EDSBS: hot and bothered.
Rob in Madtown returns from a long, boring, blogging-free hiatus with a post designed to get his house firebombed: the best and worst traditions in college football. He also did a bit of Bentley digging to find tape of a Michigan game from 1903(!) shot by Thomas Edison, who invented the handlebar mustache.
For my money, the worst tradition in college football is any music at all not played by the band. The thing that makes our drunken savagery better than the pros' drunken savagery is pomp, circumstance, and tradition. Playing that goddamn "hey" song lowers us to their level. The second worst is the plastic lego chariot that Michigan State runs out on the field. The third worst is getting assaulted by Ohio State fans. No, seriously.
Pam Ward's replacement is being pondered by the accidental meme started by EDSBS: the three bizarro announcers that would cause you to watch the 1 AM start Mountain West game. EDSBS goes with Paris Hilton (chalk), Ron Zook (Gator antipathy), and Vladimir Putin (intriguing sleeper). Paul Westerdawg starts the imitation train by totally stealing Dave Chappelle from my list.
Look ma, no credibility.
- Eric Cartman. Right, he's a cartoon, but you could get either Trey or Matt to do the voice, whoever it is. The array of bleeped out words, declarations of various players to be goddamn hippies, and incoherent screaming of "BEEFCAKE"... well, it's the closest thing you'd ever get to mgoblog: The Announcer.
- The Iron Chef Announce! Team. Apparently I have a fetish not only for Asian women but for Asian talking. Who knew?
Dumb-sounding guy: "This off-tackle play reminds me of my childhood in Satori Prefecture."
Ditzy but Lithe Actress: "Yes, but it is too salty. And hot. Tee hee."
- Stewie. All right, ANOTHER cartoon, but Stewie: The Announcer would be pure comic gold, calling everyone slackjaw layabouts and declaring "Victory is theirs!" at the end of the game. Oh the joy.
Again, not for the faint of heart, but Motown Sports Revival has another giant exegesis on Michigan's losses that's worth perusing. MSR definitely falls into the 'pissed at Lloyd' camp of Michigan fans; the conclusions he implies are harsh on the man. I think the truth of Lloyd is that he's a B+ coach. MSR seems to think he's a C at best. This will come up again, I assure you. One thing I want to take issue with right now is this:
It depends. Lloyd Carr will definitely not change. In fact, I don'Â’t see Carr admitting that there even is an issue. Surely he doesn'Â’t like to lose but I doubt he differentiates between losses to good teams and lesser teams. It'Â’s been ten years of the same stuff so I'Â’m 100% sure that Carr will not change.
I think Lloyd has changed at least somewhat. The offense fell into disrepair and Lloyd went to Malone, who has opened up Michigan's offensive style extensively. The past two year have seen very little of the 'offense nuts up on the road' phenomenon, save for the Notre Dame game last year. That game had a really, really good excuse, though: Henne in his second start and his first on the road. Underwood the starting tailback. Malone said he called a more aggressive game but Henne checked everything down, and the thing is: I believe him. I would not have believed any previous offensive coordinator. But Malone has shown a great deal of creativity in trying circumstances. I think this year, with an established offense with only one real question mark (replacing the blocking of Baas and Dudley), we'll see Malone come into his own.
The special teams disasters of the Brabbs year and the Oregon/Iowa ST disasters appear to be heading in the right direction: Michigan is making a concerted effort to recruit reliable kickers and dynamic returners. Coverage and preventing blocks still requires some work but the special teams have ceased losing games. The problem that remains is that Lloyd has stuck his fingers in two leaks in the levee but a third has sprung. His name is Jim Herrmann, who has been caught behind the times. College football is moving to something of a futuristic-retro phase where running plays use the quarterback as a threat. Herrmann has completely failed to adjust to this.
Where we differ is here: I think Carr has adapted. Witness the emergence of Michigan as a truly balanced offense that only has a few slight annoyances. Witness Zoltan The Inconceivable and Black Jesus Breaston. I have hope that he'll make the one final adjustment that needs to be made, and then we will be cooking with plastic explosives, as they say.