Friday, March 28, 2008

Michigan Schadenfreude

I'm loving every second of watching Michigan's football program crumble into the 2008 version of Notre Dame. There isn't much more to it than that, it's just rovery to observe on the greener side.

Oh, Michigan, you're academic superiority does not corrollate to your football team, where are your excuses now? Having a professor distribute grades totally fucks your program up, and because you've all been such asshats, crying, "but our athletes take hard classes," every chance you got, only to get slapped in the face by the salmon of hypocrisy. Since UM athletes were being given grades, why did they suck so bad? They should've rocked seeing as they didn't have to concentrate on class, only football.

That's right...bad coaching, bad organization. Way to go Martin! Way to fire Lloyd 3 years too late and way to hire the biggest douchebag in the college ranks not coaching at an SEC school. The dude you just hired has completely sullied your pristine flagship, dragged it's image through the mud, first with his divorce from WVU, then through his sleazy recruiting tactics, through his utter failure to maintain good, promising players, and finally through Boren.

Boren, the talented offensive lineman, son to a father who played under Bo Shembechler, has left the program. Not only that, but his father, a Wolverine to the core, says he would rather pay for his son to play at OSU than go to UM for free. All the while, UM fans crying that Boren just didn't like the conditioning program and was a pussy. When a Wolverine father says that he would PAY for his son to go to OSU, you know something isn't right, things like that just don't happen.

So a lot of the peckerheads on UM blogs have been chattering, "this is just like Bo's first year," in reference to trying to weed out all the soft players. Sure, that's a reasonable enough scenario if the coach you brough in is a stabilizing force, but Rich Rod is the antithesis of that. The guy, who in 4 months on the job, has rocked the boat so hard that there is legitimate panic at a school that has no business being outside the top 25 every year, is the one being counted on to correct a wrong.

Michigan, despite my hatred, has always been a classy, model program, free of bullshit like OSU got into at the tail end of the Cooper years. The bedrock for a stable NCAA football program is creating a unifying identity, a characteristic that all the players embody and fans can identify with. Tressel has done an admirable job of that at OSU, and Lloyd did a great job of that pre-Tressel at UM. But Rich Rod is supposed to do that now? That's a tall task to charge with a guy who a year ago said he was at his dream job.

Throughout the years, UM has been relatively free of assholes like Clarrett, guys who get in trouble and act a fool, and now that lifelong Wolverines are disgusted with the program to the point of jumping ship, you just know something isn't right. Now, I'm not jumping to conclusions and saying that UM made the wrong choice and they're going to suck and Rich Rod is getting fired in 2 years, but...things have gotten off to a choppy start.

To be perfectly honest, I think that Rich Rod is going to be a pretty successful coach at UM once he gets his style of players in. I say pretty successful because John Cooper was pretty every area except one. As much as I try and stay cool and levelheaded, I just see the OSU program having far to big of a head start for Rich Rod to honestly challenge in the next 4 years. Even if Rich Rod magically coaxes 4 consecutive top 5 recruiting classes together, the holes will still be there and they'll only be on par with OSU, if even. The cupboard in Ann Arbor is almost completely bare, with maybe a few prospects garnering interest.

Now, all this is fun and everything, but let's temper our excitement. It's great seeing Michigan get dragged through the mud ad nasuem and have their shining ship get bird shit all over it, but as OSU fans, we've put all our chips in the middle, eerily similar to Michigan from last season. It wasn't too long ago that Michigan was returning 3 superstars and had a top 5 team heading into the season with all sorts of swagger and success. Picked by most to win the Big 10 and be a National Championship contender, it's fun to say Michigan fell just a wee bit short of their expectations.

OSU is that school now, with numerous returning starters and lofty goals. But what worries me is not finding the Appalachian State in the haystack, but finding a pissed off Michigan team with something to prove in the final game of the season. Rich Rod can't win big games as a favorite, there's no doubt about that, but as Georgia found out a few years ago in the Sugar Bowl, he can fire up some guys to play with a massive chip on their shoulder as an underdog.

What tempers that worry is the fact that he doesn't have the guys in place yet to do that kind of damage. And that Georgia team was in no way as good as this OSU team is, so am I worried about the Big Game? Not right now, that'll have to wait until we see how each team looks during the season. But, all I'm saying is IF we get upset...a big IF...there's no escaping that one. A loss like that would hurt far worse than Florida and LSU combined, and frankly, my sights are on the USC game.

So we'll see this season, it should be interesting. Oh, and you should be proud of me...I didn't mention Terrelle Pryor once.

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