Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Breaking down the Penn State Quarterbacks

This season, Penn State is in a similar situation to Michigan circa 2008. For those of you who haven't undergone multiple sessions of therapy to forget the QB situation in Ann Arbor for the 2008 season, it comprised of Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan, and Justin Feagin ( I actually forgot that he played in 4 games). For the offense Rich Rodriguez runs, Threet was hardly an ideal option. He's 6'5'', 237 pounds, and is only considered fast when compared to the migration patterns of the grey fieldslug...
His 40 time is still being tabulated


Nick Sheridan was a coach's kid, walk-on who would have never seen the field if Lloyd Carr and Ryan Mallett had stayed. Justin Feagin was a very athletic (read: raw) QB prospect brought in at the last minute to give RR some semblance of a spread QB. In other words, the cupboard was fairly bare.

This brings us to 2010 and the PSU situation.  They came into the season needing to replace their 3rd all-time leading passer Daryll Clark. They returned former Michigan commit Kevin Newsome who played in 10 games last year. He completed 8 of his 11 passes for 66 yards and 0-0 TD-INT. They also returned former walk-on Matt McGloin who saw action in 2 games.  They recruited the position well, signing two top ten QB prospects in Paul Jones and Orchard Lake St. Mary's Rob Bolden. Bolden actually beat out the pack to start the season opener against Youngstown State. He's thrown for 1307 yards and a TD/INT ratio of  5/7 in his 7 games this year. Not bad for a true freshman in the Big Ten. The problem is that he is injured and may not see the field against Michigan on Saturday night. He was apparently concussed in the Minnesota game, and was still having memory problems as of Tuesday.

McGloin and Newsome are both 6-13 on the year with McGloin having thrown 2 TDs. Newsome is a more dangerous runner, and has more overall experience at the college level. Before Bolden's injury, I would have guessed that the RB triumvirate of Royster, Green, and Redd would do most of the damage. If Bolden misses the game, I'm not sure Penn State will attempt 15 passes unless they get down big.  Even with the way teams have gashed the under-manned Michigan secondary. It will be interesting to see how much info gets leaked in the coming days regarding Bolden's status. Paterno is 176 years old a veteran coach who knows not to give any information away.

If I had to make a guess, I would say Bolden starts, but we see a mixture of all 3 QBs in the game. Bolden just hasn't shown enough to scare anyone. Of course, neither had Justin Siller in 2008. (What is it with young QBs from the state of Michigan going away for college and terrorizing the Wolverines?) If Michigan can keep the Nittany Lions at or around their level of QB production, they have a good shot at ending their two game losing streak.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Here's to hoping Greg Monroe starts slow

It sounds crazy that I would want the Piston's #7 overall draft pick to have a somewhat steep learning curve. It's nothing personal, hell I'm sure he's a fine young man. But this year has been emotionally draining when it comes to Detroit rookies. Take Brennan Boesch for example. He hit .342 with 12HR and 49RBI posting a .990 OPS before the All Star break this year. Everyone was crowning him the Rookie of the Year and comparing him to Ted Williams (not kidding, heard it more than once on 97.1). What did he do after the ASB? He hit .163 with 2HR, 18RBI, and a .459 OPS. Wha? Will the real Brennan Boesch please stand up?

Now let's take a look at Jahvid Best. After 2 games he racked up 268 total yards and 5 TDs. In his last 4 games he has 266 total yards and 0 TDs. Don't get me wrong, his overall stats are impressive. I'm not trying to hate on what he's done. But his first two games were so impressive that people were thinking Pro Bowl. Now? Not so much.

I am obviously ignoring what Ndamukong Suh and Austin Jackson bid this year. I will argue that their performance has been steadier without the unexpected breakout that Best and Boesch had. I hope Monroe becomes a solid contributor this year. 12ppg and 6rpg maybe? Am I setting the bar too low? I'm fine with it if I am. I have seen first hand what the expectations of an unbelievable start can bring.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So apparently .247=11,500,000


On the day my bank gets robbed, my day gets worse and worse.  Detroit Tiger's all time strikeout king, Brandon Inge, has swindled  re-signed with the team for $11.5M over two years. The same Inge who has hit .237 for his career. The same Inge that strikes out in....lemme see, carry the 3, roughly 23% of his plate appearances. Look, I appreciate the fact that he is the longest tenured Tiger. I empathize with him when I remember he was on the historically bad 2003 team. This is a team that has a strong enough core and passionate enough owner to compete for World Series appearances. I understand that the free agent market is projected to be slim. There has to be better options available via trade.

So where does that leave the team? Who the hell knows anymore?  If Ilitch is serious about spending money this season, I hope he has his sights on a premier starting pitcher and impact bat at a corner OF spot that can keep Miguel Cabrera from getting walked thrice a game. Will it happen? Only time will tell, but history says a significant trade may happen. Dombrowski has traded for Cabrera along with Scherzer and Austin Jackson recently. I just hope the team realizes that Boesch was thoroughly exposed after the All-Star break and Avila needs to be pushed in spring training.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Vicious Cycle

For the first time this year, the football teams I root for both lost. Michigan to Iowa and the Lions to New York. Normally, losses to two very good teams would just be a bummer. But after the start the Wolverines had, and the performance of the Lions last week, I expected more. I wanted more. Hell, I needed more.

Investing personally in the performance of 18-23 year old college students and millionaire NFL players is a dangerous proposition, but isn't that what being a fan is all about?

Fanatical is defined as A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause. Unreasoning enthusiasm sounds about right. Yelling, complaining, and cursing are perfectly normal reactions to many happenings.  Bang your thumb with a hammer? Let loose an unprecedented stream of curse words. Get cut off in traffic and get stuck at that extra slow red-light? Complain as loud as you can to the invisible passenger sitting next to you. Watch a Michigan DB get another face mask penalty? Watch Cliff Avril draw another personal foul? Watch back to back kickoffs sail out of bounds? See Fox show a close up of Drew Stanton warming up on the sideline? What is a reasonable response to these travesties? 


For me, anything short of going DeNiro in The Fan is within the realm of possibility.  I have cursed. I've thrown things. I've turned off my cell phone to ignore texts. I believe on September 24, 1994, I ran outside and starting crying. One would think that in the 16 years since then, I would have learned to take these losses in stride. Not So Fast My Friend. With age comes wisdom, and knowing more about these games makes the tough losses worse.


Being a kid watching football, there is feeling that some things are just bound to happen. You don't realize that your team is getting dominated on the line of scrimmage, or that on 3rd and 10, you don't throw a 5 yard out to the TE. I say again, on 3rd and 10, you don't throw a 5 yard out to the TE. Maybe it's the internet. Maybe it's the amount of money these sports generate forcing the information to the forefront. Until about 2004 or so, I knew nothing of the players Michigan was recruiting. If they weren't playing prominent roles for the Wolverines, I knew nothing about them. But I can watch an NFL Draft and hear a guys name, and 95% of the time I know what college he attended, and 40% of the time, I can name his High School. So unreasoning enthusiasm is an understatement.  I got happy yesterday hearing that Michigan officially offered a junior in high school a scholarship. I was excited because I know he has strong interest in becoming a Wolverine, and not long after getting his driver's license, he is a talented athlete. Is it wrong for me to get excited about someone who won't contribute to my favorite school for another 3 years? Unreasonable to ask in my honest opinion.


So what does any of this have to do with the previous weekend? Nothing. Everything. These gentlemen have played 13 games combined. Both have suffered injuries, both serious and nagging. They need this bye week. I need this bye week. This will be the first weekend since August that I know for a fact that neither of my teams will lose. That sound you hear is me exhaling. I can go shopping on Saturday afternoon. I can do homework at 1:00 on Sunday. It's a glorious feeling. I used to look at bye weeks as an inconvenience. As a fantasy football player, it usually meant having to pick up a kicker or defense to fill in for my starter. This season however, it couldn't have come at a better time. I can use this time to catch up on some long neglected reading. I can finally clean out the spare bedroom that is still unusable due to clutter after 2 months. Maybe I will take up building those ships in the bottles. Either way, it's nice to have a break.


Or maybe I will study the Penn State defense, and see if they can make Denard beat them through the air. The vicious cycle continues.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Just In

I really don't know what to say. I.......They.......Ok. Don't blame me when you can't get this out of your head.
Thanks to BHGP, the greatest Iowa blog out there...



My rooting interest is now divided.

This Week in Great College Football Names

Yourhighness Morgan

Yourhighness Morgan is a redshirt freshman LB for the Florida Atlantic Owls. He currently has 7 total tackles including one tackle for loss and one sack on the season.

FAU is off to a 1-4 start, but has a winnable game this afternoon against 2-4 Arkansas St. Let's hope Morgan and wonderfully named teammates Tavious Polo and Nexon Dorvilus can pull off the W.

Quickie Preview-Iowa

The overwhelming strength of the Hawkeyes is their defense. They are #1 in the NCAA in scoring defense giving up only 10.2 points/game. They have only been tested by Arizona, their one loss of the season. They are coming off a 24-3 win against a fraudulent Penn State team. Let's see what they do against Michigan, assuming Denard Robinson can get his mojo back.

The Iowa defense is led by the following BAMFs:
  1. Tyler Sash
  2. Broderick Binns
  3. Jeremiha Hunter
  4. Karl Klug
  5. Jeff Tarpinian
  6. Christian Ballard
  7. You
  8. Get
  9. The
  10. Idea
And the best player on their defense is probable first round draft pick Adrian Clayborn.  The only thing he terrorizes more than taxi drivers, is opposing quarterbacks. Let's hope the Michigan tackles get some help from a TE or 3.

As for Iowa's offense, it starts and ends with this guy...

And he loves America more than you...
Don't believe me?






Aiding Stanzi the Manzi on the offensive side of the ball are RB Adam Robinson and the improbably named WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. Meh. Good, not great, players that benefit from a stellar defense.

Fun Facts
Iowa QB John Weinke was once a Michigan commitment.
Snake Alley in Burlington, IA is the world's crookedest street.

Prediction
I think this game will go one of two ways. 
  1. Iowa's defense shows that it truly is dominating, and used the bye week to prepare for Denard Robinson. If this happens, I say 28-17 Iowa.
  2. Denard Robinson show that last week was a fluke, and takes out some frustration. He shows how wrong all the bandwagon jumpers were. I'm looking at you ESPN "experts". When if this happens I say 42-35 Michigan.
I will go with the latter, only because I don't want to think about the negative press that will surround Rich Rodriguez and to a lesser extent, Denard Robinson.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A few Red Wings items

I admit it. I don't follow hockey like I used too. I still enjoy watching it on occasion, but with the salary cap moving players all around, it has fallen down on my list of sports priorities. It's now behind things like MMA and poker. But I still pay attention and the Wings had a few big moves this week.

They extended head coach Mike Babcock's contract for four more years. This is a great move for two reasons:

  1. He is one of the greatest hockey coaches of all time. His ties to the Canadian National Team can be a major tool in getting free agents.
  2. His hair is absolutely magnificent. Don't believe me? It has its own Facebook page. It has more friends than I do. I mean just look at it...
Just heard there's humidity a'comin.
In less awesome news, Kirk Maltby retired.  Malts was one of those guys that played forever before you even realize it.  He was a contributor to four Stanley Cups in Detroit. And not that I need a reason to post this, but Maltby was involved in this...



So the Wings have 5 points through 3 games, and will make the playoffs.....blah blah blah. I wish making the playoffs was such a foregone conclusion for the other Detroit teams.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Former Wolverine Round-Up

Ryan Mallet, QB ArkansasBig game in a win against Texas A&M. 310 yards and 3 TDs keeps him in contention for a first round draft choice in April.
Up next: At #7 Auburn (6-0)

Steven Threet, QB Arizona State- Keeps up the tradition of former U of M QBs excelling against Washington going21-34 for 288 yards with a 2-1 TD-INT ratio.
Up next: At #17 Arizona (4-1)

Sam McGuffie, RB Rice- 101 total yards on 21 touches (18 carries, 3 receptions). I'm still hoping he does well.
Up next: Vs Houston (3-2)

Toney Clemons, WR Colorado- 6 catches for 48 yards and 3 KR for 105 in a shutout loss to Missouri. Ouch.
Up next: At Texas A&M (3-2)

Bryan Wright, K Bowling GreenTough/Weird game. 1-1 on FG attempts. 5 punts for a 39.6 avg. But his team didn't attempt an extra point, despite scoring 3 TDs.
Up next: At Temple (4-2)

Cobrani Mixon, LB Kent State- 9 tackles and 0.5 sacks in a win against Akron. Sure would love to have him back in Ann Arbor.
Up next: At Toledo (3-3)

Justin Boren, OL Ohio State- Ate 4 Big Italys, and enjoyed the family values in Columbus. Lol Wut?
Up next: At #18 Wisconsin (5-1)

See this post for further explanation. If there's someone I missed, fell free to e-mail me at semichigansports@gmail.com.

Taylor Chick is good at volleyball...

Wow, sexist much? Well, no actually. I was all prepared to rip into the Annarbor.com sportswriters after reading  this headline.... For one, there have to be chicks in the greater Ann Arbor area who also excel at volleyball, and secondly, you can't just go around calling chicks "chicks". I can get away with it because no one reads this site, but you are supposed to be a credible "journalist."

Well, come to find out:

  1. Taylor Chick is the young lady's name.
  2. She is good at volleyball.
  3. She attends Huron High School, so she meets the imaginary residency requirements I imagine when I read AnnArbor.com.

So move along, nothing to see here. I really wanted to take some sort of "Moral High Ground" that I have been hearing so much about.

/End fake outrage

Monday, October 11, 2010

Well that was fun to watch

Sunday's victory against the Rams, summed up in dance courtesy of Alphonso Smith...


That pretty much sums it up. While the victory was impressive, let's not forget it came at the hands of the Rams. Yes, the Rams were coming off of 2 straight wins. This is also the team who held the first draft pick in April. They were one of the few teams that can give the Lions' ineptitude a run for its' money.

But these are the Lions we're talking about. As in Detroit Lions. If it weren't for moral victories, well, they would have one win this season. I want to believe this is the statement win we've been waiting for. I want to believe this was Schwartz putting his stamp on Detroit Lions football. I want to believe that this defense can hold most NFL teams without a TD. But (c'mon, you knew there was going to be a but) I just can't. I have seen it too many times. The cynic in me has to see 3-4 straight games like this before i get excited. Not 38 point victories, but games that let me relax sometime during the third quarter. Games where the defense has so thoroughly deflated the opposing QB's confidence, he looks like well, like a Detroit QB. Dan Orlovsky for example....


(I still love the multiple pump fakes 2 feet out of bounds)

But I can't be a total grumpus. Check out these fun stats from Sunday. Go ahead, I'll wait.

See? So where does that leave us as fans? The Lions take on probably the hottest team in the NFC next Sunday when they go on the road to take on the Giants. The same Giants that sacked Chicago's QBs 10 times in week 4. No matter how his shoulder feels, Stafford shouldn't even dress for a game until after the bye. Shaun Hill is on fire, Calvin Johnson got injured, and Jahvid Best has been contained. Let him totally heal and come back against Washington on Halloween.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

UM-MSU Recap

Somebody finally stopped Denard Robinson. Michigan once again grabbed the facemask of every breathing person in a 15 mile radius. Oh, and hey, check out this pen.


The Lions play the St. Louis Rams today in their best opportunity for a victory to date. No more moral victories, time to get the W.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Super Quickie Preview

No time this morning. Prepping for gameday.

This is going to be a good game. Without sounding too cliche, I believe the winner will be the team who gets the last possession. The keys to this game will be the run defense. Michigan has had problems stopping the run and the pass, but the strength of the Spartan offense is their trio of RBs. Can Ezeh, and Mouton contain Caper, Baker, and Bell? We shall see.

The key for MSU, as will be the key for everyone left on Michigan's schedule, is trying to limit Denard Robinson's rushing yards. Good luck. I say he still goes for 200+.

Final prediction?

Michigan 49
Michigan State 45

Quick note, as I mentioned on Tuesday, Orlando Dr. Phillips RB Dee Hart made his decision last night. He committed to Michigan. He has the ability to start next year as a true freshman, and adding him in the backfield to Denard Robinson just seems unfair.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jonas Jerebko out 5 months

Detroit Pistons' second year forward Jonas Jerebko will miss at least five months with a torn achilles tendon.  Jerebko suffered the injury in Detroit's first preseason game of the year against the Dream Team Harlem Globetrotters Miami Heat. When I reached Jerebko for a comment, he said something in Swedish, and I don't speak that language. I'm guessing it was something along the lines of "I'm disappointed, sure, but the team will be just fine without me. I'm just looking forward to coming back stronger both physically and mentally." since that's what most athletes say in times like these.To get you through the next five months, here is a Jerebko Mix (now with 100% more 50 Cent)




I am really hoping this isn't the first documented case of the Southeastern Michigan Sports jinx.

Blir bättre snart, Jonas. Vi kommer att sakna din jäkt.
(Get better, Jonas. We will miss your hustle.)

MSU Roundtable

I recently got the chance to sit down with a few Spartan insiders to discuss this Saturday's big game.






We'll start with MSU head cheerleader, Amber French.  Amber, any thoughts on the game Saturday?
















Um....... So yeah, excellent perspective. Maybe former coach John L. Smith has a little more insight. Coach, despite being  0-4 against Michigan, what feeling comes to mind when you think back on the Rivalry?








(Incoherent)





Dynamite stuff...Let's try another expert, former Spartan WR Charles Rogers. Chuck, despite a tumultuous NFL career, you had some success against Michigan in your two years in East Lansing. How did you prepare for the big game?






 Get some sour cream and onion chips with some dip, man, some beef jerky, some peanut butter. Get some Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars, a whole lot, make sure chocolate, gotta have chocolate, man. Some popcorn, red popcorn, graham crackers, graham crackers with marshmallows, the little marshmallows and little chocolate bars and we can make s'mores, man. Also, celery, grape jelly, Cap'n Crunch with the little Crunch berries, pizzas. We need two big pizzas, man, everything on 'em, with water, whole lotta water, and Funyons. 




That doesn't sound like the greatest pre-game meal, but you are the elite athlete. What was the mindset of the team following the infamous "Clockgate" game in 2001?
















 You ever see the back of a twenty dollar bill... on weed? Oh, there's some crazy shit, man. There's a dude in the bushes. Has he got a gun? I dunno! RED TEAM GO, RED TEAM GO. 





Not recently.....Did you.....How.....Moving on.  Maybe another former MSU WR can shed some light on the game. Plaxico Burress, did the team do anything special in the week leading up to the Michigan game?















(silence)







Mr. Burress?












(silence)














Inmate 4872234 has lost his phone privileges.






This is going swimmingly. Well, I think that will wrap up this segment forever...










WAIT!!!! What about me? I play for the Lions! I was drafted ahead of those scUM players David Harris and LaMarr Woodley. Did I mention I play for the Lions?





Yes, you were drafted by Matt Millen, and saying you "play" for the Lions is stretching it a bit.













You can't blame that on me. I wanted Sidney Rice.






Who the hell invited Matt Millen? This is getting out of hand. Do any of you want to make a prediction for the game on Saturday?




 First of all to understand what happened to killer, you gotta understand who killer the dog was. Now killer was born to a three-legged bitch of a mother. He was always ashamed of this, man. And then right after that he's adopted by this man, Tito Liebowitz he's a small time gun runner and a rotweiler fight promoter. So he puts killer into training. They see killer's good. He is damn good. But then he had the fight of his life. They pit him against his brother nibbles. And killer said "no man that's my brother, I can't fight nibbles" but they made him fight anyway, and killer, he killed nibbles. Killer said "that's it!" he called off all his fights, and he started doing crack, and he freaked out. Then in a rage, he collapsed, and his heart no longer beat. wow. 

















Say, man, you got a joint?

















No, not on me, man.














It'd be a lot cooler if you diiiiid.






You know uh, I never thought I'd say this to anybody, but you two smoke entirely too much reefer. Well, I guess that wraps up this year's MSU Roundtable. Please join us next year, though I wouldn't blame you if you didn't.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Think of the furniture...Won't someone please think of the furniture?!?





---------------------------------------------------DISCLAIMER------------------------------------------------------


The following report contains graphic images which may not be suitable for young children, Viewer discretion is advised.




Senseless. This rash of violence against an entire race of second-hand couches has reached an all time high in college towns across the United States. What started as a form of protest after a team's big loss has been taken to a whole 'nother level in East Lansing. Win or lose, that Lazy Boy is getting torched. There is no time to recover the 7 year supply of skittles lodged between the cushions.  That $1.22 in change is collateral damage.  Nope,  a big win in East Lansing, spells doomsday for living room sets everywhere.  So I ask, nay, I pray of you......

Every fall, hundreds of loveseats lose their spouses.  Thousands of reclining chairs become orphans, forced into the custody of Salvation Army stores against their will.

Puh,puh,puh pwease don't burn my daddy....



*This has been a public service announcement paid for by the Wolverine fans against couchicide.



How the Randy Moss trade affects the Lions

Get used to this again

Sources are reporting that the New England Patriots have reached a deal to send Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round draft choice. Wow. Why a 3-1 team would trade a top 5 WR is beyond me. I know the Patriots have a system in place where anyone can step in and contribute, but this seems like more of a business move. Can Julian Edelman do this....





Doubtful.

But how does this affect Detroit? It doesn't. Plain and simple. And that is the problem. Normally when a division "rival" acquires a player of Randy Moss's stature, the 3 division rivals are forced to make some sort of adjustment. I'm sure the Packers' game plan has been altered. I'm sure the defensive coaches in Chicago will be losing extra sleep preparing for Moss' return. But the Lions can simply coast along as always, oblivious to their own shortcomings. The reason is this....The Vikings don't need Moss to embarrass the Detroit secondary. They didn't need Sidney Rice and they don't need Moss.

Don't get me wrong, I like many of the young players at CB and safety for the Lions. I think Delmas can be the real deal. I liked the Chris Houston trade. But until they get a true lockdown cornerback, opposing QBs will have a field day. This is why I'm pulling for Patrick Peterson in April. He has shown (albeit in college) to be capable of eliminating the opposing team's best WR. That's what is needed in Allen Park. When that happens is when the Randy Moss' of the world affect the Lions. Thats when Gunther Cunningham will need to refill his Ambien prescription.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

MSU Linebacker Greg Jones named Head Coach of the New York Knickerbockers

MSU Linebacker Greg Jones has been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, and may be out for this Saturday's Michigan-Michigan State game of tackle football. I had no prior knowledge of his coaching abilities, but congrats Greg.


I am just getting word that my sources are incorrect, and it was a case of mistaken identity.  My apologies. Carry on smartly.




Illitch to buy Pistons???

The Detroit News is reporting that Mike Illitch will be buying the Pistons within the next 30 days...

Story here....

Please be true....Please be true.....Please be true....

More on this as it develops. (always wanted to say that)

Friday could be.....Dee-lectable

Orlando Dr. Phillips RB Dee Hart will be announcing his college decision on Friday. For those who don't know, Hart is a very important recruit for Michigan football. Ranked the #1 all purpose back to Rivals, the #9 RB to Scout, and the #9 RB to ESPN, he's kind of a big deal. He's friends with Merlin Olsen, and his apartment smells of rich mahogany. He is down to two schools; Michigan and Alabama. I......Dee-test Alabama. My hopes would be Dee-flated if he commits to Nick Saban. My Hart would be broken. I would be Dee-lighted to see another Hart in Michigan's backfield. Since Michigan is rumored to play Alabama in 2012, Hart could be critical if Michigan hopes to Dee-feat the Crimson Tide. This Dee-cision was once thought to be Dee-tween between Michigan and Auburn, but he had a change of Hart.

I just raided the mail in Tuscaloosa, and found this....

I'm liking Michigan's chances, or maybe I need to switch to Dee-caf.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Detroit Lions, You're the one. You make draft time lots of fun!

1991. I was 10. Jahvid Best was 2. Brett Favre was 41. Michael Jackson's "Black or White" was the number one song on the radio. 1991 was the last time the Lions beat Green Bay at Lambeau. Unbelievable.  For the second time in four weeks, the Lions make the final score appear much closer than the game actually was.
The Chicago game was close throughout. The Minnesota game was a blow-out.  But the Philly/Green Bay games.....The Lions should have lost both by 21. It seems like both teams took their foot off the gas, and was unable to find their rhythm again when the Lions made it close.

It would be easy to blame Matthew Stafford's injury for many of the team's struggles, but I just don't see it. Shaun "please God, stay healthy so we aren't subjected to Drew Stanton" Hill has played well in Stafford's absence.  Of course it's easy to amass 300+ yards when your team has to abandon the run at halftime, but he hasn't been the reason they lost. He also, obviously, hasn't been the one to lead them to victory. When it comes to Shaun Hill, he's just sorta there. The interceptions are worrisome, but he is out there trying to make plays. Right, Mike Valenti? 

So, who is to blame? Well, anyone associated with the defense with a few exceptions. They just can't stop anyone. John Kuhn, essentially killed 6:00 on the final drive. Who? The pride of Shippensburg, that's who. He had 7 carries for 34 yards on the final drive. Aaron Rodgers was held to what will most likely be a season low with 181 yards, but he only attempted 17 passes. He had a QB rating of 105.3. 

On a bittersweet note, Charles Woodson did what Charles Woodson does. He returned an interception for a TD. He has now done this against the Lions in three consecutive seasons. Go blue!

So what's next? The Rams. Sam Bradford. One of the few teams I figured would always be lower in the Power Rankings of any given expert this season. The one "guaranteed" victory on the 2010 schedule. Well, the Rams are 2-2 and tied for the lead in the NFC West. The Lions are tied with Carolina, San Francisco, and Buffalo in the race for the number 1 draft pick next April. Finally, something I think the Lions can win.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Former Wolverine Round-Up

Ryan Mallet, QB Arkansas- Did not play this week.
Up next: Vs Texas A&M (3-1)

Steven Threet, QB Arizona State- Did not have a great day against Oregon State. 14-29 for 203 yards and a 1/3 TD-INT ratio.
Up next: At Washington (2-2)

Sam McGuffie, RB Rice- Fairly good day in a loss to SMU. 20 carries for 96 yards and a TD and 5 receptions for 45 yards. Still trying to live up to the hype.
Up next: At UTEP (4-1)

Toney Clemons, WR Colorado- Tough day in a win over the surprisingly bad Georgia Bulldogs. One catch for 10 yards and 1 kick return for 22.
Up next: At #24 Missouri (4-0)

Bryan Wright, K Bowling Green- Miserable day against Buffalo. Missed his only field goal attempt, and only went 2/3 on extra point attempts.
Up next: AT Ohio (2-3)

Cobrani Mixon, LB Kent State- Probably the best day of anyone in a losing effort against Miami (OH). 8 total tackles (1tfl), 1 sack and a fumble recovery.
Up next:Vs Akron (0-5)

Note: I don't mention guys like Dann O'Neill, Justin Boren, etc... for three reasons:

  1. Lineman stats are nearly impossible to find.
  2. Dann O'Neill has too many N's in his name.
  3. Justin Boren is not worth the effort.
I also only include players who actually made it to Ann Arbor. The list of players who committed to Michigan, but never signed a LOI is far too long.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Knee-jerk Reaction

  1. Denard Robinson is Bo Jackson in Tecmo Super Bowl.
  2. Defense wins championships*
  3. You add Donovan Warren, Justin Turner, Troy Woolfolk, Vladimir Emilien, and Demar Dorsey to this secondary, and people start talking BCS Bowl. Warren went all Shazor. T-Wolf got injured. JT Turner and Emilien transferred due to depth chart concerns. Dorsey was unable to gain admittance.
  4. The WR corps. is grossly underrated. Hemingway, Roundtree, Stonum, Grady, and Koger give Robinson more than enough weapons to beat most teams that will undoubtedly focus on keeping contain. Then add in Odoms, TRob, Gallon, Ricardo.... WR depth is just fine.
  5. The kicking game is still worrisome, but they hit extra points just fine.
*Unless you have a QB that amasses over 500 yards of total offense/game.

This Week in Great College Football Names

Shavodrick Beaver


Shavodrick Beaver is a sophomore QB for the Tulsa Hurricanes. As many of you may know, Beaver was once committed to play football in Ann Arbor. He was one of two QB commits to end up signing elsewhere along with current Penn State QB Kevin Newsome.  Michigan was able to recover and wound up with Tate Forcier and some young fellow named Denard Robinson. I think the Wolverine coaches are o.k. with the way things ended up. The biggest blow to many Michigan fan's morale was missing out on the possible backfield combination of Shavodrick and RB Mike Cox.  Beaver running the zone-read with Cox. Beaver scampers for a 5 yard gain with a Cox block. The possibilities, as they say, were endless.

Beaver is currently the back-up quarterback to former University of Texas QB G.J. Kinne. There is a great name showdown looming on October 16th, when Tulsa hosts Tulane which boasts the also spectacularly named senior DT Oscar Ponce de Leon.

Quickie Preview-Indiana


This was supposed to be the third straight easy, get all the seniors in for the fourth quarter, please oh please don't let anyone important get seriously injured, type of game.  UMASS didn't cooperate, and Denard got hurt against Bowling Green, so let's hope the third time is the charm. After the events of the last two games, I will now place this game in the don't show MSU too much, don't get caught looking ahead to MSU, and seriously this time....don't let anyone important get injured, category. When a team has won 16 straight, the tendency is to look past the opposition, especially when you are playing a rival in 7 days. This shouldn't happen, but we all know it does.

LAST YEAR

I'd rather not talk about it, but I will anyway (quickly).  IU led until Michigan scored on a TD pass from Forcier to Odoms with 2:29 left in the fourth quarter, and sealed it with a controversial  interception by Donovan Warren, leading IU coach Bill Lynch to freak out. Michigan was favored by 19 points, but won 36-33. Guess who they played the following week? Yep, MSU. Trap game.....get yer trap game here!

WHO TO BE WORRIED ABOUT

IU ranks 14th nationally in passing yards/game and 10th in points/game. They only rank 96th in rushing yards/game, so their strength is obviously their passing attack.

QB Ben Chappell- Chappell is a pure pocket-passer who last year had a 17-15 TD-INT ratio.  He is off to a pretty good start so far going 71-98 for 890 yds and a 9-0 TD?INT ratio.  Of course they have played Towson, Western Kentucky, and the Akron Zips. Not really the greatest barometer to judge a defense.

WR Damarlo Belcher- Belcher was the Hoosier's 2nd best WR last year catching 61 passes for 770 yards and 5TD. He is a match-up nightmare standing 6'5'' and 215lbs.  He is leading IU through 3 games with 21 catches totaling 284 yards and 2 scores.

TE Ted Bolser- Redshirt freshman Ted Bolser is not only the youngest person on earth that goes by "Ted", but has been a surprise receiving threat so far. He has only caught 9 balls fr 128 yards, but 4 of those catches ended in 6 points.

WR/KR/PR/CPA/FBI/BMOC Tandon Doss- This guy, in a word(or 3), does it all. Over 1000 total yards and 6 TDs last year. He is off to a slow start this year with 8 receptions for 102 yards and a TD, 3 carries for 17 yards and a score.  He is the type of player that can score any time he touches the ball, so keeping it out of his hands will be key.

FUN FACTS

Indiana's football team has the brother of 2 UM players on it. IU Sophomore DL Larry Black is the brother of Michigan freshman DL Jibreel Black, and Hoosier punter Chris Hagerup is the brother of Michigan punter Will Hagerup.

PREDICTION

I hate these game. I know hate is a strong word, but I can't think of a stronger one. These are the games that have a 95% chance of having Michigan look bad. Unless they go out and win 50something to something under 14 points, people will have something to say.  Can the Wolverines go out and win 55-10? Sure. Can they go out and win 36-33? Last year shows they can. Can they lose? I honestly think it would take the most unlikely sequence of events since Happy Gilmore sank his putt to beat Shooter McGavin. Injuries, turnovers, Rich Rodriguez trading jobs with Ron Zook for the afternoon, followed by the NCAA granting one final game of eligibility to Antwaan Randle ElJames HardyAnthony Thompson, and Tracy Porter. I think this will be closer than it should be, but wouldn't be surprised by a blowout.

FINAL SCORE?

Michigan 38
Indiana 27