Gets a Face Lift

New and improved for...yes you...the user!

For those loyal MB Nation readers over the age of 55, here's the FAQ section of the new site.

Lots of new and improved features. More user friendly, for one thing. Easier on the eyes. Also, video and photos are more integrated. Navigation is easier. And lets face it...this upgrade was way overdue.

Nice work.

Blah Blah Ferentz

Okay, lets all just calm down and take a deep breath.

It can be said, and probably should be said, that internet/blogger rumors can sometimes get out of hand. I was damn impressed when MGoBlog forcasted the retirement of Lloyd Carr last week...but predicting Lloyd's retirement isn't exactly going to win any Peabody Awards.

So when I flipped on the ole computer this morning and saw everyone going spastic over UM supposedly offering the head coaching job to Kirk Ferentz, I'll admit, I threw up in my mouth a little bit. But then reason set in, and I thought about it.

Michigan is not the right place for him. Hell, Iowa isn't the right place for him. But never the less, I gave the news its due attention. Jim Carty's article today pretty much sets the tone for this whole chaotic mess.

Plus, lets not forget that LSU's huge loss last week holds the door wide open for Les Miles to bid Louisiana goodbye and say hello to Ann Arbor. And while I still doubt he'll be the next football coach at Michigan, it surely just got a helluva lot easier for both parties to at least start talking.

So who, you might be asking yourself, do I think the next coach will be at the University of Michigan? Lets just say he used to be the head coach at my alma matter Bowling Green State University and his name rhymes with Urban Meyer.

I have no sources and nothing to substantiate my claim. But if I was Bill Martin and my program was starting to flail and I had one shot at a guy who I thought could right the ship...that'd be my guy.

The Lloyd Carr Era: My Personal Highlights

Trying to keep things looking up after a bookended 4 loss season...we here at MBN have decided to list our highlights of the Lloyd Carr era: 1995-2007.

Lloyd's first win in heart-stopping fashion, 18-17 win against Virginia on a last second TD catch by Mercury Hayes from Scott Dreisbach. I was sitting at about the 20 yard line. It was 100 degrees and sunny. I must have lost 10 pounds that day. It was worth it.

A great way to end a disappointing 8-4 season, upsetting #2 ranked and undefeated OSU 31-23. Tim Biakabutuka's record 313 rushing yards was an amazing thing of beauty.

Another huge win over a top ranked OSU team. This time on the road, 13-9.

What else can we say, this was Lloyd's best year by far. Dominating defense led by Heisman winner Charles Woodson, capable but sometimes lackluster offense led by Brian Greise. Defeated every opponent that season. Big wins over Penn State, Ohio State, and Washington State in the Rose Bowl led to Michigan's first national title in 48 years.

Not a banner year for Michigan, but a solid 10-2 season. It was my first Ohio State game. Got to see the phenom Tom Brady before he hit it big. Great win 24-17.

One could argue the Orange Bowl OT victory over Alabama was one of Lloyd's most impressive bowl wins.

An overtime thriller versus Penn State in Ann Arbor, 27-24.

One of Lloyd's most talented teams. A huge come from behind win at Minnesota, was the largest comeback in Michigan football history. Michigan wins 38-35.

Took a while to grow into their roles, but by the end of the season, they were good enough to give Lloyd his only win against Sir Teflon 35-21. Chris Perry turned out to be a great RB and Braylon Edwards became one of the best WRs ever at Michigan. And QB John Navarre got the OSU monkey off his back.

A 3 overtime heart stopper in Ann Arbor against rival Michigan State that went way into the night, was maybe the most dramatic win in the Lloyd Carr era...a breakout game for freshman Chad Henne, and a serious highlight game for senior Braylon Edwards.

Mike Hart also had a banner season, 1,487 yards rushing, leading him to win the freshman Big 10 player of the year.

A down year for Michigan, but "Henne to Manningham" will be remembered for generations. Michigan handed Penn State their only loss of the year in dramatic fashion on a last second touchdown pass to win the game 25-21.

Lloyd's last great season. Big wins all year. A breakout win in South Bend destroying Notre Dame 47-21. Giving Wisconsin their only loss 27-13. Winning at Penn State 17-10 in one of the most physical contest in this series.

The showdown at Ohio State, even though a loss, is maybe the most hyped game in the Lloyd Carr era. The death of Bo the day before probably cast a shadow over this game for Lloyd, but was still a great game in terms of not giving up and playing a great team in a tough environment.

Looking Slightly Ahead

2008 Michigan Football Schedule
Aug. 30 UTAH
Sept. 6 MIAMI (OHIO)
Sept. 13 at Notre Dame
Oct. 11 TOLEDO
Oct. 18 at Penn State
Nov. 1 at Purdue
Nov. 8 at Minnesota
Nov. 22 at Ohio State

Official: Lloyd Carr is Done

When asked about his future during "Michigan Replay" by host and former player Jim Brandstatter on Sunday, Lloyd avoided the answer by saying that his coaches and players would be the first to know if he decides not to return.

Well, he informed the team yesterday at a team meeting. He will inform the rest of the world today. The announcement will come in less than 1 hour at the 10AM Monday presser that Lloyd Carr will retire after the bowl game this year.

No shock to this news as it was pretty much forecasted last summer when Lloyd restructured his contract with the University, and also negotiated deals for all his assistants to receive pay for one year no matter what, so they are not all left out to dry when he leaves.

So, now that the cat is out of the bag...let the onslaught of speculation begin.

The Day Before

Great, great, great post by Johnny over at RBUAS. What a wonderful writer he is. He could make anyone care about Michigan football. I don't know what he really does for a living, but I just hope he keeps doing this. He doesn't post a lot, but when he does, its usually a homerun. Almost all of the comments for his most recent post simply say "Thank you.". Wow.

And if there was any question what Lloyd Carr means to this school, this team, here's the YouTube video from that post.

Lloyd haters: Go screw yourself.

Don't like it? Start you own blog.

So, Kirk Herbstreit thinks this rivalry is getting out of hand, eh? Kirk, getting out of hand is what a great rivalry is all about. In the 70's, it was called the 10 year war...not the 10 year rivalry. ESPN's College Gameday is partially somewhat responsible for flaming this sort of hatred between these two schools. Having Gameday broadcast live from Ann Arbor or Columbus before this game is like dropping a 55-gallon drum of gasoline onto a firepit.

I love that pic. This isn't knee-jerking hatred...this hatred takes planning and coordination.

Part of me really hates Kirk and his charming all-star QB good looks. He probably married the head cheerleader from high school. And not that there's anything wrong with that, but as a former offensive lineman, I'm just used to viewing QB's as pretty boys...especially QBs that sucked as much as Herbstreit did.

Okay, enough of Herbie.

I was going to give a long and detailed run down and bullet-points of what this game will probably turn out like...but the guys at Michigan Against the World have me covered. A really good post today breaking down the game.

To summarize: Hart and Henne must play for Michigan to win. We must run the ball well and control the line of scrimmage. Use the run to open up the pass. Defense must stop Wells and get pressure on Boeckman. We must not make mistakes on special teams and win the turnover battle.

If we do that we'll win. Its that simple.

So, thats all I have to say. Nothing left to do but wait.

Rest well Maize & Blue Nation. Try to sleep tonight. Gameday starts at 10:00AM on ESPN. Try not to throw things at your TV when Kirk speaks.

Go Hart, Go Henne, Go Manningham, Go Long, Go Crable, Go Lloyd! GO BLUE!

An Ending

Great piece by Jim Carty of the Ann Arbor News about Lloyd Carr and his impending retirement. Jim has a way with words, and this article doesn't disappoint.

With all the hype about Lloyd leaving and who will fill his role next season, one thing that seems to get lost is just how much Lloyd will be missed. He's been an excellent example of a great coach, and an even better man. And before we crown the next head coach at Michigan, we need to take some time to both enjoy the man still coaching the team, and reflect on his wonderful career at Michigan.

Bo hired Lloyd as a defensive backs coach in 1980. Then in 1987 he was promoted to defensive coordinator. When Bo stepped down, he became assistant head coach/def. coordinator. And then when Gary Moeller was fired in 1994, Lloyd became interim head coach and then eventually later that season...the full time head coach. has some nice "did you know?" facts about Lloyd Carr:
• Lloyd Carr is one of only 12 current Division I-A coaches who have won a national title.
• He has the best winning percentage of all the previous Michigan coaches at Michigan Stadium. Carr is 69-9 (.885) in his career at the "Big House."
• Carr and the Michigan football staff conduct an annual women's football academy that benefits the comprehensive cancer center at the University of Michigan.
• He was a member of the NCAA Football Rules Committee. He was appointed to the committee in 2000 and his term ran until Sept. 1, 2005.
• Carr was named to Board of Trustees of American Football Coaches Association in 2003.
• The U of M Club of Downriver annually awards the Lloyd Carr Scholarship to an outstanding senior from one of the Downriver high schools to support fine representation of the Downriver area at the University of Michigan.
• Carr and Regent David Brandon are currently co-chairs of the U-M Health System's "Champions for Children" campaign, that is a part of The Michigan Difference campaign taking place throughout the University.
• The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame presented Carr with the 2002 Philip A. Hart Award, presented annually by the Michigan Women's Studies Association to a man who through the course of his career has advanced the cause for women.
• Carr was the first coach in Michigan Athletic Department history to endow a scholarship at the University.

I've always like Lloyd Carr. He seems to me like the typical "tough guy" coach. But he also has a much softer, intellectual side to him that only shows through every once in a while. He's an adamant reader. When he lets his guard down, its nice to see him open up a little bit. You get to see what really makes him so special and why so many players love him.

When he takes the field tomorrow, there will be a lot of eyes on the old coach. History seems to only remember what you did last. Lloyd's career could very well be defined by how well he does in his (supposedly) final game at Michigan Stadium.

But one thing that is not uncertain, is that Lloyd will continue to remain and visible and vocal member of the athletic department. He's spent a lot of his time giving back to the both the university and the community. Michigan is his home. He may not keep an office in Schembechler Hall like Bo did after he retired, but he will be a spokesman of a President after his term.

Win or lose tomorrow...Lloyd Carr will always be remembered as a loyal, honest and devoted member of the Michigan family. He, like his mentor Bo, was a man who was always tough when he had to be, and there for you when you needed him. He ran a clean program, he turned countless young men into great leaders...Michigan Men.

We will miss you Lloyd.

Go Blue.

The Truth Hurts for a Reason

...because its true.

The Hate

Ohio State fans hate Michigan. HATE! They have millions reasons to hate us. They treat Michigan fans like shit all the time. Its in their blood. Its all they know.

They hate us because:
  1. we don't hate them as much as they hate us.
  2. our stadium is bigger
  3. our stadium is better
  4. our uniforms are better
  5. our fight song is better
  6. our winning percentage is better
  7. we have more all-time wins
  8. we have more Big 10 titles
  9. we have other rivalries that matter to us
  10. we tailgate better
  11. we have better looking co-eds
  12. we care about academics
  13. our most famous coaching moment wasn't punching an opposing player
  14. our current coach isn't an arrogant prick
  15. we don't wear sweater-vests
  16. Tshimanga Biakabutuka
  17. Desmond Howard
  18. Charles Woodson
  19. Braylon Edwards
  20. Tom Brady
There's 20. Its a start.

Its no secret that the differences between Michigan and Ohio State fans are obvious. OSU fans are obnoxious, irritating and downright rude. Natural Light and Old Milwaukee's Best certainly go a long way in helping them maintain the stereotype. Other schools' fans all across the Big 10 know OSU fans are famous for their overreactions. Whether its cheering the alpha-dork dotting the I, sending the toilet-bowl shaped stadium into a drunken tizzy, or absolutely losing it on national TV when you saw your buckeyes get trounced by the Gators last year...

I Its just a damn game. I'd be upset too, of course...but hold back the tears.

The bottom line is, for all the bitterness and hatred toward the Wolverines...Ohio State would be nothing without us. Without Michigan, Ohio State has no rival. Without Michigan, Ohio State has no big wins. Without Michigan, Ohio State has nothing to hang their entire reputation on. I give Sir Teflon credit for recognizing this one his first day on the job. The only thing that matters to Ohio State, is beating Michigan. John Cooper downplayed the rivalry. He tried to convince buckeye fans that Ohio State could stand on its own. So they ran him out of town.

I don't know yet if I'll get tickets to the game this Saturday, but even if I'm there or not, I'll know that win or lose, the Michigan fans will hold themselves to a higher standard than that of their buckeye counterparts. Michigan fans will respect OSU fans and be courteous to them. They won't spit at them, throw beer cans at them, boo their band, or give them the middle-finger salute.

And that right the #1 reason why Ohio State fans can't stand us.

Watch Out

Here they come Ann Arbor.

Very drunk Buckeye Fan at Varsity Club

Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable: Ohio State Week

I don't know if there is a special group that you need to join to become an official member of the "Big Ten Bloggers Roundtable"...but like my friend KDM at Michigan Against the World...I just decided to jump in a test the waters myself. Here we go!

1. Call me crazy, but it seems like the refs have been even worse this year than usual. I've noticed what seems like an unusal amount of questionable calls/non-calls go against the Buckeyes this season, but then, I am just a little biased, and the only referee performances I notice are the crappy ones. What have you thought of the Big Ten refs this season? Do any especially bad calls stand out to you?

As a Michigan fan, I don't see it. But then again, I've been too busy being critical of our own play calling and philosophy to be distracted by officiating. When I do notice the refs, they're usually doing a decent job.

Also, I don't watch my fair share of Ohio State games, so that doesn't help either. But I did watch the Illinois game, I mean come on...who didn't. And Sir Teflon should've thrown the replay flag early on the game.

2. How is recruiting going for your team? Any incoming players that opponents should be concerned about for 2008, or will the cupboards be left bare? (Note: If you don't follow recruiting, please post an entertaining picture of some sort at this point.)

I'm not a big recruiting buff. But I know of Sam McGuffie who is a phenom RB. One of the best recruits of the 2008 class.

Other than that, I'd have to see a list of guys and their position to know more. But I have to think the impending coaching change is going to have at least a little effect, and of course whoever they bring in could either drive guys away, or attract more good talent.

Blue-chipper: Would you like play for this man?

3. The OSU-Michigan game is taken pretty seriously 'round these parts. For at least this week, the rivalry is all-consuming for just about every OSU fan I know. But let's face it, there's plenty more to hate (or at least dislike) in college football than our rivals. So, other than your team's current rival(s), what team, person, rule, concept, intangible object, etc., would you like to declare a rival, the better to focus your hatred on them/it?

I'm going to keep my OSU shots to myself for now and say that I think Michigan's biggest rival right now is itself.

Look at some of the most successful schools throughout the history of college football: Texas, Michigan, USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Penn State, Nebraska, Florida State, Miami, Florida, Alabama...the list goes on and on depending on who you ask. But the point many of those teams are struggling this year, or have struggled in recent years...from being super-powers for decades?

Michigan is starting to fall into that trap. Coaching, while I love Lloyd Carr, does need to be addressed (which I'm sure it will very shortly)...and the overall feeling that we're heading downward in terms of philosophy. Tradition is a great thing...but you can't depend on it. Michigan still sells itself with tradition and name recognition. But take Notre Dame's terrible season as a warning. Just take away a few key players, and Michigan is in the same boat.

I know it seems silly to compare historical dynasties with college football, but some of the greatest, worst and most powerful governments, dictatorships, and kingdoms in history were not toppled by wars or battles...but from within. Its a stretch I know.

But sustained success and complacency are a volatile combination and should be recognized. Luckily the turnaround with players and sometimes coaches keeps things fresh. But Michigan has a tendency to not ripple the waters too much with coaching changes. Since 1969, we've had either Bo, or a product of Bo running this team. And while I would argue anyone who said Bo wasn't the greatest coach of all-time, I see the need to evolve accordingly with the nature of the game.

Oh, and I should also add that the trend lately that coaches have, both college and pro, of calling timeouts right before a FG kick at the end of a game to screw up the kicker...that needs to be fixed. The rule should be coaches can't call timeouts when his defense is on the field, or at least not after 15 seconds are left on the play-clock. Its just not fair, and it makes you look like an ass-hole. That's right, I'm looking at you Urban.

Tuesday OSU Love

Nice Michigan blog here. Good content. Fun to read. Good take on how so many Michigan fans feel about our friends south of the border.
From "Michigan Against the World" poster: Peabody

"I hate Ohio State. That is certainly not news to anyone who reads this site, or has taken a casual glance at any graphics on the page. I hate their stupid helmet stickers. I hate their coach’s pompous fake persona of class. I hate the anal beads their fans wear around their necks. I hate Hang on Sloopy. I hate that their band looks like the Salvation Army and marches like the Third Reich. I hate that their stadium is shaped like a toilet seat. I hate Ohio State."
Read more here.

Go Blue!

Rumor Mill: Lloyd Carr to Retire After Season

Word on the street is that Lloyd is going to announce his retirement after the Ohio State game. A few blogs have reported that at least 3 unnamed sources within the athletic department have confirmed this rumor to be true.

I can't say that this comes as a particular shock to anyone...most people thought it looked a little like this could be it for the embattled ball coach. He restructured his contract during the off-season to let him back away from coaching after this season without breaking or voiding any current agreements he has with the athletic department.

Obviously not much else to report until more comes out or Lloyd come clean next week. His weekly presser showed a little deeper side to Lloyd...a little more reflection than usual.

Much, much more on this later...I'm sure.

Presser Audio, Gameday Notes, Classic Games

Monday player presser audio clips here. Senior center Adam Kraus, senior left tackle Jake Long, senior safety Brandent Englemon, senior defensive tackle Will Johnson, senior safety Jamar Adams.

Lloyd presser clip here. Took the mic for 37 minutes...a season long. But remained unsure about Hart and Henne.

Also noted in the story linked above, ESPN's College Gameday will be broadcasting from somewhere outside the stadium (I assume), and will be live on ESPN & ESPNHD starting at 10AM EST. "The Man" Desmond Howard, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and the biggest homer of all time Kirk "Never Beat Michigan" Herbsteit will bring their usual fever pitch insanity to the already rivalry-charged Ann Arbor tailgate atmosphere.

I used to love the college gameday show...but lately its gotten that "been there-done that" feel to it. I've seen them twice in Ann Arbor and once at my alma mater Bowling Green State University in 2003 when we hosted Northern Illinios in what I can only describe as a glorified drinking festival after BG got out to a huge lead in the first half and never looked back.

But I'll admit, for that gameday show, I made a BGSU sign and waved it proudly for 2 hours in a sea of orange and brown. It was fun...but since then, gameday has never really been the same. Maybe its my overall distain for Kirk and his charming boyish looks and love of everything buckeye that has tarnished my view of the show.

But...either way, I'm glad to see Michigan still getting some national love from the media.

Speaking of love...gotta throw up a link to HBO's "The Rivalry" which will air tomorrow night at 10:30PM on, you guessed it...HBO. For those of us, me included, that don't have HBO...we'll have to wait until the leaked version hits the web...which I'm sure it will. But follow the link above anyway to see a quick preview of the show...most notably Bo's final interview the day before he died last year. Great Great Great stuff...priceless video as far as I'm concerned.

So for those with their heads burried in the sand, here's the vital gameday info:

What: #23 Michigan vs. #7 Ohio State
When: November 17, 2007 12PM EST
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Radio: Ann Arbor-1050AM, Detroit-104.3FM, XM-196, Sirius-122
Weather Forcast: 40% chance of showers, 42 degrees, winds 5-10mph

Also, incase you don't want to wait until Saturday to get your UM-OSU fix...ESPN Classic and the Big Ten Network have gotcha covered.

ESPN Classic


2:00PM - 4:ooPM - 1981 OSU @ Michigan
4:00PM - 7:00PM - 2000 Michigan @ Northwestern (uh...not sure why???)

2:00PM - 4:00PM - 1995 OSU @ Michigan
4:00PM - 6:00PM - 1994 Colorado @ Michigan (again...why???)

1:00PM - 3:00PM - 1997 OSU @ Michigan
3:00PM - 5:00PM - 2005 OSU @ Michigan
5:00PM - 7:00PM - 2007 Appalachian State @ Michigan (ok, now thats low)

The Big Ten Network

8:00PM - 10:00PM - 1997 OSU @ Michigan

4:00AM - 6:00AM - 1997 OSU @ Michigan

10:ooAM - 12:00PM - 2007 Michigan @ MSU (sure, why not)
2:00PM - 4:00PM - 2006 Michigan @ OSU

6:00PM - 8:00PM - 1997 OSU @ Michigan

Case of the Mondays

Its rivalry week...but, its also Monday. Which means we have 4 more days of talk radio, blogs, and newspaper articles to keep us occupied until we wake up Saturday morning.

Don't get me wrong though, I love this week. I love playing Ohio State and I especially love it when we get to play them in AA.

I've been scouring youtube for more motivational content...but what we posted yesterday is the best of what I've found so far. If you have a video that you think would be good that I all means let me know.

What I want to know is...what the hell happened at the end of the Ohio State-Illinois game that sparked the fight at midfield? And...will there be repercussions on this game because of it. I don't know about you, but I saw some red jerseys throwing punches at some white jerseys. Where I come from, that ain't allowed. Suspensions? Anyone?

And whats the status of the "other" Wells rusher? I saw OSU's backup RB limp off the field on Saturday and not return. With Chris Wells already banged up pretty good, that could really impact their running attack, could it not?

But I have to say for all the buildup over the past few weeks, both teams losing was sort of a let down going into this week. Much more of a let down for Ohio State, being taken out of the BCS hype...but the Big Ten title is still up for grabs...its still the game against our most hated rival...and its still the last time we'll ever see Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Jake Long, Shawn Crable and the other seniors put on the gloves of gray in the Big House.

Sunday Evening Inspiration

Knee Jerk Reactions, So Many Doubts

Many people will say Michigan got caught looking ahead. And I wouldn't argue that. They sure looked like it. In what boils down to a virtually meaningless that the outcome doesn't hurt Michigan's chances at a Big Ten could easily say that Lloyd and the coaches and the players were basically going through the motions.

Defense is where Michigan really struggled. The run defense was almost non-existent. And Tyler Donnovan had all day to throw. And when he didn't throw, he showed off his speed by getting past the Michigan front 7 and getting sometimes 10-25 yards a pop. The lack of tackling ability, being seemingly out of position almost all game, and giving away the side of the field to the out-routes all day are huge issues for this team right now.

It was hard to watch the defense struggle so much. But what was worse was watching the Ryan Mallett plane crash into the side of the mountain over, and over, and over again. His throws were way off all day. Like I said weeks ago, he needs to get that mental clock that goes off when its time to either take the sack or throw it away. Henne, love him or hate him, and I love him...seems to have that down. I know Mallett has a rocket arm, but the key to being a great quarterback is not in the arm, its in the head.

We had no rushing game to speak of at all. None. Minor and Brown might as well stayed home for this one. And the line really let the running game down. I would like to think Jake Long is the best lineman in the country, and he might very well be...but we need a few more of him. The rest of the line sucked this week. The gave the backs no holes to run through and made a shaken Ryan Mallett look worse than we he really is.

Henne played one series, then left the game for good. But what was interesting was he put his pads back on in the second half when Michigan cut the lead to 23-21. I don't know why he did that, because it didn't seem like he was going to come back in. And even though Mallett kept making mistake after mistake, it never seemed for a second like Henne was even in mind. we said, Michigan's goal of winning the Big Ten outright and going to a 4th Rose Bowl in 5 years is still intact. With one game to go or course.

I'd like to say that I am confident, but after last week...there's really no way to tell which Michigan team is going to show up.

To beat Ohio State, a pissed off and defeated Ohio State, we are going to need to get more physical. Our defense must start hitting harder and making people pay. We need to get pressure on Boeckman and stop both Wells'. Not an easy task. But the key to beating Ohio State is to beat up their defensive line and get blockers out onto their linebackers. Say what you will about the buckeyes...they're a great defense. They're big and fast and can hit...hard.

Well, not to worry, we here at MB Nation will analyze every aspect of this game this week and keep you updated daily with info and other rivalry tidbits. One things for sure, there will be no lack of build up for this one.

Btw...I am still in the hunt for two (2) tickets to the game. Hopefully since both teams lost, the price will drop a little.

More to come soon...

The Badgers

Well, this game looked a lot scarier before the season than it does one day away. Odd how things turn out. But regardless, its still a big game...and it must be played. But there are a few things swinging in the favor of the Wolverines.

Such as injuries. PJ Hill is still uncertain. He's be playing with a nagging leg injury for a few weeks now. With the non-existent passing game, that's a big blow to the offense. But where the biggest injuries lie is on defense...most notably the secondary.

And the biggest advantage for Michigan in this game is that the game itself starts at 11AM local time. That's huge. That takes away the usually rowdy Madison crowd. This game at 11AM is a whole different animal than an 8PM starting time.

You would probably imagine most of the team looking past this game to the annual showdown with Ohio State next week. And while I think some players could be doing that, I doubt it will effect this game's outcome too much. It will be a close game, but Michigan should pull away in the 3rd and win by 2 or 3 TDs. Michigan just has too much firepower now to be contained by a young and untested defense like Wisconsin's. Hart is a go, and so is Henne. Both are playing banged up...but so are most players in college football by week 11. That's the way it goes sometimes. But to keep these two seniors off the field would take an act of God. No way Hart or Henne or any other senior is going to miss the last 2 games of the regular season.

Like I said, there may be a little looking ahead in this game, but that may not be such a bad thing. Usually the game leading up the Ohio State matchup is somewhat of a statement for both schools. You want to look sharp so the other guy gets a little worried. Its the nature of competition I suppose. Part of me is glad this game will be a challenge...and we're not going up against Indiana or another conference doormat.

So, as usual, enjoy the game...(try to) drink responsibly and Go Blue!

A Moment of Silence, Indeed

If you read last Saturday's New York Times article about Mike Hart, you might have learned something about the 5' 9" running back who has set the career rushing record at Michigan earlier this year. So much, this young man means to the not only the football team he plays for, but the University he attends.

All of us Michigan fans need to cherish the next 3 games of this season. Cherish the fact that we still get to watch Mike Hart play for us. He's maybe the most special player to ever wear the maize and blue uniform. For me, his legacy was cemented this season with his dignity and character.

Its both a shame and a blessing that he's not going to be considered for the Heisman trophy. Its a shame because I wish every fan could see what a special person he is...but a blessing because thats not Mike's style.

Mike Hart would feel more comfortable feeding the homeless and raising money on campus for the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech than sitting at the Heisman presentation in a suit at the New York Downtown Athletic Club. Certain people are like that...Bo was like that. Great football guys are like that. Its not about single player Bo used to say, its about "The team! The team! The team!".

For all the reaction about Hart's comments towards Michigan State after the game last weekend, I think a lot of critics jumped to conclusions. But look at it from Mike's perspective. Dantonio disrespected a proud Michigan team with his comments after the Appy State game. For the first year coach, he ought to consider this as his introduction to a long and bitter rivalry. You just don't say things like that about you instate opponent. Never.

I think Dantonio is flaming the fire by saying..."They want to mock us all they want, I'm telling them it's not over. They can print that crap all they want all over their locker room. It's not over. It will never be over. It's just starting.''

Um...actually it started long before you got here buddy. Welcome to the show.

See you next year in the Big House.

2 Schools of Thought

Call it fair and balanced, Hannity and Colmes, glass half full or half empty, ying and yang...whatever. But I thought this week would be a good time to give equal time to both sides of the isle.

Depending probably on how long you've followed this team, what age bracket you're in, what part of the state you live in or grew up in, there are two schools of though to how to view this season of Michigan football.

The glass is half full:

Michigan was down 0-2. The season was over. Henne and Hart and Long all came back to the worst start to a Michigan season ever. Carr sucks and should be fired NOW!!!

But leadership, hard work, and a never give up attitude have given this squad a meaning now. We've won 8 straight games. The Big Ten is down this year, but Michigan isn't. We're winning games that people thought we'd lose. Henne and Hart have showed die-hard Michigan fans what it means to be die-hard. They've played injured, and given fans maybe two of the most courageous efforts ever. Carr has out done his haters by showing up each week with good game plans and steady play-calling. Not to mention the tremendous effort of convincing 115 young men that this season is still worth playing for. How many coaches could do that? Charlie Weis???

Michigan took a pathetic start and turned it into a rallying cry. Michigan fans are proud again. We look forward to games again. Hart may not win the Heisman, but we've grown to love him for his effort and heart. The defense is strong again, the DB's are intercepting passes again, the LB's are flying around the field again and the linemen are getting to the QB.

We have a real shot at beating Wisconsin and OSU and going the Rose Bowl...something unthinkable on Sept. 9th.

Oh, and btw...can't wait for the new additions to the Big House, its going to look awesome, its going to be loud, and will be something that all Michigan fans will be proud of.

The glass is half empty:

Michigan showed us yet again why we love to hate them. They can never put together a full season of victories. We will lose to OSU and lose our bowl game.

The defense can not cover a spread offense, and while the rest of the country adopts it, Michigan will always use a drop-back passer.

Carr sucks. Henne sucks. Hart is fragile and undependable. We have no depth at RB. Manningham gives us terrible effort week-in and week-out. DeBord's play calling is predictable.

And the new Big House looks like crap, they need to leave it alone.
Ahh, feels good to get that off my chest.

First of all, to the glass half empty people out there; you're what keeps Michigan football set in the stone age. Luckily we're starting to weed you out...mostly because you're all so old. Your the type of people (mostly middle-aged alunmi) who go to games, sit in the $$$ seats on the home side, sit on your hands all game and moan about EVERYTHING!

I've only been a fan of the maize and blue for a decade and a half maybe I don't have as much room to talk, but this is my blog and I say what goes around here. So ha!

Just kidding. We're an equal opportunity blog. We accept Michigan fans of all kinds...whether you hate Lloyd Carr or have a bobble-head of him on your desk right now. But one fact that I think the majority of readers will agree on is that Michigan fans are both complacent, and spoiled from years of success. When is the last time we've really suffered a terrible season? Not in my lifetime, thats for sure. I don't think 4 or 5 losses is a disaster. Not when the last loss comes in the form of a bowl game.

But really? How can Michigan fans complain, even now when they have played so well in the past few weeks.

I don't want to seem like a broken record, but its an argument that is easy to make...and for a good reason...just look at Notre Dame...or Nebraska.

Note: I just read this...

UM needs to check itself?

Hmm. First impressions...Sore loser? Maybe.

“I find a lot of the things that they do amusing,” Dantonio said on Monday. “They need to check themselves sometimes. But just remember, pride comes before the fall.”
Them there are fightin' words!

But my thoughts immediately recall after many many plays, MSU players were pushing and shoving Michigan players well after the whistle. So I guess the door swings both ways. I don't remember Dantonio saying that we should all give Michigan a moment of silence after the Appy State loss (he was right though). But if he did say that, then all I can say is what goes around comes around. Use that moment as a rallying cry for next year...whatever. Don't go to your presser and cry about it.

What he should talk about is how is team gave up about 100 penalty yards and totally stopped playing defense midway through the 4th quarter.

Alright, more about Wisconsin later this week. Have a good one and Go Blue!

MSU Wrap-up, Looking Ahead

It was a thing of beauty. After throwing almost every deep pass about 6 inches off of Manningham's fingertips, Henne was spot on with his last pass attempt to his favorite target. I had multiple heart attacks on Saturday night. Every time a linebacker missed a tackle and a DB had to come up to make an open field tackle. And every time a pass sailed just past Mario's hands.

Hart and Henne are really banged up...there's no doubt about that. Henne should be okay for the rest of the year, hoping that his line can protect him a little better than they did last week. But the real question is Hart. He's no longer a Heisman candidate. Missing two and half games in a row will do that. But he's still the backbone of this offense. Just him being in the game makes a difference. But its tough to tell if he's just dinged up, or truly hurt enough to miss more time. He limped all night on Saturday. But a bad sprain is a come and go type of injury, it really just depends on how it feels when he wakes up on gameday.

I hate to think that a running game could hurt Michigan so bad. But MSU in the 3rd quarter looked tough. Their line was getting pushes against the Michigan D line like no one has all year. Their zone blocking scheme was getting lineman into our linebackers and making huge gaps for Caulcrick and Ringer.

So, I hate to look ahead, but if Wisconsin plays PJ Hill, and of course OSU will throw as much Wells at us as possible...we'll need to really shore up those run stopping issues we had in the 2nd half. Its not that I think we have run stopping problems, just look at the first half...we had Ringer contained.

But I think that brings up a good point for this week's matchup. Now that Wisconsin lost to Ohio State last week, Michigan can lose to them this week, knock off the buckeyes, and still win the Big Ten title. So does that mean we're looking past Wisconsin?

I really think Michigan will play well in Madison this weekend. Lets face it, Michigan is peaking now. MSU was a rivalry gut-check it always is. OSU has cupcaked their way through the season so far...making sure not to play anyone that might knock them off.

Michigan may or may not be looking ahead to November 17th, but I am. 8 wins in a row will do that to you. Lloyd is going to go out with a prove his doubters wrong once and for all. Anyone have an extra ticket?