somehow we're only 124th
Scheduling note: Light posting Wednesday; blog is off Thursday and Friday. UFR will be next week.
A clarification about this 1,000 word summary of the OSU game:
That screen capture comes from somewhere deep in the labrynthine comments of MGoBlog's tortured open thread, and may or may not indicate the reality of that specific play; the right side of Michigan's line looks like it could be charging downfield to set up a receiver screen, or it may just be doctored somehow to emphasize the larger reality it perfectly conveys: Michigan did not come close to blocking Ohio State, and though the Wolverine defense was significantly better the vast majority of the time, it was ultimately porous and beaten, too.
For the record, that was a handoff to Mike Hart, and the picture is not doctored.
Wooo! Michigan's likely bowl destinations:
Now Michigan's most likely destination appears to be the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio or Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.
"At best, they'd be looking at the Alamo Bowl,'' said Frank Frana, an official with the Capital One Bowl. "At best.''
Ubiquitous. Yes, I have heard that Miles' wife bought a home in Barton Hills or Dexter or Chelsea or wherever, as have 80% of MGoBlog's readers if the email flood about it is any indication. It's always a friend of a friend thing, though, and no one has stepped forth as a primary source.
Our local Auburn fan has much more experience with crazy job searches and says that "Coach X's wife bought a home in tony area Y" is a standard opening salvo that doesn't really mean much other than "your team is looking for a new head coach." Advice: proceed skeptically.
Riposte. Friday I mentioned the rapidly-spreading meme that Carr announcing his retirement now either damages or entirely kills Les Miles' chance at the job. Stewart Mandel's got it, so you know it must be true! Carty responds indirectly:
And, no, the issue isn't that Michigan couldn't wait. If Bill Martin decided Les Miles was his No. 1 choice, he could certainly sit tight ... but every day he did that, the pressure on, and circus surrounding, Miles would grow larger and larger. I just don't think he could simply refuse to answer questions about Michigan as the job sits open and LSU gears up for the title game. There would be tremendous pressure on him to withdraw from consideration from an administration and fanbase that's still got a huge inferiority complex after being dumped by Mr. Saban.
Even if he did manage to hold out, he'd be blamed from coast to coast if LSU then lost in the title game.
Bottom line? It's a no-win situation for Miles and Michigan fans coveting him if Carr announces his retirement any time prior to late December or early January.
This is completely unconvincing, IMO.
One: This is a classic example of overrating the importance of the media. The "circus" surrounding Miles has been in full effect since the Appalachian State game and he has pointedly refused to come out and say he is staying. Result? LSU is #1. The marginal effect of a blizzard of newspaper articles on a football team is microscopic, if not zero. Glenn Dorsey isn't going to slack off because Miles might leave.
Two: The point at which LSU fans had any illusion Miles would be their coach next year has long past. Check any message board or blog: the opinion Miles is gone, gone, gone is virtually unanimous. They seem to be mostly okay with this.
Three: Carty says Miles couldn't refuse to answer questions about the Michigan job... and justifies that in no way whatsoever. He has already done so. Today he specifically told someone in his press conference not to ask him about other jobs. I wouldn't be surprised if some time in the next week he politely tells the assembled media corps he will not address any issues other than his team and their preparations for the rest of the season. End of circus.
Four: Carr retiring in late December or early January still gives the media enough time to get the circus up and going before the national title game... so what's the difference?
This entire thing is kind of ridiculous. There isn't a person alive other than Kige Ramsey who thinks Miles won't crawl to Ann Arbor over broken glass and bullet ants if he's offered the job. If Michigan has decided he's the guy, they should tell LSU's athletic department and allow the LSU AD to determine what course of action to pursue. Options:
- Pull a Bo, dump Miles for interim HC Bo Pelini.
- Keep it quiet, maintaining the existing status quo.
- Make a formal announcement, removing all doubt and allowing them to get started on their search.
#1 would leave LSU short a coach and in the hands of a first-time head man on a national championship run. #2 is annoying but SOP. #3, IMO, would be the best way to proceed. LSU fans understand the "run home to momma" effect and don't seem peeved at all; the kids are still playing for their own glory.
One thing we can be sure of: whatever happens, Miles will get roasted by the same sort of columnists who love talking about gritty dirty gritful David "Grit" Eckgritstein should LSU lose.
Jebus. Yet another NYT article on the stadium renovations -- they're covering this more closely than Iraq. I only mention it to highlight another deceitful John Pollack quote:
"Clearly, the University of Michigan felt it is more important to accommodate millionaires in luxury boxes than it is to guarantee equal access to the stadium for disabled fans," said John Pollack, who organized a group called Save the Big House.
Yes, of course, as if the two items have anything to do with each other.
Recruits. Time to start panicking? Maybe, maybe not. Instate commits Kenny Demens, Boubacar Cissoko, and Dann O'Neill all reaffirmed their commitments to Michigan today. PA LB/RB Christian Wilson, however, said something about re-opening his recruitment earlier, and PA WR/KR Cameron Saddler and LB/DE Shayne Hale have eliminated Michigan. (HT: Varsity Blue.)
Etc.: ong> Best AA Gameday signs -- my personal favorite is "we can afford sleeves"; Angelique Chengelis talks about her interactions with Carr; GS says goodbye, Lloyd; MnB on the game; Braves and Birds diagnoses all the fail.
11/17/2007 - Michigan 3, Ohio State 14 - 8-4, 6-2 Big Ten
Saturday was wet and cold and miserable and had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Though other games have been more painful or less competitive, November 17th, 2007, stands alone in terms of sheer miserable boredom.
Michigan's best and most frequently deployed offensive player was the punter. There was one event of significance in the entire game, that being Chris Wells' game-sealing 62 yard touchdown run; once Tressel got his 11 point lead he decided he was done for the day. Ohio State threw two second-half passes, neither of which landed within ten yards of an eligible receiver. Even the flyover was canceled due to the weather, a particularly nasty near-freezing drizzle that crept into your bones by halftime.
These were the impairments to enjoyment inflicted on the viewing public at large. A couple insults were added to injury in my section. Invading Buckeye fans took to standing on the wet, rickety bleachers, providing the interested observer with the choice of getting up on the bench yourself, thus drawing the ire of everyone behind you, or peering through a thicket of heads to see the "action." (Scare quotes smarmy but 100% required.) Behind us two solid rows of central Ohio's finest truck drivers and forklift operators hooted constantly, literally saying "ain't nuttin' wrong with that" after every four yard Wells run. A good time was not had by all.
And so. And so what do you do with that?
One. In the aftermath I was -- am -- angry at Carr for hanging on too long, for bringing in a minimally qualified friend to coordinate the offense, for allowing his charges to put out an undisciplined, lackadaisical show time and again this year. This year is going to end in some rinky-dink December bowl. Michigan put up 91 yards of offense against Ohio State and lost for the fourth straight year. All of that's on Carr. Jake Long and Chad Henne and Mike Hart deserved better than what they got.
Carr was stubborn, arrogant, and loyal to a fault. There is no Carr coaching tree because the program is inbred.
Two. Carr was a curmudgeon in the best possible way. When it comes to calling out the hypocritical power structure of college football, he stands entirely alone. No other coach has called out the NCAA for adding a twelfth game while simultaneously protesting that a playoff is infeasible. No other coach has directly called for the players to get paid. He was a tireless advocate for his players and his program. Last November I sat in Michigan Stadium and listened to him eulogize Bo and wanted no one else to coach Michigan.
People unfamiliar with the program bash him for a lack of class because of post-game handshakes and halftime interviews gone awry as if "class" means putting a good face for stupid questions and meaningless gestures. No, he didn't like the media. But do you like the media? Carr was the best argument college football is about something other than violence and money the sport had.
And he won. Not lately, but he won.
There is an obvious split here. The first section is about Carr the coach; the second about Carr the man. I'll miss him sometimes, but mostly on Monday, not Saturday.
Lloyd Carr, the third-winningest coach in Michigan football history, will announce his retirement after 12-plus seasons as the Wolverines' head coach, players confirmed today.
The official announcement will likely come Monday morning at a 10 a.m. press conference held at the Junge Champions Center.
Carr told his players of his decision at a team meeting this afternoon.
"He's not going to be here any longer, but he enjoyed the moments that he had to spend with us," senior linebacker Chris Graham said. "It's a sad thing to hear, but I enjoyed every moment of being here with him. He's a great coach to me. He's like another father figure. Just having him here is the whole reason why I came."
For what reminder I can provide: Lloyd deserves some sort of recognition; I hope the students can provide something. Go Blue.
Just two links, so go read them. It's required by law.
Great players' legacies should be based on their entire body of work, but even if I've never spent any time in the Upper Midwest, I know enough about the gleeful antagonism between Ohio State and Michigan to know that's not exactly how it works. Saturday is the last chance the kids who started together with such promise four years ago, and have largely lived up it, have to go out alongside Lloyd Carr without the oft-referenced albatross of being the "Michigan Men" who never beat Ohio State, never won a bowl game, never won the Big Ten outright (the 2004 title was a tiebreaker situation over co-champ Iowa) and ultimately never capitalized on tthe full possibilities.
Tomorrow, it is over for them all, it is over for this era, this dynasty, however plagued by the ability to let us down it might have been. The dynasty that won our hearts and little else, it is over for them.
Oh, and... two sources indicate that the Scouts, Inc., report on Hart is excessively pessimistic: Hart will definitely start, as will Henne. It'll be up to their respective joints to hold up, but they're playing.