I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
As I watched yet another very winnable game slip away yesterday I started to think that Michigan football, circa 2011, could be thought of in some ways like a Chinese restaurant. This particular restaurant struggled recently even though their food was quite good (award winning even), but service was poor and business slipped like never before. A new owner was found and he decided that to make things better (like the good old days) he'd bring in a new business manager to run the front of the business (Mattision) and a new head chef to run the kitchen (Borges).
Service improved almost immediately and people noticed. Customers were seated promptly, orders were taken as they should and the food was delivered hot and on time. While not perfect things were SO much better people started to remark how much the restaurant reminded them of "back in the day" and everyone was amazed just how fast the new Manager was able to restore this restaurant to their past glory days.
The only problem for this Chinese restaurant is that the new head chef was Italian and had never cooked Chinese a day in his life before. People asked "are you going to be able to retain the old menu? Is the restaurant going to stay Chinese or are you going to convert it to Italian? The chef said "don't worry I know what I'm doing. I can blend the best of both cuisines into one and create even more delicious meals than ever before!"
But instead of food people wanted to eat every day very odd creations got introduced onto the menu. Inedible specials like General Tsio's Rigatoni or Moo Goo Gai Ravioli or even the infamous Hot and Sour, Egg Drop Wedding Soup. And every day the chef said "don't worry I got this" as the kitchen creations got weirder and weirder still. And nobody had any idea what the restaurant was good at or even wanted to serve anymore.
So unless some really weird stuff happens, the Inaugural Big Ten Championship Game will pit Penn State vs Michigan State.
Penn State - boring as hell, debatable as to whether head coach even head coaches anymore, currently being rocked by a disgusting scandal where all the layers of the onion haven't been peeled back yet.
Michigan State - thug as hell, coach is a douche, no one in the conference gives a damn about them, zero cache.
Wow, I can't wait....wake me when the bowl games start.
One bright spot that no one else has mentioned - maybe because it was a figment of my imagination - but it seemed to me that Denard was reading his progressions much better than ever. Also when he threw long to covered receivers the passes were well overthrown rather than punted into potential INTs. If you add in at least 4 cold drops + the Hemingway TD + plus the 2 PI's + 3 easy completions that the DE tipped he would have had a monster completion percentage (and the only pick was a tipped ball that also could have been PI). I know that's a lot of IFs but they are all plausible, so it is not that hard to see the improvement hidden within the stats. Hopefully it will show up on the field in Champaign and beyond.
But the clear conclusion is: JoPa himself knew and did nothing more than tell the AD.
The catcalls for JoPa's firing will start. They will need to totally clean house. This could set the whole program back if the try a tSIO defense and refuse to acknowledge it -- which it appears they are doing. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/if-jerry-sandusky-allegations-are-t...
According to the article, a study from Cleveland (insert Ohio joke here) claims that while plastic helmets are better at preventing serious head injuries like skull fractures, leather helmets are better at preventing concussions. And this does not assume the much touted claim that players are more likely to "spear" with plastic helmets. These guys aren't advocating a return to leather helmets, but are instead advocating that helmet safety standards also encompass the cumulative effects of lower impact collisions.
Iowa normally averages 402 yards/game. Michigan held them to 302. For comparison, this is what Iowa had for each opponent:
|@ Iowa St.||365|
|@ 16 Penn St.||253|
Penn State is the only defense that held them to less. The defense played well yesterday. That is all.