~ ~

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


My how time flies. It seems like just yesterday that Michigan fans were having their little field day against us Spartans as their new coach, Brady Hoke, took his first squad to the Sugar Bowl. They tore up the comment boards with their catchy slogan, "Sparty tears taste like sugar".

Boy, were they revved-up back then. Off they went to their precious "BCS" Bowl (what's that?), crowing proudly all the way. And they barely won an ugly game against a weak team, with a little help at the end, which is, indeed, The Michigan Way. And we heard all through that off-season about how the tears of Sparty would taste, if you ever actually tasted them.

Then Hoke went 15-11 over the next two years and all the UM folks forgot about the sweet tears of Sparty. They may have had a few of their own during that time. And then this season finally happened and things got much worse for the chUMps.

So now Wolverine Nation is reeling in torment as their chickens are coming home to roost. They are calling for a cannibalization of their favorite program as they bicker over exactly when they should schedule the termination of their former hero. One gets the idea that thousands, perhaps millions, of Michigan fans are wallowing in a pool of tears over the 2014 season.

So what do those Wolverine tears taste like, Michigan fans? You've piqued my curiosity. I never used to think about what tears would taste like until you kept telling me over and over, even though I wasn't crying at that time. Sure, your bowl bid was a bit crooked and all that, but nothing to cry about. In fact, we've had nothing to moan about in football for the past couple of years. Can you say the same, Michigan fans?

Let's call it the "Michigan Taste Test". Slurp 'em up, chUMps, and let us know how sugary-sweet they taste right now.

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Friday, September 26, 2014


Homecoming festivities have been rolling along all week in Spartan Country, but the mood down south of here has been a bit more somber. Seems like every member of Weasel Nation has spent the last few days whining and crying, bitching and moaning about their floundering football team. Many are calling for their football coach(es) and Athletic Director to be burned at the stake, or at least fired. MSU and UM continue to be two different worlds.

Have you noticed the Blue Drama Queens urping-up all over themselves since their beloved rugby squad finally lost a non-conference game in the Big Hole? We don't need to recount their ramblings here, you can find it all over the Internet. Their fan-base is absolutely livid.

But has anybody considered the possibility that the Michigan Football team could still finish this season at 10-2? Doesn't seem likely, but like George Perles always said, "they all count one", and there are at least eight left to be played. Heck, these guys are only 2-2, not oh-and-a-million. They've had four winning seasons in a row. They played in bowl games the past few years. Many of their players go to class and eventually graduate. So what's their big problem?

The rub is that the Yellow Divas can't stand anything less than being deified, or at least glorified, every waking moment. They believe the world spins around them. They see themselves as a royal species of supra-humans, anointed by God to rule over the earth. They are shocked to think that anybody sees them as less than how they see themselves.

These attention-hogs are now using the Mainstream Michigan Media Machine (M-4) to convince everybody that the B1G Conference cannot be considered successful unless they - - - UM - - - are at the top of the league. They want people to want them. So badly. They'll do anything to make you think they are essential, and that the party can't go on without them.

Don't believe them, they aren't even "gone" yet. They have consecutive winning seasons, veterans at  coach and starting quarterback, and plenty of help from the league office when necessary. They are double-digit favorites to start the conference season with a home victory. So don't get caught up into their massive sob-stories about the glorious bygone eras and how we can only magically return to them with, um, "guess who" in the Top Ten.

Save your hankies for a worthy cause. Watch for the Wolverines to whip Minnesota, with multiple key players compiling gaudy statistics, winning by at least 17 points. Michigan will be 5-2 on October 25.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A-TOWN AND R2G DEBATE: Is it Better for Spartans when chUMps are Good?

Form M-Live reader comments on: Mark Dantonio empathizes with Brady Hoke, prefers to keep focus on Michigan State

ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown 
I know I don't follow U of M that closely but weren't the coaches really high on what that freshman QB they had come was doing. Maybe Hoke needs to go all in and see if that guy is the answer. I mean the defense has been doing a pretty darn good job and the points seems to be coming from turnovers. If I am a coach, I am doing everything I can to show signs that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you get the freshman QB to look decent in a pro-style system and the defense continues to look decent, maybe there is something to show that you are building something.

Unfortunately Hoke is 4 years in and you would think he would have guys in place to be competing at a high level by now. Its not great for the conference. I mean don't get me wrong: I want MSU to beat U of M every year but the B1G is better when U of M is ranked. I would prefer to beat a 7-0 U of M team then 5-2. Hope that if Hoke goes they put someone in there that doesn't take 2-3 years to get the program back. B1G is behind the 8-ball enough.

return2glory |
I'm of the opinion of 'let them drown". Other Big Ten schools ranked highly and beating major out of conference opponents is preferable to giving Ann Arbor any hope at all. I'd love to see less than 50K in attendance in the Pig House. I'd love to be able view them as "a minor irritation". Remember being called that? They (coaches and administrators included) can't even call another conference institution by their correct name! Success for anyone but them. It's a rivalry. There is supposed to disdain. It is part of what makes it fun. Why would any team want success for a rival? Do Auburn fans want Alabama to remain great? Once you've got your foot on their throat, you don't let up. They never did when we were gasping for air. I'd love to see Purdue, Indiana and Rutgers out-recruit them for some big time players. Hey, you can say it will never happen, but we never thought this 7-year dismal run in Ann Arbor would happen and here we are - it's reality. Let's enjoy seeing how bad it can get!

ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown
While I agree with you to the extent that the B1G does not revolve around U of M, I do have to disagree with you that the B1G can be just as good with a ranked IU team.

As much as some MSU fans want to ignore it, U of M is a brand. You can debate history, last 50 years, last 10 years, or whatever. There is a reason why when a U of M team goes 5-0 the national media ranks them and heads start to turn. There is a reason why winged helmets and the block M are recognized in California, Texas, Florida as it is in Michigan. There is a reason why ESPN has a CFB Nation page for U of M. They are a team like Nebraska, like PSU, and like OSU that extend in the minds of college football fans across the country.

A relevant U of M team is going to carry more weight. Why did beating OSU in the B1G Championship Game turn so many heads? Would it have been the same if it was even Wisconsin? I doubt it. Look at how we view other conferences. How does the Big 12 look without Texas? Does Baylor fill that hole of perception in the minds of the masses like Longhorns Nation would if it was doing the same thing? That is the same way that the rest of the college football world looks at the B1G. U of M, PSU and Nebraska being relevant teams matters. Nebraska is at least ranked. PSU has an excuse and appears on the mend. U of M though...?

Look I am with you in hating the Michigan Man rhetoric about what his team did a million years ago. But the fact is Wisconsin has been a solid program for years and they still don't get the respect that U of M does on a national level. Think if MSU played this years schedule and beat a top-10 ranked Nebraska, beat a 7-0 ranked U of M, beat a ranked OSU even without Miller, beat a ranked PSU, and then went to the B1G Championship and beat a one or two loss Wisconsin. Anyone think that run doesn't turn the selection committees heads. You know all those games are national games that are getting talked about on the national sports talk for a week in advance. That is what the conference needs because that is what the SEC has had for years now.

return2glory |
I'm not saying you are wrong about any of it. I get the logic. For me, the minor benefit it gives the conference (and indirectly MSU), I'm not into the idea of Michigan being a power. Aside from my general dislike for them, they are our primary recruiting and media competitor. Their fans are also in our face exaggerating both past and current success (when they have it). If they were located in another state, I might be able to swallow the, "it's better for MSU when Ann Arbor has a good football team". But in reality, it just aint so - emotionally or logistically - at least not for MSU. MSU, Ohio State, and Notre Dame are the primary benefactors of Ann Arbor sucking. I care most about my team. Let them suck.

ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown
Go look at MSU's recruiting class. Only 4 of 13 are from in the state. If you ask me, MSU appears to be moving into a new class of recruiting that extends beyond the "backyard"

As far as media, all of that revenue is split among the conference. Gone are the days of local media contracts. All the significant money comes from the major networks to the conference as a whole and is split. That is why once the B1G Network boosted the B1G's revenue you started to see all the other conferences get their own networks. Its the whole union vs. individual worker concept.

Look I like to have a good laugh at all the folks that pointed out MSU's warts and said "That doesn't happen at Michigan because we are Michigan" and now getting to see them grow the same warts. But remember when the perception thing bit U of M in the butt in 2006. We laughed then too. Do you think we are immune from that? Where is the perception of the B1G since 2006?

I have pointed it out before. 4 spaces isn't a lot. There are 5 power conferences so someone isn't dancing. There are any number of situations were you can see 2 conferences getting left out. IMO I think there is going to come a day where MSU is going to need to rely on the strength of the conference. Do I want MSU to have beaten a U of M team that is 10-2 or a U of M team that is 6-6 when that day comes? I know my answer doesn't involve the term "humble pie" in it

return2glory |
A-Town - In response to your four points...

Recruits - You don't look at players we got, you look at players we wanted and didn't get. Many are UM's roster and verbal commitment list. UM sucking for several more years can change that.

Media - I'm just talking publicity. When the teams are equal, Ann Arbor gets disproportionate attention. If they suck, we don't have to deal with it.

2006 - Big Ten perception began decline. MSU gained respect and chUMps began their era of sucking. I'll take that deal.

4 spaces for power 5 plus one undefeated non-power: See the original three keys to a one loss Spartan team (from a "weak" Big Ten) getting into the football playoffs.


ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown
Reply to: @return2glory | and @Boognish Rising 
I think [you] are looking at this from an emotional point of view and not one of logic and reasoning.

R2G you are talking about MSU not being able to get recruits or not getting balanced media coverage unless U of M sucks. From a personal standpoint, I would rather earn those things than have them given to me because the other guy is an also ran. But I think this shows exactly what I have been saying too: U of M has been average for how long now and yet they still carry the weight that they do. You don't just find a program like that laying around. Do you think that recruits and media are going to starting paying more attention to an MSU team that goes 4 for 5 in this era or if that run came against U of M teams that were on par with those they fielded in the 70's. If you want people to think you are the best, you need to beat the best.

I think if you look at ND, you can get a good idea that U of M isn't going to just fade away. ND was mediocre from the mid-90's until 2012. It was nearly 2 decades of new coaches and reliving the good ol' days. Heck even before 2012 they were an 8-5 team. Even that 2012 team did look like it belonged on the field with Bama. Last year they were a 9 win team and opened ranked 17th this year. After "big" wins against Rice, U of M and Purdue they are now a top-10 team and some folks are rumbling about a national championship birth. Why is that?

The media and the state of college football doesn't allow programs to fade. Its been nearly a decade since U of M was relevant and you still have national radio shows and television commentators discussing what is going on in Ann Arbor and what it means for the future of that program. It isn't going to take a lot for the bus to magically get back on the road. Let's say that U of M endures another coach that averaged 7-8 wins and gets canned. Its been nearly 2 decades and new coach rolls into Ann Arbor and U of M opens 8-0. How mad are you going to be that all these media outlets and fans start to boast about a championship run? Its going to happen. The same way it happens for Florida. The same way it happens for ND. The same way it will happen for Texas. Heck look how hard they are trying to push USC like its a top-10 program again.

In my opinion its a waste to sit here and hope that U of M turns into Indiana. I would rather focus on my squad getting better and hope that U of M comes back and we can dash championship dreams as opposed to beating a dead horse. Its better for the perception of MSU and that is all I care about. Our program can't control the perception of any other program. Give me 15 undefeated teams that MSU beats every time. Then tell me that MSU isn't the best team in the land.

return2glory |
Reply to; @ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown @return2glory | @Boognish Rising

A-Town, Corrections to your twisting of my points to help make your argument:

I said that I didn't disagree with your points. I also said I don't care that UM sticks. If MSU keeps winning, we don't need UM to be any better than they are now. Basically, I don't see any need to want UM to be elite if MSU is elite without them.

I didn't say (paraphrased) "no success for MSU unless UM sucks". I said we can win more recruiting battles against them when they suck.

I want to beat the best. I just don't care that UM is not among the best. I actually enjoy it when they suck.

I didn't agree or disagree with your premise that it would be even better if MSU were a top five program while UM was also good. I basically said that I don't want them to be good and I just prefer them to be lousy and MSU stay great. If MSU is great, it is not important for UM to return to the days of six total program Rose Bowl victories. I don't even want them to get a sniff.

I know Ann Arbor will not fade away. I didn't say they would. I know they will be elite again someday. That day will come sooner than I want. I prefer to not root for it to happen as earlier than it has to. I prefer to root for whoever is playing Ann Arbor this week and next week and forever.

I'm not mad about about UM's moles in the media. I just enjoy that they are powerless to help them win games. I enjoy that Minnesota is the biggest game their schedule right now. I just prefer they suck for so long that some of the illusion and mystique wears off and fades away. I'm not saying it will happen, but I see no need to root for them to regain prominence.

To me it's a waste of time to hope UM gets better. I find it enjoyable that their "championship hopes" are dashed before the conference schedule even begins. I am way more concerned about my favorite team. I don't see any need to root for our arrogant rivals who project a false image about what Michigan really is. I'm not suggesting we can control perceptions about other programs. I'll take the 15 undefeated seasons for MSU as you suggested. If UM were to miss a bowl game for those 15 years it would be even better.

It's simple. You want them to be better because you think it somehow benefits MSU. I want them to suck because if MSU keeps winning, we won't need them for anything.

[I love seeing articles about the fall-out in Ann Arbor like THIS.]

Insert From "SpartanMan82"
I am very entertained by the psychodrama that is now Michigan Football. I have been enjoying all of the bridge-jumping by chUMps of all shapes and sizes the past few weeks, especially since the Utah game. It has been a very pleasant experience to watch them flounder about aimlessly this season, thrashing each other more than they have done to their opponents.

The only complaint I have is all this stuff that the Mainstream Michigan Media Machine (M-4) is trying to pump out about the B1G Conference "needing UM to do well". Why not Illinois, the home of Red Grange? Why not Purdue, the former cradle-of-quarterbacks? Why not Minnesota, the thundering herd of the 1930's and 1940's? What about Nebraska, one of the historically greatest programs in college football history? Why is it that the B1G Conference does not seem to need those schools to do well?

Only Michigan counts to the M-4. The claims that the conference "needs them" are pure bunk written by chUMps and the folks who are paid by them to push their propaganda.

A-Town is certainly right that on a national perspective, the conference would benefit from UM avoiding their own self-immolation. But that's only because people have been trained to expect to see them succeed. People can be re-trained. Any other conference program that rises to the top - - - including MSU - - - will eventually be noticed by fans and recognized by the sports media as relevant.

I always remember that George Perles said "they all count one". That means losses as well as wins. Those chUMps only have two losses right now, and I'm the guy pointing out they could still go 10-2. But they are peeing all over themselves right now, and it's a great sight to see!

Other Comments in the thread:

I would rather see a ranked IU than UM. Heck any team for that matter. The [Big Ten] does not revolve around um no matter what their history is, or what their fans desire. The [Big Ten] needs stronger teams, but they DON'T have to be UM. Now is it as fun beating up a team like UM when they appear to be whimpering on the ground? Not really...but the narrative the [Big Ten] is hinging on UM is a joke. Far more teams need to step up than just them.

Crush their nuts.

Spartan fans urged to contribute. Http://

Boognish Rising
Count me in on the "let 'em drown" side of this argument.

Army. Pittsburgh. Minnesota. Cal. What do these teams have in common? If you go back far enough, each were once college football powers -winning multiple national titles. Eventually, they faded, and programs such as UM, ND, OSU, and Bama stepped up. To date they still play second fiddle to other programs.

The point is that times change - football programs change - and some never regain the success they once enjoyed, allowing a new guard to take over. I don't see any reason why that can't happen at Michigan. People just assume that the day will come when they will again be relevant, because, hey, they ARE Michigan after all……. right?

The mediocrity has already spanned close to a decade. Another 5 years of mediocrity may very well spell the death of the UM "Brand", as the future players of tomorrow will have grown up knowing UM as nothing other than a middle of the pack B1G team.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A-TOWN AND R2G DEBATE: Is the Path to Football's Final Four Still Clear for Spartans?

Taken from Reader Comments on M-live article:

3 keys for Michigan State moving forward toward College Football Playoff

return2glory |
Pretty simple to me. Here are the three keys:
1. MSU must win out.
2. Ranked at 9, there are eight undefeated teams ahead of the Spartans. In the next 11 weeks (10 games for MSU) plus the week of conference championships, five of those teams need to lose. That WILL happen, likely 6 or 7 of them will lose - it has happened every year (and many of those teams play each other).
3. Although not absolutely required, it will help if Oregon remains undefeated throughout the season.
If those three things happen, the committee will not be able to keep the Spartans out. The talk will be that the lone Spartans loss came on the road, early in the season, against the #1/#2 ranked team. The only one of those three keys to MSU has any control over is #1 - winning out. #2 is basically done and #3 may not be entirely necessary.
The media and fans who say the Big Ten is out of the final four race are reactionary and not using their brain (most are simply parroting what they have heard others say/write). Even Nebraska or Penn State will get in if they win out (which means the Spartans miss on item #1 above).
That season ending game at Penn State could be huge. Have you seen their schedule?

Oh, have you seen this one? Wikipedia fired Brady Hoke

ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown

ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown
Reply to: @return2glory | I think you need to take into account that the selection committee is not only going to add a lot of the human element to the 4 teams that are in but additionally it is a national committee and not regional.  
The human element is going to bring perception into the equation. While some love to hate, the SEC is viewed as the cream of the power conferences.  Pac 12 is a monster this year too. The Big 12 is also the darling of college football and even in down years seems to get the benefit of the doubt. I would not be shocked if a one loss champ out of any of those conferences would get the nod over MSU at 12-1. The debate always comes down to the ACC and the B1G when it comes to which is the worst of the Power 5. The B1G got some credibility back this past weekend but the fact is do you think the committee would take a one loss FSU or a one loss MSU if the other 3 spots are taken? 
The other factor that most folks are forgetting is the wild card teams. BYU and Marshall are both undefeated and have solid teams. Marshall has the mighty C-USA in front of them. And BYU's toughest contest is a road trip to Boise. The playoff was created specifically for those types of teams. The ones that everyone says they are cute stories with their undefeated season but they are not who deserves a shot at the championship. And then Boise beats Oklahoma or Utah takes one from Bama and the "What ifs.." pop up. I find it hard to believe that the selection committee would not give an undefeated team, regardless of who they are or who their scheduled against, a shot at the playoff.
One final point, the committee is human the same way the voting in the polls is humanized. In 2006, there was a magical vote and U of M fell from #2 to #3 because the voters didn't want a rematch. That reasoning went out the window a couple of years back when it was the SEC. If Oregon goes undefeated, I guarantee the fact that MSU played them and lost already will come across the debate. While I can see the argument that MSU's only loss was the the #1/#2 team in the country, you have to think about the rematch element. A one loss MSU team along with a one loss Big 12 and one loss SEC team are on the table for the last 2 spots, I can see someone saying "Well MSU technically already had their shot when they played Oregon. Do we want a rematch or do we want to see Oregon play this SEC team or Big 12 team?"

return2glory |

return2glory |
Reply to: @ATownAndDown - @TheATownAndDown @return2glory |
Well, I hope we get an opportunity to see if I'm right. I believe that if the three things I outlined happen, the committee will have a difficult time keeping the Spartans out - even more so if they pull the double digit margin of victory in every game trick like they did last year. 
After MSU wins 12 consecutive games, including the Big Ten CG (in this scenario), that early loss will mean far less then than it does now. All but one or two teams will have a more recent loss. The "human element" could easily say, "Well if MSU played anyone but Oregon away from home, they very well could have won and they would be in. Or for that matter, since they have improved so much, as Dantonio teams seem to do, they could probably win that game if it were played today. I'd like to see them prove it, and besides, we don't want to penalize tough scheduling quite so harshly. I vote MSU."
I'm not saying your view is wrong A-Town - I think you could be right on those points and the Spartans still get in based on what I have outlined. 
They could actually be ranked #2 after the final week. They started at #5 and lost an away game to undefeated (in our scenario of the 3 requirements) Oregon team and proceeded to win 12 games in a row with an offense and defense rated near the top in the country in many major categories (a natural occurrence of winning 13 games - especially with this year's offense). Knock out a #2 rated team? Committee members may think the things you bring up A-Town, but in the end they have to consider what is just. 
Somebody is going to feel screwed, and in this scenario, I don't see it being the team on a 12 game roll that is fun to watch while on national and regional TV a lot. There may actually be a lot more intrigue with a rematch under this scenario. It's going to feel like a different season in the end if MSU runs the table - not just to us, but nationally.

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Monday, September 22, 2014


From "These Ten Things" on - For the complete article, click HERE.

Tom Fornelli selects ten things that really caught his attention each week in college football.
This week, MSU caries the #1 spot and #4 and #5 are related to chUMps.

5. Wikipedia has already fired Brady Hoke.
After Michigan lost to Utah on Saturday, I wrote that Brady Hoke's seat has never been hotter than it is right now. Well, apparently somebody took to Wikipedia to just light Hoke's seat on fire.
Go ahead and click that photo to enlarge it if you need to.
Once you've lost Wikipedia, you've lost somebody on the internet who took the time to edit a page. I'm not sure you can come back from that.

1. Michigan State's defense is football porn to me.
I love when Michigan State plays a bad team because it means that my favorite defense in college football is going to do even more damage than usual. It's not just that the Spartans defense is good and shuts opponents down, it's mean, too.
Look at the box score from Michigan State's 73-14 win over Eastern Michigan.
Now, the box score does a decent job of showing the dominance of the Sparty defense, but it doesn't show the whole picture. First of all, Eastern Michigan only managed 1 yard of offense in the first half. One. That's three feet of offense. Sparty had a 49-0 lead at that point. The Eagles would pick up some yards and points in the second half when Michigan State began allowing fans to put on the pads and play.
But the box score and 1 yard of offense in the first half simply not tell the whole story of the Michigan State defense as well as this photo does:
Embedded image permalink
I love this defense so darn much.

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