Coaches' timeouts are worse. Basketball teams should get one, full stop.
[A bit of mgofiction for a slow thursday before the game. Hope you all enjoy. Or not.
-- Coach S.]
[Fade into the locker room, just after the Wisconsin game. Coach Rod takes center stage, and starts speaking.]
COACH ROD: "I'm going to say one thing to you, men. One thing."
[Cut to the last drive of the Wisconsin game. Michigan down by 4, 35-31. 1st and 10 on the Michigan 24 yard line. 2 minutes, 13 seconds on the clock. Frank Beckmann announcing.]
BECKMANN: "Denard takes the snap, running right. Cuts back left, just tripped up! Gain of 5 on the play. 2nd and 5 coming up."
BRANDSTATTER: "He's been hard to stop today, huh Frank? Kept Michigan in this one almost by himself, over 300 yards of offense and three touchdowns. You think he has another touchdown left in him?"
[Cut back to Coach Rod, in the locker room]
COACH ROD: "It's been a long year. Remember spring practice? Remember those long weeks you put in during the summer? Well, it's been a long year for me too. Did I do everything right? Hell no. I've made mistakes. Who here hasn't? We made some honest mistakes, and get raked over the coals for it. Wasn't easy for me, wasn't easy for my family. But as Mufasa said, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Have we been killed, men? Are we dead?"
[Cut back to the game]
BECKMANN: "Denard back to pass, zings one over to Stonum, who drops it. Big third down coming up."
BRANDSTATTER: "Nice read by Denard, saw the corner playing a little off Stonum there. But gotta catch those easy ones. Don't want the drive to die here..."
[Back to the locker room]
COACH ROD: "Hell no! Not dead yet. No, not dead. And therefore, stronger. We are stronger. WE ARE STRONG."
[Coach Rod takes a deep breath, looking around the room. All eyes are on him.]
COACH ROD: "I want you all to think about what this team means to you. To be part of it. To contribute to it, no matter how big a contribution, or how small. Just like that little play out there on third down, right Kelvin?"
[Back to the game]
BECKMANN: "3rd and 5. Big play, not much time left, lots of yards to go for the win. Denard back to pass, passes down the middle to Roundtree, caught it! Roundtree dragged down from behind -- oh no, fumble! Who got it?"
BRANDSTATTER: "I saw Kelvin Grady running behind the play, and I think he just might have dived on the ball and gotten it. We'll have to see who's under that pile of white and red."
[The refs slowly peel one Badger off the pile after the other...]
BECKMAN: "Michigan ball! What a hustle play by Kelvin Grady! The play of the game! First down Michigan, ball at the 44 yard line. One minute and thirty on the clock. The Wolverines aren't dead yet!"
[Back to the locker room]
K. GRADY: "That's right coach. Like you said, never give up on the play."
COACH ROD: "That's right Kelvin. Never give up. NEVER give up. NEVER GIVE UP! This team has been down, this team has been beaten, but never once did I see any of you hang your heads. You kept fighting. The Wolverine never stops fighting, even when it's down. Even when it looks like the fight is lost, the Wolverine never quits. We fight to the end, win or lose, live or die. Right Stephen?"
[Back to the game. Michigan has advanced the ball to the Wisconsin 31, but it is now 4th and 1. Time is running out.]
BECKMANN: "Game on the line here. 4th and 1. Hopkins in the backfield, two receivers split right. Denard takes the snap, hands to Hopkins, who's hit in the backfield! He keeps his legs moving, spins, and dives, and drives the defensive tackle back. It's gonna be close!"
BRANDSTATTER: "I thought he was stopped short but he kept pushing! Depends on the spot, but he just might have gotten it."
[Refs bring out the chains...]
BECKMANN: "First down!! By the nose of the ball. What a second and third effort by Stephen Hopkins! 48 seconds left. Clock momentarily stopped thanks to the first down."
[Back to locker room. Hopkins nods at Coach Rod]
COACH ROD: "That's why we've been working this year, men. All year, every day, every hour in that weight room. It's for that yard when you need it on fourth and one and the whole game is on your shoulders. It's at that time when you see who is the better man. That is why we work so hard. THAT IS WHY WE WORK!"
[Nods around the room, and grunts of agreement. Coach Rod takes one more deep breath, and speaks again, his diction now at its peak]
COACH ROD: "But like I said, I've really only got one thing to say to you. One thing! It's not hard to guess. It's what we've been waiting for. And when the game clock ticked down out there a few moments ago, it's all I could think of. Just one damn thing!"
[Cut back to the Wisconsin Game. It's now 4th and goal, very little time left on the clock.]
BECKMANN: "4th and goal on the 2 yard line. 13 seconds left. Here it is, Michigan fans. 8-3, or 7-4? Win, or lose? What's the play call here Brandy?"
BRANDSTADTTER: "I think we all know who's getting the ball on this one, Frank. I just hope his shoes stay on."
BECKMAN: "OK, Here we go. Denard takes the snap. Takes a step forward. But then he steps back, jumps, and throws it to a wide open Koger. TOUCHDOWN MICHIGAN! TOUCHDOWN! He jump passed it on the last play of the game! Michigan is going to win, 38-35! The crowd is going crazy!"
[The stadium erupts, and then the band. The Victors will play on into the night... Cut back to the locker room]
ROD: "Just one thing on my mind after that game. Can you guess what it is? Denard?"
DENARD (softly): "Beat the Bucks."
TATE (louder now): "Beat the Bucks!"
ROD: "The rest of you all?"
TEAM (screaming): "BEAT THE BUCKS!"
ROD: "THAT'S RIGHT, JUST ONE THING: BEAT THE DAMN BUCKS! Now get outta here and celebrate. I'll see you Monday, and I tell you what, men: They better be ready down there in Columbus."
[Fade to black]
Fui must have spent a long time on this one because, outside of saying Indiana twice in one sentence instead of Indiana and Iowa, it's a pretty well thought out analysis (yeah, I know, and it's not even 2012 yet and we've got armageddon on our hands!).
What Will Happen: The team with the ball last will win. Wisconsin is a good, sound defensive team that’s about to get dragged down in a wide-open street fight. It’s not going to be Illinois-Michigan, but it’ll be a shootout with plenty of home runs and great offensive plays after great offensive plays. The Wolverines will unleash all the weapons, and Tate Forcier, who’ll step in after Robinson gets banged up, will lead the way to thrilling game-winning drive.
CFN Prediction: Michigan 47 … Wisconsin 45 … Line: Wisconsin -5
The score was 17-10 Wisconsin, with Indiana having missed a field goal on Chappell's last drive. The stats:
Indiana: 7 first downs, 95 yards rushing, 62 yards passing (8 of 14, one TD)
Wisconsin: 7 first downs, 93 yards rushing, 46 yards passing (4 of 7)
Even if you count the Wisconsin drive (2 plays, 66 yards) after Chappell got hurt, before his replacement fumbled the first snap, it's still not a total blowout, 24-10 with Indiana moving the ball effectively (that is, 24-17 at the half would have been possible).
In short, Wisconsin is good, but the fact they blew out Indiana and we did not (42-35) probably doesn't mean as much as might seem. If Chappell is in for the whole game, it's much closer, with Wisconsin winning by at most 20.
Here's the list of recruits that will be on hand for Michigan's final home game. As always this list will grow and shrink as I confirm more people. Looks like this won't be too big of a weekend, but it will still be important. The two official visitors are both important to this class, and would help add some much needed help in key areas.
- LB/WR Kris Frost - Kris just got back from an Auburn visit that he really enjoyed. I think Michigan is still in the lead, but I did talk talk to Kris about Auburn after his trip. He said that Auburn is making things pretty difficult as far as who he wants to choose. Each visit they've done a better job of showing him where he would fit, and how much he likes it up there. This visit to Michigan will be very important for who he picks. His team does play at 7:30pm on Friday, but as of right now he is coming.
- TE Jack Tabb - Jack's team was eliminated from the playoffs, so he will be here.
- OL Jake Fisher (Commit)
- LB Ryan Petro - Florida linebacker, hearing from Michigan and a few other bigger schools, like Nebraska.
- OL Chris Bryant (Maybe) - He's figuring out if he can come
- LB Antonio Kinard (Maybe) - Kinard may be in this weekend. Figuring things out as we speak, should know soon obviously.
- RB Juwan Lewis - Muskegon running back plans on being there. Teammate of 2011 DT Damon Knox
- DT Danny O'Brien
Wisconsin's Bucky mascot busted on MSNBC tonight....he should be disqualified from the Capital One Mascot Challenge. Immediately. Wait for the 40 second mark...first 40 seconds is on the recent boxing match.
Wisconsin is cheese and football and funny accents, so I had considered several images for this week's wallpaper including a moldy wedge of cheese, some appropriately mocking phrases with Wisconsonese phonetic spelling or a play on the mining roots of the "Badgers" nickname. I wasn't sure until very late what stereotypical Wisconsin imagery I would use, but I knew from the beginning that the image would be rendered as a cross stitch because you can probably walk into any home in Wisconsin and find a framed cross stitch on the wall. Most cross stitch art is tacky and cliché, so I've created a tacky and cliché image of a Wisconsin football player with a literal cheesehead.
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
How it was Made - Sorry, no video this week
As usual the artwork is all digital, though somewhere along the way I started to wonder whether it would have been faster to actually cross stitch the thing and photograph it. Probably not, but after copying and positioning hundreds of individual thread images I may have a full-blown case of stitcher's hand. I captured the creation of this week's wallpaper on video but unfortunately I had some unresolvable issues and won't be able to share it with you. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to resume the video demos with next week's Ohio State artwork.