At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
Yikes. This sounds un-good:
The U.S. Department of Education issued a scathing report to the University of Michigan, chastising U-M for routinely violating federal accessibility laws and effectively shutting out wheelchair users from Michigan Stadium football games.
The federal department has threatened to terminate federal funds to the 39,700-student university if U-M doesn't submit a plan within 10 days to correct the numerous violations outlined in the 42-page report dated Oct. 26.
"The university is discriminating against individuals with mobility impairments ... because the stadium does not include a sufficient number of accessible seats; the accessible seating is not dispersed so as to provide persons with mobility impairments the same range of seating choices as is provided to persons without disabilities ... and the routes, toilet rooms, and concession stands are inaccessible."
I was under the impression this case had to be tried or something; can the DoE unilaterally impose a punishment like this? Anyone out there have an idea how significant an event this is?
10/29/2007 - Michigan 34, Minnesota 10 - 7-2, 5-0 Big Ten
If you could create some sort of time vortex that inverted the order of the quarters in the Minnesota game Saturday, there would be no complaints from even the grumpiest Michigan fans out there. After an insane decision to rotate David Cone and Nick Sheridan at QB and two atom-sized white dudes at RB on the open series, Carlos Brown jets for an 85 yard touchdown, Ryan Mallett lays in a perfect strike to Mario Manningham, and the rout is on. It's 21-0 at halftime and eventually 34-0 before Mallett offers Minnesota a free touchdown and the Gophers get a late, meaningless field goal. Order is restored, Michigan squashes all comers and everyone goes home happy, even wizard's sleeve Tim Brewster, as Michigan's final drives would have been tepid three-and-outs.
This did not so much happen. I didn't actually read this week's game thread -- it's 926 comments long! -- but I did get this email about it from Matt K:
I wanted to drop you an apology for the flame war that took place in the game comment thread. I got pretty pissed off at something that was said and unleashed a barrage of f-bombs and inappropriate insults. I know you like to keep that stuff to a minimum. I know you'll end up deleting the posts, but please don't ban me. It won't happen again. I won't comment for a few days and will come back with a clean mouth and without the anger.
I would put the ETA on this little contretemps at two seconds after Mallett fumbled away the aforementioned free touchdown, staking Minnesota to a 10-0 lead. I can sympathize. In the stands at Michigan Stadium, I swore like a sailor and mentally prepared myself for The Horror II.
Michigan ran off 34 straight points and 500 yards from that point, Minnesota 0 and about 100. Michigan's last useless throw to Andre Criswell vaulted them to 561 yards, eight past Minnesota's season average. After the game, I accepted a chiding for my lack of faith. I'm betting that simultaneously frequent game thread commenter Magnus called various other frequent game thread commenters wizard's sleeves for various slurs, profanities, and gypsy curses uttered whenever anything went wrong during the game.
I was annoying; Matt was annoying; Magnus was annoying. We are all united in this. All of us reasonable people are really two completely insane people coming to a compromise. One of them, sports id, is Mike Valenti (MAKE PLAYS!). The other, sports hope, is that guy who predicts 12-0 before every season and then is totally unperturbed when things go wrong when they should be angrier than anyone. Unadulterated, both are irritating. So let's stop, maybe? Let's take immediate aftermath venting for what it is and let it go; I promise to not let gunmetal skies, Appalachian State, and the comical ineptness of an opponent or two ruin the last days of Hart and Henne and Long and (very probably) Manningham.
- This game meant nothing given all the backups in and the hideous performance of the Minnesota quarterback. The only two takeaways, IMO: a reinforcement of our issues with the interior run and what should be a final dispelling of any Manningham-related discontent.
- I swear to God I sat directly in front of Gloria from Miscellaneous T. Same irritating New Yawk accent, same complete inability to grasp simple concepts -- her husband explained that the teams switched endzones after the first quarter, then had to explain it again after the third -- and the same (projected) inability to stop talking. It was alternately amusing and awful. They were going to the Gandy Dancer after the game; I debated whether to tell them it was the most overrated restaurant in town and suggest the Earle, eventually deciding against it. The specter of a long conversation where she completely failed to understand me was too much.
- At halftime, a various men set up something that looked like an oversized metallic dandelion, then exhorted the crowd to cheer the oversized metallic dandelion, then took the OMD to the sideline without offering either an explanation or compensatory pyrotechnics. We booed them as they left the field. Why? Because eff them, that's why.
Does anyone have any idea what this was all about? The theory batted around was that they were measuring noise levels, but why and for what? And why at halftime when nothing in particular was going on?
- Oh God, every dire and awful item about Ryan Mallett's preparation consisting of playing MarioKart and listening to Bob Marley seemed horribly true in the first half. The free touchdown, screens winged to Tacopants -- Tacopants has never done screens before -- and Mallett's now-standard running-around-and- maybe-doing-something- awesome-but-probably-just-getting-sacked act... all horrible. Even the long completions were overthrown balls upon which Manningham and Arrington made superb catches. (This is less of a criticism, since said balls were a bit long and outside -- the place to miss if you're going to miss -- and they were completed; any ball thrown that far downfield and completed is by definition a decent throw.) I pined for, in order: Tom Brady, Chad Henne, Steven Threet, David Cone, Nick Sheridan, myself, and Richard Nixon's corpse, almost reaching Jimmah Clausen before Mallett did something, anything right and definitively proved himself better than Jimmah. Then in the second half he bombed and bombed and bombed and hey, that's pretty good. The most deeply schizophrenic performance by a Michigan QB in a long time.
- Greg Mathews looks like he's going to get his shin broken on every punt return.
- Weekly complaints about special teams: Zoltan dropped three punts at the five. All of them made it to the endzone. Not once has a Michigan gunner flagged down one of the many opportunities Zoltan The Inconceivable has provided to pin opponents deep. More evidence of disjointed coaching on special teams, yes? ZTI ended up so disgusted that he booted a second-half punt into the endzone, saving the crowd the trouble of hoping.
- At this point it looks like Michigan is going to have a bonafide tailback rotation in 2008 for the first time since Anthony Thomas took over for Clarence and Howard in 1998. (Unless you'd like to count the brief Askew-Perry here, but IIRC that was short-lived due to injury.) Grady, Minor, and Brown are all likely to receive carries, and probably for most of the year.
- Another day, another disturbing inability to stop read option dives. At least with Mendenhall and Jonathan Stewart you could console yourself with the idea those guys would be playing in the NFL before long. This Bennett kid? Not so much. Fortunately, it looks like we're done with the damned spread option until the bowl game; unfortunately it's doubtful that Michigan's weakness against the interior rush is limited to just one particular play.
- I don't know if the pass interference call on Warren was legit, but even if it was that sort of tough in-your-face defending bodes extremely well for his future. Draped on the receiver, he found the ball and made a play on it. The recruiting hype on him, at least, was 100% accurate.
- Brandon Harrison has come into his own as a detonator of screen and option plays.
Game column around 1-2 PM.
It's MSU week. That can only mean one thing: MAKE PLAYS!
- Michigan State: 3:30, ABC
- Wisconsin: noon, ESPN.
- OSU: noon, ABC.
No more BTN, and an opportunity for Hart to show his wares for a sadly unlikely Heisman run. If only Matt Ryan's complete suck had lasted four more minutes... or VT had rushed like four or five guys.
He's a winner. On the last play of the Minnesota game, David Cone rolled out and threw an eight-yard pass to Andre Criswell, who ran up the sideline for like 20 yards against Minnesota's crappy defense. Tim Brewster's reaction:
"I don't know what went into their thinking on it," Brewster said. "But obviously I think it was a disappointing thing. Maybe somebody will ask [Michigan coach Lloyd Carr] what he was thinking."
I have an exclusive interview with Lloyd Carr that reveals all.
MGoBlog: So why did you call a meaningless eight-yard pass instead of a meaningless three-yard run on the final play of a 34-10 blowout?
Lloyd Carr: To brand Tim Brewster deep with the mark of shame. He will go to the end of days with the knowledge that his team gave up a first down trailing by 24 with no time on the clock. I am remorseless, without pity, the destroyer of all that opposes me. Bow down, Brewster. I am your God.
MGoBlog: Super! WHY DID YOU PUNT ON FOURTH AND FOUR AGAINST OHIO STATE TWO YEARS AGO?
Lloyd Carr: That's a stupid question.
"I just shook hands with him and went about my business," Brewster said. "But I think he knew that I was thinking about the last play and maybe what his thought [process] was."
Oh, yeah, Minnesota's got themselves a winner here. Two words: wizard's sleeve. Glen Mason must be laughing his ass off.
Come back plz. Henne and Hart... available? Maybe. Carr:
"I'm optimistic that both of them will be ready to go," Carr said after Saturday's game. "But, as I've said in the past, it's day-to-day. I know that both are much, much better than they were a week ago. We'll see how the week goes."
So... probably, I guess.
First and what? He threw a what? Varsity Blue takes a look at the first down playcalling against the Gophers, which featured 22 runs and 6 passes. Those passes:
1. Incomplete pass to Moundros (0 yards).
2. Pass Interference (15 yards).
3. Mallett lost fumble (-4 yards, returned for touchdown).
4. Mallett scramble (7 yards).
5. Mallett sack (-16 yards).
6. Manningham Touchdown Bomb (40 yards).
Not exactly pure awesome, although you don't really expect Mallett to say "hey, here's a free touchdown" on a regular basis. Meanwhile, Minor and Brown plowed the Gophers... eventually. I plead small sample size.
A toothpick, some gum, and a shoelace equals... this potential starting lineup for Michigan basketball:
Don't read too much into it, but the starting lineup for Michigan's closed scrimmage at Kent State Saturday was Ron Coleman, Zack Gibson, K'Len Morris, Jerret Smith and DeShawn Sims.
Videos. Wolverine Historian presents the '97 MSU game:
Woo rainy 3:30 start.
One night only. Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer author Warren St. John will be signing books and such at Nicola's at 7 PM tonight; he's also the editor of a new Guide To Psycho Fan Behavior with contributions from Mssr. Swindle. So, like, go.
Nobody charged with anything. A bit odd to see this headline from the News...
Manningham not charged with felony
...as you could technically run that headline every day for every player on the team: "BJ Opong Owusu not charged with felony." But whatever. Within we finally get resolution on that mysterious traffic stop over the spring:
Manningham, 21, the Wolverines' leading pass catcher, could have been charged with a two-year felony because a few tablets prescribed to a teammate were found on him during a traffic stop in Monroe County last April 25.
Prosecutor William Nichols announced today he has decided no warrant against Manningham will be issued. Nichols did authorize misdemeanor charges for a small amount of marijuana found on two other people in the car, Johnny Sears, then a cornerback for U-M, and Deion White, 17, who apparently has no connection to the program.
Manningham's vicodin was borrowed from a teammate after his offseason surgery; he had a prescription for it but unwisely decided not to get it re-filled. So no big deal. A potentially larger deal is the obvious Driving While Black nature of the arrest:
In southern Monroe County, not far from the state line, an unmarked car pulled up behind the Cadillac. In it were at least two agents from OMNI, a coalition of city police, county sheriff's deputies and state police troopers aimed at interdicting drug trafficking. The agents, returning from an assignment in another county, just happened on the Cadillac.
Because the Cadillac had Mardi Gras beads dangling from the rearview mirror and may have been going 10 mph over the speed limit (the unmarked car wasn't equipped with radar), and one occupant wasn't wearing a seatbelt, the agents radioed ahead to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department to send a marked vehicle to make a stop.
For reasons that are unclear, the sheriff's deputy searched the three young men and the car. Sears and White had a small amount of marijuana secreted in their clothing, less than the amount found in one joint.
It gets even more awesomely civil-rightsy:
The three young men were arrested and transported to a nearby State Police post, where a decision was made to strip-search Manningham and Sears while White was handcuffed to a stair railing.
At the risk of allowing the political to intrude in a strict no-politics zone: outrageous. Black men + Cadillac == stop, obviously illegal search without probable cause followed by strip search. Wheee!
Hartbrownminorchart... is up at Genuinely Sarcastic. Improvement from Boren, tough days from Ciulla and Schilling. This was also my reaction to what looked like an honest-to-God zone read late:
The "WTF" on Carry #29: Um...it looks like a zone read. If Chad Henne ever runs the zone read play out of the shotgun again, Lloyd Carr and Mike DeBord should be institutionalized ASAP. I'm not kidding. Zone read?! Are you serious? GTFO with that garbage.
Seriously. Oddly enough, we've seen Purdue come out and run a zone stretch against us this year. I suspect what's happening here is that the scout team puts in all these plays to prep for an opponent and the head coach says "hey, why don't we use that in the game." The usual result: second and thirteen.
Sans Gisele; still pretty good:
Demolition. Jon Chait eviscerates Weis at Slate; BGS -- cited by Chait as a representative slice of Irish nuttery -- responds with 3000 words that's mostly bluster and spin about how wonderful the first two years were under Weis. Just one thing:
However, I would like to see the naysayers point to another coach who, without any relevant previous head coaching or college coaching experience, lead an incredibly high-profile team to levels of comparable achievement.
Could this be because "incredibly high-profile" teams don't get shot down by their top choice and have to settle for someone who's never been a college coach at all? Naysayers can't point to another coach who has led someone to "levels of comparable achievement" -- two fradulent BCS bids in which they were as competitive as Air Force would have been -- because no high-profile team has been dumb enough to hire a total wildcard.
This is obviously the Irish nadir, as Weis has recruited well, but anyone arrogant and stubborn enough to make the "missteps" Weis has and run off the kids he has is unlikely to do anything but fail in the long term.