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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's Not Too Early Anymore

I've been accused of being a "pessimist" when it comes to my beloved Wolverines this season for having the audacity to not heap nothing but lavish praise on them at every turn.

Nobody is a bigger U-M fan than I am (if you only knew the "important" things I've blown off for games, it may frighten you) but that doesn't mean one can't love their team yet still see areas that need to be improved upon. Couple that with that fact that I've been hurt by Michigan teams in the past (with all its tradition, this is only the third time since 1980 U-M has started out 8-0, the other years being 1986 and 1997) and I've just been trying keep an even keel about this magical season. I don't care who you are, nobody saw this coming. Nobody. So I've been keeping my excitement in check.

But no more.

Because there is no reason any longer that Michigan and Ohio State shouldn't both be 11-0 when they meet in Columbus for one of the greatest showdowns in the history of this most special of rivalries. Two undefeated teams, #1 and #2 in the country meeting for all the marbles.

Sure, we give our Big 10 brethren in that state to the south a lot of grief, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I hope Ohio State wins the their next three games 150-0 and I'll bet true Buckeye and college football fans hope the same for Michigan until November 18th.

Wolverine and Buckeye fans have waited a long time to see something on par with the Bo vs. Woody encounters of the 70s. Such as 1973 when 4th ranked and 10-0 Michigan played top ranked and 10-0 OSU to a 10-10 tie.

Sure, there have been great clashes all along, where one team or the other was top ranked. But nothing like this. No, this is special. This is like 197? all over again.

And would anybody want it any other way?

So good luck, Buckeyes...at least for the next three weeks. I'll be pulling for you each Saturday until the 18th. I'd like nothing more than this picture below from Michigan Against the World to be true.

And there's no reason any longer it shouldn't be.


(HT: Andy for the pic)

P.S. A reader also sent us a link to this cool wallpaper by AVBuck on UMGoBlue.com.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should add the backgrounds in this thread as well.

http://umgoblue.com/Forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10333&whichpage=1

Howard21 said...

I hate to have to root for them, but I also root for Notre Dame so we look better. Hell I can even root for Sparty if it means we will remain no. 2 until the big game.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see this coming.

I expected big trouble at ND and PSU, and other struggles along the way.

LC deserves credit for righting the ship - but that doesn't change the fact that he deserves criticism for prior years. What could have happened if JH was replaced a few years ago?

It's not too early anymore.

I was there in 1973. I was there in 1997. I will be there in 2006. It has never happened before in this, the greatest of all games, #1 v #2.

I can't wait.

Jeremy said...

I love this. I love that we're a month from the game and we're already talking #1 vs. #2.

You realize, of course, that if we lose a game between now and then, this blog has to shut down. Period. And I get to kick you in the face.

But that won't happen, and I'll just bounce around uneasily the rest of the month. Good God I can't wait.

Richard Cranium said...

You guys realize that there is a very slight chance for a rematch of "the game"? If the game is close and everyone has one loss, then a one-loss Michigan (because we know it will be that way) could stay put at #2.

Bloat Dastardly said...

Well put. I'm a Buckeye but I always root for Michigan until the 3rd Saturday in November. The specialness of this game is unmatched year after year, regardless of whether a team is 0-11 or 11-0. This year its off the charts and I thank my lucky stars I will be there in person to witness it.

Keep up the good work on your blog, I visit daily.

Anonymous said...

Wait...wasn't the Game of the Century just played in January? I thought Texas just beat USC. Maybe I'm wrong? Or perhaps a NEW century starts 11/18?

ted ginn for mayor said...

as a huge tOSU fan and I couldn't agree more. Significant conversation at the bars the past couple of weeks in Columbus (beyond how ugly the UM cheerleaders are) has already been centered on where to watch the game on 11/18 for those of us without tickets. And there is sound agreement that, painful as it sounds, we are hopeful the Wolverines are undefeated when they come to Columbus.

Actually, why don't we all just hope it is only the first tOSU victory over UM this SEASON:

http://www.dispatch.com/football/football.php?story=dispatch/2006/10/24/20061024-C1-01.html

Andy said...

Props to Peabody @ Michiganagainsttheworld for the photo.

He is also the guy that created the Lamar Woodley Kills People" t shirt. He needs to work on his distribution model.

Not a hater- just da sad facts said...

"Game of the (6-year old) century"... the outrageous use of superlatives these days.

Oh, and a one loss OSU or UM gets them in the back of the line behind all the one loss teams from the south.

If you have to lose a game, losing early in the season if you have to lose is key. A loss late in the season hurts because you have all the middle of the pack voters being convinced by the all-season long doubters that say, "See, I told you all along that team X had a weakness."

Victor said...

How can I contact you?

Can you contact me?

www.cfbhaven@gmail.com

My site. www.CFBHaven.com

Would you be interested in a link exchange and we are trying to get College Football site owners to do a College Football Challenge.

-Victor.

srudoff said...

Here's my take for what it's worth...

I WANT michigan to lose before Nov. 18th. Why? Well there's three scenarios that can happen.

1. We both are undefeated and we beat you

2. We both are undefeated and we lose to you

3. You lose ahead of time

The pain and suffering of #2 would be way way more than the joy of #1 in my opinion. To lose to you and as a result, not only are our title hopes dashed, but YOU get to play for the MNC. That's just too much to take.

If we beat you, yeah it would be cool if we stopped your title hopes and ended your undefeated season but honestly the coolness of that would last a few weeks until we started to get ready for the championship game. In 2002, we beat you to go to the title game. it didn't matter what your record was, it was just great that we beat you on the way to winning the title. I won't have much more joy from beating an 11-0 UM team to play for the title than I would from beating a 10-1 UM team.

Not sure if that makes sense but you can definitely tell that I've got all the innate pessimism that every cleveland sports fan has.

That said, I don't THINK you'll lose before 11/18 but I hope ya do.

Biff said...

UM and OSU *will* be undefeated for The Game. That's a fact. I'm sorry there srudoff, but IU ain't pulling the upset in Bloomington, NW is possibly the worst B10 team there is, and Ball State..well...last time I checked, hell was still hot.

Flip side the same for OSU. Minnesota is the second worst B10 team, and then there's NW...and who else? Don't remember, doesn't really matter.

Jeremy said...

srudoff, the fear in your eyes is evident. I want UM and OSU undefeated when we play every single year. Not only does that mean I understand the rivalry better than you, but I am more confident in my team.

srudoff said...

Biff - no doubt neither team will lose. I've got tickets to OSU @ NW and Illinois so I'll be pumped to watch them in their final tune ups.

Jeremy - If you understood the rivalry better, you'd understand that records don't matter. Both teams could be 7-5 or 3-8 and the game would still mean just as much to each side. As far as confidence - I'm pretty damn sure that there's no way Troy Smith is going to let his team lose in his last game at the Shoe. However give any life long Cleveland fan enough time to think and visions of The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble, Red Right 88, Jose Mesa, etc can put occasional slivers of doubt in our minds. Any Cleveland area Michigan fans can relate I'm sure

brianthomasbuckeye said...

You know some Jackass from the south is going to come across this and say "the only reason OSU and MICH are undefeated is they don't play in the SEC". So to those Bulldogs, Vols, Gators, etc... How's the view from the bottom?

Anonymous said...

Actually we passed USC this week while they had a bye week. If they keep winning they will probably bounce back in front of us to the #2 spot so we might actually be #3 against #1

UserName said...

I'll be that Jackass. Michigan plays who this year? ND- well we now know how much over-hyped that program has been in pre-season and now. Iowa? Who's Iowa? Isn't that the So Car, Bama, (insert any other mid-tier major conference team) of the Big 10 that Indiana thrashed. Wisconsin? Oh, there's a study in dominance. And who does tOSU play- one tough game, and you won it nicely like you needed to, but really, if either team had (pick 6) UofF, LSU, Auburn, UGA, UT and then the second tier SEC teams Arky, Bama, Cocks do you think you would have run the table this year? Unfortunately, undefeated up to the "Game of the Century" just isn't comparable to running the SEC undefeated up to the SEC championship game. Not this year. If you have a year when the Boilermakers are good and Big Blue, Bucks, Lions, and Badgers are all dominating, then BTBuckeye you can thump your chest (careful not to smash your manboobs though). Both teams are doing everyhting they need to, and all they can do and all they have control over, but unfortunately your conference brothers sucking ass this year means undefeated up to the big game isn't what it could have been. At least not outside of the States of Ohio and Michigan. You've got great programs, but please don't brag about being undefeated when the bulk of your conference foes aren't even competetive.

CrimeNotes said...

Goddammit.

WTF said...

wait WTF

Arrington has an altercation with his girlfriend on OCTOBER 13th - the day before the Penn State game. Then is arraigned in court on october 18th - 4 days prior to Iowa and still get to play in the IOWA game??? And he's drunk driving on top of it and Carr just finds that out AFTER Iowa? What a joke. Whatever it takes to win LLLoyd. How convenient that you trust his word that nothing happened, let him play, then suddenly find out he lied to you. Hell he should miss time for lying to the coach although Carr lied too so all's cool.

No way scUM beats Iowa without Manningham AND Arrington - you can't win throwing to a freshmen and Breaston (who only can catch wide receiver screens).

How does Arrington get arraigned in court for domestic violence 4 days prior to a game and Carr still lets him play? Bellisari missed THE GAME and didn't hurt his girlfriend.

talk about a tainted undefeated record

Anonymous said...

Dude, we still need to beat Northworstern and Indiana for crissakes!

Given Lloyd's love affair with kicking FGs, keeping games close, -and considering his propensity to lose to Northwestern despite fielding a better football team, can we please not count eggs before they're hatched?

I know. Too much to ask, isn't it?

surrounded in columbus said...

sort of funny. remember when tosu fans used to piss & moan that all we talked about is tosu's troubles w/ the law? that we talked about that because of lack of performance on the field??

it would seem they don't like us talking about football much this year, either.

Anonymous said...

1976, 1977, 1978, 1986

Ah, the years that could have features unbeaten Michigan teams, but did not.

Why?

Because UM was highly ranked and didn't respect it's fellow Big Ten opponents prior to the OSU game?

What about 2006?

CrimeNotes said...

Personally, I'm not going to get in a tit-for-tat over "taint" with a scUM-abbreviating Tressel acolyte in blog comments -- too easy what with all the ignorance about glass houses and program self-awareness.

But yeah, this doesn't make the program look so good.

Here's guessing that Arrington will be sitting out the next few, and that Lloyd is deeply embarrassed by this. I'm inclined to give Lloyd the benefit of the doubt (call me naive, but I think he'd rather lose to Iowa than sully the program) but, like Kenny Rogers, he has given ammunition to conspiracy types.

srudoff said...

well said crimenotes

however what would worry me from a UM standpoint is that Carr stated that he personally researched this before deciding to allow AA (interesting initials given the incident) to play against Iowa. He comes off as either incompetent for not finding out more or corrupt (for doing nothing about it) to casual observers. I'd be curious to see what the police report said.

Jeremy said...

srudoff, believe you me I understand how records don't matter. I still want it all on the line when it's time to play though. I'm not using records to predict the outcome, but rather, to up the ante.

CrimeNotes said...

Srudoff -- I don't know if it's necessarily as bad as you make it out to be. (Also, gratuitous and probably inaccurate low blow with the AA comment, but whatever.) Here are a few possible scenarios:

1.) Lloyd and staff intentionally ask only surface level questions for fear of knowing too much. (Didn't Neuheisel once do something like not read NCAA regulations so that he could later claim ignorance?) They thereby allow themselves plausible deniability. Seems none too likely, as Lloyd is a bit of a control freak.
2.) Lloyd and staff knew what happened and intentionally softballed it in order for Arrington to play the Iowa game. I consider this implausible.
3.) Lloyd and staff have a ton of shit going on and limited resources; they look into this, talking to Arrington and probably the girl, think that they were looking into a mere personal quarrel with minor scratches, no indication of intentional violence, give Arrington the benefit of the doubt, and move on. Arrington doesn't mention the alcohol issue. (I have no idea if there's a standing operating procedure for the Athletic Department to get police reports in incidents like this or when they become available.) Lloyd thinks it's a done deal, turns out there's more than meets the eye, and Arrington being some combination of scared or sloppy thinks that this will all blow over. It doesn't and Lloyd goes Lou Ferrigno on his ass. This sounds plausible.

Also, while I'm not thrilled with the unnecessary fodder this gives to the outside world (seriously srudoff, would you hate Michigan half so much if it weren't for the program's choir boy self-image?) it's a tiny, forgettable stubbed toe compared to the hog-wild, lawyers-guns-and-money shitshows that happen in places like Florida State, Colorado, and tOSU. Michigan is Michigan in part because these things get regulated.

Anonymous said...

They should declare a national couch shortage a week before the game. Either if Ohio State wins or loses, the skies above Columbus will be pitch black after the game!

srudoff said...

actually i hate them more because of the holier than thou attitude of their fans, ESPECIALLY the ones that actually went there. i'm basing this on people i know and/or work with and people on forums that i've been part of for a while (non-sports ones mostly).

if Carr punishes AA (my comment WAS gratuitous and POSSIBLY inaccurate but damn funny) appropriately (meaning more than he gave marlin jackson who also had a late night run in but assumingly didn't lie to Carr about it and make him look like a jackass) then i'd say bravo to him for upholding UM's rep and values. hell if he had the balls to do what Tress did to Bellisorry and sit him for the game, I'd be the first to publicly praise him. But we all know that won't happen.

she'll drop the charges, the drunk driving will be swept under the rug and AA won't miss a single play - maybe a practice or two. Anyway that's my prediction - we'll see how it plays out

Yost said...

Apples to oranges, Sru.

Bellisori got in trouble the week of the M/OSU game. Or it least it all came to light that week. So should Lloyd suspend him for the rest of the season (4 games) for this? That would be overly harsh, don't even you think?

I think you're going to see him get suspended for the next game or two (my vote being two if he lied).

Even worse for AA, hopefully MM will be back and he be back on the bench and be unable to improve his stock for the OSU game.

Anonymous said...

So stomping on a players leg in a game fight deserves being kicked off the team (Miami), but roughing up your girlfriend, drunk driving (and possibly lying about it all to coaches) doesn't?
Nothing to see here folks, move along.

srudoff said...

Yost,

It is apples and oranges, not only in when it happened in relation to The Game but also in what the off field transgression was. AA allegedly dragged his girlfriend out of his car by her wrists and drove off, drunk. She suffered some cuts and bruises but , like most abuse victims you read about, she won't press charges. It doesn't change what he did though.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.

theweiler said...

It's taking liberties with the facts to say that AA roughed up his girlfriend. She called police because she was concerned that he had taken off in her car drunk, according to the Detroit News. She's not pressing charges, he was never caught by police drunk driving.

Yeah, and Michigan will bench AA when Ohio forfeits its win against Michigan and National Title in '02. Tre$$el'$ player$ have a hi$tory of being on the take. $o don't come to thi$ board accu$ing Michigan of running an unethical program. Any t0$U fan who was honest with himself would send a donation to the Andy Geiger Chair at the Ohio $tate University Deptartment of $capegoating, er, Ethic$ in lieu of further argument.

Andy said...

This Arrington "case" has a lot of legs (smirk). I expect him to get locked up with #13 (laughing out loud as buckeye fan grasps for straws) for this one...

"Girlfriend stated she did not want to press charges or go to court. GF stated she just wanted Arrington to be safe. GF stated she allows Arrington to drive her vehicle all the time and she is only concerned about him driving because he had been drinking.."

You can not be charged and convicted without a supportive witness or any evidence. Finding a parked car is not evidence of any wrong-doing.

I agree that Carr should not played him against Iowa if he knew the story. (We still would have beaten them). Now Carr should suspend him for a few games for being stupid. But this thing is going nowhere fast.

Yost said...

From what I've read, she did call the cops b/c she was concerned about AA driving drunk not b/c of any "abuse."

As for Anon trying to compare this to the problems at Miami...

LOL!!! Hey, thanks for the laugh. Really. You should try comedy.

surrounded in columbus said...

Yost,
w/out reading the report firsthand, there's no way of knowing if "anything" took place or not. the only place i've seen that has suggested there was any violence is in blogger comments- not any news source.

and even if the report alleges Arrington was "physical" getting her out of the car srudoff is correct- many victims don't wish to prosecute abuse.

for example- when tosu's WR Dukes was arrested and charged for soliciting oral sex from a 13 yr old two years ago (right before the alamo bowl- you know the one tre$$el let him stay and practice for but not dress for??), the case was eventually dropped because the child (literally) didn't want to testify.

third, driving after drinking isn't against the law by itself. millions of people have a beer after work and legally drive home.

it's only a crime if you have had enough to meet the definition of "impaired" which varies from state to state (ohio is .08%). the amount of alcohol necessary to "impair" varies from person to person, and weight, other food eaten contemeraneous to drinking, and the individual's metabolism are critical. how much alcohol it would take to impact a 200 lb male is difficult to judge w/ out any prior testing and exact accounting of both the intake and the timing.

point being, w/ out a blood test or other field sobriety indicators, there's no way of knowing someone was driving while impaired. consequently, there's almost now way of investigating or pursuing an omvi/dui type case at this point.


all that said, i think Arringtion may still be a minor. if he was drinking, driving or not, he certainly should be disciplined for his actions. i think sweaterboy had Boone (mr. 40 bottles a day/blew thru the roof when caught w/ the dui) run extra laps,etc., when he was caught this spring. never missed a game/never missed a snap.

my guess if any of this turns out to be true, Carr will hand out something AT LEAST as harsh as that. seriously, as a michigan fan, i would be disappointed if it wasn't something more than that.

surrounded in columbus said...

i stand corrected. the Free Press is now reporting there was a "domestic abuse" charge filed against Arrington. the abuse centers (according to the article) around a fight over the keys to the car.

Carr is quoted as he will wait for the court system to work it's way thru before taking any action on the charges. however, the drinking issue is different and will be addressed as a team discipline issue.

i suppose Arrington better start running his laps....

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon 2:22 that compared it to the Miami fight incident. Take your blue shades off and read the article linked by crimenotes (with nothing else) and my first thought was of a thug beating up his girl to get the keys to her car and go wherever he wanted to go while he was drunk. We know more now that shoots a hole in that story and I apologize for making a now stupid comparison, but all I was given was crimenotes story. If you read that exact story (and nothing else) about a tOSU player and didn't think he should be booted off the team, then with all due respect people would think you're drinking kool-aid. We all know better, it's Gator-Aid- ha! (F UofF)

CrimeNotes said...

I think the story that I linked to made clear that she had relatively minor scratches that came about from a scuffle over keys -- "a late-night argument in the early-morning hours of Oct. 13 that left Hupe with marks on her hands from keys."

Perhaps not gentlemanly, but not exactly "a thug beating up his girl."

Arguments to the contrary indicate 1.) poor reading comprehension, and 2.) a dirty mind.

I think Surrounded in Columbus @ 3:46 gives exactly the right analysis.

matsut said...

I'm not going to get involved in the debate about whether Lloyd should or shouldn't have suspended Arrington yet; the whole thing seems to have been a little murky up to this point and I'm willing to give him (Lloyd) the benefit of the doubt. But, there's a point of order here:

Srudoff, theweiler, andy, yost, and surrounded have all made some sort of reference to the fact that Hupe didn't/doesn't want to press charges. What all of you are forgetting or ignoring is the fact that where domestic violence is concerned, normally the state, rather than the victim, ends up pressing charges - for lots of reasons that I'm sure most of you already know. If - IF - the police report is correct, dragging a female out of her car by her wrists sure sounds like domestic violence to me.

theweiler said...

Matsut, point well taken about the state's discretion to press charges when a DV victim elects not to. However, this is a doubtful case because there is no indication that the defendant has pressured the victim to drop the charges, that the defendant had a history of this behavior, that the victim suffered significant physical or mental trauma, or any other factor that would lead a prosecutor to press on with the case. A proesecutor is not going to turn every scuffle over car keys into a domestic violence case. However, it would be helpful to know more facts.

tresselisgod said...

WHAT? nothing about that reciever who likes to take steal his girlfriends car while he`s been drinking.wow!

TitleIX said...

strange co-incidence????
a global e-mail went out to the entire university community this evening at 8:24 PM from the Head of HR and the Health System....

this is how it started, and it contained the ENTIRE policy:
Dear Colleagues,

The following is the UM Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy, which is being distributed to all faculty, staff and students to comply with a federal mandate. Excessive alcohol use is especially detrimental to the success of the academic community. As a staff or faculty member you can make a difference in creating a healthier campus community if you will:

* Avoid making comments that encourage or condone underage drinking or high-risk drinking. Faculty can sometimes inadvertently make comments that support the alcohol culture among college students as normal and acceptable behavior.

* Not alter class or test schedules to avoid times that typically precede or follow heavy drinking occasions, such as Fridays, Homecoming, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, or Spring Break. Students often use special events as excuses to drink heavily and procrastinate about their academic responsibilities.

* If you have concerns about a student's alcohol or other drug use, please refer them to Counseling and Psychological Services, which is free to all enrolled students. For more information contact: 764-8312.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this important health issue on our campus.

Laurita Thomas
Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Human Resources and Affirmative Action Office

Deborah Childs
Chief Human Resource Officer - Health System
University of Michigan Health System

My bet? AA got drunk, acted like a total dick, he and his girl fought over the car keys, she got scared and called the police etc etc etc
He won't play Saturday. Bet money on it.

theweiler said...

It just occurred to me that all of us on this board (with the exception of the tO$U fans) care more about Michigan football than Adrian Arrington. Regardless of what happens: what a fucking sorry episode.

Andy said...

Thank you Title 9 for clearing up what has been a very troubling night for those of us with ties to to the univeristy. You continue to be my rock and I respect your insight and perspective. This is an issue that will be dealt with by Coach Carr and the team. Despite their press releases, Ohio State still is an open admisions university with no morale compass. (smirk)

Anonymous said...

Damn, here I am enjoying all your mini-history lessons, thinking I'm delving deep into the past of Wolverine lore, and then you drop on me that we've been playing since the year 197!? Ugh, I got more catching up to do now than I thought...

Well, that's better than work anyway.

Anonymous said...

Funny how this turns from talking about the greatest game ever to dumb-ass AA & which school has the most criminals.

Football people, football. Focus!

bigndfan175 said...

Okay - my prediction
MI - 31
tOSU - 17

I'm putting my wallet where my mouth is - and that's nasty if you think about it. Anyway, I'm betting $250 (yeah yeah I know big spender)on the Wolves to beat tOSU at the shoe - I'd better get 4 pts. I'm also thinking about laying a bet down on a future - Michigan to win the NC. if I can get odds.