spoiler alert: i linked this
I attended the Solon (Ohio) high school football game last night against rival Mentor. It was a big game against two very good Northeast Ohio teams -- big enough to be televised. So, there are TV timeouts in high school as well, apparently.
At the end of the first quarter, and during an extended TV timeout, the PA announcer made a presentation honoring one of Solon's favorite sons, the great and unfortunately late Jim Mandich. He apparently was involved in the planning for this event many months ago, but as most of you know, he died of cancer before he could attend.
It was a very nice honor. As a Michigan guy living in Ohio, I listened carefully to how they addressed Mandich's role as a player at Michigan and in winning the 1969 game against Ohio State (okay, "Ohio"). They discussed his high school career first, then sort of skipped to his years with the Dolphins, but finally circled back to his decision to play in Ann Arbor and being part of the team that beat the Ohio team that everyone thought was unbeatable. "Michigan" and "Ann Arbor" got some grumbling in the stands, but I applauded. Mandich was a great man and I am sure he would have been pleased if he could have attended. Members of his family were on hand for the honor.
Meanwhile, Mentor is an incredibly good team full of huge guys. Michigan commit Tom Stroebel was in on a ton of plays and his name was announced frequently as the tackler. (I'm not a scout, so others will have to comment on the merits of his performance.) Solon has a great team, but can't hang on against teams like Mentor with Stroebel and (last year) St. Eds and Kyle Kalis.
It was great watching a future Michigan star (hopefully) while honoring a past great.
Don't have time to do a full write up and the game with NW is tomorrow anyway so here's some random observations
- Active front seven, not very large.
- Lots of blitzes
- They like 3 man fronts on passing downs, looked like some 3-3-5 with delayed blitzing (I hope they do that against us, Denard and Vincent will eat that up all day)
- Lots of coverage breakdowns
- Not a lot of elite speed anwhere except the one CB
- One of their safeties got dinged up, wasn't all that great before the injury
- Good tackling from their front seven, pretty decent against the run
- Losing Trumpy is a big loss for them, was a big part of their offense
- #9 is essentially and H-back with a little more speed, lines up at WR and all over the place
- Persa throws a nice fade, but the WR's are really dominating
- Persa looks a little down on acceleration, injury might still be bothering him
- #11 Ebert is their main receiver
- QB Coulter at 100% looks better than Persa at 80%.
- Offense is basically same as RichRod's
- #99 Buchanan is a player to be concerned with
- B1G worthy front seven
- Not very impressed with their left tackle
- Sheelhaus (sp? who cares) is more of a touch passer, not great zip on his balls. But he's got good ball handling skills, good playfakes.
- Sheelhaus is better rolling to his right than his left
- He also throws a nice corner route against the zone
- #8 Jenkins is their main receiver, deep corners and deep crossing routes
- #80, tall receiver, good hands
- Never go for 2 early in a highscoring game (unless you're a team like oregon that always goes for two)
As long as passing Denard is on target and we get a good game from our CB's, we should beat NW by a few TD's.
So, I picked up an advance copy of "Three and Out' right after work today in Chicago. I actually left the event before getting it signed, as it was burning my hands, I wanted to read it so bad. In the past few hours, I've read about 100 pages. First off, let me say this:
Oh. My. God. This book is fascinating. It is also informative, interesting, upsetting, and almost Shakespearean at times. It tells the tale (so far) of a deeply, deeply fractured inner circle of Michigan people- former athletes, administrators in the AD, Lloyd Carr, Rich Rod, Bill Martin, Mary Sue Coleman, many former players, close advisors of Rich Rod, U of M faculty, etc. It's amazing in that regard, just the soap opera aspect of it.
Not covered in glory: the Governor of West Virginia, the President of WVU, the AD of WVU. They come across as just...stupid, egotistical, and short-sighted and petty.
Not covered in glory, part ii: Lloyd Carr, unfortunately. After RR was announced as the new coach, and before RR had ever met with the players, Carr held a meeting- five different players told Bacon about it- wherein he stated that he, as acting coach, would sign anyone's release that day that wanted to transfer. RR caught wind of this and told the AD that he was fine with it, but only if he could speak to the players who wanted to transfer first. The AD actually called the Big Ten office to figure out the rules regarding all of this.
Also, Carr allegedly told Boren he should transfer, and said the same to Mallett. The way the book portrays it, these were not conversations in the "Michigan doesn't want you" vein, but more in the "yeah, you probably want to transfer rather than play for this guy" vein.
This is all very difficult to square with another fact: It was Lloyd who pushed for the RR hire. Lloyd made the first call to RR, unbeknownst to Mary Sue Coleman and Bill Martin, and Lloyd promoted his candicacy.
Since Lloyd wouldn't talk to Bacon for the book, it's hard to know what's true. Bacon admits this. He also says that, of the 20+ people he spoke with who worked with both LC and RR, "nearly all of them uttered some derivation of the phrase 'Lloyd never liked Rich.'" Perhaps that feeling came about once RR got to town, but it likely came about quickly.
Rosenberg: Said, and I quote, to Jim Brandstatter, who goes on record, following RR's first press conferece, that he "hates Bill Martin because [Martin] lied to him," and that he "wanted to run Martin out of here." Rosenberg also said, quote, "that guy doesn't belong here," about RR within a month after the hiring. Bacon seems to think that Rosenberg hated Martin the most (doesn't say why) and went after Rodriguez to hurt Martin and run him out.
Also: Martin bungled the coaching search so poorly that Coleman took it over, Martin lost the respect of his people in the AD, and he was completely unprepared about the entire thing. The sailboat Bill story is true. He got a new cell phone, didn't know how to use it, AND went on the sailing trip the weekend of the Miles fiasco. He was unreachable.
Coleman called him to the carpet and castigated him multiple times and essentially neutered his authority w/r/t the coaching search. Also: Lloyd does not like Miles, said they shouldn't hire Miles, and Coleman agreed. However, once Schiano turned us down, Coleman took over the search (sidenote: Martin never told the "committee" he was going to talk to Schiano, which pissed everyone off) and essentially decided that Miles was probably going to be the guy. Others floated Ferentz; she shot it down out-of-hand, having known him from Iowa. Brian Kelly was shot down out-of-hand as well, for generally being an ass, apparently.
So back to Miles. Intermediaries reached out to him again. But this was also around the time LC reached out to RR. Miles said, point-blank, he wouldn't talk to Martin; he wanted to talk directly with MSC, as he knew she was running the show. They spoke for 90 minutes. The leak/pr issues were paramount; Miles said he simply couldn't make the decision until after the bowl game, but he said "if you ask, I won't say no," and that he'd "never say no to Michigan." Only three people knew about that phone call, yet within hours, it was leaked to blogs. Those people were Les, MSC, and Bill Martin. From there, Miles was boxed in, and said, essentially, that he couldnt' talk anymore until after the NC game. But the impression I get is that if we ever formally offered, after the bowl game, he would have accepted.
In the meantime, RR was offered the job at the Toledo meeting. Bill Martin said that RR should keep LC's assistants to appease LC and the old guard; MSC cut him off and said "No, Bill, you can't ask him to do that." RR said he had to go back to WVU and talk to the people there. WHen he did, he reiterated that he wanted raises for his assistants. The WVU president told him "no. Take this or leave it, as it is." He left.
Also: a big revelation is that MSC and BM promised to pay $2.5m of RR's buyout when they negotiated the deal with him, but they asked him to keep it secret, because they didn't have approval from the Regents to do this. This was one of the reasons that they forced the settlement when their depositions were about to proceed; if that came out, MSC said "Bill and I are toast." Well, it's out now. So RR stayed quiet, and took the shots. He also was upset because he wanted to respond to all the WVU allegations, and thought he'd have his chance in court and/or in deposition, so that opportunity was taken from him.
One more thing re: buyout- many times, RR says that the President of WVU promised him the $4m number was just for appearances, and that if RR decided to leave, they'd sit down with lawyers and work out a settlement at half the amount.
There's a lot of other interesting stuff in here, and this isn't meant to be anything more than me posting the "highlights" of the first 100 pages or so. But my god, this book is incredible. You must buy it. All of you.
Thursday night game, and I'm excited to see Oregon/James on offense. 57ppg!?!?! This should be fun.
On another note, does anyone know of a good bar in the University of Cincinnati area for the Michigan game on Saturday? The bar on the Michigan barfinder is out of business.
Had a big presentation today, culmination of months & months of prelim work. To pump myself up, watched multiple postings of Seven Nations Army from ND game with pompoms and emotion flowing. Not ashamed to admit it did the trick, we got the deal. Dang - what a night!
Now come on Tigs - crush these Yanks.
Thought it was funny that Missouri would leak info that we were their knight in shining armor, but the SEC is okay too, they guess. I wonder about the rationale behind this line of thinking. Cash? They'd rather be an average team in-conference than a conference door mat? Cash? Better academics and less stigma about cheating (sans OSU)?Cash?
Anyway, just thought it was interesting that they would put out these feelers. Nobody in that University would leak this information if they did not want to test the waters with the Big Ten. If Missouri was a chick, I'd say she's flirting with another attractive guy to get our attention.