Thursday, September 6, 2007

What stage are you in?

It's not quite what Elisabeth Kubler-Ross had in mind, but i've gone through
Denial(at the game - "this can't be happening"), Depression (the next day or two), Bargaining ("Maybe if we run the table, this will all be washed away") and am currently working on Anger (thanks to MGoBlog's UFR) I'll get to Acceptance sometime later, hopefully after a win or two.

Some other observations that got missed in the fallout from the "Upset of the Century"
-I would love to see the LSU/Va Tech game in person this week. Defense, defense, defense, with a modicum of special teams thrown in. After watching most of the LSU game, I'm not convinced that Matt Flynn will be able to handle the pressure of the Hokie pass rush. He looked like he got rattled against Mississippi State. Of course, with their defense, he won't need to do much to win. First team to ten wins.
-If Michigan had done what they were supposed to have done, I would have really enjoyed all the press jumping all over Weis E. Coyote, super offensive genius. He played all these games with his QB selection all summer, making a story where there really was none, and then they come out and look absolutely putrid (122 yards total offense in 63 plays). Defense wasn't much better. It will be interesting to see what contortions ND fans go through to blame this season on Ty Willingham.
-The worst performance by a top ten team this week? It might have been Texas, who had to hold on for dear life against another ASU, Arkansas State, who is projected to finished in the middle of the Sun Belt. Especially troubling is the paltry 117 yards rushing against a team that was 77th in the nation against the run. With a TCU team coming up this week that is 4-0 in their last four against Big 12 teams, they could be in trouble.
-I loved the tribute USC gave to their former kicker (HT: Various AOL Fanhouse bloggers). I think it shows why Pete Carroll is the best coach in the game today. He's like that younger teacher at your high school who had a good sense of humor, was friendly, and knew just enough popular culture to relate to kids. It's no wonder that all the top HS kids want to play for him.
-I know it's not wise to question the guys in Vegas too much, but there are a few lines this week I don't get. A couple of games we've already talked about as being tight games, UT-TCU and VaTech-LSU. Is Oklahoma really 11 points better than Miami? And the Michigan-Oregon line just seems off. The Ducks are getting 8? Can Michigan really score enough to win by 8 or more?

-One final thing, since everyone is talking about the next Michigan coach, I'll throw in my 2 cents. My top candidates at this point:
1) Jeff Tedford - good Xs and Os guy, some pro experience, head coaching experience in a BCS conference, Cal is a very similar school to Michigan. He's been frustrated with Cal's inability to get a stadium expansion done, Michigan's recent announced plans might be a draw.
2) Rich Rodiguez - Very innovative, the fact he listened to Bama last year shows he's available for the right price
3) Kirk Ferentz - Very good at teaching the fundamentals. Knows the UofM president, Mary Sue Coleman due to her time at Iowa, and has (or had) a daughter at UofM. Would he be willing to move in conference?
4) Greg Schiano - Great recruiter, good pedigree

I don't think that Les Miles will ever be offered the job. He desperately wants the job, anyone who pays attention to LSU football can tell you that. But there have long been rumors about character issues (he's referred to as "Loose Morals" by Michigan insiders), and I don't think that Bill Martin would take a chance with that. Especially since he's not really known as a great strategist, and his buyout at LSU (reportedly $2.1 million if he leaves to go to Michigan) might be cost prohibitive.