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Thursday, August 31, 2006

This Just In...

Faithful and longtime reader Surrounded in Columbus tipped us off to a potentially interesting story concerning ESPN reporter, and former tOSU great, Chris Spielman having difficulties getting information from the U of M.

Yesterday on Columbus radio he was ranting about being treated unfairly by Michigan as a reporter. Apparently, he's either announcing or doing some of the pre-game at this Saturday's Vandy game for ESPN. He claims he called the sports info office in A2 and asked for the game films the teams had shared with each other and to schedule his attendance at the Friday walk thru practice.

But, Spielman says that he was given the run around and that he's still waiting to hear if he's going to be allowed to get the films and attend the walk thru. He's not sure if it's a clerical snafu, or if he's being excluded because of his tOSU ties.

Stay tuned.

Bucks Find New Use For An Old Jersey

Looking at the picture below, we're not sure if it's referring to the guy wearing it, or Clarett.

Big thanks to MZone reader Craig for the pic!

White College Guys Need to Stop Rapping

After seeing our Buckeye rappers, MZone reader CB sent us this. Spoof or not, I think I suffered irrervsible harm just watching it. And how did they talk the Longhorn girls into doing this?

UPDATE: Some folks at Hornfans.com have tracked down the "inspiration" for this: a scene from the 80s movie, TEEN WITCH. I think it may be even worse than the thing above. And that's saying a lot.

Chris Wells Action Figure

Ohio State freshman running-back-to-be Chris Wells has yet to even play a game for the Bucks but expectations for him in Columbus are high. How high? There is already an action figure of him being sold. Behold...

Our favorite part? No, not all the helmet stickers though he has zero carries. Look closely at the third picture (click for larger view) -- he's already sporting a Buckstache.

Uh oh.

You know, you'd think Buckeye fans would learn about putting so much pressure and such lofty expectations on a freshman running back. Last time they did that, it didn't work out so well for the running back.

As such, we here at the MZone are already hard at work on what the Chris Wells 2009 action figure might look like...

Lint roller in right hand may be replaced with hatchet. Escalade and automatic weapons not included.

Many thanks to Austin Dave for the tip!

UPDATE: Apparently, the Wells figurine is not for sale. He was handmade by a Buckeye fan and just goes on a shelf with the other 8,000 at the home of the 40 Year Old Virgin.

Unoriginal Hacks Steal from EDSBS

As you probably can guess, running a blog that strives to put up new material each day is a very time consuming endeavor. For Benny and I here at the MZone, what started as a side hobby has morphed into a nightly ritual.

But we love doing it. And it sure as hell ain't for the money. Neither of us is contemplating giving up our day jobs because we've sold a few t-shirts.

No, the satisfaction of creation and the response to that creation by you, the reader, is our reward.

And that "love of the game" philosphy regarding blogging goes for 99.9% of the other bloggers out there, a number of whom we've gotten to know and respect since starting the MZone last October.

That's why we're so pissed today. Because one of those sites we respect and admire is Every Day Should Be Saturday. And some unoriginal hacks not only stole one of their signature segments, they also started a website around the idea and didn't even change the name from the one EDSBS uses for it!

The segment in question is their regular bit called The Fulmer Cup in which they "award" points to a football program due to off the field transgressions by its players. The segment is named in "honor" of Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer, whose school is no stranger to said transgressions. Well, some ass clown went and started a website called, you guessed, FulmerCup.com!

We're not sure what, if anything, EDSBS plans to do about the situation but we here at the MZone just wanted to voice our support for Orson, Stranko and EDSBS. Because they, like so many others who blog for passion, work too hard to have their original content stolen.

In other unrelated news, just wanted to let our readers know that starting next week Benny and I have decided to change the name of the MZone. What started as a blog strictly about Michigan football has evolved into something that covers all of college football. Below is our new name and logo. Hope you like it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Texas Beats Michigan - Again

First it was the 2005 Rose Bowl. Now, Texas has topped Michigan again by breaking the Wolverines record for the most merchandising royalties in a single year.

Thanks to their national football title, the Longhorns led the nation with $8.2 million in royalties, knocking North Carolina from the top spot after a five-year run. The total also eclipsed Michigan's previous record revenue of $6.2 million set during the Fab Five's second trip to the Final Four in 1993-94 when the football team went 8-4 and won the Hall of Fame Bowl.

A Buckeye We Actually Like

Believe it or not, Benny and I have have always been big fans of former Tosu QB and ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit. I think he's the best college football analyst out there. Well, Herbstreit has released his Sixth Annual Herbie Awards. Of interest to Michigan fans:

--He names his top 5 RBs but Michale Hart is not among them.
--He lists Chad Henne as the 3rd best "old school" QB (classic dropback style).
--He lists Leon Hall as the 2nd best CB
--He names Michigan as one of the teams "Movin' Up"
--Regarding the upcoming season he states, "Following a 7-5 season and the ridicule that goes along with it, the Wolverines have too much pride not to come out swinging."
--He lists Brandon Miner as one of the top true freshman
--He claims Michigan has the 4th best student section (really?) and we're a bit puzzeled by his comments about it: "Based solely on outstanding organization (although it loses points for the smart-aleck factor). I do, however, admire its energy."
--Prettiest coeds are in the SEC (hey, hot girls are always of interest).
--For his "All Uniform Team" (Players who just look good in their uniforms he lists guard Rueben Riley
--Shockingly, at the top of his Top 10 Gameday locations, he puts Ohio State (probably because he's the only one that doesn't have shit thrown at him)

Two Minute Drill

* Buckeye fans "cleanse" themselves of the shame that is Mo' C in this video here.

(HT: Andy)

* Last week we put up a post about Miami receiver Ryan Moore being indefinitely suspended by 'Cane coach Larry Coker for "violating team policy."

Well, according to the just-released Coral Gables police report, apparently the "violation" was that Moore grabbed a woman by the throat, pushed her to the ground and threatened another woman.

Gee, so nice to see that abusing and threatening women is a "violation of team policy" at Miami. How big of them.

* Who's your daddy? Apparently in November for a yet-to-be born little boy, it will be former USC QB Matt Leinart and Trojan basketball player Brynn Cameron according to this story on Bruins Nation.

Yeah, yeah, we know. This is too easy. INSERT TROJAN JOKE HERE. Uh, wait, I think that is one.

* It ain't about spellin' and shit, it's about football! -- "All-America" is misspelled "All-Amercia" 5 times in a three-page span of the Ohio State media guide.

(HT: Austin Dave)

* Three former New Mexico State University players sued the school and head coach Hal Mumme saying they were dismissed from the team because they are Muslim.

MZone Caption Contest: Ben Olson Edition

Folks, we've had our share of fun with photos of USC players (yes, we're talking to you, Sanchez). Now we turn our attention to their crosstown rival, UCLA, and this pic of Bruin starting QB, Ben Olson...

Yes, somewhere out there even Mark Sanchez is saying, "Man, that's fucked up."

Leave us your best caption in the comments section. Here's what we came up with...

UCLA QB Ben Olson works on his out patterns. Tomorrow, he gets to work on putting more bran in his diet.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

O-Zone: Fair and Balanced

Of all the tOSU sites out there, the O-Zone has the most passionate following we've seen. The message boards truly capture the, uh, passion of the Buckeye fan. Get past the scUM references, and the LLLLLLoyd posts, and, occasionally there's something worth reading.

What's almost always worth your time are articles written by Tony Gerdman. He's been previewing the Big Ten, and his post on Michigan appeared yesterday. We've had our fun here accusing tOSU backers of being a little less than civilized. But Tony's article is well-written, complete and, most of all, balanced. He mentions Michigan's strengths that so many others have forgotten, and also points out some potential downfalls of the Wolverines. He even pulls three factoids from the Michigan Media Guide that we didn't know about:

1. 39,650,705 fans have watched the Wolverines over the years at Michigan Stadium.

2. Lloyd Carr is 15-6 against Top 10 opponents, with three of those losses coming in bowl games. (The other three losses are to Ohio State, though he is 4-3 against the Buckeyes when they’re ranked in the Top 10.)

3. The Wolverines are the most televised team in college football history with 356 appearances. (Go tell your Notre Dame friends, it will eat them up.)

So take a look at what the other side is saying about the 2006 Wolverines. And while you're over there, maybe drop a note in the forum about how you think "scUM" is going to kick tOSU's ass this year. I'm sure you won't be disappointed in the response.


Thanks to the Lexington Herald-Leader

Sunday, in his column about the upcoming college football season, Lexington Herald-Leader sports writer John Clay named yours truly as one of five "fun college football blogs."

As such, we just want to say thanks to John and everybody else at our new favorite newspaper in America.

Superman Replacing Superman

Yesterday, Colt McCoy was named the starting QB for the national champion Texas Longhorns. For those that might not remember, McCoy saved a man's life this past Memorial Day weekend by swimming 300 yards across a lake and racing up a steep, rocky incline to signal for help.

But such heroics might seem easy compared to what he must do this fall: replace Vince Young.

So now, after spending a summer acting like a real-life Superman, McCoy is faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of replacing a gridiron Superman...with the eyes of Texas, and all of college football, squarely upon him. If things don't go well, might we suggest McCoy assume the identity of his alter ego, Colt Kent, and get a job writing for the Daily Texan.

Two Minute Drill

Need more? Here you go...

* Nico over at RollBamaRoll put up this post about the ultimate tailgating machine

* With their history of off-the-field problems at Tennesse, MZone reader Mike sends us this link showing what the latest renovations to Neyland Stadium will look like.

The pic above is from donaldsensing.com and includes this hilarious "update" below it:

My referrer log tells me that I am getting a fair number of hits on this old post from sports blogs and forums. So here’s the latest intel about Yew Tee’s upcoming season. I’ve been told by a reliable souce that Phil Fulmer expects his team to go 8-4 this season. That’s eight convictions, four acquittals.

* Remember how we said we disliked former ESPN analyst Trev Alberts? Well, we never said he wasn't a football genius. He's picked his top 10 teams and the Wolverines are among them.

(HT: Austin Husker)

Game Week is Finally Here!

Hope you all fun Saturday doing all the unimportant stuff we all do before the season starts. You know, like fixing things around the house, weddings, spending time with your kids, crap like that.

Well, no more. Not for another 12 weeks at least. Hey, those exposed electrical wires can wait. A real friend wouldn't get married in the fall. And didn't you just spend all summer vacation with your kids? Sheesh.

We here at the MZone can't wait for kickoff either. As such, we have a host of new posts for your viewing pleasure today:

* The latest suspension at Miami leaves the team in a bind
* The Key Play Curse strikes Notre Dame
* What do Journey and Phil Collins have to do with college football in 2006?
* A collection of all the OSU stuff found and sent our way
* Either the coolest pong shot video ever or the reason today's college students are waaaaay behind the rest of the world academically

Finally, a big thanks to all those who bought t-shirts after reading our post last week about turning the Big House into the LOUD House. Mucho appreciated.

Miami Suspends Another Player, Canes Request to Play 8 on 8

University of Miami head coach Larry Coker has suspended another player, this time wide receiver Ryan Moore, bringing the number of Canes suspended for the team's opening game on September 4th against Florida State to 79.

As a result of the latest suspension, Coker has asked Seminole coach Bobby Bowden if he would agree to play the Miami/FSU game using small-town Eight-man football rules.

"I knew it might come to this at Miami if anybody ever started actually enforcing things around here," said a disappointed Coker. "Jimmy Johnson never did, or he might not have had eight."

Monday, August 28, 2006

God Smites Notre Dame for Key Play Cheer

If you're a regular reader of this site, you know of my utter disdain for the "key play" cheer used at Michigan Stadium. Last week, I wrote a lengthy post expressing said disdain.

Well, I was a bit surprised to learn via your comments and emails that that stupid "cheer" isn't unique to A2. Texas fans reported seeing it in Austin, ASU fans lamented its use in Tempe, Hokie fans said it reared its ugly head at Virginia Tech, etc., etc., etc.

But the most damning evidence against the "key play" cheer was left in the comments section by an anonymous reader. It's video from last year's ND/USC classic, shot in the Irish student section during the critical Trojan 4th down at the tail end of the game. No wonder ND lost. Look at all the damn keys!

Apparently God hates the key play cheer just a little bit more than he loves Notre Dame. Remember, there's a reason Touchdown Jesus doesn't look like this...

I Can't Stop Believing This

I just got through reading the Sporting News' college football issue and was despondent after reading a particular section. No, it wasn't after reading the article about them taking Notre Dame #1. Nor was it their exclusion of Michigan from the group of sleepers.

It was in the section that they did for each conference where they asked three players various questions like "First car you'd buy in the NFL," or "Playstation or Xbox." The most disturbing response was what two of the Big Ten players said when asked for their favorite musician or group. Most of the responses of the other players asked were not surprising, from Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce, to Kenny Chesney. But Iowa's Drew Tate, and Penn State's Dan Connor had me wondering where the kids of today are headed when they responded with Journey and Phil Collins, respectively. Tate can maybe be forgiven, as Journey did see a bit of a retro renaissance in 2005 with "Don't Stop Believing" appearing in South Park, Family Guy, and Laguna Beach, along with being the theme song for the World Series-winning Chicago White Sox.

But Phil Freakin' Collins? He wasn't even cool back when he was popular in the '80s. Connor should be embarrassed - this is a bigger pox on the Penn State program than Curtis Enis. And if that's not bad enough, when asked "One word to describe Paris Hilton," Connor responded with "Uh, classy?"

Sweet Jesus!

That's even scarier than Nebraska's Zac Taylor's response of "Awesome." Because I can think of a lot of words to describe Paris Hilton and "classy" isn't even in the top 50 7,000. Put it this way, to quote his beloved Phil Collins, a more apt descrition might be "Easy lover."


We found, and MZone readers have sent us (and by extension, you), a couple things we couldn't resist passing on regarding our neighbors to the south.

* First up, as much as I'd like to stop with the Maurice Clarett stuff, with all the reader material we're being sent (much of it from Buck fans), to quote Al Pacino in the crappy third GODFATHER movie, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." Thus, we give you this picture submitted by a couple MZone readers including Molly, Mark & Gino.

* I don't know why I bother to buy the preseason mags from Athlon, Sporting News or the other mainsteam publishers with Brian at MGoBlog around. Last week he put up an excellent look at the 2006 Bucks.

* Deadspin put up a story the other day about a Tosu open practice which drew something like 28,000 truck drivers Buck fans (including the woman pictured at the left).

* Continuing the Mo'C theme, Andy sent us this moving video retrospective of his football career. Gotta love that soundtrack!

* Men of the Scarlet and Gray don their Onion cap with this piece about President Bush sending guard troops to the border of Michigan to keep the state's top high school football talent from leaving.

* Finally, we share the touching story of a young high school football player in Ohio. While the date on this news story is from last season and we wouldn't normally pass on something that old, the details really caught our eye.

This is a tale about a young football player (shown here) trying to follow in a brother's footsteps and play football just like him at Tosu. At 5'9, 276 the youngster has the size but there is just one small thing that might hold her back: the younger sib is a girl. She's Holly Mangold, "little" sister of Buckeye center Nick Mangold.

As of last year when the linked story was written, she was on the JV squad for her suburban Dayton school. No word yet if she's made the varsity squad.


Off the Wall, Through The Window, Nothing But Net

This video clip brought back some good memories of college - never was more time wasted doing such silly things. Good times, good times.

HT: Buckeye John

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dirk Koetter Coaching Aid

ASU Coach Dirk "My Name Sounds Like an Action Star" Koetter has been catching a lot of heat lately. After naming senior Sam Keller the Sun Devil starting QB last week, he abruptly changed his mind less than 24 hours later and named sophomore Rudy Carpenter the team's #1 QB. But the switch came only after Arizona State seniors called a meeting with Koetter to express their opinion and lobby for Carpenter.

Keller then left the ASU squad and has already enrolled at Nebraska. As result of the QB controversy, some folks are questioning Koetter's leadership and who is actually in charge in Tempe.

Well, thanks to our investigative team here, the MZone has uncovered just how Coach Koetter came to his decision.

Friday, August 25, 2006

'Bama Engineering Degree

I'm horrified and yet impressed all at the same time.

And folks, we swear we didn't Photoshop this classic. It was sent in by reader TB who tells us the pix were taken recently by his little sister in a town called Scottsboro, AL.

Wow. We're still speechless.

Click here, here and here for larger images.

P.S. Note the Pi Kappa Phi sticker as well. They must be so proud.

Buckeyes #3 in latest poll

Looks like Alex Boone and the Buckeye fan in this video have some work to do if they hope for Columbus to reach the lofty #1 ranking of the Tosu football team.

In a ranking of America's Drunkest Cities, Ohio State's hometown is only #3 on the Forbes list, behind Milwaukee and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Ok, I can understand Milwaukee, home of Miller, but Minnie? That's really sad, guys. Step up. This is a blatant slap in the face to civic pride in C-bus. And as such, I expect to see nothing less than a full array of "Fuck Forbes" t-shirts the next time I'm in the area.

Thanks to reader DL2 for the tip!

The Onion Reveals Latest Big House Renovation

Saw this on The Onion. Funny stuff.

University of Michigan Expands Michigan Stadium to Seat Everyone in Michigan

Ironic thing about the new stadium shown above? Still the quietest stadium in the country.

Welcome to BoomerBear

MZone reader "The Bear" (a Baylor grad and Irish fan) and a friend (an OU alum) have started a new site called BoomerBear.

Just wanted to give them a shout out, say welcome to the blogosphere and, as we always say to folks who start this "hobby," kiss your free time good-bye.

Make the Big House LOUD!

The season is less than two weeks away. The polls are out. And on September 2nd when Michigan opens its 2006 campaign against Vandy in A2, the Wolverines will do so in front of one of the most incredible spectacles in all of sport: the quietest 100,000+ people known to man.

This is something that has bugged me ever since I started cheering for the Maize and Blue as a youngster. And it is my quest - nay, my life mission with this blog - to do do everything in my power to try to change that.

Less than a week after starting this site last October, I put up a long post about Michigan fans' love of jangling their f'ing keys during "key plays." That shit, when the stadium should be rocking, drives me crazy.

Back then, we only had a very small readership. But we have grown. More than we ever had hoped. So today, with kick-off just around the corner, I'm reprinting that article from last October below. I ask - nay, beseech - any and all Michigan fans reading today to please pass this on to five Wolverine fans who go to the games. Just five.

If you work in an office, instead of forwarding the latest lame golf joke sweeping the Internet, do your part to help Meeechigan. If you're a student, send this to five others and put this on your MySpace page and/or Facebook page. And if you're visiting from one of the many Michigan message boards, please put up a link on those sites.

Help make the Big House LOUD!

Go Blue!



October 12, 2005

I once met an Auburn fan at a sports bar where I had gone to watch the Michigan game not long after moving out of state. Talking college football, he mentioned that he always wanted to go to a game in Ann Arbor saying, "Must be crazy there, 100,000 fans in the stadium going nuts each weekend."

When I told him that actually, during big -- or "key" -- plays, Michigan fans whip out their key chains and "jangle" them, he thought I was joking. When I told him I wasn't, first he laughed, then he called one of his fellow SEC buddies over and said, "Tell him what you just told me."

After explaining Michigan's key play "tradition" once more, the other Auburn alum asked, "Does it ever get loud there?"

"Truth is," I said, "not really." I told him that about the only time you hear a Michigan fan in the alumni section scream is when he yells "Down in front!" at one of the few truly vocal Wolverine supporters in Michigan Stadium (I think I even said that chant should replace the more famous "Let's Go Blue!" cheer as it's probably uttered more during games).

The Tiger/War Eagle/Make Up Your Mind fans were shocked. And I almost felt embarrassed. Like I had just revealed some awkward family secret. But it's time to face reality:

Michigan fans are some of the worst fans in the country.

There, I said it. And I feel better having gotten it off my chest as this post/column/rant/soon-to-be-diatribe has been building in me since I first traveled to watch Michigan play on the road when I was 14 years old and saw for myself what a true home field advantage really is. Or more to the point, I HEARD what good fans "sound" like. And they don't sound like The Big (Quiet) House which is quite possibly the lamest home field advantage in all of college football.

Am I wrong? Was I exaggerating to the Tiger/War Eagle/Make Up Your Mind fans above? Take a look at the picture: Hands raised, keys out, mouths...shut! Wow. How intimidating. Must be so hard to audible when the car key clangs against the house key like that. Or maybe the reflection is supposed to blind the QB.

And the most pathetic part? If you're familiar with Michigan Stadium then you know that this picture was taken IN THE STUDENT SECTION!

Sweet Mother of Ufer! How sad. And that's the "rowdy" section of Michigan Stadium.

Unfortunately, those that attend Michigan games seem to confuse merely showing up at the games with being great fans. But I don't give a rat's cornhole that we've had over 100,000 at every home game since 1975. Playing at home should provide the home team with an advantage. And in football, the way to do that is to be LOUD! To keep the other team from being able to change plays at the line. To keep them from getting in a rhythm. To keep them from hearing the snap count. And not just for a handful of plays one or two games a year!

Now before someone out there even says it, before Mr. Down In Front even opens his mouth to utter The Big Excuse for The Big (Quiet) House, shut your pie hole and listen:


We've all heard that crap, right? "But the open bowl doesn't trap the sound."

Bullsh*t! I am so sick and tired of hearing that excuse.

Look at the picture again! It's not the shape of the stadium. It's the shape of the mouths of the fans in the stands: CLOSED!

I've traveled to away games at places like Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa and Oregon (half the size, twice the noise) -- as well as numerous bowl games -- and Michigan fans are by far the quietest fans around. Period.

Sure, we throw great tailgates. We buy lots of maize and blue paraphernalia. We pack the stadium each Saturday. But we don't give our team a home field advantage worth a damn!

So folks have to stop "blaming" the shape of the stadium. The problem is the fans. If you put 100,000 people on a flat, open field and they're all screaming, guess what? It's going to be loud -- that is if everyone opens their mouths and not their pockets and purses to pull out their &^%$ keys!

Bottom line, we need to turn The Big House into the most intimidating home field advantage in all of college football. A place that, due to the constant noise level, is the most difficult place to play for an opposing team -- from the first snap until the final gun. A place so thunderous that the Michigan student section keeps track of false start penalties and delay of game infractions caused by noise, like baseball fans who mark off strike outs using "K" signs hanging over the outfield wall.

So next time you see a guy take out his keys before a crucial play, tell him to put the damn keys away and GET LOUD.

Next time someone behind you yells "Down in front!" during the opponent's drive toward our endzone, tell him to turn that energy toward the field to help his team.

Next time a cheerleader holds up a "Key Play" sign on the field, throw her a Sharpie and tell her to write "MAKE NOISE!"

And most of all, you -- you reading this column/post/rant -- MAKE SOME NOISE next time you're in A2 for a game.

You know, I may not bring about world peace. Or cure a deadly disease. But if I can somehow spur Michigan fans to make The Big House into the biggest home field advantage in America, if I can help turn Michigan Stadium into the most intimidating place to play in college football, I will have accomplished a feat some say is tougher to achieve than the first two.

If you disagree with this column, post away. But for the love of Schembechler, if you agree with this in any way, shape or form, please pass this on to five or six Michigan fans. I figure if chain emails about Bill Gates giving away money can circle the globe every three months, we can reach 100,000 season ticket holders no sweat. Help turn The Big House into The Loud(est) House.

UPDATE: To get one of the high-quality MZone "Loud House" t-shirts inspired by the above post, click here.

"Loud Out" T-Shirts Now Available

After putting up the (lack of) crowd noise post above, Benny and I came up with the idea for the shirts below. If athletic officals want "Maize Outs" this year, fine. But at least make sure they're loud.

You can purchase any of the above at the MZone CafePress Store. All are conveniently priced at $19.97. Your choices are as follows...

First up is our "Anti-Key Play" t-shirt. On the back it says, "Put the damn keys away!". (UPDATE: We have added white t-shirts with this logo for fans of other schools who have the same situation at their stadium)

Next we have our "Down in front is not a cheer" shirts. On the back, for the blue hairs seated behind you it says, simply, "Make noise!" (UPDATE: Due to reader comments and emails, we have added the reverse of this shirt with "Down in front is not a cheer" on the back).

Finally, for your viewing pleasure we give you our "No, I won't sit down" tee. On the back, it says, "Up in back!" (UPDATE: As above, we have now added the reverse of this shirt with "No, I won't sit down" on the back).

If you have any other shirt suggestions, please let us know.

UPDATE: Thanks for the suggestions. We have updated accordingly.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cowboys Cut Henson, Tony Romo #2 QB

Former Michigan QB Drew Henson has been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Once the most sought-after QB in the land coming out of high school, Henson went from collegiate star to a guy who couldn't beat out a QB who sounds like he was named after a chain of rib joints. His long, slow steady decline began after he boned Michigan during spring practice in 2001, suddenly leaving the Wolverines without warning to sign with Steinbrenner's Yankees where he tanked at third base.

Apparently all those Drew Henson voodoo dolls Michigan fans have been using since then are still working.

The Buck in the Plastic Bubble

Turns out a suspect defense wasn't the only reason for Michigan's loss last season to arch-rival Ohio State. Apparently the Wolverine faithful can also blame a tent.

So says junior wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez who made the leaping 26 yard catch at the U-M 4 yard line in the last minute of play to set up the winning OSU touchdown.

The 21 year year old Buckeye claims he was fresher at the end of that game and was less tired over the course of the season partially because he has been sleeping, playing video games and writing emails on his laptop inside a hypoxic altitude simulaton training system for over a year.

So don't blame departed U-M defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann, blame the 6x6x8 foot tent Gonzalez places over his bed. The device sucks air from the chamber and removes oxygen so Gonzalez feels like he's at an altitude of 8,000 feet. With the oxygen reduced from 20.9% to 13%, the thin air is pumped back inside the tent which Gonzalez climbs in then zips shut.

The idea behind this is to increase the number of red blood cells via prolonged exposure to simulated altitude. That in turn improves the body's ability to carry oxygen which increases endurance and shortens recovery time.

Even though his parents and doctors thought he was full of shit were skeptical, last summer he ponied up $5K for the device. According to the article linked above, Gonzalez was told he was the first college football player to use the thing (gee, there's a shocker).

Gonzalez spends 10 to 12 hours a day in his little tent and this month even lugged it to the Columbus hotel were the Bucks are staying during preseason camp. Coach Tressel not only gave Michael Jackson Gonzalez permission, but the wide-out also scored a larger corner room so the thing would fit.

Hey, guess you can't blame Tressel if it helps beat Michigan. Although, how far has our program fallen when we're now losing to camping gear?

Ed. Note: Bonus points for any readers who got Benny's Dennis Miller-esque SEINFELD reference under the top picture.

Thanks to reader LM for the tip!

If it ain't praise, college football fans don't want to hear it

If I've learned one thing in the short amount of time we've been doing this little blog it's that, unless you lavish undue praise on another team when you bring them up, prepare to get pummeled. That's because college football fans only want to read positive things about their team if written by someone outside the family.

Recently, I put up a post stating my opinion that the Michigan-Notre Dame series needs a rest. As mentioned at the time, it wasn't anti-ND, it was pro-variety. I didn't disparage the Irish, I just felt (and feel) that the rivalry doesn't have the excitement it used to and would regain that if it wasn't played every year. Since we're not conference foes, why not take a break every couple of seasons and replace Notre Dame with a home-and-home with another top program?

Well, you would have thought I called Joe Montana a pussy and questioned the sexuality of the Four Horsemen. While comments here were generally not too bad, a quick check of the ND sites that were linking to us revealed a strong sentiment that the post was really some deep seated frustration at Michigan's recent record against the Irish or an attempt to dodge a tough opponent like ND and replace them with some 1-AA jellyfish (actually, if we were beating the Irish each year, that would be even more reason to swap that game for another).

Granted, most of that irate reaction probably came from those who read Bo's statement on the subject that I linked to. Bo said Michigan should drop the Irish adding something along the lines of ND needing Michigan more than we need them. But as more than one person commented, ND doesn't need Michigan or any other school for that matter (and vice versa). I'm not sure what prompted Bo to voice his opinion in such harsh terms but my point was simply a break to schedule another great school.

But not in the eyes of those how live and breath ND. No, to them, this was some personal assault on the Irish Nation.

And such anger at perceived online slights isn't limited to Irish fans. It seems to be a phenomenon found across the college football blogosphere.

When we put up our initial post about Auburn's love of multiple mascots, while the vast majority of War...Tig-eag-er fans were able to laugh at what, if you read again, is a good natured and not mean-spirited joke, some fans responded here (but usually on the ol' team message boards out there) with venom.

And heck, it's not a secret I have a lot of respect for Texas and their fans here. I enjoy one of their fan sites, Hornfans.com, and those fans have given us a lot of love. But in the comments section under the our most recent caption contest, thinking the picture might be about Texas instead of Tennessee, one anonymous Longhorn fan had this to say:

so is that supposed to be a Texas jacket? because that's a Tennessee logo..

if it is supposed to be a Texas logo, then thanks for posting on Hornfans, where most have enjoyed your opinion.. cuz I doubt you'd be welcome now after this.


Even if it was "anti-Texas," would that really have been that big a deal? I've probably written dozens of pro-Texas posts on this site, if I were to put up one joke at UT's expense, should I really be banished into cyber-Siberia as a result? I would hope not.

But, alas, thin skin is the nature of the college football blogosphere. I admit that I'm often guilty of it myself. Although, if you're a regular reader here, you know that we poke fun at our own Wolverines more than anybody outside of the Buckstache-having cretins our dear friends in Columbus. Then again, at 7-5 last year, what choice do we have?

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now. And I promise we'll be back to semi-clothed co-eds before you know it. Nobody ever complains about them (ok, except for the Vandy Thetas).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Buckeye Highlight Reel

In honor of Tosu's preseason #1 pick in the three major polls (hell yes, we're including the Blogpoll), frequent MZone reader contributor Andy has put together this Buckeye highlight reel.


Yes, I know we're opening ourselves up to a beating here from Buck fans who note the, uh, "lack" of highlights in the above the last five years. But the video was too good not to post.

Maurice Clarett's Helmet

On the left is a picture of Maurice Clarett during his (short) playing career at Tosu. If you look at his helmet, you'll notice all the stickers.

Now we, like many of you other non-Buck fans out there, have always wondered just what the hell those are. Thankfully, MZone sources have sent us a close-up of Mo' C's helmet.


A big hat tip to MZone reader SiC for sending us the pic.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And we thought Ted Ginn was fast

32 oz in 5 seconds...which is the Tosu fan equivalent of a 4.3 40.

Thanks to MZone reader Andy for the tip!

MZone Two Minute Drill

Need more stuff to help you blow off work/school/your court appearance? Check out some of the other things we found across the web or were sent to us by MZone readers...

* Remember the two Kenton, Ohio, HS football players who had their juvie jail sentences deferred until after the upcoming season? Well, Columbus station 1460 AM snared an interveiw with their head coach, Mike Mauck, which you can listen to here. Unreal. No real remorse for the two injured kids, instead he basically just says the judge ruled and that's it.

(HT: AR)

* With the craziness that is now Maurice Clarett's life, you know a Movie of the Week is just around the corner. Well, the guys over at the Men of Scarlet and Gray share their casting suggestions for Maurice: Third Down and Life to Go. Funny stuff.

Ed. Note: We notice Men of Scarlet and Gray refer to Mo'C on their site as HWSNBN for He Who Shall Not Be Named. Seeing that, Benny suggested Tosu should refer to their 2002 National Title as TTWSNBM (The Title Which Shall Not Be Mentioned) since they wouldn't have won it without HWSNBN. Just a thought.

* Speaking of National Titles, Texas has won another...as the country's top party school according to the Princeton Review. Talk about rubbing it in - best football team in the land, beautiful co-eds and now this? Ok, we're officially jealous, Austin.

MZone Caption Contest

Yes, it's that time again. Give us your best in the comments section. Here's what we came up with for this Rocky Top dandy...
You can't spell outdoor shitter without UT
Thanks to MZone reader Scott for the pic.

Monday, August 21, 2006

First Blogpoll Roundtable

As a member of MGoBlog's Blogpoll, a weekly ranking of college football teams culled from a number of college football-related blogs across the Internet, there is also a periodic roundtable in which other members of the poll discuss and answer questions posed by one of the voting sites. Kicking off the 2006 season comes the following questions from Notre Dame blog, The House That Rock Built.

1. What's the biggest ripoff in this preseason poll? Either pick a team that's offensively over or underrated, or you can rag on a particular voter's bad pick (hey, we're all adults here, we can handle it).

Benny and I are both in agreement here when we say West Virginia. Yes, we know, we know they beat Georgia last season but it seems they're ranked as high as they are in most polls (the AP has them at #5) not because they're that good of a team but because their schedule, to be blunt, is weak. Very weak.

Since there is no playoff, a team's schedule must carry a lot of weight or there is no point in playing tough out-of-conference games. Why should Texas or Ohio State risk that early loss if neither would be punished and get the same ranking for playing, say, Louisiana Tech?

But I will give fellow Blogpoll members credit - nobody voted WVU #1 while six (oblviously drunk) AP voters did.

2. What should a preseason poll measure? Specifically, should it be a predictor of end-of-season standing (meaning that a team's schedule should be taken into account when determining a ranking), or should it merely be a barometer of talent/hype/expectations?

How can you measure something that isn't? Impossible? Well, that's "exactly" what a pre-season poll does. No games have been played and each team's roster is different than last season so it's sort of like "measuring" beauty in a talent pageant at this stage.

My feeling is pre-season polls serve not to "measure" anything but are fantastic tools to provide hype for the upcoming season. A point of debate that has us all taking (as we are today) about the sport a month or two before the first kickoff. The only problem with that, as Benny points out, is that these "tools" have a bearing on the National Title.

As such, while the preseason Blogpoll and other fan or mag polls should always be around for the "excitement" part, I believe that any polls used to determine the BCS outcome shouldn't have their first vote until three games in, enough time for any pre-season bias to be erased (yes, even though such a move would hurt perennial poll darlings like Michigan).

3. What is your biggest stretch in your preseason ballot? That is to say, which team has the best chance of making you look like an idiot for overrating them?

Obviously for us it's our #1 pick, FSU. But we freely admit that was an educated guess in this year when no team looks dominant. We didn't snub OSU for the top pick because we're Michigan fans, we didn't pick them #1 because they have only two starters back on defense. Notre Dame? Their schedule is brutal and, no offense, but their biggest "win" last season was a close loss to USC. They beat nobody (Michigan included). They are getting their pre-season hype on name value (as U-M often does). We expect to be a good team, we just don't see them as the best.

So, we picked FSU because it seemed just as logical (or illogical) as any other pick. Having said that, I think we might look mighty stupid about this pick by the end of the year (or after the first weekend).

4. What do you see as the biggest flaw in the polling system (both wire service and blogpolling)? Is polling an integral part of the great game of college football, or is it an outdated system that needs to be replaced? If you say the latter, enlighten us with your new plan.

Benny's big polling problem is that it actually affects who plays for the National Championship. My biggest problem (which is unavoidable) is that folks voting only see a small, small percentage of the teams they're voting on actually play. Hell, even in the beauty pageant mentioned above, the judges at least see all the contestants. No so in college football polls.

Having said all that, I do think they are an important and even fun part of the game. I just think, as mentioned, the polls used for BCS shouldn't start until later.

5. You're Scott Bakula, and you have the opportunity to "Quantum Leap" back in time and change any single moment in your team's history. It can be a play on the field, a hiring decision, or your school's founders deciding to build the campus in Northern Indiana, of all godforsaken places. What do you do?

Benny's "do over" would be the 2001 M-OSU game. It was Tressel's first game. If we win, we go to the Rose Bowl. The Buck's were struggling and we were playing at home. Benny feels if Michigan wins that game, the Bucks, and Tressel, don't ascend to their current heights.

My Ghost of Michigan Past is also from 2001, but from the spring. When Drew Henson left. If I could go back, I would tell Drew about how poorly things would work out for him by choosing baseball over his senior year at Michigan. But, he left and John Navarre was forced into the starting role before he was ready.

I firmly believe that if Henson stays, we beat Washington in September and Ohio State in November and many of the "Fire Lloyd" and other maize and "boo" birds aren't as loud today.

Drew Sharp: It Has Begun

On August 9th I put up a post about Detroit Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp, a guy who, as long as I can remember, has never written a kind word about Michigan football or Lloyd Carr. In that post I said, "So, with the Michigan season kicking off in just over three weeks, we can expect Drew Sharp's bile kickoff to start any day as well. As such, today begins Drew Sharp Watch 2006 here at the MZone. From his first column to his last, we'll keep track of how long it takes for him to write a positive piece about the Wolverines. "

Well, looks like Sharp aims to keep his "perfect" record in tact this fall.

Sunday, the Freep published his first column about Michigan and the 2006 season and, as expected, it's more of the usual anti-Michigan blather. If you're an out of state Michigan fan and enjoy writing on par with an 8th grader's MySpace page, check it out. Notice the digs at every opportunity, even when he has to make information up in order to do so. For instance, referring to Michigan's mid-teens ranking in the two major pre-season polls, Sharp "writes":

"The Fraternal Order of Michigan Football Apologists is happily delusional these days, downright giddy that the proper cosmic forces are in place to revisit history this season.

They're thinking 2006 has a great chance of becoming 1997, when the Wolverines began the season residing within the middle of the nationally ranked and finished with a share of the national championship."
Really? Gee, I must have missed all that "giddy" talk from the maize and blue faithful leading up to this season. In fact, I think one would be hard-pressed to find any Michigan fan outside of a drunk message board poster who seriously believes Michigan has a "great chance" to contend for the National Title this year. Not with our schedule. Not after the defensive meltdowns of last year.

No, I think this was some made-up "fact" so Sharp could work in his witty, side-splitting "Fraternal Order of Michigan Football Apologists" line.

Look, as I said in my post on the 9th (and I'll say again), nobody, myself included, thinks Sharp should be pro-Michigan every article (or even most) just because he writes for one of the hometown papers. But this clown "writes" like he has a personal score to settle against the Wolverines. And 2006 is already shaping up to be no different. Thus...


Articles about Michigan football and/or Lloyd Carr - 1

Negative - 1
Positive - 0

Texas Tech Doll

Last week, Scott over at Dallas Sports Powerhouse sent an email with an audio clip for the "Texas Tech Doll." Said the guys at DSP wanted to keep their site somewhat serious so naturally he thought of us and our low standards.

But, alas, I couldn't get the MP3 up (and Benny, our resident computer guru wasn't available that night choosing instead to have a life instead of blogging). In the meantime, Scott's cohorts realized that serious and standards are highly overrated in the blogosphere and put the piece up as a YouTube clip.

Well, that even I know how to do. Thus, we pass it on...

Another Michigan preview

MZone reader Nicole sends us this look at the 2006 Wolverines courtesy of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Always interesting to see what folks outside Detroit area have to say about the team.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Maurice Clarett Story Gets Even Crazier

ESPN is reporting that after leaving Ohio State, tailback-turned-thug Maurice Clarett was being bankrolled by an alleged member of an Israeli crime organization. The alleged mob enforcer gave Clarett cash, a BMW, bodyguards, drivers and beachfront lodging in Malibu, with the understanding that he would be reimbursed and receive 60 percent of Clarett's rookie contract. But when Clarett busted out of the NFL and couldn't repay his "debt," the alleged mobster cut him off and Clarett moved back to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.

As such, Clarett's attorney claims his client was in possession of the firearms last week in order to protect himself from "mob activity. "

While this explains the four guns, the hatchet and the bulletproof vest found in Clarett's car at the time of his arrest, it still doesn't explain the lint roller.

Ok, we admit it. We're just happy to get to use this picture again.

Buckeye Rappers: The Follow Up

A couple people seemed to think that the Buckeye rapper video we put up recently was a joke or, even worse, a diabolical plan by Wolverines trying to humilate Tosu nation.

Guess again.

Those guys are real. They call themselves the Sleepy Rappers and go by the names MC Snorz (shown here) and DJ Snooz (yes, really). In fact, here is their website.

Yost. Out.

P.S. In the comments section of our original link to their video, we got a comment from someone we're pretty sure is one of the SRs (we're not sure if it's Mr. Snorz or Mr. Snooz). Now, he could have lashed out at us for seemingly making fun of them (we were). But he didn't and for that, we give him mad crazy props fo' shizzle Tressizzle (or whatever the kids are saying these days in C-bus).

Friday, August 18, 2006

We Spoke Too Soon

Earlier this week we posted about former hotshot Miami recruit Willie Williams transferring to Pearl River Community College in Mississippi. Then there was this report yesterday that said that PRCC wasn't going to accept Williams. Yes, this could be the first time on record that a community college has rejected a prospective student.

Despite his 11 arrests, and his utter failure at Miami, it's almost difficult not to feel a tad bit sorry for Williams. After all, his recent path is shown below.

Friday Wrap Up

Here are a couple quick hitters to tide you over until Monday.

* Earlier this week, we put up a post about UCLA walk-on Andrew Baumgartner whose scholarship was pulled out from under him by Karl Dorrell to make way for other recruits. For the home town take on the incident, check out Nestor's post over at Bruins Nation.

* Remember the good ol' days when Michigan would do this really crazy, weird thing and run the ball effectively while also beating its arch rivals? Neither do we. But to help jog all our memories, MZone reader Andy has put together this video from Bo's last game against the Bucks in '89. During the 2nd quarter, Michigan grabbed the game and never let go with a pounding 13 play 81 yard drive in which we never threw the ball once. Ah, memories.

He goes on to state that, "given our current stock of quality running backs (Michael Hart, Kevin Grady, Jerome Jackson, and incoming freshman Carlos Brown) there is no reason we should not establish a good ground game each and every game."

We can only hope, Andy. We can only hope.

* Matt emailed from Alaska to his site, The College Football Index, had decided to "screw preseason polls, let's check out chicks." Being the home of the Blog Co-ed Showdown, we were initially all in favor. However, upon further review, we discovered it was a clean but very, very, very in-depth analysis of the Miss Teen USA Pageant. Apparently there is a lot of time to kill in the only state without a college football team.


* In the comments section of our post yesterday about the two Ohio high school football players who are being allowed to finish their senior football seasons this fall before serving their 60 days in juvenile detention for a prank that left two men seriously injured in a car crash, one of our readers said he heard that the driver of the vehicle that crashed was under the influence of marijuana and driving at a high rate of speed. The implication was such knowledge would and/or should color thoughts about the suspended sentence of the two football players.

However, neither of those facts was in the two articles we had seen about the story. But, MZone reader CrimeNotes was able to find something from the July Lima News with that information and the efforts by the prosecution to keep it out of the court testimony and defense attempts to keep it in.

Too Funny Not to Post

Somehow, someway the U.S. government has "misplaced" the original recording of the first moon landing, including Neil Armstrong's famous "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." And it's not like they lost his stuff yesterday -- NASA has been searching its vaults for over a year!

We here at the MZone have just one question about all this:

How the fuck do you lose the moon tapes?!

Good God! I keep better track of the video I shot at the '95 Virginia game! And they've lost the original record of man first setting foot on the moon?! Nice going.

"Football Justice" served in Ohio

A judge in Ohio is allowing two teenagers who pulled a prank that left one man physically disabled and his friend brain-damaged to serve their 60 day sentences in juvenile detention after they finish the upcoming high school football season.

Judge Gary F. McKinley (shown here) told those in his standing-room-only courtroom that he knows allowing the standout out Kenton High School athletes to play sports before serving their sentences will be unpopular saying, "I’m cutting you somewhat of a break here, and the court will get criticized for this." Admitting he waffled on his decision, the judge added, "I shouldn't even be doing this."

Gee, you think? Allow me to start the criticism by saying what complete and utter crap! This is so wrong I don't even know where to begin.

Last November, the two football players and three others (who are awaiting trial) stole a decoy deer, painted obscenities on it then placed it in the middle of a darkened rural road to see what would happen when drivers approached.

When Robert Roby, Jr., who was 18 at the time, swerved to miss the decoy, his car rolled and he crashed into a pole and fence. He broke his neck, collar bone, arm and leg. His mother said he's facing his 11th surgery.

The passenger in his car, Dustin Zachariah, sustained brain damage. According to his mother, he now has the cognitive ability of a 6th grader.

Medical bills for the two have reached $700,000 and are expected to top $1 million.

In the courtroom Tuesday, as soon as it became obvious the two football players would be getting special treatment from the judge, relatives of the injured teens began to sob.

Even more suprising to me was the fact that one of the guilty football players had two previous juevenile court convictions. So it wasn't like the first time he was in trouble with the law. What a great example to teach these two kids -- if you're good at football, the normal rules of society don't apply to you. I wonder if the sentence would have been as lenient if the kids were on the swim team?

Not surprising, the Kenton schools Superintendent, Doug Roberts, said he supports the judge's decision. "Being a small school and a small community, we look at these things as a small family, and when your family has problems, you try to help them, rather than turn your back on them," he said.

Riiiight. That and the fact that Kenton hasn't won a state title since 2002.

Thanks to MZone reader E.Mac for the tip.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

First Blogpoll Ballot

Brian over at MGoBlog, besides running one of the best sites out there, somehow has enough time to also run the Blogpoll, a weekly Top 25 culled from a cross section of college football blogs on the Internet.

After much internal disagreement, we submitted our first ballot which was as follows.

1Florida State 25
2Texas 24
3Auburn 23
4Ohio State 22
5Louisiana State 21
6Southern Cal 20
7Notre Dame 19
8Florida 18
9West Virginia 17
10Louisville 16
11Oregon 15
12Virginia Tech 14
13Miami (Florida) 13
14Iowa 12
15Michigan 11
16Oklahoma 10
17Arizona State 9
18Texas Tech 8
19Clemson 7
20Alabama 6
21Cal 5
22Georgia 4
23Penn State 3
24Tennessee 2
25Colorado 1

Dropped Out:

Feel free to chime in as we know that trying to make such predictions in August is akin to picking Lotto numbers.