Dear Diary Mitheth Them Alweady

Submitted by Seth on September 28th, 2012 at 9:38 AM


See if you can spot Upchurch in his bucket hat | my phone

There’s a Kryk article in the 2011 HTTV about how Nebraska and Notre Dame spent much of the first bit of the 20th century beating down the doors to the Big then-Nine (actually nine). In the days when everyone had to travel by train, Lincoln was WEST man. As for Notre Dame, they were well within the conference footprint, but far outside the preppy conference’s idea of a fit. Said Kryk:

“[Expanding beyond nine members] wasn’t the biggest reason for keeping Notre Dame out. Academic snobbery was, followed closely by religious prejudice. The Big Nine was run by academic elitists, and they viewed the education provided by religious institutions of higher learning such as Notre Dame as purely second-rate.”

If you know your University of Michigan history, you’ll remember James Burill Angell’s biggest battles with regents and the rest of the brass were around his hiring Catholic  faculty and saying nice things about papists. It’s a little snapshot of the prevailing prejudices of the day, and the genesis of the Notre Dame psyche.

You’ll also know that from these early days we too were arrogant enough to go it independent for a time. But while Michigan evolved toward benchmarks of greatness that involve our in-conference rivalries, Notre Dame’s established IMG_1670themselves as a fearless lone wolf. It’s why we balk when our chief rival is moved to another division, while they see nothing untoward about canceling the Michigan series to guarantee one West Coast game per year.

Fast forward a century with plenty of independent glory and this is what we hath wrought: a group of exceptionalists who are in many ways truly exceptional. Like how a mountain range of new or recently renovated megaliths spring out of an industrial Northern Indiana town. Like how in this craven era they can play on dirt and grass in an 80,000 seat bowl with no jumbotrons, no bad seats, and overlooked by a great big mural of religious figure who may be praying, may be calling touchdown, or may be exclaiming “Oy vey.” And yet they will also exclaim six times, with Michigan in attendance, that their fight song is the greatest. They will mike their band and have them drown out the visitors’ whenever our guys strike up. They’ll blare pump-up music deep into the opponent’s snap count on 3rd downs. And they’ll scoff at our 100-years-late invitation to finally sign on as half-members of the Virginia and Duke conference, keep the extra home game of this now odd-numbered series, and then tell Yost’s team to go screw.

Calling them arrogant when we’re the school that shows up to other stadiums with a trailer painted all over with the message “mine’s bigger” is pot-kettle-ish. They are the hot chick, and we can’t have them anymore. Cue the diaries of Notre longing. Start with conference realignment at the end game as oakapple, rehashes the four axioms that drive college football relationships. Then DanRareEgg reminisces over the latest series that spanned, with a few two-year hiatuses, from Dan Devine to Denard’s derps. Big Will the Gazelle thinks canning the Michigan rivalry to keep MSU and Purdue is a departure from the “We’ll play anybody, any time” ethos that built the ND brand. And if you’re really not ready to let go, here’s k.o.k.Law with a present tense poetic retelling of his ‘06 experience.

Let’s do THE JUMP here, and rejoin for the weeklies and the best of the board.


That Happened (the Weeklies):

  • Inside the Boxscore. So you think Denard’s stat line was a horror show do you? Let’s all remember Demetrius Brown against State. Actually scratch that; let’s all remember Peyton Manning in the 1st half last week. And let’s remember that the difference between Brown’s bad day and Denard’s is that we have a far superior offensive coordinator now who did finally make major game plan adjustments in the 2nd half. ST3 is down on the receivers in this game. He is high on the defense.
  • Hoke for Tomorrow. Why is Air Bud in this post? That is not a teaser, that’s an honest question. At least Lordfoul noticed Mealer was having a really good day, and some other 8014142263_fafa083d38_b quick points about the game that make this one of his better columns minus the random football playing golden retriever I don’t get. I’m waiting for the UFR to confirm the Mealer thing but I want to get it out there now anyway since I went into the season very wary of him and kind of annoyed he had bumped Barnum back to guard. Instead I think Mealer has been the better of the two, which is part Barnum not progressing as much as I thought he would, and more Mealer doing some very nice things so far.
  • Statistics and FEI Prediction. No prediction since it’s Wife Week. Our team still looks very middling at the quarter mark—they’re saying 6-6 at the moment—but the defense took a big step forward and this early in the year you really have to add two wins to whatever FEI is saying.

Onside Kick: Probably the Right Move

So thanks to a personal foul Michigan got to kick off from the 50 yard line. We kicked off, the ball went in the end zone for a touchback, and ND took over on the 25. And I was all “this is so wrong!” Think about it: if you have a 25% chance of collecting the onsides kick, even against the other team’s “hands” team, what you’re giving up for that chance is really just 10-15 yards of field position. I give this Yeoman’s work the Diary of the Week, even though it was bumped from the boards, because I was praying at the time somebody would write this up. I still hope the Mathlete tackles it too.

Et cetera: If you’re new in town and want to know the ropes before tarnishing your image forever by breaking some unspoken posting rule, JeepinBen kindly put together a little primer. Somebody wants to have the argument over the 2010 Wisconsin game again, basically. Open this just so you can read that Northwestern, Minnesota, and Purdue are the not-Bad, not-Ugly parts of the conference this year. The Blockhams has incrementally improved; if you’re still anti-this, there’s a danglies version linked in the comments.


Best of the Board


Let’s all use this clip from this week’s Podcast (warning: autoplay) to emphasize how awesome the Big Ten is this year. Let’s get this season started before we lose to any more MAC schools, eh? Videoed:


Mr. Kass, better known as husband to disapproving Mrs. Kass, noticed that most kids who have elaborate signing ceremonies don’t work out. Needs more study, but the helpful readers posted a few more data points that are at least very entertaining.


  1. Rooting Interest in this Weekend's Meteor Game: Staee vs Ohio
    Ohio State because Pasadena, winning division. I can’t believe I just said that. Damn you terrible B1G realignment and Dave Brandon for not seeing this coming.
  2. Denard was a better passer in 2010 than now: Why?
    He’s better now; in 2010 lots of opponents walked a safety up to combat Denard ISOs, which meant there was always a receiver open. Secret reason Michigan in 2010 was No. 3 offense in advanced metrics: Tate Forcier down 2+ scores vs. 4th quarter defenses.
  3. Should Jeremy Gallon be M's third down back?
    No. But you’re not an idiot.
  4. Legendary Nebraska Coach/AD Tom Osborne to retire
    That’s too bad. The other NCAA coaches should all do something nice for him. (Yes everyone else went there too. Why else post this?)

ETC. FSDetroit is having a poll for what you might want to watch instead of the Red Wings. Choices are replayed Red Wings games, Pistons preseason, Grand Rapids Griffins, or ACTUAL PEOPLE PLAYING HOCKEY FOR OUR COLLEGES. You can also add other thoughts or ideas, like “Do you really have to ask?” and “Is this a trick question?” and “Play the Alaska-Fairbanks Hockeybear Show!”

Your Moment of Zen:

Washington D.C. Justin Wilcox beats Stanford, dreams of facing MSU in the Rose Bowl this year. (HT)




September 28th, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

I don't think ND is that hot chick you can't have any more.

She's more like that chick that you had that was very hot, but then became that crazy chick that still thought she was amazing but really just drove you batshit crazy.  But at the same time you kept her around because of the crazy good times you'd have every so often and you still got some street cred from you buddies cause she was still pretty hot.


September 28th, 2012 at 10:09 AM ^

That's outstanding but I was going to describe her differently: 

She USED to be the really hot chick back in high school.  You dated her back then and had some good, good times with her.  Then you both head off to college together and you watched her gain her "Freshman 15" and start hanging around not-so-attractive girlfriends.  Eventually, you started to realize that all you were ever really interested in was her hot-ness and the rest of her was boring and, truth be told, pretty damn annoying.  But you were too nice so you kept her around for too long.  Finally, you felt relieved when she finally broke up with you and felt free to go and find someone better.



September 28th, 2012 at 11:59 AM ^

Man, to me ND was that girl in school you knew was a sure thing. She had a mystique about her to other guys because she put out and they all wanted to bang her, but it's been a long time since getting with her was something worth bragging about. You wanted her when you wanted her, and when you didn't you ignored her, or bragged to your friends about it behind her back. Yet for some inexplicable reason you thought there was a future there. You even tried asking her out once a while back. You got confused about whether or not you were in a relationship because you had gotten together so many times, either at your place or hers, and you got used to having her around. Then suddenly one day shes knocked up by some other dude you don't know and its over.

Ali G Bomaye

September 28th, 2012 at 10:30 AM ^

This might just be me, but in keeping with the general "no politics" etiquette, I don't think MGoBlog should have political ads from either party.  This site is meant to bring Michigan fans together, and the current polarized political climate threatens that.  I'm sure we can find enough advertisers without taking political money.

(In case anyone is wondering what I'm talking about, the RSS feed for MGoBlog has a Romney/Ryan ad attached to this post).


September 28th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

and I don't know about the RSS feed, but the ads on the actual site are powered by google (IIRC) and are targeted to your search history. Right now I have an AD ad about M Soccer tickets and a Volkswagen ad, which makes sense because I visit MGoBlog and Car Sites most often at work. Hooray auto industry!


September 28th, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

I haven't gotten a political ad on MGo yet. They're not related to the posts, and we have little control over the ones Google feeds in (as opposed to the ones I sell). We will never sell editorial space (mentions, sponsored posts, etc.) to a campaign. We had to turn down one this summer (for the DIA millage) because of that policy.


September 28th, 2012 at 11:06 AM ^

If you wanna get specific, a rabbi like Jehoshuah of Nazareth would have been speaking Aramaic. "Oy" is a Hebrew and later Aramaic word that is a cognate of the English "woe" -- in German and hence Yiddish that w became a 'v' sound and that's where "Vey" came from. "Oy" is all over the Bible, and "oy vey" comes from Eastern European Jews who got clever by using the old Hebrew/Aramaic expression along with the Yiddish one. So yeah, Jesus, being an Aramaic-speaking Jewish teacher from Galillee, would not have said "oy vey" -- just "oy."


September 28th, 2012 at 10:52 AM ^

and is becoming a "sorta" member of the ACC, does that mean we drop Notre Dame blog links and discontinue tracking their recruiting with respect to the conference and in general treating them as a unofficial conference rival?

Wolverine 73

September 28th, 2012 at 10:57 AM ^

Again?  IIRC, they gave him one when he retired as a coach after 1997, namely voting his Huskers team No. 1 in one of the polls even though Michigan played better ball against superior opponents and did not have to win a game on a fluke bounce off some guy's foot in the end zone.  You want them to vote the Huskers No. 1 again?

matty blue

September 28th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

i have no idea where this notion of notre dame as "elite educational institution" came from.  it's a new idea.

i'm 47, and i went to a catholic high school in west michigan.  at that time, notre dame was admired in my school, but NOT FOR ACADEMICS.  people who went to notre dame from my high school (and there were only a few, to my knowledge) were viewed as dilettantes, more interested in watching the football team than in going to the best college they could.  it was a vanity school - if you wanted an elite education, you went to michigan.  which i did.

lately, i've been thinking that my attitude at the time was due to my own bias, that and the fact that notre dame fans in my high school were, almost without exception, colossal douchebags.  it comforts me to hear that my idea was not a new one.


September 28th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

ND is the Thomas Jefferson of universities: it's so hypocritical it's hard to pin it down as any one thing--right down to their school colors. They're a French-Catholic school that made its name by welcoming in the irish catholics. They're one of the foremost religious institutions, and yet they are a shining example of secular achievement in research, while maintaining a largely liberal outlook. They're thought of as one of the great timeless ivies, yet most of their major buildings were built or substantially renovated after 2004.

This gets them downrated in a lot off the lists of best schools, but I've been told this is because they are really great in certain areas and ignore others. Also they didn't even become co-ed until the '70s. My mom couldn't have gone there (her mother graduated from Michigan).

Their undergrad program is small by Big Ten standards: 8,000 students, plus another 3,000 or so grad students. As you can imagine, many of the students you meet there are athletes, and most of the fans are not alumni (strange that Michigan State doesn't call them out for this).


September 28th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

I don't know if I'd hype ND's research to this extent. They have a fractional number of doctoral programs compared to a true research university (which is fine, that's not what they are) It does, however, mean that they play almost no role in the professional training of young scholars and the fostering of their research, which is one key marker of achievement in research.


September 28th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

For reasons rational and irrational. We should have breached the contract first as a tribute to Bo. Their arrogance and self-worship should not be rewarded - I know that is a hoot coming from a Michigan grad, but acrimony between the two schools bubbling below the surface has real roots and I am glad to be rid of them.

Yes, this complicates our scheduling and we do lose a guaranteed   marquee matchup, but in today's tv age we'll be able to plug along with a worthy and watchable replacement.

Keep Calm And Hate Notre Dame.

"To Hell with Notre Dame."

Professor Prepuces

September 28th, 2012 at 11:19 PM ^

I'm glad they're departing the schedule, and I hope it happens more often.  This was always a bad matchup.  Notre Dame has more to win from this matchup than Michigan.  For Notre Dame it is strength of schedule to convince pollsters that they should be a national contender without actually joining a conference.  For Michigan it is novelty.  I watch games on TV so I'm sorry Brian but I don't care that it was convenient for you.

More than football realpolitik I hate Notre Dame in general, and you should too.  Notre Dame calls themselves the fighting Irish but dress their marching band's color guard in English bearskin hats, English army redcoats, and Scottish kilts.  It is worst trait of the Midwest:  the smug ignorance.  Like mispronouncing your own placename.,_Ohio

This is a real place and they really do mispronounce Rio.  Really.  And Notre Dame really do dress up like the traditional enemies of the Irish nation.  Really.

Notre Dame is just outside South Bend, a quintessential rust belt community.  Since its peak in 1960 the city has declined around 30,000 or about 23%.  Like most of northern Indiana it was a manufacturing town that grew in the shadow of Chicago.  In fact the South Shore electric trains, which run from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, find their terminus in South Bend a mere 5 miles from Touchdown Jesus.  They have a Pulaski park, a LaSalle, and a Western Ave.  As such Notre Dame's biggest fan base is in Chicago, where merchandise is ubiquitous in TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

But as any Domer worth his salt will tell you Notre Dame is a national brand not shackled by the dreary confines of northern Indiana.  And they aren't even in South Bend, you fool.  They are in the adjacent suburb of Notre Dame.  You have them all wrong.  Notre Dame is a hallucination.  They exist only in the minds of the faithful.  That's why they are God's team.  They sure aren't the biggest college team within 2 hours of the biggest city in the Midwest and a regional phenomenon.  They are always nationally relevant.  Their TV contract is always something to boast.  They were always academically noted.

In the end, Michigan gains very little from beating Notre Dame, and loses very little in defeat.  As Brady Hoke says the goal is always the same.  To win the Big Ten.  But for Notre Dame the Michigan game is everything.  Winning brings national title dreams and losing crushes those aspirations.

I will miss Lou Holtz' prediction of a Notre Dame national championship at the beginning of every season more than I will miss Notre Dame on Michigan's schedule perennially.


October 1st, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

When I was living in France I had a tourist come up to me wearing a clearly Wal-Mart FSU puffy jacket and ask in the most American accent "Oooh esst Notre Dame" pronouncing it like the school. So I answered "South Bend, Indiana, but Note'-rrah Dahm is just down Rue Bernadins.


September 29th, 2012 at 11:56 AM ^

The dog is intercepting the cats' team QB's pass.  Dogs and cats are foes.  If a cat throws the ball and a dog catches it == interception.

I can't believe I need to explain that one, but then I had no idea that that was "Air Bud".