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

 

Historical Incompetence...Epic Collapse...Time To Shut Up And Win

I was just getting to the point that I could deal with the results of the 2017 season.   I had somehow rationalized all of the obvious shortcomings we saw in this program to ultimately, with the HUGE exception of Michigan State, we won the games we were supposed to win.   We knew that winning at Penn State and at Wisconsin were damn tough things to do.   Well...the Buckeyes...I think we all won't believe it until we see it anyways.  So four losses...no matter how they came...was where most people expected us to be.   In my heart of hearts, 3-4 losses was where I expected us.

Never mind the way we lost.   Never mind the hope and prayer that one day, somehow, maybe, this team and this staff and this program would win a game it wasn't supposed to win.  It would actually upset somebody...other than its fans.   It would actually play above their capabilities for one damn game.   I mean, every other program seems to do it at least once in a decade.   We did it Lloyd's last game maybe against Florida...that was January 1st of 2008.   We did it against Wisconsin at home Rich Rod's first season in 2008.   Can anybody name any others???   I digress.

Suddenly, then the meaningless runner-up of all January First bowl games happens.   That...MESS...happens...and I'm madder than maybe I've ever been.  I'm more disgusted at the shape of this program than I've ever been.   I'm left with a football hangover that eclipses anything the roughest New Years Eve bender could ever throw at me.   Do my current feelings have mostly to do with the hope and hype we've been sold over the last three years?   Well of course it does.  Brady Hoke may have been overmatched, but his offense was better than this...and his SDSU pedigree wasn't exactly Stanford, NFC Championships, and a Super Bowl.   Let me make this abundantly clear in my humble opinion, the emperor wears no clothes.   It's very clear Harbs isn't the immediate savior of Michigan Football...and maybe that wasn't fair to him.  It's VERY clear that he is no football genius or prodigy...and maybe that wasn't fair to him to start.   However, at the end of year three, I didn't expect in a million years to be outcoached by Muschamp.  I didn't expect that headlines about our losses would include words like "Comedic" or "Epic Collapse".  I did not expect that in a million years at the end of Year 3 of Jim Harbaugh, that Harbaugh and Michigan Football would be national jokes and punchlines.   I didn't expect that we'd have kickers...fricking kicking...grabbing their crotch and taunting other teams.   I didn't expect QBs that lob grenades when they need one yard...one damn yard...to continue a drive.  No....I did not expect that.  I thought Jim Harbaugh would lead us from wandering in the desert....not throw me a pail and tell me to make a sand castle with it.

Now let me say this.   Let me make sure to make this point so that everyone understands.   Jim Harbaugh is Michigan's Coach.   Jim Harbaugh is still the coach for Michigan.   Jim Harbaugh is in resume the greatest coach we could have ever hired three years ago.  I am still 100% behind Jim Harbaugh.   I am just not convinced at this point...as I was even a year ago...that Jim Harbaugh is going to work out.   I will also say this.  No coach in America needs to evaluate themselves, their staff, their image, and everything they do more than Jim Harbaugh does between now and September if he wants to succeed in Ann Arbor.

For the small, very small, minority that wants to see a change now, I understand your frustration.  I understand your disappointment.   Nobody is a bigger believer than me that the end of year 3 is a huge barometer in the direction of the program, but the time for that conclusion has not yet come.   Not this year.  Not next year.   I don't have any more patience than you do for Michigan Football and this staff to succeed...but I also feared this was at least a five-year journey to start.   So stay in your seats, keep your heart, hands, and head in the car at all times, and wait until this ride comes to a complete stop.

That being said...

Okay Coach, your play.  You say it hasn't been good enough.  You say you have to work harder.   You say that it's on you.   So get to work.  Go get it done.   Check your ego...check all that you think you know...and you better be ready to make some hard decisions...hard decisions about your buddies...hard decisions about your kid.  If you can't do that, then your tenure in Ann Arbor is already a failure. It is all on you.  We can all point to coaches and coordinators, but it is all on you Coach.

I can not still believe what we saw in that Outback Bowl.  I'm still just stunned at the epic collapse.   I'm still stunned how in that one little meaningless game we could see a microcosm of everything wrong with the entire season.  It is still amazing to me that every nightmare scenario of the last two years could manifest itself in one half of football.

The collapse was complete.  The collapse was total.   The collapse was devastating.  For the rest of our conference and the enemies that Harbaugh has made along the way, the collapse was the highest form of comedy.   Everything wrong with this staff and this program was on display in sixty short minutes of gametime.  I'm not blaming any player.  I put the blame squarely on the coaches...all of them.  Offense...God knows the offense...special teams...and yes, oh yes defense. 

During the Outback Bowl, and over the course of the season, I've called Hamilton and Drevno every synonym for incompetent in the book.  If the book was bigger, I'd call them those too.  During the game, I weaved a tapestry of profanity that is hanging somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.  I mean, like many of you, I lost my damn mind watching that game.  I don't know that I've found my damn mind yet.

Just let this soak in.   This offense and this passing game, in Year 3 of Jim Harbaugh...offensive genius and quarterback guru...is historically bad.   With two $1m coordinators on offense, this offense was as bad as it could ever be...as bad as its ever been in the modern era.  This team passed for nine touchdowns.   Rich Rod's first year, with Threet and Sheridan and the worst QB situation that could ever be imagined, we passed for 12 TDs.  This team had the fewest passing TDs in over 40 years....since Bo Schembechler had a freshman quarterback named Leach that was running an option offense.   Wow.   Our wide receivers, for the season, scored three touchdowns.   Three.   How many did Braylon have against Sparty in the 2004 OT game???   That's not youth.   That's pure incompetence by a staff.   That is unbelievable. 

How any coach associated with such an offense could even be allowed to get on the team plane home, I have no idea.   If all of these plays are going through Harbaugh, that truly scares the hell out of me.

Now the defense.   Now the genius that I keep hearing Don Brown is.   Ok.   Sure.   Great defense right?   No, good defense.   Not a dependable defense.   This seems to be where most Michigan Fans disagree...and yes I see both sides.   Great defense against Rutgers.  How is that defense against the big boys?  In the last two games against the Buckeyes and against an offense in South Carolina being coordinated by a grad assistant, we gave up leads of at least two touchdowns.   This wasn't OSU 2016 throwing pick sixes and giving the D a 10-yard field.  This was long drives and big plays down the field following our mistakes.  We had leads against Iowa last year, OSU last year, Florida State last year, Wisconsin this year, OSU this year, South Carolina this year.  We had leads and we gave up those leads.   I don't want to hear about how bad the offense is...I just don't care and don't want to hear it.   It takes three plays for a defense to get off the field.  Three.  Good defense.  Yes.   Great defense?   A 97 defense?  A 1980 defense?   Even a 2006 defense?   A defense we know we can count on???   Sorry, not by a long shot.   Brown is a good coordinator.  Brown is not a great coordinator...  There is plenty...plenty...for that defense to work on.  Do we need the changes on this side of the ball that we need on offense?  Of course not.  Just don't pretend that we are perfect on defense.   In the Outback Bowl, that defense pissed me off every bit as bad as that anemic offense.  They were great until they weren't...then they were awful.

The moral of the story to me is simple.   Shut up Jim Harbaugh.  Shut up Michigan Football.  Shut up and win.   I'm out.  I'm throwing my hands in the air.  I don't want to hear about any of it.  I'm unplugging until Notre Dame in September.  I don't want to hear about the changes.  I don't want to hear about the coaching carousel...other than just to know for my own mental health that its happening.  I don't want to hear about spring break trips....gear for the year...recruiting antics...celebrity visits...coaching cameos on Judge Judy...music videos...none of it.  None.  Because none of it has resulted in victories against Ohio State...none of it has resulted in trips to Indianapolis...none of it has resulted in Big Ten Championships....none of it.   All of it, at this point, is just a reason for the rest of the conference and country to laugh.

God bless you Michigan fans.   God bless you and keep you and give you strength because we sure don't have a lot to cheer about right now.   The biggest win this football program has had in the last decade has been the hiring of Jim Harbaugh...and in Year 3, that's been our biggest torment.

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