mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
What's your best “Michigan Moment” not involving an actual game? Perhaps a great road trip with your buddies to another campus. Maybe a fantastic tailgate where old friends or even someone famous showed up unexpectedly. Or even a heated debate at a bar or party with an opposing fan where you were able to emerge victoriously. Something like that.
The reason I post this is because mine happened at the 1998 Rose Bowl and watching the game again today on BTN brought back a lot of great memories. My brother and I went out a few days early and were staying in Irving at the Embassy Suites. Embassy Suites for those of you who don’t travel have a free nightly cocktail hour and brother and I were taking full advantage of the free adult beverages when we noticed something odd. Everyone….and I mean everyone around us was in full Washington State Cougar gear and the place was packed. About that time a guy stood up on a little podium with a microphone and welcomed everyone to the official home of some alumnai group from WSU. Needless to say, we were completely surrounded and we were in full Michigan gear.
About this time the guy on the podium said they were going to kick off the festivities by singing whatever the hell the WSU fight song is called. So he then proceeds to pull out a little 3 x 5 index card and starts leading them in song. I realize he’s freaking READING the words (and I was a little drunk) so I stood up and yelled “Put down the card”. He didn’t stop so I yelled very loudly “You’re such a big Washington State fan….put down the God Damn card and sing your fight song from the heart!” He then stopped mid-song and pointed at me and said “oh right – like you guys can sing YOUR fight song without looking at the words” and laughed loudly into the microphone.
Before he could blink I grabbed my brother by the back of his shirt and literally lifted him up onto the table where I quickly joined him in singing the LOUDEST (and probably most off key) version of the Victors the world has ever heard. After we were done the room went completely quiet for about five seconds and then all the WSU fans burst into applause. And the guy on the microphone walked over with a sheepish look on his face and gave me a high five in front of the rest of the group.
Man did that ever start our national championship Rose Bowl week off great. What’s yours?
First game I'll probably be able to watch all the way through since Saturday. Though if the spread is to be believed, it may be boring before 9 O'Clock. But maybe Utah, the winner of 9 straight bowl games, has a surprise in store for the Broncos, who might be the team disappointed in their bowl reward, rather than the upstart trying to prove everyone wrong. Cause if not, and the game crashes and burns, might have to turn this into a Top Chef Open Thread by 10.
Edit: Seeing the bowl name in a subject line, this has to be the worst sounding bowl we've had to endure since at least, uh...the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl...well...last night. Nevermind. (Anyone ever actually eat at a BOB?)
As a FWIW
This Diary is intended to be a “state of the roster”-type of summary heading into the final recruiting stretch. It is meant to be a diversion from coaching rumors, general recruiting chatter, or Miss St. preview posts. Obviously all bets are off if a coaching change is made and this summary will change (hopefully for the better) when signing day rolls around. In general, I thought this would generate some good discussion and that’s what this website is all about. Refer to Brian’s Depth Chart By Class for a list of the relevant players.
Offense goes first, defense wil come later.
Quarterback – A+
That’s right, I went there. I struggle to see how this position could be any better. Denard will be a Heisman candidate for the next two years, Tate has proven to be a very good backup quarterback and spot starter, and Devin will now be a freshman next year and one of the highest ranked dual-threat talents of the past three recruiting classes. I guess it would be nice to have a developmental prospect, but fourth string QBs grow on trees.
Running Back – B-
If Dee Hart stays in this class and meets his full potential maybe this grade is harsh. They certainly have depth and variety, which has not always been the case. But until someone steps forward as a homerun back and this group proves they can stay healthy, a higher grade is not warranted.
Outside Wide Receiver – B
Stonum, Hemmingway, and Odoms made for a very above average group of starters this year and all of them have had great games and will be among the best group of outside receivers in the conference for 2011. But they have all had injury issues and inconsistency issues so there isn’t a star here….yet. More concerning is the depth behind the veterans. Jackson and Stokes have played, but mostly on running downs. Robinson, Williamson, and Miller will all have tons of eligibility but are unknown quantities. Another recruit in the 2011 class would be nice.
Slot Receiver – A-
Roy Roundtree is a handful of drops away from being the next wearer of the #1 jersey [Ed-M: because dropsies stopped previous #1s?] and a future star. Kelvin Grady went from a liability to having some of the best hands on the team. Gallon and Robinson provide valuable depth. And Justice Hayes could be a future star at this position.
Tight End – C+
This is perhaps a little harsh because of the role they play in the offense. Webb has proven to be a dynamic blocker and Koger has the potential to be a very good receiver. The problem is that there is no one on the depth chart besides Brandon Moore. You may see Ricardo Miller take on the Koger role and it is expected that there will be another recruit in the 2011 class. But with fullbacks being walk-ons and the jumbo package making some valuable appearances in the playbook this year we’ll need to address this position in the next couple of recruiting classes.
Offensive Line – B+
Two starters will depart after this year and you have to give them credit for their development into solid performers this season. But without knocking their ability, they should be easily replaced. Mark Huyge has already been a starter and can step in right away with Schofield pushing for playing time. Schilling will be missed, but Barnum looks to be a solid replacement with Campbell and Mealer (plus the other centers) providing depth. Lewan and Omameh are still young and future NFL draft picks. Molk will be a senior but now has several viable back-ups in waiting. Signing another guard in this class with a lot of potential would push this to an A- for sure. Another star tackle is needed in the 2012 recruiting class.
Kicker – F
This is the biggest liability on the entire team now that there is at least depth (if not experience or talent) in the secondary. Gibbons looks like a mess with his form and results. Broekhuizen has better form but still lousy results. They don’t even have someone who can just kick it deep for kick-offs! Justin Meram from the soccer team is still wishful thinking for the time being since he has no proven track record and may go pro in his natural sport. I’m one who thinks a scholarship must go to a kicker in this class.
Kick Returner – C
This is a maddening position to grade. With all of the skill players on the roster you would think that this is a strength, but unless Stonum is the one taking the kicks there has been very little in the way of positive performance. Gallon, Robinson, and Odoms were highly underwhelming. Perhaps Dileo, Toussaint, Avery, or another young player could improve this. As great as Stonum is in this spot, his injury shows why you need to find someone else.