OT: "Stickin with Ficken!" & Unfortunate German Surnames

OT: "Stickin with Ficken!" & Unfortunate German Surnames

Submitted by markusr2007 on September 14th, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Hope For Pahokee #Eating Kickstarter Daily Update - 12 Days Left to Pledge!

Hope For Pahokee #Eating Kickstarter Daily Update - 12 Days Left to Pledge!

Submitted by Butterfield on September 14th, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Yet another great day and many more thank you's are in order for the mgoblog community.  In the last 24 hours, Martavious Odoms' #Eating Kick Starter raised an additional $3,400 dollars, pledged by 87 new backers!  Just 48 hours ago, it was looking bleak at best that the project would get funded.  But with the help of all of you MGoUsers who have participated, the current toal pledged is now slightly over 23k.  At this pace we've established the last couple days, we'll get to the goal in 5 days! Still, no complacency!  Many of you have continued to spread the message through other internet outlets, and of course that is amazingly awesome!

If you haven't pledged and you have the means, check it out and hopefully you'll  consider getting on board with this amazing cause organized by one of our own, a great Michigan man.  And for your awesomeness, you'll even get to select from a pretty cool assortment of t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, and other apparel with great designs from the Robot Hustle Crew.  Even if you swore you'd never donate to a charity again, these rewards are worth the donation in and of themselves!

 Kickstarter link here: 


If you can't afford to donate and still want to help, spreading the word to family, friends, and other internet communities will do amazing things for this cause. 

Think Like an Athletic Director: Notre Dame's B1G Rivalries

Think Like an Athletic Director: Notre Dame's B1G Rivalries

Submitted by oakapple on September 14th, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Some Big Ten supporters think the conference should stop scheduling Notre Dame, to "punish" the Irish for joining the ACC. They're making a fundamental error: thinking like a fan, rather than thinking like an athletic director.

Here are some basic facts:

Michigan and Notre Dame have played annually since 1978, aside from a couple of two-year hiatuses planned long in advance (1983-84, 1995-96, and another coming in 2018-19). Michigan has had seven athletic directors during that time, starting with Don Canham, who reinstated the series after a 35-year absence. You'd think that if playing Notre Dame were such a terrible idea, one of those ADs would have stopped it by now.

Even Bo Schembechler, who famously said "To hell with Notre Dame," didn't cancel the series during the three years that he was Athletic Director. Given his control over the program, it is hard to believe that Bo couldn't have put an end to it, if he'd really wanted to.

So, why does Michigan play Notre Dame?

The series has numerous benefits. It's a high-profile game that is always nationally televised. Travel costs are low. The game is competitive but winnable. Even in years that the Irish are terrible, the media always act like beating them is a Big Deal. The last three games, all won by Michigan, have created iconic moments that very few opponents could supply: Tate Forcier's coming-out party in 2009, Denard Robinson's in 2010, and Under-the-Lights last year. Since the series resumed, most of the games have been very entertaining, with 19 out of 28 contests decided by 8 points or less.

You might think that Michigan could easily replace Notre Dame with comparable opponents. You'd be wrong. A lot of those opponents don't want to come to Ann Arbor. (Dave Brandon recently tried to schedule Oklahoma, and was refused.) And outside of the Big Ten, most of the premier programs play in hot-weather climates, where a September game would put Michigan at a significant disadvantage. If you thought it was bad playing Alabama indoors, imagine what it would be like in Tuscaloosa.

In short: if Notre Dame fell off of the schedule, Michigan would be hard pressed to replace them annually with acceptable games against high-profile home & home opponents. Of course, somebody would come to play Michigan, but if you think the replacement game would regularly be as good as Notre Dame (in terms of prestige, TV viewership, excitement, or any way you measure it), you're kidding yourself.

The case for playing Notre Dame is even more compelling for Michigan State and Purdue. The Boilermakers have played Notre Dame every season since 1946. It is more important to them than any rivalry in the Big Ten, as it's the only game they play that is guaranteed to be televised nationally. No other Purdue game attracts so much interest. And there are probably no major football programs that would consider a trip to West Lafayette worthwhile. Cinncinati in 2016 is the most prestigious non-Big Ten, non-ND home game the Boilermakers currently have scheduled, supplementing a diet of directional schools, MAC programs, and the like.

The situation is quite similar for Michigan State. Remember their memorable overtime win vs. Notre Dame, which was the featured night game on ABC two years ago? They're doing it again tomorrow. Who else could the Spartans play, that would generate that kind of coverage? The Spartans have been elevating their schedule lately: they have future home & home series with Miami (YTM), Alabama, Oregon, and Boise State. But of that list, only Alabama matches Notre Dame in prestige.

I have no interest in helping Purdue and MSU recruit, but the fact is: to kids who might be considering playing football at those schools, an annual game with Notre Dame is a perk.

So I can only laugh when people suggest that the Big Ten ought to refuse to schedule Notre Dame, to "punish" the Irish for not joining the conference. It's a big like "punishing" Kate Upton for refusing to date you. Kate will do just fine, and so will Notre Dame. Oklahoma, Texas, Northwestern, and Arizona State, are among the teams that have scheduled the Irish in future years, in addition to their usual rivals (USC, Stanford, Brigham Young, Navy) and various ACC teams.

I'm not aware of any athletic director who resents the Irish for choosing to be independent. Athletic directors realize that games with Notre Dame are good business. Whether or not the Irish deserve their popularity, the fact is they are popular, because two large ethnic groups — Irish and Catholics — consider Notre Dame their de facto home team. This is why the major conference commissioners treat the Notre Dame athletic director like an equal; why they have their own network TV deal; and why they have their own entrée into the BCS, under conditions granted to no other school.

So to the extent that Big Ten schools for decades have found it useful to schedule Notre Dame, what exactly has changed? The answer is: nothing. Notre Dame always made clear that they intended to remain independent in football. All they've done is to leave the rotting Big East, as numerous other schools have done when the opportunity arose.

The match-up makes sense for both parties. As the weakest of the "Big Five" football conferences, the ACC wanted to make itself more attractive to television and the bowls. Notre Dame's strong academics are also an attraction, in the only available conference that is academically as strong as the Big Ten. Notre Dame gets access to the ACC's bowl tie-ins and a far better home for basketball and its olympic sports. It will play 5 ACC teams in football every year, but many of those teams have regularly played the Irish anyway.

Culturally, the ACC is a better fit for Notre Dame than any conference, including the Big Ten. The ACC already has five other private schools (if you count Syracuse, joining next year), including the only other Catholic school that plays FBS football (Boston College). The ACC footprint includes large Catholic and Irish populations, and Notre Dame alumni historically have tended to migrate east. Outside of the midwest, the East is Notre Dame's most fertile territory for recruiting. That's a big reason why the Irish chose the ACC over the Big 12, which was the only other major conference willing to admit the Irish on similar terms.

Numerous news stories have mentioned that the Irish will probably be re-evaluating their future schedules, now that they're committed to play five ACC teams per season, starting in 2014. If you add Navy, USC, Stanford, Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue every year, that would leave the Irish with just one "flex" game, or none in the years Brigham Young is on the schedule.

So which rivals might Notre Dame play less often? The Irish consider USC and Stanford their most valuable rivalry games, because it ensures they play in Califorina every year, an important selling point for West Coast recruits. The Navy game has been contested every season since 1914, making it the oldest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football. It's also practically an automatic win for Notre Dame. There's no way they're giving that up.

The three Big Ten rivalries have different costs and benefits for Notre Dame. They've played Purdue every year since 1946, and it's another game they usually win. However, very few people other than Notre Dame fans and Indiana residents care about the game, so it doesn't really help them with recruiting. Of all Notre Dame's rivals, Purdue really needs the game. Canceling it or playing it less often would really screw Purdue.

Michigan is the best known of Notre Dame's Big Ten rivalries, and the one that's the best media draw, but it's also the toughest for them. Michigan is one of the few schools (and the only one the Irish play regularly) that has a winning record vs. Notre Dame.

The Michigan State rivalry goes back to 1897, and since 1948 the two schools have missed each other just four times (1953, 1958, 1995-6). Historically, Notre Dame dominated the series (other than the 1950-63 period, when MSU was good), but since 1997 the Spartans have given Notre Dame fits, winning 10 out of 15. If Notre Dame decides that it doesn't need to play two state-of-Michigan schools, you'd think Michigan State would be seen as the dispensable game.

There is very little doubt in my mind that if the Irish want to keep playing, the Big Ten will continue to welcome them with open arms. In an interview with CBS Sports, Purdue's athletic director almost seemed to be pleading: "You have two schools in the state of Indiana with shared values -- their close proximity is a mutual benefit when it comes to travel and potential missed class time by the student-athletes -- so it only makes sense that we will continue to compete against them."

Dave Brandon told the Associated Press  that Michigan wants to keep the series going, but that it would be up to the Irish. MSU AD Mark Hollis said that the school has a contract with Notre Dame out to 2031 that calls for four years on, two years off. So that ought to dispel the idea that Big Ten teams have any notion of kicking Notre Dame off their schedules.

Perhaps one scenario is that the Irish will continue to play Purdue every year, while alternating the Michigan and Michigan State series (2 years on, 2 years off). That's just one way it could play out. Because of the continuous tradition, the in-state proximity, and the fact that the Irish usually win, it's harder to imagine them playing Purdue less often.

For Michigan fans, the question isn't whether we want to play Notre Dame, but whether Notre Dame wants to play us. If the Irish are available, David Brandon will schedule them, just as the last six athletic directors that preceded him have done, over and over again.

Charles Woodson to be on Rome in the first hour of his radio show

Charles Woodson to be on Rome in the first hour of his radio show

Submitted by LongLiveBo on September 14th, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Title says it all.  Woodson should be interviewed within the next 45 minutes or so.  I don't have a link so put google to work. 


-Edit - To avoid confusion, I have edited Woody to Woodson.

OT: PSU: another one gone (walk-on kicker Matt Marcincin)

OT: PSU: another one gone (walk-on kicker Matt Marcincin)

Submitted by Jon06 on September 14th, 2012 at 11:19 AM

This time a kicker. I guess backup kickers don't take it kindly when the starter goes 1-5 on FGs, 1-2 on XPs, and somehow keeps his job. The latest departure, Matt Marcincin, is just a redshirt freshman walk-on, but it suggests PSU's kicker situation is not going to change much this season.

To give this thread a chance of being about something other than whether you should complain about its existence, I do have a question that might be interesting. Is there a reason PSU hasn't just given one-year scholarships to most of the walk-ons on the roster? They must've lost enough players to have some free scholarships. It'd be a nice thing for them to do for those who have stayed.

Favorite Baby Seal Clubbings

Favorite Baby Seal Clubbings

Submitted by EGD on September 14th, 2012 at 10:28 AM


Certainly it's always much more fun watching Michigan eke out a tight, fourth-quarter victory over a difficult conference foe, or take some highly ranked opponent behind the proverbial woodshed ala '97 Penn State or '06 ND (or ’93 Ohio!!).  But sometimes it's nice to relax and just enjoy watching a tomato can get kicked in, beaten, and squashed--especially after a tough couple of games to start the season.  So, I've been thinking back to some of Michigan's more enjoyable baby seal clubbings of the past: games in which the opposing team never had a chance going in, and things played out that way on the field.  Here are some of my personal favorites from the past 20 years, with links to Wolverine Historian’s videos:

1) Michigan 52, Minnesota 17 (1995): Scott Dreisbach injured himself earlier in the week by getting his fingers caught in a lineman's jersey during a practice rep, so Brian Griese made his first start at Michigan.  I couldn't find anything on the web with stats or a game recap or anything, but I remember Griese connecting on several long passes (to whom I don't recall, but our receivers at the time included Toomer, Hayes, a young Tai Streets, and tight ends Jay Riemersma and Jerame Tuman).  However, I did find WH's video.

2) Michigan 65, Bowling Green 21 (2010): Say what you want about RichRod, but you have to admit that watching his offense tear apart weaker competition was football crack.  UM racked up 721 total yards in that game; Denard had 129 yards on just 5 carries, and just about everyone on the roster got into the game (unfortunately, that included Devin Gardner, whose UM career may wind up being a year shorter because of it).  If you want to relive the magic, here’s Wolverine Historian’s video.

3) Michigan 58, Indiana 0 (2000): One of the most flawless performances I've ever personally seen by a Michigan team; UM scored 45 points in the first half, punted only once all game (and for 67 yards!), and shut-out Antwaan Randle El (who had torched us for massive yardage the previous two seasons, almost beating Tom Brady in a 34-31 shootout in 1999).  As always, Wolverine Historian is on it.

 4) Michigan 49, Michigan State 3 (2002): If you are thinking, “What? MSU can never qualify as a baby seal!” then you probably don’t remember their 2002 team, which was a trainwreck smashing into the mother of all tire fires.  But Michigan, angered (and rightly so) by the Spartan Bob/Clockgate heist from the previous year, showed no mercy to the hapless Spartans—beating them so badly that, when it was over, MSU finally put Bobby Williams out of his misery. This demolition was so incredibly epic that WH had to break up his video into two parts.  Here’s uno, here’s dos.

5) Michigan 56, Illinois 14 (2003): Arguably the worst Big Ten team of the ‘00s, Ron Turner brought his Fighting Illini (who would finish the season 1-11) to the Big House for what would be its most lopsided thumping of the season.  There wouldn’t have really been anything memorable about this game,except for the amazing Steve Breaston reverse-field 74-yard punt return TD (begins at 9:30 of this punt return compilation by WH, which is much more interesting than the rest of the actual game).

Obviously, this diary wouldn’t have been possible (and by “possible,” I mean “any good”) without Wolverine Historian’s videos.  So, thanks be to him. And as always, Go Blue!

MVictors interview with Ron Kramer's granddaughter (current U-M student)

MVictors interview with Ron Kramer's granddaughter (current U-M student)

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on September 14th, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Nice piece as usual by MVictors. Last week they had an interview with Bennie Oosterbaan's godson. This week they have the granddaughter of the next Michigan Football Legend Ron Kramer. She is a current Michigan student and a senior. 



Did you know that there’s a direct family tie to #87 Ron Kramer currently at Michigan?  It’s true.

Kelsey Kramer (left, with her grandfather) is a senior at U-M and the granddaughter of the man we will honor on Saturday prior the the kick-off of the UMass game. 

The 21-year old is a psychology major & was kind enough to chat with me about her about her grandfather, her thoughts on the unretirement, who she’d like to see don the #87 and much more.

MVictors: Do your fellow U-M students know who your grandpa was and what he did on the football field?

Kelsey Kramer:  They figure it out eventually. I remember during my freshman year, my grandpa came to take me out to lunch. When I got back all my guy friends were like, ‘Who was that? That guy was huge!’ I told them it was my grandpa and mentioned that he used to play football here…and they went straight to Wikipedia & figured out who he was.

They’d say, ‘Why didn’t you tell us he was a Hall of Famer and played with the Green Bay Packers..,’ and all that stuff. I didn’t really think about it—he was just ‘grandpa’ to me. I know many of the guys on the football team definitely know who my grandpa was.

MVictors: When did you find out that your grandpa was going into the Legends Program, and how do you feel about his number be worn again?

Kelsey Kramer: I found out about a month ago or so and I thought it was a great idea.  I really like the idea of having the number on the field again because when it is in retirement, I think a lot of people, especially those my age, definitely don’t know who Ron Kramer was.  So with the Legends Program bringing it out on the field and having the ceremony– it really keeps those memories alive and keeps him around Michigan in a way. I’m excited about it.

Big House Expansion??

Big House Expansion??

Submitted by Chi-Blue on September 14th, 2012 at 12:07 AM

So with the new facility upgrades that have been announced I saw that almost every sports facility is up for some work accept the BIG HOUSE. I know we just spent like 250 mil on the upgrades and boxes just a couple years ago, but I thought I heard some news of some seating going in the voids between the new score boards and the boxes?? I figured that this would be included in this new 7-10 year plan, but did not see it on he website. Does anyone know anything more about it??

Lambeau Field which has a very similar design to Michigane stadium is putting in an addition much like what I think DB would be thinking of doing. Just a little look see . . .


Manti Te'o suffers personal tragedy, will probably still play v. State

Manti Te'o suffers personal tragedy, will probably still play v. State

Submitted by BiSB on September 13th, 2012 at 4:51 PM

According to Mark at Tremendous and the ND message boards, Manti Te'o lost his girlfriend to cancer, and may have also lost his grandmother within the same 24 house. He may miss Saturday's game, but that isn't the first thing on his mind right now.


I'm hearing some rumors that Manti Te'o isn't going to play Saturday. Would be a big blow to ND's chances if he's out.

— Mark (@Mgobluegr) September 13, 2012



To clarify, Manti Te'o's girlfriend passed away yesterday (confirmed) but rumors are saying his grandmother passed away as well (unrelated)

— Mark (@Mgobluegr) September 13, 2012


I'm sure you all join me in sending our sympathies to Manti, his family, and his girlfriend's family.


ED: Looks like Te'o will play. May he find healing in the smacking of many Spartans.

RT @NDatRivals: Brian Kelly says that Manti Te'o will play this week despite personal losses.

(H/T julesh for the update)