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Stadium and Main: November 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Corporation says it’s USC, and it will be USC

I feel almost exactly how I felt after watching The Corporation: a little angry, albeit a bit resigned. If you haven’t seen this documentary, I highly recommend it. I’m not the most “liberal” person, but it makes some good points that nobody in their right mind can deny. Anyway, after trashing corporations for 90 minutes or so, Michael Moore (love him or hate him) chimes in with an appropriate summary. He says something to the effect of: “This movie is being distributed by a corporation. Why would they want to release something that paints them (corporations) in such a bad light? Because they will make money off of it, and because they don’t think we (the people) will stand up and do anything about it.”

The BCS, the college presidents, the NCAA, the Bowls, the TV companies – they are The Corporation. They run an inherently flawed, money-making machine, and there’s not much we can do to make them change their ways. There is something we can do to make them re-think things. Stop watching. Stop going. But we won’t do that. We will watch OSU-USC, because it will be a very good game. We will watch Michigan in the Rose Bowl, because we love Michigan. The Corporation will make a record haul, as it does almost every year. Some of us fans will feel satisfied, many of us won’t. But we’ll all come back again next season.

I guess I’m just a bit frustrated by the mantra that was repeated all day yesterday: “The experts say that if USC wins out, they will be #2 in the BCS.” I heard a lot of that, but I didn’t hear many reasons why. It’s funny how things change in just a week. Last week, we had all the talking heads discussing a Michigan-OSU rematch, with many in favor of one. This week? Out of sight, out of mind. USC had the stage, and we were yesterday’s news. As a member of "the ADD generation," I shouldn’t be surprised, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting a little. I still think Michigan is the 2nd-best team in the country, and that we would beat USC on a neutral field. But there’s no playoff, so we’ll never know.

Things might change one day, but it won’t be because the SEC gets left out of another BCS Championship Game, or because the College Gameday crew goes on a 45-minute tirade against the BCS. Things will change when The Corporation figures out how to make more money by having a playoff. Until then, enjoy (or don’t)!

Shifting gears – Some bowl predictions. Here’s how I expect things to go:

BCS Championship: OSU (BCS #1) vs. USC (BCS #2)

Rose Bowl: Michigan (BCS guaranteed at-large (Top 4 BCS)) vs. LSU (BCS at-large (possibly guaranteed if Florida loses))

Sugar Bowl: Florida/Arkansas winner (SEC Champion) vs. Notre Dame (BCS at-large)

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma/Nebraska winner (Big 12 Champion) vs. Boise State (BCS guaranteed at-large (Top 12 BCS from non-BCS conference))

Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech/Wake Forest winner (ACC Champion) vs. Rutgers/Louisville/West Virginia (Big East Champion)

- Things might change if Florida loses to Arkansas. Then, would the BCS committee(s) select the “hot” team in the Top 5 (LSU), or the team that beat them, but is coming off of a loss (Florida)? It seems “fair” to take Florida, but we all know this system is anything but “fair.” LSU might even get a guaranteed BCS bid in this scenario, by finishing in the Top 4 of the BCS. Regardless, it is clear that the Big Ten gets 2 bids, the SEC gets 2 bids, and the other “majors” just get 1 each. Boise State crashes the party and makes the Fiesta Bowl committee cry, again. Remember that Pitt-Utah Fiesta Bowl after the 2004 season? This year’s version might be even less interesting.

- I don’t want a rematch against Notre Dame. Is there anything good that could come out of that? If we win by 1 point, 30 points, or somewhere in-between, people shrug their shoulders and say “meh.” If we lose, we look like a bunch of idiots. And a loss to ND would be possible. I mean, how motivated/interested do you think the Michigan players would be under those circumstances? Not very, I would imagine. Besides, is there anyone that wants to see that game?

- I think LSU should play in the Rose Bowl (sorry, Florida (if you lose, that is)). If USC beats UCLA, Michigan goes to the Rose Bowl (not guaranteed, but likely). LSU would be the ideal opponent. Les Miles is a former assistant to Bo Schembechler. Michigan and LSU have never met. And both teams would be ranked in the Top 5, making this clearly the “second best” BCS game this season. If USC loses to UCLA, USC goes to the Rose Bowl automatically (Pac-10 champion). A USC-LSU Rose Bowl would give LSU their shot at “revenge” for the 2003 season, where they had to split the National Championship with USC. A rematch of USC-ND would be almost as terrible as a Michigan-ND rematch. Put LSU in the Rose Bowl, and keep Notre Dame as far away as possible.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a great weekend. If you're on the rematch bandwagon, here are some rooting guidelines for the games this week:

Friday at 2:30 Eastern on CBS:
LSU over Arkansas (not necessary, but might end up helping a bit)

Also on Friday afternoon, for some BCS computer points:
Central Michigan over Buffalo
Ball State over Kent State

Saturday at Noon Eastern on ABC:
Florida State over Florida (more important than an Arkansas loss, but not 100% critical)

Saturday at 8 PM Eastern on ABC:
Notre Dame over USC (the most important game, by far)

I can't believe I have to root for a Notre Dame victory. That's a great way to make myself nauseous before Thanksgiving dinner. Anyway, enjoy the weekend - make sure to give thanks for Bo, for Michigan, and for college football in general.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Still processing

I watched The Game over at a friend’s place (thanks, MS), and as I walked home with my girlfriend, she asked me how I was feeling a few times. I kept telling her that I was still processing everything, and I think I still am. I avoided the internet all day yesterday – No need for the "fire Carr" stuff (although I was happy to see very little of that). I just did a full message board scan, and I’m planning on re-watching The Game a few times this week.

I’ll just mention 3 plays that are forever burned into my memory:

1 – "The overthrow" to Mario. Blame the poor turf, blame Henne, blame God. That would have given us another 1st Quarter TD, and would have changed the face of the game.

2 – Stopped on a 3rd-and-1 run in the 2nd Quarter. I’m starting to hate the Zone Stretch on 3rd-and-1.

3 – "The penalty" on Crable. It was probably the right call. If that was Henne as the QB, I’d be screaming for the penalty. But that was just a game-killer. We would have had the ball back, down 4, with a chance to score a potential game-winning TD.

I still think Michigan is the 2nd-best team in the country, but I won’t melt down if we don’t get a rematch. More on that at a later date. For now, I’ve still gotta process some thoughts.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Game linkfest

Bigger and (I hope) better than usual. There were so many Michigan-OSU stories this week, I had to pare them down to make this post manageable. Enjoy The Game. Go Blue!...

General info:

#2 Michigan (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten) @ #1 Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten)
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Game Location: Ohio Stadium (101,568 capacity)
Field Surface: Grass
Weather Forecast
Television Coverage: Nationwide on ABC. HD broadcast in 720p on ABC HD.
Local Ann Arbor Area Radio Coverage: WOMC-FM (104.3), CKLW-AM (800), WTKA-AM (1050)
Satellite Radio Coverage: Sirius Satellite Radio – Channel 130 (Michigan announcers)
Other Radio Affiliates
All-Time Series: U-M leads 57-39-6
Series History (PDF)
Current Streak: OSU 2 straight wins
Line: The line opened at Ohio State by 7, and quickly moved to Ohio State by 6.5. It has stayed at OSU by 6.5.

Related stuff: "Game Notes," including Depth Chart (PDF) Press conference quotes: Lloyd Carr; Offensive Players; Defensive Players; Bo Schembechler The Biggest “Big Game” (tons of info here) 2006 Michigan Football Bust Carr named Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Finalist Breaston named Big Ten Player of the Week Hart named to Walter Camp Player of the Year List Hart named Doak Walker Award Semifinalist Hall named Finalist for Bronko Nagurski Trophy

The Detroit News: For OSU, it’ll be spit, beer & tears

The Detroit News: Too perfect: Big rivalry keeps getting bigger

The Detroit News: What happens to the loser?

The Detroit News: Buckeye Punks

The Detroit News: Clash of the titans

The Detroit News: Wolverines braced for hostility

The Detroit News: There can only be One

The Detroit News: Top Defense? (Is OSU’s better than U-M’s?)

The Detroit News: Final exam

The Detroit News: Bo is ready for Ohio State

The Detroit News: Leading the charge (Henne)

The Detroit News: Loser shouldn’t get shot at title

The Detroit News: Tales from Columbus (Eddie George’s restaurant)

The Detroit News: LaMarr Woodley is U-M’s equalizer

The Detroit News: Former Lion Spielman is not a traitor

The Detroit News: Big game report

The Detroit News: Michigan: Keys to the game

The Detroit News: Ohio State: Keys to the game

The Detroit News: Ex-Wolverine lives as a “traitor” (Marcus Ray)

The Detroit News: U-M’s “other” cornerback could make the difference

The Detroit News: Studious, speedy Gonzalez enjoys exploiting weaknesses

The Detroit News: Take trip to Columbus, but do watch your back

The Detroit News: Security is tight in Columbus

The Detroit News: Behind enemy lines (Michigan fans living in Ohio) State of Michigan Proper English Gearing up for The Game As coach Tressel wins, Tressel’s “Teflon” armor gets stronger Gamebreakers: Manningham vs. Ginn From the sound of it, Ufer remains a Wolverine legend Schembechler not in favor of BCS rematch Woodley, Wolverines aim to prove defense wins titles Ginn, Breaston have chance to exceed expectations Michigan films offer proof of Smith’s big-game status More confident Henne embraces leadership role Traitors
"They’ll toilet paper my yard in Blacklick," [former Michigan DB Jeff] Reeves said with a laugh. "I know they will. That’s OK, I’m fine with it. It’s about class. Michigan fans have class. Ohio State fans have a one-track mind: football and drinking beer. Win or lose, those idiots will tear up the city."
The Detroit Free Press: Once “overrated,” Hall now low-key star of U-M defense

The Detroit Free Press: Why not U-M, OSU in rematch for title?

The Detroit Free Press: U-M taking campus cops to Ohio – just in case

The Detroit Free Press: Conquering Troy (Smith, that is)

The Detroit Free Press: Woodley’s dreamy year

The Detroit Free Press: Bo slams ’04 incident at OSU

The Detroit Free Press: Buckeye bias in ABC booth?

The Detroit Free Press: Rematch? Why worry now?

The Detroit Free Press: Tressel puts mark on rivalry

The Detroit Free Press: Confident Henne: “We deserve to win it”

The Detroit Free Press: No rematch

The Detroit Free Press: Cakewalk to the dark side (“split” families)

The Detroit Free Press: Carr has proved self, win or lose Saturday

The Detroit Free Press: Why Wolverines should get it done

The Detroit Free Press: Team Spirit: Fans make trek to pay respects at graves of U-M immortals

The Michigan Daily: The Breakdown (PDF)

The Michigan Daily: So many reasons to hate Ohio State

The Michigan Daily: Unblemised record sparks recollection of ‘97

The Michigan Daily: In hostile Horseshoe, everything on the line

The Michigan Daily: Eleven natives return home for The Game

The Michigan Daily: Lame-Duck regent to vote on Big House skybox plan

Ann Arbor News: Relentless to the end (more Woodley)

Ann Arbor News: The reality is that Tressel owns Carr

Ann Arbor News: Henne unconcerned by the comparisons

Ann Arbor News: Voters’ eyes on Smith (Heisman)

Ann Arbor News: The tie that grinds (1973 tie game Rose Bowl controversy)

Ann Arbor News: Former U-M quarterback remembered as “all-around great individual” (Tom Slade)

Dayton Daily News: Bengals’ Perry talks some trash Michigan Stadium renovations: The internal views Michigan Stadium renovations: Revised external views

The Sports Network’s Prediction Ohio State Message Board Ohio State Message Board

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What's left to say?

When I started this blog in the Spring, I remember looking forward to this week. I was confident that The Game would provide me with many opportunities for analysis, commentary, and general B.S. Fast-forward about 8 months, and my posting frequency is static. The magnitude of this game has turned me into an idiot. Last night I put a box of Triscuits in the fridge, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten somebody’s birthday (sorry, whoever you are). My IQ has dropped about 26 points, so I’ve spared you any incoherent ramblings (until now).

Fortunately, I’ve been very busy at work (never thought I’d say that!). While my work product has suffered, at least the week isn’t dragging. And I’m somewhat comforted by the fact that everything that needs to be said has already been said. Actually, nothing really needs to be said. It’s like a classic boxing match, where both fighters are men that “need no introduction.” But, seriously, everything has been said. While compiling the “linkfest” that I do for each game, I had to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to avoid a “Longest. Post. Ever.” distinction.

Two days from now, all of the worry, speculation, predictions, and hype will be over. Games like this don’t happen very often, so I hope you enjoy it. Despite my temporary insanity, I know I will. Go Blue!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stuff you might have missed

- We have three Big East teams in the Top 10. It’s the 12th week of the season, and we have three Big East teams in the Top 10. It’s called “back-loading,” and it’s not just for pickup trucks anymore.

- You go, Lloyd!
”Nobody's talking about why, but after University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr finished taping interviews for Saturday's game against Ohio State with ABC Sports Monday, he came storming out of the Michigan locker room irate and loudly complaining about the direction the questioning had taken.

Carr uttered several profanities and left in his car after ordering Dave Ablauf, assistant director of media relations, to go back and address his concerns with the television crew.

Ablauf and ABC officials refused to discuss the incident afterward.”
Gotta think that this has something to do with the interviewer(s) asking about: (1) Kirk Herbstreit’s comments about Steve Breaston being ”worthless” (in our Offense, apparently), and/or (2) Carr’s record against Jim Tressel (possibly involving a knock on John Cooper, which Lloyd would not have stood for).

- An award has been named after Randy Moss. For real. Despite the obvious stuff, isn’t it a bit odd to name a Division I-A award after a guy that played in Division I-AA, and was playing college football less than 10 years ago? It’s kinda like those dudes that have Dwyane Wade “throwback” jerseys. Sweet!!

- Michigan students have been getting this e-mail today. I went to The Game in 2000, and OSU fans really weren’t that bad. But I get the feeling that due to their recent success, they are getting out of hand. I’ve read too many horror stories in recent years, and apparently the OSU administration is taking note. Anyway, here’s the e-mail:
“We know that it can be uncomfortable being in an opposing team's environment, especially when the stakes are so high. We would like to offer a few suggestions in order to help you stay safe and have a positive experience this weekend:

--Try carpooling to the game; if possible, drive a car with non- Michigan license plates.
--Keep your Michigan gear to a minimum, or wait until you are inside the stadium to display it.
--Stay with a group.
--Know and obey the laws regarding alcohol use.
--If you are of legal age to drink, use alcohol in moderation. Stay in the blue.
--Stay low-key; don't draw unnecessary attention to yourself.
--If verbally harassed by opposing fans, don't take the bait.
--Avoid High Street in Columbus.

If at any time you feel unsafe, you should call 9-1-1 for assistance. U-M campus police also will be available in Columbus to support our fans. You may call them with non-emergency concerns at (734) 216-9159.

We look forward to a tremendous game on Saturday. Let's help the Wolverines win with spirit and class."

Monday, November 13, 2006

DVR alert

ESPN Classic is showing two handfuls worth of Michigan-Ohio State games this week. Note that some are condensed to two hours, while others are extremely shortened to just one. All times are Eastern:

Tuesday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Ohio State @ Michigan, 1969 (Michigan wins, 24-12)

Tuesday, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Ohio State @ Michigan, 1987 (OSU wins, 23-20)

Wednesday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Michigan @ Ohio State, 1974 (OSU wins, 12-10)

Wednesday, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Ohio State @ Michigan, 1995 (Michigan wins, 31-23)

Thursday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Ohio State @ Michigan, 1997 (Michigan wins, 20-14)

Thursday, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Michigan @ Ohio State, 1996 (Michigan wins, 13-9)

Friday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Michigan @ Ohio State, 2002 (OSU wins, 14-9)

Friday, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Ohio State @ Michigan, 2003 (Michigan wins, 35-21)

Friday, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Michigan @ Ohio State, 1988 (Michigan wins, 34-31)

Friday, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Ohio State @ Michigan, 2005 (OSU wins, 25-21)

It’s Ohio State week

And it could, and maybe should, be Ohio State week again starting on New Year’s Day.

After a crazy weekend filled with upsets, a Michigan-Ohio State rematch seems much more possible. I think I’ll save my “in depth” comments about this until after The Game, but I just want to comment on some people’s logic (or lack thereof). For instance, Lee Corso said this weekend that there could/should only be a rematch if Ohio State lost. Apparently his reasoning was something like “Ohio State has been #1 all year, so they would deserve another shot.” So, proponents of that theory, you have Lee Corso on your side. It seems like people are forgetting that this game is in Columbus. If Michigan loses a close game, how can you not stop and think, “I wonder who would have won on a neutral field?” Oh, and by the way, Michigan’s only loss in that scenario would have been on the road against the unanimous #1 team. USC lost at Oregon State (huh?), Florida lost at Auburn (and really should have lost at home to South Carolina), and Notre Dame… who beat them? That’s right – Michigan. In South Bend. By 26. Arkansas is a good team, but they lost 50(!)-14 at home to USC (not to mention barely escaping Vandy and Alabama). Don’t even get me started on Rutgers.

The whole “you must drop a few spots in the polls because you lost late in the season” logic is a joke. Seriously, is there anybody out there that doesn’t think Michigan and Ohio State are the Top 2 teams in the country? Then why would a loss by one to the other change that? “People don’t like rematches?” Too bad! Michigan and Ohio State both deserve one (Michigan more so than OSU, in my opinion). Other teams might have impressive victories in the coming weeks, but they can’t change the one important thing that has already happened: their losses. Michigan and Ohio State both have some quality wins under their belts, and one of them will have another this Saturday. But the one thing that the loser will have, that the other one-loss BCS contenders won’t have, is a quality loss. That’s right, a quality loss. I hate to go all NCAA Tournament Selection Committee on you, but it’s true.

If The Game is fairly close, I think a rematch is justified, and then some. There, I said it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Indiana game linkfest

General info:

#2 Michigan (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) @ Indiana (5-5, 3-3 Big Ten)
Game Time: 3:30 p.m. Eastern
Game Location: Memorial Stadium (52,180 capacity)
Field Surface: AstroPlay
Weather Forecast
Television Coverage: Nationwide on ESPN. HD broadcast in 720p on ESPN HD.
Local Ann Arbor Area Radio Coverage: WOMC-FM (104.3), CKLW-AM (800), WTKA-AM (1050)
Satellite Radio Coverage: Sirius Satellite Radio – Channel 144 (Michigan announcers)
Other Radio Affiliates: Click here
All-Time Series: U-M leads 49-9
Current Streak: U-M 14 straight wins
Line: The line opened at Michigan by 19, and has stayed there.

Related stuff: "Game Notes," including Depth Chart (PDF) Press conference quotes: Lloyd Carr; Players Woodley named Finalist for 37th Lombardi Award Hall named Thorpe Award Semifinalist Henne named Semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award Rivas voted Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week

The Detroit News: English to MSU is OK with Carr

The Detroit News: Michigan: Keys to the game

The Detroit News: Conditioning put to test

The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY paper): Hart belongs to us

The Detroit Free Press: Success is due to veteran’s taking charge

The Detroit Free Press: U-M players motivated

The Detroit Free Press: Trick or Treat? Carr can put on a good face, too

The Detroit Free Press: Election changes stadium dynamic

The Detroit Free Press: Graham glad to go home (Chris, not Brandon)

The Michigan Daily: ’Brick’ to hit hard at home (more Chris Graham)

The Michigan Daily: Under radar, Rivas reaches record

The Michigan Daily: Lewis, Hoosiers could scare ‘M’

The Michigan Daily: Blue one away from Bucks (match-ups vs. Indiana)

Ann Arbor News: Michigan’s secondary awaits tests

The Sports Network’s Prediction Indiana Message Board Indiana Message Board

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Week 10 CFB thoughts

- Who woulda thunk that Miami at Maryland would be a “big” game this year? Big in the sense that Maryland can win the ACC Atlantic Division, and that Miami is trying to avoid going 6-6 (with their remaining games at Maryland, at Virginia, and vs. Boston College). Wherever Miami goes for a bowl game, they could set a record for fewest tickets sold. This is their worst season in a long time, 99% of Miami fans want Coker fired, and Miami fans don’t travel well anyway. Seriously, does somebody keep track of things like this? They might play in the MPC Computers Bowl against San Jose State!

- FYI: “Tailback Mike Hart's streak of consecutive carries without a fumble lost remains intact thanks to a NCAA rule. Hart fumbled against Ball State, which resulted in a first-quarter safety. But because the safety led to Michigan retaining possession and punting, the fumble cannot be classified as a fumble for loss. Hart has now had 688 straight carries without a fumble.”

- Louisville-WVU ended up being what I thought it might be: Lots of offense and plenty of sloppiness. Unfortunately, that’s just the type of game that the mainstream media seems to enjoy. They see high scores and think “that’s exciting football.” I see high scores and think “where’s the D?” So now Louisville sits at #3 in the BCS. I’m not sure if somebody can pass them, either, since the Computers and the Humans seem to be working against each other, so to speak. For instance, the Humans have Cal 9th, but the Computers have them 4th. The Humans have Texas 3rd or 4th, the Computers have them 10th. There just isn’t a “solid #4 team” out there under the BCS formula, and it might help Louisville get into the BCS Championship Game. It’s kind of like how Nader took votes away from Gore in 2000. Cal is going to take Computer votes away from Florida, assuming both win out, and neither will make it up to #2.

- On a related note, a Michigan-OSU rematch is not impossible, yet. I think that if Louisville wins out, Louisville would be ahead of the Michigan-OSU loser after November 18th. But if Louisville loses, anything can happen. The Computers love Michigan and OSU. In fact, Michigan is #1 in the Computer average this week, and might not be punished too severely for a loss at Ohio State. The key, still, is how the other 1-loss teams fare in the coming weeks. If crazy stuff happens, Human voters will be forced to keep the loser of Michigan-OSU ranked at #3 or somewhere pretty high. Remember – Notre Dame and Texas just don’t have good arguments for jumping over Michigan and Ohio State, respectively. If they keep winning while other teams start losing, things could get nuts.

- If you missed the end of the first half of the PSU-Wisconsin game, it might be worth your time to read this summary. I’m still torn on how I feel about it, but it’s clear that the rule will be changed to prevent this type of thing in the future.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Post-Ball State thoughts

I was one of the “lucky” Michigan fans that actually saw the game on TV this weekend. Maybe not so lucky, since I had flashbacks to the Herrmann era.

- Brandon Minor will be pretty good in our system. The only complaint I have (for now) is that he tends to get tackled too easily. I’m sure I’m just spoiled by Hart, but Minor doesn’t look like a 3rd-and-1 type of back. Comparisons to Tyrone Wheatley are a bit much, but he does have that long stride and is a bit faster than he looks. He just isn’t “Wheatley in the 1993 Rose Bowl” fast.

- I wish I had this one on tape, because I think Chris Graham struggled a bit. Prescott Burgess went out with an (ankle?) injury in the 1st Quarter, and Graham appeared to make a few bad reads. But, no tape review, so don’t quote me on that.

- Manningham didn’t do anything. I think he was in for 8 plays or so, and I’m pretty sure all of them were passes (maybe one run). They tried to go deep to him once on a straight fly route, but the corner was playing 15 yards off of him at the snap, so it was futile. A few other plays seemed to be designed to go to him specifically, but none of them worked. In hindsight, it almost cost Michigan dearly – they’re trying to get Mario back into the groove against a crappy team, probably not caring too much about the incompletions. Then said crappy team realizes that they can actually score points after Michigan punts.

- Brandon Harrison seems to be this year’s “bad angle taker.” He’s actually not that bad when the ball’s in the air, but if a player is running with the ball, he seems to find a way to miss him. This game it was not just bad angles, but over-pursuit and shoddy tackling that led to more yards after the catch.

- Mesko is looking average on more and more punts. Once in a while he hits a boomer, but otherwise he’s kicking ducks out there. I read something recently about him changing his punting method, and I think that is the “problem.” But I also think that Lloyd wants him to kick ducks and not out-kick his coverage. This might be especially true against OSU and Ted Ginn (not giving him room to get a head of steam).

- It wasn’t as close as the score. Look at the statistics, and you’ll see that we should have won by more. And it should be noted that we had more than a handful of reserves on Defense during Ball State’s “comeback.” But, it should be a wake-up call for the OSU game. They (and Indiana, for that matter) will go deep on us, and we need to be able to stop it with consistency.

- The drops by receivers are getting old, fast. Arrington and Butler had key drops that cut short drives in the 2nd Half. Breaston dropped a catchable ball in the end zone, and we settled for a Field Goal.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ball State game linkfest

General info:

Ball State (3-6, 3-3 MAC) @ #2 Michigan (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten)
Game Time: 12:00 Noon Eastern
Game Location: Michigan Stadium
Field Surface: FieldTurf
Weather Forecast
Television Coverage: Nationwide on ESPNU (if you get ESPNU, that is). No HD broadcast.
Local Ann Arbor Area Radio Coverage: WOMC-FM (104.3), CKLW-AM (800), WTKA-AM (1050)
Satellite Radio Coverage: Sirius Satellite Radio – Channel 147 (Michigan announcers)
Other Radio Affiliates: Click here
Line: The line opened at Michigan by 33.5 and moved to Michigan by 34 by the end of the week.

Related stuff: "Game Notes," including Depth Chart (PDF) Press conference quotes: Lloyd Carr; Players Woodley named MCS Defensive Player of the Week

The Detroit News: TV sacks MSU, U-M Saturday football

The Detroit News: Jackson is almost gone, not forgotten

The Detroit News: Will U-M face Ohio State in title game? Not likely

The Detroit News: Receiver might be back soon (Manningham)

The Detroit News: Herbstreit rips U-M on radio

The Detroit News: Mesko gets kick out of America

The Detroit News: Michigan: Keys to the game

The Detroit Free Press: Hail, again?

The Detroit Free Press: Carr used film as motivator

The Detroit Free Press: U-M Talking Points: Offense thrown off balance

The Detroit Free Press: U-M punter has come a long way (more Mesko)

The Detroit Free Press: Arrington’s hearing adjourned till Nov. 15

The Michigan Daily: David is Goliath (David Harris)

The Michigan Daily: Big House welcomes unfamiliar MAC foe

The Michigan Daily: Wake up: ‘M’ deserves better

Ann Arbor News: The Game could become The Games

The Sports Network’s Prediction’s Message Board

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Some Week 9 CFB thoughts

- Pollsters that have Louisville above teams like Florida and Tennessee must be crazy. That, or they missed Louisville’s awesome victory at home against Cincinnati (which required a broken-up pass in the endzone to preserve the win). Beating the worst Miami team in the last quarter-century doesn’t mean you’re Top 5 material. The WVU-Louisville game on Thursday night should be a good one… fun to watch, if nothing else. And since it will likely be a high-scoring, entertaining game, people will push for the winner to play for the National Title. But these teams wouldn’t win any other “major” conference. Look me in the eye (figuratively, of course) and tell me that you think either WVU or Louisville could beat Florida, the team that they might shut out of the BCS Championship game. Ya, didn’t think so.

- The Big 12 North continues its quest to keep the title of “Worst Division in College Football.” Nebraska and Missouri were both beaten pretty handily this past week, and one of them is going to win that division. Zero teams ranked in the AP and BCS polls – nice!

- So Georgia Tech is in the ACC Championship game. Not officially, but it only needs two wins in its next three games. The opponents: N.C. State, North Carolina, and Duke. Their most likely opponent in the ACC Championship is either Boston College or Wake Forest (who play each other this week). How weird is the ACC this year?

- You might have heard of markmaybewrong before, but if you haven’t, it’s worth perusing. The “goal” is to hold college football talking heads accountable for their picks, see who “knows” the most, and find out how we (the average fans) stack up against the “experts.”

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