Rich Rodriguez Cries and Josh Groban Calls ’em Out for it

rich-rod

As embarrassing as the UM defense has been this college football season, the Wolverines have another “butt of many jokes” to deal with. Unfortunately, that source of unintentional comedy is the program patriarch itself. At least for now.

An excerpt from The Jersey Chaser.com

As if Rich Rodriguez doesn’t have it bad enough worrying about getting fired from his job, now singer Josh Groban has made fun of the University of Michigan football coach on Twitter! At last night’s U of M football banquet, Rich Rod was brought to tears as he sang Groban’s classic “You Raise Me Up.”

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Where the season ends

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By H. Jose Bosch

To celebrate the end of the season, and to honor one of my favorite poems and writers, Shel Silverstein, I’ve decided to pen a poem that rounds out my thoughts. If you’re unfamiliar with the original, then I suggest you read it. It’s a classic and one of my favorites (See, we try to teach at The Sports Bank!)

And now my version of the poem, “Where the Season Ends.” (below the jump)
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TSB Exclusive Interview: Rich Rodriguez’s pride

Michigan Rodriguez Football

By H. Jose Bosch

The Sports Bank’s very own H. Jose Bosch has been given a once-in-a-lifetime exclusive interview with Rich Rodriguez’s pride. Long believed to have disappeared, Jose has managed to find it and get the interview everyone’s been wanting.

The transcription after the jump.

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Falling into the abyss will test loyalty for Rich Rodriguez

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By H. Jose Bosch

I didn’t watch a single play from Saturday’s debacle in Ann Arbor. Why? I was tailgating with my father before James Madison University took on the University of Maine.

That’s right. I picked a Football Championship Series (formerly Division I-AA) football game between two mediocre FCS teams over the Wolverines on an HDTV.

That’s how far Michigan has dropped in the last two years.

It’s not that I’ve stopped rooting for Michigan or that I don’t care about the results. I was just as upset about the loss as if I had watched the whole game. Well, maybe I was a little less upset because I didn’t actually have to watch it.

The fact is that with the exception of the Ohio State game (and only that is due to such a long and outstanding tradition) the Wolverines are no longer must-see TV. They really haven’t been for most of the Rich Rodriguez era.

In years past, when Michigan was a perennial national power, you’d be foolish to miss any match up. You wanted to witness every step in the march toward a Big Ten title and, in some years, a national title. But for the last two season fans have been watching the Wolverines stumbling and tripping into the unenviable position of being an NCAA laughingstock.

The only school worse of than Michigan is, arguably, Notre Dame. And that’s only because Charlie Weis has been coaching their longer. Oh and that’s been Rodriguez’s only signature win. Against another former great who is embarrassing itself.

michigan_sucksI’ve always been a Rodriguez supporter. I’ve preached patience with this team and the program. Not all of this terrible play is his fault. Brian Cook at MGoBlog has done a fantastic job breaking down why you should still support RichRod. (But even Cook, who is the highest-profile Rodriguez supporter on the web, is starting to weaken).

But I’m going to admit that my support is wavering a bit. This team is an improvement from last season, but just because you improve from nothing doesn’t mean you’re close to being a national power. I’m sick and tired of the Wolverines, not just losing games, but losing them in a fashion that shows they’re a.) unprepared b.) not talented or c.) or both.

Sometimes to clean up a mess you have to make everything just a little bit messier. We’re in that stage with Michigan right now. But can any of us stand to see this through?

Yet another sad chapter in the Michigan football saga

rich_rodriguez
By H. Jose Bosch

Dear Michigan football fans,

This is not the way I want to end things, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell you in person.

I’m leaving.

Yes, I know the season isn’t done yet but I feel like it’s time for me to go. I think Saturday’s loss proves that this has all just been a charade. I mean, when we walk down the street together, people are laughing behind our backs. We can’t go out for a nice quiet evening without someone else questioning our relationship. It’s clear that this just isn’t going to work out.

But I want you to know that it’s not you, it’s me. I know people say that all the time, but I really do mean it. Our relationship began under false pretenses. You were looking for something more long term and I clearly couldn’t provide that for you. That doesn’t mean what we had wasn’t real. It just means we weren’t being realistic when we thought it was going to last.

Did you see the defense give up nearly 400 yards of offense on the ground? Could you stand to watch those half-hearted attempts at tackles? Do you understand that a freshman quarterback just can’t lead a team as effectively as a more experienced quarterback?

I know what you’re probably saying to yourself. You’re probably angry that I’ve even led you on this far. That’s fair. But please don’t be too angry with me. When I saw how happy you were at the beginning of the season, I couldn’t help but stick around. It was easy for me to ignore all the problems after a 4-0 start. But now that the team is 5-4, the team’s issues are too big to ignore.

I’m afraid to say you’re on your own the rest of the season. That doesn’t mean we still can’t be friends. But I think it’s best that we spend some time apart.

Never forget me Michigan football fans. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet again in the future.

With love,

Hope

Illini Win??!!?? Yes, You Read That Right!

ROSE BOWL
By Paul Schmidt

There’s no one anywhere who predicted an Illinois win Saturday against Michigan.  I’m about the biggest Illinois apologist that there is, and even I was urging you to bet against the Illini, and to lay 7 points while doing it!

After a short amount of time, however, the glow of a great victory has waned and left two very poignant questions to be asked.

The first is whether this was a victory from an Illinois team finally playing up to expectations, or whether this victory can completely be attributed to the wheels falling off of this Michigan teams’ wagon.

The more that I think about the game, the more I really believe the latter to be true.  Michigan’s defense is starting to play ridiculously bad.  It’s almost getting comical at just how bad they are playing.

The Wolverines are doing whatever the opposite of peaking is, winning only one game in their last five, with that win being against FCS opponent Delaware State. With NCAA investigators descending upon Ann Arbor, RichRod looking dirtier than Rod Blagojevich and a best-case scenario of six wins (with games remaining against Purdue, Wisconsin and Ohio State, winning one would be an accomplishment), Michigan is definitely in disarray.

Illinois just managed to take advantage of that.

The second question is much more accusatory towards the Illini — Just where was this type of offensive production all season?? I understand that Michigan’s D isn’t that good, and that Illinois just managed to take advantage of it. But 55 rushes for 377 yards? Illinois didn’t even manage that production against Illinois State earlier this season, in their only other win. That type of production has little to do with the quality of your opponent — You’re just getting the job done up front and mangling a team when you get that many yards. And even if Michigan’s defense (along with coordinator Greg Robinson) is terrible, Illinois still was great on offense, just like everyone thought they would be all season long.

So why now? Why, when they are 1-6, and 0-5 in the Big Ten, can Illinois suddenly move the football?  Why is the offense NOW able to create some opportunities? Why did it take so long for this team to finally get motivated and put up the effort which we all knew they were capable of?

Zook_thinkingUnfortunately, those are all questions that only Ron Zook has the answer to, and no doubt he’s not giving anyone the answers.

And therein lies the ultimate problem.

This team would have almost been better off playing horribly the rest of the season — this win only provides a ridiculous tease to an increasingly more disenchanted fan base.  While they were certainly placated during the second half, and most likely after the game as well, soon all of their minds will turn to these questions, namely, just where was all this effort all season long?

If Zook can’t figure out what worked this week, and how to consistently squeeze this type of effort out of his team, remarkably, the win may end up reflecting worse on him than any loss would have.

Michigan and Rich Rodriguez have nothing but a bowl to play for

RichKD/flickr

RichKD/flickr

By H. Jose Bosch

No one can convince me that there is a better place in the world than Buffalo Wild Wings. Why?

Plenty of solid beers to choose from; the wings, unlike Hooters, are actually good and the whole atmosphere of it all helps you forget that your college football team is actually as mediocre as you feared.

I’m sorry, what? What was the third thing I wrote? The wings?

Oh, that’s right, the mediocre football team Michigan played on Saturday and contrary to the hopes of only the most disillusioned fans the Wolverines were who we thought they were. They’re led by a freshman quarterback who is still raw; have a secondary with no true playmaker (or any good talent outside of Donnovan Warren) and a head coach still struggling to run a football team his way without all of the personnel to do it.

This season has essentially turned into the morning after. One evening of unadulterated (think 4-0, win over Notre Dame) fun followed by a massive headache with someone you really don’t want to wake up next to (1-3 since). It happens to men. It happens to women. And it happens to football teams and their fan bases.

For the rest of the year, rather than playing for anything significant in terms of the conference, the Wolverines are now just playing for one more win. Why? Bowl eligibility.

RichRod may not have Michigan competing for a conference title this season, but you can be sure he wants to get the Wolverines back into a bowl game. Considering how awful last season was, even if Michigan has to make a trip to the Little Caesars Bowl (formerly the Motor City Bowl) I’m sure Rodriguez will take it.

To keep the morning after analogy going, just imagine trying to leave the person’s bedroom without waking them up. Sure, the entire rest of the world knows you’re making the walk of shame, especially if you’re coming from a costume party. There may even be roommates waiting on the other side of the door to laugh at you.

It can be very ugly.

But if you can escape without having to talk to the Frankenstein next to you, well, isn’t that all that matters?

Moral victories are all Michigan has left this season and there is really just one moral victory that needs to be had: making a bowl game. The rest is just icing on the cake.

CA2/flickr

CA2/flickr

It’s not time to drink the Kool-Aid … yet

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H. Jose Bosch

How does one respond to Delaware State’s 63-6 undressing at the hands of the Wolverines?

Happiness? Pity? Change the channel to watch a more interesting game?

I didn’t have the third option because my father and brother were starved for the success Kool-Aid they drank after 4-0. In fact, to stick with the Kool-Aid analogy, this weekend’s game was the equivalent of showering in Kool-Aid in the middle of an ocean of Kool-Aid. My father and brother’s proverbial hands were pruning because of the Kool-Aid soaking they took in.

I’m not going to lie, I wanted to join. I was pretty pumped when the Delaware State defense made every Michigan running back look like Gale Sayers; or when the defensive front swallowed the Hornets’ pass blocking, run blocking and the will to play the game of football.

Yet I couldn’t help but think that this was what the Wolverines were supposed to be. Call me the cranky Michigan fan but there is no reason to be that excited about this win. There were some major positives:

Vincent Smith (freshman), Michael Cox (red shirt freshman) and Michael Shaw (sophomore) combined for 332 yards on the ground and four touchdowns, giving us a glimpse into the future.

I don’t care if you’re playing football against the Virginia Farrell School of Beauty, when you put up those kinds of numbers, you have talent. All three backs had at least one electric run and Smith stood out with his 166-yard performance.

Denard Robinson also proved that he actually has a throwing arm. He wasn’t unleashed in any way to convince me that he should be the starter but it was an indication of his upside as a thrower. And Tate Forcier looked comfortable during his only drive and I fully expect him to start against Penn State.

There isn’t much I can say about the defense other than, wow. They are very aggressive and play with tenacity. (That’s just me using fancy words in order to hide the fact that I know nothing about defensive strategy.)

But I’m still not sure about how improved Michigan is. They’re better than last season, which I can say for sure. But how much better? Should I be expecting the Wolverines to contend for the Big Ten title next season? Or are we still two years away from a legitimate shot at a BCS bowl game?

Penn State will be yet another step toward that answer. The Wolverines are just one game away from bowl eligibility with some tough games still ahead of them. I think I’m going to wait for win No. 6 before drink myself a whole vat of Kool-Aid.

College Football Live Blog, Afternoon and Night Games

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Welcome to the afternoon game edition…Since I know HJB is here live blogging and getting ready for the big UM-ND big I figure I’d lead with this picture, which I’m sure he’ll love. –PMB

24-10 Northwestern, 12:20 left in game by the way

DIRECTIONAL MICHIGAN is giving the big ten problems, central michigan, eastern michigan, and western michigan are all giving NU, MSU, and Indiana all they can handle. one posession games in the final minutes all around. good thing. there’s no northern michigan and southern michigan to ad to the stress and strife.

–PMB

NU wins on last final seconds 49 yard field goal

WOOO!!! WHO IS READY FOR SOME MICHIGAN FOOTBALL???

So, um, anyone catch the score of the Central Michigan-Michigan State game?
-HJB-

By the way, why on earth is Matt Millen on this game? Or on any game for that matter? Can I just mute him?
-HJB-

Me on Charlie Weis: “He looks like he just ate a baby.”
My dad’s friend: “He looks like he’s having a baby.”

And that tackling is giving me bad flashbacks of last season.
-HJB-

Michigan 0, Notre Dame 0 (9:16 left in first quarter)
Two drives and Notre Dame moved the ball much better than Michigan. That missed field goal looked like my tee shot (yeah, I borrowed that line from the play by play guy) but I’ll take it.
-HJB-

Michigan 7, Notre Dame 0 (4:12 left in the 1st quarter)
It’s always a great feeling to strike first. Especially when Notre Dame missed out on its one chance in the red zone thus far.
-HJB-

Michigan 14, Notre Dame 3 (46 seconds left in 1st quarter)
Special teams! Special teams! Special teams!
-HJB-

Michigan 14, Notre Dame 3 (End of 1st quarter)
There is still plenty of game left but man this feels good. That’s what happens when you come off a 3-9 season. Just a good quarter makes you giddy.

-HJB-

univmichcheerleaders

Notre Dame 17, Michigan 14 (6:50 left in the half)
Urgh. I had every right to be giddy with Michigan in the lead. Now I have every right to be mopey. I wish I had a sad Badger face to cheer me up.

In seriousness though, if the Fighting Irish play their A-game, Michigan doesn’t have a chance. I’m willing to admit it. Sigh. This might be a long afternoon.
-HJB-

Notre Dame 20 , Michigan 14 (2:41 left in the half)
What frustrates me about this game:

1. Clausen has enough time to cook a damn roast behind the line of scrimmage. I could find open receivers with that much time.

2. I could drive a GM truck through some of the holes the ND line is opening up. UJnfortunately the truck would probably break down before I got to the line of scrimmage.

3. Matt Millen is being paid to offer his football advice.
-HJB-

Notre Dame 20, Michigan 17 (halftime)

The field goal leaves a good taste in my mouth going into the half.

When Holly Rowe interviewed Rich Rodriguez at the half, part of me wanted him to say “We need to practice more. We clearly haven’t practiced enough. If these guys lose today, no way they go home tonight. We’ll stay at Schembechler all night if we have to.”

Alas I’ll settle for crappy commercials and UCLA-Tennessee until the second half. I’m not sure which one is worse.
-HJB-
michigan_cheerleader
Gratuitous? Yes. Necessary after the first half? Absolutely.

Notre Dame 20, Michigan 17 (11:28 left in 3rd quarter)
Michigan just missed a field goal after fumbling a snap two plays earlier and committing a holding penalty. Those kinds of mistakes will drive me to drink.

But I’m more upset about the idiocy of Matt Millen. The Wolverines, wisely, took a delay of game penalty to get a better angle on the field goal. Then Millen offers his bright advice: “They should decline it.”

Um, what? Since when can a defense decline a delay of game penalty Mr. Millen?

Sigh
-HJB-

Michigan 24, Notre Dame 20 (7:55 left in the 3rd quarter)
Just when I lose hope, those sons of guns drag me right back to the cusp of joy. A forced fumble and recovery followed by a march down a short field for the lead? Thaaaaaaaaaaaank you very much.
-HJB-

Oh, nice job on that return boys.

I need a cheerleader photo.
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Michigan 24, Notre Dame 20 (end of 3rd quarter)
I’m still alive but barely breathing. This will be a difficult 4th quarter.
-HJB-

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 20 (14:16 left in the game)
I just might lose my voice and I’m just sitting in my living room. Tate Forcier has pretty much locked up the top spot on the quarterback depth chart. That’s not a stretch to make, but we’ll see less and less of Denard Robinson behind center. If I’m Rodriguez, I think of ways to get the ball in Robinson’s hands without putting him behind center the rest of the year.
-HJB-

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 20 (12:14 left)
Cissoko is going to need a hug after this game. He might actually want to spend the night and all of Sunday inside Schembechler Hall.
-HJB-

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 26 (9:46 left)
Again, Cissoko is going to need a big hug after this game. He won’t get it from me, but he’ll need one.

At least they stopped the 2-point conversion try. Now, let’s not go three and out her, OK?

By the way, I can’t get enough of the Playboy Guitar Hero commercial. The folks at Guitar Hero know how to appeal to its demographic: lonely, lonely, lonely men.
-HJB-
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Illinois, Illinois St, 20 minutes til game time.
The Illinois State band kind of sucks, but that’s not the biggest travesty of the day so far…it’s that you have to pay for the food in the press box, drinks included!!  Seriously!  I’m not exactly pleased about this development because A) they didn’t tell ANYONE this was going to be the case, and B) they only take cash.  Which, that’s fine, but because they didn’t tell anyone, I DIDN’T BRING ANY CASH!!!  What a freaking joke.  After last week’s debacle in St. Louis they should be paying us to be here and eat.

Michigan 31, Notre Dame 26 (6:22 left)
That Forcier interception killed me a little bit inside. Not going to lie.
-HJB-

NO FREE FOOD IN THE ILLINI PRESS BOX?? Are you serious? That’s terrible! The spread they had last year was SOOOOOOO Good and better than other teams. Wow! I really became less interested in coming down I-57 this fall. –PBIllinois 7, Illinois St. 0
I was coming in here to post about the fact that not only didn’t Martez Wilson start at middle linebacker, but on the first drive of the game.  The box, however, just announced that Wilson is doubtful for the game because of a sprained neck.  OUCH.

Juice Williams set up that first TD with a long, 49 yard run down the sideline on a fake option pitch, but he stumbled and fell near the goal line.  Unfortunately the reason that he fell was there was a little hitch in his giddyup and he pulled something, either a quad or his groin.  He’s currently being worked on on the table and Eddie McGee is warming up.  Maybe it was just a tweak, hard to say. PS

Illinois 7, Illinois St. 0
Juice Williams didn’t come out for this drive, and Eddie McGee just through and awful interception that was well overthrown and nowhere near intended receiver Chris Duvalt.  So much so that I didn’t know Duvalt was the intended receiver.  Things have taken a bad turn here in Champaign as Illinois State has completed a couple of passes.  If they hang around and gain confidence I may have to pay attention to the whole game.

To make everyone feel better, here’s a great pic of my Twitter buddy, @Red_Grange. redPS

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 34 (game, set, match)
OK, so I got the craziness out of my system in the comment. But that was the greatest/most nerve wracking/worst/scariest/most joyful/craziest game I’ve ever watched from the comfort of my own home.

Michigan is going to be a force this season. No, not a National Championship force but a “we’re-going-to-a-bowl-game” force. Considering the next two games they should win, the Wolverines could probably win at least two more games to get bowl eligible.

That probably means a Big Ten season with more ups and downs than I care to make an analogy for.

I’m emotionally exhausted from this game. That doesn’t mean i can’t be snarky for the Ohio State game though.

Bwhahahahahaha.
-HJB-Illinois 21, Illinois St. 0 (12:01 left 2Q)
Bosch ate my last post, which is more than I’ve had for dinner…and yes, PB, no drinks either.  No fireworks either, so apparently the economy IS that bad….

There are a ton of seats that look empty around the stadium for the game, but they actually aren’t.  It’s people in uniform, I can’t tell if it’s Army men or Boy Scouts….and yes I’m being serious.  Roughly 3 or 400 of them in the upper deck.

Nice pass from McGee to a wide-open Chris Duvalt, though McGee nearly overthrew him again. Illinois is, to some extent, having its way with the Redbirds on offense, but the defense is still having some troubles. The drive stayed alive on a roughing the kicker penalty as the Redbird punt team absolutely creamed Anthony Santella, and HE got up limping afterwards…no word on if he was actually hurt or just not used to getting hit. –PS

Illinois 21, Illinois St 0 (8:51 remaining 2Q)
Nice tip from Corey Liguet to Doug Pilcher, and he rumbled and stumbled 43 yards on the interception return.

HUUUGE hit on Eddie McGee on the front-side rush…something he needed to see coming.  He didn’t fumble surprisingly enough, because it was a huge hit.

Nice  FG by Matt Eller, my favorite Illini, to make it Illinois 24, Illinois St. 0 — 7:44 remaining. -PS


Ohio State   USC

Lou Holtz just said this is the most important game for OSU since 1951. Surprised he can still talk after ND’s national title hopes were dashed this afternoon. I just saw the buckeye band dot the eye for the first time. Pretty impressive, whoever choreographed that should draw up plays for the offense. OSU has lost its last five games against top five opponents. The start is key, if they can stay within striking distance in the first half, they’ve got a chance. I wish i could hear Tressel’s pre-game speech. Thank God i missed Lou’s pep talk. Anyway, here we go. Time to get some respect boys!

-Jake Fowler

USC  7  OSU  0

USC tried to take it easy on OSU giving them the ball first. T. Pryor said no thanks i want you guys to have it and threw a wounded duck interception that was returned to the five yard line.  Huuuuuge early moment that could have saved the game, fourth and goal from the one…..touchdown USC. I can’t believe they handed it off on fourth down. Probably the worst start the buckeyes could have hoped for. If they come back from a start like this it’s going to say a lot about the young team. -JF



Illinois 24, Illinois St. 0 (halftime)
I’m somewhat unimpressed by the Illini thusfar…I just feel like they should be killing this team, one that is predicted to finish eighth in the nine-team Missouri Valley Conference ahead of only Indiana State, a school that has the longest losing streak in all of Division I football….

Juice Williams officially has a quad injury and is questionable to return, but speculation from the S.I.D.’s was that Juice could see some second half action to get some reps. –PS

mi

Illinois 31, Illinois St. 0
Great drive to start the second half and the Illini picked apart the Redbird defense.  They look lamer than Fredbird, I tell ya!

I wouldn’t have bothered to update the score, because this is pretty much over, but Daniel Dufrene just burst through a small hole for a 24-yard touchdown scamper. Showed some great breakaway speed.  He NEEDS to be the starting Illini tailback. –PS

Illinois 31, Illinois St. 7 (8:42 3Q)
Here come the Redbirds!!  Terrible D all around from the Illini, from Ian Thomas missing a coverage assignment, Donsay Hardeman again showing his complete inability to make an open field tackle, and Tavon Wilson getting absolutely schooled in the corner of the endzone by a D-1AA wide receiver.

Also, Bowling Green is beating Missouri 13-6 IN Columbia.  This has not been an entertaining evening of football. –PS

OSU  10   USC  7

Beautiful response by Pryor and co. A 56-yard pass and run to the USC 5 followed by a nice blast off tackle by Boom Herron got the crowd back in the game. After a defensive stand, Pryor lofts a gorgeous touch pass down the middle to Posey. Fourth and goal for OSU… and Tressel decides to kick the field goal. Bold strategy cotton, we’llsee if it pays off for them. Earlier in the drive,  USC safety Taylor Mays seems to have hurt his knee, obviously a terrible sign for the Trojans. Pryor’s inconsistency is going to drive OSU fans crazy but the flashes of brilliance seems to outweigh the ducks .  -JF

James Madison 35, Maryland 35 (going into OT)
Yeah, I’m going Div. I-AA (FCS) on you guys. I’m currently living in Harrisonburg, Va., home of James Madison University. Should the Dukes pull off this upset, the ACC is officially the worst conference in the nation. A win would make the Colonial Athletic Conference (an FCS conference) 3-1 against the ACC. As a Big Ten fan, you should be rooting for this win.
-HJB-

Maryland 38, James Madison 35
Congrats on barely saving your crappy conference Maryland. Anyone who says the Big Ten sucks should look at the ACC. Seriously, weak.
-HJB-

Georgia 31, South Carolina 23 (second half begins)
Oh yeah, this game is going on right now. I didn’t see any of the first half, but I assume it’s been exciting. And Mike Patrick is calling the game, which means we’ll probably hear a Britney Spears reference at some point.

Oh yeah, Georgia cheerleaders.
-HJB-
georgiacheerleader

Georgia 31, South Carolina 26 (5:30 left in the 3rd)
Jake McCormick via twitter:the other usc makes be wonder whether steve spurrier is really all that and a bag of Wavy Lays with French onion dip.

I think he’s more like pork grinds at this point in his career.
-HJB-

Ohio State 10, Southern Cal 10 (start of the second half)
Here’s another tweet from Mr. McCormick: kind of surprised ohio state is playing better than usc at this point. hopefully barkley is learning a thing or two about cfb.

Yeah, like how to run for your life effectively. That and that he’s making way more money at USC over OSU.
-HJB-

Illinois 45, Illinois State 17 (final)
Well, the Illini regained some of their manhood but I don’t think they’ll fully redeem themselves until they win some Big Ten games.
-HJB-

Georgia 38, South Carolina 28 (end of the third)
The game no one is talking about should have a thrilling end. Fortunately for me I have picture in picture.
-HJB-

Ohio State 12, Southern Cal 10
This might be the first time I’ve ever seen the Trojans look rattled. That safety was killer.
-HJB-

More Jake McCormick gold via twitter: good thing kirk herbsrteit is doing the osu/usc game. he has to choose btwn his current stroking of matt barkley and lifetime humping of osu.

I think I saw something like that in a movie before.

Georgia 38, South Carolina 37 (4th quarter)

I Don’t know the time and I’m not even sure how it happened, but this game is officially worth watching of OSU/USC right now.
-HJB-

If Georgia’s starting quarterback can just remember his name, that’s a victory. Man that was a vicious hit.
-HJB-

I know William & Mary won at Virginia, but what was the other Colonial Athletic victory over the ACC? Oh yeah Richmond over Duke. But Maryland held on to win…bummer I guess it’s 2-2 in the CAA-ACC Challenge. and yes as a Big Ten fan I’m all for that. Too bad UNC came alive late and rallied against UConn

Just saw this on Yahoo!

Cowboys crash

Case Keenum and Houston torched No. 5 Oklahoma State’s defense for the 45-35 upset

Case Keenum?? who, I would love to hear Gundy at that presser. THAT’S GARBAGE!!!! AND WHOEVER DEFENDED TODAY IS GARBAGE..I’M A MAN

–PBIllinois 45, Illinois St. 17 (Final)
Well, it wasn’t the most inspiring effort, though Ron Zook and the rest of the coaches and players seem to disagree.  I personally think any time a team passes for 354 yards against you, that’s a bad sign.  Add in the fact that this was a 1-AA team that did it this week, starting their backup QB, and…well, again, let’s just leave it at it wasn’t an inspiring effort for the Illinois secondary.

Juice could have played in the second half, said the team doctor, but Zook asked him for his professional opinion whether or not he could make the injury worse, and the doc said, ‘Well, yeah, he could,’ and that was that.  Eddie McGee was…above average, and played more in this game than he ever had in a college game, so given that, he was to be commended.  I felt as though he could have made some better reads on the field than he did, but then again it isn’t like he even knew he was going to be playing today.

This was the first time in 26 straight games that Arrelious Benn was held without a catch.  I believe that that is every game of his college career, which is impressibe.  It also goes to show that he really still wasn’t quite right today.  Jarred Fayson picked up the slack today (and might be the best route runner on the team), but Benn needs to be healthy, along with Juice and Martez Wilson, for the Illini to hvae a chance in the Horsehoe in two weeks.

And so starts the odd third week bye for the Illini, prior to starting the early Big Ten season.  My guess is they will be worked VERY hard this week to try and get some kind of emotional uplift heading into Columbus in two weeks. –PS

Ohio State 15, USC 10 (4:10 left 4Q)
Well, it took literally the entire game here in Champaign, and then another hour on top of it, but we finally have on USC/tOSU in the press box.

USC is currently driving, and attempting to drive a stake through the heart of the Big Ten, but it would appear that, even if the score, the Buckeyes will get another shot. –PS

USC 18, Ohio State 15 (1:05 left in the 4Q)
Just an incredibly methodical drive by the Trojans to get downfield and score there.  And how the Bucks didn’t key on Joe McKnight on the 2-point conversion I’ll never know, but they didn’t.

McKnight has absolutely been a MAN on this drive, and has completely carried the Trojans late in this game, completely taking any pressure off of Matt Barkley to do anything of consequence.  He deserves all the credit in the world if they win this game, and is finally the beast that the Trojans recruited.

My earlier assessment that the Bucks would have time may have been premature, as they have a scant 65 seconds to win this.  Can they? -PS

Here’s a drinking game for watching any sport Herbstreit announces. take a drink every times he says “____ must step up”

you’ll be wasted in no time

–PB

USC DBs breaks up final 4th down pass OSU…it’s over now

–PB

USC 18, OSU 15 FINAL

It’s a shame the Buckeyes blew their lead..but at least they didn’t get owned like last season. maybe the b10 isn’t so bad after all.

I’m signing off for the day

–PB

Oh yeah one last thing..as we now must endure ESPN’s non-stop whoring of USC…the Ohio State Cheerleaders

osucheerleader

All Hail! the mighty Wolverines … for now.

Julian Gonzalez/DFP

Julian Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press

By H. Jose Bosch

I went to Michigan bar in the middle of the desert or Scottsdale, Arizona depending on your perspective, to watch Michigan’s home opener.

It was me, a friend and quite a few Michigan fans huddled around the many TVs throughout the top floor of the bar. The Syracuse-Minnesota crapfest had just ended on ESPN 2 and all of us were waiting in anticipation for the first glimpse at our new team.

For five straight years I watched Michigan’s opening game in person — four years as an undergrad and once as an alum.

My record was 3-2, but the last two years included an epic fail against Appalachian State and a “good loss” to eventual undefeated Utah.

Needless to say I was ready to watch the opener from a remote location this year, especially after the “controversy” stirred up by the Detroit Free Press earlier in the week. What was going to happen on the field Saturday afternoon?

Would Rich Rodriguez’s thin hold on the team slip away after another embarrassing loss to a MAC school?

Or would the team rally behind its fearless leader and, for one week at least, make alumni proud of the football program again?

Whatever happened, I took comfort in the fact that I didn’t have to bake in the sun for two and a half hours to find out.

Then the image on the screen finally flickered to the Michigan game. It took a moment for anyone to register what was going on. Our first image of the 2009 season was … I didn’t know. I’m bad at matching numbers with players. Who the hell is No. 21? And why are a bunch of teammates surrounding him?

Wait.

Touchdown!

Julian Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press

Julian Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press

Yes, the first image of the 2009 season for some 80ish Michigan fans was the celebration following Tate Forcier’s first touchdown pass of the day. We’d later learn that he wisely stepped up in a well-formed pocket to avoid the rush, ran to his left and made sure not to cross the line of scrimmage before he hit Junior Hemmingway with a perfect pass. The rest didn’t matter, just the result.

It was 7-0 Michigan and we hadn’t even watched 30 seconds of the game.

The rest of the afternoon was just a blur of giddiness. Part of it was Michigan’s first-half performance and part of it was the Blue Moon. At the end of the day I was on cloud 12, ready to call this season a success after just one week.

Screw the anti-Rich Rodriguez faction. This team is for real.

I’ve had a day to sober up literally and figuratively. The excitement is still there. Even after just one week I’m convinced this team is heads and shoulders better than last year’s abomination. But that won’t necessarily translate into a much better season.

Before the game I was willing to say that just about every game was predictable one way or the other with the exception of the game against Purdue. Now I will say that the Wolverines have a chance against Notre Dame (since the game is in Ann Arbor) and a chance at Illinois (because the Illini crapped the bed this weekend against Missouri).

That’s a possible two-game swing that makes them 7-5 rather than my predicted 5-7. I’m probably getting ahead of myself. There are still a lot of unanswered questions. The second half wasn’t particularly inspiring and we don’t know if the special teams will be clutch when we need it.

But for one week I’d like to bask in the greatness of Michigan football, believe that the Wolverines are back and that Rich Rodriguez is moving in the right direction.

For one week the Wolverines won’t be the butt of every joke in the college football world.

Michigan season preview part III: special teams and outlook

zoltan

By H. Jose Bosch

Part III of my “epic” season preview of Michigan is supposed to focus on the special teams.

Woot!

The sad thing is Michigan’s best special teams player, arguably the best player in terms of how he plays his position, is the punter, Zoltan Mesko. Great guy. But it’s not good when the punter is the only player excelling at his position.

As for place kicking, who knows what to expect. KC Lopata was the go-to guy last season. If he was the starter last year with his numbers (10-15) that means the other kickers must have been sitting in a corner, gnawing on their kicking shoes while being distracted by a set of keys.
[Read more…]

Ranking the Big Ten Football Venues

beaverstadium

By Paul M. Banks

Our friends over at Midwest Sports Fans.com have ranked the atmosphere at all 11 Big Ten football Stadiums. And Chicago’s two teams, Illinois and Northwestern, did not place well. Actually, their showing was pitiful, 8th and 11th respectively. If you can use the term “respect” in regards to what the writer thought of the Wildcats and Illini home fields- at least in these rankings. Of course, these rankings were compiled by an Indiana University graduate/fan, so take it with a grain of salt. Then again who would know more about crappy, unexciting football than an IU alum?

Either way, be sure to check out the full list by clicking here. There’s lots of cool pictures, YouTube videos, and even the clip of Brutus the Buckeye getting into a fight with a Michigan fan on the sidelines of Ryan Field. Good times indeed.

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