Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trending now...

I use Yahoo as my default home page on one of my browsers.  In the upper right hand corner is a feature called "trending now," which tells you the top ten searches for whatever period of time they are using.  Here is what I see as "trending now" in Michigan sports.

Michigan is killing little brother in recruiting.

In basketball, the relationship between Michigan and MSU is more obvious, because it is sometimes possible to win a National Championship with solely instate recruits.  Basically, in basketball recruiting, what is good for Michigan is bad for MSU and vice-versa.  In football, though, it's a little more complicated.

Michigan has a great name and Michigan can recruit nationally.  They are strong in Florida now, and have traditionally gotten a few great players out of Texas.  Ohio has also treated Michigan very well over the years.  For Michigan State, though, instate recruiting is their bread and butter.  If they don't recruit the state of Michigan extremely well, they are terrible.  Sometimes, they are terrible anyway. 

Basically, Michigan is in a position where every kid they get from Michigan is not only an asset, but a player who doesn't go to MSU.  When Michigan gets the best instate recruits, it sucks the lifeblood from the MSU program.  As of right now, Michigan is ahead of MSU 6-0 for instate recruits who recieved offers from both schools.  That's right: Michigan is pitching a shutout agaisnt MSU.

Predictably, MSU message boards are melting down over Michigan's trouncing of MSU in recruiting.  They are making every excuse in the book, from "scum is using firesale tactics to get kids to sign," to "the 20th best player in Ohio is better than the 4/5th best in Michigan this year." 

 I have a feeling the meltdowns on RCMB have just begun...

Where's Waldo?

At the Big Ten meetings, Gordon Gee, Gene Smith, and Jim Tressel have been hiding from the media.  Commissioner Jim Delaney is beginning to disassociate himself from them, and his latest comments are a subtle form of "throwing them under the bus."  It is obvious that Delaney no longer supports any of them, and will be full of his typical pompous, self-righteous statements when Tressel is finally fired and TSIO is finally punished.  I can't wait.

You Stay Classy, Now...

The WTKA "Mott takeover" day collected the most money for Mott Children's Hospital that they ever have.  It was a banner day, and one that should have been reserved solely for celebration.  However, a few former Michigan players and coaches decided that they had to badmouth the previous coaching staff.  This is NOT what being a "Michigan Man" is all about. 

No matter what their personal feelings, the ex-players and coaches need to realize that they can be supportive of the current staff without dumping on the previous one.  My feelings about the entire "process" are on record, and I won't reprise them here.  Really, though, no matter what your feelings, anyone who is representing the University of Michigan should be intelligent enough and have enough class to take the high road.

When former Michigan players make the kind of comments that many made last Friday, it reminds me of a bizarre Hostess Twinkie: Maize and Blue on the outside, but Spartan Green on the inside.

Shame on anyone who made deragatory comments about the previous staff when they should have been celebrating what is good about the University of Michigan.  If Bo was still alive, he would remind them that they are better than that.  Sadly, he isn't, and the moral compass of the program is temporarily MIA.  I hope someone fills the void soon, or Michigan will be just another college football program, but with more wins.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Plot Thickens...

Finally, as I had suspected all along, there is confirmatin that Lloyd Carr had something to do with "transfer-mania" in 2008.  Ryan Mallett's father has told the media that Carr advised Mallett to transfer when Rich Rodriguez was hired.  Of course, it's OK because Carr, who graduated from NMU, is a "Michigan Man," while RR "wasn't."  And now, Brady Hoke, a BSU grad born in Ohio, is celebrated as the consummate 'Michigan Man" in the media.   

That begs a rather obvious question:

What the fuck does the "Carr-tel" think a "Michigan Man" is?  Do they think a "Michigan Man" is someone who puts his own agenda ahead of "his" school?  Do Carr and his minions think it was OK to sabotage the University of Michigan's football program for three years, only to be welcomed back with open arms and given their way when one of "their own" was hired?

Why isn't Lloyd Carr being held responsible for this?  Why doesn't anyone remember that it was Carr on the sidelines for the first four losses in the seven-game streak to Ohio State?  Why doesn't anyone seem to remember that it was Carr's terrible coaching in a four game streak that ruined two potentially great seasons that caused Bill Martin to "retire" Carr in the first place?

Does he really think his team's utter inability to beat truly elite teams and his embarassing losses to Ohio State, USC, Appalachian State and Oregon in succession entitled him to name his successor?  Or that he should have been totally exempt from criticism when he misused his power to sabotage his successor? 

Lloyd Carr was still on the payroll of the University of Michigan while he was sabotaging the program.  He should have to pay back every penny he earned during that period.  Better yet, he should donate it to Mott Children's Hospital. 

For what it's worth, I don't fault Brady Hoke for taking the job.  He was in San Diego, coaching his team and doing his job, when he got the "offer he couldn't refuse."  He interviewed for his dream job and got it.  Hoke is to be commended.  Greg Mattison should also be commended for coming back.  Neither had anything to do with what happened in Ann Arbor the last three years.  The people I have a problem with are the ex-players, ex-coaches, and boosters who worked so hard to get Rich Rodriguez fired. 

Michigan had better hope Brady Hoke succeeds beyond any vision they had for him.  If he doesn't, the Carr-tel and their followers will be exposed as being exactly what they stereotyped Rich Rodriguez as being: ignorant, dishonest hillbillies who think nepotism is the only legitimate reason to hire anyone.

Hoke and Mattison are exempt.  They were far too busy with their own teams to take part in Carr's assassination of RR's character and sabotage of the University of Michigan football program.  Hopefully, they can bring the program back.  It will certainly be easier now that nobody is actively sabotaging it from within.

Now that some sabotage has been documented by a player's parent, it's really not a question anymore that Carr was actively sabotaging the program he professed to love and the school that was signing his paycheck.  The only question now is one of extent.  How much sabotage did Carr get away with while collecting UM paychecks? 

Wouldn't it be ironic if it turned out that it was Carr, whose system of counting practice hours was the one RR inherited in the first place, was the one who suggested the story to Michael Rosenberg?

I'm not saying that it happened that way, but I am saying that it certainly is possible.  I'm certainly not holding my breath waiting for Lloyd Carr to come clean.