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Monday, November 28, 2011

MZone Autopsy: That School in Ohio

I think I'm only now finally coming down off the high.  That game...that game...

That game.

I don't think I've been as nervous for a Michigan game since the '97 Michigan-Ohio State when the Rose Bowl and National Championship were on the line.  Crazy as this may sound, Saturday's game almost felt like it was more important for Michigan's psyche.  Personally, I don't think I've ever wanted one more -- nay, needed one more -- than the 2011 edition of The Game.

Had Michigan lost it would have been devastating.  Yes, there would have been no denying the strides made this year, but a loss would have gnawed at the soul for a long time.  Instead, Michigan's hard fought victory has turned the 2011 campaign into one that none of us could have realistically hoped for or imagined.  And back on the personal level -- it made blogging and Twitter a hell of a lot of fun over the weekend!

Now let's take one more look back at The Game that ended The Streak in...

MZone Autopsy: That School in Ohio

*  Don't let the close score in any way shape or form detract from the sweet taste of victory.   Some Buckeye fans are trying to taint the victory by saying this was the worst OSU team in forever.  And yes, many Michigan fans didn't just want a "W," they wanted retribution.  But this Ohio State squad was a team playing with nothing to lose, finally fielding a team with all its weapons, the most potent of all being desperation.

So this was exactly the kind of titanic struggle that the great mythology of this series demanded and deserved.  To understand why it absolutely had to play out the way it did, check out our post from yesterday, The Hero's Journey

*  The overturn of Fitz Toussaint's touchdown was one of the most egregiously bad replay calls I can remember.  What part of "can only result from indisputable video evidence" did those clowns not understand?!  It would have been criminal had Michigan lost after that.  When that TD was taken off the board, I started to think that Benny Oosterbaan must've been busted having an affair with the wife of somebody pretty high up in the afterlife because it looked like the fickle finger of football fate was about to f*ck us.  Hard.  I hope somebody questions the B1G about it (the replay call, not Benny Oosterbaan's sexually active ghost).  Seriously.  I really want to know what was indisputable.  There were two angles, one in which the ball was over, one in which it might -- might -- have been, what?, an inch shy?  Maybe.  But indisputable?  Hell no!

But don't just take it from some biased blogger.  Watch this video of Fox Sports refereeing guru Mike Pereira as he goes over the play and discusses why it was wrong.

*  Let the most recent chapter of The Game serve as reminder number 6,482 that Michigan-Ohio State must always be played on the last Saturday of the regular season.  Saturday's showdown left no doubt that the B1G's marquee match up must never be moved.  And if Dave Branding Brandon and Gene "See No Evil" Smith ever float the idea again of putting the game anywhere else -- as they did in 2010 which is why the MZone returned from cyber hibernation -- they should be immediately canned.

Ed. Note:  I still believe it was a colossal mistake to put U-M and OSU in separate divisions, but that's a debate for another time if the B1G ever expands again. 

*  By beating that school in Ohio, Brady Hoke just became the first Michigan coach to claim at least 10 wins in his debut season since -- wait for it -- some guy named Fielding H. Yost in 1901 (who won 11).

*  Brady's six B1G wins in his first season equaled the total conference games won during the three years of The Dark Period. 

*  Team 132 became the first Michigan team to ever go 8-0 at home in a single season.  And anybody who said they predicted that (beating ND, Nebraska and Ohio along the way) or that Michigan would win 10 regular season games this year, is a liar or a meth head.  Or a lying meth head.  

*  The 40 points Michigan hung on OSU is tied for the 4th most points Michigan ever scored against the Buckeyes and the most since putting up 58 in '46 (thought still a ways off from the record of 86 in 1902).  And that wasn't some hack-ass defense since, even after the U-M game, OSU is tied with Oklahoma for the 27th best scoring D in the land and is #23 in total defense.

*  Couldn't believe all the bitter tweets by Buckeye players immediately after the game.  From one guy saying he's "never going to lose to those scrubs again" to Boren (not Justin but Zach) claiming Michigan showed a lack of "respect" for The Game, to several other disparaging comments by others, it actually made them look bad.  I pictured them all sitting there on the team bus on their long ride home, heads buried in their smartphones, typing their tacky tweets while poor Luke Fickell sat up in the front, watching the rest of the CARS 2 DVD playing over bus' entertainment system.

*  In looking up some of the stats for this post, I noticed Michigan's captain in 1908 was Adolf "Germany" Shultz.  I guess in 1908 you could get away with that.  Nowadays he'd claim his first name was Eddie and go by "Shultzy."

*  Luke Fickell did a great job in a virtually impossible situation.  And I'm not just talking about the Michigan game.  All season.  But I was particularly impressed with how he handled himself in the post-game presser, when he was getting hammered with questions about his future.  He made it all about The Game.  Best of luck to him in the future.

*  As you know, Buckeye fans are waiting on pins and needles for Santa to deliver an early present for their team in the form of new head coach Urban Liar Meyer this week.  And some Michigan fans are worried such a hire will tip the scales back in the Bucks' favor after only one Michigan victory.  Well, if I may say something to those folks that someone may have tweeted in kinder terms over the weekend:  Sack. The. Fuck. Up.  This is Michigan, for God's sake!

First of all, those name hires rarely work out as well as hoped for.  For every Saban at 'Bama, there's a Dennis Erickson at ASU.  And I even seem to recall a "can't miss coach" being hired in A2 a couple years ago, a guy who'd won "everywhere he's been."  But that didn't turn out so well if you recall.

More importantly, let them have their Urban Myth.  It's great for the rivalry and we have Brady, for God's sake.  If this season has proven anything, that ain't too damn shabby!

*  Remember when Urban's daughter tweeted “HE IS NOT repeat NOT, GOING TO OHIO STATE" a couple months ago? Bad news: Daddy lied.

(Thanks to Andy for the picture!)


Dennis said...

I was in the hosptial or would have written sooner. Doing much better had a nasty complication from my snip snip surgery a little while ago.

Ayhow, congrats on the victory. It was a great game, except for the outcome. You were robbed on the replay. so it may not have been as close as it ended up being. The replay offical must have bet on Michigan to win but not cover. :)

I went into surgery when you were up 16-7 to come out when we were up 24-23. I didn't take a laptop to the hospital with me, so I haven't seen much about the tweets and stuff. I'm sorry to hear some of the OSU players didn't lose with a little more class. Not sure what they meant by you not respecting the rivalry. Was it Denard's eating motion? I know he did that before this game. I understand the sentiment on his part but while I would hope I would find it tacky if we did it, I don't think it is that bad. And, if we don't want him to do it, we need to not miss tackles or give him all day to pass. This is the first chance I've had to get online, and I wanted to make sure to stop here first to make sure you didn't think I had run off after losing.

As I said, it was an exciting game, it just didn't turn out the way I would have liked. When they overturned the TD I thought my one prediction (though off by a number of points) was potentially going to be close to what happened (a close OSU win, due in part to a bad call.) I'm glad it didn't have any more impact that cut your margin of victory.

Once again, congratulations and good luck in your bowl game.

Dennis said...


Not sure if you will see this or not. Saw your comment in the live thread about the lack of coverage in Columbus. I know 6 (ABC) and I thought 10 (CBS) both had pre kickoff coverage. I watched some of 6's before kickoff. They even went to Blimpy Burger.

They didn't do, as far as I know, a 2011 season recap show, which they have done in some other seasons. I don't recall them doing that before The Game except maybe in 2006. But I could be mistaken.

MMQ said...

Okay - I'm either a meth head or a liar (NOT!) as I penned this in August as part of the Pre-Season Spectacular! I boldly predicted 10 wins and even nailed one of the losses at Kinnick. I really thought we'd beat Sparty and lose to the Wildcats, but oh well...You can't be 100% all of the time!

Mikoyan said...

I will admit, I didn't think that Michigan would be 10-2 this season. I was expecting around 8-4 or 7-5. I didn't think that Mattison could turn the defense aorund the way he did and that Denard and crew would be struggling learning a new offense. So color me surprised.

As for beating OSU...I'm estatic....

Andy said...

I've made the Denard TD "Ohio Beaten" wallpaper in a larger wide screen format (1680x1050 for my iMac). You can grab it here. There were A LOT of great images made on saturday, so I've got other ones I am working on and will share via Yost.

I think it is funny the way the Ohio players and fans have reacted to this single loss. The denial, the weak justifications, the total lack of respect for our players and coaches, the general erosion of the rivalry... I guess after 7 years of celebration, you forget what it feels like to be on the other side of this.

I vividly remember when John Cooper finally beat Michigan in 1994 and again when we got beat by Tressel's first team in 2001. Both losses reminded me on how important this contest is to both sides. I like to think this string of losses has humbled us enough to not taken winning "the game" for granted.

If Zach Boren had taken a couple of seconds to ask, he would have learned the "grenade" celebration was something this team did each and every day after practice. It had nothing to do with disrespecting the fallen buckeyes... it was a joyful team expression. I guess that might be a little too much for him to understand. That happens when you grow entitled to winning all the time.

I am also enjoying reading the proclamations of future domination now that they (apparently) have signed Urban Meyer (henceforth known as UM). I can't help but recall the exact same words being spoken when we hired RR: superior. system, athletes. speed. scheme. Blah Blah Blah. This is Big Ten Football -- you win by knocking the other guy down and running over him. Speed is important, but when it is rainy and cold in Lincoln or Madison in late October... nothing wins like toughness.

I have no doubt UM is a good coach. I am excited about this rivalry going forward with Hoke & UM going at it. We are going to win some and we are going to lose some. That is what this thing we have is all about.

If I am a Ohio fan, I really shouldn't look at what is happening in Gainesville right now. That is UM's superior speed team getting smoked by most of the SEC and Florida State. Also, I'm not sure I want to ponder UM's quarterback development history. It took Alex Smith six years to overcome his past and become a decent NFL QB. Poor Tim Tebow had to hire an outside coach to fix him enough to prevent him from becoming a tight end or fullback. I'm sure Braxton Miller will stop missing wide open receivers as soon as UM gets his hands on him.

No matter what happens from here (1) we have reestablished the rivalry (2) we have stopped the stupid "xxxx days since M won" counter (3) we are relevant again in the world of college football.

Go Blue!

Yost said...

Dennis, that sounds brutal. Glad all is well again.

And MMQ, I have some lotto numbers I need you to look to look at...

Dennis said...


Let's just say having a bigger pair than the next guy isn't all that it is cracked up to be.

Bigasshammm said...

Ouch Dennis. I've heard nothing but bad stories of the snip snip and am glad my wife agreed to just get tied again. Although that could have been a serious mistake as she flatlined during the procedure (this was 2 weeks ago)
Tis the season for a nice cold Christmas Ale. One for you and one to rest on your junk.

As for TV for as long as I can remember they've done an hour long pregame show/season recap before The Game and this year it was nowhere to be found.

Kind of like the Dispatch not even front paging it.

Dennis said...


Given the season I can see skipping the recap. I recall them doing it in 2006 before The Game. Most other years I thought it was after the season, but I may be mistaken. I typically don't watch those but I could see if in your case (and SiC's) when living in "enemy" territory, you would notice those things more than I would.

Hope your wife is well. We went snip snip becuase it is less invasive and since she went through the pregnancy and the couple miscarriages, it was my turn to carry the load. So to speak. :) Fortunately I have the ability to work from home. Of course the baby is now got some kind of bug, so not as restful as I would like.

MMQ said...


5,6,8,12,16,19....Those are winners!

Don't ask me why!

JamesD'Troy said...

tOSU hires Urban Meyer? Well, just give the Suckeyes the Fulmer Cup for the next decade.

I see the Urban Liar experiment ending in either two ways;

1.) Liar makes tOSU 'The Thug U' surpassing Miami in every degenerate way possible leading to Liar leaving tOSU in complete disarray. & no, I don't expect the NCAA to hammer tOSU like they did USC in any way, shape, or form. cf. Paul Dee the Hut.

2.) Liar's wife, Shelley becomes really tired of the bleak, cold, gray winters, and complete lack of culture, and other signs of civilization in Ohio and relentlessly harangues Liar about said issues forcing Liar to take another leave of absence for "health reasons" whilst accompanying Shelly back to some state with lots of sunshine and Manolo Blahnik stores.

Seriously, #2's a real possibility.

Please Wolverines, annihilate these ba$tards.

James said...

We can't refer to Meyer as "UM". That's just not right. His last name is only five letters. We can type it out.

Regarding Brandon floating the idea of moving the Game last year, maybe I'm giving him too much credit, but I interpreted it as him catching wind of the league's idea and leaking it out to start an outcry, as opposed to him actually coming up with the idea of moving the date himself.

JamesD'Troy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JamesD'Troy said...

"We can't refer to Meyer as "UM". That's just not right."

You are correct.

We must add the title he has so justly earned. Just add the the letter 'C' for 'Coach' to the acronym.

Ramona said...

Hey, Dennis, glad you're OK and recovering. Even with the general giddy atmosphere I noticed you weren't commenting.

You scheduled surgery during THE GAME!?!?!?

Best wishes for speedy continued recovery!

Ex said...

Congrats on the victory but please quit calling OSU, "Ohio." Ohio is Ohio University. Ohio State University is "OSU" or "Ohio State" or the super pompous "tOSU."

Dennis said...


It wasn't scheduled. It involved removing about 350 mL of nastiness from me and believe me, I would have gladly done it any time given the pain I was in. Apparently I should have stayed under longer. We were winning when I was knocked out. :)

Andy said...


"Please quit calling OSU, "Ohio." Ohio is Ohio University."

Sorry, this just isn't going to happen. Not since Bo fired Bill Frieder on the eve of the 1989 NCAA basketball tourney has the Michigan fan base had something this delicious to rally around.

This Ohio thing is perfect because it simply echos both their annoying "OH-IO" cheer and the script thingee we taught their band IN ADDITION to clearly pissing them off.

No disrespect to the fine people in Athens, but as long as Coach Hoke calls those scarlet clad barbarians "ohio" - you can expect the rest of the Michigan fan base to follow.

Ramona said...

Darn I am going to miss these Monday morning autopsy reports along with the season in general..

This whole video review thing is still bugging the hell out of me. So it's supposed to be "indisputable" evidence or the original call stands, right? So this protects bad calls.. guys at work corrected me, "CLOSE calls." But OK it has to be indisputable or the bad call stands? Our TD call was close but also accurate. So the close, accurate call gets overturned? WTF? Isn't there somewhere Hoke can go to appeal this? Don't get me wrong, I am more delighted than words can express, that we were good enough to beat OSU IN SPITE of the bad calls. But that was still the worst injustice I have seen since Charlie White/USC.

Anyway! Dennis hope you feel better each day.

surrounded in columbus said...

on the "Ohio"thing?

first, they play in "Ohio Stadium", not "Ohio STATE Stadium".

second, the drum & bugle corp they call a band performs script "Ohio", not script "Ohio STATE".

third, they go around chanting "O-H, I-O", not "O-H, I-O, S-T-A-T-E".

and if that's not enough, the lyrics for "Across the Field"?

Fight the team across the field,
Show them Ohio's here.
Set the earth reverberating
With a mighty cheer.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Hit them hard and see how they fall;
Never let that team get the ball.
Hail! Hail! The gang's all here,
So let's win that old conf'rence now!

Break Strain Lyrics:
Oh, Ohio! (Go Ohio, Go!)
Oh, Ohio! (Go Ohio, Go!)
Wahoo! Wahoo! for Ohio!

and the "Buckeye Battle Cry"?

In old Ohio (Columbus) there's a team
That's known throughout the land
Eleven warriors brave and bold
Whose fame will ever stand
And when the ball goes over,
Our cheers will reach the sky
Ohio Field will hear again
The Buckeye Battle Cry!

Drive, drive on down the field
Men of the Scarlet and Gray
Don't let them through that line
We've got to win this game today
Smash through to victory
We cheer you as you go
Our honor defend
So we'll (We will) fight to the end
for O-HI-O!

they don't even call themselves "Ohio State".

give it up, Ohio...


Dennis said...

I've grown to like it becauase it annoys those pretentious folks down in Athens. They hate being confused with Ohio State, so anything that muddies the waters and gets them wound up makes me happy.