Dear Diary Remembers the Pennsylvania

Submitted by Seth on July 13th, 2012 at 8:58 AM


Gave up trying to find shapes that look like states after MI. Click embiggerates.

Cartography week. Unless you're Ricky Stanzi, in which case this is every day, the 4th of July was for honoring America. Since this is a thing named for a cartographer, what better way than mapmaking. Randall Monroe (of xkcd) chose to take the Michigan=mitten thing and come up with objects for the other 49 that's worth a 'brief' look just to see what Ohio is and shall hereafter be referred to as for all time. Maize.Blue Wanger decided to pen a 7,700-word thesis about the best Michigan football players from each state. My map above used his work for most things except I used Spencer Brinton for Utah, split Michigan between his choice (Braylon) and mine (Harry Newman, but coulda been Oosterbaan), counted the little New England states as one Jamie Morris, and put a Block M over the ones I didn't care to do Google image searches for since I almost didn't return from my last quest for a representative photo of Brandon Williams. Anyhoo, for such a Herculean effort in service to his country, MBW is awarded Diarist of the Week.

The author also discovered the mess that is Bentley's enter-the-data-then-forget-about-it player database, which is more comprehensive than any other team's database in the country yet manages to do horrible things to Opong-Owusus ("F13" is not a football position!) In spite of such hazards, justingoblue followed MBW into the archives to chart up which states/regions have been dutifully paying their tributes of football talent.

Here's the context then. At the HTTV release after-party we had a long discussion about the '99 Penn State team, to the point that Brian was surprised everybody remember Penn State so damn well. For my part I learned everything I could about them when they joined the Big Ten. It all said they were a true national power, and nothing they did in the interim—like going undefeated in '94—suggested otherwise. The conference might have tried to shoehorn them in to a rivalry with MSU because they both got Morrill Act grants when the SEC seceded from the union, but it was the Michigan games they got up for, and vice versa.

psap10The 1997-'99 series was among best of those. They'd won the last three. Judgment Day marked the point when the national championship run became real. The Sunday morning after—still fresh acceptance packet folded up in my cargo pocket—the glow of that win was still palpable in the chill air, cup-strewn lawns, and weary students stumbling home trying to decide if they'd really been partying at Bollinger's house. In '98 the student section was so loud it turned psap11back multiple Lion goal-line and field goal attempts.

And 1999, when Florida State and its weak-ass ACC schedule was the runaway AP favorite, but No. 2 Penn State the best team in the country. The Nittany Lions had Courtney Brown and LaVarr Arrington, and strength everywhere else. Then they ran into Minnesota (at their Mason peak) and lost in one of those final play games any team can lose any time to a decent team. We laughed, but we knew our offensive line was too hobbled to give Brady time or psdn2Thomas lanes, and our cornerbacks were Future Stars of the SmurfFL, and Minnesota's upset was just luck.

Then that game, which you can re-live thanks to footage by Gordon (and photos via DeSimone) The score was close but true to the short-lived rivalry, Michigan beat the snot out of them. A-Train knocked out Arrington and bruised up Brown, and by the end we'd seen something nobody thought could happen that year: Penn State beaten and broken by a better team. The next week they limped through a loss at Michigan State that Spartans remember as the debut of T.J. Duckett, and everyone else remembers as the result of Michigan softening 'em up. Penn State ended with the most sour Alamo Bowl bid ever, Michigan took care of Joe Germaine to earn a trip to the Orange Bowl, MSU whined because they got only a Citrus invite despite winning the head-to-head, and Saban bailed for the Bayou because he realized no matter how many Plaxicos you rent this will always happen at Michigan State. That's the context by which I remember the '99 Penn State game. Also for Penn State it was the goodbye game for their longtime defensive coordinator, meaning when you re-watch there's a way different context. /Penn State memories week on MGoBlog.

Elsewhere in old video, watch the 2003 team trounce Houston.

Search: "Quarterback Depth."

Found" "Devin Gardner" autorun "peanut_butter_jelly_banana.exe"


Found: "Russell 'Not Quite Tate but Doesn't Need to Be' Bellomy's Spring Game performance"

Actually from this he seems to be the opposite of Tate. Tate would make bad decisions, then could get away with them thanks to his accuracy and moxie and winning smile (or not get away with them). Bellomy makes the right reads then throws a slightly bad, slightly fluttery ball that gets the job done and no more.

/remembers 2008

/reads again.

Speaking of 2008 I think that's when the Mathlete first introduced the famous (for an MGogiven definition of that) "Michigan Helmet" chart about proper 4th down etiquette based on down and distance. In 2010, with a top 5 offense and no kicking game, the "go" region essentially became anything after the 50-yard-line. This has now been updated for the 2011 offense, and comes with a Googledoc spreadsheet you can use to decide when to go and when to kick. I'm going to keep this handy during live blogs so I can sound smart.

Etc. World Cup 2014 favorites. U.S. Olympic Track and Field. Don't let the fact that the NCAA just instituted a playoff stop you from posting your idea for a D-IA playoff. And do not, under any circumstances, follow recruits on Twitter.

Best of the Board


THE FRESHMEN HAVE NUMBERS (SORTA): Okay, fine, Heiko can follow recruits on Twitter, but only because people have EA Sports dynasties starting this week and need to know which digit to put Wormley in, etc. I'll have a post up when the media guide is released with all of them, but for now Heiko managed to track down most of them from changed @names and twitpicks of lockers/gear.

PHOTO BATH! Brian last week put a link to the favorite football pics from 2011 thread in UV. If you missed it then, go back now because there are so many great images. Max followed up a day later with a favorite all-time photo thread. Leaders And Best added a Sports Illustrated Cover review in there which alone could have been its own diary. Can somebody who knows the history stuff explain:


PICKING YOUR POISON: Who would you like to see added to non-conference schedules of the future? This offseason thread generated a bounty of responses (note: playing Delaware won't make them stop wearing our uniforms), but little in the way of feasibility. We're really talking about three different tiers: Home-and-homes to replace the ND Series during that hiatus, Rocky070706438one-offs with BCS schools we can convince to come to Ann Arbor, and then those filler games with MACrifices and I-AA opponents that won't make you gag when Michigan needs a quick pansy to round out the empty weeks.

Tier 1 should be someone everyone wants to watch on TV and would be worth visiting just to see their game day atmosphere and city: Auburn, Georgia, Bama, Tennessee, Texas, Cal (or Stanford though Palo Alto is pretty boring), Virginia, and Clemson. Ole Miss I'm told has an interesting game day, but busing Ann Arborites to Oxford necessarily brings up some nasty history. Tier 2 is pretty much any BCS opponent. The bottom of the Pac12 is nice however I'd love to see Vanderbilt again to pad our historical record versus the SEC, and I believe any Big XII team not named Texas or Oklahoma will take our calls right about now. Tier 3 I'd skip entirely except this is the place I can use to begin an annual pre-season exhibition against Slippery Rock. I personally don't mind playing directional schools because everyone has family there.

THE OPENING: THE THREAD: This thing had some 17,000 views. It's mostly pics from twitter feeds because people are…HEY I TOLD YOU… Related is a thread where everyone posted about that time they met a celebrity. Beat getting kissed on the cheek by the bride from Father of the Bride.

VALLEY OF THE LOST HELLO: ____ POSTS: Bronxblue was wondering what happens when Ace or his predecessors heads into the Super Secret MGoRecruiting Chamber to produce one of those "hey a guy committed!" posts, only to emerge and discover the kid in question chose unwisely. Answer: if the whole thing gets written for naught a respectable blog for the winning fanbase is offered the thing, which is then torn apart for the links and left to rot in the internetherworld. The rest of the closet of unpublished MGoContent is mostly junk nobody ever got around to throwing out. Sorry to burst anyone's bubbles.

Your Moment of Zen:


Party at Bollinger's! The Michigan Daily



July 13th, 2012 at 9:22 AM ^

This was the point differential after Michigan beat Stanfor 49-0 in the '02 Rose Bowl.  The regular season saw them beat opponents 501-0.  Apparently someone took the regular season picture and doctored it. 


July 13th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

Exactly what happened.  Remmeber that it wasn't until the 60s or 70s that people started counting bowl games as an actual part of the season.  For example, MSU counts a national title in a season where they lost the Rose Bowl to UCLA.


July 13th, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

Oh, he was talking about the 2 different point totals on the football.  I thouhgt he wanted to know how Peyton Manning photo bombed a picture taken nerely 100 years before he was born.  BTW, He look smashing in the wool rollkneck and smack dab hairdo. 


July 13th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

but busing Ann Arborites to Oxford necessarily brings up some nasty history.

What nasty history?  Am I missing something?  Are they pissed off at us for losing so badly to Mississippi State?


July 13th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

Their stadium and campus are beautiful, and it's a fun place to visit.  They have an excellent academic reputation, and there are quite a few Michigan alumni in the Silicon Forest.  Even though they have been down recently, they will rebuild. 


July 13th, 2012 at 10:07 AM ^

1999 was not Minnesota's peak under Mason. It was undoubtedly 2003, when the team finished 10-3 and beat Oregon in the Sun Bowl.

You probably remember the reason why that Gophers team didn't end up in the Rose Bowl.


July 13th, 2012 at 11:42 AM ^

In overall record, the case could be made that 2003 was better than 1999.  But their most notable wins in 03 were a 1 point win over Oregon (who finished 8-5) and a 3 point win over Wisconsin (who finished 7-6). 

Although I thought they were a little overrated in '99, Penn State was the best team Mason ever defeated. 

Evil Empire

July 13th, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

Speaking of Bellisari, who would have thought that an OSU QB getting arrested shortly before the Michigan game would help their cause?  I posit that Bellisari's supreme generosity (instead of Stingy Krenzel) with the pigskin would have been worth at least seven points in 2001.

Evil Empire

July 13th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

It's the closest school from a major non-B1G conference to Ann Arbor, and certainly the closest to my home in NE Ohio.  They play in a nice modern stadium (albeit an NFL home) and rarely fill the place, but they're not a total pushover.  Also western PA has been a fertile recruiting ground at times and some visibility there couldn't hurt.  We haven't played them since two blowout wins in the 1940s.  Paging Mr. Brandon...


July 13th, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

In "550" vs. "501" is because the pic was taken before the 49-0 Rose Bowl win. Doctored after the beat down of Stanford. Haven't researched that, but would make sense.


July 13th, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

While at risk of destroying the common board rule of maintaining anonymity, I'm the guy in the upper right corner taking the picture.  I have the returning picture of me taking a picture of the person taking the original picture (gasp!).

That picture showed up everywhere that year.


July 13th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

Seth writes, "The score was close but true to the short-lived rivalry, Michigan beat the snot out of them."  I have a different memory of a great back-and-forth game (including the "Transcontinental" featuring Drew Henson after Brady faked an injury) that found Michigan down 10 with maybe 5 minutes left.  Two clutch Brady drives later (the latter of which was cued by a great punt return by someone I'm forgetting) plus some Ian Gold blitzes/sacks and it's a Michigan win.