UGPtop[1]

Last week I talked about finding the “bottom”, that is, the end of the spiral of crappy things happening to this football team.  I don’t know if we’re there, but out there before the game Saturday you felt a weight was lifted and the mood was actually a bit festive.

 

Re: Big Dave – Ultimately what did Brandon in weren’t the changes he made to the athletic program.  Even the biggest haters would admit there were some things he did that worked.  For me, I’ll fondly remember his role in smoothing out the practice-gate mess (even before he was AD), bringing in the night games and adding the Legends Program.   What sunk Brandon was that he treated people like crap. 

 

As I’ve seen (and heard behind the scenes), being an outsider, President Schlissel took a look under the covers during these past few weeks he found a very conspicuous lack of people standing up to defend Big Dave.  Take Hoke.  You are probably tired of hearing how he is a such good dude.  While very few (if any) people think Brady will be coaching next year, when he’s evaluated I’m certain he’ll have many folks to throw support his way in some form or another, because he’s down to earth, lacks a noticeable ego and relates to people.  You can be a strong leader and make major changes without being a complete cock. 

 

Historic Shift Afoot – I’ll probably hit more on this later, as you might guess were are living through one of the biggest regime swaps in athletics/football department history.  Off the top in no particular order:

* Late 1960s – Don Canham “wins” AD position, Bump moves out of coaching into athletic department, Bo Schembechler hired.

* Late 1930s – Harry Kipke fired, Yost’s authority suppressed when Ralph Aigler brings in Fritz Crisler.

* 2000s – Dave Brandon takes over, fires RichRod and hires in Brady Hoke.

* Today – New President Schlissel fires Brandon fired and (football coaching situation TBD).

 

After the jump – Arena, Mood, and more

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maratop[1]

Sap is refreshed, recharged and kindly offers you his post-Hoosier decals.  I tossed in the Editor’s edition for good measure:

 

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION

AMARA DARBOH – This was the breakout game we’ve all been waiting for from Darboh for the past 2 years. Much like the Detroit Lions needed another wide receiver to complement Megatron, the Michigan passing game needed another option downfield other than Devin Funchess. Especially now, when Devin Gardner’s foot injury is forcing him to do his best Dan Fouts-stay-in-the-pocket-no-matter-what impression, Darboh gives the offense another place to go with the ball other than wherever Funchess is.

 

Hopefully Darboh can use this game to jump start his career and the U-M passing game.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION

RYAN GLASGOW – It was obvious that the Michigan defense came to play this game and made sure there was going to be no repeat of last year’s basketball-like score against IU. That all starts up front, and while there were several guys who played lights out by keeping the Hoosiers under 200 yards of total offense, I singled out Glasgow because of his strip and fumble recovery – all in the same play. These guys in the trenches don’t often get the glory, but you had to like what Glasgow did.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION

MATT WILE – A missed field goal can be momentum-killing and team deflating – just ask Indiana how they felt when their kicker doinked one off the upright early in the game. You gotta make your kicks when you get the chance and not give your opponent the energy and momentum to get back in the game. That’s why Matt Wile’s field goals, why they may seem mundane and unspectacular, were important against IU.

 

Coaches (and Blue-hairs) will tell you that you have to execute in all three phases of the game. Wile did his part against Indiana on Saturday.

UNIFORM CHAMPION

YELLOW LACES – I appreciate the little things that make the Michigan uniform iconic. We’ve all seen the blue socks before and the Pink colored accessories that appear each November. Me? I was geeked when I saw a few of the guys wearing yellow laces on their cleats:

image

If you are going to deviate from the traditional black shoes with white laces by adding blue and yellow highlights to the Michigan footwear, you might as well coordinate to the max and make sure the laces don’t clash!

 

EDITOR’S CHOICE

JOHN U. BACON – It was great to see Bacs back upstairs in the press box this week and I’ll leave it at that.

 

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This week we go waaaay back, to November 1, 1879, better known to savvy Michigan historians as Game #2.  This was the first game played in the state of Michigan (Detroit) and the first international match-up as our friends from the University of Toronto crossed the border to face your beloved infantile Wolverines.  After that game, we get into the first game on Ann Arbor soil played in 1883.  A gent named Horace Prettyman..

HORACE

..shined in the morning match against a team from the Detroit:

 

 

You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here…And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM starting at 11:30am.

 

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A wise man once said it is better to look good than to feel good.  In the aftermath of Saturday’s mess and everything else going on you don’t feel good.  So a suggestion: gather up the kids and head down to Contempo Salon and Spa Monday between 4-8pm to support a fundraiser for Chad Carr.  

Get a cut and you’ll look good.  Support this cause and you’ll feel good.  Details:

Cuts for Carr

Go Blue!  #ChadTough

On this day in 1979…still gives me the chills.  Via the great WolverineHistorian:

While it was somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy I suppose, I love that in all the madness Ufer recognized that play in the context of Michigan football history when he offers that it will be remembered for another 100 years (’79 of course was the 100th anniversary of the program). We can safely say that’s true of course, looking back 35 years later and it’s probably more to do with Ufer’s call than the play itself.

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More on Bob Ufer

Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis is back this season with his weekly postgame helmet stickers.  Sap would do a backflip if coach Hoke decided to reinstate this tradition that Bo brought to the team in 1969. 

Until that day comes, Sap will bring you his game Champions who will be decorated, albeit virtually, with his helmet stickers.

OFFENSIVE CHAMPION

JUSTICE HAYES – You gotta like how Hayes was giving it his all on every snap Saturday. From blocking, to running and even some pass-catching, Hayes made the most of his playing time and was almost Mr. Everything against MSU. A TD from him would have been nice, but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards.

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION

JAKE RYAN – Once again Ryan’s play and intensity set the tone for the Michigan Defense, but he can’t do it all by himself. There were flashes of greatness early on as Ryan and the D did their best to keep the game close, but it’s obvious that they now need to score a few points to bail out the Michigan offense.

SPECIAL TEAMS CHAMPION

WILL HAGERUP – His long, accurate and dare I say, Aussie Drop-style punts, pinned Michigan State deep early and often enough to give the Michigan offense a chance to get untracked, but I’m not sure that’s gonna happen anytime soon, er, this season.

UNIFORM CHAMPION

MAIZE & BLUE GLOVES – I thought they looked good with the road white jerseys as opposed to the grey colored gloves that some of the other players wore, like Freddy Canteen. Maybe if #17 had been wearing the maize & blue gloves he wouldn’t have dropped that pass late in the game down by the MSU goal line?

BOB UFER FAN AWARD MichiganManMMQ:  Like you and me, he’s got no where else to go:

 

 

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maratop[1]Recently stock market talking heads like CNBC’s Jim Cramer have expended a lot of calories talking about finding the “bottom”, meaning the point where the collective nastiness out there (Ebola, ISIS, etc.) has punished stock prices and it’s safe for investors to jump back in.   Said another way, it’s the point where things stop getting worse and start getting better.  He even made a list:

bottom

If you felt great when we (yes I said we) scored a touchdown against Michigan State, congrats, you’ve reached a personal bottom.  For this football program I’d like to think that Saturday was the bottom but I don’t think we’re there yet.  There’s a list but I can’t bear to write it down.  A few suggestions for you: 1. Season over 2. New coach named  3. Signing day  4. Rival fans stop feeling sorry for you.  5…

Arena:  A couple notes for you:

* Spear-gate Who gives a crap
* #ChadTough – This was nice – well done MMB and MSUMB:

image

 

Mood UpdateThe Mood Index, the metric trying to gauge how great it is to be a Michigan Wolverine.  It’s not:mood

Uniform Update:  Nothing timeline worthy, but you have a couple guys (at least early on) wearing the white Team 135 undershirts with the State of Michigan logo (with block M on Ann Arbor) on the sleeve.  And you had the maize and blue gloves with the white uniforms – they stood out:

gloves

 

Historical Games Notes:  Primarily via #1000SSS:

• Senior kicker Matt Wile connected on a season-long 48-yard field goal in the second quarter. Wile is tied for third on U-M’s single-season list of 40+-yard field goals made with five, tying Remy Hamilton (1996), J.D. Carlson (1989) and Brendan Gibbons (2013).

Matt Wile is tied for sixth on Michigan’s all-time career list of 40+-yard field goals made with eight, tying Bob Bergeron (1981-84) and Hayden Epstein (1998-2001).

 

 

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This week we head back to 1975 when Lee Corso and the Hoosiers came to town.  Of historical significance in 1975:

  • This game was the last time Michigan Stadium had an announced attendance of fewer than 100,000 (93,857).  So as Craig Barker suggests, should we blame Lee Corso?
  • 1975 was the first season the B1G allowed teams to go to bowl games other than the Rose Bowl.  And Michigan was invited to play the Oklahoma Sooners in the 1976 Orange Bowl.  (And at that Orange Bowl, the Michigan Marching Band unleashed the epic JAWS formation!).

Here’s the clip:

This was a tough year to pick – of historical note on this day in U-M football lore:

You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here…And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM starting at 11:30am.

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