I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
3-2 over BC, 9-2 over Merrimack. Michigan stands 4-0-0 on the year.
- ETA on "Hobey Baker" chants for Johnson: 2 weeks, and he'll deserve each and every one of them. Incredible player who can literally do it all. He crushes opposing forwards. He skates with them. He dekes them out of their jocks. He can shoot hard an on target from anywhere with little provocation. He makes all the right passes.
- Cogliano scored his first points of the year with 2-2-4 against Merrimack but his best play was a straight nasty bit of stickhandling that got him past two Warriors and garnered a hooking call. I was disappointed with him in the first few games but he's beginning to assert himself.
- We are going to have trouble scoring on a consistent basis. We've got Hensick and Cogliano, Porter and Kolarik, and Hunwick and Johnson, but there's very little after them. Ebbet and Kal will score periodically but they're not to be relied upon. I miss Tambellini badly.
- David Rohlfs got skated around on almost every shift against BC. He's going to have to be protected against skilled teams. Ditto Tim Cook, who many say is improved but... uh, yeah. I don't see it.
- Only two goals against BC sounds good but both were very soft and made me think uncomfortably about that guy from last year who liked punching people. Ruden was his usual self: solid positionally and completely unable to control rebounds.
There's a distinct possibility that the CCHA doesn't blow this year. A lot of teams have opened up with very strong results:
- Michigan is 4-0 with a win over BC.
- MSU is 2-0 and beat North Dakota.
- Alaska-Fairbanks took 3 points from Minnesota in Minnesota.
- UNO is 2-0 with a win over UNH.
- Lake State took 3 points from ECAC contender Colgate.
- OSU split with Colorado College.
Northern Michigan's split against St. Cloud--a team likely headed for the WCHA basement--hurts, as does BG's loss to Merrimack and WMU's loss to Robert Morris (enjoy your lovely parting gifts, Jim Culhane), but other than that no CCHA teams lost games they were supposed to win. Several teams outperformed expectations, which will really help out in the pairwise towards the end of the year.
Games to keep an eye on this weekend:
- ND is going into the lion's den (OMG CATHOLICISM!) with a road weekend against DU and CC. A split here would be a tremendous result for the CCHA. Wouldn't get your hopes up, though, Jeff Jackson or no.
- Northern has a home and home with and improved but still bad Michigan Tech team. If NMU is going to be one of the CCHA's better teams (and they probably should be) dropping more points to WCHA bottom feeders will not help matters.
- Fairbanks travels to Alaska-Anchorage for a pair. If UAF can take 3 or even 4 points from a meh UAA team in their second consecutive weekend on the road they'll announce themselves as a CCHA contender and greatly help the PWR comparisons. Michigan also takes on UAF next weekend for a pair at Yost. They could come in smokin'. [UPDATE: I'm mistaken on the location of the UAF series. It's at Fairbanks, making the weekend look even more daunting. Thx to reader Puckhead.]
- A two part cheer directed at BC freshman Brett Motherwell: "I did your..." "Moooootherwell."
- Students screaming "dance" in the first period against Merrimack whilst up 6-0 and again up 7-0.
- A treasured "Goalie Goalie Sieve Sieve Sieve" against the Warriors.
- "If you're not good at hockey, go to Merrimack /
If you're not good at hockey, go to Merrimack /
If you're not good at hockey and you know you really suck, go to Merrimack"
The Next Weekend
One game against Michigan State at Yost. State's gotten out of the gate well and this one will be a typical MSU-UM game in which the Wolverines badly outplay and outshoot the Spartans but can't put it away due to Angry Michigan Safety Hating God. I have doubts about Sauer's preparedness but none about Vicari's. Call it 3-2, MSU.
Michigan Monday Catfight Part III! Er... no, not really. Here it is. I was going to disagree with him about his main thesis, which is this:
This looks like a completely different team from week-to-week, half-to-half and sometimes even play-to-play.
But upon watching about 2/3rds of the game I have to say that this:
The offensive line is so porous that it looks like even mediocre opponents are holding a Tupperware party in the backfield, then the line turns into a cohesive unit against a solid defense.
is both true and utterly mystifying. Michigan still had its issues but if you were to scale the problems they had against Minnesota to the talent level on the PSU line you would get total disaster, which didn't happen. Tamba Hali did nothing all day save for one admittedly badass sack. Lentz had a couple instances of really poor pass protection, but other than that they did a very good job against a very tough defense. Who knows why? [OMG HOLDING!!! -PSU ed. I'll get to you and your crazy ass in a second.]
Iowa has also been smote by Angry Michigan Safety Hating God. Iowa's "possession" (read: white) receiver Ed Hinkel has a broken arm and is out for the year. Defensive backs Antwaan Allen and Charles Godfrey also missed the Indiana game, both with sprained ankles. Both are questionable against Michigan.
Right. Yeah... uh... well... you PSU guys are crazy. Like the guy who gets caught outside in a nuclear holocaust crazy:
Our biggest rival is, and has been since we entered the Big Ten, the referees. Their colors are white and black. Their mascot is a zebra. And they are unbeatable. No amount of talent on the field or coaching on the sideline can stop them.
This continues for a long, long time, if you're interested. PSU fans have gone beyond the standard "the refs are dumber than seahorses" fan bitching and gone into a place where logic does not exist. If the referees were actually out to get PSU, why the tetchy PI call on Hall at the end of the game? Why rule the Henne fumble a fumble when it was so close? Why make an incorrect call in PSU's favor that is overturned by review? The sense, it no make. Not to mention that the refereeing conspiracy is pretty crappy when all your efforts only get the favored team a single shot from the ten with one second left. We need to pay these guys more next year... and include the ND game in the package.
You can check the fan comments on the next post to confirm that this isn't the delusion of one man, but rather an entire fanbase. It's uniquely paranoid. All fanbases have a litany of terrible calls that went against them. Only Penn State thinks that the referees are out to get them.
I almost felt badly for the deranged visitors who flooded Ann Arbor until I walked into Michigan Stadium and immediately got told that Michigan sucks by some cocky students. Cocky! Sure, Michigan was 3-3 and PSU 6-0, but it's amazing what a last second win over Mighty Northwestern and a squeaker in the annual PSU-OSU Worst Game Ever Played will do for your confidence. Ann Arbor was overrun with these guys who had forgotten eight years of total futility. Make it nine. I hope you had a safe trip home.
Also: your band plays nothing but that "hey" song and that song they play at NHL playoff games in Canada. You also have a four word fight song: "We are Penn State."
Yes, yes you are.
He could go to the hizzle shizzle. Odd article in the NYT about ESPN-speak drifting into sports writing, but I think the major problem is with incredibly annoying sportstalk radio phrases drifting into the common discourse. I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but two incredibly annoying phrases in specific, "drinking the Kool-Aid" and "thrown under the bus," are banned here. Any attempt to use them in a non-ironic fashion will result in your post being edited with [I AM A JIM ROME-LEVEL TOOL] replacing the offending phrase.
(Roundtable #10 is up at ATL. Check it out.
1. What would it take for you to vote someone other than USC #1 in the poll? If you already are, what would it take for USC to regain the top spot on your ballot?
USC's hold on #1 in my ballot is getting precarious given their struggles against Arizona State, Arizona, and Notre Dame, but there doesn't appear to be a challenger that has looked as impressive against a comparable schedule--sorry, Texas, but the Big Twelve is way down this year. Ohio State is a good win but USC's got a match with the ND win and the second tier (Oregon, ASU versus OK, CU) is advantage USC.
Virginia Tech is 6-0 but has had three functional byes against Duke, Ohio, and Marshall. Best win to date is over Georgia Tech. They struggled against a mediocre NC State team. USC's resume easily bests them. I think I'm actually going to drop them behind...
Georgia, who have only had one functional bye against ULM and has a win at UT, which roughly corresponds to USC's ND win. They nuked Boise but struggled against that other USC. Every other win has been fairly comfortable, though not a blowout. Still, UGA has a complete defense, a very good ground game, and an intermittently spectacular passing attack.
What about Alabama? They've only played one good team, Florida, and didn't exactly blow the doors off Southern Miss, Ole Miss, or Arkansas.
2. Which of the undefeateds is most likely to remain so? Who is least likely?
Most: Texas. They've got a game against Texas Tech and then the soft nubbins of the Big Twelve (Baylor, OK State, Kansas) before a game against A&M and then the championship game against whichever short bus-riding team makes it out of the North.
Least: Texas Tech is fraud city, baby.
3. If you were running the BCS system, would you let the computer rankings factor in margin of victory? Why or why not?
Um. Sort of. There is not enough information to get effective computer rankings without extra data, but pure margin of victory is often distorted by meaningless touchdowns. Why is the final score the only relevant piece of data when play by play is available? Computer rankings should be allowed to use any piece of relevant data. Margin of victory is a useful piece of information. Excluding it is stupid, especially when you cap it at 21, as the BCS used to.
Links to your ballot are desired here, as are any general comments you have to make. There are a ton of interesting conflicts after a wild, wild weekend in college football. Have at it.
Comments about the general state of college football and how they should affect the blogpoll go here.
Let's get some last basking in before Mr. Rational Analysis shows up pissed off about the punt with under three minutes left. Vijay of IBFC is a prince amongst men for bringing us an extra-heapin' helpin' of highlights this week. Please run over there and click copiously so that his high traffic marks are not exclusively bad bad video.
Almost makes you want to run around writing paeans about how Michigan is OMG THE BESTEST... but no.
Sam's crack investigative reporting also reveals that there was someone at the game who screamed "Robinson, you filthy goddamn pirate hooker!" I regret to inform you that this was not me.
Ian at Sweaty Men Endeavors details a phone call to his sister right at the end of the game that contained the following priceless exclamation [swearin']:
"YEAH! YEAH! OH HO HO! UNBELIEVABLE! MANNINGHAM, YOU MAGNIFICENT MOTHERFUCKER!"
I mention it because clearly the acronym YMMFer has entered circulation around these parts and you should probably know what it means lest I turn into TMQ.
Johnny of RBUAS, well...
So I'm sitting there with my brother, when all of a sudden this kid number 86 was in the back of the end zone with the ball in his hands, and I start thinking about football and Octobers and oxygen and why we breathe it. And I realized they're all pretty much about the same thing.
OMG REFEREE OMG!!! The rich, beefy irony of this...
This is from the official 2005 NCAA Rules and Interpretations guidebook:
Rule 9, Section 3, Article 2B - Interfering for or helping the runner or passer.
"The runner shall not grasp a teammate; and no other players of his team shall grasp, push, lift or charge into him to assist him in forward progress."
"Penalty - 5 yards from the basic spot."
By the way, the clock runs on an offensive penalty.
The following is a quote from Reggie Bush, regarding the last-second touchdown run by QB Matt Leinart:
"I just shoved him in there as hard as I could."
Excuse me while I go throw up. I'm literally having dry heaves as I write this. We won this game.
There Is No God
Jesus would not let a team that represents everything that's wrong in the world rip the heart from his mother's university. USC is a team full of drug dealers, rapists and violent criminals.
I'm jumping on the bandwagon... the atheism bandwagon.
This is a message for the throng of SC dicks from Brendan Loy's site who have come here to gloat. Go away. Show some class and let us wallow in our misery without rubbing it in. Jesus, you've won 28 straight and you still can't act like you've been there before. Oh, and one more thing... [picture of man flipping bird]
...is a delicious icing on Saturday's Mario cake. Instant karma. I mean, Notre Dame OMG literally never loses without blaming the refs! Whiners! OMG!
Can't we force these guys to root for someone else? It's okay to dislike Lloyd Carr and quietly hope he retires in the near future. It's less acceptable to call for his firing publicly--bad form all around there. But when you do this...
A couple of blocks from Michigan Stadium, a small group of fans in army helmets painted maize and blue stood with signs and literature demanding Carr's ouster. One man held a sign with a grainy picture of Osama Bin Laden and "Osama Bin Lloydin has hijacked Michigan football'' written above it.
... you should get your picture posted outside all the gates and be banned entry for life. By the way, I passed by these guys and they were indeed a "small group"... a small group of exactly two people. The Ann Arbor News published their names: Teague Orblych and Joel Getchner. Assuming those are in fact accurate, it's time to revoke whatever season tickets they have. And possibly send David Harris to their homes to gently explain the difference between a football coach and Osama Bin Laden.
So this is a habit. Big Ten Wonk helpfully pointed out that when Courtney Sims said something to the effect of OMG National Championship(!!!) recently that this was not a new phenomenon:
Courtney Sims, Michigan sophomore big man and fabulist, for his bold-â€”nay, Namathesqueâ€”-talk on media day: "I think we're capable of [winning the national championship]. I think we have the talent. If we just come together and play as a team, I don't think anybody can really stop us."
Yeah... I think we can all agree that Sims is the Michigan Basketball equivalent of that guy who shows up at Tim Horton's with a really big spoon. (Yes, that joke will only be comprehensible to Hockey Night In Canada viewers, so it's time to ask yourself "Why don't I watch Hockey Night In Canada? Am I a communist or something?")