"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
Total Ballots: 77
CHAOS! A THOUSAND TIMES CHAOS! We're about 10% of the ballots away from seeing Alabama shoot from #8 to #1, BYU is ranked above USC, we have an entirely new bottom five, multiple teams dropping seven or more spots, and there is Vanderbilt.
Note that the BP is more skeptical about Texas Tech (#7) than the AP (#9), continuing its tradition of looking askance at crappy schedules; unlike Hawaii, the Texas Tech issue should get resolved shortly as the Red Raiders enter conference play.
Also, we love Vandy (#16, #19 AP). Woo Vandy!
Wack Ballot Watchdog
I’ve again omitted anything from the resume zealots, such as “Texas #24”. We know the reasons behind these votes and as such they aren’t “wack.”
- Two voters still have Wisconsin #10, including Dawg Sports, which moved the Badgers up three after the loss. (Extremely long explanation here.) Meanwhile, the Auburner only slides UW down three.
- Wake Forest is #9 to… Dawg Sports. Oh, he won the Mr. Bold award. Nevermind. This will prevent us from highlighting many, many more weird votes redundantly.
- Vanderbilt votes stretch from #5 to #25.
- People are voting Tulsa as high as #15 or #16 based on victories over UAB, North Texas, New Mexico, and Central Arkansas. People are voting Texas Tech much higher than this, sure, but… two wrongs don't make a right etc.
- Speaking of Texas Tech, can I call out the vast majority of voters for throwing an unproven team that never ever lives up to the hype generated by stomping the sisters of the poor in the nonconference into the top ten because ooooh shiny Crabtree? No?
- Buffs.tv ranks TCU #13. Next most enthusiastic voter is #20.
- I can only assume by Doctor Saturday's ballot, which features Utah #4 and is the poll's only vote for Notre Dame (#16), means he thinks Michigan is much, much better than it actually is.
- Wheeee Northwestern #9 from Saurian Sagacity. Our intrepid NU blogger Lake The Posts only has the Cats #23.
- Um… TNIAAM has Illinois—wins over Eastern Illinois and ULL—#13, up two after losing to Penn State.
- The poll's most enthusiastic GT fans are both Boston College bloggers.
There’s still not much because we have little data. Extracurriculars after the jump.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.
Auburn snatches away the "most confusing team to rank" this week, probably because they have one chainsaw defense and one offense that makes you want to cut yourself with a chainsaw.
First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.
Lo, it has finally happened: a non-dedicated resume ranker has submitted the statistically weirdest ballot in all the land. Dawg Sports—no stranger to these parts himself—is your new Mr. Bold recipient. Dr. Saturday's reign comes to an (eventual) halt.
Now to evaluating the ballot: Dawg Sports has ditched everything previous to come up with a new ballot based entirely on a team's resume, which is of course why he has Wisconsin (win @ Fresno State, loss @ Michigan, filler) ranked in front of LSU (win @ Auburn, undefeated, filler). I don't mind resume ballots per se, but frankly Dawg Sports turns in "resume" ballots indefensible by any measure at least twice a year. There's a lot of other weird stuff there that not even other resume sorts think is reasonable and discussing it just makes me cranky.
The danger here was always that I would be forced to grit my teeth and say something nice about a Mr. Numb Existence victor from Ohio State: this is that day. Around The Oval is a… blog… that is… good. It is run by Ohio State students who are not I repeat not everything that is wrong with Amurrica. They post entertaining pictures of Beanie Wells.
Next we have the Coulter/Krugman Award and the Straight Bangin' Award, which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.
The CK Award had an outright whiff last week, as Ohio State handled Minnesota easily (the final, scrub-influenced score was deceivingly close), but this is Ohio State versus Minnesota. Even the dire powers of the CK Award extend only so far.
The season thus far:
- Michigan State loses to Cal.
- Boston College loses to Georgia Tech.
- Auburn beats Mississippi State 3-2(!!!).
- Utah beats Air Force 30-23 but found themselves tied with a minute left despite outgaining the Zoomies by 249 yards.
- OSU clubs Minnesota.
I think that's 4/5 games with nefarious doings and one OSU-Minnesota matchup. Not bad.
This week we have an incautious return winner: Michigan State and "The Enlightened Spartan." He flings MSU up to #16 after their glorious victory over Indiana during which Michigan State outgained the Hoosiers by 23 yards and gave up almost 500 yards to Indiana's backup quarterback. Woo! State takes on Iowa this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Straight Bangin' Award has been a relatively safe thing to win in its history since it usually goes to fans of teams who have just seen their team eat it and are overreacting, but holy cow Bruce Ciskie had some serious Cassandra action going last week as Michigan rose from the dead to squeeze by Wisconsin. The evil must have taken a wrong turn on US-23.
But our winner is Saurian Sagacity, which features a spectacular winning margin of nearly 13 spots. The reason is a monstrously inflexible system that ranks all undefeated teams above any team with a loss (with limited exceptions) and has Vandy, UConn, Kentucky, and Northwestern in the top ten.
Meanwhile, the rest of the top five: rope-a-dope, rope-a-dope, rope-a-dope, residual USC rope-a-dope.
Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.
Dr. Saturday is your Mr. Manic-Depressive again, and for the usual reasons: vast swings having to do with resume ranking early in the season. Also there was plenty of chaos this week.
Hey Jenny Slater is your Mr. Stubborn for the week, largely because he was uncommonly gentle to the week's four big losers, dropping each around five spots instead of the close to ten that was the poll norm. Nick Saban says Doug is as soft as his team. ZING!
No, seriously, Doug, no toaster-throwing? I don't even know you.
First let's celebrate by punching me in the face for submitting this Monday and forgetting to post it. Some notes:
Notes and such: Alabama is #1 and I don't see how anyone can vote for anyone else since they've basically done to Clemson and Georgia what Oklahoma's been doing to Cincinnati and TCU.
Penn State moves up past Missouri and some others on the strength of their win against Illinois and the Beavers' win over USC. South Florida? Well… you find someone else for the top ten that's not got some hideous thing.
Texas Tech has played Eastern Washington, Nevada, SMU, and UMass. Screw those guys. I ain't putting them in the top ten.
Is BYU really #8? Is Utah-BYU going to be one of the biggest games of the year? Is there really a section that reads "Northwestern-Vanderbilt-UConn-Maryland"? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Michigan's first commitment for the class of 2010, is no surprise: it's FL WR Ricardo Miller, the strapping kid from spectacularly named Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando. Miller is a junior, so information on him is a little sparse, but what exists follows.
GURU RATINGS & CHATTER
There aren't any yet, but a friend of the blog who works for Florida Football Magazine conveniently brought Miller up apropos of nothing in an IM conversation yesterday. The oracle spake thusly:
As you'll see in the magazine we're really high on Ricardo Miller. Like super high. Like best receiver in the class of 2010 high.
It's not clear whether he meant "in Florida" or "in the universe" but those two things aren't often that different. The magazine itself ranks Miller the #2 player in Florida's the class of 2010, saying this:
Big, strong, and fast, Miller could be playing for a major college right now but he's only a junior. He was the star of many off-season 7-on-7 tournaments.
Miller's an outside receiver at 6'2" or 6'3" and between 180 and 205 pounds.
Miller has an impressive suite of offers for a junior: Florida, Tennessee, South Florida, Central Florida, and Stanford. Also Michigan, obviously.
I couldn't find any from his sophomore year; I know he's been targeted heavily so far this season.
FAKE 40 TIME
Miller's 40 time is actually in the vaguely plausible range, as he's reportedly run a 4.47. This is still probably fake since he's a big guy and that was run when he was just as sophomore, but it only gets one FAKE, not three.
You know a kid is an impressive prospect if he's got freely available sophomore video, yes?
Mmmmm, "tight end" end around. Tight end around?
There's also a touchdown catch from his junior year here.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
The evidence is flimsier than normal this time, but as we saw with Will Campbell the kind of guys who get offered this early by a wide array of schools are often OMG shirtless sorts. Given the buzz emanating from Florida this seems a likely outcome for Miller; he should be a slam dunk for top 100 lists next year and has a chance at five stars.
Side note: Miller carries a 3.8 GPA and is considering early enrollment.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE (2010) CLASS
Miller's a hell of a start to the 2010 class; it's fortunate that Michigan lucked into a kid who needed zero convincing of where he wanted to go in a year that otherwise might have been a tough sell with freshman quarterbacks and Threet and whatnot. With Stonum, McNeal, and Miller, Michigan will have three elite outside WR recruits in consecutive years with some attractive options (Roundtree, Peace, whoever comes in with Miller in 2010) waiting in the wings should the headliners fail to live up to their billing.
If MI WR Jeremy Jackson—son of RB coach Fred Jackson—decides to stay home, Michigan could lock up a monster 2010 WR class faster than you can say something that doesn't take very long to say.
Update 9/30: Linked to articles on FL WR Jeremy Gallon, MD LB Jelani Jenkins (video), LA WR Rueben Randle, CA QB commit Tate Forcier, VA DE Will Hill, SC DE Chris Bonds, header on FL CB Mywan Jackson, FL LB Mike Marry (video), CA WR Shaquelle Evans, FL S Vladimir Emilien, Moved MI S Thomas Gordon to committed. Would move 2010 FL WR Ricardo Miller to committed if I had a 2010 board.
Added AZ OL Taylor Lewan.
Little scouting bits on MD DE Jason Ankrah and MD CB Travis Hawkins. SI/Takkle has put out a top 200; another article on Jenkins and Randle. A teammate of Pahokee commits Vincent Smith and Brandin Hawthorne was shot and killed this weekend; Michigan is recruiting another Pahokee kid but I think he's on the back burner.
Editorial Opinion: Recruiting board lives here.
First, something horrible in the lives of Brandin Hawthorne, Vincent Smith, and Martavious Odoms:
PAHOKEE — High school football standout Norman Griffith was only the latest shooting victim in a region afflicted by steadily escalating gun violence, authorities said today.
Griffith, a senior and team captain, was shot in the head and killed about 1 a.m. Saturday as he was driving from a dance in Belle Glade at Southwest 12th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. His teammates, many of whom have had trouble sleeping, gathered this afternoon to mourn him at the Pahokee Parks and Recreation facility, where many of the boys played youth football with Griffith.
Griffith was going to play college football somewhere; the photo gallery accompanying the article is worth checking out.
And now for something completely different:
Two commits in the past couple days, one from Cass Tech safety Thomas Gordon. Gordon is a three-star sort but one with a good alibi: he never played safety, the position he projects to in college, until his senior year. Once he did he picked up quick MSU and Michigan offers. I'll get a "hello" post up on him in the near future.
The other, well…
2010 FL WR Ricardo Miller made it no secret he was going to commit to Michigan as soon as they offered, and Michigan offered last night so he committed. I'll get a hello post up on him, too, but the one sentence synopsis: Miller's an outside receiver who's likely to be a top-five player in Florida next year; he already had a Florida offer. Florida Football Magazine ranks him the #2 player in Florida's class of 2010.
OMG tiny shirtless:
Despite appearances, Miller is not I repeat not a slot receiver.
So Miller is in the fold and is likely to be a big recruit, and if you wander over to FL S Marvin Robinson's myspace page (as always, a warning: myspace pages make you want to claw your eyes out) he's renamed himself "bout to verbal commit to the University of Michigan." Robinson came up for summer camp as a rising sophomore last year and was impressive enough to pick up an offer there; he's been favoring Michigan since. Florida Football Magazine ranks him the #6 player in the state at this early juncture.
And then I spent like way too much time trying to figure out just who in the hell this gentleman is because he's changed his name to "Yep! Yep! If My Bro Goin Big Blue I Am To!!" and myspace is the world's least pleasant software. It turns out he's John Lewis, an unranked 2008 linebacker recruit from the same high school who now appears to be at a JUCO—I can think of no other reason a kid from Lake Region, Florida, would end up in Fort Dodge, Iowa—and has pictures of himself in a Michigan hat splattered all over his site. He did visit M last year with Robinson, but he came back excited about a potential offer from Eastern Michigan.
I don't know what's up with that, as I find it hard to believe he's got an offer what with his ranking and Michigan's historic aversion to JUCOs. Maybe a walk-on?
Defensive ends dropping.
Michigan could probably use a third defensive end in the 2009 class, but with Anthony Lalota and Craig Roh in the fold we're likely to see the great majority of the players on the board slip away. Candidate #1 is SC DE Chris Bonds:
As for his recruiting, Bonds has visited Notre Dame officially and is scheduled to visit Tennessee October 25th. With this down time due to the injury, Bonds said he might move up his other visits. He plans to set dates with Southern Cal and Alabama. Michigan has been on list of visits but he said he's not sure he'll schedule that one. Bonds said right now Notre Dame and Southern Cal are tied at the top of his list.
He's on the board for now in case he does schedule that visit.
Meanwhile, VA DE Will Hill seems to be leaning to Tennessee if you take circumstantial evidence into account. He camped there, visited for the Florida game, and is considering a return trip for Alabama. Possibility 1: he really likes Tennessee. Possibility two: he really hates Tennessee and enjoys watching them get blasted. Michigan remains under consideration:
Hill said he plans to take official visits to Michigan and South Carolina before he announces his decision. Unofficial trips to evaluate Virginia and Maryland are also likely possibilities.
Much has been written of late about the two five-star recruits Michigan is pursuing other than MI DT Will Campbell. Sam Webb had an extensive article on MD LB Jelani Jenkins, who's visited. His father lays out some of the decision parameters:
"Basically we have a matrix that we did on each school," Maurice Jenkins explained. "Part of that matrix is the strength of academics and academic facilities. In Michigan's case, they have an awesome facility there, so you can see they take the academics very seriously.
"One other criterion was that we wanted a team with national exposure that potentially plays in the (BCS) bowl games. Diversity is very important, as is a city that we feel is safe. We want an environment that is diverse where they have respect for different people.
"The strength and conditioning program is real important to us, too, because that is the thing that keeps him on the football field. They have a real strong strength and conditioning coach up there (at Michigan)."
Some eeee Barwis follows, and the general impression given by the article is that Michigan is guaranteed to be in Jenkins top five and could be even better positioned from that. On WTKA Webb didn't go so far as he did with some of the other kids who have committed over the past few weeks, but he kind of sounded like he thought Michigan would be the choice if today was signing day. And how's that for a convoluted sentence? Attempt two: Michigan is in good, not great shape. If we're going by article sources alone, LSU and Penn State appear to be in decent shape as well.
LA WR Rueben Randle is the other five star listing Michigan pretty high, though most are expecting him to stay in-state:
“I want to see what it is like up there,” Randle told TigerBait.com, a site that covers LSU football. “That is pretty much the only one that I have set right now. I don't know the date yet, but I would like to make a trip up to Ann Arbor."
Randle plays for Bastrop, the home of DT commit DeQuinta Jones, and has an existing relationship with LB coach Jay Hopson.
The Times-Picayune had an extensive profile of Randle recently that mostly deals with how sweet he is as a wide receiver. Recruiting isn't touched on much until the end, but a quote from the man himself:
"I'm going to try to go where I can play (quickly) and where I'm most comfortable," Randle said. "There's really nothing more important to me than that, other than academics. Academics are important."
And then his coach:
I think he knows where he wants to go," Bradshaw said. "Or he's at least got a feel for it if he doesn't already know. He's too intelligent not to know. He's got it narrowed down."
"If he wants to go to a school that can win a national championship and where he can get a good edcuation, that should whittle the list down considerably. There's only a handful of schools that can do that, in my opinion."
That quote plus the "I only have an official to Michigan" quote above… promising? Maybe? I'm still betting on LSU.
Header on FL CB Mywan Jackson:
UNC Now Leading for Jackson
Jackson's got a Michigan visit scheduled for later and seems like the type of kid who is BLOWN AWAY by wherever his last visit was to, so he's not necessarily a goner.
Ohio State is the one doing the flippity floppin' on FL S Vladimir Emilien:
"Coach Fickell and I had a long talk on the phone and we agreed to get together again next week to talk a little further about this situation. I was glad to hear from them again, because I've always liked Ohio State, but the fact is that they went about two months without contacting me at all. I had removed them from my list, but now I've got to put them back up there again."
OSU was Emilien's heavy leader before they picked up six defensive backs and kinda-sorta-dropped him; I don't know if they're guarding against a decommit or just wanted to screw with Michigan's chances or what.
Emilien will be up for the Michigan State game on October 24th; he plans a Wisconsin visit two weeks earlier and may take a Stanford trip in November. He plans on committing November 23rd, his birthday. Assuming that Ohio State doesn't have room for him—and I really doubt they do—this looks good for M.
Also in that article is a mention of TX K commit Anthony Fera taking a trip to Penn State. No one thinks this is serious, FWIW.
Going to be ready.
This ESPN article on the battle over homeschooled kids playing for public schools starts off unpromisingly for M fans:
"I'll tell my teacher, 'I have a game today,'" Forcier said. "He'll say, 'That's fine; you don't have to come.' And I'll go to my football school and watch film all day."
In the middle it improves, though:
"He wasn't getting the special attention he needed," said Forcier, who added that Tate's SAT score now is nearly good enough for him to attend Stanford.
And it finishes with a flourish:
There is an added benefit for the player who might one day run coach Rich Rodriguez's spread offense. Because he can set his own schedule, he is able to attend extra workouts with Marv Marinovich, a trainer for the Sports Lab in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
"Most kids don't do more than two or three workouts a week because they're so busy," Forcier said. "I'm doing five or six. On the train [to the workout], I'm doing homework. On the way back, homework. We broke it down pretty well."
Forcier said that when father and son first discussed the possibility of such a schedule, his father had one reaction about the benefits: "Now, we're going to build your ass up until you look like Tebow."
Forcier will probably be at least as ready as Chad Henne was as a freshman, and with his accuracy will press Threet from day one.
Etc.: This article on CA WR Shaquelle Evans speculating about an ND lead is probably misleading; the article referenced is just a standard "Recruit X is BLOWN AWAY" by visit that contains no directly informative quotes from Evans. Michigan remains on the visit list and remains a longshot. FL LB Mike Marry has M in his top seven.
Wooo! The two-pointer as viewed from the student section:
Meanwhile… celebratory posts abound:
- The HSR says [obligatory "rock band" guitar miming] "don't stop believin'." [/miming] Some unruly Wisconsin fans are called out. (FWIW, the ones in our section were all fine except one guy who stood up for almost everything.)
- The WLA has two separate reaction pieces.
- GSimmons has an excellent post from his perspective as a coach.
- Varsity Blue has some bullets.
- In the Diaries there's an… uh… running diary from wolverine32, a simple declaration that Chrisgocomment loves Michigan football, a Saturday relived, and Lordfoul's recap. Uh… and a seriously serious suggestion (we're from serious) that we hire Kirk Ferentz.
Sample the bounty of the internet and laugh contemptuously the next time someone pines for the old days when we'd get Mitch Albom's column and that's it.
BTW, the winner of last week's Awesome Diary = T Shirt Contest was, unsurprisingly, drexel, who got his Wisconsin scouting report bumped to the front page. May I suggest now is the time to get your Bow Down, Little Brother shirt? Or Zoltan For Space Emperor? Topical!
I loled. Cute kids watching the first half of the Wisconsin game, and then a punch line:
That man wins the dry sarcasm award of the week.
We're what? Whenever I post anything about lines four people correct me, but it's worth trying again:
That's the opening line from LVSC. Michigan is… favored? Elsewhere I've seen Michigan –2 and Michigan –2.5, which… wow. I know Illinois has been seivetastic on defense this year and squeaked by a Sun Belt team by three but I have also watched Michigan this year.
Eeee? I was all ready to fire up the Barwis bandwagon once again in the wake of this quote from Brandon Minor…
"There was one play and I ran down the field for an incompletion, and the linebacker that was chasing me, he was out of breath," Wolverines running back Brandon Minor said. "I came back a couple more plays and then scored. I still wasn't tired till my team beat me up on the sideline."
…but, uh… Minor's final line for the game: two carries for 35 yards and one catch for 11. He was in considerably more than he had been the past few games, but this does not exactly seem like a miraculous workload.
At least there's that. Apparently there was no replay of the critical roughing the passer penalty that turned fourth and fifteen into a first down and eventually a touchdown, but someone on the Wisconsin board has a set of images that appear to show it was a good call. FWIW.
Numberin'. Reader Alton provides a link to a mathematical breakdown of two point conversions by lead and time remaining. The data in the cells is what percentage chance you must exceed to make two points the best choice.
The slot for up one with twelve minutes left: 28%. The slot for nine minutes left: 21%. For about 10:30, then, it's reasonable to assume it was the right call if Michigan had a 25% chance to punch it in.
Another reader objects, saying that chart makes an awful lot of assumptions and can't be taken as gospel, and he's right, but I think the assumptions the chart makes—like the offenses in question are NFL-average ones versus NFL-average defenses—actually bias the chart in such a way that they overstate the necessary percentage for the call to be a good idea. This was not a close decision.
9/26/2008 – Michigan 27, Wisconsin 25 – 2-2, 1-0 Big Ten
I don't have to tell you it was ugly at first, but an illuminating example: at a couple points in the first half when the guy with the red hat was on the field various family members of mine stood up because we're natural standers frustrated by the usual decorum of our section.
A set of ancients crabbed at them to sit down despite, you know, the lack of anything to see other than a guy with a red hat standing on the field, and when this was finally annoying enough for someone to respond with the obvious riposte about the red hat a full-scale verbal confrontation ensued in which the crabs behind us simultaneously complained about how we were violating the stadium announcer's request to treat our fellow seatmates with respect and called my cousin "fatso."
I thought but did not say "I know you are wearing a hat that indicates you fought at the battle of Antietam but don't think I won't smash your skull into splinters."
At halftime, Michigan had 21 yards. I tried to hide from the sun and list all the things I would rather do than watch the second half.
At the beginning of the year we were all confronted by an unexpected cost imposed by the massive turnover in coaches and star players: Michigan seemed a little like laundry we wanted to win, and sucky laundry at that. They wore the wrong numbers and ran the wrong way and certainly played the wrong way and goddammit where was Mike Hart?
We know college football players not as people but as things that have transpired on the field. By the story arcs their careers trace out, tragedy or comedy. Without those—without even Lloyd Carr's story to fall back on—the first few games of the season were strangely numb. They lost to Utah? Okay. They lost by 18 to Notre Dame? Okay. You can go back and check the columns here: serenity reigned. That was born from detachment.
Johnny at RBUAS captured this sentiment perfectly:
Mike, Jake and Chad risked their dignity and only left with a little of it, but they came back in the first place by choice, because of something bigger. As for the guys that are still here, Trent and Jamison are mostly quiet and patient and had no place else to go. And no matter how jubilant and grateful Terrance might seem, he knew how much money could be made by coming back. I don’t hesitate to say that wins this year won’t be as satisfying as wins last year were. Not enough of these players have suffered yet.
Those people out there aren't Mike, Jake, and Chad but Threet and McGuffie (or Shaw or Minor or Brown or Grady) and I'm Not Sure Who The Left Tackle Is This Week.
But there is no better one-word description for the first half Saturday than "suffering," and Johnny Thompson is always going to be the guy who picked off Allan Evridge. Steven Threet could have four years of moments good and bad in him but I suspect to me he'll always be looking over his shoulder at Wisconsin safeties, just as shocked at what is transpiring as everyone else.
After it was over I did something I hadn't done since I was a kid making paper airplanes out of the free programs and throwing confetti* in the air whenever Michigan scored. I went down to the tunnel as the players exited the field and watched them go: Taylor boisterous, high fiving anyone he came across, Warren stoic, the Coner completely neutral until someone thumped his shoulder pads in congratulations. The only thing that betrayed Kevin Koger and his old man beard as an 18 year old, not an Antietam veteran, was the kid-on-Christmas-morning smile stretching from ear-to-ear. A blood-soaked band-aid hung from Thompson's chin, gamely sticking to a couple of hairs in his ragged beard. Barwis looked like he was stuck in a paint shaker.
These are no longer strangers. I know how they run, and they are mine. I wanted to say something to them, to wrap everything that had just transpired into a sentence and give it to them, to tell them about ashes and hope and the future. But nothing came.
After Brandon Minor's touchdown run I turned around to see what the crabs were thinking and perhaps to say something unkind. They had left at halftime.
This is what I should have said: "Those who stay will be champions."
- Thanks, karma! The entire crab sequence was awesome.
- Carson Butler got suspended and Mike Massey flailed around a bit before being replaced by Kevin "My Name Lacks An R" Koger, who proceeded to do nothing obviously wrong and then caught a seam route touchdown. If they're going to burn a redshirt, it might as well be for a 30-yard touchdown, and since he doesn't seem appreciably worse than either of the two nominal starters I say let it ride.
- This is what I am talking about with the "It's Great To Be A Michigan Wolverine" chant. It should be kept in reserve for Events.
- I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but if you booed the team you're an asshat. You wear asses for hats. Yes, you may have the purchased the right to boo your asshat-wearing heads off, but you are also taking your frustration out on a team that's obviously trying really hard but just kind of sucks from time to time. Booing the coaches is your excuse? Don't care, the players couldn't tell, and now they probably think we're all asshats because of you. You have a "right" to boo. You also have the right to give your grandmother the finger and call her a harlot.
- The block M in the student section was not epic fail but it did look a little squat from my vantage point.
- What is the point of replay if they aren't going to overturn that ridiculous Wisconsin "reception" in the fourth quarter? Even the Wisconsin fans in our section thought that was a terrible call.
- As I was walking home these guys behind me were having an extended conversation about how Rodriguez was dumb to go for two. One: they were wrong. Two: seriously? Seriously this is what you're focusing on instead of one of the best games in Michigan Stadium history? It must suck to be those guys.
- Those guys at the 1997 OSU game: "It should never have been that close."
- Those guys at the birth of their children: "he has a disappointingly shaped head, did you have to push so hard?"
- Those guys in the space machine vortex thingy from Contact: "you should have sent a poet. I'm just a guy who has no understanding of game theory. I'm not even enjoying this because I don't have someone belting out quatrains about these stupid galaxies."
*(Also made from the free programs. Those things are clutch when you're ten.)