned)
M is 135-31-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
M is 15-1 against schools from the MAC
M is 24-1 in the 3rd game I have seen in a particular season
M is 50-12 in non-conference games
M is 28-3 with #16 as starting QB
M is 22-4 against teams with bird mascots
M is 19-6 when facing a team for the second time
M is 13-7 against schools from the Ohio
M is 3-0 on games played on September 25th
M is 113-20-1 against unranked teams
M is 14-2 when the QB is making his 3rd start
M is 4-0 against coaches named Dave, David or Davey
M is 5-2 against coaches whose names end in "son"
M is 1-1 when ranked 21st
M is 11-3 when ranked 20-25
M is 139-32-1 when ranked
M is 4-1 against coaches whose last name begins with the letter preceding the first letter of their first name

It is simple when you add it all up:



57 reporting, M is #30, MSU #29.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bobcat tackles Buckeye!

I'm not going to post the video, nor even post a link because it is very easy to find one of the few videos out there showing the attack.  But, I have some comments to make about it and other things:

1) That silly Bobcat chased down the Buckeye half way across the field.  And then did it again back to the end zone. Crazy.

2) It was a horrible tackle.  If he had been planning this, as it is reported, you'd think he would have tried to learn the best way to tackle someone.

3) Why don't the M cheerleaders pole the opposing mascot anymore?  I think Brandon needs to bring that back.

4) Was Willie the Wolverine ever an official UM creature?  I remember it being at a game or two in the mid to late 80s (really tall, I remember).  I never hear of him when mascots at M are discussed.  I wonder if it was just a proposed marketing thing that was never actually accepted by the U, though I thought it was something the Athletic Department was trying out.

5) Remember when that guy with the Bullwinkle head marched onto the field with the band?  That must have been 1985.  Pretty funny.

High School Playoff Points

Gladstone 161st in Class B
Tecumseh 147th in Class B
Hillman 31st in Class D


With 54 reporting (56 reported last week), M is #31

Projected record (not accounting for H/A) is 7-5.

Remaining home games against teams ranked slightly higher: 
-#27 MSU
-#21 Wisconsin
-#18 Iowa

Remaining road games against teams ranked slightly lower:
None, unless you count #71 Indiana

PSU is #20, putting 5 Big Ten teams within 14 slots (the race for second!!!)

The Big Ten is #4.  Closer to #2 Big 12 than to #5 ACC. (Pac 10 is #3).

High Low for M is #9/#68, with a higher correlation to the consensus by the ranking that gave M #68, than the one that gave M #9.

Bowling Green is #90.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Favorite Falcons

My favorite players on the BGSU football team:

#7 Matt Schilz QB Fr (starter; doubtful against M)
#87 Matt Oczypok K Fr
 #5 Dwayne Woods LB So (leading tackler on team; MAC East Division defensive player of the week last week)

Fake field goal timing etc

When I hear people talk about the play clock on MSUs fake field goal, I'm not sure if they're talking about the ESPN clock - which was went to :00 before the play clock or the actual play clock in the stadium.

It looks to me like the play clock got down to :00 as well, but then the snap occurred almost immediately afterward. I completely buy the BigEast explanation that the ref sees the clock go to zero then looks down at the play to see if the ball has been snapped. By that time the ball was likely already snapped.

If you have a team that is trying to run clock, you should put the play clock as high up as possible - more head turning time...

espn bowl predictions week 3

ESPN has updated their bowl predictions.

Here are the Big Ten predictions:
Illinois - None
Indiana - Little Caesars (MS) or None
Iowa - Capital One (both)
Michigan - Gator (Both)
MSU - Outback (MS) or Texas (AA)
Minnesota - None
Northwestern - Texas (MS) or Little Caesars(AA)
Ohio State - BCS Championship game (both)
Penn State - Insight (Both)
Purdue - Dallas FC (Both)
Wisconsin - Orange (MS) or Outback (AA)

This produces a predicted order of finish of:

MichiganPenn St
Penn StMSU

I think that still matches up to the generally universal belief that the conference is:


M to the Gator Bowl would be great, my sister Kathy lives in Jax!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Comparison of Michigan Blog predictions

This is another one I meant to start with the UConn game. I've gone back and tracked down the pre-game predictions from jiMpossible and I and compared them to MGoBlog and the other Michigan blogs listed at MGoBlog. I didn't track the gang at WLA, because there are so many of them, that the list would have been just too long...

Here is the data so far

U ConnNDU Mass
sarcasMikeM 34-24ND 24-20M 41-21
jiMpossibleC 28-24ND 34-28M 44-17
MGoBlogM 38-30M 31-27M 42-17
Big House BlogM 31-21M 28-21M 42-7
MGoFootball M 36-26M 52-13
Maize & BrewC 34-31M 35-27M 45-13
Maize & GoBlueM 37-31ND 37-31M 41-21
MzoneM 32-24ND 32-24M 51-17
Wolverine BlogM 37-31M 34-28M 52-20
UMGoBlogM 41-35M 37-31M 66-19

The bolded numbers are what I think were the closest predictions. Certainly, everyone was thinking today's game wouldn't be as close as it ended up.
In the head to head match-up with jiMpossible - I'll claim a 3-0 lead for the season!

UMass Fight Song

I was having difficulty finding an audio version to post, so here are just the lyrics.

Fight, fight Massachusetts, Fight, fight every play, Fight, fight for a touchdown, Fight all your might today.

Fight down the field Massachusetts, The stars and the stripes will gleam, Fight, Fight for old Bay State, Fight for the team, team, team.

Word Count (for those used more than once):

*4 more than used in the classic "Fight for Hillman"

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Favorite UMass Players

Favorite players on the UMass team:  

#21 Matt Campbell LB Fr.
#57 Matt Heilig DT Fr.
#5 Jamar Smith RB RS Fr. (11 carries 50 yards)

One Year Ago Today

I decided to take a look at what the posts were like a year ago today.

First of all, you have a great title:  Ira Weintraub is a horrible homer.  It explains Sam and Ira defending RR for not doing acting on Mouton's punch.  Your title says it all.

Then I agree with you and rip on a number of other radio people.  I still stand by my comments.

I commented on CFRC.  M#37 looking to go 9-3(!).

Finally, I commented on MGoBrian's Defensive UFR for the ND game.  Things weren't looking good, but I seemed to be more positive than he was.  I was wrong.

Weird Things Happen

UMass Band Director Dies.

UMass Prediction based on Historical data

M is 160-43-1 in all games I have attended (all stats are only for games I have attended unless otherwise mentioned)
M is 134-31-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
M is 1-1 against schools from the FCS
M is 19-6 in the 2nd game I have seen in a particular season
M is 49-12 in non-conference games
M is 44-7 when facing a team for the first time
M is 17-3 against schools from the original 13 colonies
M is 61-13-1 against State Name Univ or Univ of State Name schools
M is 1-0 on games played on September 18th
M is 27-3 with #16 as starting QB
M is 44-17-1 against teams with human(ish) mascots
M is 5-2 against teams coached by men whose first names start with K
M is 15-4-1 against teams with school names and nicknames starting with the same letter

It is simple when you add it all up:

MICHIGAN 41 - UMass 21

Thursday, September 16, 2010

UMass Prediction

Last year I refused to predict against Delaware St. because they were a bad FCS team and should never have been scheduled.  UMass is a good FCS team and should never have been scheduled, but here goes anyhow...

M  44, UMass 17


I didn't think there would much more movement, but after 53 reporting, M has moved up to #30. 

In a 32 team tourney, M would go to Oregon in the first round.  After winning that one, M would play the winner of South Carolina and Southern Cal (USC v USC)*.  S Car is the higher seed.  After winning that one.  M would likely play Boise St.  Then OSU.  Then Alabama.

*That reminds of a story.  I've gone to two college football games with my friend, Aaron. (I also saw him at a juco game, but I didn't actually go with him).  Arizona at Southern Cal and Arkansas at South Carolina.  Both were U of A at USC.  Can't get more interesting than that.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Minuteman Statue

This is the Minuteman Statue at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Hypothetical geographic realigned standings (week 2)

After two weeks the FBS teams are 141-89 overall. The ranking of the created conferences are:

The Plains 19-5
Far West 16-6
Northeast 17-7
Mid Atlantic & Rio Grande 15-8
Great Lakes 14-9
Mountain 12-9
Southeast 13-10
Gulf 10-13
Ohio Valley 10-14

In Michigan's Great Lakes Conference the overall standings are:

Overall Conf
Great LakesWLWL
Michigan2 1
MSU2 1
Notre D1111
Purdue11 1
WMU11 1
Ball St11

Only 2 teams are 2-0 in their respective conferences. Texas Tech in the Rio Grande and Kentucky in the Ohio Valley.

I would say the MSU-ND game is one of the bigger conference games this weekend. Others include: Texas - Texas Tech, Tulsa - Ok State, CMU-EMU, Ohio - OSU among others.

Lights in the Big House

So, they are looking to put in permanent lights in at Michigan Stadium.  I can't say that I'm happy about it, but I also don't think it is bad, either.  Having a night game per year and being able to have good lights during the end of the October/November 330pm games is good.

But, when I saw that the cost is only $1.8 Million I have to wonder what has taken so long?


With 48 reporting, M is #32.  There were only 51 reporting last week, so I don't expect much change. 

Projected record (not taking home/road into account) would be 8-4. 
Nearest road game below is #73 Purdue
Nearest home game above is #20 Wisconsin

Big Ten is #4 behind SEC, Big 12 and Pac 10. 

UMass is #9 in FCS CFRC. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hoot and Jimpossibles football joke follies

Not the most exciting video, but it is true to what happens 7 or 8 Saturdays in the fall.

NSL Ladder

Hillman  -   Mio-Ausable
Augres-Sims  -  Atlanta  -   Twining Arenac Eastern

Hillman predicted conference record based on ladder:  4-1

Hillman had to forfeit their first two (non-conference) wins because they were playing with an ineligible player.  You'd think in a small town like Hillman, someone would pay attention when a kid is in his 9th semester of High School.

More ND notes

A couple more things about the ND game:

I haven't heard any complaints about Drob having his passes knocked down, but I'm sure they'll start when M loses a game.

Since 2005, M has won 66.7% of their games in South Bend.  M is powerful there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

About Drob against ND

The amzing thing is that he did again. Everyone knows what he is capable of after the UConn game and he still was able to put up impossible numbers. He can't do this every game, can he?   He certainnly isn't going to do it against UMass and hopefully not against Bowling Green because he shouldn't play but half the game if M does what it is supposed to.  I hope.  He could, I guess, have 3 carries for 210 yards in the only three plays he is out there.   
-I don't think he had the holes like he did against UConn. That is a little concerning
-He was responsible for 84% of the plays.  Yikes  I don't know if the team can rely on one person so much and expect to succeed for 12 games.  Losing him could be the collapse of the offense.  Not just a significant setback, but the collapse.
-I love that play where he looks like he is running a sweep.  He is actually closer to the line of scrimmage, so it doesn't even seem like he would do anything else.  Then, when the safety (isn't it?) comes in to make the play on him, he tosses it to the slot receiver right where the defender had been playing.  Amazing.  In some ways it reminds me of the Tim Tebow option/shovel pass play where it seemed there is no way to stop it.  Of course, Drob could have run the play more times than the passes and I just didn't notice it, and he could have had no gain. Anyhow, I like it.
-Drob's passing was OK, even with the number of incompletions.  I'm still not convinced he can be a successful downfield passer.  That one in the end zone that Roundtree couldn't come up with, though, was a very good throw.  I will comment on that during my offense (Non-Drob) roundup.   No interceptions, and I really expected at least two this week.  As long as the receivers get open (enough) and/or Drob can hit them on the perimeter and they get positive yardage, he will continue to not throw interceptions.
-I was surprised last week that Drob didn't break a long run.  His TD wasn't short, but I really expect that with his speed he will be having extra-long TD runs every game.  85 yards is extra long.  I expect this too happen at least every other game (50+ yards).  Every time he is running it, there is a possibility.  He is fast, after all.  This will easily keep his rushing yards to a crazy high number.  Probably 100 every game.  Even when he doesn't have to win it for M like he did against ND.
-Speaking of fast, he isn't just fast at running. But on that one play when he was bogged up on the left side, reversed field and ran right, he went from holding the ball as a ball-carrier and pulling it out to pass it so quickly, even watching the replays I can't figure out how he did it.  Amazing.
-Denard's numbers definitely are heading towards the Heisman.  If he keeps this up, there is no way they could not give it to him, even if M finishes 6-6.  But after 2 games in 1990, Jon Vaughn was definitely on his way to a Heisman if he kept up his average of 244 yards per game average.  He didn't.  And in 1991, I thought Desmond Howard...(oh, wait).

The Offense Against ND (except Drob)

The OLine did not make the holes as often as they did against UConn.  I never really felt any running back had a good hole to be able to make their own play.  If they have this problem against better teams, there could be some other Drob miracle finishes required to win.
-I was surprised there weren't more perimeter plays.  Where were all of the screens/bubble screens, end arounds, etc.  ?  The ND D seemed to shutting down the inside pretty well.
-This game emphasized that there are not big play receivers on this team.  They catch the ball fine, they get a few yards after the catch pretty well, but I don't expect to see any of them making a great move and blowing past the DBs after a catch.  I don't expect any of them battling with a DB for a ball in the air and coming down with it.  I don't think there is a receiver on the team that would have caught the Roundtree ball in the end zone.  And that is sad.  It was very catchable, though difficult.  I just don't have the confidence in the receivers to catch a ball that is thrown to a well-covered receiver. Good, scrappy, serviceable.  Not playmakers, necessarily.  If we ever need a receiver to win a game for us, I just don't think any of them will be able to do it.  I much more confidence in the RBs.
-So, about  days ago I admitted that I didn't like Odoms.  Since then, he has made some nice catches on key plays (he seemed like the only receiver getting open early on) and whenver there is a play downfield, you see him preventing his man from getting to the ball carrier.  He is scrappy and he is a decent receiver.  No worse than the other ones M has.  He has done everything you could ask out of an undersized, scrappy split end.  If he continues this, I will take back my not liking him.
-Not much to say about the RBs, as the Oline didn't do much for them. It will be interesting to see how they do against Indiana and MSU
-I was surprised about the lack of penalties against UConn and I expected more this week on both sides of the ball, but there were way too many.  And some of them were at the most horrible times.  I'm assuming the norm will be somewhere in the middle.
-Other than wanting more perimeter plays at different times during the game (especially screen), I like the play selection.

The Defense Against ND

I already mentioned the penalties.
-After the first defensive possession, the D did what is was ultimate supposed to do other than a couple of big plays.  They kept ND out of the end zone.  I'd like to think that those big plays are the kind of thing that won't happen again, but we know they are.  Hopefully, the DBs will play smarter than have been, but they really are not fast.
-Even though ND was kept out of the end zone other than the first drive and the two big plays, the D seemed to have a lot more missed coverage assignments, and certainly had a lot more missed tackles.  I figure that is probably closer to what we can expect against good teams this year.  Hopefully, I'm wrong.
-Overall, the conservative defense seemed to be working.  Bend but don't break was somewhat effective.
-I was surprised there weren't any sacks last week.  The DLine (and others) were responsible for a couple sacks this week, and some good pressure causing some passes to thrown badly.
-Mouton had some great plays, but I can't agree with the announcers who said he was one of the best players on the team.  I hope he can become that, though.  Ezeh is frustrating.  He'll make a good play, then you'll wonder on the next play whether he has lead in his shoes.
-The DBs are going to exploited all year.  We know they aren't great, but can they just not be so stupid?
-Basically, if the D front can stop the run and put pressure on the QBs, the D will survive.

Special Teams Against ND and other stuff

FG kicking is a problem, clearly.  That could have cost us the game.
-Hagerup may have a strong leg, but he is very inconsistent.  I'm not sure if it was the weather, or if it is the pressure, but those were some awful punts.
-Coverage teams were decent.
-I'll take Gallon making a fair catch every time, as long as he catches it.
-Stonum needs to be more aware of what's going on when he catches a KO in the end zone.  I expect him to return one for a TD this year.  Hopefully, it will be in a big game and not next week.

I'm not convinced I can change my overall record prediction for this season yet, even though M has now won two of my predicted loss games.  There are three reasons for this
1) Denard Robinson.  a-He is so much of the offense, we have to worry about him getting hurt.  If he gets hurt, what is going to happen to the offense.  b-What if someone figures out a way to stop him.  ND was successful at different times causing more punts than we want to do.  M didn't score for over a 2 quarters.  Maybe there will be a team that can do that for 3.
2) The D allows big plays on defense.  M had ND on their heels, and with one snap of the ball, it was a one score game.  Then they get pinned inside their 10 and (then their 5) and one snap of the ball gives ND the lead.  Any close game is one defensive snap away from a loss with this D. 
3) I just don't know how good this team is.  I probably will know more after the MSU game. Probably. 
I know that if M beats Indiana that will be 3 of my predicted losses as victories.  I'm going to wait until at least the MSU game to see if one of my predicted wins is a loss.  Until then, I'm sticking with 6-6 and losing in the bowl game.  unless...

If M plays an SEC team in a bowl game, M will win.  I don't know why I am predicting this, but I am so sick of the talk about SEC speed and seeing M's speed that I am going to predict an M win over an SEC team in a bowl.  By 10.

Good to see Tate Forcier was acting like he was a team player.  If he pretends he has a better attitude, RR will recognize that as having a good attitude and will respond accordingly, saying Tate has a good attitude.  At least, that's the way it worked with my boss.

Both ND and Michigan tried to let the other team win the game, but neither team took advantage.  It resulted in a darn exciting game.

Didn't sound like much of a Michigan crowd at the game.  In the past M games in South Bend, it seems like you can hear more of a positive response when M does something well.  I didn't hear that this time.  Of course, I wasn't deaf in one ear the last time M played at ND.

The M flag logo was nice, but he ND flag logo was horrible.  You couldn't even tell it was ND.  I think the problem is that the ND letters on that version of the logo were wider than some other versions of the logo (less non-letter portion to the logo), like on the NBC broadcast, for instance.  I noticed once when they showed the ND band, the trombones had covers on the end of their slides and some of them had the logo with the thin letters and some had wider letters.  You'd think someone would look at that when it is being designed and say "I don't think you'll be able to tell that looks like ND from that far away".  I guess not.

Why does VTU wear white jerseys at home?  After wearing ugly colorful jerseys against Boise St. and then this, they deserved to lose to JMU (purple jersey).

espn bowl predictions week 2

ESPN has already updated their bowl predictions

Illinois - None
Indiana - Dallas FC (MS) or None
Iowa - Orange (MS) or Rose (AA)
Michigan - Outback (MS) or Insight (AA)
MSU - Insight (MS) or Texas (AA)
Minnesota - None
Northwestern - Texas (MS) or Gator (AA)
Ohio State - BCS Championship game (both)
Penn State - Gator (MS) or Outback (AA)
Purdue - Little Caesars (MS) or Dallas FC (AA)
Wisconsin - Cap One (both)

Iowa is back to a double BCS bid
PSU's loss & M's win makes Schlabach think the Wolverines might finish 4th not the Nittany Lions.
other than that some minor shuffling

Using these for the predicted ranking:

Iowa Iowa
Wisconsin Wisconsin
PSU Northwestern
Northwestern MSU
Indiana Purdue
Purdue No bowls for Ill/Ind/Minn
No bowls for Ill/Minn

Checking my ND prediction

  • ND does a better job limiting Denard's running game, but the backs are more productive - Uh No!
  • M's passing game is less efficient - at least one interception (see below) - Well, they did have a lower completion percentage and Robinson missed some open passes, but When they needed it, on the final drive, the passing game came through.
  • M commits their first turnover (and then their second) - Nope - another fumble, but recovered by M
  • M's defense is still surprisingly effective (or at least better than preseason predictions) - Other than 3 plays? On WTKA this morning, Sam Webb and Michael Taylor went into their "what game were you watching," and "You obviously never played the game..." Now the caller did say he didn't think M deserved to win because of how bad the defense was. That's probably too far, but certainly you can;t say the defense played well. They did at times. When M's offense had problems through most of the second half, they kept getting the offense the ball back. To give up that many yards, to allow ND to get into that field position with 27 seconds left, you have to wonder how good UMass's offense is. Can Cam Gordon keep them in front of him?
  • Gibbons, has a better week - Couldn't have been much worse
  • Notre Dame gets an early score, but then M keeps their poise and the game is close the whole way. - I guess I nailed this one
  • Michigan trailing late is unable to get Notre Dame off the field and the game ends - Well, ND did have the ball as the game ended...
M 20 - ND 24- I did get the ND score right. and M did attempt 2 field goals....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Great photo from the Michigan Daily

Denard in action pulls off the Heisman pose

I could never had imagined the performances he's had in the first two weeks. Has anyone had similar two weeks?

Friday, September 10, 2010

M at ND

I keep hearing things like this from GBMWolverine:

Call it the luck of the Irish, but Michigan has struggled at Notre Dame.

So I decided to see if that is really true.

Since 1990, M is 2-5-1 in South Bend.  Not a great record, but there are a couple things that make it not as bad as it seems.

1) The average point difference in those games for M is -2.5
2) In AA against ND since 1990, M is 6-2 (pretty much the same record).  But, the point difference for M is +11.25.

Though it may be true M struggles in South Bend, ND struggles much more in Ann Arbor.  It will be interesting if that is mentioned next year.

I don't have time right now, but I bet any relatively even series will have the home team winning significanly more than the road team.

5 years 5 different QBs

The other day I saw this tweet on the twitters

RT @jdubs88: Notre Dame will be facing its 4th different Wolverine starting QB in as many seasons when Michigan visits on Saturday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

ND Prediction

As nice as last week felt, I have a hard time having complete confidence in this team.  I want to predict a victory in every game, but I just can't

I think ND will go up a couple scores due to turnovers.  We'll exchange scores throughout and M won't be able to catch up.

ND 34
M 28

M @ Notre Dame Prediction

I really have no idea on Saturday's game. Here's some of my guesses.

  • ND does a better job limiting Denard's running game, but the backs are more productive
  • M's passing game is less efficient - at least one interception (see below)
  • M commits their first turnover (and then their second)
  • M's defense is still surprisingly effective (or at least better than preseason predictions)
  • Gibbons, has a better week
  • Notre Dame gets an early score, but then M keeps their poise and the game is close the whole way.
  • Michigan trailing late is unable to get Notre Dame off the field and the game ends
M 20 - ND 24

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fighting Irish Statue

I couldn't actually find a statue of a fighting Irishman on the ND campus, but there is one of Knute Rockne.

Hypothetical geographic realigned standings (week 1)

You may or may not remember when I attempted to divide all 120 FBS teams into 10x12 geographically aligned conferences.

After 1 week all but three teams have played a game (NM St, ULM and Fl Int).

The FBS teams are 76-41 so far. Ranking the conferences by winning percentage so far you'd have:

Plains & Mid Atlantic (10-2)
Southeast (9-2)
Northeast (9-3)
Far West (8-4)
Rio Grande (7-4)
Great Lakes & Mountain (7-5)
Gulf (5-6)
Ohio Valley (4-8)

There were 12 conference match-ups in the opening week of games.

In the Far West - USC over Hawai'i
Mountain - CU over CSU & BYU over Washington
Rio Grande - Texas over Rice & TTU over SMU
Great Lakes - MSU over WMU & ND over Purdue (Michigan is already a 1/2 game behind two teams! But M plays them both...)
Ohio Valley - OSU over Marshall & Kentucky over Louisville
Gulf - Miss St over Memphis
SE - Fl Atl over UAB
NE - Maryland over Navy

16 Conference games this week include:
UTEP @ Houston
GTU @ So Carolina
Duke @ Wake
So Fla @ Florida
Iowa St @ Iowa
M @ Notre Dame
Ark St @ ULL
Ark vs. ULM
LSU @ Vandy
Toledo @ Ohio
Rice @ No Tex
WKU @ Kentucky
Idaho St @ Utah St
Miss @ Tulane
Stanford @ UCLA

espn Bowl predictions - week 1

Week one predictions from ESPN are already in.

Illinois - None
Indiana - None
Iowa - Cap One (MS) or Sugar (AA)
Michigan - Insight (both)
MSU - Texas Bowl (both)
Minnesota - None
Northwestern - Dallas FC (MS) or Gator (AA)
OSU - BCS championship game (both)
PSU - Gator (MS) or Outback (AA)
Purdue - Little Cesar's (MS) or Dallas FC (AA)
Wisconsin - Outback (MS) or Cap One (AA)

No change - Illinois; Minnesota; OSU
For the rest - as I said I haven;t been able to figure out the pattern after the Outback. But Iowa did lose half a BCS bid, which drops everyone down in Schlabach's prediction. Including knocking Indiana out of a bowl all together.

Predicted standings:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Polls (and predictions)

With M being ranked #26 in the AP Poll and #36 in the USA Poll, that leads to another way to predict how M will do the rest of the year

Home field not taken into account

AP 8-4. 4-4 in the Big Ten (ND is 5 places behind)
USA Today / Coaches' 7-5, 4-4 in the Big Ten

espn Bowl predictions - preseason (oops)

Forgot until now to check on the espn experts bowl predictions for Michigan and the rest of the Big1T1en.

They have a new "expert" this year, Andrea Adelson replaces Bruce Feldman; Mark Schlabach remains.

I'll highlight their Big Ten picks:

Illinois - No bowl
Indiana - Schlabach has the Hoosiers in the Little Ceasars Bowl - nothing for Adelson
Iowa - both in the Rose Bowl
Michigan - Texas Bowl (MS) or Dallas Football Classic (AA)
MSU - Gator (MS) or Texas Bowl (AA)
Minnesota - Nothing
Northwestern - Insight (MS) or Gator (AA)
OSU - both in the BCS championship game
PSU - Both in Outback
Purdue - Dallas (MS) or Insight (AA)
Wisconsin - Cap One for both

So it would appear both had the final standings:
then it varies - I'm not sure which bowls get which teams after that anyway...

We'll see if anything changes after the first week. I would guess M might have improved in their minds. Purdue's loss to ND was probably expected (MS had them in the Orange Bowl!) so that shouldn't have dropped them too much, but I bet it does...
Not sure about Northwestern's close victory over Vandy - I predict little change for them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Response to some of what Mike had to say

I agree with most of what you say. I don't think there are any receivers that are "very good" or "great". I still don't like Odoms much, but if he continues to be a great downfield blocker, and makes one or two good catches a game, he could become my favorite.

I think your summary of Drob's passing, and fear of being forced to do it downfield (3rd and long) is right on the money and the most reasonable posting of any kind I've seen on any blog today. This week is going to be scary when those situations come up. Hopefully, they do try the QB draw and it is successful. Then the D will have to concentrate on that more and Drob will have a better chance at throwing.

Yeah, 70% of this week would be nice. My math puts him at over 1500 running and similar passing at that rate. I just don't see that. Am I being negative?


M vs. UConn review

The questions coming in:

The QB - Who will start? Can Velcro really run the offense and pass the ball well enough to keep the other opposition honest?
  • As I said in previous comments - I can;t imagine a better performance from Robinson. Whether it was because UConn just didn't have enough tape to scout him properly or that he really is THAT GOOD we'll wait to find out for sure. But if he can perform at 70% of this effort M will be successful (at least offensively).
  • I'm still not sold on his arm. But assuming the coaches keep the playbook limited to plays he can succeed with, I think they might be OK. I like the run opening up throwing lanes and the screen passes opening up the seems. But if he has to throw a lot of long outs or deep balls on obvious passing downs, I'm still not convinced he has the arm to pull that off.
  • The addition of the zone read really makes him much more effective - although UConn didn't have much luck stopping even the straight sweeps and draws.
  • Forcier's dad's comments certainly made it seem like there might have been some sort of team suspension that Tate was under for this game. I still think he can be a decent college QB. If he really is buried at 3rd string, I wouldn't blame him at all for transferring.

Running backs - Are they good enough?
  • I thought Shaw and Smith both showed promise. I was surprised they ended up below 4 ypc. I Shaw looks like he could have all the tools. Smith seems like he would be a great third down type back - good receiver out of the backfield - shifty for draws and screens etc. I don't think anyone else played (fullbacks don't count)
  • Seemed like Stephen Hopkins looked good in the spring game - I was surprised he didn't get any game time - same for Michael Cox.
Receivers - does quantity = quality?
  • So may options here. Is it too many? Hemmingway is hurt again, now Roundtree is questionable for the ND game. I like Tay Odoms. He made a key block on Velcros TD run. Other than Odoms and the injured Roundtree, I'm not sure what M has. Terrence Robinson seemed like he was pulling a wagon on that seam pass, should have been a TD.

Defense - Questions everywhere - How much will they run the real 3-3-5? Is Moundros really the answer at linebacker? Can Roh build off the promising freshman showing? The DBs - can they be anything but a liability?
  • I don't remember them lining up in the true 3-3-5 at all Saturday. I think this might end up being similar to always hearing about the 1-3-1 zone trap that Beilein runs for the basketball team, that they used maybe 10% of the time last year and all of that was before the conference season.
  • They're definitely multiple. I like that they increased substitutions. There was at least one formation that was really a 2-3-6, counting Roh as a linebacker and the hybrids as safeties.
  • I didn't notice any difference with Thomas Gordon or Carvin Johnson in the game. I guess the injury will decrease some depth.
  • The corners weren't tested. But they did make some nice plays. Floyd caused the fumble. Rogers almost had an interception. Seems like I remember Kovacs making some good plays against the run, but looking a little lost on a 20 or so yard pass on the far sideline on their TD drive (or maybe their fumble drive). I don't remember much from Cam Gordon, Seems like the long pass UConn tried, the receiver was behind him and as deep as I remember Gordon playing that can't be too good.
  • A team with more of a passing attack (like ND I assume, or at least MSU, Purdue... among others) will be a truer test for the DBs - and I don't look forward to that at this point.
  • The linebackers - I don't remember anything too awful. I heard Mouton's name a lot - so I would guess he'll have a decent result from the mgblog UFR. I htink Ezeh played most of the game but Moundros did see some time.
  • They switched along the D-line a lot. Mostly in the non Martin/non RVB position. Seems like the better series for UConn may have occurred when either one of them was out of the game. They didn't get a whole lot of pressure. No official sacks. Roh got through a few times, but there was certainly no BG in waiting based on this game.
Special teams - how will that go?
  • Gibbons had the first horrible kickoff and he missed a FG and a PAT. I've heard the PAT was maybe on Dileo (the holder). And there were some crazy winds - so I'm not giving up on Gibbons yet, but he needs to show up at ND.
  • Hagerup - I think only had one punt. It wasn't pretty, but got a great roll - I'll take 50 yards net all season. Can't make any judgment on this one.
  • Returns - T.Robinson misplayed the one short kick off and Gallon fumbled the short punt. I think both were because the wind was playing tricks on those kicks, but you have to know the conditions. If the choice is a great returner who might fumble some or an average returner who catches the kicks and doesn't fumble - I'll take the latter every time.
  • I guess I can understand RR wanting to have Velcro play in this offense. As I mentioned above if the offense can stay in down and distance situations that allow Velcro to run the plays he's (or really I'm) comfortable with him running, they'll be successful. At this point I'd rather see a QB draw on 3rd and long than him throwing downfield. I hope I'm wrong.
  • Obviously it is too soon to judge the defense. Maybe the GERG finally has enough players to run some different fronts etc. More available bodies has to be better right?
My prediction was 34-24, although the offense scored under my prediction, I'm still very pleased with that effort. The defense certainly was better than I'd expected - I hope it is due to them and not due to UConn.

Offense - A-
Defense - B+
Special teams - D
Coaching - B

Favorite Notre Dame Players

#17 Matthew Mulvey Jr. QB (not on the depth chart)
#77 Matt Romine Sr. OT (backup left tackle)
#5 Armando Allen Jr. TB (starting running back)
#5 Manti Te'o So ILB (starting inside linebacker)

High School Playoff Points

In MHSAA playoff points:
-Tecumseh is tied for 176th in class B.
-Gladstone is tied for 87th in class B.
-Hillman is #14 in class D

NSL Ladder

There has already been a conference game played in the North Star League, so a ladder (formerly, and incorrectly, referred to as a tree) is necessary.

Hillman - Augres-Sims - Atlanta - Mio - Hale
Twining Arenac Eastern

Hillman conference prediction based on this (home team wins on same rung) is 3-2

Don't worry, once teams in Tecumseh's and Gladstone's conferences start playing each other, I'll do a ladder for them, too.

Review Pre-season Game Predictions

I predicted M would lose to Uconn. Thankfully, I was wrong.

I'm going to stick with my 6-6 season record for now, though. I'll probably have no choice but to change it if M defeats ND.

WDFN Poll Question

From 080410, in the evening:

Will Denard Robinson lead Michigan to a bowl game this year?
-Yes, he leads Michigan back to a bowl
-Not sure, let's see how he does @ Notre Dame
-Not sure, let's see how he does in the Big Ten
-No, he won't hold up against the Big Ten

The answer choices are basically one yes, one no and two maybes.

I'm sticking with M going 6-6. If Drob doesn't get hurt, then he will lead them.

Notre Dame Fight Song

Notre Dame Victory March

Of course this is a classic and everyone has heard it before. What I like most about it is that during the main part of it (the trio?), it says much more than most fight songs. Usually, we just hear things like "we will win. we are great", but the Victory March asks to "wake up the echos" and "shake down the thunder." They recognized tradition way back in 1908. Nice.

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame,
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky.
What though the odds be great or small
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory.

Review Pre-Season Predictions

If I have a chance, I will review how my pre-season predictions are coming along.

1. The defense is 7th in yards/gm, 7th rushing yards/gm, T7th passing yds/gm, t5th takeaways, #3 scoring. The good news is that most of the other B10 teams played amongst the easiest games of the season this past weekend, and M still has their two "stat-padding" games coming up. The bad news, of course, is I can't tell if the D is going to be any good against decent teams
2 QB controversy is not really a controversy today. If Drob plays 62.4% as well as he did Saturday, he will keep the job without any controversy
3. Regardless of what Tate's dad is saying, I think Tate is gone after the year. I hope that Tate was suspended this game for attitude issues (or whatever is going on between he and Rodrig, and if Drob struggles next week, Tate is the one that is chosen. If Gardner goes in again before Tate, I'll be pretty sure this is a correct prediction
4. As far as I know, no starters from Saturday are off the team yet.
5. I don't know if Gardner has officially blown his redshirt yet, but if he doesn't have an injury in the next couple weeks, he'll be gone in 4 (or less).
6. The polls aren't out yet so I don't know for sure what is happening this week, but I believe M will get some votes. A victory over ND may get them into the top 25 (like last year). We'll see.
7. Molk going out made me wonder about this one. One review of the OLine's performance I read, had Molk doing the worst out of all of them. We'll see how this goes.

One prediction I forgot to write down, but I mentioned to people many times was that there wouldn't be a 1000 rusher or receiver this year. I don't know if I would have specified RB or not, but clearly Drob is on his way to 1000 rushing.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


M had 4 drives of 11 plays or more. If the weakness is the defense, then that ball control offense may be the best defensive strategy.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What Does It Mean?

There is no question M was more impressive than what I expected, and Drob had an amazing game. It was a very good win against a decent team. Like every other first game of the season, this victory means much more than just a victory. It allows us to have a better idea of what the remainder of the season could mean. Most M fans, especially those who were predicting 8 wins or more, are probably increasing their win prediction by a game or two after the great performance today. I, on the other hand, am too much of a curmudgeon to do that.


It could be that I have been burned before (remember, how we all felt after the ND game last year). It could be that RR's teams are inconsistent and a downfall is imminent. It could be that I just can't accept the "Drob is God" sentiment that has existed since his first play against WMU. It could be all of a little of each of these things, but it could also be because of the following:

1) Drob probably had the best statistical game he will have all year. I'm not saying he won't be effective and be the star of other games, but he was pretty much way too good today. As opposing D's scout M, they will find ways to stop slow down Drob.

2) Drob was statistically amazing in the passing game today. Against a D with some DBs with speed, the downfield passes Drob made today will be knocked down or picked off.

3) So much is put on the QB's shoulders in this offense, that losing Drob would be a heck of a blow. I know the crowd likes Gardner almost as much as they like Drob, but he is not there yet. It reminds me of the 2007 Oregon team that fell apart when Dixon got hurt. I could see that happening here.

4) M only had 1 penalty. That was a good thing for this game, but it is not going to happen again. It is great to see that discipline has been improved, but you have to expect more than that each game from now on (though less than last year, probably)

4) M had 3 fumbles. Fortunately, none were lost, but if that fumble number doesn't decrease, the lost fumble number could be a game loser.

5) The kickers are bad.

I'm sure there are other reasons, but these are the first that came to mind. I thought of a few reasons why I am wrong about the above, but I just can't allow myself to fall into the trap of thinking things are going to be OK. Not yet, I can't. They've done this to me before.

Countdown to Kickoff - day 0

September 4, 2010

Michigan ____ - Connecticut ___

Predictions are in. The stadium looked great on my run by this morning.

Go Blue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beat the Huskies!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Countdown to Kickoff - day 1

October 27, 1979

Michigan 27 - Indiana 21

In celebration of the 100th year of Michigan Football, the Go Blue Brunch at the Track & Tennis Building brought back all the living All-Americans to sit at the dais. My dad kept sending me up to get autographs. Somewhere in his house, there is a photo album that includes all these signatures. I saw it over the 4th of July and was pretty impressed by some of the names - Bob Chappius, Rick Volk, Rick Leach etc. I'll try to have a post with some pictures of this later.

This might have been the Go Blue Brunch where I played catch with Schemmy Schembechler during some of the speeches as well.

For the game, my parent had horrible seats in row A in the south endzone. I was able to sit in the student section with my sister Kathy. For the majority of the game I had a much better seat than they did...

I really only remember 3 plays. With Michigan leading 21-14 and just about a minute left, the Alumni cheerleaders were challenging the current cheerleaders (and these were the real ones - in the yellow tops, not the pom-pom squad they have today) to hand walk across the north endzone. As they were most of the way across, the had to stop because Indiana was scoring what would be the tying touchdown on a long pass from Tim Clifford to Dave Harangody (I assume that is the father of Luke Harangody - the former ND and current Boston Celtic).

With under 20 seconds left and without any timeouts, John Wangler dropped off a short pass in the flat to Lawrence P. Reid. There was no way Reid was going to get out of bounds. He underhand flipped the ball ouut of bounds right into the hands of Indiana Head Coach Lee Corso. Corso was furious, but no penalty was called and M was at the 50 yard line with 6 seconds left.

Indiana jumped off side and the next play was called dead, moving the ball to Hoosier 45, setting up Michigan History. There have been numerous last second TD bombs both before and since. Staubach's Original Hail Mary against the Vikings in the 1975 playoffs, Doug Flutie against Miami in 1984, Michigan suffered the crushing loss to Colorado in 1994. But this was different, whether it was because Wangler couldn't throw the ball 45 yards or because the Michigan offense just didn't have the bomb in their play book - but Wangler hits Carter only about 20 yards downfield - he has to slip the tackle of the two defenders right on him, then out run the remaining safety to the endzone. I would put this game winner 2nd only to the Cal-Stanford band game for most unique game winning play.

When you look at the play now, so many of the choices seem archaic. Wangler makes a play action fake - I wonder if that held the linebackers who needed to be true to the run? In today's football Indiana would have 3-4 players back inside the 10 waiting to knock down the bomb, or in this case, make the tackle. And don't get me started on Corso's outfit.

Of course Carter and the other 100 players who pour off the sideline into a giant pile in celebration, all end up right in front of my parents. Their horrible row A seats paid off after all.

Eventually Kathy and I left - I don't remember how we reconnected with my parents - but I remember we could still hear the noise from the stadium all the way to the State & Packard area - I don't think too many others left the stadium, they must have just stayed and screamed.

Here's a few embeded videos capturing Bob Ufer's famous call, I like the one with the inset of a skipping Bo Schembechler - it really shows how this is really a game - that is pure joy from that old curmudgeon.

Go Blue! Beat U Conn!!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Countdown to Kickoff - day 2

October 30, 2004

Michigan 45 - MSU 37; 3 OT

The second version of the "Legends Game" as my dad calls it was the 2004 M-MSU game. They again invited all the former players back to form a tunnel for the players as they reached for the M Club banner.

The weather was sunny and hot when the game began, but after the sun went down the temperature plunged. I actually went out and bought a long sleeve shirt later in the game.

Michigan had no answer for the MSU spread, especially draws to DeAndra Cobb. He started the scoring off with a 72 yard TD run, pretty much untouched. Mike Hart answered later in the quarter to tie it at 7. A Drew Stanton - totally unsurprising - QB draw put the Spartans back up by 7 before the end of the 1st.

The M defense finally had a bit of a stop, holding MSU to a field goal, making the score 17-7 at about the 9 minute mark of the 2nd. Late in the half, LaMarr Woodley sacked Stanton - separating his shoulder. Stanton's revisionist history has M fans cheering the injury - I remember the standard light applause for an injured player coming off. Stanton had been very good, M didn't have much more success against Damon Dowdell.

Garrett Rivas answered with a Michigan field goal just before the end of the half making it 17-10 Spartans.

Amazingly enough, the 3rd quarter was scoreless, and the teams entered the 4th at 17-10.

A Spartan field goal made it 20-10 early in the 4th. On their next possession, Cobb had his second long TD run - a 64 yard effort - making it 27-10 with under 9 minutes left. When Steve Breaston misplayed the squib kick forcing M to start the drive inside the 10, it looked like it wasn't going to be Michigan's day.

M made it almost 90 yards down inside the MSU 10, when the drive stalled. Carr sent out the field goal team, I couldn't believe they were settling for a field goal, down 17 with ~6:30 left. In retrospect Lloyd knew what he was doing... Rivas made it 27-13. Michigan sent out two kickers for ht kickoff - Rivas squibbed it toward the Michigan sideline a Spartan misplayed it and Brian Thompson recovered it for what might be the biggest play in the comeback.

From here Braylon Edwards took over. Michigan dodged a long field goal attempt at the end of regulation.

The overtimes were at the far end of the field. Michigan settled for a field goal on their first possession - giving M their first lead of the game - the D was able to hold MSU to the same.

MSU scored quickly on their second possession to go back up by 7. Henne hit Jason Avant in the back corner of the endzone, the PAT tied it back at 37.

M went first in the third overtime on the second play Henne hit Edwards on a crossing pattern he went in the rest of the way for the 24 yard score. Starting with the 3rd overtimes, the teams have to go for two. Henne hit Tim Massaquoi in the back of the endzone for the 2 points giving M the 45-37 lead.

Four incomplete passes from Dowdell and Michigan had completed comeback from a 17 point deficit late in the 4th quarter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Conference championship games 1993-2009

Using the determined divisions, I went back and looked at which schools would have won the respective divisions each season and determined the Big1T2en championship game match-up (where possible - Nebraska is often a variable)

Here goes:

2002Iowa OSU

3 possibly 4 times since PSU joined the conference M and OSU would have met the next week. Doesn't appear that there would have been any other next week repeats. And only a few other definite repeats. Only Minnesota and Indiana failed to show up at all in the championship game.

I don't really have a problem with how the divisions came out. Nothing would be perfect, supposedly they based it on the records since 1993.

M vs. UConn based on historical data

M is 159-43-1 in all games I have attended (all stats are only for games I have attended unless otherwise mentioned)
M is 133-31-1 in games at Michigan Stadium
M is 2-1 against schools from the Big East
M is 30-4 in the first game I have seen in a particular season
M is 48-12 in non-conference games
M is 43-7 when facing a team for the first time
M is 2-0 against teams nicknamed Huskies
M is 4-1 against teams with head coaches named Randy
M is 11-3 when both teams have head coaches with the same first initial
M is 16-3 against schools from the original 13 colonies
M is 60-13-1 against State Name Univ or Univ of State Name schools
M is 2-0 against schools whose commonly called name is similar to a Canadian Province or Territory (UConn = Yukon; Boston College = BC = British Columbia)
M is 3-0 on games played on September 4th
M is 7-4 with #5 as starting QB; 26-3 with #16 as starting QB; 34-10 with #7 as starting QB

It is simple when you add it all up:

MICHIGAN 34 Connecticut 24

UConn Fight Song

UConn Husky

Interestingly, the arrangement they use now is an adaptation by David Maker of an earlier arrangement by M Alum, M-Fanfare composer and arranger of many traditional M tunes, David Bilik.

U Conn Husky, symbol of might to the foe.
Fight, fight Connecticut, it's victr'y, Let's go
Connecticut U Conn Husky, victr'y again for the White and Blue
So go, go, go Connecticut, Connecticut U. Hi!
C-O-N-N-E-C-T-I C-U-T. Connecticut,
Connecticut Husky,
Connecticut Husky, Connecticut C-O-N-N-U. Hi! (repeat)

Favorite UConn Players

#30 Matt Edwards OLB (not on the two-deep)
#5 Blidi Wreh-Wilson CB (starter)

Opponent's Mascot Statue - UConn

As a new (possibly regular) feature, I will try to post a picture of a statue/sculpture on the opponent's campus, of the opponent's mascot.

This one is of Justin, the original live UConn Husky mascot.  This statue is located outside Gampel Pavilion.  I couldn't find any information on the sculptor.  I'm just going to say it was done by Michaelangelo.

Divisions are supposedly in

WDFN via some Lansing reporter:

Michigan - MSU - Nebraska - Iowa - Minnesota - Northwestern

OSU - PSU - Wisconsin - Purdue - Indiana - Illinois

It seems like they tried to split the rivalries, but PU and IU are both in the one division and Iowa and Minnesota in the other. Seems like they should swapped one each of those to keep all these inter-divisional rivalry games as the season finale.

It would seem that the Michigan division might have more depth while the OSU division has a tougher high end.

Countdown to kickoff - day 3

November 22, 2003

Michigan 35 - Ohio State 21

This was the 100th meeting between Michigan and OSU (it was also, unfortunately, the last time Michigan has won.) I had to convince my dad to come down and take advantage of M inviting all former players to form a tunnel to the "M Club Supports You" banner as the team takes the field. He did finally decide to come down. We went to an M basketball game the night before (a rare victory) and then to the chili brunch where he picked up his tickets on the morning of the game. It is unfortunate M didn't hold out to win the 2005 M-OSU match-up so I could highlight his exploits against the OSU band.

Our seats were in section 9 in the second to last row at that time. During pregame a fly-over was planned and the spotter was standing right next to us, so we could hear the back and forth. He actually asked us how much longer the pre-game show would continue...

Michigan broke onto the scoreboard late in the 1st quarter with some trickery. On 3rd and goal from the 3, Steve Breaston snuck into the QB role and ran an "option" keeper for the TD.

On Michigan's next possession, John Navarre hit Braylon Edwards on a crossing pattern. Edwards broke a couple tackles and ended up with a 60+ yard TD reception, putting M up 14-0 early in the 2nd. Michigan's defense held again. M was moving the ball but faced a 3rd and 9 from the Buckeye 23, when Navarre hit Edwards for a second TD. In just about 10 minutes of clock time, Michigan had turned a defensive battle into a rout!?!

The defense got a little soft and allowed an OSU score just before the end of the half. 21-0 is infinitely better than 21-7, with the other team just getting the 7. I was not as happy as I'd hoped at halftime.

The second half was Chris Perry's time to shine. He capped off the opening drive of the half with a long TD run where he made a great move after breaking through the line to juke the last defender wit ha chance. And M was back up by 21 points.

After a long Navarre - Edwards TD pass was called back on a holding call, the Buckeyes answered on another Craig Krenzel TD pass - cutting the lead back to 14 midway through the 3rd. When OSU added their third TD early in the 4th. That 21 point lead was all but squandered. M lead by just 7 points with almost 14 minutes to play. When Navarre was picked off in the next series, it could have gotten REALLY BAD.

But the defense held. Chris Perry put M back up by 14 midway through the 4th. From there the defense held on - Ernest Shazor finished the Buckeyes last drive with a tipped interception.

Michigan had won the 100th meeting against their hated rival, they were Rose Bowl bound for the first time since the National Championship team of 1997.