Wednesday, February 28, 2007
So let me get this straight - the BCS, which began with the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose Bowls now has five games. If the Cotton were added that would make six. Gee, why don't we add the Motor City, GMAC, Poinsettia and that game in Boise to make a nice, round 10 BCS games?
Meanwhile, there will be two stadiums that sit empty around New Year's only to have bowl games that bear their name be played elsewhere: the Orange and the Cotton. This will leave the Rose Bowl as the only stadium that hosts the game for which is was named.
And who still thinks this system isn't a mess?
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Benny & Yost
Providing Reasons to Get Fired if Your Boss Ever Saw Your Screen Since 2005
After getting some emails from Buck fans who claimed one of the alleged perps on a recent episode of NBC's To Catch a Predator was sporting a very, uh, familiar looking hat, we asked our readers to send us a link if they had it. To prove your case. Well, you did (damn you).
Now keep in mind, this show was shot in Texas and the town name started with an "M" so maybe (hopefully) this wasn't a Michigan hat at all. I mean, that doesn't even look like a block M. To me, that's more of a...uh...balloon, yes, a "Balloon M." And I wouldn't call that hat maize. Hell no. It's practically orange. Seriously.
Oh, and if you're a Buckeye fan who's new to this site, before you throw any stones in the comments section regarding this post, first check out this link from inside your glass house.
Monday, February 26, 2007
And no, those legs are not Photoshopped.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Civil rights groups such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders along with the U.S. State Department have condemned the verdict.
The MZone has learned that the posts which were judged to be insulting to Islam were all related to Suleiman's BCS, or Burka Co-Ed Showdown. Surpringly, he was not also convicted for the YouTube video he posted of the Cairo State University co-ed doing a seductive dance to The Whistle Song.
The posts ruled offensive to Mubarak had to do with Mubarak's failure to fire his Secretary of Defense due to Egypt's poor record against Israel. This is considered especially offensive in the country because the official, state-run Egyptian national blog, EgyptOverIsrael.blogspot.com, denies Egypt ever did poorly in a war against Israel and, in fact claims, it was Egypt who won the Six-Day War in 1967.
Thus, as noted on the left, we can be reached at MichiganZone[at]gmail dot com.
And be sure to tune in next week for another episode As the Email Turns.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
With the university's action, it will now get the NCAA's blessing to host NCAA-sanctioned events. This was not possible before as the NCAA deemed the depiction "hostile and abusive." It also means that the Illini are stuck with those horribly lame helmets they've been using and will never go to a much cooler design such as this:
While I agree that it's inappropriate for a distinguished university like Illinois to continue to have the Chief perform, I have to wonder how it is that this goes on at Florida State.
Wait, maybe it's because Illinois is a distinguished university and Florida State is....Florida State.
* WVU fills a void in the college football landscape usually occupied by Miami, Florida by signing the D.C.-area linebacker Pat Lazear, the kid who robbed a health-drink store. (HT: DevilGrad)
* Minnesota and new coach Tim Brewster have scooped up former Michigan secondary coach Ronnie Lee who left the Wolverines after this past season for reasons unknown. Uh, Tim, did you actually see Michigan's secondary play the last two games of the season? Yeah, good luck with this hire. (HT: DevilGrad)
* Tailback Sam McGuffie, Houston's player of the year last season as a junior after he rushed for 3,000+ yards has said Michigan is the team to beat at this point in the recruiting process. Turns out his folks are from Detroit and huge U-M fans. Check out these highlights. (HT: DW)
* LM (and a lot of other Buck readers) informed us of a guy in a Michigan hat who was on a recent edition of NBC's To Catch a Predator show. Don't have a link to the clip but if anybody else does, please send.
* Finally, via TrojanWire, MZone reader CA uncovers the real reason RoJo committed to USC over U-M...
What, you mean he didn't like the golf outfits on our co-eds? Hmm. Shocking.
However, a few months ago, he stopped posting and commenting. So I dropped him a line last night but the email simply bounced back. Baggy had vanished.
Baggy, if you see this, drop Benny and I a quick - if top secret - email.
Yost, let me start by thanking you for taking time out of your day to talk with me abo--
Hey, asswipe, you're me. This interview is like the cyber version of FIGHT CLUB that bloggers always do, where the guy running the site asks himself questions instead of writing an article or regular post. It's a lot easier. No structure problems to worry about. So just start with the questions already.
Oh, right, my bad. So, what do you think of Michigan playing Appalachian State in the season opener?
I think it's bullshit. Complete bullshit.
You hate Appalachian State that much?
No, that's not it at all. In fact, let me start by saying please save the emails if you go to/went to/root for ASU. This isn't a slam on them. Honest. Hell, I know nothing about the school except that it's located in North Carolina, they are the 1-AA champs and have that "hot" promotional video. My beef isn't with Appalachian State, it's with scheduling 1-AA teams to begin with. Any 1-AA team.
But they're probably better than Eastern.
Maybe, maybe not. Either way, that argument - put forth by those defending the game - is not relevant. Eastern is a 1-A team. Division 1-A teams should play Division 1-A teams. Period. If not, what's the point of making the distinction? Why not schedule Grand Valley State...or Hillsdale...or maybe even a JuCo.
Why? How? GVSU is the top team in Division III...or IV...or whatever. I'm sure they could beat a couple 1-AA squads, which seems to be big "argument" for those who advocate the U-M/ASU match-up using the "But they're better than Eastern" defense. So to say it would be different to play GVSU because they're in a lesser division, cuts against the argument of playing any school not in 1-A. Once you do it, the slippery slope has begun.
And what about the 1-A powers playing 1-AA schools that aren't the top team in that division, that are the 1-AA equivalent of Eastern Michigan. Like WVU playing Eastern Washington last season. Is that ok? And once a 1-A teams plays one 1-AA team in a season, what about scheduling a second? Or third?
I hadn't thought--
I mean, what is the fucking point of adding a twelfth game if this is what fans get?! At least be honest and call such mismatches and scrimmages preseason games like pros. Or charge half price for them. Why on earth should a Michigan fan pay $50 or more for a ticket plus the "seat licensing fee" for a game against a 1-AA team? Is that fair?
But according to AD Bill Martin, Michigan had to scramble to find a 12th opponent. Most schools already had their schedules filled.
Bullshit, part 2. Why is that Michigan is waiting until February to find its 12th game? It's not like everybody just found out about the extra game last week. I didn't read about USC scrambling to round out its schedule.
I'm pissed. I'm even more pissed when Michigan's athletic director, Bill Martin, defends this game. First he said that several BCS teams wanted to fill the gap but "due to scheduling constraints," Michigan couldn't return the game." Basically, that means we only wanted to play a team in A2 this fall that Michigan then didn't have to play on the road in the future. It's about only adding a home game for money. Period. It's not about the fans. Or what's good for the game.
But Martin also told U-M fans to - and I quote - "take a look at (Michigan's) schedule overall first and foremost and see it's one of the toughest and best they'll have had in a few years. They have (at home) Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State. Give me a break."
So what he's saying is, with all these good games, shut your pie hole if we throw in one really shit game?! That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time. Give you a break? Ha! Give us a break, Bill!
But Oregon and Notre Dame will both probably be ranked in the preseason. Those are top notch out of conference games. That's a tough schedule.
Indeed it is. And I don't think anybody was saying schedule another ranked team. That's suicide in the BCS era where one loss can kill your title shot. But what about a Stanford? Or Kansas? Or NC State? A real team from a 1-A conference. Something that has at least some value.
And didn't you just love how he announced the Appalachian State game on the 15th, after Michigan fans' preferred seating donations were due. So nobody could change their mind and say, "Screw it. I'm not paying that much money for a schedule with this game." As I said before, what bullshit.
Yes, yes, you did.
You mean, yes we did.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
But with that reputation, comes some responsibility. And when things like the following happen, they deserve blame. Because there is just NO excuse for this:
Photo from SI On Campus, via the Uni Watch Blog.
So by now, most of you have probably heard about the clusterfuck that was JetBlue airlines last week in NY. If not, in a nutshell, during the snowstorm on the East Coast, JetBlue left passengers sitting on planes mere yards from the terminal for up to 10 hours. They ran out of food, it was hot inside and the toilets filled up and stank like ass.
Well, in an effort to win back customers - and avoid threatened government regulations - JetBlue yesterday announced a "passenger bill of rights." Among the "improvements" is a vow to deplane passengers if a plane is stuck on the ground for five hours.
Excuse me but...
FIVE HOURS?!?! Are you fucking kidding me?! If I'm ever stuck on a plane just sitting on the tarmac for FIVE FUCKING HOURS it better be a hostage situation.
What a load of shit. But, unfortunately, this is the kind of "solution" passengers will get if Congress doesn't force the hand of the airline industry to do better - much better.
If you doubt it, ask any of the poor saps stuck in NY last week. Or, in the future, ask the suckers stuck for FIVE FUCKING HOURS after JetBlue's big "fix."
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
As mentioned, what makes a win "great" is a subjective thing. But we based our decision on a combination of factors including importance for the program, season impact, intangibles, who the opponent was (let's face it, a thriller against highly ranked arch rival Ohio State is always a candidate) and just the plain ol' excitement factor of the game.
10. 1995 #14 Michigan 18, #17 Virginia 17
9. 1999 #16 Michigan 31, #6 Penn State 27
8. 1995 #18 Michigan 31, #2 Ohio State 23
7. 2003 #20 Michigan 38, #17 Minnesota 35
6. 1998 Rose Bowl #1 Michigan 21, #8 Washington State 16
5. 2006 #11 Michigan 47, #2 Notre Dame 21
4. 1996 #21 Michigan 13, #2 Ohio State 9
Which brings us up to...
#3. 2004 #12 Michigan 45, Michigan State 37 (3OT)
What happened: Michigan was dominated in the first half by Sparty, but MSU QB Drew Stanton was injured late in the half after being tackled by LB Lamarr Woodley and U-M only trailed 17-10 at intermission. Yet even without their star QB, MSU's spread offense continued to baffle the Wolverines. And after DeAndra Cobb's 64-yard TD run with 8:43 left, Michigan found itself down 27-10 and the Wolverine not-so-faithful started heading for the exits. This game was over. Or so it seemed...
Following a 24-yard field goal by Garrett Rivas, the Wolverines attempted an onside kick...and recovered. Fifteen seconds and a Henne-to-Edwards pass later, it was a 7 point game. After stopping the stunned Spartans, the Wolverines didn't dawdle with "time consuming" 15 second drives, instead taking just 14 seconds on another Henne-to-Edwards TD pass to tie the game with 2:59 to go. But incredible as it may sound, the game was really just beginning. The Spartans missed a 51-yard FG at the end of regulation following a pass interference penalty on Michigan's Leon Hall with three seconds left. The first overtime saw both teams kick field goals, while each team scored TDs in the second OT. Edwards grabbed his third TD of the game in the 3rd OT and the Michigan defense held for the victory. The crowd, which showed up in T-shirts due to unseasonably warm temps the day before Halloween, was freezing but delirious by the end of the game which didn't end until after 8:00.
Why it made the list: From a pure excitement standpoint, this game may never be topped. If you are a Michigan fan, it doesn't get any better than coming back from the grave against your in-state rival. From a stakes standpoint, it kept Michigan's league and BCS hopes alive. Led by the remarkable play of Edwards, a true freshmen at QB (Chad Henne) and RB (Mike Hart), the Wolverines improved to 6-0 in the conference on their way to their second consecutive Big Ten title and Rose Bowl berth. Meanwhile, Sparty collapsed, winning only one more game - a victory over Wisconsin which helped put Michigan in Pasadena. But more importantly, it was the most exciting comeback in Michigan Stadium history (sorry, UVA), the longest game in Michigan history (sorry, t-shirt wearers) and one of the greatest individual efforts in maize and blue history in Edwards. The senior All-American had 11 catches for 189 yards and seemed to make one spectacular catch after another in the 4th quarter and overtime. It was as close as you could ever get to seeing a player put a team on his back and lead them to victory. The unsung hero of the game was Hart who rushed for 224 yards on 33 carries. But it's the effort of Edwards that will be remembered from this game, and how a Michigan team that looked dead in the water rallied to keep alive their conference championship hopes.
You know, we were going to make this a Caption Contest. But that might sully something so...pure. Although, we have to ask:
Does the, uh, "break" in the spelling above mean the proper pronunciation is now Okla...homa?
And I just know there has to be a "Sooner" joke in here somewhere.
Monday, February 19, 2007
You can bet this was as unexpected for Brady as Peyton Manning beating him since the rumored reason they broke up in the first place was because Brady didn't want to settle down and Moynahan allegedly did.
According to Moynahan's spokesperson, the 36 year old actress is "healthy and excited" about the impending arrival.
As for Brady, I'm guessing not so much since lately he had been spending a lot of time with Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. He has been spotted coming and going from Bundchen's SoHo apartment while she was seen hanging around the Patriot locker room after a game last month.
So much for a return to the swinging bachelor days.
In a related story, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband and attorney Howard K. Stern have stepped forward to each claim they are actually the father of Moynahan's child.
Apparently, Nike sponsored a contest between Ohio State and Florida to see which student body could run the most in January. The winning school got to erect a statue of their mascot on the losing school's campus.
Well, once again Florida came out on top. And Buckeye fans welcomed that statue as they welcome all visitors to Columbus...
UPDATE: We've received some comments from Buck fans regarding this post, upset because they claim it was actually a set-up by Nike to cast them in a bad light. They even claim one of the destroyers of the statue is a Nike employee.
However, the "proof" offered in our comments section for these claims is a letter to the editor by an irate OSU fan on Dispatch.com, the Columbus Dispatch's website. In it, the writer offers quotes "proving" his point. But checking the NikePlus.com site, the folks who ran the contest, I couldn't find any mention of the quotes used to support the letter writer's claims. Thus, some guy saying it in a Letter to the Editor doesn't make it true.
If this was a set-up all along and one of the people filmed destroying the statue is a Nike employee, Buck fans have a beef. But again, a person claiming such facts without providing the source, doesn't make it so. Thus, if anybody can provide something other than a letter to the editor as proof, we'd love to see it.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
According to the story, the whacko dad is also a wrestling coach! (or was at least). Gee, wonder what it's like in his household when he "teaches" his son.
I hope charges are filed against this clown, if for no other reason than it may stop him from seriously injuring somebody in the future - maybe even his own son.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Well, if they absolutely had to keep folks on the plane, the remedy to make passing the time at least bearable is so obvious, we're surprised airline management didn't think of it. So, once again leave it us at the MZone and this installment of Beer Bong Friday to provide the answer should you ever get stuck in such a situation...
I find it interesting that he chose to actually wear gloves.
And who was the uptight reporter? Dude, relax, you're the fucking weather guy covering a story about snow...in the Midwest...during winter. You're not breaking the lid off Watergate. Carl Monday would be ashamed of you, pal.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The MZone has learned that it wasn't the BCS embarrassment that got Jimbo's knickers in a knot. It was the fact that the SEC trumped the Big 10 in yet another head-to-head match up. Of course I'm talking about the NCAA National Mascot Hand Painting Championships held last week in Seattle.
In the four day competition, the SEC went on a tear, kicking some serious hand-puppet ass and dealing another setback to the Big 10 as the SEC took the top three spots.
In third place was the University of Alabama and their elephant mascot "Big Al" as displayed below by Brian Hannerhan, a sophomore from Mobile...
Coming in second place was the University of Florida. The Gators took second despite repeated pleas in the media by their mascot hand painting coach Manny Urbanski who said his team deserved to be the champions due to their brutal non-conference schedule against former Mascot Hand Painting title holders Tulane, BYU and Gonzaga during a three week stretch last fall.
And the 2007 NCAA National Mascot Hand Painting Championships is...
The Auburn University. This is the second year in a row the squad from Auburn has taken the crown which has led to calls by some for NMHPC officials to change the rules to prevent teams from using multiple team mascots as Auburn did again with their War Eagle and Tiger...
The Auburn team was also going to include their third mascot, the Plainsman, but nobody could figure out what the fuck that would look like.
Following the competition, Delaney said the Big 10 was at a disadvantage against the SEC because they must balance mascot hand painting skills with academics.
Literally. Cow shit.
According to this Yahoo! News article, researchers at MSU say that "fiber from processed and sterilized cow manure could take the place of sawdust in making fiberboard, which is used to make everything from furniture to flooring to store shelves. And the resulting product smells just fine."
Yeah, kind of like how Yost insists his farts smell good (ziiiiiiing!).
If the Sparty scientists want to really do something thought to be theoretically impossible, they should try to figure out why every MSU football team disappoints its fans and chokes away at least one big game each fall. And while they're working on that seemingly unsolvable puzzle, maybe they could help their friends in Ann Arbor with an equally tough problem we seem to have on the basketball court.
Until then, good luck on curing the world shit crisis.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Luckily, like the rest of America during the winter months, we're glued to the U.S. Snow Snorkeling Championship taking place in Minnesota this week. Below is a picture of Ted Gunderman of Spokane who was in first place after the technical program but was forced to withdraw due to frostbite in a certain area following his freestyle performance below.
Best of of luck to Ted on making a full recovery.
As mentioned, what makes a win "great" is a subjective thing. But Benny and I based our decision on a combination of factors including importance for the program, season impact, intangibles, who the opponent was (let's face it, a thriller against highly ranked arch rival Ohio State is always a candidate) and just the plain ol' excitement factor of the game.
10. 1995 #14 Michigan 18, #17 Virginia 17
9. 1999 #16 Michigan 31, #6 Penn State 27
8. 1995 #18 Michigan 31, #2 Ohio State 23
7. 2003 #20 Michigan 38, #17 Minnesota 35
6. 1998 Rose Bowl #1 Michigan 21, #8 Washington State 16
Which brings us up to...
5. 2006 #11 Michigan 47, #2 Notre Dame 21
What happened: Notre Dame was coming off a thrashing of a ranked Penn State team, U-M had looked unimpressive in victories over Central Michigan and Vandy. But Michigan jumped out to a 34-7 lead in South Bend and never looked back. While everybody seems to remember Mario Manningham's three TD receptions, this was a team highlight reel: Hart rushed for 124 yards and a TD, Prescott Burgess intercepted two passes with one going for a TD, LaMarr Woodley returned a fumble 54 yards for a TD, Leon Hall picked off a pass, etc., etc., etc.
Why it made the list: Forget for a second how the season ended for both Michigan and Notre Dame and try to remember the circumstances surrounding this game when it was played. Michigan had lost three in a row at Notre Dame Stadium (their last victory in South Bend was in 1994) and was suffering through a six game skid in road openers. Nobody was giving Michigan much of a chance in this one and many were talking blowout -- with Michigan being the blowee. Also, after the disappointing 7-5 mark during the 2005 season, many were saying Michigan had fallen from the elite college football programs. While nobody around the Schembechler Hall would have admitted it out loud, Michigan desperately needed the "W"...and got it in a big way. The victory ended talk of Michigan's decline and vaulted the Wolverines into the national title hunt, a chase they were in all the way up until the final moments of the Ohio State game. Furthermore, after Lloyd shook up his staff following 2005, the win proved there was a new philosophy (and hunger) in A2 on both sides of the ball.
4. #21 Michigan 13, #2 Ohio State 9
What happened: Ohio State had dominated the game but only led 9-0 early in the third quarter on three FGs. Then everything changed with one play: he slipped. Shawn Springs slipped. On what should have been just a potential first down slant play over the middle in the third quarter, All-American DB Shawn Springs slipped covering a pass from Brian Griese to Tai Streets. And instead of merely a first down (or incomplete pass) the result was a long TD that made it 9-7. To say momentum shifted is an understatement. One could almost feel the collective noose tighten the entire Buckeye squad, their coach and fans as if everybody was thinking, "No, it can't be happening again!" Michigan took the lead for the first time (and for good) with a FG on the last play of the third quarter (HT: MS). They added one more in the 4th and the defense held on as the U-M defense shut down the #2 team in the country on the road.
Why it made the list: This was the second year in a row Ohio State was coming into The Game undefeated and #2 in the country. After Michigan's upset in A2 in '95 during Carr's first season at the helm, the Bucks were out for revenge in '96. And with the game at OSU, it seemed they just might get it. Furthermore, Michigan was stumbling into Columbus. Just two weeks prior, Michigan was 7-1 and #9 in the country. But they lost back-to-back games. First an ugly 9-3 setback to unranked Purdue which is "best" remembered by Michigan fans for Lloyd's Mike Ditka impression when he tried to have 290 pound DT William Carr do his William "The Refrigerator" Perry impression and try to carry the ball on (I believe) first and goal from inside the 5 yard line with under a minute left in the first half. Carr fumbled, Michigan ended up losing. U-M followed that up with a 29-17 pasting at the hands of #11 Penn State at home. So the mood of the Michigan faithful heading into C-bus was not good. And the team couldn't have been too positive either. But strange and wondrous things happened to Michigan when playing Ohio State during the John Cooper Era (aka The Golden Age as far as Michigan fans are concerned). The stunning victory kept the Bucks from a national title and preserved Michigan's recent dominance over THE Ohio State University. Amazing how beating your arch rival and ruining their title hopes can put a shine on an otherwise disappointing season.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
To Fans of the Big Ten and College Football
Feb. 9, 2007
Greetings from the Big Ten Conference,
With the conclusion of another tremendous college football season and the recent national signing day, there has been a lot written and said about the Big Ten's recruiting efforts across the country, including a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled "Big Ten needs to find new talent pool - fast" (see full article here). In response to these commentaries, it seems premature for us to lower our admission standards or give up on the tremendous talent pool in the Midwest. No doubt national programs must recruit nationally wherever the talented students and athletes live. Hats off to Florida and the SEC -- they had a great year. We believe that both the Big Ten and the SEC have been and remain two of the greatest college football conferences in the country. But you may want to keep in mind the following as you review the various recruiting services, listen to talking heads and reflect the blogosphere out there as they compare these two fine conferences. I think most people would agree that head-to-head competition is an effective method to compare relative strengths between competitive entities:
* The Big Ten was 2-1 vs. the SEC in this past season's bowl games.
* The Big Ten is 8-6 vs. the SEC in bowl games over the last five years
* The Big Ten is 13-13 vs. the SEC in bowl games over the last decade.
* Over the last nine years of Bowl Championship Series games, the Big Ten leads all conferences with 15 berths while ranking second with eight victories. The SEC tops all leagues with nine wins and ranks second to the Big Ten with 13 appearances.
* In the last 10 years the Big Ten has produced two national champions compared to three for the SEC.
* In the last 15 years the Big Ten has produced five Heisman Trophy winners, more than any other conference. Over that same time span, the SEC has claimed one Heisman.
* While the SEC ranked first among various recruiting rankings, the Big Ten ranked second or third nationally with four to five programs rated among the top 25 recruiting classes.
* The Big Ten has a history of developing players - the most recent Heisman Trophy winner, Troy Smith, was one of the last players to receive a scholarship from Ohio State.
* The Big Ten has slightly less than 300 players in the NFL while the SEC has slightly more than 300; Sixteen former Big Ten players earned Super Bowl rings with the Indianapolis Colts earlier this month.
I love speed and the SEC has great speed, especially on the defensive line, but there are appropriate balances when mixing academics and athletics. Each school, as well as each conference, simply must do what fits their mission regardless of what a recruiting service recommends. I wish we had six teams among the top 10 recruiting classes every year, but winning our way requires some discipline and restraint with the recruitment process. Not every athlete fits athletically, academically or socially at every university. Fortunately, we have been able to balance our athletic and academic mission so that we can compete successfully and keep faith with our academic standards.
Let's see if the five- and 10-year trend lines hold or whether the recruiting services and talking heads are seeing a new day. We are quite proud of our history and tradition and remain optimistic about the future of Big Ten football.
Now, as you probably guessed, Jimbo's little missive has provided plenty of fodder for off-season college football blogs (thank you, Jim). And as you also probably guessed, SEC fans are none too pleased by Jimmy's insinuation that their schools are stocked with - oh, what's the phrase I'm looking for...? Oh yeah - fucking morons.
On the positive side, like anybody defending a conference they head up (especially one that has been blasted of late about a certain "speed" issue, aka "the thing cfb writers write about when they don't have any new angles to write about), he sticks up for member schools, pointing out that the popular "SEC is hands down the best" myth is really just that, OSU's recent drubbing not withstanding.
On the not so positive side, I'm really not sure what Delany hoped to accomplish with the letter and, more specifically, his "you're only good because you recruit stupid people" implication regarding the SEC.
What say you, dear MZone reader?
MZone reader Seth dropped us an email saying he has potential inside info that Michigan's September 1st opponent with be...
Appalachian State, the back-to-back defending 1-AA - now Football Championship Subdivision - NCAA champs.
Now, while Seth was very excited about his alma mater facing off against Michigan as he's a Michigan fan as well, I have big problems with this match up which have nothing to do with anything against Appalachian State. It's about scheduling 1-AA teams in general.
What is the point of having a 12th game if we - and other perennial top 25 schools - are just going to schedule 1-AA gimmes? Yes, I know it's about the money of another home game but come on. I can understand one home game against an in-state school such as a CMU, EMU or WMU. At least they're 1-A schools and there's the regional factor. Ok, I'll give you that. Once per season.
And I don't expect another Top 25 team. In the current non-playoff BCS system where one loss severely hurts your team's title chances and a second loss kills it, it would be BCS suicide, at least in Michigan's case, to schedule another ranked team to go along with ND and Oregon this fall. If your team schedules a third powerhouse and you lose, today's fans won't give you credit for the schedule, they'll be buying up FireYourSorryAss.com domain names instead.
But why not schedule a mid to lower level Big 12, ACC, SEC or other major conference school? Something the fans can look forward to and which also helps recruiting (especially if it's a home-and-home series like Oregon). Even the Vandy game was good in that it was an SEC school.
Granted, no matter who we get isn't Michigan's fault entirely. Since the perma-12th game was just recently added, teams have to scramble.
Unfortunately, even beyond this year's scramble, it's all about the mighty dollar now. And if Michigan - as well as other traditional powers - start rounding out their schedules with 1-AA schools each season, it'll be a sad day for college football.
But hey, at least if we do play Appalachian State, their school is "Hot, Hot, Hot!"
Since Smith's sudden death last week, three men - her weirdo lawyer/lover Howard K. Stern, some old boyfriend named Larry Birkhead and Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt - have all claimed paternity of the infant.
Now comes Paterno's shocking admission.
"Initially, I thought I might be too young for her because her first husband was 89," said the 80 year old Paterno. "But I invited her to the Purdue game in 2005 and she showed up. And then we hooked up after the 2006 Orange Bowl. So yeah, I tapped it."
Paterno said the relationship didn't last long when Smith discovered he had over 350 victories and not over $350 million dollars.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Paul Fletcher, a U-M alum and chairman of the State Highway Commission, inserted the fake towns of "Goblu" and "Beatosu" into the 1978-79 official state of Michigan map just across the Ohio border (see below).
The state was not amused and new maps were printed with the offending "towns" removed. The original maps are now collector's items and fetch up to $150 in mint condition.
In a related story, the same sort of stunt was pulled by an Ohio official in 1987 yet it wasn't discovered until last fall, almost 20 years later. Apparently folks in Buckeye country thought it was completely normal for towns in Ohio to be named "Fuckmichiganville" and "Wolverinescansuckmydickberg."
The Internet gods have changed our "MichiganZone" email address from adelphia.com to roadrunner.com. Please make a note of it before you send in your next picture of semi-naked co-eds.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
The guys in accounting decide to pull one over on Dave in the last cubicle by pretending to be their boss and calling him to say he has to come in on Saturdays to work on the TPS reports. Hillarity ensues and everybody laughs about it for hours after work over beers at the local Hooters.
You grab a mask and a loaded beer bong before running into a class you're supposed to be in to do this...
Friday, February 09, 2007
* The guys behind The Realists are starting a drive to bring former Michigan great Rudy Tomjanovich back to A2 as the Wolverine basketball coach.
* Detroit TV station WXYZ puts up a clip reel of highlights showcasing top QB recruit Ryan Mallett. (HT: DM)
* And to think, all those years in college, I thought football players got laid just because they were on the football team. Turns out it was just sweat.
* Michigan's Great Blue Wrestling Hope looks to avenge a tough loss U-M suffered last year.
* A Chicago Bears football fan is legally changing his name to "Peyton Manning" after losing a Super Bowl bet. Bet he wishes he just bet the over/under now.
* Microsoft announced that they are teaming up former ND QB Brady Quinn and the XBox to gives fans a look at his trek to the pros. According to the press release, "The Xbox team will chronicle Quinn's weekly routine for fans, which will include his favorite video games, workouts and training sessions leading up to the 2007 draft on April 28. In addition, exclusive high-definition videos of select pre-draft workouts and training sessions along with footage of Quinn's everyday activities and appearances will be available for download on Xbox Live."
No word if those everyday activities will also include him lamenting the fact that his team got ass-raped in all the big games it played. (HT: DW)
* The Wolverine grades Michigan's 2006 QB play (HT: M&BinV)
So who'd he sign with yesterday?
We'll let Urban Meyer explain from this Rivals.com article...
Gator coach Urban Meyer said Florida kind of stumbled into Finch.
"After appraising the top-100 list, I saw that he was ranked highly and I wanted to know where he was going," Meyer said.
"I knew Warren Central from my days at Notre Dame. I called the coach, and he said, 'Coach, you'll never believe this, but we just finished talking about Florida.' He played in the Orlando all-star game, and the kid loves Florida. Five minutes later, I was on the phone with (Finch). Without watching one speck of tape on him, I asked him if he wanted to come down for a visit. We thought he was a great kid and a good-looking safety, and his tape just solidified it.
"We offered him, and he decided to come. It's unbelievable because I didn't go to Indiana once the whole time."
Thank goodness. Because the college football recruiting process brings out the very worst among coaches and, more and more often, the players.
During the season, coaches often claim that playing college football is about more than college football, trotting out the cliches like "molding young men" or "teaching life lessons" that "reverberate off the field long after one's playing days are over."
But put college football coaches around a five-star prospect a week before signing day and suddenly they start acting with all the integrity of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom interviewing a buddy's wife for a position on his staff.
In an LA TIMES article yesterday, USC coach Pete Carroll admitted that, leading up to signing day, they continue to pursue top prospects, locally and nationally, regardless of whether they had verbally committed to other schools.
And this isn't an indictment of Carroll rather an example of what goes on across the nation. According to Allan Wallace, national recruiting editor of Scout.com, "A lot of schools don't pay any attention whatsoever if a kid commits because that's when the recruiting really begins."
How sad. But, in our current "win at all costs" society, hardly surprising.
And the players aren't just innocent bystanders. Sure, they're still "high school kids," but that's no excuse for one's word meaning so little these days. It's almost a two step process now - verbally commit to somebody early, then sign with another school later. "I've never seen so many kids de-commit as we did this year," said recruiting guru Tom Lemming.
And it's not just the coaches and players that get caught up in the madness. Check out the three YouTube clips on TrojanWire (HT: CA) of top Michigan high school prospect Ronald Johnson's grandmother invoking God in discussing her grandson's college choice during a church service. It's such a head shaker, you'd almost swear it's an outtake from some HBO show.
Nope. It's just another day in As the Recruit Turns.
And people think the bowl system is messed up? Ha!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
It's also a big day for college football blogs across the Interwebs. Last night, Yost and I talked and committed to hourly updates as the official letters of intent came across the fax machines in Ann Arbor, Columbus, Gainesville and points in between.
But then as signing day approached we decided that was too much work and went back on our verbal commitment. So if you want to know who's signing with the Wolverines, go to MGoBlog, or Michigan Sports Center, because we just couldn't commit to that much work.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
But what I don't understand is all the hatred for Peyton Manning from Michigan fans. And what was the stated reason for the hatred? It's because his fat-ass coach might have voted Michigan #4 in 1997 as some sort of revenge against Charles Woodson beating out Manning for the Heisman, and because many of the obnoxious Tennessee fans have some childish hatred toward Michigan over that 1997 Heisman.
I can understand hating Fulmer (for many reasons other than the unproven voting conspiracy) and many of the Vols fans who still think Manning was robbed in '97. But why hate Manning? Here's a guy who stayed in school - when he would have been a top pick after his junior year - just to enjoy playing college football one more year and living the college life. Here's a guy who's accumulated huge numbers but was never happy unless his team was winning. Here's a guy who's played nearly every snap of his NFL career and is humble in victory. Remember, he wasn't the one who, allegedly, voted Michigan #4, nor did he complain about not winning the Heisman in '97.
So what is it? Is it the way the media gushes over him or his omnipresent TV ads? Is it because he's a socially awkward geek? Because I would think that would make him more endearing to Michigan fans.
If you're still holding it against Peyton Manning that his college coach might be a bit shady and his college fans are unreasonable, I say grow up. Because to hate Manning for that makes you just as obnoxious and immature as the worst Rocky Topper who still hates Michigan almost 10 years after an imagined slight.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Bellotti noted that by mixing and matching the various pieces, he actually has 372 different suit combinations, only 400 fewer choices than the football team has on game days.
Turns out we shouldn't have been so surprised about her being so, uh, confused by the difficulty of cheering for the correct team.
BruinsNation put up a story about Trojan football players taking academic "shortcuts" by obtaining required foreign language courses - not at USC - but down the road at something called Los Angeles Trade Tech College and taught by the biggest pushover of a teacher since Mr. Kotter.
And guess who was in the class with the team members? You guessed it -- the wrong-cheering cheerleader.
According to the LA Times article that first revealed what was going on, 20 USC athletes - 12 of them football players - signed up for Spanish 3 at LATTC. The course was being taught by Senora Rose Mary Ross, a 73 year old grandmother with a reputation for having a very generous grading philosophy.
How generous? Well, she summed up her teaching philosophy this way: "The most important thing in learning is that everyone likes the teacher," she said.
And judging from the grades, they must have loved her.
Of the 25 total students in her class, 5 got a "B" and the rest got an "A" - including offensive lineman Matt Spanos, who sat out the 2006 season and was barred from the Rose Bowl for shitty grades. But not surprisingly, he described Senora Ross' class as, "extremely relaxed. Every day Senora Ross had a fun little story about her life and places she'd been to. She made it easy to learn."
Yes, Matt, I bet she did. Although being able to order from the Taco Bell menu on your first try probably doesn't count as being fluent in Spanish by most college standards.
The teacher had such an easy rep, she was swamped by Trojan athletes for her class, whose credits transfer to USC. But when word got out about what was going, the university was so embarrassed, they are making the students retake the class -- and not at "Lettuce" Community College.
Funniest thing about the story - besides the cheerleader angle - is that the football players being forced to take Spanish again are pissed and don't understand why they should have to take the class over.
You know what else they probably don't understand? Spanish.
Monday, February 05, 2007
But Super Bowl Sunday? I don't think I had one nutritional calorie the entire afternoon. In fact, I'm pretty sure if you stuck a need in my veins right now, they would ooze cheese. Yesterday made the Halloween night eating habits of my youth look like the Atkins Diet.
Since the game was over the moment Rex Grossman realized he was Rex Grossman and started playing as such, a couple non-football comments/questions for those of you reading today. First and foremost...
NO THANKS, I THINK I'LL JUST HAVE A KIT KAT BAR
What the hell was that Snickers commercial in the first half? Where the two dudes are fixing the car, start chomping on each side...and end up kissing. In case you missed it...
Uh, and the theory behind this ad was...what exactly? "Snickers -- So good it will make you question your sexual orientation."
Trust me, judging from the reaction of the party I was at, I don't think it made any of the guys want to rush out and buy this candy bar. Nor were the women itching for their men to swing by 7-11 and stock up on them either.
And in an MZone exclusive, we've obtained copies of the new Snickers print ad campaign...
THE MULTIPLE COKE ADS
What did Coke run, was it four ads? At $2.5 mil each, that's a hell of a lot of dough to spend on a product everybody already knows about. And what for? As somebody at our party mentioned, a comic used to do a joke about Coke and Pepsi spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising only to have this happen at restaurants across America every day: "I'll have a Coke." "I'm sorry, we only have Pepsi." "Yeah, that's fine."
What does it say about Madison Avenue in general when the student and "amateur" commercials were just as good - if not better - than those put out there by "professional" ad agencies? Then again, I guess I shouldn't be surprised seeing as I get much of my college football news from "amateur" sites like EDSBS, MGoBlog, etc. rather than from the "pros."
Turning to college football...
Our friend Scott at DallasSportsPowerhouse had a hilarious and Onion-esque post about canine Reveille VII withdrawing her verbal commitment to serve as Texas A&M's mascot to instead walk-on at Washington and attempt to supplant King Reboudt as the Husky mascot.
TOP RECRUIT HEADS WEST
MGoBlog is reporting that Muskegon DB uberprospect Ronald Johnson has spurned Michigan and a host of others to play at USC.
BOX IN A BOX
Unless you're living in a cardboard box, you've probably seen the very funny SNL video, "Dick in a Box." Well, props to the folks who made the female response, the very funny (and appropriately titled), "Box in a Box." Obviously not college football related, but made me laugh...
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Case in point: the picture below from Break.com sent in by MZone reader KE...
"After a night of heavy drinking, Paul decided that, instead of fucking Michigan, he'd rather fuck his best friend, Gary."
Leave us your best in the comments section.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Bears - The only former Wolverine on the Bears roster is backup QB Brian Griese. Griese typically carries a lot of weight for Michigan fans thanks to his leading the team to the national championship in 1997. However, Griese has seen only mop-up duty this season, and will likely be one of the handful of players on either team to not see any action on Sunday.
Colts - The Colts have two prominent Wolverines on their roster, starting linebacker Cato June and nickel back Marlin Jackson. June, who was a safety while playing in Ann Arbor was perhaps the Colts most consistent defensive player all season. Jackson, a former first round pick for Indy, still can't crack the starting lineup, but came up with a late interception of Brady in the AFC championship game. Both were solid players for Michigan.
Bears - The Bears seem to have soured on drafting Michigan players following the 2001 draft that netted them Michigan's David Terrell and Anthony Thomas. Despite twice rushing for over 1000 yards for the Bears, the A-Train never seemed to be embraced by the Bears and left as a free agent after four seasons. Terrell was a huge disappointment in Chicago, dropping passes, showboating at inopportune times, and eventually getting into trouble with the law. He was released by Chicago after four years. Former Michigan QB Jim Harbaugh was a first-round pick for the Bears in ’87 and played for seven seasons in Chicago, but only led the team to the playoffs once and is just another in a long list of failed QBs in Chicago.
Colts – The Colts’ recent past doesn’t include that many Wolverines other than Jackson and June. Defensive end Josh Williams had a decent six-year career with the Colts from 2000 through 2005. Also of note, after Harbaugh left the Bears in ’94, he played for the Colts where he acquired the nickname “Captain Comeback.” He got the Colts within one play of making the Super Bowl in ’95. Despite only playing four seasons in Indy, Harbaugh was the face of the franchise in the mid-‘90s.
Bears - Many are Illini fans (who, hilariously, think that Michigan is a rival), but Chicago's huge population base means there are plenty of Bears fans who went to every Big Ten school, including a ton who went to Michigan.
Colts - Mostly IU and Purdue fans. Pretty much harmless.
Bears - Remember, it was the Bears who hired Michigan DB coach Ron English last summer, which then prompted Michigan to counter-offer by making him their defensive coordinator. Though the defense faltered at the end of the season, you'd be hard pressed to find a Michigan fan who thought the hiring of English was a mistake. Also, starting QB Rex Grossman played his last game against Michigan. Sadly, it was the last bowl game the Wolverines won.
Colts - Colts head coach Tony Dungy grew up in Jackson, Michigan. His father Wilbur was a big Michigan fan, despite doing his graduate studies at Michigan State.
So it looks to be a good game and a tough call on who to cheer for. But based on Indianapolis having more of a Michigan influence on this season’s team, I say “Go Colts!”
Thursday, February 01, 2007
If you haven't heard it, here's the audio (HT: Deadspin).
Now, having not grown up in Louisiana, I have to admit that I'm not familiar with the phrase that Saban used to describe a Cajun. But I have to say, it sounds really bad (and has its own Wikipedia entry as also pointed out by Deadspin).
Classy stuff, Nick.
Also, after this, I can't imagine Saban will have much success trying to recruit the next Bobby Hebert or Jake Delhomme. Or this product of the Bayou...
P.S. You have to think Mike Price is saying to himself today, "What the fuck?! I score with some hot strippers and get fired by Alabama; Saban starts tossing around ethnic slurs and he's the highest paid coach in the land. Ain't that some shit."