Over A Decade Of Annoying The Rich And Powerful Alumni of U of M

"The Spirit of Michigan:  It is based upon a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways; an enthusiasm that makes it second nature for Michigan Men to spread the gospel of the university to the world's distant outposts; a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours."  - Fielding H. Yost

 

Don't Make Excuses!  Make Plays!  Take Ownership And Fix It!

As the sun set on another Michigan Football season on the drive home from Columbus Saturday night…yet another season without a Big Ten Championship…the sound of whining was becoming deafening.   The Refs…  Tired of saying wait until next year…  Wah Wah Wah…   Suck it up cupcakes!  Suck it up and be a man!  That will be the first step in getting this program to be where you expect it to be. 

What have I told you a million time?  We will beat Ohio State when we deserve to beat Ohio State.  Because we played well enough to give us a chance to win does not mean we took victory from the Bucks.  Yet again we piss away a golden opportunity.  Yet again with the chance to make our statement in a statement game, our response is “Sorry not yet”.  Yet again, we had the opportunity to show the world that Michigan Football  is back…and instead we allow the Buckeyes to be the preeminent program in the Big Ten.  The college football version of the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players.

Do not blame the refs.  Do not blame the Bucks.  Do not curse the football gods.  Blame ourselves.  Take accountability for this loss and own it.  We could have won it.  We didn’t.  It’s on us.  Blaming the refs takes away from the wonderful game played by both teams and is howling at the moon.  It deflects all accountability…because I have news for you softies, we’ll always have to play through bad refs.  There’s nothing you can do about it.   But guess what, there’s a lot WE CAN IMPROVE ON to make sure it doesn’t cost a game.   You want to whine this cost us a college football playoff spot?   No it didn’t.  Blame not showing up against Iowa and simply crapping the bed because we were on the road at night as the reason we’re not going to the playoff.  The regular season is a playoff…and we’re already out of it. 

The inches…inches…we needed to win that game were all over that field.  We could have had the game in a stranglehold…and yet we let it slip away instead.  There were a million plays to be made…and yet nobody stepped up.  Nobody.  And that’s on this coaching staff.

I get it…the officiating sucked.  Shocking you say?  Have you been to The Shoe?  Tell Bo and the ’72 team how unfair life is.  Twice they scored a TD that the officials were afraid to call.  Ohio State victory.  You expected them to give them the win on an overturned spot?  Have you watched college football?  Please.  Play above it!  Make the officials a non factor!

I get it…the gods were not kind.  Tell it to Bo and the ’74 team…  Lost on 4 field goals to a kicker that wasn’t in the media guide…   Hell Ohio State this year missed two chip shot field goals!

Freaking out that Coach Harbaugh has lost his first two games to Urb?  Hell Bo at one point was 2-4-1 in the Ten Year War.  He finished 5-4-1. 

I understand what Coach H is doing…I do.  1.  He’s mad as hell.  I get that.  He should be.  He’s setting up for next year.  He’s deflecting from his players and his coaching staff.  He’s politicking to get into the playoff.  Hell we all believe we are one of the four best teams in America.  Guess what though…he’s the one man that has the power to make the changes that need to be made to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  Because make no mistake about it, his staff…and by that logic…he is mostly responsible for losing this game.  Period. 

First of all, let’s take the defense out of the discussion.  That was the most dominant defense in a big game I believe I’ve ever witnessed.  The defense and Coach Brown were absolutely outstanding.  Outstanding.  They were more than good enough for us to win.  I can’t give them a long enough standing ovation for what they deserve.   It absolutely kills me that a defense this good will go without a Big Ten Championship or even playing in Indy.  It’s horribly, horribly unfair.  Outside of the 3 and very long to get within a yard in OT, I tip my cap to you defense.   A hell of an effort…  A hell of a unit…   Thank you for your play all year long.

Second, Kenny Frickin’ Allen.   That might be the best punting performance I’ve ever seen in a big game as well.  Just outstanding.  And baby you were nails hitting those field goals.  Outstanding game buddy…and an outstanding season.

Which brings me to the offense.  Feel free to put this one directly on Drevno and therefore indirectly on the Coach.  Truth hurts but it’s a fact.  Once again, we think we have the Michigan line of old and can simply run out the clock.  No we can’t.  We’re a long way from it.  I know it gives no Michigan Man and football coach a more raging erection than the thought of pounding out first downs to ice a game.  Do we have that offensive line?  No.  Are we even close?  No.  In fact Coach Drevno, is there one unit on that team that has progressed less than the offensive line in the last two years.  We have a broken QB…and yet his first interception and Pick 6 isn’t because of him…it’s because defensive linemen are running in on him untouched.  Against a young Ohio State line, we still couldn’t get it done.  In fact, against most of the Big Ten, we still couldn’t get it done. 

Again on Drevno, the play calling this year at times…and the play calling in this game…was atrocious…absolutely atrocious.  It was as predictable at times as anything we ever witnessed by Lloyd Carr and Mike Debord.  Peppers should never have been on the offensive side of the ball with the way he was used once the Big Ten season started.  Ridiculous.  Whether it was Peppers or McDoom, if they were on the field, we knew that the play was…  If Shane Morris was on the field, we all knew what the play was going to be.  It doesn’t matter what team you’re playing, if you’re that predictable, you will not have success.   We were all willing to laugh it off and shrug it off assuming that we were setting up plays for Ohio State.  Where were those wrinkles on Saturday?  What did Peppers do all day that we haven’t seen 1000 times to little or no impact?   Nothing.  Not one damn thing.   In fact, I will say playing Peppers in that way hampered this offense…not helping it…not one damn bit.  

I am absolutely livid by that play calling and lack of line development…   If Harbaugh does nothing about it, it’s on him.

One last thing.   Apparently it doesn’t matter who the Coach is.  I had visions when Harbaugh came in that we would have a team that played like animals on the road…taking crowds out of the game early and then stepping on the necks of our opponents.  I thought we’d have a Coach for once that might cost us in his aggressiveness…but by God we would be bold in our play calling and attitude.  So far, I’ve been wrong.  We are as cautious now and conservative with a lead as we have ever been.   It cost against the Buckeyes.  It cost against Iowa.  If we do not change, we will continue to lose games like Saturday.  Instead of taking victory, we hope for victory.  Instead of taking victory, we allow defeat.    The cliché is that fate favors the bold.   When is the last time we were bold in anything?

That’s where you place the blame folks.  Not on refs.   Not on fate.  It’s on our Offensive Coordinator and O Line Coach…and on our Head Coach regardless of how great he is.   Do I believe we’re one of the best four teams in the country?  Yes I honestly do.  The problem is, we blew that opportunity by not showing up in Iowa City.  You want to be mad about something?  Blame not getting in the playoffs on laying an ostrich-size egg there.  I’m not going to question our head coach…except that I hope he holds his offensive line coach/OC accountable.  We can argue all day about clock management late in the game all the way to going for 2 in the first OT.  We’re on the road and had given up a 10 point lead.  I can argue both sides of that coin, but that’s just nitpicking. 

I will not disrespect our team, our defense, our rivals, or The Game by whining about the refs.  I will get angry and focus on what we can change.   We can find or fix an offensive coordinator.   We can see how many losses being conservative has cost us…and Coach H can change that.  Otherwise we leave ourselves to fate and chance and take no accountability for our own success. 

I can't even stomach the thought of Saturday night.  It's been over a decade since we won a Big Ten Championship and we get to watch two teams that we beat by a combined 50 points in Indianapolis.   Think I'd rather go cut down that Christmas Tree...

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