...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Take this for what its worth, but some local (albeit douchebag) radio guy in Toledo was singing songs of Lloyd being in line to coach the Orange next year. Supposedly he has been seen on campus at their last 2 home games. This is the first I have heard of anything along these lines so please go easy on me if this is yesterdays news. Lloyd prowling the sidelines in an orange sweater and getting shitty with reporters at halftime in the carrier dome would be strange to say the least. Do they still play in the carrier dome?
Tell me what you think? I was about to enjoy a nice whipped cream topped Irish Cream & Espresso while lighting up a Gran Habano #1 Broadleaf corona, it doesn't get too much better than that for starting a Sunday. Just before settling into what channel might tell me where Detroit might be playing or at least what spare limb depository I'd need to show up to actually get highlights as I was promptly reminded that you actaully have to win games to be seen.
Alas... I trolled through the assorted psuedo-sportsesque programming to happen upon listening to ESPN chatting it up about Les Miles and LSU's narrow victory, but victory nonetheless over Auburn ending an eight year run on the their home-field advantage. Some unknown putz [whom I've never seen on ESPN before] makes a crack at Michigan for letting Les Miles skip over the Maize and Blue for the Tigers of LSU.
That was a cheap shot... because I was one of the loudest cheering for him coming on board. We needed a Southern Style Kracka Ass Kracka type Bubba Gump option playing coach. That and recruiting was behind him too... another reason why I hate the BCS so much, it is nothing more than Big Collegiate Socialism, you have know-nothing schools transferring the wealth of solid built program successes by the schools who did it right, all in favor of siphoning talent, money, and glory away from the more dynamic schools, all so that Bubba Tech should get an equal but underserved shot at a bowl, not so... or should I further ask, does that sound politically familiar?
Bubba Tech has to do it the old fashioned way, build a program of their own. Well, we have some decent talent, but we have absolutely no frigging depth at all. It'll be two years before we see solid gains from the transition. I don't doubt Rodriguez's abilities, I just don't trust him enough to make it happen so...
I quess this is where faith is supposed to come in...
Chris Burke at Mlive takes a shot at Lloyd for some reason:
Of course he prefaces his criticism with this:
Look, I don't want to rehash all the criticism of the previous coaching
staff. I certainly don't want to take a bunch of cheap shots at a coach
after he retired - especially a coach that did wonderful things at
Michigan while running a clean program.
And then he goes right ahead with the pot shots:
Imagine Carr had stuck around for this season. I can't envision that
things would have been that much better. All those question marks I
pointed out before would still have been around and, if you believe the
Barwis hype, Michigan would have still been underconditioned and slow.
He does point out that Mallett and Boren would still be around. But he mentions that Arrington would have been gone. I disagree with that. I think Arrington would have stuck around for another year. Also, he fails to mention that we lost 2 other O-Linemen because of the coaching change. Not that the guys we lost were great (Mitchell and whoever the other guy was) but they would have been great to keep around due to their experience. In this scenario Michigan has 4 O-Linemen with experience, instead of just one. Plus you have a QB with experience (Mallett - or, you have a QB - Threet - who was highly recruited and tailor made for Carr's offense) and two experienced RB's with plenty of time in Lloyd's running scheme.
OK - in conclusion - if Lloyd had stuck around, I absolutely think this year would be better record wise. I think this dude is just trying to kick Lloyd in the ass on the way out the door. Lloyd would have retired sooner, rather than later, and growing pains were bound to take place, no matter who the successor was. Nor does he mention that Lloyd had great recruiting classes all the way up until this end, the cupboard was hardly bear.
The Michigan Wolverines Football that we've known and (usually) loved for the past 312 years is long gone. Ushering in a new era to Ann Arbor is Rich Rodriguez, Mike Barwis, and a shit-ton of speedy freshman, and a quarterback that has never played football in college before.
But before we're so quick to forget the past, and all the good that came with it, to embrace the future that will smack us in the face in under 48 hours, let's take this time to remember this past season. The final season for so many beloved Wolverines.
Lloyd Carr, Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Jake Long, Mario Manningham, Adrian Arrington, Shawn Crable, Jamar Adams, among others, will never don a Michigan uniform again. They won't run out of the tunnel, touch the banner, or sing with their bretheren during the post-game celebrations in the locker room.
They won't ever be able to play against the Scarlet and Grey with that fiery passion in their hearts that can one can only feel whilst playing in the Michigan-Ohio State game. They won't ever get to beat their little brothers from East Lansing, a rivalry that, although somewhat one-sided during their time in Ann Arbor, is a hell of a rivalry nonetheless.
They won't ever put a rose in their mouth, knowing that Pasadena awaits their arrival.
As the players and coaches put their final season behind them, so in a way does the Michigan faithful. The Michigan team we watch take the field on Saturday isn't going to be like anything we've ever seen in Maize and Blue before. The defense will blitz relentlessly, our running back corps is as quick and deep as we may have ever had. Running backs will pass, quarterbacks will (attempt to) run.
This is a new team, not because of the departed Seniors and the incoming Freshman, but because of something much, much grander.
So let's take a look at not only the last Michigan Football season for many players and coaches, but in the grander scheme of things, the last "Michigan Football Season" for many of us fans.
Because Saturday will be something completely new, and I for one can't wait.
Check out the tribute video below:
This is my first post on this blog in any form. I am, all things considered, a Newbie here…so go easy on me. My virgin post. :-)
I want to begin by saying, as I dip my toe in the water of diary posts, that MGoBlog is without a doubt the best UM sports blog on the web. Brian’s material is well researched, thoughtful and well written. And he posts daily. Which when you are an addict is a good thing.
Since it is my first post, a bit about me. My name is Steve and I live in London, ON. UM athletics, especially football, has been a growing obsession with me since the mid-90’s. I am not a UM alumnus. [Hopefully an EMBA or some such thing in the not too distant future will rectify that] I got hooked on UM football, its history, its tradition and its personages while doing a Masters of Divinity at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids. As a Canadian boy raised on hockey, hockey, hockey, coming to Michigan was like being thrown in the deep end sports wise. Nobody cared about hockey, not the way we do in the frozen north. And so, lost and looking for sports friends, I pulled a Casper and took the college football plunge.
At first I spent a lot of time getting acclimatized to the sport. 120+ teams. All those different leagues [conferences], and the best part, the part that really ended up grabbing me was the voting on who was the best team. As I learned to tread water, this is what hooked me…a couple of beers and a group of buddies could argue endlessly over the best team, the best school, the best program, the best era. Ahh to be young and hot-headed again.
Then I fell in love with the game. Being in seminary [and the 10 years of active ministry after that before getting into real estate sales…my current profession] meant I was busy a lot on Sundays. No NFL for me. That meant that Saturday was a perfect day to immerse myself in football. I watched everything. [Oh how I miss ESPN here in the frozen north…by the by…this is what you get when you vote Democrat/Liberal/socialist/communist…no free market media access...our satellite providers are restricted in which networks they offer…so no ESPN]. I love the scale of the game. The players seem human still. They make mistakes. They play for a scholarship and the pride of their school. There are walk-ons and practice squad guys who pay their own way and work out hard just to don the uniform and be a part of the tradition. There are still scholar athletes. Think Rolle of FSU who may have to choose between going pro all and a Rhodes scholarship. There are the weird and wacky traditions. There are the rivalry games. The fight songs. Where in this modern world would the fight song survive if not for college football?
Eventually just being a fan of the game was not good enough for my buddies. Going to Calvin, a D-III school with no football program, meant that I had to pick some “other” school. Too many of my buddies were Domers, and being a contrarian, I picked the “local” [come on if you could pick any “other” school would you pick Western Michgan?] school with the cool helmets, that was on TV all the time and had a shoot-from-the-hip ex-coach with his own TV show and all his talk about tradition and the Michigan Way. I loved Bo. I read his stuff. I used his insights as sermon illustrations.
Then there was 1997. I learned about such things as Michigan Defense. There was Woodson. The anger that came when we got jobbed in the voting. Everyone knows that if we went against Nebraska that year we would have crushed them. But the beauty of it is we will argue it until the Lord comes again and clears up all mysteries concerning his game. Yes football is God’s game.
Ever since then, even though life has carried me to places where I have had to hole up in my home office and listen to radio broadcasts with a weak scratchy signal. I have had to read on the internet. And year after year my passion for this school and its football team has grown. And all this without seeing a game at Michigan Stadium. Obligations and finances have always conspired to keep me away. Now that my real estate business is growing that will soon change. [YEAH!!!] Fall in the life of the church is the busiest time of year and the hardest to get away. Real estate slows down in the fall. Working for a charitable organization does not mean there is a lot of disposable income. Real estate is steadily giving me the means to realize some dreams and once the debts accumulated in making the change to real estate have been paid off [seven months without making a dime…ouch], my deposit for seasons tickets will be sent out. Next year the plan is to come down to a couple of games…once with my boys and once with my buddies to tailgate like grown men who make serious coin and drive Suburbans.
It was wonderful to be in Ann Arbor this summer [we have friends in the area who work in the university health system] for the arts and crafts festival. It was great to be there and not have to worry about overdoing it with fan wear. My doorbell plays the Victors. I could dress seven days a week in Maize and Blue wear. I have a “dress” UM cap, my casual cap and my gardening cap. It is fun to be in London and proudly wear the Maize and Blue. It gives me many opportunities to talk football and hand out business cards.
I loved Lloyd Carr. I loved that he had a life and a disdain for the media. I loved that he read and had other interests than football. As a man, there are few finer than Coach Carr. But you could see his passion and his drive to win were diminishing these last few years. It was good that in spite of the Horror, he was able to go out on a high note. No JoPa here.
And with that introduction, I just want to say I am totally psyched about the Rich Rodrigues Era. I love the media access. I love all the press conferences. I love the little videos very morning getting us pumped and introduced to the team. I love the “Camp Confidential” puff pieces. I love his ability to play down expectations. I think this comes because he has high expectations for himself and for the young men in his program. I like hearing about how tight the guys on the team have become, how they have banded together [to survive Barwis???]. I am a Barwis porn addict. I have the sneaky suspicion, in spite of the sick feeling I get every time I think of the O-Line, that we will be…dare I say it…respectable and competitive. And when I think of the future and Coach Rodriguez being able to recruit ever better classes, that we will be the next USC, the next dynasty. A national championship? Back to back championships? Ruling a decade or more?
I AM TOTALLY PSYCHED!!!!
THE UTES ARE COMING TO TOWN THIS SATURDAY!!!!!
EVENTS ARE STARTING TO TRANSPIRE!!!!!
All these posts about Lloyd (good and bad) got me thinking. The team sure had a lot of great accomplishments during his tenure, and I think it's best to reflect back on the good times, rather than focus on the bad. Here's some interesting numbers I found on the intertubes about Lloyd's regime. Granted, since the intertubes are known to be wrong, wrong, wrong, feel free to point out any mistakes here.
- 5 Big Ten Titles in 13 seasons (1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004). These include shared titles. Only the Bucknuts have more over that period, and they have 6. But, 3 of those titles were earned in the last 3 years so they were quite a bit behind until recently.
- 4 other seasons Lloyd coached the Blue to a 2nd place finish in the Big Ten. In fact, his worst finish was 5th 1996. Yeah, I was surprised 2005 wasn't the worst.
- 10 of Lloyd's players have been picked in the first round of the NFL draft.
- His AVERAGE wins per season was 9.4...not too shaby.
- His average finish in the coaches poll and the AP Poll was 11th. Michigan was only unranked to finish the year once while he was coach, whereas the Bucknuts finished out of the top 25 3 time over this period.
- He was 28-28 vs. the top 25 during his career. (Used some of Brian's great post here for that info: www.mgoblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/lloyd-carr-versus-coaching-greats-plus....)
- 11-15 vs. the top 10. That's a 42% clip. That might not sound great, but looking over Brian's post shown above, if you take into consideration only coaches that have taken part in 20 games against the top 10, only Bobby Bowden can hold Lloyd jock here as he is winning at a 43% pace in these games. Tom Osborne (God of Nebraska) only won 32% of such games.
- Michigan was pretty sack-tastic for Lloyd. They led the Big Ten 3 times in his career, most 1st place sack finishes during that time period amongst the Big Ten.
- We all know that Woodson won the Heisman in '97.....but here's a great list of other national awards under Lloyds tutelage:
- Walter Camp - Woodson '97
- Vince Lomardi - Woodley '06
- Doak Walker - Perry '03
- Bronko Nagurski -- Woodson '97
- Fred Biletnikoff - Edwards '04
- Chuck Bednarik - Woodson '97....geeezzz he really cleaned up that year...
- Dave Rimington - Baas '04
- Ted Hendricks - Woodley '06
- 12 of Lloyd's players were voted First Team All Americans.
Alright, that's about as much fun as I'm willing to have on this right now. Actually it was kind of interesting researching some of this information. Maybe I'll try to dig up some more stuff at another time. Again, if you see any mistakes here, feel free to correct me.
On a side note, there might not be a funnier award than "Academic All Big Ten". I looked over the names on that list during Lloyds time as coach, and basically you'd see about 4 or 5 names you've never heard of and then 1 where you're like, oh....wow I had no idea this or that person actually got good grades. Most interesting to me was Brian Griese. Sure, he's well spoken, but man did he do some dumb ass things in his day. But, then I think about my buddy who went to Northwestern Law...he's a total moron sometimes. I don't get it. Anyway, here are some more names from that list that you should know: Rob Renes, Tom Brady (is there any stopping his awesomeness?), Jon Jansen, Drew Henson (?!), Jason Avant, Tyler Ecker, Will Johnson, ZOLTAN!!!, Adam Kraus (what's with all the O-lineman? It seems stereotype would label these guys as dumbasses), and of course almost as awesomer than Tom Brady is Mr. Jake Long. Seriously, someone needs to hook him up with that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model or something.