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Friday, October 31, 2014

THE LEGACY OF KING chUMp DAVID BRANDON

"I suggest you find another team." - David Brandon

The King is dead, but he will never be forgotten. DAVID BRANDON has sold his last ticket, and is finished as Athletic Director at the University of Michigan.

We are so sorry to see him go. But we appreciate all of the things he did for UM, and indeed, for MSU. He will surely be missed.

In honor of the Great Weasel King, we offer you a look back at the best stories that David Brandon has brought to all of us in recent years. Enjoy!




October 30, 2014

October 27, 2014

October 20, 2014

October 19, 2014

October 1, 2014

February 8, 2014

February 4, 2014

January 22, 2014

January 19, 2014

January 15, 2014

January 7, 2014

November 11, 2013

September 30, 2013

April 28, 2013





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DAVID BRANDON, A TRUE "MICHIGAN MAN"

So sorry to see David Brandon leaving the University of Michigan. He made such a strong impact on so many people. He really knew how to rake in the cash. And most importantly, he is a "Michigan Man".

The glory days of UM are fading fast, as it is unclear if the non-Michigan-Man President Schlissel can find another "Michigan Man" to replace Brandon. Football Coach Brady Hoke may be the last remaining disciple of Bo Shembechler in the UM Athletic Department. (Many would point out that Hoke never played for Coach Glenn, nor did he attend the University of Michigan. But that's the same as it was for "Saint Bo", and he was the King of all "Michigan Men".)

Most of the coaches at Michigan are not "Michigan Men", so it's important to keep Brady Hoke on staff to carry the torch that leads the way. Perhaps Schlissel heard that Brandon was trying to fire Hoke, and that's why Brandon was shown the door.

In any case, a sad day for Michigan, as another "Michigan Man" bites the dust.




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Thursday, October 30, 2014

BRANDON ADDS EMAILS TO SALES PACKAGES

David Brandon knows a good opportunity when he sees one. And the fiery Athletic Director at the University of Michigan says he has struck gold again. Or at least some sort of maize-colored mineral.

Brandon announced today that his controversial email messages sent to supporters of UM football will be offered as incentives for the ground-breaking sponsorship initiatives he rolled out this month. All new sponsor packages will include framed copies of his most notorious email put-downs, each signed with his classic admonishment, "I suggest you find a new team". They will also be allowed to maintain email contact with Brandon at no charge.

All others wishing to email Brandon will now be subject to an automatic $5 access fee payable through PayPal and other popular online payment services. Should Brandon choose to hammer more of his devoted fan-base with nasty email replies, each inflammatory message will be included in future sponsor packages. 


"Those who are slammed will become chUMpions"




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TODAY IN chUMp HISTORY: OCTOBER 30, 1886

Just about every Michigan fan knows about their Umpteen-Gazillion football victories compiled since the crust of the Earth was originally formed. Many of those games were a little different than what we think of as "Football" today, but hey, let's not let the details get in the way of a good story, eh?

Today is a day that is famous to all Wolverine fans, as it was on this date in 1886 that UM beat Albion by a score of 24-0. The Head Coach was not carried off the field, because there was no Head Coach. Too bad, since the game capped a thrilling undefeated season for Michigan, finishing with a 2-0 record.  So this was one of their many undefeated seasons!

They played two "innings" on a field of indeterminate proportions using a ball of imprecise size and shape. There were no tackles below the waist, because those were not yet legalized. The "flying wedge" was the main offensive play, because it had not yet been made illegal. There were no forward passes, because nobody had figured it out yet. 

The Michigan Argonaut reported the event as "a rugby game", a description that sounds pretty accurate. Yet the Bluebloods want to look back at it as "football".  And they count it as part of their "all-time wins record". Now you know a little bit more about how they count their win totals.




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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

VIDEO: Spartan Football All Access 2014, Michigan Week (as seen on Fox Sports Detroit)

This video is a terrific look inside the Spartan football program during "Michigan Week". It's a high quality production with unique camera angles which attempt to capture the great atmosphere during the game. Player interviews on a personal level and locker room celebration included.


If you have difficulty with the embedded video, please use this link to the video instead.

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B1G FOOTBALL CONFERENCE RECORDS OVER THE LAST DECADE: COMPARING MSU vs UM

By now it should be clear to everybody that Michigan State leads Michigan in just about everything football over the last five years. Despite "that one season" for UM, all of the comparisons favor Sparty in the short term. The five-year picture is not close, as the Spartans have a huge win-percentage lead (.714 to .475) over the Wolverines.

So let's expand our view-frame to a full decade. We have looked at 10-year comparisons before between MSU and UM in Football, as well as Men's Basketball and Women's Basketball. In this article, we direct our focus to conference games only.* 

Here are the 10-year conference records for the two schools, not including partial results from the 2014 season:


MSU 10-year B1G Conference record: 46-36 (.561)

2004: 4-4
2005: 2-6
2006: 1-7
2007: 3-5
2008: 6-2
2009: 4-4
2010: 7-1
2011: 7-2 (includes B1G Ten CCG)
2012: 3-5
2013: 9-0 (includes B1G Ten CCG)

  • Longest conference winning streak: 10 games
  • Longest conference losing streak: 6 games
  • Three seasons with 7 or more conference wins


UM 10-year B1G Conference record: 46-34 (.575)

2004: 7-1
2005: 5-3
2006: 7-1
2007: 6-2
2008: 2-6
2009: 1-7
2010: 3-5
2011: 6-2
2012: 6-2
2013: 3-5

  • Longest conference winning streak: 7 games
  • Longest conference losing streak: 5 games
  • Two seasons with 7 or more conference wins

The tide has turned so far that the 10-year picture is now split, with certain milestone-markers in favor of Michigan State. As you glance at the numbers, consider how they will soon look when the results of 2014 are factored-in, and the results of 2004 are factored-out.

For what it's worth, 10 years is the approximate maximum personal exposure a high school junior has to college sports. So the previous decade basically forms the opinions of most young athletes regarding possible schools of choice.



*data compilation by MSUSpartan76




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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HERE'S PROOF THAT MARK DANTONIO HAS NEVER "RUN UP THE SCORE" ON MICHIGAN

The charges that Coach Mark Dantonio was somehow "unsportsmanlike" in the 2014 game are slowly fading. People are realizing that such unwarranted charges are little more than the whimpering cries of a dying fan-base. It's just more "stuff" that Michigan supporters throw at the Blue Wall, hoping some of it will stick.

Mark Dantonio has NEVER "run up the score" against UM, no matter how many hissy-fits are thrown by his detractors. Many MSU fans know he hasn't done it, because to some degree, from year to year, we want him to do it but he disappoints us by staying dignified and yes, sportsmanlike.


BASIC FACTS:
  • There have been eight (8) total games in which Dantonio has coached MSU against UM.
  • Two (2) of those eight were Michigan wins, leaving no option for Dantonio to choose between sportsmanship and extra pounding. Another game was settled in overtime, again, leaving no room for end-game decisions about mercy vs. mauling.
  • That leaves five (5) games in which the Spartans held a substantial lead late in the fourth quarter. Those games are listed below.

2008:  MSU wins by 14
2010:  MSU wins by 17
2011:  MSU wins by 14
2013:  MSU wins by 23
2014:  MSU wins by 24


END-GAME DECISION-MAKING:
  • 2008 - The Spartans take possession with a 14-point lead at the 1:07 mark of the fourth quarter. Dantonio calls three consecutive kneel-downs to end the game. (Michigan actually used a futile timeout during this series.)
  • 2010 - The Spartans take possession with a 17-point lead at the 5:41 mark of the fourth quarter. Dantonio calls ten (10) consecutive hand-offs to Edwin Baker culminating with a kneel-down to end the game. (Michigan used all three timeouts during this series.)
  • 2011 - The Spartans take possession with a 14-point lead at the 3:18 mark of the fourth quarter. Dantonio calls six (6) consecutive hand-offs to Edwin Baker to end the game, the last three of which were losses, suggesting that they were up-the-gut runs. (Michigan used a timeout during this series.)
  • 2013 - The Spartans take possession with a 16-point lead at the 6:23 mark of the fourth quarter. Dantonio calls six hand-offs to Jeremy Langford, plus one handoff to R.J. Shelton to move the chains twice. The next hand-off to Langford goes 40 yards for the final touchdown. When MSU holds UM and gets the ball back with 2:09 remaining, and the ball in Michigan territory, Dantonio calls for three kneel-downs to end the game.
  • 2014 - The Spartans take possession with a 17-point lead at the 3:40 mark of the fourth quarter, just after UM scored, made a two-point conversion, and tried an onside kick. Dantonio calls seven hand-offs to Jeremy Langford, who scores on the final carry. (A Michigan player is called for Unsportsmanlike Conduct on the touchdown play.)


SUMMARY OF FINAL MSU DRIVES:
In the five games detailed above, MSU took possession near the end of the game with a two or three score lead. In those games, Dantonio called the following plays:
  • 31 hand-offs on basic run plays
  • 7 kneel-downs
  • 0 passes
  • 0 timeouts
  • 0 trick plays

In 38 snaps over five games, two touchdowns were scored, both on run-plays. (In the most recent game, the Spartans took possession with a 25-point lead at the 9:01 mark of the fourth-quarter, handing-off six times to Langford, who fumbled on the last carry to give UM the ball. If those plays are added to the total, it's 38 runs plus 7 kneel-downs; 45 plays over five games that resulted in two TDs, both on running plays.)



The evidence is clear and unequivocal.

MSU Head Coach Mark Dantonio has NEVER "run up the score" against Michigan.

Michigan has a history of running up the score. See it HERE.
Michigan really ran it up in 2002. See it HERE


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Monday, October 27, 2014

BRANDON ANNOUNCES EVEN MORE WAYS TO SELL THE MICHIGAN FOOTBALL PROGRAM

University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon has struck again! The embattled UM AD has bounced back from the spank-down his team got in Spartan Stadium on Saturday. Brandon announced a new set of sales initiatives shortly after the game finished.

Brandon's announcement came on the heels of a new sales plan presented just last week.

He says the key to the new offerings was his realization that the old games that Michigan used to play are worthless unless they can be re-branded and sold. So UM will be selling key games from their football archives each year.

Sponsors for each game will have their name listed in the official University of Michigan record book, along with media-guides and press-releases. The sponsorship will be similar to that of Brady Hoke, who is officially titled as the "J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach". (really - not kidding - check the link) So a game sponsor would see their name listed in print as below:

The John Doe Michigan vs Racine, May 30, 1879
The Ralph Johnson Michigan vs Toronto Lacrosse Club, November 6, 1880
The Billy Bob Williams Michigan vs Detroit Independents, March 12, 1883 
The Thomas Jones Michigan vs Chicago University Club, November 22, 1884
The Dan Thompson Michigan vs Peninsular Cricket Club, November 26, 1885
The Jack Spratt Michigan vs Detroit Athletic Club, November 17, 1888
The Humpty Dumpty Michigan vs Ann Arbor High School, October 10, 1891
The Jiminy Cricket Michigan vs Michigan Military Academy, October 6, 1894
The Don Corleone Michigan vs Rush Lake Forest, October 26, 1895
The Abernathy Smith Michigan vs Grand Rapids High School, October 10, 1896


Sponsors will receive historical artifacts from these games, such as the game programs in their original parchment or stone tablet form. In some cases, the actual cow-bladder that was pumped with air and used as a ball is still available from the game. Replica tickets cannot be offered, since there were no tickets needed to watch the local rugby team way back then. No video, of course, and no pictures either, as photographers in those days only took photos of important events.

Experts consider this plan a stroke of marketing genius by Brandon, who realized that Michigan didn't need to win any new games when they already had an existing inventory of games yet to be sold on an individual basis. UM could sell 10-20 old games each year without needing new victories for several decades. Hence, the selection of a Head Coach who makes most people think more about the past than either the present or future. This "primes the market" for sales of the older games. Brilliant.




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A BRIEF HISTORY OF UolM RUNNING UP THE SCORE

Having read the recent article, HERE'S PROOF THAT UM "RAN UP THE SCORE" AGAINST MSU IN 2002 FOOTBALL GAME, it seemed that a lot was left out.

Those chUMps are whining about a single TD. Yet those obsessive historians ignore their sordid past.

Let's take a look. Just a sample, mind you, otherwise it would have to become a serial post.

The largest margin of victory of the Spartans over UolM was in 1967, a 34-0 shutout. Using 34 points as the marker, UolM has exceeded that margin of victory over the Spartans 12 times.

10/12/1898: 39-0
10/8/1902: 119-0
10/12/1907: 46-0
10/12/1912: 55-7
11/4/1922: 63-0
10/3/1925: 39-0
10/9/1926: 55-3
9/29/1945: 40-0
11/9/1946: 55-7
9/27/1947: 55-0
10/8/1983: 42-0
11/2/2002: 49-3

With the exception of the 1983 game, all of those were played in AA.

In 1902, MSU (Michigan Agricultural College) had a total enrollment of 689 students, which included 158 women. In 1902, UolM had a total enrollment of 3792 students. No gender deliniation provided in the records.

Compare this to 2007, when UolM had 41,042 students versus Appalachian State with 13,997 students. That was a D-IA versus D-IAA with a student body ratio of greater than 3:1. In 1902, the student body ratio was about 5:1, which makes it more of a D-I versus D-III match.

So, go back to the 1902 score and decide whether or not UolM ran up the score. One other datum to consider when viewing that score - UolM was recruiting, MAC was not. UolM was the equivalent of a semi-pro team and MAC was barely out of the club sport category.

Fast forward to 1937, when NCAA reclassified MSC as a Major football program. MSC had a total enrollment of 1203 students, which included 503 women. UolM had a total enrollment of 11,777 students, which included 3514 women. That is almost a 10:1 ratio (> 11:1 male students).

Scrolling forward, MSU enrollment had achieved parity with UolM prior to the 1978 NCAA split of Division I into I-A and I-AA.

1945: UolM 15,437 MSC  4,308
1954: UolM 30,570 MSU 16,234
1964: UolM 37,945 MSU 31,268
1974: UolM 42,495 MSU 43,459
1984: UolM 34,347 MSU 40,272
1994: UolM 36,408 MSU 40,254
2004: UolM 39,533 MSU 44,836
2014: UolM 41,924 MSU 50,085
(Main campus enrollment only, Fall enrollment)

Of the 12 games played where UolM ran up the score, 10 of them happened when they were beating up on a team from a much smaller school. They did this all the time.

Year Record PF-PA
1901 11-0-0 550-0
1902 11-0-0 664-12
1903 11-0-1 565-6
1904 10-0-0 567-22
1905 12-1-0 495-2

Who did they play?

1901
Albion (MI) in AA
Case Institute of Technology (OH) in AA
Indiana in AA
Northwestern (IL) in AA
Buffalo (NY) in AA
Carlisle Indian School (PA) in Detroit
Ohio St. in Columbus
Chicago (IL) in AA
Beloit (WI) in AA
Iowa in Chicago
Stanford (CA) in Pasadena

1902
Albion (MI) in AA
Case Institute of Technology (OH) in AA
Michigan St. in AA
Indiana in AA
Notre Dame (IN) in Toledo
Ohio St. in AA
Wisconsin in Chicago
Iowa in AA
Chicago (IL) in Chicago
Oberlin (OH) in AA
Minnesota in AA

1903
Case Institute of Technology (OH) in AA
Albion (MI) in AA
Beloit (WI) in AA
Ohio Northern in AA
Indiana in AA
Ferris St. (MI) in AA
Drake (IA) in AA
Minnesota in Minneapolis
Ohio St. in AA
Wisconsin in AA
Oberlin (OH) in AA
Chicago (IL) in Chicago

1904
Case Institute of Technology (OH) in AA
Ohio Northern in AA
Kalamazoo (MI) in AA
Physicians & Surgeons (IL) in AA
Ohio St. in Columbus
American Medical (IL) in AA
West Virginia in AA
Wisconsin in Madison
Drake (IA) in AA
Chicago (IL) in AA

1905
Ohio Wesleyan in AA
Kalamazoo (MI) in AA
Case Institute of Technology (OH) in AA
Ohio Northern in AA
Vanderbilt (TN) in AA
Nebraska in AA
Albion (MI) in AA
Drake (IA) in AA
Illinois in Champaign
Ohio St. in AA
Wisconsin in AA
Oberlin (OH) in AA
Chicago (IL) in Chicago

45 home games, 4 neutral sites, 8 away games

Homefield advantage was very real in those days. Keep in mind, the Model T production started in 1908. The Wright Brothers went to Kitty Hawk in 1903. The first practical airplane was flown in 1909. The modern toilet was designed in 1906. A team typically travelled by train, arriving in time to walk to the stadium carrying their gear just in time for the game. Trains of that age typically ran at 20-30 mph, so a team would have to leave several hours to arrive in time, sometimes travelling overnight and sleeping on the train. Food service on trains was non-existent.

(We won't even get into whether the thugs recruited by UolM actually enrolled.) FYI, in 1906, UolM was censored by the Western Conference (aka Big Ten) for failure to comply with conference recruiting regulations.and members were not allowed to schedule games. UolM left the conference in 1907 and was readmitted after 10 seasons.

So 80% of those games were at home and more than half were versus non-peer opponents. Go back and look at the scores. Did UolM run up the scores on any of those teams?

Perhaps a second look at the recent MSU TD will be seen in a slightly different light.

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HERE'S PROOF THAT UM "RAN UP THE SCORE" AGAINST MSU IN 2002 FOOTBALL GAME

Time for a quick fact-check about Saturday's game. Many (not all) Michigan fans are claiming that Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio was "unsportsmanlike" because he "ran up the score" against UM. We all saw a run-only drive using no timeouts, but still, they complain.

The last time the Wolverines had a chance to "run up the score" against MSU was in 2002. The final score was 49-3, begging the question about gratuitous scoring at the end of a blowout.

There is no doubt that Michigan
"ran up the score" against Michigan State in 2002.



This link brings you to the ESPN game box-score. You are looking at the fourth-quarter record of that game, and you will see all of the plays run by both teams. Please note several facts proving our point:

  • Michigan took a 35-3 lead into the fourth quarter of that game, then scored two more touchdowns.
  • The final UM TD was scored with 1:03 on the clock, meaning they could have kneeled down, but chose to continue pushing forward.
  • The Wolverines THREW THE BALL FOUR TIMES WITH A 42-3 LEAD and less than six minutes to play in the game.

The record therefore PROVES that Lloyd Carr "ran up the score" against MSU in 2002. By contrast, the Spartans never threw the ball on their final drive Saturday, while protecting a 17-point lead. And this was after Michigan aggressively converted a two-point play after touchdown and tried an onside kick.

So let's keep the facts straight in the debate about "sportsmanship". The University of Michigan Football Program set a tone in 2002 that has not been followed by Michigan State. The decision by Dantonio to keep running-between-the-tackles at the end of the game hardly qualifies as "running up the score".




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Sunday, October 26, 2014

HERE IS THE TRUE DEFINITION OF "HOKE"

We all should have just used a dictionary. Four years ago, when Wolverine Nation was thrilled over the dismissal of Rich Rodriguez, Brady Hoke came back to Ann Arbor, riding a wave of enthusiasm every time he uttered that famous phrase.
"This is Michigan, for gosh sakes."
The Wolverine faithful were wetting their pants in anticipation of what was yet to come, because they believed it was on the way. Brady Hoke was going to bring them to their Promised Land.

That's when we needed to grab the nearest dictionary, and use it to learn the true meaning of the word "Hoke". Because that's exactly what the University of Michigan got when they hired the big guy from Ball State.

To save you time, we have done the legwork, and the results are below. Here is the true definition of (Brady) HOKE:

From Dictionary.com: To alter or manipulate so as to give a deceptively or superficially improved quality or value (usually followed by up; as in, "to hoke up" something)
From Merriam-Webster.comTo give a contrived, falsely impressive, or hokey quality to something —usually used with up;  "hoke up a movie" with lots of action
From TheFreeDictionary.com:  To give an impressive but artificial, false, or deceptive quality to: hoked up some phony allegations. [From hokum.]

Notice the reference to the root word "Hokum" in the third example above. Many definitions of "hoke" refer back to "hokum":

From TheFreeDictionary.com:  Something apparently impressive or legitimate but actually untrue or insincere; nonsense.
From UrbanDictionary.com: Something apparently impressive or legitimate but actually untrue or insincere; nonsense.

To get a better picture of the meaning of the "Hoke", here are some related words:

absurdity, asininity, fatuity, foolery, idiocy,imbecility, inaneness, inanity, insanity, kookiness, lunacy;absurdness, craziness, madness, senselessness, witlessness;hoity-toity, monkey business, monkeyshine(s),shenanigan(s), tomfoolery; gas, hot air, rigmarole (alsorigamarole); double-talk, greek, hocus-pocus


Finally, to broaden our understanding of the true meaning of "Hoke", here are some synonyms for "hokum":

applesauce [slang], balderdash, baloney (alsoboloney), beans, bilge, blah (also blah-blah), blarney,blather, blatherskite, blither, bosh, bull [slang], bunk,bunkum (or buncombe), claptrap, codswallop [British],crapola [slang], crock, drivel, drool, fiddle, fiddle-faddle,fiddlesticks, flannel [British], flapdoodle, folderol (alsofalderal), folly, foolishness, fudge, garbage, guff, hogwash,hokeypokey, hokum, hoodoo, hooey, horsefeathers [slang],humbug, humbuggery, jazz, malarkey (also malarky),moonshine, muck, nerts [slang], nuts, piffle, poppycock,punk, rot, rubbish, senselessness, silliness, slush, stupidity,taradiddle (or tarradiddle), tommyrot, tosh, trash, trumpery,twaddle


Read those definitions above, along with
the related words and synonyms
and ask yourself, "Is this Michigan Football"?


(fer' gosh sakes)




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Drum Line VIDEO and Game Photos

video











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Saturday, October 25, 2014

PHOTOS FROM MSU CAMPUS - PRE-GAME












SpartanMan82 - Photographer.

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TEN MORE REASONS WHY MICHIGAN HAS THIS FOOTBALL GAME IN THE BAG

Zero Hour has nearly arrived, and with it, the realization that Michigan is actually a prohibitive favorite to win The Big Game. We've all seen the Vegas Line, but it's now become clear that Michigan State has virtually no chance of winning. We mentioned Ten Reasons yesterday, now here are ten more:



10 REASONS WHY MICHIGAN CAN'T LOSE

The kids practice well, according to Brady Hoke. And as we all know, "Practice Makes Perfect". Those who play the Wolverines will have to contend with how well they practiced before the game. Advantage UM.
In a show of good sportsmanship, Mark Dantonio has agreed to not wear a headset during the game. Hoke is much better without the headset than Dantonio. Edge to UM.
The kids travel well, according to Brady Hoke. Who among us hasn't had trouble trying to travel with kids? They don't have that problem in Ann Arbor. This is a big advantage for UM.
Michigan finished higher in the recruiting rankings, again. This is a sure-fire guarantee to win just about every game. If you can get the "star-power", you are good to go. Advantage UM.
There will be no score kept during the game. This is because it's really all about the kids, according to Brady Hoke. There are no losers when you are working with kids. EVEN
MSU isn't really a "rival" to UM, so losing isn't really like losing, if it happens. The main rivals to Michigan are a team with a name they dare not say, and a school with a team they dare not play. EVEN STEVEN
The Wolverines won their revenge game against Appalachian State last month. They've been scrimmaging ever since, getting ready for Sparty. Advantage UM
The new field hockey stadium will be sweet. Or lacrosse, or soccer, or whatever the latest new facility is for. That's got to be worth a couple of points, at least. EDGE MICHIGAN
The Michigan Football team has been sand-bagging all season long. They staged those "losses" only so they could come into Spartan Stadium today looking all beat-down and haggard. It's been a trick all along, and they've got MSU right where they want them. Big Advantage UM
This Michigan fer gosh sakes! If they lose a game in the recent past, they will direct your attention to the distant past. A loss today would not exist in the distant past, so they are good to go, no matter what happens! TOTAL EDGE TO UM




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TODAY IN chUMp HISTORY: OCTOBER 25, 1890

Autumn in Michigan is a beautiful season, with tree colors and falling leaves and cool crisp temperatures in the bug-free air. The only pests are all of those Michigan fans who come home from the beach every year yakking it up about their "all-time wins record", many of them claiming several million victories since the Pleistocene Era.

No matter what happens today at Spartan Stadium, they will talk about this "record". If they lose, they will talk about it, and if they win, they will talk about it. They are so proud that they have been playing "football" since before "football" existed. They have been playing "football games" since before the game they were playing became football.

Well at least they all count for one. Because it was on this day in 1890 that the proto-Wolverines clashed on the gridiron with the mighty Albion Britons, scraping together a 16-0 win. Hard to tell how that score was achieved. Back then, touchdowns were four points, field-goals were five points, and point-after-kicks were two points. So much like today.

The football field may have been 80 yards long, or perhaps 110 yards, as the archaeologists are unclear on this point. The infamous "Flying Wedge" was the prime offensive play (before being outlawed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906). Forward passing was illegal, and neither team had a Head Coach. Doubtful about any popcorn.

When you hear all that jibber-jabber about the "all-time wins" numbers for UM, remember games like this one, along with hundreds more that were played before the NCAA began tracking football in 1937. With no standard rules in place for the shape and size of the ball, with field dimensions left up to local decision, and tackling below the waist having just been legalized, these so-called "games" are barely a blip on the historical record of American Sport. But to chUMp nation, they are the quintessential definition of Michigan Football.




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Friday, October 24, 2014

MICHIGAN FOOTBALL PLAYER CRIME REPORT

It's been a big week leading up to the Big Game, but not only for the teams and current players. This has also been a big week for the Michigan Football Players who have recently been arrested and charged with criminal activity:

TAYLOR LEWAN has apparently found a way to avoid trial. Most likely, it involves finding the "sweet spot" in his now-bulging wallet to pay off his victims so that they would agree to not testify against him. Under such circumstances, the Prosecutor would find it hard to proceed, and would likely drop the charges. Sure, it's illegal, but they can't prove it happened, and with the adequate cash-flow, they can't prove the assault ever happened, either. Sounds a lot like what may have happened with the Brendan Gibbons case. Lewan was allowed by Brady Hoke to stay on the UM team despite this incident. You can be sure of one thing; the "block-M" stands for MONEY.

CSONT'E YORK has been sentenced to seven days in jail for breaking an innocent man's face last summer. York was allowed by Brady Hoke to stay on the UM team for a month despite compelling video evidence that showed him cold-cock a man with a knockout sucker-punch that took a tooth out and sent the victim to the hospital for several days. York was eventually dismissed from the program, but only after an extensive review of the team depth-chart showed he had little chance of playing this season.

Several other criminals remain on the UM roster, including Graham Glasgow, Frank Clark, and A.J. Williams.






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TOP TEN REASONS MICHIGAN WILL BEAT MICHIGAN STATE SATURDAY


TOP 10 REASONS MICHIGAN WILL WIN THE BIG GAME




#9:   Desmond Howard said they would win last year and he was wrong.





#3:   If they lose, UM fans might find out what their own tears "taste" like.






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Thursday, October 23, 2014

THIS HAS ALL BEEN VERY FUN, BUT THERE IS STILL A GAME TO PLAY ON SATURDAY!

ATown previews the actual match-up along with SpartanMan82 and MSUspartan76. Each has a distinctly different take (and tone) on the game and possible aftermath. It's a good read, but first let's all check in our our rival's coach.


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The Vegas betting lines say this will be a big MSU win, perhaps a blowout. Do you believe that and expect that? Why or why not?

SpartanMan 82
I would take Michigan and the points. There are few blowouts in this series. Their quiet demeanor (so far) this week suggests they realize it's their Michigan Manhood on the line this time. Most athletes are at their best when their backs are against a wall.


I expect that the game will be right in the area of 14 to 17 points. Its a rivalry and the cliche is throw the stats and the records out the window for those kinds of games. MSU will have its work cut out in moving the ball on the ground. I don't see how U of M finds much scoring short of a superhero performance from Devin Gardner. Ultimately I think it comes down to Connor Cook's arm. Coach D has run games against U of M pretty conservatively so I don't know how much he is willing to let Cook off leash. That is why I see it remaining close but MSU still controlling.

MSUSpartan76
There are many reasons to predict a sound thrashing of the UM team on Saturday and only 1 that counters that prognostication. The 1 is that it is a huge rivalry. MSU has many, many times taken down a high ranked UM team. When this backyard brawl starts, everything is thrown out. There are 2 differences this year that make it easy to agree with Vegas betters. First, MSU plays as a team. Second, the MSU coaching staff makes excellent adjustments, not just at half time, but in real time. We have not seen that from the Ann Arbor team. I can see the UM defense possibly slowing down the MSU rushing attack, but not enough and I can not see the UM offense getting any traction. MSU wins... big.


What would have to happen for Michigan to win, or at least stay close?


Cook would have to be flat. Our defense would have to give up big play after big play after big play. And Devin Gardner would have to play like Michigan Men told us he would two years ago. Even with those factors, I don't know if U of M has the depth to hold up against a MSU team that will hit them in the mouth regardless of how the game is playing out.


Some would say that MSU has to keep their heads attached and not think of themselves as already having won. For UM to stay in the game, they have to suddenly become a team and MSU has to make too many mistakes. In this game, momentum is bigger than talent and if the Spartans let UM get traction, it could be a long day. Coach Dantonio won't let swelled heads get in the way of the game, but we have seen the Spartans make mistakes, some of them costly, this season. MSU wins... big.

SpartanMan 82
It may be hard for MSU to run against UM, at least for awhile, allowing other factors to set the tone of the game, such as turnovers and special teams. If those variables all go blue, the game could be tight well into the fourth quarter. Michigan would need to win the turnover margin, stop or at least slow the Spartan rushing attack, and hit on some big plays, including at least one long run and one long pass.

Play-calling by Michigan State will also be important. Top priority is not to spend too many plays slamming into the UM D-Line if nothing much is happening there. MSU needs to stay diverse and creative and throw in a trick play or two (but probably not a fake punt from our own 30). If the Spartans play it too close to the sweater-vest, UM may get good field position several times early in the game, from which big plays can be especially costly to surrender.

But Michigan is basically operating without a backup quarterback, so as everybody has noted, if Gardner has to take a seat, the Wolverines may be hard-pressed to make any progress on offense.


What would be the longer-term impact of another true "woodshed beat down" by the Spartans?

Nothing. One game does not define anything and a beat-down of a dysfunctional team will not hurt UM or help MSU in the long term. The program Coach Dantonio has built, from the ground up, is too strong and too resilient for 1 game to make a difference. The most it will do is turn a few recruits eyes towards E.L. and away from A.A. MSU wins... big.


I don't think there would be any true longer-term impact. Most folks have written Brady Hoke's requiem already. Similar to how RichRod is remembered, a "woodshed" beat down would soon become "Well that was because Brady was still in charge." I think the longer-term impact is U of M having to transition to a new coach. We have already heard a few of their recruits are back shopping around for places to play next year. We have also heard that fan base split on who should be the next coach. That job is going to be tougher to fill because there is immense pressure to the guy that brings U of M "back." You might get a solid coach that just can't deal with the politics and pressure.

Losing incoming talent and rolling the dice on someone else as "the savior" is going to have its last impact.


SpartanMan 82
I question the word "another" in the question. Last year was a close game on the scoreboard, as Michigan took the first lead and the teams were tied with a minute before half-time. It was a two-score game until a late TD sealed it for MSU. I've never seen any beat-downs by the Spartans over the Wolverines (though I've read about a few from many decades ago).

That's why it would be great to have one right now. Many people are expecting it (not me) and it would be tremendous for the Spartan program to ring one up for the record books. Any solid win will extend the UM non-dominant perception, and Dantonio might do better in head-to-head recruiting battles. Since starting at Michigan State, Dantonio has won less than one-third of the head-to-head recruiting offers against Michigan. It would be nice for our Coach to get a better percentage of those players, and that just might start happening if there's a trip to the woodshed.


What have you noticed about Ann Arbor fans on the web and other media this week?


I said it on MLive: This week has been boring. Half the fan base for U of M has mailed in the season. Half of those that remain talk about how bad the team is. And then you get a conglomerate of people that don't know what they are talking about, are dreaming with their comments or trying to hold onto some shred of the past.

Overall, I have not heard one legitimate argument for U of M this year and that sucks. At least Huskers showed up to tell us how it was going to go. They were wrong. But at least they made the week interesting. 


SpartanMan 82
They're all over the place. Some of them want to fire Brandon, some of them want to fire Hoke, some of them want to fire Brandon and Hoke, and some want to keep them in their jobs for another year. Wait, were you talking about the actual football stuff?

Some guys are really flaming on "their" school, and I mean that literally. The dude who posts as "SomeGuy73" has totally had it with Hoke and makes no bones about it. SomeGuy draws a lot of criticism for his comments on M-Live MSU articles, but when you read his comments on the UM side, you can see a Blue Man in flames. They all consider Hoke to be a Dead Man Walking, and then many of them also seem like zombies stumbling in the dark right now. It's great reading, very fascinating!

MSUSpartan76
The media is hypercritical of MSU looking to point out and exagerate every single thing they can find to cast a negative view of MSU. This was going on ever since the possibility of MSU in the Championship series came up and this week has not changed that. We have noticed more and more critical pieces on the AA squad, especially with the grass roots uprising down there. The fans, those chUMps (aka Skunkbears) are still trolling out the "Little Brother" insult as if it has some meaning or bearing on the game. The team from that school down the road has been quiet. They seem to know about the lion in the cage and are not doing anything to stir it up. MSU wins... big.




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The Dantonio Prophesies

Flashback to November 3, 2007, East Lansing.
It's midway through the 4th period. Michigan State had rallied from a 0-14 halftime deficit to take a 24-14 lead. Chad Henne went down with a twisted ankle. Ryan Mallet came in, botched the snap which bounced once right into the hands of Mike Hart who eeked out a 1st down. Momentum shifted. Michigan took the ball down the field and scored. Michigan State punted on the next possession, a 3 and out. Michigan drove down the field and scored to take a 28-24 lead. Michigan State drove to the Michigan 42 and turned the ball over on downs. All in all a good game with lots of on the field drama. A lucky bounce of the ball, which could have gone either way, decided the game.

After the game, Mark Hart on national TV, inferred that Michigan had just been playing with the Spartans like an older sibling might do.

“I thought it was funny. They got excited. It’s good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you’re playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from him.”

Watch the video. Watch his shifty eyes. He knew exactly what he was doing and knew it was wrong. It was classless. It was unsportsman like. Rivalry or not, one does not embarass or humiliate the team or person you just beat. His comments reek of arrogance.

What were the reactions to insult? The school? Crickets. Lloyd Carr and the UM coaching staff? More crickets. If there was anything said to Hart about it, it was kept quiet. The UM fans? They embraced it. Why, now, they had a new, creative insult! The media? They had a field day with it. Some prime examples: Going into the UM-MSU game last season, ABC announced it as "Michigan versus Little Brother Michigan State." The expression popped up during the B1G Ten Championship game and again in the Rose Bowl by the commentators. The UM players? Over the past 7 years there have been numerous uses by them.

On the Spartan side, when asked about it, Coach Dantonio responded with 2 memorable quotes.
"The pride comes before the fall."
"It's not over. It will never be over here. It's just starting."

Pride:
People often do not understand that pride in the context of that paraphrased scripture quote is not a good thing. It is conceit, hubris, arrogance, or a lofty and arrogant assumption of superiority. The full verse from Proverbs 16:18: "Pride comes before destruction, and arrogance before the fall."

Dantonio's quoting that passage has proven to be a prophesy of Biblical proportions.

Lloyd Carr ended his coaching career. Rich Rodriguez was brought in and brought NCAA sanctions down on Michigan. Brady Hoke was brought in and with initial success using the Rodriguez team and playbook has led the Ann Arbor squad to lower levels of success each year. Lots of individual, team, and program records set -- all negative. Players have been arrested and convicted. Recruits are turning away. The current coach and athletic director are under fire. The students and fans are in revolt.

In fact, the Michigan football team record looks like Hart's little brother, "...you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from him."

3-8
5-7
7-6
11-2
8-5
7-6
3-4 (season in progress)

We have seen the UM arrogance for decades. In 1978, Darryl Rogers refered to UM as:
"Those arrogant asses in Ann Arbor."

Now we are seeing the fall. Starting after the Hart Insult, MSU has racked up a 5-1 record versus UM. The sole loss came as hundreds of thousands of UM fans held their breath for 2 minutes while their team made a last second field goal to win 12-10.

A digression:
Funny thing about the UM arrogance. I was at a sports bar watching the game. There were some 20 UM fans and me. When the field goal was made, they cried out, "Little Brother." So relieved were they that the Spartans hand not won a 5th in a row that they totally forgot it was the 900th program win. Think about that. It was more important to them to beat MSU than it was to set an all-time NCAA record.

During those 6 years, UM scoring has steadily dropped, reaching a 10 year low of 6 points (-48 yards rushing) last year.

Since Coach Dantonio arrived, it has started.
7-6
9-4
6-7
11-2
11-3
7-6
13-1
6-1 (season in progress)

7 consecutive bowls. 3-4 record.
Currently on a 3-game bowl winning streak
2 Division Championships
2 Conference Championships
1 Rose Bowl win
13-game conference winning streak

There's a lot more: Individual, team, and program records; vastly improved recruiting; ever increasing numbers of players starting in the NFL; and near-zero off-the field issues.

And...
This will be the 7th year since the infamous Hart made his disparaging remarks.

And 7 is a number of Biblical significance.

The pride comes before the fall.
It isn't over.
It's just starting.



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BIG BLUE BOY DIERDORF TO SKIP BIG GAME

Looks like the voice and face of Michigan Football will be taking Saturday off, reportedly for medical reasons. Dan Dierdorf will apparently not be in Spartan Stadium as part of his new radio job with UM.

Dierdorf has some medical issues that could not be attended to during the bye week, so he will get to miss the Wolverines playing the Spartans. He will presumably be under medical care during the game (saving time in case he needs help after watching it).  No word yet on whether he will apply for a medical red-shirt.

No Dan Dierdorf, no Drake Harris, no Jabril Peppers, no Desmond Howard, no Steve Fisher, no Chris Webber? Hey, what's this rivalry coming to? Did those guys forget to mark the date on their calendars?




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