Rants, comments, thoughts and funny - mostly funny - on all things Michigan and college football.

If you have ideas, tips, links or pictures for the blog, e-mail us at: MichiganZone at gmail dot com.

Thanks for checking out the M Zone. And if you enjoy the site, please pass the link on to a friend or two. We'd sure appreciate it.

Twitter: @MZoneBlog


Best Of Tat and Tresselgate

M Zone Videos

Best Of MZone 2.0

Best Of The Original MZone

Tosu Favorites

MZone Archive

Monday, November 13, 2006

God help me, I do love it so

I'm still shaking my head, a smile plastered on my face.

This was the weekend of college football fans have waiting for all season. Because it doesn't get any better than the last 72 hours. From Rutgers on Thursday to K-State vs. Texas Saturday night (and all the upsets and close games in between), this was college football nirvana.

This was the sort of day no other sport can touch. This is why I spend all day Saturday in front of the TV. This is why I couldn't wait to sit down and get typing.

Here are a couple quick thoughts on what transpired. Leave your thoughts in the comments section.


It's almost hard to take another look at this game with The Game just sitting there now mere days away. Calling Beckoning. The biggest game in the greatest rivalry in college football.

Biased? You bet your ass I am. To quote the late, great Bob Ufer, "Who cares? Who gives a damn? I've never been so excited in all my cotton pickin' maize and blue life!"

But, alas, let's recap the last of the eleven before we turn our attention all this week to The Big One.

Go Bucks?

I've never been rooting so hard for Ohio State in my life. With the score of the Buck game sitting in the corner of the Michigan-IU game, I got just as excited about each Buck score as I did for each U-M score. O, ok, not as excited but you get my point. I wanted the Bucks to win. I want The Game to be the biggest one ever. #1 vs. #2. Everything on the line. Who could want it any other way?

For awhile there, it almost seemed like the players of each squad was also seeing the score of their hated rival's contest as well. First Michigan went up 7-0, then so did the Bucks. Then the Bucks go up 14-0 and the Wolverines answer in their game to make it 14-0 as well. Like the competition was already starting.

"Worthless?" Guess Again

Recently current ESPN football guru and former OSU QB Kirk Herbstreit called Steve Breaston "worthless" on his radio show in Columbus. Herbie said that, save for a some punt returns his freshman year, Breaston hasn't really been a factor since.

While that was probably Herbstreit playing to the ol' hometown crowd, Breaston has had his problems catching the ball this season, seemingly dropping an "easy" third down catch or two each game. And, surprisingly, he had yet to score a touchdown this entire year.

What a difference a day makes. To quote Bruce Willis in DIE HARD, "Welcome to the party, pal."

Breaston exploded yesterday for over 300 all-purpose yards including a 62 yard TD pass and an 83 yard punt return for another score. Nothing like a little confidence going into the big game, huh?

Prescott Burgess

As you might have noticed, Prescott Burgess did not play yesterday. If you recall, he twisted his ankle in the Ball State game last weekend. Hopefully, he'll not only be back but be 100% for the OSU clash.

Go, Jerome, Go!

How can you not continue to be excited for Jerome Jackson? As mentioned on this site recently, the senior RB has catapulted from 4th string to 2nd behind Mike Hart in the last couple of weekends and is seizing the moment each time he touches the ball. Yesterday he had 8 carries for 65 yards, 8.1 yards per carry.

Speaking of Second String...

How bad were the announcers for the game?! Sweet Mother of Pearl! When Tyler Ecker got that great pass in the first half, one of them said something to the effect of "That's only his 4th pass catch of the season. He used to be first string but he's been passed up." Hey, knucklehead, it's b/c he's been hurt all season.

Then, I'm pretty sure they said OSU was Wisconsin's only loss when they showed the graphic of the standings in the Big 10.

And when Hart cut back in with seconds left in the first half, one of these clowns said something like, "Oh, Hart doesn't get out of bounds." Uh, that was the point. He's trying to run out the clock deep in our end and take us into the half with a big lead.

Oh, and how 'bout the sideline reporter saying she asked Lloyd if he wanted to know the OSU score? Uh...are you serious?!

And I thought ESPNU was bad. Sheesh.

Leon Hall

I love seeing teams go at him b/c, damn, is he strong. Why they continue to try that, I don't know but keep doing it. It's better for us.

Hart to Hart

Is there anything left to be said about this kid? What a competitor. I've never seen a player consistently get 3+ more yard seemingly everytime it looks like he's stopped. Now, will he be able to do that against the Bucks?

Come Again?

IU had 99 total net yards, averaging 1.7 yards per play. Daaaamn. Yes, I know it's the Hoosiers but that's incredible. 99 yards?!

Troy Smith-Lite

While obviously not close to being in his league, I think it was great for Michigan to face a mobile QB like IU's Lewis in order to get some real-game practice for the real-deal next Saturday. Although, how "mobile" can any QB really be while getting chased by Michigan's front four.

Ok, enough. Now on to...



Just when I thought nothing could top the Rutgers-Louisville game for excitement, I sit down to watch this barn burner yesterday. Wow! Props to K-State freshman QB Josh Freeman. Props to Texas for never quitting after losing Colt McCoy on their first series and almost pulling off a miracle comeback.

And was it just me or was this more of a MASH unit than a football game? Seems like everybody was getting injured in this game, with both sides losing key players for all or part of the game.

Also, that was a ballsy call by KSU coach Ron Prince passing on third down at the end when UT had no timeouts left. While the friendly spot makes him look brave, a stop would have made him look like a complete moron.

Did Tommy Tuberville Learn His Lesson?

Remember a couple weeks ago when Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville was bitching about how unfair it was for the SEC b/c a one loss team probably wouldn't have a shot at the BCS title game? Well, maybe Tommy should've worried about being a one loss team. They got absolutely embarrassed AT HOME by a weak UGA team.

Speaking of the SEC

Kirk, Lee and the guys said it first but I must agree -- all this talk of SEC being hands-down the best conference is looking less and less true as the season winds down. They have a bunch of good teams in the middle, but no truly great teams, save maybe Arkansas the way they're playing right now. Speaking of which...

Hog Wild

Tennessee is a solid football team and Arkansas just putting a thumping on them, 31-14. And it wasn't that close. Finally, this team should get its due in the polls and the opening loss to 'SC should be put to rest once and for all. This is not the same team.

And how good is Darren McFadden?! Wow. He's just a sophomore? Best sign I saw today: "Run D.Mc." Genius.

Style points count

Yes, I know it's all about the "W" ultimately. But when you're in a pack of teams trying to claw your way up the BCS standings to make the title game, looks count. And for the Florida Gators, it continues to look ugly. If the 'Cocks hadn't had so many damn bad at special teams, UF probably would have lost.


Yes, Wake Forest is good this year (their only loss was a complete 4th quarter collapse to Clemson) but losing to them 30-0...in Tallahassee? My god, what has happened to the 'Noles?!

Uh, about that schedule

By beating Iowa 24-21 yesterday, Wisco completed its Big 10 schedule. They finish their schedule next week against -- wait for it -- Buffalo (good God, man!). Thus, the Badgers, barring the entire team breaking its collective leg this week, will finish 11-1. Yet, are they any good? Besides Michigan, they haven't played anybody. Their best win of the season is against 7-4 Penn State.

Who'd'a thunk it

Can you believe that between them, FSU and Miami have 10 - ten! - losses?!

Bonus Points

For anybody who can name the movie the title of this post came from


David said...

I just discovered this blog a few days ago and it's great. I'm out on the west coast and I have really missed the local media this season. Thanks for a taste of home.

Also, the quote is from Patton.

Yost said...

Dave, you magnificent bastard.

matsut said...

God damn it. I got here too late to claim the puote prize, and I just watched that movie on cable two nights ago.

matsut said...

"quote" is what I meant to write...getting late and too many beers.

Yost said...


What a great flick, eh?

matsut said...

Yost: I'd say it's a "very good" movie, rather than a "great" one. It was made during a time between what we call "classic" movies and what I'd call "modern" ones, the difference between the two being a very stilted, cliched (if you will) style of acting. An example of what I'm talking about is Scott's performance in "Patton" vs. Bobby Duvall's in "Apocalypse Now". One's a title role and the other is a bit part, but I'd argue that the latter is more compelling than the former. I'm talking about a matter of taste, obviously, but I come down on the side of "modern" movies...speaking of which, my girfriend and I just finished watching "Election" a few minutes ago...it's probably the tenth time I've seen it, and it just keeps getting better and better. The only better ones I can think of are Raising Arizona, Goodfellas, and Airplane!.

matsut said...

There's an actor in "Patton", I don't know who he plays, but he's the guy that tells Patton that he's on "probation" and will be a decoy for the D-Day landing. That actor was one of the "regular guy" characters in Twelve Angry Men - anybody else pick up on on that? (He's the guy that tells Henry Fonda in the jurors' bathroom that his boss does the supposin'...

surrounded in columbus said...

since we're getting all Sisket & Ebert, i'd say Patton is a good/very good movie featuring a great performance. while the surfin' major was a fascinating spot for duval, scott's role is almost a one man show- he carries the whole movie- the other characters are there only for him to have someone to hear him (whereas duval is there only as a part of the boat crew's travel thru wonderland, no matter how interesting a stop he is).

and it's a good title yost. as obsessed tosu fans are (and god knows i bitch the most) there's no place more this week than columbus. i'll wear maize & blue to the office each day this week- listen to people plan their trips to glendale- hear the news reports on what troy smith had for breakfast- you name it- there's no end to it.

we could have bin laden get captured, strike oil in indiana, and find a cure for cancer, all in the same day this week and the dispatch would put it all behind a report on burgess's ankle and how well gonzo slept in his tent bed.

"nothing like it in the world"

(which is a book title - another trivia question, anyone?)

Anonymous said...

You are correct, the ESPN announcer gave credit to TOSU for Wisky's only loss. Go Bucks.

harry hasselhoff said...

Matsut - the actor must be little-known actor Ed Binns (I cheated - thanks IMDb) as he's the only one in both movies - he's juror #6.

The book is by Stephen Ambrose.

Next week's ass-whuppin' will be courtesy of Lamarr Woodley and friends.

anonymosity said...

Never trust Yahoo! box scores! Yesterday, when it said 99 yards, they had the five sacks counted against both rushing AND passing yards. Now Yahoo! says 165 yards- not sure where they got that from.

I belive ESPN's box score is correct- 131 total yards.

beast in bama said...

While disappointed in the loss, I am very proud of the Longhorns this morning. The table was set for us to make a strong argument for Glendale (especially given the circumstances of McCoy's injury), but K-State was one play too good.

But I ask you this: how many teams could have gone down 21 with less than 4 minutes to go in the third quarter, on the road, with the backup QB in the game - and made it so damned compelling to the bitter end? Very proud. Good show, as the Brits would say.

The SEC this year is a collection of very good teams that are VERY evenly matched. Arkansas is playing really well right now, but I have a feeling their rent is going to come due against LSU. I just hope they pummel the Gators in Atlanta.

Any time that Bill Curry shows up to call your team's game on ESPN, you should tune your radio to the local affiliate broadcasting the game - unless you just want to get pissed off. Bill Curry + game analysis = oxymoron.

Matsut, I'm a fan of "modern" moviemakers who remember the masters who came before them. Three of the movies you mentioned - Raising Arizona, Goodfellas, Airplane - were made by people who took a classic movie premise and put their original twist on it. The Coen brothers and Scorsese are especially good at this.

Anonymous said...

this is supposed to be time for the big game and all you guys are yapping about are old movies? how odd

Andy said...

I may be the happiest person in Austin this morning because...

The possibility of a Texas/tOSU National Championship Game no longer exists.

Saturday can not get here fast enough.
Go Blue.

CrimeNotes said...

Yost, you know that Patton was was Woody's favorite movie, right?

Randomly, I ended up watching the Kansas State game in what turned out to be a Kansas State bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After a calm and leisurely afternoon of watching Michigan-Indiana in a friend's apartment, it was a blast being in the middle of a few dozen drunk, crazed and euphoric Wildcats fans.

CrimeNotes said...

"Tressel, you magnificient bastard! I read your book!"

CrimeNotes said...

More Patton fun:

"Only a pimp from a cheap New Orleans whorehouse would wear a red sweatervest."

"They will get some education in about 10 seconds when they get a dose of our front seven."

Okay, I'm done now.

You know this said...

There was actually a fight that broke out in the Northwestern student section. Admittedly, I didn't see the beginning, I noticed it when they started getting into each other's faces. From what it looked like, the Northwestern student had ripped the Ohio State student's flag in half, and if anyone who has ever bought flags knows, you wouldn't be too happy about that. A little bit of pushing and shoving, nothing big happened, the ushers came in before it got out of hand. Just something i'd expect to see at Wisconsin, Penn State, Ohio State, or Michigan, but not at highly touted Northwestern, especially when they chanted 'State school' before the game. To which we responded, 'Let's go Study, clap clap, clap-clap-clap' when the game was well in hand.

Anonymous said...

I hope all you Wolverqueen fans are planning your trips to Pasadena. I heard the weather there is nice this year, you can leave your flannels at home.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:20, I heard the weather in Glendale is pretty nice this year too. Of course we're planning on leaving the flannel at home. I hope that's not a Tosu education at work there.

TitleIX said...

Today's ESPN SportsNation Poll asks who will win next week's game, and with over 200,000 votes in, 59% pick tOSU.
Good!, I say.
I'm happy to go into this game as the underdog. Lull everyone into believing we are a weak opponent with no secondary and no way to control a running QB...

Curious to me how KSU's front line just blew apart Texas' O-line at times. Made me think about how UT did vs. tOSU at the beginning of the season. I mean if a team like KSU could crush their O-line how did the big bad Buckeyes do?

Texas averaged 5.5 yards/carry against tOSU in September, while KSU held Texas to 3.2 yards/carry yesterday.
Does this mean that KSU's defensive front now is better than tOSU's was in September?
tOSU really hasn't been challenged since September, really(if you even want to say that Texas challenged them at all)

I dunno, but I'm thinking that we have those Buckeyes right where we want them....


js said...

While I understand the romantic infatuation with being a victorious underdog, I just don't see how the whole "We're the underdog; we got them where we want them" concept is going to help us win this game. OSU players will not believe that this Michigan team has a weak secondary (or any other glaring weaknesses) coming into the game, and Jim Tressel will not let that happen anyway.

On the other hand, I do believe that this year's Michigan team has an amazing inner motivation that will get them through the highs and lows of this game. And yes, I do believe they will come out victorious.

Beaker said...

Speaking of schedule:

I was just running the numbers, check out any polls of 1-119, look at the average rank of teams played by Rutgers and teams played by Ohio State. Rutgers actually has the tougher schedule to date Now of course that changes after next week, but still... Is Rutgers better than given credit for? Or Ohio State not quite as good???

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the announcers' ineptitude. They said that Carr called the time out near the end of the game to chew out the team. If you go to espn for bonus analysis, they reiterate that he was pissed... That's not what I saw. I saw him running out the clock, calling time out with one tick left on the play clock. Then laughing with the team and switching to business right before the time out ended.

Anonymous said...

beast in bama:

Nice spin on an epic choke-job by an overrated squad. Enjoy losing to Nebraska in the Big 12 game.

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I have seen Patton, even though I have it on DVD, and all the direct quotes I can remember have already been taken. So, perhaps someone with a better memory than me can come up with something about how Patton was a UM football player in a previous life.

Anonymous said...

You mention this as being a great football weekend. Add to that exciting finishes to Nebraska/A&M, Arizona/Cal, and Pitt/UConn.

Anonymous said...

You think Herbstreit got it for commenting on Breaston, you should have heard it when he criticized the Buckeye offense in 2004. He'll never do THAT again!

Anonymous said...

I live in the Detroit metro area. Michigan has serious economic issues and only when the people pull together can the problems be overcome. It’s going to take everyone not just democrat or republican A great place to find out Michigan and Detroit is MICHIGAN AND DETROIT

Anonymous said...

Day after: I just wanted to let everyone at Michigan, that was a hell of a game. I was actually born at University Hospital a couple hundred yards from the Shoe so, I do bleed Scarlet and Gray, but I have the utmost admiration for the Wolverines and everything that this rivalry stands for. My prayers go out to Bo's family, friends and colleagues. He was a great coach and a great man.
I would not expect anything less from "The team up North" to come into the shoe and play their hearts out. I'm proud to be a Buckeye, but that pride only comes from the fact we have a great love/hate relationship with our brothers from Michigan. If the tables had turned in favor of the Wolverines, believe me, I would have been the first in line also for tickets to the big game to root on Michigan.That is just how these 2 teams and all the families from both of our States, I think feel. Thanks for another great season.