0-5-3 start to the season.
Just 5 (edit) goals in 8 games (0.63 per game)
All of this in year 5 of Chaka Daley, as he dropped to 33-37-14 at Michigan after tonight's 1-0 loss to WMU. The 3rd straight shutout loss and 5th game of the 8 played where we failed to score any goals.
Chaka has failed to make the NCAA Tournament each season outside of his first year which was done with the previous coach's players (and he still only managed a record one game above .500).
The previous coach was handed the DB special. If you read Endzone, you know what happened. If you didn't, long and maddening story short-
- DB gets hired in 2010
- Michigan, in its 11th season as a program, goes 17-6-3 and makes it to the NCAA College Cup (final four), and came up short in the national semifinal in a one goal game to eventual national champion Akron.
- 98% of the scoring either goes pro or graduates after the season.
DB makes douchey remark at banquet-
"Congratulations on making the Final Four. Do you know what happens when you make it to the Final Four? We expect you to do it again".
- Michigan naturally has a down season in 2011 with all of its offense gone from the previous year. Every loss in that 5-14-1 season in 2011 came by one goal. Michigan also upset the team that beat them in the College Cup.
- Steve Burns wrongly fired after the season ends.
So fast forward to now. No tournament since 2012, finishing lower and lower every single year in conference play similar to Hoke. It's gotten to the point where it's even being said by the BTN+ Student broadcast team that the players are going through the motions out there. It's sad for a guy like Evan Louro who is a great goalie. He's getting no help whatsoever from anyone.
Bizzare transfers happening including losing a hometown kid in Ahinga Selemani after one year and TWO players transferring to OHIO STATE!
Michigan's offensive output of 5 goals in 8 games is the second-worst total through that many games in program history. What's the first? Two years ago under Chaka where it was 4 goals in 7 games.
Warde Manuel's first real hire here is likely coming in November/December. Because 0-5-3 in year 5 where things have been getting progressively worse is not cutting it.
Not when you have the former US WNT coach leading the women's team and approaching his 100th career victory here.
Here's my short list for coaching candidates-
Paul Snape- Head coach at #10 Butler. He was an assistant here from 2003-2010. Butler is 5-0-1 currently with wins over B1G teams and their only blemish being a tie with top-15 Louisville.
Kevin Langan- Head coach of the top-5 ranked UNC-Charlotte 49ers. Was an assistant there for their College Cup in 2011. He has a 56-21-10 record there, and the 49ers just crushed Rutgers who isn't that bad in men's soccer.
- Steve Burns- He's been out of coaching since he was wrongly fired, he works in the Alumni Association. Would be a heck of a story.
W. P. Kinsella passed away last weekend at the age of eighty-one. During his lifetime, Kinsella published seven novels and over a dozen collections of short stories, but the work for which he will be most remembered is Shoeless Joe, the book on which the 1989 film Field of Dreams was based. Now familiar to sports fans and non-sports fans alike, the story hardly needs to be recounted: an Iowa man hears a spectral voice while standing in the middle of his cornfield, and by heeding its call, the man discovers a way back to the baseball heroes of his youth. Kinsella’s work was often assigned the label of magical realism, a term which suggests the blending of fact and fantasy into a tenuous equilibrium, but to the true devotee, Kinsella’s work may read more like a testament of faith. Kinsella’s lasting contribution may be the way in which he taught sports fans to believe in the voice from the sky.
For thirty-three years, until 2005, Howard King was the voice from the sky in Michigan Stadium, where he served as the public address announcer. Understated and level, King’s voice raised an entire generation of Michigan Football fans to appreciate the unique culture of the program: substance over style, consistency over conceit, tradition over all. This was not the culture of most other institutions, and certainly not of the businesses which constitute the NFL, all of whom sold their souls to the Devil in exchange for a few extra decibels of arousal. In fact, up until the last decade, Michigan Stadium crowds were frequently disparaged for behaving more like an audience at a symphony -- clapping at appropriate times, looking on in silence during the rest -- than a throng at a football game. Whether or not the criticism was fair mattered little (nor does the fact that King’s replacement, Carl Grapentine, is -- of all things -- a deejay for a classical music radio station). Michigan fans didn’t care. We didn’t need piped-in music or pleas for cheering. All we wanted was our beautiful metaphor, the steady drone of Howard King’s voice punctuating another methodical march down the field.
To those who watched carefully, King was once again present at The Big House this past Saturday afternoon, though this time, it was not his voice which greeted fans but, rather, his image. Since the arrival of coach Jim Harbaugh last season, Michigan’s game day field entrance has been preceded by a video montage -- narrated by another iconic Michigan voice, James Earl Jones -- featuring footage of Michigan greats from all walks of University life: astronauts, United States Presidents, professors, former athletes, television personalities, and olympians. Each week, the video changes ever so slightly, substituting a picture here or there so as to keep the cast in fresh rotation. In the most recent edition, someone in the athletic department had decided to slip in a black and white shot of King glancing at the camera from his regular perch, in front of a microphone in the old Michigan Stadium press box. How many other fanbases would recognize a mugshot of their former public address announcer? Yet it was unmistakable. For a split second, he was there.
The powers that be have not been kind to Michigan Football fans for much of the past decade, yet I’m not talking about phantom forces or the proverbial Big Man Upstairs. Most notably through the amalgam of quagmires brought on by former athletic director Dave Brandon, those who’ve stayed have felt the foundation of the community tested again and again by higher ups who’ve tried to reboot and rebrand Michigan Football for their warped, data-driven concept of the twenty-first century. Too often during that time, Michigan fans have been told their program is something that it isn’t: an alt-rock jam named “In The Big House”; a two-tickets-for-a-bottle-of-Co
Given extensive work commitments and a second “career” within the 80s synth music revival scene, I had decided to forego the annual diary series this year. But with multiple diary series AWOL, I figured I what the heck.
This year I’ll be reviewing the week’s best and worst performances in the conference, using boxing as a metaphor.
All contests fall into one of four categories:
- KOs, TKOs and Unanimous Decisions (i.e. emphatic wins/upset wins)
- Split Decisions (i.e. wobbly wins)
- Moral Victories (i.e. losses you can take heart in)
- Out Cold (i.e. losses that make pandas sad)
Note: this is a week-by-week thing, not a power ranking type thing. Previous performances only come into play when ranking within these categories. I will, however, comment on the team’s overall performance and outlook in the comments.
[Rankings in parentheses.]
KOs, TKOs and Unanimous Decisions
1. OSU (3) beats Oklahoma (14) 45-24 on the road.
Whether OSU is really that good or Oklahoma is just worse than expected is a matter of debate; as far as I’m concerned, it’s both. Oklahoma certainly has not looked like a playoff contender so far, and that probably contributed to the way this game played out. That said, this young OSU team actually looks better than they did a year ago this time, when the roster was heavy with NFL-bound upperclassmen. They may still drop an egg at some point, but this was a big test and the Buckeyes passed it with ease. A potentially/hopefully momentum-killing bye week beckons, after which Rutgers offers itself up for ritual sacrifice.
2. MSU (12) beats Notre Dame (18) 36-28 on the road.
MSU’s anemic victory over Furman led a lot of people to question whether this Spartan team lived up to the standard set by the last three. But even if this Notre Dame team was overrated going into the game, a road victory over a ranked team is no small feat—especially considering ND’s recent success in the series. Simply put, had MSU played like they did against Furman, they would have lost. Instead, MSU’s offense clicked and the defense got just enough plays out of its experienced linebacking corps to hold off a last ditch comeback attempt. We’ll see whether this was a one-off performance or something more sustainable when they play Wisconsin at Camp Randall.
3. Nebraska (NR) beats Oregon (22) 35-32 at home.
Nebraska has a good roster...by Big 10 West standards. They did last year as well, and probably should have won 8-9 games. Unfortunately, they were really, really unlucky, leaving them with a 5-7 record instead. Things seem to be going better in the fortune department now, as evidenced by this close win over a not-quite-what-they-used-to-be-but-still-ranked (barely) Oregon team. 9-3 seems attainable for the Huskers, who get Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue over the next four games.
4. Michigan (4) beats Colorado (NR) 45-28 at home.
By far the wobbliest of the four convincing victories, and a game in which a better-than-expected Colorado spent two quarters looking like they were primed for the upset. Then Colorado’s QB got hurt and Michigan wreaked its horrible vengeance upon the Buffaloes. Fans can either take refuge in the fact that the team has the skill and heart to recover from early adversity, or worry endlessly about the erratic safety, OL and QB play, all of which seemed to confirm preseason anxieties about those positions. Both are legitimate reactions to a victory that never seemed as emphatic as the final score implies. Next up: a mediocre Penn State team with one very scary running back.
Split Decision Wins
5. Maryland (NR) beats UCF 30-24 on the road.
Not a great win by any stretch of the imagination, but UCF is at least okay and Maryland were playing on the road. So that’s something I guess. Next up: a game.
6. Penn State (NR) beats Temple 34-27 at home.
Penn State decided to memorialize the man who allegedly kept quiet for decades about a serial child molester by eking out a home win against Temple. Can’t we just trade them to the ACC already?
7. Northwestern (NR) beats Duke (NR) 24-13 at home.
Northwestern finally gets a win—over a bad Duke team, sure, but hey—a win is better than another loss, I guess.
10. Wisconsin (9) beats Georgia State (NR) 23-17 at home.
It’s getting hard to remember that Wisconsin beat a top 5 SEC West team just two weeks ago. The Badgers looked downright bad as they barely scraped by winless Georgia State, and the murderers’ row portion of their schedule looms large. Will fans remember the opener if they go 6-6?
9. Rutgers (NR) beats New Mexico (NR) 37-28 at home.
Another week, another bad performance by Rutgers, who may not win another game all year.
10. Iowa (13) loses to North Dakota (NR) 23-31 at home.
Uninspired and uninspiring performance by the presumptive Big 10 West favorites. Iowa still has plenty of time to recover, but expectations for the season have officially been tempered. Iowa’s next two opponents—Rutgers and Northwestern—offer Kirk Ferentz a great pair of opportunities to right the ship and start earning that $48m extension.
11. Illinois (NR) loses to Western Michigan (NR) 34-10 at home.
Granted, WMU is a good MAC team, but they are still a MAC team, and any game in which you get steamrolled—at home—by a MAC team is a bad, bad game. Illinois is bad and should feel bad.
BYES: Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue
Recently my new BFF It's Harambe took on the thankless task of asking his fellow MgoBloggers to rank the top 25 Michigan athletes of all time. As the list was revealed it was clear to this reader that some of the most notable players who competed during the athletic stone age (pre-internet) had been forgotten about. This weekly diary will take a look at the more notable players from our past to remind everyone of what they did and why they deserve to be honored and remembered.
"He was the best Freshman, the best Sophomore, he was the best Junior, and now he's the best player in the country."
Michigan center John Madden
Like baseball, our storied hockey past was seemingly overlooked by pollsters when selecting the greatest athletes in Michigan history. With many players to choose from I thought it was appropriate to lead with the player who scored arguably the most memorable single goal in Michigan hockey history.
After playing one year in British Columbia Morrison joined the team in 1993. He had also been approached by the Denver Pioneers and the Maine Black Bears to join their school teams, but ultimately chose Michigan. Registering 48 points (20 goals and 28 assists) over 38 games as a freshman, Morrison was named the CCHA Rookie of the Year for the 1993–94 season. He played on a line with fellow freshman Jason Botterill; the two played together throughout their college career. In the 1994 playoffs, he helped the Wolverines to a CCHA championship. Playing in his sophomore year (1994–95), Morrison improved to 76 points (23 goals and 43 assists) over 39 games and received his first of three consecutive CCHA First Team All-Star selections.
With 72 points over 45 games in 1995–96, Morrison received his first of back-to-back CCHA Player of the Year awards. He added 15 points in 7 post-season games to capture his second CCHA championship with the Wolverines. Advancing to the 1996 NCAA Tournament, Michigan advanced to the final against the Colorado College Tigers. Morrison scored the championship-winning goal 3:35 into overtime to win the game 3–2.
Red Berenson, the Michigan coach, teased Morrison afterward, saying, "Brendan, what took you so long?" Bach had been moved to the other side of his goal by a quick pass, Greg Crozier to Bill Muckalt, followed by a pass from Muckalt to Morrison. The puck was rolling by then, and Morrison gave it a poke. The goalie could not get back in time to snuff the little shot that was Morrison's 28th goal of the season. It was the Wolverines' first national title in 32 years. In addition to receiving NCAA Tournament MVP honors, Morrison was named to the NCAA West Regional and NCAA All-Tournament Teams.
Morrison was named team captain in his senior year. He totaled college personal bests that season of 31 goals, 57 assists and 88 points over 43 games, culminating in a Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's most outstanding player; Morrison had been a finalist for the award the previous two years. The Wolverines repeated as CCHA champions, but lost to the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA semifinal. Morrison completed his four-year college career as the Wolverines' all-time points leader with 284, surpassing Denny Felsner. His points total also ranked seventh all-time among NCAA players.
Let's get to know our upcoming opponent the Penn State Nittany Lions!
Start HERE (turn volume off annoying sound file used)
Click on the player's name to bring up their picture. HINT: Set width to 150 when posting the image
Overall Record: Michigan leads 12-7
- This Saturday will be the 20th meeting between the two schools.
- Michigan and Penn State did not play until the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1993.
- This series has been one of streaks. After Michigan took the very first matchup in 1993, the series has gone as follows:
o Penn State wins 3 in a row (1994-1996)
o Michigan wins 9 in a row (1997-2007, did not play in 2003 or 2004)
o Penn State wins 4 in a row (2008-2013, did not play in 2011 or 2012)
o Michigan wins 2 in a row and is a heavy favorite for a 3rd (2014-Present)
- Michigan has the highest all-time winning percentage against Penn State of any Big Ten team at 0.632 (Ohio State is next at 0.567. MSU and Wisconsin both hold all-time winning records against PSU by a razor thin margin of 1 game each (15-14 and 9-8, respectively; however, 8 of the Spartans’ 15 wins came before 1967). PSU has winning records against everyone else in the B1G.
- NOTE: OSU has a higher winning percentage against Penn State since they’ve joined the Big Ten. However, Penn State has beaten UM and OSU the same number of times (7) since joining the conference; OSU has played them more frequently (every year) allowing for more wins/a higher percentage. In the four seasons Michigan did not play PSU in Big Ten play, the Wolverines finished with more wins than the Nittany Lions in three of them (2003, 2004, 2011) and the same amount of wins in the 4th (2012). And, in 2012 Michigan finished the season ranked while Penn State did not. Not that you can predict games that didn’t happen, but I’d say Penn State is pretty lucky they got to play Rich Rod all 3 years, but didn’t have to play either of the last two of our Big Ten Championship teams (Penn State was 3-9 and 4-7 in '03 and '04).
Home Field Advantage:
· This has been a series where, at least in the macro sense, home field has meant very little. Michigan has split its 12 wins evenly between Ann Arbor and State College, with a 6-3 mark against PSU in The Big House and a 6-4 record in Beaver Stadium.
· Penn State won the first two games it ever played in Ann Arbor (1994 and 1996). Since then, however, the Nittany Lions have gone 1-6 in the Big House with their only win over the 5-7 2009 team.
· Penn State actually only won 1 of their first 6 games against Michigan in Happy Valley. They then won 3 home games in a row against Hoke/Rich Rod teams, before Harbaugh snapped the Wolverines' State College losing streak last November, in what is his best true road win as a UM head coach to date.
Michigan Coaches Against PSU:
- Gary Moeller: 1-1
- Lloyd Carr: 9-2
- Rich Rodriguez: 0-3
- Brady Hoke: 1-1
- Jim Harbaugh: 1-0
(If Lloyd Carr could post an 82% winning percentage against Joe Paterno, can you even imagine what Jim Harbaugh could do in this series against James Franklin?!?! *cackles with glee*)
Most Noteworthy Michigan Wins:
· 1993- In the first ever meeting between these two Blue Blood programs, #18 Michigan was a significant road underdog against undefeated, #7 Penn State. Michigan started the 1993 season ranked #3; however, the Wolverines were coming fresh off a rivalry loss in East Lansing the week before, and had lost to Notre Dame a month earlier at home. It looked as if the season was heading for a complete unraveling. Penn State fans and Joe Paterno also had a lot of bluster about how they would walk in and own the Big Ten upon joining the conference. Yet, the Wolverines stormed right into a Happy Valley White Out and handed PSU and Joe Paterno their first ever Big Ten loss by a score of 21-13. This game included arguably the most impressive ever 4 down goal line stand by Michigan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ztIRawkvCM (BUILD A F^$&#&% WALL) This game was one of two spectacular highlights that provided some success in an otherwise “meh” 8-4 season. The other of course being a 28-0 shutout of #5 Ohio State (We miss you, John Cooper).
· 1997- Marketed as part of “Judgment Day”, in which several undefeated teams were playing each other in early November, undefeated #4 Michigan headed to State College to face undefeated #2 Penn State. What happened next was a complete and utter throttling. Michigan OBLITERATED #2 Penn State by a score of 34-8, but that score makes it seem closer than it was. Michigan was winning 34-0 into the 4th quarter, and 24-0 at the half; PSU got their lone touchdown and 2 point conversion in 4th quarter garbage time after Michigan had the backups in. The eventual National Champion Wolverines used this game to nationally assert their clout more than any other, and in the process snapped a 3 game losing streak to PSU. This certainly goes down as one of, if not the most, impressive road victory Michigan has posted in modern times. Full game here (you won’t have to watch long to get to the Michigan domination): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SENR2AXKfY4
· 2005-Michigan started the 2005 season ranked #4; however, going into the Penn State game on October 15th we already had 3 one-score losses: 7 points to Notre Dame at home, 3 points to Wisconsin in Madison, and 3 points to Minnesota at home. Thus, Michigan entered the game unranked. Penn State on the other hand was riding high; undefeated and coming off a home win against #6 Ohio State the week before, the #8 Nittany Lions entered Ann Arbor with lots of confidence and poised to break a long, 6 game losing streak. They would leave with heartbreak. A great game was capped off by the legendary Henne to Manningham game winning touchdown as time expired, Michigan won 27-25 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofg5EiHxaX8). Michigan extended its winning streak to 7 straight against Joe Paterno-led Penn State teams and ruined the Nittany Lions' otherwise perfect season (they would finish 11-1, win the Big Ten, and end up ranked #3 at the end of the season).
(Honorable Mention: In 1998 #22 Michigan stomped #9 Penn State 27-0, marking the second slaughter of a top ten PSU team in a row and the first Michigan win against the Nittany Lions in front of our home crowd).
Most Noteworthy Penn State Wins/Michigan Losses:
· 1994: The second game in the series, and first in Ann Arbor, was a top five mid-October matchup (#3 PSU, #5 UM) that lived up to the hype. Penn State stormed out to a 16-0 lead, but a furious Michigan rally led by current RB Coach Tyrone Wheatley gave Michigan a 17-16 lead in the third quarter. PSU and Michigan would trade touchdowns (and a 2 point PSU conversion), making the game tied at 24 well into the 4th quarter. However, it was not meant to be for the good guys, as the Nittany Lions scored a touchdown with just under 3 minutes remaining to take a 31-24 lead that would end up being the final score after Michigan’s final chance drive stalled. Penn State would finish the season undefeated, but be passed up by Nebraska for a national championship. A road victory over #5 Michigan was the best win (only top 10) on the Lions’ resume in one of the best PSU seasons of all time.
· 2013: I think we all remember the nightmare that was this game, so I’ll just touch briefly on it. Signs of trouble were exposed in the Akron and UConn games, but this was the true start of the unraveling of the Brady Hoke era. Michigan came into this game 5-0 and ranked #18, then choked so many easy opportunities to put the game away, and wound up losing in 4 overtimes. We would go on to lose 5 of our next 7 games. On the Penn State side, this remains their best home win of the post-Joe Paterno era (possibly not in terms of actual opponent quality, but Michigan was ranked higher than any one else they’ve beaten at home since JoePa left and it was in thrilling fashion). Three years later, this remains Penn State’s most recent home win against a ranked opponent.
Please feel free to share any memories of games in this series or feelings about the game this weekend!
GO BLUE, BEAT PENN STATE!