Namibia loves The Victors. An intrepid emailer spent his time as an English teacher in Namibia wisely:
(There’s also mindblowing video of the kids singing “Like A Prayer”.) This email caused me to look Namibia up on Wikipedia, and now I know that only 1% of the land in the country is arable and that it wasn’t even independent until 1990 because South Africa invaded it as part of World War II. And that it’s the second most sparsely populated country on the planet behind Mongolia. Wikipedia, sometimes I hate you.
They’ll get crappier or better. I’m always looking for any sign that college football scheduling will get less insulting, and this is a good one:
Michigan's fifth meeting against Miami (Ohio) -- and third time since 2001 -- was apparently the last for the foreseeable future.
The RedHawks used to enjoy the big payday that came with a road game against a big school. But now they're trying to get schools to agree to play at home one year, with a trip to Oxford, Ohio, the next year.
Miami (NTM) has home and homes set up with Minnesota, Colorado, and Vandy, so Michigan will have to go elsewhere for its second MAC snack in future years. I expect the Eastern/Central/Western rotation will be more frequent.
As a big picture, though: when the bigger MAC programs start eschewing guarantee games for actual home and homes, that means power schools have fewer options for bodybag games, which means the prices go up, which means there’s more motivation to play a real opponent. Go Hawks.
And now, more
CRIPPLE FIGHT 2008
graphic illustration via College Game Balls
Ha. San Diego State coach Chuck Long was asked which team was better, Cal Poly or Notre Dame. The response:
"That's a tough question," Long said.
Speaking of, I used the wrong box score in yesterday’s post on the SDSU-Cal Poly game. This is the right box, and it changes the table used to this:
|Opp||Yards Gained||YPA||YPC||Yards Allowed||YPA||YPC|
|Cal Poly SLO||379||7.8||1.2||483||10.5||5.2|
So the Notre Dame offense was way, way worse than Cal Poly and only marginally better on defense; they also allowed the flaccid San Diego State run game—3.5 YPC last year against a Mountain West schedule—to rack up almost 5 YPC. ND did do a good job of holding SDSU’s dink-and-dunk pass offense to few yards after the catch.
Meanwhile in overblown LOL. The media has revisited Charlie Weis’s poindextery rant about Michigan and “their excuses and murble murble I want a deep fried deep-fried-ham sandwhich murble murble To Hell With Michigan” to an excessive degree as Cripple Fight 2008 approaches. Check it:
468 articles! Google News tends to throw a bunch of stuff that’s not quite related in there but that was a search for “Weis ‘to hell with michigan’”.
In these 468 articles there is one thing of note:
"Barwis was mad," said UM defensive end Tim Jamison.
He gets mad? I mean… like, there are differentiable levels of white-hot seething Barwis rage? Notre Dame is screwed.
I still prefer “we have not said one word about Michigan, we’ll do our talking on the field” before FBD I. Weis loves this sort of meta trash talk: we haven’t even bothered to trash talk Michigan, that’s how sad they are. We don’t make excuses except about thugs and hoodlums and service academies but boy I bet Michigan does. I won’t blame my kids but if they would just execute the gameplan we wouldn’t lose to Navy.
And he loves complete BS excuses for his jerko (that’s right, I said it: jerko) behavior:
“Anyone who’s a Michigan fan should know and understand that’s a tribute to Bo,” Weis said Tuesday. “I think that’s a very respectful comment toward coach Bo.”
I’m sure he was on the verge of tears as he murble murbled his way through the Domer red meat. Dude, at least stick to your guns if you’re going to say it. When Bo said “to hell with Notre Dame” he meant “to hell with Notre Dame,” and if you asked him for a clarification he probably would have gone Dana Jacobsen on your ass.
Also, Bo had been retired for ten years when he said the version he meant.
Actual onfield items. Rakes of Mallow has an excellent post on Notre Dame’s preferred strategy going into the M game, suggesting a lot of dink and dunk stuff that tests Michigan’s spotty underneath coverage instead of the We Pound It But Not Like That We’re Catholic (And Just Save The Pedophile Priest Jokes We’ve Heard Them) that was much discussed in the offseason. I also think this is Notre Dame’s best course of action: take the Michigan DL out of the game and force the linebackers to make a bunch of tackles/zone drops.
Their only issue is that they don’t really have a guy to do that: Kamara is a ponderous, very sucky receiver, Tate is a straight line burner sort, and they’re down to a freshman at TE. That freshman is an OMG shirtless recruit… we may get a heavy dose of him.
One thing we’re sure to see: a half-dozen screens, maybe more.
Very simply, ladies and gentlemen, if you think that Ohio State is in trouble against USC because of the way the Buckeyes played against Ohio, you know nothing about college football and have failed to pay attention to this sport during your lifetime.
CFN remains a place to go only if you want to kill brain cells, but now they’ve got extra pretension!
Etc.: Only Jonathan Tu could link Borges and college football. Shavodrick Beaver is going to be on ESPN2 Thursday night: there will be a CIL liveblog/chat session—and this one is going to actually happen because I will be around to make it so. 8 PM.
This is a house in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a nice house. It is for sale, and this is one of the images of it posted on the internet to entice buyers:
Why do you care? You probably don't, but if you read Orson's latest and wondered what the deal was about the image that sent his real estate agent scurrying to find out just what the hell Orson-Spencer Hall-Swindle's phone number was, call him up, and ask him to remove it. Thanks to the magic of Google cache, it has been recovered. This is it.
Why anyone would care even a little bit about the publication of this internet-available image I don't know, but I do know that Kansas' nonconference schedule this year was Central Michigan,Southeastern Lousiana, Toledo, and Florida International. If Mangino is irritated by people on the internet posting this photo that just makes the feeling mutual. And seriously, people... don't post stuff on the internet if people looking at that stuff is going to be a problem.
Look, look at Mark Mangino's stuff. It's a little fey. Like his nonconference scheduling. That is all.
(Streisand effect, lawya!)
The internet responds! Much of it is stupid.
I love the internet, especially in times of trouble for opponents. And this, my friends, is a time of trouble for Michigan opponents. Ask anyone who isn't facing down the spectre regular six-touchdown buttwhippings*, like Florida fans or Bruce Feldman...
If I'm a Michigan fan, I'm ecstatic knowing the Wolverines have just landed Rich Rodriguez. I'd rather have him over any of the guys who had been linked to UM job.
...or Dan Shanoff...
Coach Rod represents the absolute best-case scenario for Michigan fans -- the absolute best coach available.
...or the cavalcade of swoon linked the past few days. They will all tell you the obvious thing: hiring a guy who's gone to BCS games two of the last three years, won his conference four of the last five years, and has gone 32-6 the past three years is a pretty good idea.
HORRIBLE hire for Michigan, HORRIBLE hire for WV... Absolute GREAT hire for the rest of the big 10. UM should start wearing purple and black. They will be the new Northwestern. One great year followed by a ton of sub 500 years. This is a GREAT day to hate Michigan
A fellow Spartan plays Reasonable Cop, disagreeing like so:
I don't think RR will bring glory back to UM, but I'm not drunk enough on kool-aide to think he'll take them any further down than 4th place in the conference
Black Shoe Diaries is moderately negative...
As far as Michigan goes, I think they will regret this decision in a few years. He has a history of being an opportunist. While at West Virginia he strung along secret negotiations with Alabama and was even rumored to have an agreement in principle. But he decided to stay in West Virginia anyway, but his wandering eye turned off a lot of the West Virginia faithful. Now it's reasonable to assume that Rodriguez won't be looking at other college head coaching jobs. He's at Michigan now. There aren't many other more attractive jobs out there that would warrant another move. But what if he has some success and the NFL comes calling? Is he committed to Michigan for life? Or is he going to be persuaded to listen to every offer that comes along? ...
What happens if Rodriguez starts ignoring cherished time-honored traditions? What happens if he fails speak of Bo Schembechler and Fielding Yost as if they were saints? What happens when he loses to Ohio State and says "Win some. Lose some" in his post game press conference?
While the first paragraph may be something of a concern -- he's certainly more likely to bolt than Les Miles would be -- Michigan is a terminal job in college football and NFL teams are unlikely to leap at an opportunity to hire a guy who relies so heavily on running quarterbacks unless Michigan just owns the opposition, and... uh... okay. I'm willing to take that change. As for the rest of it: what happens if Rodriguez slaps himself in a press conference after losing to Illinois? I agree that if it turns out Michigan has hired a lunatic, it will be bad for the program. It's not something to fret about until we hear he's slapped Tyrelle Pryor.
But it's the BSD commenters who crack me up:
RichRod had a good thing going at WVU, and now he's leaving that behind for the Michigan microscope? Sounds like a bad idea to me. Didn't WVU bend over backwards for him too with facilities upgrades to keep him there last offseason? Had RichRod already emotionally taken the scUM job when his 'Neers lost to Pitt? Interesting indeed.
Leaving a good thing for the big-time too early, sound familiar Chucky Weis?
Indeed, a Michigan program that hasn't fired a coach for on-field performance matters in 40 years is truly a roiling pressure-cooker of a situation. And truly, seven years as a head coach at a top 25 program is not enough of an apprenticeship period. And a proven college head coach is the exact equivalent of hiring a morbidly obese sociopath who's never so much as picked up a whistle as a head coach.
Ohio State fans are generally dismissive (Eleven Warriors does call it a "good hire"), but there were, by my count, exactly two coaches Michigan could hire that would create even the slightest blip on OSU's radar: Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel. Neither was thought to be available.
The Nation seems split between knocking down Rodriguez' accomplishments and playing up the "Mallett has no legs" issue...
Ferentz would have been a much better choice. Why Michigan chose a coach that specializes in a scheme thats completely incompatible with their current personnel is beyond me.
... and saying "crap":
Michigan has outdone all ND coach searches (basketball and football) since November 1986.
It's not all batty out there, kids. Boiled Sports:
I don't know if Michigan will be great next season...but they will soon. That dude can coach. ...
I even bought a WVU hat because of my like for Rodriguez; and I've never disliked UM...so I'm happy that the Wolverines got a good guy. I'm sad that he'll be kicking Purdue's ass regularly, but it's a good hire none-the-less.
Rich Rodriguez is a much better hire than Les Miles would've been. The Michigan fans can continue to bitch all season long about the sailing loving Bill Martin, but there is no one else out there better for the Maize 'n Blue than this hire. Ann Arbor is going to be intimidating once again.
He pwn3d the Big East, winning 4 of the last 5 titles a
nd 3 coach of the year awards. His teams run the spread option better than just about anyone. In other words, this ain't your father's Michigan offense anymore, and Florida (and, increasingly, Illinois) has taught us all the basic math of Wacko Ninja Offense + Top-Notch Talent = Carnage.
*(Ohio State fans excepted, of course, as they are not actually staring said prospect down.)