Monday, November 24, 2014

Michigan Monday: Now What?

It hard to find words to explain this season.   The best thing I can say is:  it's almost over.   A week from today, we will hopefully have step 2 complete towards a new program.

Saturday was another example of "how to beat yourself".   Remember when Michigan used to do that against good teams?  This program has dropped so low, we are now doing it against bad teams.   .  

People talk about upsetting OSU, stranger things have happened, but I wouldn't bet on it.   This is a beaten team, a team that can't take another punch.   When "Fleet" returned that punt that was called back, the game was over.   This team is tired of taking punches and went to a knee.  I wouldn't be surprised if this locker room wasn't that interested in playing another bowl game. 

So now what?

Option 1:  Is what I expect to happen.   Michigan gets beat in CBus this weekend.   Hoke resigns/gets fired on Monday.   There are some folks that believe a "separation agreement" might already be in place.   You could tell by looking at Hoke on Saturday, this was his last game in the Big House.

Option 2:  Michigan elects to "Earl Bruce" Hoke and fires him today.   This basically is a motivational tactic as the team gets to travel to CBUS for one last game for coach.    I doubt this will happen, unless Hoke wants to announce he has resigned at the end of the season. 

This nightmare will be over a week from today.   Then another type of season will start: hunting season for a new head coach.

I sure hope Jim Hackett has spent the last month paving the road to the next Michigan coach and not trying to find paperclips.   Please have had contact with Jimmy's agent and not a big box of paperclips on your desk. 

A week away............................

Side note:  How distracted are the Michigan coaches going to be this week?  Are they thinking about moving? changing kids schools, who might be interested in hiring them?   It's only human nature.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Michigan "Hokes" Another Dumb Loss

When your a bad team, it's important you don't beat yourself or what I like to call,  "Hoke yourself".  

Michigan played a poor one dimensional team that looked a lot like the Wolverines.   The play of the game was a plenty by a walk-on that brought back a Norfleet punt return for a touchdown.    That TD would of put Michigan up by 2 touchdowns, instead it took the wind out of the Wolverines sail.  

Mental mistakes cost them the game and a clear microcosm of this terrible season.   This pretty much seals the fate for Brady Hoke to the unemployment line and means Michigan will not be attending a bowl this year.   (they have to upset OSU to get to 6 wins)

Devin Gardner, congratulations on leaving Michigan with your undergrad and masters degree.  You are a classy individual and I wish you luck in you next step.

Jake Ryan, I have enjoyed every snap you played. 

Cheers:

  • Sometimes when you lose - you win long term.   I hope this is an example of that happening.
  • Joe Kerridge had an excellent day
  • Michigan moved the ball well on the ground
  • RB's ran hard
Jeers:

  • I thought Coach Nuss called a terrible game.   It's embarrassing to lose a game like this after running the ball so well.
  • Sometimes the offense line looked like they forgot to block
  • Michigan continues to have zero passing game
  • More Drops. Really?
  • Michigan's DB's played very poorly all day
  • Michigan got out coached again
  • Two penalties took 7 off the board for Michigan and gave Maryland 7
  • Specials team went from great to terrible with two penalties and a missed field goal

I know this is not a breaking news, but this team is terrible.   It lost to both Rutgers and Maryland this year.   Hoke needs to do a Will Muschamp and resign effective a week from Monday.    There is no way he saves his job now.   Even if there is some type of miracle in CBus, Hoke has to go.

What a way for the seniors to go out.   Just plan embarrassing.

This team is in need of a complete overhaul.   What a disaster this season has been.   Thank goodness there is only a week left.   Next week will be hard to watch.

BTW: Mike Weber has de-committed.  No surprise there.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Michigan Friday: Where is The Fresh? & Maryland Preview

Michigan guard Zak Irvin (21) reacts after a basket
Tony Ding / Associated Press
Michigan played a close game against Detroit last night as Juwan Howard Jr. was channeling his famous daddy on the floor that made him famous.   The first half was pretty bad for both teams.  Michigan struggled shooting jumpers and Detroit played well enough to have a one point lead at half time.  

The second half started similar to the first and then Caris started to take over.   He finished with 21 points and 17 of those coming in the second half.   Detroit went on a mini-run slapped the floor and got beat by 9 points.   Big Nookie Jr. finished with 24 points and was pretty much the entire offense for the Titans all night. 

These types of games will happen with young teams and Michigan didn't start playing well until they put in Spike and Bielfeldt.   Michigan has a big problem with their bigs.   The freshman are confused on both sides of the floor and not playing well.  They were in an out of the game in a few minute spurts.   They would come in give up a basket, foul and right to the bench for the rest of the half.   I see freshman playing well all over the country and Michigan's freshman are going to need to pick up their game if this team is going to have success.   The lineup with Spike and Max is just too small if Michigan isn't shooting well from three.

I know there is a log jam at his position, but I think we need to see more from Dawkins.  The kid can shoot!
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Maryland Preview

Time: 3:30
Location: Big House
TV: BTN
Weather: High 40, With freezing rain
Line: Michigan -3


Maryland is bowl eligible, Michigan isn't.   Many didn't expect that to be the case when these two teams meet for the first time as Big Ten opponents.  Maryland made a trip to the Big House in 1990 when Michigan was good and got blown out 45-17.  Maryland is coming off a night game at home whipping from MSU 37-15, Michigan knows how that feels.  

This is senior night and the last game for the likes of Jake Ryan and Devin Gardner who will play their last game in the Big House.   These guys should be applauded for their dedication to the program and their hard work they have put in 24x7 to make this team better.  

Maryland is 114th in running the football, so don't expect too many runs against Michigan's strong running defense.  They are 67th in passing, so expect them to throw the ball a little bit.   Michigan's DB's will be getting a ton of work but will not have to worry about one of the Big Ten's top WR's in Stefon Diggs who is out with an injury.    With the expected poor weather, throwing the ball might be an issue for both teams.  

Michigan proved at Northwestern they have a hard time executing a passing attack.   If Michigan can get their RB's going and carry the load all day, it will be a good day for the Wolverines.   If Gardner is healthy I would like to see more scrambles and even a couple called runs.   Like always, Gardner's play is the wild card, if he completes his short throws for first downs and the team can run the ball.  Michigan will win.   If Michigan can't run and DG throws picks, it will be a long day for the Wolverines.  

I think Michigan will play hard to earn a bowl game and send the seniors out with their last home win.   Points will be low due to the weather and a couple bad teams. 

Michigan 17 Maryland 13

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Michigan Thursday: Hits The Links

Sorry all, I don't have much content today.  So I will share some links for your reading pleasure.

  • One of the Big Ten's best WR Stefon Diggs will not play on Saturday at the Big House.


  • Hoke's Wednesday Press Conference. The most interesting thing that came out of it was that Hoke turned down offering Jake Ryan a scholarship at SDSU.   I think he thought that was funny, I'm more in line with him not recognizing talent. 

  • Saturday's weather is calling for a high of 40 degrees rain and ice. 

  • Reportedly there are 3,000 tickets left for Saturday's game.   Rain, Ice and a 3:30 kick probably won't help attendance. 

  • The Michigan Basketball Team plays Detroit tonight at Crisler.  6:00 BTN

  • Horford is playing well for Florida.   I will never understand that move.

  • Alan Branch's football journey by ESPN.  He is playing well for the Patriots right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wolverine Wednesday: Forget The Playoff 4, We Have the Quick Lane 4

I know year one of the playoffs is exciting for the teams in the top 5 in the nation.   As Michigan fans we are not that interested in playoffs this year, we are more interested in going to a bowl game and staying out of the Quick Lane Bowl.

Your first question might be:  What is the Quick Lane Bowl?  It's formerly the Pizza Pizza Bowl that is held at Ford Field. 

You might recognize a player on their current advertising:




Quick Lane is the Big Ten's lowest bowl on their line-up.   Many believe that Michigan at 6-6 would be a perfect fit, because they are a quick drive to Detroit.   I don't know about you, but I'm not in the camp and would consider this bowl game as the lowest of lows for the program.  

So I bring you the Quick Lane 4 (Big Ten Teams only):

1. Northwestern:  They are 4-6 and have games remaining over Purdue and Illinois.   If they win out they will be 6-6 and have a win over ND on their resume.   Short plane trip or you can take the train from Chicago to A2.

2.  Michigan:  5-5, Has Maryland at home and #6 ranked OSU in CBus.  There is probably one winnable game left on their scheudle.    Many think the short drive to MoTown would make this a good bowl for the Wolverines.   Michigan is known to travel well and I expect they might be in a bowl game in Texas or California.

3. Penn State: 6-4 with games at Illinois and home against #11 MSU.  They will probably finish at 7-5 or maybe 6-6 as they don't play very well on the road.  

4. Rutgers is 6-4 but has MSU and at Maryland still on their schedule.  6-6 is looking very possible.  I believe they have played in this bowl before.

5.Illinois is 4-6 and is (Northwestern and PSU) not expected to make a bowl.

--------------------------------------

There continues to be plenty of "smoke" around the Harbaugh to Michigan.   This article from Sam Webb is another example.  

Here are the things I believe:

  • Even though the Frank Clark situation was handled correctly by Brady Hoke, continued negative media attention does not help his cause.

  • Jim Hackett will handle an appropriate separation with Brady Hoke after the OSU game. If they beat Maryland, I expect he would coach the Bowl game.

  • Jim Hackett will also be in role to hire the new head coach and new AD

  • I now believe everyone understands it's Harbaugh or bust.  If this is going to work, plans will have to be made way ahead of announcing he is coming.  For example, there are rumors that Jimmy is putting out feelers on his staff at Michigan.   I think those rumors are probably not accurate but just a sign there is plenty of "smoke" out there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Michigan Tuesday: Michigan Gets Max Effort Last Night

Michigan forward Max Bielfeldt shoots over Bucknell
 Robin Buckson / Detroit News
Michigan Basketball sure is fun to watch.  It's fun to see players like Walton and Irvin develop from last year and its fun to watch the freshmen work themselves into the lineup.  You can also see the upside for LeVert is very high.  Last night, a senior jumped out and made a huge difference in the game.   You might wonder, how many seniors does this team has?  The answer is one and his name is Max Bielfeldt.   Max went for 18 points last night and hit all of his 3 pointers.   It was a career night for Max and he played well on both sides of the ball. 

Walton added 15 and Irvin added 23 points on the night.   Both guys look comfortable and have made big strides in their game.   Caris had a off night scoring but is very comfortable with the ball in his hands and even running the point at times.   The true freshman looked it last night as they struggled on the floor.  Kam Chatman started but is having a hard time finding his role with that group, DJ Wilson is only getting a few minutes and looks a bit confused, MAAR seems to the 3rd option at point, and Dawkins only got a couple minutes of playing time.    Ricky Dole seems like the only freshman with a identified role, which is rebound, use your fouls and get some put backs.  

Michigan right now has 11 guys that are going to get minutes, expect that to go way down as the season progresses.   If Michigan can get quality minutes from Max this year (who had hip surgery this spring) in getting boards, playing defensive and extending the floor on offense that is a huge plus.   Congrats Max on your night!


  • ESPN Brett McMurphy reported that Mullen and RR are not on the list of candidates at Florida.  I guess the "bad blood" between Mullen and Foley the AD is accurate.   It also seems Foley is smart enough not to hire RR.   My guess is he is going to go after Big Game Bob Stoops.

  • Hackett sent out this email to alumni, donors and friends of the program.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Frank Clark Dismissed From The Program

The quick and correct decision:

Statement from Brady Hoke:

“Frank Clark has been dismissed for violating team rules from the Michigan football program. This is a tragic situation. Our student-athletes will be held accountable when their actions fail to meet the standard we have at Michigan. There is a legal process that will occur and we respect that process.”