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Monday, October 15, 2007

Are You Sold?

I'm not. Sold, that is. Sure the Wolverines came the closest they have all year to playing a complete game on Saturday. Mario Manningham finally had an All-American type day. The running game - not just Mike Hart - was solid. The defense pretty much shut down a spread offense, albeit one without a mobile quarterback. Hell, they were even 2 for 2 on field goals.

So I should be circling November 17 as the battle for the Big Ten title, right?

Well, not me. Not yet. This team has had seven chances to look impressive this year. They're 1 for 7 so far. Even in baseball, that's a horrible average. Their best wins before Saturday - Penn State and Notre Dame - had as much to do with their opponents' incompetence than Michigan's superior ability. Games against patsies Northwestern and Eastern Michigan were struggles far longer than they should have been. And let's not forget the first two games as much as we would like to.

This team still struggles for consistency on offense, though I don't know why considering how much experience they have on that side of the ball. The young defense is better than it was starting the season, but that's like saying Natalie from The Facts of Life got better looking as the series went on. They still haven't stopped a mobile QB, and will get a great test this week in Champaign.

If Michigan leaves Illinois next Saturday with a win, I might be thinking of making a down payment on this team. But with only one solid performance so far, I'm not selling my collection of Hummels yet.


surrounded in columbus said...

how about a "rent to own" option? take it home, see how it looks in the living room, and then decide if i want to keep it?

we looked down right good saturday. the way everyone thought we would all season. was it just purdue? have we really improved? just a fluke? or DeBord liquored up and calling pass plays on first down by mistake? even money on any of them.

walking back to Frasers after app st., i said to myself that i was going to assume a loss in the remaining 11 and then be delighted if i was wrong. i'd suggest that to any michigan fan- no down payment required.

bubulldog said...

Not completely sold yet, but still confused. Which UM team will show up each week? If it's the team we watched Saturday, Pasadena looks like a reality.

On another note, how crazy is the coaches poll. Following the '97-'98 debacle, I know better than to trust the coaches, but seriously. Penn St. at 5-2 ahead of 2(!) 5-2 teams that beat the Nittany Lions. That is insane.

Da Braylon said...

gotta agree. they NEED to win saturday. i am not worried about juice william's throwing ability because, well, he has none. just his running ability. let's hope he gets injured or something, cuz "we hurt people!"

sorry, inside joke. right jeff?

Katie said...

I am less worried about Illinois than I was before Saturday. For 2 reasons, 1) We looked damn good, which tells me we have the ability to look that good the rest of the year and 2) Iowa beat Illinois. Of course the fact that they will be coming into the game pissed because they lost to Iowa and it is a night game on their turf, does cause me to worry just a tad......especially if the "other" team shows up to play that game!

I agree Benny........it is still a crap shoot to some degree, but.......the odds are a tad bit better than they were 4 games ago! SIC.....good anaology......my experience with Rent to own though, is they cost way more in the long run, I would prefer to lay out the cash and take my chances......which is what I am going to do!

Crock said...

Katie, you are absolutely correct

I think you just HAVE TO BELIEVE !!!

I don't believe in being a "luke-warm" fan - all or nothing.

Matt said...

I think progress is really what to look for, rather than just looking at 1 for 7. We did well against ND and PSU, also. And those wins look a little better now (ND still sucks, but not as hard). Michigan has got to show that its progress is for real when the D takes on Illinois next week. Let's not talk about OSU right now. I'll leave it at this: I have always been a believer in Ron English, though not always in Lloyd and especially not DeBord. I think that Ron English is still teaching the defense things and they will continue to show improvement. How many return next year?

Matt said...

Let's talk some BCS. If USF wins out, then it would be an outrage if the Bulls get leapfrogged. I think that it is an embarrassment that the possibility is even being discussed. Yeah, I'm a Bulls fan this year. I love what they have done in TEN YEARS!!

Also, everyone is forgetting about Arizone St (the other ASU). They're also 7-0. The weird thing is that all of their wins except for one are convincing. They have a tough remainder of the schedule ahead of them, with Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Cal, and USC (who they should beat, of all those teams)...basically the toughest teams in the Pac-10. What is so strange is that they have already beaten--convincingly--all of the teams that beat those five teams.

Watch out for Arizona St. They have the best chance to quietly make it to the BCS championship, especially with a coach like Dennis Erickson. I need to look at their stats.

BCS nightmare: USF vs. ASU. But you know what? I will say this now that Michigan is unfortunately out of contention (and imagine if we had been playing this way all year!): it would be nice if there were a new BCS champ for a change, rather than the usual names that have already one at least once in the past 15 years. LSU and South Carolina fans don't like it? Too bad, because every game in CFB is like a playoff game

zen wizard said...

Ohio State is analogous to "Tootie" on The Facts of Life: You'd hit it, but it lacks legal capacity to give consent.

srudoff said...

hear an interview with jim leavitt this morning on espn radio - up until now, i was worried that you guys would hire him to replace carr but after listening to him, i would be surprised if he left tampa for ANY job. he built that program from nothing (literally, not figuratively) to the #2 team in the country. i think he wants to see it grow into the 4th national power in florida and wants to be there for the whole thing. IMO, he would be your Tressel hire although now he has much more fanfare than coach t had when he came aboard.

srudoff said...

oh and you guys will crush illinois

surrounded in columbus said...

i agree- it's cheaper to buy it up front, but then you always have to deal w/ the potential "buyer's remorse". that couch looked good in the show room, but really sucks when you get it home w/ the rest of the furniture.

i've had Lloyd sell me this too many times. get all excited looking at it, listening to the sales pitch, and then BANG- get it home and it isn't what i wanted at all. sort of like last year's Rose Bowl.

of course, i'm going to still pull for us to win, but i'm not going to believe it until i see it (sorry crock). seen us flush opportunities too many time over the last 6 seasons to have much faith in this coach. and this year? once you lose to app st, how can you really have any faith?

on a brighter note, Little Mikey is listed as the starter for Saturday- http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2007/10/monday_michigan_updated_depth.html.

Jessica said...

You didn't think Mikey'd really be out this weekend, did you? :D

SA said...

Sru-I hope he stays at USF. It gets tiring seeing coaches leave or get fired after two, three years. It goes to show what a coach can do if he is given a little time and patience.

As for Michigan I'm buying. Because I'm a sucker and gullible and believe that this team has turned a corner. And because Illinois and Wisconsin now seem like very beatable teams.

whetstonebuck said...

I know not this "Facts of Life" show of which you speak. Looking at the publicity photos, I can guess it was a geek-fest for teen viewers.

I assume Natalie is the one on the right?

After a slam from the MZone, I hope the poor girl doesn't off herself.

The King said...

Arizona State is a sheep in wolf's clothing. If you don't believe me, look at their record through mid-October for, oh I don't know, the entire history of their program.

This is where the wheels fall off.

Oregon is going to absolutely crush the remainder of their schedule.

whetstonebuck said...

Arizona will give Stoops another year by beating ASU. It's the Michigan/OSU syndrome.

Matt said...


That's what I thought. Jim Leavitt is an awesome coach. It really doesn't look like he will go anywhere else though. I have to respect him for his loyalty to his baby. He was there in the beginning when they had offices in trailers. I like Brian Kelly at Cincy. Dan Hawkins has been so-so at Colorado.

TitleIX said...

ok--Hummel??? HUH?
BUY something of your own Benny and get out of mom's basement.
( I kid becuz I love )

that being said---I don't buy this team either. Although Crable publically said that he now gets what Coach E is trying to tell him, it was Crable who didn't spy Purdue's QB on their initial TD. Senior LB not understanding the need to spy the QB???? WTF.
Juice is gonna eat that shit up.
One or two more losses for this team, alas. And that's assuming Mike plays this weekend. I was more optimistic on Sat when he injured it---but the truth will come out by Thursday. Lateral movt./cutting ability will be the issue. If the swelling comes down, maybe.
my bet (based on gut only) is that Carlos starts and Mike comes in sparingly.

sorry for the wet blanket approach but I'm being a realist.....

MGoBlue93 said...

I think Dan Hawkins is a great coach. He's the one that brought BSU to national prominence from pretty much scratch. Colorado has so many issues... they cannot keep their in-state talent, they cannot recruit blue chippers from Texas, Cali and Fla. Also keep in mind that for the most part the city of Boulder absolutely resents the football team. There's zero support. McCartney alienated a lot of folks before he left and they haven't come back. CU is an awesome campus and this time of year, there's no reason why CU football shouldn't be a hot ticket... but very few people support the team.

srudoff said...

please keep playing hart week in and week out until 11/17 ;)

hurt or not, roll him out there

Jeff said...


Your fear of Mike Hart is not unjustified. He is going to run like a posessed man against you.

First offensive huddle, he will reach up, grab Henne by the facemask and say, "I don't give a #$%^& what plays they're calling from the sideline today....you just give me the #$%^ ball.....you got it?!

The first pass Henne throws that day, Hart will walk back to the huddle and with one swift kick with his "gimp" leg, split Henne's cup in two.

Be afraid....be very afraid.

srudoff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
srudoff said...

he kicked our ass last year but came up short....again

can you imagine if henne long and hart went 0-4 against osu? you would have made millions had you bet on that happening 4 years ago.

unfortunately, i see a chris perry like performance coming against us - probably the same result too

i guess we'll have to be happy just winning 3 of every 4 :(


whetstonebuck said...

The rumor is Nebraska's Callahan is out and they're going after Les Miles. Money's no object--winning is.

whetstonebuck said...

Did I mention that I started the rumor?

Sheesh. This is the problem with time zone differences. There's no one to converse with when it gets boring.

Matt said...

Thanks for info on CU. I was kind of into the idea of Hawkins, but then again the Buffs were so bad last year. And my idea was kind of shot down. They did beat Oklahoma though. I know, he was great at BSU.