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Thursday, January 31, 2008

The End of Times?

Quick - when is the last time Michigan entered the season unranked? Whatever the previous answer is, the current answer just might be 2008.

A Rivals.com article called "Draft departures cause Top 25 to change," took another look at its first preseason poll of 2008 and had this to say about the Wolverines in the wake roster changes due to players leaving early for the NFL draft and coaching changes:

"Michigan's place in the top 25 was tenuous at best following the graduation of its starting backfield and offensive tackle Jake Long. Since then, wide receivers Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington entered the draft and Chad Henne's heir apparent at quarterback, Ryan Mallett, transferred to Arkansas. New personnel and a new scheme could mean growing pains for new coach Rich Rodriguez.

Taking the Wolverines' place in the top 25 is Fresno State."


I'm sorry, for a second I thought that said Fresno State.

Fresno State, ladies and gentlemen.

As in the WAC. Taking Michigan's place in a preseason Top 25.

Fresno. State.

Holy Schembechler!

Hold on, folks, I'm looking outside for locusts. Because I'm pretty sure the Bulldogs replacing the Wolverines among college football's preseason elite is one of the signs of the Apocalypse as foretold in Revelations.

And to all those who couldn't wait for Lloyd to leave, who claimed any idiot with a coach's headset could do what he did with the talent at a school like Michigan, well, we'll see.

Buckstache Sighting

Former Buckeye first round draft pick Alonzo "I smile for mugshots" Spellman was arrested Wednesday in Tulsa after leading police on a chase which ended with the cops having to fire pepper-spray bullets into his vehicle after he refused to exit.

According to the AP story linked above, Spellman was booked into the Tulsa County Jail on complaints of eluding, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, resisting arrest and driving without a license.

Police said the most damning evidence against the ex-Tosu great was was the full Beard & Buckstache he was sporting at the time of his arrest.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hump Day at the MZone

Light posting today as the real job beckons (those bastards!).

So, let's just call this a potluck open thread. Pick a topic and discuss.

More Wacky Buckeyes...

Believe it or not, we don't try to put so many crazy Tosu clips up here on the MZone. Honest. It's just when you do a Google search for various schools, let's just say that Buckeye fans love uploading just about anything from their camcorders.

For example, the fan in this video below shows his Buckeye pride aboard a naval ship. No word yet if he was thrown overboard afterwards...



Maybe it's just me, but if the video above is any indication, "don't ask, don't tell" should also apply to being a Buckeye fan.

Next up, the clip below is titled "buckeye fan makes fun of florida state."

I have just one question: Why?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Assclown Asshattery

Just when you think Detroit Free Press "writer" Drew Sharp can't get any more ridiculous with his columns, he finds another way to outdo himself. And while Brian at MGoBlog covered it extensively yesterday (along with Varsity Blue and Detroit Sports Rag), we had to weigh in as well. It's that egregious, outlandish and, well, assclownish.

On January 12, Sharp wrote a "column" with the long winded title "Michigan coach must beat OSU to nation's No. 1 recruit Terrelle Pryor" saying exactly what the headline implies: that the battle for uber-QB recruit Terrelle Pryor was a "win-or-else" test for new coach Rich Rodriguez, that Rodriguez had to keep TresseLL from getting him, and that "failure was not an option."

Then on January 27th, two weeks after he penned the above journalistic masterpiece, Sharp wrote another column about Michigan and its pursuit of "must" get Terrelle Pryor. And the title of this Drew Sharp Special? "Michigan landing super recruit Terrelle Pryor would be an overrated victory."

Oh...come...the...fuck...on! Are you shitting me?!

If I didn't have those hyperlinks above, you'd almost think I made the titles up for some comedy piece here on the MZone mocking Sharp.

But they're real.

As DSR wrote in its story linked above, will this guy write anything to get under the skin of Michigan fans?

Actually, it's worse than that. His anti-A2 "vendetta" is so great that he's covered both bases so that no matter what happens on signing day, he can bash Michigan.

Fail to sign Pryor? Ha! You suck, Michigan! Rodriguez is already "losing" to Ohio State! Na-na-na-na-na-NUH!

Sign Pryor? Ha! Joke's on you. It's not a big deal, suckers! He's overrated! Idiots!

Amazing that this guy doesn't write a single column about Michigan's victory over Florida in Lloyd's last game. But he writes two about a Pennsylvania high school recruit.

That a supposedly "legit" newspaper like the Detroit Free Press puts such "annoyance journalism" out in order to, as Brian says, get eyeballs any way they can is shameful.

What a joke - both the paper and the provocateur.

Michigan wins National Title!

Damn, it felt good to type that headline. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with sports. Or the University of Michigan.

In case you missed it, Miss Michigan took home the Miss America title over the weekend in Las Vegas.

Yes, as in beauty pageants.

The winner was 19 year-old Kirsten Haglund of Farmington Hills and it ended a 20 year title drought since Miss Michigan last claimed the crown.

Twenty loooong years since Miss Michigan reigned victorious.

In fact, it got so bad in the past two decades as Michigan constantly lost before grabbing the brass ring bouquet, there were whispers that the winner of Michigan's in-state beauty pageant should no longer get an automatic bid to the Miss American contest.

Even this year, with Miss Haglund coming off impressive victories in the 2007 Miss Oakland County contest and the 2007 Miss Michigan pageant to get to the big dance...and singing...and answering important-sounding questions contest, some fans of the southern state entries thought there was no way Michigan was strong enough to win the title in 2008. That's because, for years, northern beauty contestants had a reputation of not being able to compete with the speed of southern belles.

From their choice of bad show tunes for the talent competition to outdated one-piece bathing suits in the bikini competitions, it seemed the pageant game had passed Michigan and its northern neighbors by.

Not anymore.

As Miss Michigan's winning bikini photos here show, Michigan has stormed its way into the 21st century pageant world.

Sure, as is typical for Michigan beauty pageant fans, some will complain that the state representative should have gone to the smokin' hot black two piece sooner. That recruiting drop dead gorgeous blondes with perfect legs and a killer smile instead of brunettes who were smart and could play the tuba should have been done 10 pageants ago.

But what's done is done. The past is the past. And with a new found confidence that comes from victory, Michigan is already looking ahead. To 2009. With whispers of "repeat" already echoing from coast to coast - from the coast of Lake Michigan to the coast of Lake Erie.

In a related story, Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp is said to be working on a column criticizing Haglund and her victory simply because the thought of Michigan winning a national title in anything makes him break out in hives and must be condemned.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Herbstreit: Six Wins for U-M in '08

ESPN analyst (and Tosu grad) Kirk Herbstreit predicted Michigan will win six games during the 2008 college football season. On a recent appearance on your favorite radio show and mine, Colin Cowherd's The Herd, Herbstreit said Michigan's schedule and offensive holes make the upcoming season a daunting one for the Wolverines.

According to the Free Press article linked above, here is a partial transcript...

Colin Cowherd: I will say this about the Big Ten. Ohio State is going to be great next year. They're going to be out of this world. Michigan's rebuilding, Wisconsin's not good enough at quarterback to beat the Buckeyes.

Kirk Herbstreit: How many wins do you think Michigan gets in '08?

CC: Next year?

KH: Look at their schedule.

CC: I think they're probably going to get nine.

KH: Oh my gosh!

CC: Eight.

KH: You're trying to put the pressure on Rich in his first year?

CC: Pete Carroll struggled first year at USC.

KH: I think it's a six-win season for Michigan next year, I really do. I'd like to see Michigan do well, but really, if you look at the schedule, you look at the quarterback situation, you look at the offense and the fact that they lost all of those players, The Big Ten is going to go through this again next year.

Now, before Michigan fans get too pissed, I have one thing to say: Don't shoot the Buckeye messenger. Unfortunately, I think Herbie could be right.

We have no QB right now. None. And even if (big if) Michigan lands Pryor, he'll be a true freshman running a brand new offense with most of last season's offensive weapons now gone.

And what about the defense? Do we have any DBs of note?

I hope Kirk is wrong. Very wrong. But realistically, U-M fans who've been harping about Lloyd for years could be in for a rude awakening if they think Rodriguez and the spread are some college football savior. I truly believe folks are going to see just how hard it was/is to maintain a program at the "declining" level they've been bitching about for years.

Friday, January 25, 2008

If Rudy Giuliani Were a College Football Coach

Contrary to what folks might think,we're not all beer bongs, babes and snarky photos here at the MZone. Me and Benny are deep thinkers and shit. Thus, with the political season having replaced the college football season, below is the first in an occasional series where the MZone sizes up the various presidential candidates in terms CFB fans can appreciate.

BRAD NESSLER: ...So with the Fighting Rudys down 78-0 at the end of the first quarter - and his team refusing to take the field and instead just standing on the sidelines watching - our own Erin Andrews is with head coach Rudy Giuliani for an explanation. Erin?

ERIN ANDREWS: Coach, a lot of the fans are wondering why you and your team aren't in the game yet. What do you say to that?
RUDY GIULIANI: We made a strategic decision to wait until halftime before we started playing, Erin. Because there are a lot of players on the field if we all go out there at once, and 60 minutes is a long time. I believe our strategy is good one and I'm sticking by it.
ERIN ANDREWS: But you're down 78-0.
RUDY GIULIANI: 9/11.
ERIN ANDREWS: 9/11? I don't understand?
RUDY GIULIANI: You threw out three numbers: 7-8-0. So I threw out three numbers: 9/11.
ERIN ANDREWS: What does that have to with this football game?
RUDY GIULIANI: Everything. They mean I know how to handle tough situations like the one out on that field today.
ERIN ANDREWS: Uh...okay. But don't you even admit that you've made it tougher than it maybe should have been by not playing and waiting until halftime?
RUDY GIULIANI: No.
ERIN ANDREWS: But you were a four touchdown favorite going into this game.
RUDY GIULIANI: Any negatives you're talking about, Erin, is just spin by my opponents.
ERIN ANDREWS: But those opponents are up 78-0.
RUDY GIULIANI: 9/11. (smiles) You did the numbers thing again. And as you can see, I have an answer for that. That's why they call me America's Coach.
ERIN ANDREWS: Fine. So, when you finally do take the field, what plays will you be running to make up such a huge deficit?
RUDY GIULIANI: Play number 9...11 times.
ERIN ANDREWS: Oooookay. Back to you, Brad.

One more time, with feeling

Now, the video below is called "M Fan Impersonates Wildcat" on YouTube. But it sorta looks like she is having a seizure.


WVU should've seen it coming, but was Rodriguez all about the money?

Another day, another chapter in the Rich Rodriguez-WVU Break-Up Diary.

According to emails obtained by the Associated Press, before the 2007 season even started, Coach Rod and his agent were seeking a promised "culture change" at West Virginia and a shake-up at the highest levels of the Mountaineer athletic department.

The emails, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, revealed the relationship between the school and its coach got so bad that by mid-November, R2's agent, Mike Brown, was threatening to take his client somewhere else, mentioning possible openings at Texas A&M and Florida State (FSU? Really? Uh, did Bobby know about this?).

The AP story linked above states that, over a five month period as the relationship disintegrated, Brown was trying to get his client more more operational and marketing control over the football program and fighting over money Rodriguez helped raise through a booster organization he founded. But here's the real doozy: Brown also complained about interference in the program from West Virginia governor Joe Manchin!

Gee, you mean West Virginia's top elected official didn't have bigger issues to worry about? Yeah, hey, Gov, really, your state is in great shape. Focus on football. Good idea. Can you even imagine Jennifer Granholm getting involved with Michigan athletics? Answer: no.

So maybe WVU's little "We have no idea why Coach Rod suddenly left" whine to anybody who will listen isn't quite true.

On the flip side, judging from the emails, Rodriguez's agent seemed overly concerned with squeezing every last dollar of potential revenue out of WVU because, in his words, "We both agree there is millions in revenue not being realized. Those revenues over time will allow WVU to remain competitive for Rich's services."

Boy, never heard that shit coming out of Michigan when Carr was coach. And to threaten his school, his alma mater, like that - and make no mistake, that's a threat - the year after he just signed a big increase after the 'Bama dance he did the previous season, sounds sleazy. Like it's just about the coinage (and don't say "the agent did it, not Rich." Coach Rod knew. If not, he needs to fire his agent asap).

Furthermore, the AP story states, "Brown had been pressing WVU to act on new moneymaking ventures such as allowing advertising on the walls at Mountaineer Field and letting Rodriguez have his own paid-subscription Web site. The e-mails indicate WVU was proceeding slowly, researching legal and NCAA issues after learning of a controversy involving the Web site of Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione."

Now, maybe it's just me, but I'd rather my head football coach stay focused on x's and o's and not becoming a fucking blogger. I want a guy trying to come up with a great defensive gameplan to shut down Ohio State rather than spending time trying to come up with funny Photoshopped pictures of Jim TresseLL in order to get a Deadspin link. For cryin' out loud, Rich, we'll give a weekly guest column here on the MZone if you're that hard up to have your own Beer Bong Friday post and be big time bloggers like Benny and me.

I dunno, folks. This story is starting to irritate me from all sides.

On the one hand, WVU hasn't been honest by acting like the surprised dude running around saying, "I have no idea why she broke up with me. I never saw it coming" after they'd been fighting forever. On the other hand, having your agent bitching to the administration that they haven't put Jiffy Lube ads up in the student endzone isn't the sort of coach most of us envisioned at Michigan.

Ed. Note: Is there anything people can't get about a college football coach under the Freedom of Information Act? Want to see all 6,000 text messages Houston Nutt sent to some hot reporter over three days? File a Freedom of Information Act request. Want to see how many times Rich Rodriguez checked his AOL account? Freedom of Information request.

I bet I could get a detailed listing of Lloyd Carr's bowl movements if I made an FOIA request.

I'm just thankful FOIA requests can't be made for our records here at the MZone. Although I swear all that time spent on RedTube.com was simply to search for other ASU cheerleaders who may have, uh...strayed.

UPDATE: Brian at MGoBlog has some other info on all this but closes his post by saying it's just a circus now and, unless something big breaks, he's not covering it. We might do the same here...unless of course we can think of a funny Photoshopped pic to go along with the news, then all bets are off.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Too Funny Not to Post: No Snow Day for You

Nothing to do with college football but it's January. And this made me laugh.

So a 17 year old high school student left a message at home for a school administrator last week asking why they didn't have a snow day. He got a call back...from the guy's wife. And, well...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Bob Ufer

WolverineHistorian put together highlights of the '69 Michigan/Ohio State game...complete with Ufe's calls.

Ohio State Job Training Program

In the YouTube clip below called, "Ohio State Bums Got Nothing On Us," a couple of Tosu students prepare for their jobs at the recycling center after they finish their graduate work in Columbus...

New Tosu Logo

This has been sent to us so many times, we had to put it up even though it's been around for a couple weeks now.

Thus, in honor of Ohio State's 0-9 record against SEC teams in bowl games, check out the new official Buckeye logo...

Just an honor being nominated? Fuck that

Yes, it's that time again: CFB Awards Season. No, not for the players, for the blogs and bloggers.

Last year, the MZone was nominated for several awards. But like that one film each year that is up for the Oscar in a bunch of categories, only to get bitch slapped and its nominees have to wear that fake "we're just happy to be nominated" smile when they announce somebody else won, we got shut out.

And it was heartbreaking, folks. Simply heartbreaking. When I had to tell Benny, a true Photoshop artiste, that he didn't win that category, or that his Know Your Foe wasn't even nominated, well let's just say I haven't seen him cry like a little bitch like that since his mom started charging him rent for living in the basement when he turned 30. But just like Benny's mom and her selfish, money grubbing need for 40 bucks each month, money Benny could be putting toward Guitar Hero II, sometimes life is simply unfair.

So we put on a brave face when College Football Blogger Awards were announced last year. And Benny and I did that fake clap that all the losers do when Orson at EDSBS pulled a fucking TITANIC and swept everything. "Oh, that's great. Congrats. No, really, you deserved it." Bastard.

But that shit's gonna stop this year or we will burn the motherfucker down (or at least shred something in honor of our new coach).

And if we win, in protest of last year's voting which constituted the most egregious balloting irregularities since the 2000 Florida presidential election, we might not even show up at the big awards banquet sponsored by Rocky Top Talk to pick up our statues. Fuck it. We're gonna go all Marlon Brando and send some Native American chick to instead make a politically correct speech about some non-related issue. That's just how we roll.

For all the info on the awards, check out this post on EDSBS.

And to nominate the MZone for an official nominating ballot, click here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bob Ufer: There will never be another like him

This play and Ufer's call still sends chills down my spine. Behold...



(HT: BP)

UPDATE: The excellent clip above was done by our pal, Andy, who wrote: "I posted it on youtube last week. I was pissed about Ryan Mallett calling himself a 'michigan man' and I put something up to remind me what a real 'michigan man' was."

Sexually Active Bruins Don't Need Trojans

How heated is the rivalry between USC and UCLA? Well put it this way: apparently Bruin fans don't want anything Trojan on them, even during sex as evidenced by the pic below from the folks at BruinsNation...


Now, while I applaud the effort, I must say, I've seen the Bruin defense of late. And if these condoms perform in the same manner, uh oh.

Friday, January 18, 2008

And the Father of the Year Award goes to...

A "father," mad that his 7-year-old son wouldn't wear a Packers jersey during the team's playoff game last Saturday, restrained the boy for an hour with tape and taped the jersey onto him.

Thankfully, Daddy Dearest was arrested after his (hopefully, soon-to-be ex) wife told authorities. Apparently, they didn't believe her...until she showed them the pix she took on her cellphone.

The man claims the incident started as a joke when his son said he wouldn't root for Green Bay. Dad says the boy was laughing while mom took pictures.

"Then he couldn't get out and he got upset and that's it. It lasted a minute," he said. "I didn't mean no harm, and he knows that, but I haven't been able to tell him that."

One minute...or one hour. Somebody's story is off by, oh, 59 minutes.

If this turns out to be true, I think they should send him to a local jail cell, tape a Bears jersey to him...then tape him to the jail floor for an hour. See how that works out for him.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

WVU: Home of fans who can't let go, bad commercials

If this was the acting, comedy and creative talent in West Virginia, I'd have left, too...

Rodriguez: Lies (WVU acting like jilted lover) must end

New Michigan coach Rich Rodriquez fired back regarding all the controversy in the wake of his leaving West Virginia, saying the "lies" need to stop.

"The things they are saying are not true," Rodriguez told the Toledo Blade. "It's a lie. How can you put out lies and think it's OK? They don't care what the truth is, they just want to smear Rich Rodriguez."

"It's very frustrating. I knew there'd be some emotions involved when I left, but I wanted to take the high road. I've chosen to move on, but it's almost like it's something new every day, and it's totally ridiculous."

What do you mean "ridiculous?" You mean like a United States Senator running into the West Virginia Governor at mining symposium and the West Virginia senator telling everyone the first thing they talked about was a football coach who took a new job?

Gee, don't these guy have bigger things on their plate? Yeah, you know what, good call, guys. West Virginia certainly doesn't have more pressing issues to deal with.

Seriously, the entire state of West Virginia has gone Glenn Close.

The thing that finally pushed Rodriguez to publicly rebut all the crap now being hurled at from just beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains was Shreddergate, in which anonymous sources claimed Rodriguez was seen shredding "something" in his office after taking the Michigan job.

"The implication to me is slanderous," Rodriguez told the Blade. "What they are implying, to me, attacks my integrity, and that's why I'm so upset. This has gone too far.

"It's bad enough that they throw things out there, and my family gets harassed, my relatives get threatened, and they try and attack my credibility right in the middle of recruiting. And then to throw something out like this, with anonymous sources ...

"And how it becomes a story, and why it's become big news, to me, is just baffling."

Baffling? Maybe. But a really big deal to spurned West Virginians judging from the war crimes-esque tone coming out of the state. Apparently they don't have computers in West Virginia and must save all important records in Mead notebooks and on the back of cocktail napkins.

Seriously, if this was a relationship ending and not a job switch, there were be a restraining order against the entire state of West Virginia right now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Michigan Modernizes Strength and Conditioning Regimen

New Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez has completely revamped the Wolverines' strength and conditioning program. And Mike Barwis, the person Coach Rod brought in to be in charge of program, is said to be one of the toughest and best in the country at what he does.

Which is a good thing.

Michigan had a reputation of using outdated strength and conditioning methods before Barwis arrived. In fact, earlier this week, U-M got rid of all the old equipment during a sale at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse in order to make way for the new stuff Barwis is bringing in to implement his program.

Now, I must admit, I had no idea just how antique the strength and conditioning regimen was at U-M until we here at the MZone obtained the exclusive picture below of a Wolverine workout from the start of the 2007 season...

Did Rodriguez Pull an Enron?

WVU said yesterday it is investigating the disappearance of player and football program files said to be missing from Rich Rodriguez's old office.

Oh boy.

Naturally, there is a difference of opinion as to just what R2 was shredding in his office the day after he was announced as the new Michigan head coach.

Mountaineer officials are in an uproar, claiming the documents are nothing short of an original copy of the Magna Carta and an autographed lyrics sheet of John Denver's Take Me Home Country Roads; Coach Rod's agent said the papers were simply personal files belonging to the ex-WVU coach and a copy of the final BCS rankings of the 2007 season sent by Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt.

Can't Spell TresseLL without Two L's

Remember how Buck fans used to love to spell Lloyd Carr's name with the emphasis on the L's in his name? They never missed an opportunity. And it was pretty funny...the first 6,000 times.

Well, with Tosu in a bit of a slump in the public eye after back-to-back bitch slappings in the BCS title game, I think it's time Michigan fans returned the favor. From now on, on message boards, in chat rooms and whenever you are forced to print or spell the name of the legendary Buckeye coach, make sure you do so with the new, proper correct spelling: TresseLL -- with two large L's at the end.

Now, before Buck fans remind us here at the MZone that Ann Arbor is still a whore and leave misspelled profanity-laced sentence fragments in the comments section frothing at the mouth that doing something like this takes a set of brass balls coming from a fan base that's lost four straight to the boys from Columbus, we have one thing to say:

Ain't college football rivalries grand!

(HT: Andy)

MZone: Served Fresh Daily...Almost

Below are a couple posts that, frankly, should have been put up last week. But I had a bunch of stuff post-BCS and, in trying to save some things now that we're in the off-season doldrums, I might have saved a tad too long.

Thus, as you read, pretend it's last Tuesday and the posts will take on a sweet, minty fresh newness.

Bucks Kicked Ass in New Orleans: Each Others'

According to the Dayton Daily News article linked here, the Bucks were rougher on each other than LSU.

Apparently halftime in the Tosu locker room was one big brawl.

"I couldn't believe that guys were fighting with other guys, this isn't a barroom. You don't need to be fighting with your own teammates. We were here to play football, (but) some guys didn't get that," a still-stunned Alex Boone, the massive Ohio State tackle, said as he stood in the middle of the nearly empty Superdome field an hour after his Buckeyes had been embarrassed by LSU, 38-24, in the BCS Championship Game.

"Everyone was fighting with each other and I'm like, 'Calm down. It's OK. It's halftime.' But everyone's like, 'This is your fault,' and 'No, this is your fault.' I was like 'Calm down, we got a half to go.' But some guys panicked like the game was over ..."

Ouch. Not good. And no excuse for something like this happening. This obviously isn't even my team, but Tosu fans should be very pissed about this sort of crap taking place.

(HT: JCS)

New study blames Columbus for syphilis spread

Yeah, the headline of this news story caught my eye, too.

But, alas, the story wasn't about that Columbus, rather Christopher.

Still, any excuse to put up that headline on a post here on the MZone, by God, we'll take it. Lot a space to fill and September is a looooong way away.

(HT: MS)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Drew Sharp: I don't give a rat's behind about you fans

As mentioned here on the MZone, Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp didn't write a word about Michigan's surprising, impressive victory over heavy favorite and defending BCS Champ Florida - a team QB'd by the current Heisman Trophy winner - in the Capital One Bowl, Lloyd Carr's final game as the Wolverine head coach after 13 years, effectively ushering out the Bo Schembechler Era.

And you can see why, can't you? I mean just from reading that one sentence recap above, it's apparent there was absolutely no story in the day's events that might spark a column idea for a writer at one of Michigan's hometown newspapers.

No story, that is, if you can't find a negative. Which is what Sharp is really all about. As we stated in a post last year calling Sharp's "style" of writing "annoyance journalism," Sharp seems to revel in writing pieces not to critique, provide insight or even to entertain, but solely to annoy and agitate a fan base.

Thus, no story about Michigan's exciting victory...but naturally a story the day after Ohio State lost last week, blasting the Bucks, the Big 10 and, by extension, Michigan.

(Of course it would have been nice if Sharp simply could get his facts straight as evidenced by this sentence in the piece:

"And these LSU Tigers resembled the edition from the season's second week when they went to Blacksburg, Va., and laid a 48-7 whipping on a Virginia Tech team that ultimately won the ACC championship."

Uh, actually, that game was in Baton Rouge, which a simple check of Yahoo! Sports would have confirmed. But why bother. That's not what these columns are all about.)

Yet if all Sharp did was pen his usual assclown column, we wouldn't have even mentioned it again. What we wanted to pass on was an email exchange Sharp had with one of our readers.

After our recent post calling Sharp out for ignoring Michigan's victory, MZone reader EL sent Sharp the following email:

To: Sharp, Drew
Sent: Fri Jan 04 10:30:24 2008
Subject: DREW SHARP: Which is worse for Michigan, SEC football or Ohio State football?

"And wasn't it interesting how Michigan out-SEC'ed Florida in the Lloyd Carr Classic..."

What's more interesting is where is your article about how great of a game Michigan played? If Michigan lost, you surely would have written an article trashing Michigan, like you always do. But, it was impossible to. You are a joke of an journalist.

EL
Economics BA 2008
University of Michigan


And Mr. Sharp's response?

From: Sharp, Drew
Date: Jan 4, 2008 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: DREW SHARP: Which is worse for Michigan, SEC football or Ohio State football?
To: [EL]@umich.edu

Was I wrong about what I wrote?
You can't answer that, can you?
That's precisely why I don't give a rat's behind about you fans. You're going to see what you want to see.

Uh, first of all, it's what he didn't write that was the point of contention.

And is this how he responds to college kids - or readers in general - when they write? I'm sure the "joke of a journalist" thing stung but I'm guessing he's been called worse. Shouldn't he as a professional be above that? And does the Free Press condone one of its employees talking to its readers that way?

More troubling is a sports columnist who doesn't "give a rat's behind" about fans.

Really?

One doesn't have to - nor should - kowtow to them but Sharp's remark illustrates an utter disdain that makes me wonder why he's a sports writer to begin with.

Even worse, "fans" in this instance is synonymous with "readers." As in newspaper readers. The ones who read his columns.

Because while it may come as a shock to Sharp, the folks reading his diatribes aren't searching for stock tips, or looking for movie reviews, or researching the origin of the Middle East crisis. They read precisely because they are fans. That's who reads the sports section.

And sadly, Sharp's words about not giving a rat's behind about them - his readers - is the most revealing thing he's ever written.

Pimps 4 LSU?

Uh...yeah.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Erin Andrews at Crisler

No story here, no take, no POV just...Erin Andrews. At Crisler.

And that's good enough for me.



Actually, I'm just kind of embarrassed she was at Crisler to see us play these days. Like when in HS the really cute girl stopped by her friend's locker next to yours and saw the Suzanna Hoffs poster taped inside.

"What? My basketball team? Uh...no. It's not mine. I mean, yeah, it plays in my arena but I wouldn't call it, you know, my baskeball team. More like a basketball team. But, ummm, actually, um, you know, they used to be really good. A long time ago. My dad told me that."

Nervous laughter.

"Hey, where you go-- Okay, see you later."



(HT: KP)

It all went wrong for OSU in New Orleans

Gee, you'd think with all the time the spend shouting it, they wouldn't mess THIS up...



UPDATE: And no, it's not Photoshopped. According to our readers who were at the game, it's the real McCoy.

(HT: MB, SA)

MZone Caption Contest

Ok, now this is definitely Photoshopped. On so many levels. Not that I care. Nor should you.


Is that a bikini bottom or underwear? Or dual use apparel?

Ah, who cares. It's definitely caption contest worthy. To get things started...

"C'mon, Erin. Please?"

Leave us your best in the comments section.

Enough is enough, WVU fans

When Rich Rodriguez bolted West Virginia not long before the Mountaineers BCS bowl game against Oklahoma, even though Michigan was the beneficiary, I felt bad for WVU fans. Michigan grabbed their basketball coach last year and now had their football coach. A beloved, homegrown figure who had steered their program to a regular spot among college football's elite.

So I understand why they were mad. And they let Coach Rodriguez know it.

But after reading about what's happening to his mother and family still back in West Virginia, I have one thing to say some of those fans: enough is enough. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

According to the Detroit News story linked above, Coach Rodriguez's mother says her family has suffered insults, vandalism and even death threats since her son left for A2.

Arleen Rodriguez said her grandson, a senior in high school, has gotten death threats and threatening notes stuck to his locker. Her 12-year-old granddaughter had to be escorted to her class. In addition, "the girl went to a friend's birthday party recently and presented the friend with a WVU purse. Arleen said one of the adults there remarked that the gift was nice, but would have nicer had it come from a true Mountaineer."

Are you kidding me?! A true Mountaineer? What, one who threatens high school kids and says shit like that to little girls? That makes me sick.

There is no excuse for such crap. None. Jesus Christ, there's a war going on and you stupid fucks are leaving death threats over a coach taking another job?! Get. A. Fucking. Life.

Because anybody who does this stuff isn't a true fan, just a true asshole.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Buckeye Adjustments

MZone reader Gary sent us the clip below via EDSBS highlighting the only "adjustment" made by the Bucks during their loss to LSU Monday...



I don't know what's funnier: the clip...or the guys watching the clip.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What Buckeye Fans Do Together For Fun

Yeah, this isn't gay. Not at all...

Gone, Baby, Gone!

According to new coach Rich Rodriguez, Michigan receivers Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington along with QB Ryan Mallett are no longer on the Wolverine football team. None of the three players showed up for a team meeting on Monday.

Arrington and Manningham apparently are going declare themselves eligible for the NFL draft while Mallett apparently will be transferring. While definitely a blow to the 2008 squad, none of the departures come as a surprise.

However, what was sort of telling were Rodriguez's comments about the players at halftime of yesterday's Michigan b.ball game:

"Obviously with Mario and Adrian they made a decision they thought would help them professionally and decided to come out early. We wish them well. That's about all I have to say about that."

Ooookay. Not exactly a warm, fuzzy good-bye. But seeing as they weren't "his" players, not entirely shocking. However, what was much more telling where his remarks regarding Mallett:

"I don't care. He's not playing for Michigan. I'm concerned with who's playing for Michigan, that's my concern."

This in the wake of his words earlier in the day on Jim Rome's radio show:

"I talked to him (Mallett) and all our quarterbacks about how our system adapts to the quarterback. If we get a throwing quarterback, we've had ones who have gone on to have great careers and to the NFL and all that."

"But I (spoke to Mallett) a couple of times. I recruited him once, I recruited him twice, but after the third call, it's, 'OK, three times is enough for me.' It's three invitations. If somebody doesn't want to be here, then we should all move along."

TRANSLATION: Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

I must say, I like a coach who basically says, Nobody is above the program. This is about team. And if you're here for something besides that, we don't want you.

Going to be an interesting ride, folks.

LSU "Moonshine" Man

Sweet Jesus, I can almost hear the banjo...

Burn, Baby, Burn!

Here's a shocker: fifteen people were arrested and several fires were set around the Tosu campus after the Bucks lost to LSU Monday night.

Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest with a couple of arson charges thrown in for good (and typical) measure. Between 10-12 fires were reported.

Gee, I guess this should now be as expected as the outcome of the game. Doh!

(Sorry, Buck fans, it was there, teed up, I couldn't resist swinging at it)

(HT: O)

LSU Fans Take Their Celebration to Vail

LSU Gets All Ned Beatty on Tosu's Ass

Sweet Jesus.

I, uh...yeah.

Look, while I was rooting for you Buckeyes, I can't say I feel sorry for you. Not after laying that egg. Again.

And when I say again, I mean to the point where I had to check my remote to make sure I wasn't watching a replay of last year's game on ESPN Classic.

When the Bucks went up 10-nothing, I turned to my three Michigan friends I was watching the game with (three of us rooting for Tosu, the other calling us fucking morons the entire game) and said there's no way they're going to let what happened last year - in which they got an early lead then got ass-raped - happen again.

Then they did just that.

I honestly don't get it. Yes, LSU is good, but not that good. Not as good as OSU made them look.

Plus, as much as I hate to admit it, Tressell is a good coach. Yet the last two BCS title games, he's been out-coached while his teams imploded. Case in point: early in the second half, they stop LSU, have a little mo' and are about to get the ball back when back-to-back personal fouls let the Tigers keep the ball, who drive in and score -- game over.

And it's not that I take joy in this (although did I mention I don't feel sorry for Tosu?), it's that I'm genuinely perplexed by the repeat performance.

Oh, and if Tressell thought he needed to give his team a 10 minute motivational DVD highlighting all the disrespect and mocking they were taking from pundits around the country before this game, I can't wait to see how long the next cut's going to be. It's gonna make MEET JOE BLACK look like a YouTube clip.

P.S. And who again were the fucking idiots naysaying Michigan hiring Les Miles. Those people are complete-- oh, never mind.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It wasn't THAT bad

MZone reader Jim sent us the screen capture below of a typo he saw on ESPN.com after LSU had scored 24 straight points. As Jim said in his email, perhaps they were simply trying to convey the "spirit" of the game.

THE Ohio State Bills?

MZone reader JK sends us this suggestion for a new Buckeye logo...

Buckeye Humble Pie

Apparently the college football fans who made the bet featured in the YouTube clip below were inspired by Soupy Sales...



Yes, yes I did just make a Soupy Sales reference on a college football blog. The end is near.

More YouTube Reactions

This is either an LSU victory dance...or some dude giving a lap dance to an empty chair...



Below, the person who made this thinks he's making fun of OSU and Ohio, the typos instead make us want to mock MikeyBear.

Monday at the MZone

Lot of stuff up today, folks. So scroll and scroll away. Even held back a couple things as I didn't want to over do it (and get to bed before 2 am).

Thanks to every who's been sending in so much great stuff, regulars and new contributors alike. It's much appreciated.

Go Bucks! No, really

I admit it: it felt dirty to type the title of this post. And I might throw up in my mouth a little bit if Tosu wins their second national title this decade. And the Gloat Moderator might have to be turned on for the comments section here at the MZone. And the thought of all the poor Columbus fire fighters having to put out 600 dumpster, couch and mobile home fires saddens me.

Yet even with all those considerations, I will be pulling for Ohio State tonight in the BCS title game against LSU.

Not all my friends agree and I know some of our maize and blue readers don't. But I'm pro-Buck tonight. My reasons?

1) It's a Big 10 thing. Michigan knocked off Florida and a Buck defeat of the Bayou Bengals would go a long way toward shutting people up about SEC superiority and the Big 10's alleged decline (well, all except Drew Sharp).

2) Les Miles. If he stones the Bucks, the U-M Sky is Falling/Grass is Always Greener crowd will be back in full force. And even I might be tempted to second guess why I was so opposed to Lester back when it mattered. Plus he'll probably then hold another press conference after the game again announcing he's not coming to Michigan to rub it in.

3) Bucks on this site. After Michigan's Capitol One Bowl victory, we had a ton o' nice comments here on the MZone from Tosu fans offering their sincere congrats and kind words about Carr's farewell. Maybe I'm going soft (or you fuckers need to throw some more donuts at me this fall in Columbus to reignite the anger) but I thought that was very cool.

Thus, alas, with some shame, I'll say it again...

Go Big Ten! Go Bucks!

But tomorrow it's back to hating you. So don't get any wise-ass ideas that this makes us friends or some shit like that.

P.S. Okay, okay, maybe the exclamation points were overkill.

Carr's Final Locker Room Speech

MZone reader/Buckeye JB sent us this link from Tosu site Men of the Scarlet and Gray. In it, they had the the clip below of Carr's locker room speech following the Florida game last week. Folks, he was class until the very end...



Must also note that the MotSaG post linked above was very cool and positive about Carr. They contrasted Lloyd's talk to his team and his seniors with Urban Meyer's postgame comments. Worth a look.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Little Buck

Okay, this is cute...

Terrelle Pryor: Good as Advertised

A buddy of mine called Saturday. "Are you watching this U.S. Army All-American game?"

Yes, yes I was. Watching and praying to the college football gods. Praying for the college choice of a 17 year old high school kid.

Hoooooly shit. Terrelle Pryor is that good.

In case you're not familiar with him, Pryor is the second coming of Vince Young the #1 rated high school recruit in the country. His top choices were Tosu, WVU, Oregon and Florida...until Michigan hired Rich Rodriguez as its head coach. The Pennsylvania QB immediately put the Wolverines on his list (he wants to run the spread) and rumor has it, it's down to Michigan and the Bucks.

Now, I usually don't put too much stock in this crap. There are so many variables and high school stardom doesn't always translate to the next level. But this kid was unreal. Simply awesome.

And while they said he wore a Michigan sweatshirt to the game, as evidenced by the picture below, his helmet did sport one of those ugly-looking pot leaf things OSU hands out for not getting arrested for solicitation of prostitution or whatever they give them out for...



(Pic HT: LM)

Gator Takes Cheap Shot at Mathews

How did I miss this?

Our buddy The Wiz over at The Wizard of Odds sent the clip below. In it, Florida linebacker Dustin Doe goes all WWF on U-M's Greg Mathews, trying to purposely gouge him in the eye after a Michigan TD. As The Wiz noted, no penalty was called on the play.

Buckeye Motivation from The Vest

Below is the first 3 minutes of 'Take Home Talk,' a motivational DVD Jim Tressell sent home with Ohio State Buckeye football players over Christmas break featuring 'disrespect' spewed by local and national media.



HT: BC

NOTE: I just noticed on YouTube this clip was posted by our good friend, LM. Nice going, L!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Buck Recruit on 'Roids?

And Michigan fans thought OSU's Vernon Gholston was huge? Ha!

Check out the pictures below which the MZone has secretly obtained showing an unnamed 4-star recruit from Findley, Ohio, who's already made a verbal committment to the Bucks and tell me this kid's not juiced!



Uh, in all seriousness, even if you're a Buck fan, how thrilled are you if you're this dude's neighbor?

"Hey, Jim, you see what I put up?"
"Yeah. I saw. Along with the crew of the Space Shuttle as they orbited over North America."
"Pretty cool, huh?"
"Sure...if I lived at the carnival. So, uh, how long you gonna keep the 40-foot blow-up doll in your front yard?"
"What are you, some Michigan faggot?! FUCKIN' DICK!"

(HT: LM)

Sharp's Silence Speaks Louder Than Usual Dick Columns

So, did you see the Drew Sharp article about Michigan's big win over Florida this week?

Yeah, right. There was none. Sharp simply ignored the game, treating it as if it never happened.

And the very fact that he wrote nothing at all should point out yet again what a complete intellectually dishonest ass-hat he truly is.

You think if Michigan had lost - as everyone expected - Sharp wouldn't have written about the game? Ha! No, he'd be ripping away. But after a victory in which it would be hard to write something negative without his true asshatery laid bare for all to see, he instead simply pretended the game never happened.

Newspapers around the country, cable sports shows and national college football Internet sites all had stories on the Wolverines' impressive victory in Carr's final game. Yet one of the "major" sports "columnists" in the ol' hometown paper doesn't even bother mention it?

What a load of shit.

Sure, the guy never misses an opportunity to criticize Michigan (usually when it's unwarranted), but when it's the ultimate feel-good story in which the long-time UM coach rides off into the sunset after beating the defending national champ...QB'd by the current Heisman Trophy winner...in what amounts to a home game for the opposition? Oh, yeah, no story there.

What a transparent hack.

And the Detroit Free Press should be ashamed of itself for pretending it doesn't see what's happening (and has been going on for years). Bravo, Freep. Nice journalistic douchebaggery.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Sign Spotted Near Toledo

Got the picture below from MZone reader RC showing the new welcome sign on the Michigan/Ohio border.

Even I have to admit this is funny...


UPDATE: Reader Scott reveals in his picture below that some work has already been done to the sign above. Apparently road crews were out this morning working on it...

The Spread Comes to Michigan

With all the talk about new Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez wanting to bring the "spread" to Ann Arbor, apparently some Michigan players misunderstood just what that meant...



(HT: LM)

The Glow Still Lingers

Rarely has a win in a game with seemingly so little on the line meant so much and felt so satisfying. But such was the case following Michigan's thrilling 41-35 victory over Florida in yesterday's Capital One Bowl.

Michigan didn't just win a football game in Orlando, it slayed a few dragons and shook a couple monkeys off its collective back all in the course of one 60 minute football game. A game that, if not for four turnovers - including two by Mike Hart inside the five yard line - Michigan just might have won in a rout. They were that dominate.

This was the "old relic" Lloyd Carr out coaching the "It Boy" of the profession and his defending national champs. Adding to it all, Carr did this on the day he left coaching behind as Michigan itself left behind an era - an era that maybe isn't as dated as some think.

This was the "slow, plodding" team from the Big Ten blowing the Gator D line off the ball while the Gator O line struggled to protect its Heisman Trophy-winning QB from the Michigan onslaught. It was U-M receivers streaking past, through and around the supposed "superior SEC speed" of the Gators.

This was a U-M squad playing with an intensity and passion that was apparent even to this Wolverine fan watching from my living room. What the country witnessed was the team promoted as a top 5 title contender in all the pre-season publications last summer. The Michigan team Wolverine fans had all been hoping for but, with so many injuries throughout the season, one we hadn't seen. Now, finally, with everyone healthy, this was Michigan unleashed.

Most importantly, in winning its first bowl game after four consecutive post-season defeats, Michigan proved it's not as far from college football's elite than some of its detractors would have you believe. It still can play with anybody.

All that from one game?

Yes. All this from one game. Just as one game - last year's Rose Bowl defeat at the hands of USC - had the Chicken Littles of the Wolverine universe in a panic and college football pundits frothing at the mouth announcing Michigan's decline. A decline just one game after a three point loss - on the road at Ohio State - less than 24 hours after Bo's death - cost Michigan a shot at the BCS title game.

Following Michigan's loss to USC, radio hosts, bloggers, columnists and casual fans held up the results from Pasadena as a glaring example of all that U-M wasn't. So if that's fair, then today I hold up Michigan - 41, Florida - 35 as proof of everything Michigan still is.

And it ain't too shabby.


(Picture HT: J/Phil)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Michigan-Florida: Random Thoughts

HART

I've always loved that kid. Gave 100% each and every time he touched the ball. And I never minded his mouth - until after the second fumble. Then, I must admit, even I got a little frustrated with all his talking during the game. Shut up and hold onto the damn ball.

An overreaction? Hell, yes. He fumbled three times his entire career! But I was just so pissed to see a game that we were dominating potentially slipping away due to two fumbles inside the five.

ARRINGTON

Holyfuckingshitwow! His one-hander down the sidelines in the 4th and that behind-the-back beauty early were incredible catches. I really love how he has gotten his attitude straightened out after being in Lloyd's doghouse and has become one hell of a clutch player. Please don't go, please don't go, please don't go.

MIKE DeBORD

He's taken a lot of heat from all corners but he called one hell of a game. Really did. Although, I must admit in the 4th when I saw Henne start lining up under center and just start handing it off to Hart as Florida starting crowding the box because even they knew what was coming, I started to panic. I just kept thinking, Please don't go into a shell now. Keep playing to win.

Hell, DeBord was calling such an amazing game - which was so daring from the one he normally seems to call, I actually turned to my buddy and said that, in the wake of his recent dismissal by Rodriguez, you'd almost think he was using the game to audition for another job opening!

HENNE

He looked unreal. Simply unreal. I don't know if it was all him being 100% healthy finally or if the gameplan had just as much to do with it. He seemed to play most of the game out of the shotgun and just shredded the Gator D. Remember before the season when we heard much about Michigan installing the shotgun for this year (like it was some brand new invention)? But it didn't seem like we used it much at all except for obvious third and long situations. Yesterday, we used it on 1st-3rd and Florida didn't know what hit them. Again, was it Chad, the gameplan or a combo?

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Speaking of Henne/DeBord, would folks call the offense we ran yesterday a "spread?" Sure looked like the NW/Non-mobile QB version of it.

TRICK PLAY CALLING

Anybody else have the sense that Lloyd almost told DeBord, "Uh, hey, what's that play on p. 78 of the playbook that we've never run? Let's run that. And the one on p. 105. And the one on page-- aw, fuck it. It's my last game. Run 'em all, Mikey. Run 'em all."

ENGLISH

Even though they allowed 35 points, I thought English also called a great game for the defense. They pressued Tebow all game, knocked him down a bunch and made a couple of big stops at the end of the game to seal the deal.

KICK-OFFS

Ok, I know it worked once, but I was going to kick in my TV set if we pooch kicked again and gave the Gators starting field position at the 45 once more. WTF?!

INJURY-FREE TEAM

I sure wish we could replay our final two games of the regular season with everybody healthy (and our staff coaching with the same "we have nothing to lose" attitude). *Sigh*

DO PUNDITS EVEN THINK BEFORE THEY SPEAK?

Watching ESPN afterwards, Lou Holtz and Mark May were talking about the LSU/OSU title game and Holtz was picking OSU based on their defense. He then said something like this, "Did you see what Michigan's offense did to Florida today? Over 500 yards. Ohio State held that same Michigan offense to 90-some yards for the entire game."

Uh, Lou, get a clue. No disrespect to OSU, but they didn't hold "that same Michigan O" to under 100 yards. They held a version of that Michigan offense - minus a healthy Hart, minus a healthy Henne during a game playing in a freezing rain - to those stats. To compare the two without the qualifier is like saying, Arizona held Oregon to such and such but neglecting to mention they did with Dennis Dixon sitting on the bench.

BUCK FANS ON THE MZONE

Really appreciated the outpouring of congratulatory comments yesterday from OSU fans here on the site. Very cool. And I'm still pulling for the Bucks and the Big 10 next week against LSU (although, I must admit, some of my Michigan friends I watched the game with are having a harder time setting aside their dislike even for the greater good of the conference).

CARR

How excited were you for him? I had perma-grin on my face after the game, and not just due tot he victory. As announcer after announcer mentioned, he really is a classy, classy guy. And, as is often overlooked due to recent struggles, a damn good football coach. Thus, I was so happy to see him get the "W" in his last game. Furthermore, I think Michigan fans are going to miss him more than they think. Which leads me to...

I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT R2 & UM MAY STRUGGLE NEXT YEAR

Hart, Henne, Long, Crable and three starting DBs are gone for sure. Manningham and Arrington are probably gone. A new coach is coming in to install a brand new offense without the players he normally would use to run such a scheme.

Now, while Michigan fans would call for Lloyd's head if he came back and went 8-4 or 9-3 during the regular season next year, I unfortunately think we may be lucky to get that in Coach Rod's first year this fall. I think the transition is going to be tougher than folks know.

IF THE TEAMS HAD SWAPPED JERSEYS

If the game had played out play-for-play exactly as it did but with Michigan losing 41-35, how much you want to bet every post-game article would have been talking about how UM couldn't contain the Gator speed.

So where are all the articles today talking about Florida's lack of speed? Because the game could have/should have been a rout. But you won't see any of those articles because it goes against the preconceived myth that all SEC teams are fast, all Big 10 teams are slow. Which is just that: a myth perpetuated by lazy sportswriters and analysts that don't have an original thought in their heads so instead simply turn to convenient cliches.

KICKING

Amazing how our FG kicking went from one of the weakest parts of Michigan's game to one of its strongest at the end of the year. Well done, KC.

URBAN MEYER PRESS CONFERENCE

Anybody else see it? Was he implying he was going to can some of his coaching staff after the game? Sounded like it.

MISC. (even though, technically, that's what a Random Thoughts post itself is)

* Great AP story on Lloyd's last couple of days. The guy had access to practices, etc. Check out Holly Rowe's reaction and words. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Michigan-Florida Open Thread

Wow, it really is the end of an era today.

No reverse blog psychology (I think it would take that and then some for Michigan to pull this off if I set my maize and blue bias aside and look at the match up objectively), just a sincere wish for Carr and his squad to have a great game.

Go Blue!

UPDATE:

Meeeeechigan - 41, Florida - 35

I have to tell you, folks, that victory felt as good as any in a looooong time. I'm so thrilled for Coach Carr, I can't stand it. Way to go, Coach. Thank you.

Much more to come later, but I have to get my heart rate back to a manageable level first.

Know Your Foe - Florida

It’s the final game for Lloyd Carr when the Wolverines meet defending national champion Florida in the Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl sponsored by Michelin and brought to you by Denny’s. Or whatever the fuck they’re calling the game this year. The teams have met only once before, in the 2003 Hall of Fame Outback Bowl sponsored by Tinactin and brought to you by Ace Hardware. Michigan won a thrilling game 38-31. Both teams will try to cap disappointing seasons with a win. But Florida’s disappointment stems from losing three tough conference games while Michigan has had its worst season in 23 years. So who has more motivation to win? Who the hell knows? But to know more about Florida, you’ll certainly want to read the final installment of the MZone's KNOW YOUR FOE.

History The current University of Florida was established in 1853 as East Florida Seminary. The seminary was closed in 1866 due to the Civil War and then moved from Ocala to Gainesville. The school then merged with a number of smaller schools in 1905 and the combined school was called the University of the State of Florida. Finally, in 1909, the school took its current name.

UF, which is the third largest university in the country, was the first to offer athletic scholarships in 1928 as a reaction to under-the-table payments that were being made by other schools. Interestingly, UF didn’t have a problem with those under-the-table payments in the early 1980s. Amazingly, the University of Florida did not become co-ed until 1947, and didn’t allow African American students until 1958. However, it currently ranks second in the number of Bachelor Degrees awarded to African Americans, and third overall to Hispanics.

Location Gainesville, Florida. Located at the base of American’s Wang, Gainesville is a city that has its roots in war. It was named for General Edmund P. Gaines, commander of U.S. Army troops in Florida during the Second Seminole War. The town also saw some fighting during the Civil War. After the war, citrus growing was the main industry but that moved to Orlando following a couple of major freezes in the late 19th century. Now Gainesville’s population of about 100,000 is almost entirely dependent on the university in one way or another. Gainesville is sometimes referred to as “the Berkeley of the South” due to the liberal leanings of the populace. It’s long been known as being on the cutting edge of great music and is the hometown of Tom Petty and bands Less Than Jake and Against Me!

Nickname - Gators. This nickname goes back to 1911, the year of the ONLY undefeated Florida football team. It’s believed the moniker was a result of the nickname of team captain Neal "Bo Gator" Storter. Regardless of its origin, it certainly makes more sense than Michigan being called the Wolverines. It’s estimated that there are over a million alligators in the state and their habitats increasingly overlap with area populated by humans. It’s one of the best names in college athletics and sports in general. It’s unique (there are no other Division I or major sports teams with the name), it’s descriptive of the area, and let’s face it, alligators are bad asses. They’re absolutely ferocious, they can run like hell (no, this isn’t an SEC speed thing), and they look great as a belt or shoes. And they taste like chicken.

Mascot – Albert and Alberta. These are truly among the most iconic mascots in college athletics. Cosutmed green alligators, Albert wears an orange letterman sweater and Alberta dresses in an orange cheerleader outfit. The school used a live alligator mascot – also named Albert - starting in 1957. But in 1970 the costumed version that we know today was born, and he was joined by Alberta in 1986. They have quickly become the symbols of the university and they are immortalized with a statue on campus. Albert was ranked as the #1 college mascot by SI Online this past year. And who’s to argue? That poll has as much credibility as any that decide the national football champion every year.

Colors Orange and Blue. These are perfect colors for a southern school in warm climes, but the combination was just a happy coincidence. The selection of the colors took place in 1910 and were taken from two of the schools that merged to form the new UF. The University of Florida at Lake City had school colors of blue and white and East Florida Seminary in Gainesville used orange and black.

This will be the second blue and orange team the Wolverines will face this season. Illinois was the first, but the Illini's colors are orange and navy blue, while Florida’s are orange and royal blue. Surprisingly only six schools use the blue and orange combo, and only Boise State’s shade of blue is similar to that used by the Gators. There’s no truth to the rumor that Florida is thinking of changing the turf at the Swamp to blue.

Logo/Helmet – The current Florida logo of a gator head inside an orange oval has been in use since 1998. It’s solid if unspectacular. The previous logo of a cartoon Albert which was used from 1992-1997, is one of the best in college sports.

Regardless, if either one were to be used on the Florida helmet, it would make the Gators’ headwear immensely better than, as the MZone mentioned before, the Sunkist soda logo they now sport. Despite having a top football program, and a magnificent mascot, the Florida helmets just aren’t big league. The colors aren’t the problem, it’s the lame use of a wordmark that makes the Gator helmets so horrible. They join Ole Miss in the SEC and Illinois in the Big Ten with the use of a wordmark on the helmet. Florida football belongs nowhere near the Rebels and Illini, even if we’re just talking about helmet design. The problem is that there’s no way Florida can change. Since the Gators moved to their current helmet in 1979 they’ve had the best success they’ve ever had on the field. They’ve won two national championships and have become one of the top programs in the nation. So unless the Gators go into a ten year run of losing, which is not going to happen, the Sunkist bottle helmets are here to stay, much to Know Your Foe’s deep regret.


As always, all images of the helmets are from the incredible Helmet Project site, and the logos are from the equally wonderful SportsLogos.net.

Fight Song – The Orange and the Blue. Again, this fight song does not meet Florida’s standard on the field. The title is unimaginative, the tune is average at best, and the lyrics are laughable:

So give a cheer for the orange and blue
Waving Forever
Forever Pride of old Florida
May She droop never
We'll sing a song for the flag today
Cheer for the team at play
On to the goal we'll fight our way
For Florida.

Any fight song that invokes the words “waving” and “droop” is not worthy of the teams the Florida puts on the field every year. Hell, these lyrics aren’t even worthy of a bullshit team like Michigan State.

Most of the MZone’s readers are probably not familiar with The Orange and the Blue. But a football fan can’t watch a Gator football game and not come away humming Gimme A G, Go Gators. Listen to the last part of that song. Can’t you just hear Verne Lundquist announcing another Gator victory? And what a catchy tune. It might even make up for the lame fight song.

Academics – According to the most recent U. S. News' ranking of America's Best Colleges, Florida is 49th, one slot behind Penn State. This places UF second among SEC schools, trailing only Vanderbilt and in the top ten among southern schools. The ranking would put Florida fifth if they were in the Big Ten. The school has become a very hot commodity among high school applicants. It's no mystery why - nice weather, solid academics, great sports teams. It's a great time to be a UF student.

Athletics – Let’s see. They are the current national champions in football and the two-time defending champion in basketball, the only school to be the reigning champions in both of the major college sports. They, along with Sparty (!), are the only school to win multiple national championships in both sports. So, yeah, Florida athletics is as good as any school in the country. Overall, the Florida has won 27 national championships (10 men’s and 17 women’s) including ten women’s tennis titles.

Amazingly, the Gators have only won seven conference titles in the 75 years of the SEC but they’ve all come since 1991 (the 1984 title was stripped by the conference for NCAA sanctions). The school has now produced three Heisman Trophy winners (all QBs) and pack in over 90,000 fans into Ben Hill Griffin Stadium which is widely considered one of the loudest and best college venues in the country.

Famous alums – As would be expected of a school the size of the University of Florida, the list of distinguished alumni is long. But it’s not that impressive (though, hilariously it includes a section for “Pageant Winners”). It certainly pales in comparison to a few of Michigan's opponents such as Northwestern and Illinois. Where are the big names? Faye Dunaway? Mel Tillis? This isn’t 1975. UF can claim the second most famous flannel shirt wearer Bob Vila, and comedian Darrell Hammond. The only categories where UF has excelled are athletes (duh) and sports announcers, as both Red Smith and Erin Andrews are former Gators. They claim three astronauts – in total not on one mission. Space, bitches, space. Oh, and no U.S. Presidents.


The Game – It takes place in the new year, but the game will mean a lot of goodbyes on the Michigan sideline. The school’s all-time leading rusher will be playing his last game The head coach will be coaching his last game. And based on the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, this will really be the last Michigan football game that will have the imprint of Bo Schembechler after having influence over the program for almost 40 years. It’s too bad all that happens in a game the Wolverines lose. FLORIDA 45, MICHIGAN 37.

Aggie Nose Picker

We already knew Texas A&M fans like to grab their nads. But we didn't know they also like to eat their boogers...



Ok, while I might be willing to give him a pass on the dig, eating it almost made me want to toss my cookies all over the keyboard.

And what do you want to bet this is one of the "elite" Aggie boogers boosters who was paying top dollar for Dennis Franchione's insider newsletter?

Need another look at The Big Dig? Absolutely...



(Big HT to LM)